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Military: China’s Airplanes Practiced Missile Attack on U.S. Carrier

According to intelligence from the U.S. and its allies, Chinese bombers and fighter jets carried out a simulated missile attack on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the South China Sea.

They conducted the exercise in Taiwan’s air defense airspace on January 23, after China sent 13 warplanes into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense zone and the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command dispatched the USS Theodore Roosevelt battle group into the South China Sea.

A U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said the Chinese aircraft did not come within 250 nautical miles of U.S. Navy ships.

Another person familiar with the matter said the Chinese planes had been staying about 250 nautical miles from the USS Roosevelt battle group. Dialogue between the pilots of the Chinese H-6 bombers showed that the planes were conducting a mock locking down and releasing anti-ship missile against the U.S. aircraft carrier.

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Military: The PLA Equipped Soldiers in Tibet with Self-Destruct Helmets

The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) equipped its soldiers stationed in Tibet with new helmets that have a self-destruct button. The button would trigger an embedded bomb to go off, killing the soldier.

The state-run media China Observer reported on Dec. 27, 2020, “At a battalion or brigade level command center, a commander uses a navigation system to monitor the soldier who is far away. The commander can activate the self-destruct function on the soldier’s helmet if he is unable to contact him.”

The report stated that soldiers can also press the button themselves. “If a soldier is seriously wounded and doesn’t want to be captured, he can activate the self-destruct function himself. This can maintain his dignity, as well as prevent the enemy from obtaining this system.”

The new helmet is part of an “individual soldier digital combat system” given to troops in the Tibet theater command. They face Indian troops at the border, where there were recent skirmishes over disputed territory in the Ladakh region.

The system includes an antenna and bomb, night-vision multifunctional glasses, and a digital control terminal that can be worn on the arm.

After being equipped with the system, soldiers at the frontline can communicate with the battalion commander at the command center via radio. Meanwhile, the commander can see the frontline via video footage captured by the soldier’s camera-equipped jacket. The footage can help the commander to make decisions such as ordering the soldier to fire artillery targeting Indian soldiers.

Soldiers in special forces units, the squad infantry, as well as the artillery, aviation, and armor divisions will be equipped with this system.

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Source: The Epoch Times, January 11, 2021
https://www.theepochtimes.com/china-develops-helmets-for-military-soldiers-with-self-destruct-button_3651136.html

Military: China Tested the Biden Administration’s Position on Taiwan

On January 23, China sent 13 warplanes into Taiwan’s southwestern air defense zone. China’s planes included eight nuclear-capable bombers, four fighter jets and an anti-submarine patrol aircraft. In response, Taiwan’s air force warned away the Chinese aircraft and deployed missiles to monitor them.

After the incident and on the same day, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command dispatched an aircraft carrier group led by the USS Theodore Roosevelt into the South China Sea to promote “freedom of the seas” in the waterway.

Also on the same day, the U.S. State Department released a statement confirming its support for Taiwan. The statement asserted,

“The United States notes with concern the pattern of ongoing PRC attempts to intimidate its neighbors, including Taiwan. We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan’s democratically elected representatives.

We will stand with friends and allies to advance our shared prosperity, security, and values in the Indo-Pacific region — and that includes deepening our ties with democratic Taiwan. The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan. The United States maintains its longstanding commitments as outlined in the Three Communiqués, the Taiwan Relations Act, and the Six Assurances. We will continue to assist Taiwan in maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. Our commitment to Taiwan is rock-solid and contributes to the maintenance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and within the region.”

However, on the next day, Beijing sent another 15 aircraft to break into Taiwan’s airspace.

The U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy Framework that the Trump administration declassified stated the following:

“Objective: Deter China from using military force against the United States and U.S. allies or partners, and develop the capabilities and concepts to defeat Chinese actions across the spectrum of conflict.”

One action toward this objective is: “Devise and implement a defense strategy capable of, but not limited to: (1) denying China sustained air and sea dominance inside the “first island chain” in a conflict; (2) defending the first-island-chain nations, including Taiwan; and (3) dominating all domains outside the first island-chain.”

Sources:
1. New York Post, January 23, 2021.
https://nypost.com/2021/01/23/china-sends-warplanes-into-taiwans-airspace-report/
2. State Department, January 23, 2021.
https://www.state.gov/prc-military-pressure-against-taiwan-threatens-regional-peace-and-stability/
3. New York Post, January 25, 2021.
https://nypost.com/2021/01/25/china-sends-warplanes-into-taiwan-airspace-for-2nd-straight-day/

 

Economy: How Much Did China Buy from the U.S. in 2020 to Fulfill Its Trade Agreement Promise?

The United States and China signed the Phase I Trade Agreement on January 15, 2020. Washington agreed to reduce some added tariffs in exchange for Beijing, in the years of 2021 and 2022, agreeing to buy an additional total of $200 billion in goods and services from the U.S., over and above China’s purchases from the U.S. in 2017.

A year after the agreement, China didn’t reach its purchase target and the U.S. trade deficient from China increased again.

China agreed to buy around $159 billion in American goods. However, according to a report from the Peterson Institute for International Economics, by November 2020, China’s actual purchases were around $82 billion, or 52 percent of the target.

China fulfilled 67 percent of its purchase goal on agricultural products, 52 percent on manufacturing goods, and 31 percent on energy products.

On the other hand, China kept increasing its exports to the world. Beijing stated on January 7 that leading with the strong export of medical supplies, China’s trade surplus with the world has increased to $535 billion, the new high from 2015.

The U.S. also tried to remove structural blocks that American companies faced in China in the Phase I Trade Agreement, in the areas of protecting intellectual property, avoiding forced technology transfer, and easing restrictions on market entry to China.

Last June, China announced it would open its $45 trillion financial market to the world. It also granted American Express a license for clearing house transactions. In September, China issued a draft regulation on protecting business secrets. However, these actions have not materially changed the real situation in China.

Some analysts think that the positive side of the trade agreement is that the Trump administration changed people’s view of China in the economic field and made companies rethink their dependence on the supply chain from China.

Doug Barry, the spokesperson of the US-China Business Council told VOA, “I hope the new administration can support the successful completion of the Phase I agreement and reach an accord with China to start the work of Phase II, which will focus on resolving China’s subsidies to state-owned enterprises, opening more economic fields to foreign competitors, and other trade issues.”

Source: VOA, January 16, 2021
https://www.voachinese.com/a/china-trade-economy-tariff-20210115/5739614.html

CCP’s Coverup – Hebei Province Reported False COVID-19 Counts

Hebei Province is one of areas in China that has the highest infection of COVID-19. It is not clear how many people have been infected since the Chinese Communist Party is known for hiding such information and for reporting a much smaller count. However, even the government’s numbers show false reporting.

  • On January 14, Longrao County, Hebei Province reported that its massive test of the country residents was negative for everyone. However, on January 17, the country reported 2 confirmed cases and 1 asymptomatic case. The local government then blamed the company conducting the tests for reporting the result before receiving test results.
  • On January 16, Meng Xianghong, Deputy Governor of Heber Province, stated at a news briefing, that Shijiazhuang City had completed its second round of nucleic acid testing on January 14 and found 247 positive cases. However, on January 15, Hebei Provincial Health Commission reported that on January 14, the province had 90 newly confirmed cases, including 84 cases from Shijiazhang. The number 84 was much smaller than 247 – the number of positive cases that the Deputy Governor mentioned.
  • Netizens found that the Hebei Provincial Health Commission had been reporting the same infection count on three out of four consecutive days: January 12 – 90 count, January 13 – 81, January 14 – 90, and January 15 – 90. Some people posted under China Central Television microblog page: “Why did Hebei report 90 cases on each of those days? Is it a coincident or because they did not dare to report more?”
  • A netizen posted a list of COVID-19 patient names on January 3, including six confirmed cases in Shizjiazhang city. On that same day, the government reported only 1 confirmed case.

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Pandemic: U.S. Disclosed Three Possible Investigation Areas on Whether the CCP Generated COVID-19 Virus in Lab

The State Department of the U.S. issued a fact sheet that stated, “The U.S. government does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus—known as SARS-CoV-2—was transmitted initially to humans. We have not determined whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.” “The previously undisclosed information in this fact sheet, combined with open-source reporting, highlights three elements about COVID-19’s origin that deserve greater scrutiny.”

1. Illnesses inside the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV):

The U.S. government has reason to believe that several researchers inside the WIV became sick in the autumn of 2019, before the first identified case of the outbreak, with symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses. This raises questions about the credibility of WIV senior researcher Shi Zhengli’s public claim that there was “zero infection” among the WIV’s staff and students of SARS-CoV-2 or SARS-related viruses.

2. Research at the WIV:

Starting in at least 2016 – and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2 percent similar). The WIV became a focal point for international coronavirus research after the 2003 SARS outbreak and has since studied animals including mice, bats, and pangolins.

The WIV has a published record of conducting “gain-of-function” research to engineer chimeric viruses. The WIV, however, has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus, including “RaTG13,” which it sampled from a cave in Yunnan Province in 2013 after several miners died of a SARS-like illness.

3. Secret military activity at the WIV:

Secrecy and non-disclosure are standard practices for Beijing. For many years the United States has publicly raised concerns about China’s past biological weapons work, which Beijing has neither documented nor demonstrably eliminated, despite its clear obligations under the Biological Weapons Convention.

Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. Since at least 2017, the WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military.

Source: State Department website, January 15, 2021
https://www.state.gov/fact-sheet-activity-at-the-wuhan-institute-of-virology/

Pandemic: COVID-19 Spreading in China

In the past month, the COVID-19 virus has been spreading in China. Several cities have been locked down, with a total of 29 millions people impacted. Out of the total 32 provinces in China, 29 have asked people to stay where they are and not to travel during the Chinese New Year.

#1: As of January 18, 2021, the Chinese government announced 4 high-risk areas and 88 medium-risk areas, all in Beijing, Hebei Province, and the three Northeastern provinces – Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning.

The high-risk areas are:

  • Gaocheng District, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province (河北省石家庄市藁城区)
  • Xinle City, Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province (河北省石家庄市新乐市)
  • Nangong Shi, Xingtai City, Hebei Province (河北省邢台市南宫市)
  • Huiqi Township, Wangkui County, Suihua City, Heilongjiang Province (黑龙江省绥化市望奎县惠七镇)

The Medium-risk areas are in the following cities:

  • Beijing City (with 6 medium-risk areas)
  • Tonghua City, Jilin Province (20)
  • Changchun City, Jilin Province (11)
  • Langfang City, Hebei Province (1)
  • Shijiazhuang City, Hebei Province (35)
  • Xingtai City, Hebei Province (1)
  • Dalian City, Liaoning Province (3)
  • Shenyang City, Liaoning Province (2)
  • Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province (4)
  • Suihua City, Heilongjiang Province (1)
  • Hehei City, Heilongjiang Province (3)
  • Tsitsihar City, Heilongjiang Province (1)

#2: By January 11, 29 out of the 32 provincial administrations in China have asked people to stay in their current location (do not travel or go back to your hometown) for Chinese New Year (February 12, 2021). Traditionally, Chinese people return to their hometown or go to their parent’s home to celebrate Chinese New Year. Beijing was the first to launch the “stay in current location” initiative. (Xinhua)

#3: Local governments provided different incentives to get people to stay where they, including rent reductions, subsidies, and offering of free bus rides, free data on the Internet, free movie tickets, and free entrance tickets to tourist sites. (VOA)

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