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December 8, 2021

Study: China Controlled Its Weather This Summer

A new study from China’s Tsinghua University found that the government used cloud seeding — climate technology that inserts ice nuclei into winter storms by deploying airplanes to release special burn flares within the storm clouds — to control rain and pollution this past summer.

On July 1, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) celebrated its 100th anniversary with a military flyover at Tiananmen Square with a 100-gun salute. Here, the CCP also used the elaborate cloud seeding process.

According to the South China Morning Post, the CCP launched its operation to spur rainfall over the area ahead of the July 1 event. Researchers found that the artificial precipitation reduced air pollutants by more than two-thirds and moved the air quality index from good to moderate.

This past summer’s cloud seeding wasn’t China’s first foray into weather manipulation. The CCP spent billions of dollars to alter the weather ahead of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, avoiding inclement weather and reducing smog.

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New study says China controlled its weather this summer

November 17, 2021

Biden faces bipartisan pressure to boycott Beijing 2022 Olympics

President Joe Biden is facing bipartisan pressure for a diplomatic boycott of China by forgoing the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Some senators aim to force a diplomatic boycott to call attention to China’s human rights track record, including what the Biden administration described as genocide of religious minorities in Xinjiang. However, House and Senate leaders are less sure of that plan.

“As a general rule, I don’t think boycotting the Olympics is a good approach,” said House Armed Services Chair Adam Smith (D-WA).

“I’m certainly open to a diplomatic boycott. I’m not sure how impactful that would be. They don’t really want our diplomats, they want our athletes,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CN) said.

“I don’t think we’ll get it done,” said Senate Foreign Relations Chair Bob Menendez, who supports a diplomatic boycott.

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Lawmakers pressure Biden to bar U.S. officials from attending Beijing Olympics

November 3, 2021

China accuses the US of a ‘lack of transparency’ over submarine accident

China accused the US of a “lack of transparency and responsibility” over an Oct. 2 Navy submarine accident in the South China Sea.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the US should provide a full report of the incident that reignited a dispute between the two countries over the waterway.

“We once again urge the US to give a detailed account of the accident,” Wenbin said.

According to the Associated Press, two anonymous Navy officials said the nuclear-powered USS Connecticut hit an underwater mountain known as a seamount. However, the Navy has yet to fully explain how the accident occurred or the extent of the damage to the vessel.

Wang said the US operated with a “lack of transparency and responsibility” in the wake of the incident.

He said the US has yet to offer “a clear explanation” of what the submarine was doing in the area, as well as “the specific location of the accident, whether it was in another country’s exclusive economic zone or even territorial waters, whether it caused a nuclear leak or damaged marine environment.”

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China accuses US of ‘lack of transparency’ over sub accident

October 27, 2021

Pentagon calls China’s weapons test ‘very concerning’

China recently tested a hypersonic weapon system as part of its aggressive advancement in space and military technologies, a move that a top Pentagon official calls “very concerning.”

“What we saw was a very significant event of a test of a hypersonic weapon system, and it is very concerning,” said Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Milley said classified information prevented him from expanding on the details. He said the US is also working on hypersonic weapons.

“I think I saw in some of the newspapers, they used the term Sputnik moment,” Milley said. “I don’t know if it’s quite a Sputnik moment, but I think it’s very close to that. So it’s a very significant technological event that occurred, or test that occurred, by the Chinese. And it has all of our attention.”

The Soviet Union stunned the world with their launching of a Sputnick satellite in 1957. The move sparked fear that the US was falling behind technologically.

China refuted reports about its test, saying it was testing technology for a reusable space vehicle for peaceful purposes.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Milley’s comments conveyed concern regarding China’s military advancements.

“They continue to pursue capabilities that increase tensions in the region,” Psaki said. “And we continue to have concerns about that. And I think that was reflected in his comments.”

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Gen. Milley calls Chinese weapon test ‘very concerning

October 24, 2021

China responds to Biden’s comments: ‘no room’ for compromise

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden said that the United States is committed to defending Taiwan if it comes under attack. China responded to Biden’s comment by saying there is “no room” for compromise or concessions over the issue.

During Thursday’s town hall, hosted by CNN, Biden said the US has a “commitment” to defend Taiwan. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin reasserted China’s belief that Taiwan is its territory.

“When it comes to issues related to China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, there is no room for China to compromise or make concessions, and no one should underestimate the strong determination, firm will and strong ability of the Chinese people to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Wang said.

“Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan issue is purely an internal affair of China that allows no foreign intervention,” Wang said.

Wang cautioned that the US should “be cautious with its words and actions on the Taiwan issue, and not send any wrong signals to the separatist forces of Taiwan independence, so as not to seriously damage China-US relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.”

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Biden says US has ‘commitment’ to defend Taiwan from Chinese attack

October 23, 2021

Officials warn against China’s advanced technologies

Officials from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center issued a warning on Friday about China’s ambitions and capabilities within artificial intelligence and advanced military technologies.

The officials warned business executives, academics, and government officials of the risks of accepting Chinese investment in key industries.

Some figures within the Biden administration have called China the most significant strategic threat to the US.

The National Counterintelligence and Security Center’s acting director, Michael Orlando, recently said the US “can’t afford to lose” ground to China in the following areas: artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, quantum computing, semiconductors, and biotechnology.

“Although we’ve been saying this for year after year, people are not digesting this,” Orlando said.

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US intel warns China could dominate advanced technologies

October 11, 2021

Pentagon official resigns, calls US’s cybersecurity ‘kindergarten level’ compared to China

A senior Pentagon official said he resigned over the stark difference between US’s and China’s AI capabilities.

Nicolas Chaillan, a former cybersecurity official, quit on Sep. 2. He told the Financial Times that China’s AI had far surpassed that of the US.

“We have no competing fighting chance against China in fifteen to twenty years. Right now, it’s already a done deal; it is already over in my opinion,” Chaillan said.

The Air Force veteran went on to say that some of the government departments’ cybersecurity defenses were at “kindergarten level.”

Recently, there have been several hacking attempts and ransomware attacks, notably the SolarWinds hack in April 2020. Cybercriminals gained access to the digital activities and emails of US Treasury, Department of Homeland Security, State Department, and Department of Defense employees.

Chaillan told the FT that he planned to give Congressional testimony over the threat posed by China.

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A Pentagon official said he resigned because US cybersecurity is no match for China, calling it ‘kindergarten level’

October 10, 2021

Navy nuclear-powered submarine strikes object in South China Sea

A US Navy nuclear-powered combat submarine struck an object in the South China Sea, officials confirmed.

Eleven service members suffered minor to moderate injuries, officials said. All of the injured parties received treatment on the submarine.

The US Pacific Fleet issued a brief statement, saying that the USS Connecticut was in “safe and stable condition.”

The craft’s nuclear propulsion plant was not affected, the statement said. “The extent of damage to the remainder of the submarine is being assessed,” the US Pacific Fleet added.

Navy officials told the Washington Post that the belief is that China did not cause the collision.

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US nuclear-powered submarine hits submerged object in South China Sea

September 20, 2021

Stock market tumbles as Wall Street fear centers on China

The DOW Jones Industrial Average and the broader US stock market plummeted on Monday amid Evergrande’s debt crisis.

The DOW fell 820 points, while the S&P and Nasdaq saw significant dips as well.

Evergrande was supposed to pay the interest on some of its substantial bank loans Monday, according to Bloomberg. The company will also have to pay interest on two bonds worth more than $100 million later this week.

Why does a foreign real estate company’s debt non-repayment affect American markets?

The massive amount of money borrowed by Chinese companies has long been considered an impending threat to market stability. Investors fear the exposure that banks might have to Evergrande and similar companies.

Meanwhile, some experts say the market was due for a correction after stocks hit record highs.

“On a down market day, it’s easy to look to the nearest headline like Evergrande and attach a cause and effect,” wrote The Bahnsen Group’s chief investment officer, David Bahnsen, in a note to clients. “But this market has experienced almost no downside volatility for a long time and a pullback was long overdue.”

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Dow tumbles 820 points as Wall Street’s fears turn to China

September 18, 2021

China cracks down on teen use of social media, video games

China implemented several limitations to youth’s consumption of social media content and video games this year.

Douyin, an app referred to as the “Chinese TikTok,” faced criticism for presenting stressful material to minors. In April, the company added a “youth mode,” which limits users under 18 to 40 minutes of videos, and the app is restricted between 10 pm and 6 am.

Late last month, China imposed restrictions on video games. Young users can only play games from 8-9 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

The nation’s authorities argue that youth mode features don’t fix the problem and press companies to go further.

Data shows that Chinese users top the list of time spent on mobile apps during the first quarter of 2021.

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China moves to limit social media, gaming as teens get more addicted and mental health is impacted

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