January 15, 2021

Geopolitics

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Seoul cancels intel pact with Tokyo against U.S. wishes
South Korea’s government on Aug. 22 announced that it was scrapping a military-intelligence sharing pact with Japan weeks after being urged to do so by communist North Korea. Read More.
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Trump greenlights F-16Vs for Taiwan; China threatens ‘countermeasures’
On Aug. 15, the Trump administration informally told the U.S. Congress that it had approved the $8 billion sale of Lockheed-Martin F-16V fighters to Taiwan, that now requires Congressional approval to proceed. Read More.
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China could dominate Pacific; Trump says he was 'chosen' to fight back
China would “pay a price they wouldn’t want to pay” in a military conflict with the United States, President Donald Trump said after a report said the U.S. has lost its military edge in the Indo-Pacific to China. Read More.
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Rand: China eyes Pacific Islands as ‘power-projection superhighway’
In becoming the first sitting U.S. Secretary of State to visit the Federated States of Micronesia earlier this month, Mike Pompeo hailed the island nations of the Pacific as “small islands” which “are big strongholds of freedom.” Read More.
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Arctic strategy: Why was President Trump serious about Greenland?
It’s the summer silly season in the media; see what purports to be serious news from the eternal campaigning for the Iowa Caucuses, to bizarre Washington antics. And then, there's the wildest of all: Donald Trump wants to buy Greenland! Read More.
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Trump 'doesn't buy' Tlaib tears; Palestinians spurn LGBTQ
LGBTQ activists have been banned by the Palestinian Authority (PA) from all activities in the West Bank. The ban comes after the group alQaws for Sexual & Gender Diversity in Palestinian Society, which supports Palestinians who identify as a part of the gay community, had announced it would hold a gathering for its members at the end of August in Nablus. Read More.
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Report: FBI 'dismissive' of 3 intel warnings about Clinton server
The FBI was warned that nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails, including some which included classified information, were copied to a Gmail account but the bureau, specifically anti-Trump agent Peter Strzok, disregarded the information, a new Senate report says. Read More.
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Win-win-lose: Taiwan offers asylum to Hong Kong protesters
China has warned Taiwan against interfering in its affairs after the Taiwanese government offered asylum to pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Taiwan is a self-ruled island which China considers its own territory under its “One China Principle”. Read More.
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Demonstrators shift gears: ‘People of Hong Kong, keep fighting’
Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators, despite warnings from the Chinese government, filled the streets of Hong Kong on a rainy Sunday afternoon in a "peaceful" protest against what they say are Beijing’s increasingly heavy-handed tactics in the autonomous territory. Read More.
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How China has quietly exploited the U.S.-Iran showdown in the Gulf
All attention is focused on the twists-and-turns of the very noisy U.S.-Iran dispute in the Persian Gulf, but all the while the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is rapidly and quietly consolidating a dominant presence in the area with the active support of Russia. Read More.
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Bolton: Accident shows Kremlin's 'hypersonic' nuclear ambitions
U.S. national-security adviser John Bolton says a mysterious accident last week in northern Russia that caused a temporary spike in radiation levels shows how hard the Kremlin is working to develop delivery systems for nuclear weapons. Read More.
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'Liberation Day' in Seoul: Massive demonstrations call for president’s ouster
A massive flag rally in Seoul on Aug. 15 to mark the 74th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan was mostly ignored by South Korea's mainstream media while foreign media reported on a smaller demonstration dominated by anti-Japan sentiment, observers say. Read More.
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Tokyo-Seoul feud welcomed by China, Russia, N. Korea
As the trade-culture conflict between Seoul and Tokyo heats up, South Korea's president has floated the controversial idea of a partnership with North Korea. The move by left-leaning President Moon Jae-In amid a sinking economy was cheered by the South’s official media but enraged the nation’s conservatives. Read More.
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China reacts with fury at U.S. plans to deploy missiles in Asia
China spent the week following the Aug. 2 U.S. departure from the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, criticizing Washington’s decision. Read More.
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Thiel: 'Investigate' Google's ties with Chinese military
Google is developing artificial intelligence (AI) technology for China which “clearly has a lot of military applications” and should be investigated by the CIA or FBI, technology entrepreneur Peter Thiel said. Under the one-party political system in which the Chinese Communist Party rules, Google’s AI China-based research and development will absolutely end up in the Chinese military’s possession, Thiel said. Read More.

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