October 6, 2022

Beijing today hit out at Biden’s remarks on Taiwan saying his comments ‘severely violate’ US policy after he said US troops will defend the island if China invades. 

At a press briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning said: ‘The US remarks… severely violate the important commitment the US made not to support Taiwan independence, and send a seriously erroneous signal to Taiwanese separatist independence forces.’

Mao added: ‘We are willing to make the biggest sincere efforts to strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification.

‘At the same time, we will never tolerate any activities aimed at splitting the country, and reserve the choice to take all necessary measures.

‘We urge the US side to fully recognise the extreme importance and high sensitivity of the Taiwan question… (and) earnestly implement the commitment made by US leaders not to support Taiwanese independence.’

It comes after Biden was asked in an interview whether US troops would defend Taiwan and replied ‘yes’, if it were ‘an unprecedented attack.’ 

But his explosive comments were quickly torpedoed by the White House, which said official policy had not changed.

An official rushed to stress the US remains ‘strategic ambiguity’ to the threat to Taiwan – as set out in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act.

At a press briefing, foreign ministry spokesman Mao Ning, pictured, said: ‘The US remarks… severely violate the important commitment the US made not to support Taiwan independence, and send a seriously erroneous signal to Taiwanese separatist independence forces’

Tensions between China and the US are already higher than usual in the wake of a rare visit to Taiwan by Nancy Pelosi, a key Biden ally and speaker of the House of Representatives.

Biden’s comments mark the furthest the president has gone towards embroiling America in another global war amid rising tensions in the Far East.

It comes after he announced a $1.1billion arms package for the island and vowed to keep boosting its defense as the prospect of invasion looms.

Formal diplomatic relations with Taiwan were cut by Washington in 1979, switching recognition to Bejing as the sole representative of China.

However, at the same time, the US maintained a decisive, if delicate, role in supporting Taiwan.   

President Joe Biden vowed in an explosive 60 minutes interview on Sunday that the United States would use its own force to defend Taiwan if China invaded the island 

Taiwanese soldiers man an anti-aircraft gun on August 18, weeks before the US sold the island $1.1billion in military equiptment

Chinese President Xi Jinping on September 16. In the 60 Minutes interview Biden said he would use military force to defend Taiwan should China invade the island

Appearing on 60 Minutes on Sunday night – his first TV interview in over seven months – Biden was asked: ‘Would U.S. forces defend the island?’

He replied: ‘Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack.’

Journalist Scott Pelley said: ‘So unlike Ukraine, to be clear, sir. US forces, US men and women would defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion?’

‘Yes,’ Biden said.

Despite the president’s black and white comments, after the interview a White House official said the US official policy towards the defense of Taiwan – the ‘strategic ambiguity’ outlined in the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act – remained unchanged.

‘The President has said this before, including in Tokyo earlier this year,’ the official said. ‘He also made clear then that our Taiwan policy hasn’t changed. That remains true.’

The president also seemed to reference the Taiwan Relations Act in the interview, saying the policy the US had maintained towards Taiwan for years remained in place.

‘We agree with what we signed onto a long time ago,’ Biden said in the interview. ‘And that there’s one China policy, and Taiwan makes their own judgments about their independence. We are not moving – we’re not encouraging their being independent. We’re not – that – that’s their decision.’

The Taiwan Relations Act requires that the US provide Taiwan with munitions to defend itself should it be needed.

Adherence to that stipulation resulted in the State Department’s sale of $1.1 billion in military equipment to Taiwan just this month.

‘This package was in the works for some time precisely because we expected it would be needed as China increased its pressure on Taiwan,’ a State Department spokesperson said on September 6.

‘We have and we will continue to be responsible, steady, and resolute and keep our lines of communication open with Beijing, but also continue to support Taiwan in consistent – in ways that are consistent with our policy.’

Ordnance crew members shoulder a AIM-9 Sidewinder missile on board the USS Abraham Lincoln

Taiwan spent some $355 million to buy 60 Harpoon Block II missiles which can track and sink incoming vessels if China launches an assault by water

A US-made 155mm howitzer firing during a drill at Penghu islands in Taiwan in August

After the sale, China called Taiwan an ‘inalienable’ part of its territory, said the United States to should ‘immediately revoke’ the arms sales.

‘It sends wrong signals to ‘Taiwan independence’ separatist forces and severely jeopardizes China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait,’ said Liu Pengyu, spokesman for the Chinese embassy in Washington.

‘China will resolutely take legitimate and necessary counter-measures in light of the development of the situation,’ he said.

The sale came a month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defiantly visited the self-governing democracy, prompting mainland China to launch a show of force that could be a trial run for a future invasion.

The package – the largest for Taiwan approved under President Joe Biden’s administration – includes $665 million for contractor support to maintain and upgrade a Raytheon early radar warning system in operation since 2013 that would warn Taiwan about an incoming attack.

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Taiwan spent some $355 million to buy 60 Harpoon Block II missiles which can track and sink incoming vessels if China launches an assault by water.

The arms also include $85.6 million for more than 100 Sidewinder missiles, a mainstay of Western militaries for their air-to-air firepower.

Pelosi, center, walks with Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu, left, as she arrives in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2022

Pelosi defended the trip that has provoked Chinese ire and a slew of threats and military drills: ‘Our purpose in going to Taiwan was to say that we have this strong relationship built on the status quo, which we support’

A spokesperson for the State Department, which approved the sale, said the package was ‘essential for Taiwan’s security’ and stressed that the United States still recognized only Beijing and not Taipei.

‘We urge Beijing to cease its military, diplomatic and economic pressure against Taiwan and instead engage in meaningful dialogue with Taiwan,’ the spokesperson said.

‘[The sales] are routine cases to support Taiwan’s continuing efforts to modernize its armed forces and to maintain a credible defensive capability,’ the spokesperson said on condition of anonymity in line with protocol.

‘The United States will continue to support a peaceful resolution of cross-Strait issues, consistent with the wishes and best interests of the people on Taiwan,’ he said.

China’s nationalists set up a rival government in Taiwan in 1949 after losing the mainland’s civil war although the island has since blossomed into a vibrant democracy and major technological hub.

Since then, China has considered Taiwan a province awaiting reunification, by force if necessary. 

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine raised growing questions on whether China may follow suit in Taiwan and whether the island was equipped to defend itself.

In a July, CIA chief Bill Burns said that Chinese President Xi Jinping was still determined to assert control over Taiwan but that Russia’s woes in Ukraine may have prompted Beijing to wait and make sure it can have an overwhelming military advantage.

Joe Biden says it ‘remains to be seen’ if he’ll run in 2024 as he hasn’t made a ‘firm decision’: President blasts ‘irresponsible’ Donald Trump for keeping classified files at Mar-a-Lago

President Joe Biden said it ‘remains to be seen’ whether he will run for a second-term in 2024 as he blasted former President Donald Trump as ‘irresponsible’ for keeping classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago home.

In a rare interview with 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday the president would not commit to running for re-election in 2024  — but said that is the plan currently.

‘My intention, as I said to begin with, is that I would run again,’ he said. ‘But it´s just an intention. But is it a firm decision that I run again? That remains to be seen.’

‘I’m a great respecter of fate. And so, what I’m doing is I’m doing my job. I’m gonna do that job,’ he continued. ‘And within the timeframe that makes sense after this next election cycle here, going into next year, make a judgment on what to do.’

The president has been benefitting from a recent bump in the polls after he pushed through the climate nd prescription drug bill.

In a poll last month, Biden saw his approval rating leap 9 percent following a slump t around 36 percent in July. 

The bump comes from Democrats showing renewed enthusiasm for Biden, with 78 percent of party members now approving of the job Biden is doing.

President Joe Biden said in a rare 60 Minutes interview that aired on Sunday that he does intend to run for re-election 

The president also used his interview with 60 Minutes to slam his predecessor for keeping classified documents in his Mar a Lago home. 

Biden said that when he heard about classified documents being taken from the White House, he wondered how ‘anyone could be that irresponsible.’

‘And I thought what data was in there that may compromise sources and methods?’

The president said he did not get a heads-up before the Trump estate was searched, and he has not asked for any specifics ‘because I don’t want to get myself in the middle of whether or not the Justice Department should move or not move on certain actions they could take.’

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, meanwhile, says it took about 11,000 documents, including roughly 100 with classification markings found in a storage room and an office, while serving a court-authorized search warrant at the home on August 8. 

The warrant says federal agents were investigating potential violations of three different federal laws, including one that governs gathering, transmitting or losing defense information under the Espionage Act. 

The president also slammed his predecessor, pictured here with JD Vance at a rally in Youngstown, Ohio on Saturday, for keeping classified documents at his Mar a Lago home

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested the classified documents found in the Mar-A-Lago raid be withheld from the special master’s review ahead of the preliminary meeting. It requested the Appeals Court allow it to have it’s own investigator review the classified documents 

In the aftermath, Trump hired Chris Kise to serve as his attorney in the investigation into the Mar-a-Lago search and the classified documents found there.

Kise, who had been a partner at Foley and Lardner LLP, has won four cases before the US Supreme Court and is well-versed in the Florida legal system.

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But before the experienced lawyer accepted the high-profile and challenging case, he insisted he was paid in advance, Politico reported on Thursday.

The money came from Trump’s campaign group, Save America PAC, to which his supporters are frequently asked to donate. 

The agreement between Kise and Trump stipulated that if the case drags on, Kise can bill for more.

He could also eventually deal with of the issues surrounding a separate probe into Trump’s actions around the Capitol Riot, The Wall Street Journal said.

Chris Kise has been hired to represent former President Donald Trump in the investigation into the documents found at Mar-a-Lago

Weeks after the search, Trump lawyers asked a judge to appoint a special master to conduct an independent review of the records. 

But the Department of Justice has since requested that the classified documents be withheld from the special master’s review ahead of a preliminary meeting. 

Judge Raymond Dearie (pictured) has been appointed to be the special master and has until November 30 to complete his review of the 11,000 documents 

The DOJ requested the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals to allow its own criminal investigators to review the classified information and to exclude it from Special Master Judge Raymond Dearie’s review. 

The Department sought the intervention after US District Judge Aileen Cannon – a Trump appointee – declined the DOJ’s request to lift the temporary prohibition of the usage of the 100 classified documents found in the raid. The DOJ’s investigation is being stalled due to the special master’s review.

The department told the 11th Circuit in Atlanta that the judge’s hold was impeding the ‘government’s efforts to protect the nation’s security’ and interfering with its investigation into the presence of top-secret information at Mar-a-Lago. It said the hold needed to be lifted immediately so work could resume.

‘The government and the public would suffer irreparable harm absent a stay,’ Department lawyers wrote in their brief to the appeals court.

The Justice Department argues that the documents could, in no way, be Trump’s personal property, as the former president is trying to claim. 

‘None of those rationales applies to the records bearing classification markings: The markings establish on the face of the documents that they are not [Trump]’s personal property,’ the DOJ said.  

The request also comes as the Department of Justice and Trump’s lawyers have been called to a New York City court for a ‘preliminary conference’ by the special master who will review the 11,000 documents taken from the Mar-A-Lago raid. 

Dearie has asked the two parties to attend the conference on September 20 at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse. 

Both parties have until September 19 to submit ‘proposed agenda items’ for discussion at the meeting, according to Fox News.

Joe Biden says he’ll gain ‘control’ over inflation and vows to tackle the cost of living crisis crippling US – as he declares COVID pandemic ‘over’ despite HUNDREDS still dying daily

Joe Biden has said he does not believe the economy is as bad as people think, despite inflation being at a 40-year high.

The President, who rarely does television interviews, made the assertions during an interview with CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday.

His optimistic view on the US’s finances came after stocks fell sharply last week when a key August inflation report came in hotter than expected, hurting investor optimism for cooling prices and a less aggressive Federal Reserve.

The August consumer price index report showed a higher-than-expected reading for inflation. Headline inflation rose 0.1% month over month, even with falling gas prices.

The wide-ranging interview also saw Biden declare that the economically crippling pandemic was ‘over’ – despite hundreds of people still dying daily across America.

Meanwhile he hit back at Russia over its brutal war in Ukraine and tried to assure Americans the country was better set than most to deal with the global economic repercussions. 

President Biden has promised to take ‘control’ of inflation, currently at 8.3%

Despite the record rate of inflation, Biden appeared to downplay the news by noting how the rate had barely budged since July.

‘Let’s put this in perspective. Inflation rate month to month was just an inch, hardly at all,’ Biden began. 

Core inflation rose 0.6 percent month over month – but on a year-over-year basis, inflation is at 8.3 percent.

‘We’re in a position where, for the last several months, it hasn’t spiked. It has been basically even.

‘And in the meantime, we created all these jobs and prices have gone up, but they’ve come down for energy,’ the president said.

‘The fact is that we’ve created 10 million new jobs. We’re in a situation where the the unemployment rate is about 3.7 percent one of the lowest in history.

‘We’re in a situation where manufacturing is coming back to the United States in a big way.

‘And look down the road, we have massive investments being made in computer chips and- and employment. This is a process.’

Biden made the assertions that he would get inflation under control and that the pandemic was finally over during an interview with CBS 60 Minutes on Sunday

When asked by reporter Scott Pelley if the economy was going to get worse before it gets better, the president gave a rambling answer with little detail.

We hope we can have what they say, ‘a soft landing,’ a transition to a place where we don’t lose the gains that I ran to make in the first place for middle-class folks, being able to generate good-paying jobs and expansion. And at the same time make sure we are able to continue to grow.

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Biden did make one promise to Americans – that he would get inflation ‘under control’ and start to bring down costs. 

‘Their prescription drug prices are gonna be a hell of a lotta lower. Their health care costs are gonna be a lot lower. Their basic costs for everybody, their energy prices are gonna be lower. They’re gonna be in a situation where they begin to gain control again. I’m more optimistic than I’ve been in a long time.’

Biden said that the economy was still continuing to grow and that he believes ‘the introduction of 685,000 manufacturing jobs’ since he became president’ will ‘continue to put people in a position to be able to make a decent living and grow.’

Biden declared the pandemic to be over while walking around the Detroit Auto Show last week – an event which drew thousands of visitors

The discussion quickly turned to the pandemic which Biden declared to be ‘over’,  even though the country continues to grapple with coronavirus infections that kill hundreds of Americans daily.

‘The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it, but the pandemic is over. If you notice, no one’s wearing masks. Everybody seems to be in pretty good shape and so I think it’s changing. And I think this is a perfect example of it,’ Biden said while walking around the Detroit Auto Show last week – an event which drew thousands of visitors.

The toll of the COVID-19 pandemic has diminished significantly since early in Biden’s term when more than 3,000 Americans per day were dying, as enhanced care, medications and vaccinations have become more widely available.

But nearly 400 people a day continue to die from COVID-19 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Nearly 400 people a day continue to die from COVID-19 in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but Biden says the pandemic is now ‘over’

Biden spent more than two weeks isolated in the White House after two bouts with COVID-19, starting in July. His wife Jill contracted the virus in August. Biden has said the mild cases were a testament to the improvements in care during his presidency.

Biden has asked Congress for $22.4 billion more in funding to prepare for a potential fall case surge.

During the wide-ranging interview, discussion turned to Ukraine. 

Biden said that his decision to release a million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has helped bring the price of gasoline down about 26% from the $5 high experienced this past June. 

Prices spiked at the start of the summer in part because Russia cut fuel supplies in its war on Ukraine and Vladimir Putin began throttling energy supplies.

Biden does not see it as a problem going forward. 

‘We, the United States, are in much better shape than anyone else is, and relative to Russia particularly.’

The president said the U.S. commitment to Ukraine was ‘ironclad’ and would remain so ‘as long as it takes.’

Ukrainian troops are engaged in a counteroffensive that has reclaimed towns and cities from Russian troops. Last week Ukrainian forces recaptured about 3,000 square miles from the Russian invasion. But the toll the war has taken is vast, and fresh atrocities are being revealed, including torture chambers and mass graves.

Since January 2021, the U.S. has given more than $13.5 billion in security assistance to Ukraine but Biden feel’s the cost to be justified. 

‘It has been barbaric, what he’s done. His attacks on everything from civilian hospitals to old-age homes, to neighborhoods where just ordinary people live to schools,  it’s just outrageous. And so the price Ukrainian people are paying for this war is extremely high. But we’re gonna stay with ’em as long as they need our help.

The toll the war in Ukraine has taken is vast, and fresh atrocities are being revealed, including torture chambers and mass graves. Pictured, Ukrainian authorities exhume bodies of people killed as a result of war at the Izium city after Russian Forces withdrew

Asked what Biden would say to Russia’s President Putin if he were to be considering using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons to secure victory, he had a clear message. ‘Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II’, Biden urged

‘Ukraine, through the significant help we and our allies are giving them and the incredible bravery and the incredible determination of the Ukrainian people, are not losing a war, and they’re making gains in certain areas.

‘Winning the war in Ukraine is to get Russia out of Ukraine completely and recognizing the sovereignty,’ Biden said.

‘They’re defeating Russia. Russia’s turning out not to be as competent and capable as many people thought they were gonna be. But winning the war? The damage it’s doing, and the citizens, and the innocent people are being killed, it’s awful hard to count that as winning.’ 

Asked what Biden would say to Russia’s President Putin if he were to be considering using chemical or tactical nuclear weapons to secure victory, he had a clear message.

‘Don’t. Don’t. Don’t. You will change the face of war unlike anything since World War II’, Biden urged.

‘They’ll become more of a pariah in the world than they ever have been. And depending on the extent of what they do will determine what response would occur.’