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Read Now: The US and China might not get over the Taiwan crisis – 101 Latest News



The US and China might not get over the Taiwan crisis

#China #Taiwan #crisis

China took several aggressive actions this weekend after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, including firing ballistic missiles in Taiwan’s vicinity and sanctioning Pelosi. While the incident may not lead to all-out war, it’s a further step in the dissolution of the relationship between the US and China — and gives China’s military the training it needs to execute future attacks.

Pelosi is the highest-ranking US official to visit Taiwan since former Speaker Newt Gingrich went in 1997. In the 25 years since, China has grown both its economy and military exponentially. Along with that has come the nation’s desire — and increased capability — to lay claim to Taiwan. Taiwan, which governs itself independently of Beijing and under current President Tsai Ing-wen, has increasingly chafed at Beijing’s tactics to “reunify” Taiwan with mainland China.

Now, the US is hoping to avoid a diplomatic and possibly military crisis with China. The relationship between the two superpowers has rapidly deteriorated in recent years over a plethora of problems like the abuse of Uyghur minorities in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, crackdowns on pro-democracy movements in Hong Kong, increased coordination between the US and Taiwan under the Trump administration, and alleged espionage and hacking on the part of the Chinese government.

“There is much to object to in the Chinese behavior, but that said, there are many behaviors that the Chinese object to, that the various stakeholders in the US simply ignore and blow past, and perhaps do so at their peril,” Daniel Russel, vice president of international security and diplomacy at the Asia Institute told Vox.

Previous administrations practiced “strategic ambiguity”— seeking to reassure Taiwan without inflaming China. In May, Biden pledged that the US would go above and beyond the support it’s already provided for Ukraine should China invade Taiwan, though members of his administration including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin insisted that Biden’s statement was in line with the One China policy — the official acknowledgement that the mainland is China and Beijing is the seat of power.

Now, China is conducting large-scale military exercises in the Taiwan Strait reportedly firing 11 ballistic missiles in the island’s vicinity, Reuters reported Thursday. That’s the first time China has made such a move since 1996 — showing how much has changed since the last time the US and China faced off over Taiwan.

“[The Chinese military is] probably not even halfway through the various things that they have in mind,” Daniel Russel, vice president of international security and diplomacy at the Asia Institute told Vox. “I think it’s pretty clear that the Chinese are in the acting out phase, the retaliatory phase, as they characterize it, and they have no interest in being calmed down until they have completed this circuit of punitive measures.”

The ultimate goal, at least when it comes to Taiwan is not necessarily a military takeover — China is not yet capable of that, Russel said. Instead, every crisis is calibrated “to force Taiwan, essentially, to its knees, to force the leadership of Taiwan to capitulate to the mainland’s terms for political negotiation.”

China’s military might has grown considerably in the past three decades

China has become more aggressive in defending what it sees as its interests in several arenas, including militarily in the South China Sea and with hostile crackdowns against pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong — both of which represent a threat to Taiwan’s democratic system.

China claimed sovereignty over the South China Sea and several islands in the vicinity, including Taiwan, in 1992’s Law on the Territorial Sea. That document also outlines the conditions under which military vessels and aircraft may enter into Chinese territory. Now, 30 years later, the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has the means to enforce is sovereignty, and has been doing so with increasingly provocative maritime action including militarizing islands in the South China Sea

The US maintains that it has significant economic and security interests in the region and routinely conducts freedom of navigation and other exercises there, utilizing military sea and airpower to maintain the freedom of maritime areas. The US also sells weapons systems to Taiwan for defensive purposes per the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act, but those capabilities just aren’t in proportion to what China’s military has produced over the past 25 years. Furthermore, as recently as last year both US and Taiwanese stakeholders expressed concern that Taiwan’s military suffered from low morale and readiness among reservists and conscripts. That’s due in part to a lack of funding and a disorganized reserve system, as well as the belief of many Taiwanese that the US will support their military should any major attack occur, according to a Wall Street Journal investigation from last October.

China’s military growth is currently based on civil-military integration, which includes major investments in tech research and development and dual-purpose technology which aims to strengthen both the military and economy. That has resulted in significant weapons systems developments including the so-called “carrier killer” missile which can reportedly attack ships as large as contemporary US aircraft carriers, thus potentially deterring US warships from operating in what China considers its own territory.

The situation is a far cry from the 1995-1996 crisis in the Taiwan Strait, when a visit by Lee Teng-Hui, who would become Taiwan’s first democratically-elected president in 1996, to his alma mater Cornell University, sparked tensions between the US and China. China then deployed missiles and conducted military exercises in Taiwan’s vicinity, but the US was able to fend off those provocations by sending two aircraft carrier groups transiting through the Taiwan Strait.

Since suffering that humiliation, the Chinese government has pushed to create a military capable of facing — and beating — the US in a confrontation. What the People’s Liberation Army is missing is experience in the war zone, Russel told Vox. “They’re practicing, and that is not a good thing for us,” he said. “And it’s the sort of thing that directly remedies the biggest shortcoming of the People’s Liberation Army — namely, that unlike the US military, they haven’t spent the last 50 years at war.” Therefore, Pelosi’s visit was the perfect excuse to gain battlefield experience in the ideal context.

“The Chinese are taking advantage of what they are billing as a provocation,” Russel said. “They’re taking advantage of this to practice things that, in normal circumstances, would be so provocative that they didn’t dare rehearse. So these are joint exercises that are, in effect, dry runs for a military action against Taiwan — whether it’s a blockade, or an attack of another sort.”

Is there a diplomatic solution to the crisis?

There’s no reason to believe that China will launch an all-out amphibious assault on Taiwan at this point, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t currently serious risks.

“In terms of lowering the tension, rule number one: Don’t do anything that makes things worse,” Russel said. But that’s easier said than done when diplomatic relationships that would normally serve to diffuse such tensions are frayed as they are now. The White House summoned Chinese ambassador Qin Gang on Friday to rebuke him for the military exercises; now, China’s has called of discussions on other critical topics and its military officials are not responding to the Pentagon’s overtures — increasing the potential for accidents and misinterpretations to spiral out of control.

“You’ve got a lot of US, PRC, and Taiwan assets moving around, in a relatively confined space. In the past there have been accidents where, maybe overzealous or inexperienced Chinese pilots have collided with US planes — even much more recently there have been many more examples of very risky maneuvers by Chinese pilots and Chinese ship captains,” Russel said. “So that danger is a real one, and what makes it dangerous is not that a US plane and a Chinese plane could get in an accident, but that US and China don’t have the mechanisms in place — the relationships, the dialogues, et cetera — that serve to block escalation, to prevent an incident from becoming a crisis, and a crisis leading to conflict.”

A complicating factor seems to be Chinese President Xi Jinping’s need to show force to shore up his power ahead of China’s 20th Party Congress later this year, where major leadership changes will be announced. Michael Raska, an assistant professor at Nanyang Technological University’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, told Bloomberg that China’s exercises in the Taiwan Strait are “a show of force that solidifies Xi’s political power at home and paves way for his third-term re-election.”

It’s also a distraction from the fact that “things are going to hell in a hand basket in Xi Jinping’s China,” Russel said. Between limits on technology use, overbearing social control, and major economic issues like a severe housing crisis, Chinese citizens are ridiculing the government’s policies on the social network Weibo — giving Xi every reason to dial up the pressure on Taiwan and the US, Russel said.

China also announced that it would not continue talks with US officials on climate change, one area where the US and China had willingly cooperated until Pelosi’s trip. “Each time there is an event that makes tensions between Washington and Beijing surge, as Nancy Pelosi‘s visit has done, [it] leaves the relationship, when it does calm down, that much worse,” Russel said, noting that Taiwan is not the only issue over which the US and China must negotiate.

“It makes the prospects for of any kind of real progress — not negotiating the fate of Taiwan but the two major powers on planet Earth learning how to share the globe without blowing it up — makes that mission all the more difficult.”


Read Now: Jeffries Hasn’t Spoken to McCarthy Since Agreement – 101 Latest News



Quote of the Day

#Jeffries #Hasnt #Spoken #McCarthy #Agreement

Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) told Fox News the debt ceiling deal contained no wins for Democrats, claiming that Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) told him that himself.

Said McCarthy: “One thing Hakeem told me: there’s nothing in the bill for them. There’s not one thing in the bill for Democrats.”

But Jeffries told CBS News it’s not true: “I have no idea what he’s talking about, particularly because I have not been able to review the actual legislative text. I talked to him yesterday afternoon… I haven’t spoken to him since that point and time.”

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Read Now: Conservatives continue to rage against debt limit deal, while eyes turn to Progressive Caucus – 101 Latest News



WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 18: Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaks with reporters outside the U.S. Capitol Building on November 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. DC. Democratic leaders in the House are waiting on the final Congressional Budget Office cost estimate for President Joe Biden's Build Back Better before scheduling a vote on the $1.75 trillion social benefits and climate legislation. (Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

#Conservatives #continue #rage #debt #limit #deal #eyes #turn #Progressive #Caucus

Let’s start with the Democrats, who had been pretty quiet as the early details leaked. The Progressive Caucus chair Rep. Pramila Jayapal told CNN earlier today that she was waiting on the legislative text to make a final voting decision, “That’s always, you know, a problem, if you can’t see the exact legislative text. And we’re all trying to wade through spin right now.” That said, she mocked Republicans for not getting what they claimed to want—a reduction in the deficit. Hard to do that when they increased Pentagon spending and removed IRS funding designed to collect unpaid tax revenues.


With the legislative text out, House Democratic leaders sounded optimistic late in the day about Progressive caucus support. 


That is the standard reaction after expecting the worst—relief, mixed with surprise, like new food-stamp access for the homeless and veterans—a huge progressive win. (I can’t believe that wasn’t already a thing.)

Aside from question marks about the Progressive Caucus membership, the bulk of the party remained supportive. Insofar as I’m seeing any reaction, it’s simply parroting the White House’s talking points. If anything, any celebrations are muted, lest they add fuel to conservative efforts to scuttle the deal.

But as the Semafor headline noted, “The Democrats (mostly) won the debt ceiling fight.” Or as progressive journalist Josh Marshall put it, Republicans walked into a Deny’s at gunpoint, demanded money, and walked out with nothing more than breakfast. It’s okay to both be disappointed at some of the concessions, while also celebrate Biden’s major negotiating victory in a government in which Republicans, with the House, unfortunately do have a say

Many conservatives remain furious.

Rep. Chip Roy continues his tirade against the deal, tweeting at one point that “it’s worse than I thought every minute that goes by.” 


And Roy understands the leverage Republicans are losing in the regular budget appropriations process, tweeting that “If you want the border to be secure – no member of the @HouseGOP can vote for this #debtceiling ‘deal’ because it will remove all leverage we have to force action on the border.” 

Of further conservative ire, Roy tweeted that the deal threw out the $131 billion House Republicans cut in their debt limit show bill, designed to get spending back to pre-COVID levels, and replaced them with “what appears to be effectively flat spending […] at the bloated 2023 Omnibus spending level, jammed through in a rush in December…”

In response, Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee tweeted, “With Republicans like these, who needs Democrats?

Of particular interest is former Trump budget director Russ Vought, who is currently rallying opposition to the deal:

While we wait on text, let’s take the numbers as the GOP is claiming w/o knowing the gimmicks (Dems are claiming higher spending). Deal provides $1.59 trillion in FY24 v. $1.602 in FY23. You gave Biden $4 trillion for $12 billion in cuts largely coming from unspent COVID$?

Or take “It cuts nondefense spending to 2022!” No it doesn’t. FY22 nondefense spending was $689 billion. GOP numbers claim FY24 will be $704 billion. You don’t get a dog biscuit for that.  

Reviewing the text now. Confirms that there only 2 years of actual caps and then 4 years of meaningless language that binds only Congress & easily waived.

 The “administrative PAYGO” is totally worthless. It’s not just that it can be gamed with plans for fake offsets in exchange for real spending. Its that the OMB Director has complete waiver authority in Section 265 if “necessary for program delivery”

So I’m not a budget expert, but what that tells me is that whatever budgetary restrictions exist in the deal, they can easily be waived. 

Furthermore, responding to a seemingly sensible conservative noting that McCarthy’s leverage was limited given that Democrats control the White House and the Senate, Vought furiously responded, “What exactly did [McCarthy] deliver on? You can’t build on it because he gave every leverage point away for the remainder of Biden’s tenure. The bill is worse than a clean debt limit.”

Savor that.

The bill is worse than a clean debt limit.

I actually don’t know if that’s true, to be sure. But I desperately hope it is. 

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Read Now: Biden CBP Denies Government is Providing Financial Support to Illegal Immigrants, Gets Immediately Slapped With Fact Checks – 101 Latest News



Biden CBP Denies Government is Providing Financial Support to Illegal Immigrants, Gets Immediately Slapped With Fact Checks

#Biden #CBP #Denies #Government #Providing #Financial #Support #Illegal #Immigrants #Immediately #Slapped #Fact #Checks

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) denied that the federal government provides help or financial assistance to illegal immigrants, prompting a torrent of fact-checkers to come along and state that they are lying.

“NOTICE: Claims that migrants will be provided free travel and transportation to their destination are false,” the CBP’s official Twitter feed posted Thursday. “The U.S. government does not provide help or financial support for noncitizens.”

It is the second time they have made such a claim, posting a duplicate tweet roughly one month ago.

It is unclear what “claims” they are referencing or if the group was simply trying to get out in front of a situation in which illegal aliens coming in are expecting travel and transportation to new locations to be provided.

Regardless, several sources were quick to jump all over the CBP’s claims calling them alternately misleading, false, or a flat-out lie.

RELATED: Invasion Begins: Video Purportedly Shows Illegal Aliens Opening DHS Packets With Smartphones, Some Court Dates Not Until 2035

CBP Gets a Brutal Fact Check or Two

The Heritage Foundation think tank came along and, not pleased with the length of time Twitter’s Community Notes was taking to correct the CBP statement, provided their own fact check.

“Since @CommunityNotes hasn’t shown up yet, we’ll say it. This is a lie,” they wrote. “The U.S. Government pays NGO’s to do the work for them.”

The Heritage Foundation provided a link to their research showing the federal government uses charities “to hide the true cost of the border crisis.”

The report calls the funding of NGO’s through taxpayer funds Biden’s “dirty little secret” and describes them as “charities or religiously affiliated nonprofits but who spend most of their money and time helping illegal immigrants settle in the United States.”

That’s right. Your money helping to resettle illegal aliens into America so they can take even more of your money through social services or by taking jobs from Americans or legal immigrants.

RELATED: Texas Blocks Border Crossing Where Soldier Was Seen Opening Gate for Illegal Immigrants

More Call Out CBP’s Lies

Twitter’s Community Notes did catch up to the situation and slapped the CBP’s tweet with a little fact-check of their own.

“This statement by CBP is misleading as the federal government funds non-government organizations such as Catholic charities to assist in the travel, food, and shelter for illegal aliens and is coordinated by FEMA,” the label reads.

They provide a link to FEMA’s website promoting over $332 million in grants to provide “food, shelter, and services to individuals and families … who entered through the Southwestern Border and who are now awaiting their immigration court proceedings.”

Oh, good. So they’re only providing help and financial assistance until their court dates. Well, at least that shouldn’t take long, right?

Except, as The Political Insider reported earlier this month, documentation provided to illegal immigrants at the border had some being provided with court dates set as late as 2032 and 2035 in Chicago and Florida.

Potentially twelve years of financial assistance and the CBP wants you to believe that nah, we don’t provide financial support for illegal immigrants.

Fox News national correspondent Bill Melugin also called the CBP out over their statement.

“This is blatantly false,” he tweeted.

“The U.S. government indirectly provides financial support for migrants by giving hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to NGOs via FEMA’s Emergency Food & Shelter Program,” Melugin continued. “The NGOs then assist migrants w/ transportation around U.S & other services.”

Melugin just weeks ago posted a video showing a female National Guard soldier opening a gate and allowing a large crowd of illegal immigrants across the border onto private property in Texas.

The soldier did so, Melugin reported, because she “was following CBP directives to open the gate because the migrants had already crossed onto US soil and needed to be processed.”

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