Ⅰ. The New Federal State of China News
1. China is preparing a substantial fine for Tencent Holdings (0700.HK) as part of its sweeping antitrust clampdown on the country’s internet giants, but it is likely to be less than the record $2.75 billion penalty imposed on Alibaba earlier this month, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said.
2. CCP’s military is advancing its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems so fast the Defense Intelligence Agency has had to move up its estimate of when Beijing will double its warhead stockpile, the general in charge of military intelligence told Congress on Thursday.
3. President Joe Biden will welcome Korean President Moon Jae-in for an in-person meeting at the White House on May 21 in yet another message to China that the U.S. is serious about maintaining influence in Asia.
4. Daqo New Energy, a US-listed company, has hit back at allegations of the use of forced Labour at its plants in China’s western Xinjiang region, boasting that it will soon let investors see for “the truth”. He Ning, a director appointed by the polysilicon maker’s investors, said the company will invite more than 50 analysts and investors in mid-May to tour the factory, which it has on the outskirts of the city of Urumqi. Bloomberg reporters were not allowed in during a visit in March.
5. Federal agents are reportedly looking into a suspected directed energy weapon attack near the White House in November of last year while President Donald Trump was still in office, as well as another suspected attack on a White House staffer the year prior.
6. “I would say that already Taiwan is, to some extent, toward independence as they’re watching, essentially, what happened in Hong Kong, and I think that is an increasing challenge,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said in a hearing Thursday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
7. Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told Sky News in an interview published Wednesday that China’s military forces “seem to be preparing for their final military assault against Taiwan.”
8. Taiwan commissioned into service a new coast guard flagship on Thursday to help counter China’s “grey zone” war tactics against the island. President Tsai Ing-wen said the word “Taiwan” in English will be gradually printed on all coast guard vessels.
9. The Economist ‘s cover story this week labelling Taiwan as “the most dangerous place on Earth” has received pushback from Taiwanese Twitter users, who criticised the article as being alarmist.
10. As the production cuts agreed to by OPEC+ drive oil prices higher amid a broad-based commodity boom, China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corp is eying a major investment in Aramco, the world’s most valuable company, as Aramco again looks to sell off a piece of its business after scrapping an international IPO a few years back.
11. Secretary of State Antony cautioned Africa about China’s role in the continent in virtual talks with Nigeria and Kenya on Tuesday. Responding to questions, Blinken said he hoped African countries would keep their “eyes wide open” when approaching relationships with other nations.
12. Chinese authorities on Thursday summoned 13 companies operating in the financial technology space including Tencent Holdings and ByteDance, as Beijing looks to further tighten regulations on the sector following its crackdown on Ant Financial.
13. Taiwan has told staffing companies to remove all listings for jobs in China, a drastic move to prevent the outflow of vital tech talent to the mainland amid rising tensions between Taipei and Beijing.
14.Images of falsified a Taiwan Presidential Office memo circulated widely online this month, angering the island’s democratic government by claiming that Taiwan had agreed to receive the nuclear wastewater from Fukushima, Japan. In a world of increasingly sophisticated fakes and forgeries, the bogus Taiwan Presidential Office memo posted on Twitter announcing “the government will receive wastewater from Japan” was sloppy with fingerprints from the communist mainland, experts said.
15. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday defended the measures taken by his predecessor Mike Pompeo against the Chinese media outlets operating in the United States, calling them out for “undermining democracy”.
16. A new report tracks the evolution of a SARS-CoV-2 variant that is rapidly spreading in Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s Amazonian state, and completed its evolution in November 2020.The authors of the study suggest that this variant, P.1, may be more transmissible and more likely to escape the protective immunity caused by previous infection with non-P.1 strains.
17. Experts from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of State, the Agriculture Department and five other federal agencies are developing recommendations to be submitted to the WHO for its planned second phase of the inquiry into how the new coronavirus started spreading, State Department officials said.
II. World News
1.Former President Donald Trump said Thursday he’s “100%” thinking about running again for the White House, and while continuing to rail about the 2020 election results and insisting he won against President Joe Biden, he thinks a 2024 campaign will be “very successful.”
2. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he will be visiting Ukraine next week amid tensions with Russia.
3. The Dutch government has temporarily disabled its coronavirus warning app amid data privacy concerns for people who have the app installed on phones using the Android operating system.
Himalaya Moscow Katyusha (RU) YinHe