Hong Kong leader Lam visits Beijing as pressure mounts at home

By Clare Jim and Felix Tam | Reuters

Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam news briefing after local elections

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam visited Beijing on Saturday for her first trip to the Chinese capital since her government was handed a crushing defeat in local elections last month, prompting speculation about changes to her leadership team.… Read the full article.

Big Deal: China Has Finally Figured out How to Build Powerful Jet Engines

A big boost to the PLAAF.

by Eugene K. Chow | The National Interest

Key point: Beijing is making great strides in securing a domestically-produced world-class air force.

Chinese engineering has become so advanced that German jet engines could soon get a major boost from China.… Read the full article.

F-15X: A Few Billions Dollars Down the Drain (Why Not More F-35s Instead?)

Stealth really matters against modern air defenses.

by Sebastien Roblin | The National Interest

Key point: America needs more planes in the air, and there aren’t enough F-35s and F-22s available.

On December 21, Bloomberg Government reported that the Pentagon was planning to set aside $1.2 billion in the 2020 defense budget to procure twelve new F-15X fighters, a heavily upgraded model of the twin-engine jet first introduced into U.S.… Read the full article.

Battle of Stealth: America’s F-22 Raptor vs. Russia’s Su-57 (Who Dies?)

Who comes out on top? 

by Kyle Mizokami | The National Interest

Key Point: The end result of a hypothetical battle would be up to a coin toss between two excellent machines.

Russia’s official designation of the PAK-FA/T-50 jet as the Sukhoi Su-57 is just another reminder that the field of fifth generation fighters is about to get more crowded.… Read the full article.

A Batman image offended China. Its removal has angered fans worldwide

By Ephrat Livni | QUARTZ

A reference to Hong Kong’s protests? Depends on the viewer.

DC Comics needs a superhero to save it from itself. The pop-culture giant is in political hot water over a drawing that’s been linked in mainland China to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests and is now at the center of a global debate about state censorship and corporate complicity in chilling free speech.… Read the full article.

In 1999, One Country Figured Out How to Kill U.S. Stealth Fighters

Yes, this is really possible. Here’s how.

by Sebastien Roblin | The National Interest

Key point: Stealth does not mean invincible. 

At 8 p.m. on March 27, 1999, a bizarre-looking black painted airplane cut through the night sky over Serbia. This particular F-117 Nighthawk—a subsonic attack plane that was the world’s first operational stealth aircraft—flew by the call sign of Vega-31 and was named “Something Wicked.” Moments earlier, it had released its two Paveway laser-guided bombs on targets near the Yugoslav capital of Belgrade.… Read the full article.

The life of Xi Jinping, China’s authoritarian leader who is fighting Trump in the trade war, and presides over the mass oppression of the Uighur Muslim minority

By Sahar Esfandiari | Business Insider

china xi jinping

Nicolas Asfouri/Pool Photo via AP

  • Xi Jinping is the current president of the People’s Republic of China and has been in power since 2013.
  • During the early years of his leadership, Xi became known for launching a nationwide anti-corruption campaign in the Chinese Communist Party, and became the first leader since Mao Zedong to have his name written into the Chinese constitution while alive. 
  • In recent years, Xi’s oppression of Uighur people in western China, and the harsh response to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong have earned him a reputation for brutality. 
  • Despite being the son of a Chinese Civil War veteran who later served under Chairman Mao, Xi’s childhood was far from the stereotype of the privileged son of a high flying politician. 
  • Here is a breakdown of the life and rise of China’s most powerful leader in decades.
Read the full article.

Behind in polls, Taiwan president contender tells supporters to lie to pollsters

By Reuters

FILE PHOTO: Opposition Nationalist Kuomintang Party (KMT) leader Han Kuo-yu celebrates after winning in local elections in Kaohsiung, Taiwan

TAIPEI (Reuters) – The main opposition contender for Taiwan’s Jan. 11 presidential election said on Friday people should lie to pollsters to trick the ruling party into thinking they were going to win.… Read the full article.

NATO is finally talking about China, and there are 3 big problems it has to address

By Christopher Woody | Business Insider

Leaders of the NATO alliance countries, and its secretary general, with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace in London, December 3, 2019. 
Associated Press
  • NATO leaders gathered in London this week for a summit marking the alliance’s 70th anniversary.
Read the full article.

Chinese security forces in joint anti-terror drill in Serbia

By IVANA BZGANOVIC | Associated Press

Serbia China
Chinese security forces performs during a joint anti-terrorist drill in the Zelezara Smederevo steel mill, in the city of Smederevo, 45 kilometers east of Belgrade, Serbia, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019. Serbian and Chinese security forces are holding a joint anti-terrorist drills in the Balkan country in a sign of Beijing’s increasing influence in the volatile region.
Read the full article.