Noam is a gender fluid chef, using the power of food to break the stereotype and hierarchy in culinary world.
Noam is a gender fluid chef, using the power of food to break the stereotype and hierarchy in culinary world.
Other methods that can also reduce risk of transmission must instead be used, said Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung.
Santhara entered New Zealand while the country’s citizens were having trouble getting home. This article, How did Malaysian MP Edmund Santhara get into New Zealand? NZ’s COVID-19 rep wants to know, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.
A top Hong Kong microbiologist has advised that elderly and chronically ill residents take the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine following the death of a Sinovac recipient, though a key government expert has said there is little evidence to suggest the mainland-produced jabs should be restricted by age. The debate emerged as the city recorded 11 new Covid-19 infections on Friday, taking the overall tally to 11,066, with 201 related deaths. Four of the cases were from untraceable sources, while three were imported. University of Hong Kong microbiology expert Ho Pak-leung said while it was clear the February 28 death of a man suffering from chronic illnesses was unrelated to the mainland-produced jab, publicly available information on the vaccines was not yet sufficient.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. Ho said published third-phase data on Sinovac clinical trials involving the chronically ill and those aged 60 and above remained insufficient, noting that mainland authorities had recommended residents in those two groups not receive the shot yet. Asked on a radio show whether elderly people and such patients should pick BioNTech, he said: “If you strictly follow the data available and the drug label, that would be ideal.” He said more than 10 million people had already taken the BioNTech jab in the United States, Britain and Israel, making a mass amount of data available for the vaccine, which was jointly developed by German and US firms. “Overall, it’s very safe,” he said. “So if we work in accordance with the data available, then give clear advice about the two vaccines should be diverted [among various groups] there will not be information confusion,” he said. But Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, a respiratory medicine expert at Chinese University and government pandemic adviser, noted the clinical study of Sinovac – which analysed more than 400 people aged above 60 years old – had determined its efficacy rate could still hit 51.1 per cent for the age group if the second shot was injected within 14 days. “Although the number of participants is small, there are signals that its efficacy rate is 51.1 per cent. So it’s hard to restrict them based on their ages,” said Hui, who is also a member of the expert advisory group on vaccines. “If there had been a need to direct residents to take specific shots, the advisory group would have suggested it.” He added that a phase-two clinical study of 350 people aged above 60 indicated that antibodies were developed at a reasonable level after two doses, too. Hong Kong’s vaccination scheme, under way since last Friday, currently provides only Sinovac shots, with the BioNTech version becoming available from next week. On Tuesday night, health authorities revealed the death of the 63-year-old, who had suffered shortness of breath two days after being vaccinated in late February, sparking concerns over the safety of the drugs. Vaccination centres deem dozens unfit for Sinovac jab; city records nine new cases An expert committee monitoring the side effects of vaccines made a preliminary conclusion his fatality was not related to the Chinese-produced jab. In February, Director of Health Dr Constance Chan Hon-yee said two scientific committees under her department had reviewed trial data and decided those aged above 85 years, those who are bedridden or otherwise physically frail, and those with a fever would be advised not to get a BioNTech jab. A fact sheet on Sinovac from Hong Kong’s health department states that only 5.1 per cent of participants in the phase-three clinical trial conducted outside China were 60 years old or above, so the efficacy data for this group was insufficient. For this age category, health status and exposure risks should be considered before taking the jab, it said. But Ho said different doctors could have varying views as to the suitability of those aged 85 and above for vaccination, as the government’s explanation was not clear enough. He said a small number of people would need to seek advice from their doctors before inoculation, and suggested the government arrange consultations for them. “Most of the elderly and those living on a low income cannot afford [the fees for consultation]. So if the government doesn’t follow the Sinovac drug label for elderly people and chronically ill patients, it should arrange for some clinics to provide free consultation for these residents,” he said.More from South China Morning Post:Coronavirus: Hong Kong vaccination centres deem dozens unfit for Sinovac jab; city records nine new Covid-19 casesCovid-19: China will have enough vaccine doses – convincing the public is the issue, experts sayThis article Coronavirus: top microbiologist recommends BioNTech vaccine for Hong Kong’s elderly, chronically ill; 11 new cases logged first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Putting Meng Wanzhou on trial for fraud would be “a triumph for the rule of law”, a Canadian government lawyer said at an extradition hearing for the Huawei Technologies Co. executive on Thursday in Vancouver, as he rejected claims that former US president Donald Trump and other politicians had irreparably tainted her legal proceedings. Meng’s defence team has depicted her as a pawn in a new cold war between the US and China, battling for supremacy over the field of 5G technology, in which Huawei is a key player. They say that the US bid to have her extradited from Canada to face trial in New York is poisoned and should be stayed, and that the case against her has been politicised, citing Trump’s 2018 claim that he would intervene to help strike a trade deal with China.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. But government lawyer Robert Frater, representing US interests in the Supreme Court of British Columbia, ridiculed the argument. He told the Associate Chief Justice Heather Holmes that the defence characterisation of Trump’s remarks as “shocking, egregious, corrosive, poisonous” were “adjectives in search of facts to support”. He said that Trump’s remarks matched neither a dictionary nor case-law definition of what constituted a “threat”, and that if a case was to be made that the US prosecution was political, this was not for a judge to decide. Instead, that argument should be made to Canada’s minister of justice in the event that Holmes recommended that the extradition request be granted. The minister has the final say in whether to allow extraditions to proceed. Frater also said the argument about political interference is moot because Trump is no longer president. “Having these charges heard on their merits would be a triumph for the rule of law,” said Frater. Everyone in this courtroom knows that the elephant in the room in this case has always been the geopolitical winds that swirl around it … we urge you to focus on the facts and the law and leave the politics to the politicians Government lawyer Robert Frater Meng’s lawyers have invested much time pointing out supposed weaknesses in the US case, he said, “but be that as it may, if she goes to trial and whether she is convicted or acquitted, justice is served.” Meng is accused of defrauding HSBC by lying about Huawei’s business dealings in Iran, putting the bank at risk of breaching US sanctions on the country. On December 11, 2018, 10 days after Meng was arrested at Vancouver’s airport, Trump was asked by the Reuters news agency if he would intervene in her case. He responded: “If I think it’s good for what will be certainly the largest trade deal ever made – which is a very important thing – what’s good for national security, I would certainly intervene if I thought it was necessary.” Meng’s lawyers say HSBC ‘fully knew’ about Huawei’s Iran business Meng’s lawyers also cited comments by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on December 19, 2019, when he said, “The United States should not sign a final and complete agreement with China that does not settle the question of Meng Wanzhou and the two Canadians” – Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were arrested by China days after Meng was detained. China has charged Kovrig and Spavor with espionage, but Canada says they are hostages. On Wednesday, Meng’s lawyer Richard Peck said Trump had “co-opted the extradition process in an attempt to leverage Ms Meng and her extradition status” to aid his trade war with China. He called the remarks “abhorrent” and an abuse of process. But Frater said Trump’s statements were insubstantial and “anodyne”, and US and Canadian political figures had since disavowed them. ‘Abhorrent’ Trump remarks take centre stage at Meng extradition hearing Meng’s application to stay proceedings because of the remarks “was based on the thinnest of evidence. That evidence only got worse over time … and our position is that the basis never existed,” Frater said. He added that “no pristine separation” could be made between politics and a prosecution, but it was Holmes’ job to ensure that politics did not intrude on the case. “Everyone in this courtroom knows that the elephant in the room in this case has always been the geopolitical winds that swirl around it … with respect, we urge you to focus on the facts and the law and leave the politics to the politicians,” said Frater. Another of Meng’s lawyers, Eric Gottardi, said afterwards that the defence had been “careful not to say … that the charges were politically motivated”. Instead, they argued that there had been an “inappropriate co-opting” of Meng’s prosecution by Trump. Arguing for the admission of an affidavit by an expert witness on US law, Michael Gottlieb, Gottardi said the testimony showed that Trump had displayed a “pattern of conduct” that amounted to inappropriate interference in prosecutions. Gottardi said Frater had tried to normalise Trump’s remarks about Meng’s case. But if the remarks were normal, “how does he explain the immediate reaction to those comments, from both side of the border,” said Gottardi, citing remarks by former Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and US officials. “Why, if they are not to be worried about, if they are anodyne?” Gottardi asked. Trudeau’s 2019 statement linking Meng’s case to a US trade deal, meanwhile, was not mitigated by others in which Canadian officials sought to separate the case from political considerations, Gottardi contended. “It’s a very troubling statement … my friend [Frater] says ‘you took one statement, and the rest of them are good, and one is bad’. Respectfully, this is really bad. And there’s no undoing the statement,” he said. In closing, Gottardi added: “This is [the] clearest of cases. And this court, in my submission, should dissociate itself and our entire system from what the [US] president proposed happen and our prime minister agreed [should happen].” The hearing was adjourned until March 15. Further hearings in the extradition case are expected to continue until mid-May. Appeals could continue for years. Meng, chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies and the daughter of company founder Ren Zhengfei, has been living under partial house arrest in a C$13 million (US$10.3 million) Vancouver home while she fights extradition.This article Putting Meng Wanzhou on trial would be ‘triumph for rule of law’, Canadian government lawyer says first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Philippine authorities have seized illegally harvested giant clam shells worth $3.3 million as smugglers turn to the endangered creatures as a substitute for the illicit ivory trade.
A Singapore permanent resident who allegedly met his wife while serving his Stay-Home Notice, and spent hours in the car with her, was charged in the State Courts.
The Senate voted by the slimmest of margins Thursday to begin debating a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, after Democrats made eleventh-hour changes aimed at ensuring they could pull President Joe Biden’s top legislative priority through the precariously divided chamber. Democrats were hoping for Senate approval of the package before next week, in time for the House to sign off and get the measure to Biden quickly. Democratic leaders made over a dozen late additions to their package, reflecting their need to cement unanimous support from all their senators — plus Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote — to succeed in the 50-50 chamber.
The last man facing a non-capital charge in the fatal 2019 Orchard Towers brawl was jailed four years and nine months and given 12 strokes of the cane
Myanmar's newly-appointed ambassador to the United Nations has resigned, saying that his predecessor -- who was fired by the military junta -- continues to represent the country, a UN spokesman said Thursday, the latest twist in a diplomatic row.
A Canadian prosecutor on Thursday urged lawyers for Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou to "leave the politics to the politicians," after they cited statements by former US president Donald Trump in fighting her extradition to the United States.
As of 4 March, more than 350,000 Singapore residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Some of China’s biggest and most affluent cities have introduced new administrative measures to stem runaway home prices, after a top banking regulator flagged concerns about a bubble in the domestic real estate market. Local authorities in Shanghai, Hangzhou and Shenzhen imposed new market curbs on Wednesday, including a ban on flipping homes for a quick profit and more stringent qualification criteria for first-time buyers, according to notices published on their websites. The new measures added to steps over the past few months since authorities in August issued so-called three red lines on corporate leverage in the industry The move came a day after Guo Shuqing, chairman of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission, said he was concerned about the bubble in domestic real-estate prices, which could threaten China’s financial sector and economic stability.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. “Many people buy homes not to live in, but to invest or speculate,” he said, likening the property market leverage to a “grey rhino” risk to the broader economy. “This is very dangerous.” Shanghai, the country’s commercial and financial hub, banned homeowners from reselling their new homes within five years, its housing watchdog said late on Wednesday. There were no restrictions on flipping them previously. Hangzhou, the capital of eastern Zhejiang province and home to some of the nation’s largest fintech groups, on the same day tightened rules on foreclosed homes. It stipulated that buyers must first be qualified to buy a residential home, before they are allowed to transact in such properties. In the past, buyers who have exhausted their quotas have turned to those homes foreclosed by lenders to skirt ownership restrictions, analysts said. In Shenzhen, new residential projects in the city dubbed China’s Silicon Valley have begun to adopt a points based scoring system to prioritise deserving first-time buyers and push back those already with existing homes. Among others, a person without home ownership or transaction record for more than 10 years in the city will be awarded 40 points, and those without a home but with past transaction history would receive 20 points. People with higher scores would be ahead in the queue for quota. “It is a very clear signal that a battle to curb runaway home prices in major cities has started on a national scale,” said Yan Yuejin, director of the Shanghai-based real estate think tank E-house China R&D Institute. “The government, from the top to local authorities, has been very determined,” he added. Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hangzhou’s economies were worth a combined 8.24 trillion yuan (US$1.3 trillion), accounting for about 8 per cent of national gross domestic product in 2020, according to government statistics. The three cities recorded home-price appreciation above the national average in 2020, according to a CBRE survey. Guo of the CBIRC is not the only official to galvanise the latest drive to rein in market excesses. Deputy housing minister Ni Hong also emphasised the matter during a visit to Hangzhou and Wuxi, also in eastern Jiangsu province. “The central government has highlighted solving home affordability issues in major cities as one of the major tasks,” Ni said, reiterating the state mantra that “homes are for living in, not for speculation”.More from South China Morning Post:Bad news for Shenzhen housing speculators as officials steer home prices below market levelsBeijing bank regulator orders crackdown on illegal property loansChina warns ‘side effects’ of US economic stimulus risk causing sharp market correctionChina’s tightening measures aimed at rooting out housing speculators end up hurting genuine buyersFour of China’s costliest cities scramble to knock a real estate bull run off its pace amid fear of risk and bubbling debtThis article Shanghai, Shenzhen lead China’s biggest cities in latest clampdown on housing market speculation after bubble warning first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Former Hong Kong leader Leung Chun-ying has warned residents that they must respect the fact that the city’s political system was uniquely created by Beijing, not copied from any foreign model. Leung made the remarks in his third video speech in a week, released before the plenary session of the National People’s Congress (NPC), which is set to kick off on Friday. Top state officials will discuss China’s next five-year plan and are also expected to look into an overhaul of Hong Kong’s electoral system. “Beijing gave us the unique ‘one country, two systems’ deal. We took it 31 years ago with our eyes wide open,” Leung said.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. His video speech came a day after he talked about electoral reforms and was asked about the possibility of contesting the next election for Hong Kong’s leader. In an interview with RTHK on Wednesday, he said all eyes were on how Beijing would ensure the implementation of the principle of “patriots governing Hong Kong”. “I don’t want to create another focus on whether Leung Chun-ying will run for chief executive. I don’t want to stir up so much talk on this at this stage,” he said. It was not the first time the former Hong Kong leader appeared ambivalent on a political comeback. Asked during an interview with the Post last October whether he was considering a run for the top job, Leung said: “I don’t have such a plan at present, but I will keep my interest in Hong Kong politics, given my experience.” In his first eight-minute video last week, Leung warned that the city could not expect its leader to enjoy the high degree of autonomy granted by the central government, yet disregard Beijing’s role in selecting a candidate, pointing out that “we cannot have our cake and eat it”. In the second instalment released on Tuesday, Leung said residents had to recognise that Hong Kong was not an independent country like Singapore, and it should therefore respect Beijing’s authority. In the latest episode, Leung started off by noting that prominent opposition figure and media tycoon Jimmy Lai Chee-ying was a British citizen. “Lai has been labelled by the international media as the top democrat in Chinese Hong Kong. But Jimmy Lai is not a Chinese national,” Leung said, referring to the tycoon who is currently facing a charge of colluding with foreign forces under the Beijing-imposed national security law. “The timing was interesting. In 1997 when Hong Kong became Chinese, Jimmy Lai became British. So what is the definition of ‘democracy’ in Chinese Hong Kong where the mastermind, the banker and the loudhailer of the so-called democratic movement, Jimmy Lai, is British?” Ex-city leader CY Leung refuses to back down on chief executive election row Leung also noted that unlike in other countries, foreigners in Hong Kong could be registered as voters or even take up certain seats in the legislature. “Foreigners are entitled to vote in Hong Kong provided that an individual, barring migrant workers, has lived here continuously for seven years or more and has thereby become a permanent resident,” Leung said. “We also allow foreigners to occupy up to 20 per cent of the seats in our Legislative Council – the lawmaking body that has much wider powers than any other city legislature in the world.” To all the do-gooders, the know-alls, and the holier-than-thous, I say this: Hong Kong is not a copy of parliamentary democracy CY Leung, former Hong Kong leader Under the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s top politicians, such as the chief executive, chief justice, principal officials, government advisers in the Executive Council, as well as the Legco president and all lawmakers in geographical constituencies have to be permanent residents with no right of abode in any foreign country. Out of the remaining 35 lawmakers in functional constituencies, only one each from the 12 sectors can hold foreign passports. They are from the legal, accountancy, engineering, tourism, commercial, industrial, banking, insurance, financial services, architectural, real estate, as well as import and export sectors. Leung argued that as opposition activists called for genuine democracy, they must understand that “no genuine democracies have foreigners in their legislature and foreign voters in the election process”. “To all the do-gooders, the know-alls, and the holier-than-thous, I say this: Hong Kong is not a copy of parliamentary democracy. We are not a copy of anyone. And we shouldn’t be,” he added. “To all those who keep pushing the Hong Kong democracy envelope, I have a word of caution, be careful, you never know when the envelope breaks and what drops out.”This article ‘Hong Kong isn’t a copy of anyone’: ex-leader CY Leung says city’s unique system crafted by Beijing, should be respected first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Italy said Thursday it has blocked a shipment to Australia of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine in the first such export ban under an EU vaccine monitoring scheme.
President Joe Biden tried to maintain bipartisan momentum for a new infrastructure program by meeting Thursday with Republican and Democratic lawmakers at the White House. The meeting was about “what we’re gonna do to make sure we once again lead the world across the board on infrastructure," Biden said. “It not only creates jobs, but it makes us a helluva lot more competitive around the world if we have the best infrastructure.”
Singaporeans in Myanmar are advised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) to consider leaving as soon as possible.
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) has secured supply of deep ultraviolet (DUV) lithography systems from Dutch firm ASML in an amended purchase agreement worth US$1.2 billion, a move that could help ease supply chain risks for China’s chip-making champion that has been under the shadow of US sanctions. Hong Kong-listed SMIC said in a stock filing late Wednesday that it renewed in February an existing volume purchase agreement with ASML, one of its top three foreign suppliers. The updated agreement, covering shipments of ASML’s DUV systems to SMIC, will be valid through December 31 this year, paving the way for the Chinese foundry to move forward with capacity expansion plans for its mature technology nodes. ASML’s extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography systems, required for producing leading edge 5- and 7-nm node chips, were not included in the purchase agreement, according to two people familiar with the matter, who declined to be named.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. The Dutch company is still waiting for a licence from the Netherlands government to export EUV systems to China, according to a spokeswoman at ASML China. The latest announcement comes two days after Chinese analysts cited unconfirmed reports that the US will soon ease restrictions on export licence requirements for some of SMIC’s US suppliers. Washington slapped trade sanctions on SMIC last year for its alleged ties to the Chinese military, a charge the company has repeatedly denied. Hopes rise for Washington to ease restrictions on SMIC amid chip shortage The Trump administration tried to block ASML’s exports of crucial chip-making technologies to SMIC, according to a Reuters’s report, citing sources. Under rules that have not been repealed by the Biden administration, the US Commerce Department has required SMIC’s US suppliers to apply for a licence before shipment of equipment and materials to the Shanghai-based wafer fab over national security concerns. SMIC said the restrictions would undermine its efforts to develop advanced nodes below 10-nm. ASML produces lithography systems used by leading global foundries and chip makers including Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Samsung Electronics and Intel. These complex machines, indispensable for the chipmaking process, are also used in developing key materials used in chip manufacturing. Last year, Chinese firm Suzhou Crystal Clear Chemical bought a used, older-generation lithography system to help develop high-end photoresists amid China’s push to become more self-reliant in semiconductor processing technology. SMIC said it plans to invest US$4.3 billion in capital expenditure this year, with most of the investment supporting the expansion of mature nodes, a move that could help ease the global chip shortage that has spilled over from the auto industry to consumer electronics. China will ‘vigorously support’ semiconductor industry, IT minister says SMIC used ASML’s DUV lithography systems to produce 14-nm chips for smartphones, including those sold by Honor, the former budget smartphone unit of Huawei Technologies Co. SMIC began volume production of 14-nm node chips in the fourth quarter of 2019, but the technology node was first introduced by Intel, TSMC and Samsung several years ago and used in the iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy S6. A more advanced process node, which SMIC calls 12-nm (N+1), was also developed with ASML’s DUV technology and is aimed at low-cost consumer applications such televisions and wearables. However, to progress beyond N+1 to produce 7-nm chips to power products like budget 5G smartphones, experts say SMIC would need access to ASML’s more advanced EUV lithography systems, but US sanctions on the Chinese foundry effectively block sales of these machines despite the fact that the US government does not have direct jurisdiction over the Dutch company.More from South China Morning Post:China aims to strengthen its semiconductor supply chain with new standards group that includes Huawei, SMICBeijing’s biggest chipmaking champion SMIC faces uncertain future after US blacklistingChinese chip foundry SMIC sees no exodus of customers amid ongoing US restrictions, reports record-high revenue for 2020This article US-China tech war: SMIC secures supply of chip-making equipment from ASML as signs suggest easing of sanctions first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.
Hong Kong has been removed from an annual index of the world's freest economies because the think-tank that compiles the league table said the city was now directly controlled by Beijing.The announcement is a reputational blow for Hong Kong and comes as Beijing ramps up its bid to quash dissent after huge and sometimes violent pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019.
Europe's vaccine solidarity got a boost on Friday after France said it could emulate Italy's move to block coronavirus vaccine exports outside the European Union if that's what is needed to enforce the bloc's own contracts with drugs manufacturers. The European Union defended the Italian authorities' decision to stop a large shipment of doses destined for Australia as part of a longstanding feud with drug manufacturer AstraZeneca. The EU's executive arm said the decision was not targeting Australia but that it had been taken to ensure that AstraZeneca delivers the number of doses it committed to dispatching to EU countries.
China has released footage of its military conducting joint landing drills in the disputed South China Sea, days after US reconnaissance operations and a Taiwanese exercise simulating a mainland Chinese attack on its reefs. Mainland China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) sent navy, army and marine corps and air force troops to take part in a war game around Triton Island, in the Paracel Islands, “to explore the tactics and methods of joint warfare”, state broadcaster CCTV reported on Wednesday. The Paracel Islands are also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan. The United States Navy’s vessels have conducted frequent “freedom of navigation” operations in the region, most recently last month.Get the latest insights and analysis from our Global Impact newsletter on the big stories originating in China. The CCTV report showed several Type 726 “Wild Horse” air-cushioned landing craft sailing off a Type 071 amphibious transport dock and rushing onto a beach, each with a Type 96A main battle tank and fully armed marine corps soldiers on board. A Type 052D guided-missile destroyer, a Type 054A guided-missile frigate and a support ship kept guard off the coast, while an Su-30MKK fighter and an H-6K bomber provided air cover. In the scenario for the assault exercise, PLA marine corps troops landed from vessels and helicopters, then faced strong fire resistance before the army tank team sent vehicles forward and destroyed enemy bunkers. The report did not specify the time of the exercise, but said that it was conducted in recent days. It was broadcast after the PLA kicked off a month-long military exercise in the South China Sea on Monday, at a time when the United States has stepped up reconnaissance operations. The naval flotilla also practised training objectives including air defence, anti-missile operations, and helicopter take-off and landing at night, according to the TV report and PLA statements. South China Sea: the dispute that could start a military conflict According to monitoring data released by the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative, a Beijing-based think tank, the US sent reconnaissance aircraft – including an MQ-4C maritime reconnaissance drone, an EP-3E spy plane and an RC-135U strategic reconnaissance aircraft – to the South China Sea last week. It also sent the USNS Impeccable ocean surveillance ship to the region. The PLA video also came as Taiwanese armed forces carried out live-fire shooting exercises from the Pratas Islands (also known as the Dongsha Islands in Chinese) into its surrounding waters on Monday. Further such events are scheduled for next week and the end of this month, on Taiping Island. Both the Pratas Islands and Taiping are Taiwanese-controlled, with the former located in the north of the South China Sea, between Taiwan and the mainland island province of Hainan, and the latter further south, the largest of the naturally occurring Spratly Islands. Taiwan’s exercises were planned annual training, according to the Taiwanese coastguard, “mainly to simulate the handling of intrusion by the PLA and Vietnamese ships”. As the relationship between Beijing and Taipei has become more tense, the PLA has stepped up its warnings to the self-ruled island, which the mainland government views as part of its territory.More from South China Morning Post:Beijing to Berlin: respect South China Sea sovereignty during frigate visitSouth China Sea: how the French navy is charting its own course between China and the USSouth China Sea: how the US Navy aims to better home in on targetsThis article Chinese military in South China Sea landing drill as Taiwan tension persists first appeared on South China Morning PostFor the latest news from the South China Morning Post download our mobile app. Copyright 2021.