TikTok warning: China threatens retaliation after Microsoft 'theft' of video service

TikTok found itself at the centre of the newest round of disagreement between China and the United States in an environment of growing tensions between the two powers. US President Donald Trump suggested he would ban the social media service in the US but tech giant Microsoft this week made an offer to acquire the video service’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. However, Chinese state media has warned Beijing could retaliate to US attempts to buy into the company, branding Microsoft’s proposals to buy a “theft.”

Reporting from China, CNBC reporter Arjun Kharpal said: “There has been some reaction in China from state media.

“A couple of publications have amounted this bid by Microsoft of TikTok to ‘theft’.

“They said it’s a ‘smash and grab’ by the US and said that China may respond and has ‘many ways to respond.’

“Perhaps a veiled threat of retaliation here. No specifics of what they might look like.”

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President Trump welcomed Microsoft’s bid for TikTok, suggesting he would give the companies until September 15 to secure a deal before he bans the video service.

He also suggested the US Treasury could receive part of the earnings of the acquisition for “facilitating” the deal.

Mr Trump said in a press conference on Monday: “A very substantial portion of that price is going to have to come into the Treasury of the United States, because we’re making it possible for this deal to happen.

“Without us…I used the expression the landlord and the tenant. Without the lease, the tenant doesn’t have the value and in a certain way we make the lease possible, to have this great success.

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“This violates the principles of market economy and exposes the hypocrisy and typical double standards of the US in maintaining fairness and freedom.

“It also violates the World Trade Organisation’s principles of openness, transparency and non-discrimination.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the weekend said the US will take action against Chinese-owned software companies believed to be a threat to US national security “in the coming days”.

Speaking to Fox News, Mr Pompeo claimed TikTok was among a group of companies “feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party,” despite the service repeatedly denying such claims.



China launches fresh attack on UK in retaliation for ‘poisoned’ ties with Beijing

China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, warned the UK it would “pay the price” if it shunned Beijing. Mr Xiaoming was remarking on the heated disputes over the Hong Kong tech giant Huawei and the alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

He said Britain was at a “critical historical juncture” in how it wanted to treat China.

The Chinese ambassador also appeared to reference Donald Trump’s administration by cautioning the UK against allowing “Cold War warriors” to further damage relations.

Mr Xiaoming was speaking at a live news conference broadcast on Twitter when he made his remarks.

He rejected any claims made about the abuses towards Uighur Muslims.

During the conference, he also criticised the Government’s decision to exclude Huawei from the UK’s 5G network.

He also urged the UK not to interfere with China’s affairs in Hong Kong.

He said: “These actions have seriously poisoned the atmosphere of the China-UK relationship.

“China respects UK sovereignty and has never interfered in the UK’s internal affairs.

READ MORE:China’s ‘unusual’ threat to UK indicates big dilemma facing Beijing

“I think they quote my remarks out of context.

“But, if you do not want to be our partners and our friends, you want to treat China as a hostile country, you will pay the price.

“That means you will lose the benefits of treating China as opportunities, as friends.

“And you will bear the consequences of treating China as a hostile country.”

Mr Trump’s administration has encouraged allies to distance themselves from Beijing.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has said the UK-China relations would not return to normal amid the disputes between the two countries.

The Chinese ambassador urged the UK not to follow in the footsteps of other countries.

Mr Xiaoming said: “It’s our hope that the UK would resist the pressure and coercion from a certain country and provide an open, fair, transparent and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese investment so as to bring back the confidence of Chinese business in the UK.”

He added: “It’s hard to imagine a global Britain that bypasses or excludes China.

“Decoupling from China means decoupling from opportunities, decoupling from growth and decoupling from the future.”



China launches fresh attack on UK in retaliation for ‘poisoned’ ties with Beijing

China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, warned the UK it would “pay the price” if it shunned Beijing. Mr Xiaoming was remarking on the heated disputes over the Hong Kong tech giant Huawei and the alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

He said Britain was at a “critical historical juncture” in how it wanted to treat China.

The Chinese ambassador also appeared to reference Donald Trump’s administration by cautioning the UK against allowing “Cold War warriors” to further damage relations.

Mr Xiaoming was speaking at a live news conference broadcast on Twitter when he made his remarks.

He rejected any claims made about the abuses towards Uighur Muslims.

During the conference, he also criticised the Government’s decision to exclude Huawei from the UK’s 5G network.

He also urged the UK not to interfere with China’s affairs in Hong Kong.

He said: “These actions have seriously poisoned the atmosphere of the China-UK relationship.

“China respects UK sovereignty and has never interfered in the UK’s internal affairs.

READ MORE:China’s ‘unusual’ threat to UK indicates big dilemma facing Beijing

“I think they quote my remarks out of context.

“But, if you do not want to be our partners and our friends, you want to treat China as a hostile country, you will pay the price.

“That means you will lose the benefits of treating China as opportunities, as friends.

“And you will bear the consequences of treating China as a hostile country.”

Mr Trump’s administration has encouraged allies to distance themselves from Beijing.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, has said the UK-China relations would not return to normal amid the disputes between the two countries.

The Chinese ambassador urged the UK not to follow in the footsteps of other countries.

Mr Xiaoming said: “It’s our hope that the UK would resist the pressure and coercion from a certain country and provide an open, fair, transparent and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese investment so as to bring back the confidence of Chinese business in the UK.”

He added: “It’s hard to imagine a global Britain that bypasses or excludes China.

“Decoupling from China means decoupling from opportunities, decoupling from growth and decoupling from the future.”



US retaliation: Donald Trump’s terrifying law threatens to ‘escalate conflict’ with China

The new security law imposed by China makes it easier to punish protestors in Hong Kong and reduces the city’s autonomy. The US retaliated by passing the Hong Kong Autonomy Act which imposes sanctions on Chinese entities who help to violate Hong Kong’s autonomy and institutions that do business with them.

Professor David Law, Sir Y.K. Pao Chair in Public Law at the University of Hong Kong, told Express.co.uk: “With each action that the US takes, such as passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act or the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, China responds indignantly and threatens retaliation.

“But the US doesn’t take kindly to Chinese retaliation either. Two can play at that game. The result is that we are seeing not just conflict, but the potential escalation of conflict.”

In a press conference, US President Donald Trump said he signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and spoke about China’s security law.

He added: “We’ve all watched what happened. Not a good situation. Their freedom has been taken away.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s law threatens to ‘escalate conflict’ with China (Image: getty)

China

The new security law imposed by China makes it easier to punish protestors in Hong Kong (Image: getty)

“Their rights have been taken away. And with it, goes Hong Kong, in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets.”

Professor Law said: “The new Hong Kong Autonomy Act doesn’t just authorize sanctions against those responsible for violating human rights in Hong Kong; it actually obligates the President to impose sanctions, which can include freezing financial assets in the US or under the control of a US institution, such as a bank.”

He added how China’s national security law in Hong Kong “demands exactly the opposite”.

It outlaws imposing sanctions and other hostile activities against the People’s Republic of China and explicitly applies to institutions and people outside Hong Kong or China, Professor Law explained.

READ MORE: China punished by EU over controversial new law in blow to relations

Donald Trump

Tensions have heightened in recent weeks over trade, the coronavirus pandemic and other issues (Image: getty)

This means if a member of Congress were to vote in favour of a law, like the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, they would be violating China’s national security law.

Professor Law highlighted how banks who have businesses in the US and Hong Kong or China, will be unlikely to comply with both laws at the same time.

Tensions have also heightened in recent weeks over trade, the coronavirus pandemic and other issues to dramatic levels not experienced between the two countries in decades.

China ordered US diplomatic staff to leave their consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu earlier this week.

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Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump said he signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (Image: getty)

China US

Tensions have heightened to dramatic levels not experienced between the two countries in decades (Image: getty)

The action was taken by China after the US closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, over claims it was a hub for spying.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the Houston closure was ordered by Washington because Beijing was “stealing” intellectual property.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the US’s actions were based on “a hodgepodge of anti-Chinese lies”.

Professor Law explained how the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, is playing to a “nationalistic domestic audience” but American politicians are motivated by similar incentives.

He said the US’s loathing of the Communist Party of China regime is genuine.

Professor Law added: “It’s been a while since US politicians have shown so much unity and sense of purpose.”

He said the Republican and Democratic politicians in the US are uniting over the issue of Chinese human rights abuses in a way that is rarely seen in American politics except in times of war.

Earlier this month the Chinese government announced sanctions against US officials, including the Republican senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, after the US imposed sanctions amid Beijing’s treatment of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang.

China

Xi Jinping is playing to a “nationalistic domestic audience” (Image: getty)

Professor Law said: “China’s announcement of sanctions against two prominent members of Congress, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz, is probably only going to bolster the popularity of those two senators and to outrage Americans even further.

“There is a very palpable sense of moral outrage in the US right now against China, it crosses party lines, it is translating into more and more legislation, and that legislation is no longer just symbolic either.

“China’s actions right now may play well to Chinese domestic audiences, but in the US, they appear to be backfiring, on an increasing scale.”



US retaliation: Donald Trump’s terrifying law threatens to ‘escalate conflict’ with China

The new security law imposed by China makes it easier to punish protestors in Hong Kong and reduces the city’s autonomy. The US retaliated by passing the Hong Kong Autonomy Act which imposes sanctions on Chinese entities who help to violate Hong Kong’s autonomy and institutions that do business with them.

Professor David Law, Sir Y.K. Pao Chair in Public Law at the University of Hong Kong, told Express.co.uk: “With each action that the US takes, such as passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act or the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, China responds indignantly and threatens retaliation.

“But the US doesn’t take kindly to Chinese retaliation either. Two can play at that game. The result is that we are seeing not just conflict, but the potential escalation of conflict.”

In a press conference, US President Donald Trump said he signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and spoke about China’s security law.

He added: “We’ve all watched what happened. Not a good situation. Their freedom has been taken away.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s law threatens to ‘escalate conflict’ with China (Image: getty)

China

The new security law imposed by China makes it easier to punish protestors in Hong Kong (Image: getty)

“Their rights have been taken away. And with it, goes Hong Kong, in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets.”

Professor Law said: “The new Hong Kong Autonomy Act doesn’t just authorize sanctions against those responsible for violating human rights in Hong Kong; it actually obligates the President to impose sanctions, which can include freezing financial assets in the US or under the control of a US institution, such as a bank.”

He added how China’s national security law in Hong Kong “demands exactly the opposite”.

It outlaws imposing sanctions and other hostile activities against the People’s Republic of China and explicitly applies to institutions and people outside Hong Kong or China, Professor Law explained.

READ MORE: China punished by EU over controversial new law in blow to relations

Donald Trump

Tensions have heightened in recent weeks over trade, the coronavirus pandemic and other issues (Image: getty)

This means if a member of Congress were to vote in favour of a law, like the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, they would be violating China’s national security law.

Professor Law highlighted how banks who have businesses in the US and Hong Kong or China, will be unlikely to comply with both laws at the same time.

Tensions have also heightened in recent weeks over trade, the coronavirus pandemic and other issues to dramatic levels not experienced between the two countries in decades.

China ordered US diplomatic staff to leave their consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu earlier this week.

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Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump said he signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act (Image: getty)

China US

Tensions have heightened to dramatic levels not experienced between the two countries in decades (Image: getty)

The action was taken by China after the US closed the Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas, over claims it was a hub for spying.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained the Houston closure was ordered by Washington because Beijing was “stealing” intellectual property.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the US’s actions were based on “a hodgepodge of anti-Chinese lies”.

Professor Law explained how the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, is playing to a “nationalistic domestic audience” but American politicians are motivated by similar incentives.

He said the US’s loathing of the Communist Party of China regime is genuine.

Professor Law added: “It’s been a while since US politicians have shown so much unity and sense of purpose.”

He said the Republican and Democratic politicians in the US are uniting over the issue of Chinese human rights abuses in a way that is rarely seen in American politics except in times of war.

Earlier this month the Chinese government announced sanctions against US officials, including the Republican senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, after the US imposed sanctions amid Beijing’s treatment of ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang.

China

Xi Jinping is playing to a “nationalistic domestic audience” (Image: getty)

Professor Law said: “China’s announcement of sanctions against two prominent members of Congress, Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Ted Cruz, is probably only going to bolster the popularity of those two senators and to outrage Americans even further.

“There is a very palpable sense of moral outrage in the US right now against China, it crosses party lines, it is translating into more and more legislation, and that legislation is no longer just symbolic either.

“China’s actions right now may play well to Chinese domestic audiences, but in the US, they appear to be backfiring, on an increasing scale.”



China retaliation: Large-scale Chinese gas plant opens amid trade war with US

Scientists working at a new facility in the northwest of China said the plant could be the start of mass production of helium in the country. The workers said they are extracting helium from the waste product of natural gas at the plant.

Nearly all helium in China comes from elsewhere, mostly imported from America or US-owned facilities in other countries.

Helium is used to make hi-tech products in China including rockets and computer chips.

The new plant began operating last week and could change China’s reliance on US imports.

It is located inside a natural gas processing plant in Yanchi county, Ningxia.

The plant is the first facility in China to produce helium on a commercial scale.

Scientists working at the facility are expecting the annual output of liquid helium to reach 20 tonnes.

But China uses more than 4,300 tonnes of helium every year.

The cost of the plant, however, was low which means hundreds of similar facilities could be built in China making self reliance more achievable.

READ MORE: China-US tension: Trump warned things could ‘get worse’ 

Most of the gas is extracted as a by-product in natural gas production.

The US has some of the globe’s largest helium-rich natural gas fields.

Direct extraction is too expensive for China as the country’s natural gas contains trace amounts of helium.

A research team at the Technical Institute of Physics and Chemistry in Beijing found there were considerable amounts of helium in the waste product of Chinese natural gas plants.

Another scientist close to the project told the South China Morning Post that the production cost was “competitive” compared to the cost of importing helium.

According to industry data, the cost of helium more than doubled last year.

The trade war between the US and China is raising new concerns for the helium market.

Experts believe China will still depend on the US for helium in the years to come.

Building more plants and facilities in the country will take a significant amount of time.

One of the scientists involved in the project said: “I think we’ll need at least 10 years to reach self-reliance.”



China threat: Raab vows UK retaliation against Beijing – 'No longer business as usual!'

Dominic Raab has warned that business will not return to normal with China, as he hinted at a significant reset in relations between the UK and Beijing. The Foreign Secretary hinted on Sky News that the UK’s extradition treaty to Hong Kong could now be suspended. He also said that the Government was aware they had to be “very careful in our dealings” with China since the tensions intensified.

Sophy Ridge on Sky News asked Mr Raab whether he agreed with the former head of MI6, who last week called for a reset in the UK relationship with China.

Mr Raab responded: “We need to be very careful in our dealings. We want a positive relationship.

“There is scope for cooperation in trade and investment, but also on climate change. We need to be able work with China.

“But, we will always make clear our position on our key interests and values to China, as we have done on Huawei and Hong Kong.”

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He continued: “We have said it won’t be business as usual after COVID-19.

“We are working with our intentional partners to get a proper inquiry into what exactly happened with this pandemic.

“We want to make sure we don’t slip into a dogmatic approach to China. We will follow our national interest and work with China where we can do positive.

“But we must be clear-eyed and clear-sighted, and protect our interests.”

These laws greatly reduce Hong Kong’s autonomy and mean protestors in the city risk can be arrested for “sedition”.

Last week, the UK Government announced all technology from Chinese firm Huawei must be removed from Britain’s 5G network by 2027, prompting a furious backlash from Beijing.

British firms operating in China have since been warned they could face retaliation from Beijing.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a fierce China critic, will visit Britain later this week for talks with the Foreign Secretary.

During the interview, Mr Raab also said the UK was “absolutely confident” that Russian intelligence agencies were trying to sabotage or profit from the research and development on finding a COVID-19 cure.



UK considers retaliation against Russia after hack attack 'It's completely unacceptable'

Attempts by Russian-backed hackers to steal COVID-19 vaccine research from Britain are “completely unacceptable” but have not done any damage, security minister James Brokenshire said on Friday. Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said on Thursday that hackers backed by the Russian state had tried to steal COVID-19 vaccine and treatment research from academic and pharmaceutical institutions around the world. Russia has rejected London’s allegations.

“It’s completely unacceptable for the Russian intelligence agencies to seek to get into the systems of those who are seeking to respond to this crisis … to develop a vaccine,” Brokenshire told Sky News.

“There’s no evidence or information of any damage or, or any sort of harm.”

Russia has denied all accusations against them by the NCSC. 

Asked whether there will be “retaliation” from the UK Government against Russia, the Tory Minister said: “We will continue to keep our actions under review as the Foreign Secretary said yesterday.

“The National Cyber Security Centre has a 95 percent plus confidence rating in relation to this.

“We are confident that Russian actors, Russian intelligence organisations were behind this.

“Therefore we keep our response under review raising our sense of vigilance and calling out actions when we see them as we have done in this case.”

More to follow..

.



Russia hits back: Furious Putin threatens UK with RETALIATION after sanctions

Before Brexit, the UK issued sanctions against Russia as part of the EU. Vladimir Putin has singled out Britain now that it is operating as a single state. Brexit Britain has imposed sanctions not just against Russians but also against individuals from Saudi Arabia and North Korea. All the sanctions are aimed at those who have been involved in human rights abuses.

Now, 25 Russian individuals have had their UK assets frozen and are banned from entering Britain under the new Magnitsky Act.

One of those on the sanction list is Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the powerful Investigative Committee, which reports directly to President Vladimir Putin.

Many of these individuals were implicated in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009.

Many Russian oligarchs have laundered vast fortunes overseas, particularly in London’s property market.

READ MORE: World War 3 warning: Trump’s nuclear threat is major ‘flashpoint’

The genocidal conditions set up by the Myanmar government that has seen the decimation of the Rohingya population will also be a focus.

Individuals involved in facilitating North Korean gulags could be targeted by the sanctions.

Now Moscow has announced they will respond against the UK with reciprocal measures.

Russia has declared it will sanction British individuals who have assets within the Russian Federation.



World War 3: China face Indian retaliation after invading disputed land and drawing flag

Tensions between the two nations have ignited over recent weeks following the deadly dispute in Galwan Valley where at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed. Now China faces a furious backlash after mocking India.

In satellite imagery, the Mandarin characters meaning ‘China’ are seen written near the shore of Pangong Lake, an area located on the Line of Actual Control.

Troops appeared to have drawn a map of the Communist nation on the remote area in the disputed Himalayan region.

The area is close to the site of the bloody clashes between the two militaries back in May.

Pangong Lake has been divided into ‘fingers’ by Indian and Chinese forces.

China mocks India in bizarre move

China mocks India in bizarre move (Image: Getty)

Mandarin symbol for China written on border

Mandarin symbol for China written on border (Image: Planet Labs)

India claims ownership of the shoreline from ‘finger one’ to ‘finger eight’.

But recently, China was accused of impeding an Indian patrol as it staked a claim for territory from ‘finger eight’ to ‘finger four’.

China has also built at least 186 huts along the disputed shoreline.

Images show construction has taken place on the tip of ‘finger four’ as well as two fast water crafts on ‘finger five’.

READ MORE: China vs India breakthrough? Military commanders in talks

China have built 186 huts along the border

China have built 186 huts along the border (Image: Planet Labs)

Last month, the dispute in Galwan Valley, in Ladakh, marked the first bloody altercation between the two countries in 45 years.

Reports said both sides had agreed to disarm while confronting each other last month.

However, fights broke out on the highly contested border and all the casualties were from the use of batons, knives and falls from the steep land.

Although the number of Chinese soldiers who died was not revealed, American Intelligence claimed there was at least 35 deaths including a senior officer.

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China v India military power

China v India military power (Image: Express)

Following the dispute, calls were made for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to retaliate against the Communist Nation.

The leader of the opposition Congress Party Rahul Gandhi wrote on Twitter: “Why is the Prime Minister silent? Why is he hiding?

“Enough is enough. We need to know what has happened.

“How dare China kill our soldiers? How dare they take our land?”

Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley, Ladakh

Indian soldiers in Galwan Valley, Ladakh (Image: Getty)

Protests erupted across India as Chinese flags and products were burnt in the streets.

Since the altercation, fears of a World War 3 outbreak have ignited around the globe.

This week, the deputy speaker of Tibet’s India-based exile parliament said India must be “bolder” in its stance on the region.

Tibet has historically served as a buffer between the two nations but has grown increasingly under Chinese influence.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Image: Getty)

Over the last three decades, several rounds of talks have been held attempting to resolve the dispute, with no success.

The tensions have stretched back further in time, with 2017 seeing the two counties clash over China attempting to extend a border road through a disputed plateau.

Only once has outright war been fought between the two: 1962 saw India suffer a devastating defeat to China.