Katyusha News Reference – Friday, February 26, 2021

I. The New Federal State of China News

1.  The U.N. human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Friday that the Chinese communist state’s restrictions on basic civil and political freedoms in the name of national security and controlling a viral outbreak have fueled criticism of the country’s human rights record. Referring to the Xinjiang region, Bachelet said that in view of reports of arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, sexual violence, and forced labor, it is necessary to conduct a thorough and independent assessment of the situation. She hopes to reach an agreement with the Chinese Communist Party on visiting the country.

2. The Biden administration plans to allow a Trump-era rule targeting Chinese technology firms deemed to pose a threat to the United States to go into effect next month, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday.The rule was originally proposed in November to enable the U.S. Department of Commerce to prohibit technology-related commercial transactions that it determines pose a national security threat as part of an effort to secure U.S. supply chains. Trustworthy information and communication technologies and services are vital to America and economic security. It will remain the top priority for the Biden-Harris administration.

3. U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken said on Friday that the United States supports Canada’s insistence on the immediate and unconditional release of two Canadian citizens detained in the Communist state.

4. Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawadna revealed through the media on February 20 that the nearly 200-year actual control of the Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port has been transferred to Communist China in 2017 after defaulting on the Belt and Road loan provided by the Communist China. Observers believe that Sri Lanka’s handover of an Indian Ocean strategic port to the Communist Party of China is a serious threat to the sovereignty of the island country. At a regular press conference on February 24, China Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied the such agreement.

5. The media reported on Friday that TikTok has agreed to pay $92 million settlement to resolve the lawsuit charges. The allegation that the CCP-owned company illegally collects users’ personal data and share data with third parties, including the Communist Party of China, is the largest privacy-related payout in history.

6. Battered by U.S. sanctions, Huawei plans to produce electric vehicles under its own brand and may launch some models this year. Huawei executives believe that the new U.S. government is unlikely to reverse the sanctions ban, and the chip integration in the automotive industry is low. A Huawei spokesman denied the company’s plan to design electric vehicles or produce Huawei-branded vehicles.

7. The New York Stock Exchange decided on Friday to start the delisting of China state oil giant CNOOC Co., Ltd based on an update to an executive order signed by former U.S. President Trump in November last year.

8. Phoenix Satellite TV announces on February 26 that Liu Changle has stepped down as the chief executive officer and Xu Wei is appointed as the chief executive officer of the Company.The day before, Sun Yusheng, deputy director of CCTV of the Communist Party of China, was appointed as the vice president of Phoenix Satellite TV. Sun is originally a member of the editorial board, as deputy director of CCTV and senior editor. Xu Wei is the director of the News department of Shanghai Media Group, the spokesman of the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, the director of the information office of Municipal Government, and the party secretary of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Phoenix Satellite TV is fully under the control of the communist party.

9. The Communist China suspends pineapple imports from Taiwan, a move the self-ruled island sees as a political retaliation in response to the island’s independence-leaning government’s refusal to toe the Beijing’s line. The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council of the Communist declares that there were harmful organisms in Taiwan’s pineapples, and announces the suspension starting March 1.

10. Sources say that Communist China is obviously building a surface-to-air missile base 20 kilometers away from the border with Vietnam as a long-term aggression and short-term warning to neighboring countries, which alerts the Vietnamese government.

II. World News

1. An unclassified intelligence report on Khashoggi’s death published by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence does not indicate direct action against Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The US measure suggests that the Biden administration is carefully handling the Khashoggi incident to avoid Saudi Arabia, an important ally, from falling to the power of the Communist Party of China.

2. Missouri Senator Josh Hawley on Friday urges his Republican colleagues to support the dissolution of big technology “oligarchy” that censors political views and the big companies that “sell American out of the Communist Chinese state.”

3. U.S. Senate Minority Leader McConnell said on Thursday that he would “absolutely” support Trump if he won the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

4. U.S. President Biden signed an executive order on February 24 to strengthen the supply chain of key industries in the United States. The American Association in Taiwan immediately met with many representatives of Taiwan’s semiconductor industry on February 25 and emphasized Taiwan’s critical role in supply chain security.

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