Katyusha News Reference ——May 3, 2021

Ⅰ. The New Federal State of China News

1. CCP is making a deliberate attempt to create divisions within the elite “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing alliance by forging closer relations with the left-wing government of New Zealand premier Jacinda Ardern.

2. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, at a briefing in London with British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on May 3, said he would push back against violations of the global order by the China and Russia, pledging unity in what both nations call a priority: uniting democratic societies against autocratic ones.

3. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and his U.S. counterpart Antony Blinken on May 3 agreed to boost cooperation when dealing with issues related to China and reconfirmed the importance of maintaining stability and peace across the Taiwan Strait.

4. Tehran has signed on for China’s global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) infrastructure project, Iran Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami declared on May 3. Eslami said the BRI developed by China includes “major information technology plans”, Tasnim News Agency reports.

5. Chinese leader Xi Jinping personally directed the communist regime to focus its efforts to control the global internet, displacing the influential role of the United States, according to internal government documents recently.

6. Taiwan’s armed forces should closely monitor China’s development of a new tanker aircraft, as it would significantly boost the Chinese air force’s capability to carry out long-range raids, a military expert said on April 28.

7. Foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized nations started a three-day meeting on May 3 in London, focusing on ways to achieve a free and open Indo-Pacific and curb the coronavirus pandemic.

8. The United States on May 3 expressed hope that North Korea will return to negotiations toward the goal of denuclearization, saying the administration of President Joe Biden has made clear that it will pursue “practical” diplomacy on the issue.

9. NBA Chief Adam Silver is defending his deals with the CCP government, insisting that the league is somehow helping to bring “change” to the oppressive nation.

10. Information recently obtained by the media from an April 2020 classified briefing given by Australian Major General Adam Findlay to soldiers of the Australian species last year shows that Australia was aware at that time that Beijing was waging a “grey zone” warfare against Australia and that they had to plan for a situation that would likely spill over into actual conflict in the future.

11. U.S. asset manager Fidelity Investments has halved the valuation of its shares in Ant Group, the Chinese financial technology company at the centre of a major regulatory crackdown, the Wall Street Journal reported on May 3.

12.According to published reports, the wreckage of the 21-ton Chinese Long March 5B rocket returned to Earth in an uncontrolled path, possibly dropping debris into New York or other densely populated countries in the United States in the next few days.

13. The United Kingdom has started to bolster the scope and seriousness of its attempts to counter CCP’s massive state-backed effort to infiltrate British companies and research institutions in the race to develop key technologies, Politico reported on May 3.

14. Leading Japanese infrastructure companies NTT and Kyushu Electric will end their use of Chinese-made drones, joining in the government’s efforts to curb the potential security risks.

15. Japan’s Panasonic plans to officially close its last battery factory in China in 2022. Liquidate local assets, return land to Shanghai, and move to Southeast Asia, where labour and land are much cheaper.

16. Chinese banks are the second largest financers of commodities implicated in tropical rainforest deforestation, according to research that casts doubt on Beijing’s ambitions to be a global leader in the fight against climate change. Data analysed by Forests & Finance, a global coalition of non-governmental organisations, showed that from January 2016-April 2020, Chinese institutions provided $15 billion in loans and underwriting services to companies that traded in commodities linked to deforestation in south-east Asia, Brazil and Africa.

17. Fifteen regions in the northern of China, including Beijing and Inner Mongolia, accounted for 63.4% of the number of national bond defaults last year, up from 51.5% in 2019, according to Nomura’s estimates published in an April 27 report. The CCP’s push to reduce carbon emissions has raised the risk of debt default in these regions.

18 CCP poses a difficult challenge for global democracies as it shows no signs of stepping back from its “increasingly assertive, influential and aggressive behaviour,” according to political consultant Jim Middleton.

II. World News

1. The U.S. nonprofit Digital Dollar Project said on Monday it will launch five pilot programs over the next 12 months to test the potential uses of a U.S. central bank digital currency, the first effort of its kind in the United States.

2. The U.S. State Department has approved two potential arms deals for Australia totaling $1.94 billion which are destined to provide the key Indo-Pacific ally with new Abram main battle tanks and more helicopters.

3. The Erikson Institute – one of America’s premier graduate schools training teachers and influencing classroom curricula – is engaged in a “long-term cooperative relationship” with a Chinese Communist Party group overseeing the regime’s Communist Youth League and publishing books including “nursery rhymes embodying the core values of socialism” and magazines praising Xi Jinping and Karl Marx, The National Pulse can reveal.

4.Britain and Japan agreed to deepen their trade and security cooperation, the British foreign office said in a statement after a meeting between Dominic Raab and his Japanese counterpart Toshimitsu Motegi in London on May 3.

5. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would not rule out a possible 2024 presidential run in a Monday interview.

6. The U.S. State Department says on April 29, press freedom in Russia is under growing threat as authorities slap RFE/RL and other media organizations with restrictive “foreign agent” labels and fines.

Himalaya Moscow Katyusha (RU) YinHe

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