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Top developments of the day
- China sanctions US officials including senators Cruz, Rubio over Xinjiang issue.
- EU should not cease dialogue with China over Hong Kong , says Angela Merkel.
- China raises apps ban issue during meeting, India says action taken due to security reasons.
- China uses corrupt leaders to make inroads into economically weaker countries like Nepal: Report.
- Army looks to acquire US aerial vehicle to strengthen infantry.
EU should not cease dialogue with China over Hong Kong, says Angela Merkel
- China's decision to impose a new security law on Hong Kong is no reason for the European Union to sever dialogue with the world's second-biggest economy, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday.
- "It is important that EU member states are trying to find a common policy toward China and a common answer," Merkel said during a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.
EU says it's preparing measures against China over Hong Kong
China hits back; sanctions top US officials, politicians in response to Xinjiang ban
- China imposed visa restrictions on three Republican politicians and one ambassador in the latest tit-for-tat response to the Trump administration's move to sanction several top Chinese officials for alleged human rights abuses targeting ethnic minority groups in the restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.
- China has decided to impose sanctions starting from Monday against US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback, Congressman Chris Smith and top US senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
France reduces Chinese flights to Paris in tit-for-tat row
- France's government on Monday started restricting Chinese airlines to one passenger flight to France per week, saying it was acting in response to restrictions imposed by Beijing on French carriers flying to China.
- The French embassy said that three Chinese carriers, Air China, China Eastern Airlines Corp, and China Southern Airlines Co, were each authorised to make weekly flights from Chinese cities to Paris.
CAIT aims to dent China's Rs 4,000 crore business during Rakhi, to send 5,000 rakhis for soldiers
- Traders' body CAIT, which has called for the boycott of Chinese products, said it has resolved for a "Hindustani rakhi" next month and dent China's estimated Rs 4,000 crore of trade during the festival.
- The CAIT said that according to an estimate a trade of Rs 6,000 crore takes place every year in India on Raksha Bandhan in which China alone contributes about Rs 4,000 crore.
All eyes on Tuesday's Lt Gen-level talks
The meeting is expected to focus on the Finger Area and the strategic Depsang plains, with a complex disengagement process that began after previous military talks on June 30 progressing in Galwan Valley, Hot Springs and Gogra
After the Galwan Valley skirmish followed by the economic boycott of Chinese products by India, toys, rakhis and other decorative goods from China may not be sold in the market this festive season, reports IANS.
Next round of Lt Gen-level talks between India and China on Tuesday: Sources
- The Indian and Chinese military are scheduled to hold their fourth round of Lt General-level talks on Tuesday with an aim to finalise modalities for the next phase of de-escalation and disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh, government sources said on Monday.
- The meeting is set to be held in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, they said.
- The two sides are also expected to finalise a roadmap for restoration of peace and tranquility in the high-altitude region that witnessed an eight-week bitter standoff between the troops of the two countries.
- China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has already completed pulling back troops from Gogra, Hot Springs and Galwan Valley and significantly thinned down its presence in the ridgeline of Finger Four in the Pangong Tso area in the last one week as demanded by India.
- India has been insisting that China must withdraw its forces from areas between Finger Four and Eight.
Fourth Lt General-level meeting between Indian and Chinese military scheduled for Tuesday: Government sources
Upping the ante against the BJP-led Central government over the India-China border face-off in Ladakh, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Monday took a swipe at PM Modi indirectly accusing him of lying asleep and the nation paying the price for the same. "He's 'lying' asleep. And India is paying for it," Rahul Gandhi said in the tweet attaching a news report, reported IANS.
China raises apps ban issue during meeting, India says action taken due to security reasons
- Days after India banned 59 Chinese mobile apps, China raised the issue during a bilateral meeting with New Delhi held recently.
- "During a meeting at the diplomatic level, the Chinese side raised the issue of ban on its mobile applications in India," government sources told ANI.
- The Indian side made it very clear to the Chinese that the action was taken in view of the security issues and it did not want the data-related to its citizens to be compromised, sources said.
- India had recently banned 59 Chinese mobile applications including the widely-used social media platforms such as TikTok, WeChat, and Helo within view of the threat to the nation's sovereignty and security.The majority of the apps banned in the June 29 order were red-flagged by intelligence agencies over concerns that they were collecting user data and possibly also sending them "outside".
- The government had stated that the applications are engaged in activities "prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order."
- The ban has been imposed under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act read with relevant provisions of the Information Technology (Procedure and Safeguards for Blocking of Access of Information by Public) Rules 2009.
- After the ban, the Chinese foreign ministry had reacted to the ban saying that it was India's duty to protect the legal rights of international investors.
China announces reciprocal sanctions against US lawmakers
- China's Foreign Ministry on Monday announced reciprocal sanctions against the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback, US Senator Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Republican Chris Smith.
- Hua Chunying, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, made the announcement at Monday's media briefing, reported Global Times.
- Hua was quoted as saying that China will impose reciprocal sanctions on the mentioned commission and four individuals effective immediately in response to US sanctions.
- The US' actions seriously interfered in China's internal affairs, violated basic norms governing international relations and seriously damaged China-US relations, and China firmly opposes and strongly condemns them, Hua said.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General MM Naravane visited forward areas of the Rising Star Corps to review the current security situation and operational readiness of the troops deployed on ground in Jammu-Pathankot region.
Army Chief in Jammu to review the operational preparedness of troops deployed along Pakistan border
Four Pak Army soldiers killed in exchange of fire with terrorists
- "Four terrorists were killed during an IBO in Vezhda Sar, North Waziristan district," Inter-Services Public Relations, military's media affairs wing was quoted as saying in a statement by Dawn.
- Last month, two Pakistan soldiers were killed during an exchange of fire with terrorists in Waziristan, the ISPR had said.
- However, ISPR in its statement did not clarify to which organisation the terrorists belonged.
Chinese actions on India border, in SCS and Hong Kong provocative, destabilising: Former Top diplomat
- "Chinese actions, not only on the border with India, but in the South China Sea, the Taiwan Strait and in Hong Kong, have been provocative and destabilizing," former US Ambassador to India Rich Verma said.
- "In 1959, then Senator Kennedy said in a stirring speech on the Senate floor that 'the hinge of fate in Asia' rests with India, and that India had a 'special importance'…. symbolizing for all of Asia the testing ground for democracy," Verma said.
- Kennedy was right in 1959 in pronouncing his strong support for India, and American leaders would be right to be unequivocal in their support for India again today, he said.
China uses corrupt leaders to make inroads into economically weaker countries like Nepal: Report
- "This enables Chinese companies to not only further their business interests in that country but the Chinese State to surreptitiously penetrate the nation's polity, with the objective to ensure its long-term influence", suggests a report in Global Watch Analysis.
- The report alleges that Nepal's Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli's personal wealth has increased over the years.
- During Oli's first stint as Nepal's prime minister in 2015-16, "there were reports to suggest that with the assistance of the then Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Wu Chuntai, he had initiated the process to invest in the telecommunication sector in Cambodia."
An encounter is underway in Anantnag, J&K
India to push the Chinese side for an exchange of maps
- India plans to push the Chinese side for an exchange of maps in the western sector after the process of disengagement and de-escalation is complete and Indian troops go back to their old patrolling posts.
- Government officials said this would clarify each other's claim lines and actual control, which would make management and patrolling protocols easier.
- China has so far refused to exchange maps in this sector.
- Even after 22 rounds of talks on the boundary question, it has shown no inclination to exchange maps or clarify the LAC, having exchanged maps for only the central sector.
Army looks to acquire US aerial vehicle to strengthen infantry
- Indian army has set its eyes on acquiring hand-launched, remotely controlled unmanned aerial vehicle Raven from US and state-of-the-art Israeli Spike Firefly “loitering” ammunition, reports Hindustan Times.
- The two weapons will add lethality to its ground infantry apart from long-range precision artillery shells with a range of over 40 kilometres.After the Indian army brought Spike Mark III anti-tank guided missiles from Israel as part of emergency purchases due to the Ladakh standoff with China, it is now buying firefly ammunition that can deliver a precision strike on enemy troops hiding within a range of one km.
- The latest Firefly ammunition not only has loitering capability to locate a target but also can be called back if the target has moved beyond range.the army is set to acquire 200 pieces of RQ-11 UAV, which can fly up to 10 kilometers at an altitude of 500 feet and speed up to 95 kilometre per hour, to help infantry troops conduct reconnaissance of the battle theatre ahead and placement of enemy troops.
Indian Army plans to order another 72,000 assault rifles from the US
- Indian Army is fast-tracking the procurement of 72,000 Sig Sauer assault rifles for its troops from the United States as part of infantry modernisation.
- The Army is implementing a mega infantry modernisation programme under which a large number of light machine guns, battle carbines and assault rifles are being purchased to replace its ageing and obsolete weapons.
- The Sig Sauer rifles will be used by troops deployed along the nearly 3,500-km border with China.In October, 2017, the Army began the process to acquire around seven lakh rifles, 44,000 light machine guns (LMGs) and nearly 44,600 carbines.
China and Iran near trade and military partnership
- Iran and China have quietly drafted a sweeping economic and security partnership that would clear the way for billions of dollars of Chinese investments in energy and other sectors.
- The partnership would vastly expand Chinese presence in banking, telecommunications, ports, railways and dozens of other projects.
- In exchange, China would receive a regular and heavily discounted - supply of Iranian oil over the next 25 years.
- The partnership will give China a foothold in a region that has been a strategic preoccupation of the US for decades.
- It calls for joint training and exercises, joint research and weapons development and intelligence sharing - all to fight "the lopsided battle with terrorism, drug and human trafficking and cross-border crimes.
- Renewed U.S. sanctions, including the threat to cut off access to the international banking system for any company that does business in Iran, have succeeded in suffocating the Iranian economy by scaring away badly needed foreign trade and investment.
- But Tehran's desperation has pushed it into the arms of China, which has the technology and appetite for oil that Iran needs. Chinese investments in Iran would total $400 billion over 25 years, could trigger still more punitive actions against Chinese companies, which have already been targeted by the administration in recent months.
LeT terrorist Usman Killed in J&K