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  • Thai National Volleyball Team Tests Positive for COVID-19 After Taking Chinese-Made Vaccines

    BY ALEX WU, May 18, 2021

    Recently, 26 members of the Thai national women’s volleyball team tested positive after receiving injections of Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccines, which led to the team withdrawing from the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) 2021.

    Thailand has purchased a large amount of Chinese COVID-19 vaccines and withdrawn its team from the VNL, which will be held in Italy from May 25 to June 19. The Thai women’s volleyball team currently ranks 15th in the world.

    All the members and staff of the women’s volleyball team received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine made by Chinese state-owned company Sinovac on April 29.

    On May 12, 22 players and 4 staffers tested positive for COVID-19 in a pre-match test and were sent to the hospital for observation and treatment.

    The Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB) has not barred the team from participating in the world league, and is looking into the cases.

    “We would like to apologize to all the fans nationwide, and will take care of the affected athletes and staffers as though they are members of our family,” the Thai Volleyball Association said in a statement.

    On May 14, the FIVB granted Thailand special permission to change its roster for the upcoming tournament. Currently, the Thai team is testing again and drafting more players in order to put together a team to participate in the VNL.

    A local doctor pointed out that according to a Chilean trial study, the protection rate of the Chinese vaccine was only 16 percent effective after the first injection after 2 weeks, and 2 weeks after the second injection it increased to 67 percent. By contrast, vaccines made by other countries have a protection rate of 60 to 70 percent within 3 weeks after the first injection and increases to 70 to 75 percent within 2 weeks after the second injection. The doctor also reminded that there is no vaccine that has a protection rate of 100 percent against the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, which causes the disease COVID-19.

    The Chinese regime has been pushing a “vaccine diplomacy” strategy internationally to expand its geopolitical influence. Southeast Asian countries that are close neighbors to China have felt the effects first.

    Earlier this year, the Thai government ordered 2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines made by Chinese state-owned company Sinovac, which have been administered to more than 600,000 people nationwide. In March, despite the serious side effects of the Chinese vaccines being reported in Thailand, such as stroke, the Thai government stuck with the Chinese vaccines. It has ordered an additional 1.5 million doses from the Chinese company.

    In early May, the president of another Southeast Asian country, Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, asked China to take back its donation of 1,000 vaccines developed by Sinopharm, citing they are not approved for the public. A territorial dispute over regions of the South China Sea between China and the Philippines has also been escalating in recent months.


    • Chinese professor: China won ‘biological warfare’; Wuhan virus lab’s links to communist party

      A video showcases a number of curious comments from a pro-Beijing Chinese professor. One of the vague remarks praises China for its so-called achievements in “biological warfare.” A website sheds light on the links between Wuhan’s virus lab and the Chinese Communist Party. That’s as many question how deeply those ties go, and others speculate about the pandemic’s origins. Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai has just pleaded guilty. He’s among the most high profile arrests made under Hong Kong’s national security law. This, as the Taiwanese branch of his newspaper ends its print edition. New data shows the U.S. is now importing a lot less from China. It’s a sharp decline from before the pandemic started — largely due to U.S. tariffs on the country. And a report says the Chinese regime is using forced labor to make solar panels. The Communist regime is allegedly making ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region work against their will.


      • Japan Holds High-Level Meeting to Discuss the Chinese Regime Threat Amid Joint Military Drill

        BY BEN ZHAO AND JENNIFER ZENG, May 19, 2021

        As Japan, the United States, and France are conducting joint military exercises, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held a high-level meeting on May 12 to discuss how to tackle the threat of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

        The senior management of the LDP, representing both the national defense and the security ministry, discussed various situations at the Senkaku Islands (also known as Diaoyu), the South China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait.

        The topics of the meeting were revealed by Takao Toshikawa, a well-known Japanese political and economic commentator, in an Japanese article entitled “Europe Joins Japan, U.S., Australia, and India in ‘Deterrence Strategy Against China’—Its Deep Implications for the Senkaku Islands.”

        According to the article, Taku Otsuka, member of the House of Representatives of Japan for the LDP in charge of national defense, and Itsunori Onodera, chairman of security investigation and former minister of defense, chaired the meeting. The topics of the meeting included the following five areas:

        (1) The operations of Chinese Coast Guard vessels in the waters around the Senkaku Islands.

        (2) The operations of Chinese naval vessels and helicopters.

        (3) The Chinese Maritime Traffic Safety Law.

        (4) The Chinese regime’s survey report on the topography of the Senkaku Islands.

        (5) The situations in the South China Sea and Taiwan.

        Japan’s Self-Defense Force soldiers walk from a Chinook helicopter during a joint military drill between the Japan Self-Defense Force, the French Army, and U.S. Marines at the Kirishima exercise area in Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture, on May 15, 2021. (Charly Triballeau/via Getty Images)

        Although the article did not disclose more details of the meeting, it revealed that about 50 LDP members from the House and Senate attended the meeting. Other participants included Hiroyuki Onishi, parliamentary vice-minister, Masami Oka, director of the Defense Policy Bureau, and Mitsuko Hayashi, chief advisor to the Ministry of Defense staff office.

        Attendees from the Self-Defense Forces included coordinating officials of the land, sea, and air staffs, as well as Deputy Director-General Kazuye Endo of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of Asia Pacific affairs.

        In the article, Toshikawa revealed that the topics of the meeting were related to France’s participation in the “ARC21” military exercise involving Japan, the United States, and France. The drill started on May 11 and included a military operation exercise to defend the Senkaku Islands in the case of a CCP invasion.

        The French army conducted the first joint military exercise with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces on Japanese land from May 11 to 13.

        France sent a large fleet of warships to demonstrate its determination to participate in the affairs of the Indo-Pacific region. Admiral Pierre Vandier, chief of the French naval staff, said last November that “Our message will be targeted at China.”

        He highlighted the importance of freedom of navigation and respect for international law, and expressed France’s determination to be united with its allies including Japan, the United States, Australia, and India.

        French soldiers take part in a joint military drill between the Japan Self-Defense Force, the French Army, and U.S. Marines at the Kirishima exercise area in Ebino, Miyazaki Prefecture, on May 15, 2021. (Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images)

        In addition, the German government said last year that it wanted to strengthen its operations in the Indo-Pacific region and participated, for the first time, in the 2+2 talks between the foreign and defense ministers of Japan and Germany on April 13 this year.

        Japan will also welcome a British aircraft carrier strike group—accompanied by a Dutch warship.

        Toshikawa said the strategy of building deterrence against the CCP has gradually won acceptance from European countries such as France. The reason is that the CCP’s expansion of hegemony in the South China and East China Seas has made Japan, the United States, Australia, India, and even France and other European countries feel threatened.

        The CCP’s human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang are also of deep concern to these countries. So there is a consensus among countries to curb the CCP’s infringement on international rules and human rights issues, according to Toshikawa, who is also the Tokyo bureau chief for The Oriental Economist Report, published by Japan Watchers in New York.


        • 72-story skyscraper shakes for no apparent reason; Apple grants access to customer data in China

          A high rise sends residents and bystanders packing, after it begins shaking and swaying without cause. No earthquakes or strong winds are reported in the region. But a 20-year-old research report might hold the answer. Apple plans to store its Chinese customers’ data inside China, and is handing over the keys to a state-owned company. But Apple claims the information will still be safe. A think tank urges the U.S. to compete with communist China in the global tech sector — before it’s too late. It says Chinese telecom giant Huawei is using its cloud services to access sensitive data in third world countries. If there’s one thing Democrats and Republicans in Washington can agree on — it’s condemning the Chinese Communist Regime for its ongoing human rights abuses. This time, the Beijing Winter Olympics is in the spotlight. And a special delivery from China: nearly $700,000 worth of fake money, found mailed into the U.S.


          • China slams US Navy presence in South China Sea; Australia defense spending highest since Cold War

            Beijing claims it’s kicked a U.S. warship out of its territory. But the U.S. Navy hits back, saying it’s defending freedom for all countries. Australia and Japan are boosting their defense spending. That’s as they both face growing military aggression from Beijing. A Chinese businesswoman once enjoyed a great career in China. But that all changed after she received a Chinese-made rabies vaccine some seven years ago. A Chinese state-run media outlet is promoting tourism in China, inviting viewers to visit a Chinese village. Its post came alongside beautiful images of the countryside — but not China’s. The real sights actually came from the Swiss Alps. And Washington is postponing a ban targeting companies tied to Chinese military. It was put in place to prevent Americans from unknowingly funding Chinese military development.


            • Critical Race Theory is Poisoning Our Kids and It Must Stop | Yiatin Chu | Focus Talk

              Critical Race Theory has become a hot topic in recent months, especially after Andrew Gutmann, the father of a 12-year-old girl, made public his letter to his daughter’s elite Manhattan prep school. In the letter he accused the school of trying to “brainwash” kids with woke philosophies rather than teaching them how to think on their own. In this episode we invite another parent Yiatin Chu, mother of two, to share why CRT is such a controversy, its impacts on students, and what parents could do to fight against the communism ideology indoctrination happening at schools nowadays. Yiatin is also Co-chair of the NYC Chapter of FAIR, an organization founded just couple months ago to combat CRT in schools and promote “civil rights and liberties for all Americans”.


              • Lara Logan: ‘They’re Not Journalists. They’re Political Assassins’ | American Thought Leaders

                “Our profession today is unrecognizable,” says award-winning journalist Lara Logan. A former correspondent for CBS’ “60 Minutes” and now host of Fox Nation’s “Lara Logan Has No Agenda,” she’s been at the frontlines for years reporting on war zones, gang warfare, Benghazi, and beyond. And she’s seen the transformation of media from what it was meant to be, with many journalists blurring the lines between fact and opinion. “They’re not journalists. They’re political assassins, working on behalf of political operatives and propagandists,” Logan argues. What are the root causes of this shift? And how are a lot of media working hand in hand with big tech companies to shape narratives and public discourse? This is American Thought Leaders, and I’m Jan Jekielek.


                • Dr. Scott Atlas: The Deadly Price of COVID19 Lockdowns, a Failed Policy | American Thought Leaders

                  “Stay-at-home.” “Distance learning.” “Essential travel only.” For the last year, widespread restrictions on human activity have become the norm. But now the data is clear: lockdowns not only had devastating effects on much of society, but they also failed to protect the most vulnerable, says former White House COVID advisor Dr. Scott Atlas. “There’s a big reason why lockdowns were never recommended in prior pandemics.”


                  • LiveQ&A: States Roll Out Vaccine Passport Requirements; Federal Reserve Moves Towards Digital Dollar

                    Oregon has become the first US state requiring proof of vaccination in order to enter businesses, workplaces, and churches; and officials in Santa Clara County of California are requiring businesses to track vaccination status of all employees. And in other news, the Federal Reserve is moving closer to rolling out a digital dollar. In this live Q&A with Crossroads host Joshua Philipp we’ll discuss these stories and others, and answer questions from the audience.


                    • 21 found dead after ultramarathon race in China; Earthquakes hit 5 Chinese provinces, killing 3

                      Outrage in China, after extreme weather conditions killed 21 marathon runners. Citizens are blaming authorities for failing to build a contingency plan. Earthquakes strike five Chinese provinces in just 24 hours. One clocked in at a 6.4 on the Richter scale, killing three and injuring almost 30 more. China’s flood season kicks off earlier than usual this year. The first waves of peak water flow have already arrived in two rivers. China’s largest river is also filling up, even faster than before. Plans for more nuclear energy projects emerge in China. This time its part of a collaboration with Russia, while concerns rise over how Beijing plans to use them. And U.S. health authorities block certain syringes from entering the country. The made-in-China products have reportedly broken off mid-use, leaving needles stuck in patients’ arms.


                      • School Is About Education, NOT Indoctrination; CRT is Rooted in Maxism | Nicholas Giordano

                        Professor Giordano did a test: He gave his students a Citizen’s test, and most of them failed. Then he gave them the Russian Constitution and pretended that it was the U.S Constitution, yet almost nobody recognized it. What does this tell us about the main problems facing America’s education system today? Who are pushing all these race theories in our schools and our society? Why are so many people buying into it? In this episode of Focus Talk, Professor Nicholas Giordano offered his insights on these important issues. Nicholas Giordano is a Professor of Political Science at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York.


                        • Wuhan lab staff sickened before pandemic: report; Ultramarathon: 30% kickback for CCP official?

                          A new U.S. intelligence report sheds light on the origins of the pandemic. It seems to support the idea that the pandemic resulted from a Chinese lab accident. That’s after a fact-checking website removed a label calling it a conspiracy theory. One worker is facing dire consequences, after protesting for fair wages. He’s now been deemed a target in one of China’s anti-terrorist drills. Some call it a technique used to intimidate human rights defenders. 21 runners lost their lives in an ultramarathon race. But investigations reveal that the tragedy might have been avoidable. And controversy surrounds China’s organ transplant industry. We look into what’s happening behind the scenes, and examine the accusations made against Beijing.


                          • LiveQ&A: Trump May Launch Social Network Soon; Gov DeSantis Signs Law Targeting Political Censorship

                            Donald Trump said that he is weighing several options for having a public platform, and said he’s deciding on whether to move to an existing platform, or whether to establish a new platform of his own. And in other news, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a new law into place that will fine social media platforms for censoring politicians and political candidates, and that will force more transparency on censorship policies. In this live Q&A with Crossroads host Joshua Philipp we’ll discuss these stories and others, and answer questions from the audience.


                            • 79 rivers exceed flood warning levels in China; Beijing blocks Taiwan-Germany vaccine deal

                              Capitol Hill is debating the Endless Frontier spending bill. But one amendment has already passed — blocking funding for ‘gain of function’ virus research in China’s Wuhan lab. The lab leak theory resurfaces in news headlines. U.S. President Biden says he’s asked the intelligence community to dig deeper into the origins of the pandemic. China’s flood season kicks off early this year. Nearly 80 rivers in Southern China have already surpassed warning levels and may soon start to overflow. And, Hollywood actor John Cena is apologizing to Chinese fans after he referred to Taiwan as a country. Many Americans are accusing him of appeasing the Chinese regime for access to the Chinese market. But a Hollywood producer says, this is part of a bigger systemic issue.


                              • Inside Communist China’s Plans to Dominate the Middle East—Michael Doran | American Thought Leaders

                                “When I started to think about what the Middle East looked like from Beijing, the place suddenly looked very different.” The Chinese Communist Party is seeking to, step by step, dominate the Middle East, says Hudson Institute senior fellow Michael Doran—from building ports in strategic locations to expanding its naval presence in the region. “They’re positioning themselves to be able to threaten the two major choke points for energy in the region,” Doran says. And they’re building a strategic alliance with Iran.


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