China Doubles Down on New Thorium Reactor #India


As the smoggy skies over China’s northern industrial cities thicken into soupy murkiness, life spans plummet and citizens are getting testy. Over a billion sullen people would frighten any politician, elected or not. Ratcheting up a response, concerned leaders just pushed to develop a revolutionary thorium nuclear reactor in only 10 years, elevating a long=term research program to an urgent Manhattan Project. Although it’s a symbolic gesture at this point, as an attempt to cut down China’s destructive reliance on coal, it plays to the country’s reputation as the global infrastructure king after building the Three Gorges Dam and nation-wide high speed rail.

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To gauge the government’s resolve, look no further than Premier Li Keqiang, who told the national legislature on March 5th that the government had declared “war on pollution” (borrowing a handy Washington cliche). Although China is the world leader in clean energy investment, with $54 billion poured into 14 GWs of wind and 12 GWs of solar last year alone, the government has targeted nuclear as an important part of its low-carbon strategy.

Leap-frogging uranium

China hasn’t abandoned traditional nuclear, according to thorium-ophile Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at The Telegraph. It’s already building 26 conventional reactors to fire up in 2015, with 51 more planned, and 120 more stuffed into the pipeline. But for the government they have a big drawback: a reliance on pricey, imported uranium.

Since China has enough thorium to last for “20,000 years,” starting just three years ago, China’s Academy of Sciences (an arm of the government) began the long pursuit of a “thorium-based molten-salt reactor system” at the Shanghai Institute of Nuclear and Applied Physics. Originally, its scientists had been given a manageable 25-year mandate to develop the thorium plant – and leap-frog uranium – but a 10-year deadline is pushy by any autocrat’s standards.

Ironically, this story leads back to the United States, a slower -moving democracy, and Kirk Sorensen, a former NASA rocket engineer, who, by trying to develop a thorium reactor, has become the 90th element’s biggest advocate, which makes him both the Johnny Appleseed and the world’s biggest Chicago Cubs fan of nuclear energy. He’s definitively American.

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Solving the Fukushima problem

Sorenson explained to Evans-Pritchard that his thorium reactors could solve the Fukushima problem: they would operate at atmospheric pressure to eliminate the same hydrogen explosions. If a reactor began to overheat, a plug melts and the salts drain out. “There’s no need for computers, or the electrical pumps that were crippled by the tsunami. The reactor can save itself.” He’s ingeniously practical.

Then he went big-picture and very Spockian, ignoring legacy energy systems, dysfunctional politics, and greed:  ”Once you start looking more closely, you can run civilization on thorium for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s essentially free. You don’t have to deal with uranium cartels.” Or humans. He’s also insanely rational. And eternally hopeful. A terminal Cubs fan.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee built a molten-salt reactor in the 1960s, but it was shelved by the Nixon Administration. At the time, the Pentagon needed uranium to build nuclear bombs, so the project was aborted. The blueprints were gathered up, archived, and forgotten, until Kirk Sorensen, a young engineer prowling NASA looking for a new research project, found and studied them. Convinced of their value, he later published the results. Although the small thorium research community shared them and reporters publicized them, the US government ignored them; however, China did not.

Taking the technology back to China

Jiang Mianheng, the next link in the thorium story, is the son of former Party leader Jiang Zemin, which makes him a princeling, a rich and pampered member of the ruling Communist government’s second generation. That world of privilege and access gave him the clout to bring his thorium project to China’s National Academy of Sciences and wrangle a start-up budget of $350m.

Mr Jiang made a special trip to the Oak Ridge labs and obtained the designs – legitimately, just by asking  – after reading an article in American Scientist that touted thorium’s many benefits. He’d decided that a molten-salt reactor could be the answer to China’s ongoing energy and climate crisis. He took this disruptive technology back to China and suddenly it’s moved into the mainstream, just like Sorenson has hoped.

A hundred thousand years from now

Under the original 25-year research plan, Jiang’s Shanghai team would have built a tiny 2 MW plant using liquid flouride fuel by the end of the decade, before gradually scaling up to commercial size during the 2020s. Now those plans have been jump-started by a nervous regime.

One hundred thousand years from now, if Jiang’s scientists managed to develop a working molten-salt reactor that created an energy revolution, Beijing pedestrians will be able to look up into the clear night sky and see an immense, state-sponsored hologram of Kirk Sorenson floating overhead, flashing an eternal Vulcan salute as he sucks up the endless free energy supplied by one of his reactors. Unfortunately, it will be too late to snag a book deal with best-selling author Michael Lewis.

By Kent Harrington

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China To Engage In ‘Six Inevitable Wars’ Involving U.S., Japan, India And More, According To Pro-Government Chinese Newspaper


China‘s announcement last weekend of an Air Defense Identification Zone, which includes disputed areas of the East China Sea, has ratcheted up tensions between China and her neighbors, leading some to believe war is imminent.

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The new air defense area includes the airspace above the hotly disputed cluster of tiny islands known as the Diaoyu to China and the Senkaku to the Japanese. International reaction to the ADIZ, particularly from Japan and its ally the U.S., has been uniformly defiant. In addition to official statements from Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, Reuters reported Tuesday that two U.S. military aircraft have flown around the disputed islands in direct defiance of China’s ADIZ.

“We have conducted operations in the area of the Senkakus,” spokesman Col. Steve Warren said, using the Japanese name for the islands. In addition to declaring the zone’s wide boundaries, Chinese military forces announced that all air travel in the designated ADIZ must be reported to avoid “emergency defensive measures in response.” The U.S. did the flyover without addressing the demands made by China. “We have continued to follow our normal procedures, which include not filing flight plans, not radioing ahead and not registering our frequencies,” Warren continued.

The new ADIZ has brought added tension to one of China’s several current territorial disputes. As pointed out in Shanghai-based news-blog, The Shanghaiist.com, earlier this summer, a particularly strident pro-government local newspaper, Weweipo, published a war-mongering article describing the “Six Wars China Is Sure to Fight In the Next 50 Years.” The article essentially predicts that most of China’s current border disputes will eventually lead to war.

Over the next 50 years, the article expects China to be engaged in war over the following issues:

1. Taiwanese unification (2020-2025)

While China and Taiwan currently have fairly peaceful relations, the mainland continues to strive for “unification.”

2. South China Sea islands (2025-2030)

According to a translation of the original article, as published by StratRisk.com, following the inevitable “return” of Taiwan, “South East Asian countries” will “already be shivering.” This momentum will be the driving force behind negotiations to “reconquer” South China Sea islands like the Spratlys, which neighboring governments like Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam all lay claim to.

3. “Southern Tibet” (2035-2040)

Though China and India share a long border along China’s southwest region, a Himalayan area claimed as “southern Tibet” is the main point of contention between the two huge nations. The article suggests that “the best strategy for China is to incite the disintegration of India” by dividing the nation into several smaller countries so “India will have no power to cope with China.”

4. East China Sea islands (2040-2045)

Unsurprisingly, the newspaper reaffirms that the East China Sea island groups of Diaoyu and Ryukyu, known in Japan as Senkaku and Okinawa, belong to China. While the article says the conflict won’t take place until 2040, other scholars have estimated that a war between China and Japan, and likely the U.S., could happen sooner.

5. “Outer” Mongolia (2045-2050)

“If Outer Mongolia can return to China peacefully, it is the best result, of course; but if China meets foreign intervention or resistance, China should be prepared to take military action,” the article reads.

6. “Recover the territory seized by Russia” (2055-2060)

The article recognizes the current good relations between China and Russia but insists that “China never forgets the lands lost to Russia” in past centuries, adding that “when the chance comes, China will take back the lands.”

The article is predictably confident that all wars would be won by the Chinese side, and Russia is no different: “After the victories of previous five wars, it is time to make Russians pay the price.”

India ‘ready to let China keep Aksai Chin’ if neighbour country drops claim to Arunachal Pradesh


The bhai-bhai days may soon be reborn in bye-bye avatar along the India-China border.

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Foreign ministry documents on border negotiations accessed by Mail Today reveal that India has signalled its readiness to let its Aksai Chin region remain in Chinese hands in exchange for recognition of Arunachal Pradesh as part of its territory.
In other words, India is willing to give up its claims to Aksai Chin if China does the same for Arunachal.
China continues to push for territorial concessions in Arunachal Pradesh, which it has been eyeing for a long time, before moving forward on the long-standing border issue between the two countries.
Publicly, India has been holding to its stated position that there can’t be any territorial concessions. But behind the closed doors of the negotiating room, India has told China that it “may not be averse to status quo position”.
Simply put, it means that for China to give up its claim on the 90,000 sq km inside Arunachal, including Tawang, India could agree to give up 38,000 km sq of Jammu and Kashmir. That piece of land, called Aksai Chin in the Ladakh sector, has been in dispute since Pakistan annexed it and then illegally handed 5,180 sq km over to China in 1963.
Bargaining point
This contentious formula is not the stated position of New Delhi, but it is being considered a bargaining point, officials privy to the discussions have told Mail Today.
Any such proposal can only be implemented if a new government in New Delhi has enormous political will, because there is an unanimous resolution of the Indian Parliament of 1962 that India will ensure that it gets back all territory illegally occupied by China.
Several documents based on the notes made by Indian officials suggest that even after 16 rounds of boundary negotiations, the talks are effectively deadlocked. China insists it needs substantial concessions on Arunachal Pradesh and the entire disputed Eastern sector before a framework or a formula to resolve disputes in all sectors can be agreed to.
The boundary talks are currently in the second leg of a three-stage process. Both sides signed an agreement on political parameters in 2005, and are now negotiating a framework to resolve disputes in all sectors.
First stage
The first stage was to establish guiding principles, the second included evolving a consensus on a framework for the boundary, and the last step comprised carrying out its delineation and demarcation. This final stage involves delineating the border in maps and on the ground.
The 16th round of boundary negotiations earlier this year between National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon and Chinese Special Interlocutor Yang Jeichi, a former Chinese foreign minister, also ended on a disappointing note, with India contesting the Chinese assertion that the boundary was never demarcated.
Menon has been a tough negotiator, responding strongly to Chinese suggestions of concessions and rejecting its maximalist approach.
The Indian side also says that both sides should, in the spirit of mutual respect and mutual understanding, make meaningful and mutually acceptable adjustments to their respective positions on the boundary question so as to arrive at a package settlement.
The Big Deal
A consensus is building where India and China may agree to territorial concessions. It means that for China to give up its claim on the 90,000 sq km inside Arunachal Pradesh, including Tawang, India could agree to give up 38,000 sq km of Jammu and Kashmir.
That piece of land, called Aksai Chin in the Ladakh sector, has been in dispute since Pakistan annexed it and then illegally handed 5,180 sqkm over to China in 1963.

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Author – Saurabh Shukla

Chinese Roads And Infrastructure In Aksai Chin – A Google Earth Study


In the Indian media and on social sites of the Internet there exist  certain views about Chinese infrastructure and roads bordering India,  some of which would be alarming to any Indian. These impressions about  Chinese preparations on India’s borders get repeated every time there is  a new crisis at the border, such as the stand off in Ladakh after a  Chinese incursion in early 2013. Among commonly held views are the idea  that the Chinese have built all weather roads all along the border with  India. These roads it is said, will allow the Chinese to rapidly move in  forces to the border and into India if necessary. A contrasting lack of  infrastructure on the Indian side is usually referred to  simultaneously, while fears are expressed that India is likely to suffer  another humiliating and even more disastrous defeat in any future  conflict with China. Most articles refer to Indian infrastructure with  some degree of first hand knowledge from people who have been to border  areas and recall the lack of roads leading to the Chinese border.

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However, very little attention is paid in the Indian lay media and  internet sites to what the Chinese have actually built across the border  – a surprising omission considering that one meter resolution satellite  inages are freely available to anyone with a computer and internet  access in the form of Google Earth, with images that are often less  then  year old and rarely over ten years old. It is not just the  military and intelligence agencies that have access to such images – any  concerned citizen can study them.  That is exactly what has been done  here and will be detailed below. The idea of this study was to locate  and follow every single road in Aksai Chin in north west India in  satellite images to see the level of preparedness and potential  capability of the Chinese in this region. Note that this study does not  extend beyond the Aksai Chin region on the northwest of Jammu and  Kashmir, and has no information on Chinese infrastructure and border  roads in the  east, bordering the eastern Indian state of Arunachal  Pradesh.
A good place to start would be to address the frequently stated idea  that the Chinese have built first class all weather motorable roads all  along the border with India. This is decidedly untrue in Aksai Chin. For  a Line of Actual Control (LAC) that is over 300 km long in the  Ladakh/Aksai Chin region, the Chinese only have roads that extend about  10 to 20 km at the  LAC. This is in stark contrast to the belief that  every inch of the border with India has motorable roads. However this  small length of roads at the frontier with India is not due to Chinese  negligence. It is physically not possible to build roads all along the  border at the LAC.  The rest of the frontier consists of mountains that  are frequently over 6 km (20,000 feet) high, or in some areas, water  bodies. The Chinese have built approach roads to all the areas that they  can approach at the border.  The actual length of those areas is quite  small compared to the total length of the LAC  (Image 1).
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Towards the Chinese occupied (eastern) side of the LAC – the Chinese  seem to enjoy a degree of geographical advantage. They have already  occupied Tibet which is a 5 km high plateau. Aksai Chin is a  geographical continuation of the Tibet plateau that the Chinese, under  Mao roughly invaded and occupied in 1950. It is easier to build roads  along flat plains than in mountains and the Chinese simply built roads  from Tibet right through Aksai Chin in 1957, an act that went  uncontested by an India under Jawaharlal Nehru’s leadership. After the  1962 conflict, Indian positions were pushed back to the current LAC.
The Aksai Chin plateau goes all the way to the LAC and somewhat  beyond it in some areas – such as the Depsang plain area near the Indian  post of Daulat Beg Oldi. But near the LAC the plateau of Aksai Chin  rises up into mountains – sometimes 6 km high and then rapidly descends  into deep Himalayan river valleys on the Indian side. One such valley is  the Shyok river valley in Ladakh. The Shyok river valley is about 1000  meters or more lower than the Chinese positions on the Aksai Chin  plateau. In some areas Indian positions  are physically close to the  LAC, but a 1000 or 1500 meter high wall of mountain has to be climbed in  a five to ten km distance to reach the actual LAC. In contrast to this,  on the Chinese occupied side the terrain is relatively flat – and  remains at 4800 to 5,300 meters.
This terrain offers India some advantages and disadvantages and it  offers the Chinese some advantages and disadvantages.  The Chinese are  operating on relatively flat terrain where road building is easier, and  they can approach the LAC through a few river valley gaps in the  mountains. But all the Chinese positions remain above 5000 meters in  altitude and there is no relief, no way of getting to lower altitudes  for hundreds of kilometers on the Chinese side. Human life is difficult  and hazardous at altitudes as high as 5000 meters and life threatening  altitude sickness is an ever present possibility even for acclimatized  troops, requiring quick evacuation to lower altitudes. The intense cold  can cause frostbite and gangrene of the fingers and toes. Water boils at  a low 80 degrees Centigrade making cooking slow and difficult. Even  flames burn at lower temperatures and fuel and food need to be  transported hundreds of kilometers.
While conditions on the Indian side of the LAC are similar, there are  again some advantages and disadvantages. Lower altitude regions are  much closer on the Indian side, ranging from a few dozen to tens of  kilometers. But steep mountains make road construction towards the LAC  difficult and fraught with the risk of avalanches. The Himalayas are  “young mountains” and consist of loose rock rather than hard compact  rock and this increases the risk of avalanches. Mountain roads  necessarily have to be cut into the sides of mountains in a zig-zag  pattern so that the incline is not too steep for laden vehicles to  climb, so a straight line distance of just 10  kilometers may become 30  or 40 kilometers by road.  This makes logistics by air transport very  valuable on the Indian side. What this means for India is that Indian  positions  can be defended only if air transport is kept up and local  air dominance is maintained in times of crisis.

The roads on the Chinese side are not totally free from the issues  faced on the Indian side. The main  Chinese highway from Xinjiang to  Tibet, the G 219 passes through Aksai Chin and is mostly an all weather  motor-able road. But this road is, on average, more than 100 kilometers  from the LAC. In order to approach the LAC from the G 219, the Chinese  have constructed six finger like roads that radiate through Aksai Chin  like fingers from the main highway towards the LAC (Image 1).
Although the terrain is relatively flat on the Chinese occupied side  it is not totally flat. While the average altitude remains around 5000  meters there are some mountains and rivers en route. Because of this the  sinuous roads following river valleys from the highway to the LAC are  between 120 and 170 km long. None of these roads appear to be all  weather roads, with river crossings without bridges and “kutcha”  surfaces over many lengths. Any Chinese military action in Aksai Chin  will have Chinese logistics lines passing over these roads that are more  than 120 km long and over 5 km high. In a conflict lasting more than a  few weeks disruption of these long logistics lines would  impair Chinese  ability to conduct operations at the LAC.  The terrain in Aksai Chin is  flat and there is nowhere to hide so movement on the roads to the LAC  should be visible to satellite reconnaissance for weeks in advance.
However all this does not mean that the Chinese are unprepared or  have a weak presence at the LAC. The six fair weather tracks/roads from  the G 219 lead to at least eight points where the Chinese have built  roads right up to the LAC (Image 1). In general the Chinese have made  patrolling at the LAC easier for themselves by having good quality roads  at the LAC, even if the feeder roads to the area are not of such high  quality. These border roads sometimes run parallel to the LAC for a few  km, or simply end abruptly at the LAC. In every case the Chinese  characteristically end their road with a loop so that a patrolling  vehicle can  go round the loop and reverse its direction back towards  Chinese controlled areas (Image 2).
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It appears that the Chinese have deliberately made it convenient to  patrol using vehicles.  This could be an advantage in terms of covering  longer distances and putting less strain on humans living and working  above 5000 meters in altitude. On the other hand a fast drive by in a  vehicle leaves less time for close observation, and could serve as an  opportunity for an infiltrating force to hide unobserved.
There are two areas at the LAC, one in the north and one in the  south, where the Chinese roads and positions come right up to the Indian  controlled side. These two areas are  separated by a 100 km gap of high  mountains where the Chinese do not appear to have any infrastructure up  to the LAC.

In the north, very close to Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) where the recent  standoff between Indian and Chinese forces took place, the Chinese have  build roads  running parallel to the LAC for a few km. The approach   road here has been built along the banks of a river called the  Kizil  Jilga which extends from the LAC right into Chinese held Aksai Chin.  There are multiple Chinese military establishments along this road and  on side roads, including some large buildings that could house hundreds  of men. It is known that the Chinese have built oxygen enriched  accommodation for the comfort of their men working in  high altitude  regions. However this feature, if true, can only delay the  acclimatization that is required for living in this area.  This area  also has at least one side road which leads to a mountainside tunnel  entrance (Image 3). The Chinese are known to house missiles and military  equipment in mountain tunnels, but the purpose of this tunnel is  unclear. There are several bridges across the river in the Chinese  positions leading to DBO – all of which would be valid targets in war,  either to hinder supplies to the Chinese forces, or to hinder movement  of an invading Indian force.
                   
As mentioned earlier, to the south of these Chinese positions near  DBO, the LAC has no sign of any Chinese roads or infrastructure for a  distance of about 100 km. This is a mountainous region with 6000 meter  high mountains and on the Indian side is a deep valley – the Shyok river  valley. These features make a formal invasion unlikely from either  side, although infiltration of small groups could always be a  possibility. There appears no easy way of bringing in heavy war fighting  equipment in this 100 km mountainous wall south of DBO.
Further south of the wall of mountains, the heights become less  formidable and once again Chinese and Indian positions come into  contact. Over a distance of 60 km of the LAC in this southern part of  Aksai Chin the Chinese have built roads extending like spidery fingers  up to the LAC in no less than 6 points. Each of these roads is separated  from the next by a distance of 5 to 30 km. In the northern half of this  area are four roads  like prongs of a fork ending at the LAC.  These  roads connect up with each other and the G 219, although the condition  of the roads  is far from being “all weather” roads. These roads have  many Chinese military installations, with numerous patrolling vehicles,  accommodation, and what appears to be an underground complex along with a  structure that could be a reinforced concrete bomb-proof shelter. At  one point the Chinese positions overlook Indian positions on the  northern tip of the Pangong lake.  Overall, the connectivity of this  area with other areas and the G 219 highway does not appear very good,  with streams crossing over the roads in many areas (Image 4)  and the  actual road distance from the all weather G 219 being over 150 km.
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Going southwards, near the Indian position of Chushul, where great  battles were fought in 1962,  the Chinese have roads up to the LAC on  the north and south side of two lakes – the Pangong and Spangur lakes.  These roads appear to have many Chinese military installations –  including what appear  to be barracks for residential accommodation.  Very close to Chushul,  on the south bank of Spangur lake is a Chinese  base with a huge model Chinese flag created on the ground to be visible  to satellites – signaling Chinese presence here (Image 5). Similarly in  another base situated on the north bank of the Pangong lake about 35 km  to the north there is a huge sign showing a map of China and some  Chinese lettering and an image of a face and people reminiscent of Mao  era propaganda images, all visible to aerial or satellite photography.   The Chinese seem particularly keen to publicly display their presence in  this area. The area also has a visible communication center with  communication tower and satellite antennae.
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The four nearest airfields from which the Chinese can expect air  support in case of conflict are in Xinjiang. Only one, in Khotan is  about 270 km away. The others are 500, 700 or 1000 km away (Image 6).  Given air to air refueling these distances are not insurmountable.  Aircraft could fly in low using the mountains to give them radar cover  before appearing over Aksai Chin, but the airfields themselves would be  prime Indian targets in a conflict and taking out the two closer ones  would severely hamper Chinese air operations. Two high altitude Tibet  airfields near Lhasa and Xigaze (known to have Sukhoi Su 27 aircraft)  are over 1000 km away. However any fixed wing aircraft or either side  will have to stay at fairly high altitudes above Aksai Chin to avoid  ground based air defences. That would expose them to the radar coverage  of AWACS aircraft. In addition the rarefied atmosphere would change the  ballistics of free fall bombs, rockets and even cannon fire. Apart from  that,  diving attack profiles requiring pulling up of aircraft from from  an altitude close to the ground would require extra care as the ability  to pull up and maneuver would be impaired at the altitudes above Aksai  Chin.
Given the geographical realities described above and the visible  Chinese infrastructure in Aksai Chin it is possible to speculate on what  the Chinese might be able to do and what India could do in the region.
Could the Chinese mount an offensive against Indian positions in the  region? This question can be answered by asking “What sort of  offensive?” Most Indian positions are in the valleys a thousand meters  or more below the Chinese positions and in order to enter these areas  the Chinese will have to descend down steep mountain slopes over roads  that will not allow heavy armour. So a heavy armour invasion coming down  from the mountains is unlikely. In any case the Chinese do not appear  to have housed heavy armour in Aksai Chin. In the absence of a heavy  mechanized offensive the Chinese will have to send masses of troops  downhill. For this they would have to build up more troops and supplies  in Aksai Chin for they do not currently appear to have a ready invasion  force sitting in Aksai Chin. Such a build up would take time and provide  some advance notice to India because the  movement of supplies into  Aksai Chin can be monitored via satellite imagery, Humint and Elint.
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Having said that, there are a few areas where Chinese and Indian  positions exist at the same high altitude, virtually face to face.  Instead of an offensive that goes down into the valleys, the Chinese  could simply opt to evict all Indian positions from the heights and  occupy the heights for themselves. India would have to resist this by  any means. Air power would play a big role. The flat  terrain in Aksai  Chin does allow the use of light armoured vehicles and artillery and an  Indian capability to transport such equipment by air  to those areas  would be desirable. Armed and transport helicopters with an ability to  function usefully at heights up to 5,500 meters would be useful. Air  dominance and robust logistics via air transport is likely to play a key  role for India, given that all supplies have to be carried up to the  heights to supply Indian positions there.
As regards a possible Indian invasion into Aksai Chin, it would not  be right to view Aksai Chin in isolation. Aksai Chin is a harsh plateau  and while it would be technically possible for India to recapture  territory there, holding it in the long term would have to pay for  itself in the advantages gained, given that all supplies and men would  have to be transported uphill and then scores or hundreds of kilometers  on the plateau itself.
However if China were to start a misadventure in Arunachal Pradesh,  it would be prudent to grab chunks of Aksai Chin and cut off the G 219  Tibet-Xinjiang highway as well as the supply lines to Chinese forces  near the LAC. A brief review of the satellite images of the G 219  highway in Aksai Chin reveals 40 to 50 heavy vehicles on the highway at  the time of taking of the images. The highway itself is around 200 km  long in Aksai Chin and assuming a 4 hour journey and a 20 ton load per  truck, peacetime transport via the highway between Tibet and Xinjiang  appears to be at least 5000 tons per day. This could be increased  greatly in times of crisis and this highway would need to be cut off.  The terrain of Aksai Chin seems to offer many ways of cutting or  disrupting the highway, either by air attack or special forces that are  airdropped into the region. Local air dominance over Aksai Chin would be  critical in this regard. One curious feature is the absence of evidence  of boating activity on the numerous lakes in Aksai Chin. Of interest  here is the Pangong lake whose western end is in Indian controlled  territory but its eastern end is close to the G 219. This water body may  be a candidate for naval special forces action.
No matter which way the Chinese positions and infrastructure is  viewed, it is an unavoidable fact that powerful airlift capability  backed by air dominance and an ability to conduct precision air strikes  at high altitude are vitally necessary for India should conflict recur  in the region.
The  MMRCA  deal, the induction of light and heavy lift helicopters,  combat helicopters, transport aircraft and artillery would require far  more priority and urgency than is being shown by the somnolent sloth of  Indian bureaucracy and delays caused by political bickering and  backstabbing, It is to be hoped that the civilian Indian leadership are  able to display some evidence of being aware of the realities of threats  that exist at the border and the responses required.  A laudable desire  for peace needs to be backed up by the ability to win wars and this  requires the Indian government to display far more urgent peacetime  preparation  than is visible to the Indian public.
Source : Shiv Sastry

  

Nine Countries With Most Fatal Nuclear Weapons


The world has so far witnessed numerous massive destruction that took away uncountable lives. Despite devastation, nations are acquiring unlimited numbers of nuclear arsenals, considered as weapons of mass destruction, in the name of achieving peace, sovereignty and to protect its soil. In the race to do so, some nations have gone ahead of others, and made through the list of nations that houses powerful nuclear weapons. Here are the names of such countries as listed by IndiaTv

1. Russia
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Russia, a northern Eurasian nation has the largest accumulation of nuclear weapons in the world. It has the second largest fleet of ballistic missile submarines and is the only country apart from the United States with a modern strategic bomber force. According to the Federation of American Scientists, an organization that assesses nuclear weapon stockpiles, Russia possessed an estimated 8,500 total nuclear warheads in 2013, of which 1,800 are strategically operational.

2. United States
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The United States, the world’s super power nation is the only country to have used a nuclear weapon in war. It was the first country to develop nuclear missiles. This country has conducted more nuclear tests than the rest of the world combined. The United States is also the only nuclear power with weapons deployed in other countries through NATO’s nuclear sharing program. As of December 2012, the U.S. was estimated to have about 2,150 operational warheads. An additional 2,500 warheads are believed to be in reserve and 3,000 more are retired and awaiting dismantlement, as per the Federation of American Scientists.

3. France
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France possesses one of the world’s third-largest nuclear arsenals. France is one of the five ‘Nuclear Weapons States’ under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. At present, the French military is currently thought to retain a weapons stockpile of around 300 operational nuclear warheads on its four nuclear submarines. The rest are either meant for aircraft, in maintenance or awaiting dismantlement, says the Federation of American Scientists.

4. United Kingdom
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The United Kingdom was the third country to test independently developed nuclear weapons, in October 1952. It is one of the five nuclear-weapon states under the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a permanent member of the UN Security Council. This country is thought to maintain a stock of around 225 thermonuclear warheads, of which 160 are operational. Since 1998, the Trident programme has been the only operational nuclear weapons system in British service.

5. China
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China has developed and possessed weapons of mass destruction, including chemical and nuclear weapons. China’s hunt for nuclear weapons started in 1950s after the U.S. moved nuclear assets into the Pacific during the Korean War. After successfully testing the first nuclear device in 1964, China conducted its first thermonuclear test in 1967. Till date this country is estimated to have about 140 warheads assigned to land-based missiles and 40 warheads assigned for aircraft. The rest are either awaiting dismantlement or being held for a future nuclear submarine.

6. Israel
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Israel is widely known to possess nuclear weapons and is the sixth country in the world to have developed them. On the other hand, this nation maintains a policy known as “nuclear ambiguity” which means it has never officially admitted to having nuclear weapons. But, according to the Federation of American Scientists, Israel is thought to have about 80 atomic weapons and enough plutonium for as many as 200. Over the years, Israel has acquired submarines and aircraft capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

7. Pakistan
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It was in the year 1972, subsequent to its third war with India, Pakistan decided to start a nuclear program under the leadership of Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Pakistan responded to India’s nuclear tests in 1998 by announcing that they exploded six underground devices in the Chagai region near the Iranian border. Pakistan is actively working towards producing more warheads, said Federation of American Scientists. It has the ability to deliver nuclear payloads via aircraft and land-based missiles. It does not have a sea-based launch mechanism. It is also reported that the nuclear weapon technology and the weapon-grade enriched uranium was backed by China.

8. India
ind
India started building its own nuclear weapons after China began nuclear tests in the mid-1960s. India tested its first nuclear device in 1974. Though the country has not made any official statements about the size of its nuclear arsenal, recent estimates suggest that India has between 90 and 110 nuclear weapons. It has aircraft and land-based missiles capable of delivering nuclear payloads, and it is planning to add naval assets to its nuclear program. According to the Federation of American Scientists, India is actively working to produce more warheads.

9. North Korea
H7NA1PY3
North Korea has declared in 2009 that it had developed a nuclear weapon, and probably possesses a small stockpile of relatively simple nuclear weapons. The country’s nuclear program began with the installation of a Soviet reactor in Yongbyon. In a 1994 agreement with the United States, North Korea pledged to suspend its weapons program in exchange for assistance building reactors to generate power. So far, North Korea has conducted three underground nuclear tests and has also carried out ballistic missile tests. The country already has enough plutonium for about 10 warheads, an expert says.

China Passes U.S. As World’s Biggest Oil Importer


China has achieved another world-beating status its leaders don’t want: Biggest oil importer.

China passed the United States in September as the world’s biggest net oil importer, driven by faster economic growth and strong auto sales, according to U.S. government data released this week.

China Oil ImportsA city ring road becomes clogged with heavy traffic in Beijing, China Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013. China has passed the United States in September as the world’s biggest net oil importer, driven by faster economic growth and strong auto sales, according to U.S. government data released this week. (AP Photo/Andy Wong) | AP

Chinese oil consumption outstripped production by 6.3 million barrels per day, which indicates the country had to import that much to fill the gap, the Energy Information Administration said this week.

“China’s steady growth in oil demand has led it to become the world’s largest net oil importer, exceeding the United States in September 2013,'” the agency said in a report. “EIA forecasts this trend to continue through 2014.”

China’s economic boom has raised incomes and increased its global influence. But it also has spurred demand for imported oil and gas, which communist leaders see as a strategic weakness.

Rising auto ownership has left China’s cities choking on smog and added to pressure on Beijing from its own public to curb pollution and from other nations to rein in surging greenhouse gas emissions.

The United States, with a population about one-third the size of China’s, still consumes far more oil per person than China does.

In September, Americans used 18.6 million barrels per day of oil and other liquid fossil fuels, while China used 10.9 million, according to the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. U.S. production was 12.5 million barrels per day, while that of China was 4.6 million.

China’s economy, the world’s second-largest, is cooling but still is forecast to grow by nearly 8 percent this year, well above forecasts for the U.S.

 

The Chinese auto market, the biggest by number of vehicles sold, also is cooling but sales still rose by 11 percent in August.

Beijing is encouraging development of wind and solar power and use of autos powered by batteries or natural gas. But gasoline is expected to remain the country’s main vehicle fuel in coming decades.

The government has launched initiatives to improve China’s energy intensity, or the energy consumed for each unit of economic output. It has reported progress but still is far behind developed economies.

Until the late 1990s, China supplied its oil needs from domestic sources including the vast Daqing field in the northeast. But the economic boom outstripped its production capacity while output from existing sources is forecast to decline.

That has forced China to rely more heavily on imports, especially from Saudi Arabia and Iran. Communist leaders see that as a strategic weakness because of possible instability in the Gulf and Iran’s political isolation.

EIA noted that China’s domestic oil production was hampered over the past two months by summer flooding.

State-owned oil companies and their foreign partners are spending heavily to look for new oil sources in China and to develop alternatives such as methane from coal beds. But they have yet to find new deposits that match the size of Daqing.

Abroad, Chinese state-owned oil companies have invested billions of dollars to develop oil and gas sources in Iraq, Central Asia and Africa. Some of that is meant for export to China but much of it is sold in other markets.

At the same time, U.S. import demand has weakened as hydraulic fracturing and other technologies open up new domestic sources of supply.

American demand for oil and other liquid fuels rose by about 110,000 barrels per day, or just 0.6 percent, in the first nine months of this year, due partly to improved engine efficiency, the EIA said. It said consumption is forecast to fall by 0.4 percent next year.

Overall, the United States still should be the biggest oil consumer next year at about 18.7 million barrels per day, down from its peak of 20.8 million in 2005, according to the EIA. It said China’s consumption next should be about 11 million barrels per day.

Most Populous Countries in 2050 – Guesstimation #India #China


world_population_density_map

In May 2011, the United Nations Population Division released their World Population Prospects, a set of population projections out to the year 2100 for the planet earth and for individual countries. The United Nations expects the global population to reach 9 billion in the year 2043. The next set of population projections will be issued by the United Nations in 2013. What follows is a listing of the twenty most populous countries in the year 2050, presuming no significant boundary changes between now and then.

world-population-2050 2050_population    world_population

1. India – 1,692,008,000
2. China – 1,295,604,000
3. United States – 403,101,000
4. Nigeria – 389,615,000
5. Indonesia – 293,456,000
6. Pakistan – 274,875,000
7. Brazil – 222,843,000
8. Bangladesh – 194,353,000
9. Philippines – 154,939,000
10. Democratic Republic of the Congo – 148,523,000
11. Ethiopia – 145,187,000
12. Mexico – 143,925,000
13. Tanzania – 138,312,000
14. Russia – 126,188,000
15. Egypt – 123,452,000
16. Japan – 108,549,000
17. Vietnam – 103,962,000
18. Kenya – 96,887,000
19. Uganda – 94,259,000
20. Turkey – 91,617,000

Population control may use one or more of the following practices although there are other methods as well:

The method(s) chosen can be strongly influenced by the religious and cultural beliefs of community members. The failure of other methods of population control can lead to the use of abortion or infanticide as necessary final options. While a specific population control practice may be legal/mandated in one country, it may be illegal or restricted in another, indicative of the controversy surrounding this topic.

population-control

population_pacman1

Now Chinese army Intrudes into Arunachal and refuses to vacate


The face-off between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China continued in Chaglagam sector of Arunachal Pradesh as Chinese troops refused to budge from the occupied position approximately 30 km inside the Indian territory.

Sources said the Indian side decided not to escalate the tension and efforts were on for a flag meeting between the local commanders to resolve the differences.

“Chinese troops had put up tents on Tuesday night at the occupied position, but it was removed on Wednesday morning. Efforts are on to end the standoff between the two sides. Currently, 9 JAK rifles is face to face with Chinese troops in Chaglagam sector,” sources said.

“There were several intrusions in the past also when Chinese used to come and put some signs inside our territory before departure. But this time they are showing more aggression and refuse to vacate the occupied position despite official drill and aerial recce by Dy GoC and a brigadier,” he said.

Although, there have been several instances of Chinese incursions in the recent past, the Centre had said that the two sides were committed to maintain peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Indo-China border areas, pending a final settlement of the boundary question.

“The Centre keeps a constant watch on all developments having a bearing on India’s security and takes all necessary measures to safeguard it,” the MEA said.

SOURCE: EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

India launches own aircraft carrier INS Vikrant


When the INS Vikrant comes into full service in 2018, India will join an elite club of nations including Britain, France, Russia and the US

India unveiled its first indigenously-built aircraft carrier on Monday, a landmark moment in the $5 billion project that seeks to project the country’s power and check the rising influence of China.

vikrant--621x414

When the INS Vikrant comes into full service in 2018, India will join an elite club of nations that have designed and built their own aircraft carriers including Britain, France, Russia and the US but not China.
“It’s a remarkable milestone,” defence minister A.K. Antony said as he stood on a red carpet in the shadow of the giant ship which was launched from a dry-dock in the city of Kochi and later pulled out into the harbour by tug boats.
“It marks just a first step in a long journey but at the same time an important one,” he added before his wife Elizabeth officially launched the 40,000-tonne vessel by placing a garland on its hull.
INS Vikrant, which will be fitted with weaponry and machinery and then tested over the next four years, is a major technological and military advance for a country competing for influence in Asia, analysts say.
“It is going to be deployed in the Indian Ocean region where the world’s commercial and economic interests coalesce. India’s capability is very much with China in mind,” Rahul Bedi, a defence expert with IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, told AFP.
On Saturday, India announced its first indigenously-built nuclear submarine was ready for sea trials, which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called a “giant stride” for the nation.
“All these are power projection platforms, to project India’s power as an extension of its diplomacy,” Bedi added.
The world’s biggest democracy is spending tens of billions of dollars upgrading its mainly Soviet-era military hardware to bolster its defences.
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Successes in its long-range missile and naval programmes have been tempered by expensive failures in developing its own aircraft and other land-based weaponry, leaving the country highly dependent on imports.
INS Vikrant is two years behind schedule after problems in sourcing specialised steel from Russia, delays with crucial equipment and even a road accident in which vital diesel generators were damaged.
Overall, India lags far behind China in defence capabilities, analysts say, making the success in beating its regional rival in the race to develop a domestically-produced aircraft carrier significant.
China’s first carrier, the Liaoning, which was purchased from the Ukraine, went into service last September.
Beijing is reportedly planning to construct or acquire a bigger ship in the future and Jane’s claimed earlier this month that it has seen evidence that an indigenous carrier was being assembled in a shipbuilding facility near Shanghai.
India has one aircraft carrier in operation—a 60-year-old British vessel acquired by India in 1987 and renamed INS Viraat—but it will be phased out in the coming years.
India’s ally Russia is also set to hand over a third aircraft carrier—INS Vikramaditya—later this year after a bitter row over the refurbished Soviet-era warship caused by rising costs and delays.
The INS Vikrant, which means “courageous” or “bold” in Hindi, had a bare flight-deck decked out only with flags and yellow tassels but it will carry Russian-built MiG-29 fighter jets and other light aircraft when it goes into service.
While its hull, design and some of its machinery are domestically made, most of its weaponry will be imported as well as its propulsion system, which was sourced from GE in the US.
“Its primary role will only be to defend our naval fleet and it will not be used for ground attacks,” retired rear admiral K. Raja Menon told AFP.
“It’s a defence carrier so it will attack platforms that are coming to attack our (naval) fleet …without air defence our fleet just cannot survive,” Menon said.
C. Uday Bhaskar, a retired naval officer and former director of the National Maritime Foundation in New Delhi, said the ship would “enhance India’s credibility”—but it “would not alter the balance of power with China”.
“China’s nuclear expertise and ship-building capabilities are of a higher order,” he told AFP.
The Indian navy is currently working on 39 ships and has begun planning to make another two aircraft carriers, Bedi said. AFP

Smart NAMO – The Narendra Modi Branded Android Smartphone


There is a happy news for Narendra Modi’s fans & followers that a company, which is owned & run by a bunch of businessmen from Gujarat, is going to launch new Smartphone in the market which will be named after the chief minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi. The name of the phone will be “smart NAMO”. The name NAMO is selected since this is the nick name with which Modi is quite famous among his fans & followers.

namoImage : ThinkDigit

The phone will be manufactured & launched by this China based company and wish to use the Modi’s signature name ‘NAMO’ for their Smartphones. The company has not taken the official grant yet and is planning to meet the CM himself for official permission to use his signature name. The phone will be android based Smartphone with latest advanced features.

The spokesperson, Mr. Ameet Desai, from the Smart NAMO has revealed that the idea behind this Smartphone is also inspired from China’s old tradition to name Smartphones and mp3 on their popular leaders’ signature names. This is the reason behind the company’s idea to start this Smartphone. The production unit will be established in Gujarat itself and the design will be finalized once the official approval is granted to the company.

This new Smartphone, as experts say, will be a huge success due to the enormous fan following of the Gujarat CM globally. Smart NAMO will be available in various versions – with 1 GB RAM combined with 16 GB ROM and also a 2 GB RAM combined with 16, 32, and 64 GB ROM. The display screen as supposed will be 5 inch with full HD and 1920x 1080 pixels resolution, Android 4.2, a 1.5GHz quad-core Mediatek chipset along with Gorilla Glass 2 protection, 13MP camera, dual SIM functionality and 2500 mAh battery.

The phones will start from a price range of 1000 INR and will go up to 16,000 INR.

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