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Major Chinese paper warns Britain on trade talks after warship sail-by

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A British Royal Navy warship that sailed close to islands in the South China Sea claimed by China risked hampering any talks about a free trade agreement after Britain leaves the European Union, a major Chinese state-run newspaper said on Friday.

China and Britain agreed last month to look at the possibility of reaching a “top notch” post-Brexit free trade deal which, if struck, would be an important political win for Britain’s Conservative government.

“China and the UK had agreed to actively explore the possibility of discussing a free trade agreement after Brexit. Any act that harms China’s core interests will only put a spanner in the works,” the official China Daily newspaper said in an editorial.

Britain has long courted China for a post-Brexit trade deal and talked up a “golden era” in ties, although any formal talks could not begin until Britain officially leaves the European Union next year and typically take many years to conclude.

The HMS Albion, a 22,000 ton amphibious warship, sailed near the Paracel Islands claimed by China last month, Reuters reported on Thursday, prompting an angry reaction from China which called it a “provocation”.

The Paracels are occupied entirely by China but also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan.

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China’s claims in the South China Sea, through which some $3 trillion of shipborne trade passes each year, are contested by Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. Britain does not have any territorial claims in the area.

The China Daily said Britain was trying to “curry favor” with the United States, which has been pushing for more international participation in freedom of navigation operations in the strategic waterway.

“Now that it is eyeing the U.S. as an economic lifeline after it exits the European Union – the United Kingdom is no doubt eager to seize whatever opportunity it can to get into Washington’s good books,” the English-language newspaper said.

China’s Defence Ministry said in its statement responding to the Royal Navy action that, with the joint efforts of China and Southeast Asian countries, the situation in the South China Sea had stabilized.

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“Certain countries from outside the region pay no heed to this, and send military ships and aircraft to the South China Sea to foment trouble, creating problems where none exist, threatening regional peace and stability,” it said.

China has repeatedly denounced what it views as interference from “countries outside the region” in the South China Sea, generally a message to the United States and its allies to stay out of the dispute.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Paul Tait

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Economist mocks GOP for trying to pin racism on Democrats — after telling a harrowing story about anti-black economic envy

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Economist Julianne Malveaux explained to the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that there was a time in the United States where black Americans were actually closing the wealth gap with white Americans -- until white Americans rioted and burned their property.

During her testimony at a hearing on reparations, Malveaux recounted the horrific story of the destruction of "Black Wall Street," which was a location in Tulsa, Oklahoma that was known for its high concentration of black-owned businesses and black wealth.

The area's prosperity came to an end in 1921 when white Tulsa residents used baseless accusation of a black man sexually assaulting a white woman as a justification to chase out all black residents and set fire to their neighborhoods. Hundreds of black residents were killed in the riots and the majority fled the city.

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MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle unloads on Democrats for letting Hope Hicks testify behind closed doors

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MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle questioned the purpose of Wednesday’s hearing with former White House director of communications Hope Hicks.

Hope Hicks testified Wednesday during a closed-door hearing before the House Judiciary Committee -- where she reportedly refused to answer many questions.

“Let’s be honest, why did Democrats think this was a huge break? Why did they think that Hope Hicks was going to sing like a bird?” Ruhle asked MSNBC national security analyst Ken Dilanian.

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2020 Election

Trump’s 2020 campaign strategy is familiar: Troll the libs!

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Late on Tuesday, I got an email from an unusual source. A reporter for the conservative publication the Washington Examiner asked if I'd be interested in sharing thoughts on Joe Biden's history of joking "about 'locking up your daughters'" and on "Biden's view of women and gender relations." This was in light of my previous criticisms of Biden's apparent condescension towards girls and women, and his pockmarked history on gender relations in general.

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