“We Are Deeply Disturbed”

That’s what President Joe Biden’s (D) State Department claims (through a carefully unnamed “official”) regarding the People’s Republic of China’s systematic rape, other sexual abuse, and torture of Uighur women in the PRC concentration reeducation camps.

And

These atrocities shock the conscience and must be met with serious consequences[.]

Indeed. The Biden administration, like the Obama administration that Biden is reconstructing, surely will shake its collective finger very firmly at the PRC. And if that fails, the Biden administration will engage in stern chit-chat and tongue clucking.

Yeah. That’s the ticket.

Costs

In Monday’s Wall Street Journal Letters section, a letter-writer pooh-poohed the idea that the People’s Republic of China might actually invade the Republic of China and reclaim the island of Taiwan.

A decision by Beijing to invade Taiwan would create a major geopolitical crisis for China. Its extensive global trade and investments would be disrupted, creating economic problems. An invasion would result in an occupation. The people of Taiwan have lived in freedom and under the rule of law—they are not about to put on Chinese handcuffs and live in a communist society.

Good Union Jobs

But not good enough for President Joe Biden (D).  Recall that Biden ran on “good union jobs,” among other causes, and that phrase—”good union jobs”—became so ubiquitous in his speeches as to resemble a tic.

But not all union jobs—labor is another area where Progressive-Democrats choose winners and losers. When Biden killed the Keystone XL pipeline, he killed roughly 11,000 good union construction, construction-related, and ancillary jobs. No matter: Progressive-Democrats, led by Biden, don’t approve of those jobs.

And that doesn’t begin to address the job losses in Canada, jobs that depended on both the pipeline construction and on the subsequent flow of oil.

Questions

President Joe Biden wants to extend the New START arms control treaty with Russia for an additional five years.

I have questions.

With Russia’s long history of arms treaty violations (INF, Open Skies, original START, BMD, among others), what’s the value of extending this one or having a new arms control treaty with Russia? They can’t be trusted to honor it.

“Meet Us Halfway”

With the newly installed Biden administration, the People’s Republic of China are enthusiastically touting the status quo ante. Here’s the PRC’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying:

I hope they can meet the Chinese side halfway, uphold the spirit of mutual respect….

Meet us halfway: agree that the South China Sea with its islands and resources are our sovereign territory, and we’ll stop going after the East China Sea. For now.

Oh, and yes, we’ll respect you in the morning.

Veto Authority

The People’s Republic of China has once again reached into American businesses to control what they do.

This time, it was the proposed acquisition by Cisco Systems of Acacia Communications, both of which are American companies. The PRC condescended to approve this acquisition—subject to certain conditions the PRC dictated.

The PRC also is actively interfering with the American company Applied Materials’ proposed acquisition of Kokusai Electric Corporation, a Japanese company.

Earlier, the PRC interfered with, to the point of blocking, a merger between Qualcomm, an American company, and NXP Semiconductors NV, a Dutch company.

A Stolen Laptop

Senator Jeff Merkley (D, OR), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Senate Appropriations committees, has reported that his laptop was stolen from his office, ostensibly by the rioters who assaulted the Capital Building last Wednesday afternoon. (Ostensibly: frankly, I have no reason to doubt the fact of the theft or which member(s) of which crowd did the theft. However, the deed as theft and who did it remain unproven at this early stage of the investigation.)

Merkley also said he’d left his office unlocked while he went to the Senate floor for the Electoral College vote counting and debates. The importance of that will become clear below.

American Energy

…independence today. Tomorrow, American energy dependence.

Bloomberg is reporting that the US didn’t import any oil at all from Saudi Arabia last week, the first time in 35 years. That’s part of a longer term trend in declining Saudi oil imports over the last six years, especially. See the graph just below.

This trend is a result of the US technology advance of fracking which both drove down the cost of getting the oil (and natural gas) out of the ground and drastically increasing our own oil and gas production—virtually eliminating our dependence on foreign oil and gas and making us net exporters of both.

Communications Security

Now it appears that DoJ also was compromised—at least a little bit—by the SolarWinds hack. DoJ says its classified systems weren’t affected, but some unclassified email systems were.

There’s this bit, though, that doesn’t appear to be getting sufficient attention.

Even unclassified email accounts, though, can contain sensitive information about investigations and potentially national security related issues, said Chris Painter, a former senior official at the Justice and State departments who worked on cybersecurity issues. “A lot of DOJ work happens on unclassified systems.”

“Interfering” with Internal Affairs

The People’s Republic of China is objecting to the Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020 and the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2020, which President Donald Trump has signed into law.

The PRC Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director, Information Department, Zhao Lijian said that the PRC was

“resolutely opposed” to both acts

and

The determination of the Chinese government to safeguard its national sovereignty, security, and development interests is unwavering[]

and that the acts were (OANN‘s paraphrase)

an interference in China’s internal affairs.