China says it is “deeply concerned” over reports that the United States is moving to further restrict sales of American technology to Huawei, a tech company that U.S. officials have long singled out as a threat to national security for its alleged support of Beijing’s espionage efforts.
As first reported by the Financial Times, the U.S. Department of Commerce has informed American firms that it will no longer issue licenses for technology exports to Huawei, thereby isolating the Shenzen-based company from supplies it needs to make its products.
The White House and Commerce Department have not responded to VOA’s request for confirmation of the reports. But observers say the move may be the latest tactic in the Biden administration’s geoeconomics strategy as it comes under increasing Republican pressure to outcompete China.
The crackdown on Chinese companies began under the Trump administration, which in 2019 added Huawei to an export blacklist but made exceptions for some American firms, including Qualcomm and Intel, to provide non-5G technology licenses.
Since taking office in 2021, President Joe Biden has taken an even more aggressive stance than his predecessor, Donald Trump. Now the Biden administration appears to be heading toward a total ban on all tech exports to Huawei, said Sam Howell, who researches quantum information science at the Center for a New American Security’s Technology and National Security program.
“These new restrictions from what we understand so far would include items below the 5G level,” she told VOA. “So 4G items, Wi-Fi 6 and [Wi-Fi] 7, artificial intelligence, high performance computing and cloud capabilities as well.”
Should the Commerce Department follow through with the ban, there will likely be pushback from U.S. companies whose revenues will be directly affected, Howell said. Currently Intel and Qualcomm still sell chips used in laptops and phones manufactured by Huawei.
Huawei and Beijing have denied that they are a threat to other countries’ national security. Foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning accused Washington of “overstretching the concept of national security and abusing state power” to suppress Chinese competitors.
“Such practices are contrary to the principles of market economy” and are “blatant technological hegemony,” Mao said.
Outcompeting Chinese tech
The latest U.S. move on Huawei is part of a U.S. effort to outcompete China in the cutting-edge technology sector.
In October, Biden imposed sweeping restrictions on providing advanced semiconductors and chipmaking equipment to Chinese companies, seeking to maintain dominance particularly on the most advanced chips. His administration is rallying allies behind the effort, including the Netherlands, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan – home to leading companies that play key roles in the industry’s supply chain.
U.S. officials say export restrictions on chips are necessary because China can use semiconductors to advance their military systems, including weapons of mass destruction, and commit human rights abuses.
The October restrictions follow the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, which Biden signed into law in August and that restricts companies receiving U.S. subsidies from investing in and expanding cutting-edge chipmaking facilities in China. It also provides $52 billion to strengthen the domestic semiconductor industry.
Beijing has invested heavily in its own semiconductor sector, with plans to invest $1.4 trillion in advanced technologies in a bid to achieve 70% self-sufficiency in semiconductors by 2025.
TikTok a target
TikTok, a social media application owned by the Chinese company ByteDance that has built a massive following especially among American youth, is also under U.S. lawmakers’ scrutiny due to suspicion that it could be used as a tool of Chinese foreign espionage or influence.
CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to appear before the House Energy and Commerce Committee on March 23 to testify about TikTok’s “consumer privacy and data security practices, the platforms’ impact on kids, and their relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.”
Lawmakers are divided on whether to ban or allow the popular app, which has been downloaded onto about 100 million U.S. smartphones, or force its sale to an American buyer.
Earlier in January, Congress set up the House Select Committee on China, tasked with dealing with legislation to combat the dangers of a rising China.
Британська влада чекає на схвалення ідеї Євросоюзом, оскільки Роман Абрамович перебуває під санкціями ЄС
З 1 лютого розмір виплат для військовослужбовців залежатиме від районів їхнього перебування, а також складності та специфіки бойових чи спеціальних завдань, які вони виконують. Про це йдеться на сайті Міністерства оборони України щодо нового порядку нарахування грошового забезпечення.
«Розмір додаткової грошової винагороди військовим, які беруть безпосередню участь у бойових діях, не змінюється. Рішення змінити підхід до нарахування додаткової грошової винагороди стосуватиметься тилових підрозділів та військовослужбовців, які перебувають поза зоною бойових дій, та ухвалено задля дотримання принципів справедливості щодо стимулювання воїнів сил безпеки і оборони України», – йдеться в повідомленні.
У Міноборони кажуть: наразі усі військовослужбовці, включно зі строковиками та курсантами, у різних регіонах України отримують додаткову грошову винагороду у фіксованому розмірі 30 тисяч гривень.
«Водночас бійці, які, ризикуючи життям, виконують завдання в районах бойових дій, але не беруть безпосередньої участі в боях з противником, отримують абсолютно такі ж самі додаткові виплати — 30 тисяч гривень. У зв’язку з цим назріло питання диференціації розмірів винагороди залежно від місця, умов та особливостей проходження служби у формуваннях сил безпеки і оборони України», – пояснюють у відомстві.
Повідомляється, що із 1 лютого будуть збільшені розміри щомісячного (основного) грошового забезпечення (без додаткової винагороди) військовослужбовців так, щоб мінімальний його рівень для ЗСУ, Нацгвардії та Держприкордонслужби становив не менше ніж 20 100 гривень. А для осіб рядового і начальницького складу Держслужби з надзвичайних ситуацій та поліцейських – на рівні не менше ніж 17 000 гривень.
Раніше мобілізовані росіяни та їхні родичі скаржилися, що військкомати РФ беруть усіх без винятку
France and Australia have agreed to join forces to produce thousands of artillery shells to help Ukraine push Russian forces out of its country. Australian Defense Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong are in Europe for talks with key allies.
French and Australian officials say several thousand 155 millimeter artillery shells will be manufactured jointly by French arms supplier Nexter, while Australia will supply the gunpowder. The first supplies are expected to be delivered to Ukraine by the end of April.
The announcement was made Monday at a joint news conference in Paris by French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and his Australian counterpart, Richard Marles.
Australia is the largest non-NATO contributor to Ukraine’s war effort.
It has supplied missiles and Bushmaster armored personnel carriers. A group of up to 70 Australian defense force personnel has also been stationed in Britain to help train Ukrainian troops.
Australia also has sweeping sanctions on Russia — the most severe Canberra has ever imposed on a foreign government.
Marles told reporters Paris and Canberra are standing in solidarity with Ukraine.
“We wanted to act together as a statement about how importantly Australia and France regard the support of Ukraine in the current conflict,” he said. “Both of us have supported Ukraine separately in other ways, but we wanted to make it really clear that Australia and France do stand together in support of Ukraine in the face of this Russian aggression.”
Also attending the media briefing in Paris were French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna and Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong.
While support for Ukraine’s effort to repel the Russian invasion have dominated bilateral talks, Paris and Canberra have also sought to ease diplomatic tensions.
Ties between the countries took a serious hit in 2021 when Canberra abandoned a French submarine contract in favor of American nuclear submarines, as well as joining the trilateral security alliance with the United States and Britain known as AUKUS.
Marles and Wong are also due to hold talks this week with British government ministers.
Tuesday brought a new round of strikes in France as citizens protest proposed pension reforms.
Worker strikes severely limited Paris metro and other rail services, while Air France canceled some of its short and medium flights.
Half of the primary school teachers planned to strike, their union said, while power supplies were down with workers in the electrical sector also going on strike.
Tuesday’s round of protests follows an initial round on January 19 in which more than a million people participated.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government is proposing raising the retirement age in France from 62 to 64 years of age.
Macron said Monday the change is necessary to keep the pension system working.
Unions have said the government could instead tax the super rich.
Some information for this report came from Agence France-Presse and Reuters.
Москва вже давно заперечує проти розповсюдження іноземними платформами контенту, який порушує її обмеження, а російські суди регулярно застосовують штрафні санкції
«Те, що відбувається в Європі сьогодні, може статися в Східній Азії завтра», застеріг Столтенберґ
У МЗС заявили, що Україна вважає неприйнятними висловлювання президента Хорватії, «який фактично поставив під сумнів територіальну цілісність України»
A decade ago this year, the head of the European Union’s executive branch stood, visibly shaken, before rows of coffins holding the corpses of migrants drowned off the Italian island of Lampedusa. Some of them, small and bone-white, contained the bodies of infants and children.
“That image of hundreds of coffins will never get out of my mind. It is something I think one cannot forget. Coffins of babies, coffins with the mother and the child that was born just at that moment,” Jose Manuel Barroso, then president of the European Commission, said in 2013.
More than 300 people died on October 3, 2013 after a fire broke out on a fishing boat that had set off from Libya on the world’s deadliest migration route. The boat, which carried almost 500 people looking for better lives in Europe, capsized only hundreds of meters (yards) from shore.
“The kind of tragedy we have witnessed here so close to the coast should never happen again,” Barroso said. The EU must boost “our surveillance system to track boats, so that we can launch a rescue operation and bring people back to safe grounds before they perish,” he added.
Nothing of the sort will be considered by EU leaders at a summit next week. Indeed, almost a decade on, little has improved.
About 330,000 attempts were made to enter Europe without authorization in 2022 — a six-year high. The International Organization for Migration says more than 25,000 people have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea since 2014.
The search and rescue mission launched in response to the Lampedusa tragedy was shut down a year later over concern that the Italian navy ships only encouraged people to set out in the hope of being plucked from the sea.
Civilian boats run by charities have been hounded and impounded by governments for trying to save lives. The EU provides vessels and equipment to the Libyan coastguard to prevent people leaving, and Turkey and several other northern African countries get financial support.
At their February 9-10 summit, the EU’s 27 heads of state and government are set to renew a call to beef up borders and pressure the often-impoverished countries that people leave or cross to get to Europe, according to a draft statement prepared for the meeting, seen by The Associated Press.
The leaders will give “full support” so that the border and coastguard agency Frontex can deliver “on its core task, which is to help Member States protect the external borders, fight cross-border crime and step up returns” – the EU’s euphemism for deportation.
The EU will “enhance cooperation with countries of origin and transit through mutually beneficial partnerships,” said the text, which could change before the summit. It did not list the ways the partnerships might be beneficial for those countries, only the means of persuasion that could be used on them.
The EU’s aid budget should be put to “the best possible use” to encourage countries to stop people leaving, it said. Those that don’t accept their nationals back would find it harder to get European visas. Bangladesh, Gambia, Iraq and Senegal are already being monitored.
After a meeting last week of interior ministers, the EU’s Swedish presidency said that “both positive incentives and restrictive measures are required. We must make use of all relevant policy areas in this regard, such as visa policy, development cooperation, trade and diplomatic relations.”
Border fences are back on the table, even though the European Commission previously declined to help member countries pay for them, arguing they were not in line with “European values.” Several EU countries, notably Hungary, Austria and Slovenia, have erected border fences after well over one million migrants entered Europe in 2015, most of them war refugees from Syria and Iraq.
A Dutch government position paper circulating in Brussels said that “all types of stationary and mobile infrastructure should be part of a broader package of border management measures, while guaranteeing fundamental rights as enshrined in EU and international law.”
The land border between EU member Bulgaria and Turkey, from where many migrants set out, is of particular concern. Asked about it last Thursday, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said only that there isn’t enough money to help countries build fences.
The commission wants to speed up asylum processing at the bloc’s borders, and has named a “Returns Coordinator” to expedite deportation. More than 900,000 people applied for EU asylum last year, sparking a border backlog.
In a letter to the leaders, President Ursula von der Leyen said that pilot testing will be done in coming months on “an accelerated border procedure,” including the “immediate return” of those not permitted to stay.
This “Fortress Europe” approach has evolved because of the EU’s failure to agree on the answer to a vexing question: who should take responsibility for migrants and refugees arriving in Europe, and should other members be obliged to help?
The question has rarely arisen over the last year as millions of Ukrainian refugees were welcomed into Europe amid an outpouring of good will, notably from countries like Hungary or Poland that are staunchly opposed to helping take care of migrants from Africa or the Middle East.
The commission’s Pact on Migration and Asylum, unveiled in 2020, was supposed to resolve the problem but little progress has been made. Now, EU officials say that members might endorse the reform plan before the 2024 elections usher in another commission.
Президент Франції не виключив надсилання в Україну військових літаків, натомість лідер США наразі негативно оцінив таку можливість
Czech President-elect Petr Pavel vowed Monday to boost his country’s ties with Taiwan after holding a phone call with the island’s president and foreign minister.
President Tsai Ing-wen congratulated Pavel on his win in Saturday’s presidential run-off over the populist billionaire Andrej Babis.
“I thanked her for her congratulations, and I assured her that Taiwan and the Czech Republic share the values of freedom, democracy, and human rights,” Pavel said on Twitter.
“We agreed on strengthening our partnership,” added the former general, who served as head of NATO’s military committee in 2015-2018.
He said he “expressed hope to have the opportunity to meet President Tsai in person in the future.”
The call is likely to anger China, which is trying to keep Taipei isolated on the world stage and prevents any sign of international legitimacy for the island.
Beijing claims self-ruled, democratic Taiwan as part of its territory to be seized one day, by force if necessary.
The Taiwanese presidential office said the call, which Taiwan’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu also joined, lasted almost 15 minutes.
“The president… acknowledged that President-elect Pavel carries on the spirit of former Czech President (Vaclav) Havel who respected democracy, freedom and human rights, under which the republic was founded, and is like-minded with Taiwan,” Tsai’s office said in a statement.
Havel was the Czech Republic’s first president in 1993-2003.
Before Havel became head of state, the anti-communist dissident playwright had in 1989 led the so-called Velvet Revolution, which toppled communism in former Czechoslovakia.
As the Czech Republic’s fourth president, Pavel will replace pro-Chinese and pro-Russian incumbent Milos Zeman, whose final term expires in March.
Zeman is currently visiting Aleksandar Vucic, the president of Serbia, which has not joined Western sanctions against Moscow following its invasion of Ukraine.
In a sign that his foreign policy would vastly differ from Zeman’s, Pavel spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the phone Sunday.
Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko arrived in Zimbabwe on Monday for talks with his counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa, aimed at boosting “strong cooperation” in several areas between the two countries.
Lukashenko landed in Zimbabwe’s capital city, Harare, for a two-day visit and was greeted by Mnangagwa and thousands of ruling party supporters.
The two countries are close allies of Russia. Belarus has backed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a former Soviet republic, while Zimbabwe has claimed neutrality and refused to condemn Moscow.
The two leaders plan to meet on Tuesday. The talks are aimed at strengthening “existing excellent relations” in areas such as politics, mining and agriculture, Zimbabwe’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“The visit is historic, as it is the first such undertaking to a sub-Saharan African nation, by President Lukashenko,” the ministry said, according to Agence France-Presse.
Lukashenko has been in power since 1994. He was reelected in 2020 in a highly contested vote that was widely denounced as a sham, resulting in mass protests. Lukashenko’s government cracked down violently on demonstrators, arresting more than 35,000 people and brutally beating thousands, according to The Associated Press.
Mnangagwa’s reign has been shorter, coming into power in 2017 after the leader of the previous 37 years, Robert Mugabe, was forced to resign because of numerous human rights violations. Mnangagwa has faced similar controversies.
Both leaders have been accused by rivals and the West of being corrupt and limiting free speech by stifling dissent, accusations that Lukashenko and Mnangagwa have denied.
Some information from this report came from Agence France-Presse and The Associated Press.
Прем’єр-міністр Денис Шмигаль раніше висловив сподівання, що конкурсна комісія відбере трьох кандидатів на директора НАБУ до 31 січня
Як повідомила юридична фірма AG Immigration, Болсонару, який прилетів до Флориди наприкінці грудня після закінчення терміну його повноважень, попросив шестимісячну візу, оскільки термін його офіційної візи закінчується
Частина арабських користувачів соцмереж також, як зазначається в доповіді, несхвально висловлювалася про президента України Володимира Зеленського, згадуючи про його єврейське походження
Зоран Міланович критикує політику Заходу щодо Росії, виступає проти прийому Фінляндії та Швеції в НАТО, а також проти навчання українських військ у Хорватії
The death of a Turkish migrant after he traveled to a Greek island has prompted demands for Ankara to take up the case with Athens, amid accusations of torture and the illegal “push-back” of migrant boats.
Despite graduating from university, 30-year-old Barış Büyüksu was struggling to find a well-paid job. At the end of September, he left his home in the Turkish city of Izmir for what he hoped would be a new life in western Europe. It was the last time his family would see him alive.
Büyüksu paid people smugglers for a place on a migrant boat, which took him from the Turkish coastline around Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos, a journey of just a few kilometers.
The smuggling gang gave him a fake Bulgarian identity card. Büyüksu planned to reach Athens and then travel to France, a journey several of his friends had already successfully made. He hoped to find a job and save money before returning to Turkey.
On October 21, as he was waiting on the dockside in Kos to board a ferry to Athens, a friend told the family he witnessed Büyüksu being detained by police and then bundled into an unmarked black van. VOA has not been able to verify this account.
The following day, back in Büyüksu’s hometown of Izmir, his family received a call from Turkish police, who told them their son was dead – and that his body bore signs of torture.
The Turkish coast guard says it found Büyüksu, badly injured but still alive, in an inflatable boat that had been pushed back into Turkish waters by Greece. The police report says 15 Palestinian asylum-seekers were also on board, including three women and three children. Turkish authorities say Büyüksu died before a medical team could reach him.
Baris’ father, Reyis Büyüksu, spoke to VOA at the family home in Izmir.
“A policeman from Bodrum central police station … said your son has been killed by Greeks and said that I need to be at the police station at 8:00 in the morning. We picked up the body from the forensic medicine institute and brought it here and buried him,” he said.
“My son being killed is not only a problem of Turkey, but it is also a problem for humanity, this is a crime against humanity. We don’t want any other family to experience this,” Reyis Büyüksu told VOA.
Baris’ mother, Saime Büyüksu, said her son’s death has devastated the family.
“He wanted to marry, he had a girlfriend, he had dreams, and he was saying ‘Mother, we should build a house, I will buy gold and I will have a wedding when I come back.’ He went with his dreams to work there. But his dead body came back to me,” she said.
A full autopsy is being carried out in Istanbul and the family is yet to receive the results. The initial autopsy, carried out immediately after Büyüksu’s death and seen by VOA, recorded injuries consistent with torture: cuts and bruises covering his face and body, and internal bleeding.
Büyüksu’s injuries included cuts across his face and neck, together with bruising (ecchymosis) around his eyes and mouth; large bruises across his chest some 25 centimeters wide; and several cuts across his back, including some half-a-meter across.
VOA also obtained copies of statements given to Turkish police by some of the other refugees on the boat, who say they were detained in Greece alongside Büyüksu. The refugees say they were stripped naked and beaten. They claim they heard Büyüksu being tortured in an adjacent room, including by what they believed to be electrocution. It is impossible for VOA to verify these claims.
Abdurrahman Zekud, a Palestinian asylum-seeker, gave the following account to Turkish police:
“We could hear the sound of that person in pain. As we could understand they were torturing him with electricity. I could hear sound of a machine that I thought it was electrical torture machine. The torture took all night long, and at around 5:00 a.m. they took us out of the room. They took that Turkish citizen out too and brought him next to us. They put all of us in a vehicle and took us next to the sea. First, they opened the handcuffs on our hands and then the blindfolds on our eyes,” Zekud said.
“The Turkish citizen was half unconscious because of the torture. They laid him face down by the sea. Then they put us in a Greek coast guard boat, and they did not return anything they took from us,” he said “After travelling out to sea for a while, they threw a life raft into the ocean from the coast guard boat and they threw us into that raft one by one, and they threw the Turkish citizen too into that raft. Because the Turkish citizen was half unconscious, he was almost falling into the sea, and I held him and made him sleep on the floor.”
“After around 30 minutes, the Turkish coast guards rescued us. I helped the Turkish citizen to get into the Turkish coast guard boat. As I remember he asked the coast guard for water, but he could hardly talk, and he hardly could drink the water. And later on, we realized he had died,” Zekud told Turkish police.
Turkish authorities told VOA that they are still investigating Büyüksu’s death and did not confirm whether the issue had been raised with Greece.
An official statement from the Turkish Interior Ministry, dated October 22, states that: “Fifteen irregular migrants in the life raft, which were detected by the assigned coast guard boat, were rescued alive. There was one unconscious person among the migrants. It was determined that there were signs of assault on the body of the person… Autopsy studies are continuing in order to determine the cause of death of the person in question. An investigation has been initiated by the Bodrum Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the incident.”
Opposition lawmakers and human rights groups are calling on Turkey and Greece to launch wider investigations into Büyüksu’s death. Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, an MP from the opposition HDP party, raised the incident in parliament last November.
“The Greek authorities committed murder. [The family] want this matter to be considered and followed up by the foreign ministry,” Gergerlioğlu said.
Greek police have not responded to repeated VOA requests for comment.
VOA asked the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum what happened to Barış Büyüksu. The ministry gave the following statement to VOA:
“The ministry… and the Asylum Service has no such name recorded in their database. As a consequence, there can’t be any comment from our side. It is also noted again that there is no such name in the Police list either, although we are not fully competent to respond on behalf of the Hellenic Police… Therefore, we can make no further comment on the case,” the statement said.
Büyüksu’s family say he did not register for asylum as he wanted to leave Greece to reach France.
Stella Nanou, a spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Greece, told VOA it was “another worrying example not just of the fact that pushbacks, an illegal practice, were continuing, but that the violence and brutality linked to them is rising dramatically.”
“It is not the first death we have documented linked to pushbacks,” Nanou said. “But the brutality of the abuse, from beatings to chucking refugees into the sea without many of them knowing how to swim, is terribly concerning.”
The Greek coast guard denies pushing migrant boats back into Turkish waters, despite widespread evidence documented by non-governmental organizations and the United Nations. In the past, Greek authorities have told VOA that while they do not engage in pushbacks, they will continue to do whatever it takes to shield Greece’s frontiers, and the rest of Europe, from illegal entries of migrants.
Barış Büyüksu was the eldest of four children. His younger brother Umut Büyüksu told VOA he would not rest until he had discovered the truth.
“I want my brother’s killers prosecuted. I want to find out who they are. I don’t want this case to be covered up like this,” he said.
The Büyüksu family is left searching for answers: Who killed a beloved son and brother? Who will deliver justice?
His death also raises questions over the policing of Europe’s frontiers and the human rights of those seeking a better life.