Indonesia strengthens its military presence in disputed maritime zone
UNTV News • January 8, 2020 • 318
Jakarta – Indonesia has strengthened its military presence in the South China Sea by deploying four warships in response to the presence of Chinese vessels in the area, triggering a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
Defense commander, Yudo Margono, on Tuesday told local media Kompas that a fishing boat and two Chinese coast guards vessels remained in the waters near Natuna Islands, which Jakarta considers as its exclusive economic zone.
However, Beijing claims the islands as its own along with almost all of the South China Sea.
With these ships, the Indonesian armed forces have now deployed 10 military vessels in the area in the face of China’s apparent territorial ambitions.
Chinese fishing boats arrived in Natuna towards the end of December, prompting the Indonesian foreign ministry to summon the Chinese ambassador in Jakarta and send a diplomatic letter defending its territorial sovereignty.
“There is no negotiation when it comes to our sovereignty,” Indonesian president Joko Widodo had said during a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi issued a statement on Monday asking China to respect the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, to which it is a party.
Indonesia’s chief security minister, Mahfud MD, on his part, announced ending 120 fishing vessels to the disputed maritime region, which was named North Natuna Sea by Jakarta in 2017.
The dispute over the Natuna Islands dates back to 2016, when Indonesia decided to build military bases in the region following a series of conflicts with Chinese fishing boats.
Besides Indonesia, China is locked in sovereignty disputes over the South China Sea with the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan.
Beijing stakes claim on nearly the entire South China Sea region, an area through which $5 billion worth of commercial traffic passes annually, and which boasts large fishing zones and is reportedly rich in oil and gas reserves. EFE-EPA
China’s lunar rover Yutu-2, or Jade Rabbit-2, has helped scientists unveil the secrets buried deep under the surface on the far side of the Moon, enriching human’s understanding about the history of celestial collision and volcanic activities and shedding new light on the geological evolution on the Moon.
China’s Chang’e-4 probe made the first-ever soft landing on the eastern floor of the Von Karman Crater within the South Pole-Aitken Basin on the far side of the Moon on Jan 3, 2019. After its landing, the spacecraft immediately deployed its Yutu-2 rover, which uses Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) to investigate the underground it roams.
A study conducted by a research team led by Li Chunlai and Su Yan at the National Astronomical Observatories of China (NAOC) reveals what lurks below the lunar surface.
As a result of the tidal locking effect, the Moon’s revolution cycle is the same as its rotation cycle, and the same side always faces Earth.
The research team used the LPR on Yutu-2 to send radio signals deep into the surface of the Moon, reaching a depth of 40 meters by the high-frequency channel of 500 MHz – more than three times the depth previously reached by the Chang’e-3 lunar probe, which was sent to the near side of the Moon at the end of 2013.
The results of the radar data collected by the LPR during the first two lunar days (a lunar day equals 14 days on Earth) of operation provide the first electromagnetic image of the subsurface structure of the far side of the Moon and the first “ground truth” of the stratigraphic architecture of an ejecta deposit, said Li Chunlai, deputy director of the NAOC.
“The first layer is a fine 12-meter soil layer below the surface. The second layer between 12 and 24 meters under the ground has a lot of stones and the strongest radar echo. It even forms a stone layer and stacks of loose stones. There are three gravel stacks. The third layer is 24-40 meters under the surface. Radar echo shows its dark and bright parts, so there are granules and scattered stones,” said Su Yan, a researcher from the NAOC.
The scientists analyzed the radar image with tomographic technique, and the result shows that the subsurface is essentially made by highly porous granular materials embedding boulders of different sizes.
The content is likely the result of a turbulent early solar system, when meteors and other space debris frequently struck the Moon. The impact site would eject material to other areas, creating a cratered surface atop a subsurface with varying layers, said Li.
“We find the ejecta have many layers and each layer is different from each other. It may mean the place has lots of ejecta from impact sites, so history of meteorite impacts here is very complicated. It also shows the Moon was frequently struck by small celestial bodies, and debris will be ejected to bottom of the Von Karman Crater. The ejecta have recorded history of meteorite impact on the Moon,” said Li.
As the Yutu-2 rover has walked about 300 meters, Li said his team expects new discovery in the future.
“We hope it can walk out of the ejecta-covered area. If it can enter a basalt zone, maybe we can better understand distribution and structure of ejecta from meteorite impacts. The distance may be 1.8 kilometers. I think it may take another one year for the rover to walk out of the ejecta-covered area,” Li said.
The study was published Wednesday in the latest issue of Science Advances. (Reuters)
Thermal screenings, disinfectant spraying and arrival registrations were underway for people entering the city through Shanghai Railway Station on Thursday (February 27) to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus.
Almost 2.3 million people travelled back to the Chinese financial hub by rail after the lunar new year holiday according to Shanghai railway station.
Travellers arriving or leaving by rail in Shanghai had to undergo checks for high temperatures by train staff before being allowed to leave the station.
People can head back to work as reported new cases of coronavirus outside the worst-hit province fell to the lowest in a month.
Yang Hao, who comes from Anhui province, said he would quarantine himself for a fortnight before going back to work.
Mainland China reported 433 new cases of coronavirus infections on Feb. 26, the National Health Commission said on Thursday, up from 406 on the previous day.
The total number of confirmed cases on mainland China has now reached 78,497 and the outbreak has now killed a total of 2,744 people. (Reuters)
Babies, previously critically-ill patients were on the list of people recovering from the novel coronavirus infection and discharged from hospital since Tuesday, sending hope and inspiration to China and other parts of the world as the globe continues to battle against the pulmonary disease officially known as COVID-19.
On Wednesday, doctors bade a happy farewell to 23 patients who were discharged from the first Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)-oriented temporary hospital in central China’s Wuhan, the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, after they recovered from the novel coronavirus disease.
The recovery of the patients, who all received TCM treatment while at the hospital, speaks for the value of TCM clinical treatment and research in the fight against the ongoing epidemic.
After leaving the hospital, the group of patients will go into a 14-day quarantine at designated facilities in the city for further observation as planned.
While on Tuesday, a total of 2,422 people across China walked out of hospital after recovery, according to the daily report by the National Health Commission.
Sixty-eight-year-old Yang was one of the seven patients leaving the hospital in Shanghai on Tuesday. The man had been critically ill after being diagnosed with COVID-19 on Jan. 23.
Normally patients can be discharged when the symptoms are alleviated, the body temperature remains at a normal range for at least three days, and the nucleic acid test shows a negative result twice.
However, doctors take extra care for patients in severe and critical conditions like Yang and usually maintain a longer observation period before discharging them.
“If we discharge critical patients so easily, we might put them in danger because they may still suffer from poor immunity, weak overall physical condition, and multiple organ functions have yet to recover. They may have a relapse of the disease, which may be caused not only by coronavirus infection, but also by other secondary bacterial infections. So we are extra cautious when it comes to evaluating the condition of critical patients,” said Hu Bijie, director of the infectious disease department of Zhongshan Hospital in Shanghai.
In central China’s Hunan Province, many were relieved to see a three-month-old baby discharged from a hospital in the province’s Yueyang City on Tuesday.
Little Chenchen had been the youngest COVID-19 patient in the province. He received great care from doctors and nurses at the First People’s Hospital of Yueyang since arriving there on Feb. 14.
“The baby is so young that his body and immune system are not fully developed. So we need to pay extra attention to observe him in our daily nursing service — the baby does not speak, he just cries when feeling uncomfortable. The nursing staff watch closely how well he eats, sleeps and breathes. We also communicate with the mother every time we go on ward round,” said Yang Lirong, a nurse at the hospital.
Beside the infant, another 27 patients left hospital in good health in Hunan the same day. So far 779 of the province’s 1,016 confirmed patients are out of hospital.
While in the southern island province of Hainan, eight cured coronavirus patients walked out of hospital on Tuesday, bringing the total number of discharged patients in the province to 124. (CCTV via Reuters Connect)
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