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White House urges China not to overreact to Taiwan President's U.S. trip
In this issue: Tsai's trip in line with One China policy says US, Beijing warns; TikTok faces security concerns—US lawmakers divided; Tech figures call for pause on powerful AI.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen's trip across the United States is "consistent" with the One China policy, the White House said on Wednesday. NSC Strategic Communications Director John Kirby urged Beijing not to overreact and said that President Tsai has transited the US six times since gaining office in 2016, and each incident came and went without objection from Beijing. The White House statement came after Beijing had threatened "resolute countermeasures" should Tsai follow through with a potential meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy during her transit. Beijing has long argued that Taiwan is its sovereign territory. The island split from the mainland in 1949 after democratic forces lost a civil war to the Chinese Communist Party.
On our radar
WASHINGTON EXAMINER — Rand Paul hits the brakes on Hawley push to ban TikTok
Lawmakers are increasingly concerned about TikTok's potential national security threat due to the data collected on its users by its Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance. Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill to ban TikTok in the United States, citing surveillance concerns. Sen. Rand Paul blocked the bill, arguing it would infringe on people's free speech rights. Republicans mostly agree that TikTok should be banned, but a handful of progressive House Democrats oppose the ban, arguing it is driven by anti-China "hysteria." Senate Democrats generally share concerns about TikTok being used by the Chinese government to spy on Americans. Sen. Marco Rubio opposes the White House-endorsed RESTRICT Act because it does not directly target TikTok and gives the president the ability to decide whether to ban the app. Hawley and Rubio insist that the reason to ban TikTok is that it is an espionage tool of the CCP.
ASSOCIATED PRESS — Musk, scientists call for halt to AI race sparked by ChatGPT
A group of computer scientists and tech industry figures, including Elon Musk and Steve Wozniak, have called for a six-month pause to consider the risks of powerful artificial intelligence technology. The petition, organised by the Future of Life Institute, was a response to the release of OpenAI's GPT-4. The letter argues that such AI systems pose profound risks to society, including the automation of jobs, disinformation campaigns and more catastrophic risks. Governments are already working to regulate high-risk AI tools, with the UK releasing a paper outlining its approach. OpenAI, Microsoft and Google did not respond to requests for comment.
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