China’s president warns coronavirus outbreak is far from over

Medical staff checking passengers arriving from Iran in the airport in Najaf, Iraq, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:38 PM PT — Friday, February 21, 2020

China’s president has warned that the coronavirus outbreak will likely get worse before it gets better.

While speaking to some of his top officials on Friday, President Xi Jinping said the peak of the outbreak has not yet been reached. Xi’s remarks came as other Chinese officials assured governments around the world the outbreak will soon be over.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently said more needs to be done to contain the disease.

“The window of opportunity is still there, but our window of opportunity is narrowing,” stated WHO Director Tedros Adhanom. “That is why we called the international community to act, and that is why I explained yesterday (that) although we are asking for the international community to act quickly, that is not what we see.”

The outbreak has so far taken the lives of more than 2,000 people. The disease has also dealt a heavy blow to China’s economy after the country was forced to close a significant number of factories.

RELATED: Coronavirus Spreads In China Prisons, Korean Church As Fears Weigh On Global Markets

Original Article

China’s president warns coronavirus outbreak is far from over

Medical staff checking passengers arriving from Iran in the airport in Najaf, Iraq, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Anmar Khalil)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:38 PM PT — Friday, February 21, 2020

China’s president has warned that the coronavirus outbreak will likely get worse before it gets better.

While speaking to some of his top officials on Friday, President Xi Jinping said the peak of the outbreak has not yet been reached. Xi’s remarks came as other Chinese officials assured governments around the world the outbreak will soon be over.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently said more needs to be done to contain the disease.

“The window of opportunity is still there, but our window of opportunity is narrowing,” stated WHO Director Tedros Adhanom. “That is why we called the international community to act, and that is why I explained yesterday (that) although we are asking for the international community to act quickly, that is not what we see.”

The outbreak has so far taken the lives of more than 2,000 people. The disease has also dealt a heavy blow to China’s economy after the country was forced to close a significant number of factories.

RELATED: Coronavirus Spreads In China Prisons, Korean Church As Fears Weigh On Global Markets

Original Article

China deploys 40 incinerators to Wuhan amid coronavirus outbreak

In this Sunday, Feb. 16, 2020, photo, medical personnel scan a new coronavirus patient at a hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province. (Chinatopix via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 6:10 PM PT — Wednesday, February 19, 2020

China has deployed at least 40 industrial incinerators to the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan. Conflicting reports said the machines, which can reportedly handle about five tons of material per day, are either being used to dispose of animal carcasses or medical waste.

While its origins have not been confirmed, the virus is believed to have spread from bats to other animals before being passed to humans.

“Pandora’s Box has opened, unleashing the disaster, fear and illness. But there could be one thing still left in the box. That’s hope. As long as hope is there, we shall overcome the difficulty.”

– Dr. Tang Xin, Wuhan Union Hospital

Officials said the disposal of medical waste is vital in safeguarding people and preventing further spread of the disease.

Clinical support technician Douglas Condie extracts viruses samples as analytic work continues to examine the genetic structure of a virus in the coronavirus testing laboratory at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland, Wednesday Feb. 19, 2020. (Jane Barlow/PA via AP)

Meanwhile, a travel warning has been announced for people traveling to Hong Kong. The CDC recently issued a Level 1 advisory for the region amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The agency has told travelers to avoid contact with sick people and to clean their hands often.

Although the warning did not advise cancelling travel to Hong Kong, it advised anyone who’s traveled there within the past 14 days to seek medical attention if they experience symptoms.

Commuters wearing face masks are mirrored in a subway station Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Original Article

White House officials do not trust China’s reporting on coronavirus infection

A worker wearing a protective suit gestures to a driver outside a tumor hospital newly designated to treat COVID-19 patients in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020. (Chinatopix via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:47 AM PT — Sunday, February 16, 2020

White House officials appeared to have suspicions about the accuracy of China’s reporting of coronavirus cases. According to a report Saturday, the U.S. did not have high confidence in the information coming from China regarding the number of those affected by the disease.

This came as a number of officials have expressed doubt that China is being fully transparent, including White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a tv news interview at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Last week, Kudlow addressed ongoing concerns following a change in China’s measuring criteria, which added 15,000 cases in a single day.

“We thought there was better transparency coming out of China, but it doesn’t appear to be,” stated the economic advisor. “It’s the great unknown and I wish we did know more because, you know, this should not be about politics or for that matter, trade.”

Chinese officials said the number of new cases are dropping overall.

RELATED:China Reports Over 2K New Cases Of Coronavirus, 143 Deaths

Original Article

China reports over 2K new cases of coronavirus, 143 deaths

A doctor checks the conditions of a patient in Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (Chinatopix Via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:54 PM PT — Saturday, February 15, 2020

The Chinese Health Authority reported more than 2,000 newly confirmed cases of the coronavirus. It has been announced that another 143 people have died from the deadly disease.

Saturday marked the second day the number of new cases fell since a spike in the hardest hit province of Hubei began, including clinical diagnoses in its official count.

Patients at a hospital in Wuhan will receive traditional Chinese medicine and western medicine. Some are even being treated using plasma therapy, which many have seen positive results.

A worker prepares medical supplies at the Jinyintan Hospital, designated for critical COVID-19 patients, in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei province Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (Chinatopix Via AP)

“In our hospital there have been four patients who have received plasma from convalescent patients,” stated Zhang Dingyu, president of Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital. “At present, in a short period of time they’ve shown positive signs, their vitals are stable, they are in better condition and their blood oxygen are stabilized.”

Meanwhile, more medical workers and supplies are being deployed to the Hubei province as the epidemic continues.

RELATED: French Officials Confirm First Coronavirus Death In Europe

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Report: 5K additional coronavirus cases confirmed in China

Students line up to sanitize their hands to avoid the contact of coronavirus before their morning class at a hight school in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 5:25 PM PT — Friday, February 14, 2020

The number of coronavirus cases in China has skyrocketed over the last 24 hours. On Friday, the Chinese government reported 5,000 new cases and 121 new deaths.

Over 2,100 of those infected are in severe condition. This brought the total number of coronavirus deaths to nearly 1,400 while the total number of confirmed cases has exceeded 63,000.

China’s financial minister said the country has allocated over $11.5 billion to combat the epidemic.

“We have made every effort to ensure epidemic prevention and control funding. As of February 13th, a total of $11.52 billion (has) been allocated from all-level governments, with $5.86 billion already spent. We have also issued a notice demanding financial departments at all levels put people’s life and health first, and implement all relevant policies.” – Ou Wenhan, Chinese Assistant Minister of Finance

Moving forward, officials are working to track down and test those who have had close contact with victims.

Personnels wearing protective suits wait near an entrance at the Cheung Hong Estate, a public housing estate during evacuation of residents in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is making preparations to handle a possible pandemic of the deadly coronavirus. American troops around Asia have reportedly started enforcing a plan handed down by Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Esper directed troops to take certain steps last month, including quarantining service members who have recently traveled to China. The protocol reportedly follows the Pentagon’s plan for dealing with the flu and other unknown diseases.

This came after the CDC confirmed the 15th case of the virus in the U.S. this week.

“The immediate risk of novel coronavirus remains low for the U.S. public at this time, (and) CDC is taking aggressive action to keep the nation safe,” the agency said in a statement. “COVID-19 represents an unprecedented public health threat and requires everyone’s continued cooperation.”

RELATED: Coronavirus Confirmed In San Diego, Calif.

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Kudlow: White House is disappointed with China’s response to coronavirus outbreak

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a TV news interview at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:30 PM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow is criticizing China over its response to the coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, Kudlow said Beijing has not been telling the whole truth about the scale and likely economic effects of the virus.

“Is the Politburo really being honest with us?” he asked. “We thought there was going to be more transparency, but we’re a bit disappointed.”

The adviser went on to say China’s behavior is adding uncertainty to its trade relations with the U.S.

“We will feel some of the problems over in China, but it’s still quite minimal,” he said. “A couple of tenths of one percent, that’s our estimate.”

Kudlow said although the virus has been “contained” in the U.S., China must explain what’s going on within its own borders to minimize both the economic and health risks going forward.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, workers produce face masks in the workshop of a textile company in Jimo District of Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (Liang Xiaopeng/Xinhua via AP)

Meanwhile, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed two new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday. During his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, Azar said the people identified as the 14th and 15th cases of the virus both traveled from Wuhan, China, and are currently under quarantine.

The secretary also said the CDC will be working with local health officials to test for the disease, which scientists have named ‘COVID-19.’

“The CDC has begun working with health departments in five cities…to begin testing individuals with flu-like symptoms for the China coronavirus,” he said. “Many questions about the virus remain, and this effort will help see whether there is broader spread than we have been able to detect so far.”

Secretary Azar also defended the president’s proposed 2021 budget. He said it prioritizes funding for the CDC’s infectious diseases programs, which will aid in preparedness for other potential viral outbreaks.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar prepares to testify about President Donald Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2021, as he appears before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss health care issues, including the coronavirus, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Original Article

Kudlow: White House is disappointed with China’s response to coronavirus outbreak

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow speaks during a TV news interview at the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:30 PM PT — Thursday, February 13, 2020

White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow is criticizing China over its response to the coronavirus outbreak. On Thursday, Kudlow said Beijing has not been telling the whole truth about the scale and likely economic effects of the virus.

“Is the Politburo really being honest with us?” he asked. “We thought there was going to be more transparency, but we’re a bit disappointed.”

The adviser went on to say China’s behavior is adding uncertainty to its trade relations with the U.S.

“We will feel some of the problems over in China, but it’s still quite minimal,” he said. “A couple of tenths of one percent, that’s our estimate.”

Kudlow said although the virus has been “contained” in the U.S., China must explain what’s going on within its own borders to minimize both the economic and health risks going forward.

In this photo released by Xinhua News Agency, workers produce face masks in the workshop of a textile company in Jimo District of Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong Province on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020. (Liang Xiaopeng/Xinhua via AP)

Meanwhile, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed two new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday. During his testimony before the Senate Finance Committee, Azar said the people identified as the 14th and 15th cases of the virus both traveled from Wuhan, China, and are currently under quarantine.

The secretary also said the CDC will be working with local health officials to test for the disease, which scientists have named ‘COVID-19.’

“The CDC has begun working with health departments in five cities…to begin testing individuals with flu-like symptoms for the China coronavirus,” he said. “Many questions about the virus remain, and this effort will help see whether there is broader spread than we have been able to detect so far.”

Secretary Azar also defended the president’s proposed 2021 budget. He said it prioritizes funding for the CDC’s infectious diseases programs, which will aid in preparedness for other potential viral outbreaks.

Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar prepares to testify about President Donald Trump’s budget request for fiscal year 2021, as he appears before the Senate Finance Committee to discuss health care issues, including the coronavirus, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Original Article

Pompeo warns governors about doing business with China

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures while speaking during his and Belarus Foreign Minister Vladimir Makei join news conference following the talks in Minsk, Belarus, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:15 AM PT — Sunday, February 9, 2020

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is advising governors across the nation to be careful when doing business with China.

“When it comes to doing business, I’m asking you to adopt a cautious mindset,” he said. “In the words of President Reagan, when you are approached for introduction or a connection to a deal, ‘trust, but verify.’”

On Saturday, he warned governors the country could be “targeting individual states” for political and economic gain.

“Competition with China is not just a federal issue, that’s why I wanted to be here today, Governor Hogan,” said Pompeo. “It’s happening in your states with consequences for our foreign policy, for the citizens that reside in your states and, indeed, for each of you.”

FILE – In this Sept. 16, 2018, file photo, American flags are displayed together with Chinese flags in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

The secretary noted the Chinese government has “assessed” each governor, ranking them as “friendly, “hardline” or “ambiguous.” He added there are communist China followers in dozens of states across the nation, who are attempting to influence local governments.

“The Chinese government has been methodical in the way it has analyzed our system,” stated Pompeo. “It’s assessed our vulnerabilities and it has decided to exploit our freedom (in order) to gain advantage over us at the federal, state and the local level.”

The U.S. has also pressured partner nations against doing business with Chinese tech company Huawei amid concerns their government is using devices to spy on users.

Original Article

1st U.S. citizen dies from coronavirus amid more evacuations from China

Medical workers in protective suits move a coronavirus patient into an isolation ward at the Second People’s Hospital in Fuyang in central China’s Anhui Province, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. (Chinatopix via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:05 AM PT — Saturday, February 8, 2020

The U.S. Embassy in China has confirmed the first American death linked to the coronavirus outbreak. On Saturday morning, the embassy said an unidentified U.S. citizen died Thursday at a hospital in Wuhan.

The victim was reportedly 60 years old and had a history of health issues. Officials are working to gather more details on the matter.

The death toll associated with the outbreak continues to rise. Over 700 people have died while more than 34,900 cases of the virus have been confirmed worldwide.

Wuhan officials recently dispatched around 99 medical teams to the city to help combat the spread of the virus. U.S. officials said they have evacuated more than 800 people from Wuhan in recent flights.

This Feb. 2, 2020, photo provided by the Department of Defense shows empty lodging facilities at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas. (Todd Holly/U.S. Air Force via AP)

Meanwhile, a plane carrying Americans from China landed in Texas on Friday. At least 100 passengers were escorted to San Antonio’s Lackland Air Base, where they will spend 14 days under quarantine.

The CDC did not see any immediate signs of illness among the passengers. However, they will still be required to undergo quarantine.

“I think my biggest concern is that these individuals are about to enter a very tough 14 day quarantine period. They don’t know what’s coming, they don’t have their items that they’re comfortable with, and it’s our job to make sure that they’re not only safe, but they’re comfortable. This is not a role that CDC is traditionally engaged in, so I need to be thinking about things on all levels.” – Jennifer McQuiston, CDC Federal Response Leader

Some of the evacuees will reportedly be moved to a facility in Omaha, Nebraska for quarantine.

Original Article

U.S. prepared to send $100M in aid to China, others to help fight coronavirus

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stands in front of Uzbek and American national flags after a joint news conference with Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov following the talks in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Monday, Feb. 3, 2020. (AP Photo)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:00 PM PT — Friday, February 7, 2020

The U.S. is poised to donate $100 million to help China and other countries impacted by the deadly coronavirus. On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed the Trump administration’s commitment to fighting the outbreak.

“Proud to announce an additional $100 million of existing funds to support China in combating the coronavirus. This commitment, along with hundreds of millions generously donated, demonstrates strong U.S. leadership in response to the outbreak. Together we can have a profound impact.” – Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State

Pompeo said the U.S. has already facilitated the transportation of more than 17 tons of medical supplies to China. He also noted the gesture is part of the nation’s longstanding record of strengthening global health security programs through financial aid.

The secretary assured the public that the U.S. will always help and encouraged other nations to step up as well.

American evacuees from the coronavirus outbreak in China board a bus after arriving by flight to Eppley Airfield in Omaha, Neb., Friday, Feb. 7, 2020. The evacuees are to be quarantined at Camp Ashland, a nearby Nebraska National Guard training base. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

Meanwhile, the second flight holding American evacuees from China has landed in California. On Friday morning, the plane landed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

The flight, which was chartered by the U.S. State Department, carried about 300 passengers in total. All passengers will be subject to a 14 day quarantine upon arrival. They will join the roughly 170 Americans who arrived last week.

So far, only five passengers reportedly displayed symptoms of the coronavirus.

MORE NEWS: Hong Kong Hospital Workers End Multiday Strike

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FBI opens 1K investigations into China’s alleged tech theft

FBI Director Christopher Wray speaks at the Department of Justice China Initiative Conference held February 6, 2020 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 12:15 PM PT — Thursday, February 6, 2020

The FBI is pursuing 1,000 investigations into China’s alleged technology theft. FBI Director Christopher Wray made the announcement on Thursday and said China is trying to steal U.S. technology by any means necessary.

“They’ve pioneered an expansive approach to stealing innovation through a wide range of actors,” said the director. “They’ve shown that they’re willing to steal their way up the economic ladder at our expense.”

Wray said China is attempting to steal information, including cost and pricing data, internal strategy documents and anything else that may give them a competitive edge.

“China is using a wide range of methods and techniques,…everything from cyber intrusions to corrupting trusted insiders,” he said. “They’ve even engaged in outright physical theft.”

The director said the country is using both Chinese intelligence services and private companies to pursue its targets. He added the theft is focused on tech companies, but also includes agriculture businesses and medical device companies.

“What it does mean is that when China violates our criminal laws and well-established international norms, we are not going to tolerate it, much less enable it,” reiterated Wray. “The Department of Justice and the FBI are going to hold people accountable for that and protect our nation’s innovation and ideas.”

Original Article

China deploys cargo planes of medical workers and supplies to Wuhan

In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, Chinese military medical staff members stand in formation after arriving at Wuhan Tianhe International Airport in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (Cheng Min/Xinhua via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 4:17 PM PT — Sunday, February 2, 2020

China is sending medical workers and supplies to Wuhan amid the coronavirus outbreak. On Sunday, the Chinese Air Force deployed eight cargo planes, which carried nearly 800 workers in total. Many of the workers previously helped treat the SARS outbreak.

According to reports, this is the largest non-military operation of the country’s air force since 2010.

China has confirmed more than 300 deaths from the virus while more than 130,000 are under medical observation. The city of Wuhan has been on lockdown for over a week to stop the spread of the virus.

The Huoshenshan temporary field hospital under construction is seen as it nears completion in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei Province, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020. (Chinatopix via AP)

This came after hospital personnel in Hong Kong called out mainland China’s poor handling of the outbreak. On Saturday, the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance denounced government efforts to contain the virus and threatened to strike.

The union also said over 9,000 of its members supported participating in a five day protest. A group of officials took specific aim at Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who they have called on to supply more medical equipment and ban all travel into China.

“The measures outlined at news conferences by the emergency committee led by Carrie Lam about border control, school closure, science and getting protective equipment aren’t going to solve the problem. If we don’t completely close the border, any suspected cases can come from mainland China into Hong Kong. The burden on our health care system will be much more than our current system can support.”

– Winnie Yu, Hospital Authority Employees Alliance Chairwoman

In the meantime, rail connections to the mainland have been halted and Lam has not appeared willing to block all travel outright.

Original Article

Sen. Ernst: USMCA, China trade deals benefit farmers in long run

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, talks to the media prior to the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump at the Capitol, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:10 PM PT — Sunday, February 2, 2020

Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst is saying the president’s work on trade will benefit U.S. farmers in the long run. On Sunday, Ernst touted the USMCA and Phase One China deals, which were recently passed by Congress. She said farmers stand to gain the most from both agreements.

According to Ernst, the administration took the right approach by raising tariffs on China, which forced them to the negotiating table. She also said the White House acted responsibly by offering bailouts to farmers, which offset retaliatory tariffs from Beijing.

The senator said any negative effects from the trade war on farmers are only temporary.

“If you ask Iowa farmers, ‘Is the president doing the right thing?’ they will say, ‘Yes.’ One farmer said, ‘You know what, I’m tightening my belt. Things are tougher right now, but I know in the long run this is going to be better for my grandchildren. They won’t have to struggle with China cheating us the way we have experienced in the past.’” – Jodi Ernst, U.S. Senator (R-IA)

Ernst attended the signing of the Phase One trade deal with China last month, where she praised President Trump for “delivering real results for Iowa’s farmers and manufacturers.”

Original Article

Australia bans foreigners traveling from China

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, second right, Minister for Health Greg Hunt, left, Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy, and Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne, right, give an update on the coronavirus at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:12 PM PT — Saturday, February 1, 2020

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a ban on any foreign travelers coming from China amid the coronavirus outbreak. On Friday, Morrison said Australia has declared a Level 4 travel guidance and is advising its citizens against traveling to China at all.

He said the health and well-being of Australians is behind the decision.

“Well, our first responsibility is Australians and Australia’s national interests,” said the prime minister. “That means the health of Australians and their well-being – that is what is driving our decisions.”

Morrison said Australian citizens and permanent residents will be allowed entry into the country, but are required to isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Australia’s foreign minister has said the government is working to evacuate its citizens from China. However, anyone with a temperature of 99 or higher has to stay and receive medical attention.

In this Jan. 22, 2020, photo, tourists gather to have their photos taken with the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as a backdrop in Sydney, Australia. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

This came after U.S. officials declared a Level 4 travel advisory for Americans earlier this week. The Chinese government responded to the travel restriction by saying the U.S. has set a “bad example.”

On Saturday, a spokeswoman from China’s foreign ministry criticized the U.S. for enacting the temporary travel ban, which went into effect after the administration declared a public health emergency following the outbreak.

RELATED: Public Health Emergency Declared Over Coronavirus Outbreak

Original Article

Esper: China’s Communist Party stealing technology, building surveillance state

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during a joint news conference with Japan’s Defense Minister Taro Kono at the Pentagon in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 3:27 PM PT — Friday, January 24, 2020

Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said China and Russia are prioritized as America’s main security concerns. He is warning of China’s growing surveillance footprint, both within its own borders and around the world.

On Friday, Esper said both Russia and China are using emerging technology to reshape the world to their advantage. He specifically noted Beijing is combining state investment, forced technology transfers and intellectual property theft.

The secretary claimed China is attempting to narrow the gap between itself and its rivals.

“The party has constructed a 21st century surveillance state with unprecedented abilities to censor speech and infringe on basic human rights,” he said. “George Orwell would be proud.”

He added China’s Communist Party uses this surveillance and artificial intelligence to routinely repress minorities and pro-democracy demonstrators.

China has defended its surveillance use as a means of preventing terrorism and separatism. They claimed they do not use it for religious or ethnic monitoring.

Original Article

Kudlow: U.S. exports to China will double under ‘phase one’ deal, agreement to be signed in early January

White House chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks with reporters outside the White House, Friday, Dec. 6, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 1:52 PM PT — Monday, December 16, 2019

According to National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, the ‘phase one’ trade deal with China is complete. While speaking to reporters at the White House Monday, he said U.S. exports to China will double under the deal. The White House economic adviser also said China will increase imports of all goods and services, and emphasized the positive effects this will have on economic growth in the U.S.

“It covers IP and it covers tech transfers, and it covers financial services and it covers currencies and so forth,” he explained. “But one of the things it covers…not just agriculture, but the deal includes a Chinese purchase of America goods and services across the board.”

Kudlow pointed out that currency manipulation is a key part of the agreement, and it addresses other major issues like IP theft and foreign access to the Chinese market. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer will sign the deal with the Chinese vice premier in Washington in early January.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer speaks during an event to sign an update to the North American Free Trade Agreement, at the national palace in Mexico City, Tuesday, Dec. 10. 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Ugarte)

During that same press briefing, Kudlow also commented on the USMCA. He said a separate agreement on labor inspections with Mexico will not derail the trade deal and will boost the sides’ compliance with the accord. On Monday, Mexico said it opposed U.S. inspectors monitoring labor conditions at Mexican plants, but the U.S. economic chief stressed that all USMCA members must have the same labor standards.

“We want all the countries that we trade with to have the same worker rights as we do here, to the extent that we will work through with Mexico and Canada on workers rights and union rules,” he stated. “I don’t think that’s going to be difficult, and I know it’s not going to stop the successful passage of USMCA.”

Kudlow went on to say the White House will work on a trade deal with the Britain soon soon as possible, noting impeachment will not slow anything down.

RELATED: Mnuchin Says Trade Deal With China To Boost Global Economy

Original Article

US, China reach phase one trade deal, source says

closeIs Trump leveraging his own impeachment to get a trade deal over the finish line?Video

Is Trump leveraging his own impeachment to get a trade deal over the finish line?

Media reporter for The Hill Joe Concha explains the optics of the impeachment inquiry.

The United States and China have agreed to the terms of a phase one trade deal with China, though the details are still being finalized, a source told FOX Business.

Earlier Thursday, President Trump tweeted about the ongoing trade war with China, saying “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!”

It came as Trump and U.S. trade negotiators met at the White House on Thursday, as another U.S. tariff hike on $160 billion of Chinese imports is due to take effect Sunday.

The two sides have increased tariffs on billions of dollars of each other's imports in a fight over Beijing's technology ambitions and trade surplus.

The conflict has disrupted global trade and threatened to chill economic growth.

The planned weekend U.S. tariff hike would extend punitive duties to almost everything the U.S. would buy from China. Imports last year totaled more than $500 billion.

TRUMP, US TRADE NEGOTIATORS TALK STRATEGY AS CHINA TARIFFS LOOM

China has retaliated by raising duties on $160 billion of American goods but has been running out of imports for retaliation due to the lopsided trade balance. Beijing also has tried to limit losses to its own economy by avoiding imposing tariffs on high-tech components and other goods required by Chinese manufacturers.

In a conciliatory gesture, China's Ministry of Commerce announced Friday it was waiving punitive duties on U.S. soybeans and pork.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Original Article

Beijing threats over bill supporting Hong Kong ’laughable,’ China expert says

closeChina lashes out after Trump signs Hong Kong billVideo

China lashes out after Trump signs Hong Kong bill

China warns of 'counter measures' against U.S.; Benjamin Hall reports

Gordon Chang, the author of "The Coming Collapse of China," said Thursday that Beijing’s threats of taking "countermeasures" over the U.S. law backing the protests in Hong Kong are “laughable” and is in no position to "anger its best customer" as its economy slumps.

Beijing was quick to admonish President Trump and Congress for passing two bills aimed at supporting human rights in Hong Kong. The Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement that the bills will only "strengthen the resolve of the Chinese people, including the Hong Kong people, and raise the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the U.S," and promised vague "countermeasures."

Chang said in an email that anything Beijing can do "will hurt itself more than us, and given how close its economy is to the edge of the cliff the regime could end up doing itself in by retaliating."

He continued, "For four decades, we were told by elites and policymakers that we could not afford to upset China. Wednesday, President Trump did what his predecessors would not do—defend America from a China that is going after us. The same power that is encroaching on Hong Kong’s autonomy is attacking our society across the board."

Hong Kong, a former British colony that was granted semi-autonomy when China took control in 1997, has been rocked by six months of sometimes violent pro-democracy demonstrations after an extradition bill surfaced last summer that– if passed– would have sent alleged criminals in Hong Kong to China for trial.

Trump signs legislation supporting anti-government protesters in Hong KongVideo

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which was sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., requires that the U.S. conducts yearly reviews into Hong Kong’s autonomy from Beijing. If ever found unsatisfactory, the city's special status for U.S. trading could be tossed.

Up until Wednesday's announcement, Trump did not indicate whether or not he would sign the bill. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to answer a reporter's question about the president's leanings as recent as Tuesday.

"I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong," Trump said in a statement. "They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all."

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which was sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., requires that the U.S. conducts yearly reviews into Hong Kong’s autonomy from Beijing. If ever found unsatisfactory, the city's special status for U.S. trading could be tossed.

The bills were applauded by protesters who see them as a warning to Beijing and Hong Kong.

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"In any event, let the Chinese huff and puff over the bills President Trump signed," Chang wrote. "Wednesday was a great day for America, and a great day for free societies across the world."

Original Article

Hunter Biden’s China connections plagued by ethics questions and national security concerns

close2020 Democrat Joe Biden bogged down by questions about son Hunter BidenVideo

2020 Democrat Joe Biden bogged down by questions about son Hunter Biden

Joe Biden says his son Hunter Biden is a great guy; Trace Gallagher reports.

As the Democrat-led impeachment inquiry into President Trump deepens, a spotlight has been cast on Hunter Biden ventures abroad not only in Ukraine but in China, where he set about investing while his dad served as vice president.

The questions come as Republicans are demanding that Hunter Biden – the 49-year-old son of Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden – appear before Congress to testify on his work.

For almost six years, the firm connected to Hunter Biden in China has moved more than $2.5 billion into various automotive, technology, energy, and mining endeavors.

Analysts point to the plethora of “ethical challenges” of Hunter doing such deals in China while his father was in the White House.

“At a time when the Obama administration was trying to pivot to Asia, a policy that ultimately fell flat, one has to at least stop and think what connections between policy and personal interests were there,” said Harry Kazianis, senior director for the Center for the National Interest. “While chances are Hunter Biden was doing what a lot of family members of famous politicians do – cash in on their name – it looks dirty.”

Biden served as one of nine directors of the private equity firm Bohai Harvest RST – better known as BHR Partners – which is 80 percent mandated by shareholders in the Chinese government, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The firm was registered less than two weeks after Biden flew with his then-vice president father on Air Force Two for official business in China in December 2013, but his lawyer has previously stated that talks were in place months earlier.

In the closing days of that December, China’s central bank, the Bank of China in conjunction with Rosemount Seneca – the firm Biden founded in 2009 with John Kerry’s stepson Christopher Heinz and family friend Devon Archer – set up the $1 billion investment joint venture called Bohai Harvest RST. The “RS” signifies Rosemount Seneca, and the “T” is in reference to the Thornton Group, a Massachusetts-based international consulting company established by James Bulger, the nephew of infamous mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger.

FILE: Dec. 4, 2013: from left, Vice President Joe Biden, granddaughter Finnegan Biden, son Hunter Biden, arriving in Beijing, China.

FILE: Dec. 4, 2013: from left, Vice President Joe Biden, granddaughter Finnegan Biden, son Hunter Biden, arriving in Beijing, China. (AP)

“The Bank of China is a major Chinese state-run bank, overseen by the powerful China Investment Corporation,” Isaac Stone Fish, a senior fellow at the Asia Society's Center on U.S.-China Relations, told Fox News. “While it often makes decisions based on economic considerations, it exists to serve the interests of the Chinese Communist Party.”

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BHR was named as one of China’s top 10 Mergers & Acquisitions funds in 2017 by Equity Investment Association of China (EIAC) and the Beijing Private Equity Association (BPEA). BHR went on to receive “top honors” at the 2017 China Venture Awards, which also named the CEO Jonathan Li as one of China’s “Top 10 M&A Investors 2016.”

Biden told The New Yorker earlier this year that he did meet with Li on that 2013 taxpayer-funded official visit, but insisted it was a “social meeting.” Biden’s board position, his attorney has stated, was unpaid, and it was not until October 2017 that the younger Biden became a shareholder.

Indeed, the Biden-supported fund fast received notoriety in China. Formed in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone almost six years ago, its website boasts it was the “first cross-border investment private equity firm” and “among China’s first-ever RMB-denominated private equity funds approved by the State Council.”

“BHR benefits from the support of its Chinese stakeholders, including the Bank of China and China Development Bank Capital,” the website reads. “BHR also engages in alternative investments in emerging sectors such as artificial intelligence, FINTECH, automation, and robotics.”

But some of those investments have since been subject to controversy.

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden walks with his sons Beau (L) and Hunter (R) down Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade in Washington January 20, 2009.

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden walks with his sons Beau (L) and Hunter (R) down Pennsylvania Avenue during the inaugural parade in Washington January 20, 2009. (REUTERS)

BHR Partners has invested in Megvii Technology Inc, a leader in the facial recognition arena with his Face ++. In May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that the technology was associated with a controversial IJOP app used in the surveillance of Uighurs and Chinese Muslims in the Xinjiang region. Megvii later told HRW that the Face++ account contained in the IJOP application code was “never actively used.”

Moreover, in 2015, BHR engaged in a $600 million purchase of Henniges Automotive, the Michigan automotive-suspension systems maker, securing a 49 percent stake. The negotiations were reported to have been mostly conducted by the Chinese government-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China Ltd, which acquired the remaining 51 percent. The deal had to be reviewed and approved by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.

However, the aircraft company has been subject to national security red flags. A year after the deal had closed, national security experts and analysts expressed concerns that the company, a major supplier of military jets in China, had hacked the U.S. networks to steal the design of the F-35 jet and used the design to build its own jet fighters.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, is now probing whether Hunter Biden inappropriately leveraged his business ties with the suspect Chinese-backed aviation company.

In a letter to Department of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in August, Grassley raised concerns “over the process by which the Obama administration’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) approved the acquisition,” stressing the “conflicts of interest (that) could have influenced CFIUS approval of the Henniges transaction.”

“Congress and the public must fully understand the decision-making process that led to the Henniges approval and the extent to which CFIUS fully considered the transaction’s national security risks,” he wrote, underscoring the Biden and Kerry family associates involved in the deal and pointing out that the Department of State, then under Kerry’s tutelage, “would have played a direct role in the decision to approve the Henniges transaction.”

Devon Archer, far left, with former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, far right, in 2014.

Devon Archer, far left, with former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter, far right, in 2014.

Yet, other experts downplayed national security concerns as being wound up in an epoch of “national hysteria about China.”

“The U.S. has a robust CFIUS mechanism which looked into BHR’s acquisition with AVIC Auto of Henniges Automotive and approved it,” noted Gal Luft, co-director for the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security. “The current paranoia has already caused an 80 percent decline in China’s direct investment in the U.S.”

But that isn’t where the Biden-China related woes stop.

In 2014, BHR invested in the IPO of the state-owned China General Nuclear Power Company (CGN), which is focused on the development of nuclear reactors. But in April 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice charged the company with “conspiracy to unlawfully engage and participate in the production and development of special nuclear material outside the United States, without the required authorization from the U.S. Department of Energy.” The DOJ also charged the company’s U.S.-based nuclear engineer and senior advisor “with conspiracy to act in the United States as an agent of a foreign government.”

Some of his China associates have also come under the wrath of the U.S. Department of Justice in the last couple of years.

In March this year, Patrick Ho, 69, the former Hong Kong politician and head of the think-tank wing of the Shanghai-based energy company CEFEC China, was sentenced to three years behind bars for “international bribery and money laundering offenses.” The sentencing took place 16 months after U.S. authorities arrested him.

“Patrick Ho schemed to bribe the leaders of Chad and Uganda in order to secure unfair business advantages for the Chinese energy company he served,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman said in a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice. “His actions were brazen. Foreign corruption undermines the fairness of international markets, erodes the public’s faith in its leaders, and is deeply unfair to the people and businesses that play by the rules.”

The scheme, the DOJ said, began around September 2014 when Ho attended the annual UN General Assembly in New York. CEFC China was, at that time, “working to expand its operations to Chad.”

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But when his colleague Ho was suddenly arrested in November 2017, it was James Biden – the brother of Joe – whose phone buzzed first, with Ho asserting that he was in trouble. James Biden told the New Yorker he believed Ho was instead looking to reach Hunter.

The younger Biden had reportedly agreed to represent Ho in hammering out a multimillion-dollar liquefied natural gas deal with CEFC China, at the request of Ye Jianming, the founder and former chairman of CEFC. Biden has since vowed to the magazine that Ho “wasn’t a shady character at all’ but was instead swept into a “bad luck” situation.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., with committee staffer Daniel Noble at left, concludes a week of public impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., with committee staffer Daniel Noble at left, concludes a week of public impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump's efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP)

Jianming was also apprehended in China at the request of President Xi Jinping in March 2018 for his alleged role in corruption and fell upon the ranks of the famed “missing” Chinese businessmen. Ten months earlier, the oil tycoon – who has not been accused of wrongdoing in the U.S. – was documented to have met with Biden to discuss U.S-based investment opportunities.

While Biden stepped down from his BHR board position last month – his name and picture now scrubbed from the company’s website – it remains to be seen if he will continue to hold his financial venture in the private equity firm.

A lawyer for Biden and BHR Partners did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Trump, who is currently in the throngs of an impeachment inquiry over whether he illicitly pressured Ukraine’s government to investigate the business dealings of Biden in the region, doubled down last month when he further called on Beijing to also probe if the Biden son had misused his high-profile name to lure Chinese capital for his investments.

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The Chinese foreign minister has since declared that Beijing has “no intention of intervening in the domestic affairs of the United States.” Hunter Biden vowed to ABC News last month that he had not acted improperly in terms of ethics with his work abroad, presumably referencing both Ukraine and China, but may have exercised "poor judgment" in taking foreign endeavors while his father was in office. Joe Biden further defended his son during the Democratic debates last month, insisting that the duo "never discussed anything" and thus there "would be no potential conflict.”

Nonetheless, the dealings point to a larger picture of power abuse, ethics and the known Chinese strategy of using big-wig names to further a monetary agenda.

“The job of those high-profile individuals is mostly to lend credibility and prestige to the company and to utilize their connections,” Luft added. “Corporate America invented this practice, and now China mimics it.”

Original Article