US State Department Official Lands in Taiwan Ahead of Memorial Service

U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach arrived in Taiwan on Thursday, at the start of a three-day trip that will see him attend a memorial service for the island's first directly elected leader.Krach, the highest-ranking U.S. official to visit Taiwan since Washington cut ties with the island in 1979, touched down with his delegation at Taipei's Songshan Airport to be met by his counterpart Harry Tseng.Krach is scheduled to attend a memorial service for former President Lee Teng-hui, who died July 30 at the age of 97, as well as a banquet hosted by President Tsai Ing-wen.Foreign minister Joseph Wu said Krach's visit is highly significant for Taiwan."The U.S. State Department is sending a very high-level undersecretary of the State Department to Taiwan to attend the memorial service of former President Lee," Wu told journalists on Thursday. "The Taiwan government expresses a very high level of welcome."Wu said Krach's attendance at the memorial service "is evidence of the closeness of the relationship between Taiwan and the United States."Yen Chen-sheng, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations at National Chengchi University, said Krach's visit is a diplomatic breakthrough."No Under Secretary of State has visited Taiwan since the U.S. broke off diplomatic ties," Yen said.He said Krach's visit could also facilitate future purchases of oil and natural gas, and diversify the bilateral trade portfolio.Visit still low-keyChiou Jiun-rong, a former deputy minister of Taiwan's National Development Council, said Krach's visit was still fairly low-key, with considerable uncertainty around the level of formality that would be accorded to bilateral trade and economic talks.But he said Krach could at least pave the way for future bilateral trade talks."If we are defined as a relatively independent political entity at the diplomatic level, then we can talk about a possible bilateral trade agreement or free trade agreement," Chiou said.China said it would make a “necessary response” to Krach's visit, and lodged a complaint with Washington, the foreign ministry said on Thursday.“We urge the U.S. side to fully recognize the extreme sensitivity of the Taiwan issue,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular news briefing in Beijing. “China will make a necessary response depending on how the situation develops.”Krach's visit comes at a time of heightened military tension in the Taiwan Strait, following large-scale exercises by China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) in nearby waters and the encroachment into Taiwan's airspace by PLA aircraft.China’s Zhejiang Maritime Safety Administration reported on the eve of Krach's arrival that the PLA would hold military exercises in the East China Sea from 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 pm on Sept. 17.PLA planes also made an incursion into Taiwan's airspace during the visit last month by U.S. Secretary of Health Alex Azar.'A serious provocation'Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement last week: "Military maneuvers by China’s government constitute a serious provocation to Taiwan and a grave threat to regional peace and stability.""Taiwan does not seek confrontation, but neither will it back down," the statement said. "The Chinese government is introducing a factor of extreme instability in the region."It called on the international community to play close attention to increasingly aggressive moves by China.The United States plans to sell as many as seven major weapons systems, including mines, cruise missiles, and drones to Taiwan, four people familiar with the discussions said, Reuters reported on Thursday.Washington has been eager to create a military counterbalance to Chinese forces, building on an effort known within the Pentagon as “Fortress Taiwan,” as Beijing’s military makes increasingly aggressive moves in the region, the agency reported.Taiwan’s Defense Ministry declined to comment on the report, which said weapons packages from Lockheed Martin Co LMT.N, Boeing BA.N, and General Atomics are moving their way through the export process, citing three people familiar with the deals.A senior U.S. official told Reuters: “There is no equilibrium today. It is out of balance. And I think that is dangerous.”The Pentagon said in a report to Congress published in September that China has strengthened and modernized its military capabilities in recent years to the point where the PLA is “already ahead of the United States” in some areas.US adjusting its policyFormer lawmaker Lin Yufang, now convener of the National Security group at Taiwan's Institute for National Policy Research, said the U.S. does appear to be adjusting its policy on China.."Of course [this] diplomacy means that the United States is adjusting its China policy," Lin told RFA. "The United States has gradually gotten rid of the line of strategic thinking that it needs mainland China. China's value as a strategic partner has plummeted.""Now, they need to improve ties with Taiwan to counter the rapidly expanding power and influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)," he said.Lin said ongoing arms sales by Washington to Taiwan might suggest the U.S. would be reluctant to become embroiled in any military conflict across the Taiwan Strait, however."This is something that successive U.S. presidents have wanted to avoid since the Vietnam War, so they think that maybe by selling these weapons to the Republic of China, they may be able to deter China from launching a military attack on Taiwan," Lin said."[The idea is that] Taiwan could deploy enough military strength to deal with China without the need for the U.S. military to rush into war," he said.The editor in chief of Military and Aviation News, Shih Hsiao Wei, said the package of arms reported by Reuters suggested Taiwan would gain the ability to hit the source of conventional ballistic missiles targeting the island."Before the PLA launches its short-range ground-to-ground ballistic missiles, just after launch, there is a radio emission to establish communication with command headquarters," Shih said. "Drones can search and detect these fleeting electronic signals.""Then it is possible to attack the source of the missile using a cruise missile," he said.Shih said the reported arms package includes airdropped mines, pointing to the threat of attempts at amphibious landings or blockades by the PLA.Threats from ChinaChina has said Taiwan, a democratic island that has never been ruled by the Chinese Communist Party nor formed part of the People’s Republic of China,  must “unify” with China or face a potential invasion by the PLA.President Tsai has repeatedly said that Taiwan's 23 million people have the right to determine their own future, and have no wish to give up their freedom or sovereignty.The island has been officially governed by the 1911 Republic of China since it occupied the island at the end of World War II, ending 50 years of Japanese rule.Earlier this month, it issued a newly designed passport on which "Taiwan" is more prominently displayed in English on the front cover, with the words "Republic of China" relegated to a tiny font size.Reported by Hwang Chun-mei for RFA's Mandarin Service, and by Chung Kuang-cheng for the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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Family of Detained Hong Kong Teen Face Obstacles At Every Turn

The family of a Hong Kong teenager detained in mainland China after he tried to flee to the democratic island of Taiwan says he hasn't been allowed to see a lawyer, and that they have had scant assistance from the Hong Kong authorities.Cheng Tsz-Ho, 18, is among 12 Hongkongers aged 16 to 33 being held on suspicion of "illegal immigration"  at the Yantian Detention Center in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, which borders Hong Kong.They were intercepted by the China Coast Guard after they tried to escape by speedboat to the democratic island of Taiwan last month.All 12 are suspected of committing crimes in Hong Kong, according to the city's security bureau, with 10 of them wanted for manufacturing or possessing explosives, arson, rioting, assaulting police officers, or possession of offensive weapons.Cheng didn't tell his family where he was going when he joined the speedboat in a bid to smuggle himself illegally into Taiwan, and the first his family knew of his plight was from a police officer who informed them of his detention, passing on a photocopied certificate of detention "on suspicion of illegally crossing the border" on Aug. 23."I don't think the Hong Kong government has offered any assistance at all," Cheng's sister told RFA in a recent interview. "My father did receive several phone calls from the government, asking if they could send someone to visit my brother.""My father asked what they could do to help, but they couldn't answer that, and they had a pretty casual attitude," she said, adding that the lawyer they tried to hire to represent her brother has been dismissed by the mainland authorities.Detention center staff in Yantian have claimed that they are unable to verify the credentials of several lawyers hired by families in Hong Kong, and have denied them access to their clients.At least four lawyers have been forced to relinquish their instructions in this way, RFA has learned, and not one has been allowed to meet with a client."Political tensions are rising in mainland China and it's getting harder and harder to find a lawyer," Cheng's sister said. "I got a lawyer, but then he quit under political pressure and referred me to a different lawyer."Cheng said she is pursuing every avenue to keep the lawyer she hired, but expects her application to be rejected on the grounds that her brother has already been allocated a lawyer by the authorities.Cheng's family was among several who attended a news conference to hit out at the authorities for their lack of support for the 12 detainees.Chief executive Carrie Lam and her officials have said it is entirely appropriate to allow the mainland authorities to process their cases "according to law," given that many had "absconded" after facing criminal charges linked to the pro-democracy and anti-extradition protests.Concerns over lack of helpBut while the families have called for the return of the detainees, they have also raised concerns over the lack of assistance for those who need medical treatment, as well as the lack of visits by lawyers or relatives.Incommunicado detention is a known risk factor for torture and other forms of mistreatment in detention, and has been linked to several high-profile torture cases in mainland China in recent years."It is normal for the families [of detainees] to appoint the lawyers and it is also our right," Cheng's sister said. "I don't think this counts as interfering with mainland Chinese law enforcement; that is irrelevant.""What worries me the most is that he will be charged with separatist activity [under the new National Security Law for Hong Kong] and won't be allowed to come back here for as long as he lives," she said.Cheng said the normally happy family is distraught and constantly on edge, waiting for news."I fear that there will never come another day when the whole family gathers to eat our meals together," she said."Sometimes I burst out crying when I see my parents," she said. "I don't even know if my brother has enough to eat.""My mom cries a lot and has difficulty sleeping. I often dream about my brother, that he has gotten thin and has been hurt," she said. "He is 18 years old. He usually spends all of his time studying or having fun.""I don't know how he will cope in a detention center," she said. "I am giving more media interviews so more people will know about these cases, and to stop my brother getting 'disappeared'.""Right now, we can only take one day at a time," she said. "If the government won't help us, we will have to support ourselves."Thousands arrested, hundreds prosecutedAuthorities in Hong Kong are bringing hundreds of protest-related prosecutions dating from the anti-extradition and pro-democracy protests that began in June 2019 on a range of charges including unlawful assembly, assault, arson, and rioting.While thousands of people have been arrested since the movement began, a U.S. State Department report warned in March that the prosecutions of activists had infringed on the rights of Hongkongers to peaceful assembly and protest.A Hong Kong court on Thursday convicted a man of "rioting" and common assault in connection with the siege by unarmed protesters of the Hong Kong police headquarters in June 2019.Prosecutions under a draconian national security law imposed on Hong Kong by the ruling Chinese Communist Party on July 1 are also gathering pace.U.S.-based pro-democracy group Freedom House on Thursday said the Hong Kong protest movement was among the recipients of its 2020 Freedom Award."As the Chinese government has heightened repression at home and expanded efforts to export its authoritarianism abroad, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement — a leaderless, people-led effort —has inspired the world," the group said in a statement announcing the awards."Beijing’s sudden imposition of a repressive new national security law has made these efforts tremendously dangerous," it said. "Yet the people of Hong Kong remain committed to defending their rights for future generations in new and creative ways."Reported by Gigi Lee for RFA's Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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China Says 12 Fleeing Hongkongers Held in Shenzhen Are 'Separatists'

Twelve activists detained in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen after they tried to flee Hong Kong in a speedboat have been accused of "separatism" by a foreign ministry spokeswoman in Beijing."The 12 people were arrested for illegally crossing the border," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said via Twitter."They are not democratic activists, but elements attempting to separate #HongKong from China," Hua wrote in response to a tweet from U.S. State Department spokesman Morgan Ortagus, who condemned the detention of the 12 Hongkongers."Legitimate governments do not need to wall their countries in and prevent their citizens from leaving," Ortagus had tweeted."The arrest of 12 Hong Kong democracy activists is another sad example of the deterioration of human rights in Hong Kong," he wrote on Saturday.The family members of six of the detainees held a press conference on Saturday, calling on the Hong Kong authorities to bring them back to the city as soon as possible.Concerns are growing over the lack of access to lawyers hired by their families and to adequate medical care in Shenzhen's Yantian Detention Center.The 12 Hongkongers are aged 16 to 33, and were held on suspicion of "illegal immigration" after they tried to escape by speedboat to the democratic island of Taiwan last month.Hong Kong activist Andy Li – who was arrested and released on bail earlier this month by Hong Kong for alleged national security law violations – was among them, sources told RFA at the time.The Shenzhen police department confirmed for the first time on Sunday that 12 Hong Kong citizens were under criminal detention on suspicion of illegally crossing the border, and that investigations are ongoing."Police will protect the legitimate rights and interests of criminal suspects in accordance with law," the department said via its official social media account on Weibo.Lawyer turned awayBut defense lawyer Lu Siwei, who was recently hired by the family of one of the detainees, told RFA he had been turned away from the detention center on several occasions after he went to request a meeting with his client.The mother of one detainee, Tang Kai-yin, said she didn't know whether he was alive or dead.Tang's brother said he was concerned about his brother's health in detention.Hong Kong's Immigration Department has since said the 12 are in good health, and they have got lawyers to represent them.But relatives of the detainees told reporters at the weekend that they had been given no information on the charges against their loved ones, and said assistance offered by the Hong Kong authorities was inadequate.Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee declined to intervene on behalf of the 12 detained in Shenzhen, saying only that the Hong Kong authorities will keep track of their case."People should respect the local law wherever they are and take responsibility for their own actions, including criminal liability," Lee said."Governments respect different jurisdictions operating according to their own laws," he said.Bargaining chipsCouncil Front lawmaker Chu Hoi-dick said the 12 could now be used as bargaining chips by the ruling Chinese Communist Party."The moment family-appointed lawyers were denied to see some of the detainees, it could be expected that the Chinese Communist Party has designated the 12 people as highly sensitive cases," government broadcaster RTHK quoted Chu as saying in a statement.Meanwhile, Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) quoted a source on Sunday as confirming reports that five Hongkongers who attempted to reach the island by boat have been detained there.Taiwan journalist Edd Jhong, who says he helped them get to Taiwan, has claimed that the former anti-government protesters had not been allowed to contact their families or lawyers.CNA's source on Sunday confirmed the detentions, denied they were under "house arrest," but gave no timeline for their release.It said five had been granted access to lawyers, and were not being held incommunicado.Hong Kong security chief John Lee said the city's government had received no information on the five.'Taiwan must be cautious'Taiwan Protestant pastor Hwang Chun-sheng, who has helped Hongkongers fleeing to Taiwan following a city-wide crackdown on the protest movement that has intensified under a draconian national security law since July 1, said Taiwan has helped many people from Hong Kong."But Taiwan has to be very cautious, because China and the U.S. are in a state of quasi-war," Hwang told RFA. "People who know about these things can't talk too much about them."He said all five Hongkongers had been in touch with their families via officials, to let them know they are safe.Yang Sen-hong, president of the Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, said it is unclear who the five Hongkongers are.He called on the Taiwanese government to pass a refugee law setting out how asylum-seekers are to be treated."Only then will we have a legal framework to avoid the issue of illegal immigration," Yang said. "Otherwise, people who enter Taiwan will be dealt with under current law [as illegal immigrants]."Reported by Hwang Chun-mei for RFA's Mandarin Service, and by the Cantonese Service. Translated and edited by Luisetta Mudie.

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Why Foreign Nations Seeking Freedom Love Trump’s Foreign Policy

In parts of the world where people are fighting for their lives and liberty against authoritarianism, the view of Donald Trump’s presidency is positive. Pro-democracy Hong Kongers and Taiwanese have come out strongly in support of a second term for President Trump. A recent op-ed published in Apple Daily, the publication of prominent Hong Kong democracy activist and opponent of China’s crackdown Jimmy Lai, argued that Hong Kongers should hope for Trump’s re-election. Treating China like the Nazis in history, joining forces with English-speaking countries and Japan are the main course, the real deal. Neighbors like the Philippines and Vietnam, or going as far as the Czech Republic and Norway, countries have noticed that there is an obvious change in the situation, and they have, one by one, stood up against the ‘Strong Country.’ The Taiwan Solidarity Union urged Taiwanese-Americans to vote for Trump’s re-election. “From the many policies implemented by his administration that benefit Taiwan and boost bilateral relations, it is very clear that Trump has been the most Taiwan-friendly U.S. leader since World War II,” said interim Chairwoman Chou Ni-an. This praise might seem curious considering Trump’s reputation as a transactionalist and his hesitation to constantly and forcefully use the bully pulpit to condemn authoritarianism and cheer the spread of democracy. This has led the president’s political opponents to assail him for eroding America’s “standing” on the world stage and for ambivalence toward American “values.” How does one square this with the sentiments of the Hong Kongers and Taiwanese? Trump’s instincts go against the last three decades of American foreign policy. He is, to put it mildly, unsympathetic to the leftist internationalist vision of a supranational-managed, borderless global order. His advisers over the last four years have taken his instincts to develop a coherent view of international relations, one that better grapples with the reality that rough adversaries are threatening to weaken and even invade democratic nations. Exit Poor International Agreements First, Trump’s foreign policy is premised on the reality that nation-states — not international organizations or supranational terror organizations — are the primary actors in the world. To better position the United States militarily and economically, Trump has yanked it from certain international agreements and treaties that were either irredeemably flawed from the start or that no longer served their original purpose. We exited the Iran deal, which dangerously enriched the Islamic republic; we left the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, on which Russia was cheating, and now we are freed to deploy missiles previously prohibited in the Asian theater to deter China; and Trump diplomats are wisely refusing to automatically extend the flawed New START Treaty, unless Russia makes changes that will increase trust and stability. Likewise, the United States is no longer participating in the dishonest and corrupt World Health Organization nor the Israel-bashing United Nations Human Rights Council. Bolster Military Advantages Second, the Trump administration holds that the United States must maintain, and in some areas regain, the military advantage over our most dangerous adversaries. U.S. hard power — and the economic power that enables it — are necessary to compete with the most powerful foes. Without a robust, modernized military, diplomacy will be feeble and ineffective. In the last four years, the Trump administration has sought to undo the negative effects of President Barack Obama’s defense cuts and to prioritize major powers rather than terrorist groups in the Middle East as the most important threats to U.S. security. The Trump budget, while still not sufficient to meet its stated requirements, sought to right those deficiencies. It has made investments to recapitalize aging weapons platforms, greatly valued and adapted America’s nuclear deterrent, and has emphasized the need to regain the lead in advanced technologies, including hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, microelectronics, and 5G. Call Out China’s Threat Third, the Trump administration has ushered in a seismic shift in U.S.-China relations by identifying the Chinese Communist Party-led China — not nonstate terrorist actors — as the primary threat to America’s security and way of life. President Bill Clinton’s dewy-eyed idealism ushered in China’s permanent normal trade relations, effectively backing Beijing’s bid to join the World Trade Organization. The new approach has upended decades of eager U.S. engagement with China that was sapping the United States of its sovereignty, economic horsepower, technological supremacy, and strategic military dominance. Under Trump, the United States has cracked down on Chinese economic espionage, shut down the den of spies that was the Chinese consulate in Houston, gone after U.S. tech companies Attorney General William Barr has called “pawns of Chinese influence,” and stopped issuing visas to students with connections to the People’s Liberation Army. China’s behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic has turbo-charged the Trump administration’s and ally efforts to cooperatively deter Chinese aggression. The United States is working to foster a more formal alliance bloc in Asia, beginning with the Quad, which is the United States, India, Australia, and Japan. While keeping expectations reasonable, and initial goals modest about the developments toward a more formal alliance in Asia, Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun recently said, “And so at its core, what the Quad is is a combination of democracies. But I think what also illuminates those four parties is a sense of responsibility and willingness to uphold the responsibilities, to extend the benefits of democracy, extend the benefits of economic development, and extend the benefits of security throughout the region.” He went on to praise other regional allies South Korea, Vietnam, and New Zealand. Strengthening these bonds is necessary to contain and deter China. The United States must still lead but cannot do it alone. The tip of the spear in deterring Chinese military aggression is bolstering Taiwan. It does not take much imagination to see that China’s swallowing up of Hong Kong could also happen there. To protect Taiwan and deter aggression, the Trump administration has been working to bolster diplomatic cover and military strength for democratic Taiwan. Just this month, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar visited the island country, making him the highest-level U.S. official to visit Taiwan since formal diplomatic relations between the United States and Taiwan were severed in 1979 in deference to China. Isolate Iran, Strengthen Israel Fourth, the Trump administration has taken a different tack in the Middle East. Rather than seeking engagement with Iran through the nuclear deal, with the hope that it would bring a political liberalization (we have heard this before), it has sought to isolate Iran economically and diplomatically, while strengthening Israel. This approach has yielded positive results. Following the law rather than using a waiver as every preceding American president has, Trump moved the U.S. embassy to the Israeli capital of Jerusalem and recognized the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. None of these bold moves brought the sky crashing down. On the contrary, the United Arab Emirates and Israel have normalized relations, a breathtaking development. Days later, Kosovo said it will recognize Israel, Serbia will move its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, and Kosovo and Serbia will normalize economic relations. Despite a strong desire to narrow the scope of mission in the Middle East, the Trump administration has been willing to employ military force — and ferociously. Trump amended the rules of engagement, empowering the military to lead coalition efforts to destroy the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria. At the president’s direction, our warfighters hunted down and killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and killed terrorist mastermind Qasem Soleimani, an Iranian major general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. An often-overlooked event was when the U.S. military annihilated more than 100 Russian mercenaries threatening to attack U.S. and coalition forces. Defending the standard that chemical weapons must never be normalized and warrant punishment, Trump directed the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syria in retaliation for Bashar al-Assad’s gross and barbaric use of chemical weapons. Maintain Strong Sovereign Allies Fifth, the Trump administration has promoted strong sovereign allies. Even if the United States fights to regain the strategic advantage militarily and pulls away from China economically, we cannot deter and contain China alone. The United States cannot deter Russia alone, nor can we ensure terrorist groups do not destabilize nations across the Middle East and Africa without the help of partners. We must have cooperation and support from strong, sovereign democratic allies and partners who broadly share our mores and prefer open democratic systems to closed, opaque, authoritarian, and often imperialistic ones. That means Trump has publicly and harshly criticized North Atlantic Treaty Organization members who, while rich, do not invest sufficiently in collective defense. The result has been greater commitments to collective defense. Much to the consternation of those who would like to insist Trump is weakening the alliance, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Trump’s approach has had a positive effect. “We agreed to do more to step up — and now we see the results,” Stoltenberg said. “By the end of next year, NATO allies will add $100 billion extra toward defense. … So we see some real money and some real results. And we see that the clear message from President Donald Trump is having an impact.” It isn’t just about money, either. Trump has lambasted Germany’s decision to pursue the Nord Stream 2, which strengthens Russia, and ordered U.S. forces to draw down from Germany. But many of those troops will move to other nations, including Poland, which is on the front lines of Russian revanchist expansion and has shown a willingness to make the needed investments and right policies to defend itself. Trump said of the move to strengthen U.S. defense cooperation with Poland, “I think it sends a very strong signal to Russia.” Indeed, it does. Disrupt in Order to Achieve Despite the successes of the new approach, there have been shortcomings. As mentioned above, while certain allies are eager to see Trump re-elected, others, especially in Western Europe, are less so. The U.S. decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord and the Iran deal will likely continue to frustrate them. Still, anti-terrorism efforts, as well as deterring major powers China and Russia and trying to split their growing alliance against the West, will require diplomatic heavy-lifting. After a first term of public criticisms of some of our allies and strong private collaboration, it’s time to reverse those, move blunt and righteous public criticisms to private conversations, and present a united front in defense of our shared interests to deter our common adversaries. The public criticisms have brought successes, but too much of that runs the risk of damaging efforts that are of greater national importance than financial burden-sharing. The Trump administration has disrupted international affairs, but that disruption has brought significant achievements. Apart from those achievements, less powerful democratic peoples would have far less hope of surviving the rise of China and other authoritarian nations. Building on those successes will require knowing what they are and how the United States was able to spur them along. To do that will require looking at the policy and the results of the administration’s efforts, as others in Hong Kong and Taiwan have done.

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Rising Tensions over Taiwan

The Bible prophecies a war that will kill one third of all mankind. Could this war be heating up now? Business Insider reports: Taiwan’s future as an independent democratic state is uncertain. Chinese officials have repeatedly stated the island’s importance to what President Xi Jinping has called “the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation” and have made no secret of their intent to absorb what they see as a wayward province. Tensions across the Taiwan Strait are the highest they have been in decades. A resounding victory by Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and her Democratic Progressive Party in January made clear that the island nation has no intention of joining the mainland. MORE:

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Milk Tea Alliance Takes on China’s Little Pinks in Meme War

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