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US-Germany Relations: Remove Nuclear Weapons from German Soil

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US-Germany Relations: The American nuclear weapons placed in Germany must be taken out of the country, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told German news agency during a visit to New York. According to him, this should be the outcome of a new dialogue on disarmament.

Earlier, with the same appeal, the leader of the Social Democratic Party, Martin Schultz, spoke. “I am convinced that it is necessary to talk again about arms control and disarmament, and I, therefore, consider Martin Schultz’s statements to be correct that in the final analysis, we should talk about the withdrawal of nuclear weapons from our country,” Gabriel said.

As the DPA recalls, according to unconfirmed reports, up to 20 US nuclear warheads have been deployed at the airbase near the village of Büchel since the Cold War. In March 2010, the Bundestag deputies gave the government a majority of votes to negotiate with Washington on the export of American nuclear weapons from the territory of Germany. However, the then Cabinet of Ministers of the Federal Republic of Germany announced that it would not take any unilateral actions without an agreement with NATO partners.

Drift in US-Germany Relations

US President Donald Trump targetted Germany over trade and defence pacts, presenting up a dispute with German Chancellor Angela Merkel that jeopardizes a trans-Atlantic bond which is fundamental to US-Germany Relations.

“We have a MASSIVE trade deficit with Germany, plus they pay FAR LESS than they should on NATO & military,” the US President posted on Twitter. “This will change.”

Donald Trump tried doing some damage control via White House spokesman Sean Spicer who said Mr Trump views Germany as a vital ally and gets along very well with Mrs Merkel.”They get along very well. He has a lot of respect for her … And he views not just Germany but the rest of Europe as an important American ally,” Mr Spicer said

“They get along very well. He has a lot of respect for her … And he views not just Germany but the rest of Europe as an important American ally,” Mr Spicer said

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China Vows To Halt The UK In Granting Residency to Hong Kongers

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The Chinese government has vowed to halt the United Kingdom (UK) from granting residency to Hong Kongers. China says that it will take corresponding measures to stop any move by the UK allowing Hong Kong residents to emigrate to the UK. 

The latest announcement by China comes after British Prime Boris Johnson promised to honour a promise to offer nearly 3 million residents of the former British colony, those with British National (Overseas) status (BNO), the right to settle in the UK.

Liu Xiaoming, China’s ambassador to the UK, said that such a move would be a violation of agreements between the two countries and labelled Britain’s criticism of the security law in Hong Kong as irresponsible and unwarranted. Liu even took to twitter to dismiss the UK’s planned move to offer residency to Hong Kongers.

Xiaoming also said that that all Chinese compatriots residing in Hong Kong are Chinese nationals, whether or not they are holders of the British Dependent Territories Citizens passport or the British National (Overseas) passport.

“If the British side makes unilateral changes to the relevant practice, it will breach its own position and pledges as well as international law,’’ he said. In a statement posted on the embassy website, Xiaoming clarified that the UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of supervision over Hong Kong.

Dominic Raab, First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on Wednesday, said that although Britain is trying to help Hong Kongers, there was little Britain could do to “coercively force” Beijing if it tried to block take-up of the government’s visa pledge.

Speaking to ITV, Raab said that the UK was working with other countries to offer residents leaving Hong Kong an option to settle in other countries in the region. As of February, there were nearly 350,000 BNO passport holders, while the government estimated there are around 2.9 million BNOs living in Hong Kong.

Australia is one such country that is planning to offer safe haven visas to Hong Kong residents The Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet have been working on measures to respond to China’s increasing control of Hong Kong since the new laws were proposed at the National People’s Congress in May.

The UK believes that the new security legislation passed by Beijing breaches the Sino-British joint declaration inked in 1984. As reported by EurAsian Times earlier, China had announced that it has no legal obligation to uphold the Sino-British declaration.

Fears are rife in Hong Kong as the new security law drafted by Beijing came into effect. The new law includes the following as offences– Secession, Subversion, Terrorist Activities, and Collusion with a Foreign Country or with External Elements to Endanger National Security. All four offences can invite life imprisonment as the maximum punishment, followed by lesser penalties.

According to CNN, at least 370 people were arrested on Wednesday, including 10 on suspicion of violating the national security law.

China believes that the national security law is another step forward towards decolonization and for maintaining security and integrity of Hong Kong. Pro-democracy Hong Kongers, the United States and the UK believe it is an attack on the autonomy of Hong Kong and will reduce the freedom and liberty enjoyed by the region.

Armaan Srivastava

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Americas

UK Fears Losing Their Indian Ocean Military Base In Mauritius To China?

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Why is the UK apprehensive about its strategic military base in Mauritius in the Indian Ocean? British MP Daniel Kawczynski has expressed concern over Mauritian moves to reclaim its island and claim sovereignty over Chagos islands, a UK military base. 

Chinese Military Base In The Pacific Near Australia Could Be A Nightmare For The US & Allies

This is the most eastern British military base in the world, and with escalating tensions between India and China, it is imperative that the UK maintain this military base, said Kawczynski. Half of the island is leased out to the US, so this is a massive Anglo-American military base which facilitates NATO to have a forward position with regard to naval drills across the whole of the Middle East, and the Indian sub-continent, he explained.

Last year, the United Nation’s highest court ruled that the British occupation of the remote islands of the Indian Ocean is illegal. While such is ruling is only an advisory but the judgement was a humiliating blow to the UK on the global stage.

Mauritius is a commonwealth nation that gained independence in 1968. When we granted Mauritius independence, they signed a pact acknowledging that these islands would not be part of this independence package, and it would continue to be a British island, stated Kawczynski. He further added that Mauritius is now trying to reverse a legally binding global pact.

With the Brexit underway, EU nations have turned their back on Britain including Germany, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy and Belgium, who abstained from voting on a United Nations resolution put forward by Mauritius, asking for an advisory opinion from the International Courts of Justice on the Chagos Islands.

The South China Sea facilitates over one-third of the world’s trade and thus holds strategic importance. With rising Chinese aggression in the South China Sea and the territorial expansionism on the India-China border, western nations are coming together to counter such forces.

Kawczynski wrote in an article that, under the ‘String of Pearls’ strategy, China is actively acquiring commercial and military facilities throughout the Indian Ocean, including a full People’s Liberation Army base in Djibouti.

It has also been increasingly belligerent in its efforts to take control of the South China Sea, through which passes a third of the world’s trade, and has very recently been accused of mounting cyberattacks on Australia, “our Five Eyes partner”.

“In a post-Brexit world we are going to need to have an even closer relationship with the US and Australia and this military base is hugely important for both the Australians and the Americans because it is a gateway to making sure that we challenge Chinese expansionism in the area,” said Kawczynski.

“We are paying a fortune with the Americans just to send ships through to send a signal to China that we will continue to ensure that international traffic can continue to pass through the South China Sea,” he added.

He claims that if Mauritius manages to grab these islands off us they will lease these islands to the Chinese. Kawczynski stated that he was in the process of forming a new voting caucus within Parliament to ensure any effort to hand the islands over would be challenged.

China already has a military base in Djibouti and they have devoured all these small atolls from Vietnam and the Philippines in the South China Sea, and are pouring concrete onto them and turning them into giant aircraft carriers.

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Americas

NATO Targets China; Says ‘China Is On Our Radar More Than Ever Before’

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US Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), told reporters at a virtual meeting that “China could be a peaceful partner, a good trade partner, but they’re not showing that right now, and I think NATO partners are looking at this, and NATO is beginning to assess what China is doing as well.”

Responding to China’s growing aggression with its neighbours like Japan and India and other territories like Taiwan, Kay Bailey Hutchison insisted that “It’s much more on our radar screen, and I think it should be because we should assess the risk, hope for the best but prepare for the worst,”

Hutchison remarked that “So we know that China has the capability to compete on a level playing field, and we’re asking them to do that, but we’re also turning a wary eye to their behaviour right now in the South China Sea, militarizing islands that they said would never be done, as well as the clampdown on Hong Kong.”

When the representative was asked if an actual military confrontation was on the horizon, she replied, “I think NATO is now looking to the East.”

NATOs 5G battle with China

The 5G network battle between the US and China that has been making headlines since more than a year is being dealt within the US and Europe throughout the alliance, Hutchison reminded. The US stands firm that China had stolen intellectual property, violated tariff and subsidies set down by the world courts and the World Trade Organization.

“We’re trying to keep our communications secure and seeing that some of the Chinese competitors do not have the capability to control the contractual obligations that are made by communications providers – all of those things, including the Belt and Road Initiative, are raising concerns, concerns among our allies, about what is the intent of China,” said the representative.

NATOs Tale with China

About a week ago, NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, a Norwegian politician had warned about China’s increasing influence in geopolitics that has led to a “fundamental shift in the global balance of power”.

“One thing is clear: China is coming ever closer to Europe’s doorstep,” he told German media and continued that “NATO allies must face this challenge together.” Stoltenberg had also mentioned that China’s growing presence in the seas neighbouring the country as “worrying” and called China to respect international shipping rules.

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying had replied to the comments by the NATO secretary-general and said that Beijing does not pose a threat to any country. “We hope that NATO can continue to hold a correct opinion about us and view our development rationally,” China responded earlier this week.

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