•   
  •   
  •   

World China is doubling down on its territorial claims: here's what you need to know

04:15  27 september  2020
04:15  27 september  2020 Source:   cnn.com

China to Make Decision on WHO Vaccine Program Snubbed by Trump

  China to Make Decision on WHO Vaccine Program Snubbed by Trump China faces a major test in its vaccine diplomacy, with a deadline fast approaching on whether it will officially join a World Health Organization-backed effort to ensure everyone across the globe is inoculated against Covid-19. Friday is the final day for governments to decide whether to take part in Covax, an $18 billion initiative that aspires to give lower-income countries the same access to vaccines as wealthier nations. Beijing has said it “supports” Covax without clearly saying if it’s putting any money into the project.

China claims more than 80 percent of the South China Sea and has stepped up its military China is also in dispute with India over territory along their Himalayan border — they went to war over History shows that China has tended to avoid inflaming its territorial disputes; Communist Party leaders

“Ultimately Bhutan and China need to resolve its boundary disputes or such false claims will come up as a pressure tactic,” he added. We also reiterate here the promise that our team of reporters, copy editors, fact-checkers A video explainer on immunity passport, also known as risk-free certificate.

Since taking power in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping has helped cement China's position as a global superpower -- and pushed forward an aggressive foreign policy, making bolder moves in several key flashpoints across Asia.

a body of water: The Chinese-controlled artificial island of Mischief Reef in the South China Sea, as seen by CNN from a US reconnaissance plane on August 10. © Brad Lendon/CNN The Chinese-controlled artificial island of Mischief Reef in the South China Sea, as seen by CNN from a US reconnaissance plane on August 10.

From the South China Sea to the Himalayan Sino-Indian border, and even in one of its own cities, China has doubled down on its claims of territory, and taken a harder line in response to perceived challenges.

Six Standout Moments From Biden's CNN Town Hall

  Six Standout Moments From Biden's CNN Town Hall The Democratic nominee railed against the Trump administration and pledged to bring more troops home as he faced questions about his platform.Hear from outgoing US ambassador to China on US-China relationship

Therefore, territorial claims of China , and not Russia, India or, for example, Australia are so important for Washington. Beijing is the only capital of It is no wonder that the Americans are very concerned with the regular quarrels between China and its major allies. Construction of a naval base on Hainan

China , which marks its sovereignty claims on its maps with a "nine-dash line", lays claim to close to 90 per cent of the sea. The territorial dispute, which dates back centuries, has escalated dramatically in recent months due to rapid and extensive land reclamation by China on several reefs

And as those disputes escalated this year with renewed and rising tensions, Xi has bulked up the military and increased its budget, with the instruction to "resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests."

a body of water with a mountain in the background: A Japanese military plane flies over the Senakuku/Diaoyu islands in this file photo. © AFP/Getty Images A Japanese military plane flies over the Senakuku/Diaoyu islands in this file photo.

Here's what you need to know about China's key flashpoints in the Asia-Pacific region.

Why are countries fighting over the South China Sea?

Dotted with small islands, reefs and shoals, the South China Sea is a crucial global shipping route and home to a messy territorial dispute.

Up to 70% of KN95 masks imported from China don't meet filtration standards, study says

  Up to 70% of KN95 masks imported from China don't meet filtration standards, study says US hospitals were forced to purchase hundreds of thousands of KN95 masks produced in China over the past six months due to the N95 shortage.Trump attacks China in United Nations speech

My struggle is to make the truth of what happened known to as many people as I can.' The writer said that three decades on 'we still don't know the exact number of victims'. Territorial issues are deeply sensitive in China and any suggestions that the country could be broken up are likely to stoke outrage.

Some believe China could push back aggressively if the court comes down firmly against its “The Philippines is a completely unknown quanity here . We just don’t know what Duterte is going to do “Countries that harbour no selfish interests and understand the South China Sea sympathise with

Who claims what: China claims it owns almost all of the 1.3 million square mile South China Sea, but at least six other governments also have overlapping territorial claims in the contested waterway: the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and Taiwan.

The United States doesn't have any claims in the waters, but has repeatedly challenged China's claims.

China went ahead and built islands anyway: Since 2014, China has turned numerous obscure reefs and sandbars -- far from its shoreline -- into man-made artificial islands heavily fortified with missiles, runways and weapons systems, prompting outcry from the other governments.

The US and its allies have pushed back by sailing warships through the South China Sea close to features claimed or occupied by China, in what it calls freedom of navigation operations (FONOPS). They say such patrols enforce the right of free passage in international waters; China argues these are violations of its sovereignty.

Contrast couldn't be greater between Trump and Xi at the UN, but Chinese leader is the true authoritarian

  Contrast couldn't be greater between Trump and Xi at the UN, but Chinese leader is the true authoritarian In a speech to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Tuesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the world to "join hands to uphold the values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom shared by all of us."After hailing China's response to the coronavirus pandemic, Xi said Beijing wants to "continue to work as a builder of global peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order.

During boundary negotiations in 1960, China spelled out its territorial claims in the area. We also reiterate here the promise that our team of reporters, copy editors, fact-checkers, designers, and photographers will deliver quality journalism that All you need to know about Apple’ s 2020 iPad Air.

China and Taiwan share claims to the South China Sea, but a visit to Taiwan’ s “island” shows how they diverge in exercising control. Called Itu Aba, it is occupied not by China , which has aggressively asserted its territorial claims in the sea, but by its archrival, the self-governing democracy of Taiwan.

But things are escalating now: The US has stepped up its challenges this year; it formally rejected China's claims as illegal, and sanctioned dozens of Chinese companies for building the artificial islands. In July, two US Navy aircraft carriers conducted joint military drills in the sea for the first time in six years -- a strong show of force.

All this has sparked Chinese fury and escalated tensions; China launched a series of ballistic missiles into the sea, with state-run media warning that "China does not fear a war."

Why this matters: Under international law, whoever owns the contested string of islands in the sea will have the rights to all the resources in its nearby waters like fish, oil and gas. More broadly, whoever controls this sea will also hold power over one of the world's most valuable trading routes -- it hosts one third of all global shipping.

What's the deal with Taiwan?

Taiwan is a self-governing democratic island of around 24 million people, which split from mainland China in 1949 after the end of a bloody civil war.

China insists Taiwan is its territory: Authorities in Beijing claim full sovereignty of Taiwan, even though Taiwan has never been controlled by China's ruling Communist Party. The two sides have been governed separately for more than seven decades.

With international recognition, even when Taiwan wins, it loses

  With international recognition, even when Taiwan wins, it loses What's in a name? For self-ruled Taiwan, quite a lot, actually. © PHILIP FONG/AFP/AFP via Getty Images A woman holds a Taiwanese flag to cover her face as as she joins others at a rally to mark Taiwan's National Day, in the Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on October 10, 2019. - Taiwan's National Day, also called called Double-Ten in a reference to the nationalist Republic of China set up by Sun Yat Sen on October 10, 1911, ending centuries of Chinese dynastic rule.

The Chinese president, Xi Jinping, said China ’ s “ territorial sovereignty and marine rights” in the seas would not be “The tribunal concluded that there was no legal basis for China to claim historic rights to resources within South China Sea dispute: what you need to know about The Hague court ruling.

But the Chinese government lays claim to Taiwan and insists on other states not violating its “one It is the apparent casualness with which China asserts its claims regardless of other conflicting They need to feel reassured that the Chinese are not aggressive. The island-building delivers the opposite

For years, Beijing has attempted to impose diplomatic, trade and military pressure on Taipei, marginalizing it in the international community -- for instance, China has successfully blocked Taiwan from joining global agencies like the World Health Organization.

What this means for other countries: Most countries abide by China's demand that Taiwan not be recognized as an independent nation, publicly observing Beijing's view there is "one China" -- though many governments also maintain close unofficial ties with Taiwan.

Things escalated this summer: Recent months have seen a warming relationship between the US and Taiwan -- much to China's ire.

Two high-profile US officials visited Taiwan in the space of two months, in a symbolic show of support by the Trump administration. In August, the US also sold 66 fighter jets to Taiwan, the biggest arms sale to the island in years.

In response, China carried out a series of military drills and aircraft incursions in the waters and airspace near Taiwan -- marking a significant escalation in tensions.

Chinese officials warned in September that "China firmly opposes any form of official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan." Some have also hinted at the threat of sanctions against US officials.

Trump Says China Wants Him to Lose the U.S. Presidential Election. The Truth Is More Complex

  Trump Says China Wants Him to Lose the U.S. Presidential Election. The Truth Is More Complex Despite Trump's broadsides against China, Beijing is wary of being seen to favor one candidate or the other . Aside from a prosaic biography issued by state news agency Xinhua upon his securing the Democratic nomination, Trump’s rival Joe Biden remains largely unmentioned.“American domestic dynamics are well beyond what we can predict or influence,” China’s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai, told an online foreign policy seminar hosted by the Brookings Institution on Aug. 13. “We have no intention or interest in getting involved.

President Xi has been clear in his ambitions to "reunify" the island with the mainland, and has refused to rule out the use of force. Recent military drills were described in Chinese state media as a "rehearsal for a Taiwan takeover" and threats of invasion have increased sharply as tensions with the US rise.

Why are China and India clashing in the Himalayas?

The China-India conflict is centered around a long-disputed border in the Himalayas.

After fighting a bloody border war in 1962, the two countries drew up a loosely-defined demarcation line called the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

But they disagree on its location: Though the LAC shows up on maps, the two nuclear powers do not agree on its precise location and both regularly accuse the other of overstepping it, or seeking to expand their territory.

They have an uneasy status quo: The countries signed a series of agreements in the 1990s to try to keep the peace, including an agreement that neither side shall open fire within 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) of the LAC.

But things got ugly this year: This June saw the bloodiest Sino-Indian clash in more than 40 years. Troops at the border fought with fists and stones, in a brawl that killed at least 20 Indian soldiers; China didn't acknowledge any casualties. Both sides accused the other of overstepping the border.

Things heated up in September after each side accused the other's troops of firing warning shots. It's believed to be the first time shots have been fired along the border since 1975.

Where things stand now: Officials are now in de-escalation talks; in late September, both sides agreed to stop sending troops to the border, and to strengthen communications.

China is cracking down on yet another Muslim minority — the 10,000-person island Utsul community — while continuing its crusade against Uighurs

  China is cracking down on yet another Muslim minority — the 10,000-person island Utsul community — while continuing its crusade against Uighurs Last month China banned the Utsuls from wearing hijabs in schools and government offices, according to the South China Morning Post. They are a group of around 10,000 who reside in Sanya, a city on the southern Hainan island, and are predominantly Muslim. Last month, Beijing banned the hijab and long skirt worn by Utsuls in schools and government buildings, according to party documents seen by the Post. The news comes as China continues to persecute Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

But a meaningful peacekeeping mechanism could be a long way off -- partly because of the increasingly assertive foreign policy on both sides.

Why is China fighting Japan over a few tiny islands?

Both China and Japan have claimed a rocky, uninhabited island chain in the East China Sea as their own.

Located 1,200 miles (1,900 kilometers) southwest of Tokyo, the islands are known as the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu Islands in China.

The islands are also claimed by Taiwan, where they are known as the Tiaoyutai islands.

The overlapping claims: Both China and Taiwan say their claims to the island chain extend back to the 1400s, when it was used as a staging point for Chinese fisherman.

However, Japan says it saw no trace of Chinese control of the islands during an 1885 survey, so it formally recognized them as Japanese sovereign territory in 1895. The US occupation of Japan after World War II complicated things -- but the islands were eventually returned, and Japan has administered them since the 1970s.

Why this matters: The area has much-coveted resources; it holds a rich fishing ground, and recent surveys suggest that the waters around the islands may contain oil and natural gas deposits.

How things escalated: China and Japan have engaged in tit-for-tat struggles for years, with the issue escalating sharply in September 2012 after the Japanese government formally purchased the islands from their private Japanese owner. This resulted in some of the largest protests seen in major Chinese cities in decades.

Tensions rose again this June after a Japanese city council bill asserted that "the islands are part of Japanese territory."

China, meanwhile, has flexed its military muscles; Japan announced in June that Chinese government ships have been spotted in waters near the islands every day since April. And in July, Chinese coast guard ships intruded into Japan's territorial waters multiple times, forcing the Japanese coast guard to block them from approaching Japanese fishing boats.

NFL fines Raiders players for COVID violation at charity event

  NFL fines Raiders players for COVID violation at charity event After already fining the Las Vegas Raiders twice for COVID-19 violations, the NFL is now imposing discipline on multiple Raiders’ players for attending teammate Darren Waller’s charity event without masks. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports The league launched an investigation last week after multiple Raiders’ players, including quarterback Derek Carr, were photographed without masks at The Darren Waller Foundation charity event in Henderson, Nev. On Monday, the NFL levied fines against all players who were at the fundraiser without masks.

The number of warplanes from China's People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) flying close or around Japan's southwest air zone, which includes the contested island chain, has also increased exponentially in recent years, according to Japan's Air Self Defense Force (JASDF).

Where things stand now: The two countries have stepped up their rhetoric; Japan has lodged diplomatic protests, and China has accused Japan of infringing on its sovereignty.

The escalation this summer has raised international alarm; under a mutual defense pact with Tokyo, the US is obligated to defend the islands as part of Japanese territory.

What's going on in Hong Kong?

The semi-autonomous Chinese city of Hong Kong was plunged into a political crisis in 2019 as anti-government protests brought much of the territory to a standstill. Protesters had many complaints, including alleged police brutality and limited democratic freedoms -- but at the heart of it all is the city's conflicted relationship with the central government in Beijing.

Is Hong Kong part of China? Yes -- but as a former British territory, it was granted freedoms of press, speech, and assembly when it was handed back to China in 1997. Hong Kong also has its own legal and political systems, currency and trade. These freedoms stand in stark contrast to China's authoritarian leadership and strict censorship.

So what's the conflict? Under the handover agreement, Hong Kong is supposed to keep its limited autonomy until 2047 -- but many Hong Kongers say China is violating that promise and encroaching on their freedoms. This fear was heightened by a controversial extradition bill last year, which kicked off the protests and was later scrapped.

Meanwhile, China has criticized the movement as a threat to security and stability. Some protesters have also called for Hong Kong independence, and asked other countries for assistance, which China condemned as an unacceptable challenge to its national sovereignty.

How things escalated: In June, China cracked down by imposing a national security law for Hong Kong, entirely bypassing the city's own legislature. Details of the law weren't released to the public until it had passed.

China said the law, which grants Beijing sweeping new powers, is necessary to curb unrest; critics say it's a devastating blow for Hong Kong's freedoms.

Where things stand now: The law has already been used to make numerous arrests; for instance, several people were arrested in September for using protest slogans, which are now criminalized. Those convicted under the law could face sentences of up to life in prison.

Since it came into force, political parties have disbanded, protest signs were pulled down across the city, and Hong Kongers are fleeing to seek asylum or refuge in other countries.

NFL fines Raiders players for COVID violation at charity event .
After already fining the Las Vegas Raiders twice for COVID-19 violations, the NFL is now imposing discipline on multiple Raiders’ players for attending teammate Darren Waller’s charity event without masks. © Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports The league launched an investigation last week after multiple Raiders’ players, including quarterback Derek Carr, were photographed without masks at The Darren Waller Foundation charity event in Henderson, Nev. On Monday, the NFL levied fines against all players who were at the fundraiser without masks.

usr: 1
This is interesting!