SOURCE: The Tribune

Expressions of popular discontent, rare in China because of the risk of punishment, are increasing and mounting pressure on Chinese President Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Widespread anger among Chinese citizens at the lack of transparency and withholding of information about the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic fanned the latent discontent, which, provoked by the abolition of term-limits on appointments to China’s apex posts, has been simmering since the 19th Party Congress in October 2017. The death of Wuhan hospital doctor Li Wenliang spiked this discontent.

A number of reputed citizens, including party cadres, or at the least party members, and at least one former member of the CCP’s 350-odd member powerful Central Committee (CC), have been blunt in their criticism of Xi Jinping and his policies. Continue reading


While over 200 countries worldwide are battling to win the war against the “Wuhan virus” (the taxonomy wing of the WHO has named the virus Covid-19), Chinese envoys, state-sponsored media and its propaganda machinery are in a damage control mode to save “Brand China” that has been hit by the outbreak of the deadly virus.

Sources said that China is pumping in huge money to help maintain its brand, and for that, Chinese authorities across the world are using several tools, ranging from pushing fake narrative to engaging with country heads and pleading them for sympathy China has been facing a longstanding mistrust from the West and with the spread of the virus, the same mistrust has widened. Now, China is appealing for sympathy, but those attacking China accuse it of hiding the truth and making the situation worse. Experts say that a pandemic like the current one that the world is facing will be over after sometime, but it will leave China “unmasked” forever. Continue reading


Amid the rising cases of the coronavirus COVD-19 worldwide, the Pakistani Army is unwilling to close the mosques across the country fearing backlash from the fundamentalist clerics. The fact remains that the fundamentalist clerics are crucial for Pakistan’s proxy wars in Afghanistan and India, especially Jammu and Kashmir.

The Imran Khan-led government is unable to take any step as fundamentalist clerics have the support of the Pakistan Army. The current scenario gives rise to a major concern as the mosques nationwide remain open for Friday Namaz as well as daily prayers. Pakistan has already crossed 1,200 confirmed cases including 10 deaths due to COVID-19. Continue reading


A shrimp seller at the wet market in the Chinese city of Wuhan believed to be the centre of the coronavirus pandemic, may be the first person to have tested positive for the disease, a media report said on Saturday. The report by the London-based Metro newspaper said that 57-year-old woman, named by the Wall Street Journal as Wei Guixian, was selling shrimp at the Huanan Seafood Market when she developed what she thought was a cold last December.

Chinese digital news outlet, The Paper has said that she may be ‘patient zero’. Wei was told by doctors her illness was “ruthless” and other workers at the market had come to the Wuhan Union Hospital with the same symptoms, the Metro newspaper report quoted the outlet as saying. Continue reading


Shipbuilders have completed the after-repair trials of the Project 971 nuclear-powered submarine Vepr, Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said on Thursday.

“Russian Navy Commander-in-Chief Nikolai Yevmenov has received a report about the completion of the sea stage of the trials for the Project 971 nuclear-powered submarine Vepr after its repairs at the Nerpa Shipyard. The sub will rejoin the Northern Fleet’s submarine forces in April,” the spokesman said. Continue reading


The integral parts of Russia’s next-generation S-500 Triumphant-M anti-aircraft missile system are at the final stage of their trials, CEO of the Design Bureau of Special Machine-Building (part of Almaz-Antey defense manufacturer) Vladimir Dolbenkov said in an interview with the National Defense magazine on Thursday.

“In the interests of air and missile defense troops, the enterprise’s specialists have developed equipment units for the Triumphant-M next-generation mobile anti-aircraft missile system. As part of this effort, they have developed and are completing the trials of units for the surface-to-air missile system: the launcher, the elements of the multi-functional locator and the missile defense locator, the equipped chassis for the combat control post and transporters for the long-range radar system,” he said. Continue reading


The coronavirus spread from China has been a major problem for the world so far. If China had informed the world on time in this regard, then perhaps the world would not have seen these days.

Till now thousands of people have died due to this virus. In China too, a large number of people have died due to this virus, but so far only more than three thousand people are being claimed by this country, it seems baseless.According to a report, China has hidden a truth associated with coronaviruses. Hong Kong-based blogger Jennifer Jeng, based in New York, has made shocking revelations in this regard. According to this disclosure, China’s mobile company China Mobile Rekies has informed about the company’s 81 million mobile users being inactive in the last two months. Continue reading


The Israeli government has opened up a war bunker in the Jerusalem hills to help coordinate its campaign against the spread of the coronavirus, Israeli officials said on Thursday. The bunker, called the “National Management Centre”, was built more than a decade ago because of concern about Iran’s nuclear programme and missile exchanges with Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah or Palestinian militant group Hamas.

According to Israeli officials, it includes living quarters and command facilities and can be accessed from the government complex in Jerusalem and the western foothills leading to Tel Aviv. “This (bunker) is another tool for managing, controlling, oversight and tracking” the coronavirus, said an Israeli official who requested anonymity. “We understand that this crisis will accompany us for an extended period of time yet.” Continue reading

SOURCE: Nikkei Inc

In early March, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis was furious with China’s ambassador in Prague and demanding that Beijing replace the envoy. A few weeks on, Babis and Interior Minister Jan Hamacek were full of praise for the Chinese Embassy and Ambassador Zhang Jianmin.

The difference was that, last Saturday, China flew in a first batch of 1.1 million face masks and respirators to help the Czech authorities manage the new coronavirus outbreak. “A big thank you to China for helping,” Hamacek tweeted last week, after the shipment was secured. The badly needed supplies seemed to make the Czechs forgive — or at least put aside — Ambassador Zhang’s reported threat to punish Czech businesses active in China if another senior politician visited Taiwan. Continue reading


The Russian navy has introduced into service the Kamov Ka-31R “radar picket” helicopter, a refined version of the Ka-31 (NATO reporting name Helix-B) that is already in service with the Indian and Chinese navies. A mouthpiece of the Russian defense ministry, the Zvezda (“Star”) media company, broadcast a TV program about the Ka-31R having become operational with the navy’s Black Sea Fleet. It filmed a helicopter with registration 34166, side number 90, at the Kacha aerodrome near Sebastopol. This machine also appears flying over the Crimean peninsula and making a touchdown on the Marshal Ustinov, a Project 1164 guided-missile cruiser.

In a televised interview, Lieutenant Colonel Igor Nekrasov said: “Its primary function is to detect targets and provide targeting information on sea-going targets, as well as aerial ones, including manned and unmanned flying vehicles, cruise missiles, and so on.” The broadcaster added that the Ka-31R’s radar is so powerful that it can cover the whole of the Black Sea’s surface. It further said that Side 90 had recently been handed over to an aviation unit (believed to be the 318th Independent Air Regiment) reporting to the command of the Black Sea Fleet and that a new squadron had been formed in that regiment to operate such helicopters. Continue reading


ENGINEERING firm Rolls-Royce has struck a deal with Turkey for the production of nuclear mini-reactors, sparking fears that the British company and its international consortium partners are helping pave the way for Ankara to develop a nuclear bomb.

In a statement, Rolls-Royce said that its overseas holding EUAS International ICC had signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Turkish government to “help develop low-carbon energy systems opening an exciting new chapter in the strong relationship between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey.” Continue reading


Lockheed Martin Corp was awarded a $932 million Pentagon contract on Tuesday for THAAD interceptor missiles, some of which are slated to be delivered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The new contract was a modification to a previously awarded agreement to produce the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor for Saudi Arabia, the Pentagon said. Continue reading


South Korea scrambled fighter jets on Wednesday after a Chinese military aircraft trespassed into the Korean Air Defense Identification Zone, or KADIZ, according to Seoul’s joint chiefs of staff. The Chinese Y-9 surveillance aircraft strayed into South Korea-claimed airspace for 35 minutes without submitting prior notification, South Korean news service News 1 reported.

Air defense zones are unofficial airspace that does not overlap with territorial airspace. The Chinese aircraft did not enter South Korean territorial airspace, according to the report. The Y-9 was first detected west of the Korean Peninsula at 9:35 a.m., in an overlapping area between KADIZ and Japan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, or JADIZ. Continue reading


The keel-laying ceremony of 2nd ship of Type 054 A/P held at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard, making a significant milestone in induction of cutting-edge Frigate for Pakistan Navy. During the ceremony Keel laying protocols were signed by both Pakistani and Chinese sides. Chief Naval Overseas (China), Commodore Azfar Humayun graced the occasion as Chief Guest.

The 054 A/P Frigates are technologically advanced and major platforms which will strengthen Pakistan Navy capability to respond to future challenges, maintain peace & stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region. The Type 054A frigate is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates, the first of which entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2007. It is a development of the Type 054 frigate, using the same hull but with improved sensors and weapons. This ship has a crew of 165 sailors including officers. Continue reading


A Sikh place of worship in the Afghan capital was targeted by suspected suicide bombers on Wednesday morning, triggering a gun battle with security forces, according to media reports. The attackers targeted a ‘dharamshala’ in Shor Bazar area of Kabul, which has a sizeable population of the Hindu and Sikh minorities. Some reports said the attack began at about 7.45 am Afghan time.

Suicide bombers had entered the dharamshala in Shor Bazar and were fighting with security forces, interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian was quoted as saying by leading Afghan news channel Tolo News. “More forces are arriving at the area,” he said. The Afghan security forces had cleared the first floor of the Sikh place of worship and rescued a “number of people” who had been trapped inside the building, Arian said. Efforts were on to rescue other survivors, he added. Continue reading