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US ready to impose travel ban on Chinese Communist Party members and their families

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The US is reportedly considering imposing travel restrictions on Chinese Communist party members amid a deepening row, with President Donald Trump saying further sanctions were possible and Beijing vowing retaliation.

A draft presidential proclamation would revoke visas for members of the Chinese Communist party as well as their families, according to the New York Times, citing four people familiar with the proposed travel ban that could apply to as many as 92 million party members.

Reuters news agency confirmed the report on Thursday, saying a draft presidential order had been circulated, but deliberations were at an early stage and the issue had not yet been brought to Trump.

The ban would be similar to the 2017 travel ban on Muslim-majority countries in giving the president the ability to prevent foreign nationals deemed “detrimental to the interests” of the US from entering the country.

The White House did not comment on the report on Thursday. On Wednesday, Trump said he had not ruled out additional sanctions on Chinese officials, following his signing of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, legislation meant to punish Beijing over its recent security law.

The secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said on Wednesday the US would be placing visa restrictions on “certain employees” of Chinese technology firms including Huawei, but provided no details.

On Thursday, the US attorney general, William Barr, issued a lengthy denunciation of the Chinese party’s strategy to achieve economic, political and cultural domination – a strategy he said was being abetted by Hollywood, hi-tech corporations, and US business leaders lobbying on Beijing’s behalf.

He accused China of conducting “economic blitzkrieg – an aggressive, orchestrated, whole-of-government, and indeed, whole-of-society campaign to seize the commanding heights of the global economy and to surpass the United States as the world’s preeminent superpower.”

“The ultimate ambition of China’s rulers isn’t to trade with the United States. It is to raid the United States. If you are an American business leader, appeasing the PRC may bring short-term rewards. But in the end, the PRC’s goal is to replace you,” Barr said in a speech delivered in Michigan.

He gave two examples of China intervening to change the nationalities of characters in Hollywood movies before they were completed, using Chinese distribution deals as leverage. Beijing objected to a virus in a zombie apocalypse film, World War Z, being shown as originating in China, and a mystic character, the “Ancient One” in the fantasy film, Dr Strange, was changed from being Tibetan to Celtic, to avoid upsetting China, Barr said.

Tensions between the countries have escalated in recent weeks over Hong Kong where Beijing has imposed a sweeping and controversial national security law, as well as over Chinese telecom giant Huawei, seen by the US as a security threat.

Keith Krach, US under secretary for economic affairs, praised the UK for its decision to exclude Huawei from Britain’s 5G networks.

“We all have had experience with bullies and the one thing I know is that they back down when they are confronted and they really back down when you have your friends standing by your side, and the US is prepared to be that friend,” Krach said.

China summoned the US ambassador, Terry Branstad, to make “solemn representations” over the Hong Kong legislation, calling it “gross interference in China’s internal affairs”. A statement from the Chinese foreign ministry said: “China will make the necessary response to the wrong actions of the US, including sanctions against US entities and individuals.”

In a statement late on Wednesday, China’s liaison office in Hong Kong said: “Unreasonable meddling and shameless threats by the United States are typical gangster logic and bullying.

“No external force can stop China’s determination to maintain national sovereignty and security for Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.”

State mouthpiece the Global Times said in an editorial published on Wednesday night: “The current US administration has an abnormal worship of its own power … To what extent is the US willing to hurt itself to harm Hong Kong? No matter what card the US will play next, China will fight it to the end.”

The two countries are engaged in tit-for-tat sparring over the treatment of respective media outlets, tariffs on goods, sanctions in relation to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as claims over the disputed South China Sea. On Monday, the US state department declared such claims “completely unlawful”, siding with south-east Asian countries against Beijing.

After the US imposed sanctions on Chinese officials involved in alleged human rights violations in Xinjiang, Beijing announced its own set of sanctions on US lawmakers and officials. China has also said that it would sanction US arms firm Lockheed Martin over its role in the latest sale of missiles to Taiwan.

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32 Christian Students Released from Captivity

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Nigeria – In the early hours of July 5, 2021, gunmen invaded Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi, in Chikun Local Government Area of Kaduna State, Nigeria, and kidnapped an estimated 153 students.

As of today, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the kidnappers have released 32 of the students, 28 of which were freed on Sunday and an additional four on Monday.

While the exact number of students kidnapped remains an estimate, authorities agree that over 80 children from Bethel Baptist High School remain in captivity.

Over 1,000 students have been abducted just this year—a sharp increase over previous years in what is a relatively new trend. The mass abduction of schoolchildren began in 2014 when the Islamist terror group Boko Haram abducted 276 mostly Christian girls from a school in Chibok.

We thank God for the release of these children to their parents and pray for the thousands who remain in captivity. We ask you to join us in praying for Nigeria, for the Lord to comfort those uncertain of their children’s whereabouts, and for those who persecute the church to find faith in Jesus Christ.
Sources:persecution

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Church Buildings Burned in Canada and the United States

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Canada – A number of churches in the Canada and the United States have been vandalized by criminals, some of whom claim to be acting in response to recent revelations around the horrifying mistreatment of indigenous children in Canada at the hands of mostly Catholic-run schools. Officials are still investigating the incidents.

A Coptic Orthodox Church in Surrey, British Columbia in Canada was burned, adding to the now 45 churches attacked in Canada in recent weeks. The Coptic community is heavily persecuted in Egypt, and Christians often flee the region to escape persecution. Incidents like the recent vandalization of the church are a stark reminder of the community’s difficult history.

In the United States, protestors in Portland have vandalized four Catholic churches buildings in the last two months. Father George Kuforiji, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church vandalized last month, told the Catholic Sentinel that he was extremely saddened by the crimes to their church, which is “a community that has nothing to do with the graves.”

Matias Perttula, Director of Advocacy at International Christian Concern, also commented on the incidents, saying, “The attacks on Churches in Canada and the United States are a sobering reminder of the growing anti-religious and anti-Christian hatred in the West. The lack of severe condemnation of the attacks from public leaders is disheartening and more needs to be done. History is filled with difficult memories of atrocities and crimes that mankind has committed against each other, but the response to the painful history must be measured and productive. Burning down churches is not the answer. It is evil, wrong and only perpetuates a climate of hatred.”

Ambassador Sam Brownback, who served as Ambassador for International Religious Freedom for the Trump Administration recently called the current time “the most persecuted era of Christianity in the history of mankind.” Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world with over 300 million Christians facing persecution.
Sources:persecution

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us news10 hours ago

32 Christian Students Released from Captivity

Nigeria – In the early hours of July 5, 2021, gunmen invaded Bethel Baptist High School, Damishi, in Chikun Local...

us news10 hours ago

Church Buildings Burned in Canada and the United States

Canada – A number of churches in the Canada and the United States have been vandalized by criminals, some of...

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