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UPDATE: Pelosi lands in Taiwan

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Update (11amET):

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has landed in Taiwa

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is making the highest-level trip in 25 years by a U.S. government official to Taiwan, a self-governing island that China’s Communist Party claims as a part of its territory.

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According to a senior Taiwanese government official and a US official, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is expected to visit Taiwan during her trip to Asia. However, the Biden administration, and China, have warned her not to go.

Tensions between China and Taiwan have caused the White House concern over how Pelosi’s visit might invoke a reaction from China. Currently the delegation’s itinerary publicly includes stops in South Korea and Japan, but not Taiwan.

CNN reports that during a regular foreign ministry briefing Monday, China warned against the “egregious political impact” of Pelosi’s planned visit to the self-governing island that China claims as a part of its territory and reiterated that its military “won’t sit by idly” if Beijing feels its “sovereignty and territorial integrity” is being threatened.

“We would like to tell the US once again that China is standing by, and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army will never sit idly by. China will take resolute responses and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters, when asked about the fallout from Pelosi leading a congressional delegation to Taipei.

“As for what measures, if she dares to go, then let’s wait and see,” Zhao added.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated the administration’s line that it is Pelosi’s decision whether she visits, adding, “we do not know what Speaker Pelosi intends to do.”

The Taiwanese official stated Pelosi is expected to be in Taiwan overnight, although it is unclear when she will land. The U.S. official says the Defense Department is securing a safety plan for the Speaker, as well as monitoring Chinese “movements” in the region.

“Congress is an independent, coequal branch of government,” Blinken said at the United Nations on Monday afternoon. “The decision is entirely the Speaker’s…And so if the speaker does decide to visit and China tries to create some kind of crisis or otherwise escalate tensions, that would be entirely on Beijing,” Blinken said. “We are looking for them, in the event she decides to visit, to act responsibly and not to engage in in any escalation going forward.”

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China

TX Gov Abbott latest in line of government officials to ban TikTok

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Texas Governor Greg Abbott is the latest politician to ban the popular social media platform TikTok from all government-issued devices. all government-issued cell phones, laptops, tablets, and desktops are to be included in the ban in order to protect sensitive government information.

“TikTok harvests vast amounts of data from its users’ devices — including when, where, and how they conduct internet activity — and offers this trove of potentially sensitive information to the Chinese government,” Abbott said in a letter to state officials.

Just last week, FBI Director Chris Wray warned that the Chinese government could use TikTok to manipulate content or users, as well as gain access to private information. He also noted the Chinese Communist Party does not share the same values as the United States, claiming that it is something “that should concern us.”

Also this week, Indiana’s attorney general, Todd Rotika, sued TikTok for “allegedly deceiving users about how the Chinese government can access their data” reports adn America. 

Just one day prior, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a similar ban on TikTok, and for Chinese technology companies Huawei and ZTE.

TikTok responded directly to Hogan’s ban, stating:

“We believe the concerns driving these decisions are largely fueled by misinformation about our company. We are happy to continue having constructive meetings with state policymakers to discuss our privacy and security practices. We are disappointed that many state agencies, offices, and universities will no longer be able to use TikTok to build communities and connect with constituents.”

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