World View: China Tests New Long-Range Missile in Tibet

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • Japan expresses concern over China's military buildup
  • China tests new long-range missile in Tibet, near India border
  • Syria's chemical weapons threat raises Israelis' fears of war
  • Droughts in Russia, Australia and U.S. push food prices to recordss
  • Euro zone unemployment rate reaches highest on record

The following three stories all have something in common: They all show an increasingly tense and militaristic world.

Japan expresses concern over China's military buildup

Chinese People's Liberation Army navy sailors on July 19 in Beijing (Reuters)
Chinese People's Liberation Army navy sailors on July 19 in Beijing (Reuters)

The 2012 White Paper by Japan's Ministry of Defense bluntly states Japan's strong reservations about China's mounting arms buildup and growing naval presence in the Pacific Ocean. The report paid particular attention to China's naval presence in international waters, and says the Chinese navy "is trying to step up its abilities to deploy warships in the outer ocean." China's Foreign Ministry issued a statement challenging Japan's white paper:
"China strongly opposes to the groundless criticisms on China's normal national defense development and military activities, and the irresponsible remarks on China's internal affairs made by Japan's annual defense white paper."
TheAsahiShimbun (Tokyo) and Japan's Ministry of Defense and Xinhua

China tests new long-range missile in Tibet, near India border

China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has conducted a high altitude exercise with a new type of surface-to-air missile in Tibet, according to PLA Daily Online and Tibet Online. The “new” surface-to-air missile tested seems to be tailor-made for operations in the high altitude terrain and rarefied atmosphere of Tibet. The news report also indicates that Indian aircraft have been assumed as “enemy aircraft” in the war exercise since the only country lying south-east of this area is India. Besides, there is no other “threat” from this direction other than India, according to Chinese perception, for which China might test a missile for in Tibet. China's PLA has already twice carried out large military exercises in Tibet this year, in March and June. As in the South China Sea, the East China Sea and Taiwan, China is preparing is preparing militarily for a military attack and invasion of India, at a time of China's convenience. Institute for Defense Studies and Analyses (IDSA)

Syria's chemical weapons threat raises Israelis' fears of war

Each day, hundreds of Israelis gather along the barbed wire in the village of Buqata and use binoculars to see deep into Syrian territory. The war in Syria has raised fears that Israel or perhaps the entire region might be dragged into war, or that a wave of Syrian refugees will wash across the border into Israel. The level of anxiety has increased markedly since Syria's president Bashar al-Assad confirmed that he has chemical weapons and that he might use them against external enemies. Israeli officials do not believe that Syria will attack Israel with nuclear weapons, but there is wide fear that the weapons will reach Hizbollah, who sill use them against Israel. Initial intelligence reports that Hizbollah has already obtained some of the weapons are likely not true, because of the special training and equipment required to handle these weapons. However, the level of nervousness increases the probability of an accidental war based on, for example, incorrect intelligence information. Spiegel

Droughts in Russia, Australia and U.S. push food prices to recordss

Russia's drought has led the government to cut its 2012 grain harvest by 8%, sparking fears that Russia might, once again impose export restrictions or bans, as it did in 2010. Russia's drought comes at a time when nearly half of the corn crop in the U.S. Midwest is now in poor or very poor condition, from the worst drought since 1956. Grain output in Western Australia, the country's main wheat region, may drop 40% due to extremely dry weather. Wheat prices have jumped more than 50% and corn prices more than 45% since mid-June. Russia Today

Euro zone unemployment rate reaches highest on record

The euro zone economy continues to deteriorate, as shown by Tuesday's announcement that the unemployment rate reached 11.2% in May, the highest on record. Analysts are predicting even higher unemployment in 2013. According to one economist,
"[I]ndications are increasing that light-hearted times are coming to an end.
Spain had the highest jobless rate in June, at 24.8%. Bloomberg


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