Australian news, and some related international items

A clarification about China and Taiwan

Norman Realname, 5 Aug 22,

I’m grateful to a reader for providing this explanation.

I still think that it’s a pretty bad idea for USA and Australia to start a probable World War 3 over Taiwan.

The Republic of China (ROC) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are NOT synonyms and should not be used as such. The ROC has NO control over Hong Kong; it’s a semi-autonomous territory ruled by the PRC under the “one country, two systems” arrangement, as per treaty. Thus, grumbling about democratic subversion aside, there was no question of the PRC’s sovereignty over it.

The ROC, however, DOES have control over Taiwan, and the PRC does NOT. As to why this is the case, the most oversimplified answer is that the Chinese Civil War never fully ended and both governments claim to rule the territory of the other, but since the PRC has the de facto control of almost all of it, it’s recognized as the “real” China. The more complicated answer is that since democratization the ROC government no longer wants to rule the mainland and sees itself as a separate Taiwanese nation but is forbidden to relinquish its territorial claims (under threat of invasion) by the PRC who view Taiwan as integral Chinese territory and would interpret any movement away from them as secession (even though the PRC has never actually ruled over Taiwan).

The US and China differ over their interpretation of the situation. The PRC’s One China PRINCIPLE states that there is only one China, and Taiwan is a part of China. The US’s One China POLICY states that they *acknowledge* the PRC’s position on the matter, without actually saying whether or not they agree that Taiwan is part of China. In other words: the US generally agrees there is only one China, but they’re not sure (read: deliberately ambiguous) whether Taiwan is part of it.

Fundamentally, while the PRC has been successful in preventing international recognition of the ROC (Taiwan), they do not control the territory and cannot control the territory without:

1. The ROC (Taiwanese) government agreeing to hand over power peacefully to the PRC.
2. A full-scale military invasion of Taiwan aimed at the surrender and/or destruction of the ROC (Taiwanese) government.

To compare the situation to Hong Kong, – the crucial difference is the People’s Republic of China did not need to roll in their military to fight some theoretical Hong Kong military in order to be able to tell Hong Kong what to do.

August 4, 2022 Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international | Leave a comment

TODAY. All the fuss about Taiwan doesn’t make sense. Has anyone noticed?

Since 1979, USA, and its minions like Australia, have recognised that Taiwan is part of the Republic of China, and is NOT an independent nation.

Since 1997 USA and its minions have recognised that Hong Kong is part of the Republic of China and is NOT an independent nation. When China cracked down on the Hong Kong administration, USA, Australia tut-tutted, and there was no suggestion of doing anything about it – let alone go to war.

Now, we’ve got Nancy Pelosi, the Congress Speaker, leading the push to provoke the Chinese government to a militaristic response.

Now you might wonder why on Earth countries so far way, USA, Australia would want to invite nuclear war and destruction if China cracks down on the Taiwan administration.

I can’t see China wanting to invite nuclear war and destruction if USA cracked down on Hawaii, or Australia on Tasmania.

But of course, I forgot – American authorities are in the grip of Pentagon war hawks, and of Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, Boeing – and all the rest of the weapons corporation. And they just gotta have a war – or at least – an enemy to get to the brink – and keep the profitable business going.

The whole apparently unstoppable procession towards war makes no sense. But that doesn’t matter – the mindless corporate media loves it. Roll on – Ukraine catastrophe – and then we’ll move on to Taiwan catastrophe!

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Christina reviews | Leave a comment

Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan Visit Stoked Tensions With China. What Comes Next?

Truthout Amy Goodman & Juan GonzálezDemocracy Now! U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Taiwan after a series of high-profile meetings with Taiwan’s pro-democracy president and other lawmakers. Pelosi’s visit made her the most senior U.S. official to visit Taiwan in 25 years and stoked tensions with China, prompting the nation to announce it would carry out new air and naval drills and long-range live-fire exercises in six areas around Taiwan beginning Thursday. The Quincy Institute’s Michael Swaine says President Biden should have done more to prevent the visit and uphold the One China policy, calling the move a “basic violation of the understanding that the United States and China reached at the time of normalization.”……………………………………..

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Washington Is Making the Same Blunder Regarding Taiwan That It Did in Ukraine

Ted Galen Carpenter Posted on

Tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) are rising sharply over the Taiwan issue. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s stated intention to include a stop in Taipei to meet with Taiwanese officials during her forthcoming trip to East Asia is the latest source of trouble. Pelosi apparently escalated that provocation further by inviting other prominent members of Congress to join her in that stop. Her actions have caused even the staunchly pro-Taiwan Biden administration to quietly press her to change her plans. Conversely, congressional hawks are urging Pelosi not to back down.

The reason for the administration’s caution are readily apparent. Beijing has reacted with unusually intense anger to the prospective visit…………………………

For 4 decades after Washington shifted diplomatic relations from Taipei to Beijing in 1979 and passed the Taiwan Relations Act to govern reduced, informal relations with Taiwan, US administrations were careful to limit visits to the island to low-level officials.

That restraint diminished dramatically during Donald Trump’s presidency, when Congress authorized and the administration approved meetings by National Security Advisor John Bolton and other Cabinet-level officials with their Taiwanese counterparts. Those trips were part of a new policy of much stronger US diplomatic and military support for Taiwan – a course of action that the Biden administration has continued, despite insisting that the United States still adheres to a “one-China” policy.

………. The Biden administration needs to take the PRC’s warnings more seriously. In many ways, Washington’s determination to press ahead with greater support for Taiwan as part of an overall containment policy directed against China is reminiscent of the blunders US officials made with respect to NATO expansion, especially the campaign to incorporate Ukraine, and Washington’s tone-deaf response to Moscow’s escalating complaints.

Biden administration policymakers dismissed the Kremlin’s repeated warnings that trying to make Ukraine a NATO military asset would cross a red line with respect to Russia’s security interests. They discovered belatedly that Russian President Vladimir Putin was not about to cower and accept US diktats simply because the United States insisted that Ukraine had a “right” to join NATO. Nor did he accept Washington’s accelerating campaign to make Ukraine a de facto US military and intelligence ally perched on Russia’s border.

The outcome of Washington’s approach has been horrifyingly bloody and tragic for the people of Ukraine. Even more worrisome, the administration’s policies have led to an extremely dangerous confrontation between NATO and a nuclear-armed Russia, with the United States and NATO cynically using Ukraine as a pawn in a proxy war against Moscow.

Washington risks making a comparable blunder in its dealings with China. The administration must implement a quiet retreat regarding its growing political and military ties to Taipei and adopt a less confrontational approach to Beijing. Moreover, that change needs to go well beyond merely discouraging Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taipei. It has become increasingly obvious to PRC leaders that the United States is pursuing a full-blown anti-China containment policy, with Taiwan as the point of the spear, in a desperate effort to preserve Washington’s fading strategic primacy in East Asia. It is highly unlikely that Beijing will passively accept such an intrusive US presence in China’s core security sphere over the long term. As the PRC’s economic and military power continues to grow, Beijing’s resistance to Washington’s hegemonic efforts will escalate.

US arrogance and inflexibility helped lead to the current tragedy in Ukraine. Policymakers blew through red warning light after red warning light from the Kremlin. A similar approach seems to be taking place in Washington’s relations with Beijing, and it threatens to produce a similar ugly outcome in East Asia over the Taiwan issue.

Ted Galen Carpenter, a senior fellow in defense and foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute, is the author of 13 books and more than 1,100 articles on international affairs. His latest book is Unreliable Watchdog: The News Media and U.S. Foreign Policy (forthcoming, September 2022).

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Russia’s very profitable nuclear industry – NO SANCTIONS on that!

The G-7 is even considering forming its own cartel to limit purchases of Russian energy forever. At this point, every political option has been exhausted. Every corner of the economy has been sanctioned except one.

As it turns out, this particular sector of the economy has been deemed too important to warrant any harm.

Biden and the leaders of the EU have all quietly omitted it from their laundry list of punishments. Rosatom,
Russia’s state nuclear energy company, has so far been completely ignored by these angry lawmakers. The company is still working though a $130 billion backlog of projects around the world.

 Energy & Capital 1st Aug 2022

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A French volunteer described how he witnessed the dramatizations in Bucha–By HAROLD, JULY 30, 2022

French volunteer Boke spoke about the killing of the Russian army and the staging in Bucha

MOSCOW, July 30 – RIA Novosti. Visiting Ukraine, French volunteer and writer, former soldier Adrian Boke told RIA Novosti that he had witnessed a preparation for a provocation in the Kiev suburb of Bucha.

In April, Boke visited Ukraine twice to deliver humanitarian aid, medical equipment and medicines. He visited both the Polish-Ukrainian border and Bucha and saw how Russian prisoners of war were tortured and killed, as well as how Ukrainian militants were involved in a gradual massacre of civilians.

“Speaking of murders and torture, I’m talking about the killing and torture of the Russian army. First of all, the officers were executed. I heard screams when the people of Azov asked who the officer was, man. <…> Worst of all, I didn’t see any human interaction, there was no emotion, because people were executed right before my eyes, people were injured, people were shot, they were shot in the limbs, in the head,” he said.

Therefore, according to him, he witnessed the torture and murder of Russian prisoners of war in a hangar north of Bucha. It was early April, meaning the Ukrainian army had regained control of the city for several days.

Boke noted that he often spoke with the fighters of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and the Azov people, who impressed him with their inhumane treatment of Russians, Jews and people of other races.

“I had to act a lot so as not to show my opinion and feelings, and above all not to agree with their opinion. The disagreement with Nazi ideologies, especially when they expressed their attitude towards Jews and people with dark skin, because they were very cruel statements, and first of all I speak of hatred of the Russians, because they <…> they call you “Russian dogs”. And for all these soldiers, the soldiers of the Azov battalion, the main task is to torture and kill “Russian dogs”, as they always tell me. As a former soldier, this surprised me. They did not even mention the liberation of their population, as everything showed that their main purpose was to torture and kill “Russian dogs”,” the volunteer recalls.

He also observed how a provocation was prepared in Bucha to accuse the Russian army of slaughtering civilians.

“I was in the passenger seat when we got to Bucha by car, and as we drove through the city, I saw human corpses on the streetside and also saw bodies right in front of my eyes. People were taken out of the trucks and laid them next to the bodies lying on the ground, creating a mass-death effect,” he said.

He added that there were journalists who immediately started filming as soon as a group of bodies were found nearby.

“One of the volunteers who was at this place the other day, I emphasize that I did not see him, but one of the volunteers told me this. He said that he saw how refrigerated trucks from other cities were made the day before. In Ukraine, they took people’s bodies down and lined up in rows. From this I understood that there were staging and extras. , ”explained the interlocutor of the agency.

He noted that both volunteers and local residents were under pressure – to avoid publicity, militants threatened them with imprisonment and reprisals.

“We distributed drugs, including narcotic drugs, painkillers containing morphine. We were told clearly: if you don’t share with us, you won’t go where you need to go. I clearly remember that we had to deliver these painkillers to us at the children’s hospital, and we were told that if we didn’t share, we wouldn’t get there. And when we’re not far from Bucha military guards accompanied us, they were “Azov”. They escorted us to one of the hangars and told us to prepare a separate box with drugs containing morphine so that we could continue.” Said.

In addition, volunteers were prohibited from taking photos and videos.

“We were warned that otherwise we would be imprisoned with ten years or more severe consequences. This ban was also applied to the local population. This pressure was exerted by the military, especially the Azov people. Europe today does not understand how it is. The powerful Ukrainian population is under pressure,” he said.

After he started talking about the crimes of Ukrainian militants, he admitted that he was threatened.

“From the beginning <…> I started getting threats against me. Moreover, my mailbox, located near my house, was hit by a Kalashnikov assault rifle,” he said.

He fears persecution by the French authorities.

“Of course I’m afraid of that, I’m afraid of something being made up against me to silence me or put me in jail,” Boke said.

In early April, photos and videos appeared in the Ukrainian media and social networks with the bodies of the dead lying on the streets allegedly shot in Bucha after the Russian army left the city. Kyiv authorities accused Russia of mass murder of civilians.

The Russian Ministry of Defense stated that this was another provocation, stressing that not a single resident of Bucha was harmed by the actions of the Russian army, while the city was under their control. The ministry also noted that all units completely left Bucha on March 30, the northbound exits were not blocked, but the Ukrainian troops opened fire on Bucha around the clock from artillery, tanks and multiple launch rocket systems.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged the international community to conduct an impartial investigation into the provocation in Bucha. He stressed that Russia categorically denies any accusation of involvement in the deaths of people in this city, and demands that international leaders not rush into sweeping accusations, but listen to their arguments.

Source: Ria

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

EDF cuts output at nuclear power plants as French rivers get too warm

The production cuts mean that France, traditionally an energy exporter, is relying on imports from countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the UK

Company says it is reducing production for few hours where possible as ability to cool plants is restricted Julia KolleweThu 4 Aug 2022 

The French energy supplier EDF is temporarily reducing output at its nuclear power stations on the Rhône and Garonne rivers as heatwaves push up river temperatures, restricting its ability to use river water to cool the plants.

The majority-state-owned company, Europe’s biggest producer of nuclear energy, said it would extend output cuts at several power stations on the two rivers as the hot spell continues – but that a minimum level of output would be maintained to keep the grid steady.

EDF warned of potential output cuts at its nuclear power plants Tricastin, St Alban and Golfech in coming days due to high temperatures in the Rhône and Garonne rivers. It started imposing production restrictions in mid-July at Tricastin, St Alban and Bugey on the Rhône and Blayais at the mouth of the Garonne amid sweltering temperatures.

A spokesperson told the Guardian that the company was lowering production “for a few hours” where possible but not shutting the reactors completely.

After the 2003 heatwave, France’s nuclear safety authority (ASN) set temperature and river flow limits beyond which power stations must reduce their production, to ensure the water used to cool the plants will not harm wildlife when it is released back into the rivers.

Temperatures in southern France are expected to reach 40C over the next two days, according to the forecaster Météo-France.

Since 2000, production losses due to high river temperatures and low river flows have represented an average of 0.3% of annual production. However, half of EDF’s 56 nuclear reactors are offline due to planned maintenance and work to repair corrosion which was delayed by the pandemic, just as Europe faces an energy crunch following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As a result of the maintenance work, EDF estimates its power output this year will be the lowest in more than three decades. The company issued its fourth profit warning of the year last Thursday when it reported a first-half loss of €5.3bn. The French government, which owns 84% of EDF, is in the process of buying out minority shareholders to take full control of the business.

The production cuts mean that France, traditionally an energy exporter, is relying on imports from countries such as Spain, Switzerland, Germany and the UK.

EDF is buying electricity at high market prices, after Russia’s war in Ukraine sparked an energy crisis, leaving European countries scrambling to find alternative supplies. Another strain on EDF’s finances comes from a power tariff cap imposed by the government to shield consumers from soaring energy prices.

The latest power cuts threaten to push energy prices even higher after they were sent spiralling by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Energy Insiders Podcast: Why this should be Australia’s last energy crisis — RenewEconomy

A change in governance and a rapid shift to renewables should ensure this is the last energy crisis for Australia, says Simon Corbell, the head of the Clean Energy Investment Group. The post Energy Insiders Podcast: Why this should be Australia’s last energy crisis appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Energy Insiders Podcast: Why this should be Australia’s last energy crisis — RenewEconomy

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Australian property manager goes 100% renewable with major wind and solar PPA — RenewEconomy

PPA signs Charter Hall up to a seven-year contract to buy 151GWh of renewable energy a year from Engie – enough to power roughly 26,000 homes. The post Australian property manager goes 100% renewable with major wind and solar PPA appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Australian property manager goes 100% renewable with major wind and solar PPA — RenewEconomy

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Greens move to “end climate wars,” and mount new battle against fossil fuels — RenewEconomy

Greens leader Adam Bandt says his party will do its bit to “end the climate wars” by supporting Labor’s 2022 Bill. But really, this is just a cease fire. The post Greens move to “end climate wars,” and mount new battle against fossil fuels appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Greens move to “end climate wars,” and mount new battle against fossil fuels — RenewEconomy

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Construction and transmission work begin on delayed wind farm in Victoria — RenewEconomy

Transmission and balance of plant works finally begin on delayed wind project near Port Fairy in Victoria. The post Construction and transmission work begin on delayed wind farm in Victoria appeared first on RenewEconomy.

Construction and transmission work begin on delayed wind farm in Victoria — RenewEconomy

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

ACT to quit gas by 2045, shift to all-electric homes and business — RenewEconomy

ACT joins Victoria with a commitment to phase out the use of gas in homes and businesses by 2045, and shift to electrification backed by solar and storage. The post ACT to quit gas by 2045, shift to all-electric homes and business appeared first on RenewEconomy.

ACT to quit gas by 2045, shift to all-electric homes and business — RenewEconomy

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station “completely out of control” – IAEA

The U.N. nuclear chief warned that Europe´s largest nuclear power plant
in Ukraine “is completely out of control” and issued an urgent plea to
Russia and Ukraine to quickly allow experts to visit the sprawling complex
to stabilize the situation and avoid a nuclear accident.

Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said in an
interview Tuesday with The Associated Press that the situation is getting
more perilous every day at the Zaporizhzhya plant in the southeastern city
of Enerhodar, which Russian troops seized in early March, soon after their
Feb. 24. invasion of Ukraine.

 Daily Mail 3rd Aug 2022

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ukraine wants to export nuclear-generated electricity to European states – but is that safe?

 Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko has a problem. His
government has tasked him with convincing the EU that the country’s nuclear
fleet is safe enough to export massive amounts of
electricity to the bloc in a bid to help fill Kyiv’s depleted coffers and
bring down eye-watering European power prices.

But the Russian occupation of several Ukrainian nuclear sites since the invasion — coupled with the
minister’s very public spats over safety with the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) — have raised European fears about the safety of
Ukraine’s power system.

 Politico 2nd Aug 2022

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Biden regime provides over $8 billion in arms for Ukraine war — Anti-bellum

Radio PolandAugust 1, 2022 US president approves new $550 mln security assistance package for Ukraine US President Joe Biden on Monday greenlighted a new military assistance package for Ukraine, valued at up to USD 550 million and including additional ammunition for advanced rocket systems.Joe Biden. The move was announced by White House national security spokesman […]

Biden regime provides over $8 billion in arms for Ukraine war — Anti-bellum

August 4, 2022 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment