China broke deal with US, dreaming Biden will win: Trump

Accusing China of breaking the negotiated trade deal draft with the United States, President Donald Trump on Sunday said Beijing was now “dreaming” that he would be replaced by a Democratic candidate after the 2020 presidential elections.

China

In a series of tweets, Trump indicated toughening of his stand against China.

After the near collapse of trade talks with China last week, Trump on Friday imposed a hefty duty on import of Chinese products from 10 per cent to 25 per cent worth more than USD 200 billion and asking for a similar increase on tariff on the rest of the Chinese import of over USD 300 billion.

“We are right where we want to be with China. Remember, they broke the deal with us and tried to renegotiate,” Trump said justifying his decision to impose a hefty tax on Chinese products. The new taxes would result in hefty revenue to the US, he said.

“We will be taking in Tens of Billions of Dollars in Tariffs from China. Buyers of product can make it themselves in the USA (ideal), or buy it from non-Tariffed countries…,” he said.

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“We will then spend (match or better) the money that China may no longer be spending with our Great Patriot Farmers (Agriculture), which is a small percentage of total Tariffs received, and distribute the food to starving people in nations around the world! GREAT! #MAGA,” Trump said.

A few hours later, he asserted that China’s sudden change in policy was mainly because it thought that leaders from the opposition Democratic party would be able to replace him in the White House after the 2020 presidential elections. By doing so, China was dreaming, he said.

China is DREAMING that Sleepy Joe Biden, or any of the others, gets elected in 2020. They LOVE ripping off America!,” Trump said.

Appearing on Fox News, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the consumers of the United States would pay the increased taxes.

Related:- Post-Uighur study, Pakistan thinks China needs to understand Islam

“It’s not China that pays the tariffs, it’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what, is in fact, a tax increase,” he said.

“Fair enough. In fact, both sides will pay in these things, and of course it depends,” he said when asked “if it’s a tariff on goods coming into the country, the Chinese aren’t paying”.

Congressman Warren Davidson sought to impose sanctions on China on Sunday for walking away from good faith negotiations.”If China walks away from good faith negotiations, we could minimise collateral damage to US consumers and economy by using targeted sanctions against specific companies using subsidies, dumping, or stolen IP. Multiply allies instead of multiplying enemies,” Davidson said.

Post-Uighur study, Pakistan thinks China needs to understand Islam

China needs to come up with confidence-building measures in Xinjiang and a “better understanding of the religion” will be helpful for Chinese authorities in “understanding the people’s aspirations and concerns” are the key findings of the internal assessment done by Pakistan to understand the mood of the public on the situation of Uighurs.

pakistan

The internal assessment done by Pakistan on public sentiment on the atrocities against Uighurs Muslims by the Chinese govt in the restive western province of Xinjiang saw religious Urdu journals being more vocal about it.

The assessment recommended that “reliable and mature religious” leaders need to be kept on frequent communication. And these religious leaders should feel the “closeness” in which they may give a suggestion to Chinese authorities on the issue.

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But largely a relook by Chinese authorities of “governance” is what is needed–this includes revisiting the approach of compulsory and forcible re-education of Uighur Muslims.

While Pakistani internal assessment has lauded Chinese leadership in the long term strategy of mainstreaming and integration of people of Xinjiang, the report suggests the common population should not be seen as a collective threat. It hopes fasting, prayers, recitation of Quran should be allowed since these are important tenets of Islam and restrictions over them is a cause discomfort.

The internal report has recommended that Muslims should be allowed the freedom to perform their rituals which will give a positive message inside and outside of China.  

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In fact, the news of curbs and restrictions on the Muslim way of life in other parts of China as well is seen as extremely disturbing for anyone in Pakistan, the report concurs.

It is important to know, Pakistan has banned online publication of extremist journals Hittin. The primary cause has been that it has been very critical of Chinese influence in Pakistan and Beijing should not be seen as a well-wisher to people of the region. It has talked about the mammoth infrastructure project the China Pakistan economic corridor in the same context and highlighted the “plight of Muslims in East Turkistan”. Xinjiang is also referred to as East Turkestan especially by extremist and terror groups–East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

ED summons Shruti Modi in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Sushant Singh Rajput’s ex-manager Shruti Modi. She was snapped at the ED office in Mumbai some time back. Reportedly, Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty was in touch with Modi and made various phone calls to her.

ED

Rhea was spotted with her brother Showmik Chakraborty as they came before ED for interrogation in the case. While Rhea is still being interrogated, Showmik was allowed to leave the office.

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A few hours before appearing, Rhea requested the ED to postpone the recording of her statement till her Supreme Court plea hearing. Rejecting the request, the ED had reportedly also warned they would register Rhea Chakraborty’s absence as non-compliance of summons.

Both Rhea and Showmik were reportedly business partners with Sushant Singh Rajput. ED has summoned Rhea for questioning in connection with a money laundering case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. The Bihar Police had found Rs. 15 crore missing from Sushant’s bank account. The same was also confirmed by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

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Sushant’s father KK Singh, in his FIR with the Bihar Police, had also stated that he suspects Rhea took Sushant’s money. KK Singh had made other claims too, including Rhea kept Sushant away from his friends and family.

The ED is seeking details of the financial transactions of the firm Vividrage Rhealityx, in which Rhea is a director. They will also investigate the financial transactions of ‘Front India For World’, in which her brother Showik Chakraborty is a director.

Home Minister Amit Shah hospitalised for COVID-19

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Sunday. The minister himself confirmed the news from his official account on Twitter. He has currently been admitted to a hospital in Delhi.

In the meanwhile, reactions started pouring in from across the political spectrum in connection with the development.

Amit Shah

BJP President JP Nadda wrote, “Received news of Union Home Minister Amit Shah testing COVID-19 positive. I pray to God for his speedy recovery.”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan tweeted in Hindi, he wrote: “May God heal you completely soon and you join the service with full energy. We wish you all the best!”

Notably, Chouhan himself had tested positive for coronavirus last month.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu wrote: “Our Prayers for a speedy recovery, get well soon Amit Shah Ji.”

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Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy wished recovery to Shah on Twitter and wrote, “I  am sorry to hear from news media that Amit Shah has to be admitted to hospital because he has tested positive for Coronavirus. I wish him a speedy recovery and pray for his early discharge.”

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma wrote, “My good wishes for your speedy recovery Adarniya @AmitShah Ji. With your resolute determination and strong will power, you will soon come out of this.”

Earlier, Union Home Minster Amit Shah himself confirmed the news from his official handle on Twitter. He said that due to early symptoms coronavirus, he went for a test and the test result came positive. Although his health is fine, he will get himself admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors, Shah said.

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He also urged those who came into close contact with him in the past few days to get themselves tested for the virus.

“On getting the initial symptoms of coronavirus, I got the test done and the report came back positive. My health is fine, but I am being admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors. I request that all of you who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get your tests done,” Shah tweeted out in Hindi.

Meanwhile, India has witnessed a huge single-day spike of 54,735 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally over the 17.50 lakh mark, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

With this latest spike, the total cases in the country stand at 17,50,724. Among these cases 5,67,730 are active. A total of 11,45,630 patients have been cured/discharged/migrated.

 

chinese army’s secret ‘61398’ unit spying on india’s defense and research

The Chinese Army’s secret unit ‘61398’, known for cyber espionage, is eyeing information related to India’s defense and research, the security agencies sounded an alert on Monday. According to a report of the security agencies, this secret unit of the People’s Liberation of Army (PLA) has intensified its activities against India.

Chinese

Many cases have been reported in the last few months in which Chinese hackers associated with the PLA attempted to gather sensitive information of the country through cyber espionage.

Headquartered in Datong Avenue of Pudong district in China’s Shanghai, unit ‘61398’ is witnessing a spurt in these activities, asserted an officer deployed in the central security speaking to Zee Media. “Through unit ‘61398’, China has been engaged in gathering information like cyber, space, and geolocation intelligence around the world for a long time. These units are found to be very active against India,” said the officer.

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Since 2015, PLA has centralized its space, cyber and electronic warfare (EW) assets in the newly raised PLA Strategic Support Force (PLASSF). Therefore the unit ‘61398’ which deals with cyber warfare and was under erstwhile 3 PLA (General Staff Department Third Department) have been subordinated under the network system department of the PLASSF.

Another officer who is aware of the development said that there is a report of at least three cyber hackers supporting cyber espionage activities. Recently, there have been attempts made by these hackers to send a special computer program worldwide by attaching malware tools to cyber espionage. Icebug, Hidden Lynx (a professional advanced persistent threat using the program), and APT-12 have been used for attacking government and industrial organizations by Chinese hackers.

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In 2014, the US had charged five PLA military officers for espionage and they were part of unit ‘61398’. The US agencies believe that, like Unit ‘61398’, many such groups exist in China with the active support of the PLA, who are engaged in cyber spying around the world.

Many analysts believe China now has the capability to successfully target critical infrastructure during the war. There is also concern that Chinese hackers may disrupt the electric grid and banking system through cyber attacks.

IAF’s Rafale jets stand no chance against its J-20

The five French Rafale fighter jets arrived at Ambala airbase in Haryana on July 29 after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join the Indian Air Force. Seen as India’s first major acquisition of fighter jets in over two decades, the Rafales are expected to significantly boost IAF’s capabilities.

Rafale

In terms of comparison, Rafale is more capable than Pakistan’s F-16 or China’s J-20, an aircraft that is yet to see combat. According to former IAF chief BS Dhanoa, Rafale is a game-changer, and the Chinese J-20 doesn’t even come close.

However, expectedly, Chinese experts have a difference of opinion. They claim that Rafale is just a third-plus fighter aircraft and doesn’t stand much of a chance against a ‘stealth, fourth-generation jet like the J-20.”

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As per a report published in the Chinese daily Global Times, which is also a mouthpiece of the Communist Party, Zhang Xuefeng, a military expert says that Rafale is only about one-fourth of a generation more advanced than the Su-30 MKI jets.

“In some combat performance areas, the Rafale is superior to the Su-30 MKI fighter jets, which are in service in the Indian air force in large batches, but it is only about one-fourth of a generation more advanced and does not yield a significant qualitative change,” the report quoted the expert as saying.

“The Rafale is comparable to other third-plus generation fighter jets used by other countries, but it will find it very difficult to confront a stealth-capable fourth-generation fighter jet,” he further said.

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Notably, China’s claims cannot be taken at face value following the clashes in Ladakh that left 20 India soldiers dead. Reportedly, 43 PLA soldiers, including a Commanding Officer, was killed in the clash as well but China did not acknowledge their death.

The two countries are engaged in talks for disengagement at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India had signed a deal worth over Rs 60,000 crore with France in September 2016 for 36 Rafales to meet the emergency requirements of the IAF.

Karnataka Lockdown: State govt issues ‘Unlock 3’ guidelines

A day after Centre’s order regarding phase 3 of unlock, the Karnataka government on Thursday issued guidelines regarding restriction on various activities outside the containment zones.

The state government has allowed more activities outside containment zones during Unlock 3. Strict lockdown in containment zones will continue to be enforced till August 31.

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31. However, online/distance learning will continue.
Karnataka Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to function from August 5 for which, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and state government’s health ministry.

According to the guidelines, all activities, except a few that have been specified, are permitted outside containment zones.

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Activities not permitted during Unlock 3 period in Karnataka:

1. Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till 31st August 2020. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.

2. Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.

3. International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.

4. Metro Rail.

5. Social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions and other large congregations.

Regarding Independence Day, functions at state, districts, sub-divisions, taluks, municipal and panchayat levels and ‘At Home’ functions, wherever held, will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols such as wearing of masks.

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Lockdown in Karnataka Containment Zones: Lockdown will continue to remain in force in the Containment Zones till August 31, 2020.

1. Containment Zones will be demarcated by the BBMP/District authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Those Containment Zones will be notified on the websites by the respective Deputy Commissioners and by the Concerned Departments and information will be shared with MoHFW.

2. In the Containment Zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining the supply of essential goods and services. In the Containment Zones, there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required. Guidelines of MoHFW and Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnatak4 shall be effectively implemented for the above purpose.

3. Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by the BBMP/District authorities, and the guidelines related to containment measures in these zones shall be strictly implemented.

BBMP/Districts may also identify Buffer Zones outside the Containment Zones, where new cases are more likely to occur. Within the buffer zones, restrictions, as considered necessary, may be put in place by the BBMP/District authorities.

4. BBMP/Districts based on their assessment of the Situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment Zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

5. There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approvals-permit will be required for such movement. However, people coming to Karnataka State from other State shall strictly adhere to the prevailing Guidelines/SOPs issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare and Revenue Department (DM).

6. Movement of persons with SOPs: Movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains; domestic passenger air travel; the movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued by Ministry of Home Affairs and other concerned Ministries.

7. Protection of vulnerable persons: Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of l0 years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.

Karnataka reported 83 deaths and 6,128 new cases in the state on Thursday. With this, the total number of cases in the state stood at 1,18,632, the state health ministry said. Currently, there are 69,700 active cases, while a total of 2,230 people have lost their lives due to the pandemic till now.

Eid-ul-Adha: Two-day relaxation for shopping in Srinagar

As people continue to gather for Eid shopping despite restrictions, the district administration in Srinagar on Tuesday allowed the shops to from 9 am to 5 pm on July 29, 30.

Shops to open with strict adherence to COVID-19 preventive guidelines. Maximum penalties in the form of sealings, fines will be imposed against violators.

shopping

Essential services shops will open for two days on 29 and 30 July with strict adherence to notified COVID-19 preventive guidelines in Srinagar, the district administration said.

The two-day relaxation in lockdown has been given in view of the Eid festival later this week, said a spokesman of the district administration on Tuesday.

The shops dealing in essential services and commodities will open from 9 am to 5 pm. Business establishments dealing in non-essential services and commodities will remain shut till further notification to this effect.

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In view of the COVID-19 situation in the district, there will be strict adherence to COVID-19 preventive protocols mandating face mask and distancing guidelines.

Violations will attract maximum penalties – in the form of sealings and fines – under the Disaster Management Act.

Enforcement teams – several in each tehsil – have been activated across the district to ensure adherence and strict action against violations wherever noticed or reported. Both shops and shoppers will be under the watch of these teams to check violations, Srinagar administration said in a statement.

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Meanwhile, the Srinagar district administration has constituted and notified joint market-checking teams to prevent overpricing of commodities during Eid shopping.

Earlier on Monday, people came out of their houses in Srinagar for the purpose of shopping with maximum shops seen open late in the evening.

India’s COVID-19 Case Fatality Rate drops to 2.28%

The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Monday stated that India’s COVID-19 case fatality rate has now dropped to 2.28%, which is one of the lowest in the world.

The Ministry informed that with effective Containment Strategy, aggressive testing, and standardized clinical management protocols, they have been able to control the death rates caused by the virus.

fatality

“The focused efforts of Centre and State/UT governments on early detection and isolation through aggressive testing and efficient clinical management of hospitalized cases have shown results with continuously falling Case Fatality Rate and improving Recovery Rate,” said the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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They added, “With effective containment strategy, aggressive testing and standardized clinical management protocols based on holistic Standard of Care approach, the Case Fatality Rate has significantly dipped.”

Centre, the State/UT governments have ramped up the testing and hospital infrastructure by combining public and private sector efforts, health ministry went on to say.

India on Monday (July 27, 2020) reported 30,000 recoveries per day for the fourth successive day.

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According to the latest health bulletin, there were 31,991 patients who were discharged in the last 24 hours.

This has taken the total recoveries beyond 9 lakh and the number currently stands at 9,17,567, while the Recovery Rate has bettered to 64%.

“As a result of low mortality and more people recovering, the recovered cases exceed the active cases (4,85,114) by 4,32,453 today. Medical attention continues to be provided to all active cases in hospitals and home settings,” said the Union Health Ministry.

However, India recorded the highest-single day spike on Monday in the number of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. With over 49,931 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, India’s COVID-19 count on this day crossed the 14.35 lakh-mark, while the death toll has crossed the 32,700-mark as well.

Amidst rising tensions, China orders closing down

As tensions between United and China escalates, the latter has now ordered the US to close its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu. The development comes after US ordered China to shut down its consulate in Houston, reported South China Morning Post.

tensions

The US maintains five consulates on the Chinese mainland – in Guangzhou, Shanghai, Shenyang, Chengdu, and Wuhan – as well as a consulate general for Hong Kong and Macau.

Earlier, The United States had ordered China to close by Friday its consulate in Houston, Texas, over accusations of massive illegal spying and influence operations in the US.

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Slamming the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) amidst escalating US-China tensions, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Thursday said that “distrust and verify” is Washington’s new approach towards tackling issues with Beijing.

“The only way to truly change communist China is to act on the basis of what its leaders do, not what they say. (Former) President (Ronald) Reagan dealt with the Soviets on the basis of ‘trust but verify.’ When it comes to the CCP, I say, ‘Distrust and verify’,” Pompeo said while speaking on ‘Communist China and the Free World’s Future’ at Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda, California.

He said that the ‘free nations of the world’ must come together and bring about change in CCP’s behavior in ‘creative and assertive ways’.

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This comes as tensions rise between the world’s two largest economies over several issues, including trade practices, coronavirus, and Chinese aggression in its vicinity. 

Moreover, the US has decided to stop WHO’s funding, accusing the organisation of being China’s puppet. The country further blamed China of concealing information about the deadly virus which has spread across the world, killing millions.