Author Topic: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally  (Read 8800 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #45 on: April 20, 2020, 12:21:58 am »
Monday, 20th April 2o2o
Caught In Infamous Chinese Death Trap!
by S.V. Date




(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — As negotiators wrapped up the framework of trunk’s vaunted trade deal in December, China may have provided a missed clue about the virus outbreak already unfolding there: insistence on a provision allowing for an out in case of “a natural disaster or other unforeseeable event.”

Such “force majeure” language, while common in commercial contracts, is rare in trade agreements, particularly between two countries with economies so large that they are essentially immune to localized floods and droughts.

No such provision existed in the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiated under former President Barack Obama, nor in the United States-South Korea agreement modified under trunk.

A limited provision was included in the revised North American Free Trade Agreement under trunk in the food export section for the purpose of ensuring “food security.”

But the language insisted upon by China in December, according to an informal adviser close to the Executive Mansion who spoke on condition of anonymity, creates an exit path for the entire agreement, and should have been seen as another warning sign about the virus outbreak.

“In the event that a natural disaster or other unforeseeable event outside the control of the parties delays a party from timely complying with its obligations under this agreement, the parties shall consult with each other,” it reads.

trunk, eager to seal the China deal, did nothing to push China for details about the virus, and instead praised its dictator, Xi Jinping, for his “transparency” about the matter, the adviser said.

“The whole month of January was lost,” he said.


The Executive Mansion, the Treasury Department and the United States Trade Representative’s office did not respond to multiple queries about the provision.

The informal adviser and other critics said it should have been seen as yet another red flag missed by trunk in his zeal to finalize a deal to partially unwind his trade war against China ahead of the 2020 presidential election.

Multiple published reports — which trunk has not refuted — have found that the National Security Council began getting word of the new disease outbreak in late November, and that the first mention of the virus threat entered trunk’s “President’s Daily Brief” in early January.

That document is the basis for the president’s intelligence briefing, which under previous presidents was a daily, early morning fixture but which under trunk appears to be happening only occasionally, and typically in the mid-afternoons on those days when it does take place.

A HuffPost review of trunk’s schedules for January shows no briefing until January 6th, and a total of nine all month.

Executive Mansion officials claim that just because there was no briefing on the schedule does not mean that trunk did not have one.

But they decline to list the dates that he received one — or to explain why an intelligence briefing shows on the schedule at all on some days but not on others.

“As the virus spread, trunk wasted crucial weeks neglecting warnings from his own intelligence experts and praising China’s containment efforts as successful and transparent,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

“trunk was soft on China during the worst public health crisis in over 100 years, all to protect his trade negotiations with them that he thought would help him win re-election.”

Outside trade experts, though, said they were not particularly surprised that China insisted on such a provision in this deal.

Unlike most trade pacts, which are mutual agreements to lower or eliminate tariffs, the U.S.-China accord is essentially a promise from China to buy a certain quantity of U.S. goods in exchange for reduced U.S. import tariffs.

“This is not a trade agreement. This is more like a hostage situation,” said Mary Lovely, an economics professor at Syracuse University specializing in international trade.

trunk, who campaigned on the falsehood that all other countries “rip off” American taxpayers by running trade surpluses with the United States, began his trade war with China in 2018 by increasing tariffs on its imports.

That move resulted in higher costs to American consumers and wound up devastating farmers, who lost billions in sales to China after it raised retaliatory tariffs.

While trunk has ordered a total of $28 billion in bailouts to farmers thus far — while falsely claiming that the money came from China, and not U.S. taxpayers — those funds have not made up for the losses growers have suffered.

trunk’s approval ratings in key agricultural states like Wisconsin and Iowa have suffered, and he had been pushing hard last year for a deal with China as an accomplishment to use in his re-election.

That politically driven effort, critics said, was why trunk declined to criticize China through the signing of the agreement on January 15th, and even through this day, for covering up the severity of the outbreak in Wuhan and not sharing information about the virus with outside health experts.

trunk has repeatedly criticized Democrats in Congress, mayors and governors, the news media and Obama for the pandemic, even while he continually praised Xi for his actions to contain the disease — even though Xi did not contain the disease, and, in fact, his coverup efforts led to its spread around the world.

On Tuesday, trunk attacked the World Health Organization for failing to warn the world about the threat, but still continued to defend China.

Asked why he was praising Xi for being “transparent” when he had not been, trunk answered:

“Well, I did a trade deal with China, where China is supposed to be spending $250 billion in our country.”

But trade experts said that figure would have been an unlikely reach for China even before the pandemic.
 
The deal calls for $50 billion in annual agricultural purchases, for example, which is twice what China bought from U.S. farmers in its peak year.

“I thought it was always a stretch. But with the virus, it seems even more unobtainable,” said Wendy Cutler, who worked in the USTR’s office for decades and helped craft the TPP under Obama.

And the structure of the agreement leaves trunk with no recourse should China to fail to hit that purchase goal other than simply canceling the agreement and jacking tariffs back up again — which would hurt American manufacturers, consumers and farmers anew.

“trunk placed cementing and selling his trade deal with China, which he immediately touted as evidence he should be re-elected, ahead of preparing the United States for the impending pandemic,” said former CIA analyst Ned Price, who served as a National Security Council spokesman under Obama.

“He’s continued to treat Xi with kid gloves for the same reason, namely that he needs to be able to tout the deal in the run-up to November.”
















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Offline Battle

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #46 on: April 21, 2020, 01:02:47 pm »
Tuesday, 21st April 2o2o
U.S. Warships Enter South China Sea Hot Spot, Escalating Tension With China

by Hannah Beech and Damien Cave





American warships have sailed into disputed waters in the South China Sea, according to military analysts, heightening a standoff in the waterway and sharpening the rivalry between the United States and China, even as much of the world is in lockdown because of the virus.

The America, an amphibious assault ship, and the Bunker Hill, a guided missile cruiser, entered contested waters off Malaysia.

At the same time, a Chinese government ship in the area has for days been tailing a Malaysian state oil company ship carrying out exploratory drilling.

Chinese and Australian warships have also powered into nearby waters, according to the defense experts.

Despite working to control a pandemic that spread from China earlier this year, Beijing has not reduced its activities in the South China Sea, a strategic waterway through which one-third of global shipping flows.

Instead, the Chinese government’s yearslong pattern of assertiveness has only intensified, military analysts said.

“It’s a quite deliberate Chinese strategy to try to maximize what they perceive as being a moment of distraction and the reduced capability of the United States to pressure neighbors,” said Peter Jennings, a former Australian defense official who is the executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute.

Since January, when the virus epidemic began to surge, the Chinese government and Coast Guard ships, along with maritime militias, have been plying contested waters in the South China Sea, tangling with regional maritime enforcement agencies and harassing fishermen.

Earlier this month, the Vietnamese accused a Chinese patrol ship of ramming and sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat.

Last month, China opened two new research stations on artificial reefs it has built on maritime turf claimed by the Philippines and others.


The reefs are also equipped with defense silos and military-grade runways.

Over the weekend, the Chinese government announced that it had formally established two new districts in the South China Sea that include dozens of contested islets and reefs.

Many are submerged bits of atoll that do not confer territorial rights, according to international law.

“It seems that even as China was fighting a disease outbreak, it was also thinking in terms of its long-term strategic goals,” said Alexander Vuving, a professor at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies in Honolulu.


“The Chinese want to create a new normal in the South China Sea, where they are in charge, and to do that they’ve become more and more aggressive.”

After the sinking of the Vietnamese boat, the State Department urged China in a statement

“to remain focused on supporting international efforts to combat the global pandemic, and to stop exploiting the distraction or vulnerability of other states to expand its unlawful claims in the South China Sea.”

The Chinese government has made vast claims to the South China Sea that conflict with demarcations made by five other governments.

An international tribunal has dismissed most of China’s claims to the waterway, but Beijing does not recognize the ruling and has instead built naval bases on reefs it now controls.

While the United States has no territorial claims in the South China Sea, the American Navy says it has kept the peace in these waters for decades.

American military officials have chastised China for its increased militarization of the waterway.

“Through our continued operational presence in the South China Sea, we are working with our allies and partners to promote freedom of navigation and overflight, and the international principles that underpin security and prosperity for the Indo-Pacific,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nicole Schwegman, a spokeswoman for the United States Indo-Pacific Command.

“The U.S. supports the efforts of our allies and partners to determine their own economic interests.”

The Chinese government has countered that the United States is the country destabilizing the region.

The appearance of the America and the Bunker Hill may do little to dispel that narrative.

And regional governments have worried that the United States has a habit of briefly showing up in hot spots only to depart, leaving them to contend with an increasingly muscular Beijing.

“What is the intention of the U.S. here?” said Ian Storey, a South China Sea expert at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, a think-tank in Singapore.


“Is it just to say, ‘We’re here?’ Or are they going to shadow the Chinese survey ship to try to stop it from operating?”

The United States Indo-Pacific Command did not specify the exact location of the two American warships, citing operational restrictions, but it confirmed that the warships were in the South China Sea.

On Tuesday, the United States Navy posted pictures of the warships on Twitter, accompanied by a third vessel, a destroyer called the Barry, saying that the expeditionary strike group was operating “in support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.”

The area where the American warships have been sailing is around 200 nautical miles off the coast of Malaysia, defense experts said.

Malaysia, China and Vietnam all claim rights to the natural resources in this part of the contested waterway.

Last week, a Chinese government survey ship began shadowing the West Capella, a drill ship conducting exploration activities off the Malaysian coast and operated by Petronas, the Malaysian state oil company.

The Chinese survey ship, called the Haiyang Dizhi 8, had previously tracked similar oil operations off Vietnam.

An Australian frigate, the Parramatta, is accompanying the American naval ships, as part of a previously planned operation, according to defense experts.

Mr. Jennings, the former Australian defense official, said that the Parramatta’s deployment would have been arranged at least a year ago.

At that time, “it probably didn’t know it was sailing into a heightened military environment,” Mr. Jennings said.

“It’s been made that way really since March, with the greater pattern of offensive operations that China is engaging in all the way from Japan to the South China Sea.”

Defense experts who have reviewed information about military movements in the area but are not authorized to share them publicly, said that a Chinese warship has been operating off the coast of Malaysia.


The destroyer is called the Wuhan, named after the city where the virus outbreak began.

At a time when China has been sending doctors and personal protective equipment to Malaysia to combat the viral epidemic there, the Malaysian government has not publicly protested the Chinese survey ship’s activities or its security cordon of armed Chinese Coast Guard vessels.


The prolonged presence of Chinese maritime militia and Coast Guard ships in another oil-rich area off Malaysia has not prompted an official protest either.

Beijing has been dispatching medical supplies and expertise across the region and has boasted in a military publication that not a single member of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army has come down with the virus, an eyebrow-raising contention given the epidemic’s rapid spread.


An American aircraft carrier, the Theodore Roosevelt, which had been sailing in the South China Sea earlier this year, was struck by an outbreak of the virus that killed one sailor and sickened hundreds of others.

Other ships in the United States Pacific fleet have been infected by the virus as well.




















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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2020, 09:06:57 am »
Monday, 27th April 2o2o
Could a Woman Ever Lead North Korea?

by Amy Gunia and Hillary Leung




Who is Kim Yo Jong?

Kim Yo Jong, who is thought to be in her early thirties, is one of several children of the late North Korean leader Kim Jung Il.

She is believed to be one of her brother’s closest and most trusted aides.

“She is, as best we can tell, a very capable and high-skilled member of the North Korean leadership—and is not one to underestimated by any stretch of the imagination,” Harry J. Kazianis, the senior director of Korean Studies at the Washington D.C- based think tank the Center for the National Interest, tells TIME.

She was born and raised mostly in Pyongyang, but is believed to have spent about four years of elementary school in Switzerland, according to the website North Korea Leadership Watch, an affiliate of 38 North, a North Korea monitoring project.

She is married to Choe Song, who is believed to be the son of Choe Ryong Hae, “one of the most powerful officials in [North Korea’s] formal hierarchy,” according to North Korea Leadership Watch.

She was largely unknown to the world until she was photographed at her late father’s 2011 funeral.

But she has gained international attention since being thrust into the spotlight when she attended the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyongchang.

In her official capacity, Kim Yo Jong is the Vice Director of the Workers’ Party of Korea Propaganda and Agitation Department, the agency primarily responsible for censorship in the country.

In April, she was reappointed as an alternative member to the powerful decision-making body, the Politboro of the Central Committee.

She was previously dismissed from the committee, possibly as a result of the failure of the Vietnam summit, according to the Seoul-based NK News, which provides news and analysis on North Korea.

Could a woman lead North Korea?

Despite Kim Yo Jong’s pedigree, there would be many obstacles to a woman taking control, experts say.

North Korea is a highly patriarchal society.

Since its establishment in 1948, the country has been run by three men, Kim Il Sung, his son Kim Jong Il, and his grandson, Kim Jong Un.

“It’s definitely possible that she would face some serious challenges to her legitimacy and power if she took over, even with the Kim family name,” Mintaro Oba, a former U.S. State Department official who specialized in the Koreas, tells TIME.

Scott A. Snyder, senior fellow for Korea studies and director of the U.S.-Korea policy program at the Council on Foreign Relations, tells TIME that since the recognized line of succession in the Kim dynasty is father-to-son, Kim might serve “as a sort of regent and de facto leader in the absence of a viable successor.”

But, he says, the Kim family dynasty is “more vulnerable than ever before.”

Although details about Kim Jung Un’s family are closely guarded, some believe that Kim Jong Un may have a young son who could take over when he is old enough.

Another possible successor is Kim Pyong Il, who is Kim Jung Un’s uncle (Kim Il Sung’s son and Kim Jong Il’s half-brother).

Despite spending 40 years overseas as a foreign diplomat, he reportedly remains popular in the country owing to a resemblance to Kim Il Sung.

Lami Kim, a former South Korean diplomat and fellow at the Wilson Center says that there is much speculation over why he returned to North Korea last year.

“One scenario is that Kim Jong Un has been concerned about his own health and what would happen to his family and the regime should he die,” she says.

“So perhaps he recalled his uncle either to succeed him, or to help Kim Yo Jung run the country.”

Kim Jong Chul, Kim Jung Un’s older brother, who is best known for his love of the British guitarist Eric Clapton, is another a possible successor.

He was passed over for leadership when his father died.

“Until now, he hasn’t been considered leadership material,” says Lami Kim.

“If Kim Jong Un were to die unexpectedly, I suppose it is possible that the North Korean elites would consider him for a figurehead position, though, at least for awhile.”

Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea specialist at Troy University in Seoul believes Kim Yo Jong’s gender would prevent her from taking total control in North Korea.

He says her father-in-law, Choe Ryong Haer, is the most likely successor.

“He is older, male and came up through the military,” Pinkston says.

But, North Korea has been ruled by the same family since its founding, and North Korean citizens revere the family as god-like figures.

The Kim regime is a hereditary dynasty which claims its divine bloodline (called the “Paektu bloodline,” after the extinct volcano considered to be the birthplace of the Korean people) gives it the right to rule.

That means that anyone outside the Kim family may struggle with legitimacy.

Others are more certain that the future of the Hermit Kingdom lies in the hands of the younger Kim.

“What is important in [North Korea] is not whether the successor is a male of a female, but whether the successor is [from the Kim bloodline],” says Jung-Chul Lee, a professor at Soongsil University.

Kazianis, of the Center for the National Interest, adds:

“I have no doubt that if Kim Jong Un were to drop dead right now—or already has—Kim Yo Jong would be the only person to take over the country. Period.”






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Offline Battle

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Re: Trump to visit Phoenix AZ for rally
« Reply #48 on: May 20, 2020, 05:13:35 am »
Wednesday, 20th May 2o2o
Taiwan president rejects Beijing rule; China says 'reunification' inevitable
by Yimou Lee & Ben Blachard




(TAIPEI, Taiwan) - Taiwan cannot accept becoming part of China under its “one country, two systems” offer of autonomy , President Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday, strongly rejecting China’s sovereignty claims and likely setting the stage for an ever worsening of ties.


China responded that “reunification” was inevitable and that it would never tolerate Taiwan’s independence.

In a speech after being sworn in for her second and final term in office, Tsai said relations between Taiwan and China had reached an historical turning point.

“Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences,” she said.


Tsai and her Democratic Progressive Party won January’s presidential and parliamentary elections by a landslide, vowing to stand up to China, which claims Taiwan as its own and says it would be brought under Beijing’s control by force if needed.

“Here, I want to reiterate the words ‘peace, parity, democracy, and dialogue’. We will not accept the Beijing authorities’ use of ‘one country, two systems’ to downgrade Taiwan and undermine the cross-strait status quo.

We stand fast by this principle,” Tsai said.


China uses the “one country, two systems” policy, which is supposed to guarantee a high degree of autonomy, to run the former British colony of Hong Kong, which returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

It has offered it to Taiwan, though all major Taiwanese parties have rejected it.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office, responding to Tsai, said Beijing would stick to “one country, two systems” - a central tenet of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Taiwan policy - and “not leave any space for Taiwan independence separatist activities”.


“Reunification is a historical inevitability of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation,” it said.

“We have the firm will, full confidence, and sufficient ability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

China views Tsai as a separatist bent on formal independence for Taiwan.



Tsai says Taiwan is an independent state called the Republic of China, its official name, and does not want to be part of the People’s Republic of China governed by Beijing.

China has stepped up its military drills near Taiwan since Tsai’s re-election, flying fighter jets into the island’s air space and sailing warships around Taiwan.


Tsai said Taiwan has made the greatest effort to maintain peace and stability in the narrow Taiwan Strait that separates the democratic island from its autocratic neighbor China.


“We will continue these efforts, and we are willing to engage in dialogue with China and make more concrete contributions to regional security,” she added, speaking in the garden of the old Japanese governor’s house in Taipei, in front of a socially-distanced audience of officials and diplomats.


Taiwan has become a rising source of friction between China and the United States, with trunk strongly backing Taiwan even in the absence of formal diplomatic ties.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sent his congratulations to Tsai on Tuesday, praising her “courage and vision in leading Taiwan’s vibrant democracy”, in a rare high-level message from Washington direct to Taiwan’s government.

China’s Foreign Ministry condemned Pompeo’s remarks, and said the government would take “necessary countermeasures”, though did not elaborate.


China cut off a formal talks mechanism with Taiwan in 2016 after Tsai first won election.

Yao Chia-wen, a senior adviser to Tsai, told Reuters the chance of talks with China were small given ongoing tensions.

“We are ready to engage with them any time, but China is unlikely to make concessions to Taiwan,” he said.

“In the next four years there’s little chance for the cross-strait relationship to improve.”

















« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 05:56:54 am by Battle »