China's move to fly planes over Taiwanese airspace on Tuesday, just after the G-7 issued a joint statement warning the nation against attempts in the East and South China Seas and on the day before President Joe Biden's widely-anticipated meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin is "not a coincidence," China expert Gordon Chang tells Newsmax.
"We have seen both large-scale military exercises by both the Chinese and the Russians off the coast of East Asia," Chang said on "John Bachman Now," Tuesday. He added that even though the relationship between China and Russia has been complicated over the years, the nations are "working very closely together."
"They've been coordinating their diplomacy," said Chang. "They may never form an enduring partnership, but that doesn't really matter because in the here and now we see both of them working together. Putin is obviously using this to get some leverage off of Biden and I think that explains Biden's inability to call Putin a killer, something he's done in the past."
China on Tuesday flew 28 planes, including fighter jets, bombers, anti-submarine planes, and early warning aircraft over Taiwanese airspace, according to Taiwan's Ministry of Defense. It was the largest number of planes to be flown over since Taiwan started reporting military actions last year.
Retired Lt. Gen. Tony Shaffer, also on the program, commented that Putin is a "strong man," and he will "play the hard game" against Biden, including using China to strengthen his hand.
"The United States has been very antagonistic to Putin, it's been very antagonistic to China, so this plays into Putin's hands at this point," said Shaffer. "He is a strong man, and he's going to play the hard game and I believe that the China piece does indeed strengthen his hand against us. The United States has been very antagonistic to Putin. It's been very antagonistic, antagonistic to China, so this actually plays into Putin's hands at this point, and Biden is going to go into a very tough situation to negotiate."
Putin won't be accommodating to Biden, Chang added, because the president's administration has already waived sanctions that were blocking the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, something that Rusia really wanted.
"I'm not sure that we got anything in return for that, at least from Russia," said Chang. "You might have gotten something from Germany. I don't know. But the point here is that Biden has made an important unilateral concession, so I don't really think that Putin is in any mood to give anything back to Biden. I mean, why should he? You know Biden's already given him the candy store."
Chang also commented on a video obtained by Sky News in Australia showing bats in the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
The video was taken in May 2017 by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and reportedly unearthed by a group of scientists known as DRASTIC that has been investigating the theory that the COVID-19 pandemic was sparked by a leak from the lab. The footage, shot inside the lab, shows live bats being held there and even shows one bat hanging from a worker's hat.
Dr. Peter Daszak, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) investigation team, has denied the presence of bats in the lab.
"You have got to remember that Daszak spoke to The New York Times earlier last year, and he actually said he was promoting this theory of natural mutation in order to protect his colleagues at the Wuhan institute, so he basically admitted in public that his thoughts were really more politically motivated than anything else," said Chang. "Daszak is obviously a villain in all of this, and every it seems like every week we learned more that undercuts what he has said in public."
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