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Russian Anti-Satellite Test Shocks The US; Seeks Weapons To Jam Russian, Chinese Satellites

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The space race between the US and Russia is set to get more complicated. On one side, the US is exploring ways of jamming Chinese and Russian satellite while on the other side, Russia recently fired an anti-satellite missile that the U.S. Space Force considers a threat to American orbital assets. 

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As per reports in Bloomberg, the US is developing an arsenal of 48 weapons that can provisionally jam Chinese and Russian satellites. Made by Florida based technology company, L3Harris Technologies Inc, the first system is operational is expected to be delivered over the next seven years as the US Space Force has already taken delivery of 16 of them.

A new light-weight system, known as Meadowland, that is proficient in adding updated software and able to freeze more frequencies is also under development. The space force that was formed last year is also the sixth unit of the US Military. They mainly focus on defending US satellites and on organizational questions about budget and relationship with the Air force.

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A unit head in the combat systems branch of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Colonel Stephen Brogan said — Nothing else they were doing in Space Force was offensive or where they were going after an adversary. The jamming systems were designed to interfere with communication satellites and not those for data relay or taking photographs, he added.

The US defense officials have always spoken about the need to weaponize space and turn it into a battlefield and add more hazardous space debris. In a statement, the Space force said: ” China and Russia have weaponized space with the intent to hold American space capabilities at risk.” The statement supports the decision of the US to build space weapons on the grounds of self-defense.

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Emphasizing on the fact that the jamming will not cause space junk, Brogan said it emits energy designed to cause temporary, “reversible” interference. The decision has attracted a lot of opinions from advocates of preserving space as a weapons-free domain, say the new U.S. jamming system risks escalation, even if it’s not designed to destroy satellites.

Russia carried a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile system test which is designed to annihilate satellites in low Earth orbit.  This test was preceded by Moscow’s on-orbit test maneuvers of two satellites that “exhibited characteristics of a space weapon,” which Washington has been closely following, the U.S. Space Force said in a statement.

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The U.S. Space Force also expressed serious concerns about this recent missile test. “Russia’s DA-ASAT test provides yet another example that the threats to U.S. and allied space systems are real, serious and growing,” Raymond said. “The US is prepared and determined to deter Russian aggression and defending the nation, our allies, and the U.S. interests from hostile acts in space.”

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This has become disturbing for the U.S. as both Russia and China are aggressively pursuing their space programs and offensive capabilities in low earth orbit. The recent anti-satellite tests by Russia could add to political tensions between Washington and Moscow as the former has been accusing the latter of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Americas

Indian-Chinese Border Dispute Direct Result Of US’ ‘Financial Actions’ Against Beijing: Experts

The dispute between the Indian-Chinese border troops started when China objected to the construction of a road in the Galwan valley by the Indian BRO. Experts link the US angle to India-China border dispute.

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With flaring tensions on the Indian-Chinese border, Indian military expert suspect that there’s a link between China’s mishandling of the virus with the border incursions with India. 

“Globally, China is losing its leverage as it is believed to have caused the pandemic. Industries are looking to move out of China. This is causing China to divert attention from the COVID-19 situation,” said Lt. Gen. Vinod Bhatia, India’s former director-general of military operations (DGMO).

As earlier reported by EurAsian Times, India dispatched troops along the border after it was reported that China is pitching tents near river Galwan, which was the 1962 flashpoint between China and India. This came after the recent instance when the two sides got into an ‘armless’ scuffle at the Naku La pass in North Sikkim, injuring soldiers from both sides. The Chinese military helicopters were later seen flying close to the undefined Line of Actual Control (LAC) on several occasions.

The conflict between the Indian-Chinese border troops started when China objected to the construction of a road in the Galwan valley. The road is being built at the junction of Shyok and Galwan rivers, about 200 km north of the Pangong Tso lake.

India and China have turbulent relations since the brief war that was fought in 1962 due to similar border issues at Aksai Chin. “This issue is a long haul. Military-to-military talks have not been successful, diplomats are now discussing the issue. We cannot rule out that the politicians may have to get involved,” said retired Gen. Ved Prakash Malik, the former army chief who led Indian forces during the 1999 Kargil War.

“Isolated incidents have occurred in the past because of an undefined grey area at the LAC. This time, however, it is different as the Chinese soldiers have dug-in and sat down at various disputed areas,” he added. 

Indian Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, has clarified that both the nations are in the process of resolving the current border issues through established diplomatic channels and don’t need the US to mediate between them.

This was in reference to US President Donald Trump’s offer to mediate between the two nuclear-armed nations. The Chinese side has also rejected the offer when the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that the two countries did not want the “intervention” from a third party to resolve their differences.

“China respects strength, India will do well to follow the concept of no blinking, no brinkmanship, standing firm on the ground and exploiting the established mechanisms of flag meetings,” said former DGMO.

Meanwhile, Chinese media has reported that Chinese President, Xi Jinping, has ordered the military to think about worst-case scenarios and scale up training and battle preparedness.

According to Brigadier S K Chatterji (Retired) who served in the Regiment of Artillery of the Indian Army, the foremost reasons driving Chinese responses are the coronavirus-related backlashes that China is facing. Much of the world believes that China lied. At best, it kept quiet early in the outbreak and now faces a global trust deficit.

Several countries including India have asked for a probe into the origins of COVID-19 which is suspected to come from China. This has resulted in building up pressure on China as many governments have aggressively pitched for a transparent inquiry into the pandemic and also threatened to cut ties with Beijing.

New Delhi has also brought in new regulations to deter Chinese firms, which recovered from the crisis earlier than other countries, to acquire vulnerable Indian companies. “Some major global companies are thinking about moving their manufacturing facilities to India or other Asian countries. The Chinese want the world to believe that India has unstable times ahead. It plans to get these companies to rethink their strategy,” wrote Chatterji.

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Americas

Trump’s Mediation Offer ‘Naive’; US Actually Wants India To Challenge Chinese Dominance: Russian Experts

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As Trump’s offer to mediate the India-China border conflict has publically failed, experts argue that “Washington’s policy-makers, who seek to pit the Indians against the Chinese, maybe as naïve as Trump”.

The fierce military standoff between China and India that has been in the headlines for over a month now started in early May when clashes erupted between the troops of both the nuclear nations, that left scores of soldiers injured from both the sides driving a steady build-up of troops in the border region.

The US President, Donald Trump had recently offered to “mediate and arbitrate” the conflict, however, the offered was duly refused by both the involved countries.

Artyom Lukin, an associate professor of international relations at Far Eastern Federal University in Russia opines that Trump’s mediation offer “was perhaps inspired by his recent success in bringing about an OPEC+ deal that ended a brutal oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.”

In April this year, with Trump’s apparent mediation, the oil giants Saudi Arabia led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Russia led by President Vladimir Putin with 21 other countries as a part of the OPEC+ agreement collectively agreed to reduce oil output by 9.7 million barrels per day between May and June, in an attempt to combat the drop in international demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

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It is reported that Pentagon and experts in Washington do not share the same perspective as Trump’s on the issue of mediation. Lukin believes that “they understand that a rising and ambitious India is the only realistic counter-balance against China.

There are just no other candidates for this role. Russia is in cahoots with China. Japan is a declining and militarily weak power.”

It is widely understood that to maintain control over the whole Eurasian region, “the US needs to keep this super-continent divided against itself, which means never allowing a true rapprochement between Asia’s two biggest powers, India and China.”

Trump’s failure to mediate the Sino-Indian conflict

Lukin puts forward two primary reasons for Trump’s failure to intervene in the Sino-Indian conflict. “Firstly, it is difficult to be an effective mediator or arbiter in international politics if you don’t have leverage over the parties in question.”

He believes that in the case of India and China, “it is not clear what rewards or penalties the US has in reserve for China and India. Most likely there are none.”

Secondly, the scholar in international relations claims that “the best mediator is one that is perceived as unbiased and impartial. On this count, the White House has an obvious handicap, since the US views India as a crucial associate and friend, while China is considered a competitor and rival.”

The Blame on China

US’s rivalry with China has been taken into account by many international critics. Apart from the trade war and technology rivalry, Washington blamed Beijing for the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and has also pointed at China for playing aggressively in the disputed Himalayan region.

It is reported that Alice Wells, principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia, called China’s behaviour “aggression, the constant attempt to shift the norms, to shift what is the status quo, that has to be resisted whether it’s in the South China Sea… or whether it’s in India’s own backyard, both on land as well as in the Indian Ocean.”

On the flip side, Indian defence experts like Lt Gen H S Panag believes that China’s is ultimately protecting its own “status quo,” that is continuously been threatened by India’s strategic growth in the contested territories along the border.

Since New Delhi seeks to maximize its benefits from the partnerships that it shares with the US, it strategically refrains from being involved in American-led efforts to contain China. “In this sense, Washington’s policy-makers, who seek to pit the Indians against the Chinese, maybe as naive as Trump with his peace-making initiatives” concludes Lukin.

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Americas

US congratulates 3 Indian companies that NASA selected to design ventilators for COVID-19 patients

Washington D.C., June 3 — : The US has congratulated three Indian companies NASA selected to make a ventilator specifically designed to treat COVID-19 patients.

“Congrats to the 3 Indian companies @NASA selected to make a ventilator specifically designed to treat COVID19 patients. Only 21 licenses were granted worldwide — a testament to the grantees & the importance of the US-India partnership to combat COVID19,” said the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in a tweet.

It made the comments re-tweeting a May 30 tweet by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which said: “Manufacturers were selected to make our #COVID19-specific ventilator, VITAL. It’s simpler and more affordable than traditional ventilators, freeing the latter for more severe symptoms. Its design can be used in field hospitals.”

According to a release from NASA on May 29 — VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), the high-pressure ventilator was designed to use one-seventh the parts of a traditional ventilator, relying on parts already available in supply chains.

“It offers a simpler, more affordable option for treating critical patients while freeing up traditional ventilators for those with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms. Its flexible design means it also can be modified for use in field hospitals” the release said.For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at contentservices@htlive.com
Asian News International

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Washington D.C., June 3 — : The US has congratulated three Indian companies NASA selected to make a ventilator specifically designed to treat COVID-19 patients.

“Congrats to the 3 Indian companies @NASA selected to make a ventilator specifically designed to treat COVID19 patients. Only 21 licenses were granted worldwide — a testament to the grantees & the importance of the US-India partnership to combat COVID19,” said the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs in a tweet.

It made the comments re-tweeting a May 30 tweet by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which said: “Manufacturers were selected to make our #COVID19-specific ventilator, VITAL. It’s simpler and more affordable than traditional ventilators, freeing the latter for more severe symptoms. Its design can be used in field hospitals.”

According to a release from NASA on May 29 — VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), the high-pressure ventilator was designed to use one-seventh the parts of a traditional ventilator, relying on parts already available in supply chains.

“It offers a simpler, more affordable option for treating critical patients while freeing up traditional ventilators for those with the most severe COVID-19 symptoms. Its flexible design means it also can be modified for use in field hospitals” the release said.

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