China to launch FY-4 weather satellite around 2013
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  • Xinhua reports that China is in the process of launching the first satellite of the Fengyuan-4 (FY-4) series, the country’s second-generation geostationary meteorological satellites around 2013. As per the China Meteorological Administration (CMA), the FY-4 project has entered the proposal stage. Many Chinese scientists and engineers believed that the FY-4 satellite could be “paralleled to world’s most advanced geostationary meteorological satellites”. It is also reported that the country is planning to launch another 22 meteorological satellites by 2020, including four more from the FY-2 series, 12 from the FY-3 series and six from FY-4 series1.

    Meanwhile, China and Germany held their second round of strategic dialogue last week. This dialogue was jointly hosted by the Chinese Foreign Minister Assistant Wu Hongbo and Reinhard Silberberg, the State Secretary of German Foreign Ministry. Both the sides discussed many bilateral issues and issues related to China-EU ties. Both the sides also expressed satisfaction over the dialogue and termed it as “very fruitful”. This strategic dialogue idea was initiated by the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May 2006. The first round of this dialogue was held in November 20062.

    Elsewhere, the Foreign Ministry of China has expressed strong condemnation over the US proposed arms sale to Taiwan and has stopped the military contacts with the US. In his statement, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang has said that “the U.S. side's act has seriously blocked bilateral exchanges and contacts in various fields, including high-level visits between the two armed forces. The U.S. side should take full responsibilities for the current situation of damaged military-to-military ties”. In a significant decision earlier, the US Congress had decided to sell arms to Taiwan, including Patriot-III anti-missile system, E-2T airborne early warning aircraft upgrade system, Apache helicopters, Javelin missiles, Harpoon submarine-launched missiles, and some airplane accessory parts3. From the Taiwan’s perspective, many feel that the Arms sale from the US reassures the strong bond between Taiwan and the US4.