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Chinese warships, fighters encircle Taiwan, simulate precision strikes

  • Angered over President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the US last week, China has launched a three-day military drill to intimidate Taiwan and as a warning to the US. The patrol also has a standby nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine (see pix below).
  • Meanwhile, Tsai's meeting with Kevin McCarthy indicates a bipartisan move in the US, probably a Biden plan for legislation to end the ambiguity over official relations with Taiwan.
  • And, next year's election in Taiwan will be fought by the US and China by proxy.
  • The US seeks to check the growing Chinese military presence in the Pacific with new alliances.

TAIPEI, April 9: Chinese warships, including an aircraft carrier, and fighters have encircled Taiwan in response to its President Tsai Ing-wen's visit to the US days ago. The patrol also has a standby nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarine.

China launched a three-day drill on Saturday. Of 71 warplanes despatched, 41 fighter jets crossed the Taiwan Strait median line.

On Sunday, the second day of its drills, China simulated precision strikes against key targets on Taiwan and its surrounding waters after encircling the island.

Beijing had condemned Tsai's Wednesday meeting with Speaker of the US House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy in Los Angeles.

The US embassy in Taiwan said on Sunday that the United States was monitoring China’s drills and is “comfortable and confident” it has sufficient resources and capabilities regionally to ensure peace and stability.

The US supports Taiwan with military aid. Japan is also an ally. An emerging alliance that also includes Australia is poised to check China's growing military infuence in the Pacific.

The US stand has been that it would intervene militarily if China were to invade Taiwan. It pledges to supply Taiwan with defensive weapons. And it has been supplying. Officially, the US has a "One-China" policy, which recognises only Beijing.

Meanwhile in Taiwan the presidential election next year is hotting up to be fought by the US and China by proxy with an Opposition likely aligning with the mainland and the result would be that Taiwan will be caught in a larger warfare.

China considers the self-ruled island as its breakaway province. President Xi Jinping has said several times "reunification" with Taiwan "must be fulfilled." He is ready to use force.

The island is separated from the mainland China by 130 km of Taiwan Strait, which is part of the South China Sea and connects it with the East China Sea in the north.

When former US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan in August last year also China had conducted military exercises, including firing of ballistic missiles, in the seas around Taiwan and even closer to Japanese islands.

At that time it was thought to be a publicity stunt as Xi was seeking re-election as the President. China had imposed a two-term limit on its President in 1990 but in 2018 it was removed so that he could seek re-election every time, for life. This year, therefore, again he was re-elected, the rubber-stamp parliament handing him a third term as President on March 10.

Tsai Ing-wen is the President of Taiwan (Republic of China - ROC) since 2016.

Taiwan is important for the world as it depends on it for everyday requirements for electronic equipments like mobiles, laptops, watches and games consoles which are powered by computer chips made there. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company or TSMC controls half of the world's market.

Taiwan the contentious issue

The Chinese Government sees Taiwan (Republic of China - ROC) as a part of the mainland (People's Republic of China - PRC) and wants to annexe while Taiwan remains as an independent democratic republic. Taiwan has been an independent island since after the Chinese civil war.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) seized control of most of China and declared the seized territory as PRC in 1949 when the civil war between the ROC government (Kuomintang - KMT), which was ruling the mainland China for long, and the CCP ended. That is, Chiang Kai-shek's (Kuomintang) ROC troops were defeated by Mao Zedong's Communist army. Since then the ROC government moved to Taiwan and formed the government there. Chiang ruled for 25 years.Two Chinas came into being. The CCP or the PRC could not seize Taiwan then and has been at it since then. With the increased international trade and maritime activity and the strategic significance of Taiwan Straits falling between Taiwan and China, Beijing is all the more wanting to seize Taiwan as its. However, continuing the old rivalry between the ROC and the PRC, just as the PRC claims the Taiwan territory, ROC claims the mainland. ROC had constitutionally amended its name to Taiwan in 1991. Taiwan's sovereignty is not internationally recognised although it has an elected government and a constitution. (Only 13 countries recognise Taiwan). The ROC lost its UN seat as "China" in 1971.

In World War II, in 1945, Japan had surrendered Taiwan and the then ruling ROC government of mainland China was entrusted with the administration of the island territory. Its status has since continued to be ambiguous at international fora, even after the ROC government was established there after its defeat and withdrawal from mainland in 1949. Even later neither of the two warring Chinas was a party to the Treaty of Peace of 1951.


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A Spicejet passenger had a harrowing experience inside a tiny claustrophobic lavatory aboard a Mumbai-Bengaluru flight when he found to his bewilderment that the door was not opening.

Two days earlier, in a similar incident in the area, a domestic help was bitten by a pet dog in the lift when she was going for work.

Tailpiece: Sometimes appearing to outnumnber men and women on the streets, the stray dogs are turning more and more daring with sections of anti-social elements out there to feed and protect them in order to find a window for their unfulfilled love! There is an all-pervading feeling of lack of authority.

Ankit Tiwari had told the employee that “instructions had been received from the Prime Minister’s Office to conduct an enquiry” and reopen the “already disposed of” case and asked him to appear before the ED office at Madurai on October 30, DVAC said. The doctor was allegedly threatened with arrest and told to pay a bribe of Rs 3 cr to avoid the ED probe, which was later negotiated down to Rs 50 lakh.

Tailpiece: We are made to believe RBI, CBI, ED, Judiciary as sacrosanct and all others like railways, transport, revenue, education, PWD departments are composed of us the mortals, absolutely corrupt! As if in the sacrosanct places the angels descend from the heavens to work in the night and fly away before day-break! Let's be true to ourselves, we are all cut from the same cloth.

Apart from cash, Gill had also taken three planes as bribe and two of them were leased out to Redbird Aviation Academy. With the result, flying schools compromised on safety requirements and trainers met with accidents several times.

Five people were arrested from a banquet hall in Sector 51 Noida on Thursday where they were called to hold a rave party in a trap laid by the animal rights group, PFA. They named Yadav but he was not present.

Betting through Dubai-based Mahadev Book in India is conducted through a countrywide network. Probes reveal that the online gambling is worth several millions and top politicians, officials and celebs have been beneficiaries.

TAILPIECE: Polling dates for some States are round the corner. Top politicians have begun their acrimonious debate who looted more, even as Mahadev is washing their dirty laundry in the open ghat. Come what may, one needs to seize power to amass "thy wretched pelf!" One simple question is, why else one should spend lakhs or crores to get elected! A question every Indian should ask to oneself at least once a day!

His inaction amounts to defeating the rights of the people of the State to welfare measures sought to be implemented through the Bills, the Kerala Government's petition submitted, while the State of Tamil Nadu remarked that its "Governor is acting as a political rival."

Tailpiece: Coming up back to back, the petitions in their totality seem to question the provision of Raj Bhavan, and not motives of a Governor as a person.

Hundreds of cars piled up behind the wreckage of crashes occurring one after other in backing up - continuous crashes to the rhythm of metallic clanks and bangs back to back. According to reports, some ops required 'Jaws of Life' to pull apart the mangled cars to save lives inside.

The pilots struggled with Emerson to thwart a shut-off as he reached for the T-handles (see pix). Later he admitted to police he had taken psychedelic mushrooms and had a "nervous breakdown."

Doctors reasoned how the incidence of heart attacks is spiking over time and advise the simple way to play safely is to take a break and rehydrate yourself.

But how come ten people, including children, die of cardiac arrest at Garba in 24 hours, and that at different places of Gujarat? Garba had been going on for six days, and every year it is celebrated.

The killing of a teacher in France by an Islamic radical last Friday is linked to the Israel-Hamas war in West Asia, say authorities.

Shocking news from the UK: Leading grocers have started bribing policemen with free food and drinks to persuade them to take action against shoplifters.

Shoplifting has risen by about 27 per cent in 10 major cities across the UK this year. The cost of retail crime last year was $2.15 billion. Besides, “We are seeing organised gangs threatening staff with weapons and emptying stores," Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said. Data shows that the police failed to respond to 73 per cent of serious retail crimes that included assault and abuse of workers, apart from shoplifting.

Isar Mohammad allegedly picked up a banana offered to Ganesh idol on Chaturthi at a makeshift temple in Delhi and consumed it.

Harris said hip-hop is “the ultimate American art form” that “shapes every aspect of American popular culture.” “Hip-hop culture is American culture,” she said in a talk at her official residence at the US Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.

The social media had mixed reaction. There was much appreciation that she dances better than any VP in American history. But some called her "moves" as “cringe” while others did not like her pink pants - "pink pants don’t look good.” In fact, her ensembles have always been incongruous.

"Let’s see how the (Governor's) Vice-Chancellors are given salary." Mamata's extreme statements will put the Marxist Government in Kerala, which is also facing similar issues, to shame. Has she begun the countdown for a war on the streets?

It's true Mamata has come to see a conspiracy to demolish the established systems across the country, but lacks the ability to foresee what exactly is being pushed.

Brandishing a sword, Mahant Paramhans told reporters on Tuesday he himself will behead MK Stalin's son for his remarks against Sanatan Dharma in case nobody came forward to accept his offer he made in his video. Udhayanidhi reacted to the saint's Monday video, "I will speak more. I am the grandson of the artist who put his head on the rail track for Tamil Nadu."

Somanath elaborated, "I am an explorer. I explore the Moon. I explore the inner space. So it's a part of the journey of my life to explore both science and spirituality. So I visit many temples and I read many scriptures. So try to find the meaning of our existence and our journey in this cosmos. So it's a part of the culture that we are all built to explore, find out the inner self as well as outer self. So for the outer, I do science, for the inner I come to temples." (See videos)

Rao the mathematical legend had fathered the path-breaking Rao-Blackwell theorem, one of the most important theorems in mathematical statistics, at the age of 25. That brought him global fame. He is also famous for his Cramér-Rao Bound inequality theorem relating to quality of estimators in statistics which has had a profound bearing on applications of modern economics and several other diverse fields. Simply put, with the pioneering statistician computation became a tool to analyse even socio-economic challenges of modern times.

The alleged incident has received such a flash publicity that a standardised city's hugely middle class population will have second thoughts about eating outside for some time. Now everything on the table looks suspicious!

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