Katyusha News Reference ——April 4, 2021

Ⅰ. The New Federal State of China News

1. The Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning and five escort vessels was spotted around 8 a.m. Saturday roughly 470 km southwest of Nagasaki Prefecture’s Danjo Islands,and the convoy then passed through the Miyako Strait, the 250 km-wide waterway between Okinawa Island and Miyako Island, the Joint Staff Office of the Japanese Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

2. The Philippines’ defence chief Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Sunday China was looking to occupy more areas in the South China Sea. He said in a statement, “The continued presence of Chinese maritime militias in the area reveals their intent to further occupy (areas) in the West Philippine Sea,” using the local name for the South China Sea.

3. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Sunday said Taiwan’s peace and stability is key to the region and that Japan will cooperate with the United States to calm rising tensions between China and Taiwan. Suga is set to meet with President Joe Biden in Washington next week, the U.S. leader’s first in-person summit since taking office in January. Tokyo considers its U.S. alliance to be the cornerstone of its diplomatic and security policies, and is eager to develop close relations with the new U.S. administration.

4.  The World Health Organisation’s report on the origins of COVID-19 was a “piece of propaganda” for the Chinese Communist Party, according to Sky News host Sharri Markson, “That the disease leaked from a laboratory that is, right now, still genetically manipulating bat-coronaviruses.”

5. Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CCP Central Committee, mourned the compatriots killed on Friday in a train derailment in Taiwan and sent his sincere condolences on Saturday to the families of those killed and expressed his sympathy for the injured and wished them rapid recovery. There is no evidence yet pointing to a CCP connection to the accident.

6. Territorial “incursions” by hundreds of Chinese vessels in the South China Sea are straining ties between Manila and Beijing, and could lead to “unwanted hostilities”, an aide to President Rodrigo Duterte’s said on Monday.

7. China reported its biggest daily jump in new CCP Vrius cases in more than two months, as the city Ruili on the border with Myanmar in southwestern Yunnan province accounted for all new local cases. The CCP excused the construction of a $27 million wall along the border between China and Myanmar from 2012-2017 for epidemic control reasons, when there was no CCP virus outbreak or civil unrest in Myanmar.

8. Mainland China’s grain self-sufficiency rate has dropped significantly. Goro Takahashi, a professor emeritus at Aichi University deeply familiar with Chinese agriculture, has been calculating mainland food self-sufficiency based on calories using data gathered by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. He estimates that the mainland’s food self-sufficiency rate may have dropped to about 76% in 2020 due to weather and other factors.

9. China’s ByteDance has told an Indian court that a government freeze on its bank accounts in a probe of possible tax evasion amounts to harassment and was done illegally, according to a filing seen by Reuters. India’s Directorate General of Goods & Services Tax Intelligence, and the finance ministry which oversees it, did not immediately respond to requests for comment over the weekend.

10. In contrast to the Trump administration, the Biden administration has supported renewable energy and invested heavily in offshore wind power. The White House says new wind farms will reduce US carbon dioxide emissions by 78 million tons. The Biden administration’s choices may not be good for U.S. manufacturing as China occupied five manufacturers in the world top 10.

11. Yin Jiaxu, former chairman of the China North Industries Group, is being investigated for “serious” disciplinary violations, according to the website of the Chinese Communist Party Central Commission for Discipline Inspection (CCDI) and the state supervisory commission.

II. World News

1. Italy expelled two Russian diplomats on Wednesday after police said they had caught an Italian navy captain passing secret documents to a Russian military official in return for money. Ansa news agency said NATO documents were among the files that the Italian had handed over, raising potential security worries for other members of the Western military alliance, and Italy is returning to NATO.

2. A Malaysian court Monday began hearing an appeal by ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak to overturn his conviction and 12-year jail sentence linked to the massive looting of the 1MDB state investment fund that brought down his government in 2018.

3. Nepal’s main opposition party Nepali Congress has initiated moves to topple Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and form an alternative government under its leadership with the support of the CPN-Maoist Centre and other parties. The Central Working Committee of the Nepali Congress (NC) on Saturday decided to take initiative to form a new government under its leadership, according to party’s senior leader Prakash Man Singh.

4. The Starlink satellite Internet service from SpaceX, Tesla space technology company, reached speeds of more than 200Mbps in a trial run, faster than 95 per cent of broadband connections in the US, according to data from a test in Sonoma, California.

5. The Russian embassy in North Korea said online on April 1 that many foreign embassy staff in North Korea have left Pyongyang because of the lack of basic necessities and limited movement.

6. At least 22 officers were killed in a Maoist raid on a police force in central India, according to local government, this was the bloodiest raid by a left insurgent group this year.

Himalaya Moscow Katyusha (RU) YinHe

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