Joe Biden.

We are deeply disappointed about New Zealand signing a free trade deal with China which is committing genocide crimes

We are deeply disappointed about New Zealand signing a free trade deal with China which is committing genocide crimes

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We are deeply disappointed about New Zealand signing a free trade deal with China, which is committing genocide crimes against Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic peoples, on January 25.

Keeping silent about the ongoing China’s genocide crimes, signing a free trade deal or supporting China’s events such as the 2022 Beijing Olympics is equivalent to giving the green light to totalitarian regimes and genocide crimes to spread across the world.

Each generation deserves to live a happy life without fear, surveillance, unexplained deaths, forced labor, sterilization, and separation of children from their families to sinicize and eliminate their faith and culture.

You seem to be making a little money from China’s market. But, in fact, you are feeding a tyranny getting stronger and bigger. You are planting the seeds of the dictator in your own soil with your own hands. You are sacrificing your generation’s rights and happiness for your own benefits.

As representatives of millions of mothers, fathers, and children who are crying under China’s heavy oppression. We call upon all the civilized worlds and leaders to follow the United States, recognize China’s atrocities in occupied East Turkestan as genocide.

It is very urgent to stop China’s ongoing genocide crimes using more decisive international actions such as deploying peacekeeping troops to save millions of lives from horrific losses. Again, Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic peoples desperately need your immediate help to survive.

East Turkistan Government in Exile.

January 27, 2021



China, New Zealand ink trade deal as Beijing calls for reduced global barriers

Praveen Menon and Gabriel Crossley

·3 min read  

  • FILE PHOTO: File picture of a Fonterra milk tanker driving past dairy cows as it arrives at Fonterra's Te Rapa plant near Hamilton, New Zealand
  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses her supporters at a Labour Party event in Wellington

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China, New Zealand ink trade deal as Beijing calls for reduced global barriers

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern addresses her supporters at a Labour Party event in Wellington

By Praveen Menon and Gabriel Crossley

WELLINGTON/BEIJING (Reuters) – China and New Zealand signed a deal on Tuesday upgrading a free trade pact to give exports from the Pacific nation greater access to the world’s second-largest economy.

The pact comes as Beijing seeks to establish itself as a strong advocate of multilateralism after a bruising trade war with the United States, at a time when the coronavirus has forced the closure of many international borders.


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the signing of the expanded deal.

“China remains one of our most important trade partners…For this to take place during the global economic crisis bought about by COVID-19 makes it particularly important,” she told a news conference.

The pact widens an existing trade deal with China to ensure it remains fit for purpose for another decade, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said in a statement.

It provides for tariffs to be either removed or cut on many of New Zealand’s mostly commodities-based exports, ranging from dairy to timber and seafood, while compliance costs will also be reduced.

For a factbox on key deal points, please click on the square brackets:


“The upgrade shows the two sides’ firm determination to support multilateralism and free trade,” Zhao Lijian, a spokesman of China’s foreign ministry, told a news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

The previous day, speaking at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum, President Xi Jinping had criticised isolationism and “Cold War” thinking and called for barriers to trade, investment and technological exchange to be removed.

In recent months, Beijing has signed an investment pact with the European Union and joined the world’s largest free trade bloc in the 15-country Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes New Zealand.

China has also expressed interest in joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) Agreement, the successor to a pact from which Washington withdrew.

China’s new deal with Wellington also opens up sectors such as aviation, education and finance. In exchange, New Zealand will increase visa quotas for Chinese language teachers and tour guides, the official Xinhua news agency said.

New Zealand was the first developed nation to sign a free trade pact with China in 2008, and has long been touted by Beijing as an exemplar of Western engagement.

China is now New Zealand’s largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade of more than NZ$32 billion ($21.58 billion).

But ties have been tested under Ardern’s government as New Zealand criticised China’s influence on small Pacific islands and raised human rights concerns about Muslim Uighurs.

Ardern also backed Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organization (WHO) despite a warning from Beijing.

The wider trade pact also comes as Beijing’s ties with neighbouring Australia worsened after Canberra called for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, which was first reported in central China.

Australia has appealed to the World Trade Organization to review China’s decision to impose hefty tariffs on imports of its barley.

New Zealand, which will host the regional Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit this year, has said it would be willing to help negotiate a truce between China and Australia.

($1=1.3914 New Zealand dollars)

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Aurora Ellis and Sam Holmes)

Biden set his sights on China

Biden set his sights on China


 Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian  

The new administration’s first few moves and statements on China suggest that President Biden may continue some of the Trump era’s most assertive policies.

Why it matters: China’s severe domestic repression, its dramatic rise as a technological superpower, and its increasingly aggressive actions around the globe mean that the world expects the American president to take action.

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What they’re saying: “Strategic competition with China is a defining feature of the 21st century. China is engaged in conduct that hurts American workers, blunts our technological edge, and threatens our alliances and our influence in international organizations,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday.

  • “What we’ve seen over the last few years is that China is growing more authoritarian at home and more assertive abroad. And Beijing is now challenging our security, prosperity, and values in significant ways that require a new U.S. approach.”

Between the lines: The White House rhetoric on China so far is remarkably similar to the Trump administration’s.

  • In addition to the emphasis on “strategic competition,” Psaki also mentioned “China’s economic abuses,” its influence over international organizations, its forced technology transfers, and “holding China accountable” — all issues Trump administration officials repeatedly highlighted in their public remarks.
  • Yes, but: One major difference from Trump-era rhetoric is Biden’s strong emphasis on multilateralism. In her remarks on Monday, Psaki answered almost every China question with a reference to America’s “allies and partners.”

Here’s a closer look at some of the actions and statements from the Biden administration so far:

Taiwan: Bi-khim Hsiao, the de facto Taiwanese ambassador to the U.S., attended Biden’s inauguration after receiving a formal invitation — the first time since 1979 that the Taiwanese representative has attended a presidential inauguration.

  • The unprecedented move suggests the Biden administration may uphold the Trump administration’s Jan. 9 lifting of all self-imposed bureaucratic restrictions on the U.S.-Taiwan relationship.
  • Hsiao’s attendance “reflects the consideration of the new administration to treat Taiwan’s de facto diplomatic mission here in the United States with more dignity and respect than previously afforded to them by excessively proscriptive protocols,” said Russell Hsiao, executive director of the DC-based Global Taiwan Institute, told Axios.
  • On Jan. 23, the State Department also issued a statement affirming “rock-solid” support for Taiwan and expressing “concern” after China sent several bombers and jet planes into Taiwan’s airspace late last week.

Defense: New Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has come out swinging on China.

  • “China presents the most significant threat going forward because China is ascending,” Austin said during his Senate confirmation hearing last week.
  • He also said the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which the Trump administration published and which presents China and Russia as serious threats, is for the most part “absolutely on track for today’s challenges.”

Tech: Austin said the U.S. needs a stronger response to China’s growing ascendance in AI and other emerging technologies, and Psaki said that “technology is at the center of the U.S.-China competition.”

  • What to watch: Without offering specifics, Psaki suggested Biden might keep Huawei and several other Chinese companies on the export blacklist, or adopt similar measures: “We need to play a better defense, which must include holding China accountable and making sure that American technologies aren’t facilitating China’s military build-up.”

Multilateral institutions: Biden halted the U.S. withdrawal from the World Health Organization, scheduled to occur on July 6. Trump had announced the withdrawal last year after citing Beijing’s influence over the organization during the pandemic.

Trade: The Biden administration may be moving away from negotiating access to Chinese markets for big American financial and pharmaceutical companies, and instead focusing on trade policies that help workers more directly, the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • “The point of further trade negotiation isn’t to make the world safe for multinational corporation investment,” Biden’s national security advisor Jake Sullivan said. “It’s about jobs and wages.”
  • On Monday, Biden also signed an executive order to strengthen the federal government’s Buy American guidelines, which are aimed at supporting domestic manufacturing. Trump had issued a similar order, but loopholes persisted. Chinese manufacturers are often direct competitors to U.S. companies.
  • What to watch: It’s still unclear how Biden will deal with the billions of dollars in tariffs that remain after the Phase One trade deal was signed, though Psaki said Biden “will take a multilateral approach to engaging with China and that includes evaluating the tariffs currently in place.”

The bottom line: When it comes to China, Biden seems unlikely to adopt the open-armed engagement policies of the Obama years. But it’s still too early to tell exactly how tough he’ll be.

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Taiwan air force flexes muscles after latest Chinese incursion

Taiwan air force flexes muscles after latest Chinese incursion

A Taiwan Air Force U.S.-made F-16 fighter jet gets washed after a drill at the Chiayi Air Force base, southern Taiwan, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Pichi Chuang

 Yimou Lee  

By Yimou Lee

TAINAN, Taiwan (Reuters) – Armed and ready to go, Taiwan air force jets screamed into the sky on Tuesday in a drill to simulate a war scenario, showing its fleet’s battle readiness after dozens of Chinese warplanes flew into the island’s air defence zone over the weekend.

Taiwan, claimed by China as its territory, has been on edge since the large-scale incursion by Chinese fighters and nuclear-capable bombers into the southwestern part of its air defence identification zone on Saturday and Sunday, which coincided with a U.S. carrier group entering the South China Sea.

The base in the southern city of Tainan, home to F-CK-1 Ching-kuo Indigenous Defence Fighters (IDF), frequently scrambles jets to intercept China’s air force.

In a hardened shelter, flight crew from the First Tactical Fighter Wing rushed to ready two IDFs as an alarm bell rang out, aiming to get them off the ground within five minutes of an emergency call, armed with U.S.-made Sidewinders and domestically-developed Wan Chien air-to-ground cruise missiles.

Colonel Lee Ching-shi told Reuters their jets usually go up armed with guns, Sidewinders and Taiwan-made Sky Sword missiles when reacting to Chinese jets and they can respond “at any time”.

“We are ready,” he said during a government-organised visit to the base. “We will not give up one inch of our territory.”

Four IDFs carried out tactical formation landing and rolling take off drills, roaring away from the runway.

China has provided no public explanation for what its aircraft were doing at the weekend. Washington responded by calling on China to cease pressuring Taiwan and reaffirming its commitment to the democratic island.

Taiwan’s air force is well trained, but has far fewer combat aircraft than China and has strained under the pressure of almost constantly having to scramble in recent months, responding to stepped up Chinese activity near the island.

“All the wings are under quite a lot of pressure, but as long as the air force is here, we will react according to related battle readiness rules,” said pilot Wang Chih-chan.

(Writing by Ben Blanchard; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

Relative of virus victim asks to meet WHO experts in Wuhan

Relative of virus victim asks to meet WHO experts in Wuhan

Associated Press


FILE – In this Jan. 14, 2021, file photo, a worker in protective coverings directs members of the World Health Organization (WHO) team on their arrival at the airport in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. A global team of researchers arrived Thursday in the Chinese city where the coronavirus pandemic was first detected to conduct a politically sensitive investigation into its origins amid uncertainty about whether Beijing might try to prevent embarrassing discoveries. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)

WUHAN, China (AP) — A relative of a coronavirus victim in China is demanding to meet a visiting World Health Organization expert team, saying it should speak with affected families who allege they are being muffled by the Chinese government.

China approved the visit by researchers under the auspices of the U.N. agency only after months of negotiations. It has not indicated whether they will be allowed to gather evidence or talk to families, saying only that the team can exchange views with Chinese scientists.

“I hope the WHO experts don’t become a tool to spread lies,” said Zhang Hai, whose father died of COVID-19 on Feb. 1, 2020, after traveling to the Chinese city of Wuhan and getting infected. “We’ve been searching for the truth relentlessly. This was a criminal act, and I don’t want the WHO to be coming to China to cover up these crimes.”

China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The WHO team, which arrived in Wuhan on Jan. 14 to investigate the origins of the virus, is expected to begin field work later this week after a 14-day quarantine.

Zhang, a Wuhan native now living in the southern city of Shenzhen, has been organizing relatives of coronavirus victims in China to demand accountability from officials.

Many are angry that the state downplayed the virus at the beginning of the outbreak, and have attempted to file lawsuits against the Wuhan government.

The relatives have faced immense pressure from authorities not to speak out. Officials have dismissed the lawsuits, interrogated Zhang and others repeatedly and threatened to fire relatives of those who speak to the foreign media, according to interviews with Zhang and other relatives.

Zhang said chat groups of the relatives were shut down shortly after the WHO team’s arrival in Wuhan, and he accused the city government of trying to silence them.

“Don’t pretend that we don’t exist, that we aren’t seeking accountability,” Zhang said. “You obliterated all our platforms, but we still want to let everyone know through the media that we haven’t given up.”

WHO says its visit to China is a scientific mission to investigate the origins of the virus, not an effort to assign blame, and that “in-depth interviews and reviews” of early cases are needed. It did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China initially rejected demands for an international investigation after the Trump administration blamed Beijing for the virus, but bowed to global pressure in May for a probe into the origins.

On Monday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top infectious disease official in the United States, said at the World Economic Forum that the origins of the virus that has brought the world to its knees are still unknown, “a big black box, which is awful.”

The mission was repeatedly delayed by negotiations and setbacks, one of which prompted an unusual public complaint by the WHO head.

The arrival of the WHO mission has revived controversy over whether China allowed the virus to spread globally by reacting too slowly in the early days.

From the beginning, WHO officials have been trying to get more cooperation from China, with limited success.

Audio recordings of internal WHO meetings obtained by The Associated Press and aired for the first time Tuesday show that even while the WHO praised China in public, officials were complaining privately about not getting enough information.

The U.N. agency has no enforcement powers, so it must rely on the goodwill of member countries.

Keiji Fukuda, a public health expert at the University of Hong Kong, has called the visit an “image building mission,” with China eager to come off as being transparent and the WHO keen to show it’s taking action.

“Both China and WHO hope to get some brownie points,” said Fukuda, a former WHO official. “But it all comes down to what will the team have access to. Will they really be able to ask the questions that they want to ask?”

President Biden shouldn’t replace military strength with diplomacy

President Biden shouldn’t replace military strength with diplomacy

Defense News

 Sen. Jim Inhofe  

The greatest threat to U.S. national security comes from China and Russia; that won’t change just because our president does. The 2018 National Defense Strategy, the Senate Armed Services Committee and I have unambiguously endorsed this foundational concept, and President Joe Biden must, too.

If the Biden administration is serious about the security of our nation, it must ensure a strong national defense that will deter China and Russia. That means providing the funding needed to implement the NDS. It means using the bipartisan NDS Commission report as a blueprint. It means conditions-based troop levels in key locations across the globe.

These aren’t partisan policies — they are policies that the incoming chairman of the Armed Services Committee, Sen. Jack Reed, and I have focused on and will work toward in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act. As long as President Biden understands and follows through on these priorities as well — and I intend to ensure he does — we will be able to work together to keep our nation safe.

While the United States faces many challenges, China and Russia uniquely threaten our way of life. Both seek to undermine democratic political institutions, including our own. They seek to damage our credibility with foreign partners and redraw borders to suit their ambitions. China in particular is increasingly aggressive in the South China Sea while fielding new capabilities like aircraft carriers and expanding existing ones like ballistic missiles.

This is what we’re up against. So first and foremost, our nation needs leadership at the Pentagon that genuinely understands and agrees to prioritize these challenges. I was concerned that in one of his first, and arguably his most important, national security nominations — secretary of defense — President Biden selected retired Gen. Lloyd Austin, whose career has been focused primarily on the Middle East and didn’t mention China or Russia once in his rationale of the nomination.

However, I was encouraged by what I heard from Gen. Austin at his nomination hearing, and I believe he will work to effectively enable implementation of the NDS and counter the threats posed by these strategic competitors.

Our other top order of business must be making sure our troops have the resources they need to achieve our strategy. Over the past decade, as a result of the Budget Control Act and sequestration, the U.S. military lost $550 billion of planned spending — and that was before China and Russia ramped up their military spending. As a result, our military has been doing too much with too little for too long, and in a constantly unpredictable environment.

First, readiness plummeted — and these readiness-related problems have not yet been fully addressed. Second, shortsighted cuts across the Pentagon drove talented service members to leave and rendered Pentagon civilians unable to conduct critical oversight activities, like the audit. Third, force modernization was put on hold and still moves too slowly. As a result, maintenance costs for aging and outdated equipment are eating the defense budget alive. Now, we must simultaneously upgrade and replace existing equipment and develop weapons technologies where our adversaries lead, such as artificial intelligence.

On top of this, the Biden administration must fully fund priority efforts to counter the threats we face from China and Russia, like the Pacific and European Deterrence Initiatives. This will guarantee we have the right force posture — the right capabilities in the right places — to ensure resiliency in a highly contested combat environment.

Four straight years of increased funding for the military was just a start. We can’t make up for lost time, but President Biden, working with Congress, must replace the $550 billion of defense funding cut by sequestration. Providing this investment — with predictability and certainty — would represent the down payment required to maintain our position against China and Russia over the next several decades.

To preserve nuclear deterrence and cement our most critical alliances, we must continue to modernize our nuclear forces. For decades, we starved investments in our nuclear weapons and infrastructure. In stark contrast, China and Russia expanded their stockpiles, building thousands of additional missiles to threaten the U.S. and our allies. The Biden administration must not ignore these realities. Under President Donald Trump, we’ve made progress in updating our nuclear forces. But again, there’s still a long way to go, such as completing the Ground Based Strategic Deterrent and W93 programs.

China and Russia will be the primary focuses, but not the only ones. I believe Congress and the Biden administration share the goal of sustaining the progress we’ve made against ISIS and al-Qaida. This will require maintaining an effective global counterterrorism posture, including in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia, to prevent the resurgence of terrorist organizations and to limit their ability to attack us.

Thus far, President Biden has chosen to prioritize diplomatic efforts — that’s clear from his nominations so far — but he would do well to remember that a strong military underwrites strong diplomacy. He cannot discount the need for a combat-credible military force that deters adversaries, reassures allies and partners, and ensures a global balance of power that defends U.S. national security.

Working with Chairman Reed, I will continue to fight for this. President Biden must do the same.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., is the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

Joe Biden to work with allies to stop China’s ‘economic abuses’

Joe Biden to work with allies to stop China’s ‘economic abuses’

South China Morning Post

Robert Delaney in Washington

·3 min read  

US President Joe Biden‘s administration has started a review of his predecessor’s trade war with China and other actions taken against Beijing, and will work with allies to stop the country’s “economic abuses on many fronts”.

Pledging “an approach of patience”, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that Biden “will take a multilateral approach to engaging with China, and that includes evaluating the tariffs currently in place, and he wants to ensure that we take any steps in coordination with our allies and partners, and with Democrats and Republicans in Congress”.

The trade war that former president Donald Trump started with China in 2018 stopped escalating a year ago, when he and Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He signed a phase one agreement that committed Beijing to specific targets for the country’s purchases of US goods and services.

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Biden’s intentions with respect to the punitive tariffs has become a key focus on the US-China front as an indication of how the new leadership in Washington will handle the bilateral relationship.

Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, speaks during a news conference in the press briefing room of the White House in Washington on Monday. Photographer: UPI/Bloomberg alt=Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, speaks during a news conference in the press briefing room of the White House in Washington on Monday. Photographer: UPI/Bloomberg

An analysis of Chinese customs data by the Peterson Institute of International Economics last week showed that China fulfilled only 58 per cent of the phase one targets, raising questions about whether the agreement was ever feasible even without the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House is also running inter-agency reviews on other US-China matters, including an executive order by Trump that barred US investors from making new purchases in three Chinese telecommunications carriers beginning January 11 and gave them until November to sell their existing holdings.

Deliberations over the ban on investment in companies including China Mobile and China Telecom is being undertaken by the State and Treasury departments, “and a number of others”, Psaki told White House reporters.

“I don’t want to get ahead of any review, but certainly we’re taking an overarching look at all of our all of it,” she said. “The president is committed to stopping China’s economic abuses on many fronts, and the most effective way to do that is through working in concert with our allies and partners to do exactly that.”

This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2021 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright (c) 2021. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.