Tag Archives: taiwan

China takes aim at Vietnam in South China Sea

China accuses Vietnam in South China Sea row

China has accused Vietnam of “gravely violating” its sovereignty in an escalating row over disputed waters in the South China Sea.

Beijing said Vietnam had endangered Chinese sailors’ lives and warned it to stop “all invasive activities”.

It follows an accusation by Vietnam that a Chinese fishing boat rammed cables from an oil exploration vessel inside its exclusive economic zone.

China is engaged in maritime border disputes with several countries.

The South China Sea includes important shipping routes and may contain rich oil and gas deposits.

The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have rival claims in the area; China’s claim is by far the largest.

The US has also expressed concern about China’s rising naval ambitions.
Escalating dispute

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Chinese fishing boats were chased away by armed Vietnamese ships on Thursday.

He said that during the incident the fishing net of one of the Chinese boats became tangled with the cables of a Vietnamese oil exploring vessel which continued to drag the Chinese vessel for more than an hour before the net had to be cut.

Protesters shout anti-China slogans during a protest in Hanoi, 5 June 2011. Hackers have taken up where protesters left off.

China insists the Vietnamese vessel was operating illegally in the area.

“By conducting unlawful oil and gas surveys in seas around the Wanan Bank of the Spratly archipelago and by driving out a Chinese fishing vessel, Vietnam has gravely violated China’s sovereignty and maritime rights,” said Mr Hong.

“China demands that Vietnam cease all violations,”
he said, adding that Vietnam should “not take actions that would complicate and expand the dispute“.

Beijing’s strong-worded statement followed Vietnam’s accusation that a Chinese fishing boat had “intentionally rammed” the exploration cables of a Vietnamese boat – the second such incident in two weeks.

That vessel, chartered by state energy giant PetroVietnam, was conducting a seismic survey inside its 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone on Thursday, said foreign ministry spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga.

She described the “premeditated and carefully calculated” attack as part of China’s attempts to control disputed waters.

“This is unacceptable to Vietnam,” she said, adding that her colleagues had met Chinese embassy officials “to express our opposition to such acts”.

On Thursday, hackers from both countries planted patriotic messages on hundreds of websites, including government sites.

It follows anti-China protests by hundreds of Vietnamese over the weekend.
Seeking resolution

China’s ambassador to the Philippines, Liu Jianchao, has insisted China’s intentions were peaceful and said that China was not looking for oil in the disputed waters and, therefore, no other country should.

“We’re calling on other parties to stop searching for the possibility of exploiting resources in these areas where China has its claims,”
he told reporters.

“We will never use force unless we are attacked,” he said.

The Philippine government has accused two Chinese patrol boats of harassing a Philippine oil exploration ship on 2 March this year.

The Philippines has said it has seen new structures being built on islands which it claims.

“That’s part of our exercise of jurisdiction. It’s not harassment,”
Mr Liu said.

He also rejected the involvement of the United States in regional attempts to resolve the long-running territorial dispute.

China prefers to tackle each conflicting claim with each country separately.

Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines have led regional efforts to seek a multilateral resolution of the conflict.


China tells U.S. not to play with fire over Taiwan

China paper tells U.S. not to play with fire over Taiwan

(Reuters) – China’s top official newspaper warned on Friday that “madmen” on Capitol Hill who want the United States to sell advanced weapons to Taiwan were playing with fire and could pay a “disastrous price,” as the Obama administration nears a decision on a sale.

The People’s Daily, the main paper of China’s ruling Communist Party, said the United States should excise the “cancer” of the law which authorizes Washington’s sale of weapons to the self-ruled island of Taiwan that China considers its own territory.

Taiwan’s biggest ally and arms supplier, the United States is committed under a 1979 law to supply it with the weapons it needs to maintain a “sufficient self-defense capability.”

Taiwan hopes to buy 66 late-model F-16 aircraft from the United States, a sale potentially valued at more than $8 billion and intended to phase out its remaining F-5 fighters.

The arms sale debate has been building steam in the United States, with U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, where Lockheed Martin Corp manufactures the F-16, saying killing the sale would cost valuable U.S. jobs.

“At present, some madmen on Capitol Hill are making an uproar about consolidating and expanding this cancer,”
the People’s Daily said in a commentary, adding these politicians were “wildly arrogant.”

“If these crazy ideas come to fruition, what kind of predicament will Sino-U.S. relations find themselves in?”
the paper wrote.

The commentary appeared under a pen name “Zhong Sheng,” a name suggesting the meaning the “voice of China,” which is sometimes used to reflect higher-level opinion.

While China and the United States have sparred over everything from trade, Tibet and the internet over the past few years, ties have improved drastically following President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States in January.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have “not easily reached the point where they are today, and need to be cherished and protected to the greatest extent,” the commentary wrote.

“Some people want to turn back the tide of history, but they must be clear about the disastrous price they will have to pay,”
it added.

“A word of advice for those muddleheaded congressmen: don’t go too far, don’t play with fire.”

U.S. President Barack Obama is due by October 1 to say what, if anything, his administration plans to do to boost Taiwan’s aging air force.

Beijing strongly opposes the potential arms sale to the island it deems an illegitimate breakaway province. But Taiwan says it needs the jets to counter China’s growing military strength.

The request for the new F-16s has been pending informally since 2006. Taiwan in 2009 also requested an upgrade to its 146 old F-16 A/B models. Then-President George H.W. Bush sold Taiwan its first F-16s in 1992.

Analysts have told Reuters a full package of new jets is unlikely to be approved by the Obama administration, but that it may instead offer Taiwan an upgrade on existing F-16A/B jets worth up to $4.2 billion.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie)


“Hypothetical” Surprise Attack On U.S. Outlined By China

Hypothetical attack on U.S. outlined by China

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By Patrick Winn – Staff writer

In a hypothetical future scenario, the U.S. and China are poised to clash — likely over Taiwan.

The democratic Republic of China, commonly called Taiwan — which America backs and the communist People’s Republic of China considers part of its territory — frequently irritates Chinese leaders with calls for greater independence from the mainland. But while the American military mulls its options, Chinese missiles hit runways, fuel lines, barracks and supply depots at U.S. Air Force bases in Japan and South Korea. Long-range warheads destroy American satellites, crippling Air Force surveillance and communication networks. A nuclear fireball erupts high above the Pacific Ocean, ionizing the atmosphere and scrambling radars and radio feeds.

This is China’s anti-U.S. sucker punch strategy.

It’s designed to strike America’s military suddenly, stunning and stalling the Air Force more than any other service. In a script written by Chinese military officers and defense analysts, a bruised U.S. military, beholden to a sheepish American public, puts up a small fight before slinking off to avoid full-on war.

This strategic outlook isn’t hidden in secret Chinese documents. It’s printed in China’s military journals and textbooks. And for much of last year, Mandarin literates and defense experts — working for the Santa Monica, Calif.-based Rand Corp. on an Air Force contract — combed through a range of Chinese military sources.

They emerged with “Entering the Dragon’s Lair,” a lengthy report on how the Chinese People’s Liberation Army would likely confront the U.S. military and how the Air Force in particular can brace itself. In many cases, the theoretical enemy nation China’s officers discuss in these scenarios isn’t explicitly named but is unmistakably the U.S.

“These aren’t war plans,”
said report co-author Roger Cliff, a former Defense Department strategist and China military specialist who spoke to Air Force Times from Taiwan. “This is the military talking to itself. It’s not designed for foreigners or even China’s general public to read.”

Element of surprise

When it comes to conflict with the U.S., Chinese military analysts favor age-old schoolyard wisdom: Throw the first punch and hit hard.

“Future conflicts are likely to be short, intense affairs that might consist of a single campaign,” Cliff said. “They’re thinking about ways to get the drop on us. Most of our force is not forward-deployed.”

China’s experts concede its army would lose a head-on fight, with one senior colonel comparing such a scenario to “throwing an egg against a rock.” Instead, the Chinese would attempt what Rand calls an “anti-access” strategy: slowing the deployment of U.S. forces to the Pacific theater, damaging operations within the region and forcing the U.S. to fight from a distance.

“Taking the enemy by surprise,” one Chinese military expert wrote, “would catch it unprepared and cause confusion within and huge psychological pressure on the enemy and help [China] win relatively large victories at relatively small costs.” Another military volume suggests feigning a large-scale military training exercise to conceal the attack’s buildup.

The Dragon’s Lair

Striking U.S. air bases — specifically command-and-control facilities, aircraft hangars and surface-to-air missile launchers — would be China’s first priority if a conflict arose, according to Rand’s report.

U.S. facilities in South Korea and Japan, even far-south Okinawa, sit within what Rand calls the “Dragon’s Lair”: a swath of land and sea along China’s coast. This is an area reachable by cruise missiles, jet-borne precision bombs and local covert operatives. Air Force bases within this area include Osan and Kunsan in South Korea, as well as Misawa, Yokota and Kadena in Japan. And in a conflict over Taiwan, any nation allowing “an intervening superpower” such as the U.S. to operate inside its territory can expect a Chinese attack, according to China’s defense experts.

China is designing ground-launched cruise missiles capable of nailing targets more than 900 miles away — well within striking range of South Korea and much of Japan, according to the report. Cruise missiles able to reach Okinawa — home to Kadena Air Base — are in development.

The Chinese would first launch “concentrated and unexpected” attacks on tarmacs using runway-penetrating missiles and, soon after, would target U.S. aircraft. Saboteurs would play a role in reconnaissance, harassing operations and even “assassinating key personnel,” according to another military expert.

Chinese fighter jets would scramble to intercept aerial refueling tankers and cargo planes sent to shuttle in fuel, munitions, supplies or troops. High-explosive cluster bombs would target pilot quarters and other personnel buildings.

Because the American public is “abnormally sensitive” about military casualties, according to an article in China’s Liberation Army Daily, killing U.S. airmen or other personnel would spark a “domestic anti-war cry” on the home front and possibly force early withdrawal of U.S. forces. (“The U.S. experience in Somalia is usually cited in support of this assertion,” according to the Rand report.) Once this hard-and-fast assault on U.S. bases commenced, the Chinese army would “swiftly divert” its forces and “guard vigilantly against enemy retaliation,” according to a Chinese expert.

Dumb and blind The PLA also would likely use less conventional attacks on the American military’s vital communications network. The goal, as one Chinese expert put it: leaving U.S. combat capabilities “blind,” “deaf” and “paralyzed.

Losing early-warning systems designed to detect incoming missiles would be, for the Air Force, the most devastating setback — one that could force the service to exit the region altogether, according to Rand.

China could also launch a nuclear “e-bomb,” or electromagnetic explosive, that would fry U.S. communication equipment while ionizing the atmosphere for minutes to hours, according to the report. This would likely jam radio signals in a 900-mile diameter beneath the nuclear fireball.

The PLA could also employ long-range anti-satellite missiles — similar to one successfully tested last January — to destroy one or more American satellites. However, the PLA has a host of less dramatic options: short-range jammers hidden in suitcases or bombs and virus attacks on Air Force computer networks.

U.S. Air Force options

Shielding against a swift Chinese onslaught is, according to Rand, as simple as reinforcing a runway or as complex as cloaking the orbit of military satellites.

In the short term, U.S. air bases inside the Dragon’s Lair should add an extra layer of concrete to their runways and bury fuel tanks underground. All aircraft, the report said, should be parked in hardened shelters, especially fighter jets.

Parking larger aircraft — bombers, tankers and E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control Systems jets — in hard-shell hangars would be expensive and difficult but likely worth the cost, according to the report.

U.S. fighter jets remain the best defense against incoming Chinese missile attacks. But, given China’s taste for sudden attacks, surface-launched missile defense systems must be installed long before a conflict roils. Because the PLA is expected to strike quickly, the report said, waiting for the first tremors of conflict is not an option.

The Air Force also should fortify itself against Chinese hackers by using software encryption, isolating critical computer systems and preparing contingency plans to communicate without a high-bandwidth network. Though China maintains a “no first use” nuclear bomb policy, the U.S., according to Rand, should warn China that nuclear electromagnetic pulse attacks will be considered acts of nuclear aggression and could prompt nuclear retaliation.

Rand insists the Air Force must defend satellites — which support communication, reconnaissance, bomb guidance and more — against China’s proven satellite-killing missiles. This could be accomplished in the Cold War tradition of mutually assured destruction by threatening to retaliate in kind if the PLA blasts U.S. satellites.

“That might be the one restraining factor,
” Cliff said. “They might not want to start that space war.”

Or, Rand suggests, the U.S. could invest heavily in satellite protection or evasion techniques, including stealth, blending in with other satellite constellations or perhaps developing and deploying microsatellites capable of swarming to defend larger satellites, which the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is working toward.

Could this really happen? The Chinese first-strike strategy is “more than hypothetical,” according to the report. But in the near term, at least, it’s considered unlikely.

If the most contentious issue is Taiwan, Cliff said, then the likely trigger would be Taiwanese elections, where assertions of complete independence from the mainland can infuriate Chinese leaders. China’s current president, Hu Jintao, has built up China’s military but also its ties with America. In 2012, however, when Taiwan holds an election and mainland China’s leadership is expected to turn over, perhaps for the worse, the risk of conflict could increase.

“It really depends on the circumstances,
” Cliff said. “Would Taiwan be the provocateur? If so, it might be hard for the American public to support intervention.”

However, if China moves to capture control of the island, Cliff said he believes the U.S. would face a rocky dilemma.

“Are we really going to let a small, democratic country get snuffed out by a huge authoritarian country — especially when you think about how our own country came into existence?”
Cliff said.

As China pours more resources into its evolving and expanding military, it buys the power to more strongly assert itself against America. In November, China denied U.S. Navy minesweepers shelter from a storm and, in another incident that month, turned down an Air Force C-17 flight shuttling supplies to the American consulate in Hong Kong. Experts speculate this was a rebuff to American arms sales to Taiwan, as well as President Bush’s autumn meeting with the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of another state China claims, Tibet.

“If this conflict happened today, I’m certain we’d prevail,”
Cliff said. “But as time goes on, that’s not a given.”


China’s Quest for Taiwan

China’s Quest for Taiwan

By Sobia Hanif

Taiwan issue has been a long standing crucial point in the US-China relationship. China’s persistent claim that Taiwan is an integral part of the mainland has not only been challenged by the Taiwanese government repeatedly but also taunted by the rigorous flow of economic and military aid to Taiwan, under the Taiwan Relations Act. This intern has resulted in creating a rancorous relationship not only between Taiwan and China but also a relationship based on suspicion between the US and China. While China feels betrayed by Taiwan because it is harboring US interests in the Pacific and providing the US an opportunity to contain China’s ever-growing influence in the region, it also wants to integrate Taiwan into it’s mainland in accordance with the “one country two system’s proposal” to elevate it’s national prestige and to make allowances for China’s losses in the past.

Taiwan issue is more complex than it appears. The US political, strategic and business interests have compounded it furthermore. US interests in the region can be traced back to the mid 19th century when the US began to expand in Asia Pacific. M.C Perry, who led a US fleet to visit the island in 1854 even, proposed that Taiwan be procured as a front post for the US to ensure stability in western pacific. Perry also wrote that if the US could control Taiwan, it could also control China. After the cession of Taiwan to Japan in accordance with the Treaty of Shimohoseki, at the end of Sino-Japanese war of 1895, the US involvement in the region ended for nearly half a century. The Cairo Declaration of 1 December 1943 committed the US and other Allied powers to restore to China “all the territories Japan had stolen from the Chinese including Taiwan and Penghu”. This commitment was reaffirmed in the Potsdam Proclamation of 26 July 1945. The situation changed dramatically with the outbreak of The Korean War in 1950. The US perceived this as part of a larger plan to expand communism in Asia and considered the Soviet Union and China to be the masterminds behind it while China considered it a hostile act of the United States to block unification. The US thus retained Taiwan as a frontline ally in western Pacific and for the next three decades actively supported Taiwan against China’s claim that it is an integral part of the Chinese mainland.

However, the US congress passed The Taiwan Relations Act in1979 according to which the US could provide Taiwan with arms of a defensive nature. The PRC strongly condemned this act and considered it “an unwarranted intrusion by the United States in the internal affairs of China.” Keeping in view the Strategic importance of Taiwan the US provided it with military aid worth $5.6 billion between 1945 and the late 1970’s. Also from 1955-78, South Korea and Taiwan received over $9 billion in military assistance. During the same Period the US contributed only $3.2 billion to Africa and Latin America combined. US arms transfer to Taiwan has been significant despite the absence of a diplomatic relationship or a treaty alliance. The value of deliveries of the US defence articles and services to Taiwan totaled $3.7 billion in the 2001-2004 period and $3.9 billion in 2005-2008. Among customers worldwide, Taiwan ranked 3rd (behind Egypt and Saudi Arabia) in 2001-2004 and 4th (behind Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia) in 2005-2008

Under the Taiwan Relations Act (TRA) was enacted on 10 april1979, the US has been providing military and economic aid to Taiwan in order to defend itself against any act of aggression by China. However, this act is unique in itself because of a number of reasons. Firstly, the TRA falls short of a defence treaty. The language that has been used in the act implies statements of policy rather than law. Therefore it lacks binding authority. On the contrary, China finalized Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) with Taiwan.

The ECFA is considered to be the most significant agreement between China and Taiwan since the end of the civil war in 1949. It cuts tariffs on 539 Taiwanese exports to China as compared to 267 Chinese products entering China. It is estimated that ECFA will boost bilateral trade to $110bn a year. Many in Taiwan consider this deal to be a major success for improving the economic condition of Taiwan which has been badly hit by the economic downturn in IT and the general trend of economic recession all over the world. With the major world powers recovering from the recession, Taiwan has also been looking for ways to resuscitate its economy. By entering into the ECFA with China, Taiwan not only intends to improve its economy but its relations with China also. Apart from the economic packages offered to Taiwan, China has also approved regular direct charter flights, direct sea transportation, postal links and food safety mechanisms.

Taiwan has reciprocated by lifting longstanding restrictions on business investment in China and lowered its bid for participation in the UN agencies. Due to the growing proximity in relations between Taiwan and China, many analysts believe that the Taiwan-PRC relations are eroding US influence in the Pacific. A spokesperson for President Ma stated that “These will not only have a wide-ranging influence on the future development of ties between China and Taiwan, it will also help further consolidate peace and prosperity.” The deal was signed by semi-official representatives of both sides and not government representatives in order to avoid giving any implicit indication that it was an agreement between two different states.

Although the ECFA is not a full scale Free Trade Area (FTA) but in practice, China has given more benefits to Taiwan than it gave to ASEAN in the CHINA-ASEAN FTA. While China agreed to make tariff cuts on 400 items for ASEAN, it made tariff cuts on 593 products for Taiwan.

Never the less many dissenting notes have been heard expressing their concerns regarding the ECFA saying that the deal would make Taiwan’s economy too dependent on China and in turn it could be used to force Taiwan to comply with its demands and thus compromise its sovereignty. The Chinese government has also stated clearly that it intends to promote an economic integration and eventually a politic integration of the two. Many analysts in the west consider this an attempt to jeopardize US interests in the region by offering Taiwan “a big, fat dollop of honey which would serve as a suicide tablet for Taiwan in the long run. Taiwan has recently shown little interest in re-engagement with the US, realizing that this would undermine its efforts to promote economic cooperation with China. Taiwan has been keeping a low profile with the US and showing interest in developing positive relations with China. Under president Ma Ying jeou, China is trying to solidify the ECFA so that it can advance trade with China and other countries in Asia and elsewhere. It has conducted joint naval exercises with the Chinese navy, thus presenting a show of solidarity with the Chinese government.

Taiwan also aligned itself with China in its dispute over the Senkaku islands with Japan. Taiwan sent coastguard ships to protect Taiwanese fishermen working in the disputed region. These islands are under Japanese administration with claims by Hong Kong, Taipei and Beijing. The conflict began when a Chinese fishing trawler collided with a Japanese coastguard. The Chinese crew was arrested but later released but the skipper was kept in detention.

The Chinese responded immediately with harsh criticism from the highest governmental levels. Eventually the skipper was also released. Taiwan offered its complete support to China against Japan while realizing that the US had vowed to protect “the territories under the administration of Japan” according to US-Japan security treaties.

Taiwan does not want to upset its relations with the US, despite its continued proximity with the Chinese. Taiwan has long been well aware of its strategic importance for the US and continues to play smart by demanding further leverages from the US. Former US Deputy Secretary of State, Richard Armitage visited Taipei on 25th March 2011. President Ma urged the US government to admit Taiwan into its visa waiver program and permit the sale of F-16 C/D Falcons as soon as possible. Furthermore Taiwan has long been asking the US for a Taiwan-US FTA.

What appears to be happening here is that the Taiwanese government is seeking to reap benefits from both the present and the emerging superpowers of the world. However, it is yet to be seen for how long the Taiwanese government can play the balancing act and what will be its eventual outcome.

China is employing a multi-dimensional approach towards the Taiwan issue. This approach largely comprises of economic incentives, diplomatic engagement and military cooperation with Taiwan and other Asia-Pacific states. The Chinese government claims that by such advances China will succeed in creating a congenial environment in Asia-Pacific region which will in turn facilitate Taiwan’s eventual unification with the mainland. For now it appears that China is playing its cards well and this is illustrated by the Taiwanese government’s inclination towards China. Not only has Taiwan supported such acts on part of the Chinese government but has shown interest in similar lucrative opportunities for bilateral cooperation.

Other than promoting its soft image in the world, China continues to advance and modernize its military. The grandiosity of its military might is without doubt intimidating for Taiwan. This is proven by the fact that China continues to maintain the deployment of around 1300 missiles directed towards Taiwan. The actual use of those missiles may never really come into practice but it is of immense symbolic significance. Another aspect of China’s strategy for Taiwan’s unification is the strengthening and enlargement of its diplomatic circle. The current Chinese leadership has succeeded in persuading a growing number of ASEAN states to declare some form of neutrality in the event of a military conflict between the US and China over the Taiwan issue. In this regard Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and South Korea have assured Beijing that they would not support the US in such a conflict.

The US seriously needs to rethink its policy towards Taiwan. The change of government in Taiwan in 2008 marked a major shift in its policy towards China, emphasizing on cooperation rather than confrontation. This should be a good enough a reason for the US to reassess its previous policies regarding the Taiwan issue. In January 2010, President Obama announced his decision to send $ 6.4 billion in arms to Taiwan. In response the Chinese expressed their disapproval of the action. According to the Chinese foreign minister, the step “constitutes a gross intervention into China’s internal affairs” The main question that needs to be addressed here is that should the US continue to send billions of dollars in military and economic aid into Taiwan while its own economy has received major setbacks at home. Many analysts state that by doing so the US could be headed down the path of a fiscal suicide following the examples of the Soviet Union and Great Britain. Such an approach could eventually become the greatest threat to its national security. The US also needs to decide whether maintaining support for Taiwan will be beneficial for the US or improving relations with China will be a better option in its times of financial crunch. Furthermore, the US needs to rethink about how far it can go to ensure Taiwan’s independence and what it would cost the US in the long run.


Radiation detected in Massachusetts rainwater as Fukushima crisis worsens

Radiation detected in Massachusetts rainwater as Fukushima crisis worsens

Mike Adams
March 28, 2011

The Fukushima crisis continues to worsen by the day, with nuclear experts around the world finally realizing and admitting we’ve all been lied to. “I think maybe the situation is much more serious than we were led to believe,” said Najmedin Meshkati of the University of Southern California, in a Reuters report (http://www.reuters.com/article/2011…). That same article revealed that recent radiation readings at Fukushima show “contamination 100,000 times normal in water at reactor No. 2 and 1,850 times normal in the nearby sea.”

Massachusetts rainwater has also been found to be contaminated with low levels of radiation from Fukushima, indicating just how widespread the radioactive fallout has become. It’s not just the West Coast of North America that’s vulnerable, in other words: even the East Coast could receive dangerous levels of fallout if Fukushima suffers a larger release of radioactive material into the air.

Rolling blackouts are now continuing throughout Japan due to the drop in power production from Fukushima diminishing Japan’s electricity generating capacity (http://english.kyodonews.jp/news/20…). The only reason Japan isn’t experiencing widespread power blackouts right now is because so many factories were damaged or swept away from the tsunami itself. Once a serious rebuilding effort gets underway, Japan is going to find itself critically short of electrical power.

The radiation leaking from Reactor No. 2 is now measured at 1,000 millisieverts an hour — more than enough to cause someone’s hair to fall out from a single exposure event. Radiation sickness can begin at just 100 millisieverts. The extremely high levels of radiation are, in fact, making it nearly impossible for workers to continue working at the reactor. “You’d have a lot of difficulty putting anyone in there,” said Richard Wakeford, a radiation epidemiology expert at the Dalton Nuclear Institute in Manchester. “They’re finding quite high levels of radiation fields, which is impeding their progress dealing with the situation.” (http://www.businessweek.com/news/20…)

Taiwan looking to ditch nuclear power?

The worsening Fukushima situation is also starting to spook nearby nations such as Taiwan, which also depends on nuclear power. The DPP opposition party there announced today that it wanted to see nuclear power phased out by 2025. Taiwan is a relatively small island nation, and a Fukushima-like catastrophe would leave most of the island residents with nowhere to go. And like Japan, Taiwan is also vulnerable to earthquakes and tsunamis (as well as hurricanes).

In Germany, massive demonstrations (200,000 people in four large cities) have brought the nuclear safety issue to the forefront, contributing heavily to the defeat of Merkel and the rise to power of the Green Party in southwestern Germany (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/28/w…). Germans tend to have very strong opposition to nuclear power, in much the same way that most Europeans despise genetically modified foods.

The nuclear power industry turns out to be just as corrupt as Big Pharma

The truth is that many nations are rethinking nuclear power right now, thanks to the corruption, cover-ups and outright deceptions that we’re now finding out were behind the Fukushima power plant catastrophe. The nuclear industry, it turns out, is one big profit incest fest where the regulators are deeply in bed with the very industry they’re supposed to regulate (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100…).

Then again, what rich, powerful industry isn’t in bed with its regulators? It’s true with Big Pharma and the FDA just as much as it is with the nuclear power industry and its corrupt regulators. Every government-run regulator eventually becomes a marketing extension of the industry it was supposed to regulate.

That’s why Big Government never really works: Most of the regulators who are supposed to protect the people inevitably end up operating as industry whores. This entire Fukushima incident is a direct result of that deep-rooted corruption coming back to haunt humanity.

Watch for more reporting on this incident here at NaturalNews.com, and subscribe to our daily email alerts to be kept up to date on the situation: http://www.naturalnews.com/ReaderRe…

The Fukushima situation is nowhere near over. Now regulators are saying this might take not just weeks or months to sort out, but even years to fully rectify.

The half life of plutonium, it turns out, is a whole lot longer than the entire history of human civilization (24,000 years) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutonium). We would be wise to remember what we’re playing with when we attempt to harness the power of fission.