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Q: Tits ... 2.0

https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/china-aggressively-responds...

 

China aggressively responds to Australia’s opposition to South China Sea claims

Beijing has fired a warning, threatening to slap sanctions on Aussie exports after another escalation of tensions between the two.

July 26, 2020 5:53 pm

 

China has fired a direct message in response to Australia declaring Beijing’s claim in the South China Seas are illegal, accusing Canberra of “recklessly making provocations” and blindly following the United States.

Through its government mouthpiece, The Global Times, it declared sanctions on beef and wine exports are warranted and the broken diplomacy between the two is unsalvageable.

“The relationship between China and Australia has now deteriorated to a very bad point and the chance for a turnaround is slim in the near future,” according to the article penned by Guangdong Research Institute professor Zhou Fangyin.

“One of the main reasons is that Australia’s policy lacks independence and its current choice is to closely follow the US lead.

“If Australia further provokes China, not only on political relations, but also economic relations, the damage to Australia should be expected.”

 

 

Aussie ships on a recent expedition with Japanese and US forces.

Aussie ships on a recent expedition with Japanese and US forces.

 

The paper claims Australia is “not as tactful” as its Five Eyes alliance partners the United Kingdom and Canada, accusing the Morrison Government of aggressively following Washington’s lead against China.

“It should be said that so far Australia has not learned a great lesson,” Prof Fangyin’s article said.

“If it still insists on going on the current path, the possibility that China will take strong countermeasures cannot be ruled out.

“For example, China could target substitutable agricultural products such as beef and wine.”

The diplomatic relationship between Australia and China soured when Canberra led calls for an international investigation into the initial outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan.

The increasingly fraught war of words flirted with aggression last week when five Australian warships were reportedly confronted by the Chinese navy near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

But this recent response published in the country’s propaganda outlet is a direct retaliation for Australia filing a declaration at the United Nations in New York, rejecting China’s maritime claims as being inconsistent with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

The escalation comes just days before an upcoming ministerial meeting between the US and Australia, AUSMIN.

Leading researcher, the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre, has urged the two governments to narrow their focus on China at the strategic meeting.

The top research institute recently outlined a policy framework for Australia and the US, claiming the alliance has never had a “more urgent” time to show leadership.

 

China’s Belt and Road Initiative, its island grabbing in the South China Sea, military force in the Taiwan Strait, its annexation of Hong Kong’s legal system and the recent clashes at the border with Indian forces reveal a menacing strategy for regional control, the centre said.

 

“While the United States has been largely distracted during COVID-19 with its own domestic concerns, China has taken advantage of an uncertain regional situation to advance its expansive geopolitical interests in key flashpoints across the Indo-Pacific,” the centre’s director of foreign policy and defence Ashley Townshend told news.com.au.

 

“China already has already taken advantage of the pandemic to prosecute its regional agenda in ways that are not favourable to our interests.”

 

 

https://www.news.com.au/finance/work/leaders/urgent-china-warning-claims...

 

‘Urgent’ China warning claims Australia needs alliance with US

 

The superpower’s recent conflict with India is just the latest sign of aggression in the region and the PM needs to act now, a new report says.

 

 

18 weeks 4 days ago in  Arts & Entertainment - Other cities

 
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Let say, you have a garden or piece of land where you ... plant, and you received unsoliceted bag of seeds. What would you do with it?

 

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/agricultural-warfare-people-are-r...

 

Agricultural Warfare? People Are Receiving Mysterious Unsolicited Packages Of Seeds In The Mail From China

 

Just when you thought tensions between the U.S. and China couldn't get any stranger in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic, Americans across the country are starting to report receiving unsolicited packages of different types of seeds that they didn't order - and don't know anything about - at their door. The return address on the packages is always from China. 

The Washington State Department of Agriculture wrote about the phenomenon on their Facebook page on July 24, 2020 and said that the seeds are being shipping in packaging that identifies the contents as jewelry. 

Similar advisories have been issued in Virginia, Utah, Kansas, Arizona and Louisiana.

Facebook users have been adding photos in the comments section of the post sharing photographs of seeds they have received from China. “It’s not a joke. I got some the other day!!!” one user commented, stating that the package identified the contents as a "Rose flower stud earring".  

“Look’s like it’s all across the country,” stated an Indiana resident who also received seeds in the mail unsolicited. 

At least 40 residents in Utah were said to have been mailed the unsolicited packages, according to the Daily Mail. The Kansas  Department of Agriculture and the Arizona Department of Agriculture also addressed the phenomenon, as did the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, who said: 

"Right now, we are uncertain what types of seeds are in the package. Out of caution, we are urging anyone who receives a package that was not ordered by the recipient, to please call the LDAF immediately. We need to identify the seeds to ensure they do not pose a risk to Louisiana’s agricultural industry or the environment."

There have been similar reports from Virginia's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. "The seeds have yet to be identified, but officials speculate that the seeds may be of an invasive plant species and are advising residents not to use them," Fox News reported.

"Taking steps to prevent their introduction is the most effective method of reducing both the risk of invasive species infestations and the cost to control and mitigate those infestations," VDACS wrote in a press release.

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has advised people on its Facebook page:

1) DO NOT plant them and if they are in sealed packaging (as in the photo below) don’t open the sealed package.

2) This is known as agricultural smuggling. Report it to USDA and maintain the seeds and packaging until USDA instructs you what to do with the packages and seeds. They may be needed as evidence.

 

If individuals are aware of the potential smuggling of prohibited exotic fruits, vegetables, or meat products into or through the USA, they can help APHIS by contacting the confidential Antismuggling Hotline number at 800-877-3835 or by sending an Email to SITC.Mail@aphis.usda.gov.

 

USDA will make every attempt to protect the confidentiality of any information sources during an investigation within the extent of the law.

We can't help but wonder, given the fact that agriculture is such a large cornerstone of trade talks with China, whether or not this could be more than just "agricultural smuggling", but perhaps agricultural warfare of sorts.

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"Tat ..."

 

China ends Hong Kong's crime-related agreements with Australia, Canada and UK  for ‘politicizing judicial cooperation’

China ends Hong Kong's crime-related agreements with Australia, Canada and UK for ‘politicizing judicial cooperation’

Beijing is suspending Hong Kong's crime agreements with Britain, Canada and Australia, China's foreign ministry says, because they are “politicizing judicial cooperation” by halting their extradition treaties with Hong Kong.

Jul 28, 2020 12:37

 

Wang said that Beijing has the right to respond to New Zealand, which announced it too was shelving its extradition treaty with Hong Kong on Tuesday. Under the treaties, partner states agreed to deport people wanted for crimes in their home country. 

Beijing “urges New Zealand to immediately redress its mistake, and stop all forms of interference in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs,” Wang said. 

The Chinese Embassy in New Zealand said the decision was “a gross interference” in China’s internal business, and a “serious violation of international law.”  surprise

 

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EU works hard ... together with Yanks ... on prepping some 'dog stew' ... for "Standing Committee" ... surprise

 

EU Slams 'Complicit' Volkswagen Over China Treatment Of Uighurs After US Expands Blacklist

 

The chair of the European Parliament's delegation for China relations, Reinhard Bütikofer, has slammed Volkswagen for its refusal to confront China over its treatment of Uighur Muslims, according to Politico.

This week, a group of unions and nongovernmental organizations called on major brands like Nike, Adidas and Amazon to stop sourcing goods from Xinjiang.

While the U.S. has already introduced some sanctions over Xinjiang, Bütikofer complained that the European Commission is still resisting pressure to take action. He reserved his strongest criticism, however, for Volkswagen, which has a factory in Xinjiang's capital of Urumqi. -Politico

"Volkswagen ... is a company without a conscience, Bütikofer told Politico, adding that "companies like that are complicit in upholding a totalitarian hell in Xinjiang."

 

He also criticized the German carmaker for "denying any knowledge of the oppression of the Uighur people in Xinjiang."

In a BBC interview, the EU official slammed former VW chief executive, Herbert Deiss, who said he wasn't aware of China's infamous detention camps, saying "That’s anything but credible, it just didn’t want to get on the record with taking a stance."

Bütikofer argued the company had been reluctant to react to a 2020 report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute revealing mass transfer of Uighurs to work under forced labor conditions in factories across China.

The report listed Volkswagen among "companies directly or indirectly benefiting from the use of Uighur workers outside Xinjiang through potentially abusive labor transfer programs."

Volkswagen rejected the accusations about the Urumqi plant and its supply chains. -Politico

In an emailed response, Volkswagen told Politico "There are and have been no indications of human rights violations at the Urumqi plant," adding that there were "no further indications that the forced labour of Uighurs [was] part of the supply chain of the Volkswagen Group China or its units." In addition, VW says it has instituted a system to somehow ensure that its direct suppliers respect human rights.

Bütikofer is one of the signatories of an open letter sent on Friday by over 70 MEPs from different political groups, urging EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to demand the intervention of the United Nations to stop "serious and systematic human rights violations by the Chinese government against Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region." On Thursday, MEPs from the Renew Europe also asked Borrell to accelerate the adoption of a sanction system for human rights offenders.

"The Parliament is very active but so far the Commission has not picked that up," said Bütikofer, who added that the Commission should not "hide behind the excuse" for failing to have a legal mechanism to take action.

 

"There is always an opportunity of naming and shaming. Infraction on basic human rights is so gross that we should not accept this business as usual approach," he said.

The EU's actions come one week after the US Commerce Department has added 11 Chinese companies to an economic blacklist over their involvement in China's mistreatment of Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.

According to Reuters, numerous textile companies and two firms conducting genetic analysis 'used to further the repression of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities' have been added to the list - prompting China to accuse the West of slander.

 

Why the US suddenly cares about China's treatment of more than 1 million minority slaves living in giant forced-labor cities is anyone's guess, but the United States, and now the EU, are now keen on holding Xi's feet to the fire. Prior to the Trump administration, the US government apparently couldn't care less. Now, there are 37 entities on the blacklist.

"Beijing actively promotes the reprehensible practice of forced labor and abusive DNA collection and analysis schemes to repress its citizens," said Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in a statement.

China, meanwhile, has accused the Trump administration of slander - with foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin warning at a Tuesday press conference that China would take all measures to protect its companies' rights.

The companies added to the blacklist include Nanchang O-Film Tech, a supplier for Apple’s iPhone that hosted Apple chief executive Tim Cook in December 2017, according to O-Film’s website. It is also a supplier to Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft, according to an April congressional letter.

The list includes two subsidiaries of Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI), a genomics company with ties to the Chinese government, Senator Marco Rubio said. -Reuters

Senator Rubio says the additions to the blacklist will "ensure that U.S. technology does not aid the Chinese Communist Party’s crimes against humanity and egregious human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, including the forced collection of DNA."

 

Another company on the revised list is KTK Group Co, which manufactures over 2,000 items for high-speed trains "ranging from electronics to seats; and Tanyuan Technology Co, which assembles high thermal, conductive graphite reinforced aluminum composites," according to the report.

The company said in a statement that it has no investments in the US, does not rely on US technology, and that US exports account for less than 0.5% of its 2019 revenue.

Changji Esquel Textile Company, which manufactures clothing for Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Hugo Boss, was also added to the list. The company asked Ross to remove them from the blacklist, with CEO John Cheh stating in a letter "Esquel does not use forced labor, and we never will use forced labor," adding "We absolutely and categorically oppose forced labor."

As we noted last week, Uighurs are allegedly being used as unwilling human subjects in genetic research, as Reuters reports:

Among them are numerous textile companies and two firms the government said were conducting genetic analyses used to further the repression of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.

It was the third group of companies and institutions in China added to the U.S. blacklist, after two rounds in which the Trump administration cited 37 entities it said were involved in China’s repression in Xinjiang.

“Beijing actively promotes the reprehensible practice of forced labor and abusive DNA collection and analysis schemes to repress its citizens,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

In another ghastly example, one company is said to be mass collecting human hair from Uighur prisoners to use in wig products:

Also on the banned roster is Hetian Haolin Hair Accessories Co. On May 1, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it was halting imports of the company’s hair products, citing evidence of forced labor.

 

  On July 1, CBP seized in Newark a shipment of almost 13 tons of hair products worth over $800,000 with human hair that it said originated in Xinjiang.  angel

 

 

The NYT story was released just as newly resurfaced footage allegedly showing bound and blindfolded Chinese Muslims being loaded onto train cars went viral.

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US Senate-Tit ...

 

Senate Committee Moves To Allow Americans To Sue China Over COVID-19

"Democrats were opposed, worried it would leave the U.S. open to similar litigation...."

 

 

JUL 30, 2020 1:50 PM

Marking the culmination of a process that began more than a month ago, a Senate committee is backing a bill that would allow Americans to sue China for failing to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

It's the latest in a growing list of antagonistic tit-for-tat actions including ordering the closure of China's consulate in Houston, the first to open in the US following President Nixon's historic meeting with Mao back in the early 1970s. China retaliated by closing a US consulate in Chengdu, the capital of China's Sichuan Province.

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https://www.yahoo.com/news/260-chinese-boats-fish-near-195624510.html

 

Somebody selling fish oil for a virus, something smells fishy here.

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EU-Block-Tit ....

 

EU targets Russian intelligence, Chinese, North Korean companies in first ever cybercrime-related round of sanctions

EU targets Russian intelligence, Chinese, North Korean companies in first ever cybercrime-related round of sanctions

The European Union has imposed sanctions on six people and three entities, including a Russian military intelligence unit, over their alleged involvement in various hacking activities, in the first ever such move from Brussels.

Jul 30, 2020 22:12

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Beach time is over ... WeChat-Tit

US Announces New Action Against "Array" Of Chinese Software Companies

    "...whether it’s TikTok or WeChat - there are countless more..."

     

     

    As the White House teased in a media trial balloon yesterday, the administration has just announced its latest initiative to hector Beijing, and the Chinese technology sector, as the Trump Administration ratchets up the retaliatory pressure in a burst of election-year fervor.

    The Trump administration will announce measures shortly against "a broad array” of Chinese-owned software that pose a "national security risk", according to Mike Pompeo, Trump's Secretary of State.

    Ever since President Trump said late Friday that a ban on the popular social media app TikTok was "imminent", talks between ByteDance, the owner of TikTok and a separate app called "Douyin" - (equivalent to "TikTok" in English) which is similar to TikTok in many ways, but is a different app built to operate on the Chinese Internet - have apparently collapsed. Media reports claimed that, after being courted by a group of VC firms, ByteDance was in advanced talks to sell TikTok to Microsoft.

    But those talks have apparently stalled. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said earlier that the app must either be "sold or blocked", and it appears that Beijing has soured on the optics of appearing to kowtow to Trump just before the election - god forbid President Xi be accused of intervening on Trump's behalf.

    Pompeo signaled he expects a Trump announcement “shortly." He added that Chinese software companies doing business in the US are working with Chinese State Security: "whether it’s TikTok or WeChat, there are countless more," Pompeo said during an interview on Fox New's "Sunday Morning Futures" program.

    ... more ...

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    White House Moves To De-List Chinese Companies From American Stock Exchanges

    A new proposal from the Trump Administration calls for all Chinese-domiciled companies with shares listed on American stock exchanges will need to comply with American auditing rules, or de-list by 2022... 

     

    The Trump Administration's campaign of non-stop foreign policy agitation - from sending Alex Azar to Taiwan, to holding more military exercises in the South China Sea, to Trump threatening to ban TikTok, and imposing sanctions on firms and individuals tied to the Chinese security apparatus in Xinjiang - continues apace Thursday night.

    WSJ reports that a new proposal from the Trump Administration calls for all Chinese-domiciled companies with shares listed on American stock exchanges will need to comply with American auditing rules, or de-list by 2022.

    It's not exactly a surprise. The Senate back in May passed a bill entitled the "Holding Foreign Companies Accountable" Act that called for Chinese companies to confirm to American accounting standards, or de-list. The bill was passed in the wake of the Luckin Coffee fraud.

    It has been on the back-burner since.

    If it were signed into law, the bill would required Chinese companies to comply with American auditing rules (they're currently exempt) or face being delisted, which would put $1.3 trillion of US-listed Chinese firms, including behemoths like Alibaba Group and Tencent, at risk of being pushed out of American markets.

    ... more ...

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     One China ... Two Policies ... 

     

     

    HHS Chief Alex Azar Lands In Taiwan For "Historic" Visit As Beijing Slams US "Betrayal"

      Azar is the first cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan in six years, and the highest level US official to visit the island since 1979.

       

       

      Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, marking the Trump Administration's latest direct challenge to the "One China" policy that has served as the bedrock for the US-China bilateral relationship since the early 1970s.

      Azar is the first cabinet-level official to visit Taiwan in six years, and the highest level US official to visit the island since 1979.

      To be sure, Trump has been undermining the policy, which dictates that Taiwan is merely a wayward province of the PRC, which is autonomous - for the time being. But in early 2019, President Xi declared during a historic speech to the Party, and the Chinese people, that Taiwan would be brought back under Beijing's sway, either by diplomacy, or violence, if need be. And any foreign powers who get int the way of that risk invoking the wrath of the Chinese people.

      Beijing has already protested Azar's visit as a betrayal of America's commitments not to have official contact with Taiwan.

      ... more ...

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      Reason for US Tik-Tok ban was ...

       

      Shipments Of 20,000 Fake IDs From China Seized By Feds Ahead Of Election

       

      Already, there was an incident in June, when Chinese video app TikTok saw users band together and falsely reserve tickets for President Trump's rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which resulted in an embarrassingly low turnout. As a result, the administration when on the offensive against the app and has since signed an executive order to ban it next month. 

      China could also be attempting to undermine the election by sending counterfeit driver's licenses to the U.S. So far, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at Chicago O'Hare International Airport have intercepted close to 20,000 counterfeit U.S. driver's licenses shipped from China this year, reported FOX 5 New York

       

      .... more ...

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      China's Military Ordered "Not To Fire First Shot" In Any Stand-Off With US Forces

        Clearest evidence yet that Beijing envisions a likely near-future scenario where the two sides 'easily' stumble toward war through an unplanned live-fire incident. 

         

         

        AUG 11, 2020 2:35 PM

        At a moment of increasingly dangerous military flexing both over Taiwan and in the South China Sea, the People's Liberation Army has reportedly been ordered “not to fire the first shot” in any potential confrontation with the United States. It suggests this emerging 'new Cold War' scenario could turn hot at any moment.

        The South China Morning Post broke news of the standing military orders on Tuesday based on unnamed sources: China has told its service personnel “not to fire the first shot” as Beijing looks to de-escalate tensions with the United States in the South China Sea, it reports.

        Further SCMP cites that "The sources said Beijing had ordered pilots and naval officers to exercise restraint in the increasingly frequent stand-offs with US planes and warships."

        Word of the military order from Beijing constitutes perhaps the clearest evidence thus far that China envisions a likely future scenario where the two sides 'easily' stumble toward war through some kind of unplanned live-fire incident.

        This summer the US has kept up a record daily number of flights and operations over and near the contested South China Sea. As we reported previously, a Beijing-based think tank counted over 50 sorties by US military aircraft in the region in the first three weeks of last month.

        “At the moment the US military is sending three to five reconnaissance aircraft each day to the South China Sea,” the South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI) described of July flyovers.

        This prompted China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and his US counterpart Mark Esper to hold urgent "crunch talks" — as SCMP earlier described the last Friday phone call, hoping to establish de-escalation procedures in the case of an active event, particularly a direct military hotline.

        It could be that Beijing apparently making public it has a military policy of 'don't shoot first' is a good faith gesture aimed at encouraging Washington to find quick agreement on a high level military deconfliction communications channel.

        Wei specifically warned Esper of the Pentagon's "dangerous moves" in the region and further “expressed China’s principled position on the South China Sea, Taiwan, and the US's ‘stigmatisation’ of China, asking the US to stop its wrong words and deeds, strengthen maritime risk management and control, avoid dangerous actions that may heat up the situation, and maintain regional peace and stability,” state-run Xinhua said.

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        Your daily worldly tits from the Negative Press LOL 

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        US Sends B-2 Stealth Bombers To 'Warn' China As PLA Expands Live-Fire Drills Off Taiwan

        China's military conducts major drills to "safeguard sovereignty" of the island...

         

        This week just as major Chinese live-firing naval drills were being conducted north of Taiwan, the US flew three of B-2 stealth bombers to its Diego Garcia base in the Indian Ocean.

        British daily The Times describes that the American bomber movements were to address the growing Chinese threat over Taiwan on the very eve the PLA drill kicked off: "It is the first time the nuclear-capable strategic bombers have been sent to the remote island since 2016, in an indication of the growing concern about China’s intentions towards Taiwan," according to a report Thursday.

        China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) held a series of multi-branch drills in the Taiwan Strait and northern areas this week. According to a PLA statement it's in response to external countries sending the “wrong” signals to Taiwan’s pro-independence forces - clearly directed at Washington given the high level American delegation currently visiting Taipei - which Beijing says is a threat to peace and stability.

        Washington is sending its own counter-message in its stepped up presence in the Indo-Pacific, as The Times continues: "The bombers flew across the Pacific from Whiteman air force base in Missouri to land at Diego Garcia, part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. With their advanced stealth technology, the B-2s can penetrate enemy territory without alerting air-defence radars."

        This also comes days after New Zealand and Australian based defense sources accused the PLA of building up amphibious assault units along the coast just opposite Taiwan. Satellite images which circulated were presented as depicting additional marine amphibious craft activity near the self-ruled island.

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        We'll call this one "Tit-4-Tit"  just 'cause tomorrow is Saturday ...

         

        https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/review-us-china-trade-deal-planned-tom...

         

        Review Of US-China Trade Deal Planned For Tomorrow Delayed Indefinitely... As There Is Nothing To Review

        Fri, 08/14/2020 - 13:19

         

        One week ago we presented a remarkable chart from Reuters, which showed that half a year into the so-called "trade deal" with China, Beijing had only bought a tiny fraction, or less than 5%, of the targeted $25.3 billion in energy products under phase one agreement (its soybean  purchase "quota" was just as laughable). 

        This means that for all of Trump bombast over the "massive" US-China deal, China has not complied with virtually any of its contractual requirements, and was woefully behind on its imports quota.

        It's also why we were amused by the news that this weekend there was a scheduled review of where the US and China currently stand on the "Phase 1" trade deal for the simple reason that there is nothing to review!

        Moments ago Reuters confirmed out jaded take when it reported that the review of the U.S.-China trade deal initially slated for Saturday "will be delayed due to scheduling issues, and no new date has been agreed yet, according to sources familiar with the plans."

        U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had been expected to meet via videoconference on Aug. 15, the six-month anniversary of agreement entering into force.

        Why the delay? Because whether it is due to covid, or simply because China never intended to comply with the terms of the trade deal, any review of just how little China has complied with would only make the Trump admin look like a joke for allowing China to get away with what is effectively full and total non-compliance.

         

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        Taiwan Signs Deal For Large Batch Of US F-16 Jets As China Tensions On Brink

          New contract for delivery of 66 jets added to the self-ruled island's existing fleet of F-16s...

           

           

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          Beijing ‘will retaliate’ as no Chinese journalist in US has been granted visa extension since May 8

          Beijing ‘will retaliate’ as no Chinese journalist in US has been granted visa extension since May 8

          Washington should immediately correct its mistake and stop persisting with escalation against Chinese journalists working in the United States, Beijing has warned.

          Aug 17, 2020 

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          So you'll know, where do you live ...?

           

          https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-53809345

           

          China defends detention of Uighur model in Xinjiang

           

          A Uighur fashion model who filmed himself handcuffed to a bed in an epidemic prevention centre in Xinjiang was lawfully detained, Chinese officials have said.

          Merdan Ghappar sent video of himself, and a series of accompanying text messages, to his family in February.

          They were passed to the BBC and published earlier this month.

          The messages offered a rare, detailed account from inside Xinjiang's highly secure and secretive detention system.

          In his account, Mr Ghappar described 18 days spent shackled and hooded with over 50 others in a jail. He said he was then isolated in an epidemic prevention centre, where he filmed the video.

          Relatives say the 31-year-old was forcibly transported back to the far-western region of Xinjiang in January after completing a 16-month sentence for a drugs offence in the southern Chinese city of Foshan, where he'd been living and working.

          Now, more than two weeks after the BBC sent a list of questions to Chinese authorities, a response has come in the form of a written statement by the Xinjiang government press office.

          "According to article 37 of the Prison Law of the People's Republic of China, the people's government shall help released prisoners to resettle," it says.

          "During the transfer, Merdan Ghappar committed acts of self-harm and excessive acts against the police."

          It continues: "They took legal measures to stop him, and lifted those measures once his mood had stabilised."

          Although Mr Ghappar had spent years in Foshan - where friends and relatives say he made good money modelling clothes - he was taken back to his city of birth of Kucha in Xinjiang.

          We showed the Chinese government statement to Merdan Ghappar's uncle, Abdulhakim Ghappar, who now lives in the Netherlands after leaving Xinjiang in 2011.

          "If the police wanted to arrange help to get him resettled for work or something, they should have helped him in Foshan because he is working there, he has a house there," he told me.

          "So, he shouldn't have been sent back to Kucha by force."

          Workers walk by the perimeter fence of what is officially known as a vocational skills education centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang in September 2018Image copyrightREUTERSImage caption

          Xinjiang's camps are officially known as a "vocational skills education centres"

          In addition, Abdulhakim said, no mention of "resettlement" was made to the family when Mr Ghappar was taken away in January.

          The BBC has been shown evidence that the authorities were saying instead that "he may need to do a few days of education at his local community".

          more ...

          The family believe that "education" is a clear euphemism for the network of highly secure re-education camps where more than one million mostly Muslim Uighurs have been detained in recent years - and which China insists are voluntary schools for anti-extremism training.

          Thousands of children have been separated from their parents and, recent research shows, women have been forcibly subjected to methods of birth control.

          The government statement does not address Mr Ghappar's allegations of mistreatment which, along with the shackling and hooding, included hearing sounds of torture from elsewhere in the police jail.

          "One time I heard a man screaming from morning until evening," he wrote in one of his text messages.

          Nor does the statement refer to his self-shot video showing him sitting in silence in the epidemic control centre, with dirty clothes and his left wrist clearly handcuffed to the bed.

          Instead, it lists a range of behaviours, from violence to self-harm, implying that his treatment was proportionate and lawful.

          "He resisted epidemic prevention staff when they tried to take his temperature, verbally insulted them and beat them up," the statement says.

          "As these behaviours placed him under suspicion of committing a crime, the police have subjected him to forcible measures." His case "remains in process", it adds.

          James Millward from Georgetown University, an expert on China's policies in Xinjiang, provided a translation and analysis of Mr Ghappar's text messages alongside the original BBC article.

          "It's interesting that nothing in the Xinjiang government's response addresses the description of conditions in the Kucha local police station; the overcrowding, the beatings, the unsanitary conditions, the sharing of eight sets of eating utensils by 50-60 people," he told me.

          "Regardless of why Merdan was put in detention in Kucha, his description of those conditions, especially during the pandemic, are very disturbing."

          *UK accuses China of 'gross' abuses against Uighurs

          *'Forced labour' Chinese hair imports seized by US

          Darren Byler is an anthropologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who has written and researched extensively about the Uighurs.

          "This message from the Chinese state authorities reflects the type of victim blaming that is often used by the police when caught using excessive force," he said after being shown a copy of the statement.

          "Since the re-education campaign began in 2017, detainees have not been permitted to protest their internment. Instead they're required to maintain a 'good attitude' and admit their guilt under threat of beating and torture."

          The Chinese government statement also makes no mention of how Merdan Ghappar was able to send out the video of himself handcuffed to the bed, along with his description of a detention system that China works hard to keep secret.

          Family members have previously told the BBC that, unknown to his guards, he was able to retrieve his phone when reunited with some of his personal belongings in the epidemic prevention centre.

          The 4 minutes 38 seconds of footage is the last the family have seen of him.

          "The Chinese police have a long history of abusing restraints as a means of torture," Senior China Researcher at Human Rights Watch, Maya Wang, told me.

          "They have also been persecuting Xinjiang's Muslims," she added. "Taken together, I don't think the authorities' explanation concerning Merdan Ghappar is convincing. If the Chinese government has nothing to hide, it should give independent observers, including UN experts, unfettered access to Xinjiang."

          The statement leaves a number of the BBC's questions unanswered - was Mr Ghappar, as alleged, kept shackled with a sack on his head? Has his uncle Abdulhakim - who believes he is wanted in China as a result of what he says is his peaceful activism - been charged with any offence?

          For the family though it is at least, they say, the first official notification they have received confirming that Mr Ghappar is being detained.

          After a few brief days of communication, the text messages fell silent in early March, just as suddenly as they had begun.

          "I know him very well," Abdulhakim told me. "I don't believe he harmed himself, I think China harmed him and now I think they want to find an excuse for what they did to him.

          "Please show me he is alive and well, otherwise I won't believe a word of this statement."

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          China Blasts US 'Naked Provocation' After U-2 Spy Plane "Entered No-Fly Zone" During PLA Drills

            Defense Ministry threatens that an “unexpected incident” could have easily resulted...

             

             

             

             

             

            Tue, 08/25/2020 - 21:45

            In the latest tit-for-tat South China Sea saga, China has denounced the United States, lodging "stern representations" with the US embassy, over Pentagon attempts to spy on live-fire military drills over what Beijing claims is its sovereign airspace.

            Specifically, according to Reuters, the US is charged with "sending a U.S. U-2 reconnaissance plane into a no-fly zone over Chinese live-fire military drills on Tuesday, further ratcheting up tensions between Beijing and Washington."

            China's Defense Ministry called the unpermitted U-2 flight an unsafe threat which constitutes “seriously interfering in normal exercise activities”.

            The statement hinted at a threat as well, saying an “unexpected incident” could have easily resulted, which presumably means the spy plane may have been targeted as "drills" could have rapidly transitioned to becoming fully operational under a perceived US threat.

            “It was an act of naked provocation, and China is resolutely opposed to it, and have already lodged stern representations with the U.S. side,” the Defense Ministry added.

            “China demands the U.S. side immediately stop this kind of provocative behaviour and take actual steps to safeguard peace and stability in the region,” the statement said.

            It's as yet unclear precisely where the incident happened, also given China's PLA military is engaged in multiple small-scale drills, notably in the Bohai Sea and some in the Yellow and South China Seas.

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            2nd Oz News anchor has been detained ...

             

            China Arrests High Profile Australian Citizen & State TV Anchor Under Mysterious Circumstances

             

            Despite being a popular host on China's CGTN, Cheng Lei's appearances & media pages were immediately scrubbed from the web...

            AUG 31, 2020 10:45 AM

             

            In another huge shot across the bow in the ongoing tit-for-tat media and journalism ban between China and the West, a high-profile Australian television anchor has been detained by authorities in Beijing.

            Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne confirmed Monday that Cheng Lei, who it turns out is a veteran news anchor for the Chinese government's English news channel, CGTN, is being prevented from returning to her home country. She's been detained and placed in secured isolation for an indeterminate amount of time.

            "The Australian Government has been informed that an Australian citizen, Ms Cheng Lei, has been detained in China," the Australian government statement said. "Formal notification was received on 14th of August from Chinese authorities of her detention," it continued, though news of her detention is only now being reported via Australia's ABC.

            "Australian officials had an initial consular visit with Ms Cheng at a detention facility via video link on 27th of August and will continue to provide assistance and support to her and her family," it continued.

            It was friends and colleagues who first noticed she was "missing" as she didn't return messages over a period of weeks. She also hadn't appeared on her most recent show, CGTN’s Global Business, after long being one of its premier hosts.

            Strongly suggesting that Lei could actually be under suspicion of spying or passing sensitive information to the Australian government, or other serious breach of her work for state-run CGTN, her employment profile page detailing eight years of accomplishments for CGTN has been taken down and all videos of her previous stories have been scrubbed.

            Her reporting put in her close contact with top officials across China. Here in 2018 she interviews He Yu, chairman of China General Nuclear Power Corporation. Image: CGTN
            Australian media says she hasn't been charged, yet has been detained under a draconian Chinese law allowing security services to detain and question a suspect for up to six months with no access to a lawyer or outside communications.

            It comes as tensions between Canberra and Beijing escalate primarily over the recently enacted Hong Kong national security law, which resulted in Australia suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, after which China vowed retaliation.

            Chinese authorities have indicated she's currently held in "residential surveillance at a designated location", ABC notes.

            Another Australian citizen and news correspondent, Yang Hengjun, had previously been detained January 2019, and has reportedly yet to be provided access to his lawyers.

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            https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/us-warship-sails-through-taiwan-s...

             

            As US Warship Again Transits Taiwan Strait, Taipei & Beijing Warn Each Other: 'Risk Of Accidental Conflict Likely'

             

            Given the increased military "traffic" in the tense region, we should note that Beijing and Taipei actually agree on one thing, as related by Reuters"Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen warned last week of the risk of accidental conflict from the rise in military activities." 

             

             

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            Can't find Terry Brandstad's, US Ambassador to China op-ed article to China Daily over the web ... buTT ...

             

            New US-Tit ...

             

            https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-pompeo/china-u-s-trade-atta...

             

            China, U.S. trade attacks after paper refuses to carry envoy's op-ed

             

            BEIJING (Reuters) - China and the United States traded attacks about who best understands press freedom as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticised the official newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party for refusing to carry an op-ed by the U.S. ambassador.

             

            The strongly worded comments from both sides come amid rapidly deteriorating relations between the world’s
            two largest economies ahead of November’s U.S. presidential election, with arguments over trade, human rights and the COVID-19 pandemic.

             

            “The People’s Daily’s response once again exposes the Chinese Communist Party’s fear of free speech and serious intellectual debate – as well as Beijing’s hypocrisy when it complains about lack of fair and reciprocal treatment in other countries,” Pompeo said in a statement late on Wednesday.

            The refusal by the People’s Daily comes after a U.S. decision to revoke more than 1,000 visas of Chinese nationals this week, and as both countries restrict or revoke visas for each others’ journalists.

            Titled “Resetting the Relationship Based on Reciprocity”, Ambassador Terry Branstad’s article referred to an imbalance in the U.S.-China relationship, noting that U.S. companies, journalists, diplomats, and even civil society suffered unequal access in China.

            “While U.S. journalists face restrictions on reporting and even entering China, Chinese state media workers have long enjoyed open access in the United States,” Branstad wrote.

            Issuing its response in a letter, the People’s Daily said the U.S. envoy’s article failed to meet its standards.

            “In our opinion, the op-ed in the name of Ambassador Branstad is full of loopholes and seriously inconsistent with facts,” the paper said, in a letter released by the State Department.

            In a statement on Thursday, the paper said it had the right, like U.S. media, to decide what it publishes and to make necessary edits, decrying Pompeo’s remarks as a vicious attack on Chinese media.

            “It is extremely ironic that on the one hand the U.S. side rudely and unreasonably supresses Chinese media like the People’s Daily as Communist Party ‘propaganda machines’, and on the other demands they disseminate wrong points of view for the United States.”

            Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said China’s ambassador in Washington, who frequently appears in U.S. media, has never smeared his host country and is committed to promoting friendly exchanges and cooperation.

            Pompeo said China must respect the free press.

            “Their refusal to do so shows just how much China’s unelected Party elites fear their own people’s free-thinking and the free world’s judgment about their governance practices inside China.”

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            China-Tat ...

             

             China imposes tit-for-tat restrictions on American diplomats

            'Legitimate response to the erroneous US moves': China imposes tit-for-tat restrictions on American diplomats

            Beijing has introduced reciprocal restrictions on American diplomats and other staff at the US embassy and consulates in China, including Hong Kong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced.

            Sep 11, 2020 13:27

             

             

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             Ozz scholars are ... bad, ... too! 

             

            https://www.rt.com/news/501561-china-australia-rights-scholars/

             

            Beijing says it’s ‘totally within its rights’ to ban threats to China’s security, as 2 Australian scholars are reportedly barred/p>

             

            Beijing said on Thursday it has the right as a sovereign power to refuse entry to anyone spreading disinformation, amid local media reports that two Australian academics have been banned from China.

            The Foreign Ministry in Beijing did not confirm the reported entry bans, but spokesman Wang Wenbin said during a news briefing on Thursday that China has the right to bar any foreign national.

            “We firmly oppose any acts to deliberately attack China, endanger China’s national security, or spread disinformation under the pretext of studies and other academic activities,” Wang said.

            Earlier on Thursday, the Global Times said that China had barred two “anti-China” Australian academics from entering the country.

            These are scholar Clive Hamilton and Alexander Joske, an analyst from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) think tank. The decision came amid rising tensions between Beijing and Canberra, and was made under China’s Exit and Entry Administration Law.

            The daily accused Hamilton, a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in Canberra, of publishing books and reports claiming that China is “influencing and infiltrating” Western countries by “stealing intelligence through public information and hacking.”

            ASPI, an Australian think tank where Joske is an analyst, is infamous for “churning out anti-China propaganda and fabricating anti-China issues,” Global Times said.

             

             

             

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            10 weeks 12 hours ago
             
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            Forward Question

            Answer of the DayMORE >>
            A: Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were loo
            A:Going to HK would be the best bet I reckon, especially if you were looking for a church wedding. Chinese weddings are pretty grim IMO - you go to a barren govt dept with souless officials and navigate red tape so some guy can give you a red stamp and a marriage book. You get expensive pictures taken of you both posing in places you'd never go to in everyday life that is somehow supposed to represent your wedding, then a while later it's off to a restaurant where a game show host kind of guy makes sure it's as tacky as possible while the guests eat as fast as they can so they can leave as soon as they finish eating and gave you money. Hell, I'd go to Thailand or the Philippines and get married in Paradise.   -- Stiggs