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US Approves Advanced Torpedoes To Taiwan Amid Rising Tensions With China

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Amid rising US-China tensions, Washington has approved the possible sale of 18 MK-48 Mod6 Advanced Technology Heavy Weight Torpedoes to Taiwan valued at approximately $180 million.

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The variant of the torpedo being sold to Taiwan by the US includes advanced sonar and technologies to lower detection, including quieting systems, according to manufacturer Raytheon.

Taiwan embassy in Washington requested for the purchase, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a statement. If the deal clears the congressional review, it will include the torpedoes, spare parts, support and test equipment, training, and technical and logistical support.

There will not be a third-party supplier for the armaments as they will come directly from the Navy’s stockpiles, according to the agency.

Chinese Military Base In The Indian Ocean Near Maldives To Complete ‘String Of Pearls’ Around India?

The proposed sale of torpedoes comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo greeted Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen on her recent inauguration, a move that prompted China to warn of “counter-measures” in response. Undeterred, Pompeo hours later touted Taiwan as maturing “into a model for the world.”

“Despite great pressure from the outside, Taiwan has shown the wisdom of giving people a voice and a choice,” Pompeo told reporters at the State Department while taking a dig at China.

China’s foreign ministry said that Pompeo has severely damaged the peace and stability of the Taiwan Strait and China-U.S. relations by making a congratulatory statement to Taiwan’s president Tsai Ing-Wen. China will take necessary countermeasures and the U.S. must bear the consequences, the ministry said in a statement.

Doklam-2: First Big India-China ‘Face-Off’ In Aksai China After 1962 War

Ties between the U.S. and China are at an all-time low as Trump administration has repeatedly blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic and its mismanagement.

Tensions between the US and China have also intensified over Taiwan. Beijing considers Taiwan a ‘renegade province’ but Taipei has affirmed its independence since 1949 and the US has vowed to protect its ally from China.

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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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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.

The Pentagon on Trump’s offer

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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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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