Ⅰ. The New Federal State of China News
1. Chief of SEC whistleblower office Jane Norberg is leaving agency this month，Emily Pasquinelli, the whistleblower office’s deputy chief, will take over from Ms. Norberg as acting chief. Jane Norberg is suspected of unfair treatment of GTV investors under the influence of the Chinese Communist Party.
2. The State Department restored rules governing officials’ contacts with Taiwan that were lifted in the Trump administration’s final days, but said the new version eased unneeded restrictions as the U.S. looks to counter increasing encroachment by China on the island’s sovereignty. The new guidance “underscores Taiwan is a vibrant democracy and an important security and economic partner that is also a force for good in the international community,” spokesman Ned Price said Friday. He said the revised rules “liberalize contacts with Taiwan, consistent with our unofficial relations.”
3. Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday suggested that United States athletes should boycott next year’s Olympian competitions in China, calling them “Genocide Olympics” in reference to CCP’s alleged humanitarian crises.
4. President Joe Biden’s budget for the fiscal year 2022 calls for a slight increase in defense spending to $715 billion and identifies combatting China as the “top challenge” for the U.S. as a whole.
5. Britain has pledged 43 million pounds ($59 million) to help people arriving from Hong Kong find jobs, houses and schools under an initiative allowing millions to resettle after CCP’s imposition of new security laws in the former British colony.
6. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Thursday said that he backs an extension of state protection for Italian businesses after revealing that his government recently blocked a Chinese takeover of a semiconductor company. The media revealed it as the acquisition of LPE by Shenzhen Infoland.
7. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday blasted the idea of COVID vaccine passports, saying they are more fitting for “Communist China,” not the US.
8. Beijing urged Ankara on Wednesday to “stay vigilant” against Turkish “nationalist and anti-communist” factions critical of CCP’s genocide of Turkic Uyghur minorities in the western Chinese territory of Xinjiang.
9. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider sweeping legislation to counter China’s influence on April 21 instead of the planned date of April 14, committee aides said on Friday. Democratic and Republican leaders of the panel announced the “Strategic Competition Act of 2021” on Thursday. It includes a range of diplomatic and strategic initiatives to counteract Beijing, reflecting hard-line sentiment on dealings with China members of both political parties.
10. “We believe President Biden represents a greater risk for financial firms on the China front than President Trump,” Cowen Washington Research Group’s D.C.-based analyst Jaret Seiberg wrote in an April 7 note. “We believe Team Biden will be more strategic, more multi-lateral and more effective in how it confronts China than Team Trump.” The unrelenting U.S. pressure will likely turn Trump-era policies with initially long grace periods into a reality. That includes delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, Seiberg said.
11. In a report by a Chinese Communist Party state-backed human rights group published Friday by the official Chinese media Xinhua, Beijing accused the United States of causing humanitarian disasters around the world through military intervention and proxy wars.
12. Myanmar’s junta deploy CCP-made CH-3A tactical UAVs to observe protest movements
13. As the Chinese government is engaged in a global disinformation campaign regarding the origin of the coronavirus pandemic, the State Department has been quietly pushing back against “baseless conspiracies” around the world, according to the department’s Global Engagement Center Thursday. The confirmation of the campaign by the center marks the first time the Biden administration has publicly accused CCP of spreading disinformation about the coronavirus origin and disclosed efforts to neutralize Beijing’s narrative.
14. Chinese regulator fines e-commerce giant Alibaba $2.8 billion on charges of violating anti-monopoly
15. Chinese financial regulators on Friday issued guidelines to further open up financial services in the southern island province of Hainan, including increasing the convertibility of the yuan and allowing market access to foreign investors. Guidelines are another step in a massive plan announced in June to develop Hainan over the next 15 years and make it an internationally influential top port by 2050. The guidelines include 37 pilot measures but still require detailed implementation policies, said industry experts.
16. The White House on Friday said it was keeping a close watch on increased Chinese military activities in the Taiwan Strait, and called Beijing’s recent actions potentially destabilizing. “We have … clearly – publicly, privately – expressed our concerns, our growing concerns, about China’s aggression toward Taiwan,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters.
17. Nonperforming debt at China’s four biggest banks grew 22% last year, with the balance set to skyrocket this year if state-mandated loan extensions expire. The Big Four banks reported that the balance of bad debt stood at 999.1 billion yuan ($152.5 billion) at the end of December, up 181 billion yuan from a year earlier.
II. World News
1. Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, died Friday at the age of 99, Buckingham Palace announced. The husband of Queen Elizabeth II “passed away peacefully” at Windsor Castle. The couple celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary in November 2020.
2. Japan and India plan to hold a “two-plus-two” meeting of foreign and defense ministers here to discuss security cooperation as early as late April, as China ramps up activity in the East and South China seas. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi will participate in the talks with Indian counterparts Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Rajnath Singh. The two sides are expected to affirm they will work together toward a free and open Indo-Pacific.
3. The Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group (TRCSG) and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) joined forces in the South China Sea to conduct Expeditionary Strike Force operations April 9. Ships and aircraft from both strike groups coordinated operations in international waters and conducted multi-domain naval integration exercises in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.
4. Former president Trump on Friday endorsed florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio in his 2022 reelection bid.
5. MANILA, Philippines — Around 45 active cases of COVID-19 have been detected among members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), its commander Brig. Gen. Jesus Durante III said Wednesday. Earlier, Brigadier General Jesus Durante, the head of Duterte’s security, was forced to admit that several soldiers injected themselves with an unnamed vaccine from China as far back as September, citing their obligation to secure the president, while ignoring Philippine regulatory laws.
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