June 28, 2010

HU PROPOSES, PLA DISPOSES

B.RAMAN

As President Hu Jintao took a series of steps to repair relations with the US which have come under a strain following the decision of the Barack Obama Administration earlier this year to sell a new arms package to Taiwan and the meeting of His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Mr.Obama in the White House during his visit to Washingtom DC, the goodwill sought to be re-generated between the political leaderships of the two countries is under threat of fresh dilution as a result of measures taken by the People's Liberation Army of China (PLA).

2. Among the measures taken by Mr.Hu to repair relations with the US were the Chinese support for sanctions by the UN against Iran on the nuclear issue, the Chinese decision to let the yuan float slightly in relation to the US dollar and Mr.Hu's acceptance of an invitation extended by Mr.Obama during their meeting in the margins of the G-20 summit at Toronto to pay a State visit to Washington DC later this year. According to all accounts, the meeting between Mr.Obama and Mr.Hu at Toronto went off cordially though the Chinese did not come out with a decision to lift the suspension of exchange of visits by military and defence officials of the two countries, which was imposed by them in protest against the sale of the arms package to Taiwan.Recently, they had refused to lift this suspension and extend an invitation to Mr.Robert Gates, the US Defence Secretary, to visit China after his visit to Singapore to attend an Asian Security Conference. It was reported that while Mr.Hu readily accepted the invitation from Mr.Obama to pay a State visit to Washington DC, he did not respond positively to a suggestion from Mr.Obama for a visit by Mr.Gates to China.

3. The interpretation by many China analysts that the strong line taken by Beijing on military-related issues after the announcement of the arms sales to Taiwan must have been on the insistence of the PLA leadership is likely to be further strengthened by the strong Chinese reaction to the proposed participation of the nuclear-powered US aircraft carrier USS George Washington in a joint naval exercise with the South Korean Navy in the Yellow Sea. This exercise and the participation of the US carrier in it were reportedly decided upon by the Obama Administration as part of a series of cautionary measures in the wake of the incident in March in which a South Korean Naval vessel sank after being hit by a torpedo allegedly fired by a North Korean ship. A number of South Korean naval personnel were killed. China has so far avoided supporting any move for economic sanctions or other punitive measures against North Korea in this connection.

4.A wave of criticism in Chinese blog spots and internet chat rooms of the proposed naval exercise in the Yellow Sea and the participation of the US carrier has been followed by an announcement by the PLA on June 28 that the PLA would be conducting live ammunition exercises in the East China Sea from June 30 to July 5. Sections of the Chinese media have made no secret of the fact that these exercises are in response to the US-South Korea naval exercise and the participation of the US carrier in it. A strongly worded commentary under the title "US Military Presence in the Yellow Sea" by one Huang Xiangyang uploaded on the web site of the " China Daily" on June 28, stated as follows:

"In a terse news release, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) announced on Monday that it will conduct live ammunition exercises in the East China Sea from June 30 to July 5. No reason was given for this seemingly unusual military arrangement--the last time the East China Sea was turned into a shooting ranch was in March 1996, when the PLA conducted ballistic missile exercises by firing surface-to-surface rockets from the mainland to sea targets to deter then-Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui from his political stunt of seeking the island's independence.

"Anyone with basic knowledge on geopolitics and military strategy would get the message behind the timing of the announcement. It is definitely not total coincidence that such sensitive news is made public on the same day that a joint military drill by the US and South Korean navies is scheduled to start in the Yellow Sea, citing threats from North Korea.

"But the Yellow Sea is no common place where a country can flex its muscles. It is historically China's front yard. In 1894 the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) fought a sea battle here with Japan in a vain attempt to retain the empire's fast-fading influence over the rest of Asia. For Chinese, the Yellow Sea has no less military significance to China's sovereignty and national security than the Gulf of Mexico has to the United States.

"Despite repeated complaints from China, the Pentagon has shown no signs of refraining from testing the country's strategic bottom line by going ahead with the plan to show off its military force. With the nuclear-powered aircraft USS George Washington set to participate in the joint exercise, China's key cities such as Beijing and Tianjin, as well as parts of its economically prosperous eastern coast are exposed under direct military threat from US forces. Given that the Pentagon has a history of dropping "missed bombs" on a country's embassy, such worries are by no means baseless.

"There is a Chinese saying that even a rabbit--meek and gentle though it may be--will fight back when cornered. It is justified that a wave of public outcry and vehement calls for tit-for-tat military arrangement has emerged in countless online chat rooms in response to the US military adventure at China's doorstep. We see the US ignoring Chinese security concerns as an act meant to cause humiliation. And the latest announcement of the firing practice, to some extent, helps assuage simmering sentiment.

"Because of the US policy toward Taiwan, characterized by continuing arms sales to the island, which has hurt China's "core national interest," the PLA has put its military contact with the Pentagon on hold. The sense of enmity has not eased, although US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has "stated for the record that the United States does not consider China as an enemy but as a partner." This is because Chinese culture values action over words. The US military presence in the Yellow Sea regardless of China's concerns, in addition to its never-ending reconnaissance activities along China's coastline, only reinforces Chinese impression of Uncle Sam as a double dealer.

"In 1996, the US sent two aircraft carriers near the Taiwan Straits--in the first act of American coercion against China in nearly four decades--to countermeasure Beijing's missile tests. It has been considered a provocative move to trample on China's dignity. Compared with the United States, China is still weak. But to emerge as a great nation in the world community, China has to stand up to the United States militarily, especially near its own shores."

5. It will be interesting to find out whether Mr.Hu raised the issue of the joint naval exercise in equally strong terms with Mr.Obama at Toronto. If not and if it is the PLA which has reacted strongly, it will be a clear indication that the Chinese political and military leaderships are not on the same page with regard to the relations with the US.( 28-6-10)


( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )

Baloch leader meets Vice President Joe Biden, draw his attention to the Balochistan's situation


WASHINGTON, DC: (June 25, 2010) On the eve of United Nation's International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, the president of Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA), Dr. Wahid Baloch, met with Vice-President Joe Biden to draw his attention to the gross human right violations, ongoing military operation and enforced involuntary disappearances in Pakistani and Iranian occupied Balochistan.

" Secular Baloch are being hanged everyday by Iranian Mullah and killed and kidnapped by Pakistani Jihadi Islamic terrorist army and it's ISI and no one is doing anything about it," he told the Vice President.

"We Balochs, like Kurds of Iraq, are Pro-American and we support NATO forces in Afghanistan against the Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists. Why we are not being helped by the State Department," he asked the Vice president.


Balochistan, rich in oil, gas, gold, copper and other minerals, with 900 miles of strategically located coast line, extending from the Strait of Hormuz to Karachi, was a sovereign independence state, occupied illegally by Pakistan's army at gun point on March 27th, 1948. Since then the secular Baloch are fighting Pakistani army and Iranian Terrorist revolutionary guards to restore their freedom and sovereignty over their homeland, coasts and natural resources. Thousands Baloch have been killed by Pakistani troops and Iranian terrorist revolutionary guards in this conflict and several thousands are lingering in Pakistani Jails and military torture cells. More than 8000 Baloch youth are “missing” since 2005, including Zakir Majeed, EhsanArjumandi,
Dr. Deen Mohd, Dr. Naseem Baloch, Mehboob Wadela, Jalil Reki, a names of few.

According to a UN report more than 80,000 Balochs including women and children have been evicted from their homes due to Pakistani bombardment since 2005 and are living in extreme harsh conditions without any food, water, shelter or medicine. All these acts constitute 'crimes against humanity' and asks for international action and intervention.


The United States Government and international community must not close their eyes over these crimes against the secular Baloch people and should hold the Pakistan army, its ISI and the Iranian terrorist revolutionary Guards accountable for these crimes against the people of Balochistan.


" We, the Baloch people of Balochistan are secular and natural ally of U.S in the war on terror and we share many American values. We ask Obama administration to not support Pakistan, a terrorist State, but extend a helping hand to the Baloch people in Balochistan who are their true natural ally against Islamic Extremism and terrorism and who are suffering in the hands of these two Islamic terrorist States, Pakistan and Iran", he told the Vice President.


Later on he presented a letter to Vice-president. The text of the letter is as follows;

Date: June 25, 2010

To,

The Honorable Vice President Joseph R Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20501


Dear Mr. Vice-President

I am a U.S. Citizen, originally from Balochistan, and am the founder and president of Baloch Society of North America, an organization dedicated to highlight the plights of Baloch people in Pakistani and Iranian occupied Balochistan. It is a great pleasure to be here in your presence.


On the behalf of Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA), I would like to draw your attention to the gross human right violations in Pakistani and Iranian occupied Balochistan, where Pakistani and Iranian Islamic terrorist armies are engaged in State terrorism and genocide against the innocent Baloch people, where arrests, kidnapping, disappearances by Pakistani Police, military Intelligence and ISI and Iranian revolutionary terrorist guards are a daily routine.

Balochistan, rich in oil, gas, gold, copper and other minerals, with 900 miles of strategically located coast line, extending from the Strait of Hormuz to Karachi, was a sovereign independence state, occupied illegally by Pakistani army at gun point in March 1948. Since then the secular Baloch people are fighting Pakistani army to restore their freedom and sovereignty over their homeland, coasts and natural resources. Thousands Baloch have been killed by Pakistani troops in this conflict and several hundreds are lingering in Pakistani Jails and military torture cells. More than 8000 Baloch youth are “missing” since 2005, including Zakir Majeed, Ahsan arjumandi, Dr. Deen Mohd, Dr. Naseem Baloch, Mehboob Wadela, Jalil Reki, a names of few.

According to a UN report more than 80,000 Balochs including women and children have been evicted from their home due to Pakistani bombardment, since 2005 and are living in extreme harsh conditions without any food, water, shelter or medicine.

In Iranian occupied Balochistan, the situation is not much different, where Islamic Revolutionary terrorist Guards have hanged several hundreds of Baloch in public for flimsy charges such as “Enemies of Allah”, and “agents of Zionist and Kuffars (USA). Each time they hang one Baloch in public, they shout slogan like,” Merg ber Amrika (Death to America), Merg ber Israel (Death to Israel) and Allah-o-Akbar (God is great).


The premier Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Asian Human Right Commission and Amnesty International have deplored Pakistan's atrocities on the people of Balochistan, who have been subjected to Gunship helicopter attacks and even use of poison Phosphorus gas. The confirmed and published reports about Balochistan should give you a clear picture about the prevailing terrifying human rights situation in Balochistan.


The United States Government and international community must not close their eyes over these crimes against the secular Baloch people and should hold the Pakistani Government, its army and ISI and the Iranian terrorist revolutionary Guards accountable for the crimes against humanity, against the people of Balochistan.

We urge the United States Government to immediately intervene and initiate dialogue with our De Jure ruler of Balochistan Khan Kalat Mir Suleman Daud Khan, who is seeking asylum in the UK, to help end the Pakistani and Iranian illegal, unjust and immoral occupation of Balochistan.

We, the Baloch people, like Kurds of Iraq, are secular and natural ally of U.S in the war on terror. We support and defend the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan against Taliban and Al-Qaida terrorists who are hiding in sanctuaries provided to them by the Pakistan army and the ISI. A Balochistan ruled by secular forces is in the interest of the peoples of the world, including the United States.

We urge Obama administration to not support Pakistan, a terrorist State, but extend a helping hand to the Baloch people in Balochistan, their true and natural ally in the war on terror and against Islamic extremism ans Terrorism.

Thank you,

Sincerely,

Dr. Wahid Baloch, President
Baloch Society of North America
1629 K Street NW, Suit 300
Washington D.C., 20036
Tel: (202) 349-1682
Fax: (202) 331-3759
E-Mail: Contact@bso-na.org
Website: http://www.bso-na.org/

DE-ESCALATION MOVES IN YELLOW SEA

B.RAMAN

( To be read in continuation of my earlier article titled " Hu Proposes, PLA Disposes)

There are apparent moves made by the US as well as China to de-escalate tensions due to Chinese objections to the prposed joint US-South Korea naval exercise in the Yellow Sea in which the nuclear-powered US aircraft-carrier USS George Washington was reportedly to participate.

2. The "China Daily" has inter alia reported as follows on June 29,2010: "Large-scale, anti-submarine drills were set for earlier this month in the ROK, but were postponed to give the US more time for preparations. They had been rescheduled for this week, but were delayed again and may take place in July. "If they insist on holding the drills under the current circumstances, it would only further escalate tensions in the region," said Zhai Dequan, deputy secretary-general of the China Arms Control and Disarmament Association. "The US and ROK should continue to postpone or cancel the military drills," Zhai said. "

3.The " Global Times", published by the "People's Daily" group of the Communist Party of China, has reported as follows on the morning of June 29: "The planned US-South Korean military drill was postponed until July because the schedule remains unfinished, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said Monday ( June 28)."

4. With the postponement of the proposed US-South Korea naval exercise, there has been an apparent attempt by Chinese circles also to play down the earlier interpretation of the live-ammunition exercise of the People's Liberation Army's Navy in the East China Sea as in response to the proposed US-South Korea naval exercise. Some Chinese commentators are now claiming that the dates for the Chinese drill were fixed sometime ago and that the Chinese drill was not connected with the US-South Korea exercise.However, while the US and South Korea have postponed their joint exercise, the PLA Navy is going ahead with its exercise as scheduled from June 30. It will continue till July 5.

5. While the "China Daily" coninues to display on its web site the hard-hitting article against the proposed US-South Korea joint exercise, the "Global Times" has come out with a little more balanced article on June 29 written by one Huang Jingjing. It says inter alia as follows:

"A public announcement saying that the Chinese navy will kick-off a six-day exercise tomorrow in the East China Sea that will feature live ammunition has stirred speculation about the timing of the drill.

"A fleet under the PLA will take part in the drill from tomorrow to July 5 in waters off Zhengjiang's east coast in the East China Sea, according to a notice published Sunday (June 27) on the local Wenzhou Evening News at the request of the fleet.

"The drill will be held from midnight to 6 pm every day. All irrelevant ships are prohibited from entering the region during the drill, the notice said.

"The notice gave no more details. However, many military observers and experts interpreted the drill in different ways.

"Some see it as a response to the joint military drill by the US and South Korea, which was originally set to begin Monday (June 28).
The drill reportedly includes US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier George Washington and was supposed to be held in waters off the west coast of South Korea, or the Yellow Sea, the waterway leading to China.

"It is reported that if the aircraft carrier enters the Yellow Sea, China's territorial sea, the entire North China region and the Liaodong Peninsula would be within its range, which was deemed a provocation to China, according to Hong Kong-based Ming Pao daily.

"The location of the Chinese drill is set to be held in the East China Sea, which would make the foreign navies entering the Yellow Sea uneasy," Song Zhongping, a military analysis for Hong Kong-based Phoenix TV, said on his blog on people. com.cn Monday (June 28).
He said the East China Sea is the only way into the Yellow Sea. He said it would be easy to form a favorable war situation for the Chinese navy to "shut the dogs up and beat them."

"However, the planned US-South Korean military drill was postponed until July because the schedule remains unfinished, South Korea's Yonhap News Agency said Monday.

"Some other military experts said the Chinese drill is just a routine exercise.

"The drill was planned early. It's a coincidence that it falls near the joint drill by South Korea and the US," Li Jie, a naval expert with the Beijing Naval Research Center, told the Global Times. "It's not only an exercise to improve defense ability, but a military action to coordinate with foreign policy."

"Song Xiaojun, another expert, did not think that China is holding the drill in response to the US-South Korea. China already fixed the date for its drill while the other drill's date has not been set, Song said."

6. At the same time, Chinese circles have expressed displeasure over the reported remarks of President Barack Obama at Toronto that
while he understood President Hu Jintao's need to show restraint over his neighbor and ally, "there's a difference between restraint and willful blindness to consistent problems."

7.In an editorial on the subject, the "Global Times" of June 29 has stated as follows:

"US President Barack Obama groundlessly blamed China for "blindness" to North Korea's "belligerent behavior" in an alleged attack on the South Korean navel vessel the Cheonan while speaking at the G20 summit Monday (June 28).

"His words on such an important occasion, based on ignorance of China's consistent and difficult efforts in pushing for peace on the peninsula, have come as a shock to China and the world at large.

"As a close neighbor of North Korea, China and its people have immediate and vital stakes in peace and stability on the peninsula. China's worries over the North Korean nuclear issue are by no means less than those of the US.

"The US President should have taken these into consideration before making irresponsible and flippant remarks about China's role in the region.

"The facts speak for themselves, and very clearly so: China has made tremendous efforts in preventing the situation on the Korean Peninsula from getting out of control, including in the aftermath of the Cheonan incident.

"Without China's involvement, there would not have been the Six-Party Talks, and the outbreak of yet another Korean War might well have been a possibility.

"It is thus not China that is turning a blind eye to what North Korea has done and has not done.

"Instead, it is the leaders of countries such as the US that are turning a blind eye on purpose to China's efforts.

"The US President made the remarks only because China has not acted in accordance with the requests made by some countries. But those are unreasonable and irrational requests."

8. The controversy between the US and China on North Korea continues, but in politically measured tones to underline that the Chinese political leadership commands policy-making. ( 29-6-10)

( The writer is Additional Secretary (retd), Cabinet Secretariat, Govt. of India, New Delhi, and, presently, Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Associate of the Chennai Centre For China Studies. E-mail: seventyone2@gmail.com )