Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday that she was “really impressed” by Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s explanation of a legal doctrine that is central in a pending Supreme Court case challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Barrett, who is nominated to the Supreme Court, continued fielding questions from senators as the marathon hearing entered its third day. She was again asked questions related to the upcoming Supreme Court case, California v. Texas, that challenges former President Barrack Obama’s signature health care law, and the issue of severability, which is one of the main questions in that case. Barrett continued to invoke the standard that judges should not offer their opinion or views on pending cases or “grade” precedents, but afforded the senators…
Internal government documents reveal that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will launch a rescue operations drill this month near the Paracel Islands, a disputed archipelago in the South China Sea—which could escalate tensions in the disputed waters.
According to a notice issued by the Hainan Province Development and Reform Commission and obtained by The Epoch Times from a trusted source, the drill time is scheduled to start on Oct. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon; and if the first one fails, another drill is scheduled for Oct. 22, from 9 a.m. to noon. Hainan is an island off the southern coast of the mainland.
The exercise will be conducted as follows: the Hainan branch of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Hospital will receive an order from the commander and quickly dispatch a 38-member medical team to the Sansha No. 2 vessel to carry out rescue operations.
According to Chinese news reports, the Sansha No. 2 weighs 8,000 tons and is the second transportation supply vessel built at a shipyard in Sansha city. As a medical modification ship, it also serves as a military resupply vessel.
The Hainan Health Commission created presentation slides to guide the rescue operations.
The slides, also obtained by The Epoch Times, show that the drill will practice how to do remote medical treatment, transfer the sick and wounded, and psychological counseling.
The slides also included information on meteorological and hydrological conditions.
In August 2020, plans were completed for a rescue operations drill featuring the Sansha No. 2, called the National (the Paracel Waters) Maritime Emergency Medical Rescue Drill. The plan was created by the emergency office of the Hainan Health Commission and the Hainan branch of the PLA General Hospital to “effectively test the emergency medical rescue capabilities in the direction of the South China Sea.”
In September, the Hainan Development and Reform Commission compiled a list of investment projects to include in the budget of the 14th Five-Year Plan to advance reform and free-trade port construction in the province, as required by its higher authority—the Central National Development and Reform Commission.
One of the proposed projects on the list is to build a National Maritime Emergency Medical Rescue Base and National Aviation Medical Rescue Base. The proposal is aimed at “building a land-based maritime treatment network, a rescue reserve force, an emergency rescue base support platform, and a treatment and transfer system for the wounded and the sick by sea, land, and air,” the document stated.
Other Hainan government documents stated that the two bases are meant to get ready for “maintaining sovereignty and battling emergencies in the South China Sea.”
China commentator Li Linyi noted that this signals that the CCP is preparing for the possibility of military conflicts in the South China Sea.
US Military Exercise
According to the U.S. Pacific Fleet, the USS Ronald Reagan carried out a mass casualty drill in the South China Sea on Oct. 7.
China commentator Li Linyi said that the Oct. 7 exercise is the most effective countermeasure the United States has ever taken to counter the CCP’s military aggression in the South China Sea.
South China Sea Dispute
Beijing has used the “nine-dash line” to proclaim sovereignty over 90 percent of the South China Sea, despite a United Nations legal judgment in 2016 that refuted Beijing’s claims.
In recent years, Beijing has sought to bolster its claims by building military outposts on artificial islands and reefs in the region. It has also deployed coast guard ships and Chinese fishing boats to intimidate foreign vessels, block access to waterways, and seize shoals and reefs.
Frank Fang contributed to this report.
Focus News: Exclusive: China to Stage Rescue Operations Drill in the South China Sea
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