Friday, March 12, 2021

White House News (白宮消息) | Mar. 12, 2021

 2 - White House News in Chinese (

 The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021  is a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package passed by the 117th United States Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, to speed up the United States' recovery from the economic and health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing recession.   ​​ Wikipedia

H.R.1319 - American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
This bill provides additional relief to address the continued impact of COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, and businesses.     quoted from

On Wings of Eagles: The Inspiring True Story of One Man's Patriotic Spirit--and His Heroic Mission to Save His Countrymen

#1 bestselling author Ken Follett tells the inspiring true story of the Middle East hostage crisis that began in 1978, and of the unconventional means one American used to save his countrymen. . . . 

When two of his employees were held hostage in a heavily guarded prison fortress in Iran, one man took matters into his own hands: businessman H. Ross Perot. His team consisted of a group of volunteers from the executive ranks of his corporation, handpicked and trained by a retired Green Beret officer. To free the imprisoned Americans, they would face incalculable odds on a mission that only true heroes would have dared. . .
 quoted from

美轰炸机再飞中东 以升级作战计划 伊朗如何反击?20210309 |《今日关注》CCTV中文国际
Mar 11, 2021

An oil tanker off the coast of Tartus, Syria
Israel targeted some 12 tankers headed for Syria, US officials say -WSJ
The report alleged that since 2019, Israel has been using naval weapons, including water mines, to strike vessels which were either Iranian, or carried Iranian cargo, as they made their way to Syria.

Mar. 12 - US and regional officials have accused Israel of targeting "at least a dozen" tankers bound for Syria and mostly carrying Iranian oil due to concerns that petroleum profits were funding extremists, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The report alleged that since 2019, Israel has been using naval weapons, including water mines, to strike vessels which were either Iranian, or carried Iranian cargo, as they made their way to Syria.

The report said that while most of the tankers carried oil, some of the targeted vessels have made efforts to move other cargo, including weaponry.

According to Greenpeace, Iranian oil tankers routinely violate trade embargoes on Iran and Syria to smuggle oil into Syria through the Suez Canal. The organization said that the practice of turning off tracking systems is also commonly done such vessels, to avoid detection for violating the trade embargo.

The practice is so common in fact, that between August of 2018 and July of 2019, Syria received around 17 million barrels of crude oil from Iran this way.

The WSJ report added that other ways that these ships avoid international scrutiny is through the declaration of false destinations, transferal of oil from one ship to another at sea, or through the use of old, rusted tankers which are harder to detect.
The report comes after Israel's Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel accused Iran of "eco-terrorism," blaming the country for a recent oil spill which likely came from an Iranian tanker. 

Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the Israeli defense establishment had no evidence to suggest that Iran deliberately caused the oil spill.     source from
四国峰会 美日2+2 美拉帮结伙搅局亚太?20210310 |《今日关注》CCTV中文国际
Mar 11, 2021

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
US secretary of state to invite Taiwan to democracy summit

mar. 15 - ​TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated on Wednesday (March 10) that he will invite Taiwan to a democracy summit hosted by President Joe Biden.

The House Committee on Foreign Affairs on Wednesday invited Blinken to a hearing to discuss Biden’s foreign policy priorities. Representative Young Kim told the diplomat that the U.S. should invite Taiwan to participate in its planned Summit for Democracy and initiate free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations with the East Asian nation, saying, "I hope you can promise to work hard on this issue."

The representative stressed that Taiwan is a valuable security and global health partner of the U.S., has a strong democratic system, and has contributed much to the international community. She said Taiwan should therefore be granted a place at institutions such as the World Health Organization.

​Blinken agreed, praising Taiwan for its democracy and status as an important technology hub. He added: “It is also a country that can contribute to the world, not just to its own people. COVID-19 is a good example of this."     more to read

Mar. 12 - Hong Kong (CNN)US President Joe Biden's administration entered the White House this year aiming to unite allies in efforts to contain China's territorial claims across the Indo-Pacific.

On Friday, Biden takes his biggest step toward that goal so far, bringing together a virtual gathering for leaders of the Quad -- the loose alliance of the United States, Japan, India and Australia that Beijing has called emblematic of a "poisonous" Cold War mentality.

Washington said Covid-19, economic cooperation, and the climate crisis will be topics of discussion on Friday, while New Delhi said its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, would be discussing a "free and open Indo-Pacific" with Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

​Absent from those statements was any mention of China. But it was the rise of the Asian economic and military superpower that led to the Quad's revival in 2017 -- and it's Beijing's power plays that keep the bloc's four leaders up at night heading into the summit.

The Quad, or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is an informal strategic forum, featuring semi-regular summits, information exchanges and military drills. While not a formal military alliance like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), it is seen by some as a potential counterweight to growing Chinese influence and alleged aggression in Asia-Pacific.

While members have emphasized the more benign aspects of the relationship, such as recent cooperation on the coronavirus pandemic, the potential for military encirclement by the Quad countries has not gone unnoticed by Beijing.

And it's no wonder.

US Navy Adm. Philip Davidson, the head of the US military's Indo-Pacific Command, on Tuesday called the Quad grouping a "diamond of democracies" in the Indo-Pacific.

Davidson said Tuesday he hoped the organization could "build into something bigger."

"Not in terms of security alone, but in terms of how we might approach ... the global economy, critical technologies like telecommunications and 5G, collaboration on the international order. Just much to be done diplomatically and economically," he said.     more details

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