Friday, January 29, 2016

Beijing Plans Aircraft Carrier Patrols In Disputed South Seas, Merkel Sinks In Polls, 'Something Big Is Going On'

Beijing Plans Aircraft Carrier Patrols in Disputed South China Sea

The Chinese Navy will likely deploy an aircraft carrier for permanent operations in the South China Sea, where China and other countries in the region are feuding over competing territorial claims, an expert said.

Professor Chu Shulong, the director of the Institute of International Strategic and Development Studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing, told IHS Jane’s that the deployment will likely occur when the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy's second aircraft carrier is fully operational.

"For the Northern Sea, Yellow Sea, and Eastern Sea, China does not need an aircraft carrier. Chinese land-based [aircraft] are capable of reaching places like the Diaoyu Islands," Chu said, in reference to the territories also claimed by Japan and known in Tokyo as the Senkaku Islands.
However, the same cannot be said of China's territories in the South China Sea, the professor told IHS Jane's on Thursday.
"Should the Americans send their [aircraft] and ships into the South China Sea, China currently does not have the [aerial] capacity to deal with such a challenge," Chu said.
He added that it will take about an hour for Chinese fighter aircraft from the nearest airbase on Hainan Island to reach the southern regions of the South China Sea.
"These challenges [from the United States] will most likely take place very frequently in the future," Chu said.

The US Navy's freedom of navigation operations, notably the sailing of a warship past a Chinese-built island in October, has convinced Chinese military leaders that the deployment of an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea is necessary going forward, he added.

The head of US Pacific Command, Admiral Harry Harris, on Wednesday said the US Navy will continueto conduct freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea as a challenge to China's territorial claims in the region.

A new poll shows rapidly declining support for Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, among Germans.
The Insa survey for Focus magazine polled more than 2,000 people last week and found 40 percent are not satisfied with her job performance, and want her to step down. But, 45.2 percent of Germans said her refugee policy shouldn’t cause her to leave her job.
Another poll released Friday by the Elector Research Group showed support for Merkel’s Christian Democrat party was at 37 percent, down from 42 percent from September.
More than 1.1 million migrants have been welcomed into Germany in the last year, which has caused an uproar.   Thousands of people hit the streets to protest recent crimes committed by gangs of refugees. On New Year’s Eve, there were more than 1200 reports of rape and mass sexual harassment in Cologne, Berlin and Frankfurt. Police were accused of a cover up.

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