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» 08/12/2011
CHINA – UNITED STATES – KOREA
US wants “explanations” from China about its aircraft carrier
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
Washington calls on Beijing for explanations about the ‘Varyag’, the first aircraft carrier to fly the red flag of the People’s Republic. A Korean source tells AsiaNews the ship was refitted because the US “cut defence spending”. This is threat to everyone, “especially Taiwan.”

Seoul (AsiaNews) – The United States “wants China to provide explanations about its new aircraft carrier. The ship is being refitted because Washington has cut defence spending and Beijing was only waiting for that,” a source close to the South Korean government told AsiaNews. “We are not that concerned about China; Pyongyang is worse. We are sorry about Taiwan though.”

The reference was to the island formerly known as Formosa, de facto independent from mainland China since 1949. After their victory in the civil war, China’s Communists vowed to bring the island back into the Chinese fold. So far, Taiwan has resisted its pressures, military and otherwise, thanks to US military assistance. However, US military cuts have considerably reduced that aid.

In any case, Washington wants to save face and this morning asked China for greater transparency with regards to its first aircraft carrier, the ‘Varyag’ now renamed Shi Lang, which can carry 26 planes and 24 helicopters.

According to Chinese authorities, the ship will be used for scientific research, exploration and training. Yet it is equipped with various weapons systems, including missiles.

Still Washington has insisted on transparency. “We welcome any explanation from China about why it needs this kind of equipment," US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said. “This is part of our larger concern that China is not as transparent as other countries," she added, “not as transparent as the US about its military acquisitions or its military budget."

“Beijing does not want to talk about its military spending,” the source told AsiaNew. “It is in fact a growing menace. The US has cut about 800 billion from its military budget, and this not only represents an end to their hegemony in the Pacific but also threatens the independence of Taiwan and peace in our seas.”

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See also
08/11/2011 CHINA – KOREA
China’s aircraft carrier threatens “the stability of the Pacific”
by Joseph Yun Li-sun
11/24/2010 KOREA
U.S. sends aircraft carrier to Yellow Sea and calls on China to condemn attack
12/03/2010 CHINA – UNITED STATES – JAPAN
Vast US-Japan military exercise begins today
06/27/2006 SOUTH KOREA – NORTH KOREA
Seoul to revoke aid to North if missile crisis breaks out
by Theresa Kim Hwa-young
06/03/2014 KOREA - UNITED STATES
US proposes a new (and expensive) missile defence system against Pyongyang

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ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
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by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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