As tensions are on the rise between the United States and China, President Biden could have a virtual meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping as soon as next week to discuss cooperation, though a date has not been scheduled, according to Fox News.
As reported by CNBC, “’ Right now, China-U.S. relations are at a critical historical juncture. Both countries will gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Cooperation is the only right choice,’ Xi wrote in a letter read aloud by Chinese ambassador Qin Gang at the New York-based National Committee on U.S.-China Relations’ annual gala.’ Xi continued, ‘Following the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, China stands ready to work with the United States to enhance exchanges and cooperation across the board.’”
President Biden spoke with Xi in September as part of his effort to “manage the competition” between the U.S. and China. Biden emphasized the United States’ “enduring interest in peace, stability, and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific and the world and the two leaders discussed the responsibility of both nations to ensure competition does not veer into conflict,” according to a White House report of the conversation.
This report comes as the relationship between the United States and China remains strained due to tensions with trade, coronavirus, allegations of genocide, and military build-up.
On Monday, CBS News reported images of U.S. ships being used for target practice by the People’s Liberation Army. “Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a daily briefing Monday that he had no information about the images, saying ‘I’m not aware of the situation you mentioned.’”
This month, the Pentagon reported that China has been rapidly increasing its nuclear capabilities that appear “designed to enable Beijing to match or surpass U.S. global power by midcentury.” According to U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, “We are witnessing one of the largest shifts in global geostrategic power that the world has witnessed.”
Additionally, China has been reportedly expanding its military flights near Taiwan, “a self-governing island republic claimed by Beijing and which it threatens to annex by force.” Taiwan receives weapons from the U.S. to defend itself against threats. While the U.S. Navy’s presence in the South China Sea remains dominant, China has been increasing the number of vessels in its navy and coast guard in the region.
Since President Biden’s last meeting with President Xi Jinping, many more pressing issues have been placed on the table that are of serious concern regarding U.S.-China relations.
Putin Survived Assassination Attempt Two Months Ago: Ukrainian Official
Russian President Vladimir Putin survived an assassination attempt approximately two months ago, according to a top Ukrainian military official.
Kyrylo Budanov, the Head of the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, said in an interview with Ukrainska Pravda that the “unsuccessful attempt” occurred shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
“There was an attempt to assassinate Putin… He was even attacked, it is said, by representatives of the Caucasus, not so long ago,” Budanov said. “This is non-public information. [It was an] Absolutely unsuccessful attempt, but it really happened… It was about 2 months ago”
“I repeat, this attempt was unsuccessful. There was no publicity about this event, but it took place,” he added.
As noted by The Telegraph, “The Kremlin has not reported any such incidents in recent months. Mr Budanov did not provide any details and it was unclear if he was referring to Russia’s North Caucasus region where two separatist wars took place in the 1990s, or the South Caucasus which includes Georgia.”
There have also been failed assassination attempts on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. According to his adviser Mikhail Podolyak, Zelensky survived at least a dozen assassination attempts in the first two weeks of the invasion.
Zelensky has gone as far as to compare Russia’s repeated failed assassination attempts to the film “Groundhog Day” during an interview Monday with Axios’ Jonathan Swan.
Zelensky told Swan that anyone would be afraid when they learn about an attempt on their life the first few times, “but when it becomes repetitive, do you remember that film, ‘Groundhog Day’?” Zelensky said, “I wake up in the morning and it’s still the same.”
“When we decided to defend our country, to stand up and to stay in Ukraine … to keep our positions, hold our defense lines … we understood that that was our life from our point on,” he added. “There are many deaths, too many deaths … I am still alive and that’s why it’s me talking to you, it’s not any kind of technology being used.”
Ted Cruz: Ukraine Aid Is In America’s Best Interests
Last week, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) gave a speech in favor of a bill sending another $40 billion in aid to Ukraine to help the country defend itself against the Russian invasion, arguing that the bill was in the United States’ best interests.
“I emphatically agree that President Biden and congressional Democrats have failed on the issues here at home that Texans and Americans rightly care about and we should fix,” Cruz began. “Right now we have a raging border crisis that President Biden won’t do a thing about, with skyrocketing inflation, with gas prices at record highs. We have a baby formula shortage that has left parents all over the country scrambling to try to feed their babies.”
“These are real problems that the Democrats caused and now refuse to even try to fix, and in multiple instances such as gas prices, these are problems that Democrats have deliberately made worse, inflicting pain on millions of Americans,” Cruz continued. “All of that can be true at home, and it doesn’t mean the world has suddenly become safe and that our enemies do not mean us harm.”
“At the same time we need to secure our border and address the domestic crises, we also need to confront the very real threat posed by Russia and by China,” he added. “We can’t let the fact that Biden and the Democrats have created massive domestic and economic failures cause us to ignore threats to U.S. national security posed directly by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.”
Cruz concluded by saying the “reason we should support our Ukrainian allies is because it protects American national security, it keeps America safer, and it prevents our enemies from getting stronger, from threatening the safety and security of Americans, and from driving up the cost, the economic damage, to Americans.”
A press release from Cruz’s office summarized his argument, saying, “The bill includes almost $9 billion to replenish U.S. stockpiles, which have become dangerously depleted, directly endangering the national security of the United States and our allies.”
“Putin is trying to seize control of energy. If he’s successful, it will be felt by Americans filling up their cars with gas or trying to heat their homes in the winter,” the press release adds. “If Putin wins in Ukraine, it will confirm for Xi that he can confidently invade Taiwan, seizing control of the global supply of semiconductors. The results would be catastrophic for U.S. supply chains and the price of each and every product Americans purchase.”
The press release additionally notes that if “China were to conquer Taiwan, it would give the Chinese Communist Party a stranglehold on the global supply of semiconductors. It is simply impossible to overstate the utter catastrophe that would impose on Americans. Overnight, it would be impossible to acquire or repair everything we rely on in modern life.”
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