Katyusha News Reference ——April 13, 2021

Ⅰ. The New Federal State of China News

1. China’s effort to expand its growing influence represents one of the largest threats to the United States, according to a major annual intelligence report released on Tuesday, which also warned of the broad national security challenges posed by Moscow and Beijing.

The U.S. intelligence community warned that China will attempt to use “vaccine diplomacy” to increase its influence around the world amid the coronavirus pandemic. China, Russia, Iran and North Korea have all demonstrated they want to ‘advance their intent at the expense of the US’. And China is working on militarizing space and matching or exceeding US technology in the coming years.

2. The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday it had issued a subpoena to an unnamed Chinese company as part of the Biden administration’s review of its supply chain for any risks posed to U.S. national security.

3. China told the United States on Tuesday to stop playing with fire over Taiwan and lodged a complaint after Washington issued guidelines that will enable U.S. officials to meet more freely with officials from the island that China claims as its own.

4. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday flagged China’s assertive moves such as coercing neighbours in the region and hampering freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, while asserting that the transatlantic military alliance is a key platform to forge convergence on responding to the security implications of a rising China.

5. CNN’s chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta debunked his network’s stance on COVID-19, and said the virus likely came from the Wuhan lab.

6. Brooke Rollins, CEO and president of the newly-launched America First Policy Institute (AFPI), commended the Biden administration Tuesday for carrying over key aspects of former President Donald Trump’s general foreign policy and specific approach to China.

7. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Democratic Delaware Sen. Chris Coons introduced legislation Tuesday that would prioritize members of the Uyghur minority group for refugee resettlement in the United States.

8. A new study from Tel Aviv University in Israel has found that people vaccinated with the Pfizer/BioNTech shot are eight times more likely to have the South African variant of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus (COVID-1).

9. U.S. defense policy calls for being able to defeat China in a war while holding off Russia and other adversaries around the world, but the goals it sets are largely unattainable, Rep. Adam Smith, the Democratic chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said Tuesday at the Reagan Institute.

10. Chinese authorities have ramped up their pressure on the country’s fast-growing tech giants. ByteDance, Meituan and ten other major Chinese technology companies pledged Wednesday to comply with anti-monopoly rules, according to the State Administration for Market Regulation.

11.Serbia has ordered China’s Zijin Mining Group to halt work at a shaft at the country’s only copper mine and to complete a waste water treatment plant after it failed to comply with environmental standards, the mining and energy minister said on Wednesday.

12. Taiwan said on Wednesday its chip companies will adhere to U.S. rules after Washington added seven Chinese supercomputing entities last week to an economic blacklist and after a Taipei-based chipmaker halted orders from one of the entities named.

13. The Philippines filed fresh diplomatic protests to China on Wednesday after accusing its giant neighbour of undertaking illegal fishing and massing more than 240 boats within the Southeast Asian country’s territorial waters.

14. Hong Kong’s electoral reform bill was introduced in the city’s legislature on Wednesday, setting in motion changes that will give Beijing greater control over the process while reducing the number of directly elected representatives.

15. Taiwan launched an amphibious transport ship Tuesday that’s the first from its new naval shipbuilding program begun as China escalates its threats to use military force to annex the island it claims is its territory.

16. Former Australian Defense Minister Christopher Pyne says war in our backyard is inevitable and that the Chinese Communist Party’s mock attack film on a U.S. base is a sinister sign of Beijing’s goals.

17. Senior Tory MP Tom Tugendhat accuses China of hacking him for YEARS in ‘attack on democracy’ as he reveals GCHQ experts told him Gmail is more secure than Parliament’s email.

18. “Inciting” the public to cast blank ballots is set to become a criminal offense in Hong Kong, amid growing calls for a boycott of upcoming legislative elections as a way of protesting Beijing’s tightening control over the city.

19. Japan and Germany agreed in security talks Tuesday to expand their military cooperation as the two nations shared concern about China’s increasing assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

20. The Justice Department announced a “court-authorized operation” by the FBI to copy and remove “malicious web shells” from hundreds of U.S. computers in response to the massive cyberattacks against Microsoft’s Exchange Server, which the Big Tech company has assessed are being carried out by a sophisticated Chinese state-backed hacker group and others.

21. Republican Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy urged President Joe Biden’s administration against proceeding with a plan to allocate $650 billion to foreign countries, many of which are hostile to the U.S.,including Chinese, Russian and Iranian governments.

II. World News

1. Former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd and former Deputy Secretaries of State Richard Armitage and James Steinberg arrived in Taiwan on Wednesday, on a trip that has angered Beijing.

2. Iran said Tuesday that it will start uranium enrichment to the purity level of 60 percent, just days after a suspected Israeli attack on its Natanz nuclear facility.

3. Russia’s defense minister said Tuesday that the country’s massive military buildup in the west was part of readiness drills amid what he described as threats from NATO.

4. President Joe Biden will withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan before this year’s 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, finally ending America’s longest war despite mounting fears of a Taliban victory, officials said Tuesday.

5. The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday revealed a court-authorized operation to counter cyber breaches regarding computers running on-premises types of Microsoft Exchange Server software.

6. The U.S. State Deparment on Thursday condemned the latest attack perpetrated against the Epoch Times’ Hong Kong printing press facility.

7. The US is urging Japan’s prime minister Yoshihide Suga to issue a joint statement of support for Taiwan amid rising Chinese aggression in the Indo-Pacific region when he becomes the first foreign leader to meet President Joe Biden on Friday.

8. World number two Daniil Medvedev of Russia has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been withdrawn from this week’s Monte Carlo Masters, the ATP said on Tuesday.

Himalaya Moscow Katyusha (RU) YinHe

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