Katyusha News Reference – Thursday, February 18, 2021

I. The New Federal State of China News

1. The Conservative Party of Canada on Thursday are demanding on the House of Commons to formally declare the persecution of minority Uighur Muslims against the Chinese Communist Party a genocide act. The Conservatives’ move is the latest to put more pressure on the Liberal government to take action against the Chinese Communist Party.

2. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet virtually on Thursday (Feb 18) with his counterparts from Japan, Australia and India in the “Quad” framework, a grouping seen as part of efforts to address major challenges in the Indo-Pacific region

3. In a speech at the Reagan Institute on Thursday, U.S. Senator Tom Cotton delivered a verbal attack on the Chinese Communist regime, calling on the United States to adopt a series of reforms and measures to ensure that the United States is not defeated by the Chinese Communist Party. Its latest report on U.S. strategy toward China, “Defeating the Chinese Communist State A Targeted Decoupling and Economic Enduring War” (PDF), was released.

4. According to British media reports, Facebook allowed the CCP authorities to purchase paid advertising to downplay reports of the CCP’s genocide of the Uighurs.

5. Although the CCP has repeatedly denied assisting the Burmese military in the February coup, many Burmese civil society voices have identified the coup as being backed by China. In a recent report, a Burmese citizens’ group disclosed that five companies, including Norinco and China Aviation Industry Corporation, have long sold weapons to the Burmese military government and that the CCP would do anything to prevent Burma from establishing a strong relationship with the U.S.

6. The documentary film “Ping “Words” is amicable – Xi Jinping’s Favorite Allusions”, jointly produced by the PublicityDepartment and CCTV, will be broadcast on CCTV starting this Thursday. Analysts believe the move is intended to “unify the mind” and that the propaganda department’s frequent efforts here suggest serious divisions within the Communist Party.

7. On February 16, the British Foreign Office updated its guidelines on doing business in Hong Kong in response to the political shift in Hong Kong. In addition to describing more carefully the crackdown on Hong Kong’s enjoyment of autonomy and human rights following the entry into force of the Hong Kong SAR Government Security Act, it also removed the words “international financial center” from the economic profile and downgraded to “regional hub”; The UK-Hong Kong relationship is “positive……”Reciprocal cooperation” was deleted, leaving only the main gateway for the US to and from the Communist market.

8. Another personnel change at the top of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in Hong Kong. Wang Songmiao, director of the General Office of the Communist Party’s Supreme Procuratorate, is appointed secretary-general of the Liaison Office. The appointment of Wang, who has a background in law, is likely to help the Liaison Office to package the CCP’s as entity run by “rule and law.

9. According to the statistics released by the Census and Statistics Department today (February 18), the provisional estimate of the Hong Kong population was 7 474 200 at end-2020, representing a decrease of 46 500 or 0.6% from 7 520 800 at end-2019. Meanwhile, a net outflow of 49 900 persons was recorded during 2020. Also, there is a significant drop of more than 50 percent of mobile residents. Official figures also show that Hong Kong’s unemployment rate reached 7 percent between November last year and January this year, while total employment has fallen to 3.63 million.

10. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying publicly admits at a regular press conference in Beijing on Thursday that China’s refusal to allow BBC World News to remain on the HK territory is a retaliatory action against Britain.

11. Japanese media reported on February 18 that Huawei has informed suppliers that orders for smartphone components will drop by more than 60 percent this year as U.S. sanctions continue to intensify. The U.S. government has now taken steps to expel Huawei from the U.S. market, with Commerce Secretary nominee Gina Raimondo is saying earlier this month that she currently sees no reason to remove Huawei from the blacklist.

II.World News

1. Biden’s economic and national security team will soon assess inefficiencies and national security concerns in the supply chain for semiconductors, batteries and rare earth metals. According to a draft executive order revealed so far, the assessment will analyze “the resilience and capabilities of the U.S. manufacturing, supply chain and defense industrial base” to support areas such as national security and emergency readiness. Although the draft does not mention Communist China, the directive is likely aimed at assessing the extent to which the U.S. economy and military are dependent on them.

2. “The United States will accept an invitation from the EU High Representative to participate in a P5 + 1 meeting and discuss with Iran the diplomatic way forward for Iran’s nuclear program, ” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.” The P5 + 1 are the participants in the nuclear deal with Iran: China, Russia, France, Britain, the United States and Germany. U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep.  Michael McCaul denounced the steps. “It is concerning the Biden administration is already making concessions in an apparent attempt to rejoin the flawed Iran deal.”

3. Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Thursday that he has reached consensus with his counterparts in the United States, India and Australia on the need for a rapid return to democracy in Myanmar. It is hoped that this will form a model for a four-nation alliance to deal with Asia-Pacific issues.Britain announced sanctions against three Myanmar generals on Feb. 18, highlighting their serious human rights abuses in the wake of a military coup in the country. The Canadian government also announced sanctions against nine Myanmar military officials.

4. Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien to Co-Chair New Foreign Policy Series at Nixon Foundation that maintain a balance among the world’s great powers that is favorable to America’s national interest. The conclusions and recommendations will be posted monthly on the group’s website and widely distributed to policy makers within the Biden administration and on Capitol Hill.

5. Reuters on February 18 cited a number of Indian government and industry sources as disclosing that U.S. electronics giant Apple Inc. continues to increase production of its smartphone iphone in India to reduce its reliance on manufacturing in Communist China, while it is trying to participate in a new scheme to boost exports of Indian computer products, which includes bring iPad tablet manufacturing into India.

6. The U.S. Biden administration’s policy toward Iran is accelerating, with signs on Thursday including an agreement to attend Iranian nuclear talks, a reduction in restrictions on Iranian diplomats entering and leaving the U.S., and the withdrawal of documents the Trump administration sent to the United Nations to reinstate international sanctions against Iran.

7. Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen announced on Feb. 18 that Taiwan has signed contracts for 19.81 million of vaccine doses from abroad, none of which is developed by the Chinese communist state.

8. On Thursday, the Facebook’s decision to ban sharing of Australian news made several Facebook pages of Australian government health and emergency services that provide critical public information inaccessible, sparking a backlash from the government and the public.

Himalaya Moscow Katyusha (RU) Latinca

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