A woman has been banned from visiting a chimpanzee at a zoo in Belgium after striking up a friendship with the animal – despite wryly saying that they’re ‘having an affair’.
Adie Timmermans has been visiting Chita, a 38-year-old male chimpanzee who lives at Antwerp Zoo in Belgium, for the past four years.
During that time, she believes that they’ve forged a bond so strong that they now love one another.
However, Antwerp Zoo has now told her she is no longer to make contact with Chita, saying he’s already been excluded by other chimps within the group.
Speaking to regional news channel ATV, Timmermans said: “I love that animal and he loves me.
“I haven’t got anything else. Why do they want to take that away?”
She finds it unfair that others are still able to see Chita, adding: “We’re having an affair, I’ll just say.
“Other dozens of visitors are allowed to make contact. Then why not me?”
Antwerp Zoo said that Chita’s well-being may suffer if his relationship with a human continues, and that it just wants the animal to be ‘happy’.
The zoo told Timmermans: “An animal that is too focused on people is less respected by its peers. We want Chita to be a chimpanzee as much as possible.
“Outside of visiting hours at the zoo, he has to manage 15 hours [a day] in his group. We want to give him the chance to be as happy as possible.”
According to a zoo spokesperson, the other chimpanzees excluded him if he had contact with humans.
The spokesperson said: “When Chita is constantly busy with visitors, the other monkeys ignore him and don’t consider him part of the group, even though that is important. He then sits on his own outside of visiting hours.”
Speaking to Radio 2 Antwerp, Sarah Lafaut, curator at the Antwerp Zoo, explained: “Of course we are happy when our visitors feel so involved with the animals, but animal welfare comes first here.
“Chita was brought to the zoo 30 years ago because he was a pet at the time and became unmanageable. He learned chimpanzee behavior with us, but the interest in humans has remained.”
Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama has summoned the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria over the alleged assault on a Nigerian Diplomatic Agent in Jarkarta, Indonesia.
Onyeama in a statement in Abuja said that the unfortunate incident is against international law and the Vienna Conventions governing Diplomatic and Consular Relations between States.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in receipt of a report and has seen a video in circulation regarding an unacceptable incident in Jakarta, Indonesia.
“Concerning the manhandling and arrest of a Nigerian Diplomatic Agent in front of his official quarters on 7 August 2021.
“The Nigerian Government has complained strongly to the Government of Indonesia, and the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria was summoned by the Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
“The Ambassador explained what he understood happened and apologized unreservedly on behalf of the Government of Indonesia.
“The Nigerian Government has sent an official protest to the Government of Indonesia.
“The Ambassador of Nigeria to Indonesia has confirmed that the immigration officials involved had since come to the Nigerian Embassy to apologize to the Ambassador and the diplomat concerned”, Onyeama stated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Indonesian Envoy is expected to meet with the Minister later in the day.(NAN)
■ Halts planned sale of 12 attack aircraft, 28 helicopter engines worth $875m
By Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja with agency reports
United States lawmakers have begun to mount pressure on President Joe Biden over concerns about Nigeria’s human rights records.
Already, a proposed sale of 12 attack aircrafts and 28 helicopter engines worth $857 million has been put on hold.
Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have delayed clearing a proposed sale of 12 AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters and accompanying defence systems to the Nigerian military, pausing a deal worth some $875 million, according to U.S. officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter.
In addition to the helicopters, the proposed sale included 28 helicopter engines produced by GE Aviation, 14 military-grade aircraft navigation systems made by Honeywell, and 2,000 advanced precision kill weapon systems—laser-guided rocket munitions, according to information sent by the State Department to Congress and reviewed by Foreign Policy, a US-based magazine.
It said the behind-the-scenes controversy over the proposed arms sale illustrated a broader debate among Washington policymakers over how to balance national security with human rights objectives.
It said the hold on the sale also showcased how powerfully the US lawmakers wanted to push the Biden administration to rethink the country’s relations with Africa’s most populous nation amid overarching concerns that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was drifting towards authoritarianism as his government has been besieged by multiple security challenges, including a jihadist insurgency.
Foreign policy observed that Western governments and international human rights organisations had ramped up their criticisms of the Nigerian government, particularly, in the wake of its ban on Twitter, systemic corruption issues, and the Nigerian military’s role in deadly crackdowns on protesters after widespread demonstrations against police brutality last year.
Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Bob Menendez, called for a “fundamental rethink of the framework of our overall engagement” with Nigeria during a Senate hearing with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in June.
Both Menendez and Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have therefore placed a hold on the proposed arms sale, according to multiple U.S. officials and congressional aides familiar with the matter, who spoke to Foreign Policy on the condition of anonymity.
The details on the proposed sale were first sent by the US State Department to Congress in January before then former US Vice President Joe Biden was inaugurated as president, according to officials familiar with the matter.
Nigeria has relied on US arms sales in the past to help address multiple security challenges, including the 12-year insurgency by Boko Haram militants in the country’s northeast, a spate of high-profile kidnapping-for-ransom campaigns targeting schoolchildren in the country’s North-west, and deadly clashes between the country’s semi-nomadic herders and farmers fueled by climate change and environmental degradation of the country’s arable land.
The State Department, it was said, described the US-Nigeria relationship as “among the most important in sub-Saharan Africa” and had provided limited funding for various military training and education programmes.
Some experts said the United States should hit the pause button on major defence sales until it could make a broader assessment of the extent to which corruption and mismanagement hobble the Nigerian military and whether the military was doing enough to minimise civilian casualties in its campaign against Boko Haram and other violent insurrectionists.
“There doesn’t have to be a reason why we don’t provide weapons or equipment to the Nigerian military,” said Judd Devermont, Director of the Africa programme at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank.
Continuing, he added, “But it has to be done with an assessment of how it will actually, one, change the direction of conflict in Nigeria, and, two, that they will use it consistent with our laws. In both cases, it’s either a question mark or a fail. There is a culture of impunity that exists around abuses by the military,” said Anietie Ewang, the Nigeria researcher at Human Rights Watch.
Ewang cited the Nigerian military’s killing of unarmed protesters during the country’s massive #EndSARS demonstrations against police corruption and brutality last year as well as cases documented by human rights organisations of abuses in the military’s campaign against Boko Haram.
“I’m sure it’s a difficult situation. There are so many conflicts springing up across the country now. The authorities, I presume, are trying to do the best they can to save lives and properties. But this must be done in accordance with human rights standards. You can’t throw one out just to be able to achieve the other.”
Nigerian Embassy in Washington did not, however, return a request for comment, foreign policy claimed.
In the past, the Nigerian military had dismissed reports of human rights abuses by its soldiers as baseless and accused human rights groups of undermining the military’s resolve to combat terrorism.
But the United States had scrubbed proposed arms sales to Nigeria in the past on a case-by-case basis.
Former US President Barack Obama’s administration cut back arms sales to Nigeria over concerns about civilian casualties and human rights abuses, including blocking a 2014 sale of Cobra helicopters by Israel to Nigeria.
During that time, US officials reportedly voiced concerns that Boko Haram had infiltrated the Nigerian military—an accusation that provoked indignation from the Nigerian government.
These moves severely strained US-Nigeria relations, with Buhari accusing Obama of having unintentionally “aided and abetted” extremist groups by refusing to expand military cooperation and arms sales.
In late 2017, then US President Donald Trump’s administration agreed to sell the Nigerian government 12 A-29 Super Tucano warplanes, resurrecting a proposed sale the Obama administration froze after the Nigerian Air Force bombed a refugee camp that January.
The first batch of those planes arrived in Nigeria earlier this month.
A U.S. State Department spokesperson declined to comment on the matter, saying: “as a matter of policy, the department does not confirm or comment upon proposed defence sales or transfers until they have been formally notified to Congress.”
Under the current practice, the State Department informally notifies Congress through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee (HFAC) of proposed arms sales in advance of a formal notification.
If committee members raise concerns about the proposed sale, the committees can freeze the sale until they receive satisfactory answers about their concerns from the State Department.
Once a proposed arms sale has been formally notified to Congress, Congress has a 30-day window to review the sale and, if it opposed the sale, it would pass a legislation to block it.
But if Congress took no action, the sale would move forward.
A top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Michael McCaul, has signed off on the proposed sale of Cobra helicopters to Nigeria, a spokesperson for his office confirmed.
The office of the HFAC chairperson, Democratic Rep. Gregory Meeks, did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
The Trump administration, frustrated with how Congress held up proposed arms sales for months, weighed scrubbing the decades-old practice of informally notifying Congress about arms sales, but it faced steep backlash over the idea from lawmakers.
A bipartisan group of lawmakers is now looking to further extend congressional oversight over US arms sales to foreign countries.
Senatord Chris Murphy, a Democrat, Mike Lee, a Republican, and Bernie Sanders, an Independent, introduced legislation earlier this month aimed at reasserting Congress’s role in foreign policy.
The bill included a provision that would require Congress to actively approve all major sales rather than allow arms sales to be automatically approved unless Congress blocked them.
Charles’ behaviour changed drastically towards Diana after they welcomed second son, Prince Harry Prince Charles’ marriage with Diana was not always a disaster. The Prince of Wales had unconditional love for his wife during the early days of their marriage, as revealed by royal biographer Penny Juror.
Following the birth of Prince William, Diana and Charles had a blissful married life.
“People who visited Kensington Palace in the early 1980s describe Diana charging about the house playfully looking for William who had run away and hidden under his father’s desk at bedtime.
“Others describe Charles chasing Diana up the stairs. I think there were definitely good times,” she added.
However, Charles’ behaviour drastically changed after they welcomed their second son, Prince Harry.
Diana told biograhper Andrew Morton, “Suddenly as Harry was born it just went bang, our marriage, the whole thing went down the drain. Something inside of me died.”
Belgium gave the official go-ahead for the announced relaxations from 9 June and introduced the latest travel rules, announced Prime Minister Alexander De Croo during a press conference on Friday.
“Today, the Consultative Committee mainly looked ahead, towards a summer of which we have already had a taste in the past few days, thanks to the better weather,” De Croo said.
“The fact that we can look forward with fewer worries is because we have all behaved safely in recent weeks, but also because of the vaccination campaign,” he said. “This was truly a collective effort.”
“The figures show this positive development,” De Croo said. “That is why we have decided to continue with the first stage of the summer plan.”
From Wednesday 9 June, bars, restaurants and all other businesses in the hospitality industry will be allowed to also open their indoor areas to clients.
Both the indoor areas and the terraces can already open as early as 5:00 AM, and can stay open until 11:30 PM. The current rules will continue to apply: a maximum of four people at a table (unless your household is bigger), with tables 1.5 metres apart.
“The main focus of this meeting, however, was on travel,” De Croo.
The rule remains that people returning from a green or orange zone do not have to undergo a quarantine period. “This was already the case today, and this stays the same.”
From 1 July, travelling to and from red zones will be possible with the European Digital Covid Certificate for travel within the EU. “If you are a Belgian resident and you return from a red zone (in the EU), you can do so with that certificate without further obligations,” he said.
“The condition is that you have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks (two shots, except with the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine), or that you can present a negative PCR test or a recovery certificate,” De Croo said.
Those who have not been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks will still have to get a PCR test, starting from children aged 12.
However, the government has put an “emergency brake” on the spread of infectious and dangerous variants, meaning that Belgian residents must always observe a 10-day quarantine if they return after having been in a high-risk area in the past two weeks.
This applies to everyone, including those who have been vaccinated, De Croo stressed. Non-Belgian residents who come from such a high-risk area are not allowed to enter.
Additionally, to make sure everything happens safely in the coming months, the Consultative Committee also issued ten basic “tips” for everyone:
1. Get vaccinated, 2. Observe the hygiene measures: wash your hands regularly, sneeze in your elbow, 3. Get tested if you feel sick, 4. Do a self-test if you have not yet been vaccinated. “It is just polite when you visit someone,” 5. Give preference to outdoor activities, 6. Choose smaller groups. “The risk of infection is lower in groups of five than in groups of 50,” 7. In a group where everyone has been vaccinated, you can remove the face masks, 8. Keep ventilating rooms, 9. Keep the social distance as much as possible, 10. Use the Digital Covid Certificate when travelling, and follow the rules in the country you are visiting.
“If we keep this in mind, we can look forward to a beautiful summer without too many worries,” De Croo said. “Do not forget to enjoy it. It has been a difficult period.”
“Initially, it was decided to keep the different closing hours for the hospitality industry,” said Flemish Vice Minister-President Hilde Crevits. “However, due to the progress of the vaccination campaign and the upcoming European Football Championship, it was decided to opt for the same hour after all.”
“The European Football Championship could cause people sitting outside and inside to mix in case of different hours,” she said, adding that “the government does not want to take that risk.”
Additionally, people will also be allowed to physically go to work one day a week again from 9 June, confirmed Crevits. As of July, teleworking rules may be further relaxed.
“It is a necessity for people who have been working from home for months, or even a year, that they can now go to work one day a week again,” she said. “It does require a great deal of responsibility from employers and employees.”
“The efforts we have all made mean that we have all lived very cautiously in recent months,” said Federal Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke. “The good results now are due to the vaccination campaign, but also to that caution.”
“The ten recommendations that the Prime Minister made just now are actually another call to continue that caution,” he added. “With more freedom comes greater personal responsibility.”
“We must also protect this freedom. We must protect it against the import of viruses from other countries. That is why we still want to be strict with regard to travellers entering our country,” Vandenbroucke said, referring to the conditions applying for children from 12 years old.
“Some neighbouring countries will also impose these requirements for children from 6 years old,” he said. “These children will not have been vaccinated, and neither will a number of other people, and it would be unfair to make it difficult for these people.”
“Therefore, we are proposing that children aged 6 to 17, and adults, will have two free PCR tests available from 1 July until the end of September,” Vandenbroucke said. “We are trying to be economical, so two tests for adults only if they have not yet received an invitation to get vaccinated.”
“In concrete terms: if you have not yet received a date for your second dose – or for your only dose of Johnson & Johnson – you are entitled to free two PCR tests,” Vandenbroucke said. “The offer will remain valid for three weeks after you have received a date. It will be an easy system, with a code.”
From 13 August, mass events in the open air, like Pukkelpop, can take place with 75,000 visitors again, he specified. Attendees have to present a Covid Safety Ticket (showing that they have been fully vaccinated at least two weeks previously), or a negative Covid-19 test before entry. Offering rapid antigen tests on-site could also be a possibility.
The next Consultative Committee meeting will be held on Friday 11 June, when the next stages of the “Summer Plan” from July will be fleshed out.
Consultative Committee will announce Belgium’s latest measures from 6:15 PM Friday, 04 June 2021
Credit: screengrab/cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo
The Consultative Committee will announce the latest changes to Belgium’s coronavirus fighting measures during a press conference from 6:15 PM, according to the cabinet of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo.
The ministers met on Friday from 2:00 PM, to evaluate the current rules and discuss the upcoming relaxations from 9 June.
The press conference – available online – is expected to focus on regulations for Belgian and European travellers, as well as on the first stage of the “summer plan” going into force. The broadcast will be available here:
More Consultative Committee News:
Don’t do abroad what you wouldn’t do in Belgium, warns Van Gucht
Travellers coming (back) from a red zone must be fully vaccinated: reports
The custom Rolls-Royce Boat Tail, that took more than four years to be hand-built, manifests its clients’ personal tastes for luxury, nuances and customization.
Premium luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce recently unveiled the 2021 Boat Tail four-seater car with a price tag of $28 million (over ₹200-crore), commissioned under its new Coachbuild program. While the world is still drooling over what is now the world’s most expensive vehicle, it is being speculated that the owners of the magnificent four-wheeled creation are American singer Beyoncé, and husband and rapper Jay-Z.
The custom Boat Tail, that took more than four years to be hand-built, manifests its clients’ personal tastes for luxury, nuances and customization. Based on the design and features of the vehicle, a source-led Telegraph report states that the custom Rolls-Royce Boat Tail matches the power couple’s tastes in every way.
Next, the report brings to light the vehicle’s double refrigerator at the rear deck, that Rolls-Royce says has been developed to house the clients’ favourite vintages of Armand de Brignac champagne. Jay-Z had bought Armand de Brignac in 2014, and while he has sold 50 per cent of the stakes, he still owns half the company. The champagne bottles can be rapidly cooled to precisely six degrees, which is the optimum serving temperature of the vintage.
Yet another clue has been drawn from the fact that the Boat Tail’s nautical form evokes graceful J-class yachts. The power couple is known to enjoy boating and spend time by the French Riviera.
The Telegraph report further stated, it is understood that Jay-Z signed the underside of the Rolls-Royce motif on the grille before it was mounted while Beyoncé did the same beneath the rear badge. With all these cues and possibilities, it seems that the power couple owns the world’s most luxurious and expensive vehicle yet.
It comes days after Downing Street refused to comment on reports the pair were planning a “lavish” summer wedding.
Boris Johnson has married fiancée Carrie Symonds in a surprise ceremony, Sky News understands.
The prime minister, 56, tied the knot with Ms Symonds, 33, in a small ceremony at Westminster Cathedral on Saturday.
It comes just a few days after Downing Street refused to comment on reports the pair were planning a “lavish” summer wedding.
It was reported the couple had sent out “save the date” cards telling family and friends to keep 30 July 2022 free for celebrations.
The couple were the first unmarried pair to live in Downing Street The couple became engaged on the island of Mustique in late 2019 and have a one-year-old son, Wilfred.
The marriage is Mr Johnson’s third.
The Sun reported that the ceremony at the Catholic cathedral was carried out by Father Daniel Humphreys who had given the couple pre-marriage instructions, and baptised Wilfred last year.
Shortly after 1.30pm, the Byzantine-style church was suddenly cleared of visitors, with staff saying it was going into lockdown, the newspaper said.
Half an hour later, a limousine carrying the bride swept into the piazza outside the main west door.
Ms Symonds wore a long white dress but not a veil, according to The Sun.
He was previously married at the age of 23 to Allegra Motyn-Owen in 1987.
He later married Marina Wheeler in 1993, but they separated in 2018. They have two daughters, Lara Lettice, 26, and Cassia Peaches, 22, and two sons Milo Arthur, 24, and Theodore Apollo, 20.
The PM also has another child, Stephanie Macintyre, with art consultant Helen Macintyre.
Weddings in England are currently subject to strict coronavirus restrictions and only up to 30 people in COVID-secure venues are allowed.
But dancing is advised against due to the increased risk of transmission, except for the couple’s traditional first dance.
The wedding comes at the end of a difficult week for the prime minister in which his former aide Dominic Cummings branded him unfit for office.
The prime minister’s former aide said Ms Symonds had been desperate to oust him from his role as Mr Johnson’s right-hand man, and had sought to put her own friends in key positions.
Mr Cummings also claimed that in February 2020, when the pandemic was becoming a major global crisis, Mr Johnson was “distracted by finalising his divorce, his girlfriend wanted to announce being pregnant and an engagement, and his finances”.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey tweeted a message of congratulations to the couple.
“Congratulations @BorisJohnson and @carriesymonds on your marriage,” the cabinet minister said.
She was joined by Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster, who tweeted: “Huge congratulations to Boris Johnson & Carrie Symonds on your wedding.”
But former Labour frontbencher Jon Trickett said the wedding was “a good way to bury this week’s bad news” on Mr Cummings’ testimony, the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant and the row about funding of the Downing Street flat.
■Bill and Melinda Gates met at Microsoft, and the two got married in 1994.
■The couple agreed to give away more than half their wealth.
■Financial implications are not immediately clear.
Bill Gates, co-founder and former CEO of Microsoft, said in a tweet on Monday that he and his wife, Melinda Gates, will be splitting up after 27 years. The two will keep working together on philanthropic work, which has addressed education, gender equality and health care.
“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage,” Bill and Melinda Gates wrote in a statement that Bill Gates tweeted out.
“Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.”
The decision reflects a personal change at the top of American business.
Bill Gates led Microsoft as CEO from its founding with Paul Allen in 1975 until 2000, leaving Steve Ballmer to run the company, while Bill Gates became chairman and chief software architect. In 2008 Gates gave up his day-to-day role at the company to spend more time on the foundation.
Last year Bill Gates stepped down from Microsoft’s board as the coronavirus became a force around the world. He began spending more time on the nonprofit Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation alongside Melinda Gates. The two are co-chairs and trustees of the foundation, which launched in 2000.
Bill and Melinda Gates both worked at Microsoft. She had been a marketing manager at the software company. The two met at a dinner for Microsoft employees in 1987. “It took him quite a few months before he asked me out,” Melinda Gates later said. Bill Gates had weighed the pros and cons on a blackboard, and in 1994 the couple were married in Hawaii.
Financial details of the Gateses parting ways are not yet clear. Bill Gates owns 1.37% of Microsoft’s outstanding shares, which are worth more than $26 billion, according to FactSet. The couple were creators, along with Warren Buffett, of the Giving Pledge, which involves giving away more than half of their wealth.
At one point the couple decided to move $20 billion worth of Microsoft stock to the foundation as they sought to increase their commitment to philanthropy, Bill Gates wrote in a 2019 blog post. Today the foundation has over $51 billion in assets, according to a tax filing.
“In the case of Melinda, it is a truly equal partner,” Bill Gates said in the 2019 Netflix documentary “Inside Bill’s Brain.” “She’s a lot like me in that she is optimistic and she is interested in science. She is better with people than I am. She’s a tiny bit less hardcore about knowing, you know, immunology, than I am.”
Bill Gates is the world’s fourth richest person, behind Bezos, LVMH’s Bernard Arnault and Tesla’s Elon Musk, according to Forbes.
The announcement comes two years after Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said he and his wife, MacKenzie, were getting divorced. Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos are among the world’s richest people, and Amazon and Microsoft compete in the cloud computing business. Amazon said earlier this year that Bezos would be stepping down from his post as CEO and that cloud chief Andy Jassy would replace him.
Veteran diplomat also says advances in nuclear technology and artificial intelligence – where China and the US are both leaders – have multiplied the doomsday threat
By Vincent Ni and agencies
Former US national security adviser Henry Kissinger has warned that strains between Washington and Beijing pose “the biggest problem” for the world, and a failure to improve them risks a “cold war” between the world’s two largest economies.
“It’s the biggest problem for America; it’s the biggest problem for the world. Because if we can’t solve that, then the risk is that all over the world a kind of cold war will develop between China and the United States,” Kissinger told the McCain Institute’s Sedona Forum on global issues.
Kissinger’s comments come at a time when President Biden’s administration has vowed to pursue “stiff competition” with China. On Friday, the US defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, also warned that “the way we fight the next major war is going to look very different from the way we fought the last ones”.
Kissinger, who as an adviser to president Richard Nixon crafted Washington’s rapprochement with Beijing in the early 1970s, said the mix of economic, military and technological strengths of the two superpowers carried more risks than the cold war with the Soviet Union.
The 97-year-old veteran diplomat also said that US-China tensions threaten to engulf the entire world and could lead to an Armageddon-like clash between the two military and technology giants. He called on US foreign policy elites to be united in their approach to the China challenge.
He said that while nuclear weapons were already large enough to damage the entire globe during the cold war, advances in nuclear technology and artificial intelligence – where China and the US are both leaders – have multiplied the doomsday threat.
“For the first time in human history, humanity has the capacity to extinguish itself in a finite period of time,” Kissinger said.
“We have developed the technology of a power that is beyond what anybody imagined even 70 years ago.
“And now, to the nuclear issue is added the hi-tech issue, which in the field of artificial intelligence, in its essence is based on the fact that man becomes a partner of machines and that machines can develop their own judgment.
“So in a military conflict between hi-tech powers, it’s of colossal significance.”
The cold war between the US and the Soviet Union during the decades after the second world war was more one-dimensional, focused on nuclear weapons competition, said Kissinger, one of the leading strategic thinkers of the past six decades.
“The Soviet Union had no economic capacity. They had military technological capacity,” he said. “[They] didn’t have developmental technological capacity as China does. China is a huge economic power in addition to being a significant military power.”
Kissinger said US policy toward China must take a two-pronged approach: standing firm on US principles to demand China’s respect, while maintaining a constant dialogue and finding areas of cooperation.
“I’m not saying that diplomacy will always lead to beneficial results,” he said. “This is the complex task we have … Nobody has succeeded in doing it completely.”
Speaking on a trip to the Hawaii-based US Pacific command, Austin called for the harnessing of technological advances and better integrating of military operations globally to “understand faster, decide faster and act faster”.
He did not explicitly mention rivals like China or Russia. But his remarks came as the US starts an unconditional withdrawal from Afghanistan on orders from Biden aimed at ending America’s longest war and resetting Pentagon priorities.
Austin acknowledged that he had spent “most of the past two decades executing the last of the old wars”.
His remarks did not appear to prescribe specific actions or predict any specific conflict. He instead appeared to outline broad, somewhat vague goals to drive the Pentagon under the Biden administration.
“We can’t predict the future,” Austin said. “So what we need is the right mix of technology, operational concepts and capabilities – all woven together in a networked way that is so credible, so flexible and so formidable that it will give any adversary pause.” (The Guardian)