U.S. WARSHIPS TRANSIT TAIWAN STRAITS: Two U.S. Navy warships transited the Taiwan Straits yesterday, the first since U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan in early August. The U.S. Navy said the cruisers Chancellorsville and Antietam carried out a freedom of navigation demonstration through the straits, claimed now by China but considered international waters by the U.S. and Taiwan.
STOLTENBERG: NATO MUST BOOST ARCTIC PRESENCE: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that NATO countries have to boost their Arctic presence due to Russian militarization, as well as China’s growing interest. According to NATO, Russia has deployed hypersonic missiles to the region, while China plans to use the world’s largest fleet of icebreakers to create new shipping routes for its commercial interests. Meanwhile, the U.S. announced the creation of an Arctic ambassador, which still needs Senate approval, to work with Arctic countries.
NASA SCRUBS LAUNCH OF FIRST MOON MISSION IN 50 YEARS: NASA’s scheduled launch of its Artemis I mission from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida this morning was scrubbed after a pre-flight pressure test failed on its number three engine. Artemis I is the first phase of a new lunar exploration program with the ultimate goal of establishing an operational base on the moon’s surface. The unmanned Artemis mission was set to deploy a number of small satellites to collect information on the moon’s surface and support the anticipated 2024 manned moon flight and 2025 manned moon landing. The next launch window is scheduled for 2 October.
CHINA CONDUCTS MILITARY COMBAT TRAINING ABOARD CIVILIAN SHIPS: China’s People’s Liberation Army is conducting interoperability training aboard civilian vessels. The PLA recently embarked its 79th Air Defense Brigade aboard civilian container ships to prepare for their use in combat operations. While embarked on the ships, the Air Defense Brigade conducted early warning radar operations and repelled attacks by PLA fighter jets playing the part of enemy air forces.