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China’s Xi Hosts Former Taiwan President In Beijing, In Rare Meeting Echoing Bygone Era Of Warmer Ties

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On Wednesday, Chinese President Xi Jinping met with a former Taiwanese president who advocates stronger ties with China. This was a very uncommon encounter just weeks before the democratic island swears in a new leader whom Beijing openly despises.

According to state broadcaster CCTV, Ma Ying-jeou, Taiwan’s president from 2008 to 2016, met with Xi on Wednesday afternoon while on an 11-day tour of China.

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China’s Xi Hosts Former Taiwan President In Beijing, In Rare Meeting Echoing Bygone Era Of Warmer Ties

The carefully choreographed moment is rich in political symbolism: it marks the first time China’s top leader in Beijing has hosted a former Taiwanese president since Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang (KMT) retreated to Taipei in 1949.

This is Xi’s first meeting with former KMT leader Ma since their historic summit in Singapore in 2015.

However, their reunion illustrates the expanding political split across the Taiwan Strait and how Xi’s increasingly hostile posture toward Taipei has driven more Taiwanese away from China.

In his opening remarks, Xi thanked Ma for opposing “Taiwan independence,” encouraging cross-strait relations, and recognizing that both sides of the strait belong to “one China.”

“Compatriots on both sides of the Taiwan Strait are all Chinese. “There is no grudge that cannot be settled, no issue that cannot be debated, and no force that can separate us,” Xi told his visitor. “External interference cannot stop the historic trend of the reunion of the family and the country.”

Ma responded by stating that while the two sides of the strait grew under different regimes, the people on both sides were Chinese.

“If a war breaks out between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait, it will be an unbearable burden for the Chinese nation,” he added. “I sincerely hope that both sides respect the values and way of life treasured by the people and maintain peace across the strait.”

However, as Xi increases military, economic, and diplomatic pressure on its democratic island neighbor, the appeal of a shared Chinese identity has declined significantly in Taiwan.

That tendency was highlighted in January when Taiwanese voters ignored China’s warnings and gave the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) an unprecedented third term by electing Lai Ching-te, who has long faced Beijing’s anger for defending Taiwan’s sovereignty.

Since then, Beijing has snatched another of Taipei’s dwindling diplomatic allies, increased patrols around Taiwan’s frontline islands after two Chinese fishermen perished in neighboring waters, and continues to fly fighter jets near the self-ruled island.

Ma’s encounter with Xi comes during a busy week of diplomatic action in Washington. President Joe Biden will host the first-ever leaders’ summit involving the United States, Japan, and the Philippines. Joint fears about China’s growing assertiveness under Xi, notably toward Taiwan, are a primary motivation for the summit.

A senior source in Taiwan’s administration informed CNN. Beijing rescheduled the meeting from Monday to coincide with Biden’s summit with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday.

According to Amanda Hsiao, senior China analyst at the International Crisis Group, China’s pressure methods are meant to drive Taiwan’s next Lai administration into a more accommodating political attitude toward China.

“Ma’s visit continues this effort by underscoring Beijing’s position that cross-strait dialogue is only possible with those in Taiwan who accept the idea that the two sides of the strait belong to ‘one China,'” she said.

Beijing has severed high-level official contacts with Taipei since President Tsai Ing-wen of the DPP took office in 2016. A wave of outrage over Ma’s contentious trade agreement with Beijing served as the impetus for this action, which took advantage of the growing number of Taiwanese voters determined to preserve the island’s unique identity.

Unlike the KMT, the DPP rejects Beijing’s prerequisite for official talks, an agreement in which both sides accept “one China,” albeit with different views.

Official communication is unlikely to restart for Lai, who has pledged to uphold Tsai’s cross-strait policies. Beijing has consistently rejected Lai’s offer of negotiations, describing him as a dangerous separatist and “troublemaker.”

However, by focusing on Ma, who has been out of office for years and has little power to shape Taiwan’s political reality, Beijing may be revealing “its inability to find or cultivate another Taiwanese political figure of comparable stature who is willing to play dove toward Beijing today,” said Wen-Ti Sung, a Taiwan-based fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Global China Hub.

Ma is becoming a frequent flyer to the Chinese mainland.

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China’s Xi Hosts Former Taiwan President In Beijing, In Rare Meeting Echoing Bygone Era Of Warmer Ties

The 73-year-old became Taiwan’s first former president to visit the mainland in late March last year, embarking on a 12-day journey across the Taiwan Strait. However, he was unable to gain a meeting with any member of Beijing’s Politburo Standing Committee, the country’s most powerful body.

This year’s visit, like the previous one, coincided with the Qingming Festival when people pay tribute to deceased family members and worship their ancestors; it also occurred just weeks before Lai’s inauguration as Taiwan’s president on May 20.

He said, “A meeting at this juncture enables Beijing to highlight the shared cultural roots between Taiwan and China and to exert pressure on Taiwan’s next administration.”

“Beijing is using the meeting between Xi and Ma to highlight the credibility and longevity of its carrots – that Beijing is good to its allies, whether incumbent or retired. It sends a message to political leaders around the world that embracing Beijing is a wise long-term investment.”

China’s welcoming of Ma’s visit signals Taiwan and others that peaceful unification by winning hearts and minds remains Beijing’s favored choice, at least for the time being, despite simmering cross-strait tensions, Sung noted.

Carefully edited footage of the talks, which is likely to reach millions of households in China via prime-time television news, sends a message to the Chinese public that unification with Taiwan is still feasible despite the DPP’s historic election triumph.

“For Beijing, Ma’s visit is also a useful way of assuring its domestic audience – ‘We have not lost the hearts and minds of the Taiwanese people, there remains cultural and historical connections that bind us, and the DPP does not represent mainstream Taiwanese views,'” Hsiao, the analyst, said.

Ma’s agenda, including his meeting with Xi, has been widely observed in Taiwan.

“The ruling party DPP will likely play down the significance of Ma’s China visits, preferring to describe it as the private act of tourism by a retiree,” Sung, a member of the Atlantic Council, said.

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China’s Xi Hosts Former Taiwan President In Beijing, In Rare Meeting Echoing Bygone Era Of Warmer Ties

“Taiwan’s opposition KMT will be torn – it wishes to celebrate Ma’s achievements with Beijing, but is also hesitant to flaunt it in the face of the Taiwanese electorate, which remains wary about closer cross-strait ties.”

Ma remains a senior member of the KMT, which won the most seats in Taiwan’s parliamentary elections in January but failed to win the presidency for the third time.

The KMT, Taiwan’s largest opposition party, is eager to demonstrate that it is capable of handling relations with both China and the United States, but James Chen, an assistant professor of diplomacy and international relations at Tamkang University, says Ma’s meeting may do more harm than good.

“The DPP and its supporters have questioned Ma’s loyalty at home and labeled the KMT as pro-China.” “Washington, particularly Capitol Hill, may not appreciate Ma’s trip to China due to bipartisan anti-China sentiment,” he stated.

Few experts expect the conference will significantly alter the status quo in cross-strait ties.

“The value of this meeting is primarily in its symbolism – an attempt to shape the cross-strait narrative to both parties’ favor while fundamental political differences remain,” said Hsiao of the International Crisis Group.

However, regardless of the summit’s outcome, Ma believes it will cement his legacy on cross-strait policy.

“He likely wishes to be remembered as the sole Taiwanese leader who can break the ice with Beijing,” he said.

SOURCE – (CNN)

Kiara Grace is a staff writer at VORNews, a reputable online publication. Her writing focuses on technology trends, particularly in the realm of consumer electronics and software. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for breaking down complex topics, Kiara delivers insightful analyses that resonate with tech enthusiasts and casual readers alike. Her articles strike a balance between in-depth coverage and accessibility, making them a go-to resource for anyone seeking to stay informed about the latest innovations shaping our digital world.

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Pope Francis Says Clergy is Overflowing with “Faggottness”

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Pope Francis Says Clergy is Overflowing with "Faggottness"
Pope Francis: Getty Images

According to La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, Italy’s major circulation dailies, Pope Francis stated that seminaries, or priestly institutions, are already overflowing with “frociaggine,” a vulgar Italian phrase loosely translating as “faggottness.”

The Vatican did not return a request for comment.

La Repubblica cited many nameless sources, while Corriere cited a few unnamed bishops who argued that the pope, as an Argentine, may not have realized the Italian term he used was derogatory.

Political gossip website. Dagospia was the first to report on the alleged incident, which occurred on May 20, when the Italian Bishops Conference began a four-day conference with a private meeting with the Pope.

Francis, who is 87, has been credited with moving the Roman Catholic Church toward a more tolerant stance to the LGBT population.

Pope’s message to gay seminarians

In 2013, at the start of his papacy, he famously declared, “If a person is gay and seeks God and has good will, who am I to judge?” Last year, he permitted priests to bless members of same-sex couples, eliciting strong conservative criticism.

Nonetheless, when he met with Italian bishops in 2018, he issued a similar message to gay seminarians, minus the reported swear word, instructing them to thoroughly scrutinize priesthood hopefuls and reject any suspected homosexuals.

In a 2005 declaration issued by Francis’ late predecessor, Benedict XVI, the Vatican stated that anyone who had decisively overcome homosexual impulses for at least three years might be admitted to the priesthood.

The statement stated that practicing homosexuals, people with “deep-seated” gay tendencies, and those who “support the so-called gay culture” should be excluded.

Gay men in the Catholic priesthood

The acceptance of gay men in the Catholic priesthood has long been controversial. While the Church officially forbids same-sex partnerships, many priests are considered to be gay, sparking issues about celibacy, secrecy, and hypocrisy among the clergy.

Critics claim that gay priests frequently conceal their sexuality, living secretive lifestyles that breach their vows of honesty and integrity. This secrecy can foster toxic cultures and encourage aggressive conduct. Supporters argue that a person’s sexual orientation does not determine their ability to serve God or live a faithful life.

The problem presents difficult considerations about the Church’s position on homosexuality, the function of celibacy in the priesthood, and how societal perceptions affect religious institutions. Finally, whether gay men should be allowed to become priests remains a divisive issue in the Catholic world and elsewhere.

 

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Trans Activist Jared Ravizza Arrested for Stabbing Four Girls in Movie Theatre

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Trans Activist Jared Ravizza Arrested
Jared Ravizza: Shore News Image

Jared Ravizza, a trans activist who identifies as a woman, has been detained in connection with a stabbing at an AMC theater in Massachusetts, which injured four people. Ravizza has also been named as a suspect in a second murder investigation in Connecticut.

Jason Ravizza, 26, of Martha’s Vineyard, is thought to have been involved in another violent crime in Deep River, Connecticut. According to WCVB, police discovered a body at the address associated with this investigation approximately 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

Police said he also drove thirty miles and stabbed two McDonald’s employees.

On Saturday at 3:36 p.m., Connecticut State Police responded to a report of a suspicious occurrence in Westbrook. The name of the victim is unknown, but Ravizza is a suspect in the murder.

Ravizza, whose father, Jared, is an acclaimed sports psychiatrist, identifies as a woman and has been reported to be a trans activist.

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Jared Ravizza Laughed Entire Time

According to Fox News, a Massachusetts mother claims her girls were among the victims of a stabbing spree that left six people injured in two towns over the weekend, and that the suspect was “laughing the whole time” during the assault.

“I received a call from my sister informing me that my oldest daughter had contacted her and that I needed to hurry to the AMC movie theater right immediately because they had been stabbed.

Honestly, I just hopped in my car and drove right there,” Lisa Dembowski told reporters about the first incident, in which Braintree Police said four young females aged 9 to 17 had “non-life-threatening injuries.”

“They were the only four individuals in the movie theater. They’d just sat down. They had just received their concessions. And I believe he walked up behind them in the row – they were in the second row – and he approached them,” Dembowski explained.

“My oldest was leaning forward to grab something. He hit her in the back, then my other daughter in the top of the chest. Then, my last daughter crossed her arm, giggling the entire while, grabbed their friend, and went off.”

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Jared Ravizza: Image Shore News

Second attack on McDonald’s employees

Dembowski stated that her girls are now “physically fine” but “shaken up” and “terrified that they could just go to a movie on a Saturday night and this could happen, someone could just walk into a movie theater and do this.”

Officials said the movie theater stabbing occurred at 6 p.m., before Ravizza reportedly carried out a second attack on McDonald’s employees at a rest stop on Route 3 in Plymouth about an hour later.

The current investigations in Massachusetts and Connecticut are closely linked as police strive to determine the links between these terrible crimes. Further information is expected as the investigations progress.

According to a statement published by the Braintree Police Department, a man snuck into the movie without paying, and then suddenly attacked and stabbed the four young females. “The attack appeared unprovoked.”

Paramedics responded quickly to the site, while police initiated a manhunt for the perpetrator and shared a description of his car with other law enforcement agencies.

All of the girls were sent to the hospital, but none had life-threatening injuries. Dembowski described the two older girls as heroes who cared for her two smaller children before the authorities arrived.

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North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

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TOKYO — North Korea launched a missile into the sea on Monday, according to Japan and South Korea, just hours after announcing preparations to launch a rocket into space, reportedly carrying its second military reconnaissance satellite.

North Korea had previously informed Japan’s coast guard of its plans to launch “a satellite rocket” during a launch window from Monday to June 3.

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Korea | News Arab Image

North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

Following North Korea’s launch, the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office canceled a missile alert for the island of Okinawa, stating that the missile was not considered to be headed for the region.

North Korea launched its first military reconnaissance satellite into orbit in November of last year as part of attempts to establish a space-based monitoring network to counter what it considers growing US-led military threats. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un later said at a governing party conference that the country would launch three more military spy satellites in 2024.

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Korea | NDTV Image

North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

The United Nations prohibits North Korea from carrying out any satellite launches, perceiving them as cover for testing long-range missile technologies. North Korea has consistently claimed that it has the right to launch satellites and test missiles. Kim has stated that spy satellites will help his military to better observe US and South Korean military activity while also increasing the threat posed by its nuclear-capable missiles.

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Korea | Japan Times Image

North Korea Appears To Have Fired A Missile Into The Sea, Japan And South Korea Say

North Korea provides Japan with launch information because the Japanese Coast Guard coordinates and disseminates maritime safety information throughout East Asia.

SOURCE – (AP)

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