Katyusha News Reference ——April 7, 2021

Ⅰ. The New Federal State of China News

1. A joint China-World Health Organization (WHO) study into COVID-19 has provided no credible answers about how the pandemic began, and more rigorous investigations are required – with or without Beijing’s involvement, a group of international scientists and researchers said on Wednesday.

2.The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on April 14 on a bipartisan measure to bolster U.S. technology research and development efforts in a bid to address Chinese competition. The bill, titled the “Endless Frontier Act,” was first proposed in 2020 calling for $110 billion over five years to advance U.S. technology efforts and cosponsored by Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator Todd Young.

3. Xi Jinping on Wednesday told German Chancellor Angela Merkel Sino-EU relations were facing “various challenges” and he hoped the 27-nation bloc could “independently” make correct judgements, Chinese state media reported.

4. Mike Pompeo and Robert O’Brien, Trump’s former secretary of state and national security adviser, called for the United States to boycott the 2022 “Genocide Olympics” in Beijing as the Biden State Department seemed to send mixed messages about whether it was considering organizing an international boycott of the winter games in China.

5. China’s armed forces tracked and monitored a U.S. warship which sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday, a Chinese military spokesman said.The U.S. Navy said the guided missile destroyer USS John S. McCain conducted a “routine” transit of the Taiwan Strait. (Reporting by Beijing newsroom Editing by Mark Heinrich)

6. China is “uniquely off-limits” to being associated with coronavirus, even though the deadly virus originated there, biotech entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy said on Wednesday.

7 Joined by former secretary of state Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser Robert O’Brien at a Tuesday Seminar on China, Thiel said his peers in the tech industry act as “useful idiots” for the interests of Beijing by transferring innovative American technology to the oppressive regime. The entrepreneur and founder of PayPal pointed to companies such as Google that export artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology to China, tools used to oversee the genocide of Uyghur Muslims in Western China.

8. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on Wednesday joined the growing chorus of Republican lawmakers opposed to a government-mandated “vaccine passport” to verify inoculation against the coronavirus.

9. Iranian state media on Wednesday praised Iran’s 25-year, $400 billion cooperation agreement with China as a “geopolitical game-changer” that positioned Beijing as leader of the effort to drag the United States back into the nuclear deal, even as Iran violates the deal in increasingly brazen ways.

10. Chinese television shows have recently begun blurring the logos of Western retail brands when they happen to appear on TV stars’ clothing items, the BBC reported on Wednesday.

11. CCP Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian defended his regime’s ongoing genocide of the Uyghur Muslim people on Wednesday by claiming that roving “white mobs” terrorized Muslim communities in America in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

12. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that President Joe Biden’s administration had not discussed boycotting the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. “We have not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners,” Psaki said during the White House press briefing when asked about the Olympics.

13. The Chinese Communist Party’s effort to rebut allegations of abuse and genocide against the Uyghur Muslims of Xinjiang province included wining and dining a delegation of “more than 30 diplomats from some 21 countries” who visited the province from March 20 to April 2.

14. The CCP cracked down hard this week on two local officials in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region for supposedly giving material support to terrorism. In truth, there is little evidence the ethnic Uyghur officials named and “shamed” by Chinese state media Tuesday were involved in terrorist activities; they were pushing back against Beijing’s genocidal campaign against their people. Both could face the death penalty.

15. Tech investor Peter Thiel criticized big U.S. technology companies for being too close to China at a Tuesday appearance at a virtual event held by the Richard Nixon Foundation.

16. China has the capability to disrupt systems by launching cyber attacks on India and a mechanism is being readied to combat these, including measures such as help from western nations, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat said on Wednesday at an event in Delhi.

17. US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said tariffs previously applied to foreign-produced metal products “helped save US jobs” in some related industries on Wednesday, as federal officials decided on their next steps in a context of persistent trade tensions with China.

18. ” On Wednesday, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo was asked at the White House if she felt TikTok should be sold, and for her “broad view” of her advice to Mr Biden on tariffs with regard to China. “I don’t want to get into details on any particular company,” she said, “And my broad view, is what we do on offence is more important than we do on defence to compete in the long run with China.”

19. Jan Zahradil, a Czech member of the European Parliament, is facing a formal investigation into whether he properly disclosed financial support for the Communist Party’s delegation to the European Union, according to Dutch media reports.

II. World News

1. The Supreme Court ruled Monday Donald Trump, as a former president, is now free to block whomever he likes on Twitter — while Justice Clarence Thomas hinted it’s Big Tech that may be due for an edit. The conservative associate justice warned social media giants that the high court — or lawmakers — may soon have to step in and address Big Tech companies and their free rein to silence people “at any time for any or no reason.”

2. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un acknowledged that the Hermit Kingdom is facing its “worst-ever situation”, as he called thousands of “grass-roots” ruling party members to be more proactive in carrying out the country’s new five-year economic plan, according to reports.

3. Demonstrators in Myanmar took to the streets Tuesday, spraying red paint on the streets of several cities to protest the military government’s bloody crackdown. The red paint symbolizes the blood of the people on junta’s hands.

Himalaya Moscow Katyusha (RU) YinHe

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