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Senate approves measure banning TikTok from government devices

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Politicians around the country have successfully created a ban from allowing TikTok on local government issued devices such as cell phones and laptops. Now, the federal government has followed suit.

On Wednesday night, the Senate unanimously approved a measure which bans federal employees from downloading and using TikTok on all government devices. The move was “made out of security concerns over the app and its Chinese-owned parent company ByteDance” reports CBS News.

“TikTok is a Trojan Horse for the Chinese Communist Party. It’s a major security risk to the United States, and until it is forced to sever ties with China completely, it has no place on government devices,” stated GOP Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri after the measure passed.  Hawley, who introduced the measure added, “States across the U.S. are banning TikTok on government devices. It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to help do the same.”

The bill states that the director of the Office of Management and Budget must “develop standards and guidelines for executive agencies requiring the removal of TikTok, with exceptions for law enforcement and national security activities” writes CBS.

Last month, FBI Director Christopher Wray said, “we do have national security concerns,” about the social media app. “They include the possibility that the Chinese government could use it to control data collection on millions of users.”

Naturally, Michael Beckerman, TikTok’s head of public policy for the Americas, stated it’s all overreaction. With the threat of losing significant money, Beckerman told CBS News this week that the  “makes for good politics.” He also claimed TikTok collects less data than other social media apps and is working to move user data to servers in the U.S., out of reach of China.

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China

New documents show China trying to establish ‘satellite state’ in Caribbean

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China has been “exploiting a fragile security environment and taking advantage of the region’s need for economic investment to gain influence and advance its malign agenda” in a move that challenges U.S. hegemony in the Americas, U.S. Southern Command Comm. General Laura Richardson recently told Congress in written testimony.

The Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, located about 220 miles from the U.S. Virgin Islands, is where China is planning to establish a special Chinese-run economic zone, according to documents reviewed by Newsweek

Just The News  reports that per the documents, the area will have its own customs and immigration facilities, a shipping port and it will even issue passports. China will also establish different kinds of businesses that will specialize in things from facial surgery to virology, the latter of which is closely associated with the research in Wuhan that is the suspected source of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A spokesperson for SOUTHCOM said that the U.S. military is “aware that China may use its commercial and diplomatic presence for military purposes. In Asia, Africa and the Middle East, China has already abused commercial agreements at host-country ports for military aims; our concern is they may do the same in this region.”

More than two-thirds of the 31 nations under SOUTHCOM’s responsibility have signed onto China’s belt-and-road initiative, which is Beijing’s program to lend money to developing nations to use for infrastructure projects, according to Just The News.

Several nations have had problems with repaying such loans, resulting in Beijing seizing the country’s assets. For example, Sri Lanka struggled to pay back Beijing in 2017 and instead signed off the rights to a strategic port, according to Foreign Policy.

Rep. Eric Burlison, R-Mo., a member of the House Oversight Committee proving China’s incursion inside the U.S. sphere of influence, told Just the News on Monday night that Beijing’s aggression in the Caribbean reminded him of the Soviet’s intervention in Fidel Castro’s Cuba more than a half century earlier.

“It reminds me of Russia’s involvement in Cuba, just 220 miles off the shore of the US Virgin Islands. We have Antigua. It used to be considered the United States back yard. Unfortunately, today, it’s China’s front yard,” Burlison told the “Just the News, No Noise television show. “And China has used the united front to enter into loan agreements and contracts to create trade zones within Antigua in order to gain a foothold into the Caribbean.”

“And this is just part of their efforts around the globe, whether it’s in African countries or Laos. They’re they’re creating a network to try to undermine the U.S. dollar and try to end run around some of our tariffs and other programs,” he warned.

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