In what is being characterized as a rare address to the world’s largest fighting force, President Xi Jinping on January 04 urged the Chinese military to be ready for war and ‘don’t fear death’.
As the beat of the war drums gets louder in East Asia and abroad, Xi’s rare speech to the military kicked off the New Year with a grim warning, as China and other countries in the region could be preparing for a turbulent year ahead.
China’s soldiers should “neither fear hardship nor death,” Xi told thousands of troops during an inspection visit Wednesday to the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) Central Theater Command in northern Hebei province, according to the official Xinhua news agency.
Xi advised the military to continue improving upon its equipment, tactics, technology, and combat readiness by engaging in “real combat training.”
He further said, the need to “create an elite and powerful force that is always ready for the fight, capable of combat and sure to win in order to fulfill the tasks bestowed by the Party and the people in the new era.”
In recent years, Xi has ushered in a period of modernization of China’s military, which has worried Asia and Washington alike. Xi is head of the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, who is also the commander-in-chief of China’s two million-strong military. In October, he claimed his status to be the strongest leader in China that country has seen in decades during the 19th communist party congress.
Local Chinese media outlets report that Xi’s mobilization meeting with the entire armed forces is a first of its kind. Xi stated the goal of the Chinese military is to become a “world class” force by 2050. Perhaps, Xi has hinted at the time period when China expects to overtake the United States.
Analysts say there is a low probability that Xi will put his military in harm’s way in the intermediate time. However, the potential for conflict is high on the South China Sea, on the Korean Peninsula, Japanese territories around the Senkaku/ Diaoyu islands, the South China Sea, the Tibet and Xinjiang regions, as well as two potential hotspots in the Himalayan region along the Indian border.
Bottomline: President Xi Jinping’s rare military address should serve as a warning, that the region is marching towards war. For the address to be conducted early in the year, it’s leading many to believe that the second half of 2018 could be quite turbulent. The one question we ask: Which powderkeg goes off first?
POLL: Most Veterans Support Trump
Nearly 6 in 10 military veterans voted for Republican candidates in the November midterm elections, and a similar majority had positive views of President Donald Trump’s leadership. But women, the fastest growing demographic group in the military, are defying that vote trend.
That’s according to AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of more than 115,000 midterm voters — including more than 4,000 current and former service members — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago. It found that veterans overall approved of Trump’s job performance, showing high support for the president’s handling of border security and his efforts to make the U.S. safer from terrorism.
Male veterans were much more likely to approve of Trump than those who haven’t served, 58 percent to 46 percent.
But 58 percent of female veterans disapproved of Trump, which is similar to the share of women overall (61 percent).
Some takeaways on veterans:
Overall, 56 percent of veterans — both current and former service members — said they approve of the job Trump is doing as president, while 43 percent disapproved. Voters who have not served in the military were more likely to disapprove (58 percent) than approve (42 percent) of the president’s job performance.
The survey found that differences in support for Trump between veterans and nonveterans extended across racial and ethnic groups, including among whites (62 percent of veterans approve versus 49 percent of nonveterans), Latinos (53 percent vs. 28 percent) and African-Americans (22 percent vs. 10 percent).
VIDEO: American Stealth Bombers Drops Largest Conventional Bombs
Whiteman Air Force Base, home to the 509th Bomb Wing, assigned to the Eighth Air Force of the Air Force Global Strike Command, operates a fleet of Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit stealth bombers, recently released a video showing one of its bombers dropping two 14 ton GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrators (MOP) in a test flight.
According to The Aviationist, the MOP is capable of penetrating up to 200 feet into the ground or 60 feet of reinforced concrete to strike enemy targets deep underground.
“The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber is the only aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory currently capable to operationally drop the massive 30,000-lb (14,000 kg) GBU-57 Massive Ordnance Penetrator (even though the testing of the MOP involved a B-52 back in 2009, the weapon’s intended platform is only the B-2).
The 14-ton GBU-57 is a 20-foot long GPS-guided bomb said to be able to penetrate 200 feet of concrete before exploding: for this reason it is considered the weapon of choice in case of attack on buried targets (such as the North Korean bunkers),” The Aviationist blog said.
The short video, uploaded to YouTube by The Aviationist blog, shows the stealth bomber with the tail number 82-1066. The video first starts with the bomber in a hanger, being prepped for flight, then takes off from Whiteman Air Force Base under cover of night. About a third into the clip, the bomber is over an unidentifiable mountain range receiving fuel from an aerial refueling tanker. Moments later, the plane releases two MOPs. Land-based cameras capture the incredible moment when the bombs slam into an unidentifiable missile test range producing a massive explosion.
WATCH: Israel Blows Up Hamas TV Station
The escalation in violence began when earlier in the day Monday thousands of mourners in the Gaza Strip buried seven militants killed during the Israeli commando raid and accompanying aircraft cover fire that resulted in strikes on the strip, which further led to sporadic rocket fire from Hamas.
One Israeli soldier was reported killed during the high risk operation which reportedly involved the commandos entering Gaza by civilian car in order to take out a gathering of Hamas military leaders.
During the Gaza funeral the crowd chanted “revenge” amidst masked gunmen in camouflage.
Apparently that “revenge” came in the form of a mortar shell fired from Gaza which scored a direct hit on a bus in southern Israel, severely wounding a 19-year-old Israeli. According to multiple regional reports this was followed by a barrage of over 100 rockets fired from Gaza toward Israel within only an hour’s time. Israeli sources have reported multiple injuries and extensive damage from the rockets, many of which may have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
طيران الاحتلال الحربي يقصف ويدمر مقر فضائية الاقصى بغزة. pic.twitter.com/VSnUpYUb2s
— شجاعية (@shejae3a) November 12, 2018