27-Jul-11 World View — China's Jets Pursue U.S. Reconnaissance Plane

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

Taiwan’s fighters intercept Chinese jets pursuing U.S. reconnaissance plane

Gen Chen Bingde, China's chief military officer
Gen Chen Bingde, China’s chief military officer

Taiwan sent two F-16 fighters to intercept Chinese Sukhoi-27 jets purusing a U.S. reconnaissance plane into Taiwanese airspace on Monday. The two Chinese jets quickly turned around, rather than risk a collision such as occurred in 2001, killing the Chinese pilot. In that incident, the U.S. crew were detained for 11 days in a major diplomatic row. Telegraph

China’s state-run news agency says that the blame for the incident lies with the U.S. for “such provocative flights, which can and will cause grave damage to relations between the two countries.” Chen Bingde, the General Chief-of-Staff of the People’s Liberation Army, has criticized the US naval drills in the South China Sea and attempted arms sale to Taiwan, and also urged the US to reduce or halt its military surveillance near China’s coast. Xinhua

Hamas executes two Gazans as spies for Israel, in defiance of Abbas

Gaza’s Hamas government Tuesday executed a Palestinian father and son convicted of spying for Israel. Hamas officials said the men had confessed to providing Israeli forces with intelligence that helped them track down Palestinians including Hamas’s chief Abdel-Aziz al-Rantissi, who was killed in a 2004 air strike on his car. The larger significance of the move was that the executions were done in defiance of Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas who, according to law, is required to approve such executions. Hamas and the PA were supposed to create a unity government, but that effort has fallen apart, and the executions are emblematic of the continuing split. Reuters

Palestinian continue the ‘march’ to UN recognition of Palestine

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has made a “final decision” to pursue United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state at the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in late September. The PA ambassador announced a “march to legislation” at the UN, saying his government “can’t wait any longer for the government of Israel to negotiate with us in good faith.” Still to be decided: Whether to go before the Security Council first, hoping that the U.S. will reverse its decision to veto any request for statehood, or to go to the General Assembly first. Bloomberg

Iran-Iraq-Syria alliance challenges Turkey

Iran has decided to unambiguously side with the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, in a split with Turkey. Turkey has been pressuring Assad to adopt reforms and give legitimacy to the Syrian opposition, while Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been appalled by Assad’s savage violence and massacres of civilians, compounded by the 16,000 Syrians that have fled into refugee camps in Turkey. Iran and Turkey have been allied over Palestinian issues, but Iran is becoming concerned about Turkey’s influence with the Arabs. Iran has also been courting Iraq, and so Turkey has to contend with an Iran-Iraq-Syria alliance. Asia Times

Saudi Arabia seeks broader alliance with Jordan

On the Arab side, Saudi Arabia has been courting a relationship with Jordan. On Tuesday, press reports indicated that Saudi Arabia has granted $1 billion in aid to Jordan, to support its economy and cover its budget deficit. Bloomberg

Saudi Arabia has begun facing three major new challenges. The first is Iran. The second is the collapse of moderate Arab regimes, especially in Egypt, in the course of the “Arab Spring.” And third is the growing threat posed by Al-Qaeda and other terrorists. Saudi Arabia is adopting a new strategy: they’re pouring billions of dollars into buying off protests and opposing al-Qaeda; they’re building new alliances with Pakistan, China and India, after the break with Washington; and they’ve invited Jordan to become a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), despite opposition from some other members. Al-Bawaba

Spain, Italy bond panic resumes, as bailout euphoria fades

Relief from last week’s grand bailout of Greece appears to have been short-lived, as Europe’s financial situation continues to unravel. Spain’s short-term cost of borrowing hit three-year highs on Tuesday, while yields on Italy’s six month bonds hit their highest since November 2008. Five days after a euro zone summit agreed a second Greek rescue, Spanish and Italian bond yields are back to the levels seen in the days before the deal was struck. Reuters


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