By David Lague HONG KONG (Reuters) - If the People's Liberation Army went to war tomorrow, it would field an arsenal bristling with hardware from some of America's closest allies: Germany, France and Britain. Most of China's advanced surface warships are powered by German and French-designed diesel engines. Some of China's best attack and transport helicopters rely on designs from Eurocopter, a subsidiary of pan-European aerospace and defense giant EADS. But perhaps the most strategic item obtained by China on its European shopping spree is below the waterline: the German-engineered diesels inside its submarines.
South Sudan rebels battled government forces Thursday as days of fierce fighting sparked fears of a descent into civil war, with countries in the region scrambling to kickstart peace efforts. Rebelling troops loyal to fugitive former vice president Riek Machar seized the town of Bor late Wednesday, army spokesman Philip Aguer said, as fighting continued in eastern Jonglei state following an alleged failed coup attempt against South Sudan President Salva Kiir. "Our soldiers have lost control of Bor to the force of Riek Machar late on Wednesday... there was shooting last night," Aguer told AFP. He confirmed that some 450 people had been killed in Juba since battles broke out late on Sunday, including around 100 soldiers, but added that troops had "restored calm" in the capital of the world's youngest nation.