Tag Archives: China

25 April 2014

The Marshall Islands files ‘unprecedented’ lawsuit against nuclear-armed states in the ICJ

On 24 April, the Republic of the Marshall Islands filed lawsuits in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) against nine nuclear-armed states (the United States, Russia, Britain, France, China, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) for violations of international law regarding nuclear disarmament obligations according to the 1968 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and customary international law. Under Article VI of the NPT, states are required to pursue negotiations ‘in good faith’ on nuclear disarmament and ending the nuclear arms race, of which the nuclear-armed states continue to ignore. While the original five nuclear-armed states are parties to the NPT (US, Russia, Britain, France, and China), the newer nuclear-armed states (Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea) are not parties to the NPT. However, these states are still bound by the nuclear disarmament provisions under customary international law. (more…)

Source: The Guardian | Marshall Islands sues nine nuclear powers over failure to disarm
Source: The Wall Street Journal | Marshall Islands Sues Nine Nuclear-Armed Powers
Source: Nuclear Age Peace Foundation | Pacific nation challenges nine nuclear-armed states in lawsuits before the world court

24 April 2014

China investigates involvement of Chinese chlorine in gas attack in Syria

On 23 April, the Chinese Foreign Ministry informed Reuters that it was investigating reports that a chlorine canister with the name of China’s largest arms producer, Norinco, on it was shown in a video that presumably documents a chlorine bomb attack in Syria earlier this month. Reuters reported that it could not verify the authenticity of the video, which was uploaded by opposition activists. On the basis of the characteristics of several attacks in Syria this month, analysts believe that a coordinated chlorine bomb campaign is taking place, with growing evidence that it is carried out by the Syrian government. (more…)

Source: Reuters | China says probing reports Chinese chlorine used in Syria attack

23 April 2014

Philippines to facilitate US reassertion of military presence in Asia

US President Obama is expected to announce an agreement with the Philippines, that would offer American ships and planes the most extensive access to bases in the region, since 1992, when the US relinquished its naval installation at Subic Bay. The agreement would be the centerpiece of Obama’s visit to Asia this week.

The New York Times reports that such an agreement could antagonise China, which is locked in a dispute with the Philippines over Scarborough Shoal, a fishing ground now occupied by Chinese vessels. Like the 2011 agreement to deploy Marines to Darwin, Australia, such a presence would theoretically give America more capacity to help its allies in territorial disputes with the Chinese. (more…)

Source: The New York Times | Obama’s Strategic Shift to Asia Is Hobbled by Pressure at Home and Crises Abroad

7 April 2014

The Shared Search for Missing Flight MH370

Neptune, Global Maritime Search and Rescue Areas map, at www.neptune-scuba.info/sarmap-en.html

Neptune, Global Maritime Search and Rescue Areas map, at www.neptune-scuba.info/sarmap-en.html

With Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 being officially declared lost at sea, and as the international search efforts hone in on the location of the aircraft, it is time to asses not only what this teaches us about aviation safety, but also the consequences of shared responsibility for international search and rescue operations.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 went missing on the 8th March, losing communication around an hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur on route to Beijing. The fact that the airplane was missing for a number of hours, and that its communication devices were mostly switched off, meant that from the outset it was unclear where it might have come down, if indeed it had come down at all. The initial suggestions were that the plane was off the coast of Vietnam, or further out in the China Sea. This was followed by information that it had made a sharp turn towards the Straight of Malacca, and thereafter might have followed either a broad northern or southern corridor.  (more…)

25 March 2014

Japan will turn over nuclear materials to the US

Japan will turn over more than 700 pounds of weapons-grade plutonium and highly enriched uranium, estimated at 450 pounds, to the US. In the past, Iran has criticised Japan’s nuclear stockpiles as evidence of a double standard for trusted countries. Also, last month, China began to criticise Japan’s supply as well. However, the portion of stockpiles that Japan is handing over is only a fraction of Japan’s overall stockpile. Additionally, Japan plans to open up a new nuclear plant which could produce tons more per year, but the US has been urging Japan to abandon the programme. Regardless, Japan’s announcement is a success in President Obama’s push to secure the world’s most dangerous materials. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, a National Security Council official, regarding the agreement with Japan stated, ‘[t]his is the biggest commitment to remove fissile materials in the history of the summit process that President Obama launched, and it is a demonstration of Japan’s shared leadership on nonproliferation.’

Source: The New York Times | Japan to Let U.S. Assume Control of Nuclear Cache

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