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China state media: George Floyd protests in U.S. a ‘beautiful sight’

A key Chinese state-media outlet is calling the violent protests occurring in several U.S. cities “retribution” for Washington’s support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. A column published over the weekend by Global Times, a newspaper known as a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, also suggested Beijing would be justified if it openly backed the protests…

China state media: George Floyd protests in U.S. a ‘beautiful sight’

A key Chinese state-media outlet is calling the violent protests occurring in several U.S. cities “retribution” for Washington’s support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

A column published over the weekend by Global Times, a newspaper known as a Chinese Communist Party mouthpiece, also suggested Beijing would be justified if it openly backed the protests in the United States.

The column written by Global Times Editor-in-Chief Hu Xijin took aim at the Trump administration for threatening to impose sanctions on China over its new security law in Hong Kong. The newspaper also took aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and at U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, mocking a statement she made nearly a year ago that pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong were “a beautiful sight to behold” at the time.

“Now, the ‘beautiful sight’ is extending from Hong Kong to over a dozen U.S. states. U.S. politicians now can enjoy this sight from their own windows,” said the Global Times column published Saturday, as protests over police killings of African Americans spread to several American cities.

The demonstrations and, in many cases, violent rioting, began last week in Minneapolis, where Mr. Floyd, a black man, died after being handcuffed and pinned down by a white police officer. The officer, Derek Chauvin, has since been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

The Global Times column sought to characterize the situation as a regular feature of American society, asserting that “racial discrimination and social inequality in the U.S. have always been severe.”

“Look at how many poor, ethnic minorities have died of the novel coronavirus,” it said.

In classic pro-China propagandist fashion, the column characterized the current U.S. demonstrations as equivalent to protests against Chinese communist authoritarianism that have been rocking Hong Kong in recent years.

Hundreds of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators have taken to the streets in the territory to push back against the Chinese communist government’s gradual moves to strip the global financial hub of freedoms and governmental autonomy that it has had for generations.

Citing the clashes occurring in American cities, the Global Times article claimed that it is “as if the radical rioters in Hong Kong somehow snuck into the U.S. and created a mess.”

“A quick question for Pelosi and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Should the Chinese government and National People’s Congress issue a statement to support the protests by African-Americans and the grassroots of U.S. society?” Mr. Hu wrote. “It seems to be what Beijing should do according to the logic of Washington cheering for the rioters in Hong Kong.”

The column went on to suggest the U.S. protests were a kind of punishment for President Trump over his policy on Hong Kong.

The State Department outraged Chinese leaders last week by declaring that U.S. leaders officially assess that Hong Kong no longer enjoys the legal and economic freedom the Chinese government promised it would tolerate when Great Britain gave the territory back to Beijing back in 1997. Mr. Trump followed the declaration by threatening Friday to impose sanctions on China over its announcement of a new state security law aimed at crushing dissent in Hong Kong.

“Trump really had the nerve to make the announcement when a group of furious Washington citizens were storming toward the White House,” the Global Times column said Saturday. “Washington must have failed to anticipate that retribution could come that fast. It should be thinking about it though.”

The column went on to claim the U.S. political system is “declining” at an “accelerating” rate and sought to cast the authoritarian Communist government in Beijing as a superior.

“The odds of outbreaks of riots in the U.S. are much higher than they are in China,” it claimed. “How could politicians in Washington possibly define the disturbances in other countries as ‘beautiful sights’ publicly? It is stupid to do so simply because they want to attack China. Let’s wait and see which country will encounter more chaos.”

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China still spying on U.S. coronavirus vaccine efforts, Wray tells Congress

Chinese hackers are still trying to snoop on American coronavirus vaccine efforts, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress on Thursday, saying they can actually track the attempts. Mr. Wray said they’ll see a public announcement from a company on its vaccine progress, then within days they’ll see cyber penetration efforts against that company “that ties…

China still spying on U.S. coronavirus vaccine efforts, Wray tells Congress

Chinese hackers are still trying to snoop on American coronavirus vaccine efforts, FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress on Thursday, saying they can actually track the attempts.

Mr. Wray said they’ll see a public announcement from a company on its vaccine progress, then within days they’ll see cyber penetration efforts against that company “that ties back to Chinese actors.”

“They’re trying to essentially jump to the front of the line by stealing information from others,” Mr. Wray said.

He declared China the largest counterterrorism focus of the FBI, and pointed to thousands of open investigations into Chinese attempts to penetrate American institutions.

Mr. Wray first warned in early summer that China was attempting to compromise U.S. coronavirus efforts.

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China attempted to cover up scope of COVID-19, could have largely prevented outbreak: GOP report

China could have prevented two-thirds of its coronavirus cases before the end of February had it followed international health guidelines at the beginning of the outbreak in Wuhan, a new congressional report concluded. The report, released Monday and authored by Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, echoes earlier findings that China made efforts…

China attempted to cover up scope of COVID-19, could have largely prevented outbreak: GOP report

China could have prevented two-thirds of its coronavirus cases before the end of February had it followed international health guidelines at the beginning of the outbreak in Wuhan, a new congressional report concluded.

The report, released Monday and authored by Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, echoes earlier findings that China made efforts to cover up the severity of the initial spread of the virus and that the government harassed and detained journalists, scientists and health care professionals who were voicing concerns about its handling of the outbreak.

“It is beyond doubt that the [Chinese Communist Party] actively engaged in a cover-up designed to obfuscate data, hide relevant public health information, and suppress doctors and journalists who attempted to warn the world,” the report said. “Research shows the CCP could have reduced the number of cases in China by up to 95 percent had it fulfilled its obligations under international law and responded to the outbreak in a manner consistent with best practices.”

The report also said that the Chinese government was “legally obliged” on Dec. 27 to inform the World Health Organization that the outbreak in Wuhan may constitute a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus declared the coronavirus outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on Jan. 30.

The report’s conclusions take aim at the WHO, from which President Trump announced a U.S. withdrawal in May, and said that the United Nations-backed organization was “heavily influenced by the Chinese Communist Party” in its messaging of the outbreak.

“The WHO has been complicit in the spread and normalization of CCP propaganda and disinformation,” the report stated, citing outside experts. “By repeating as truth statements that were misleading, if not lies, the WHO negatively impacted the global response.”

Rep. Michael McCaul, Texas Republican and ranking member of the Democrat-led committee, said in a statement Monday that “it is crystal-clear that had the CCP been transparent, and had the head of the WHO cared more about global health than appeasing the CCP, lives could have been spared and widespread economic devastation could have been mitigated.”

There have been over 31 million reported cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. More than 961,000 people have died from the virus, with 199,525 deaths in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The global population currently stands at 7.8 billion.

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China slams US ‘bullying’, warns of action over TikTok, WeChat |NationalTribune.com

China has accused the United States of “bullying” and threatened to take “necessary” countermeasures after Washington banned downloads of the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok and effectively blocked the use of the messaging super-app WeChat. “China urges the US to abandon bullying, cease its wrongful actions and earnestly maintain fair and transparent international rules and order,”…

China slams US ‘bullying’, warns of action over TikTok, WeChat |NationalTribune.com

China has accused the United States of “bullying” and threatened to take “necessary” countermeasures after Washington banned downloads of the Chinese video-sharing app TikTok and effectively blocked the use of the messaging super-app WeChat.
“China urges the US to abandon bullying, cease its wrongful actions and earnestly maintain fair and transparent international rules and order,” the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Saturday.
“If the US insists on going its own way, China will take necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.”
The United States Commerce Department announced the bans on Friday, citing national security grounds although China and the companies have denied US user data is collected for spying
Under Friday’s order, the Tencent-owned WeChat app would lose functionality in the US from Sunday onwards. TikTok users will be banned from installing updates but could keep accessing the service through November 12.
The timeframe gives TikTok’s parent group ByteDance some breathing space to clinch an agreement over the fate of its US operations.
“We disagree with the decision from the Commerce Department, and are disappointed that it stands to block new app downloads from Sunday and ban use of the TikTok app in the US from November 12,” ByteDance said in a statement.
“We will continue to challenge the unjust executive order.”

START HERE | Should TikTok be banned? (10:50)

TikTok says it has 100 million US users and 700 million globally.
‘Very very popular’
Friday’s order follows weeks of deal-making over TikTok, with US President Donald Trump pressuring ByteDance to sell TikTok’s US operations to a domestic company to satisfy Washington’s concerns over TikTok’s data collection and related issues.
California tech giant Oracle recently struck a deal with TikTok along those lines, although details remain foggy.
Trump said on Friday said he was open to a deal, noting that “we have some great options and maybe we can keep a lot of people happy,” suggesting that even Microsoft, which said its TikTok bid had been rejected, might continue to be involved, as well as Oracle and Walmart.
Trump noted that TikTok was “very, very popular,” said “we have to have the total security from China,” and added that “we can do a combination of both”.
The bans are in response to a pair of executive orders issued by Trump on August 6 that gave the Commerce Department 45 days to determine what transactions to block from the apps he deemed pose a national security threat. That deadline expires on Sunday.
The Trump administration has ramped up efforts to purge “untrusted” Chinese apps from US digital networks amid escalating tensions with Beijing on a range of issues from trade and human rights to the battle for tech supremacy.
The American Civil Liberties Union said the Commerce Department’s order “violates the First Amendment rights of people in the United States by restricting their ability to communicate and conduct important transactions on the two social media platforms”.

INSIDE STORY | Why does Trump want to ban Tiktok? (24:11)

The action against WeChat, used by over 1 billion people worldwide, bars the transfer of funds or processing of payments to or from people in the US through it. Users could also start to experience significantly slower service or sporadic outages from Sunday night.
WeChat developer Tencent Holdings’ called the order “unfortunate” but said it “will continue to discuss with the government and other stakeholders in the US ways to achieve a long-term solution”.
WeChat has had an average of 19 million daily active users in the US, analytics firms Apptopia said in early August. It is popular among Chinese students, ex-pats and some Americans who have personal or business relationships in China.
The order does not ban US companies from doing businesses on WeChat outside the US, which will be welcome news to US firms such as Walmart and Starbucks that use WeChat’s embedded ‘mini-app’ programmes to facilitate transactions and engage consumers in China, officials said.
The order will not bar transactions with Tencent’s other businesses, including its online gaming operations, and will not prohibit Apple, Google or others from offering TikTok or WeChat apps anywhere outside the US.
WeChat users have sued to stop the ban, and a federal judge in California on Friday set an emergency hearing for Saturday at 1:30 pm Pacific time.
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