23 January 2017

News Report: Chinese Editorial Speculates About 'Real War' With US After Trump Inauguration

A Chinese editorial the day after US President Donald Trump's inauguration took talks of a trade war even further, speculating on the possibility of "real war" between the two.

Ed Zhang, editor at large of the China Daily, asked "Will there be a trade war between the two largest trading powers?" and noted that many are saying "a showdown with China is unavoidable and imminent."

Trump showed no inclination to back down in his inauguration speech January 20, Zhang said, noting the new president's promise that every decision on trade, taxes, immigration and foreign policy will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

Zhang speculated on what that might mean for Chinese businesses. "If there is a hike in tariffs across the board, then Chinese companies will lose a lot of orders for the same goods they have been shipping to the US market for the last decade," he said. But they might gain an opportunity to offload products that aren't profitable or that are made with environmentally costly materials.

News Story: Pakistani army chief visits tribal town after blast kills 22

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Sunday visited a tribal town one day after a Taliban bomb killed 22 Shiite Muslims and injured nearly 50 others there, the military said.

The army chief traveled to Parachinar, capital of Kurram Agency, and met the injured of the blast in hospital.

He also met with tribal elders to express solidarity with the bereaved families.

"Expressing his grief on the incident, General Qamar Javed Bajwa lauded the support of tribal brethren in combating terrorism and acknowledged their sacrifices for peace," an army statement said.

He said that with their support, the army, the paramilitary Frontier Corps and other law enforcement agencies have done a great job in stabilizing the area.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Xi to head central commission for integrated military, civilian development

BEIJING, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will head a new central commission for integrated military and civilian development, according to a decision by the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee on Sunday.

The decision was made at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, which was chaired by Xi.

The commission will be the central agency tasked with decision-making, deliberation and coordination of major issues regarding integrated military and civilian development.

The commission will report to the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Thailand to be indirectly affected in Trump's era - experts

BANGKOK, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Most Thai experts think that Thailand is likely to be only indirectly affected by US policy changes under the new administration, after Donald Trump was sworn in as the new U.S. president Friday.

Trump's pledges to boost U.S. economy and make America first in his unusual speech has been well noted by Thai experts.

"Trump's America First' policies will only matter to the U.S. domestic affairs," said Viboonpong Poonprasit, a political science lecturer from Thammasat University.

"Barack Obama's Pivot to Asia' will likely be reduced significantly. Only economic talks will persist, which will actually fit ASEAN's main activities and its diverse nature."

Meanwhile, Washington's impending abandonment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade compact would allow Thailand to engage in more direct, bilateral talks with the western power.

"The US's exit will be a fair reason for Thailand not to jump into it," Viboonpong said.

Trump has outlined a bold plan to create 25 million new American jobs in the next decade. He would also start his trade policy by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership and making certain that any new trade deals are in the interests of American workers, according to the White House website updated as he took the oath of office on Friday.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Australian experts, politicians closely watching "Trump effect"

by Will Koulouris

SYDNEY, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Donald Trump was inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, raising questions about what impact his presidency will have around the globe, including here in Australia.

The rise of Trump has led to uncertainty, with his rhetoric suggesting the possibility of a trade war and other protectionist measures.

Tom Switzer, senior fellow of the United States Study Center in Sydney, told Xinhua that Australia should and will continue following the United States on policy, but should ensure the relationship does not affect Australian interests.

Not all view the Australia-U.S. relationship in the same way, however, with James Laurenceson, deputy director of the Australia-China Relations Institute, told Xinhua he does not follow the view that Australia always follows the United States.

"Look at the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. We were under pressure from the United States not to join that, we joined it. When it comes to trade deals, we are heavily in favor of RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) and a free trade area championed by China. We want that too," Laurencenson said.

"The truth is that we follow our own national interests. So in each case we are going to weigh up those interests."

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Pakistan may face more pressure from U.S.-Indian ties after Trump took office

by Liu Tian, Jamil Bhatti

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Pakistan is expected to face more pressure from U.S.-Indian ties what some experts here said will be strengthened in the near future as Donald Trump was sworn in as the new U.S. president on Friday.

Ali Sarwar Naqvi, executive director at the Center for International Strategy Studies, told Xinhua that Indian lobby around the new U.S. president is somewhat influential on his thoughts and approaches since some Indian origin Americans are very close to Trump.

"I believe his policies will be tilted towards India that will raise serious concerns for Pakistan and the whole region," Naqvi said, adding that India is also expected to play the U.S. card to point to Pakistan on its anti-terrorism policies in the context that in his inaugural speech, Trump said that the United States will unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism and eradicate it from the face of the Earth.

For decades, Pakistan and India have many outstanding issues needed to be resolved and the two bitter nuclear neighbors accuse each other of supporting militants in their territories. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi even branded Pakistan as a "mothership of terrorism" and the remark prompted strong criticism within Pakistan.

For his viewpoint, Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, professor at Department of Politics and International Relations at the Quaid-i-Azam University, said that the United States will continue to support India as it views India as a great power.

The Indo-U.S. relations will be further strengthened in the coming days and it will be the main irritant between Pakistan and the United States, he said.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: 41 militants killed, 25 injured in Afghanistan in past 24 hrs - gov't

KABUL, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- At least 41 militants were killed and 25 others injured after Afghan army, police and intelligence agency personnel launched wide-scale operations against insurgents' hideouts within the past 24 hours, said a statement of Afghanistan's Defense Ministry Sunday.

"During the past 24 hours, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces conducted joint offensive operations in order to protect lives and properties of people, also defeating the insurgents in different parts of the country that as a result, 41 insurgents killed and 25 others wounded," the ministry said in a statement.

Read the full story at Xinhua


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News Story: Afghan media urges Trump administration to end unfinished mission of war on terror in Afghanistan

KABUL, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Afghan newspapers in their editorials on Saturday attached great importance to assuming office by new U.S. President Donald Trump and urged him to end the unfinished mission of the war on terror in Afghanistan.

"Since the security situation in Afghanistan has been persistently deteriorating over the past few years and the prevailing instability would facilitate more proxy wars of regional powers in the country," write the leading newspaper Daily Afghanistan Ma in its editorial.

The paper in its editorial described the United States of America as "Initiator of the war on terror" in Afghanistan and noted that "the U.S. as the main power in the war on terror" has to review its strategy with regard to the ongoing war against terrorism in Afghanistan and to finish it at its earliest.

"The continued support of U.S. is essential for beating terrorism, stabilizing security and economic recovery of the war-ravaged Afghanistan," the paper asserted.

Read the full story at Xinhua

News Story: Trump aims for 'unquestioned' US military dominance

President Donald Trump will "rebuild" America's vast military, boost its anti-missile capabilities and prioritize defeating the Islamic State group, according to the first policy statements published on the White House website Friday.

Published moments after Trump was inaugurated president, the statements say he will end limits on Pentagon spending agreed by Congress and the Obama administration, and will soon release a new budget proposal outlining his vision for the military.

"We will provide our military leaders with the means to plan for our future defense needs," the White House said.

"We cannot allow other nations to surpass our military capability."

Read the full story at SpaceDaily

News Story: Japan to conduct simulated drills for China-Taiwan clash

Japan will carry out a tabletop exercise next week to simulate its response in the event of a military clash between China and Taiwan, Japanese media said.

The Self-Defence Forces will conduct drills from Monday through Friday with the US military participating as an observer, a Japanese government source told Kyodo News.

The exercises, which do not involve actual troop deployments, assume that the US and Japan are responding to a military conflict, Kyodo said in its Thursday report.

A Japanese defence ministry spokesman declined to comment.

China's foreign ministry said Japan should keep out of what it called an "internal affair".

Read the full story at SpaceDaily