China begins biggest-ever military drills around Taiwan

August 4, 2022


China's People's Liberation Army has begun biggest-ever military exercises including live firing on the waters and in the airspace surrounding the island of Taiwan following US politician Nancy Pelosi's visit.

The live fire drills began at 12:00 local time (04:00 GMT) on July 4 and in several areas were due to take place within 12 miles of the island.

Taiwan said China was trying to change the status quo in the region.

Ms Pelosi made a brief but controversial visit to Taiwan, which China regards as a breakaway province.

The drills are Beijing's main response, although it has also blocked some trade with the island.

The exercises are due to take place in busy waterways and will include long-range live ammunition shooting, Beijing says.

Taiwan says it amounts to a sea and air blockade while the US said the drills were irresponsible and could spiral out of control.

Analyst Bonnie Lin told the BBC that the Taiwanese military would react cautiously but there was still a risk of confrontation.

"For example, if China decides to fly planes over Taiwan's airspace, there is a chance that Taiwan might try to intercept them. And we could see a mid air collision, we could see a lot of different scenarios playing out," she said.

Taiwan said it scrambled jets to warn off Chinese warplanes on Wednesday and its military fired flares to drive away unidentified aircraft over the Kinmen islands, located close to the mainland.

Several ministries have suffered cyber-attacks in recent days, the Taiwanese government said.

Taiwan has also asked ships to take different routes and is negotiating with Japan and the Philippines to find alternative aviation routes.

Japan has also expressed concern to China over the areas covered by the military drills, which it says overlaps with its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In response, Chinese government spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Beijing did not accept the "so-called" Japan EEZ.

On Wednesday, China detained a suspected Taiwanese separatist in the coastal Zhejiang province on suspicion of endangering national security, according to local media reports.

Meanwhile China's Ambassador to France Lu Shaye told French TV that after "reunification" with Taiwan, Beijing would focus on "re-education".

China has previously used the term "re-education" to refer to its detention of mostly-Muslim minorities in its north-western Xinjiang region, where human rights groups say more than a million people have been incarcerated.


Add new comment

  • reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
May 29,2023


Chennai, May 29: Wrestlers who have charged Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) former chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh of sexual harassment have only made allegations and not furnished evidence and there is a process of law to be followed after complaints are made, TN BJP president K Annamalai said on Monday.

Annamalai, a former IPS officer, said arrests are not made in "99.9 per cent" of FIRs immediately and that even the CBI records arrest only while filing charge sheet and not after the First Information Report.

"No evidence has been furnished. Mere allegation (have been made)...government has registered FIR, formed committee, saying it will do a time-bound investigation. But is it fair to demand arrest without clearing the place (Jantar Mantar)," he asked, addressing a press conference here along with Union Minister Jitendra Singh.

He said if evidence is released, the Delhi police is duty-bound to act.

If a woman makes an allegation against someone and seeks immediate arrest before proceedings, "what happens to the rule of law in the country," he asked.

Anyone can file a complaint and it goes through a process; it has to be probed and if there is evidence arrest can be recorded, Annamalai said.

He said he himself has made corruption allegations against DMK ministers, and asked if it would be alright to right away seek their arrest.

Delhi Police on Sunday detained ace wrestlers Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia for violation of law and order in the capital city after they breached the security cordon while trying to move towards the new Parliament building for a planned women's 'Mahapanchayat'.

They had had resumed their agitation against Brij Bhushan on April 23, demanding his arrest for the alleged sexual harassment of several women grapplers, including a minor. The police action against the sportspersons drew widespread criticism.

Annamalai made the comments when he and Singh addressed the media here over the ruling NDA's achievements in the past nine years, detailed various aspects related to different sectors over the period.

Singh said world leaders are now looking up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for guidance and advice.

"India's status has gone up in the last 9 years and that is the achievement. The world today is ready to be led by India under PM Modi because they understand the country has the capability," he said.


Add new comment

  • reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
June 10,2023


Bogota, June 10: Four Indigenous children who had been missing for more than a month in the Colombian Amazon rainforest after a small plane crash have been found alive, President Gustavo Petro said Friday.

"Today we have had a magical day," Petro told the media in the capital Bogota after announcing their rescue.

"They are weak. Let's let the doctors make their assessment," he added.

The president earlier posted a photo on Twitter showing several adults, some dressed in military fatigues, tending to the children as they sat on tarps in the jungle. One rescuer held a bottle to the mouth of the smallest child, whom he held in his arms.

"A joy for the whole country! The 4 children who were lost 40 days ago in the Colombian jungle were found alive," he wrote on Twitter.

Video shared by the Defense Ministry late Friday showed the children being pulled up into a helicopter as it hovered over the tall trees in almost complete darkness.

Originally from the Huitoto Indigenous group, the children -- aged 13, nine, four and one -- had been wandering alone in the jungle since May 1, when the Cessna 206 in which they were traveling crashed.

The pilot had reported engine problems only minutes after taking off from a jungle area known as Araracuara on the 350-kilometer (217-mile) journey to the town of San Jose del Guaviare.

The bodies of the pilot, the children's mother and a local Indigenous leader were all found at the crash site, where the plane sat almost vertical in the trees.

Officials later said that the group had been fleeing threats from members of an armed group.

A massive search by 160 soldiers and 70 Indigenous people with intimate knowledge of the jungle had been underway ever since for the youngsters, garnering global attention.

The area is home to jaguars, snakes and other predators, as well as armed drug smuggling groups, but ongoing clues -- footprints, a diaper, half-eaten fruit -- led authorities to believe they were on the right track.

Worried that the children would continue wandering and become ever more difficult to locate, the air force dumped 10,000 flyers into the forest with instructions in Spanish and the children's own Indigenous language, telling them to stay put.

The leaflets also included survival tips, and the military dropped food parcels and bottled water.

Rescuers had also been broadcasting a message recorded by the children's grandmother, urging them not to move.

According to the military, rescuers found the children about five kilometers (three miles) west of the crash site.

'Absolute survival'

Huitoto children learn hunting, fishing and gathering, and the kids' grandfather, Fidencio Valencia, had told AFP the children are well acquainted with the jungle.

News of the rescue came as Petro returned home from Cuba, where he signed a six-month truce with Colombia's last active guerrilla group, the ELN.

"Getting closer and attaining peace in the agreement that is moving forward with the ELN... And now I return and the first news is that indeed the Indigenous communities that were in the search and the military forces found the children 40 days later," he told reporters in Bogota.

"They were alone, they made it on their own. An example of absolute survival that will go down in history," he said.

Seventeen days after the children went missing, Petro announced that they had been found alive, but he retracted the statement a day later, saying he had been given false information.

On Friday, he praised "the effective coordination between the military and the Indigenous people" during the search, saying it was an "example of an alliance for the country to follow."

Valencia told AFP that the children had been found by a native of Araracuara who had been participating in the search.

"I need a flight or a helicopter to go and get them urgently," the grandfather said.

Defense Minister Ivan Velasquez paid tribute to the various army units' "unshakeable and tireless" work, as well as to the Indigenous people who took part in the search.

Army rescuers "immediately took charge of and stabilized" the four siblings, who were to be transferred to San Jose del Guaviare, according to the minister.

"Tomorrow, depending on their medical assessment and condition, we hope they will be transferred to Bogota, to the military hospital," Velasquez said. 


Add new comment

  • reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
May 30,2023

Bengaluru, May 30: The much-awaited free travel for women in ordinary buses — one of the promises of the Congress — will be implemented after the cabinet meeting on June 1, according to Minister for Transport Ramalinga Reddy.

On May 30, he met officials of the four State-run road transport corporations (RTCs) — BMTC, KSRTC, NWKRTC and KKRTC — in Bengaluru.

Later, Mr Reddy informed reporters, “A report from the officials, regarding the scheme, will be submitted to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on May 31. On June 1, in the Cabinet meeting, a decision will be taken.”

When asked about conditions, if any, for free bus services to women, Mr Reddy said, “All will be decided in the Cabinet meeting.”

At the first meeting of the Cabinet of the newly-formed government in Karnataka on May 20, a decision was taken to implement the 5 guarantees promised to voters in the poll manifesto of the Congress party.

Mr. Siddaramaiah had earlier said details of implementation of these schemes would be worked out during the next Cabinet meeting. The departments concerned have been told to issue orders for implementation of these schemes.

A Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) official, who participated in the meeting, told The Hindu that the Minister has taken all details, including revenue and condition of bus fleet. They also discussed how the corporations can offer free bus service to women passengers in Karnataka.

Mr. Reddy, who represents BTM Layout constituency in Bengaluru, has been given the portfolios of Transport and Muzrai Department.


Add new comment

  • reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.