Russia and China Continue to Show Military Partnership in Joint Military Exercises at Tsentr

Russia is carrying out another large-scale military exercises with China, this time inviting forces coming from India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Russia research experts like Mathieu Boulegue, of the Russia and Eurasia Programme at Chatham House, perceive the military drills as Moscow’s way of sending a message of power to the West.

Actually, Russia and China started holding joint military exercises via naval drills held as far back as 2012. Even a decade ago, the display of military partnership by the two countries was already regarded as their way of showing those in the West that they do not stand alone.

Fortunately for Russia, the U.S. through Trump has become vulnerable by playing right into Russia’s strategic move by accepting help in getting him installed in 2016 as the president of the U.S. Even more favorable to the strategic Russia-China military partnership is the trade war initiated by Trump versus China, which weakened not only the U.S. economy but in multiple economies in the West.

Still, Russia’s Minister of Defense, Sergei Shoigu, stated earlier this September that the continuation of their series of joint military exercises is not directed against any specific country, but only as a means of countering threats of international terrorism,

Yet, observers like Mathieu Boulegue view this year’s show of military partnership by Russia and China as one that sends

“a very much anti-Western message, specifically anti-American message to convey that Russia is not isolated and Russia can operate even with a potential rival like China; albeit Russians still cautiously regard China as both friend, enemy and potential competitor.”

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According to Boulegue, it is also Russia’s opportunity to show off military wares that it can provide, not only to China, but to the new forces participating in this year’s “Tsentr-2019” military exercises.

About the “Tsentr-2019” Joint Military Exercises

“Tsentr-2019” is this year’s holding of Russia’s grandiose annual war games, which will put up for demonstration more than 20,000 military weapons and equipment, 600 aircrafts, as well as 15 naval ships and support vessels, whilst involving 128,000 military personnel.

According to the Russian defense ministry, drills are likewise designed to tryout the readiness for combat of military commanders and troops stationed within Russia’s central military district in Tsentr, Russia. In addition, participants will get to see Russia test its military prowess in the Arctic.

Major Hotel Companies Make Known Their Refusal to Take Part in ICE Deportation Actions

When the announcement was made that the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents will push through with immigrant deportation actions on July 13, use of hotels was made mention as potential temporary detainment facilities for those who will be arrested.

In response, the major hotels made it clear that they have no intention of allowing their respective establishments to be used as detention facilities, even if temporarily.

Best Western,Choice, IHG , Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, MGM Resorts and Wyndham Hotels, had all released statements signifying their refusal to accept business from the government in relation to the ICE immigrant deportation arrests.

Although hotels usually cooperate with government agencies, they participated only for purposes of holding conferences, in hosting defence contractors, or in providing shelter for displaced flood victims.

Marriott International’s statement included intention to decline future requests from ICE agents to use its hotels as detention facilities, as well as the reason for their decision, which read

“Marriott hotels are not configured to be detention facilities; they are open to guests and community members as well,”

Reports say that the major hotels were pressured by advocacy groups and workers unions in arriving at the said decision. It is also worth mentioning that even as early as 2016, the CEO of Marriott Hotels had expressed a similar stance in a letter to then incoming president, Donald Trump.

Through an open letter, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson beseeched the newly elected president not to deport illegal immigrants. CEO Sorenson suggested that instead of deporting the more than 11 million illegal immigrants, it would be better if appropriate steps were taken to allow them to make contributions to communities and to help make America stronger by making them pay taxes. Additionally, he also wrote

”It is heartless as well as impractical to think that we will evict all these people. Let us find a way to let them live their lives productively,”

Choice Hotels Makes a Clarification

Choice Hotels, the owner of the Quality Suites brand had previously signed a contract with the Department of Homeland Security in 2016 in connection with ICE proceedings. The hotel made it clear that it does not plan to renew the contract.

Still, a representative of Choice Hotels issued a subsequent clarification of their position as a hotel franchisor. All hotels in their system are owned and operated independently, to which owners of each property make independent decisions about their respective operations as long as they are within the boundaries of applicable laws.

Apparently, one of the franchised Quality Suites had recently housed more than three migrants. In a single occasion in the fall of 2017, it had as many as 120 migrant detainees.

However, the hotel’s involvement drew negative reactions from Quality Suites customers who were staying at the hotel at the same time the immigrants were detained. Some complained, while some wrote negative reviews in the Quality Suites website; making mention of the noise coming from the group of detainees who were placed in the same floor just doors away from the guest rooms.

Pennsylvania State University’s Hospitality Management professor Daniel Mount explains that hotel companies also need to reassure customers of safety while in their properties. That it is not being overrun by armed guards keeping watch over migrants.

Understanding the Significance of the Non Proliferation Treaty from which Trump Withdrew U.S. Support

The Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) is a multilateral covenant between 120 United Nations member states, which serves as the first legally binding international agreement, in working toward the adoption of a Nuclear Weapons Ban. New York. This Treaty included the negative security assurances given by the 5 Nuclear Weapons States (NWS) China, the United Kingdom, the United States, France and Russia, to the Non Nuclear Weapons States (NNWS).

Although a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was signed in July 2017 in New York, it remains symbolic. Mainly because nine (9) states known to have nuclear armaments including the five NWS that previously signed the NPT, boycotted the convention held for the signing of said Nuclear Ban covenant.

As the turn of events has it, U.S. president Donald Trump issued a statement in February 2019 that the U.S. intends to officially withdraw its support to the agreement founded by the Non Proliferation Treaty. Many of the NNWS UN members fear that such action would trigger yet another global proliferation of nuclear weapons.

As it is, the NPT remains as the only legally binding international agreement addressing the problems posed by the international nuclear arms race.

As the NPT aims to limit the spread of nuclear weapons among nations, the covenant stated three (3) specific elements vital to the fulfillment of the purpose on which UN members agreed: First, is non-proliferation, the second is disarmament,, and lastly, is the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

The Three Elements Constituting the NPT Accord between NWS and NNWS

Three vital elements constitute the so called “grand bargain” agreed upon by the five Nuclear Weapon States (NWS) and the Non Nuclear Weapon States (NNWS):.

Non-Proliferation : Non-Acquisition of Nuclear Weapons by NWWS

Articles I, II, and III of the NPT covers an agreement that Nuclear Weapon States will not in any way shift or transfer nuclear weapons to any recipient whomsoever. Moreover the NWS will not provide assistance, show encouragement or cause to induce any Non Nuclear Weapons States to produce, develop or manufacture, or procure nuclear weapons.

On their part, the NNWS group, has an obligation not to receive nuclear weapons being transferred to their jurisdiction, as well as to desist from manufacturing or procuring such armaments. In line with the NNWS agreement to the Non Proliferation covenant, the NNWS members have to accept the “International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)” countermeasures on all nuclear materials existing in their territories, or under their jurisdiction and control.

Disarmament – NWS will Pursue Nuclear Weapons Disarmament

Articles VI of the NPT states that all parties to the treaty, specifically the NWS group, must embark on negotiations in good faith to come up with effective measures pertaining to the cessation of nuclear arms race and disarmament. The general agreement and understanding on which the treaty is founded is for complete disarmament that will be undertaken under rigid and effective international control.

Peaceful Use: Both NWS and NNWS Maintain the Right to Access Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Use

Article IV is an assertion of the right of all states, NWS and NNWS parties to develop, produce, and harness nuclear energy for peaceful use, bu<>t subject to the provisions stated in Articles I and II. All parties to the NPT commits to facilitate, and maintain a right to participate, in the exchange of materials, scientific and technological knowledge, as well as equipment necessary for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.