In the US media, coverage of the many and various Clinton scandals on Fox News is non-stop. On CNN/ABC/NBC/CBS there are stories about how Hillary found faith (her spiritual journey), editorial hit pieces on Donald Trump, heartwarming stories of Michelle Obama, and a missing dog in Kansas. But they generally miss the other stuff. Here are a couple of updates:
China Rewards the P. I.
China Rewards the P. I.
For those of you who follow the Chinese expansion of sovereignty to include the entire South China Sea:
The Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on 31 October that China was allowing Philippine fishing boats access to Scarborough Shoal.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman was asked about the news reports that the Chinese Coast Guard was allowing Philippine fishermen access to Scarborough Shoal. He replied, “The Chinese side has been exercising normal jurisdiction over Huangyan Island. There has been no change in the relevant situation nor will it change.”
“At present, with the visit of President Duterte as a landmark, there has been comprehensive improvement in China-Philippines relations. Under such a situation and with regard to a matter of concern of President Duterte, the Chinese side made a proper arrangement out of consideration for friendly relations between China and the Philippines.”
The press has provided contradictory coverage of the short statement by the Foreign Ministry spokesman. One set of reports said the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed Philippine access to the Shoal. Another set of reports stressed that nothing has changed. Both sets are correct in some senses. There is no contradiction.
The Chinese assertion of sovereignty over the Shoal remains unchanged, as the spokesman said. China has no room for compromise on issues of sovereignty. Considering Chinese President Xi Jinping’s stress on orthodoxy and discipline, he would not and could not agree to compromise Chinese sovereignty in any respect.
However, the second paragraph of the Foreign Ministry spokesman’s statement confirms that China is allowing Philippine fishing boats to have access to the Shoal. One Philippine fisherman told the press he hauled in tons of fish over the weekend for the first time in four years. China took possession of the Shoal four years ago.
China is treating the friendly “proper arrangement” as a privilege of the sovereign granted to a subject petitioner, in this case, the Philippines, for accepting Chinese sovereignty. That is not how Philippine President Duterte is spinning the story, but Chinese Coast Guard ships continue to patrol and control the Shoal.
Rebels in Aleppo (which essentially means US paid mercenaries and US equipped Kurdish militias – CIA Secret War) have staged an offensive aimed at breaking the government siege. They have made some gains and announced the establishment of military administration zones in several neighborhoods of Aleppo.
I heard from friends in USGOV that the US made some major inroads. I urge caution.
News service coverage of the situation of Aleppo is misleading because the Russians and Syrians have continued the suspension of air attacks. The rebels have taken advantage of the lack of air attacks and an apparent reduction in vigilance by government and allied forces.
No news service has examined how the rebels managed to assemble the forces, ammunition and other supplies for an offensive that involves some 20 different rebel groups. An offensive surge always means that the surging forces have been resupplied or that it is using up its last reserves. It looks as if the first scenario (reinforced and resupplied) is the more likely given the US sources crowing their success.
The Syrian siege of Aleppo is porous. “Siege”, in this context, means the main roads are controlled by pro-government forces, not that the city is completely cut off.
The Russians are confident that this offensive can be rolled back, especially after the fleet assembles all of its cruise missile shooters. The rebels might have surged into a trap by presenting multiple centers of mass, which make good targets. The Soviets were fond of trapping the mujahedin in similar fashion in Afghanistan.
News services reported that North Korea is preparing to launch an intermediate range ballistic missile within the next three days. The news reports contained no additional details about the launch, such as the site. If the North Koreans launch a Musudan missile, it would be the ninth such launch. Last month, the North launched Musudan missiles on 15 October and on 20 October. Both tests failed as the missiles exploded shortly after launch.
North Korea is continuing to check the operational status of its fielded Musudan missiles, which are not reliable.