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New missile gap leaves U.S. scrambling to counter China

China’s powerful military is considered to be a master at concealing its intentions. But there is no secret about how it plans to destroy American aircraft carriers if rivalry becomes war.

At November’s biennial air show in the southern city of Zhuhai, the biggest state-owned missile maker, China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation Ltd, screened an animation showing a hostile “blue force,” comprising an aircraft carrier, escort ships and strike aircraft, approaching “red force” territory.

On a giant screen, the animation showed a barrage of the Chinese company’s missiles launched from “red force” warships, submarines, shore batteries and aircraft wreaking havoc on the escort vessels around the carrier. In a final salvo, two missiles plunge onto the flight deck of the carrier and a third slams into the side of the hull near the bow.

The fate of the ship is an unmistakable message to an America that has long dominated the globe from its mighty aircraft carriers and sprawling network of hundreds of bases. China’s military is now making giant strides toward replacing the United States as the supreme power in Asia. With the Pentagon distracted by almost two decades of costly war in the Middle East and Afghanistan, the Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), has exploited a period of sustained budget increases and rapid technical improvement to build and deploy an arsenal of advanced missiles.

Many of these missiles are specifically designed to attack the aircraft carriers and bases that form the backbone of U.S. military dominance in the region and which for decades have protected allies including Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Across almost all categories of these weapons, based on land, loaded on strike aircraft or deployed on warships and submarines, China’s missiles rival or outperform their counterparts in the armories of the United States and its allies, according to current and former U.S. military officers with knowledge of PLA test launches, Taiwanese and Chinese military analysts, and technical specifications published in China’s state-controlled media.

China has also seized a virtual monopoly in one class of conventional missiles – land-based, intermediate-range ballistic and cruise missiles.

Under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a Cold War-era agreement aimed at reducing the threat of nuclear conflict, the United States and Russia are banned from deploying this class of missiles, with a range between 500 and 5,500 kilometers (3,418 miles). But Beijing, unrestrained by the INF Treaty, is deploying them in massive numbers.

This includes so-called carrier killer missiles like the DF-21D, which can target aircraft carriers and other warships underway at sea at a range of up to 1,500 kilometers, according to Chinese and Western military analysts. If effective, these missiles would give China a destructive capability no other military can boast. China’s advantage in this class of missiles is likely to remain for the foreseeable future, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision in February to withdraw from the treaty in six months.

China is also making rapid strides in developing so-called hypersonic missiles, which can maneuver sharply and travel at five times the speed of sound (or even faster). Currently, the United States has no defenses against a missile like this, according to Pentagon officials.

China’s Ministry of National Defense and China Aerospace Science and Industry Corporation did not respond to questions from Reuters about Beijing’s missile capabilities. The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Pentagon had no comment.

China’s growing missile arsenal hasn’t yet been proven in a real-world clash, and some Chinese officials play down their advances. But under the Trump administration, Washington has come to view China as a rival determined to displace the United States in Asia. This modern-day missile gap, the administration believes, is emerging as one of the biggest dangers to American military supremacy in Asia since the end of the Cold War. The Pentagon is now scrambling for new weapons and strategies to counter the PLA’s rocket arsenal.

“We know that China has the most advanced ballistic missile force in the world,” said James Fanell, a retired U.S. Navy captain and former senior intelligence officer with the U.S. Pacific Fleet. “They have the capacity to overwhelm the defensive systems we are pursuing.”

Fanell was sidelined by the Pentagon ahead of his 2015 retirement, after warning about the Chinese build-up at a time when President Barack Obama was seeking cooperation with Beijing. Today, Pentagon policy hews more closely to his views that China intends to displace the United States as Asia’s dominant power.

Chinese military brass agree they can now keep American carriers at bay. Six people in China interviewed by Reuters, including retired PLA officers and a person with ties to the Beijing leadership, said China’s enhanced missile capability was a great leveler and would serve to deter the United States from getting too close to Chinese shores.

“We cannot defeat the United States at sea,” a retired PLA colonel said in an interview. The United States has 11 aircraft carriers and China has just two. “But we have missiles that specifically target aircraft carriers to stop them from approaching our territorial waters if there were conflict.”

A person with ties to the Chinese leadership who once served in the military had a similar message: “If U.S. aircraft carriers come too close to our coastlines in a conflict, our missiles can destroy them.” […]

New missile gap leaves U.S. scrambling to counter China

European shares fall as growth worries linger, Nokia tumbles

April 25 (Reuters) – European shares fell on Thursday, weighed down by energy stocks and Nokia shares while investors parsed through a mixed bag of earnings in the region amid lingering concerns for the eurozone economy.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.4 percent by 0730 GMT after the benchmark index’s eight session rally stalled on Wednesday.

Among the biggest drags was Finnish telecom network equipment maker Nokia which slid 10 percent after the company reported a surprise quarterly loss citing hard competition in its core networks business.

Nokia shares dragged the tech index lower after its 4 percent surge in prior session.

Switzerland’s biggest bank UBS advanced after its first-quarter results surpassed analyst expectations. This follows a surprise profit from its smaller rival Credit Suisse on Wednesday.

Britain’s Barclays slipped after reporting a 10 percent drop in the quarterly profit, as tough market conditions caused a drop in earnings at its under-pressure investment bank.

Swedbank fell 3 percent after posting an estimate-beating first-quarter profit but the Swedish lender admitted to previous shortcomings in combating money laundering.

The banking index shed 0.6 percent broadly as Germany’s benchmark 10-year government bond yield held below zero percent, a day after a disappointing German Ifo sentiment survey exacerbated growth concerns in the region.

Sainsbury’s slipped 6 percent after Britain’s competition regulator blocked the retailer’s proposed 7.3 billion pound ($9.4 billion) takeover of Walmart owned Asda.

On the other end of the index, heavyweight Bayer rose after the drug and farming supplies company posted a 45 percent gain in quarterly core earnings on the back of seed maker Monsanto’s acquisition.

ASM soared 7 percent to the top of the pan-regional index after the semiconductor company beat first-quarter targets. Meanwhile Germany’s Dialog Semiconductor rose more than 1 percent after forecasting higher than anticipated profits in the first quarter.

German payments company Wirecard extended a rally from the previous session as it reiterated its profit forecast for 2019. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Agamoni Ghosh in Bengaluru Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

European shares fall as growth worries linger, Nokia tumbles

Iran’s Zarif warns U.S. of ‘consequences’ over oil sanctions, offer prisoner swap

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The United States must be prepared for consequences if it tries to stop Iran from selling oil and using the Strait of Hormuz, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned on Wednesday, while also offering to negotiate prisoner swaps with Washington.

The United States on Monday demanded buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.

“We believe that Iran will continue to sell its oil. We will continue to find buyers for our oil and we will continue to use the Strait of Hormuz as a safe transit passage for the sale of our oil,” Zarif told an event at the Asia Society in New York.

Reinforcing Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s stance, Zarif warned: “If the United States takes the crazy measure of trying to prevent us from doing that, then it should be prepared for the consequences.” He did not give specifics.

Oil prices hit their highest level since November on Tuesday after Washington’s announcement.

When asked if the U.S. pressure campaign on Tehran was aimed at sparking further negotiations or regime change, Zarif said: “The B team wants regime change at the very least.” He described the B Team as including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton.

“It is not a crisis yet, but it is a dangerous situation. Accidents … are possible. I wouldn’t discount the B team plotting an accident anywhere in the region, particularly as we get closer to the election. We are not there yet,” Zarif said referring to the November 2020 vote for U.S. president.

Zarif suggested possible cooperation with the United States to bring stability to Iraq and Afghanistan, a priority for both Tehran and Washington.

He also said he was willing to swap British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained in Iran since 2016, for an Iranian woman detained in Australia for the past three years on a U.S. extradition request.

“I feel sorry for them, and I have done my best to help,” Zarif said of Zaghari-Ratcliffe. “But nobody talks about this lady in Australia who gave birth to a child in prison. … I put this offering on the table publicly now – exchange them.”

Later, in an interview with Reuters, Zarif backed off from a possible prisoner swap for the two women saying the Zaghari-Ratcliffe case was a separate issue, which he was discussing with the British government.

“The offer that I made was people who have been in prison either in the United States or elsewhere in the world on American request,” he said, “But the Iranian-British woman is a separate case.”

Zarif told Reuters he was proposing “a serious dialogue” with the United States on a possible prisoner swap.

At the Asia Society, Zarif said Iran proposed a possible prisoner swap deal to the U.S. administration six months ago, but had not yet had a response from Washington.

“All these people that are in prison inside the United States, on extradition requests from the United States, we believe their charges are phony. The United States believes the charges against these people in Iran are phony. Let’s not discuss that,” he said.

“Let’s have an exchange. I’m ready to do it and I have authority to do it,” Zarif said.

Iran’s Zarif warns U.S. of ‘consequences’ over oil sanctions, offer prisoner swap

Spurned by Washington, North Korea’s Kim seeks a friend in Putin

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (Reuters) – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday at a summit designed to show that Washington is not the only power able to set the agenda on Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

The two men embarked on a day of talks on an island off the Russian Pacific city of Vladivostok two months after Kim’s summit with U.S. President Donald Trump ended in disagreement, cooling hopes of a breakthrough in the decades-old nuclear row.

Putin and Kim, in their first ever face-to-face encounter, smiled broadly and shook hands outside the summit venue, a university campus. They then stood side by side on an escalator, chatting with help from interpreters, as they made their way to an upper floor to begin their talks.

In brief opening remarks in front of the media, Putin said he hoped Kim’s visit would “help us better understand by what means we can reach a settlement on the Korean peninsula, what we can do together, what Russia can do to support the positive processes now underway.”

“Without question we welcome your efforts to develop dialogue between the Koreas, and to normalize North Korean-U.S. relations,” Putin said.

Kim, who had arrived in Vladivostok a day earlier on board his armored train, told Putin the meeting would help strengthen and develop ties between Russia and North Korea, which share a long history of friendship.

“As world attention is focused on the Korean Peninsula, there will be very meaningful dialogue for us to jointly assess the Korean peninsula policies and share, coordinate and study our views,” Kim said.

The summit in Vladivostok provides Pyongyang with an opportunity to seek support from a new quarter, Russia, and possible relief from the sanctions hurting its economy.

For the Kremlin, the summit is a chance to show it is a global diplomatic player, despite efforts by the United States and other Western states to isolate it.

But with Moscow committed to upholding sanctions until the North dismantles its nuclear program, analysts said the summit was unlikely to produce any tangible help for Pyongyang, beyond a show of camaraderie.

KEPT WAITING
Putin has a track record of making world leaders wait for him, but on Wednesday the Russian leader arrived at the venue around half an hour before Kim showed up, according to a Reuters reporter at the scene.

Putin’s last summit with a North Korean leader was in 2002 when his counterpart was Kim Jong Il, Kim Jong Un’s father and predecessor. Kim Jong Il also met in 2011 with Dmitry Medvedev, the Putin lieutenant who was then Russian president.

Thursday’s summit was taking place on the campus of the Far Eastern Federal University, a complex that back in 2012 played host to an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Classes were going on as normal and students were walking a few meters from the building where Kim and Putin were meeting. Members of the Russian president’s security detail were dotted around the campus.

Buildings were decked out with the Russian and North Korean flags. A concert is planned for the two leaders later in the day, and an orchestra was rehearsing in the hall where they were due to perform.

Spurned by Washington, North Korea’s Kim seeks a friend in Putin

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EURUSD1.2286525.1 (0.20%) 1.8
GBPUSD1.4028253.0 (0.38%) 2.5
USDCAD1.2903215.8 (0.12%) 2.6
USDCHF0.957309.3 (0.10%) 2.3
USDJPY106.33742.9 (0.40%) 1.8
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货币 出版 直到实际 类型顺序 入境口岸 STOP LOSS TAKE PROFIT
USD/CAD 25 四月 2019 17:45 26 四月 2019 18:00 Sell 1.3470-60 1.3500- 1.3520 1.3430-1.3400
USD/CHF 24 四月 2019 17:45 26 四月 2019 18:00 Buy 1.0190-1.0200 1.1070 1.0240-1.0250
USD/JPY 22 四月 2019 09:00 25 四月 2019 18:00 Buy 112.00-10 111.80 112.60-113.00
USD/CHF 22 四月 2019 17:45 23 四月 2019 18:00 Buy 1.0150-60 1.0130-1.1020 1.0220
USD/CAD 17 四月 2019 17:25 18 四月 2019 18:00 Buy 1.3340-50 1.3320-1.3300 1.3380
EUR/GBP 15 四月 2019 09:00 18 四月 2019 18:00 Buy 0.8650-70 0.8630-0.8650 0.8730-0.8750
USD/CHF 12 四月 2019 17:45 16 四月 2019 18:00 Buy 1.0010-0.9980 1.0010-0.9980 1.0060
USD/CAD 12 四月 2019 13:00 16 四月 2019 18:00 Sell 1.3340-20 1.3340-1.3360 1.3290- 1.3260
USD/CHF 3 四月 2019 17:45 5 四月 2019 18:00 Buy 0.9960-0.9980 0.9950 1.0000
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