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Taiwan's Defensive Capabilities Continue To Decline As China Intensifies War Preparations, US Department of Defense Says

Taiwan's defensive capabilities continue to decline as China prepares for a possible conflict, according to the United States Department of Defense 2018 Annual Report to Congress on military and security developments involving the People's Republic of China (PRC). 
The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is undergoing the most comprehensive reform in its history to become a force capable of conducting complex joint operations, the report says. The PLA aims at developing the capabilities to fight and win "informatized local wars" - regional conflicts based on data-networked command and control and precision strikes. 
China's Taiwan strategy continues to incorporate elements of both persuasion and coercion to hinder the development of political attitudes in Taiwan favoring independence, the report says. Beijing attempts to restrict Taiwan's role in the international community and international organizations, and it seeks to woo Taiwan's few diplomatic allie…
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Beijing Says Private Companies Are Not Allowed To Support Taiwan Independence If They Want To Do Business In China

China said that private companies are not allowed to support Taiwan independence if they want to do business in the country. 
On August 16 Long Mingbiao (龙明彪), deputy director of the Taiwan Affairs Office, the Chinese agency tasked with implementing the Communist Party's Taiwan policy, slammed companies that support Taiwan independence
"We welcome Taiwanese companies' investment and development on the mainland, but we will absolutely not allow any company to make money on the mainland while at the same time supporting Taiwan independence forces and activities," Long said.
Those remarks came after Chinese netizens called for a boycott of the Taiwanese company 85C Bakery and Cafe, which they accused of supporting Taiwan independence. 
On August 14 Taiwanese President Ts'ai Ing-wen had visited an 85C cafe in Los Angeles during her stopover in the United States en route to Paraguay. Pictures of Ts'ai receiving a gift package from the store's employees and …

Taiwanese 85C Bakery Cafe Bows To Chinese Pressure, States Support For 'One-China' Policy

Taiwan's 85°C Bakery Cafe was forced to apologize and state its adherence to the 'one-China principle' after a visit by Taiwanese President Ts'ai Ing-wen to a store in Los Angeles infuriated Chinese netizens.
This week Taiwan's President Ts'ai Ing-wen made a trip to the United States en route to Paraguay. During her stopover Ts'ai met with US lawmakers and Taiwanese-Americans. She also gave a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, the first time in 15 years a Taiwanese leader has spoken publicly in the US. 
Ts'ai's visit drew criticism from China, which regards Taiwan as part of its territory. Beijing has vowed to bring about "reunification" by force if all peaceful options were exhausted. 
On August 14 Ts'ai went to a 85°C store in Los Angeles, where an employee gave her a gift package and asked her to sign a pillow. This prompted Chinese netizens to slam the cafe chain and accuse it to support &…

Hong Kong Population Reaches New Record Due To Immigration From China

On August 14 the Census and Statistics Department (C&SD) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) released new statistics showing that the Hong Kong population has reached 7 448 900 at mid-2018, an increase of 57 200 or 0.8% from 7 391 700 last year. 
From mid-2017 to mid-2018 there was a net inflow of 49 600 persons, of whom 41 000 were One-way Permit holders and 8 500 were other Hong Kong residents.
One-way Permit holders is a term that refers to person from mainland China. Mainland residents who wish to settle in Hong Kong must apply for Permits for Proceeding to Hong Kong and Macao, commonly known as One-way Permits (OWPs).







The C&SD population statistics measure the Resident Population, which comprises Usual Residents and Mobile Residents. The term Usual Residents refers to two categories of people: 1) Hong Kong Permanent Residents who have stayed in Hong Kong for at least three months during the six months before or for at least three months during the six …

Michael Avenatti Fails To Answer Simple Questions in Interview

Michael Avenatti, the California lawyer representing porn star Stormy Daniels, is considering running for president on the Democratic ticket in 2020. “I believe that the Democratic Party must be a party that fights fire with fire,” he told Iowa Democrats at a fundraising dinner on August 10. “When they go low, I say we hit harder." 
But does he have what it takes to defeat Trump and become the next Commander-in-Chief?
In an interview on "This Week" Sunday with ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl, Avenatti was unable to answer simple questions regarding economic and foreign policy. 
"Would you repeal all of the Trump tax cuts?" Karl asked Avenatti.
"I haven't decided yet. I'm still analyzing the issue," he said. 
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Karl then asked Avenatti what the biggest national security threat facing the United States right now is. 
"I think it would be the situation in the Middle East and -- well, I would say …

FBI Agent Peter Strzok Fired From FBI For Expressing Private Views Critical Of Donald Trump

Peter Strzok was fired on Friday after serving in the FBI for 21 years, his lawyer Aitan Goelman said in a statement.
"The decision to fire Special Agent Strzok is not only a departure from typical Bureau practice, but also contradicts (FBI) Director (Christopher) Wray's testimony to Congress and his assurances that the FBI intended to follow its regular process in this and all personnel matters," Goelman stated.
Republican legislators and right-wing media had accused Strzok of anti-Trump bias, yet failed to provide any evidence that his personal opinions had influenced the way he carried out his duties as FBI agent.

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“Let me be clear, unequivocally and under oath, not once in my 26 years of defending my nation did my personal opinions impact any official action I took,” Strzok said in his opening statement before a joint hearing of the House judiciary and oversight and government reform committees in July. 
“I have the utmost respect for Congress’…

China Expels German Student For Interviewing Human Rights Activists, Says Foreigners Must Follow Chinese Laws

German journalism student David Missal has been expelled from China after he filmed a documentary about human rights activists. 
The 24-year-old was pursuing a master's programme at the prestigious Tsinghua University, in the Chinese capital Beijing. But on Sunday, August 12, he left the country after Chinese immigration authorities shortened his residence permit and denied him a visa extension. 
Missal told Hong Kong Free Press that he had applied for a visa extension two months ago. On August 10 he went to the Entry-Exit Administration and was informed that his visa would not be renewed because he had engaged in activities that were not covered by his student visa. He was told that he had ten days to leave the country. “I asked them what kind of activities did I do… and they said you should know by yourself,” Missal said. He had received a DAAD scholarship for two years.
Missal had submitted a documentary on human rights lawyers for a class project. He was warned twice by the u…