China say U.S. destroyer violated China’s sovereignty

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • China ‘warns off’ US destroyer
  • American warship’s mission violated China’s sovereignty, Beijing says
  • The Arleigh Burke-class ship “illegally entered” the area near the Paracel Islands – which Beijing calls the Xisha Islands and claims are under its sovereignty
  • A spokesman for the Southern Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) reported on Thursday. The command dispatched naval and air forces to follow and ultimately “warn off” the American warship
  • He said the passage of the ship “seriously violated China’s sovereignty and security” and warned that unless Washington ceases such activities, “it will bear the serious consequences of unforeseen events.”

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Saving Taiwan means keeping an expansionist power at bay

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • “China wanted Taiwan long before TSMC was churning out chips, and would want it even if TSMC had never existed…. It wants Taiwan because, like Nazi Germany, it is an expansionist power….” — Michael Turton, columnist, Taipei Times, January 10, 2022
  • [A]t a time when China’s Communist Party is attacking democracies, Washington cannot allow Beijing to absorb any one of them, even if it is not home to the world’s leading chipmakers.
  • “Destroying Taiwan’s democracy is essential to giving China’s Communist Party license to destroy all other democracies.” — Richard Fisher to Gatestone, January 2022.
  • If America came to the rescue of Taiwan, it would not be defending just the island; America would be defending itself.
  • America has drawn its western defense perimeter off China’s coast, and Taiwan is smack dab in the middle of that critical line, where the South China and East China Seas meet. Taiwan also protects the southern flank of America’s “cornerstone” ally in East Asia, Japan.

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Europe for sale and China is cashing in

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • China: Buying Up Europe
  • For more than a decade, China has been stealthily buying up European companies in strategic sectors, particularly in technology and energy.
  • China has been covering up its European purchases by passing them off as ostensibly commercial investments. It has been hiding the state-owned companies involved in the investments behind “layers of ownership, complex shareholding structures and deals executed via European subsidiaries,” according to Datenna, a Dutch company that monitors Chinese investments in Europe
  • A staggering 40% out of 650 Chinese investments in Europe in the years 2010-2020, had “high or moderate involvement by state-owned or state-controlled companies, including some in advanced technologies”.
  • What appears to be urgently needed in Europe now is a deeper understanding of the threat that China poses, as well as the political will to act on it. Action is urgently needed to block investments that serve up Europe’s strategic assets on a silver platter to China’s state-owned companies, which the Chinese Communist Party then use to advance its expansionist ends.

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In Kazakhstan, Russia protects an old soviet state, and China protects its investments

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • China, Russia both seize opening to score points in Kazakh crisis
  • Sharing long borders with landlocked Kazakhstan, both China and Russia appear poised to exploit the situation to greater geopolitical ends.
  • Protests broke out in Kazakhstan Jan. 2 over price increases for fuel in the western part of the country, and escalated into mass anti-regime riots and attacks on government buildings. The government reported that 164 people were killed in a government crackdown.
  • With some 2,500 paratroopers already sent to Kazakhstan, Mr. Putin was quick to take credit for the relative calm that seemed to prevail
  • Moscow has said they would offer military assistance to leaders of other former Soviet states facing similar uprisings.
  • In Beijing, the Foreign Ministry also said China is prepared to assist the Kazakhstan government of authoritarian leader Kassym-Jomart Tokayev. Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a message of personal support

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China, Russia moon base or bust

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • China and Russia team up to establish joint moon base
  • Planned Sino-Russian joint moon base aims to overtake the US in reaping lunar strategic benefits
  • The joint moon base, called the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), will be a complex of experimental research facilities designed for multiple scientific activities, such as moon exploration, moon-based observation, research experiments and technology verification
  • China and Russia’s joint moon base plans can be seen as a response to their exclusion from the US Artemis Accords, which aims to establish principles, guidelines and best practices for space exploration for the US and its partners.

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China warns US over Taiwan

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Important Takeaways:

  • China warns US will ‘face unbearable price’ on Taiwan
  • China claims the democratic island of Taiwan as its own territory, and has vowed to seize it one day by force if necessary.
  • Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned. “The US violated the promises made when China and the US established diplomatic relations, condoned and encouraged ‘Taiwan independence’ forces, and tried to distort and hollow out the one-China principle”
  • Under the Taiwan Act, the United States does not recognize Taiwan’s independence, yet commits to helping the island defend itself.

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China targets the Brain in warfare research

Matthew 24:6 You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

  • Chinese ‘brain control’ warfare work revealed
  • The Commerce Department imposed sanctions on Chinese technology companies and announced last week revealed that China’s military is engaged in dangerous work related to “brain control” warfare research.
  • According to one of the reports, advances in science and technology are leading to upgrades in methods and the ability to subdue enemies. “War has started to shift from the pursuit of destroying bodies to paralyzing and controlling the opponent,” said the report headlined, “The Future of the Concept of Military Supremacy.”
  • “The focus is to attack the enemy’s will to resist, not physical destruction,” it stated.
  • The second report [from 2019] said “interactive intelligentization” will involve “direct control of machines using thoughts through mature brain-machine interface.”
  • A third report published by the PLA revealed one brain enhancement technology involves wearable equipment that stimulates or manipulates brain electrical activities. Another is the use of brain-implanted microchips or other computer interfaces that enhance brain functions.

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China fires up giant coal power plant in face of calls for cuts

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – China, under fire for approving new coal power stations as other countries try to curb greenhouse gases, has completed the first 1,000-megawatt unit of the Shanghaimiao plant, the biggest of its kind under construction in the country.

Its operator, the Guodian Power Shanghaimiao Corporation, a subsidiary of the central government-run China Energy Investment Corporation, said on Tuesday that the plant’s technology was the world’s most efficient, with the lowest rates of coal and water consumption.

Located in Ordos in the coal-rich northwestern region of Inner Mongolia, the plant will eventually have four generating units, and is designed to deliver power to the eastern coastal Shandong province via a long-distance ultra-high voltage grid.

China is responsible for more than half of global coal-fired power generation and is expected to see a 9% year-on-year increase in 2021, an International Energy Agency report published this month said.

Beijing has pledged to start reducing coal consumption, but will do so only after 2025, giving developers considerable leeway to raise capacity further in the coming four years.

A report published this month by researchers at China’s State Grid Corporation said energy security concerns mean the country is likely to build as much as 150 gigawatts (GW) of new coal-fired power capacity over the 2021-2025 period, bringing the total to 1,230 GW.

(Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Alexander Smith)

U.S. President Biden signs $770 billion defense bill

By Kanishka Singh

(Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, for fiscal year 2022, which authorizes $770 billion in defense spending, the White House said on Monday.

Earlier this month, the Senate and the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for the defense bill with strong support from both Democrats and Republicans for the annual legislation setting policy for the Department of Defense.

The NDAA is closely watched by a broad swath of industry and other interests because it is one of the only major pieces of legislation that becomes law every year and because it addresses a wide range of issues. The NDAA has become law every year for six decades.

Authorizing about 5% more military spending than last year, the fiscal 2022 NDAA is a compromise after intense negotiations between House and Senate Democrats and Republicans after being stalled by disputes over China and Russia policy.

It includes a 2.7% pay increase for the troops, and more aircraft and Navy ship purchases, in addition to strategies for dealing with geopolitical threats, especially Russia and China.

The NDAA includes $300 million for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, which provides support to Ukraine’s armed forces, $4 billion for the European Defense Initiative and $150 million for Baltic security cooperation.

On China, the bill includes $7.1 billion for the Pacific Deterrence Initiative and a statement of congressional support for the defense of Taiwan, as well as a ban on the Department of Defense procuring products produced with forced labor from China’s Xinjiang region.

It creates a 16-member commission to study the war in Afghanistan. Biden ended the conflict – by far the country’s longest war – in August.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Mark Porter and Matthew Lewis)