China has bombarded Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone with nearly 150 aircraft — including fighter jets, bombers, transport planes, and surveillance planes — during a tense first week of October, heightening fears that China may soon take a dangerous plunge and use military force as its next step in its quest to “reunify” the mainland and Taiwan.
Here’s a rundown of the key issues:
Why is China ramping up tensions over Taiwan?
Taiwan and mainland China having been governed separately since the end of a civil war more than 70 years ago. Beijing has made it clear that it ultimately wants complete control over Taipei and its recent series of incursions began Oct. 1, the “National Day” holiday marking the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Some experts also believe China’s recent aggression may be a result of feeling emboldened by a series of U.S. foreign policy stumbles, including President Joe Biden’s chaotic military withdrawal from Afghanistan. But Chinese leaders have been ramping up their “One China” rhetoric for months.
Others believe Chinese President Xi Jinping faces internal dissent over his draconian rule and his economy’s sluggish performance. Increasing tensions stirs patriotic feelings in the homeland while diverting attention from other problems.
Is China actually making incursions into Taiwan’s airspace?
The People’s Liberation Army Air Force has avoided entering Taiwan’s actual sovereign airspace, which is defined as 12 nautical miles off its coastline. However, the flights have entered Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone, an area where an incursion would typically trigger a response of radio warnings and fighter jet intercepts. While the ADIZ is not recognized by international law, many countries monitor all air traffic that enter the zone.
Still, China’s incursions into the ADIZ is unprecedented and provocative.
Will China ever invade Taiwan?
China expert and author Gordon Chang summed up the situation: “If you told me World War III starts next week, I wouldn’t be surprised. If you told me nothing will happen, I wouldn’t be surprised.” China’s rhetoric vowing a reunification with Taiwan is not an empty threat – but it’s unclear if China would force the issue via a potentially catastrophic military campaign or whether it’s content to chip away and exploit advantageous situations. Heritage Foundation senior research fellow and U.S. Air Force veteran John Venable noted the record 65 warplanes sent by China on Oct. 4 featured “basically everything you need to go in and execute a full-on attack on an area or region.”
China watchers suggest that Beijing would prefer to avoid an armed invasion or military attack. Lifting a page from the Chinese strategist Sun Tzu’s 5th century B.C. “Art of War,” the Chinese leadership is to achieve the desired result without war. China was able to re-acquire control of Hong Kong through an agreement with Britain. But Xi seems to ignore diplomatic subtleties and may want to show China’s muscle, especially with a weak administration in Washington.
Do the Taiwanese want to fight against a Chinese attack?
Taiwanese officials have ramped up the rhetoric as China ramps up its aggression, with President Tsai Ing-wen vowing in a Foreign Affairs opinion piece that the island won’t bend to China’s pressure campaign. Recent polling also indicates that Taiwanese citizens are willing to defend their nation in the event of an invasion, according to The Guardian. The October survey found that 77.6% of respondents said they would fight, while a poll earlier this year showed that about half of the island’s population are worried that war is on the horizon. It’s important to remember that most citizens of Taiwan consider themselves Taiwanese and not Chinese. China is considered a foreign power seeking to take over their homeland.
Could a Hong Kong-style deal ever be made over Taiwan?
It is unlikely that Taipei or Beijing would agree to a Hong Kong-style deal, which would broker a “one country, two systems” political arrangement. While the idea has been floated by China in the past, Taiwan rejected such a proposal as recently as 2019, noting that the agreement has failed in Hong Kong. Beijing reneged on almost all of their pledges to allow democracy, home rule and free enterprise to flourish in Hong Kong. China’s massive intervention in Hong Kong and the scene of mass protests after a Chinese crackdown on democratic institutions was further proof to the Taiwanese that Beijing simply cannot be trusted.
Could Taiwan repel a Chinese invasion?
China’s military capabilities completely dwarf Taiwan’s in terms of both the range of weapons available and overall manpower. While Taiwan has been purchasing weapons from the U.S., it doesn’t have anywhere near the arsenal possessed by China. Taipei also has far fewer military aircraft and a much older fleet.
Would the U.S. defend Taiwan?
The State Department says the United States and Taiwan “enjoy a robust unofficial relationship,” meaning that, though America maintains “cultural, commercial, and other unofficial relations” with Taiwan, the United States has since 1979 officially defined Taiwan as part of China and recognized the People’s Republic of China as the “sole legal government” of China. The United States “does not support Taiwan independence,” but America has committed to helping Taiwan “in maintaining its defensive capability.” Biden this week said he and Xi agreed to “abide by the Taiwan agreement,” an apparent nod to the so-called “strategic ambiguity” doctrine. But in late August, Biden’s comment that the U.S. would unequivocally defend Taiwan if it were attacked, necessitated a swift walk-back by an administration official who stressed U.S. policy “has not changed.” The U.S. policy of strategic ambiguity has helped Taiwan remain free, but the Biden administration’s decision to pull out support for Afghan allies without notice has set off alarm bells in Taipei.
Does Taiwan have nuclear weapons?
While Taiwan has pursued several programs to develop weapons of mass destruction, there has never been public acknowledgement the island nation has such devices. Reportedly, Taiwan began working to build a nuclear weapon after China’s first nuclear test in 1964. Though it reportedly produced plutonium for the program during the 1970s, the official story line is that U.S. ultimately pressured Taipei to officially halt the research in 1976. Other reports indicate nuclear research continued in secret into the 1980s.
Still, many believe Taiwan has quietly built a stockpile of tactical nuclear warheads that, if used, would give China serious pause and could help repel a People’s Liberation Army seaborne invasion. The late Sam Cohen, the father of the neutron bomb, told journalists that Taiwan had a stockpile of such weapons and that he had personally briefed the Taiwan military staff on their use. The neutron bomb, developed in the 1970s and 80s, is a controversial device that disperses massive amounts of radiation in a limited target area without the blast of a traditional weapon. Such a bomb that kills people while doing little destruction to structures could be ideal for a small nation seeking to pushback a hostile invasion.
What is the risk to Japan and Australia?
Tsai warned in her opinion piece that a successful Beijing invasion of Taiwan “would be catastrophic for regional peace and the democratic alliance system.” Japan appears keenly aware of the situation and highlighted the increasing tension in its annual defense white paper in July. Tokyo is particularly concerned due to Japan’s proximity to the Okinawa chain at the western end of the Japanese archipelago. Japan has pledged to help defend Taiwan, even though it considers China a key trading partner. Australia already has an icy relationship with China and condemned the recent air provocations. It’s recent signing of the AUKUS pact with the United States and United Kingdom means Australia will eventually have nuclear-powered subs and long-range missiles at its disposal and would likely be allied with whatever action — or inaction — the U.S. decided to take over an invasion of Taiwan.
Religious liberty is one of America’s most important freedoms
Religious liberty, the freedom to practice one’s faith, is a vital component of American society. Our founding fathers ensured generations to come that our great nation will always respect every individual’s right to adhere to a certain belief.
“Although no one in America is forced to go to church, we have had more churchgoers in our history than any nation in the world. Religious liberty – meaning we can chose any faith or none – was a wild concept when the Founders decided to try it 250 years ago,” Eric Metaxas, author of the new book, “Is Atheism Dead?” wrote in his recent opinion piece.
“So it was America’s founders who uniquely understood that religious liberty was the key to all other liberties. Liberty – or self-government – required a virtuous people, which was usually the result of freely held faith. Those who answered to a “higher power” didn’t need government to coerce them into doing the right thing. They did it on their own,” Metaxas added.
We are said to be more fortunate than those who are living under extreme Sharia Law in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan, where other faiths are totally outlawed. One would be hard pressed to find a single catholic church in the city of Riyadh as the only accepted religion there is Islam. Even though the prophet Muhammad taught cultural and religious tolerance, some of his followers have become too austere in their interpretation of the Holy Quran and mandates that only one religion be allowed in their respective domains.
The United States constitution however is vastly different from the authoritarian laws and principles of other countries as it grants total freedom to exercise one’s belief, as long as it corresponds with the basic tenets of morality.
On the other hand, Muslims and Buddhists in China are suffering under the repressive atheist communist regime, as the people continue to face the assault on their religious liberties. Non-believers should understand that embracing atheism or agnosticism is in itself, a personal freedom that can only thrive under a legitimate democracy.
“And while a free nation cannot and should not try to coerce atheists toward belief, people of faith, while we still have a voice, have an urgent duty to alert our fellow citizens that, although religious freedom protects atheists, atheism itself nonetheless has an inherent and – alas – well-established tendency to work not only against religious freedom, but against all freedoms,” Metaxas said.
Rep. Drew Ferguson blasts the Dems for bank account surveillance plan
In a recent press conference held by House Republicans, Georgia congressman and chief deputy whip Drew Ferguson lambasted the Biden administration for their ineffective economic and financial policies.
Ferguson, who is a member of the Committee on Ways and Means, put a spotlight on the government’s proposal to grant the IRS unlimited power to conduct surveillance on bank accounts with at least $600 worth of annual deposits.
“Probably the most egregious provision in the Democrats tax and spend plan, the largest in American history, is a provision that would allow the IRS to spy on your bank accounts. To put that in perspective, if you spent $28 a day, you would get caught up in the IRS drag net. $28 a day, and this is wrong,” Ferguson stated.
“Americans do not want the IRS looking in their bank account and the federal government has no business looking at your private bank accounts and your money,” Ferguson stressed.
The draconian proposal sparked widespread outrage among the public as the topic went viral on social media and various community forum boards. Republican politicians strongly resisted and swiftly introduced the Prohibiting IRS Financial Surveillance Act in an attempt to block the repressive agenda that is being put in motion by the Biden administration.
“So we introduced a bill to prevent this treasury secretary from implementing rules that would allow the IRS to tap local banks, credit unions, and other entities to spy on your bank accounts,” Ferguson said.
“I can’t imagine a single American, Republican, Democrat, independent, rich, poor that wants the IRS looking into their bank account and for good reason. If you look at the recent history of the organization, they have failed to gain the trust of the American people,” he added.
The Democratic Party’s plan to violate the people’s privacies, clearly resembles the laws that are being enforced by some of the world’s most oppressive totalitarian governments. There is no logical explanation behind their proposal, save for the glaring fact that liberals are simply hungry for more power.
“The Democrats want control. They want control of your life. They want control of your finances. They want control of everything. And we’re here to stand up against that, to push back, and we’re going to continue to raise awareness about this. It is wrong, we think it’s unconstitutional,” Ferguson said.
“It is your private business. It is not the business of the IRS. So with that, we stand committed to blocking this horrible provision and to make sure that we maintain freedom in America’s lives,” he reiterated.
Rand Paul thinks crypto could become the reserve currency of the world
When one of the most severe global economic meltdowns hit the world more than a decade ago, the United States was at the forefront of the uphill struggle. The 2007-2008 financial crisis was often compared by experts to the Great Depression in terms of the magnitude of damage.
The catastrophe subsequently put world governments – including America – on the hot seat. Financial experts and the entire populace started to question the capability of our leaders to handle the fate of our economies. After all, we are the ones who put these public servants in power, giving us every right to demand what’s best for the future of our families.
Fuelled by the frustrating financial system, Bitcoin was developed in 2008 by a certain Satoshi Nakamoto, as a solution for the problems created by unreliable governments and untrustworthy central banks. “Satoshi Nakamoto” is an alias used by a person or possibly a group of people involved in the creation of the world’s first cryptocurrency. The secretive nature of Bitcoin’s origins is a reflection of the decentralized financial system that it wants to promulgate.
Today, America is at the cusp of autocracy as Biden and his cohorts continue to propose harsh policies that mirror the ones that Xi Jinping and the communist party has put in place in China. While the Democratic Party constantly attempts to utilize the “tax the rich” card, the Federal Reserve just keeps on printing cash like there’s no tomorrow. Soon we will all be caught in a tough financial predicament with the continued devaluation of our hard-earned cash. For some, a hedge such as a digital asset, is the only viable option to protect one’s wealth from further depreciation.
Recently, GOP Sen. Rand Paul expressed his bewilderment towards the vigorous growth of cryptocurrencies. The Kentucky senator believes that virtual coins like Bitcoin and Ethereum can become global reserve currencies.
“I’ve started to question now whether or not cryptocurrency could actually become the reserve currency of the world as more and more people lose confidence in government,” Paul said in a recent interview on HBO.
“I’ve been amazed at the growth of it and I’ve always been, you know, more a person who believed that our currency should be backed by something of real value like gold or silver or commodities, and always was wondering well crypto is not backed by anything either,” Paul continued.
“But here’s what I’ve started to believe now is that the government currencies are so unreliable, they’re also fiat currencies, they’re not backed by anything. The dollar has been more stable than most other countries and so it is the reserve currency,” he added.
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- Religious liberty is one of America’s most important freedoms
- Rep. Drew Ferguson blasts the Dems for bank account surveillance plan
- Rand Paul thinks crypto could become the reserve currency of the world
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