Though recent wild currency swings could delay the reckoning, many economists expect Japan to cede its rank as the world’s second-largest economy sometime next year, as much as five years earlier than previously forecast.
The United States has almost no financial ties with Iran, regards its government as a threat to global stability and worries that a rising Tehran would threaten American alliances and energy agreements in the Persian Gulf.
In contrast, China’s economic links to Tehran are growing rapidly, and China’s leaders see Iran not as a threat but as a potential ally. Nor would the Chinese be distressed, the reasoning goes, should a nuclear-armed Iran sap American influence in the region and drain the Pentagon’s resources in more Middle East maneuvering.
China has become South Africa’s biggest trading partner, as rising demand for the African nation’s minerals contrasts with a slump in orders from traditionally more important markets harder hit by the financial crisis and economic slowdown.
On Friday, Mr. Medvedev said the conflict also proved “the acuteness” of Russia’s need to modernize its military. Defense spending will increase by 26 percent next year, bringing it to 1.3 trillion rubles ($50 billion), its highest level since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
The conflict revealed serious weaknesses in Russian military readiness. Georgian air defenses shot down at least six Russian jets, pointing to poor maintenance and inadequate training. By 2020, Mr. Medvedev said, Russia will shore up nuclear deterrents like nuclear submarines armed with cruise missiles and a combined air-space defense system.引用元：Russia Flexes Muscles in Oil Deal With Chávez(The New York Times 2008/09/26)
At Waseda, Hu spoke openly about a subject that has long divided Japan and China: Tokyo's disastrous war of aggression on the mainland in the 1930s and '40s. But he argued it was time to put such memories behind them.
"This unfortunate history not only caused tremendous suffering to the Chinese people but also gravely hurt the Japanese people," he said. "It's important for us to remember history, but this does not mean we should hold grudges."
Satellite imagery, passed to The Daily Telegraph, shows that a substantial harbour has been built which could house a score of nuclear ballistic missile submarines and a host of aircraft carriers.
The US Department of Defence has estimated that China will have five 094 nuclear submarines operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12 JL-2 nuclear missiles. Analysts for the respected military magazine suggest that the base could be used for "expeditionary as well as defensive operations" and would allow the submarines to "break out to launch locations closer to the US". 引用元：Chinese nuclear submarine base(Telegraph 2008/05/06)
The Pentagon projects that the PLA will build five Type 094 SSBNs. Should the submarine-launched ballistic missiles on these submarines contain multiple warheads, as some Asian military sources suggest, the SSBN fleet based at Sanya could eventually house up to half of the PLA's total nuclear missile warheads.
An underground submarine base and the positioning of China's most advanced sub-surface combatants at Sanya would have implications for China's control of the South China Sea and the strategically vital straits in the area.
China's nuclear and naval build-up at Sanya underlines Beijing's desire to assert tighter control over this region. China's increasing dependence on imported petroleum and mineral resources has contributed to an intensified Chinese concern about defending its access to vital sea lanes, particularly to its south. It is this concern that in large part is driving China's development of power-projection naval forces such as aircraft carriers and long-range nuclear submarines.引用元：Secret Sanya - China's new nuclear naval base revealed(Jane's Information Group 2008/04/21)
Sanya will prove crucial to China's strategic nuclear and power projection ambitions.
Both to protect its SSBNs and to defend China's growing interest in securing sea lanes to critical resources in distant areas like Africa, the Persian Gulf and Australia, Sanya can be expected to host future Chinese aircraft carrier battle groups and naval amphibious projection groups. Some Chinese sources suggest that the PLA could eventually build four to six aircraft carriers.This concentration of strategic naval forces at Sanya will likely heighten China's longstanding desire to consolidate its control over the South China Sea. 引用元：China's Naval Secrets(Wall Street Journal 2008/05/05)
Within the next five to 10 years the People's Liberation Navy is expected to build up to six carriers which will also coincide with the Royal Navy’s construction of two major carriers.
BEIJING: Several recent events, from an eagle-eyed spotting of an image on Google Earth to an overt military delivery from Russia, suggest that China is continuing its rapid expansion of a submarine fleet that would be particularly useful in a conflict with the United States over Taiwan, analysts and military officials said.
American and other Western military analysts estimate that China has more than 30 advanced and increasingly stealthy submarines, and dozens of older, obsolete types. By the end of the decade, they say, China will have more submarines than the United States, although it will still lag behind in overall ability.
"I would say that the U.S. feels a strong threat from Chinese submarines," said Andrei Chang, an expert on Chinese and Taiwan military forces and editor of Kanwa Defense Review. "China now has more submarines than Russia, and the speed they are building them is amazing."
The United States Navy developed a range of antisubmarine sensors and weapons in the cold war that are still considered the world's best. But fighting submarines has been less of a military priority since then, experts say.
Several events have shed light on the growth and technological advances in China's fleet.
In late 2006, one of China's new Song-class conventional submarines remained undetected as it shadowed the American aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, although the exact details of the encounter remain the subject of continuing debate. It then surfaced well within torpedo range.
To some China experts in the United States military, that was an aggressive signal to Washington that China could challenge the United States Navy in waters around Taiwan. It also showed that Chinese submarine technology had advanced more rapidly than some experts had expected.
"The U.S. had no idea it was there," said Allan Behm, a security analyst in Canberra, Australia, and a former senior Australian Defense Department official. "This is the great capability of very quiet, conventional submarines."
In July, in another sign of technological progress, China displayed photographs and models of its new Shang-class nuclear-powered attack submarine at an exhibition in Beijing. Two submarines of that class are in service, the official People's Daily newspaper reported then.
In October, Hans Kristensen, a nuclear weapons researcher with the Federation of American Scientists, spotted a Google Earth satellite image that appeared to show two of China's Jin-class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines. Some military analysts were surprised that China had built a second submarine of that class so soon after the first, in 2004.
And to put the improvement of its fleet on a fast track, China has also taken delivery of 12 advanced Kilo-class conventional submarines from Russia, military experts say. Experts say the designs of the newest Chinese submarines show evidence of technical assistance from Russia.
Many foreign security experts, including senior Pentagon analysts, say China's main objective in upgrading its submarine fleet is the ability to delay or deter a United States intervention on behalf of Taiwan. China regards Taiwan as part of its territory and has warned regularly that it would use force to prevent Taiwan from moving toward formal independence.
Stealthy submarines with torpedoes and antiship missiles would pose a direct threat to the deployment of American aircraft carrier battle groups, likely the first line of response to a Taiwan crisis, security experts say.
The Pentagon is monitoring China closely, officials say. "Chinese submarines have very impressive capabilities, and their numbers are increasing," the senior American military commander in Asia, Admiral Timothy Keating, said in Beijing recently.
China has begun shifting its position on Darfur, stepping outside its diplomatic comfort zone to quietly push Sudan to accept the world’s largest peacekeeping force, diplomats and analysts say.
It has also acted publicly, sending engineers to help peacekeepers in Darfur and appointing a special envoy to the region who has toured refugee camps and pressed the Sudanese government to change its policies.
Few analysts expect China to walk away from its business ties to Sudan, but its willingness to take up the issue is a rare venture into something China swears it never does — meddle in the internal affairs of its trading partners.
In his last annual meeting with over 1,300 journalists Putin answered 100 questions from 78 reporters. He said:（中略）- Russia could be forced to retarget its missiles on Ukraine if NATO bases are deployed in the country
『年報戦略研究４「戦略文化」』の元陸将補の人が書いた中国の軍事戦略・思想に関する論文によると、中国の軍事思想は孫子や毛沢東の思想を色濃く受け継いでいて、「戦わずして勝つ」ために武力行使よりも謀略、情報戦、心理戦を好むという。また、経済建設によって、人民戦争の「敵を奥深く引き込み持久戦で殲滅する」という戦術ではなく、国境で食い止めることが必要になったが、今も中国の軍事戦略には、まず敵に攻められてから反撃する「後発制人」という防御的な思想が残っている（現代条件下の人民戦争・積極防御戦略）とのこと。 これを鵜呑みにすれば、中国はスパイ活動（文太さんのブログ参照）やロビー活動は熱心でも、軍事侵攻はしてこないと信じていいということだろうか？まぁいずれにせよ、日本も情報戦を頑張らないといけないのは変わらない。ってか、日本にも軍事科学院（Academy of Military Science）みたいなのがほしいなと思った今日この頃。
Ukraine's foreign minister said on Saturday that the government wants to start talks to prepare the withdrawal of a Russia naval base from Ukraine.
Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement in 1997 stipulating that the Black Sea Fleet's main base in Sevastopol, on the Crimean Peninsula, be leased to Russia for 20 years, with the possibility of extending the term. But Kiev has been pushing for the withdrawal of the base by 2017, in compliance with a previous bilateral agreement.
Russian officials said the country would make no concessions over rent or the withdrawal of the fleet from Ukraine.
Few people noticed, but China got smaller the other day. According to new estimates, the colossal Chinese economy that has been making marketers salivate and giving others an inferiority complex may be roughly 40 percent smaller than previously thought: worth $6 trillion rather than $10 trillion. That means it lost a chunk roughly the size of Japan’s output.
What happened was a large statistical glitch. When comparing the size of economies, economists mostly avoid using the standard currency exchange rates seen in bank windows. These fluctuate too much, driven by housing woes, trade deficits or presidential popularity. Economists prefer to use what is known as “purchasing power parity” — or P.P.P. — a rate that adjusts for price differences between countries.
It turns out that things in China are more expensive. It’s as though we discovered that the real price of the noodles in Beijing was 50 yuan, yielding a P.P.P. of 12.5 yuan to the dollar rather than 10. That means the Chinese are relatively poorer and China’s economy is smaller than everybody thought.
This is not a mere technicality. Suddenly the number of Chinese who live below the World Bank’s poverty line of a dollar a day jumped from about 100 million to 300 million, roughly the size of the United States population. And if you thought China’s energy consumption was dismally inefficient, consider that it still uses the same amount of energy to produce 40 percent less stuff. The reassessment does not just involve China. India is also likely to be downsized. And, by the way, global growth has very likely been slower than we thought.
Among the most startling results from the election Sunday were those in the war-torn republic of Chechnya, which is run by a strongman leader installed by Mr. Putin. United Russia won 99.4 percent of the vote in Chechnya, officials said, with a turnout of 99.5 percent.
Over all in Russia, the turnout was about 63 percent.
Atom spies are old stuff. But historians say Koval, who died last year in Moscow and whose name is just coming to light publicly, appears to have been one of the most important spies of the 20th century.
On Nov. 2, the Kremlin startled Western scholars by announcing that President Vladimir Putin had posthumously given the highest Russian award to a Soviet agent who in World War II had penetrated the Manhattan Project to build the atom bomb.
The announcement hailed Koval as "the only Soviet intelligence officer" to infiltrate the project's secret plants, saying his work "helped speed up considerably the time it took for the Soviet Union to develop an atomic bomb of its own."
Over the years, scholars and federal agents have identified a half-dozen individuals who spied for the Soviet Union on the bomb project, especially at Los Alamos in New Mexico. All were "walk-ins" - spies by impulse and sympathetic leaning rather than rigorous training.
By contrast, Koval was a mole groomed in Russia by the GRU, the Soviet agency for military intelligence. Moreover, he gained wide access to America's atom plants - a feat unknown for any other Soviet spy. Nuclear experts say the secrets of bomb manufacturing can be more important than those of design.Meanwhile, the Manhattan Project was suffering severe manpower shortages and asked the army for technically adept recruits. In 1944, Koval and Kramish headed to Oak Ridge, whose main job was to make bomb fuel - considered the hardest part of the atomic endeavor.
Koval gained wide access to the sprawling complex, Kramish said, because "he was assigned to health safety" and drove from building to building making sure stray radiation harmed no workers.
In June 1945, Koval's duties expanded to include top-secret plants near Dayton, said John Shewairy, an Oak Ridge spokesman. The factories refined polonium-210, a highly radioactive material used in initiators to help start the bomb's chain reaction. Posthumously, Putin named Koval a hero of the Russian Federation, the highest honorary title that can be bestowed on a Russian citizen.引用元：An American 'regular guy' was a Russian top spy(International Herald Tribune 2007/11/11)
China's sprawling military will speed up its modernization over the next five years, increasingly adopting high-tech battle systems and upgrading training, Chinese President Hu Jintao said Monday.
The PLA has seen its budget rise quickly along with the growing economy as Beijing tries to upgrade the massive but largely obsolete force. China says spending for the PLA grew 17.8 percent this year to about 351 billion yuan (US$44.94 billion; €34.14 billion). It was the largest annual increase in more than a decade.
That puts China roughly in the same neighborhood as Japan, Russia and Britain in defense spending, although it spends less than one-tenth of what the U.S. military costs. The Pentagon says China's real defense spending may be much more, because the official budget doesn't include major weapons purchases and other items."We are determined to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity and make contributions to maintaining world peace," Hu said.One PLA delegate said upgrading military technology was key to retaining public face in the armed force's primary tasks of defending the nation's borders and reining in independence sentiment on the self-governing island of Taiwan.引用元：Hu says China to speed up modernization of military(International Herald Tribune 2007/10/15)
In early 2006, Gazprom accused Ukraine of broadening the crisis by siphoning off gas that was intended for Western Europe, which depends on Russia for a quarter of its supplies. Some European Union countries are almost entirely dependent on Russian natural gas.
Gazprom said it intends to keep supplying gas farther west, but the company depends on pipelines controlled by Ukraine to reach European Union countries.