News Briefs – October 10, 2018


Army says changes will help recruiting in 2019

Army officials say it will take time to overcome the recruiting challenges that caused them to miss their enlistment goal this year. But they say changes that include adding recruiters and beefing up marketing will enable them to get the recruits they need in 2019.
Gen. Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, says the recruiting shortfall was a warning light as the Pentagon works to build the service to 500,000 by 2024. The U.S. Army fell short of its recruiting goal of 76,500 by about 6,500 soldiers.
Army Secretary Mark Esper says recruiters are moving into 20 more cities, and the service is increasing recruiting resources. He says the Army will do better, but it will “take some time.”
Esper and Milley spoke to reporters Oct. 5 at an Army conference. AP

Taiwan holds military drill with Paraguay amid China tension

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen hosted her Paraguayan counterpart Oct. 9 at a military exercise in a sign of the island’s determination to withstand China’s diplomatic onslaught.
The joint land and air training exercise simulated an attempt by Chinese forces to attack a Taiwanese air base in the north of the island.
China claims Taiwan as its own territory and has been whittling away at the self-governing island’s pool of diplomatic allies, leaving it now with just 17, including Paraguay.
Defense Ministry spokesman Chen Chong-chi said inviting Paraguayan President Mario Abdo Benitez to view the exercise alongside Tsai would “help strengthen the friendship between the two countries” and boost future civilian and military exchanges.
Taiwan and China separated amid civil war in 1949. Beijing has vowed to bring the island under its control by force if deemed necessary.
Last month, the United States recalled its envoys to the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Panama after decisions by those nations to cut ties with Taiwan in favor of diplomatic relations with China.
While Washington formally recognizes only China, it remains a close Taiwanese ally and maintains a de facto embassy in the island’s capital, Taipei.
China cut off contacts with Tsai’s government shortly after her 2016 inauguration and has repeatedly demanded that she endorse the “one-China” principle that designates Taiwan as a part of China.
Along with poaching diplomatic allies, China has blocked Taiwan’s participation in international meetings such as the World Health Assembly and has pressured multinational companies ranging from fashion brands to airlines to describe Taiwan as part of China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has also sent warships, bombers and fighter planes on training missions circling the island in an attempt to intimidate Tsai’s supporters. Xi has declared that the issue of bringing Taiwan under Chinese control cannot be postponed indefinitely and some analysts believe he is determined to accomplish that feat during his time in office. AP

China concerned about U.S. drill during Xi’s Philippine visit

China has raised concerns about a joint U.S.-Philippine military exercise that coincides with Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to the country in November, a Philippine official said Oct 9.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua raised the concern in a meeting Monday with President Rodrigo Duterte, who assured the Chinese envoy that the Philippines would not take part in the military maneuvers.
“China of course expressed concern over a naval, a military exercise that the United States will be conducting in the area at about the same time that the Chinese President will be in the Philippines,” Roque told a televised news conference.
Roque did not elaborate on what particular drill China was concerned about. Philippine military officials said they’re unaware of any U.S. military exercise with Filipino forces next month.
The Philippine government will ensure that nothing will mar Xi’s first visit to the country, which both sides agree will “further cement” their already-strong relations, Roque said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila “will do all that it can to make sure that President Xi’s visit will be fruitful and as productive as we would want it to be,” he said.
After taking office in 2016, Duterte worked to repair relations with China which had been damaged by the two countries’ territorial disputes in the South China Sea. He announced early in his presidency that he would end annual combat drills with the U.S. military in an effort not to offend China, but the drills have continued.
China has opposed American-led military exercises, especially in the disputed waters, accusing Washington of intervening in a purely Asian dispute. The U.S. has pressed on with the exercises and military patrols to promote freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. AP

Aircraft maker Airbus names Guillaume Faury as new CEO

A new chief executive has been named at Airbus. The European aircraft maker’s board picked insider Guillaume Faury to replace CEO Tom Enders in April.
The 50-year-old Faury currently serves as president of Airbus’ commercial aircraft division. He was CEO of Airbus Helicopters from 2013 until February 2018.
Board Chairman Denis Ranque praised Faury’s “global outlook, extensive operational experience, strong personal values and straightforward leadership style” in a statement on Oct. 8.
Enders has been the CEO of Airbus since May 2012. The 59-year-old announced in December he planned to step down next year.
Airbus, which is based in Toulouse, France, dominates the commercial aircraft market along with rival Boeing. It delivered a record 718 aircraft in 2017 and employs 129,000 staff worldwide. AP