Item: A senior Chinese general, reported Xinhua, China’s state news agency, on September 1, just met in Beijing “with the head of a leading U.S. think tank and discussed the building of strong military ties between the two countries, despite military exchanges between the two nations having been frozen since January. ‘A sound and stable China-U.S. military relationship is good for bilateral strategic trust and regional peace and stability,’ Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Ma Xiaotian told John Hamre, president of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS).... ‘China has always attached great importance to developing military ties with the United States and has made efforts in this regard,’” said Ma.
Fighting in Somalia over the past weeks between the transitional government and the Muslim insurgent group al-Shabaab has cost more than 350 civilian lives with at least 450 people wounded and 23,000 displaced.
With tobacco smuggling on the rise because of high taxes on cigarettes in the United Kingdom, Scottish government officials and anti-smoking activists met in Perth, Scotland, on September 20 to discuss ways to combat such smuggling, according to the Courier of Dundee, Scotland. The outcome of their meeting will be a report to the Scottish government.
Raul Diaz of the Mexican Superintendence of Tax Administration confirmed this week that the Mexican government intends to build a wall along the Mexican/Guatemalan border. Diaz claims that the official purpose of the wall is to prevent the passage of contraband, but has also admitted “It could also prevent the free passage of illegal immigrants.”