(LONDON) JUST IN: MI5 has issued a rare warning to MPs that a Chinese agent has infiltrated Parliament to interfere in UK politics #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Jan.13: She then gave donations to politicians, with funding coming from foreign nationals in China and Hong Kong: It comes after a “significant, long-running” investigation by MI5, Whitehall sources told the BBC.

#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Security News Report: Chinese agent infiltrating Parliament, MI5 warns as alert from the security service said Christine Ching Kui Lee “established links” for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) with current and aspiring MPs: By Gordon Corera & Jennifer Scott
Security correspondent & political reporter, BBC News

Houses of Parliament

The security service said anyone contacted by Ms Lee should be “mindful of her affiliation” and its “remit to advance the CCP’s agenda”.

Conservative MP and former party leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, brought up the alert in the Commons, confirming it had been emailed out to MPs by the Speaker.

He said it was “a matter of grave concern”, calling for Ms Lee to be deported and demanding the government make a statement to the House.

Former defence minister Tobias Ellwood also called for a statement in the Commons, adding: “This is the sort grey-zone interference we now anticipate and expect from China.

“But the fact that it’s happened to this Parliament, there must be a sense of urgency from this government.”

Issuing an alert about an individual is an unusual move for MI5. 

It signals that their long-running investigation had led them to become sufficiently concerned that they felt they had to act now. 

We have heard about concerns over Russian influence in the past but China, British intelligence officials say, has now become their top priority.

The allegation here is interference – covertly gaining influence – and not espionage (stealing secrets).

And one concern from security officials is that there are not the laws in place to be able to tackle interference.

As a result, they sometimes believe that going public – as they have done in this case – is the best way of disrupting any ongoing risk.

According to the alert, Ms Lee claimed her involvement with Parliament had been to “represent the UK Chinese and increase diversity”.

But MI5 said that activity “had been undertaken in covert coordination with the United Front Work Department [of the CCP], with funding provided by foreign nationals located in China and Hong Kong”.

The UFWD is alleged to be seeking to “cultivate relations” with “influential figures” to ensure the UK political landscape is favourable to the CCP and to challenge those that raise concerns about the party, including over human rights.

The security service said Ms Lee had “extensive engagement with individuals across the UK political spectrum”, including the now disbanded All Party Parliamentary Group called Chinese in Britain.

But they warned Ms Lee “may aspire to establish APPGs [parliamentary groups] to further the CCP’s agenda”.

Gardiner donations

One MP who received funding from Ms Lee was Labour’s Barry Gardiner, who began getting donations from her law firm, Christine Lee & Co, at the end of 2014. 

According to the register of MP’s interests, between then and 2020, Mr Gardiner received over £420,000 from her, mostly covering the costs of employing parliamentary researchers. 

Ms Lee’s son was also understood to have volunteered for the Labour MP and was later employed as his diary manager. 

Labour MP Barry Gardiner received donations from Christine Ching Kui Lee’s company

In a statement, Mr Gardiner, who was a member of the shadow cabinet when Jeremy Corbyn was Labour leader, confirmed he had received the donations and that Ms Lee’s son had worked for him.

But he said he had been “liaising with our security services for a number of years” about her and MI5 has “always known, and been made fully aware by me, of her engagement with my office and the donations she made to fund researchers in my office in the past”.

The Brent North MP said she had “no role” in who was appointed as his researchers and all donations were “properly reported”, adding: “I have been assured by the security services that whilst they have definitively identified improper funding channelled through Christine Lee, this does not relate to any funding received by my office.”

He also confirmed her son resigned from his post on Thursday, and that MI5 had no intelligence that showed he was aware of, or complicit in, his mother’s actions.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Jan.13: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#alert, #ccp, #china, #london, #mi5, #parliament, #uk

(BEIJING) #Coronavirus Report: Daily cases in Xi’an with a population of 13 million began to drop since the start of this year and slipped to two-digit numbers quickly, with 30 new cases, all in centralized quarantine, reported on Saturday #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Jan.10: Xi’an, capital city of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, has basically stopped the spread of COVID-19 in communities one month after the resurgence of the epidemic hit the city, thanks to stringent containment measures such as city-level lockdown and rounds of mass nucleic acid testing.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk – Brutal Lockdown in community due to spread of #COVID19 basically blocked in China’s Xi’an according to Xinhua Headlines: Published On Jan.09:

Aerial photo taken on Jan. 1, 2022 shows a view of Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province. (Xinhua/Tao Ming)

XI’AN, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) — Xi’an, capital city of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, has basically stopped the spread of COVID-19 in communities one month after the resurgence of the epidemic hit the city, thanks to stringent containment measures such as city-level lockdown and rounds of mass nucleic acid testing.

As notable progress has been made to control the epidemic, Xi’an will gradually lift closed-off management based on the judgment and research conducted by national and provincial experts.

The virus spread in communities had been basically cut off, Xu Mingfei, vice mayor of Xi’an, told a press conference on Jan. 5. Xu said that all the new cases found over the previous rounds of nucleic acid testing were among the people who were quarantined at designated places (centralized quarantine) or at home.

Daily cases in Xi’an with a population of 13 million began to drop since the start of this year and slipped to two-digit numbers quickly, with 30 new cases, all in centralized quarantine, reported on Saturday.

The city, a popular tourist destination known for the Terracotta Warriors, registered 1,989 locally transmitted confirmed cases as of Saturday since Dec. 9, 2021.

The viral genome sequencing of the new cases has identified them as strains of the highly contagious Delta variant, which are highly homologous with imported cases from an inbound flight on Dec. 4, 2021, according to the provincial center for disease control and prevention.

STRICT CONTAINMENT MEASURES

Many positive patients didn’t show obvious symptoms in the initial stage, and they tended to ignore their physical condition, which led to community transmission and clustered cases, local officials have said.

The number of confirmed cases in Xi’an rose by more than 150 per day for a week in late December, and the virus has spread to other cities and provinces.

To curb the spread of the virus, the city has launched several rounds of mass nucleic acid testing, with thousands of sample collecting venues set up.

A medical worker takes a swab sample from a resident for nucleic acid testing in Beilin District of Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, Dec. 29, 2021. (Xinhua/Zhang Bowen)

Mass nucleic acid testing can help health authorities identify the infected cases and put them under quarantine early. Meanwhile, it is conducive to adopting precise control measures and relieving public stress, said Li Qun, director of the health emergency center of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

As the trajectories of the positive cases in Xi’an were complex and involved a wider area, and some could not be traced to known sources, the megacity imposed closed-off management for communities and villages since Dec. 23 last year.

“The strict containment measures introduced are based on the epidemic situation to prevent transmission within the city and spreading elsewhere,” said Lei Zhenglong, a member of the Xi’an taskforce team sent by the State Council for epidemic control.

JOINT EFFORTS AGAINST EPIDEMIC

During a recent tour to Shaanxi Province for investigation and research on prevention and control of the epidemic, Vice Premier Sun Chunlan said that Xi’an saw a sharp decline in daily-reported new COVID-19 cases and had basically blocked the spread of COVID-19 in communities. However, Sun warned that the epidemic containment is still at a crucial stage, and urged efforts to prevent the rebound of the epidemic.

As of 6 p.m. Jan. 6, the city arranged 431 venues for centralized quarantines, putting 45,760 people under quarantine.

“The quarantined personnel have overcome the inconvenience to themselves and their families for the safety of all. They are also heroes,” said vice mayor Xu.

Ma Hui, one of the residents in isolation, recorded his life in a quarantined site in short videos. “Despite some inconvenience at the beginning, the room is warm, and we receive necessities and even snacks,” said Ma, 40, in a video.

Community workers and volunteers have devoted themselves to sending free groceries to residents in lockdown. People can also place orders online, and items will be distributed and delivered to each household by community staff and volunteers.

A volunteer arranges packed vegetables in Yanta District of Xi’an, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, Jan. 5, 2022. (Xinhua/Zhang Bowen)

The city government has taken measures to help people under closed-off management overcome inconvenience brought about by containment measures.

For example, responding to people’s difficulty in accessing medical services, the city government has dispatched buses to shuttle those who need emergency treatment at hospitals to prevent the risk of cross-infection, said vice mayor Xu.

In Yanta District, the worst-hit district, several officials, including the Party chief of the Yanta District, have been removed from posts due to dereliction of duty.

As notable progress has been made to control the epidemic, Xi’an will gradually lift closed-off management based on the judgment and research conducted by national and provincial experts, Lyu Yongpeng, deputy director of the city’s health commission, said on Saturday.

As of Saturday, a total of 262 patients had been discharged from hospitals after recovery.

(Video reporters: Wu Hongbo, Yang Yimiao, Lin Juan, Liang Aiping and Zhao Yingbo; Video editors: Zhang Qiru, Zhu Jianhui) ■

#AceHealthDesk report ………..Published: Jan.10: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #delta, #health

(HONG KONG) Court Report: Pro-democracy HK activist Chow Hang Tung has been jailed for 15 months for organising a vigil to commemorate the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Jan.05: It is her second conviction over the banned vigils, which Chow tried to organise in 2020 and 2021: The latest case saw her urge people to light candles to mark the event, which is a highly sensitive topic in China.

#AceDailyNews Court Report: Chow had already been sentenced to 12 months in prison for inciting and taking part in a similar vigil in 2020. But five months of her fresh sentence will run concurrently with this, meaning she will spend a total of 22 months behind bars according to BBC News Asia

The Vice-chairwomen of Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China Chow Hang-Tung
Activist Chow Hang Tung received a second conviction over her role in the banned Tiananmen protests in Hong Kong

She was arrested on that date last year, after she published two pieces calling on residents to mark the day by lighting candles.

Hong Kong authorities have banned the vigil for the past two years, citing Covid restrictions.

Chow was vice chairwoman of the now-disbanded Hong Kong Alliance (HKA), which organised annual vigils for the victims of China’s brutal crackdown on democracy protesters on 4 June 1989. 

The court ruled on Tuesday that those articles amounted to inciting others to defy the police ban on the vigil.

“The law never allows anyone to exercise their freedom by unlawful means,” magistrate Amy Chan said, according to AFP news agency.

Chow, a trained barrister who represented herself during the trial, had pleaded not guilty. She defended herself by saying she wanted to “incite others not to forget June 4”, not encourage a gathering. 

However, the judge dismissed her argument, calling it “simply unbelievable”. She added Chow’s academic qualifications would have allowed her to be clearer in her writing.

Chow appeared defiant during the hearing, using her mitigation on Tuesday to read from the memoirs of families of people killed at Tiananmen before being admonished by the judge. 

“It can be foreseen that the public space to discuss June 4 will disappear entirely,” she told the court after the verdict. “Tyranny is greedy, red lines will keep expanding.”

Hong Kong was formerly one of the only places in Chinese territory where people could commemorate the Tiananmen crackdown.

Huge crowds would gather in Hong Kong’s Victoria Park each year to mark the anniversary. When it was banned for the first time in 2020, activists accused Hong Kong officials of bowing to pressure from Beijing to muzzle pro-democracy expression.

The 1989 crackdown remains a highly sensitive topic in China and one of the few remaining public memorials in Hong Kong has now been removed.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Jan.04: 2022:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#activist, #beijing, #china, #hong-kong, #jailed, #tiananmen-square

(CALIFORNIA) Apple Trade Supplier Report: A new report details how they have increased its reliance on Chinese supply chain partners, including Luxshare, which is reportedly poised to unseat Foxconn as primary supplier #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.31: The deal with Luxshare marked a “turning point” for Apple and China, The Information says. It propelled Luxshare to the top-tier of Apple suppliers who handle assembling and packaging finished consumer goods.

#AceDailyNews says Apple has shifted orders from Foxconn to Luxshare to assist $275B China deal: The new details follow a report from earlier in December revealing an alleged secret deal that Apple made with the Chinese government to invest in local companies. The Information on Thursday has revealed what some of those investments entail: – Dec.30, 2021:

article thumbnail

For example, Apple has shifted more of its supply chain business to China-based companies. The Information says this is Apple CEO Tim Cook fulfilling his pledge to help Beijing expand its local technology industry.

A year after the deal was made, for example, Apple tapped Luxshare to assemble AirPods. That ended the dominance of Taiwanese-based firms in Apple’s assembly chain.

Luxshare, which already exceeds Foxconn in market capitalization, may even positioned to unseat Foxconn as an Apple supply chain heavy-hitter. Foxconn, worried about the fast-rising Chinese firm, has even reportedly assembled a team to study the company.

According to The Information, the $275 billion investment deal between Apple and China is a way for the Cupertino tech giant to cut costs and “curry favor with Beijing.” China is a critical company for Apple, representing about 20% of its revenue. It’s also a precarious market, with consumers at times boycotting Apple products in favor of local brands.

#AceNewsDesk report ……..Published: Dec.31: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#apple, #california, #china, #suppliers, #trade

(MASSACHUSETTS) Harvard University Study Report: China’s winning the race to control the 21st century’s most valuable commodity according to RT Oped #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.30 Norman Lewis is a writer, speaker and consultant on innovation and technology, was most recently a Director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he set up and led their crowdsourced innovation service.

#AceDailyNews Tech Report: Says a new study from Harvard’s Belfer Center comparing the technological capabilities and progress of the US and China is an alarming read for Americans – and illustrates why the predictions of many experts were ill-judged Oped By

China's winning the race to control the 21st century’s most valuable commodity

The report, titled ‘The Great Technological Rivalry’, has concluded not only that China has made extraordinary technological leaps, making it a “full-spectrum peer competitor,” but that it looks well placed to dominate the future.

In less than a quarter of a century, America’s preeminent technological leadership of the world has been reversed. China has displaced the US as the top high-tech manufacturer globally, producing 250 million computers, 25 million automobiles, and 1.5 billion smartphones in 2020.

But besides becoming a manufacturing powerhouse, as Graham Allison (one of the Harvard Report’s authors) and Eric Schmidt (former CEO of Google) note in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, “In each of the foundational technologies of the 21st century – artificial intelligence, semiconductors, 5G wireless, quantum information science, biotechnology and green energy – China could soon be the global leader. In some areas, it is already No. 1.”

This is a remarkable turnaround, and one that most Western experts arrogantly did not consider possible.

The Harvard Report observes, for example, that in 1999, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine declared that America’s “uniquely powerful system for creating new knowledge and putting it to work for everyone’s benefit” would remain the single largest determinant for the 21st century. 

The Harvard Report also recalls how Time Magazine, in its special issue ‘Beyond 2000’, asserted that “China cannot grow into an industrial giant in the 21st century. Its population is too large and its gross domestic product too small.” China scholar William Kirby in the Harvard Business Review, reflecting the prevailing wisdom of the experts at the time, asserted that “China [was] largely a land of rule-bound rote learners”that could only imitate, not innovate. Only free thinkers, apparently – not copycats under authoritarian rule – could innovate in the era of information technology. 

Well, so much for the experts. Today, as the Harvard Report acknowledges, authoritarian China now clearly tops the US in practical AI applications, including facial recognition, voice recognition, and fintech. It also notes that last year China produced 50% of the world’s computers and mobile phones; the US made only 6%. China now produces 70 solar panels for each one built in the US, sells four times the number of electric vehicles, and has nine times as many 5G base stations, with network speeds five times as fast as American equivalents.

One should not exaggerate China’s position. The US still has a dominant position in the semiconductor industry, which it has held for almost half a century. However, the direction of travel is unmistakable, with China catching up in two important arenas: semiconductor fabrication and chip design. China has already surpassed America in the production of semiconductors. Its share of global production has risen to 15% from less than 1% in 1990. At the same time, the US share has fallen from 37% to 12%.

One indicator of the underlying and emerging power of China’s future scientific knowledge and innovation pipeline is its intellectual capital. With a population of 1.4 billion, China has an unparalleled pool of talent and data. Its universities are graduating computer scientists in multiples of their American counterparts. China graduates four times as many bachelor students with STEM degrees and will graduate twice as many STEM PhDs by 2025. By contrast, the number of domestic-born AI PhDs in the US has not increased since 1990. In international science and technology rankings for K-12 students, China consistently outscores the United States in math and science – in 2018, China’s PISA scores, which assess math, science, and reading, were ranked number one, while the US was 25th. 

Three decades ago, only one in 20 Chinese students studying abroad returned home. Now, four of every five do. And although America has historically benefited from its ability to attract talent, the US now risks losing the competition for talent on the scientific frontiers for the first time.

The problem for the US is that the underlying trends point to it being surpassed in almost every sphere, even those in which it still retains an advantage today.

For example, the US remains the uncontested leader in biotechnologies, with a significant lead in innovation and seven of the ten most valuable life science companies. However, China now lists biotech as one of the critical areas for national development, with significant investment indicating it is fiercely competing across the full biotech R&D spectrum. Chinese researchers have narrowed America’s lead in the CRISPR gene-editing technique and surpassed it in CAR T-cell therapy. 

America has been the primary inventor of new green energy technologies over the past two decades. But today, China is the world’s leading manufacturer, user, and exporter of those technologies, cementing a monopoly over the future green energy supply chain. More critically, China has a near-monopoly over several of the critical inputs necessary for solar panels, batteries, and other green tech, including chemical lithium (50% of global production), polysilicon (60%), rare earth metals (70%), natural graphite (70%), cobalt refining (80%), and rare earth refining (90%). And where China lacks resources domestically, it has secured them overseas. 

The Harvard Report is thus a wake-up call to the US and the West. It highlights that China is now a vast economic power poised to dominate the scientific and technological future. It is no wonder that Allison and Schmidt conclude their article with a stern warning: “Unless the US can organize a national response analogous to the mobilization that created the technologies that won World War II, China could soon dominate the technologies of the future and the opportunities they will create.” 

This time, the experts might have a point. It seems the future has already happened.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Norman Lewis
Follow him on Twitter @Norm_Lewis

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Dec.30: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#america, #china, #massachusetts, #oped, #study, #technology

(HIONG KONG) JUST IN: Statement & Translation #StandNews Report: The national security police arrested at least six current or former directors and senior staff of The Stand News on Dec 29 on suspicion of “conspiracy to distribute seditious publications” and are still searching the offices late this morning #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.29: The HKJA also “urges the government to protect press freedom in accordance with the Basic Law.”

#AceDailyNews says according to Guardians of Hong Kong News Report: In a statement, the Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) is “deeply concerned that the police have repeatedly arrested senior members of the media and searched the offices of news organizations containing large quantities of journalistic materials within a year.”

#StandNews


📡Guardians of Hong Kong, [Dec 29, 2021 at 04:16]
#Statement:
#HKJA expresses deep concern on the arrest of directors and senior staff of #StandNews

In addition, HKJA expressed that it “has learned that Ronson Chan Ron-sing, the deputy assignment editor of Stand News and the chairman of HKJA, was also taken away by the police this morning. We are investigating the incident and have no further comment at this time, but will announce any new information in due course.”

Source: InMedia; Hong Kong Journalists Association #Dec29
https://www.hkja.org.hk/en/statements/statement-hkja-expresses-deep-concern-on-the-arrest-of-directors-and-senior-staff-of-the-stand-news/

#PoliticalOppression #FreedomOfSpeech #Crackdown #PressFreedom #MediaLandscape #PoliceState #Regime #Arrest

Related News:

Hong Kong Authorities’ #Crackdown on #StandNews

Hong Kong National Security raid pro-democracy newspaper, arrested 6 senior staff

📡Guardians of Hong Kong, [Dec 29, 2021 at 09:08]
#StandNews #Crackdown
Stand News: Operation ceased; social media accounts will be removed

Full translation of the announcement:

Today (Dec 29), Hong Kong Police arrested a number of our current and former management staff, and took away others for investigations. Police has also confiscated a number of computers and documents from our office. Stand News has offered help to the affected staff.

In light of these circumstances, Stand News will cease operation immediately; updates to the website and all social media are also stopped immediately, and will be removed within the day. Acting chief editor Lam Shiu-tong has already resigned; all Stand News staff are immediately laid off.

Stand News, formerly House News, was established in December 2014. Operating according to non-profit principles, it makes its stand on the home soil of Hong Kong. Its editing policy is independent, and strives to safeguard Hong Kong’s core values: democracy, human rights, freedom, the rule of law, justice, and many more. It ceases operation on December 29, 2021.

We thank all readers for their continued support.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Dec.29: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#arrested, #beijing, #china, #hong-kong, #journalists

(TAIWAN) Ortega’s Regime Report: Taipei furious as diplomatic property is transferred to Beijing and not sold to Nicaragua’s Catholic Church for just $1 as China tightens its grip #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.29: Taiwan’s Foreign Relations Ministry called the move “unlawful and utterly disgusting,” blasting the “Ortega regime” for blocking the plan to sell the property to the Nicaraguan Catholic church for the symbolic price of $1.

#AceDailyNews says according to a RT News Report: Authorities in Taipei lashed out at Nicaragua’s decision to hand over to Beijing the building in Managua that previously served as the embassy of Taiwan.

After the Ortega regime ordered #Taiwanout of #Nicaragua before #Christmas, we sold the embassy to Managua Archdiocese for $1. This charitable act was our goodwill to the people. But Ortega seized the property & will gift it to the #PRC. This is unlawful & utterly disgusting. JW https://t.co/vVo1Ks5ZkQpic.twitter.com/wY5cGSBuzM— 外交部 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ROC (Taiwan) 🇹🇼 (@MOFA_Taiwan) December 28, 2021

Earlier on Monday, the office of Nicaragua’s Attorney General Ana Julia Guido said the sale, which was reported by the local press, had no legal power. The attempted transfer of the real estate, vehicles, and other embassy property happened last week, shortly before the deadline set by President Daniel Ortega’s Sandinista government for Taiwanese diplomats to leave the country.

The AG statement said that Nicaragua considered the property to be owned by China and that officials appointed by Beijing had the right to manage it since Managua switched its diplomatic recognition back to the mainland government. Taiwan, which succeeded the losing side in the Chinese civil war, formally considers itself the legitimate government of China.

Nicaragua’s Attorney General states that China has absolute and unrestricted ownership over its real estate, furniture, etc. amid claims by some media that Taiwan ‘donated’ its diplomatic headquarters, vehicles and assets to the Archdiocese of Managua before leaving the country. pic.twitter.com/fXUGeojUcu— Camila (@camilapress) December 27, 2021

Taiwanese diplomats wanted the embassy to go to the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Managua. Its vicar general, Carlos Aviles, who confirmedthe move to the anti-Sandinista newspaper La Prensa on Monday, said the legal process was yet to be officiated.

Silvio Jose Baez, an auxiliary bishop of the diocese who went into exile in 2019, appeared to criticize the government’s move by posting a link to the news on Twitter. He also offered several quotes from the Bible denouncing theft of property and greed.

Nicaragua’s switch of China recognition reversed a decision taken in 1990 by President Violeta Chamorro, after she won an election and came to power. The previous government under Ortega maintained Nicaragua’s original diplomatic relations with Taipei until 1985, when he dropped them and established ties with Beijing.

The Sandinista leader returned to power by winning the 2016 election, but kept ties with Taiwan, which became a major investor and jobs creator in Nicaragua. Many observers explain the change of the status quo by citing Ortega’s poor relations with the US – Taiwan’s staunch supporter – and China’s ambitious investment projects in Latin America.You can share this story on social media:

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Dec.29: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #nicaragua, #taiwan

(WASHINGTON) State Dept Statement Report: President Biden today signed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, under commitment to combatting forced labor, including in the context of the ongoing genocide in Xinjiang #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.29: The State Department is committed to working with Congress and our interagency partners to continue addressing forced labor in Xinjiang and to strengthen international action against this egregious violation of human rights.  This new law gives the U.S. government new tools to prevent goods made with forced labor in Xinjiang from entering U.S. markets and to further promote accountability for persons and entities responsible for these abuses.

#AceDailyNews State Dept Report: The Signing of the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act: Addressing forced labor has been a priority for this Administration. We have taken concrete measures to promote accountability in Xinjiang, including visa restrictions, Global Magnitsky and other financial sanctions, export controls, Withhold Release Orders and import restrictions, and the release of a business advisory on Xinjiang – all while rallying allies and partners to take joint action to ensure all global supply chains are free from the use of forced labor, including from Xinjiang.

US State Dept

We will continue doing everything we can to restore the dignity of those who yearn to be free from forced labor. We call on the Government of the People’s Republic of China to immediately end genocide and crimes against humanity against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang.

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Dec.29: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#china, #forced-labour, #state-dept, #washington, #xinjiang

(BEIJING) Winter Olympics Report: The National Hockey League (NHL) has confirmed it will not send its players to the men’s ice hockey tournament #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.24: The NHL season has been disrupted since mid-December by a raft of postponements

#AceSportsDesk says according to a BBC Sports News Report: NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said “Olympic participation is no longer feasible” with 50 league games postponed up to 23 December.

Tampa Bay

It follows disruption to the regular NHL season because of a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Games are scheduled to begin in China on 4 February, 2022.

Without the NHL’s stars, national teams at the Olympics will resemble those that featured at the Pyeongchang Winter Games four years ago.

With the time difference between South Korea and North America, many of the matches at the 2018 Games were played in the middle of the night for US audiences, and the NHL felt it was not right to put its league on hold for three weeks and allow its players to go to Pyeongchang.

“It’s disappointing,” said Tampa Bay captain Steven Stamkos, a Canada international.

“For whatever reason, the Olympic card just hasn’t worked out in my favour. It sucks. That’s something I probably won’t have a chance to do now.”

The NHL and players union had agreed to send athletes to the 2022 and 2026 Winter Olympics unless league seasons were impacted by Covid.

#AceNewsDesk report …….Published: Dec.24: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #nhl, #olympics, #winter

(HONG KONG) LATEST: A monument at a university that was the best-known public remembrance of the Tiananmen Square massacre on Chinese soil was removed early Thursday, wiping out the city’s last place of public commemoration of the bloody 1989 crackdown #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.24: A monument at a Hong Kong university that was the best-known public remembrance of the Tiananmen Square massacre on Chinese soil was removed early Thursday, wiping out the city’s last place of public commemoration of the bloody 1989 crackdown.

#AceDailyNews says according to Associated Press News Report: Tiananmen massacre ‘Pillar of Shame’ monument removed in Hong Kong that symbolises those lost on June 4,1989

Fox News Flash top headlines for December 22

For some at the University of Hong Kong, the move reflected the erosion of the relative freedoms they have enjoyed compared to mainland China. 

The 26-foot -tall Pillar of Shame, which depicts 50 torn and twisted bodies piled on top of each other, was made by Danish sculptor Jens Galschioet to symbolize the lives lost during the military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. 

University students clean the "Pillar of Shame" statue, a memorial for those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, at the University of Hong Kong Tuesday, June 4, 2019. 

Billy Kwok, a University of Hong Kong student, said the Pillar of Shame has been treated as part of the university by many who studied there. It had been standing at the university for more than two decades. 

“It’s the symbol of whether (there is still) … freedom of speech in Hong Kong,” he said after the sculpture was taken away. 

The university said it had asked that the sculpture be put in storage because it could pose “legal risks.” 

“No party has ever obtained any approval from the university to display the statue on campus, and the university has the right to take appropriate actions to handle it at any time,” it said in a statement after its removal. 

Each year on June 4, members of the now-defunct student union would wash the statue to commemorate the massacre. The city, together with Macao, were the only places on Chinese soil where commemorations of the crackdown were allowed. 

Authorities have banned annual Tiananmen candlelight vigils for two consecutive years and shut down a private museum documenting the crackdown. The group that organized the annual vigil and ran the museum, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, has since disbanded, with some of its key members behind bars. 

The dismantling of the sculpture came days after pro-Beijing candidates scored a landslide victory in Hong Kong legislative elections, following amendments to election laws allowing the vetting of candidates to ensure they are “patriots” loyal to Beijing. 

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam traveled to Beijing this week to report on developments in the semi-autonomous Chinese city, where authorities have silenced dissent following Beijing’s imposition of a sweeping national security law that appeared to target much of the pro-democracy movement following mass protests in 2019. 

The Pillar of Shame became an issue in October, when activists and rights groups opposed a university demand that it be removed following “the latest risk assessment and legal advice.” Galschioet offered to take it back to Denmark provided he would not be prosecuted under the national security law, but has not succeeded so far. 

Galschioet said he has been promised a spot for the sculpture in a park across from the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C., and was also offered places in Norway, Canada and Taiwan. 

He compared the removal of the sculpture to “driving a tank through Arlington Cemetery,” a burial ground for American war veterans. 

The "Pillar of Shame" statue, a memorial for those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, is displayed at the University of Hong Kong, Oct. 13, 2021. A monument at a Hong Kong university that commemorated the 1989 Tiananmen massacre was boarded up by workers late Wednesday, prompting fears over the future of the monument as the city's authorities crack down on dissent.

“Grave desecration is also very frowned upon in China, but that’s really what it is. It is almost a sacred monument,” he said. “It is a a sculpture for those who died.” 

Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said its removal was another worrying development in Hong Kong. 

“The Danish government cannot decide which art other countries’ universities choose to exhibit. But for me and the government, the right to speak peacefully — through speech, art or other means — is a completely fundamental right for all people. This is also true in Hong Kong,” he said. 

An employee at the university, Morgan Chan, said removal of the Pillar of Shame “doesn’t mean that history will be erased, and removing the pillar doesn’t mean people won’t learn about the history.” 

Wang Luyao, a student, had a more mixed reaction. 

The "Pillar of Shame" statue, a memorial for those killed in the 1989 Tiananmen crackdown, is displayed at the University of Hong Kong, Oct. 13, 2021. A monument at a Hong Kong university that commemorated the 1989 Tiananmen massacre was boarded up by workers late Wednesday, prompting fears over the future of the monument as the city's authorities crack down on dissent.

“To me, because I am from mainland China, perhaps my understanding of the Pillar of Shame is not as deep as the locals or students from Hong Kong and it is not that significant to me,” Wang said. 

“For me, it’s like a landmark which provides an approach to understanding. For the University of Hong Kong, it should also be considered a landmark.”

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Dec.24: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#china, #hong-kong, #pillar-of-shame, #tiananmen-square, #youtube

(BEIJING) China’s Rise Of Military Power Report: Defence spending is one of the most direct ways of measuring a country’s potential military capability #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.23: Understanding the connection between China’s military spending and its military power is complicated by a lack of transparency. Although Beijing provides figures for its defense spending each year, outside estimates of China’s defense budget are often significantly higher than the official numbers. China provides limited information on the distribution of its military spending, which further obscures spending patterns.

#AceDailyNews says according to China Power News Report: Comparing defense spending between countries — whether nominally or as a percent of government expenditure — is a useful gauge of relative military strength.

Spending patterns can also reveal key political events that have implications for defense and national security

Defense Spending Giants

This interactive compares China’s defense spending from 2000 to 2020 with that of other key countries. Use the filtering options to select other measures of spending or to look at another country grouping. Data provided by the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database

Filter by category:

                   Spending (Constant 2019 US$)                   Percent of GDP                   Percent of Government Spending                   Per Capita                 

Filter by grouping:

                   Top 10 Spenders                   China’s Neighbors                   Top Spenders in G20                   Developing Economies                   Largest Populations                 

Filter by year:

Tracking Chinese Military Spending

There is no universally accepted standard for reporting military spending. While international mechanisms exist, such as the UN Report on Military Expenditures, participation is voluntary. This allows governments to report their expenditure with varying degrees of detail. China joined the UN instrument in 2007, but it remains less transparent than many countries.

The Chinese government reports expenditure information annually. In March 2021, China announced a yearly defense budget of RMB 1.36 trillion ($209.2 billion),1 marking a 6.8 percent increase from the RMB 1.27 trillion ($183.5 billion) spent in 2020.2 This continues a recent trend that has seen yearly percentage increases in spending fall to single digits.

Yet how much China actually spends on its military is widely debated. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates the overall 2019 figure to be $240.3 billion and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) puts the number at $234 billion. The US Department of Defense (DoD) does not publicly provide a specific estimate, but concludes that China’s 2019 military spending “could be higher than $200 billion.”

Notwithstanding these differences, Beijing’s official figures may now more accurately represent defense expenditures than in the past. In 2002, the DoD reported that China’s actual defense spending may have been upwards of four times larger than its officially announced budget. In comparison, the 2020 estimate from SIPRI pegs China’s nominal defense spending at $252.3 billion – less than 1.4 times larger than the official figure.

Varying levels of transparency from Beijing compound outside efforts to estimate China’s defense budget. The publication of 11 defense white papers since 1995 has provided some insight into the nature of Chinese military spending, but with varying degrees of specificity. White papers published between 1998 and 2008 included comparative budget breakdowns between China and countries like Japan and Russia. These comparisons were removed from white papers after 2008, but reappeared in the most recent white paper that was released in July 2019.

Most defense white papers – except those released in 2013 and 2015 – also outline three spending categories: personnel, training and maintenance, and equipment.3 Beijing states that it annually reports categorized military spending information to the UN; however, this information is only available from the UN in one-page reports for fiscal years 200620072008, and 20174 The reports from the mid-2000s show roughly equal spending between each of these three categories. The 2019 white paper, which includes spending breakdowns between 2010 and 2017, reveals a noticeable shift away from this even distribution. Spending on equipment now accounts for the largest share of the defense budget, accounting for just over 41 percent of total spending in 2017.  

Please note that the figures in the graph above are based on spending figures provided in the 2019 defense white paper and do not match with figures provided by the Ministry of Finance.

Official military spending is further complicated by the Chinese government’s inconsistent reporting of figures. The figures provided by the Ministry of Finance, for instance, differ from expenditure reported in the 2019 defense white paper.5 This discrepancy may be the result of the Ministry of Finance excluding the costs associated with militia forces in its defense figures. In 2017, this inconsistency resulted in a difference of $2.9 billion.

China’s lack of transparency leads to discrepancies between official figures and outside estimates. Official figures do not account for a number of military-related outlays, including some military research and development, aspects of China’s space program, defense mobilization funds, authorized sales of land or excess food produced by some units, recruitment bonuses for college students, and provincial military base operating costs.6

Official military spending also excludes spending on public security, which includes the People’s Armed Police (PAP). The PAP is a paramilitary police component of China’s armed forces that is charged with internal security, law enforcement, and maritime rights protection. The Central Military Commission maintains direct control of the PAP. Official expenditure at the central level for the PAP stood at RMB 123.2 billion ($17.8 billion) in 2020, though this figure is widely believed to significantly undercount total spending on the PAP.

China is not alone in excluding elements of defense-related spending from its official defense budget. India’s paramilitary forces, which make up the Central Armed Police Forces, fall under the Ministry of Home Affairs, not the Ministry of Defense. India is also not forthcoming about space and nuclear weapons expenditures. The United States funds its nuclear weapons through the Department of Energy and does not include these details in its defense budget. However, the US government maintains a high level of budgetary transparency, which enables analysts to readily account for discrepancies.

Estimates of China’s military spending are further complicated by the reporting of costs not typically included in the defense budgets of many other countries. For instance, disaster relief in China is funded through the defense budget and is to be reimbursed by non-defense agencies. Likewise, perquisites for retired senior officers — including offices, assistants, and special access to hospital facilities — are all funded through China’s defense budget. In many other countries, these functions and associated costs are typically incurred by nonmilitary organizations.

A Conversation With Richard Bitzinger

Comparison of Official Military Spending FiguresBillions of RMB (Billions of USD)

YearMinistry of Finance2019 Defense White Paper2017¥1023.7 ($151.5)¥1043.2 ($154.4)2016¥954.6 ($143.7)¥976.6 ($147.0)2015¥886.9 ($142.4)¥908.8 ($145.9)2014¥805.5 ($131.1)¥829.0 ($134.9)2013¥720.2 ($116.3)¥741.1 ($119.6)2012¥650.6 ($103.1)¥669.2 ($106.0)2011¥583.0 ($90.2)¥602.8 ($93.3)2010¥518.2 ($76.5)¥533.3 ($78.8)

Source: Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Defense.USD values are based on average annual RMB-USD conversions using data provided by the IMF.

The inconsistencies in estimates are further complexified by a lack of pricing information. Beijing does not release accurate cost data for military goods and services, making it difficult to make calculations based on purchasing power parity (PPP). Some of the chief challengesare uncertainty over which goods to place in China’s defense spending basket, and which goods to compare between China and other countries. Independent organizations, such as the IISS, caveat their PPP estimates, noting that no specific PPP rate applies to the Chinese military sector and that there is no definitive means through which elements of military spending can be calculated using PPP rates.

Comparing Chinese Military Spending

Calculations in this section are derived from the SIPRI Military Expenditure Database and are in constant 2019 US dollars.

China’s defense spending has seen a nearly six-fold increase over the past two decades, jumping from $41.2 billion in 2000 to $244.9 billion in 2020. China currently spends more on defense than Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, and Vietnam combined, and China’s military spending is second only to the United States.

This growth in military spending is tied to China’s rising gross domestic product (GDP). Since 2000, China’s defense expenditures as a share of its GDP has hovered at or below 2 percent. In comparison, US military spending averaged about 3.9 percent of GDP from 2000 to 2020. Japan’s military spending has remained set at approximately 1 percent of its GDP, but this could change in the coming years. Japanese Defense Minister Nobuo Kishi signaled in May 2021 that Tokyo may push to increase defense spending above 1 percent of GDP in the face of China’s growing military power.

China’s rising defense spending corresponds with over two decades of modernization efforts. China began military modernization in earnest after the 1995–1996 Taiwan Strait crisis, which exposed fundamental weaknesses in China’s ability to deter foreign intervention in sovereignty disputes. The increase in China’s defense spending in recent decades was, in part, also a response to domestic policies that left China’s defense budget relatively stagnant prior to the 2000s.

Aggregate spending increases have corresponded with several high-profile procurement programs, military reforms, and doctrinal and strategic shifts within the People’s Liberation Army. These shifts have facilitated China playing a larger role in regional and international security. Some of these efforts, such as China’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations, antipiracy efforts, and humanitarian assistance and disaster relief are welcome contributions to global governance. On the other hand, defending China’s growing security interests in the East and South China Seas has strained relations with other regional actors.

FDI

Heavy defense spending in recent decades has allowed China to make significant strides toward modernizing the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Learn more about how China’s naval capabilities are evolving.

Despite considerable increases over the past fifteen years, China’s military spending pales in comparison to that of the US, which spent more than three times as much as China in 2020, at $766.6 billion. Even when accounting for reporting discrepancies, China would have to raise its spending considerably to match the US. However, it is worth noting that the US maintains a global military presence while China remains primarily focused on security issues within the Indo-Pacific.

When considering military spending as a percent of total government expenditure, Chinese military spending has dropped noticeably — from 11.3 percent in 2000 to 4.7 percent in 2020. For the US, after a marked increase from 2002 to 2011, its military spending has likewise decreased and returned to pre-September 11 levels (9.6 percent in 2001 and 7.9 percent in 2020). Although Russia’s spending as a share of government expenditure remains high, it declined from 14.8 percent in 2016 to 11.4 percent in 2020.

Looking at broader regional trends, defense spending in East Asia increased from $91.7 billion in 1990 to $351 billion in 2020. Much of this growth in expenditure has been driven by China. In 1990, China constituted 23.2 percent of total East Asian expenditure. As of 2020, this number stood at 69.8 percent. In terms of the broader regional context, the Chinese military budget constitutes 39.5 percent of the total cumulative spending across the Asian continent (including the Middle East).

#AceNewsDesk report ……………Published: Dec.23: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #miliary, #spending

(HONG KONG) Council Election Report: Voting has ended in legislative council election, the first such poll since China made sweeping reforms to the process with total turnout of only 30% #AceNewsDesk

#AceNewsReport – Dec.20: How China has reshaped Hong Kong ahead of elections: Leaders in Hong Kong have insisted the change is needed to ensure stability: But critics say it has weakened democracy in the city.

#AceDailyNews says according to BBC Asia News Report: Hong Kong: LegCo: In March, officials approved a controversial “patriots” resolution which drastically cut democratic representation and allowed Beijing to vet every candidate.

HONG KONG FREE PRESS

So what is China’s ‘patriot’ plan for Hong Kong?

It comes after China introduced a national security law, making it easier to punish pro-democracy protesters following massive demonstrations in the territory back in 2019.

Polls opened at 08:30 local time (00:30 GMT) and closed at 22:30. Full results are not expected until Monday.

Figures on Sunday suggested turnout was lower than in previous elections. According to the South China Morning Post, one hour before polls closed about 29% of the electorate had voted, compared with 53% in the 2016 poll.

The Legislative Council, widely known as LegCo, is a powerful body that makes and amends laws in Hong Kong.

Only 20 of the 90 legislative seats will be directly elected, with 40 picked by the pro-Beijing Election Committee and 30 chosen by special interest groups like business and trade – which also historically lean towards Beijing.

Ahead of the election government officials urged the city’s 4.5 million registered voters to take part, sending out mass texts on Saturday to encourage a higher turnout. 

Starry Lee, head of the largest pro-Beijing party DAB, told reporters on Sunday that “polling stations’ feedback showed that not many people are voting” and encouraged the electorate to cast their ballots.

But one woman, an accountant in her 20s, told AFP news agency she had no plans to take part. “My vote won’t mean anything because ultimately it’s Beijing’s people winning,” she said.

People queue to vote at a polling station

Many opposition or pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong have been jailed, shut out from the vote, or have gone into exile. In May, high-profile activist Joshua Wong was sentenced to 10 months in jail for taking part in an unauthorised vigil to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

“People do not want to vote for a rubber-stamp chamber and pretend everything is all right,” tweeted Nathan Law, a former legislator who lives in the UK and is wanted by Hong Kong authorities.

Some activists have urged people to boycott the election or to leave their ballots blank as a protest. While casting a blank vote is legal, it is now against the law to incite anyone to do so, or to encourage them not to vote. 

More than 10,000 police officers were on the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to “ensure a smooth process”, police chief Raymond Siu said.

#AceNewsDesk report ……………Published: Dec.20: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #election, #hong-kong

(NEW DELHI) JUST IN: India has tested its next-generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Saturday. The ground-based weapon is designed to strike enemy fleets in the Indo-Pacific, the country’s media said #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.20: India has tested its next-generation nuclear-capable ballistic missile on Saturday. The ground-based weapon is designed to strike enemy fleets in the Indo-Pacific, the country’s media said.

#AceDailyNews says according to local media India test-fires nuclear-capable ballistic missile (VIDEO) in another message to China over the Indo-Pacific region

18 Dec, 2021 13:26

The ‘Agni-P’ missile, also called ‘Agni Prime’, was launched from a small island off the coast of the state of Odisha in eastern India.

The launch was a success, completing “all mission objectives with high level of accuracy,” India’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement.

New generation ballistic missile ‘Agni P’ successfully test-fired by DRDO from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island. #AmritMahotsav#IconicWeekhttps://t.co/7ex3kBczCLpic.twitter.com/FI8yC4Z1K6— DRDO (@DRDO_India) December 18, 2021

The missile, which can strike targets at a range between 1,000km (621 miles) and 2,000km (1,242 miles), was first test-fired in June. According to media reports, the missile can be used against enemy fleets in the Indo-Pacific and carry a lower-yield nuclear warhead.

following on from their firing in November in a message to China

It was also said that Agni-P can be launched from rail and road vehicles.

#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Dec.20: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#ballistic-missile, #china, #india, #indo-pacific, #new-delhi

(BEIJING) Winter Olympics Report: China has warned countries who have announced a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics that they “will pay the price for their mistaken acts” #AceNewsDesk report

#AceDailyNews says that China warns nations after the US, UK, Australia and Canada will not send government representatives to the Games because of concerns over China’s human rights record according to BBC World News Report:

John Kerry: 2022 Winter Olympics diplomatic boycott is not a lecture: This includes widespread allegations of abuse against the Uyghur minority group.

France, host of the next Summer Games, said it would not join the boycott.

The Winter Olympics are set to take place in Beijing in February. 

“The United States, Britain and Australia have used the Olympics platform for political manipulation,” Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson at the Chinese foreign ministry, said. 

Reuters: The Beijing Winter Olympics are set to take place in February

Chinese state media claimed on Wednesday that Beijing “never planned to invite US and Western politicians who hype the ‘boycott’ topic”. 

The US was the first country to announce a diplomatic boycott, with Australia, Canada and the UK following suit. 

The move by these countries stops short of preventing athletes from attending – something which has been welcomed by International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach. 

“The presence of government officials is a political decision for each government so the principle of IOC neutrality applies,” he said.

Relations between the boycotting nations and China have been tense in recent years. 

The US has accused China of genocide in its repression of the Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region. China denies all allegations of human rights abuses, saying its network of detention camps in Xinjiang are for “re-education” of the Uyghurs and other Muslims.

Relations are also strained over a crackdown on political freedoms in Hong Kong and concerns over Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, who was not seen for weeks after she accused a top government official of sexual assault. 

The Women’s Tennis Association last week suspended all tournaments in China because of “serious doubts” about Ms Peng’s safety.

Relations with Canada have also been turbulent over its arrest of a top executive with Chinese tech giant Huawei, and the subsequent detention of two Canadians in China. All three were released earlier this year.

New Zealand is not sending its officials due to the pandemic but has also raised concerns in the past about human rights issues in China. 

Other countries – including Japan – are said to be considering diplomatic boycotts of the Games. 

Italy says it is not planning to join the diplomatic boycott. Russian President Vladimir Putin has accepted an invitation to attend, despite his country being banned from competing due to a doping scandal in 2014.

#AceNewsDesk report ………….Published: Dec.10: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#australia, #beijing, #canada, #china, #uk, #uyghurs, #winter-olympics

(CALIFORNIA) JUST IN: Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly signed a “secret” $275 billion deal with Chinese authorities to bypass restrictions on his company’s operations, according to newly published internal documents #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.09: The deal was said to have been signed with China’s National Development and Reform Commission after Cook made several trips to the country, during a time when Apple faced a “series of regulatory actions” from the government that negatively impacted its business, the outlet reported, noting that officials in Beijing believed the company “wasn’t contributing enough to the local economy.”

#AceDailyNews says that according to an RT News Report: Apple’s ‘secret’ $275 billion deal with China exposed and was struck in 2016, the massive five-year agreement included a vow from Apple to boost the Chinese economy through investments and other business enterprises, according to a report by the Information on Tuesday, which is based on interviews with company insiders and Apple documents.

8 Dec, 2021 03:58 

Apple’s ‘secret’ $275 billion deal with China exposed

Cook attempted to lobby the Chinese government throughout 2016, as it was implementing measures that would have damaged his company’s App Store, iCloud and Apple Pay systems, and which resulted in decreased iPhone sales for some time.

Apple reveals which diplomats were hacked by Pegasus

In addition to agreeing to set up a string of new retail locations, renewable energy initiatives and R&D centers across China, Cook purportedly pledged that his firm would work alongside Chinese academics and local manufacturers, and even buy components from suppliers in-country. In exchange for “necessary support and assistance” from the government, Apple would “grow together with Chinese enterprises to achieve mutual benefits and a win-win situation.”

Soon after the alleged deal, Apple publicly declared a $1 billion investment into a Chinese Uber competitor, Didi Chuxing, in May 2016, which Cook claimed would offer “a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market.” The same year, it also announced a major deal with the country’s top wind turbine producer, Xinjiang Goldwind Science and Technology, and made plans to move iCloud operations over to China in 2017. A $300 million green energy fund was established by 2018, all seemingly in line with the five-year agreement.

Apple’s business in China appears to have recovered significantly since the regulatory crackdown in 2016, setting a quarterly revenue record of $68 billion there last summer while continuing to open new storefronts and research centers. China now makes up for about one-fifth of Apple’s total sales, according to the report.

#AceNewsDesk report …………….Published: Dec.09: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#apple, #california, #china

(WASHINGTON/BEIJING) Arms Race Report: A hypersonic weapons “arms race” is well underway between the United States and China, the US Air Force secretary said on Tuesday #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.02: It’s an arms race that has been going on for quite some time. The Chinese have been at it very aggressively.”

#AceDailyNews says the US in hypersonic weapon ‘arms race’ with China: Air Force chief: There is an arms race, not necessarily for increased numbers, but for increased quality,” Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall told Reuters during an interview in his Pentagon offices according PressTV Report:

Wednesday, 01 December 2021 8:57 AM  [ Last Update: Wednesday, 01 December 2021 8:57 AM ]

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Hypersonic weapons travel in the upper atmosphere at speeds of over five times the speed of sound, or about 6,200 kilometers (3,853 miles) per hour.

The remarks by Kendall come as the US Defense Department has held several hypersonic weapons tests with mixed success this year.

In October, the Navy successfully tested a booster rocket motor that could be used to power a launch vehicle carrying a hypersonic weapon aloft.

However, in the same month, a test for an experimental system from the Pacific Spaceport Complex on Kodiak Island in Alaska failed due to a problem with the booster system.

Meanwhile, China has conducted tests of its hypersonic weapons systems over the summer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley confirmed in October.

Kendall admitted the US has focused resources on Iraq and Afghanistan at the expense of developing hypersonic weapons.

“This isn’t saying we’ve done nothing, but we haven’t done enough,” he said.

His remarks reflect a growing effort by Biden administration officials to focus more on China and Russia following the US’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan in August.

'We're not as advanced as the Chinese or the Russians' with hypersonic missiles: US General

‘We’re not as advanced as the Chinese or the Russians’ with hypersonic missiles: US GeneralThe United States’ hypersonic missile capabilities are “not as advanced” as those of China or Russia, says US Space Force General David Thompson.

Last month, US Space Force General David Thompson said the US’ hypersonic missile capabilities are “not as advanced” as those of China or Russia.

“We have catching up to do very quickly, the Chinese have an incredible hypersonic program,” he said.

In its 2021 Global Posture Review, published Monday, the Pentagon said it was planning major infrastructure improvements at military airfields in Guam and Australia to counter China in the Asia-Pacific region.

For the fiscal year running through 2022, the US is planning to spend $3.8 billion on hypersonic missiles, according to a memo the Congressional Research Service (CRS) provided for US Congress on Oct. 19.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Dec.02: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#beijing, #china, #washington

(BEIJING) #Coronavirus Report: China says it will deliver another 1 billion doses of #COVID19 vaccines to Africa and encourage Chinese companies to invest no less than $US10 billion ($14 billion) in the continent over the next three years #AceNewsDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Dec.01: In a speech via video link at the opening of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Mr Xi said 600 million doses would be donations and 400 million doses would be provided through other means, such as joint production by Chinese companies and relevant African countries.

#CoronavirusNewsDesk says according to media news China’s Xi Jinping pledges another 1 billion #COVID19 vaccine doses for African nations: The country has already supplied nearly 200 million doses to Africa, where vaccination rates have fallen behind amid growing concern over the spread of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19, which was first identified in southern Africa.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is seated beside a Chinese flag as he addresses the United Nations General Assembly.
The vaccine diplomacy push comes as China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which finances major infrastructure in mainly developing nations, has slowed during the pandemic.(AP: UN Web TV)

“We must continue to fight together against COVID,” Mr Xi told the summit, adding that China would send about 1,500 medical workers to Africa.

“We must prioritise the protection of our people and close the vaccination gap.” 

Beijing has donated millions of doses of its home-produced Sinopharm vaccine to African countries since the start of the pandemic. 

China's Xi Jinping at Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
Beijing has promised to send about 1,500 medical workers to Africa in addition to the vaccine doses.(Reuters: Cooper Inveen)

Mr Xi said a China-Africa cross-border yuan centre would be set up to provide African financial institutions with a credit line of $US10 billion, without giving further details.

China will provide $US10 billion of trade finance to support African exports, create a zone for trade and economic cooperation and build a China-Africa industrial park, he said.

The announcement comes amid criticism of China’s infrastructure-for-commodities deals that some experts say saddle countries with unsustainable debt.

Democratic Republic of Congo is currently reviewing a $6 billion deal with Chinese investors over concerns that it is not sufficiently beneficial to Congo.

The Belt and Road Initiative — in which Chinese institutions finance major infrastructure in mainly developing nations — has slowed: Chinese bank financing for infrastructure projects in Africa fell from $US11 billion in 2017 to $US3.3 billion in 2020, according to a report by international law firm Baker McKenzie.

During a four-nation tour of the region last week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Washington was pushing for cleaner deals without unsustainable debts.African leaders slam bansSouth African President Cyril Ramaphosa is calling on countries to “immediately and urgently” reverse travel bans following the discovery of the new coronavirus variant Omicron.

China’s imports from Africa, one of its key sources of crude oil and minerals, will reach $US300 billion in the next three years, Mr Xi said, adding that the two sides would cooperate in areas such as health, digital innovation, trade promotion and green development.

South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, also speaking via video link, thanked China for its support and said African economies should be able to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines.

Discussions at the World Trade Organization on a temporary TRIPS waiver to make COVID-19 vaccines and treatments available to allneeded to be finalised, he said, while criticising the travel curbs imposed on South Africa.

Travel bans have been imposed worldwide on people travelling from southern Africa after the World Health Organisation last week announced a new COVID-19 variant of concern, dubbed Omicron.

Lower vaccination rates linked to increased risk of variants emerging

A female nurse in protective clothing stands over a man sitting writing on a clipboard
Advisers to the World Health Organization held a special session Friday to flesh out information about a worrying new variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in South Africa, though its impact on COVID-19 vaccines may not be known for weeks.(AP: Denis Farrell)

For months now, experts have been warning of the risk that dangerous new variants pose for developing countries with lower vaccination rates.

More than a dozen nations across Africa and the Middle East, as well as Australia’s nearby neighbour Papua New Guinea, have vaccinated just 1 or 2 per cent of their populations.

The End COVID For All campaign, backed by leading health and charity groups, has called on the Australian government to prioritise sharing the vaccine to lower income countries to reduce the risk of variants emerging.

“More than 19 low-income countries have such low rates of vaccination, that on current rates they would not vaccinate 70 per cent of their populations until after 2030,” a report published by the group last month stated.

“Without rapid, widespread vaccination to slow mutation there is a significant risk that variants will not respond to existing vaccines or boosters.”

Wires/ABC

#AceHealthDesk report …………..Published: Dec.01: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#africa, #beijing, #china, #health, #vaccine

(BARBADOS) Prince Charles Royal Visit Report: Barbados removes Queen as head of state becoming world’s newest republic on Tuesday as Prince ‘labelled slavery’ as appalling #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Dec.01: Prince Charles labelled slavery an ‘appalling atrocity’ which ‘forever stains our history’ at a ceremony to mark Barbados cutting ties with the monarchy and becoming a republic.

#AceDailyNews says according to MetroUK News Report: Barbados removes Queen as head of state becoming world’s newest republic by Tuesday 30 Nov 2021 7:06 am

Prince Charles and a ceremony to make Barbados independent.
The heir to the throne said he would always remain a friend of the Caribbean island (Picture: Getty/Rex)

The Prince of Wales hit out at the period when the UK was a leading player in the transatlantic slave trade as the ‘darkest days of our past’.

He said the ‘creation of this republic offers a new beginning’ for the Caribbean nation, which parted ways with the Queen at midnight.

When Charles becomes King, he will be head of state of many nations in the Caribbean and his words will be noted across the region.

But Barbados links to the British monarchy – which stretch back centuries – were severed when the nation’s first president, Dame Sandra Mason, was sworn into office, replacing the Queen as head of state.

During a televised open-air ceremony in the capital Bridgetown, the Queen sent the new republic’s president and people her ‘warmest good wishes for your happiness, peace and prosperity in the future’

She also said the island nation has a ‘special place’ in her heart for ‘its vibrant culture, its sporting prowess, and its natural beauty’.

Prince Charles congratulates new republic Barbados after ‘atrocity of slavery’

Charles, addressing guests including the singer Rihanna and Barbados’ prime minister Mia Mottley, said: ‘The creation of this Republic offers a new beginning, but it also marks a point on a continuum, a milestone on the long road you have not only travelled, but which you have built.

‘From the darkest days of our past, and the appalling atrocity of slavery, which forever stains our history, the people of this island forged their path with extraordinary fortitude.

‘Emancipation, self-government and Independence were your way-points.

‘Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides.

‘Your long journey has brought you to this moment, not as your destination, but as a vantage point from which to survey a new horizon.’

Telegraph reported on ….How Beijing’s billions are buying up the Commonwealth: As more countries turn to China for financial support, Britain has been asleep at the wheel, say experts – can it redress the balance? Sophia Yan, China Correspondent: 26. November 2021 • 7:03pm

In total, China has invested £685 billion across 42 Commonwealth countries since 2005
In total, China has invested £685 billion across 42 Commonwealth countries since 2005

When Tuesday morning dawns in Barbados, British influence in the Caribbean will retreat one more step as the island becomes a republic, ending almost 400 years of loyalty to the Crown.

The Queen will be head of state of one fewer Commonwealth realm, though the transition will be a gentle one, as her replacement, president-elect Dame Sandra Mason, is currently the governor-general, Her Majesty’s official representative.

In truth, however, Barbados has already drifted away from Britain, and in common with dozens of other Commonwealth members it has become increasingly dependent on another international partner: China.

Britain may have the Queen, but China has the cash, and in recent years Beijing has ploughed almost £500 million into the Barbadian economy, which equates to around a tenth of its gross domestic product. Roads, homes, sewers and a hotel have all been constructed with Chinese yuan, not British pounds or US dollars.

The picture is the same in Jamaica, widely expected to be the next Commonwealth realm to become a republic, where £2.6 billion of Chinese investment, against a GDP of £16.4 billion, makes it the biggest recipient of Chinese cash in the Caribbean.

In total, China has invested £685 billion across 42 Commonwealth countries since 2005, according to figures compiled by the American Enterprise Institute. To put that figure in context, Chinese investment in Commonwealth member states is, on average, three times higher as a proportion of the recipient’s GDP than in non-member countries, a Telegraph analysis has established.

Much has been made by Boris Johnson of the opportunity for increased trade with Commonwealth countries as part of his post-Brexit Global Britain strategy, but the evidence suggests President Xi Jinping was way ahead of him.

President Xi Jinping wants to “create more opportunities for the world to benefit from China’s high-quality development” – in other words, to be more dependent on China Credit: Getty

On Wednesday Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, announced plans to replace the Commonwealth Development Corporation with a new body, British International Investment, which she hopes will provide “up to £8 billion” of investment per year in Commonwealth countries by 2025, up from £1.5 billion per year at the moment, by encouraging the private sector and western allies to put money into member states.

The plans are undoubtedly welcome, but critics wonder why it has taken so long.

“We have been completely asleep at the wheel for decades,” says Didi Kirsten Tatlow, a senior non-resident fellow at the Sinopsis project in Prague, a world-leading resource on China’s foreign policy.

“We fundamentally misunderstood what the Chinese Communist Party is, and what it wanted. We have blundered into this scenario.”

Enter the dragon

From an economic perspective, President Xi made it clear in a speech last year that he wants to “create more opportunities for the world to benefit from China’s high-quality development” – in other words, to be more dependent on China, and in that goal he is having remarkable success.

Economic might, of course, is the most powerful tool in exerting political control, and the consequences of the West allowing China to become the main economic partner for so many countries are far-reaching.

“They are using their considerable financial resources to build strategic dependencies in societies wherever they can,” says Tatlow. “This is how you start to control the world around you and start making it safe for totalitarianism because countries can’t afford to do anything about it.”

When China wanted United Nations members to support its draconian Hong Kong National Security Law – giving it sweeping powers to suppress dissent in the former British colony – it received backing from 53 countries, including two out of the 16 remaining Commonwealth realms: Papua New Guinea and Antigua and Barbuda. Both have received significant Chinese investment: £5.3 billion in the case of Papua New Guinea, or 21 per cent of its GDP, and £1 billion in the case of Antigua and Barbuda, or 60 per cent of GDP.

Other Commonwealth members that supported the Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong, and which have been in receipt of Chinese investment, included Sierra Leone, where Chinese investment since 2005 amounts to 145 per cent of GDP; Pakistan (21 per cent of GDP); Sri Lanka (17 per cent of GDP); Zambia, Lesotho, Cameroon and Mozambique.

Baroness Helena Kennedy, a prominent human rights barrister, says: “What China is doing is a way of making friends and it impacts on votes in the UN. Attempts to get a collaborative approach to things can be undermined so you end up with client states.

“It has a serious impact, it starts being a return to the old Cold War scenario and that’s not a healthy way for us to be going forward.

“The money they are investing does start to penetrate our areas of influence. One wants to strengthen the Commonwealth, not find it undermined.”

Alan Mendoza, executive director of the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign affairs think tank, says China appears to be targeting the Commonwealth because it sees it as “weak”.

He says: “They would like to undermine whatever they can internationally, so they can pick off countries and prevent anti-Chinese resolutions in the Commonwealth and elsewhere. It is a very clever move and we have come late to the party by not really understanding the extent of this challenge.

“China is commercially preying on the Commonwealth. The question is, can we respond with a better offering? Can the UK steer western investment funds into these places?”

Mendoza says the stark statistics on Chinese investment in Commonwealth member states leads to the inevitable question of what the Commonwealth is for.

When Barbados becomes a republic next week, it will remain a member of the Commonwealth, the 54-member association which has expanded during the Queen’s reign and remains one of her proudest achievements.

The danger, though, for British diplomacy is that a future president of Barbados could decide to leave the Commonwealth and build new alliances elsewhere.

“Is the Commonwealth a group of states working together or just a random collection of states that has no future?” Mendoza asks.

“Richer members of the Commonwealth should be the lead investors in the poorer member countries, but instead it’s China. Surely this is the time to tackle the subject, or are we just going to allow the Commonwealth to become a relic?”

A modern-day Silk Road

In Jamaica the projects financed by China include a new 41-mile toll road from the capital, Kingston, to the north coast’s tourist resorts. A journey which used to take two hours now takes just 50 minutes, thanks to Beijing.

Across the Caribbean, China has given equipment to military and police forces, including coastal patrol vessels, as well as building a network of Confucius Institutes (including one at the University of the West Indies in Barbados) which offer Mandarin language classes but have been accused of spreading Chinese propaganda. Covid has also been used as an opportunity to ship test kits, masks and ventilators to help combat the pandemic.

Caribbean nations are not, on the whole, rich in the minerals or natural resources that China seeks elsewhere, but they are coveted by Beijing because they lie so close to America. Beijing has long been upset by US military dominance in the Pacific and any Chinese leverage in the Caribbean is seen as one in the eye for Washington. In the long term, China may even have military ambitions in the area, though we are a long way from anything resembling the former Soviet Union/Cuba alliance.

The Chinese Communist Party is also determined to win over nations that recognise Taiwan as a sovereign nation, many of which are in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Rasheed Griffith, a senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue think tank who specialises in China’s presence in the region, says Britain is guilty of a failure of diplomacy as well as failing to provide financial help to its allies.

He says: “The UK has abrogated foreign policy in the Caribbean; their foreign policy is simply performance art. There is nothing happening; they don’t know what’s going on, they don’t do anything, the embassies don’t actually know much about the Caribbean any more.”

On the other side of the world, Commonwealth member Pakistan, which is the biggest recipient of UK Overseas Development Assistance, to the tune of £305 million in 2019, is also being targeted by China. Since 2005 it has received £60 billion of investment from China, more than a fifth of its GDP, and it now buys 70 per cent of its arms from China.

The US believes Pakistan passes on some of those arms to the Taliban, which used them to defeat the coalition forces in Afghanistan. And the resulting destabilisation of the Afghan economy provides opportunities for China to move in and exhaust the country’s vast mineral deposits, which include coal, copper, iron ore, lithium, uranium, gold, oil and gemstones. Chinese money comes in the form of straightforward investment – buying land and building hotels, for example – but also in the form of loans, which are by no means risk-free for the nations that accept them.

The Colombo Port City project in Sri Lanka, funded with Chinese investment Credit: Getty

If recipient countries cannot afford to repay what are often high interest loans, China will simply seize the assets that have been used as security.

In Sri Lanka, for example, when the government became unable to make payments on a loan it had taken out to build the Hambantota container port, it was forced to hand over the port and 15,000 acres of land around it to Beijing on a 99-year lease.

Although the port is likely to remain loss-making, it gives China a strategic foothold in a critical shipping channel off the coast of a rival nation, India.

Critics call this “debt trap diplomacy”, and Ms Truss is well aware of the problem.

“Too many countries are loading their balance sheets with unsustainable debt,” she said this week. “Reliable and honest sources of finance are needed. Britain and our allies will provide that.” But China will provide more.

China calls it the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), its somewhat enigmatic name for the global infrastructure development strategy brought in by President Xi in 2013.

Sometimes referred to as a modern-day Silk Road, it includes investment in around 70 countries with roads, railways, ports, airports, power stations, hotels and other buildings among the panoply of real estate taking shape.

The Belt refers to the economic belt through Central Asia to Europe, while the Road refers to the Silk Road element.

Put simply, it is Xi’s policy of using China’s vast cash reserves to gobble up raw materials, form political alliances and dominate global trade long into the future.

The challenge for the West

Commonwealth countries would far rather borrow from Britain or other western countries, but they complain that the investment they need simply isn’t available from more natural allies.

Biyika Lawrence Songa, an MP in the Parliament of Uganda, a member state which has had almost £9 billion of Chinese investment, says: “Commonwealth countries, including Uganda, are running to China instead of Britain or other countries, because it is very easy to access Chinese money and it is easy for our businessmen to get Chinese visas if they want to go there to buy materials, for example.

“In contrast, there are lots of conditions attached to loans from European or American countries and visas are harder to get.”

He says the UK and Europe “must address the challenges that have driven Commonwealth countries to China. It is because of a lack of alternatives that this has happened”.

Andreas Fulda, a China scholar and associate professor in social sciences at Nottingham University, adds: “In the case of Africa, the UK has taken its eye off the ball and has given Africa insufficient attention, and that has given China an opening that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

“If you don’t invest and if you don’t have a forward-looking foreign policy other players will fill the gap.

“It’s in the G7’s self interest to re-engage with these countries because otherwise China can use its economic heft to buy its way in.”

The US, Japan and Australia tried to counter it with their own Blue Dot Network in 2019, followed by the G7’s Build Back Better World agreement earlier this year, essentially a western version of BRI, but China has such a head start that it may be too late for the West to catch up. Indeed, the West is suckling at the teat of China’s cash reserves just as poorer nations are doing.

Chinese investment in the UK since 2005 amounts to £98.6 billion, some 0.03 per cent of GDP, though the more pertinent fact is the extent to which the West has been happy to rely on China for its manufacturing needs.

Almost all of us have a mobile phone, laptop, television, electric car, toys, almost anything you care to name, that was made in China, and western firms continue to flock there to build factories that provide cheap labour.

A report by Parliament’s business select committee earlier this year warned that Uyghur Muslims from Xinjiang in northwest China were being used as “slave labour” in factories all over the country. The report said companies that were “directly or indirectly benefiting from the exploitation of Uyghur workers” included Adidas, Amazon, Apple, Google, Jaguar, Land Rover, Nike, Samsung, Uniqlo, Victoria’s Secret and Zara.

Sir Ian Duncan Smith: ‘We need to stop buying Chinese goods and we need to look to other places to make things’ Credit: Eddie Mulholland for The Telegraph

Fulda says: “It’s quite a messy picture – it’s not a case of big bad China versus the ethical West; it’s all intertwined.

“British companies are heavily invested in China in terms of global supply chains and the West is partially responsible for what we see in China. Some sort of partial decoupling would be needed to reverse this – for example don’t build factories in Xinjiang.”

Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the former Conservative leader and a member of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), says: “China has strategically made sure that we have to rely on them in key areas, like making electric cars.

“The answer is to start shifting our investments from China to countries like India. We need to stop buying Chinese goods and we need to look to other places to make things.”

Paul Flather, a fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford, adds: “We need to put a brake on China, and the Commonwealth could do that. This is a chance for the Commonwealth to test itself. It can’t continue to be a diminishing historical legacy; it needs to recognise its role and if it’s going to be influential, it needs to step up.”

Democracies, with their ever-changing governments, tend to prioritise short-term gains, whereas, says Flather: “China has a permanent government and now an almost permanent leader… it’s able to think long-term.”

As to whether the Commonwealth has a future, Songa says: “That is a very good question. Countries are bypassing the Commonwealth and although they are Commonwealth members by name there is nothing coming from the Commonwealth to help these countries. Where is that wealth that is common to us?

“Europe and America are now realising there is a problem. But it’s a bit late.”

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office source said that Ms Truss thinks that by investing more overseas we can draw more countries into the orbit of freedom-loving democracies while also improving lives, so it’s very much a positive agenda”.

A spokesman for the department said Ms Truss’s plans for extra finance, called British International Investment, would provide “honest, responsible investment to create new markets in Africa, the Caribbean and the Indo Pacific” by partnering with capital markets and sovereign wealth funds “to co-invest in projects and scale the offer further”.

As well as having “high standards, transparency and reliability” the BII plan would create jobs in the UK by generating export opportunities in countries that were being helped.


The West has finally woken up, but China’s challenge is changing

By Tom Tugendhat MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee

Tom Tugendhat: ‘It’s not surprising that in many Commonwealth countries, the opacity of the debt and the poor environmental and labour standards on those projects have triggered backlash’ Credit: BBC

There was a week in 2019 which should have set alarm bells ringing. In the space of just four days, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands both announced that they were immediately severing diplomatic ties with Taiwan and switching allegiances to Beijing. These two tiny Commonwealth island nations are both about 5,000 miles from Beijing. Welcome to the new era of global China.

The seeds of that diplomatic win for Beijing were sown a decade ago. From 2008 to 2009, China’s two biggest lending banks went from overseas lending of £7.5 billion to over £45 billion almost overnight. Roads, bridges and railways sprang up across Africa, the Caribbean and the South Pacific.

By the time Xi launched the One Belt One Road – now known as the Belt and Road (BRI) – in 2013, China’s expansion of overseas lending was already well under way. From Dhaka to Darfur, governments loaded themselves up with debt in exchange for the infrastructure they desperately needed.

But the reality is that many recipients of this flow of cash signed up to bad deals. In too many cases, Beijing cosied up to corrupt leaders, loading up their countries with debt on opaque terms under contracts laden with confidentiality clauses.

That is why we are in a situation where Zambia’s new government has just confirmed that the country actually owes more than £4.5 billion to China – double what the previous government claimed. For a country with a GDP of £14 billion, that is a striking difference.

It’s not surprising that in many Commonwealth countries, the opacity of the debt and the poor environmental and labour standards on those projects have triggered backlash. The current riots in the Solomon Islands are at least partly a protest against extractive arrangements with Chinese businesses. Kenya abandoned plans for a huge new Chinese-built coal plant after staunch local opposition in Lamu. And Nigerian MPs have voted to review all of its Chinese loans.

We can’t blame the Commonwealth countries. The UK and the rest of the West seem to have taken the last decade off. There were no better alternatives.

The good news is that we have belatedly woken up. Our allies, Japan and Australia, have stepped up their game in the Indo-Pacific, and the US is on a mission to revive its influence in Africa and Asia.

But the challenge of China’s investment is also changing. We are now in the era of BRI 2.0. In the wake of the pandemic, Chinese leaders appear to be trying to reset. Lending for infrastructure has collapsed. Kenya’s feted high-speed railway, from the port of Mombasa to Uganda, was meant to be a headline BRI megaproject but now it lies unfinished, 300 miles short of its destination, after the project ran out of cash. Beijing is embroiled in debt renegotiations with at least 18 African countries.

In the face of this debt disaster, Beijing is pivoting. The BRI is being rebranded as the Digital Silk Road. Beijing has pledged to kit out the world with 5G networks and datacentres.

We should be wary, because this creates a new set of risks. Building Africa’s digital infrastructure creates a stronger lock-in effect than physical infrastructure. Anyone can build a bridge, but not everyone can build a 5G system that works alongside Huawei. And technology also makes it much easier to export a brand of digital authoritarianism which China has implemented at home.

The Commonwealth needs sustainable infrastructure and investment. We can’t compete with China on the sheer amount of capital, but we can compete on transparent lending and inclusive growth. The UK needs to work with allies to ensure that Commonwealth countries have a genuine alternative to China’s deep pockets. The British International Investment (BII) announced on Wednesday will be a good start if it doesn’t just rebrand the Commonwealth Development Corporation, but builds on it, and brings in new partners.

That’s the challenge we need to take on. The world deserves to be able to choose to invest in freedom, not be forced to take Beijing’s controlling cash.

#AceNewsDesk report ……..Dec.01: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#barbados, #china, #commonwealth, #prince-charles, #queen

(LONDON) Press Release Statement Report: The UK’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid & China’s Health Minister Ma Xiaowei concluded the virtual meeting of the UK-China Health Dialogue on 26th November 2021 #AceHealthDesk report

#AceHealthReport – Nov.28: The two sides recognised the contribution made by the UK-China Health Dialogue since its establishment in 2007 in promoting mutual understanding and trust between the UK and China. They agreed to strengthen exchanges and develop a joint health plan for collaboration in key areas.

#AceDailyNews GOVUK Joint Statement Report: UK-China Health Dialogue: Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid and China’s Health Minister Ma Xiaowei agreed to develop joint health plan for collaboration according to

During this meeting, the two sides acknowledged the challenges both countries had faced in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and looked ahead to cooperation in future domestic and global challenges and opportunities in the coming years.

Both sides recalled the 2020 UK-China Health Dialogue and agreed the good progress made over recent years. In particular: policy exchanges on the COVID-19 pandemic, global health collaboration, antimicrobial resistance, medicines regulations, and working together on health in Africa.

Both sides agreed to collaborate on knowledge exchange and implementing evidence based practices in providing high quality healthcare to their people in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging infectious diseases, ageing populations, and the growing burden of non-communicable diseases.

Both sides agreed to cooperate on global health security through the UK-China public health agencies, specifically on infectious disease control, emerging infectious diseases, emergency response and antimicrobial resistance, food safety risk surveillance and assessment.

Both sides noted the significance of supporting opportunities for sharing and learning from addressing COVID-19 and future pandemic preparedness such as scaling up support for global COVID-19 surveillance, genomic sequencing capacity, and variant assessment capabilities to ensure a global recovery from Covid-19.

Both sides agreed to cooperate on multilateral engagement in the health space and work together to strengthen the WHO, particularly with regard to pandemic preparedness and response. Both sides agree to cooperate across the wider multilateral landscape on international protocols and with international organisations, specifically supporting countries to comply with International Health Regulations and international standards across all hazards; and taking action on global health threats such as antimicrobial resistance and the health impacts of climate change. Both sides agreed on the importance of taking concrete measures to improve pandemic preparedness and response

Both sides agreed continuing to strengthen the dialogue and exchanges on policy and enhance collaboration, specifically on health care for ageing populations, and to continue dialogue on health development in Africa.

Both sides agreed to work together to enable vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics to be rapidly developed, tested and deployed both in public health emergencies and for ongoing global health challenges, including through strengthening clinical trials infrastructure.

Both sides agree to work together on medical education and training.

The two sides acknowledged the contribution made over the last year in the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic in sustaining UK-China relations and undertook to build on the progress made at the 2021 UK-China Health Dialogue. Both sides agreed to review progress and renew a Memorandum of Understanding on Health Cooperation between The National Health Commission of China and UK Department of Health and Social Care at the next Health Dialogue in 2022.

Signed in Beijing and London on 26th Nov 2021 in duplicate, each written in Chinese and English, both texts being equally valid.

Sajid Javid, Secretary of State, Department of Health & Social Care of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

MA Xiaowei, Minister for Health, National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China

#AceHealthDesk report …………Published: Nov.28: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#china, #dhsc, #health, #london

(BEIJING) Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) Report Technology giant Tencent has been told to halt the roll out of new apps in China after the country’s has also ordered a temporary suspension of updates to the products #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Nov.27: However, current versions of the apps are still available to be downloaded and used as normal: The suspension of new app roll outs and updates is expected to continue to the end of the year as they undergo technical testing by the regulator, the BBC understands.

#AceDailyNews according to BBC Business News Report: Chinese tech giant Tencent told to suspend new app roll updates to their products and it comes as the technology industry regulator reviews compliance with privacy rules introduced this month.

By Peter Hoskins
BBC Business reporter

A visitor plays a mobile game at the booth of Tencent in Beijing, China.

“We are continuously working to enhance user protection features within our apps, and also have regular cooperation with relevant government agencies to ensure regulatory compliance. Our apps remain functional and available for download,” Tencent said in statement.

The move came after Beijing started to implement its Information Protection Law from the beginning of November.

The new rules are aimed to more tightly regulate how technology firms handle their users’ data.

It is part of a wider policy by the Chinese government to increase its oversight over some of the country’s biggest technology companies.

State broadcaster CCTV reported that the MIIT had said all new app roll outs and updates from 24 November until the end of this year will be reviewed before they are allowed to be made available to the public.

In recent months the industry has seen a deluge of action taken against it, including crackdowns on ecommerce firms, online finance services, social media platforms, gaming companies, cloud computing providers, ride-hailing apps and cryptocurrency miners and exchanges.

Tencent, which is the world’s biggest video game seller, owns the WeChat super app and QQ messaging platform.

The company’s shares closed 3% lower in Hong Kong on Friday.

#AceNewsDesk report ……….Published: Nov.27: 2021:

Editor says …Sterling Publishing & Media Service Agency is not responsible for the content of external site or from any reports, posts or links, and can also be found here on Telegram: https://t.me/acenewsdaily all of our posts fromTwitter can be found here: https://acetwitternews.wordpress.com/ and all wordpress and live posts and links here: https://acenewsroom.wordpress.com/and thanks for following as always appreciate every like, reblog or retweet and free help and guidance tips on your PC software or need help & guidance from our experts AcePCHelp.WordPress.Com

#apps, #beijing, #china, #data, #miit, #privacy, #technology