Biden has been busy undoing Trump’s accomplishments via executive orders since he took office, but his latest order actually expands a Trump-era ban on American investment in dozens of Chinese firms.
“Biden signed an executive order Thursday that prohibits Americans from owning or trading any securities tied to 59 companies, citing the threat of Chinese surveillance technology” reports CNN. Originally signed by former President Donald Trump in November, the ban applied to 31 Chinese companies the Trump administration said “enable the development and modernization” of China’s military and “directly threaten” U.S. security.
Biden’s continuation of Trump’s campaign to protect against Chinese tech and other companies goes into effect on August 2. According to the White House, the administration’s decision to expand the ban is due to the “unusual and extraordinary threats” posed by Chinese surveillance technology.
The decision “allows the United States to prohibit – in a targeted and scoped manner – US investments in Chinese companies that undermine the security or democratic values of the United States and our allies” according to the White House.
How far Biden has come since only one short year ago on the campaign trail when he continuously downplayed the threat of China. Amongst Biden’s flippant comments were “I mean, you know, they’re not bad folks. But guess what? They’re not competition for us” and dismissively saying, “China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man.”
In a press briefing Friday, China condemned the White House’s executive order stating the U.S. has “unscrupulously suppressed and restricted Chinese companies.” Wang Wenbin, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said China “firmly opposes” the move and that it hurts “not only the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies but also the interests of global investors, including US investors.”
China Claims New Avian Flu Virus ‘Accidental Cross-Species Transmission’ With Low Risk of Large-Scale Spread
China reported the very first human in the world infected with H10N3, a strain of the avian bird flu. Sounds terrifying, particularly as the world is digging itself out of a devastating global pandemic from yet another virus first detected in residents of China. Fret not, however, “China says not to worry about human-to-human transmission in this case of bird flu,” reports Hot Air.
The 41-year-old man in China developed multiple symptoms, including a fever in April, hospitalized days later, and diagnosed with the bird flu roughly a month after. However, Chinese government officials released a statement saying the risk of large-scale spread is low.
“This infection is an accidental cross-species transmission. The risk of large-scale transmission is low” claims the statement. If nothing else, we have learned variants of viruses can be more deadly or problematic.
However, just last week, China’s version of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a warning about bird flu: “Following recent avian flu outbreaks in Africa and Eurasia, the head of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention last week urged stricter surveillance in poultry farms, markets and wild birds.” So, which is it?
Hot Air questions if the timing is a coincidence, and notes “Bird flu has crossed over before, and not just in China. On the surface, there’s no reason to suspect that anything else is afoot, or that new influenza might spread this year, complicating global recovery from COVID-19.”
Hot Air also addresses that given China’s opacity and misdirection on the origins and emergence of COVID-19, it’s tough to put much stock in their explanation of this new month-old case with claims that ‘there’s nothing to see here.’
CBS News gives a look into the history of avian-human transmission:
The NHC said there had been no human cases of H10N3 previously reported in the world.
Several strains of bird flu have been found among animals in China but mass outbreaks in humans are rare.
The last human epidemic of bird flu in China occurred in late 2016 to 2017, with the H7N9 virus.
The H7N9 has infected 1,668 people and claimed 616 lives since 2013, according to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization.
Biden State Department Nominee Supports Chinese Propaganda Program
A Chinese government program, the Confucius Institute, disseminates pro-Beijing propaganda on American college campuses and has the full support of a top Biden State Department nominee.
Joe Biden’s choice for undersecretary of state for political affairs, Victoria Nuland, praised the Confucius Institute, which is Chinese government-funded, being integrated at American Universities at a 2012 press conference.
Nuland, then an Obama administration spokeswoman, praised the campus institutes as a crucial part of “people-to-people exchange” between the two superpowers, dismissing concerns about Chinese ambition.
A reporter asked Nuland if the Obama administration was concerned about “the Confucius Institute’s expansion in the U.S. as the strongest Chinese soft power?”
“No,” Nuland responded. “This [Confucius Institute] is something that we support. It’s part of the people-to-people understanding.”
The Confucius Institute quickly expanded its influence during the Obama era, establishing itself at more than 100 American universities and colleges during its peak in 2017, despite warnings about the Chinese Communist Party’s influence. Several government reports found the Chinese government exercised high degrees of control over campus institutes, barring their instructors from teaching taboo topics such as Tibet or Hong Kong. Frequently, instructors were contractually obligated to follow Chinese law even when teaching on American soil.
Nuland’s sympathetic comments about the Confucius Institute could ruffle feathers in the Senate, which will decide whether to confirm the former diplomat to the third-highest position in the State Department. Republican senators have demanded answers from multiple Biden nominees for China-friendly comments or business deals in the authoritarian country.
Many people are concerned with Biden’s connections to the Communist Country including Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) who said “Any nominee who has spoken in favor of Confucius Institutes is extremely concerning, we cannot have individuals who are either naïve to—or even sympathize with—the threat that Beijing poses in top national security positions.”
In another press conference from 2011, Nuland said that she welcomed the “rise of a prosperous, successful China. We don’t see China’s rise as a threat, nor do we seek to contain China’s rise.”
Click here for the full story.