Saturday, October 15, 2011

China warns India on South China Sea exploration projects...

Blocks of Vietnam's continental shelf in Gulf of Bac Bo

China on Thursday indicated it was opposed to India engaging in oil and gas exploration projects in the disputed South China Sea, and warned Indian companies against entering into any agreements with Vietnam ahead of External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna’s visit to Hanoi this week.
“Our consistent position is that we are opposed to any country engaging in oil and gas exploration and development activities in waters under China’s jurisdiction,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said, in reply to a question on reports that the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) Videsh Limited was considering exploration projects in two blocks that Vietnam claims.
While Ms. Jiang said she was not aware of reports of Indian involvement in any projects, she stressed China enjoyed “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea and its islands.
“We hope foreign countries will not get involved in the dispute,” she said. “For countries outside the region, we hope they will respect and support countries in the region to solve this dispute through bilateral channels.”
China and Vietnam are among at least ten countries that hold competing claims over the South China Sea and the islands located in its waters.
In June, tensions flared between China and Vietnam over the Spratly and Paracel Islands, following clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese boats.
External Affairs Minister Mr. Krishna will hold talks in Hanoi later this week. Among the issues slated for discussion, according to media reports, is an agreement for oil and gas exploration in two blocks over which Vietnam claims sovereignty, by ONGC Videsh.
China had reportedly voiced its objections to India about the projects, saying that any projects would be “illegal” as China claims sovereignty over the entire South China Sea.
India, however, is likely to go ahead with the projects in the two blocks, which Vietnam says it holds rights to under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.
In recent weeks, India, too, has raised concerns over Chinese projects in disputed territory — in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). China has rejected Indian concerns over this issue, stating that it viewed the dispute as one for India and Pakistan to solve.
Ms. Jiang said the 1982 U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea “did not give any country the right to expand their own exclusive economic zone and continental shelf to other countries’ territories”. The convention, she said, did not negate “a country’s right formed in history that has been consistently claimed”.
Disputes between China, Vietnam and other countries that hold claims to the South China Sea have flared in recent months. While China’s neighbors have blamed an increasingly assertive Chinese navy for stirring tensions, with recent clashes with both Vietnam and the Philippines, Chinese officials have pointed the finger at the United States for fanning the flames with its renewing of military alliances in the region.
Ahead of Mr. Krishna’s visit, India has also stressed its strong support for the “freedom of navigation in international waters, including in the South China Sea”, after the INS Airavat, on a recent goodwill visit to Vietnam, was asked over radio to leave “Chinese waters”....

India and Vietnam will sign several contracts on Business Strategy, Commerce, Energy and Technology....


Despite objections or harassment of China, India plan to sign several contracts with theU.S. , including oil exploitation contracts outside the U.S. continental shelf between OVLand Petrovietnam, the contract for the engineering camp opened in Vietnam, as well as increased borrowing to fund the U.S. implementation plans will be signed when Truong Tan Sang went to India in mid-October. In the recent U.S. visit, Indian foreign minister SM Krishna spoke a lot about treaties, trade, economic and technical cooperation between the two countries.
Oil exploitation contracts between OVL and Petrovietnam is considered strategic because the contract will challenge China on the so-called “indisputable sovereignty” over the South China Sea. Already here, India has asked China to terminate the planned game against oil on the East Coast of India OVL.
Ensure energy needs are paramount factors in the relationship between Vietnam and India, despite the Chinese threat. Part of the exploitation of oil OVL up to more than half the total amount of 400 million dollars of Indian investment in Vietnam.
Unmoved by Chinese objections, the ONGC Videsh Ltd
(OVL) and Petro Vietnam - state-owned exploration and production of Companies
India and Vietnam -are likely to sign a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU ) on
Strategic Cooperation. Signing of the pact is expected to be one of the nhiều
outcomes in terms of Agreements khi
Truong Tan Sang Vietnam President visits India in the second week of October.
India will announce more cũng line of credit, above the existing Rs 300 crore
Besides opening and more information technology (IT) parks in Vietnam.
Many Agreements in the areas of trade, Economic, Scientific and Technological
Cooperation are likely to be Inked khi cũng Sang’s visit.
External Affairs Minister SM Krishna Discussions with Sang long held on the
Entire Facet of the bilateral ties During His visit to Vietnam.
The MoU the between OVL and Petro Vietnam in the nature of a “Strategic
Cooperation “đồng nghĩa Undertaking of more exploration projects, mà can irk
China enjoys very little with its position “undisputed Territorial Sovereignty over
South China sea . “

South China Sea: A new geopolitical node....

.....For a long time, the planet's geopolitical nodes were situated in Europe, namely the Balkans and Alsace and Lorraine. For 20 years after the dissolution of Soviet Union geopolitical node of the planet was Middle East. Now it's safe to say that the new geopolitical node is the South China Sea.

It is the South China Sea where interests intersect for the major global players: the United States, Japan - as the No.2 power, and the rising giants of Asia, China and India. On its coastline or near

it are seated many rapidly developing countries - Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore. The countries of Southeast Asia account for nearly 10% of world population, and 2.5% of global GDP.

Sea-trade is foundation of global economy: 90% of world's commerce travels by sea. It is the second most used sea lane in the world - over 50% of the annual merchant fleet tonnage passes through the Strait of Malacca, the Sunda Strait, and the Lombok Strait. The Strait of Malacca accounts for nearly 10 millions barrels of crude oil every day. There are enormous mineral and fishing resources, and the South China Sea is estimated to hold about 7 billion barrels of oil and 900 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

At the same time, a lot of threats to the national security of regional and out-of-the region countries are associated with those waters. These threats could be divided into three types.

The first type is socio-economic threats. Despite rapid economic growth Southeast Asia is one of the poorest regions of the world. More than a half of population lives on less than $1 a day. Illiteracy also remains among the highest. A substantial part of the population has problems with food, drinking water and medicines. The situation is only getting worse because of frequent natural disasters; the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami was the strongest among them, but not the only one.

This unpleasant socio-economic situation is a source of the second type of threats - irregular ones. The South China Sea is second most dangerous pirate-infested region of the world after the Somali coast and Horn of Africa. International terrorism menace is also obvious, especially for such states as Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand. Many terrorist organizations operate in region, many of them with ties to al-Qaeda - Jemaah Islamiyah, Abu Sayyaf, the Maoist New People's Army and others. Southeast Asia (the Golden Triangle) is, together with Afghanistan and Central Asia (the Golden Crescent) and Latin America, one of key centers of illegal drug trafficking. Other types of illegal activity also prosper. All these facts lead to increasing of domestic instability. Almost every state has its own sources of political, ethnic or religious conflicts. The 2006 coup d'้tat and ensuing wave of political instability in Thailand is only one of many examples.

The third, and perhaps most important type of threats in the region of South China Sea is regular, traditional threats of interstate conflict, including unresolved territorial disputes between China, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. China claims most of the South China Sea as well as the Paracel and Spratly islands. China's government uses the so-called nine-dash map, whose eligibility is fiercely disputed, primarily by Vietnam and Philippines. According to President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines: "China's 9-dash line territorial claim over the entire South China Sea is against international laws, particularly the United National Convention of the Laws of the Sea".

Authoritative Chinese newspaper Global Times said in recent article "The South China Sea is the best place for China to wage wars. Of the more than 1,000 oil rigs there, none belongs to China; of the four airfields in the Spratly Islands, none belongs to China". Chinese Navy commander Admiral Wu Shengli stated "how would you feel if I cut off your arms and legs? That's how China feels about the South China Sea".

Then there is the possibility of conflict between Taiwan and mainland China. Beijing seeks peaceful reunification according to Deng Xiaoping's "one country, two systems" doctrine, but an armed conflict cannot be excluded. Reunification with Taiwan is a task of paramount importance. It is necessary for China's national consolidation and security. Reunification will break the First island chain and question the US policy of China containment.

"As we obtain absolute security of our own maritime lifeline, it also implies absolute control over Japan's maritime lifeline", says Professor Ni Lexiong, a proponent of Chinese sea power. This is also true for South Korea and for countries in the South China Sea.

Finally, there is a possibility of conflict between China and India. Relations between the two Asia giants have always been uneasy, and in the next decade tensions could escalate. China is developing a system of diplomatic, military and political ties in Indian ocean under the "String of Pearls" doctrine and India is attempting to forge closer and deeper integration with its neighbors in South East Asia under its "Look East" policy. These two opposing doctrines clash in South China Sea.

On July 22 after sailing 45 nautical miles off the Vietnamese coast, Indian landing ship INS Airavat was called on an open radio channel by someone identifying himself as the "Chinese Navy". "You are entering Chinese waters," the radio caller said, according to the India Government. This case was likely someone's silly joke, but it is another evidence of growing tension in Indo-Chinese relations in the region, especially after Vietnam and India's launch of a joint oil project in the South China Sea brought a negative reaction from Beijing. China has begun to pay special attention to its sea power over the past decade. According to the former US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead, China has the fastest-growing navy in the world today. Chinese President Hu Jintao called China a "sea power" and advocated a ''powerful people's navy'' to ''uphold our maritime rights and interests".

The People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) consists of about 200 ships excluding auxiliary and mosquito fleet. According to the US Department of Defense about 55% of submarines and 25% of surface combat ships are modern, highly capable ships. The role of China's first aircraft carrier Shi Lang and the ballistic anti-ship missile DF-21D are overestimated, but Chinese conventional submarines, destroyers and small attack craft are underestimated.

India is also increasing its sea power. It develops its own shipbuilding industry and actively buy ships and other naval technology abroad. The largest projects are building of India first indigenous nuclear submarine, purchase of Russian carrier, frigates and French conventional submarines. Other states also pay increasing attention to development of theirs navies. According to Bob Nugent, the vice-president of Ami Intrnational, the Asia-Pacific region will be the second-largest naval market after the United States in the next 20 years.
In turn, the Unites States, while remaining military and naval superpower, faces a decline in its potential in region. This is due to defense spending cuts, the heavy burden of global commitments and its naval forward presence. On top of that, the national debt is America's biggest security threat, according to former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. China is largest holder of US national debt and also its largest trading partner.

This whole set of challenges and threats will largely determine world politics in the coming decades. The European Union, Russia, Brazil and other out-of-the-region powers should take this into account.

Prokhor Tebin is a PhD student at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Science.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

2012 pole shift? Count on it, say US government scientists....

"2012" no longer science fiction, but science fact....?
October , 2011 -- 2012 pole shift? Count on it, say US government scientists....

Although Mayan, Chinese, and Egyptian prognostications about a major global cataclysm occurring on December 21, 2012, have been relegated by many in the corporate media to the realm of science fiction and "junk science," a group of scientists from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the Department of Energy are not so dismissive. In fact, at a conference held at the U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center on October 6, scientists not only proclaimed that the Earth is due for a major magnetic pole shift and solar coronal mass ejections (CMEs) next year but stated that the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructures, including nuclear power plants, are woefully unprepared to deal with the effects of the impending global disaster. There is a real fear that the United States could be dealing with "thirty Fukushimas," a reference to the nuclear catastrophe following this year's Japanese quake and tsunami.

At the one-day Conference on Severe Space Weather Threats to the National Electric Grid, sponsored by the Energy & Environmental Security Policy Program at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University (NDU), the intelligence and military contractor Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the Congressional EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) Caucus, and the InfraGard National Members Alliance, scientists and emergency planners called for government action on shoring up the nation's defenses.

In what is called a "solar max," meaning an increase in CMEs that will disrupt the earth's electrical grids, nuclear power plant support systems, and communication systems, government scientists and emergency planners agree that the federal government has done little to plan for such catastrophic events. Solar max, coupled with increased earthquake, volcanic, and severe weather activity, will stretch the already-depleted resources of federal, state, and local governments to the breaking point. Emergency planners stressed that families and individuals must make preparations for their own safety and recovery from the global bedlam that will result from the significant terrestrial and solar changes.

Scientists confirmed that the increase in the frequency and intensity and the more shallow depths of earthquakes over the last decade is linked to the solar max and magnetic pole shift activity. There is still some disagreement among scientists about the effect of solar max and magnetic pole shift on earth's geographical pole stability.

Some countries are already planning for worst-case scenarios. Twenty-three Indian Ocean countries are participating next week in the first ever drill of the Indian Ocean tsunami alert system, dubbed IOWAVE 11. The drill will plan for a 9.2 earthquake off the northwest coast of Sumatra, similar to the quake which struck the same area on December 26, 2004. The countries in the Indian Ocean region will plan for a destructive tsunami that will swamp the coastlines of littoral and island nations and strike the South African coast 12 hours after the quake. The Indian Ocean alert system was funded by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the UN Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The critical drill comes at a time when pro-Israel members of the U.S. Congress are threatening a cut-off of U.S. financial contributions to UNESCO because of the recent decision by the body's executive committee to recommend the admission of Palestine as a full member state....

Monday, October 3, 2011

Secret US-Israeli Nuke Transfers Led To Fukushima Blasts....

By Yoichi Shimatsu

Sixteen tons and what you get is a nuclear catastrophe. The explosions that rocked the Fukushima No.1 nuclear plant were more powerful than the combustion of hydrogen gas, as claimed by the Tokyo Electric Power Company. The actual cause of the blasts, according to intelligence sources in Washington, was nuclear fission of. warhead cores illegally taken from America’s sole nuclear-weapons assembly facility. Evaporation in the cooling pools used for spent fuel rods led to the detonation of stored weapons-grade plutonium and uranium.
The facts about clandestine American and Israeli support for Japan’s nuclear armament are being suppressed in the biggest official cover-up in recent history. The timeline of events indicates the theft from America’s strategic arsenal was authorized at the highest level under a three-way deal between the Bush-Cheney team, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Elhud Olmert’s government in Tel Aviv.
Tokyo’s Strangelove
In early 2007, Vice President Dick Cheney flew to Tokyo with his closest aides. Newspaper editorials noted the secrecy surrounding his visit – no press conferences, no handshakes with ordinary folks and, as diplomatic cables suggest, no briefing for U.S. Embassy staffers in Tokyo.
Cheney snubbed Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, who was shut out of confidential talks. The pretext was his criticism of President George Bush for claiming Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. The more immediate concern was that the defense minister might disclose bilateral secrets to the Pentagon. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were sure to oppose White House approval of Japan’s nuclear program.
An unannounced reason for Cheney’s visit was to promote a quadrilateral alliance in the Asia-Pacific region. The four cornerstones – the US, Japan, Australia and India – were being called on to contain and confront China and its allies North Korea and Russia.. From a Japanese perspective, this grand alliance was flawed by asymmetry: The three adversaries were nuclear powers, while the U.S. was the only one in the Quad group.
To further his own nuclear ambitions, Abe was playing the Russian card. As mentioned in a U.S. Embassy cable (dated 9/22), the Yomiuri Shimbun gave top play to this challenge to the White House : “It was learned yesterday that the government and domestic utility companies have entered final talks with Russia in order to relegate uranium enrichment for use at nuclear power facilities to Atomprom, the state-owned nuclear monopoly.” If Washington refused to accept a nuclear-armed Japan, Tokyo would turn to Moscow.
Since the Liberal Democratic Party selected him as prime minister in September 2006, the hawkish Abe repeatedly called for Japan to move beyond the postwar formula of a strictly defensive posture and non-nuclear principles. Advocacy of a nuclear-armed Japan arose from his family tradition. His grandfather Nobusuke Kishi nurtured the wartime atomic bomb project and, as postwar prime minister, enacted the civilian nuclear program. His father Shintaro Abe, a former foreign minister, had played the Russian card in the 1980s, sponsoring the Russo-Japan College, run by the Aum Shinrikyo sect (a front for foreign intelligence), to recruit weapons scientists from a collapsing Soviet Union.
The chief obstacle to American acceptance of a nuclear-armed Japan was the Pentagon, where Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima remain as iconic symbols justifying American military supremacy.The only feasible channel for bilateral transfers then was through the civilian-run Department of Energy (DoE), which supervises the production of nuclear weapons.
Camp David Go-Ahead
The deal was sealed on Abe’s subsequent visit to Washington. Wary of the eavesdropping that led to Richard Nixon’s fall from grace, Bush preferred the privacy afforded at Camp David. There, in a rustic lodge on April 27, Bush and Abe huddled for 45 minutes. What transpired has never been revealed, not even in vague outline.
As his Russian card suggested, Abe was shopping for enriched uranium. At 99.9 percent purity, American-made uranium and plutonium is the world’s finest nuclear material. The lack of mineral contaminants means that it cannot be traced back to its origin. In contrast, material from Chinese and Russian labs can be identified by impurities introduced during the enrichment process.
Abe has wide knowledge of esoteric technologies. His first job in the early 1980s was as a manager at Kobe Steel. One of the researchers there was astrophysicist Hideo Murai, who adapted Soviet electromagnetic technology to “cold mold” steel. Murai later became chief scientist for the Aum Shinrikyo sect, which recruited Soviet weapons technicians under the program initiated by Abe’s father. After entering government service, Abe was posted to the U.S. branch of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization). Its New York offices hosted computers used to crack databases at the Pentagon and major defense contractors to pilfer advanced technology. The hacker team was led by Tokyo University’s top gamer, who had been recruited into Aum.
After the Tokyo subway gassing in 1995, Abe distanced himself from his father’s Frankenstein cult with a publics-relations campaign. Fast forward a dozen years and Abe is at Camp David. After the successful talks with Bush, Abe flew to India to sell Cheney’s quadrilateral pact to a Delhi skeptical about a new Cold War. Presumably, Cheney fulfilled his end of the deal. Soon thereafter Hurricane Katrina struck, wiping away the Abe visit from the public memory.
The Texas Job
BWXT Pantex, America’s nuclear warhead facility, sprawls over 16,000 acres of the Texas Panhandle outside Amarillo. Run by the DoE and Babcock & Wilson, the site also serves as a storage facility for warheads past their expiration date. The 1989 shutdown of Rocky Flats, under community pressure in Colorado, forced the removal of those nuclear stockpiles to Pantex. Security clearances are required to enter since it is an obvious target for would-be nuclear thieves.
In June 2004, a server at the Albuquerque office of the National Nuclear Security System was hacked. Personal information and security-clearance data for 11 federal employees and 177 contractors at Pantex were lifted. NNSA did not inform Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman or his deputy Clay Sell until three months after the security breach, indicating investigators suspected an inside job.
While Bush and Abe met at Camp David, 500 unionized security guards at Pantex launched a 45-day strike. Scabs were hired, but many failed to pass the entry exam, according to the Inspector General’s office at DoE. The IG report cited witnesses who said: “BWXT officials gave passing grades to some replacement guards even though they actually flunked tests,” and “contractor officials gave correct answers to those that failed the tests.” Although the scene was nearly as comical as the heist in “Ocean’s Eleven”, Pantex is not some Vegas casino. At stake was nuclear Armageddon.
At an opportune moment during the two-month strike, trucks loaded with warhead cores rolled out of the gates. Some 16 metric tons of nuclear cores packed in caskets were hauled away in refrigerated containers to prevent fission. At the port of Houston, the dangerous cargo was loaded aboard vessels operated by an Israeli state-owned shipping line. The radioactive material was detected by port inspector Roland Carnaby, a private contractor working under the federal program to interdict weapons of mass destruction.
The intelligence community is still buzzing about his shooting death. On April 29, 2008, Houston police officers pursued Carnaby on a highway chase and gunned him down. His port monitoring contract was later awarded to the Israel-based security firm NICE (Neptune Intelligence Computer Engineering), owned by former Israeli Defense Force officers.
Throughout the Pantex caper, from the data theft to smuggling operation, Bush and Cheney’s point man for nuclear issues was DoE Deputy Director Clay Sell, a lawyer born in Amarillo and former aide to Panhandle district Congressman Mac Thornberry. Sell served on the Bush-Cheney transition team and became the top adviser to the President on nuclear issues. At DoE, Sell was directly in charge of the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, which includes 17 national laboratories and the Pantex plant. (Another alarm bell: Sell was also staff director for the Senate Energy subcommittee under the late Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, who died in a 2010 plane crash.)
An Israeli Double-Cross
The nuclear shipments to Japan required a third-party cutout for plausible deniability by the White House. Israel acted less like an agent and more like a broker in demanding additional payment from Tokyo, according to intelligence sources. Adding injury to insult, the Israelis skimmed off the newer warhead cores for their own arsenal and delivered older ones. Since deteriorated cores require enrichment, the Japanese were furious and demanded a refund, which the Israelis refused. Tokyo had no recourse since by late 2008 principals Abe had resigned the previous autumn and Bush was a lame duck.
The Japanese nuclear developers, under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, had no choice but to enrich the uranium cores at Fukushima No.1, a location remote enough to evade detection by nonproliferation inspectors. Hitachi and GE had developed a laser extraction process for plutonium, which requires vast amounts of electrical power. This meant one reactor had to make unscheduled runs, as was the case when the March earthquake struck.
Tokyo dealt a slap on the wrist to Tel Aviv by backing Palestinian rights at the UN. Not to be bullied, the Israeli secret service launched the Stuxnet virus against Japan’s nuclear facilities.
Firewalls kept Stuxnet at bay until the Tohoku earthquake. The seismic activity felled an electricity tower behind Reactor 6. The power cut disrupted the control system, momentarily taking down the firewall. As the computer came online again, Stuxnet infiltrated to shut down the back-up generators. During the 20-minute interval between quake and tsunami, the pumps and valves at Fukushima No.1 were immobilized, exposing the turbine rooms to flood damage.
The flow of coolant water into the storage pools ceased, quickening evaporation. Fission of the overheated cores led to blasts and mushroom-clouds. Residents in mountaintop Iitate village overlooking the seaside plant saw plumes of smoke and could “taste the metal” in their throats.
Guilty as Charged
The Tohoku earthquake and tsunami were powerful enough to damage
Fukushima No.1. The natural disaster, however, was vastly amplified by two external factors: release of the Stuxnet virus, which shut down control systems in the critical 20 minutes prior to the tsunami; and presence of weapons-grade nuclear materials that devastated the nuclear facility and contaminated the entire region.

Of the three parties involved, which bears the greatest guilt? All three are guilty of mass murder, injury and destruction of property on a regional scale, and as such are liable for criminal prosecution and damages under international law and in each respective jurisdiction.
The White House, specifically Bush, Cheney and their co-conspirators in the DoE, hold responsibility for ordering the illegal removal and shipment of warheads without safeguards.
The state of Israel is implicated in theft from U.S. strategic stockpiles, fraud and extortion against the Japanese government, and a computer attack against critical infrastructure with deadly consequences, tantamount to an act of war.
Prime Minister Abe and his Economy Ministry sourced weapons-grade nuclear material in violation of constitutional law and in reckless disregard of the risks of unregulated storage, enrichment and extraction. Had Abe not requested enriched uranium and plutonium in the first place, the other parties would not now be implicated. Japan, thus, bears the onus of the crime.
The International Criminal Court has sufficient grounds for taking up a case that involves the health of millions of people in Japan, Canada, the United States, Russia, the Koreas, Mongolia, China and possibly the entire Northern Hemisphere. The Fukushima disaster is more than an human-rights charge against a petty dictator, it is a crime against humanity on par with the indictments at the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals. Failure to prosecute is complicity.
If there is a silver lining to every dark cloud, it’s that the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami saved the world from even greater folly by halting the drive to World War III....