WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden said on Saturday the United States does not support the independence of Taiwan, after Taiwanese voters rebuffed China and gave the ruling party a third presidential term.
Earlier in the day, the Taiwanese ruling Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) presidential candidate Lai Ching-te came to power, strongly rejecting Chinese pressure to spurn him, and pledged both to stand up to Beijing and seek talks.
“We do not support independence…” Biden said, when asked for reaction to Saturday’s elections.
Hours ahead of the polls opening, Washington had warned “it would be unacceptable” for “any” country to interfere in the election.
Taiwan, a neighbouring island China claims as its own, has been a democratic success story since holding its first direct presidential election in 1996, the culmination of decades of struggle against authoritarian rule and martial law.
Sure… he would PREFER not to use force to take over Taiwan… but he will. Interestingly, the story does not document Biden’s response. Did Biden reassert our long-standing intent to support Taiwan?
Xi told Biden in a group meeting attended by a dozen American and Chinese officials that China’s preference is to take Taiwan peacefully, not by force, the officials said.
The Chinese leader also referenced public predictions by U.S. military leaders who say that Xi plans to take Taiwan in 2025 or 2027, telling Biden that they were wrong because he has not set a time frame, according to the two current and one former official briefed on the meeting.
Chinese officials also asked in advance of the summit that Biden make a public statement after the meeting saying that the United States supports China’s goal of peaceful unification with Taiwan and does not support Taiwanese independence, they said. The White House rejected the Chinese request.
A spokesperson for the National Security Council declined to comment.
The revelations provide previously unreported details about a critical meeting between the two leaders that was intended to reduce tensions between their countries.
Xi’s private warning to Biden, while not markedly different from his past public comments on reunifying Taiwan, got the attention of U.S. officials because it was delivered at a time when China’s behavior toward Taiwan is seen as increasingly aggressive and ahead of a potentially pivotal presidential election in the self-governing democratic island next month.
While it is good that China’s economic prowess may be waning, it is also destabilizing if Communist China seek to replace their economic might with military might.
Now, the world’s second-largest economy accounts for a smaller share of global GDP.
“In a historic turn, China’s rise as an economic superpower is reversing. The biggest global story of the past half century may be over,” the Rockefeller International chairman said.
In nominal dollar terms — which Sharma argues is the most accurate measure of an economy’s relative strength — China’s share of world GDP began slipping in 2022 as strict zero-COVID measures remained in place for most of the year.
Despite expectations for a blowout rebound, China’s share will fall further in 2023, hitting 17%. That puts China on pace for a two-year drop of 1.4 percentage points, a slide not seen since the 1960s and 1970s, when Mao Zedong presided over a weak economy, he added.
This is the surest sign yet that Xi is going to swap out Newsom for Biden before the election.
BANGKOK (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom had a surprise meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Wednesday after being warmly welcomed by other senior leaders in a display of friendliness that stands in sharp contrast to the dialogue between the United States and China in recent years.
The governor is on a weeklong tour of China, where he plans to push for climate cooperation. Newsom’s trip as governor, once considered routine, is drawing attention as it comes after years of heightening tensions between the U.S. and China.
“I’m here in expectation, as you suggest, of turning the page, of renewing our friendship and reengaging (on) foundational and fundamental issues that will determine our collective faith in the future,” Newsom said in brief opening remarks ahead of his meeting with Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, earlier in the day.
US prosecutors have arrested two men in New York for allegedly operating a Chinese “secret police station” in Manhattan’s Chinatown neighbourhood.
Lu Jianwang, 61, and Chen Jinping, 59, both New York City residents, face charges of conspiring to act as agents for China and obstruction of justice.
They are expected to appear in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday.
China has previously denied operating the stations, calling them “service centres” for nationals overseas.
Mr Lu of the Bronx and Mr Chen of Manhattan worked together to establish the first overseas police station in the United States on behalf of China’s Ministry of Public Security, the US Department of Justice alleged on Monday.
The outpost was closed in autumn of 2022, the department said, after those involved became aware of an FBI investigation into the station.
“This prosecution reveals the Chinese government’s flagrant violation of our nation’s sovereignty by establishing a secret police station in the middle of New York City,” said Breon Pearce, the top prosecutor in Brooklyn.
According to prosecutors, Mr Lu was closely connected to Chinese law enforcement, and was enlisted to help China with “repressive activities” in the US beginning in 2015, including harassing Chinese dissidents.
In 2018, he allegedly participated in efforts to push a purported Chinese fugitive to return to China, including repeated harassment and threats to the individual and his family, living in China and the US. And prosecutors said he was also enlisted to locate a pro-democracy activist in China. Mr Lu denied these actions when confronted by US authorities.
That was one sophisticated balloon that Biden let surveil our country for a week.
In February, a high-altitude balloon with surveillance capabilities connected to China flew over the continental US before being shot down over the Atlantic.
At the time, much about the balloon wasn’t known publicly, but a new trove of Pentagon documents leaked on Discord show it — and up to four other previously unknown spy balloons like it — could have had a feature known as “synthetic aperture radar” that can see through certain objects, the Washington Post reported.
Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old US National Guard airman, was arrested Thursday in connection to the leaks.
US intelligence agencies believed this because the balloon, which officials named Killeen-23 in an apparent reference to 1940s mobster Donald Killeen, was equipped with the ability to generate up to 10,000 watts of solar power — enough to power a typical home — which could support such abilities.
“The amount of solar power generated by the panels on the Chinese stratospheric balloon that NSA named Killeen-23 is excessive for a weather balloon,” the document reads.
Synthetic aperture radar is the solution to the problem with real aperture radar, which cannot create high-resolution images without an impractically large antenna. SAR “synthesizes” a large antenna, but the concept is the same — it releases bursts of electromagnetic energy to an object on Earth, and a sensor then records the wavelength of energy it receives back, according to NASA. These sensor readings then allow the radar to create a reconstruction of whatever objects are below the energy beam.
Because SAR isn’t taking photos and is instead using electromagnetic data to create a high-resolution image, the technology can “see” in the dark, as well as through clouds, smoke, soil, and rain. It can also help with three-dimensional reconstructions, unlike cameras, which can only capture what is openly visible from above.
Well, they practice it. Practice makes perfect, eh?
China’s military is rehearsing the encirclement of Taiwan during three days of military drills.
Beijing – which views Taiwan as a breakaway province of China – called the operation a “stern warning” to the island’s government.
The exercises began hours after President Tsai Ing-wen returned from a trip to the United States.
The Taiwanese Defence Ministry said 71 Chinese military planes and nine ships crossed the Taiwan Strait median line.
The Chinese spy balloon that flew across the U.S. was able to gather intelligence from several sensitive American military sites, despite the Biden administration’s efforts to block it from doing so, according to two current senior U.S. officials and one former senior administration official.
China was able to control the balloon so it could make multiple passes over some of the sites (at times flying figure-eight formations) and transmit the information it collected back to Beijing in real time, the three officials said. The intelligence China collected was mostly from electronic signals, which can be picked up from weapons systems or include communications from base personnel, rather than images, the officials said.
The three officials said China could have gathered much more intelligence from sensitive sites if not for the administration’s efforts to move around potential targets and obscure the balloon’s ability to pick up their electronic signals by stopping them from broadcasting or emitting signals.
So… our president allowed the Chinese to spy on us. When caught, we didn’t do anything about it. Who is he working for?
Ask yourself… why aren’t relations damaged? Shouldn’t they be? They invaded our space with an intentionally provocative act? Why wouldn’t it damage relations?
“The idea shooting down a balloon that’s gathering information over America and that makes relations worse?” Biden told PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff in a wide-ranging interview a day after his second State of the Union address.
“I made it real clear to Xi Jinping that we’re going to compete fully with China, but we’re not looking for conflict. That’s been the case so far.”
Biden’s response marks the second time this week that he’s sought to downplay the effect of what US officials deemed a “brazen” act by Beijing to send an intelligence gathering balloon across several US states – with signs it loitered over key military installations.
Oh, fer cripes’s sakes. He waits until it has traversed the entire nation collecting whatever data it could before doing anything. This isn’t the 1960s where a surveillance craft had to drop its payload to be retrieved and analyzed. Whatever it collected has already been transmitted. And while I have mad respect for our pilots, it’s not much of a brag to say that they shot it down with “one missile.” It’s a friggin’ balloon. This whole fiasco has been a national embarrassment and the world is laughing at us.
Joe Biden praised the Top Gun fighter jet pilot who shot down the Chinese spy balloon off the coast of South Carolina today after he vowed to ‘take care of it.’
An F-22 Raptor out of Langley Air Force base took the balloon down with a single AIM-9X sidewinder missile at 2.38pm, separating its surveillance payload and sending it plummeting towards the ocean off Myrtle Beach.
Footage showed the jet screaming towards the spy aircraft before firing the missile as stunned locals watched from the coast.
Biden first became aware of the balloon last Sunday, January 28, when it was spotted over Alaska. The US military tracked it over Canadian airspace and as it re-entered US territory on Tuesday.
The following day, Biden was given a detailed report on the aircraft and its course, attended by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.
This is how wussy we have become. We are not willing to shoot down a spy baloon – both to remove it from spying and to make it clear to the Chinese that we will respond to their spying with force – because of the miniscule chance it will land on someone in one of the most sparsley populated states in out nation. We are failing as a nation
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is tracking a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that has been spotted over U.S. airspace for a couple days, but the Pentagon decided not to shoot it down due to the risk of harming people on the ground, officials said Thursday. The discovery of the balloon puts a further strain on U.S.-China relations at a time of heightened tensions.
A senior defense official told Pentagon reporters that the U.S. has “very high confidence” it is a Chinese high-altitude balloon and it was flying over sensitive sites to collect information. One of the places the balloon was spotted was Montana, which is home to one of the nation’s three nuclear missile silo fields at Malmstrom Air Force Base. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information.
Many years ago, Americans listened to Churchill speak with a conviction and moral clarity that we failed to find in our own leaders. We may be reliving that moment.
In his first foreign policy speech on Monday since taking office, U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak declared that the country’s “golden era” of relations with China was over, saying it’s time for U.K.’s relations to “evolve.”
Sunak referred to the past decades of close economic ties as “naive,” calling China a “systemic challenge” to British interests.
“We recognize China poses a systemic challenge to our values and interests, a challenge that grows more acute as it moves toward even greater authoritarianism,” Sunak said at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in London.
He now wants to adopt an approach of “robust pragmatism” against close competitors, strengthening ties with allies including the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan. With geopolitical shifts underway, Sunak said, “short-termism or wishful thinking will not suffice” against Russia and China.
I don’t have a lot of hope for the protestors, but I’m praying for them and their success. The Chinese autocrats have a history of being willing to spill oceans of blood to maintain power. I don’t see that changing.
BEIJING — Rare protests broke out across China over the weekend as groups of people vented their frustration over the zero-Covid policy.
The unrest came as infections surged, prompting more local Covid controls, while a central government policy change earlier this month had raised hopes of a gradual easing. Nearly three years of controls have dragged down the economy. Youth unemployment has neared 20%.
People’s Daily, the Communist Party’s official newspaper, ran a front page op-ed Monday on the need to make Covid controls more targeted and effective, while removing those that should be removed.
In Beijing, many apartment communities successfully convinced local management they had no legal basis for a lockdown. That came after more and more compounds in the capital city on Friday had abruptly forbade residents from leaving.
On Sunday, municipal authorities said temporary controls on movement should not last more than 24 hours.
On another note, witness the people who criticized Americans when they protested about COVID lockdowns and now praise the Chinese for doing the same thing. We see you.
“Chinese rare earth minerals are present everywhere, including in our phones, our cars, and our military equipment,” he said. “We cannot give authoritarian regimes any chance to exploit our vulnerabilities and undermine us.”
In its new strategic concept agreed in June, NATO described China as a challenge to the alliance’s “interests, security and values”, as an economic and military power that remains “opaque about its strategy, intentions and military build-up”.
Xi is not wrong. It is impossible to conduct good foreign policy if leaders can’t speak frankly to each other behind closed doors.
In the video, Xi can be heard criticizing Trudeau for behaving “inappropriately” by leaking their meeting details to the media.
“The Cdn Pool cam captured a tough talk between Chinese President Xi & PM Trudeau at the G20 today. In it, Xi expressed his displeasure that everything discussed yesterday ‘has been leaked to the paper(s), that’s not appropriate… and that’s not the way the conversation was conducted,’” Oliver wrote in her post.
“Everything we decided has been leaked to the papers that’s not appropriate… and that’s not the way the conversation was conducted,” Xi said through an interpreter. “If you are sincere, we should communicate with each other in a respectful manner, otherwise it will be hard to say what the result will be like.”
Could we please not get into WWIII rn, mmmmkay?
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden will warn Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting on Monday that North Korea’s continued pursuit of weapons development will lead to an enhanced U.S. military presence in the region, the White House said.
The United States is concerned that North Korea plans to resume nuclear bomb testing for the first time since 2017 and believes China and Russia have the leverage to persuade it not to do so.
Biden and Xi are set to hold their first face-to-face meeting as national leaders on the sidelines of a summit of the G20 grouping of countries in the Indonesian resort island of Bali.
This is a long, but very good, article about China, Xi, and the West’s evolving attitude toward them.
Donald Trump’s anti-China message may have been characteristically erratic – with his allegations of unfair trade practices tempered by his open admiration of Mr Xi’s strongman-style – but he used it to rally a disaffected blue-collar base with great effect.
In short, he claimed that trade and engagement had been a bad bet with little to show for it, other than outsourced jobs and technology.
His opponents criticised his counter-productive methods and what they saw as his xenophobic language, but the mould had been broken.
President Biden has walked back few, if any, of Mr Trump’s policies on China, including the trade war he launched. The tariffs have stayed.
Washington has come to belatedly realise that, far from speeding up political reform in China, trade and technology transfer has been used instead to bolster Beijing’s authoritarian model.
For all of the finger wagging about people who have ties to Russia or China, it is glaringly clear that the Biden family has been engaging in crooked deals with the two totalitarian regimes for years. It is foolish to not at least consider that our President may have been involved even if he isn’t today. For all of Joe Biden’s faults, he has a long history of loving and supporting his kids. Is it too much of a stretch to think that he might have thrown his influence around on their behalf for foreigners?
Newly unearthed photos show the Biden family’s Chinese business partner meeting with Vladimir Putin.
Zang Jianjun was executive director of Chinese oil giant CEFC, which partnered with Joe Biden‘s brother Jim and son Hunter on a deal that earned the First Family millions of dollars.
Text messages obtained by DailyMail.com reveal Zang was in close contact with Chinese President Xi Jinping, and that the Chinese leader gave the green light for his partnership with the Bidens.
Zang even traveled to Moscow with Xi and met with Putin while brokering a massive $9.1billion deal to buy a share of the Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft in 2017.
China’s President Xi Jinping signalled there would be no immediate loosening of his controversial zero-Covid strategy as a historic Communist Party congress opened in Beijing.
In a break in decades-long tradition, delegates are likely to hand Mr Xi a third term as party chief.
Zero-Covid was a “people’s war to stop the spread of the virus”, he said.
The policy has saved lives, but also exacted a punishing toll on the Chinese people and economy.
There is increasing public fatigue over lockdowns and travel restrictions.
Beijing has come under strict security measures ahead of the congress, sparking frustration in the city with a rare and dramatic public protest on Thursday criticising Mr Xi and zero Covid.
Xi is too smart to think that he can prevent any Covid or that it would be worth the economic cost. What is worth the economic cost, however, is to use Covid as a cover to reorder society, crack down on opponents, and finish his genocide. He’s a pure-bred totalitarian and the economic success of the past couple of decades has created an actual Chinese middle class. That can’t be tolerated.
MANILA (Reuters) – The Philippines will stop operations of 175 offshore gambling firms and deport about 40,000 Chinese workers, a justice ministry official said on Monday, part of a crackdown on the notoriously opaque online gaming industry.
The sector emerged in the Philippines in 2016 and grew exponentially, as operators capitalised on the country’s liberal gaming laws to target customers in China, where gambling is banned.
At their peak, Philippine offshore gambling operators, or POGOs, employed more than 300,000 Chinese workers, but the pandemic and higher taxes have forced many to operate elsewhere.
“The crackdown was triggered by reports of murder, kidnapping and other crimes committed by Chinese nationals against fellow Chinese nationals,” justice ministry spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano said.
The POGOs targeted for closure had licenses that either expired or were revoked, for violations like non-payment of government fees, Clavano said, adding the deportation of the Chinese workers would start next month.
The government generated 7.2 billion pesos ($122.21 million) in 2020 and 3.9 billion last year in POGO fees alone, according to the finance ministry. Economists estimate considerably larger amounts are being spent on taxes, workers’ spending and office rental.