news·4 min read

Daily Skimm: Taiwan, Primaries, and Big D Energy

) U.S. President Joe Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (not seen) hold a joint press conference at the Akasaka Palace state guest house in Tokyo, Japan on May 23, 2022
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May 24, 2022

Taiwan

The Story

President Biden warned of a military response if China invades Taiwan. 

What happened?

Biden was in Japan for a meeting with US allies in Asia. When asked whether the US would defend Taiwan militarily, he said “yes.” Big deal, because the US normally maintains an ambiguous position here. 

Ambiguous how?

In 1979, the US opened ties with China. In exchange, the US promised to recognize Beijing’s government as the legitimate one over a unified China, including the self-governing island of Taiwan. It’s called the “One China” policy. But that same year, the US pledged to supply Taiwan with means to defend itself — and continues to do so, through arms sales. 

And China’s position is…?

It views Taiwan as a breakaway province. Chinese President Xi Jinping has said reuniting the two “must be fulfilled,” and has ramped up activity over Taiwan’s airspace. Last year, a top US commander in the region said he thought China could attack “in the next six years.” But things are especially tense these days. That’s because some see parallels between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s plans for Taiwan. 

So what happens now?

Biden says he expects China’s invasion “will not happen.” But if it did, Biden implied he’d take “even stronger” action than in Ukraine. The statements surprised Biden’s own admin (and not for the first time). The Defense Department says the comments don’t mark a policy shift. China said there’s “no room for compromise” on its sovereignty.

theSkimm

It’s not clear what US military involvement on behalf of Taiwan would look like. Many are hoping that the world won’t need to find out.

And Also...This

What people with opinions do…

Vote. Today, voters in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, and Minnesota head to the polls to pick their candidates for the November midterms. In Georgia, which flipped the Senate blue last election cycle, former football star Herschel Walker looks likely to win the GOP nomination to try to take Sen. Raphael Warnock’s (D) seat. Meanwhile in the state’s race for governor, current Gov. Brian Kemp (R) — who got on former President Donald Trump’s bad side — is facing Trump-backed primary challenger former Sen. David Perdue. Whoever wins will go head-to-head with Stacey Abrams (D), who’s running uncontested.


…Oh and Texas has some runoff elections from its March primaries. That includes an attorney general race another George Bush is running for.

What’s having a reckoning…

The Southern Baptist Convention. Over the weekend, a shocking report exposed a series of sexual abuse allegations and alleged mishandling by the SBC, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. The third-party report was commissioned last year by church leaders — and its findings were alarming. An SBC staffer maintained a list of ministers and hundreds of other people affiliated with the church that had been accused of abuse — while leadership allegedly stonewalled and even “vilified” survivors. Plus, the SBC’s former president was accused of sexual assault in 2010 (he denied the accusations, but later resigned from his position). The church’s current president reportedly says there “are not adequate words” to express his reaction. The report urged the church to create a database to make abusers known publicly, among other recommendations. The SBC is expected to consider those during its annual meeting next month.

What’s got Big D Energy...

Tomatoes. Yesterday, a study revealed that scientists have genetically modified tomatoes to make them a good source of vitamin D. An estimated 1 billion people in the world are deficient, but vitamin D is important: It keeps bones, muscles, and teeth healthy. Beyond sunlight, some main sources are fish and eggs — a problem for vegans who don’t consume any of that. Now, thanks to the secret sauce of CRISPR, vegans can get their Heinz on another option. Since those genetically modified tomatoes have the equivalent of two eggs’ worth of vitamin D. Talk about a ketch-up with the times.

Who’s getting another shot…

Kids under 5. Yesterday, Pfizer said its three-dose vaccine offered strong protection to children in that age group. The FDA is set to meet next month to review Pfizer’s and Moderna’s applications to authorize their vaccines for the kids.

While this PB’s being recalled

Some want to recall this ice cream.

Who’s thinking ‘if these walls could talk’...

Halsey

What’s sounding the alarm instead of wedding bells…

Zola.

Skimm’d by Melanie De Lima, Kate Gilhool, Xian Chiang-Waren, Julie Shain, and Mariza Smajlaj

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