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U.S. military concerned about increasing risk of Chinese action against Taiwan

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The U.S. military is warning that China is probably speeding up its timetable for taking control of Taiwan, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

“We have indications that the risks are actually going up,” Adm. Philip Davidson, the highest ranking U.S. military commander in the Asia-Pacific region, said last month, referring to a potential Chinese military action against the island nation, according to the AP.

“The threat is manifest during this decade — in fact, in the next six years,” Davidson also said.

Adm. John Aquilino, Davidson’s expected successor, declined to back up the six-year timeframe. However, according to the AP, he said at his confirmation hearing last month: “My opinion is, this problem is much closer to us than most think.”

He also said a “likely” future invasion of Taiwan by China was of “critical concern”.

Due to mounting tensions, the USS John S. McCain ventured into the Taiwan strait on Wednesday, according to Focus Taiwan. This is the fourth time a U.S. warship has sailed through the strait since President Joe Biden took office in January, according to the outlet.

According to Reuters, China has been performing fighter jet flyovers in Taiwanese airspace and a carrier group of its has drilled near Taiwan.

While Taiwanese Foreign Minister Joseph Wu on Wednesday said the military threat is growing, he noted it was not yet “particularly alarming”. The Chinese military in has been performing “real combat-type” exercises nearer to the island in recent years, Wu also said, according to the AP.

“We are willing to defend ourselves, that’s without any question,” Wu also said. “We will fight a war if we need to fight a war, and if we need to defend ourselves to the very last day, then we will defend ourselves to the very last day.”

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China’s military must be “prepared to respond” to numerous security situations amid rising instability and uncertainty, the South China Morning Post reported.

Biden late last month during his first formal press conference said the U.S. and its allies will “hold China accountable to follow the rules,” according to NBC News.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.

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Electric Vehicle company with Chinese ties awarded $500 million of taxpayer money for 2nd U.S. plant

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With a little help from their Democrat friends, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) battery company with ties to the Chinese Communist Party just announced the opening of its second plant in the United States.

Fox News reports Gotion Inc., whose parent company Gotion High-Tech is based in Hefei, China, unveiled plans to build a $2 billion lithium battery plant in Manteno, Illinois, alongside Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who cheered the project.

The announcement comes amid growing opposition to the company’s plans to build a billion-dollar factory in Mecosta County, Michigan.

In order to make the expansion happen, lobbyists for the Chinese Communist Party-tied electric vehicle company funneled cash to Democrats. “Individuals at a law firm registered as foreign agents to lobby on behalf of Gotion, a Chinese electric vehicle battery company developing a controversial project in Michigan, and wired campaign contributions to several top Democrats” reports Fox News.

“According to state and federal filings, Monique Field-Foster, an attorney at the Lansing office of the Warner Norcross + Judd law firm who is acting as a foreign agent on behalf of Gotion, donated to the campaigns of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Whitmer’s sister Liz Gereghty and Michigan Democratic Senate hopeful Rep. Elissa Slotkin” the Fox News report continued.

“In partnership with the business community and the General Assembly, two years ago we set out to make Illinois a destination for electric vehicle and clean energy companies from across the globe,” Pritzker said in a statement.

“With the right incentives, nation-leading infrastructure, world-class workforce and booming clean energy production, we have transformed ourselves into an attractive location for global manufacturers. Today, we take another leap forward. It’s my pleasure to welcome Gotion to Illinois and to show the world yet again that Illinois is ready to be a player on the world stage.”

Pritzker delivered remarks late last week thanking Gotion for choosing Illinois to call “home” in a ceremony with leaders from Gotion High-Tech, including Li Zhen, the company’s chairman and president, who said he expected the factory to open in less than 12 months.

“All that we see here [in Illinois] are of enormous value to us: an enabling business environment, a supportive state government for the new energy industry and their highly efficient work, as well as the prospects of the State of Illinois in the coming years,” the Gotion president added. “We believe that Gotion’s battery technology will help to boost e-mobility in North America and the economic and trade exchanges between China and the U.S.”

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