15 January 2020 Military News
Defense Policy / Programs
COVID-19 Pandemic News
- US to Cut $250Mln in Military Aid to Iraq if Coalition Expelled - Reports Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- The US government is preparing to cut $250 million in military aid to Iraq if American troops are expelled from the country, media reported.
- Iraq's Sadr urges million-man march against US military presence Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has demanded that Iraqis stage a "million-man march" against the continued US military presence in the country, days after Iraq's parliament voted to expel the American troops following an assassination operation by Washington on Iraqi soil.
- Iraqi Prime Minister Wants German Troops to Stay – Maas Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- The Iraqi prime minister wants Germany to keep its troops but the Iraqi parliament's vote to expel all foreign forces cannot be ignored, the German foreign minister said Wednesday.
Defense Policy / Programs
- X-60A program conducts integrated vehicle propulsion system verification test US Air Force 15 Jan 2020 -- The Air Force Research Laboratory's X-60A program recently achieved a key developmental milestone with the completion of integrated vehicle propulsion system verification ground testing.
- NAWCAD Lakehurst Improving Readiness, Sustainment Through Expanded Additive Manufacturing Facility NNS 15 Jan 2020 -- Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst is aiming to improve naval aviation readiness and sustainment through the growth of its advanced manufacturing capabilities, with the recent expansion of its Additive Manufacturing (AM) facility.
- 'We Need More Money': US Navy Claims it Can't Hit Fleet Size Goals on Current Budget Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- Nearly a month after the signing of a $738 billion defense bill, the US Navy's top officer is now arguing that the service's portion of the Pentagon budget does not allow it to pursue all of its 2020 goals laid out by the Trump administration.
- Senate Democrats Vow to Force Vote on Pentagon Funds Transfers for Border Wall Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- US Senate Democrats said in a statement on Wednesday that they will fight President Donald Trump's plans to divert funds from the Defense Department's budget to build a wall on the border with Mexico by forcing a vote to terminate the president's national emergency declaration that makes such transfers possible.
- US to Continue Defence Exercises with Japan, South Korea – Pentagon Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- The United States will continue military exercises with Japan and South Korea as it sees the trilateral alliance vital for the stability in the Pacific challenged by North and China, US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper told reporters.
- Australia - Australia Surface Combatant (ASC) Program DSCA 15 Jan 2020 -- The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia of long lead items, engineering development activities, and other defense services to support the Australian Surface Combatant Program for an estimated cost of $1.5 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on yesterday.
- Eight keywords about China-Pakistan joint naval exercise PLA Daily 15 Jan 2020 -- The PN-PLAN Bilateral Exercise, code-named Sea Guardians-2020, held the closing ceremony on January 14 at the Karachi Port after completing all the subjects of the two phases, including port training and maritime joint fleet drill. This nine-day joint naval exercise can be summarized in eight keywords.
- China's 6th military medical expert team heads for Ethiopia PLA Daily 15 Jan 2020 -- Nine members of the 6th Chinese military medical expert team to Ethiopia left Chongqing for Addis Ababa, capital of eastern Africa's Ethiopia for a one-year military medical assistance mission on Jan. 13, 2020.
- Chinese coast guard ship visits Philippines for the first time PLA Daily 15 Jan 2020 -- A vessel of the China Coast Guard (CCG), coded 5204, arrived in Manila, the Philippines for the friendly exchanges of the Joint Coast Guard Committee (JCGC) on Maritime Cooperation between the CCG and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on the morning of January 14. This is the first time that the CCG ship visited the Philippines.
- Germany to build new warships amid push for EU army Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Germany says it plans to build at least four new multi-role warships worth nearly 6 billion euros in an effort to increase its military capabilities.
- Light Combat Aircraft Tejas Taking Off from the Deck of INS Vikramaditya Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- The air variant of the Tejas light combat aircraft (LCA), is already operational with the Air Force. On 11 January, India joined a select group of countries when the Tejas successfully landed on the deck of the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier in the Arabian Sea.
- President Tsai appoints new Chief of the General Staff CNA 15 Jan 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) appointed Commander of the Republic of China (ROC) Navy Admiral Huang Shu-kuang (黃曙光) to the post of Chief of the General Staff Wednesday.
- Taiwan's 52 Black Hawk helicopters resume operations CNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Taiwan's 52 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters have resumed operations after being grounded following a Black Hawk helicopter crash in northern Taiwan on Jan. 2, the military said Wednesday.
- Turkish S-400 Systems Will Become Fully Operational by May - Reports Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- In late-December, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov said that Ankara may potentially seek to acquire an additional batch of Russian-made S-400 air-defence missile systems.
- Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues Cherrie Daniels and Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Elan Carr US Dept. of State 15 Jan 2020 -- Special Briefing by Cherrie Daniels, Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Elan S. Carr, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism
- 15 January 2020 - Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General United Nations 15 Jan 2020
- Turkey Wants to Negotiate Establishment of Safe Zone in Syria's Idlib With Russia - Ankara Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- Ankara wishes to discuss with Moscow the creation of a safe zone in the Idlib province of Syria, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar told reporters on Wednesday.
- Syrian army says confronts Israeli aggression on T4 airbase in Homs Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- The Syrian army says it has intercepted and shot down several Israeli drones and missiles targeting a major military airport in the country's central province of Homs.
- Five PKK-affiliated militiamen killed as unknown aircraft strikes northern Iraq Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- At least five members of an Izadi militia group affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group have been killed when an unidentified aircraft struck their vehicle in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh.
- Head of Libyan Parliament in Tobruk Says Ceasefire Over, War Will Continue - Reports Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar and the head of the rival Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Sarraj, took part in peace talks mediated by Russia and Turkey in Moscow. At the end of the talks, the GNA delegation signed a ceasefire agreement, while the LNA commander left the Russian capital without inking the deal.
- IDF Attacks Hamas Targets in Response to Rocket Fire From Gaza Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- Several incendiary balloons were reportedly launched on Wednesday towards Israeli territory before the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) fired rockets at alleged Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
- New Law Requiring 'Ethnic Unity' in Tibet Raises Concerns Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- A new law passed by China mandating "ethnic unity" in state and social institutions in Tibet is raising concerns among Tibetans and outside observers, who say the law is aimed at destroying the Tibetan people's national identity in their historic homeland.
- Kyrgyz, Tajik Officials Agree To Swap Lands To Solve Border Issues RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Kyrgyz and Tajik officials have agreed to start the process of a land swap along a disputed segment of the border between the two Central Asian nations after years of sometimes deadly clashes.
- Al-Shabab Attacks Killed 4,000 in Past Decade, Says Data-Gathering Group VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Somali militant group al-Shabab recently said it does not intentionally target Muslims – but a new report indicates that whatever its intentions, the group has a lot of Muslim blood on its hands.
- UN Urges Support for Multi-Million Dollar Appeal for Refugees in Sudan VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- The U.N. refugee agency is appealing for $447 million to provide essential aid for more than 900,000 refugees in Sudan and for nearly one-quarter of a million Sudanese hosting them.
- Sudan: Lives of traumatized, displaced women in West Darfur under threat UN News 15 Jan 2020 -- Ongoing instability in Sudan's West Darfur region has left the lives, health and safety of thousands of women hanging in the balance, according to the United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA.
- Implementing peace deal only path for stabilization in Mali: UN peacekeeping chief UN News 15 Jan 2020 -- Implementation of the 2015 peace agreement in Mali provides the only pathway for stabilization there, the head of UN peacekeeping told the Security Council on Wednesday.
- UN peacekeepers protecting hundreds displaced by Central African Republic fighting UN News 15 Jan 2020 -- Fresh clashes in the Central African Republic's southeast have driven some 400 people to seek shelter at a UN base there, the United Nations Spokesperson said on Wednesday.
- US House Delivers Articles of Impeachment to Senate VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has signed the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump and delivered them to the Senate so a trial can begin next week.
- U.S. House Delivers Impeachment Articles For Trump's Trial To Senate RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- The Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives trial "managers" on January 15 delivered to the Senate the two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump -- another step in the process that will lead to a trial to decide whether to remove the president from office.
- US House votes to send impeachment articles to Senate for Trump's trial Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- The Democratic-led House of Representatives has voted to send formal impeachment charges against US President Donald Trump to the Senate, a move that launches a trial in the upper chamber.
- Pelosi Names Schiff, Nadler as Prosecutors for Impeachment Trial VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday appointed seven House members who will prosecute the case against President Donald Trump at a Senate trial that is expected to begin next week.
- House Speaker Pelosi Names Seven Impeachment Trial Managers RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Democrat-California) has named seven Democratic lawmakers from the legislative chamber, all with legal backgrounds, to serve as impeachment managers in the Senate where a trial will decide whether to remove President Donald Trump from office.
- Democrats Release New Documents From Giuliani Associate Ahead Of Impeachment Trial RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Impeachment investigators at the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a trove of documents to a Congressional committee from Lev Parnas, a close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, as potential new evidence in the pending Senate impeachment trial of Trump.
- Democrats release new documents on Trump impeachment trial Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Democrats in the US House of Representatives have released a trove of documents they obtained from a close associate of President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, which they plan to send to the Senate as part of their case to remove the Republican president from office.
- Presidential Address to the Federal Assembly President of Russia 15 Jan 2020 -- The President of Russia delivered the Address to the Federal Assembly. The ceremony took place at the Manezh Central Exhibition Hall.
- What You Need to Know About Putin-Proposed Candidate for Russian Prime Minister's Office Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- The resignation of the Russian government was announced on 15 January, following President Vladimir Putin's speech to the Federal Assembly.
- Head of Russian Federal Tax Service Mishustin Accepts PM Post Proposal Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- This comes after the outgoing Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced the resignation of the government.
- Putin Nominates Ex-Tax Chief As New Russian PM RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed a surprise constitutional shakeup that could keep him in power beyond the end of his term in 2024, and appointed a new prime minister after Dimitry Medvedev and his cabinet resigned.
- Putin Calls For Systemic Change. The 'System' Quickly Responds. RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- President Vladimir Putin called for "serious changes to the political system" during his state-of-the-nation address on January 15, and the "system" didn't take long to respond.
- 'Putin Is Not Going Anywhere:' Reactions To Russia's Abrupt Political Shake-Up RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- The abrupt resignation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on January 15, which came just hours after President Vladimir Putin's detailed broad proposed changes to the constitution, jolted Russia's political landscape and appears to have taken even senior officials by surprise.
- Russian PM Medvedev announces government resignation Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has announced his resignation after President Vladimir Putin proposed a series of constitutional reforms.
- Prime Minister Medvedev Announces Resignation of Russian Gov't Following Putin's Address to Parliament Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- The Russian president addressed lawmakers, ministers and other high-ranking officials on Wednesday, with this year's address focusing mostly on domestic politics including social policy and the economy, but also proposals to amend the country's basic law.
- Russian Prime Minister Resigns as Putin Hints at Constitutional Reforms VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- President Vladimir Putin promoted a little known Cabinet figure to head Russia's government Wednesday – capping an extraordinary day in Kremlin politics that saw Putin propose major constitutional amendments and accept the resignation of the government of his longtime prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev.
- Key Takeaways From Vladimir Putin's Address to Federal Assembly Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- Despite a notable foreign policy context, this year Vladimir Putin talked to the Federal Assembly about domestic issues, for the most part. Changes to the Constitution and the economy topped the agenda this year.
- Putin Calls For Constitutional Changes, More Social Spending In Annual Address RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has used his annual state-of-the-nation speech to call for broad changes to the constitution that would strengthen parliament's powers ahead of the end of his term in 2024.
- Vladimir Putin Proposes That the Russian Parliament Should Choose a Prime Minister Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is considering the possibility of giving parliament the right to choose prime ministers instead of merely approving one appointed by the head of state.
- Putin Orders Creation of Working Group on Preparation of Proposals on Amendments to Constitution Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said earlier on Wednesday during his annual address to the Federal Assembly that he did not see any need to adopt a new constitution, but did propose bringing up for discussion constitutional amendments.
- Chechen Leader 'Temporarily Incapacitated,' Puts PM In Charge RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- The leader of Russia's North Caucasus region of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, has temporarily left office due to what he called his "temporary incapacitation."
- Gunfire Rattles Sudan's Capital, Raising Concern for New Government VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Clashes between Sudanese security forces in the capital this week have raised questions about loyalty and stability in the military and the country's transitional unity government, with some Sudanese seeing the violence as a serious threat to the nation's security and its move toward democracy.
- Shootings Underscore Fragile Transition in Sudan VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Gunfire as heard again in the Sudanese capital Khartoum Tuesday, as a dispute between different factions of the country's armed forces laid bare the fragility of the country's transition from military rule.
- Sudan quells revolt of former agents after hours of gunfire in Khartoum Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Sudan says it has quelled a revolt after hours of heavy gunfire between the government forces and former agents of president Omar al-Bashir in the capital Khartoum.
- Five Men Indicted for Operating an International Procurement Network to Export U.S.-Origin Goods to Pakistan's Nuclear Program US Dept. of Justice 15 Jan 2020 -- Five men, all associated with the front company "Business World" in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, and including Muhammad Kamran Wali (Kamran), 41, of Pakistan; Muhammad Ahsan Wali (Ahsan), 48, and Haji Wali Muhammad Sheikh (Haji), 82, both of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; Ashraf Khan Muhammad (Khan) of Hong Kong; and Ahmed Waheed (Waheed), 52, of Ilford, Essex, United Kingdom, were indicted in federal court for conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Export Control Reform Act.
- U.S. Indicts Five Suspects For Smuggling U.S.Goods To Pakistan's Nuclear Program RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- A federal court has indicted five men suspected of operating an international network of front companies to purchase goods in the United States for Pakistan's nuclear and other weapons programs in violation of two legislative acts designed to protect U.S. national security, the U.S. Justice Department said in a news release.
- US Charges 5 Over Illegal Exports for Pakistan's Nuclear Program VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Five Pakistani businessmen have been indicted in the United States, accused of operating an international network of front companies to export U.S.-origin products to Pakistan for use in that country's nuclear program, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
- Albania Orders Expulsion Of Two Iranian Diplomats RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Albania has ordered the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats for activities "not in line with their status."
- Albania Expels Iranian Diplomats Amid Worsening Relations VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Albania said Wednesday it has ordered the expulsion of two Iranian diplomats and declared them "persona non grata."
- Germany Suspects Ex-EU Diplomat, Two Lobbyists of Spying for China - Reports Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- German Public Prosecutor General Peter Frank is investigating a former EU official from Germany and two employees of a major lobbying firm on suspicion of spying for China, the Spiegel newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing information at its disposal.
- South Korea to push ahead with North Korea cooperation despite stalled talks Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- South Korea says there is no need to wait for the United States' denuclearization talks with North Korea to progress in order to proceed with inter-Korean cooperation.
- Ethnic Chinese Residents of North Korea Penalized for Failing to Participate in Political Events Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- Authorities in North Korea are threatening to impose fines as punishment on ethnic Chinese residents for failing to participate in political events, signaling a possible end to the leniency the community has traditionally enjoyed as foreign residents, RFA has learned.
- Biden: No Meeting With Kim Jong Un Absent Preconditions VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden says he would not meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without preconditions. It is the latest evidence Biden would overturn parts of U.S. President Donald Trump's outreach to Pyongyang.
- Two Individuals Sentenced in Connection with Work on Behalf of Iran US Dept. of Justice 15 Jan 2020 -- Ahmadreza Mohammadi-Doostdar, 39, a dual U.S.-Iranian citizen, and Majid Ghorbani, 60, an Iranian citizen and resident of California, have been sentenced to prison terms of 38 months and 30 months, respectively, for their criminal convictions relating to their conduct conducting surveillance of and collecting identifying information about American citizens and U.S. nationals who are members of the group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK).
- Zarif regrets over E3's breach of own obligation IRNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in a message expressed regret over Europeans' violations of their own regulations in Iran nuclear deal otherwise known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- UN calls for JCPOA preservation IRNA 15 Jan 2020 -- The United Nations urged the signers of JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) to spare no effort to maintain this agreement.
- EU Chief highlights preserving JCPOA IRNA 15 Jan 2020 -- High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell stressed the importance of saving Iran's nuclear deal as a tool for promoting security, reasoning that its collapse will escalate tensions.
- Zarif blast Europe's claim of complying with JCPOA IRNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in separate messages slammed Europeans for their claim of saving Iran nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by bringing some fact.
- Iran criticizes E3's triggering nuclear dispute mechanism IRNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araghchi said on Wednesday that European trio's recent move to trigger nuclear dispute mechanism set out in paragraph 36 of the accord, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, is a wrong decision at a wrong time.
- Zarif: Iran believes in diplomacy not renegotiating UNSC resolution IRNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday stressed the fact that Iran believes in diplomacy but not in renegotiation of the previously agreed UNSC resolutions.
- Rouhani to European parties: If you take wrong step, it will be to your detriment ISNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Stating that the martyrdom of Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani and the loss of a number of citizens in Kerman and the plane crash has saddened the Iranian nation, the President said, "These incidents were very bitter for all of us, but we need to learn from them and use them as opportunities for our country's benefit and national interests".
- Iran interested in diplomacy but not in negotiation with US: Zarif ISNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif stressed on Wednesday that Iran is interested in diplomacy, but not in negotiating with the United States, adding the existing nuclear deal was among the "best deals" he could envisage.
- Iran's reaction to E3's move to trigger JCPOA dispute mechanism ISNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Abbas Mousavi has reacted to a statement by France, Britain and Germany about their decision to trigger the dispute mechanism in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Zarif rejects UK PM's proposal for new 'Trump deal' to replace JCPOA Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has dismissed a proposal for a new "Trump deal" to replace the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, saying the accord is not previous US president Barack Obama's deal to expire.
- Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Warns US to Avoid Committing 'One Mistake After Another' in Mideast Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- Hostilities between Iran and the US reached a flashpoint in early January when senior Iranian general Qasem Soleimani was killed in a drone strike at Baghdad airport on President Donald Trump's orders. Iran retaliated with missile attacks on bases hosting American forces in Iraq.
- Iran's Rohani Slams Disqualification Of Candidates Ahead Of Parliament Elections RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has criticized the disqualification of hundreds of people from running in the upcoming parliamentary elections, saying Iranians "need diversity."
- Iran's Rohani Calls For National Unity After Officials 'Lied' About Plane Downing RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian President Hassan Rohani has called for national unity amid continued protests in Iran over the downing of a Ukrainian passenger airliner by the country's air defenses a week ago.
- Iran's New Quds Force Leader Has A Long History With Afghanistan RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- It was in the late 1980s when Ismail Qaani - then a local commander in Iran's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) - first became active in Afghanistan.
- Will the Latest Iran Protests Spark a Popular Uprising? VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Days of protests against Iranian leaders over the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner appear to indicate public anger has been redirected away from America's targeted killing of a top Iranian general. But foreign policy analysts say it is too early to tell if this is the beginning of a broader popular movement.
- Iranian President Rouhani Appeals for 'National Unity' After Protests VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called for "national unity" Wednesday after an eruption of protests over Iran's downing of a Ukrainian International Airlines plane.
- Zarif slams EU's dispute mechanism as 'a strategic mistake' Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has denounced as a "strategic mistake" the European Union's decision to trigger a dispute mechanism under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
- Regulation, Transparency and Scrutiny Key to Countering China's Foreign Media Campaigns: Report Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- Policymakers in democratic nations should tighten broadcasting regulations, while increasing transparency and subjecting Chinese entities to greater scrutiny to counter the negative impact of Beijing's foreign media influence campaigns, a media watchdog said in a report Wednesday.
- China Threatens Human Rights Far Beyond Its Own Borders: Report Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- The Chinese government is a threat to human rights around the world, according to a new report from the New York-based group Human Rights Watch (HRW).
- China Continues Nationwide Crackdown on Rights Lawyers, Activists Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- China is continuing a nationwide crackdown on rights activists, detaining lawyer Chang Weiping at an unknown location, while pressing "terrorism" charges against Zhang Baocheng, activists told RFA.
- China to control rare earths as exports decline, new policy to take effect Global Times 15 Jan 2020 -- China will tightly control rare earths as a strategic mineral resource as shown by a recently introduced policy that imposes strict controls over exploration and mining, combined with an export decline, experts noted.
- China has never been a currency manipulator: spokesperson Global Times 15 Jan 2020 -- China has never been a currency manipulator, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Tuesday, adding the United States' dropping its designation of China as a currency manipulator was in line with the facts and international consensus.
- US, China Sign 'Phase 1' Trade Deal VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Declaring "it doesn't get any bigger than this," President Donald Trump, alongside Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, signed an initial deal to resolve what had been an escalating 18-month trade dispute between the world's two largest economies. "
- Remarks by President Trump at Signing of the U.S.-China Phase One Trade Agreement The White House 15 Jan 2020
- Remarks by President Trump in Luncheon with Vice Premier Liu He of the People's Republic of China The White House 15 Jan 2020
- Remarks by President Trump After Signing the U.S.-China Phase One Trade Agreement The White House 15 Jan 2020
- Carrie Lam pledges HK$10 billion in new relief measures Global Times 15 Jan 2020 -- Chief executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam said on Tuesday the SAR government will allocate 10 billion Hong Kong dollars (1.29 billion U.S. dollars) in new relief measures.
- Xi urges all parties to work toward socialist goals People's Daily 15 Jan 2020 -- Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, called on the country's non-Communist parties to make new contributions to securing the victory of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and fighting poverty on Tuesday.
- China's response to Tsai's cross-strait proposals impractical: MAC CNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Taipei said Wednesday that China's reaffirmation of the "1992 consensus" earlier in the day in response to President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) proposal for positive cross-strait interactions was not in keeping with the democratic wishes of the Taiwan people.
- Taiwanese say Beijing should hold dialogue with DPP: poll CNA 15 Jan 2020 -- A majority of Taiwanese think that Beijing should again hold a dialogue with the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after its victory in the Jan. 11 presidential and legislative elections, according to the results of a survey released Wednesday.
- China reaffirms '1992 consensus' after Tsai's re-election CNA 15 Jan 2020 -- China on Wednesday officially responded to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's (蔡英文) proposal for positive cross-strait interactions after her re-election, by reaffirming its adherence to the "1992 consensus."
- Chinese mainland's policy toward Taiwan clear, consistent Global Times 15 Jan 2020 -- Taiwan regional elections results cannot change the fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory, Ma Xiaoguang, spokesperson with Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council said at a press conference on Wednesday.
- Tsai claims Taiwan independent in serious escalation with China Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has raised the ante in her policy of brinksmanship, saying China must accept that Taiwan is already independent.
- KMT chairman resigns amid heated calls for party reform CNA 15 Jan 2020 -- Opposition Kuomintang (KMT) Chairman Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) resigned Wednesday effective immediately, amid heated protests outside the headquarters by younger party members calling for reform following the party's crushing defeat in the Jan. 11 elections.
- President reassures public after Anti-infiltration Act takes effect CNA 15 Jan 2020 -- President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Wednesday attempted to reassure the public that the Anti-infiltration Act will not affect nationals who conduct legal exchanges with Chinese counterparts, after officially promulgating the act into law earlier in the day.
- IAEA Mission Expected To Belarus In February Over Nuclear Power Station Under Construction RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- A mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) will head to Belarus in February to evaluate the preparedness of the country's national infrastructure for a nuclear power station under construction in the town of Astravets near the Lithuanian border.
- China helps Myanmar solve electricity shortage Global Times 15 Jan 2020 -- Chinese electricity companies have been working with local residents in Myanmar to help the latter tackle electricity shortages.
- China-invested Letpadaung copper mine brings tangible benefits to Sagaing Region, Myanmar Global Times 15 Jan 2020 -- Letpadaung copper mine project in Monywa, Sagaing Region of Myanmar, as one of the demonstration projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), has brought tangible benefits to Sagaing Region.
- Letpadaung Farmers Clamor For Compensation For Land Lost to Chinese Mining Project in Myanmar Radio Free Asia 14 Jan 2020 -- Villagers who live in a copper mining area of northwestern Myanmar's Sagaing region said Monday that previous recommendations by a parliamentary commission about a Chinese-backed mine project have yet to be implemented, and that the company has failed to pay them fair compensation for land they forfeited for the project.
- Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi Visits Kayah State as Party Tries to Improve Ties With Ethnic Groups Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi met with ethnic Karenni youth in eastern Kayah state Wednesday to discuss local grievances there, the latest step to shore up her ruling National League for Democracy's relations with ethnic groups as the party faces year-end elections.
- Controversy Growing in Turkey Over Erdogan's Massive Canal Project VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's project to provide an alternative route to the Bosporus waterway is becoming increasingly mired in controversy.
- Zelenskiy, Merkel Discuss Situation In Donbas, Plane Crash In Iran RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have discussed the situation in Ukraine's east, where Russia-backed separatists continue to control some part of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
- Border Guards: Fewer Ukrainians Traveled To Russia In 2019 RFE/RL 15 Jan 2020 -- Ukraine's State Border Guard Service (DPSU) says passenger traffic at the Russian-Ukrainian border in 2019 decreased by 10 percent to 10 million people in comparison to the previous year.
- Venezuela's Maduro says EU, UN observers allowed to monitor elections Press TV 15 Jan 2020 -- Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro says he welcomes international observers to monitor the country's elections due to be held later this year.
- Thailand to Air Concerns with River Commission over Drought, Chinese Dams in Mekong Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- Thailand will raise concerns about its current drought during a Mekong River Commission meeting expected next month, the Thai water-resources chief said, as local farmers complained that dams in China were choking the waterway on which millions depend for their livelihoods.
- Prosecutors Present 'Evidence' as Trial of Cambodia Opposition Leader Kem Sokha Underway Radio Free Asia 15 Jan 2020 -- The treason trial of Cambodia's opposition leader Kem Sokha got underway Wednesday with prosecutors presenting evidence of a "conspiracy with foreign powers" that his lawyer said lacked context and could not be used to convict him.
- Joint Statement of Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan, the United States and the World Bank US Treasury 15 Jan 2020 -- The Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Water Resources of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and their delegations met with the Secretary of the Treasury and the President of the World Bank, participating as observers, in Washington, D.C. on January 13-15, 2020. The Ministers noted the progress achieved in the four technical meetings among the Ministers of Water Resources and their two prior meetings in Washington D.C. and the outcomes of those meetings and their joint commitment to reach a comprehensive, cooperative, adaptive, sustainable, and mutually beneficial agreement on the filling and operation of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.
- Renewed Violence Hits Lebanon Amid Ongoing Economic Crisis VOA 15 Jan 2020 -- Protesters in Lebanon have again taken to the streets amid an economy in tatters and political disagreements over the creation of a new government. Late Tuesday, demonstrators destroyed bank windows, burned tires, blocked roads, and clashed with army and internal security forces, who responded by firing tear gas and rubber bullets.
COVID-19 Pandemic News
- Authorities of China's Wuhan Admit New Coronavirus Can Transmit Human-to-Human Sputnik 15 Jan 2020 -- The health authorities of the Wuhan city in the central Chinese province of Hubei have admitted that human-to-human transmission of the newly registered type of coronavirus is a possibility to not be ruled out despite no explicit evidence available at the moment.
- New coronavirus possible to be passed on through people: health authorities Global Times 15 Jan 2020 -- Wuhan health authorities provided an update on the new coronavirus on Tuesday after a Chinese traveler to Thailand was confirmed to have been infected with the virus, saying the possibility cannot be ruled out that this virus can be passed on through people, but the continuous person-to-person transmission risk is low.
- Thailand patient recovering from Wuhan virus Global Times 15 Jan 2020 -- A Chinese traveler to Thailand confirmed infected with the new coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei Province, is recovering from the illness, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) China.
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