Sunday, February 27, 2011

Third hull of Type 052C Luyang II (+??) class DDG launched in Shanghai.

Here are observations by franco-russe posted at the China defense forum and to join our ongoing discussion related to the development of the Type052C class DDG click (here)

Combining the information from photography with the schedule for 052C production provided in post # 665 in the carrier thread, it is possible to obtain a rather good picture of the workings of Jiangnan shipyard and the rate of construction to be expected.

Since two 052C+ launches are expected in 2011, the intervals between launches must be about six months. Consequently, as Hull 1 was launched 28 November 2010, Hull 2 should launch in May 2011 – by which time the bulk carrier in the fitting-out basin has no doubt left the yard - and Hull 3 in November 2011. Hull 4 should launch in May 2012.

The yard will reportedly be repeating the exercise 2013-15, with the short interval probably being taken up by submarine and/or minesweeper construction.

Now, the Jiangnan warship complex – which is apparently named Dock 4 – has two two-bay building halls, of which Hall 1, to the left, is taller than Hall 2 to the right. I shall number the bays Berths 1-4 from left to right. Only Hall 1 opens to the launch basin.

When 052C+ Hull 1 made its appearance last summer, it was on Berth 2, while the WOZANG class was on Berth 3, from where it moved laterally in front of Hull 1 prior to being launched 18 November. In late summer, 052C+ Hull 2, which was building on Berth 4, began a similar lateral move, replacing Hull 1 on Berth 2 after the launch of the latter. The taller Building Hall 1 is required for mounting the superstructures. At present, Hull 2 appears to be much in the same stage of completion as was Hull 1 when first seen, which is compatible with a May launch.

The hull sections that were seen west of Hall 1 have no doubt now entered Hall 2 to form Hull 3. In all likelihood, a new MCM vessel has similarly replaced the WOZANG on Berth 3.

It is interesting to compare these sections with the drawing of a dissected 052C in post # 836. The hull is divided into nine sections, which may well be correct. However, when seen in the open, the sections appear to be larger. For instance, the bow section seen to the left of Hull 2 while it was being rolled out appears to comprise Sections 1 and 2 of the drawing.

I have stuck to the Type 052C+ designation to distinguish the new ones from the original two 052C. So far, I have not noted any visible differences.

Hopefully, all of this is not too confusing. Thanks to GT for posting the dissected drawing and the launch photo of Hull 1 – a pity that the VLS aft is not visible. And thanks to Szczepanski, who was beaten to this photo, for quoting me.

And finally, if they do indeed build a total of eight 052C+ in the 2010-15 timeframe, they will be able to replace all unmodernised LUDA (107, 131-134, 162-164) on a one-for-one basis in the next five years.

Chinese companies to evacuate Bangladeshis and Vietnamese to Greece

There is a a narrative out there purporting that the "Chinese" are taking all the jobs in North Africa.  If one actually takes the time to do the math, the numbers just don't add up.

Chinese co taking 804 Bangladeshis to Greece
300 take refuge in Tunisia
Staff Correspondent

A Chinese company yesterday started moving 804 Bangladeshi nationals from troubled Libya to Greece by a ship while 300 have already taken refuge in Tunisia.

“The 804 are scheduled to reach Greece by tomorrow [Sunday],” said Foreign Secretary Mijarul Quayes at a press briefing.

Meanwhile, several other companies are going to send 6,000 Bangladeshis home by plane and ship within a day or two, said Expatriates' Welfare Secretary Zafar Ahmed Khan at the ministry.

A Malaysian company in Libya has already chartered a plane at their own expense to send home 820 Bangladeshis it employed while South Korean companies Daewoo and Dong Ha will repatriate 1,500 and 1,200 more, he said.

The Bangladeshis who entered Tunisia yesterday are being provided with food and shelter by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the Red Cross, said Quayes.

He said South Korean company Sinhan is supposed to relocate 5,000 Bangladeshis to Tunisia.

“The prime concern for Bangladesh is now the safety of its nationals in Libya though a wholesale evacuation is not the answer at this stage,” said Quayes, adding that the government is trying to move the Bangladeshis either to safer places or to neighbouring Egypt or Tunisia.

Considering that there are estimated 60,000 Bangladeshis in Libya, their repatriation requires huge logistics and procedures, Mijarul Quayes said.

The government, however, will not hesitate to go for full evacuation if it is really necessary, he said. He would meet diplomats of other Asian countries that are evacuating their nationals and ask them if they could include Bangladesh nationals as well.

It has been around two weeks since violence erupted in Libya and Bangladeshis have been facing attacks and been victims of looting by Libyans. Many employers deserted workers at camps. The workers are running short on food and water. Many fear more attacks by Libyans.

China, South Korea, India and Thailand are bringing back their citizens by chartered planes and ships but Bangladesh is relying on the employers to move its citizens to safer places. It is also seeking support of international agencies for their shelter and food.

International agencies like the IOM and Red Cross are not able to go inside Libya.

Asked what would happen to those stranded way away from the Egyptian or Tunisian borders, Quayes said, "I have no easy answer for the danger zones."

Meanwhile, relatives of migrant Bangladeshis in Libya formed a human chain in front of the Jatiya Press Club in the city and put up barricade on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Bhairab of Kishoreganj for two hours demanding the government bring back their loved ones.

Around 100 relatives of expatriates, who are from Bhairab, blockaded the highway around 9:30am, reports our Kishoreganj correspondent.

Local people also joined them.

According to the expatriates' welfare ministry, 15,000 Bangladeshis are in Tripoli and roughly similar numbers in Benghazi and Saba provinces. The rest are scattered in different parts of the North African country.

There is a trend of Bangladeshi nationals moving towards the borders of Tunisia and Egypt. Around 450 workers, who are near the Egyptian border, are safe, Quayes said.

Officials from the ministries of foreign and expatriates' welfare and from Bangladesh missions in Italy and Iran are rushing to Egypt, Tunisia and Greece to help Bangladeshi guest workers by issuing them travel documents free of cost.

Zafar Ahmed Khan said, "We asked officials in these countries to arrange shelter, rent houses if necessary, and food for the workers. We have given a sort of blank cheque to ensure our citizens' safety."

The official said they have no reports of Bangladeshi casualties. It is quite expected that in such volatile circumstances, there would be shortage of food, he said.

"There is a sense of insecurity rather than actual insecurity," Quayes said urging the media to rethink before making public unsubstantiated reports of casualties.

Vietnam recalls 10,000 from Libya
Airseco’s director, Nguyen Xuan Vui, said their partners would choose between sending the workers back to Vietnam by flights through Greece or by putting them on ships bound for China.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The decommissioning of the Type 62/WZ131 light tank.

It seems that after close to 50 years of service, the PLA is finally ready to retire it's Type62 fleet.

After seeing the above photos, our friend D6 commented the following:

The question is "what is replacing them?" -- ZBD04 (aka Type 97) would be a poor choice. Mobility is the key factor in Southern China, and ZBD04 has narrow tracks that would easily become mired in the rainy season. The frequently soft earth in the south is the reason these Type 62s have been in service so long. At least one unit actually fielded a hybrid with Type 62 chassis and ZTS63A 105mm turret. They really need an entirely new design.

Please feel free to join our ongoing discussion (here)

CDF OpEd: China's Evacuation from Libya

By Mr. Unknown.

China’s ongoing evacuation of its citizens from a chaotic Libya is starting to draw close scrutiny from pundits due to the PLAN’s use of a 054A class Frigate (Xuzhou, FFG-530) amongst other civilian means of evacuation. Unsurprisingly, we can leave it to some media outlets to exaggerate this action into nothing less than old school imperialist “gunboat diplomacy.”

A not-so-subtle proclamation of China’s “menacing” display of naval power came from the Council on Foreign Relation’s (CFR) Elliot Abrams, who wrote the following on the CFR blog, (here)

          “In recent days, the White House has been saying that the United States had to watch its words and actions  because American citizens were at risk in Libya.  So instead of acting, we are building a diplomatic coalition. China has taken a different tack: to use power.  Instead of biting their tongue, the Chinese appear to be making it clear to the Qadhafi regime that no danger to Chinese workers will be tolerated.

An even more provocative article titled “China Fills Libya Power Void” appeared on the website of Investor’s Business Daily, which compared China’s supposed “assertiveness” to “US inaction,”

          “Up until now, the conventional thinking from the Tom Friedman crowd claims that China is somehow engaged in a new model of commercial engagement abroad, quite unlike the old empires of the past that projected military power. That theory is out the window now with this naval action. China will defend its own, same as any other empire.

The IBD article (here) went on to argue that:

          “China's assertiveness in the Libyan crisis stands in contrast to that of the U.S. By the time we found a vessel to ferry a mere 600 nationals out of the country, the Chinese had already transported 12,000 of its people to Crete… China is setting a precedent with its newfound show of force.”

Instead of “praising” China’s “new-found assertiveness,” perhaps the authors should have asked why the PLAN was able to sail into Libya with impunity?  And why neither the rebels nor the Libyan government questioned whether China has ulterior motives other than ferrying its citizens away from the cross-fire?  The correct answer is NOT China’s determined “show of force” or “power projection,” but its record of restrained and infrequent use of force, coupled with its consistent policy of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.  Having built up its “street-cred” in Africa as a non-intrusive business partner, China provoked no suspicions from either side of the Libyan upheaval on the rare occasion that it used military assets as part of the evacuation.

The authors of the aforementioned articles have drawn precisely the opposite conclusion that should have been reached.  China’s relatively smooth evacuation vis-a-vis US awkwardness represents NOT the need for aggressive intervention, but rather the power of restraint surmounting that of forceful coercion.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

China evacuates 12,000 from Libya, sends frigate to help

The PLAN is taking the next logical step as a naval power -- sending a warship to protect its citizens abroad. Is this the slippery slope towards greater military involvement in conflicts outside of China?  Well, it seems that may depend on your political point-of-view.

Type 054A FFG530 (XuZhou) to Libya

By Royston Chan and Tom Miles

SHANGAI/BEIJING Feb 25 (Reuters) - China has so far evacuated 12,000, or about a third, of its citizens from turmoil in Libya, many of them workers for Chinese-run projects and businesses in the oil-rich nation, official media said on Friday.

The mass evacuation effort, supported by a Chinese naval frigate, is the latest test for a government that has encouraged companies to seek business across the developing world, often in conditions considered too dangerous, difficult or poorly paid for Western firms.

In 2010, Chinese trade with Libya was worth $6.6 billion, a rise of 27 percent on the level in 2009.

Relieved workers arrived on a charter flight to Shanghai on Thursday, and some told Reuters they were working at a university construction site in the eastern city of Tobruk that was attacked by armed looters.

Local staff told them to leave the increasingly dangerous conflict pitting opposition forces against long-time leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The Chinese workers stayed at a Tobruk hotel for two nights before the local staff and embassy officials arranged for cars to ferry them to the Egyptian border.

"We were lucky because we managed to rent eleven cars and all 83 of us got in with our luggage. Then we made our way to the Egyptian border," said 33-year-old construction worker Mao Yanjun.

The latest evacuation figure reported by China's Xinhua news agency means around two-thirds of the 36,000 Chinese who live in Libya may still be there, where a nationwide wave of protests against Gaddafi has met a fierce response from his security forces. Some European governments say thousands of people have been killed.

China's Ministry of Commerce has said 75 Chinese companies have operations in Libya, including the state-owned energy giant CNPC, parent company of PetroChina Co Ltd .

"China has suffered large-scale direct economic losses in Libya, including looted work sites, burned and destroyed vehicles and tools, smashed office equipment and stolen cash," the ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

CNPC has said some of its project camps and operating sites were attacked, without giving details. The ministry said some Chinese had been injured but there were no reports of deaths.

Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao gave the latest update on the number of Chinese evacuees as he prepared to welcome 224 Chinese off the first chartered plane sent to pick up stranded citizens, mainly engineers and technicians working on oil and railway projects and their families.

Workers said they were thankful their local staff were alert to the dangerous situation and said things could have been much worse for them if they had not left Libya.

"I was frightened. The local staff helped us make our way out," construction worker Lu Xuedi, 46, told Reuters. "We would have been afraid to get out (on our own)."

Nearly 1,000 Chinese crossed over into Tunisia on Wednesday, and a Maltese ship capable of carrying more than 2,000 people arrived to evacuate Chinese nationals from the Libyan port of Benghazi on Thursday. It is expected in Malta later on Friday, Xinhua said, citing the Chinese ambassador to the island state.

Chinese nationals have also been evacuated from Libya to other countries in the region, including Greece and Egypt.

China has also sent a frigate to provide support and protection for ships involved in the evacuation, Xinhua cited China's Defence Ministry as saying.

The frigate was previously part of the "Xuzhou" fleet, which is escorting ships in the Gulf of Aden, where shipping is vulnerable to attacks from pirates.

(Writing by by Tom Miles; Editing by Ken Wills and Miral Fahmy)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Vessels with Chinese evacuees from Libya aboard due in Greece's Crete Thursday afternoon

As a backgrounder -- China has a huge investment in Greece's ports. (here)
Vessels with Chinese evacuees from Libya aboard due in Greece's Crete Thursday afternoon 2011-02-24 10:05:23 FeedbackPrintRSS

HERAKLION, Greece, Feb. 24 (Xinhua)-- The first two Greek merchant vessels, which facilitate the evacuation of Chinese nationals from troubled Libya, are expected to arrive at the port of Heraklion, in the southern Greek island of Crete, Thursday afternoon, according to the Chinese embassy in Athens.

The two ships, "Hellenic Spirit" and "Olympic Champion," which have been chartered by the Chinese government to assist the rescue operation of Chinese citizens stranded in Libya, left the western Greek port of Patra Tuesday.

They reached the port of Benghazi in northern Libya at 10 a.m. local time and after a marathon of deliberations to receive permission by local authorities, they docked at the port around 5 p.m. local time.

According to the latest information by Chinese embassy officials, the first Chinese nationals to be transferred to safety to Crete started boarding at 7.10 p.m. local time and the process was completed around 11.45 p.m. local time.

There are more than 2,000 Chinese on board each of the two ships sailing to Greece and if everything runs smoothly, they are due to arrive at the port of Heraklion around 2 p.m. local time Thursday.

In order to avoid any injuries during the evacuation of so many people, Chinese diplomats aboard the two ships contacted Chinese companies in Libya and arranged that the evacuees will be organized into groups of 50 people which will be moving together all the time until they return to China.

Since some Chinese nationals in Libya have lost or been robbed of their identity cards and other documents, this way the operation will be more controlled.

Working closely with Greek authorities to facilitate the rescue mission, Chinese officials have done a lot of preparations so that 6,500 beds will be available in 10 hotels in Heraklion Thursday to accommodate the Chinese nationals arriving from Libya.

Chinese officials have prepared medicine and 55 buses to move passengers around until they will fly to China aboard chartered flights by Air China.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Communist propaganda

Posters for Russia military holiday 'showed Chinese jets'
(AFP) –

SAINT PETERSBURG — Hundreds of posters decorating Russian streets for a military holiday accidentally replaced Russian planes with Chinese fighter jets, an official admitted Tuesday.

Posters displayed in the northwestern city of Saint Petersburg showed a plane against a national flag. But instead of a Russian jet, it was in fact a Chinese Chengdu J-10, or Vigorous Dragon.

The slip, reproduced in around 250 posters, was an error by the designer, who was unfamiliar with military planes, said the head of the city's media committee, Alexander Korennikov.

"It was the designer's fault. If you are not a specialist in military hardware, it is an easy thing to do," he said.

"The problem was that the images were printed and put up before being checked and agreed with the media committee."

The mistake was spotted at the end of last week and the posters were due to be removed by the end of Tuesday, on the eve of the holiday, Korennikov said.

On Wednesday, Russians celebrate the Day of the Defenders of the Fatherland, a public holiday when women traditionally give cards and gifts to men who served in the armed forces, although it has lately expanded to include all men.

China suffered a similar loss of face in January, when Internet users noticed that a state television report on air force manoeuvres featured footage from the 1980s Hollywood film "Top Gun".

Pakistan, China to Hold Joint Military Exercises in 2011

Pakistan and China will hold two joint military exercises in 2011, a Pakistani senior military leader said Tuesday.

The two exercises, one army drill and one air force one, will be held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between Pakistan and China, said General Khalid Shameem Wynne, chairman of Pakistan's Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee.

Wynne, who is paying a five-day visit to China, told reporters that the two countries will also participate in a multinational navy drill in March.

Wynne hailed the strategic partnership between Pakistan and China, saying it is "the best example" of bilateral ties and a "stabilizing force" in the region.

"The China-Pakistan partnership is a source of comfort and stability for the entire region," Wynne said.

The visit is Wynne's first official visit to China since he was promoted to the rank of general and assumed his present position in October 2010.

In July 2010, Wynne led a joint anti-terrorism drill between Pakistan and China in Qingtongxia in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Look! China defense.

17 Chinese exhibitors are at the Abu Dhabi International Defense Exhibition. 9 of them are from the military industries.

The China National Pavilion is the largest pavilion. Its area is three-fourths larger than last time. The big names include "China North Industries Corporation" and "China Shipbuilding Trading Corporation". A self-propelled gun system and an explosive disposal robot are on show. Visitors can also see models of the AC-311 helicopter and the Fierce Dragon fighter jet.

Gao Yusheng, Chinese Ambassador to UAE said "During the last three editions of the Abu Dhabi International Defense Exhibition, more and more Chinese companies have been taking part. This year, nearly all of China's large-scale military enterprises are here."

Ma’anshan (FFG-525) and Wenzhou (FFG-526) off to the Gulf and Aden again.

The pair was there in early 2010 as part of the fourth task force, they are off again.

Latest Chinese naval escort fleet leaves for Somali waters

(Source: Xinhua) 2011-02-22

ZHOUSHAN, Zhejiang Province, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- The eighth Chinese naval escort fleet, which consists of two missile frigates, left on Monday for the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to protect merchant ships from rampant piracy in the area.

After arriving, the two ships -- Ma'anshan and Wenzhou -- will be joined by Qiandaohu, a supply ship that is already patrolling the waters with the seventh escort fleet.

China sent its first convoy fleet to the Gulf of Aden and the Somali waters in December 2008. The seven convoy fleets have so far escorted over 3,400 Chinese and foreign ships through troubled waters and have rescued 33 ships from pirate attacks.

Editor:Ouyang Dongmei

Soldiers wave hands on board and prepare to set sail at a port in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province, Feb. 21, 2011. The 8th Chinese naval escort flotilla, consisting of frigate Wenzhou and frigate Ma'anshan, departed from Zhoushan on Monday, for the escort mission with comprehensive supply ship Qiandaohu in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to protect commercial ships from pirate attacks. (Xinhua/Tang Shifeng)

PLA's Tributary Engineering Recon Vehicle

After more than 10 years R&D work by the 25th Aerospace Science and Industry research institute and hundreds of leaked internet photos, the PLA has finally accepted its first batch of Tributary Engineering Recon Vehicle to boost its engineering units.

This vehicle is designed for tributary mappings, water velocity measurements, and navigation investigations. To the disappointments of many fan boys, this vehicle is not build to across a 110 KM of open water.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The six K-8 deal to Bolivia finalized.

Bolivia buys more arms to fight drug traffickers
Published: Feb. 9, 2011 at 5:28 PM

Read more:

LA PAZ, Bolivia, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- Bolivia is buying six Chinese combat aircraft as part of its effort to correct its image as a country that isn't doing as much as it should to cut off the narcotics trail to North America.

Political feuds between Bolivia and its neighbors and a stormy relationship with Washington hasn't helped Bolivia's campaign against drug overlords who regularly challenge the authority of the state.

Organized crime operators use aircraft to move drugs with impunity in a twin challenge to the government's control of the national airspace and its ineffectual crackdown on fearless drug traffickers in a transnational, multimillion-dollar illicit trade.

After President Evo Morales ordered the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to leave Bolivia in 2008, accusing U.S. officials of complicity in the drug trade as well as political troubles, the anti-narcotics fight fizzled out. U.S. officials dismissed both charges.

After the row with U.S. anti-narcotics officials, who are active elsewhere in Latin America, particularly Colombia, Bolivia has had even less success than before in stopping the powerful drug overlords.

The deal with China gives Beijing a lucrative entry into the Latin American arms market. Bolivia will pay at least $58 million -- most of it covered by a Chinese government loan -- for six K-8 Karakorum jets that are to be delivered by April.

The K-8 is a low-budget attack aircraft that doubles as a trainer. Also called Hongdu JL-8 or Nanchang JL-8 it is a two-seat intermediate jet initially built jointly by China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation and state-run Pakistan Aeronautical Complex. China's Hongdu Aviation Industry Corp. is the main contractor for the plane.

Original manufacturing plans for the plane called for some U.S.-made parts but, as difficulties arose over the inclusion of U.S. components, China and Pakistan decided to eliminate those parts and do everything themselves.

Analysts said the deal would be significant for Brazil because Brazilian manufacturer Embraer sees China as a major competitor in small multipurpose aircraft.

Bolivia operates a number of training and cargo planes but none that can face up to the technically advanced drug gangs flying their own aircraft and other paramilitary equipment.

Officials said Bolivia hopes the inclusion of combat aircraft in its anti-narcotics arsenal will discourage cocoa plantations and cross-border drug smuggling.

China has also given Bolivia 10,000 AK-47 assault rifles, cited in professional military media and believed to part of a $60 million deal.

Bolivia is also in negotiation with Russia to buy up to 10 Russian-built MS-7 cargo helicopters, possibly on easy credit terms.

Media reports calculated the government's defense acquisitions are reflected in increased defense spending, which rose by more than 120 percent during the last decade. A survey by El Deber newspaper said the increased spending on military equipment ran counter to the government's pledge to improve education and health and reduce the poverty gap.

Bolivian Defense Minister Ruben Saavedra said the increase in defense spending was also due to an increase in administrative and personnel costs and salary increases for the armed forces

Friday, December 11, 2009

China to loan $40 Million to the Bolivian Army.

After securing a 57.8 million dollars deal to sell six K-8 jet trainers to the Bolivian air force in October 2009 (here) , China has agreed to another 40 million dollar loan to the Bolivian engineering battalions.

The original news article in Spanish.

China financiará con 40 millones de dólares equipos para el Ejército boliviano

Por Agencia EFE

La Paz, 4 dic (EFE).- El Gobierno de China financiará con 40 millones de dólares el equipamiento de seis batallones de ingenieros del Ejército de Bolivia, anunció hoy el presidente Evo Morales al conmemorar el aniversario de una institución de las Fuerzas Armadas.

El mandatario dijo en ese acto militar, celebrado en la ciudad de Cochabamba, que esta semana se aprobó un decreto para que Bolivia adquiera el préstamo de China con el propósito de equipar a los ingenieros militares de La Paz, Tarija, Cochabamba, Pando y Oruro.

El préstamo de los 40 millones de dólares será otorgado por el Export Import Bank of China y se destinará para equipos que permitan construir carreteras nacionales e internacionales en el país.

Además de este apoyo, China está asesorando a Bolivia en la construcción y puesta en orbita de un satélite propio.

Morales participó en el aniversario de la Corporación de las Fuerzas Armadas para el Desarrollo Nacional (Cofadena), una entidad que realiza actividades productivas, pero que actualmente sufre falta de recursos.

Morales achacó al "neoliberalismo" la situación de "quiebra" de esa institución productiva de las Fuerzas Armadas y prometió darle mas apoyo para fortalecer su crecimiento.

La Cofadena presentó hoy al Gobierno medio centenar de tractores que fueron ensamblados en sus instalaciones y tiene como proyecto hacer lo mismo próximamente con máquinas iraníes.

Al respecto, Morales dijo que técnicos de Bolivia y de Irán adelantaron diálogos el pasado 24 de noviembre, cuando el mandatario iraní, Mahmud Ahmadineyad, visitó La Paz.
The Google-translated English.

China financed $ 40 million to the Bolivian Army equipment

By Agencia EFE - 6 days ago

La Paz, Dec 4 (EFE) .- The Chinese Government will finance $ 40 million with the team of six battalions of Army engineers Bolivia, today announced President Evo Morales to commemorate the anniversary of an institution of the Armed Forces.

The president said at the military ceremony held in the city of Cochabamba, which this week approved a decree that Bolivia acquires the loan from China for the purpose of equipping the military engineers of La Paz, Tarija, Cochabamba, Pando and Oruro .

The loan of $ 40 million will be granted by the Export Import Bank of China and will be used to build facilities for national and international roads in the country.

In addition to this support, China is assisting Bolivia in the construction and commissioning in orbit its own satellite.

Morales participated in the anniversary of the Corporation of the Armed Forces for National Development (Cofadena), an entity that carries out productive activities, but which currently suffers from lack of resources.

Morales blamed the "neoliberal" situation "bankruptcy" of the institution of the military production and promised to give more support to strengthen its growth.

The Government today introduced Cofadena fifty tractors were assembled on site and is planning to do so soon with Iranian machines.

In this regard, Morales said Bolivia's technical and Iran begin dialogue on 24 November, when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited La Paz.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Suicide is Painless

PLA shows off its latest mobile tactical medical gears in Beijing -- perhaps they are anticipating a massive influx of refugees from the Northeast or that the MOOTW still a good PR role to play?  I think the latter is a more likely explanation (here)

PLA's 255th M.A.S.H, Beijing MR, in action during the April 14th 2010 Wenchuan earthquake

CMBSL (China Mobile Bio Safety Level) has entered service with the PLA Medical Defense Operation team.  Or, they could be making a low budget horror flick.

Two news items from the Gulf of Aden

 On February 15, Rear Admiral Zhang Huachen, commander of the 7th Chinese naval escort taskforce implementing escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast, and his party boarded the Spanish naval escort frigate “Canary Islands”, the flagship of the No. 465 naval escort taskforce of the European Union (EU) to have a meeting and exchange with Juan Rodriguez, commander of the EU No. 465 naval escort taskforce on the sea upon invitation.

  By Fan Junwei

Chinese naval escort taskforce rescues ROK merchant ship

(Source: PLA Daily) 2011-02-12

  On the evening of February 10, local time, the Chinese naval escort taskforce on escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast dispatched a ship-borne helicopter and successfully rescued a merchant ship from the Republic of Korea (ROK) chased and attacked by quite a few pirate boats.

  At 12:30 of February 10, local time (17:30, Beijing time), the seventh Chinese naval escort taskforce accomplished the 294th escort mission in which it successfully escorted 11 merchant ships to the termination point in the western waters of the Gulf of Aden.

  At 17:18, the ROK merchant ship "CS DAISY" sent SOS to the Chinese naval escort taskforce, indicating that it was under the chase of quite a few boats.

  In response the command post of the Chinese naval escort taskforce immediately ordered the “Xuzhou” warship about 40 nautical miles away from the scene of incident to speed to the "CS DAISY". At 17:46, the ship-borne helicopter of the "Xuzhou" warship carrying three special operation members took off and showed up in the sky above the "CS DAISY" 20 minutes later.

  The helicopter hovered above the "CS DAISY", sending warnings to the pirate boats. More than 20 minutes later, the "CS DAISY" sailed out of the dangerous waters. The helicopter didn’t return to the "Xuzhou" warship until it ensured that there was no suspicious sign around and no danger lurking in the sea area for all merchant ships.

  After the event the Chinese naval escort taskforce received a letter of gratitude from its ROK counterpart.

  By Li Jianwen and Mo Xiaoliang

Editor:Liu Wanyun