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China’s vice president warns against U.S. military focus on Asia

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China’s likely next leader Xi Jinping warned the United States against plans to boost its military strength in Asia as he prepared for a closely watched visit to Washington starting Monday.

China’s vice president, who is tipped to rule the rising Asian power until 2023, called on the United States to prioritize economic growth and promised anew that Beijing would address foreign concerns about its currency’s value.

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In a written interview with The Washington Post, Xi said that the Pacific Ocean had “ample space” for both China and the United States but insisted that Asian countries were concerned foremost with “economic prosperity.”

“At a time when people long for peace, stability and development, to deliberately give prominence to the military security agenda, scale up military deployment and strengthen military alliances is not really what most countries in the region hope to see,” Xi said.

“We welcome a constructive role by the United States in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the region. We also hope that the United States will fully respect and accommodate the major interests and legitimate concerns of Asia-Pacific countries,” he said.

US President Barack Obama, while seeking to trim vast military spending in response to budget pressure, has vowed to boost power in Asia where a number of nations have voiced concern at what they charge is a more assertive China.

The United States has moved in recent months to send troops to Australia and the Philippines. It has also sought to increase military ties with Vietnam and Singapore, while maintaining longstanding bases in Japan and South Korea.

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The Obama administration has nonetheless tried to build personal bonds with Xi in hopes of future cooperation. China starts its power transition later this year, with Xi widely expected to succeed President Hu Jintao in 2013.

Xi arrives Monday and will enjoy a welcome Tuesday at the White House, including a meeting with Obama. He will also stop at the Pentagon for talks billed by US officials as significant in building military trust.

Xi will also visit Iowa — where he paid a formative first visit to the United States in 1985 as a low-ranking official — and Los Angeles.

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Legal experts speculate Bill Barr was merely ‘nonsense posturing’ when he claimed Trump’s tweets made his job ‘impossible’

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Attorney General William Barr recently complained that President Donald Trump makes it “impossible” for him to do his job when he tweets about cases that are still making their way through the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the federal courts — for example, the criminal case of long-time Trump ally and veteran GOP operative Roger Stone. But Barr remains a Trump loyalist, and Law & Crime reporter Jerry Lambe notes in an article published on February 25 that Trump continues to tweet about Stone’s case.

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Adam Schiff explains how Trump just crippled US election security with appointment of ‘loyalist’ intel director

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House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) warned on Wednesday that election security in the United States is in jeopardy due to President Donald Trump's choice for acting director of national intelligence.

CNN's Manu Raju asked Schiff about the appointment of Richard Grenell as the nation's top intelligence coordinator.

"He has little to no relevant experience except for being a Trump loyalist," Schiff noted. "And the level of confidence that we can have that we will get fully informed of threats to our elections has just gone down to practically none."

Grenell, who currently serves as the ambassador to Germany, has come under fire from Democrats for possibly violating federal law after he "failed to inform the department about work he did for foreign entities before joining the Trump administration," according to CBS News.

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How the coronavirus has infected Trump’s presidency — and is spreading throughout the global economy

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Nobody saw this coming. Turns out it may not be Bernie, Mike, Joe, Liz, Pete—or even Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff—who bring down Donald Trump.

While it’s still early, there are indications that the coronavirus is the pandemic that could torpedo, among other things, the booming economy Trump has always taken credit for and assumed would sweep him back into office in 2020.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 2000 points Monday and Tuesday on coronavirus-fueled. At the same time, the Centers for Disease Control warned Americans that they should “work with us to prepare for the expectation that this could be bad” and outlined how schools and businesses should prepare if the virus spreads. San Francisco announced a state of emergency Tuesday.

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