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US vs China over Taiwan: Here’s what’s happening

Joe Biden has once again made people wonder about his stance on Taiwan after indicating that the US will assist Taiwan if China tries to invade the self-ruled island.

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With this move, is Biden making the world wonder about his stance on Taiwan?

This is the third time in the last few months that US President Joe Biden’s comments on Taiwan have stirred controversy. Biden on Monday indicated that it would assist Taiwan with military defences and forces if China ever tries to invade and take over the self-ruled island.

Biden, who joined Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a news conference in Tokyo, said it is the commitment the country has earlier made to protect Taiwan from a Chinese attack.

The White House promptly played down his remarks, claiming that he did not indicate a change in US policy. It’s the third time in recent months that Biden has claimed that the US would defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion, only for the White House to retract those words.

Why is the US helping Taiwan against Chinese attacks?

The United States has soldiers deployed in Taiwan to provide military security in order to safeguard Taiwan’s development and turn the crisis into peace. This pact is multi-purpose in nature, encompassing political, military, economic, and social welfare. The Taiwan Ties Act of 1979 governs US-Taiwan relations and specifies the US commitment to assist Taiwan in maintaining its armed security.

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Why is Biden’s statement about deploying military forces in Taiwan making the White House defend his words?

People are arguing that Biden’s statement about deploying military forces to Taiwan to back the self-ruled island from Chinese attacks is against the One China policy. According to a White House official, Biden was not articulating a shift in US policy toward Taiwan, a self-governing island that China considers a renegade province that should be reunified with the mainland.

What is the One China policy?

The United States’ policy of One China has been in place for a long time and is the foundation of its relationship with Beijing. As a result of the policy, the US broke official diplomatic connections with the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan and built relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in Beijing.

On January 1, 1979, the People’s Republic of China and the United States of America agreed to join each other and establish diplomatic relations. According to the policy, the US recognizes the People’s Republic of China as China’s sole legal government. And the people of the United States will preserve cultural, commercial, and other informal ties with the people of Taiwan in this environment.

More elements are included in the One China Policy, such as the US goal of a peaceful cross-Strait dispute settlement mechanism and its distinct perception of Taiwan’s legal position from Beijing’s.

Was there ever a two Chinas system?

The Republic of China shifted its capital to Taipei, Taiwan, after communist forces won the Chinese civil war in 1949, after a two-decade struggle. Beijing was designated as the capital of the People’s Republic of China.

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Both governments claimed to represent China as a whole, although only a few people recognized the PRC at the time. The PRC did not gain entry to the UN until 1971 when Resolution 2758 ousted the ROC as the official representative of China. Until 1979, the United States failed to acknowledge the PRC.

Is Biden really shifting from the One China policy?

Speaking at a news conference about the One China policy, Biden said that even though there is only one legal government in China but that doesn’t mean that the jurisdiction can go ahead and use force to take over Taiwan as it will dislocate the entire region.

One of the reasons, he stated, is that Russia will have to pay a heavy price for its invasion of Ukraine. Despite the fact that the US is significantly arming Ukraine’s military and giving intelligence support, Biden has stated that he will not send soldiers to fight against Russian forces. This might result in a nuclear-armed world war.

The Biden government, on the other hand, has criticized Beijing for its military aggression towards Taiwan, which includes flying jets inside the island’s air defence zone. Despite the crisis in Ukraine, Biden’s five-day journey to Asia was intended to send a message that he is still paying attention to the region.

With this move, is Biden making the world wonder about his stance on Taiwan?

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All monks at Buddhist temple in Thailand fail drug test, defrocked

According to district administrator Boonlert Thintapthai of Phetchabun province, four monks, including an abbot, at a temple in the Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday

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A Thailand official on Tuesday stated that a Buddhist monastery in central Thailand is now without monks after all of its holy men failed drug tests and were defrocked.

According to district administrator Boonlert Thintapthai of Phetchabun province, four monks, including an abbot, at a temple in the Bung Sam Phan district tested positive for methamphetamine on Monday.

According to the authority, the monks have been transferred to a medical facility for drug rehabilitation.

The monks have left the temple, and the local villagers are worried that they cannot perform any merit-making, he said. Worshipers might earn merit by giving food to monks as a good deed.

More monks will be dispatched to the temple, according to Boonlert, so that the locals can fulfil their religious duties. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime claims that Thailand is a significant transit country for the methamphetamine that enters the country via Laos from Myanmar’s unstable Shan state.

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Pills can be purchased for less than 20 baht (about $0.50) on the street. In recent years, authorities in Southeast Asia have seized unprecedented amounts of meth.

Earlier in January 2022, a Buddhist monk was detained on suspicion of consuming and dispensing methamphetamine pills in a village in the Chaiyaphum region of northeastern Thailand.

According to authorities, the 40-year-old monk Phra Suthorn, who resided at a nearby monastery, had been peddling meth pills, also known as ya ba, or crazy medicine, to youths in the area.

After receiving numerous complaints from locals about the monk’s actions earlier this week, law enforcement officials decided to look into the matter.

Phra Suthorn refuted the allegations, but a later search of his residence turned up a plastic packet containing 36 methamphetamine pills hidden under his bed.

According to authorities, the monk then admitted to consuming and selling drugs, informing investigators that he had been doing both.

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Who is Nadav Lapid, the Israeli filmmaker who made comments on Kashmir Files?

The Israeli filmmaker’s 47-year-old love-hate connection with his own country was on display in Ahed’s Knee, which he submitted for competition at the Cannes Film Festival the previous year.

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Who is Nadav Lapid, the Israeli filmmaker who made comments on Kashmir Files?

Nadav Lapid, an Israeli screenwriter and director, reopened the discussion on Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files on Monday by labelling it vulgar and propaganda. The jury was disturbed and shocked by the movie, according to Lapid, who spoke at the 53rd International Film Festival of India (IFFI) closing ceremony, and they found it unacceptable for an artistic competitive part of such a prominent film festival.

We were all surprised and horrified by the fifteenth movie, The Kashmir Files. That seemed like a crass, propagandist film that had no place in the artistic competition of such a prominent film festival.

The National Film Development Corporation of India, which is part of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and the Goa government jointly organised the Indian Panorama Section of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which included a screening of The Kashmir Files on November 22. Many took Lapid’s remark as an embarrassment for the government because The Kashmir Files had received a roaring endorsement from Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March of this year, as the speech’s video clip instantly went viral on social media.

On social media, Lapid’s speech garnered both scathing criticism and applause.

Who is Nadav Lapid?

Nadav Lapid, an Israeli screenwriter born in Tel Aviv, is best known for his work in Synonymes (2019), The Kindergarten Teacher (2014), and Policeman (2011). The director has served as a jury member for the Golden Leopard award at the Locarno Film Festival in 2015, the International Critics’ Week jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016, and the jury for the Official Competition at the 71st Berlin International Film Festival in 2021.

The Israeli filmmaker’s 47-year-old love-hate connection with his own country was on display in Ahed’s Knee, which he submitted for competition at the Cannes Film Festival the previous year.

Lapid also signed an open letter against the establishment of the Shomron (Samaria/West Bank) Film Fund together with 250 other Israeli filmmakers. According to the filmmakers, the Fund’s sole objective was to get Israeli filmmakers to actively assist in whitewashing the Occupation in exchange for financial support and rewards.

The official mission of the Shomron Film Fund is to distribute funds to Israeli citizens who produce films in the West Bank and to Jewish settlers who live in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).

In one of his interviews, Lapid had remarked that the Israeli collective spirit is a sick soul when discussing his movie Synonymes.

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Apple threatening to remove Twitter from its App store, says Elon Musk

According to Musk’s previous week’s announcement, Twitter would no longer boost tweets that contain hate speech or other types of negative content.

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Elon Musk

Twitter CEO Elon Musk accused American tech giant Apple of threatening to remove Twitter from its App store without providing a justification on Monday in his trademark parody.

Musk made fun of Apple’s decision in a tweet, writing that Apple has also threatened to withdraw Twitter from its App Store, but won’t tell us why.

Ever since he took over the microblogging platform, Elon Musk has been attempting to transform Twitter.

According to Musk’s previous week’s announcement, Twitter would no longer boost tweets that contain hate speech or other types of negative content.

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The new Twitter policy is freedom of speech and not freedom of reach, wrote Musk in a tweet, adding that, hate speech and other negative content i tweets will no longer be promoted by Twitter and demonetised.

The new Twitter policy allows for free speech, but not for free reach, he added.

Hateful or negative tweets will be max deboosted and demonetised, meaning Twitter won’t get any ads or other income from them. Like the rest of the Internet, you won’t find the tweet unless you specifically look for it, Musk tweeted.

Also, Musk announced that Twitter will bring back a number of contentious accounts that had been previously suspended or banned, including the account of former President Donald Trump.

Trump had faced legal issues earlier in 2020 because his account was terminated following the Capitol Hill uprising on January 6 after the US Presidential elections.

Musk, the world’s richest man has made many decisions in this regard, including the one to purchase Twitter, therefore the introduction of this new policy is not shocking.

Twitter had broken the terms of their mutual purchase agreement, the Tesla CEO said that by exaggerating the quantity of spam and false bot accounts on its network.

The US market had a dramatic fall following Musk’s news of the agreement termination. Later, Musk was sued by Twitter, on the allegations Musk using bots as a cover to back out of a transaction. And most recently, Musk acquired Twitter at the initially agreed-upon price of USD 54.20 per share.

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