Connect with us


China launches military exercises around Taiwan after Tsai’s U.S. visit



China’s military said on Saturday it launched three days of military exercises around Taiwan, after the leader of the self-ruled island infuriated Beijing by visiting the United States.

The exercises are being held “according to plan” to the north, south and east of Taiwan, a statement by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said, providing no further details.

Taiwan said the military would “defend our country” and that assets had been redeployed.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen met Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Kevin McCarthy for talks in California on Wednesday.

The meeting between Tsai and the senior Republican lawmaker was the first of its kind on U.S. soil.


She returned to Taiwan on Friday night.

Beijing denounced the visit and promised to retaliate.

On Friday, the Chinese government announced sanctions against U.S. organisations which hosted the Taiwanese leader during her trip.

Tsai stopped in the U.S. on her return from Central America, where she met the leaders of Guatemala and Belize.

The White House insists her time in the U.S. was not an official visit.


Beijing regards Taiwan as part of China and rejects any official contact between other countries and Taipei.

China has previously raised the prospect of taking the island by force if necessary, with the U.S. threatening to take action if that happens. Taiwan is a self-governing democracy and has long seen itself as independent.

A visit to Taiwan in August by McCarthy’s predecessor, the veteran Democrat Nancy Pelosi, prompted China to stage its biggest live-fire drills in the waters around Taiwan in years.

Following Beijing’s announcement of the new drills, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence said the country’s armed forces “monitored the situation and responded accordingly with our assets to defend our country.”

In an update from 11 am (GMT 0400), the ministry said that 42 PLA warplanes and eight vessels were detected around Taiwan in the last five hours.


“29 of the detected aircraft had crossed northern, central, and southern median line of the Taiwan Strait and entered our southwest ADIZ (air defence identification zone), attempting coercion on us,” the ministry said on Twitter.

Taiwan views the median line as a political boundary marking its area of control and China has generally respected it in the past.

Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, which handles dealings with Beijing, on Saturday condemned China’s attempts at military intimidation, saying such moves undermine regional peace and stability.

“Taiwan will not submit and will not act in haste to provoke,” it said in a statement.

During a lunch banquet with a visiting U.S. congressional delegation in Tapei on Saturday, Taiwan’s President Tsai stressed that cooperation among democracies has become even more important because “in recent years, we have faced continued authoritarian expansionism.”


“We will continue to work with the United States and other like-minded countries to jointly defend the values of freedom and democracy,” Tsai said.

U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, who led the delegation, said that it was important that all democracies stand together against tyranny and oppression, citing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as well as Chinese aggression against Taiwan and in the Pacific.

“We are doing everything we can in Congress to speed up these sales and get the weapons that you need to defend yourself,” McCaul told Tsai.

“And we will provide training to your military, not for war, but for peace,” he added.

The cross-party U.S. delegation’s three-day visit to Taiwan, scheduled to end on Saturday, is part of a longer trip to the Indo-Pacific region.


Before meeting with Tsai, the group had met with other national leaders in Japan and South Korea, McCaul said.

Later on Saturday, Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defence released a video showing that it was closely monitoring the situation, adding that Taipei seeks neither escalation nor conflict.

“We remain steadfast, rational, and serious to react and defend our territory and sovereignty,” the ministry said in the clip, which included footage of Taiwanese military exercises.


Israel Has No Right To Defend Itself – Russia



Israel has no right to defend itself as it is an occupying power, Russia’s representative to the United Nations, Vasily Nebenzya, said yesterday.

Nebenzya pointed out, during his speech before the emergency special session of the UN General Assembly, that the United Nations does not have the right to give Israel an absolute mandate to carry out a ground operation in Gaza.

“The only thing they can muster is continued pronouncements about Israel’s supposed right to self defence, although as an occupying power, it does not have that power as confirmed by the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice handed down in 2004,” he explained.

He stressed his country’s call to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East, to avoid expanding the scope of the crisis to the entire region, and to work on a diplomatic solution to it.

“As for Israel’s security – and we recognise its rights to ensure its security – this security can only be fully guaranteed if we resolve the Palestinian issue on the basis of relevant UN Security Council resolutions.”


He added that sooner or later, a diplomatic solution will have to be taken, but the question is how many innocent people will die during this time.

Nebenzya noted that Russia cannot turn a blind eye to the flagrant violations of international humanitarian law committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip, pointing out that entire neighbourhoods have been flattened.

He also accused the US and its allies of “hypocrisy,” saying that “in other completely different situations are issuing appeals for the respect of humanitarian law, establishing investigation committees, imposing sanctions on those who are actually genuinely only resorting to force as a last resort to put an end to years of violence,” in an apparent reference to Russia’s war on Ukraine.

Continue Reading


Indonesia Conducts First Commercial Flight Using Palm Oil-blended Jet Fuel



Indonesia conducts first commercial flight using palm oil-blended jet fuel

Indonesia on Friday flew its first commercial flight using palm oil-blended jet fuel, as the world’s biggest producer of the commodity pushes for wider use of biofuels to cut fuel imports.

Operated by flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, the Boeing 737-800NG aircraft carried more than 100 passengers from the capital Jakarta to Surakarta city about 550 kilometres (342 miles) away, Garuda Indonesia CEO Irfan Setiaputra said.

“We will discuss further with Pertamina, Energy Ministry and other parties to ensure this fuel is commercially reasonable,” Irfan said during a ceremony, adding the plane was set to return to Jakarta later on Friday.

Garuda conducted several tests including a flight test on the new fuel earlier this month and an engine ground test in August.


According to Reuters, the palm-oil blended jet fuel is produced by Indonesian state energy firm PT Pertamina (PERTM.UL) at its Cilacap refinery, using hydroprocessed esters and fatty acid (HEFA) technology and is made of refined bleached deodorized palm kernel oil.

Pertamina has said the palm-based fuel emits less atmosphere warming greenhouse gases compared with fossil fuels, and palm oil producing countries have called for the edible oil to be included in feedstock for the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), Reuters reports.

“In 2021, Pertamina successfully produced 2.0 SAF in its Cilacap unit using co-processing technology and was made of refined bleached deodorized palm kernel oil with production capacity 1,350 kilolitres per day,” said Alfian Nasution, a director at Pertamina.

Meanwhile, Harris Yahya, a director at the Energy Ministry, said the use of biofuel would lower the greenhouse effect.

The aviation industry, a major emitter of greenhouse gases, is looking for ways to cut its carbon footprint by using alternative fuels.


Experts say the industry will need 450 billion litres of SAF a year by 2050, if the fuel is to account for around 65% of the mitigation needed to achieve net-zero targets.

Continue Reading