Putin Wants Ceasefire Which Freezes Current Lines In Ukraine

Putin Wants Ceasefire Which Freezes Current Lines In Ukraine

Putin Wants Ceasefire Which Freezes Current Lines In Ukraine

President Vladimir Putin is offering a ceasefire with Ukraine and its Western backers to end what has long been a full-fledged proxy war. But it’s unlikely to be agreed to by Kiev as he reportedly wants to freeze current positions.

Putin can fight for as long as it takes, but Putin is also ready for a ceasefire – to freeze the war,” a senior Russian source said to be close to the Russian leader told Reuters. If it happened, Putin would most certainly present this as ‘victory’ to his people and to the world.

Image: Associated Press

Putin himself told a press conference Friday that peace talks with Ukraine should be renewed, but they “must reflect realities on the ground.

Reuters writes that “Three of the sources, familiar with discussions in Putin’s entourage, said the veteran Russian leader had expressed frustration to a small group of advisers about what he views as Western-backed attempts to stymie negotiations and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy’s decision to rule out talks.”

Any scenario which sees current lines frozen would mean Ukraine would have to cede substantial chunks of four Ukrainian regions. And in Kharkiv, for example, where a new Russian offensive is taking place, the border has been moved deeper into Ukrainian territory over the last weeks.

But Zelensky has repeatedly ruled out ceasefire negotiations with Moscow so long as Putin remains in power, calling this “impossible”. 

The fact that the US just recently passed Biden’s $61 billion in new defense aid for Ukraine also provides less incentive for Zelensky to come to the table, even if Ukraine continues losing many troops.

Ukraine media and officials have charged that any Putin ceasefire offer is in the end a ploy meant to buy time to reenforce and resupply his troops, and to solidify current battlefield gains.

If the lines were frozen today, what would it look like? Forbes outlines:

  • Russia occupies about 18% of Ukraine, including parts of the country’s four southeastern regions—Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson—according to the Council on Foreign Relations, a U.S.-based think tank.

  • Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told Reuters Russia did not want “eternal war,” adding Russia would not return territory in those four regions to Ukraine because they are now a permanent part of Russia.

  • Three sources suggested Putin would be against further advances into Ukraine because it would require another nationwide mobilization, after a previous call-up resulted in a dip in popularity for Putin.

Source: Institute for the Study of War

Putin is now said to be of the view that “gains in the war so far were enough to sell a victory to the Russian people.”

According to more from the new Reuters report, “the sources said that Putin, re-elected in March for a new six-year term, would rather use Russia’s current momentum to put the war behind him. They did not directly comment on the new defense minister.”

Tyler Durden
Fri, 05/24/2024 – 18:40

Rand Paul: Fauci And NIH Emails “Sound Like The Mob Talking”

Rand Paul: Fauci And NIH Emails "Sound Like The Mob Talking"

Rand Paul: Fauci And NIH Emails “Sound Like The Mob Talking”

Authored by Steve Watson via Modernity.news,

GOP Senator Rand Paul earlier this week charged that newly released emails dating from the pandemic exchanged between COVID era health officials working with Anthony Fauci provide evidence of an “extensive cover up.”

The communications were obtained by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic via subpoena from Dr. David Morens, Fauci’s former senior adviser.

In a press release, the subcommittee stated that the emails suggest “Dr. Fauci was aware of Dr. Morens’ nefarious behavior and may have even engaged in federal records violations himself.”

In a Fox News interview, Paul noted that the communications are an “indication something was going on that was inappropriate,” and that “the cover-up is the crime.”

Paul pointed to a previously released email from Francis Collins, former Director at the NIH, referring to scientists holding differing thoughts on the origin of  COVID and expressing a desire to “take these people down.” 

“Take down these scientists that disagree with us. The scientists from Harvard, from Stanford that have a different opinion on how we should do public health policy, take them down,” Paul further described the email between Collins and Fauci as saying.

Paul then referred to the newly acquired emails where the officials discuss “back channels” of communication, referring to using private email addresses to avoid the Freedom of Information Act.

“I mean, it really sounds like a mob hit. It sounds like the mob talking,” Paul emphasised, adding “They have secret channels. The emails about secret back channels. They have a secret person like a courier.”

Paul also asserted that the emails show Fauci and the others “were all working together to delete evidence.”

In one particular email, Morens noted that he was seeking help from “our IT folks” and “our FOIA lady” on “how to make emails disappear.”

“You have the FOIA lady, the person who was supposed to help you comply with releasing your emails teaching them how to cover up. That is in all likelihood a crime,” Paul urged.

He continued, “What has to happen is we have to find a prosecutor who believes in justice to begin prosecuting this, because my guess is the FOIA lady may tell the truth if she is asked to talk about David Morens.”

On June 16, 2020, Morens sent an email to Peter Daszak, copying in other members of EcoHealth, noting “We are all smart enough to know to never have smoking guns, and if we did we wouldn’t put them in emails and if we found them we’d delete them.”

“Morens might tell the truth if he is being prosecuted about Anthony Fauci,” Paul further posited, adding “they are all connected, they were all covering up, and they were all deleting evidence and deleting records. Illegal and a felony.”

“This cover-up is extensive, NIH has refused to give me the documents, I have been asking over two years for documents from NIH, it’s a complete cover up,” Paul urged, adding “This is unprecedented, someone should go to jail.”

In testimony Wednesday, Morens claimed that he and Daszak and their families faced death threats in early 2020 and that their correspondence “wasn’t government business.”

Despite admitting to deleting emails and needing to “scrupulously rely on” private accounts in the correspondence itself, Morens testified that he could not remember carrying out official government communication via personal addresses.

The full testimony is here:

Paul discussed his testimony in another interview Thursday:

In another email to Daszak, Morens referenced an article headlined “NIH awards $7.5 million grant to EcoHealth Alliance, months after uproar over political interference” and directly asked for his own “kickback” for his role in assisting on the grant.

He wrote “Ahem … do I get a kickback???? Too much f*****g money! DO you deserve it all?”

Daszak replied “Of course there’s a kick-back. It starts with 5 more years of FOIA requests.”

The subcommittee noted “this action is not only highly concerning, but it is also likely illegal.”

In a further email from Morens to Daszak, Fauci’s advisor expressed a desire that “nutters” stop looking into their shady activity and to “move on to another conspiracy.”

In another email about grants, Daszak literally said “this should go away if Rand Paul doesn’t amplify it too much.”

Fauci is scheduled to testify before Congress on June 3.

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Tyler Durden
Fri, 05/24/2024 – 11:40

Reality Check Looms For Rosy European Growth Expectations

Reality Check Looms For Rosy European Growth Expectations

Reality Check Looms For Rosy European Growth Expectations

By Michael Msika, Bloomberg Markets Live reporter and analyst

After a massive wave of optimism on European markets, the expected economic improvement that has buoyed stocks now has to be delivered.

The uptrend is still intact for the Stoxx 600 but signs of overheating have cooled markets, especially after investors priced in a lot more optimism than the economic data actually showed. European preliminary PMIs, due later in the day, might give more clues about the growth outlook, given the still uncertain path of monetary policy.

Stalling manufacturing PMIs over the past couple of months were accompanied with a clear wobble in cyclical equities relative to defensives. A similar pattern could be expected without a significant improvement in the data, as the gap with stocks remains very wide.

“We are in favor of high quality exposure over cyclicals,” say UBS strategists Gerry Fowler and Sutanya Chedda, adding that while the date doesn’t yet point to stagflation ahead, markets are underestimating that possibility. “European equities have rallied strongly to reflect the change in sentiment and discount rates but if softer margins offset sales growth, earnings growth may not propel a bull market.”

After a massive outperformance from cyclical equities, mostly backed by earnings delivery and bottoming economic data, things are starting to look stretched. The group is up 30% since the end of October, more than twice the returns of defensives and dwarfing the Stoxx 600’s 20% surge, and the first quarter earnings season has started to show cracks in the bull case.

“Cyclical sector earnings are softening vs defensives,” say JPMorgan strategists led by Mislav Matejka, pointing that median cyclical vs defensives EPS growth for the Stoxx 600 is at -15%, the worst print since the second quarter of 2020. The strategists have argued for a rotation into defensives last month, especially into utilities and real estate. They are particularly concerned about the earnings prospects of carmakers, citing pricing, volumes and margin weakness. “European activity momentum is improving vs last year, but is still anemic in the historical context, and some of the margin pressures could emerge,” they say.

Even if Europe is a more cyclical market than the US, that doesn’t mean it can’t perform without a cyclical boost. In fact, the recent performance of the overall stock market has shown a clear broadening, consistent with the uncertainty regarding the economic outlook and the monetary policy.

“Although equities have strongly rebounded, the dovish tape has led to a notable rotation within the market. Leadership has indeed turned more barbell, a healthy and logical development in our view, given that cyclicals were looking extended on a number of macro and fundamental measures,” say Barclays strategists led by Emmanuel Cau. “Irrespective of the volatility of US cut expectations, we believe the growth/policy mix in Europe is getting more favorable. We see green shoots emerging in the economy, while upcoming ECB/BOE cuts should open up opportunities within the market.”

Technically, the picture isn’t worrying yet during this consolidation phase. DayByDay technical analyst Valerie Gastaldy shows that the Stoxx 600 has opened three gaps on the way up to 525.2. She notes that the most recent one has been closed, and the index came to a halt, even though US indexes made new highs.

So how far can it fall? Gastaldy notes that a drop down to 514 would bear “no consequence for the trend. Should prices fall below this level, we would have to assume that the index is correcting either the trend started in January, or the one started at the end of October,” she says. “For the time being, the trends remain bullish, though the correction could extend some 2% below current prices.”

Tyler Durden
Fri, 05/24/2024 – 05:00

USAF Releases First Mid-Flight Image Of B-21 Raider 

USAF Releases First Mid-Flight Image Of B-21 Raider 

USAF Releases First Mid-Flight Image Of B-21 Raider 

The B-21 Raider, the US Air Force’s latest stealth bomber, was unveiled in December 2022 and is currently undergoing testing at Edwards Air Force Base in California. This cutting-edge aircraft is poised to gradually replace the B-1 and B-2 bombers in the second half of the decade, solidifying its position as the backbone of America’s stealth bomber fleet. 

On Wednesday, the USAF released new stunning images of the B-21.

Since the stealth bomber debuted, there has only been a handful of images released and or taken by the public: 

The B-21 is USAF’s first strategic bomber in over three decades and is expected to enter service in the mid-2020s with a production goal of 100 aircraft. 

America is gearing up for conflict as the world fractures into a multipolar state. 

Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/23/2024 – 22:40

‘I Did Delete All Of Peter’s Emails Relating To Origin’: COVID Cabal Conspired To Destroy Evidence To Evade FOIA Requests

'I Did Delete All Of Peter's Emails Relating To Origin': COVID Cabal Conspired To Destroy Evidence To Evade FOIA Requests

‘I Did Delete All Of Peter’s Emails Relating To Origin’: COVID Cabal Conspired To Destroy Evidence To Evade FOIA Requests

A new trove of emails released by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic reveal that top researchers involved in manipulating bat coronaviruses to better-infect humans then conspired to delete email evidence of their communications surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak.

Peter Daszak, David Morens, Peter Hotez

The communications focus on top NIH adviser Dr. David Morens, who solicited help from the NIH’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) office to dodge records requests. Morens is currently on administrative leave.

“Evidence in possession of the Select Subcommittee suggests that Dr. Morens, while employed by NIAID and NIH acted as an agent on behalf of a federal grantee, EcoHealth,” the Subcommittee notes. “Morens began assisting Dr. Daszak in how to respond to NIH compliance efforts,” the release continues – referring to EcoHealth Alliance boss Peter Daszak, whose organization was suspended this month from receiving federal funds for three years.

i learned from our foia lady here how to make emails disappear after I am foia’d but before the search starts,” Morens wrote in a Feb. 24, 2021 email to an unknown recipient, adding “Plus i deleted most of those earlier emails after sending them to gmail.

In another email, Morens claims that “With the help of our IT folks, I went over the whole computer and phone situation… Basically, my gmail is safe from FOIA.”

“Please pass this on to Peter and I ask you both that NOTHING gets sent to me except to my gmail.

Morens also emailed Daszak, advising him: “We are all smart enough to know never to have smoking guns, and if we did we wouldn’t put them in emails and if we found them we’d delete them.”

And in another email to Peter Hotez, Morens writes: “The email somehow fell into the hands of the Congressman, probably via FOIA of someone who didn’t delete it, as I did (delete all of Peter’s emails and others relating to origin) when the shit started hitting the fan.”

Meanwhile, Morens joked about getting a kickback from EcoHealth, to which Daszak replied jokingly: “of course there’s a kickback. It starts with 5 more years of FoIA requests … I just hope it doesn’t culminate in 5 years in Federal jail, or even Chinese ‘re-education camp’…

According to Diane Cutler, an ex-investigator for the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, “He has violated the ethical standards of conduct for executive branch employees and has potentially violated criminal law,” she said, referring to Morens, the NY Post reports.

Both Republicans and Democrats on the panel were united in their denunciations of Morens.

The information contained in these 30,000 pages of emails are deeply concerning, and in my opinion reflects poorly upon Dr. Morens and the Office of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease under Dr. Fauci’s leadership and the NIH under Dr. Francis Collins,” Subcommittee chairman Brad Wenstrup (R-Ohio) said in his opening remarks.

“Dr. Fauci’s NIAID was unfortunately less pristine than so many, including the media, would have had us all believe,” he added.

Ranking member Raul Ruiz (D-Calif.) echoed Wenstrup’s remarks in calling Morens’ behavior was “deeply troubling” — but cautioned the emails were “not a breakthrough moment in actually understanding the actual origins of the COVID-19 pandemic.” -NY Post

Now what?

Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/23/2024 – 16:40

Watch: Cruz, Kennedy Destroy Biden Judge For Placing ‘6 Foot 2 Serial Child Rapist’ In Women’s Prison

Watch: Cruz, Kennedy Destroy Biden Judge For Placing '6 Foot 2 Serial Child Rapist' In Women's Prison

Watch: Cruz, Kennedy Destroy Biden Judge For Placing ‘6 Foot 2 Serial Child Rapist’ In Women’s Prison

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and John Kennedy (R-LA) eviscerated a Biden judicial nominee on Wednesday over her 2022 recommendation that a transgender serial rapist, William McClain (aka July Justine Shelby) be housed in a women’s prison despite previous convictions for raping children and possessing child pornography.

The Senators grilled U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn, who was nominated to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Netburn transferred McClain despite an objection from the Board of Prisons.

In a handwritten note, McClain (Shelby) said he feared for his health, safety and life and suffered from gender dysphoria (of course a convicted child rapist wouldn’t expect to fare well in prison).

“Miss Shelby said I don’t want to go to a male prison. I want to go to a female prison,” Kennedy told Netburn. “And the Board of Prisons said What planet did you parachute in from? You’re going to a male prison with this kind of record.’ And you sent him to a female prison, did you? You said that the Board of Prisons was trying to violate Ms Shelby, former Mr. McClain’s, constitutional right, didn’t you?”

Watch (via @Eddies_X)

Kennedy pointed out that Shelby was convicted for molesting a 9-year-old boy and raping a 17-year-old girl, and had sent child porn to other sex offenders.

“I issued a report and recommendation to the district judge recommending that the district judge transfer the petitioner to a women’s facility,” Netburn replied. “My recommendation was that the petitioner’s serious medical needs were being denied by keeping her in a men’s facility.”

Cruz then began his line of questioning.

“And this individual. Six-foot-two, biologically a man. A minute ago you said that when this man decided that he was a she, that you said this individual was quote, I wrote it down, ‘sober and entirely a female,’” Cruz said.

“Sorry, what I meant to say was hormonally a female,” Netburn replied, admitting that McClain had male body parts.

“So you took a six-foot-two serial rapist. Serial child rapist with male genitalia,” Cruz continued. “And he said, you know, I’d like to be in a women’s prison. And your answer was, ‘That sounds great to me.’ Let me ask you something. The other women in that prison, do they have any rights?

Do they have the right not to have a six-foot-two man who is a repeat serial rapist put in as their cellmate?” Cruz continued.

Netburn attempted to defend her decision, robotically repeating iterations of “Senator Cruz, I consider the facts presented to me, and I reached a decision.”

Cruz shot back – “This is not a judge’s order … This is a political activist, by the way. The beginning of your order, says. At birth. People are typically assigned a gender. I gotta say, that would astonish a lot of Americans. A lot of Americans think you go to the hospital, a baby is born, and you congratulations.”

“You have a little boy, a little girl the assigned a gender. I know you went to Brown (University), but it sounds like it’s in a college faculty lounge with no bearing on reality, the Bureau of Prison argued,” Cruz said. “What I’m saying right now, that if you put this person in a female prison, there will be a risk of sexual assault to the women. And you know what you did? You said you didn’t care about the women. I’m going to quote what you wrote. You wrote, quote, the Bureau of Prisons claimed penal logical interest in protecting female prisoners from sexual violence and trauma. This interest is legitimate.”

Watch:

Meanwhile, the redpilling of Bill Ackman continues:

Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/23/2024 – 10:30

Dutch Lawyer Faces Prosecution For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration

Dutch Lawyer Faces Prosecution For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration

Dutch Lawyer Faces Prosecution For Social Media Post Slamming Mass Migration

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Modernity.news,

A Dutch conservative female lawyer is being prosecuted on charges of “racism” and “inciting hatred” after she expressed fury over mass migration in response to a viral video showing a white boy being beaten up and thrown onto a railway track by a gang of migrants.

Raisa Blommestijn revealed how she had received a letter that amounted to an order to appear before a Dutch prosecutor at a court hearing in front of multiple judges on August 19th.

The charges stem from comments Blommestijn made on social media in response to a video of a defenseless Dutch boy being brutally kicked and punched as he lay on the ground at an Amsterdam Metro station in May last year before he was thrown onto the railway track.

“Yet another white man got kicked around in the street by a group of black primates. How many defenseless white people remain to become victims? Countless probably: the open borders elite is importing these people in droves, with all the consequences that entails,” she wrote.

Blommestijn said she was subjected to a four hour police interrogation over her comments and later learned that she would be facing prosecution.

“Until now, it was still unclear what would happen next with this case. Unfortunately, I can tell you that as of today, there is clarity. The sword of Damocles has fallen because this morning I found this letter in my letterbox. A letter that cannot be seen as anything other than a subpoena,” the lawyer told her followers.

The conservative warned that people were being “persecuted for their political opinions” and for opposing mass migration by a nation that is “pretending to be a democracy, a country with freedom of speech.”

Prominent conservatives being punished by authorities for expressing strong anti-mass migration views has become a common theme across Europe, with the state seeking to make an example of them in order to silence dissent.

As we recently highlighted, a German politician was found guilty of ‘incitement’ by a district court after she posted a link to the government’s own statistics on crimes committed by migrants, specifically rape, and asked why they are so disproportionately high.

Three former members of Belgium’s right-wing ‘Nation’ party were also convicted for Facebook posts in which they compared the Brussels district of Molenbeek to Africa due to its massive non-native population and demanded the Belgian government put “our people first.”

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Tyler Durden
Thu, 05/23/2024 – 03:30

“Massive” Cocaine And Fentanyl Stash Discovered In Bronx As Marshals Pursued Fugitive

"Massive" Cocaine And Fentanyl Stash Discovered In Bronx As Marshals Pursued Fugitive

“Massive” Cocaine And Fentanyl Stash Discovered In Bronx As Marshals Pursued Fugitive

A “massive” load of drugs and cash was found in the Bronx last week during a hunt for a fugitive.

New Jersey fraud suspect Aracely Ortiz was being pursued by the US Marshals NY / NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, who stumbled onto a “huge drug operation” while entering a 6th floor apartment, according to the New York Post

The office of Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan announced that they found “a glass-topped table holding numerous glassine envelopes filled with fentanyl” and paraphernalia used for packing drugs.

They also announced that a safe in one bedroom had three bricks of fentanyl and two of cocaine.

Officials discovered six packages of cocaine, three jars of fentanyl, and 10 unidentified packages in a second bedroom. They also found around $100,000 in cash and a money counter, the Post report said. 

Field tests confirmed the presence of fentanyl and cocaine, but further analysis by the DEA is pending. During the raid, Ortiz was in the bedroom and 36 year old Jonathan Corona was exiting. Both were arrested and charged with multiple counts of possessing a controlled substance.

U.S. Marshal Ralph Sozio told the New York Post: “This was another successful takedown of a fugitive, which led to an incidental discovery of serious drug-related activities.”

“I want to commend the NY/NJ Regional Fugitive Task Force, NYPD, and NYS Police for their tireless pursuit in apprehending our city’s fugitives, and in this case the seizure of fentanyl by the NYDETF, the leading cause of overdose deaths, off our city streets,” he concluded. 

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/22/2024 – 20:40

Israeli Hostage Families Release Shocking Clip Of Female Troops’ Abduction

Israeli Hostage Families Release Shocking Clip Of Female Troops' Abduction

Israeli Hostage Families Release Shocking Clip Of Female Troops’ Abduction

The world must look at this cruel atrocity. Those who care about women’s rights must speak out. All those who believe in freedom must speak out, and do everything possible to bring all of the hostages home now,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog has said in a statement, reacting to the Wednesday release of footage showing the abduction of five female IDF soldiers by Hamas terrorists on October 7. The women are still being held captive somewhere in the Gaza Strip.

The families of the hostages agreed to release the raw, shocking clip with an aim to revive efforts to free them. It also comes as the European nations of Spain, Norway, and Ireland earlier the same day declared they are formally recognizing a Palestinian state. Watch the video published by Israeli sources below:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the move by the three nations a “prize for terrorism” and that any future Palestinian state “would try to carry out the October 7 massacre again and again – and that, we shall not agree to.”

“We will continue to do everything to bring them home. The brutality of the Hamas terrorists only strengthens my determination to fight with all my might until Hamas is eliminated and to ensure that what we saw tonight will never happen again.” 

In the newly released footage, some of the girls are clearly battered and blood-soaked, and look terrified as they plead with their armed captors in English. They have been identified as Daniella Gilboa, Karina Ariev, Naama Levy, Agam Berger and Liri Albag.

“Take their pictures,” one of the militants is heard saying. “I want you quiet! Quiet! Sit down,” another shouts at one point. “We will shoot you all.” One girl tries to reason with one of the men by saying that she has friends in Gaza.

“These are the Zionists. You are so beautiful,” one terrorist is also heard saying.And in another moment, one says according to an Israeli media translation: “Our brothers died because of you, we will kill you.”

Then the video shows the captors sitting next to girls with machine guns on their chests, while others are on the floor praying. One of the terrorists says, “Here are the girls,” using a term in Arabic that implies they can be impregnated

Parts of the video which featured dead bodies and other of the more shocking scenes was edited for public release. A father of one of the kidnap victims said: “What else can we do to wake the nation up?” 

Israel’s military has said the number of hostages held in Gaza is 128, but dozens are believed to possibly be deceased.

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/22/2024 – 14:45

China Slaps Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon With Sanctions Over Arms Sales To Taiwan

China Slaps Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon With Sanctions Over Arms Sales To Taiwan

China Slaps Boeing, Lockheed, Raytheon With Sanctions Over Arms Sales To Taiwan

It has been a turbulent week for Sino-US relations. Beijing criticized US Secretary of State Antony Blinken over his support for Taiwan’s new president, and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) imposed sanctions on US defense firms over Taiwan support.

President Lai Ching-te was sworn in early Monday. Shortly after, Blinken released this statement, “We also congratulate the Taiwan people for once again demonstrating the strength of their robust and resilient democratic system.”

Blinken added, “The partnership between the American people and the Taiwan people, rooted in democratic values, continues to broaden and deepen across trade, economic, cultural, and people-to-people ties.”

These comments did not sit well with Beijing… 

“It’s a serious violation of the political commitment made by the US to maintain only cultural, commercial and other unofficial relations with the Taiwan region,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Tuesday in response to Blinken’s comments. 

Fast-forward to Wednesday, when MOFA imposed sanctions on twelve US defense contractors and ten of their top executives for supplying Taiwan with arms, according to the Hong Kong media outlet Dimsum Daily.

Here’s more from Dimsum: 

The sanctions target prominent American defence corporations such as Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, Javelin Joint Venture, Raytheon Systems, General Dynamics Armament and Tactical Systems, among others. The Chinese government has declared it will freeze its assets within China, impacting both movable and immovable property.

Furthermore, ten executives, including six from Northrop Grumman like Chairman and CEO Kathy J. Warden, will face travel bans restricting their entry into China, Hong Kong, and Macao. This measure extends to four executives from General Dynamics, highlighting the depth of Beijing’s retaliatory steps.

The Ministry criticized the US for disregarding China’s neutral stance on the Ukraine crisis and leveraging it to justify economic bullying and coercion. According to Beijing, these actions severely infringe upon the legitimate rights of Chinese firms and individuals and breach the foundational norms governing Sino-American diplomatic relations. -Dimsum Daily

Flashpoints such as Taiwan and the South China Sea must be monitored closely through the decade’s end. With the world fracturing into a multipolar state, conflict risk is elevated. 

Last month, US Adm. John Aquilino, commander of the US Indo-Pacific Command, warned the timeline for Chinese President Xi Jinping to invade Taiwan is by 2027. 

Tyler Durden
Wed, 05/22/2024 – 07:45