May 11, 2021 | Holiday Schedule

Holiday Schedule

Hi all!

Quick announcement:

I will be on holiday and/or traveling through Memorial Day (May 31, 2021). I may occasionally post between now and then, but we will be back on the regular schedule starting June 1.

Thank you for your readership, patronage, and support!

Warm regards,

Kevin


Current Events

US-China Relations

Rand Paul clashes with Fauci over coronavirus origins

Anthony Fauci on Tuesday clashed with Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) over the role of the Wuhan, China, virology lab in the origins of COVID-19.

During a Senate hearing on the pandemic response, Paul alleged that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) had been sending funding to the Wuhan lab, which then "juiced up" a virus that was originally found in bats to create a supervirus that can infect human cells. 

Paul pressed Fauci on the theory that the novel coronavirus was created in the Wuhan lab, and then somehow escaped, either because of an accident or because it was deliberately released.

"Sen. Paul, with all due respect, you are entirely, entirely and completely incorrect," Fauci said. "The NIH has not ever, and does not now, fund 'gain of function research' in the Wuhan Institute."

Biden Looks for Defense Hotline With China

The Biden administration is increasingly looking to avoid accidental escalation with China, a senior defense official said, by cooperating on channels to reduce the risk of planes, ships, and troops butting heads on an increasingly crowded map in the Asia-Pacific. 

The push to add more defense hotlines comes in the lead-up to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s trip to Singapore for what is known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, the top defense summit in the region, where U.S. and Chinese officials have traditionally gaggled on the sidelines. If a meeting comes together at the forum early next month, it could be a chance for the new administration’s second face-to-face with Beijing, after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had a testy exchange with Chinese officials in March. 

Strengthen Asia to Weaken Beijing

The American debate over China policy is heating up. Last month, Foreign Affairs published an article by Charles Glaser calling on the U.S. to retreat from East Asian commitments as American power declines. In prominent publications ranging from the National Interest to the Atlantic, analysts argue that the U.S. should moderate its China policy for the opposite reason: Beijing is a paper tiger and doesn’t deserve this attention. Further out in the liberal mists, some blame hotheaded China hawks for violence against Asian-Americans and want a softer American China policy as a way of building community at home.