«Голос» заявила про припинення фінансування в січні 2021 року і пов’язала це з політичним тиском
«Голос» заявила про припинення фінансування в січні 2021 року і пов’язала це з політичним тиском
A top U.S. national security official says Washington and Beijing are “in the very early stages” of discussions that could eventually tamp down military tensions but that China’s seriousness will have to be tested.
Kurt Campbell, U.S. National Security Council coordinator for the Indo-Pacific, told a virtual audience Friday that the focus of the discussion will be areas like nuclear weapons, cyberspace and space, where potential missteps could lead to disaster.
“We go into this carefully,” he said of the potential talks. “President Xi [Jinping] indicated he was prepared for some of this, but I think that’s going to have to be tested over time.”
Campbell’s comments came days after U.S. President Joe Biden and China’s Xi spent more than three hours in a virtual meeting to talk about a range of issues, including human rights, economic competition and Taiwan.
A U.S. official expressed caution following the meeting in a background briefing for reporters where the White House asked that the official not be quoted by name. The senior administration official said that there had been no expectations for any significant breakthrough and told reporters that afterward, “There were none to report.”
But Campbell, who attended the virtual meeting between Biden and Xi, indicated it could prove to be a starting point to ensure there are clear lines of communication between Washington and Beijing and an “ability to communicate honestly at the highest level.”
Just how much can be done in the near term, though, remains to be seen.
U.S. officials have repeatedly warned of China’s rapid military expansion, described by some senior generals as “stunning,” which has Beijing on track to potentially surpass the U.S. as the world’s largest military power in the coming decades.
A recent Pentagon report also raised concerns about China’s nuclear arsenal, which could number as many as 1,000 warheads by the end of the decade – more than twice as many as predicted in earlier estimates.
Campbell on Friday described China’s military buildup as one of the most concerning military expansions in modern times.
Chinese officials have not commented on Campbell’s remarks. Beijing’s embassy in Washington has not responded to an email sent Friday afternoon.
Earlier this month, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry rejected concerns from the Pentagon report and instead called the United States “the top source of nuclear threat in the world.”
The spokesperson said Beijing remains “firmly committed to a self-defensive nuclear strategy” and abides by the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons.
Despite China’s insistence that it is not a threat, however, Campbell said Friday that Beijing is being forced to reckon with how other countries, like the U.S., are reacting to its military buildup.
“It would be fair to say at the virtual meeting President Xi made very clear that a number of things that the United States is doing cause China some heartburn,” Campbell said. “And I think at the top of that list is our bilateral reinforcing and revitalizing our bilateral security alliances.”
Campbell said the Chinese characterized Washington’s stronger ties with countries in the Indo-Pacific region, as well as multilateral efforts like AUKUS and the Quad as “Cold War thinking.”
Only Campbell said the U.S. made clear it sees such efforts as “essential,” and said Japan has agreed to a host a meeting of the Quad next year to work on additional areas of cooperation.
Additionally, Campbell said Washington also hopes to bolster its ties with India.
“I’m very bullish about the future with India,” he told the virtual audience at the United States Institute for Peace. “We are determined to do what we can in the bilateral context to build relations.”
Campbell further pointed to Washington’s growing ties with Vietnam, calling the country “a critical swing state not just strategically but commercially and technologically.”
“There’s going to be more training, more ship visits and the like,” he said. “I believe fundamentally the ability to work closely with Vietnam will be decisive for us going forward.”
VOA’s Nike Ching contributed to this report.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday the situation at the border between Poland and Belarus is “deeply concerning” and the alliance stands ready to help its allies involved.
Stoltenberg made the comments in Berlin, where he met with outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss the issue and others facing NATO member nations.
Poland and the EU accuse the government of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko of “weaponizing” migrants, largely from Africa, the Middle East and Afghanistan, by inviting them to enter Belarus and shepherding them to the Polish border, sometimes by force. Belarus denies the claim.
Polish troops have clashed several times with the migrants as they attempted to force their way across the border in recent weeks. Polish security officials have said there could be as many as 12,000 migrants in Belarus camped near the Polish frontier.
Speaking to reporters, Stoltenberg said NATO is concerned not only about Poland’s border with Belarus, but also with the borders of NATO allies Lithuania and Latvia, which have also experienced issues with migrants, though not to the extent that Poland has.
The NATO chief said the Lukashenko regime’s use of vulnerable people to put pressure on other countries is “cynical and inhumane.” He said NATO stands in full solidarity with Poland and the other directly affected allies.
Stoltenberg did note what he called some “steps in the right direction,” as Iraq has stopped the flights bringing people from Iraq to the border of Belarus and Poland and has taken people back.
Stoltenberg also said NATO is watching with concern as Russia builds up significant force near the border with Ukraine, and in the Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory of Crimea. He called on Russia to be “transparent on what they do. We call on Russia to de-escalate to prevent escalation and to reduce tensions.”
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.
Раніше нинішній начальник Головного управління розвідки Міністерства оборони Кирило Буданов заявив, що керівник Офісу президента Андрій Єрмак не міг втручатися у проведення будь-якого спеціального заходу у справі «вагнерівців»
Виправдальний вердикт, не виключено, спровокує протести
The United States has berated the Taliban for what it said were misconstrued facts the Islamist group penned in a letter to the U.S. Congress this week regarding Afghanistan’s economic and humanitarian crisis.
The Taliban published the so-called open letter on Wednesday, calling on U.S. lawmakers to unfreeze about $9.5 billion in Afghan foreign assets and end financial sanctions placed on Kabul after the Taliban takeover of the country in mid-August.
The sanctions and disruption of international financial assistance have effectively collapsed the largely aid-dependent Afghan economy, wrote Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. The new Taliban government has been unable to pay salaries to government employees and import essential goods.
Thomas West, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan, said Friday in a tweeted statement that the South Asian nation was suffering a terrible humanitarian and economic crisis before the Taliban takeover, citing war, years of drought and the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
West stressed that Washington had long made clear that critical nonhumanitarian foreign aid, including for basic services, would be ceased if the Taliban claimed power by military force rather than negotiating with the previous, U.S.-backed Afghan government.
“That is what occurred,” he said.
“Legitimacy & support must be earned by actions to address terrorism, establish an inclusive government, & respect the rights of minorities, women & girls — including equal access to education & employment,” West’s tweeted statement continued.
The envoy said the U.S. will continue to provide humanitarian aid to the Afghan people and has contributed $474 million this year. West added that efforts are also being made to help the United Nations and humanitarian actors to scale up to meet needs this winter.
“We will continue clear-eyed, candid diplomacy with the Taliban,” he vowed.
The U.S. administration has frozen the Afghan funds over human rights and terrorism concerns under the Taliban government, which is not recognized internationally. The Islamist group is also being asked to govern Afghanistan through an inclusive political system, where the rights of women and minorities are protected.
In his letter, Muttaqi stopped short of placing the blame on the U.S. for the dire humanitarian and economic upheavals in his country, saying the sanctions “have not only played havoc” with trade and business but also with relief aid to millions of desperate Afghans.
The Taliban’s chief diplomat said the biggest challenge facing the country was financial insecurity, warning the economic turmoil could trigger a mass refugee exodus from Afghanistan and lead to trouble for the world.
On Friday, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) said Afghanistan needs urgent large-scale agricultural assistance to avoid a “hunger trap” stemming from widespread drought, collapse of rural livelihoods and unprecedented economic challenges.
An FAO statement said at least 18.8 million in the war-torn country are unable to feed themselves on a daily basis, and the number is projected to rise to nearly 23 million by the end of next month.
“We need to help Afghanistan avoid a hunger trap. Millions of Afghans are living on the edge of catastrophe,” said FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu. “Urgent investment in agriculture and livestock production is needed now, and it helps donors to save money down the road by putting the country back on track to food security.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday expanded emergency use authorization for the booster shot of the PFizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines to all U.S. adults.
The decision was announced by the drug companies Friday and comes after at least 10 states already had expanded their booster programs to fight COVID-19 surges.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still has to authorize the expanded distribution of the booster doses before people can start receiving their third shot, and the CDC’s independent panel of vaccine experts is scheduled to meet Friday to review the new data.
During the White House COVID-19 response team meeting Wednesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the agency will quickly review the safety and effectiveness data and make recommendations as soon as the FDA makes its decision.
Walensky said the CDC has compiled evidence demonstrating boosters are working. Through its National Healthcare Safety Network, the agency has been studying new data from COVID-19 cases in long-term care facilities.
She said when comparing cases of COVID-19 between those who are vaccinated with two doses and those who have received a third, booster dose, the rate of disease is markedly lower for those who received their booster shot.
With CDC approval, boosters could be available for all as early as Saturday.
Some information for this report was provided by The Associated Press, Reuters, and Agence France-Presse.
Військові кажуть: 5 разів бойовиками застосовувалось заборонене Мінськими домовленостями озброєння