Katyusha News Reference ——March 23, 2021

Ⅰ. The New Federal State of China News

1. Shi Zhengli, the Chinese scientist responsible for overseeing research at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said Tuesday that the U.S. government is incorrect in stating that her lab engages in secret projects with the Chinese military.

2. While Russia, North Korea and violent extremist organizations are a threat to the Indo-Pacific region, China is of most concern, particularly in its stated number one priority of taking control of Taiwan, said Navy Adm. John Aquilino testifying today before the Senate Armed Services Committee. The committee is considering his nomination for commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

3. CCP on Tuesday threatened retaliation against the U.S. over sanctions that targeted Beijing’s alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang province, with top Chinese officials vowing that America and its allies “will pay a price for their ignorance and arrogance.”

4. The United States on Tuesday said it continued to be concerned about the lack of transparency regarding the legal proceedings for two Canadians being detained in China and called for the men to have continued consular access.

5. The United States on Tuesday said it stood with the Philippines, in its concerns over the gathering of China’s ‘maritime militia’ vessels near Whitsun Reef in the South China Sea, urging Beijing to stop such actions.

6. Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Jeff Merkley have asked the leading solar energy lobbying group to clarify U.S. dependence on solar products linked to forced labor in China’s Xinjiang, part of push in Congress to address what Western countries say are rights abuses by Beijing.

7. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced a bipartisan resolution condemning the government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for its treatment of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and calling for an international investigation into the abuses and crimes being committed. Joining Rubio and Coons in introducing the resolution are Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Mitt Romney (R-UT).  Rubio is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee overseeing Human Rights.

8. The national security advisers of the U.S., Japan and S.Korea will meet in person in Washington next week, to discuss the way forward on N.Korea, a senior U.S. official told reporters Tuesday. U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan is scheduled to have a trilateral session with Japan’s Shigeru Kitamura and S.Korea’s Suh Hoon, as well as bilateral engagements with each. N.Korea fired short-range missiles this past weekend, just days after the sister of Kim Jong Un threatened the United States and South Korea for holding joint military exercises.

9. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) took its eagerness to exploit #StopAsianHate rallies in the United States to the next level Monday by accusing Uyghur activists in U.S. of “hating Asians” because they objected to their own genocide at a rally over the weekend.

10. “While the US-India military relationship is at its best level in years, the mistrust between China and India is at an all-time high, a top US admiral has said and alleged that Beijing’s lack of transparency and duplicitous actions in the Indian Ocean region threaten stability and security there.” Admiral John C. Aquilino told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.

11. Shoppers in Daxing district of Beijing are getting discount coupons if they have received COVID-19 vaccinations, as CCP tries to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccination rate. “Inducing people into vaccination in this way will reduce people’s trust in vaccines,” one person wrote on Weibo.

12. Pony Ma, the founder of Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest social media and video games company, met with antitrust watchdog officials this month to discuss compliance at his group, report by Reuters. The meeting is the most concrete indication yet that CCP’s unprecedented antitrust crackdown.

13. Over 150 human rights organizations are pressuring Airbnb to drop its sponsorship of the upcoming Olympic games in China, due to the communist country’s oppression of their Muslim minority Uyghur population.

14. CCP biotech firm Sinovac Life Sciences claimed in a regulatory filing on Monday its coronavirus vaccine is “safe and effective for ages 3 to 17.” The other major CCP vaccine maker, Sinopharm, is also reportedly conducting clinical trials on children. CCP’s vaccines have generally been rated much lower in effectiveness by outside analysts than products from the U.S., U.K., and Russia. Sinovac’s vaccine was found to be only a little over 50% effective during Brazilian clinical trials in January.

15. The CCP government plans to invite Israelis and Palestinians to hold talks in China, Al-Arabiya TV channel cited on Wednesday Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi as saying in an interview.

16. The United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada have announced sanctions against several Chinese officials over human rights abuses in China’s Xinjiang region, but they appear to have avoided the real target, Xinjiang’s Communist Party chief Chen Quanguo, a rights group said Tuesday

17. The U.S. military said on Wednesday that a satellite launched by the Chinese Communist Party on a Long March rocket in 2019 was damaged on March 18 and has broken into 21 pieces. The reason of the damage is unknown and the U.S. is tracking the debris.

18. Wang Yi will lobby Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on March 24 and start a “working visit” to Oman on March 30, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed.

19. The China central bank requested cross-border financial information to be stored in China for “post-monitoring and analysis”. SWIFT previously established Financial Gateway Information Service Co., Ltd with four Chinese institutions to provide users with financial gateway services, including the establishment and operation of local network centralization centres for financial information services, local data warehouses and other services.

II World News

1. A 7-year-old girl was killed by security forces in Myanmar Tuesday, believed to be the youngest victim of the country’s military crackdown following February’s coup.

2. On March 22, the Turkish lira plunged 15%. There was a time when Turkey was not only one of the fastest growing economies in the world, it was also considered one of the developing countries closest to the level of developed countries.

3. Microsoft is considering a takeover bid of $10 billion for Discord acquisition.

Himalaya Moscow Katyusha(RU)YinHe

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