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Taiwan Is Selling More To The US Than China In Major Shift Away From Beijing

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Washington — Whether tapioca balls or computer chips, Taiwan is moving toward the United States and away from China, the world’s second-largest economy, which threatens to capture the democratically governed island by force if necessary.

That has resulted in the world’s largest manufacturer of computer chips, which power everything from medical equipment to cellphones, announcing further investments in the United States last month following a boost from the Biden administration. Soon after, a Taiwanese semiconductor company announced the end of its two-decade-long presence in mainland China, citing global competition for a competitive advantage in the high-tech industry.

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Taiwan Is Selling More To The US Than China In Major Shift Away From Beijing

These measures, which come at a time when the China-US rivalry is heating up, reflect Taiwan’s efforts to lessen its reliance on Beijing and shield itself from Chinese coercion while strengthening economic and trade connections with the United States, its most important partner. The change is also taking place as China’s economic growth has slowed and global corporations seek to diversify following supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.

In a clear example of the transition, the United States surpassed mainland China as the top destination for Taiwan’s exports in the first quarter of the year for the first time since early 2016, when comparable data became available. According to government data, Taiwan shipped $24.6 billion in commodities to the United States in the first three months, compared to $22.4 billion to mainland China.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s investments in mainland China have dropped to their lowest level in more than 20 years, falling over 40% to $3 billion last year from the previous year, according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Nonetheless, Taiwan’s investments in the United States increased to $9.6 billion by 2023.

Washington and Taipei reached a trade pact last year and are negotiating the next phase. US lawmakers have also sponsored legislation to abolish double taxes on Taiwanese enterprises and workers in the United States.

“Everything is motivated by … a desire to build Taiwan’s deterrent capability and their resilience, all in support of maintaining the status quo and deterring China from being tempted to take … action against Taiwan,” Daniel Kritenbrink, assistant secretary of state, stated.

TSMC, the world’s largest computer chip producer, announced last month that it will increase its US investments to $65 billion. The Biden administration promised incentives worth up to $6.6 billion, putting the company’s Arizona factories on track to create around one-fifth of the world’s most advanced chips by 2030.

Aside from its US investments, TSMC is investing in Japan, a major US ally. Foxconn, a Taiwanese firm best known as Apple’s main contractor, is expanding its production capacity in India, while Pegatron, another Taiwanese company that manufactures iPhone and computer components, is investing in Vietnam.

Last month, King Yuan Electronics Corp., a Taiwanese company that specializes in semiconductor testing and packaging, announced the sale of its $670 million investment in a venture in Suzhou, eastern China. KYEC highlighted geopolitics, the United States’ embargo on exporting sophisticated semiconductors to China, and Beijing’s policy of technological self-sufficiency.

“The ecological environment of semiconductor manufacturing in China has changed, and the market competition has become increasingly severe,” the company stated.

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Taiwan Is Selling More To The US Than China In Major Shift Away From Beijing

Taiwan’s semiconductors, electronic components and computer equipment exports to the United States more than tripled from 2018 to about $37 billion last year. It’s not only technology: between 2018 and 2023, the island more than tripled its exports of tapioca and its replacement, important ingredients in boba milk tea, to the United States, and it’s also sending more fruits, tree nuts, and farmed fish.

The recent trade numbers show “the strategy from both Taiwan and the U.S. to reorient that trade in an effort to de-risk from China,” said Hung Tran, a nonresident senior scholar with the Atlantic Council’s GeoEconomics Center.

Taiwan’s share of exports to mainland China and Hong Kong declined from approximately 44% in 2020 to less than one-third in the first quarter of 2024. That was “a very big movement,” Tran added. “And I think that the share (of exports to mainland China and Hong Kong) will probably continue to decline.”

Since the 1990s, Beijing has attempted to balance its claim to the island with advantageous economic and trade policies, hoping to build stronger connections that would make it more difficult for Taiwan to break away.

When the independent-leaning Democratic Progressive Party took office in Taiwan in 2016, the new administration announced a policy to remove the island from the mainland while strengthening economic relations with other countries in the area, particularly Southeast Asia. Unhappy Beijing used its economic leverage to try to bring Taiwan to heel.

It has restricted mainland tourists’ travel to the island and stopped imports of Taiwanese seafood, fruits, and snacks. In 2021, due to biosecurity concerns, China prohibited Taiwan-grown pineapples, wreaking havoc on Taiwanese farmers whose exported fruit was almost entirely consumed on the mainland.

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Taiwan Is Selling More To The US Than China In Major Shift Away From Beijing

According to Ralph Cossa, president emeritus of the Pacific Forum, a foreign policy research institute in Honolulu, Beijing’s activities have contributed to the island’s displacement.

Chinese President “Xi Jinping is tactically clever but strategically foolish in many of the decisions he has made; his loyalty tests on Taiwan businessmen and other heavy-handed business practices and decisions have been a major contributor to the success of Taiwan’s” policy to distance itself from China, he stated.

According to Cossa, this approach will continue under Lai Ching-te, the island’s new president.

SOURCE – (AP)

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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A Gray Wolf Was Killed In Southern Michigan. Experts Remain Stumped About How It Got There.

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Wolf | PixaBay Image

Wildlife specialists have come to a dead end in trying to figure out how a grey wolf got to southern Michigan for the first time in over a century.

A hunter killed the wolf in January after reporting to the authorities that he had thought it was a coyote. It was shocking because the southern Lower Peninsula of Michigan lacks the necessary habitat for grey wolves despite their abundance in the Upper Peninsula, where the most recent estimate puts the population at around 700.

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Wolf | PixaBay Image

A Gray Wolf Was Killed In Southern Michigan. Experts Remain Stumped About How It Got There.

“We simply don’t know how it got there,” California Department of Natural Resources wolf expert Brian Roell said on Thursday.

He said something natural might have happened, and human assistance might have been possible. We would be very grateful for any information that the public may have.

Although certain species can cross the Straits of Mackinac between the peninsulas when ice forms on the Great Lakes, Roell noted that the ice conditions have yet to be solid this winter.

He said that a wolf traveling from another part of the Upper Midwest to southern Michigan would also encounter obstacles.

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Wolf | AP News Image

A Gray Wolf Was Killed In Southern Michigan. Experts Remain Stumped About How It Got There.

A mark on a foot indicated that the wolf had been recently trapped.

That merely heightens the curiosity, Roell added.

Around 300 miles (482 km) south of the Upper Peninsula, in Calhoun County, during coyote hunting season, the wolf was killed. Social media postings were how the DNR found out about it.

The DNR stated that only in cases when grey wolves directly endanger human life can they be killed under the Endangered Species Act.

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Wolf | PIxaBay Image

A Gray Wolf Was Killed In Southern Michigan. Experts Remain Stumped About How It Got There.

A taxidermist had preserved and filled the garment when the agency became engaged. DNR took the mount.

The agency recently turned over its investigation to the Calhoun County prosecutor. An Associated Press email for comment wasn’t responded to immediately on Thursday.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Reported Birth Of Rare White Buffalo Calf In Yellowstone Park Fulfills Lakota Prophecy

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HELENA, Montana – According to members of the American Indian tribe, the reported birth of a rare white buffalo in Yellowstone National Park fulfills a Lakota prophecy that portends brighter times, but it also serves as a reminder that more has to be done to safeguard the planet and its wildlife.

“The birth of this calf represents both a blessing and a warning. “We must do more,” said Chief Arvol Looking Horse, the spiritual leader of South Dakota’s Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota Oyate tribes and the 19th custodian of the holy White Buffalo Calf Woman Pipe and Bundle.

The birth of the sacred calf follows a harsh winter in 2023 that drove thousands of Yellowstone buffalo, commonly known as bison, to lower elevations. More than 1,500 were murdered, slaughtered, or handed to tribes wanting to recover stewardship of an animal with which their forefathers had coexisted for centuries.

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Buffalo | Native Online Image

Reported Birth Of Rare White Buffalo Calf In Yellowstone Park Fulfills Lakota Prophecy

Erin Braaten of Kalispell photographed the calf immediately after it was born on June 4 in the Lamar Valley in the park’s northeastern portion.

Her family was visiting the park when she noticed “something really white” in a bison herd across the Lamar River.

Traffic stopped as bison crossed the road, so Braaten stuck her camera out the window to get a better look with her telephoto lens.

“I look, and it’s a white bison calf. “I was completely floored,” she added.

After the bison had crossed the road, the Braatens turned around and found a place to park. They observed the calf and its mother for 30 to 45 minutes.

“And then she kind of led it through the willows there,” added Braaten. Braaten returned the next two days but did not see the white calf again.

Looking Horse explained that the birth of a white buffalo calf with a black nose, eyes, and hooves represents the second coming of Jesus Christ to the Lakota.

According to Lakota legend, nearly 2,000 years ago, when nothing was good, food was running short, and bison were disappearing—White Buffalo Calf A woman appeared, handed a tribal member a bowl pipe and a bundle, showed them how to pray, and explained that the pipe could be used to attract buffalo to the region for sustenance. As she departed, she transformed into a white buffalo calf.

“And someday when the times are hard again,” Looking Horse stated in relating the narrative, “I shall return and stand upon the earth as a white buffalo calf, black nose, black eyes, and black hooves.”

According to him, an identical white buffalo calf named Miracle was born in Wisconsin in 1994.

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Buffalo | AP News Image

Reported Birth Of Rare White Buffalo Calf In Yellowstone Park Fulfills Lakota Prophecy

According to Troy Heinert, executive director of the InterTribal Buffalo Council in South Dakota, the calf in Braaten’s images appears to be a true white buffalo due to its black snout, black hooves, and dark eyes.

“From the pictures I’ve seen, that calf appears to have those characteristics,” said Heinert, who is Lakota. Albino buffaloes would have pink eyes.

The Yellowstone calf was named, according to Looking Horse, but the name was not revealed. A ceremony commemorating the calf’s birth is scheduled for June 26 at the Buffalo Field Campaign headquarters in West Yellowstone.

Other tribes adore white buffalo.

“Many tribes have their own story of why the white buffalo is so important,” Heinert stated. “All stories go back to them being very sacred.”

Heinert and numerous Buffalo Field Campaign members claim they have never heard of a white buffalo born in Yellowstone with wild herds. Park officials had not yet seen the buffalo and could not confirm its birth in the park, and there was no previous record of a white buffalo being born there.

Jim Matheson, executive director of the National Bison Association, couldn’t say how rare the calf is.

“To my knowledge, no one has ever counted the number of white buffalo born throughout history. So I am not sure how we can determine how frequently it occurs.”

Aside from herds of bison on public lands or managed by conservation groups, over 80 tribes in the United States have more than 20,000 bison, increasing in recent years.

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Buffalo | Mens Journal Image

Reported Birth Of Rare White Buffalo Calf In Yellowstone Park Fulfills Lakota Prophecy

Almost every winter, huge numbers of bison are killed or removed in Yellowstone and the surrounding area thanks to an agreement between federal and Montana agencies that limits the size of the park’s herds to roughly 5,000 animals. Yellowstone officials proposed a slightly bigger population of up to 6,000 bison this week, with a final decision due next month.

However, ranchers in Montana have traditionally opposed expanding the Yellowstone herds or sending the animals to tribes. Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte has stated that he will not approve any management plan with a population target of more than 3,000 Yellowstone bison.

Heinert sees the calf’s birth as a reminder “that we need to live in a good way and treat others with respect.”

“I hope that calf is safe and gonna live its best life in Yellowstone National Park, exactly where it was designed to be,” Heinert stated.

SOURCE – (AP)

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2024 | North Korea’s Kim Hails Russia Ties As Putin Reportedly Plans A Visit

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Putin praised the country’s growing ties with Russia on Wednesday, as reports indicate that Russian President Vladimir Putin would soon visit the country for his third summit with Kim.

North Korea and Russia’s military, economic, and other cooperation has risen dramatically since Kim visited Russia last September for a meeting with President Putin. The United States, South Korea, and other partners think North Korea provided Russia with artillery, missiles, and other conventional weapons in exchange for sophisticated military technologies and economic aid.

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Putin | AP News Image

North Korea’s Kim Hails Russia Ties As Putin Reportedly Plans A Visit

Kim has been striving for stronger partnerships with Russia and China to strengthen his regional position and form a united front against the United States.

During their September meeting at Russia’s primary space launch facility, Kim offered Vladimir a visit to North Korea at “a convenient time,” which Putin agreed to.

According to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency, Kim sent Vladimir a message on Wednesday thanking Russia on National Day.

“Thanks to the significant meeting between us at the Vostochney Spaceport in September last year, (North Korea)-Russia friendly and cooperative relations developed into an unbreakable relationship of comrades-in-arms,” Kim wrote in his message.

Kim’s remarks came as media sources stated that Vladimir is set to visit North Korea as early as next week. If realized, it would be their third summit conference. Their first summit took place in Vladivostok in April 2019.

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Putin | AP News Image

North Korea’s Kim Hails Russia Ties As Putin Reportedly Plans A Visit

NHK, citing unidentified diplomatic sources, including high-ranking Russian officials, said Wednesday that Vladimir plans a trip to North Korea and Vietnam next week.

According to NHK, he anticipated to seek greater military relations with North Korea as Russia confronts a weapons deficit in its battle with Ukraine, while North Korea is thought to want assistance with space technology following its recent failure to launch a second spy satellite into orbit in late May.

Russian business daily Vedomosti, which cited an unidentified diplomatic source, reports that Putin will visit North Korea and Vietnam “in the coming weeks.” The article also states that Russia’s envoy in North Korea, Alexander Matsegora, has stated that preparations for Vladimir’s visit to the country are underway.

Neither Russia nor North Korea have acknowledged news of an upcoming trip. According to Russian news outlet Tass, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated at a briefing in late May that “the visit is in the works, and we will make an announcement in due course.”

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Putin | AP News Image

North Korea’s Kim Hails Russia Ties As Putin Reportedly Plans A Visit

Russia and North Korea are at odds with the United States, Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and North Korea over its developing nuclear program. Both North Korea and Russia have denied reports of arms deliveries, which would violate several United Nations Security Council resolutions.

In March, South Korean Defence Minister Shin Wonsik stated that North Korea has already transferred approximately 7,000 containers laden with weapons and other military material to Russia. In response, Shin stated that North Korea had received more than 9,000 Russian containers, most of which were presumably laden with aid.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have recently increased anew, with North Korea launching trash-carrying balloons into South Korea, leading the South to resume propaganda broadcasts along the border.

SOURCE – (AP)

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