Communist China’s aggressive stance towards its neighbours has increased dramatically in recent years, with the most recent Chinese incursions happening along the Indian border. The recent events in Hong Kong and China’s threats to retake Taiwan, which is just 180 kilometres from the Chinese coast, cannot be dismissed.
China now has a major blue-water navy that has the capacity, indeed, the intended aim of denying the United States fleet a presence in the Western Pacific. The U.S. fleet, at 286 ships, is half what it was under President Reagan and the lowest since World War I.
Chinese naval modernisation and rapid increase of vessels including aircraft carriers for launching in 2020 is particularly troublesome for the U.S. and should be of concern to Australia.
This modernisation has taken unexpected tactical shapes with unanticipated strategic consequences.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while in Australia recently may have created the impression in Australia that the U.S. defence umbrella is an ironclad guarantee, but is it? The internal dissension and riots in America which are weakening the fabric of American society could affect its resolve in coming to the assistance of an ally, particularly if the cost was too great and with an American economy already at unsustainable debt levels.
One of the issues that could see the collapse of the guarantee is the development by China of a weapon that does not exist In the U.S. arsenal. The DF 21 anti-ship ballistic missile which China has developed may be just such a weapon, It is a solid propellant medium-range missile that is estimated to travel at 10 times the speed of sound with a range of between 1,500 and 2,000 kilometres. It has a sophisticated command-and-control system designed to allow the missile to be manoeuvred in the final stages of flight.
This would render the giant American aircraft carriers very vulnerable.
There are no U.S. warplanes launched off a carrier that can have a range to fly a round trip of 4,000 kilometres. U.S. carriers must come within the range of the DF 21 if they are to launch aircraft that can reach targets within Chinese coastal waters.
The more likely response of the U.S. is that the navy would refuse to commit so large and expensive a vessel and keep it out of range of Chinese missiles, nullifying the advantage of U.S. naval aviation striking power. This would accomplish China’s goal of denying sea access to the United States’ biggest and most lethal combat vessels to large sections of the western Pacific.
While Australia must encourage American presence in our region, Australia must also prepare for the possibility that, despite the best of American intentions, we could be left on our own. In the event of hostilities within our region, an adequate navy including attack-class submarines is essential to protect Australia and the sea-lanes vital for our trade.
Labour DLP, Tasmania
In her excellent reflection (News Weekly, May 30, 2020) Anne Lastman writes that “woman in her design is the secret of God”. She is also the reflection of the Divine.
Over the last few decades, feminists have correctly highlighted many injustices that women have had to bear. But along the way they have torn down the nature and essence of the role of the feminine. For them the word “femininity” is abhorrent. This is a tragedy that can only lead to further dissolution of ordered and natural society.
It is a tragedy that so many feminists have cast off that Divine gift of the feminine. As female human beings, by casting off the feminine they have not reached the potential for which they were born.
Some Catholic feminists have attacked the Church’s teaching on the complementarity of male and female. To those ladies I suggest that they view male and female couples either at ice-skating or ballroom dancing, I would hope that even they would recognise that complementary genius.
Grose Vale, NSW
I refer to the letter by Philip Dawson (News Weekly, June 13, 2020) in which he queries why only pick on Huawei and not on other Chinese telecommunications companies.
The Federal Government, in its August 23, 2018, announcement didn’t specifically mention Huawei, rather it said that the involvement of any companies “likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government that conflict with Australian law” presents too much of a risk. We know that “any companies” included Huawei and that “a foreign government” meant China.
If Mr Dawson goes to the online version of the February 22, 2020, edition of News Weekly, he will find in “As The World Turns” an extract from an article, published in The Strategist by Simeon Gilding, on the technical reasons for banning Huawei from being involved in building our 5G network. The answer, in essence, is that in the 4G network it was possible to separate “the core and the less secure, customer-facing edge” of the network. Under 5G there is no distinction between the core of the network and the customer interface, thus making it impossible to isolate high-risk vendors such as Huawei.
At the end of the extract, there is a link to the article by Gilding, a former employee of the Australian Signals Directorate, which employs some of Australia’s foremost cyber security experts. Mr Dawson, and others, may like to read that article.
I hope this helps.
I wholeheartedly agree with your Canberra Observed column, “Regret over rushed marriage to China” (News Weekly, May 16, 2020). Like so many other countries around the world, we have been happy to forgo any semblance of a local manufacturing industry because it has been so much easier to import cheap goods from China, whose currency is pegged to the U.S. dollar and where wages remain extremely low by international standards.
Now that Brexit is going ahead, perhaps we can export to Britain once again, especially beef and wine etc.
Many nations around the world put all their eggs in the one basket and allowed their own countries to suffer from low quality goods because they were all chasing the almighty dollar. Greed has caught up with them. It is time to look again at our various industries and resurrect our own economy by bringing back manufacturing and jobs to Australia.
In a similar vein, we have been prepared to turn a blind eye to Communist China’s human rights abuses, its suppression of religion and, to a large extent, its creeping influence throughout our region.
COVID19 AND VITAMIN D
Politicians tell us that the covid19 lockdown and release are being implemented according to the “science”, but what this actually is remains elusive, particularly in view of the sudden reversals of policy, such as lone swimmers being forcibly removed from the sea one day and the sea being opened to all a few days later (Australia), and sunbathers arrested in parks as spring arrived and, shortly after, this freedom specifically being awarded with-out comment (Britain). And, what is the science behind the creation of, in effect, charnel houses by confining probably well people in known to be contaminated buildings (nursing homes, cruise ships) and only letting them out once they have patently contracted the disease?
The “science” appears to be more like the Emperor’s new clothes than effective knowledge.
There are statistics aplenty but nothing (public) is sensibly made of them. For example, countries’ total deaths are compared without reference to the differing populations of the countries concerned, obviating possibilities for hypothesising factors that might determine differences between them.
Differences in death rates between countries can suggest possible contributory factors deter-mining susceptibility to the virus. For example, comparing English-speaking countries (to control for cultural differences), there was a total divergence (high versus low) between those in the northern hemisphere – Britain (0.05 per cent), Ireland (0.03 per cent), the United States (0.03 per cent) and Canada (0.01 per cent) – and those in the southern hemisphere – South Africa (0.002 per cent), Australia (0.0004 per cent) and New Zealand (0.0004 per cent). (Statistics from May 15.)
This suggests that a factor determining the much higher rate in the north was that the virus arrived in winter while in the south it was summer. This in turn suggests a link with vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D, which, among other things, is important for the health of the lungs and heart and of the immune system, is primarily produced in the body by the effect of sunlight on the skin, and is prone to depletion in northern winters.
This hypothesis is supported by the official listing of death rates (per million of population). Virtually all of the top 50 are in the northern hemisphere and north of the Tropic of Cancer, while most of the 50 countries with the lowest death rates are southern hemisphere or in the tropics.
The higher death rates (four times higher) of Africans and Asians (not Orientals) in Britain lend support to the vitamin D hypothesis. The development of fair skins in humans was, according to evolutionary theory, due to their movement north to cloudy and less virulently sunny climes, where dark pigment blocked the production of sufficient vitamin D for health. (In the obverse case, fair-skinned people moving to the tropics develop skin cancers due to insufficient pigment protection.)
With winter switching hemispheres, and the pandemic far from under control, it would seem not unreasonable to begin to administer vitamin D as a prophylactic now, and keep dark-skinned health-care workers from immediate proximity with infected patients, until such time as a formal study can be completed, or until a vaccine is developed.