The Philippines is not concerned about Chinese military bases in the South China Sea, which are aimed to counter US influence, Rodrigo Duterte said, emphasizing that Manila can solve any disputes with Beijing diplomatically.
The disputed waters of the South China Sea have long been a bone of contention between the regional players – China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. Beijing has laid claim to nearly all of the resource-rich area, through which an estimated $5 trillion worth of trade passes each year. China reportedly boosted the construction of military bases on artificial islands around the Spratly and Paracel Islands to protect its national interests in the area. The control of the archipelago, which includes about 130 small coral islands and reefs, is key to Beijing’s dominance in the South China Sea.
China has demanded an American man be “severely punished” after he was alleged to have stolen a thumb from a terracotta warrior after taking a selfie with the statue while it was on display at a museum in the US.
Chinese authorities have also demanded compensation for the £3.2 million exhibit, which was on display at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.
Reports said that Michael Rohana, aged 24, from the state of Delaware, was attending an ‘ugly Christmas jumper party’ at the institute on Decemeber 21 last year when he made his way into the museum’s special exhibit, Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor.
FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday reiterated a commonly held view among US intelligence officials that China is seeking to become a global superpower through unconventional means — but he framed it as both a governmental and a societal threat to the US.
Speaking before the Senate Intelligence Committee alongside the heads of other US intelligence agencies, Wray said that to undermine the US’s military, economic, cultural, and informational power across the globe, China was using methods relying on more than just its state institutions.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just completed, by most accounts, a successful visit to Latin America. He began his five-nation tour by invoking the Monroe Doctrine and suggesting the Venezuelan military could manage a “peaceful transition” from the authoritarian leader Nicolás Maduro. This reminded several regional observers of President Trump’s suggestion last year of a possible “military option” for Venezuela, hinting at possible U.S. or multilateral intervention to stop the country’s collapse.
An armed action or military intervention in Venezuela by any nation in the Western Hemisphere, including Venezuela’s own military, must take into account the role of Iran, Russia and China in the crisis. Russia and China were prominently mentioned by Tillerson during his visit to the region; Iran, however, was notably absent from his remarks.
Prior to any discussion on what to do about Venezuela, a consensus about what led to this crisis needs be reached. The role of Iran is critical in such a conversation.
BEIJING — A group of influential Catholics published an open letter Monday to express their shock and disappointment about a report that the Vatican could soon reach a deal with the Chinese government, warning that it could create a schism in the church in China.
The Holy See has been in negotiations for several years with the Chinese Communist Party and is now believed to be close to an agreement over the appointment of bishops in China.
That agreement, under which responsibility for the appointment of bishops would probably be shared between the Vatican and the government, could pave the way for the eventual reestablishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Vatican, cut in 1951. The deal is also expected to confer Vatican recognition on seven state-appointed bishops, who had been excommunicated by previous popes.
As part of its most recent clampdown on Christian churches, Chinese authorities have instructed priests and pastors to post signs on churches barring entry to minors.
The instruction is part of a new set of communist party-controlled regulations on religious activities that went into effect on February 1 and is aimed at preventing children and young people from getting religious instruction or taking an active part in Christian worship.
Related… China-Vatican deal shocks Chinese Catholics
I bet Justin is pleased as well.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A framework accord between the Vatican and China on the appointment of bishops is ready and could be signed in a few months in what would be an historic breakthrough in relations, a senior Vatican source said.
An even partial resolution of the thorny issue of who gets to appoint bishops could open the way for a resumption of diplomatic relations nearly 70 years after they were cut during the Communist takeover of China.
He’s a commie.
Ryerson’s Student union was sent this entirely appropriate gift dildo. Their reluctance to accept it smacks of anti-Chinese bigotry.
Amazon, RCMP on the case as unsolicited deliveries of sex toys, other items cause concern on campus
…..RCMP Const. Darryl Waruk took on the case. According to his findings, the items are coming from distributors in China who sell their wares on Amazon.
He says Amazon’s law enforcement support department told him the Chinese companies are sending their goods to Canadian university student unions as a marketing tactic.
“It’s just a way of companies getting their product out there and showing a demand for their product,” Waruk said.
The Vatican has defended itself after a senior cardinal accused it of “selling out” to Beijing.
Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong had criticised the Vatican for its attempts at diplomacy with China’s government.
He accused the Church of forcing bishops to retire in favour of replacements picked by Beijing.
The Vatican did not directly mention Cardinal Zen but said criticism of its China policy was “fostering confusion and controversy”.
Cardinal Zen had in a Facebook post on Monday revealed that a Vatican delegation had asked a bishop to give up his post to make room for a replacement backed by Beijing.
Next year marks the seventieth anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Mao Zedong and his fellow revolutionaries made a new state, proud and independent. It was also authoritarian and murderous. That era seemed over, but oppression with totalitarian overtones has returned to the PRC.
What should America do?
Employees at a brick factory in southeast China who were collectively owed some 90,000 yuan (US $14,050; £10,080) had their unpaid wages topped up in bricks, it’s reported.
According to the Xinhua News Agency, some 30 factory workers in Nanchang, Jiangxi province, agreed to receive 290,000 bricks in exchange for 80,000 yuan of their owed earnings.
Jiangxi Daily reports that the workers, all of whom were migrants, came from mountainous regions of Yunnan province in the southwest, and had no choice but to live “by candlelight, with wood fire heating”.
After their local labour department intervened with the help of the courts, the employees agreed to receive bricks from the factory in exchange for their unpaid earnings.
China’s state surveillance apparatus is trying out a new tool in one of its favorite test beds, the restive region of Xinjiang.
The Muslim-dominated villages on China’s western frontier are testing facial-recognition systems that alert authorities when targeted people venture more than 300 meters (1,000 feet) beyond designated “safe areas,” according to a person familiar with the project. The areas comprise individuals’ homes and workplaces, said the person, who requested anonymity to speak to the media without authorization.
It’s a harsh word, but “totalitarian” is the mot juste to describe governments that use their power — and public resources — to enforce ideological agreement with the maximum leader. That is exactly what the federal Liberals are doing in imposing an ideological test and coerced speech upon the Canada Summer Jobs Program.
A former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer suspected of compromising American spies in China, has been arrested after authorities discovered notebooks filled with the details of informants working.
Jerry Chun Shing Lee, also known as Zhen Cheng Li, is suspected of aiding the collapse of the US spy operations in China, which saw dozens of informants jailed or killed from 2010 onwards.
Mr Lee, a 53-year-old naturalized US citizen, was detained at New York’s JFK airport on Monday and charged with retaining highly classified information.
Mr Lee, who now lives in Hong Kong, worked for the CIA between 1994 and 2007 and had top-level security clearance.
It is reported that several members of the intelligence community suspected a mole within the agency at the time.
An American university has reportedly rejected funding from a Chinese foundation suspected of facilitating China’s broader efforts to expand its global influence.
The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin) has decided not to accept funding for its new China Public Policy Center from the Hong Kong-based China United States Exchange Foundation (CUSEF). The organization is led by Tung Chee-hwa, who serves as vice chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), a self-proclaimed “united front” organization.
The CPPCC and the Communist Party’s United Front Work Department play an important role in advancing China’s vast influence operations abroad, according to The Washington Post.