The Big Story – Communist Cyberattacks crash summit agenda: Just before Communist boss Xi Jinping’s summit with the president (which begins later today), the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee (Mike Rogers, R-Michigan) proposed a bill that would ban foreign hackers from entering the United States (Bloomberg). The bill, co-sponsored by Ohio Democrat Tim Ryan, was just the tip of the iceberg, as the Council on Foreign Relations (Epoch Times), the editors of the Washington Post, and Gordon Chang highlighted the danger from the CCP’s cyber attacks.
Other CCP-US news: The focus on the regime’s massive cyber offensive knocked aside the usual “engagement” nonsense from the Kool-Aid drinkers, but there was still plenty of it to go around (Washington Post and Telegraph). To be fair to the WaPo, this morning’s edition also included a detailed account of how the CCP “has set off on a bold mission to control the waters around it, sparking regional tensions that could last decades” – and that “experts increasingly warn that China’s rise will be contentious, not peaceful.”
One of the effects of the president’s “Pacific shift” is that his Administration is noticing the CCP’s attempts at gunboat diplomacy more than its predecessors – and has in the past made it clear that Washington was not happy. We will see if that changes with the new, Kerry-led foreign policy team.
Meanwhile, the Congressional Taiwan Caucus asked the president “to remember Taiwan’s ‘vital interests’ during the two-day summit (Taipei Times).
Corruption swamps Communist-backed tycoon in Hong Kong: Barry Cheung, a wealthy Hong Kong resident and ally of the Communist-appointed Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, is under investigation for his involvement in a fraud scheme that includes just over $1 billion in fraudulent documents from the mainland. The documents were held by mainlanders, not him, but one of them was apparently approached to help raise funds for the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, which Cheung had to shut down due to financial problems. The Hong Kong police “is now investigating possible fraud and money laundering activities” (Epoch Times).
Other Hong Kong news: A clash between Falun Gong and a Communist-backed group got the attention of the locals, and according to the Epoch Times, the friends of Zhongnanhai didn’t win anyone over.
Taiwan opposition calls for higher defense spending and closer ties with its neighbors and the US: The Democratic Progressive Party (full disclosure, I’ve backed the DPP in nearly every Taiwan election) released its defense policy “blue paper”, in which the party called for the island democracy to “immediately increase its defense budget, strengthen its military industry and deepen security dialogues with the US and other democracies” (Taipei Times).
Democratic Korea offers talks; the Kim regime nitpicks at the offer: As democratic Korea (a.k.a. South Korea) proposed talks to lower tensions, the Stalinist regime in the north offered a nitpicking counter-proposal (Washington Examiner).