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    China is this week continuing its naval exercises in and around Taiwan in yet another round of sabre-rattling after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island.  The US has condemned the drills as an 'irresponsible' and 'provocative' move designed to undermine peace in the region - after President Xi's repeated vows to 'reunify' Taiwan.  In this video, Mail Online walks through the tensions that have led up to this confrontation.   The Chinese mainland is separated from Taiwan by the narrow Taiwan Strait, with the mid-point of the waterway acting as the unofficial border between the two China lays claim to authority over Taiwan, and also to a vast area of nearby ocean known as the South China Sea where it has built military bases on previously-uninhabited islands  What, and where, is Taiwan? Taiwan is a collection of islands that sits around 80 miles off the coast of southern China, where the East China Sea blends into the South China Sea.  It is home to 23million people, and has been ruled at various times by Dutch colonisers, China's Qing...
    China has declared a massive set of war games surrounding Taiwan as Beijing reacts with fury to a visit by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the island. The military drills, which began August 2 and will last until August 8, will blockade the island from the outside world and intrude into its territorial waters. They will involve ground, air and sea forces carrying out live fire exercises in the largest threat to the territory's independence in decades. Beijing appears to be rehearsing for an attack on the island, which President Xi Jinping has vowed to 'reunify' with the mainland - by force if necessary. Should China invade, the war will likely draw in the US - a close ally of Taiwan - teeing up a direct conflict between the two global superpowers.  But how did things get here? Why are China and Taiwan such bitter enemies? And how did America get involved? Here, MailOnline answers your pressing questions...  What, and where, is Taiwan? Taiwan is a collection of islands that sits around 80 miles off the coast of southern...
    Chinese President Xi Jinping is pictured here speaking during the unveiling of the Communist Party's new Politburo Standing Committee on October 25, 2017 in Beijing, China.Lintao Zhang | Getty Images News | Getty Images BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived Thursday in the special administrative region of Hong Kong, state media said. The trip is for the 25th anniversary on Friday of Hong Kong's handover to China from British colonial rule. The visit marks Xi's first travel off mainland China since the pandemic began more than two years ago. In a brief speech upon arriving in Hong Kong, Xi said Beijing would stick to the "one country, two systems" policy that he claimed would "ensure the long term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong," according to an official English translation carried by state media. The "one country, two systems" policy has allowed the Chinese city of Hong Kong to operate as a semi-autonomous region under Beijing's rule. Large-scale, violent protests in 2019 were initially triggered by a controversial extradition bill that many in Hong Kong claimed went against the...
    After a gunman attacked a Taiwanese Presbyterian church in Laguna Woods, California, misinformation spread about the shooter's ethnic background.Ashley Landis/AP Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.After a gunman fired on six people at a Taiwanese Presbyterian church in Laguna Woods, California, last Sunday, killing one and injuring five, the news of a likely hate crime ricocheted across Chinese-language group chats and the Taiwanese press. Hate crimes against Asian Americans have sharply increased since the start of the pandemic, according to the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, and it seemed possible that this was another example of that phenomenon.  But the shooting quickly grew complicated in other ways relating to the ethnicity of the shooter and a possible motive that relates to political tensions between mainland China and the island of Taiwan.  In the initial aftermath, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes identified the suspect, 68-year-old David Chou, as a native of mainland China who “specifically targeted the Taiwanese community.” Many of the...
    Columnist Jon Gabriel asked, "Why do you include Taiwan as part of China? Taiwan is an independent country." Writer Ian Miles Cheong tweeted, "The NFL caves to communist China and falsely lists Taiwan as a part of Chinese territory." Republican political operative Logan Dobson reacted by saying, "Just the @NFL erasing the independent nation of Taiwan to suck up to genocidal Chinese Communists for money." Author Dan K. Eberhart pointed out, "The @NFL and @NBA can virtue signal about human rights all they want. Your words mean absolutely nothing if you're too cowardly to put human rights above making money in China's market." The Economist's China affairs editor Gady Epstein quipped, "NFL seems to have decided which team Taiwan is on." Sarah McLaughlin – director of targeted advocacy at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education – responded by saying, "I would love to hear how the NFL is planning (if at all) to deal with the free speech challenges that will inevitably develop here. Their initial response to these issues in the U.S. was bad enough; what can we...
    Chinese troops will attack any US forces sent to defend Taiwan in the event a war over the island breaks out, Beijing's state-back media has warned.  The Global Times newspaper, a mouthpiece for China's Communist rulers, issued the threat after US national security adviser Jake Sullivan vowed this week that Washington will 'never allow' a Chinese invasion to take place. Such threats are not credible because the US 'cannot afford' the cost of defending Taiwan, the newspaper said, urging Sullivan to shut his 'big mouth' and avoid 'creating more embarrassment for your country'.  Chinese troops will attack US forces sent to 'rescue' Taiwan from an invasion and destroy American weapons meant to defend the island, Beijing's state media has said (file image) 'Nobody believes the US has the true will to defend Taiwan at all costs,' the newspaper wrote, adding that: 'The US is far away from "defending Taiwan" at the cost of a deadly war.' Washington may believe that sending US troops to the island is a 'deterrent', the editorial added, but in reality they would simply find themselves...
    CHINA has said war could be triggered "at any time" in a chilling warning to the West over rising tensions in Taiwan. Beijing launched into a tirade against the US and its allies after 56 Chinese warplanes crossed into Taiwan's air defence zone on Monday. 5A Chinese state-run paper warned war with the US was drawing ever closerCredit: AP 5A Chinese J-16 fighter flying near to TaiwanCredit: EPA Chinese state-run paper The Global Times said the "peaceful atmosphere" on the island had all but disappeared and that pressure from the West had resulted in a "sense of urgency that the war may be triggered at any time". Tensions between Taipei and Beijing hit a new high yesterday when its leaders urged China to stop "irresponsible provocative actions". Taiwan's defence ministry scrambled aircraft to broadcast warnings after 36 fighter jets, 12 H-6 nuclear-capable bombers and four other planes entered its southwest air defence identification zone (ADIZ). Four more fighters entered the zone at night, bringing the total to 56 planes, the ministry said. The US State Department accused China of carrying...
    A men wearing a mask walk at the Shanghai Stock Exchange building at the Pudong financial district in Shanghai, China, as the country is hit by an outbreak of a new coronavirus, February 3, 2020.Aly Song | Reuters BEIJING — Chinese companies are piling into what they see as a window of opportunity to raise billions from global stock markets, amid a host of uncertainties from the coronavirus pandemic to political tensions. Just take Alibaba-affiliated fintech giant Ant Group, which is set to launch its long-awaited, massive initial public offering beginning next week. The dual listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shanghai's STAR board is slated to surpass the record $29.4 billion float by oil giant Saudi Aramco almost a year ago. The debut of Ant Group builds on a trend. One-fifth of global public listings in the first nine months of this year, or 180 of them, took place on the Shanghai Stock Exchange, according to an Ernst & Young report. That made Shanghai the top market, surpassing second-place Nasdaq's 119 deals. Add in 115 IPOs in Shenzhen...
    China is using images of TikTok users to improve its facial recognition capacities, according to American lawmakers and analysts monitoring the unfolding dispute over the social media giant’s U.S. operations. “TikTok is a massive repository of data,” the Foundation for Defense of Democracies analyst Emily de la Bruyere, an expert in the links between China’s military apparatus and commercial entities, said of the social media platform. “Facial recognition ... is a big part of it.” That concern has contributed to the U.S. hostility to TikTok, which will be expelled from American app stores next week pursuant to a Commerce Department order unveiled Friday. The app, widely popular as a platform for short videos, has the ability to collect precious bulk data to power technological developments with both national security and economic ramifications. “It’s a lot of data that is tagged on shapes and styles of faces that the Chinese government can’t get in the mainland,” Texas Rep. Will Hurd, a Republican member of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Center for Strategic and International Studies in a...
    Hong Kong (CNN)When a United States guided missile destroyer sailed through the Taiwan Strait on Sunday, it marked the second such transit in less than two weeks -- and among the clearest signals yet of Washington's willingness to stand up for Taiwan in the face of Chinese aggression. On Monday, the US went further still, taking the cover off previously classified commitments it made to Taiwan during the Reagan administration. Known as the Six Assurances, they spell out how US arms sales and diplomatic support to Taipei will move forward without regard to pressure from Beijing.Though the US has remained a decades-long ally of Taiwan following the island's split from mainland China in the wake of a civil war, policymakers in Washington have traditionally refrained from overt displays of support.China continues to view the self-governing democracy of almost 24 million people as an inseparable part of its territory, and has vowed to unify the island with the mainland. The guided missile destroyer USS Halsey conducts a routine transit through the Taiwan Strait on August 30.For decades an uneasy status quo...
    Hong Kong (CNN Business)The relationship between China and the West is rapidly eroding, and that could have serious implications for Hong Kong's status as a global financial hub. The latest blow to the city's standing came Tuesday, when US President Donald Trump followed through on a threat to revoke the United States' special relationship with Hong Kong, which has in the past exempted the city from certain tariffs, among other privileges. At event meant to announce China actions, Trump rambles into political attacks"Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China," Trump said in a speech at the White House.The Trump administration first suggested it would change its view of Hong Kong several weeks ago, when China began preparing to impose a sweeping national security law on the city. Critics of the law say it undercuts political and legal freedoms that have existed since Britain handed the former colony to China in 1997.Since the law took effect on July 1, concerns over Hong Kong among foreign businesses and political leaders have only grown. Some tech companies have pulled...
    Editor’s note: We endeavor to bring you the top voices on current events representing a range of perspectives. Below is a column arguing that the U.S. should take a cautious approach to confronting China over its elimination of Hong Kong’s autonomy. You can find a counterpoint here, where Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, argues that the U.S. should take an aggressive stance in punishing China over Hong Kong and in containing its further expansion. It is often said that Hong Kong is becoming just another Chinese city. It’s true. The people of Hong Kong had no say in the return of their city to the mainland in 1997. And as recent events illustrate, they have very little say over its future relationship with Beijing. Unfortunately, the same goes for the U.S. In May, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared Hong Kong no longer sufficiently autonomous to merit legal treatment separate from the mainland. As a result, the administration is now sifting through the elements of U.S.-Hong Kong ties, export controls, law-enforcement cooperation, financial regulations,...
    Hong Kong (CNN)When Beijing announced it would impose a national security law on Hong Kong six weeks ago, many people feared the legislation could extend China's authoritarian reach over the semi-autonomous city and undermine its cherished rule of law.Some Hong Kong officials tried to allay those concerns, despite admitting they had not yet seen a draft of the law -- which was written behind closed doors in Beijing. With the full text of the law finally available for dissection, however, a number of legal experts have found their worst fears confirmed."(It's) even worse than the worst-case scenario I had expected," Eric Cheung, a legal scholar at the University of Hong Kong, said on Facebook hours after the law was released late Monday, adding the legislation was "full of features of China's socialist legal system, and is poles apart from the spirit and the legal language of Hong Kong's common law." Why Chinas national security law could change Hong Kong foreverSince its handover to China in 1997, Hong Kong has maintained the common law system inherited from the territory's 150...
    Hong Kong (CNN Business)The world's most valuable liquor company has just claimed another first. Kweichow Moutai, the Chinese company known for making the popular national spirit, baijiu, is now the biggest public company in mainland China by market cap after its shares gained 23% so far this year, according to data from Refinitiv.It's currently valued at more than 1.8 trillion yuan ($259 billion), surpassing one of the country's top banks, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (IDCBF), which is worth just under 1.8 trillion yuan ($253 billion). For comparison, Chinese tech giants Tencent (TCEHY) and Alibaba (BABA) are worth about $605 billion and $614 billion respectively. The former is listed in Hong Kong, while the latter trades in New York and Hong Kong.Kweichow Moutai has long been one of China's hottest stocks. Read MoreIn 2017, it became the world's biggest liquor maker by market value, surpassing Diageo (DEO), the British firm that owns Johnnie Walker and other big brands. Diageo's current market value is about £65 billion ($81 billion). AB InBev (BUD), the world's largest brewer, is worth about...
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