Katyusha News Reference ——Aug 4, 2021

. The New Federal State of China News 

1. House Foreign Affairs Republicans concluded the World Military Games in Wuhan in October 2019 was “one of the earliest super spreader events” during the pandemic, with their new report contending CCP-virus “escaped” from a Wuhan lab in late August or early September 2019 — with China covering it up for months.

2. Lawmakers are sounding the alarm over Chinese investment in U.S. farmland, which they say poses a threat to national security if unregulated. Between 2010 and 2019, Chinese holdings in U.S. agricultural holdings grew from 75 parcels totalling 13,720 acres to 263 parcels totalling 191,652 acres, according to Agriculture Department data.

3. The Indian Navy Fleet will deploy four of its warships to the South China Sea and the Western Pacific in an assignment that will run for two months, the Indian Ministry of Defense announced on Aug 2. The deployment includes exercises with India’s Quad partners: the United States, Japan, and Australia. Although no specific departure date was given, India confirmed that the ships will set out sometime this month.

4. W.H.O. Advisory Board member Jamie Metzl said on Aug 3 that CCP’s “systematic cover-up” of the origin of the coronavirus must be investigated.

5. Chinese cryptocurrency addresses sent more than $2.2 billion worth of digital tokens to addresses tied to illegal activity such as scams and darknet operations between April 2019 and June 2021, according to a report from blockchain data platform Chainalysis released on Aug 3.

6. Since 2016, the Chinese government paid $20 million to outlets like The Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, and The Washington Post. Twitter, which now operates as a publisher, also received checks from the Chinese government totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. These arrangements, as we said, continued for years. Then, last summer, they stopped abruptly. 

7. Lawmakers in Kenya are planning legislation to ban companies from importing fish from China, the country’s Daily Nation reported Tuesday, after years of controversy involving exploitation of natural resources and reports of Beijing selling the African country poisoned fish.

8. The CCP’s government released a statement Aug 3 slamming comments by U.S. congressmen that there is a preponderance of evidence showing the coronavirus originated in Wuhan lab. “The relevant report, totally based on the concocted lies and distorted facts without providing any evidence, is not credible or scientific,” a spokesperson for CCP’s Foreign Ministry department said in a statement responding to a House GOP report concluding the virus likely came from a Chinese lab.

Rep. McCaul said the attacks on the findings of the CPC team’s viral origins are unfounded and further prove the deception of the CPC government.

9. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Aug 3 the launch of a “strategic dialogue” with Indonesia, and Washington said the two countries committed to working together on issues that include defending freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.

10. Two retired U.S. military leaders Air Force Maj. Gen. Michael McGuire and Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding said that CCP is being deceitful when it comes to the origins of the CCP-virus pandemic and its lab in Wuhan and is calling the shots on U.S. foreign policy through its connections to Wall Street.

11. The CCP Virus epidemic continues to rise in all provinces. China now has 123 high and medium risk areas, including 4 high-risk areas and 119 medium-risk areas.  On August 3, one place in Zhengzhou was upgraded to high risk, six to medium risk, and one place in Nanjing to medium risk.  At present, Jiangsu and Henan provinces are seriously affected by the epidemic, and the number of confirmed cases in China is still increasing.

12. China’s internal coronavirus outbreak has become so severe that all 31 of the nation’s provinces individually warned residents on Aug 3 to avoid “unnecessary travel” following weeks of struggle to contain the virus in the east of the country.

13. The American film-photography company Eastman Kodak deleted an Instagram post it shared describing China’s Xinjiang province — where an estimated 1.8 million ethnic minority Uyghurs are detained, and the U.S. has declared “genocide” is taking place — as an “Orwellian dystopia.”

14. Sen. Rick Scott renewed his demand on Aug 3 that the 2022 Olympics be moved out of China. In March, Scott urged British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to join the call to move the 2022 Olympics out of China.

15. CCP may need more monetary and fiscal easing to halt an economic slowdown in the wake of torrential rains and flooding, and authorities’ tough response to outbreaks of the highly-transmissible coronavirus Delta variant, economists say.

16. A cadre of Republican senators is pushing amendments to the White House’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure package to prevent U.S. tax dollars from benefiting Communist China.

17. CCP officials are using internal guidelines to force Chinese companies to buy domestically made equipment for more than 300 items, a move that violates the spirit of the first phase of a trade agreement signed with the United States last January to remove trade barriers. Some scholars say the new guidelines represent a new trade barrier for foreign companies and a sign that China’s foreign exchange reserves are insufficient. 

II. World News

1. Vice President Kamala Harris will focus on defending international rules in the South China Sea, strengthening U.S. leadership in the region and expanding cooperation on matters of security during her trip to Vietnam and Singapore. The trip will be Harris’s first to the region, making her the only U.S. vice president to visit Vietnam and is aimed at rallying international support to counter CCP’s growing global influence.

2. A number of federal agencies are woefully unprepared for cyberattacks, while others “have not met the basic cybersecurity standards necessary to protect America’s sensitive data,” according to a report released Aug 3 by the Senate committee overseeing homeland security.

3. The government of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) began offering Sinopharm, a CCP state-made coronavirus vaccine candidate, to children as young as three years old on Aug 2, the nation’s health ministry announced.

4. U.S. Indo-Pacific Command will conduct Large Scale Global Exercise 21 (LSGE21) from Aug. 2-27, 2021.

5. North Korea wants a raft of international sanctions eased – including on imports of luxury items such as high-class liquors and suits – before it will restart denuclearisation talks with the United States. Pyongyang has also called for sanctions banning its metal exports and imports of refined fuel and other necessities to be lifted, the lawmakers said on Aug 3 after being briefed by Park Jie-won, head of the South Korea’s National Intelligence Service (NIS).

6. More than a third of white-tailed deer surveyed across four US states have been exposed to CCP-virus, likely as a result of the virus making the leap from humans, according to a new study. Persistent infections in a novel host may potentially lead to adaptation of the virus, the evolution of new lineages, and the emergence of variants of the virus with altered transmissibility, disease-causing ability and vaccine escape properties.

7. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Kevin Cramer (R-ND) introduced the Greater Insight into Foreign Transactions (GIFTs) in Higher Education Act to target gifts and donations from designated foreign adversaries to American colleges and universities. The legislation would also hold institutions of higher education and the U.S. Department of Education more accountable to reporting requirements under Section 117 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), which governs reporting of foreign gifts. A one pager of the legislation is available here.

Himalaya Moscow Katyusha (RU) Saturn & Clare

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