China Breaks Record With World’s Longest Bridge

China said it has completed the major work of the world’s longest sea bridge on schedule, after its lighting system was installed and tested.

It took six years preparation, and eight years to build the 55-kilometre-long bridge linking Hong Kong, Zhuhai and Macao.

Major work on the bridge consisted of a 22.9-kilometre-long main bridge, a 6.7-kilometre-long tunnel and an artificial island off the bridge, which is considered the most technically demanding part of the whole construction.

In the next few weeks, engineers and constructors will test the coordination of the bridge’s various systems and equipment, and proceed with inspection and cleaning work, said Zhang Jinwen, project director with the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge (HZMB) Authority.

“The bridge will be put into trial operation after its port project is completed and taken over by customs, inspection and quarantine, and border control authorities,” Zhang said.

In the past 14 years, the regional economy and transport network have undergone tremendous changes, leading authorities to re-assess the utilization rate of the bridge, said Su Yi, assistant to the chief of the HZMB Authority.

But Su dismissed worries that the bridge would not have enough traffic, saying, “we have full confidence for the future.”

“We have a whole toolbox of policies at our disposal,” Su said. “It is like playing cards. We can adjust our moves accordingly.”

The bridge will slash travel time between Hong Kong and Zhuhai from three hours to just 30 minutes, further integrating cities in the Pearl River Delta.

Source: Xinhua

Goodbye 2017, Hope For A Miracle In 2018 By Segun Odegbami

As dusk sets on another year, it is time once again for us to perform our annual ritual of looking back and then peering ahead. In looking back at 2017, what we see is Nigerian sports on a roller coaster heading to an undefined destination.

Simply put, administration, as has always been the case, has not managed to match plan with potential in sports development.

In 2017, there was, again, no grand plan to harness the huge amount of abundant natural talent that the whole world knows exists in this mass of Black humanity.

What is noticeable about the year is an emerging trend, a subtle change in strategy, of identifying good athletes to represent the country in international competitions from the fairly large pool of Nigerian youngsters born or living overseas.

This group, honed in the more advanced sports cultures abroad, has helped to shore up the talent base and reinforced the quality of representation in several national sports teams. This has been mostly noticeable in athletics, basketball and football.

This newly adopted strategy makes a big statement about the state of domestic sports development within the country itself – very slow, or non-existent in most sports.

So, in 2017, we can categorically state that there was no remedy still for the absence of an authentic domestic sports development plan in the country. There is no functional policy, no good infrastructure and facilities, little personnel capacity development and definitely no grand plan.

The other day, I was looking at a document prepared by the Australian Institute of Sports (AIS) in 2003, for a 10-year sports development programme in Nigeria using the Australian model but anchored to the Nigeria Institute for Sports (NIS).

That plan was actually presented to, and approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) under former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Implementation kicked off but was quickly buried in the storm of a change in government. The appointed members of a new governing Council of the NIS and new leadership of the NSC did not have the original vision, the enthusiasm, the passion and even the knowledge to sustain the implementation of that grand idea whose rewards and products lay in the distant future and could not be ‘seen’ immediately.

The plan was eventually ditched and now rests forgotten somewhere amongst several other similar archival materials of Nigerian sports.

It took a trip by President Obasanjo to Australia, and a visit by him to the Australian Institute of Sports for him to be apprised of what sports did for Australia that they could also do for Nigeria and its teeming youths. The ensuing enthusiasm birthed the approved but dumped 10-year Athletes Development plan.

The feeling amongst administrators at the time was that 10 years were a long time. To sustain the tempo for that length of time in this environment is impossible. Nigerians are impatient and never give allowance for germination and nurturing before cultivation. Things must be done now now and results must also be now now.

The fear is that no one survives that long in sports administration, and that they will not reap from what they have sown. Such is the myopia that drives sports development.

What cannot bear fruits immediately is not pursued. That’s why a coach must produce results immediately he is hired or he gets fired after the first major failure. That’s why Nigeria must win medals in the immediate next international competition or the administrator is counted as a failure. Achievement is tied to the medals rostrum.

That’s why also the short cut rules and fails down the line!

It has been 14 years since the Australian programme was approved. By now, if the country had been patient, had vigorously followed the plan, it would have become an advancing sports culture winning medals more consistently and steadily growing the sports industry.

In 1977, I was in China with the Green Eagles of Nigeria for an invitational tour. The national team visited the cities of Peking, Shanghai, Canton, and even Hong Kong.

China, of course, is an ancient civilisation with a long history dating back Centuries. But in 1977, I can testify, it was a Third World country in terms of economic, political and social advancement compared to the West.

It was a true communist enclave, relatively poor, overpopulated, remote and closed to the outside modern world. It welcomed very few tourists and visitors. Only very few cars plied its wide roads and boulevards filled everywhere with oceans of bicycle riders. There weren’t even coloured television sets in the modest homes the people lived in. The citizens wore the same set of ‘uniforms’ as clothing – white baggy shirts on grey baggy trousers.

The only Blacks in the whole of China according the information available were the Nigerian Ambassador, his family and few staff of the embassy. In all our travels in China, we did not encounter a single Black person!

Today, China is the probably second only to the USA as a global super power in virtually all fields. There are probably more Nigerians migrating to China than anywhere else in the world. There is a bulging Black population in China and Chinese cities have become some of the fastest urban developments in the world today!

All of this in less than 40 years!

The case of Brazil brings the matter even closer home.

When the Green Eagles also spent three months in Brazil in 1979, that country was very much like Nigeria, a young fledging emerging Third World democracy.

In fact, Brazil had a thriving Black population mostly of Nigerians of Yoruba extraction in the Bahia region where we went to play one friendly match. The country was very much like Nigeria rich in mineral resources and eager to improve the level of national infrastructural development.

The foundations of the first underground train system were just being laid in Rio De Janeiro at the time just as a similar project was sprouting in Lagos under the Lateef Jakande government.

The metro line system was a 25-year development projection. It looked like an eternity at the time. But only myopic self-serving administrators would think that way.

That was some 38 years ago. The metro line system in the city of Rio is working today and has moved the city into the 21st Century.

Whereas, the Lagos Metro-line system is just taking off now again after over 30 years in comatose, crippled by national politics, locked up in a drawer gathering dust and waiting for a national leader that can see beyond the mist of politics, and see that even eternity is NOW!

Whilst several countries have moved up the sports development ladder since the 1970s, Nigeria has remained in a warp!

The 10-year Athletes Development Plan designed by the AIS is dead. The NIS is a living dead institution. Nothing has happened. No meaningful sports development has taken place. No new plan is even in place!

That’s why the option of fishing for athletes to represent the country from the pool of Nigerians living abroad and honed in the advanced cultures of sports overseas has become attractive. It is the new short cut.

It is working in Basketball, in some Track and Field events, and particularly in football. Unfortunately, this pool of talent is still limited compared to the huge millions and millions of young Nigerian boys and girls in or out of schools waiting to be discovered, plucked, engaged and trained to become the best they can be all over the country.

In 2017 table tennis is one sport that has done fairly well through the effort of a few administrators with commitment to the relatively inexpensive community-driven sport.

There is wrestling also doing well and producing a pool of new local talents.

What is clear at the end of 2017 is that sports are still not appreciated by most States and the Federal Government as an important tool for national development beyond their periodic entertainment value.

As the country enters 2018, we hope that a ‘miracle’ will happen to change this mentality and attitude. That’s the only way some of us in the industry that keep our sanity in this clime.

Russia, China Building Weapons To Target US Satellites–General

A senior US general said Saturday that countries like Russia and China are actively building weapons that can target space-based US military assets like satellites.

“They’ve been building weapons, testing weapons, building weapons to operate from the earth in space, jamming weapons, laser weapons, and they have not kept it secret,” Gen. John Hyten, the head of US Strategic Command, told an audience at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California.

“They’re building those capabilities to challenge the United States of America, to challenge our allies, and to change the balance of power in the world,” added Hyten, who oversees all US military operations in space. “We cannot allow that to happen.”

Russia and China saw how the US military made successful use of satellites during military operations like the 1991 Gulf War and now seek ways to deny the US the ability to use satellites in future conflicts, Hyten said.

One critical space-based asset are satellites that warn US military planners about the launch of enemy missiles.

“Every missile that comes off the planet is seen first by one of our overhead missile warning capabilities,” Hyten said, adding that the satellites are “not easy to defend.”

Republican Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, spoke alongside Hyten about the threats to US satellites.

“Most folks aren’t thinking about the fact that our first way of detecting a launch by North Korea, so that we can turn our radars to start tracking it and start aiming our interceptors to be able to get it in time, is a satellite up there waiting for that heat signature,” said Rogers, a vocal advocate of creating a separate US military Space Corps.

“We can not let that satellite be dazzled for 10 or 15 minutes, it would be too late,” he added.

Hyten advocated for making satellites more defensible, but he acknowledged that there are currently no rules of engagement when it comes to military conflict in space, adding that international norms are needed.

Heather Wilson, the secretary of the Air Force, said the US needs to embrace a new policy and make it clear that if command and control or warning satellites are targeted, the US “would consider that to be a hostile act” and respond.

“It’s probably time as a country that we start to talk about this,” Wilson said.

CNN

FIFA Extends Media Rights With China TV Till 2022

The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) has extended its rights deal with China’s state broadcaster which has run since the 1978 World Cup.

The global soccer body said on Wednesday that it has agreed to grant China Central Television (CCTV) the exclusive media rights in China for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which will be held in Russia and Qatar respectively.

The deal with the state broadcaster includes all its other major international competitions until 2022, including the women’s World Cup in 2019.

It covered all media rights across all platforms including life, delayed and highlights rights, FIFA said in a statement that gave no financial terms. FIFA said that CCTV, which has broadcast the World Cup in China since the 1978 edition in Argentina, reaches 99 percent of the population throughout the country and that “the partnership will help FIFA to reach the widest possible audience in China”.

“China has an important role to play in FIFA’s global development strategy,” FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said. “Our close partnership with CCTV, reinforced by this new two-cycle deal, will make the FIFA World Cup even more accessible to the Chinese audience, increase further the popularity of the game in the country, and support the development of Chinese football.” China’s team failed to qualify for the 2018 tournament.

China Begins Steps To Enforce Law That Would Leave You Shocked

China’s state media reports that the parliament is considering jail terms of up to three years for people who disrespect the national anthem or flag in public.

 

Recall that in September, China passed a new law mandating up to 15 days in police detention for those who mock the “March of the Volunteers” national anthem, a law that also covers the Chinese territories of Hong Kong and Macau.

 

Parliament is now looking at whether to amend China’s Criminal Law to include criminal penalties for disrespect of the national anthem, including intentionally distorting the lyrics or tune, Xinhua said.  The tougher penalties also apply to a desecration of the national flag, or emblem, including burning, defacing or trampling on it in public, the report said.

 

China’s Curious Engagements In Africa

The offer by the Peoples Republic of China to build the 3,050 megawatts Mambilla hydropower plant at minimal initial monetary commitment to Nigeria is raising some curious discussion points again about China’s constructive engagements in Africa and indeed Nigeria that led Africa to declare boldly to the West on January 11, 1976 that, “Africa has come of age.”

The terms agreed to reflect the positive role that the Peoples Republic of China continues to play in the development of critical infrastructure in the country. According to Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, China would under an import-export financing arrangement, contribute 85 percent and Nigeria would pick up the remaining 15 percent of the $5.72 billion cost. Besides, the interest on the long tenor –up to 20 years- project loan could be as low as 2 percent. It must be noted though, that this financing model also grants that the lending country supplies companies, equipment, and workers for the project. This may not be quite in line with the local content policy of the Nigerian government. But it would be reasonable to expect that the general and long-term benefits of the deal on Mambilla power plant outweigh the immediate concerns.

Coming from an experience of oppression and balkanization by foreign powers that is similar to the imperialism and colonialism suffered by nations of Africa, China’s role in the development of Nigeria as well as Africa, is a story of collaboration, economic assistance, and even diplomatic support that predates independence. And this relationship has been consistently underpinned by an attitude of mutual respect. As China’s economy grows stronger and bigger, its vast financial and human and natural resources have enabled it to relate more confidently with greater impact upon other nations at political, economic, and cultural levels.

The Nigeria – China relations have, in recent years been substantial- but not limited to- economic activities such that, trade has grown into multi-billion dollars level. In 2014, China exported into Nigeria $10.2 billion worth of goods (about 22 percent of total imports but took goods worth only $1.67 billion from here (about 1.7 percent of total exports). Recent figures from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics indicate that China is the leading exporter of goods into Nigeria. In the fourth quarter of 2016, alone N404 billion worth of Chinese goods (17.5 percent of the total) came into this country. But that country did not even feature in the top five importers of Nigerian goods within the same period. Import was valued at over 1 billion dollars. This figure compares –unfavourably, it must be admitted – with Nigeria’s export of only hundreds of millions of dollars to China in the same period. Even now, while China ranks as the highest exporter to Nigeria, that country is not in the top four importers of Nigerian goods. Trade imbalance against Nigeria dates far back into the 1970s when, in 1972 – 74, Nigerian exports were worth a mere $14 million while its imports were worth $249 million.

A glaring and perennial trade imbalance, especially since a fall in oil export to China, raises the question whether China is a colonising power in another garb or is indeed a genuine partner for development and mutual benefits between both countries. The point to keep in mind is that nations relate with others on the primary basis of self-interest, and secondary basis of mutual interest. This is to say it would be naïve to expect China to do business with this country, or indeed any other country, except that its interest is first and foremost served thereby. This should be the article of faith that drives Nigeria as it interacts with China. On balance, however, Nigeria, like other African countries, has benefitted immensely from relations with China.

Nigeria has much to learn from a People’s Republic of China that came into existence only 68 years ago-just a decade earlier than Nigeria as a self-governing state. Besides its thousands of years of history and sophisticated culture, China has gained from a strong, focused, and uncompromisingly patriotic leadership that, in the face of foreign interference and opposition, forged a collective will to survive, thrive, and hold its own in the community of nations, the harnessing of its immense human and natural resources to feed itself, industrialise, and become lately, the second largest economy in the world. It is important to say too that China has extremely low tolerance for that value-corroding, socially destructive cankerworm called corruption.

Nigeria – China relations are similar in several respects, to China dealings with other African countries for the obvious reason that they face largely similar challenges and have basically similar development needs.

China has, historically, been a friend of Nigeria and Africa generally, and has demonstrated this in material and non-material support especially in the post-war economic needs of Nigeria. But the point must not be lost to anyone that China relates with Nigeria- and Africa in a strategic, long-term view manner. Its national leaders visit African countries often, while its envoys regularly relate with local traditional, political, and business leaders on a wide range of platforms. China makes large and small donations such as the $260 million African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa, and cottage hospitals in Nigerian villages. It invests in the land for agricultural and other purposes. It establishes industries through a combination of state-funded large projects on the one hand, and small and medium private commercial and other forms of business. And its citizens mix enough with the local populations to reside and do business in nearly every nook and cranny of their host countries.

Besides, China has established the Confucius Institute in selected Nigerian universities and elsewhere, to encourage the learning of its official language and to spread its culture abroad. It will be no exaggeration to say that the country is in Africa for the long haul. This being so, it behoves Nigeria and Africa to similarly engage China through a most rigorous strategic thinking that ensures maximum benefits and respect in both the short and long terms. One example: while China is one powerful country with a unified, focused and coordinated external policy, Africa is a fragmentation of 54 sovereign countries neither quite united nor sufficiently coordinated in foreign policy to advance the best interests of the continent.

Notwithstanding the best of motives, the one is likely to outsmart the other in a thinking-intensive game of negotiation. The obvious good that Africa derives from this partnership does not mean that everything is fine and flawless. Not at all! Complaints against China’s practices in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa range over many issues. These include the violation of local labour laws in Chinese industrial businesses, the dumping in Nigerian markets of sub-standard, or cheap, or even fake products; the use of Chinese hands where local hands can well serve the purpose; discriminatory pay structures between indigenous and Chinese staff and the ill-treatment of local employees, are some of the unacceptable features.

What is more, Chinese imports on a large scale have also rendered locally produced goods uncompetitive leading to the closure of local industries and job losses. But, according to the former deputy prime minister of Zimbabwe, Prof. Arthur Mutambara, Africa must not blame China but must take responsibility for its own problems – including Chinese misdemeanour – and solve them.

Notwithstanding the reservations about China, there is no doubt that Nigeria – and Africa in general – have much to learn from China, a nation taken in under 70 years from the fourth world level to the first world category, thanks to consistent visionary, fiercely patriotic leadership on the one hand, and a willing, determined, and enduring followership on the other. Besides, China takes the education of its citizens very seriously. The Asian country takes research and development in all areas of knowledge seriously. It also makes sense to remember that China takes the core values that sustain and promote national interest as a fundamental objective of state policy. And it bears repeating: China has extremely low tolerance for corruption in high places. These are the examples African countries must emulate to take a great leap into this very competitive global village.

With China and indeed, any other trading partner, Africa must avoid a repeat of the colonial agenda that maintained it as merely a source of raw materials in one direction and a consumer of finished goods in the other. The Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) remains a good ‘win-win partnership’ platform upon which Africa – China relations must be continually refined to serve the best interests of the two sides. It is said that one who outthinks you will outsmart you. Africa must first assume full responsibility for its development and prosperity before it relies upon outside help. A thoughtful Africa must define in all ramifications, the nature, purpose and method of its relationship with China. The African Union has a duty to set out and continually review the overarching parameters of Africa-China relations such that the continent would never again suffer foreign domination and plunder. While it may be admitted that relations between nations are perpetual work in progress, the point should ever be in focus that a win-win partnership must remain the guiding principle and the watchword of both parties in Africa-China relations. That is the only way we can walk our vaunting that Africa has indeed come of age!

 

 

 

Source: The Guardian

After China’s Uncertainty, Now Russia Threatens To Ban Facebook In 2018

Facebook users in China recently complained about the application been unavailable to some due to the country’s security protocol, Russia has just said it will ban Facebook in 2018 if the social network fails to comply with local data storage laws.

Alexander Zharov, head of communications regulator Roskomnadzor, was quoted by official state media outlets saying “the law is obligatory for all. In all cases we will make sure the law is complied with, or the company will stop working in the Russian Federation. There are no exceptions here.”

Russia’s law on personal data storage came into effect in September 2015 and It requires companies that collect the personal data of citizens to store the information on Russian soil.

Zharov said his agency has not been in contact with Facebook but added that the company needs to comply with the law soon. “In 2018, we will think about it, and maybe we will check,” Zharov told state media that Roskomnadzor had received a letter from Twitter saying it would comply with the data storage law starting in 2018.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Facebook is a commercial enterprise earning money in Russia, and therefore it must comply with the law.

The Drama WhatsApp Users Face In China

Osun Defender has learnt that WhatsApp has been suffering serious disruption in China. According to the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), network measurement data suggests that Chinese internet service providers started blocking access to WhatsApp on Saturday. Public reports on Twitter indicate that WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook, became inaccessible for some people a week ago.

In China on Tuesday, users reported intermittent service on the messaging platform. Over the last few months, there have been a number of WhatsApp disruptions in China. WhatsApp declined to comment on its status there.

The most recent move to censor the encrypted messenger comes ahead of next month’s 19th National Congress of the ruling Communist Party. At the sensitive gathering, which takes place once every five years, the government will select leaders and determine policy priorities.

Usually, China regularly tightens its internet restrictions in the lead-up to major Communist Party meetings.

“Typically, in the run up to Party Congresses, we’ve seen blocking, filtering, restrictions on the internet, and that’s what we’ve been seeing in the last couple months,” said Adam Segal, director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations.

The Chinese government runs a huge apparatus of internet filters known as the Great Firewall, which it uses to censor content that it deems harmful.

However, the latest move against WhatsApp is also part of a wider trend of tightening controls and restrictions under President Xi Jinping, Segal said. China has reinstated WhatsApp access after past disruptions.

WhatsApp users on international SIM cards and data plans have not experienced the same problems. The restrictions appear to specifically target China-based users.

China’s internet regulator did not respond to a request for comment.

WhatsApp’s difficulties cast a shadow over Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s longtime efforts to make Facebook services available in China.

Big U.S. companies have been shut out of China’s market for years, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google. Some people access these services through virtual private networks, or with tools that disguise internet traffic to circumvent censorship. But the Chinese government has been cracking down on VPNs this year.

According to Timothy Heath, senior international defense research analyst at the RAND Corporation, the Chinese government does not like that WhatsApp uses strong encryption.

“The government wants to monitor internet communications, and therefore it’s trying to steer its people to use technology that can be accessed and monitored by the government,” Heath told CNN Tech.

Earlier this month, WeChat, a popular chat service with hundreds of millions of users in China, notified customers of its policies to comply with government requests for information.

Chinese Consortium To Build $5.8bn Mambila Hydroelectric Power Project In Nigeria

China Gezhouba Group’s consortium has secured a contract to build $5.8bn Mambila hydroelectric power project in Nigeria.

Upon completion, the hydroelectric projects will have a power generation capacity of 3,050MW.

The hydroelectric power plant will be located in Gembu, Taraba state, Nigeria. It is claimed to become the largest plant in Nigeria after completion.

The hydroelectric power project will include construction of four dams and 700km of transmission lines.

It will also feature two connecting roads with a total of 15.9km, two total 6.8km of diversion tunnel, two total of 7.6km tailrace tunnel, underground powerhouse, 12 impact water turbine and power generation system, 27,000 tons of gold knot security, and 184km approach road.

Under the terms of the contract, Nigeria will contribute about $870m to the project, representing 15% of overall cost.

The remaining cost of the project will be met by the China Energy Engineering through funding from the China Exim Bank.

Nigeria’s hydro power capacity is expected to exceed 4,500MW after the completion of the Mambilla power project.

In August, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of Nigeria approved the development of the hydroelectric power project.

Due to funding constraints, the project faced many delays even as it was first conceived in 1982.

Responding to the executive council’s approval to the project last month, Nigeria Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola was quoted by Nigeria Today as saying: “Several efforts had been made to bring it to reality but I’m happy to announce that this government approved the contract today to joint ventures of Chinese Civil and Engineering company for the engineering and turn-key contract, including civil and electro-mechanical works for $5.792bn.”

Source: Energy Business Review

N’Korea Nuclear Issue Must Be Resolved – China

Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, told his Russian counterpart during a meeting at the UN, that the North Korean nuclear issue must be resolved peacefully, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

The U.S. and South Korea, and separately Russia together with China, started military drills on Wednesday in a show of force against North Korea, which repeatedly defied the UN to conduct nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Wang said in a meeting with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Monday that China would strictly implement UN Security Council sanctions and stressed that “parties directly involved” must also take action and responsibility.

“The current deepening vicious cycle must be broken. Resuming peace talks is an equally important step in implementing Security Council resolutions,” Wang said, according to a statement on the foreign ministry website.

Russia has supported China’s “suspension-for-suspension” proposal, where the U.S. and South Korea would agree to halt joint military drills while North Korea halted missile and nuclear tests.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Donald Trump spoke about keeping the pressure on North Korea using economic sanctions imposed through the UN, the White House said on Monday.

Trump and Xi spoke on the phone days after Trump and his aides publicly discussed potential military action against North Korea.

Trump said on Friday he was “more confident than ever that our options in addressing this threat are both effective and overwhelming”.

Pyongyang carried out the latest in a rapid series of missile launches by firing another mid-range ballistic missile over Japan on Friday, soon after its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, in defiance of UN sanctions and other international pressure.

Russia, China In Joint Naval Drills Near North Korea

China and Russia began naval drills near North Korea on Monday amid continuing tensions over the isolated state’s nuclear ambitions and ahead of a United Nations General Assembly meeting this week, where North Korea is likely to loom large.

North Korea launched a missile over Japan last Friday, its second in the past three weeks, and conducted its sixth and by far most powerful nuclear test on Sept. 3, in defiance of international pressure.

The official Xinhua news agency said the joint exercises will take place between Peter the Great Bay, just outside of the Russian far eastern port of Vladivostok, not far from the Russia-North Korea border, and into the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, to the north of Japan.

The drills are the second part of China-Russian naval exercises this year, the first part of which took place in the Baltic in July. The report did not directly link the drills to current tensions over North Korea.

According to TASS, Russia and China will deploy 11 ships and two submarines during the drill that will run till 26 September.

“The second stage of the international Russian-Chinese Maritime Cooperation-2017 exercise will involve 11 surface ships, two submarines, two deep-submergence rescue vehicles, four anti-submarine warfare aircraft and four shipborne helicopters,” spokesman Vladimir Matveyev said.

Russia will send the Admiral Tributs Udaloy-class destroyer, the Sovershenny corvette and the Igor Belousov rescue ship, carrying the AS-40 deep-submergence rescue vehicle and the R-11 missile corvette. In addition, the Pacific Fleet will also be represented by the Sovetskaya Gavan Grisha-class corvette, the Viktor Faleyev hydrographic survey vessel, the MB-93 sea tug and two diesel-electric submarines that were not named.

The four-vessel Chinese task force will be led by the Shijiazhuang destroyer.

“In addition, the naval phase of the exercise will involve the training of ship-aircraft coordination. This element will involve two Il-38 planes, two Tu-142M3 planes, a Ka-27PS and a Ka-27 helicopters of the Pacific Fleet’s naval aviation. The aviation of the Chinese Navy will be represented by Z-9C and Z-9D shipborne helicopters,” Matveyev said.

Both China and Russia have repeatedly called for a peaceful solution and talks to resolve the North Korean issue.

The international community must remain united and enforce sanctions against North Korea after its repeated launch of ballistic missiles, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an editorial published in the New York Times on Sunday.

Such tests are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and show that North Korea can now target the United States or Europe, Abe said.

Diplomacy and dialogue will not work with North Korea and concerted pressure by the entire international community is essential to tackle the threats posed by North Korea, Abe wrote.

A week ago, the 15-member U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted its ninth sanctions resolution since 2006 over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.

On Monday, the official China Daily said sanctions should be given time to bite but that the door must be left open to talks.

“With its Friday missile launch, Pyongyang wanted to give the impression that sanctions will not work. Some people have fallen for that and immediately echoed the suggestion, pointing to the failure of past sanctions to achieve their purpose,” it said in an editorial.

“But that past sanctions did not work does not mean they will not. It is too early to claim failure because the latest sanctions have hardly begun to take effect. Giving the sanctions time to bite is the best way to make Pyongyang reconsider.”

Pyongyang has launched dozens of missiles as it accelerates a weapons programme designed to provide the ability to target the United States with a powerful, nuclear-tipped missile.

North Korea said on Saturday it aimed to reach an “equilibrium” of military force with the United States.