Archive for category Japan

bring out your dead

Three problems likely encountered by organ trafficking rings and their likely solutions:

1. Problem: Establishing a legal paper trail for the donation. Solution: Get the donor to sign a health care power of attorney, and work with hospitals that don’t ask too many questions.

Organ donations fall under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which emphasizes your rights to give your organs away after your death. Conveniently, the Act lets a third party decide what to do with your organs if you simply sign some paperwork before you die.

For instance, in Texas, the order of legal next of kin is as follows:
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney
  • Court appointed Guardian
  • Spouse, unless legally separated
  • Adult children, majority
  • Parent
  • Domestic Partner (if unmarried and another person has not assumed financial responsibility for the patient)
  • Adult brother or sister
  • Close friend

Can you envision some poor person who doesn’t speak English, totally stressed out, signing a piece of paper that grants a Healthcare Power of Attorney to some stranger who promises to pony up a few thou for a kidney? Too easy.

Once the donor signs that paperwork, the hospital just needs to look the other way, which they do.

GRIFFIN: A few weeks after answering the ad with a promised pay off of $20,000, Rosen said he was flown to New York and hustled to Mt. Sinai Hospital where he and the patient he never met before told hospital staff they were cousins.

They didn’t ask for family records or anything like that?

ROSEN: No.

GRIFFIN: So, basically, you were just two guy that came in, declared yourselves as cousins –

ROSEN: Yeah.

GRIFFIN: Dr. Barbara Murphy is in charge of the hospitals kidney unit, she says screening is rigorous, but –

DR. BARBARA MURPHY, MT. SINAI HOSPITAL: We’re not detectives. We’re not the FBI. We don’t have methods that they have at our disposal and people can on occasion deceive us.

So you see, if you look at it this way, the hospitals are actually the victims here, of deceptive people who use their facilities to procure illegal organ transplants, despite the “rigorous” screening. ‘Kay?

And for the future, instead of addressing why so many people suffer from kidney failure (since that might lead back to big pharma and our poisoned food supply and environment), the experts will just keep pushing “presumed consent” so that doctors can take out whatever organs they need from any dead patient without even bothering to ask permission. And that will make everything go so much smoother.

^^^^^^^

2. Problem: Matching organ donors for wealthy clients. Solution: Databases are great, but blood type and some basic info will suffice. It’s actually not that complicated. But!! Really fluff up the complexity so people will think it’s impossible to run organ rings. Conflate the needs of the donor and the recipient, even though the donor will be given the bare minimum of care and cut loose ASAP — if she or he even survives. Keep talking about the recipients and their end of the procedure.

Like this over-the-top pearl-clutching drama written in perfect academic bullshit style for the benefit of the terminally gullible:

Hoo!
In order for an organ transplantation to have any chance of success, a number of sophisticated medical procedures must be conducted to determine the suitability of various organs for transplantation and to permit a match with potential recipients. In particular, correct tissue and blood typing is critical to matching donor organs and potential transplant recipients. Crossing the blood group barrier from transplant donor to recipient can result in death. An equally important consideration is histocompatibility, which measures the extent to which a donor organ and a recipent match.

…In transplantation, it is vital to the survival and well-being of the recipient to identify and match the donor’s HLA types. This can only be accomplished in a laboratory designed to test histocompatibility, and requires individuals with specialized laboratory skills to conduct the testing.

After the organs have been extracted from a donor, an extremely delicate and complex procedure that involves a transplant surgeon and support staff including an anesthesiologist, attending surgeons, and operating room nurses, the organs must be transplanted as rapidly as possible, typically by helicopter or airplane, to the hospitals where the transplants will occur. Before transporting the donor organ, special preservation solutions must be infused into it. Proper insulation and temperature controlled packaging including adequate ice or refrigeration must be used to protect the organ during shipment. Absolute sterile conditions must be maintained for the organ to remain viable for transplant.

Organ transplants must be accomplished extremely rapidly because the time that organs can survive outside the body is severely limited. Hearts must be transplanted within 5 hours, livers within 24 hours, pancreases within 6 to 12 hours, and lungs within 5 hours. Kidneys can survive the longest, but most surgeons will not transplant a kidney that was removed more than 48 hours ago.

Sophisticated surgical equipment and highly skilled medical personnel are necessary for a transplant to take place. At a minimum, one needs 20 individuals, including three members of a surgical team, one scrub nurse, one circulating nurse, one anesthesiologist, one perfusion technician, and one general function technician. For all transplant surgery, a large area needed for the operating table, instrument table, laboratory insturments, anesthesia equipment, monitoring equipment, spare supplies, gas sources, and personnel access.

In addition, in order to prepare for a kidney recipient’s surgery…..

Thus, the daunting technical requirements of the transplant process make it impossible that transplants could occur clandestinely, as the child organ trafficking rumor alleges. …the technical resources required could not be assembled outside of major medical centers.

When in fact, pretty much all they need to know about the donor is blood type (A, B, AB, O) and maybe size (child or adult). The recipient, of course, will be given anti-rejection drugs and receive the best care in the major medical centers. All this other itemized bullshit, like “temperature controlled packaging including adequate ice or refrigeration” (ie: a cooler?) — not a problem. If money can fix it, it’s not a problem.



For the future, when people cannot get to China for a nice fresh Falun Gong killed-to-order organ-donor prisoner, there might be some database available for the countless orphans of Haiti, and maybe Guatemala, Mexico, Thailand….and that should make everything go much smoother.


^^^^^^^

3. Problem: Getting rid of the evidence, the bodies. Solution: Well there are plenty of people walking around with scars from selling their kidneys. But what about those who are killed for their organs? What about those who are killed in snuff films? Where are their bodies? This is the question that needs to be answered. As long as those bodies remain disappeared, the guilty parties will continue to claim that “no credible evidence exists” of their murderous, despicable, loathsome organized crime rings.


Indian men sell their kidneys

In Cuidad Juarez: “thousands of women have disappeared from the town, and hundreds of bodies bearing signs of rape and sexual mutilation were dumped on waste ground in the city. Thousands more have never returned.”

Maria, which is not her real name, said the gang held young women in a house on the Mexican border until they were sold to the US as sex slaves. But she said they also dealt in children and told of on one occasion when the gang was contacted by a woman in New York. “She called and was very angry. She said she needed a seven-year-old girl and a nine-year-old boy - and she needed them in three days….I saw the Americans taking kids,” she said. “A four-year-old and another boy, he barely walked, he was only about two years old. They took them to New York.”

Some of these human beings go to New York. Presumably they are killed in New York. What happens to their bodies in New York? Hospital crematoriums? Cemetaries? How many ways do the corrupt have to get rid of bodies that never existed in the first place?


In British Colombia, witnesses claim that corrupt government officials operate The Musqueam Reserve as a mass grave and body dumping site since at least 1989. Where else might such sites be located? Could parts of military owned or privately owned land be used to dispose of the evidence of human trafficking rings in the US and elsewhere?

In Albania, former KLA fighters witness that Serbs were kidnapped and taken onto ships into international waters, where Western doctors harvested their organs and murdered them. Were some of the bodies dumped at sea, or were they all returned to land for burial?

Apart from burying the remains of kidnapped Kosovo Serbs who had their vital organs extracted for sale in the vicinity of their training, prison and death camps, KLA was also hiding bodies of these victims by burying them with remains of their fighters, like at Qafa Prušit and Morina (both on border between Serbia and Albania), as well as in the village and city graveyards throughout Kosovo province and Albania. (source)

In Palestine, the Israelis have used several techniques to hide the evidence of their organ stealing: keeping the bodies, or burying them in unmarked graves, or giving them to the families at night and under strict guard to be buried immediately in the dark. (also see here)

In Sri Lanka, does this look like the description offered by the US Embassy to debunk organ stealing in Problem #2… “an extremely delicate and complex procedure that involves a transplant surgeon and support staff including an anesthesiologist, attending surgeons, and operating room nurses…”?

Tamil youth murdered and their organs stolen

In Ukraine, people are sometimes pressured to sign a release at the morgue. Body parts are sent to a German company, Tutogen Medical GmbH, which uses corpses to make medical spare parts.

In doing so, they reuse almost everything the human body has to offer: bones, cartilage, tendons, muscle fascia, skin, corneas, pericardial sacs and heart valves. In the jargon of the profession, all of this is referred to as tissue. Bones and tendons, the parts that interest Tutogen the most, are subjected to complex processing. The company degreases and cleans bones, cuts, saws or mills them into the desired shapes, then sterilizes, packages and sells the finished product in more than 40 countries around the world.

In Japan, crematoriums raid the ashes of the dead for precious metals.

Tokyo collected some 700 grams of gold, 500 grams of palladium and 1.9 kg of silver from cremated bodies in 2007, adding Y3.2 million (£24,600) to the city’s bank account. The city also banked around Y90,000 (£690) in coins left as offering inside the coffins.

We know that if our earthly dwelling, a tent, should be destroyed, we have a building from God, a dwelling not made with human hands, eternal in heaven. So we are always courageous…

^^^^^^^

At Reagan’s funeral…
Oh come now. Why such long faces?
They don’t look particularly courageous, do they.

cobra gold (CG10) starts today

1. one can’t help notice how extra light is the news coverage of this important exercise in Southeast Asia, a known hotspot for terrorists. of course there is a history of these sorts of things suddenly going ‘live’, as they did on 911 and 7/7.

THE Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) is taking part in in Exercise Cobra Gold, being held in Pattaya, Thailand from Monday to Feb 11.

The multilateral exercises, also involving the Royal Thai Armed Forces, United States Pacific Command, Japan Self-Defence Forces, Indonesian National Defence Forces and the Republic of Korea Armed Forces, focus on peace support and civilian evacuation operations, said a statement from the Singapore’s Ministry of Defence on Monday.

…Representatives from another 20 countries are also involved in this year’s exercise as observers.

more @ straits times

2. largest US - Asia wargames — “rehearsal” for the day when the services are needed.

RAYONG (Thailand) - THE US military began its largest war games in the Pacific region on Monday - an annual training exercise with troops from Thailand, Japan, Indonesia and Singapore, now joined by South Korea.

At the opening ceremony in the eastern Thai province of Rayong, US Ambassador Eric G. John said that the ‘Cobra Gold’ exercise, now in its 29th year, had become a ‘multinational showcase event’. ‘The US continues to view this exercise, which is our premier training event in Thailand, as an important symbol of US military commitment to maintaining peace and security in Asia,’ he told the audience.

‘It’s imperative that our separate militaries learn to work with each other - together - and rehearse for the day their services are needed to answer that call for help,’ he said. In total representatives from more than 20 countries will participate, observe or support, he added. — AFP

more @ straits times

3. Thailand and the United States are long-time allies, but a large sum of US military assistance to the Southeast Asian nation was suspended after a Thai coup in 2006. The aid was resumed after elections in December 2007.

source

4. Thailand walks a fine line with the weapons cache: keeps the men in detention, mentions Iran, but splits hairs with the cargo and the flight plan

BANGKOK - THAILAND said Monday that an aircraft loaded with North Korean weapons was flying to Iran when it was intercepted in December but the ultimate destination of the arms is still not known….

But Thai government spokesman Panitan Wattanayarkorn said Monday that ‘to say that the weapons are going to Iran, that might be inexact.’ ‘The report only says where the plane was going to according to its flight plan, but it doesn’t say where the weapons were going to,’ he said. ‘It’s still under investigation, and the suspects are under our legal system.’

The five-man crew - four from Kazakhstan and one from Belarus - remain under detention. The crew has been charged with illegal arms possession, but the charges are expected to be stiffened once the investigation wraps up, police have said. The weapons found on board the aircraft were reportedly light battlefield arms, including grenades - hardly the ones Iran’s sophisticated military would need.

more @ straits times

5. training based on a computer simulation

“The training is based on a “computer-simulated command post exercise (CPX), field training exercises linked to the CPX, and humanitarian and civic assistance projects,” he said. The joint activity is designed to improve the American Pacific Command’s ability to carry out joint and multi-national military operations and to improve the ability of the participating countries’ armed forces to work together.

The computer-era exercise combines Thai, US, Singaporean, Japanese, Indonesian, and South Korean participants in a coalition grouping.
Thai, US, Singaporean, Japanese, Indonesian, South Korean, and United Nations military force personnel will participate in the field training modelled after the UN’s multi-national peace support operations scenario.

more @ bernama

6. additional details from the military: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2010/01/mil-100112-afps04.htm

Sponsored by U.S. Pacific Command and the Royal Thai Supreme Command, the three-week exercise includes a command-post exercise, a series of medical and engineering civic-action projects and joint and combined field training. The exercise continues to serve as a venue to build interoperability between the United States and its Asia-Pacific regional partners.

The command-post exercise focuses on training a Thai, U.S., Singaporean, Indonesian, and South Korean coalition task force. The exercise also includes Japan participating within a United Nations Force staff. A team composed of representatives from Brunei, Chile, China, Germany, Laos, Mongolia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Vietnam will observe the command-post exercise at the invitation of the Thai government.

Among Cobra Gold 2010’s objectives is Pacom’s rapid deployment of a joint task force and subsequent coordination with U.N. forces, with the aim of improving Pacom’s ability to conduct multinational operations and increase interoperability with partner nations, officials said.

In addition, officials noted, the military-to-military relationships developed during Cobra Gold exercises underscore a combined capability to face myriad issues in the Asia-Pacific theater, including terrorism, transnational threats, and humanitarian-assistance and disaster-relief efforts.

(From a U.S. Army Pacific news release.)

7. overview of why the military does this exercise in general: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/cobra-gold.htm

“Cooperative engagement” is the USCINCPAC strategy designed to deter aggression, promote peace, encourage prosperity and democratic ideals, and — if necessary– allow the US to fight and win if a conflict cannot be avoided. Specifically, the strategy is a process of aggressively employing the means available to USPACOM (forces, assets, funds, and programs) in three principal ways: forward presence, strong alliances and friendships, and a visible demonstrated capacity for crisis response. The goal is to achieve engagement and participation in peace, deterrence and cooperation in crisis, and a swift and decisive victory in conflict, through multilateral alliances if possible.

Thailand is one of five countries in the Pacific region with which the US has a functioning security alliance. The other four countries are Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, and the Republic of the Philippines. Thailand and the US have an extensive bilateral military exercise program.

Cobra Gold is a regularly-scheduled joint/combined exercise and is the latest in the continuing series of U.S. – Thai military exercises designed to ensure regional peace and strengthen the ability of the Royal Thai Armed Forces to defend Thailand or respond to regional contingencies. Cobra Gold is one of several training exercises the US conducts with Thailand each year. The US funds Thai military and civilian professional development training under the international military education and training program (IMET). Thailand is a generous host to US Navy ships that make frequent port calls at Pattaya and Phuket.

Cobra Gold is a six-week exercise during April and May, the hottest time of the year in Thailand where daytime temperatures linger between 103 and 107 degrees Fahrenheit.

iran is not the isolated country

1. Lebanon’s Hariri to Abu Dhabi, then to France

Prime Minister Saad Hariri met on Monday with UAE’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum at Mushrif palace in Abu Dhabi, Emirates News Agency reported. Sheikh Mohammed is also UAE vice president and Dubai’s ruler. The meeting was attended by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan and National Security Advisor Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed al-Nahyan, according to WAM. Hariri was in the UAE on a two-day official visit. The premier is scheduled to travel to Paris on Wednesday for talks with top French officials.

source: naharnet

note that Erdogan is also in Abu Dhabi, and this links back to the assassination in Cyprus: here and here — Lieberman again

2. Jumblatt: Syria reconciliation nearly complete

“I believe that three-quarters of the road to Syria has opened up and what remains is the final gesture which depends on the right moment,” said Jumblatt in an interview with AFP at his ancestral home in Lebanon’s Shouf mountains, southeast of Beirut.  The 60-year-old hereditary chieftain of Lebanon’s Druze minority has come under fire since defecting in August from the US-backed March 14 ruling coalition he helped create in order to move closer to the Hezbollah-led opposition camp supported by Syria and Iran. The move came as Syria emerges from its international isolation and amid a rapprochement between Damascus and Riyadh, two key regional players. Jumblatt justified his U-turn, saying it was a necessary step to preserve the peace and avoid sectarian bloodshed. “I am willing to sacrifice everything for the civil peace even if my decisions are not popular,” he said. “One must at times swim against the current.” He said the sectarian unrest that brought Lebanon close to civil war in May 2008, when members of his Druze clan fought bitter battles with the Shiite Hezbollah in the Shouf region, had been a rude awakening.

more @ iloubnan

3. meanwhile, Iran seems pretty popular. Iran and Syria, Iran and Georgia, Iran and Saudi Arabia, Iran and Venezuela, etc.

TEHRAN (FNA)- Relations between Tehran and Damascus are invulnerable to third party interference, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki reiterated on Monday .

“Iran and Syria don’t allow any third party to interfere in their ties,” Mottaki stressed.  Mottaki, who was speaking to reporters in a joint press conference with his Georgian Foreign Minister Grigol Vashadze, further pointed to the relations between Tehran and Tbilisi, and said the two nations enjoy historical, cultural and geographical bonds.

Iran and Saudi Arabia enjoy great potential

Asked on the relations between Tehran and Riyadh, Mottaki reiterated that Iran has designed a framework for the promotion of cooperation and intimate relations with the regional countries and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states, including Saudi Arabia.  “We utilize capacities and potentials to develop cooperation,” he said, and added, “We are in contact with these states.  The two-day conference dubbed as “Persian Gulf: Challenges and Regional Mechanism” was officially kicked off at the ministry’s Political and International Studies Office following an inaugural address by Mottaki. Experts from 15 countries, including Kuwait, Oman, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Romania, France, Germany, Japan, India, China and Russia as well as academics from around the globe are present in the gathering to discuss protection of the environment, PGCC, Iraq’s role in Persian Gulf developments and stability, security of the area as well as the global economic crisis and its impacts on the Persian Gulf.

more @ fars

TEHRAN (FNA)- Venezuela’s oil reserves do not pose a threat to Iran’s position in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as the two countries cover the two ends of the market, an Iranian oil ministry official said following the discovery of major oil reserves in the Latin American country….Venezuela and Iran are two of the 12 members of OPEC along with Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  Iran and Saudi Arabia are considered as OPEC kingpins with strong clout on the policies and decisions adopted by the oil cartel.

more @ fars

Georgia welcomes Iran’s presence in Nabucco — yeah this one is a little suspicious

TEHRAN (FNA)- Georgia announced on Monday that it supports Iran’s presence and partnership in the Nabucco gas pipeline project to carry natural gas from Central Asia to Austria via Turkey and the Balkan states, bypassing Russia and Ukraine.

more @ fars

4. Iran to send 5th fleet of warships to Gulf of Aden because of Somali pirates

TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Iranian commander announced on Monday that the Navy is due to dispatch a fifth fleet of warships to the Gulf of Aden late January to defend the country’s cargo ships and oil tankers against continued attacks by Somali pirates.

5. Japanese envoy underscores Iran’s role in regional security

TEHRAN (FNA)- Japanese Ambassador to Tehran Akio Shirota stressed Iran’s key role in the restoration of security and tranquility in the region.

many people throwing their weight around

1. India, Bangladesh sign 5 pacts

NEW DELHI - LEADERS of India and Bangladesh met in New Delhi on Monday with talks focused on strengthening the previously difficult ties between the two south Asian neighbours, an Indian official said. Cross-border relations have improved in recent years and Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s delegation signed five cooperation agreements with India in areas ranging from cultural exchanges, security, preventing crime and power supply.

more @ straits times

2. India confers Indira Ghandi Peace Prize to Bangladeshi PM

NEW DELHI, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — India Tuesday conferred Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina with the prestigious Indira Gandhi Peace Prize in recognition of her contribution to peace and democracy, reported the Indo-Asian News Service. Indian President Pratibha Patil conferred the award at a function in the Rashtrapati Bhavan presidential palace and praised Hasina for “shaping her country’s onward path of progress and development”, said the report.

more @ chinaview

3. Malaysian PM to visit Saudi Arabia

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will be making an official visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 13-16 to deepen bilateral ties, the Malaysian Foreign Ministry said here on Tuesday. Najib will later attend the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Jan. 18. Malaysia will be working towards enhancing trade and investment relations with the two countries.

source: chinaview

4. Clinton to visit Japan, Pacific region

Since coming to power last year, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has pushed to see negotiations restart on the SOFA agreement, creating tension between the two countries. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has pledged to decide by May how to proceed on the base issue. Apart from talks with Okada, Clinton will deliver a policy speech focused on Asia-Pacific multilateral engagement in Hawaii, and will be consulting with the Pacific Command. She will be traveling to Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and Australia from Jan. 14 to Jan. 19, her first visit to the region since becoming the secretary of state. In Canberra, Clinton, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and their Australian counterparts Stephen Smith and John Falkner will participate in the 25th Australia-U.S. Ministerial Consultations to discuss key global and regional security challenges.

source: chinaview

5. ASEAN prepares own “Marshall Plan’

MANILA, Philippines—Asean is preparing its own Marshall Plan, the United States program in post World War II to rebuild and create an economically stronger Western Europe to repel the threat of internal communism, the Asean Secretariat said Tuesday….In a working lunch in Jakarta Monday, Asean Secretary General Dr. Surin Pitsuwan described the plan to Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Masayuki Naoshima. He urged the Japanese official and his delegation to look at the plan and the roles of Asean and Eria as a package….Surin, who coined the “Marshall Plan for Asia” tag for the plan, said his office was collaborating with Eria and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the development of the plan. The plan aims “to contribute to coordinating, expediting, upgrading, and expanding sub-regional initiatives and promoting private sector participation.”

more @ inquirer

6. incoming EU trade chief sees WTO deal by 2011

BRUSSELS—Would-be new European trade chief Karel De Gucht expressed confidence on Tuesday that a deal to free up international commerce is attainable by next year.… The Doha round began in 2001, with a focus on dismantling obstacles to trade for poor nations by striking an accord that will cut agriculture subsidies and tariffs on industrial goods. Deadlines to conclude the talks have been repeatedly missed. Discussions have been dogged by disagreements on issues including how much the US and the EU should reduce aid to their farmers and the extent to which developing countries such as India, China and South Africa should cut tariffs. “We have to do that deal,” De Gucht added, refusing to concede that the terms of the talks had to change to take account of the aftermath of the global economic crisis.

more @ inquirer

7. China views Ethiopia as major economic trading partner

ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — China views Ethiopia as its major economic and trading partner in Africa, says Minister of Commerce Chen Deming on Monday….Chen put forward a four-point proposal on further development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation: First, further expanding its imports from Ethiopia through the use of tariff-free policies; Second, strengthening cooperation in investment and engineering contracts and continuing to encourage strong Chinese firms to invest in Ethiopia; Third, fully implementing the eight new measures to enhance cooperation with Africa; Fourth, further promoting cooperation in official development assistance to support Ethiopia’s infrastructure, and projects aimed to improve people’s well-being.

more @ chinaview

8. China, Morocco hold talks on enhancing bilateral ties

RABAT, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who is on a five-nation African tour, held talks Monday with his Moroccan counterpart Taieb Fassi Fihri on ways to upgrade relations between the two countries….Yang is on his first official foreign visit of the year that includes five African nations, namely Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Algeria and Morocco, as well as Saudi Arabia. It has been China’s tradition for 20 years that its foreign minister visits Africa in the beginning of the year.

more @ chinaview

9. China VP meets Pakistan’s opposition party chief

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping met Tuesday in Beijing with Nawaz Sharif, chief of the opposition Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), saying party exchanges would help facilitate bilateral relations….Highlighting the friendship between China and Pakistan, Xi said China had treated bilateral ties from a long-term and strategic perspective and would make efforts with Pakistan to lift pragmatic cooperation. Sharif expressed his admiration for the achievements China had made, saying the political parties in Pakistan shared the view of improving friendly cooperation with China.

more @ chinaview

10. experts discuss NATO’s future at Prague meeting

An international conference has opened in Prague, aiming to help redefine NATO’s mission for the 21st century. The international panel is led by former U.S. State Secretary Madeleine Albright. About hundred other experts are also participating. The group is working to update the alliance’s mission statement, which was written in 1999. Albright is present at Tuesday’s gathering. The draft will be submitted for consideration to the leaders of NATO’s member nations at their spring summit in Lisbon, Portugal. NATO started the process to update its outdated mission statement last year to focus on handling new challenges such as piracy, terrorism and cyber attacks as well a resurgent Russia.

source: taiwan news

11. new EU foreign chief criticized for lack of specifics

Under its previous holder Javier Solana, the post of top EU diplomat focused on smoothing relations and boosting Europe’s influence in such places as the Middle East, Iran, and the Balkans. But the job has greater powers under the new Lisbon Treaty of reforms, even though the EU’s 27 nations remain well in charge over foreign and defense policy, with Ashton set to be their mouthpiece. Despite the pressure, Ashton appeared relaxed throughout, confidently responding to questions mainly focused on institutional concerns and how the former EU trade commissioner saw the future of EU foreign policy. She gave answers that demonstrated an understanding of the issues, but would not be drawn into diplomatic minefields like her stance on sanctions against Iran and was cautious on Middle East policy. More broadly she urged Europe to play a greater role on the world stage. “I am convinced there is a clear call, inside the EU and around the world, for greater European engagement—to promote peace, protect the vulnerable, fight poverty ,and address the many problems of our time,” she said. “We have to answer this call.”

more @ inquirer

12. Kazakh minister visits Vienna, Austria

Secretary of State - Minister for Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev began his official visit to Vienna yesterday… According to the press release, the visit on part of OSCE Chairman Saudabayev, to Austria will take place on January 12 - 15. Saudabayev will meet with President of Austria, Heinz Fischer, and the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of Austria, Michael Spindelegger, to discuss the further development of Kazakhstan-Austrian cooperation as part of international organizations. … According to the press release, Astana considers Vienna a key political and economic partner in the EU, and is interested in developing bilateral dialogue in all areas and levels. During the visit, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will hold meetings with UN structures administration based in Vienna – including the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons and Universal Prohibition of Nuclear Tests to discuss cooperation with these organizations, according to Kazakhstan Today.

source

13. Austrian president to visit China next week

BEIJING, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) — Austrian President Heinz Fischer will pay a state visit to China from next Tuesday to Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Tuesday.  Fischer will make the visit as guest of Chinese President Hu Jintao, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a regular briefing.   This will be Fischer’s first China trip since he took office in 2004.

source: chinaview

14. China very very very unhappy with US weapons sales to Taiwan — in diplomatic language this is a full-blown fit

BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) — The U.S. Defense Department announced on January 6 the approval of a plan of Lockheed Martin Corp. to sell Patriot III missiles to Taiwan. Although it was a step to implement the huge-scale arms sales package announced by the George W. Bush administration in October 2008, such a move only about one month after U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to China tarnished the China-U.S. ties….the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan fully justified any suspicion about the United States’ sincerity to take concrete actions to “respect each other’s core interests.”

Undoubtedly, the U.S. arms sales to Taiwan seriously violated the principles established in the three Sino-U.S. joint communiques and the spirit of the Sino-U.S. Joint Statement, breached the U.S. promise to respect the core interests of China and disobeyed the mainstream wish shared by the people across the Straits.  This move clearly showed the dual character of the United States in dealing with the major issues related to China’s core interests, especially at the moment that the cross-Straits relations have embarked on a path of peaceful development.

Profound lessons should be drawn from history. All previous U.S. arms sales to Taiwan have caused great damage to the Sino-U.S. relations and blocked their stable and smooth development.  This time is no exception, since the arms sales to Taiwan are rootless and absolutely harmful, whether from the perspectives of legal, moral and justice principles, or from the perspectives of joint interests of the two countries and the long-term development of their relations.

more @ chinaview