The prevalence of critical race theory (CRT) in mainstream institutions is creating a “permanent intractable division” between Americans that can only lead to either tyranny or violence, author and columnist Jarrett Stepman warned. In an interview with The Epoch Times’ “Crossroads,” Stepman described the CRT as a concept that boils down every aspect of society and individual life to race. “This is where we get the idea that America is inherently a white supremacist society,” Stepman told host Joshua Philipp. He explained that under the CRT framework, everything in the society is dictated by skin color or identity, leaving individual preference and individual choice as simply “non-determinative factors.” It is not surprising, according to Stepman, that many proponents of the CRT “sound very much segregationist,” considering how this idea divides…
The Pacific island nation of Palau, south-west of Guam, has offered land to the United States to increase its military presence in the region after the Chinese regime placed economic pressure on the country due to its ties to Taiwan.
U.S. Pacific General Kenneth Wilsbach welcomed the request, reportedly saying that the air force was “absolutely looking forward” to expanding the United States’ military presence in Palau, according to the military-focussed, independent media outlet Stars and Stripes.
“But that is something that we’re absolutely looking toward,” he said. “And, frankly, we so appreciate the government of Palau asking us to come in.”
Palau’s request to host the U.S. military comes after the nation experienced increased economic pressure from the Chinese Communist Party after it banned Chinese tour operators from selling packages to travel to the island nation in 2017 when Palau reportedly refused to drop its diplomatic ties to Taiwan.
Palau’s primary source of economic revenue comes from the tourism industry, which makes up 80 percent of the annual GDP, according to Lloyds Bank. The ban has come directly after a two-year boom in Chinese tourism for the Pacific nation which caused many in the island to pursue development loans that they are now struggling to repay.
Leilani Reklai, a former president of the Palau tourism association, noted that some Palauans viewed the influx with scepticism. However, many still sought to take advantage of the inflow and ended up in debt.
“This is the Chinese strategy, this is what they do, they are going to pour a lot of money in here, and get you addicted like it’s Coke and then turn off the faucet,” Reklai said.
This is a view shared by Michael Shoebridge from of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Shoebridge told The Epoch Times in May: “The idea of the Chinese state using its consumer spending power as an economic weapon, is not new, it’s real.”
A Strategic Win for America and Australia’s Pacific Goals
The offer is a strategic win for the United States and allies like Australia because Palau sits in what is regarded as the ‘second island cloud‘ that enables America and its allies to hold the Pacific if China continues to act aggressively in the South China Sea.
In the past six months, Beijing has increased its aggressive expansion activities, including its activities in the South China Sea, military flights in the Taiwanese Straits, engaging in a border skirmish with India, and enacting a national-security law to limit Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Palau is also strategically located near to Darwin, Australia; Guam; the Philippines; and Japan, where America has functioning defence facilities.
Recently Australia and America have increased its defence force presence in the Pacific after experts warned that the region was at risk of being co-opted by China.
In September, American and Australian defence forces conducted bomber training in the Northern Territory with planes flying from Guam to test integration between the two defence forces and display its capabilities in the region.
As part of Australia Pacific Step-Up Australia has been in the process of supplying Palau with a fleet of patrol boats for its maritime defence, under the Pacific Maritime Security Program. At the hand over of the most recent patrol boat on Sept. 18 the Assistant Defence Minister and Minister for International Development and the Pacific, Alex Hawke said the Guardian-class Patrol Boats make an important contribution to regional security.
Focus News: Pacific Island Offers US Land for Military After Beijing Tourism Ban
The man who admitted firing shots before Kyle Rittenhouse fatally shot two people during unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was charged, officials said. Joshua Ziminski, 35, faces charges of disorderly conduct and use of a dangerous weapon following the Aug. 25 shooting that occurred in the midst of riots and protests in Kenosha after police shot Jacob Blake in the back. According to a police complaint, officials said Ziminski was seen holding a black handgun. They said he was seen walking with his wife near a gas station before firing one shot into the air. “Detective Howard observed a muzzle flash emit from the handgun, and heard a gunshot at the same time,” the complaint said, according to Fox News. “In another video, the defendant is clearly seen at that same location. The…