CHINA DEMANDS WAR...
The lead article the Chinese Communist Party newspaper Global Times on Tuesday contained an alarming call for a declaration of war against Vietnam and Philippines, two nations that in recent weeks launched the loudest protests against China's sweeping maritime sovereignty claims over the South China Sea.
Headlined "The Time to Use Force Has Arrived in the South China Sea; Let's Wage Wars on the Philippines and Vietnam to Prevent More Wars," the article was written by Long Tao, a likely pseudonym literally translated as "The Dragon's Teaching." The name refers to the third chapter of the famous Chinese ancient military classic "Six Secret Military Teachings" that, among other things, promotes the idea that the best way to establish military awesomeness is to kill the highest-ranked dissenters.
Vietnam is viewed by China as the most militarily capable state whose government is the most politically uncompromising when it comes to challenging China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.
The Philippines recently riled China greatly for its closeness to Japan, and its cantankerous and successful move last week to hold talks within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, without inviting China, on cooperating and clarifying consensual and disputed claims in the South China Sea.
The fiery rhetoric of the article states that "the South China Sea is the best place for China to wage wars" because "of the more than 1,000 oil rigs there, none belongs to China; of the four airfields in the Spratly Islands, none belongs to China; once a war is declared, the South China Sea will be a sea of fire [with burning oil rigs]. Who will suffer the most from a war? Once a war starts there, the Western oil companies will flee the area, who will suffer the most?"
The article further calculates that "the wars should be focused on striking the Philippines and Vietnam, the two noisiest troublemakers, to achieve the effect of killing one chicken to scare the monkeys."
What about possible U.S. intervention once China starts a war in the South China Sea? No worry, the article states, because the U.S. will be utterly unable to open a second front in the South China Sea to fight China because it is deeply mired in the anti-terror wars of the Middle East.
The Global Times is China's largest paper focusing on international news under direct sponsorship from the Communist Party central authority.
China is set to launch its first space lab Thursday or Friday, depending on weather conditions at the Jiuquan Space Launch Center in the remote Gansu province.
The lab, called Heavenly Palace, is an initial part of China's plans to develop space rendezvous and docking capabilities for a future large-scale, inhabited space station to be built by 2020. It is designed to dock with the soon-to-be-launched space vehicles Divine Vessel 8, Divine Vessel 9 and Divine Vessel 10.
The 8 1/2-ton Heavenly Palace will be carried to its orbit by a Long March 2F rocket. China is taking advantage of the U.S. and Russia's rapidly dwindling space programs. The mission of the International Space Station is scheduled to end in 2020, the year China plans to take over and become the only country with its own space station.
RED WOMEN 'LIBERATE' D.C.
The National Ballet of China is currently engaged in a month of performances at the Kennedy Center in Washington. Some featured selections in the troupe's programs have ignited fierce protests among Chinese-American communities in the area.
Leading the evening performance is a Maoist propaganda classic called the "Red Detachment of Women," one of the eight model operas shown during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution that advocates "revolutionary violence," "communism being the truth" and the "Communist Party being our leader." Another piece, "Yellow River," ends with the ultimate communist musical propaganda kitsch, "The East Is Red." On Saturday, an angry crowd representing 26 human-rights and democracy groups gathered near the Kennedy Center to protest the communist production.
• Miles Yu