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Taiwan flags China 'risk' to Pacific trade pact bid Japan's foreign minister welcomes Taiwan's application to join CPTPP 2 Chinese military spotter planes enter Taiwan’s ADIZ Australia abandons Taiwan’s TiSPACE rocket project after 3 failed launches Biden talks peace, but serves up hypocrisy China and U.S. climate pledges give COP26 boost but 'extra mile' sought Russia has no plans to use Nord Stream 2 as geopolitical instrument, says ministry US House committee recommends imposing sanctions against key Russian officials Lavrov meets with new UK Foreign Secretary, says no progress on bilateral dialogue Kremlin says Russia had nothing to do with attack on Ukrainian president's aide There is a "risk" to Taiwan's application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) if China joins first, Taiwan's government said on Thursday, flagging a potential political roadblock. Taiwan formally applied to join on Wednesday, less than a week after China, the world's second-largest economy. Taiwan has been keen to win greater support from other democracies, including in its trading relations. When asked about Taiwan's application to the trade pact, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian reiterated a long-standing position that Taiwan is part of China.
"We are firmly opposed to any country having official ties with Taiwan, and to Taiwan entering into any official treaty or organisation," Zhao said. Japan’s Foreign Minister Motegi Toshimitsu has welcomed Taiwan’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). Motegi endorsed Taiwan’s application when talking to reporters on Thursday (Sept. 23) while in New York, according to a Kyodo News report. He said Japan will respond based on its strategic viewpoint and the understanding of Japanese citizens.
Motegi described Taiwan as an "extremely important partner of Japan that shares basic values such as the rule of law." He also said Tokyo will respond to the country’s bid to join the 11-member CPTPP "based on a strategic point of view and with the public's understanding." Taiwan's formal application to join the trade pact, submitted Wednesday (Sept. 22), follows a similar bid made by China just days earlier. There are 11 countries in the CPTPP, including regional economic heavyweights like Japan, Australia, and Singapore. The unanimous approval of all 11 member states is required for new applicants to successfully join.
Two Chinese military planes flew into Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ) on Wednesday (Sept. 22), marking the 19th intrusion this month. A People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Shaanxi Y-8 electronic warfare plane and a Shaanxi Y-8 anti-submarine warfare aircraft both flew into the southwest corner of Taiwan’s ADIZ, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND). In response, Taiwan sent aircraft, broadcast radio warnings, and deployed air defense missile systems to monitor the planes. Beijing has sent a mix of spotter planes, fighter jets, and bombers into the identification zone this month. Since September of last year, Beijing has stepped up its gray zone tactics by routinely sending aircraft into Taiwan’s ADIZ, with most occurrences taking place in the southwest corner of the zone. An ADIZ is an area that extends beyond a country’s airspace where air traffic controllers ask incoming aircraft to identify themselves. Gray zone tactics are defined “as an effort or
series of efforts beyond steady-state deterrence and assurance that attempts to achieve one’s security objectives without resort to direct and sizable use of force.” According to MND data, Chinese aircraft were tracked in Taiwan’s ADIZ 14 times in August, 14 times in July, 10 times in June, 18 times in May, 22 times in April, 18 times in March, 17 times in February, and 27 times in January. Australia’s Southern Launch announced on Wednesday (Sept. 22) it would no longer try and launch the Taiwan Innovative Space Company’s (TiSPACE) Hapith I rocket following three failed attempts.
The Taiwanese company obtained a launch permit from the Australian government in August, but three launches scheduled for Sept. 10, Sept. 15, and Sept. 16 all ended in failure, the Liberty Times reported. Strong winds led to the cancellation of the first event, while the second time, a system did not come online. The third attempt sparked a fire, Southern Launch said in a news release. “During ignition, the launch vehicle suffered an internal fault causing the vehicle to catch alight.” The blaze did not extend beyond the launch pad, and no people were put at risk, the company said.
Following an inspection of the Hapith I, Southern Launch and TiSPACE both concluded that “we won’t continue with any further launch attempts of this particular vehicle,” the Australian company said. In his debut speech at the United Nations General Assembly, US President Joe Biden said the United States is not "seeking a new Cold War or a world divided into rigid blocs". But, for many experts, the rhetoric is laden with hypocrisy in standing in sharp contrast with Washington's actions in recent months. But Xu Liping, a researcher at the National Institute of International Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Biden's speech runs counter to what the US has been doing. "The speech is actually a slap in the face to the US. The so-called new Cold War refers to the actions that take another country as an 'imaginary enemy' who holds a different
ideology, and decouple with the target country, throw sanctions on it and even threaten it, as well as care only about the interests of small blocs with its allies," Xu said. "The US has been curbing Chinese technological companies, decoupling from China in scientific and technology fields and strengthening its military presence in the South China Sea. Aren't these gestures of a new Cold War?" Chen Xiangyang, director of the Institute of World Political Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Biden's speech amounts to a heavy dose of political propaganda. "Biden's wording demonstrates hypocrisy and duplicity, aimed at building a good and friendly image of the US. But the words are inconsistent with the deeds," said Chen,
China and the United States have this week boosted momentum ahead of November's key COP26 climate summit with new energy and funding pledges to tackle planetary warming, but analysts said they lacked detail and far more was needed to meet global goals. The leaders of the world's two largest economies announced separate measures at the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA) Tuesday, with China pledging to end overseas coal financing and the U.S. saying it would double climate funding for developing countries. The announcements were hailed as important ahead of the COP26 U.N. climate talks in Glasgow, but green groups said both countries — the world's two largest carbon polluters — and other major emitters needed to raise their game in the coming weeks
Saleemul Huq, director of the International Center for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh, said climate finance and action to slash emissions "need to be scaled up considerably" before COP26. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed the U.S. and Chinese announcements but said the world still had "a long way to go to make COP26 a success." Getting countries to strengthen their emissions-cutting plans and provide the finance to put them into practice are crucial at COP26, billed as the last chance to galvanize the collective effort needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial times.
Russia is not going to use the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline for geopolitical purposes, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko said in an interview with TASS, adding that the project would remain solely an economic one for Moscow. "For us, Nord Stream 2 remains solely an economic project. We are not going to use it, as the Ukrainians say, in any geopolitical calculations. We do not need that," the high-ranked diplomat noted. Throughout the decades, Russia’s cooperation with Europe in the gas sector has shown that Moscow has not ever used gas as an instrument to influence the political processes, deputy minister said. Russia will be ready to employ all possibilities to satisfy Europe’s demand as well after the contract on gas transit via Ukraine expires in 2024, he added. "We have
repeatedly stated that if there is a necessity and demand from the side of European partners we are ready to use the Ukrainian gas transport system for gas supplies as well," Rudenko said. "The current contract expires in 2024 After 2024 everything will depend, of course, on what gas volumes our European consumers will need," he added. Gazprom said earlier that the construction of Nord Stream 2 was fully completed on the morning of September 10 Meanwhile, the European Commission (EC) explained that after receiving the draft decision on the certification of the pipeline from the German regulator the EC would have two months for providing its own reply on the certification, and the term may be extended. US House Rules Committee passed an amendment to the defense budget, which recommend the US administration to consider imposing sanctions against 35 Russian citizens, including Russian ministers, major businessmen, public figures and journalists.
The list includes Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Central Election Commission Ella Pamfilova, First Deputy Administration head Sergey Kiriyenko, Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev, and Health Minister Mikhail Murashko. The list also includes Russian National Guard Director Viktor Zolotov, Federal Security Agency Director Alexander Bortnikov, Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin, St. Petersburg governor Alexander Beglov, and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin. Besides, the list includes businessmen Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov, Oleg Deripaska, Gennady Timchenko, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, VTB CEO Andrey Kostin, VEB CEO Igor Shuvalov. The list also includes RT Chief Editor Margarita Simonyan, journalist Vladimir Solovyov and Channel 1 CEO Konstantin Ernst. According to the document, the US lawmakers believe that the mentioned Russian citizens may be involved in violation of human rights. The US President must provide a conclusion to the relevant US Congress committees whether any of the mentioned people comply with the criteria for imposition of sanctions under the "Global Magnitsky Act."
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov met with new British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss for the first time, Russian Foreign Ministry announced on its website Thursday, adding Lavrov noted the lack of progress in solving problems on the track to restoration of a fully-fledged political dialogue between the two countries. "The top diplomats discussed the current state of the bilateral relations. The Russian side once again noted the lack of progress on solving problems that obstruct the restoration of a fully-fledged political dialogue, as well as London’s persistent unwillingness to build international ties based on equality and mutual respect of interests," the statement says. The ministers exchanged their opinions on a number of international and regional problems.
The meeting happened on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session amid new UK’s accusations against Russia. On Tuesday, British authorities announced that a third man allegedly involved in the Skripal case was identified - one Sergey Fedotov, a "GRU agent" and an accomplice of two other Russians named earlier. Liz Truss succeeded Dominic Raab as the Foreign Secretary on September 15 Serhiy Shefir, a top aide to Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said an assassination attempt against him on Wednesday (September 22) was designed to intimidate the Ukrainian leadership. "I have not conducted any cases that would have caused aggression. I think this is intimidation," Shefir told a joint news briefing with police and Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky. The aide, Serhiy Shefir, survived unscathed but police said his driver had been wounded after more than 10 bullets hit the car near the village of Lesnyky, just outside the capital Kyiv. At this Tokyo barbecue restaurant, diners enjoy plates of meat delivered by a robot or over a conveyor belt. But up till fall of last year, this eatery used to be an "izakaya" -- a Japanese-style pub which serves small dishes and alcohol.
The major pub chain Watami was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and had to turn some of its "izakaya" outlets into such barbecue restaurants because the no- alcohol restriction and shorten operating hours have effectively dried them out. "With regards to the (government's) COVID-19 response, I am very frustrated. The biggest (reason) is that the measures are very slow (to roll out). Also, the measures are very sloppy," said Watami's chief executive Miki Watanabe when asked about Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's coronavirus response. With Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) planning to pick a new leader on Sept. 29, who will then replace Yoshihide Suga as prime minister, Watanabe is hoping the new leader will place more pressure on restaurants to follow the rules. Government compensation for businesses impacted by the curbs was too generous for small firms but insufficient for larger companies like Watami, making it "unbalanced and unfair," he added.
The contenders for the LDP leadership have pledged to respond to the pandemic and roll out fresh stimulus to ease the pain, but whoever succeeds Suga, the food service industry will face a "long battle" with COVID-19, Watanabe said. Meanwhile for the restauranteur, he now plans to convert 40% of his 300 outlets into these high-tech barbecue joints by next April, as he foresees a more sizzling future in the barbecue business than in the downtrodden "izakaya" business model. Why it matters: Stalwarts of the care community could be forced to close if they can't find enough people to fill open positions or if current workers are forced into such onerous shifts that they can't take it anymore. Driving the news: Come next Monday, all health care workers in New York state will face termination if they don't have at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot.
This will "compound a staffing crisis already afflicting many hospitals and long-term care facilities — including group homes for disabled individuals, where some nurses are being forced to work 24-hour shifts," per the Times-Union of Albany. About 81% of hospital employees "have been fully vaccinated, but many others are declining or reluctant to be vaccinated — putting them on a collision course with the mandate set to take effect on Sept. 27," the paper says. By the numbers: 78% of nursing homes are concerned they may have to close if the staffing emergency persists, as are 71% of assisted living facilities, according to a survey by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living. 86% of nursing homes and 77% of assisted living providers said the problem has worsened in the last three months. The bottom line: Health care providers are using these scary stats to press for more money from Washington, D.C. These are FBNC's morning International news Thank you for watching See you in the next FBNC's morning International news