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Donald Trump Threatens To Cut ‘All Ties’ With China; More Chaos For The World?

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US President, Donald Trump has raised alarm bells with his new rhetoric of criticism over China as he threatened to “cut off the whole relationship” with Beijing.

In an interview with Fox Business news on Thursday, Donald Trump continued to express his dissatisfaction over China’s failure to contain the coronavirus which wreaked havoc in the US more than any other country in the world.

While Trump made it extremely clear that he had no interest in speaking to Chinese President Xi Jinping at the moment, when he was rather asked on measures that he intended to take against China, Trump responded – “There are many things we could do … We could cut off the whole relationship.”

The relationship that the American President is referring to is most likely to be the trade deal signed between Washington and Beijing in January this year. The phase-one trade deal that Trump signed with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He, calls upon China to buy an additional US$200 billion worth of US goods over two years.

However, experts like Daniel Rosen, founder of New York-based research consultancy Rhodium Group believe that continuing the deal might be hard for China as, “China is sort of at the fairly thin end of leading economies in terms of its stimulus,” he explained in an online discussion organised by the National Committee on US-China Relations on Wednesday.

“The evidence suggests they won’t be able to stimulate nearly as much this time as they did last time around” when Beijing took strong fiscal measures to stabilise its economy amid the financial crisis of 2009.

The deal was originally hailed by Trump as “a momentous step towards a future of fair and reciprocal trade”. Meanwhile, in the present times of the pandemic for which the US has repeatedly blamed China, the President does not feel the same way about the deal now.

Waving red flags, the Trump said: “They should have never let this happen.”  “So I make a great trade deal and now I say this doesn’t feel the same to me. The ink was barely dry, and the plague came over. And it doesn’t feel the same to me.”

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission had mentioned in a recent report that China could invoke a clause in the agreement that says, “in the event of a natural disaster or other unforeseeable events” which will let it gain access to a new trade consultation between the two top economies.

However, Trump has already answered the media on this and has said that “If that happens, we’ll do a termination and we’ll do what I can do better than anybody.”

Trade Analysts have forewarned about the increasing risk to the US-China trade deal due to the rising tensions between the two superpowers. While Scott Kennedy from Washington’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies calls Trump’s remarks as “dangerous bravado”, China-watchers, Bill Bishop says that “What we may be watching is the convergence of the more hawkish (US) national security stream with the domestic political stream that now sees more value in blowing up the trade deal than keeping it.”

Many experts rather believe that Trump’s latest rhetoric attack is a part of his campaign for the US Presidential elections scheduled for November this year. In 2016, a similar approach to China was displayed by Trump as he criticized China for its trade policies in the previous elections as well.

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Modi & Trumps’ Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) Drug For Treating COVID-19 Increased Deaths Rates – Latest Study

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After US President Donald Trump claimed to have been taking the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as protection against coronavirus, a paper published in the Lancet Medical Journal says that hydroxychloroquine and its older version chloroquine resulted in increased deaths in patients.

“This is the first large-scale study to find statistically robust evidence that treatment with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine does not benefit patients with Covid-19,” said Prof Mandeep R Mehra, lead author of the study and executive director of the Brigham and Women’s hospital advanced heart disease centre in Boston, US.

He further added that the findings suggest that it may be associated with an increased risk of serious heart problems and increased risk of death.

Scientists have suggested that the drug shouldn’t be used to treat COVID-19 patients, except in carefully controlled clinical trials. “Whilst controlled trials will be required for confident affirmation, the indications are that these drugs certainly ought not to be used outside of a trial setting where patients can be monitored for complications,” said Dr Stephen Griffin, associate professor in the school of medicine, University of Leeds.

He further criticised Trump’s recommendation to take the drug as a preventive measure and cure against COVID-19 by saying that “the high-profile endorsements of taking these drugs without clinical oversight are both misguided and irresponsible.”

Trump countered by saying that he’s doing fine after taking a two-week course of an unproven malaria drug for COVID-19, declaring, “I’m still here.”

The results of the study show that drugs are fairly safe to be used for patients suffering from malaria but can be fatal for COVID-19 patients. The study gathered the results for more than 96,000 patients in 671 hospitals, taking one of the drugs, with or without an antibiotic such as azithromycin, between 20 December and 14 April.

The demand for the drug spiked when a French doctor, Didier Raoult, said that he was able to cure his patients using the drug. After that Trump took to Twitter and wrote that “Hydroxychloroquine & azithromycin, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine”. Azithromycin is an antibiotic drug used to treat bacterial infections.

The death rate among all groups taking the drugs was higher than among people who were not given them. One in six of those taking one of the drugs died, while one in five died if they were taking chloroquine with an antibiotic, and one in four if they were on hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic. The death rate among patients not taking the drugs was one in 11.

The study also found out that the drug can cause serious heart-related diseases like cardiac arrhythmias which causes the lower chamber of the heart to beat rapidly and irregularly.

It further suggested that 8% of patients suffered from such heart diseases who were treated with hydroxychloroquine in combination with an antibiotic whereas, only 0.3% of patients developed such disease where these drugs were not given at all.

“A definitive answer still awaits the results of the randomised trials, but it is clear that the drugs should not be given for the treatment of Covid-19 other than in the context of a randomised trial,” said Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

He added that it might be unethical to keep on giving these drugs considering this study which has not been contradicted yet.

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US’ Conflict With China More Dangerous Than It Was With The USSR – Experts

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Amidst the rising tensions between the US and China, the US Air Force has now increased warplane activity over the South China Sea along with significantly amplifying the flyovers of B-1B Lancer bombers in the region.

Chinese Military Base In The Pacific Near Australia Could Be A Nightmare For The US & Allies

While Chinese defence experts have warned of the growing risk of military conflict between the two economic superpowers, the Pentagon has rather intensified the US presence in the contested waters of the South China Sea.

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Courtesy – US Navy via Twitter

The US Pacific Air Forces took to Twitter on Tuesday to inform that the B-1 bombers had trained for a few days with the US Navy near Hawaii after which they conducted a mission in the South China Sea.

The tweet by PACAF mentioned that the mission “demonstrated the credibility of US air forces to address a diverse and uncertain security environment.”

Song Zhongping, a Hong Kong-based military affairs commentator, told media that the rise in the frequency of the flyovers of B-1 and B-52 bombers were simply not to display the US military presence in the region but were essential exercises to prepare for potential battles of the future.

Song remarked that “China and the US are entering into a full-fledged competition and the situation is gloomier than the US-Soviet Union Cold War. Risks of military conflict cannot be ruled out in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait. And they are increasing.”

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The strategic move by Washington comes the same day when Beijing started an 11-week military exercise that aims to strengthen its military presence in waters of the Yellow Sea.

China has also been raising the bar for its military as the country had enabled the service of two new upgraded nuclear-powered strategic submarines. It is also reported that Beijing is planning to soon launch the Xian H-20 supersonic stealth bomber.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently said that “We greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free, democratic nations. The whole world is waking up to that fact.”

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Experts opine that the political and diplomatic conflict between the US and China has become increasingly “tense and turbulent” as the US accuses China of spreading coronavirus and threatens to penalize Beijing.

With the recent developments in the region by the US Air Force, Li Jie, a military specialist based in Beijing, believes that “obviously, decision-makers in the Pentagon are trying to use the bombers as a new tool in its strategic deterrence against China. We will see intensified B-1 interference into airspace over the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea in May,” and China is ready to counter any threat.

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US Backs India Over Border Clash With China; Calls Beijing’s Action As ‘Disturbing Behavior’

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The US has slammed Chinese actions along the line of actual control with India and called Beijing’s actions as “disturbing behaviour”. The US said the clashes were a reminder of the threat that China posed whether in the South China Sea or on the borders with India.

Chinese Military Base In The Indian Ocean Near Maldives To Complete ‘String Of Pearls’ Around India?

Senior US official Alice Wells told reporters that the border skirmishes were “a reminder that Chinese hostility is not always just rhetorical. Whether it is in the South China Sea or along the border with India, we continue to see provocations and disturbing behaviour by China that poses questions about how Beijing seeks to use its growing power.”

Wells also said China’s behaviour was causing other countries to club together to strengthen the post Second World War economic order. She cited ASEAN, the trilateral partnership between India, the U.S. and Japan as well as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue with these countries and Australia.

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Galway valley in Aksai China has now become the latest flashpoint between India and China. The Indian Army deployed 250 soldiers in the Galwan Valley after reports emerged that Chinese were increasing the military build-up in the area.

The situation in Galwan Valley escalated after Chinese media accused India of building “illegal” defence facilities in the Galwan Valley region of the disputed Aksai Chin area, which is under Chinese control but claimed by India.

India and China have had a turbulent relationship as both nations fought a brief, but bloody war in 1962 and have been regularly involved in border disputes along the LaC as well as in the Indian Ocean.

Indian Army Emboldened By US-China Conflict; Beijing Warns Of Repercussions

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LaC, with China claiming the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. Both China and India consider the maintenance of peace and harmony to be vital as both nations find a solution to the border dispute.

Only a few years ago, the nuclear-armed countries were involved in the fiercest dispute since the 1960s, as soldiers of both countries were engaged in a 73-day standoff in Doklam. While the two countries have been largely peaceful since 2017, the recent flare-ups could be detrimental to the China-India relations.

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