Toughest-ever sanctions package against CCP; Twitter removes China-backed network; Reporter attacked

published on July 2, 2020

us lawmakers are pushing for a bill to

increase semiconductor production on

american soil

the move is to secure national security

and counter threats from

china beijing schools putting their plan

to reopen on hold

after new virus cases cropped up the

patients have no ties to wuhan and have

not left the city in the last

two weeks raising questions about the


the pro-democracy protests in hong kong

took a violent turn when a pro-beijing

supporter pulled out a knife our on-site

reporter attacked

twitter announced it has deleted over


000 fake accounts and a network backed

by the chinese regime

this is the second purge in less than a

year and congressional republicans

unveiled what they call the toughest

sanctions ever proposed against the ccp

and other us adversaries they argue

congress must adapt to a new strategy to

push back

against the ccp

welcome to china in focus i'm tiffany


a knife attack has been reported in hong

kong one person was reportedly

injured at the scene of the crime the

attacker even went after our on-site


during a live stream hosted by our

cantonese news program

a nearby man could be seen arguing with

others soon after

he became violent

the man took out a knife and pointed it

at one of those he was arguing with

then he turned and attacked our reporter

whose mobile phone

used to film the live stream was knocked

over bystanders stepped in to stop the


one of them was wounded in the process

the attacker was reportedly a supporter

of hong kong's police

which are responsible for helping to

suppress the city's pro-democracy


some citizens were visibly angry with


our reporter said after the incident the

man who was injured turned to him

and said he supports us

now to beijing new virus cases in

beijing have emerged

partially suspending the city's plan to

reopen schools

according to local chinese media the

patient confirmed to have the virus

hadn't left beijing in the last two

weeks and had no close contact with

anyone from outside the city

the source of his infection is currently


soon after two more confirmed cases

appeared in beijing

first second and third grade students in

beijing were originally scheduled to

resume going back to school next week

but the plan is now on pause due to the

nature of china's censorship

we cannot independently verify whether

there are more cases in beijing right


but internal documents we've obtained

show the chinese authorities have been

covering up virus information

since the first wave in beijing back in

january it took beijing eight days to

announce the first case in this city

on january 12 china's cdc received a

sample of an unknown pneumonia virus

from beijing's

city level cdc according to rules laid

out by china's national health


beijing should have handed the sample to

the upper level cdc as soon as it

confirmed a positive sample of the virus

instead they waited eight days before

making the announcement on january 20th

later that same day three more major

cities in china announced their first


shanghai beijing and guangzhou also on

the same day

officials admitted there was human to

human transmission of the virus

china affairs analyst li lingy says the

communist party covered up the

seriousness of the situation

in hopes of presenting an image of

stability and control

only when officials thought the

situation had spiraled out of control

did they admit what was really happening

apple has removed podcast app pocket

casts from its app store in china

that's because the country's cyberspace

administration says it could be used to

access content

deemed illegal by the communist party at

first chinese authorities tried to get

the app's developers to censor certain


but after they refused the officials

demanded that the app

be removed from the app store three

republican senators are introducing

what's known as the beat

china bill aimed at boosting us


it's also to help limit dependence on

china especially when it comes to

prescription drugs and medical supplies

senator kelly loffler says the bill acts

to incentivize pharmaceutical and

medical device and supply manufacturers

to relocate to the us she says the us

is too reliant on china with regard to

our medical supply chain

something that's been amplified amid the


senator joni ernst explained that the

virus should serve as a warning to the


about being overly dependent on china

for medical supplies

and senator ted cruz caused the bill

especially important

for ensuring the safety of americans he

also notes that mouthpieces of the

chinese communist party have threatened

to cut off us

access to life-saving pharmaceutical


he says with such a credible threat it's

crucial to bring manufacturing home

the bill would allow qualifying

companies to relocate the manufacturing

of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies

to the us

and incentivize them with tax cuts

us senators are introducing new bills

that would penalize the chinese regime

for stealing us

tech the bipartisan bill would require

the president to update congress

every six months on foreign firms or


who steal us trade secrets especially

those that threaten us national


or economic health under the bill

punishments for the theft would include

having their assets frozen

or sanctions imposed according to the

senate armed services committee the

group has advanced its 740

billion dollar national defense policy


in a closed door session the panel voted


to support it the bill would cover

everything from troop salaries and

equipment purchases

to powering competition with china it'll

also reflect the nationwide protests and


in addition it includes measures to

strengthen the us supply chain

after the virus crisis exposed companies

dependencies on china

plus it imposes limits on integrating

us missile defense systems with those

that belong to china

the bill will now head to the senate

floor before it can pass congress and be

sent to the president's desk

a group of bipartisan lawmakers asked

video conferencing software firm

zoom's ceo to clarify the company's ties

to the chinese regime

this comes after zoom admitted to

suspending user accounts to meet demands

from beijing

congressman greg walden and kathy

mcmorris rogers wrote to the ceo

stating zoom's recent actions and

acquiescence to china

raise serious concerns about your data


including how you protect information

you collect on americans

and importantly who you grant access to

such information

going a step further senator josh hawley

gave the ceo an ultimatum

he told the company it is time for you

to pick a side

american principles in free speech or

short-term global profits

and censorship us treasury secretary

steven mnuchin says he's working on a

response to china's controversial new

law on hong kong the treasury is

reportedly considering measures that

could restrict capital flow through hong


the chinese communist party often uses

hong kong as a loophole

to work around trade embargoes so less

capital flow would also impact

mainland china the us defense

department says the us is stepping up

its production of n95

masks and plans to exceed 1 billion by


it's an effort to decrease american

dependence on foreign supply chains

like the ones in china and 95 masks are

most commonly used by medical staff

a major in china's army has been

arrested at los angeles international


he confessed to stealing medical

research secrets from the university of

california and sending them to the

military lab in china

he used a fake passport to enter the us

last year as a medical researcher

he may now face up to 10 years in prison

the us reports the sales of over 700

thousand tons of soybeans to china

that's because brazil china's top soya

supplier has

tightened its supplies driving prices up

the sales come amid sino-us tensions

over the ccp virus and beijing's

so-called hong kong national security


the us china phase one trade deal

stipulates that china

increases purchases of us farm goods

but current sales remain

well below pre-trade war levels

twitter is dismantling a network of more

than 170

000 fake accounts backed by the chinese

communist regime

twitter says the state-backed campaign

was manipulating the

platform and had violated its policies

twitter announced thursday it removed

thousands of accounts backed by the

chinese communist regime

almost 2400 active accounts were

suspended for artificially pushing


on topics such as the ccp virus an

additional 150

000 state-backed accounts were deleted

for their role in amplifying these posts

twitter researchers determined that

these were fake accounts that had links

to another state-backed operation that

twitter took down last year

the propaganda campaign also targeted

taiwan and the pro-democracy protest

movement in hong kong

twitter said this network was in

addition to another beijing operated

network on twitter identified by the us

state department last month

back in march a pair of gop lawmakers

urged twitter to ban scores of accounts

for spreading propaganda by the regime

such propaganda included the claim that

the us military was responsible for

bringing the virus to china

this accusation was also made by a

senior chinese official

senator ben sasse of nebraska and

representative mike gallagher of


wrote the letter to twitter ceo jack

dorsey questioning whether chinese

officials should use the platform when

people from china

are prohibited from doing so

congressional republicans unveiled what

they call the toughest sanctions ever

proposed against the chinese communist


and other us adversaries the republican

study committee

rsc composed of nearly 150 lawmakers

published a 115 page report on wednesday

it argued that the old way of thinking

about china has failed

and that congress must adapt to a new

strategy to push back against the ccp

some in the raft of policy proposals are

bills already introduced in congress

highlights include potential sanctions

against some of the highest ranking

communist officials

over human rights abuses even china's

vice premier hansen is on the sanctions


hannah is one of the seven members of

china's politburo standing committee

even called the seven men who run china

han is in charge of hong kong affairs

and is behind beijing's hardline

crackdown on the semi-autonomous city

sanctions against officials often

involve freezing their assets in the us

and suspending their visas and those of

their family members

two other senior ccp officials of hong

kong affairs who might face sanctions

are lo hwaning and xia bao long xia


oversaw a hard-line crackdown against

churches in eastern china

other targets include the party

secretary for tibet

who oversees the brutal repression of

buddhists in the province

and xinjiang party secretary the

official behind the massive detention of

weaker muslims

the sanctions will also target chinese

officials involved in the so-called

united front work department

the ccp uses the tactic of infiltrating

foreign politics

and establishing chinese associations

and business groups in foreign countries

which can act at its orders they also

plant or transform political and

community leaders to act in beijing's

favor the report also pushed for

targeted sanctions against chinese

companies for stealing us technology

the report argued that using tariffs to

counter chinese ip theft

will hurt us businesses as well it

instead proposed targeted sanctions

against chinese companies that conduct


theft by cutting them off from the us

banking system

and restricting their imports and

exports to the us

it also proposed making it easier for

us companies to sue overseas

companies who steal trade secrets

previously chinese companies escaped

penalties because some relevant us laws

don't apply to overseas companies

the report encouraged congress to amend


in addition the proposal advised to stop

allowing china state-owned companies to

hide behind sovereign immunity

so that these companies can be held

accountable in the us

the committee says congress should also

pass laws requiring chinese companies

to disclose if they have a communist

party committee within the company

and how much financial support they

received from the chinese regime

it argues that such information is

critical for us investors as well as

us national security interests

the report also says until china ends


theft from american universities and

research institutions

congress should end visas for senior

level chinese officials

and members of the chinese military as

well as their immediate family members

the last china part of the report pushed

for strengthening us relationships with

allies in the indo-pacific region

to counter china's influence it said the

us should expand trade relations or

seek free trade agreements with

asian countries including taiwan the


indonesia vietnam india and mongolia

it argues that some asian democracies

often face political pressure from


but hesitate to push back because of

their economic reliance on china

the report says that stronger relations

between the us and its allies in the


not only counter china but also

strengthen the liberal world order

us lawmakers are pushing to boost

domestic production of semiconductors

they say the us is overly reliant on

foreign companies to produce the


and that securing its supply chain is

critical for national security

ntd's juliet song reports

us lawmakers have introduced a

bipartisan bill to boost advanced chip

making on us

soil it seeks to help the us maintain

its lead in the industry

and counter the threat from china

semiconductors or chips are at the heart

of the technology race

and vital for national security they're

essential to almost all electronic


from smartphones to computers the chips

are also critical for defense and

military applications like radar and


countries dominating the industry can

have a significant political advantage

over other nations us firms are the

global leaders in ship design and


accounting for almost half of the global

market share

but most of the chips are made outside

the united states

china's chip making ability lags behind

world-class companies

but parts of the semiconductor supply

chain are based in china

three companies that produce the world's

fastest and most advanced chips all have

factories in china

and there's risk that comes with it

during the virus pandemic when us

hospitals were desperate for personal

protective gear

some us companies couldn't get their

products out of their own factories in


due to export restrictions some in

washington are also worried that tsmc

one of the major chip suppliers is

susceptible to chinese influence

with the bill lawmakers are planning to

pour tens of billions of dollars into

chip development and production in the

united states

countries like south korea and germany

are trying to lure foreign ship makers

with generous incentives

china also unveiled a trillion dollar

campaign to compete with the us

critical tech industries reporting by

juliet song

ntd news insurance companies say they

won't pay policyholders business losses

from ccp virus shutdowns

insurers argue the monthly payout could

cost hundreds of billions of dollars

which could bankrupt them insurance

companies don't want to pay small

businesses for the revenue losses during

the ccp virus shutdowns

this includes policyholders with

business interruption coverage

but one new jersey lawmaker wants to

force insurers to pay out

even if pandemic coverage isn't

explicitly included in the policy

insurers argue that it would be

unconstitutional for a government to

force them

they're also worried about the cost an

insurance trade group warns it could

cost the industry hundreds of billions

of dollars

every month to compensate small

businesses that could bankrupt insurers

but according to reuters its estimates

are based on an absolute worst case

scenario for the industry

the insurance information institute says

that less than half of all small

businesses have

business interruption coverage and very

few of those policies explicitly cover


in this case it would only cost the

industry millions per month not hundreds

of billions

but it appears insurers don't even want

to pay out to these people

they say business interruption insurance

should only cover closures due to

physical damage not pandemics

trade groups say the industry's stance

has deterred people from filing claims

but some are taking legal action with

dozens of court cases lined up

here's some good news for shoppers fifth

avenue stores are open again

new york city fifth avenue shop started

reopening thursday with curbside service

customers are glad to be back even

though they can't roam around the store

on their own yet

it's about time and it's better than


how's the experience it was quite nice

quite nice i have a personal shopper and

she met me out here

and showed me something that i might be

interested in

and it will be sent to me employees and

customers have to wear face coverings

and stores are limited to 50 capacity

customers say it's going well

i came out to return a few items um and

i think that

the process right now is easy you know

you just come up to the front you speak

to a representative they take your

information your receipt and

you'll be on your way back home many are

here to return things they ordered


we're here for like returning some stuff

that we ordered online

how's the experience so far uh i think

convenient not too bad

i was like uh it's there's some weight

which is making it a little inconvenient

but but otherwise i think it's it's

doing a great job at the returns many

businesses were threatened by looting

during the riots

some are still boarded up the fifth

avenue association has a list of stores

that are open

in-store retail will start during phase

two of reopening

news from europe all shops in england

are finally allowed to open but will

customers come back

over to ntd uk's neil woodrow

welcome to ntd uk bringing you uk and

european news i'm neil woodrow

the uk government is relaxing lockdown

rules to help the most lonely among us

adults living alone and single parents

can meet friends or family

in each other's homes starting this

weekend the government calls this a

support bubble

but bubbles are exclusive meaning once

you're in one

you can't switch and form another with a

different household in retail

the uk is allowing all non-essential

shops to reopen as lockdown measures are

further eased

the government says retailers have taken

extraordinary steps to protect employees

and customers ahead of reopening on june


uk's finance minister says people should

have no worries about returning to

retail stores

it won't be the same as what we were all

used to and it's an environment that

means you can shop in confidence

knowing that it's going to be safe it's

going to keep you and your family safe

from a health perspective

for many retailers encouraging the

public back into their stores is going

to be crucial for their survival

britain's store-based retail sector

outside of food has been severely hit by

the lockdown

with several weaker players falling into

receivership causing the loss of

thousands of jobs

tech news vodafone and huawei are

turning up the heat on london to

reconsider removing huawei from the

nation's 5g network

vodafone warns that the uk's leadership

in 5g

will be lost if mobile operators are

forced to spend time and money

replacing existing equipment london has

designated china-owned huawei a

high-risk vendor

huawei says it's not controlled by

beijing and is an ordinary

employee-owned company

but that case just got harder to make

after a wall street journal expose

of huawei founder run jung fei quoted

him telling research staff in 2018

to surge forward killing as you go to

blaze us a trail of blood

and tick tock a chinese video making app

owned by beijing-based bike dance is

coming under european scrutiny

the european data protection board is

setting up a task force

to assess ticktock's data collection

methods security

and privacy risks across the european

union in the us tick tock is already

banned for military personnel and tsa


due to national security concerns the

company denies its control by the

chinese regime

or there is any risk to user data here

at china infocus we dedicate ourselves

to bringing you truthful

unbiased reporting don't forget to like

and subscribe for the latest updates

and see you tomorrow


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