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Bitcoin price hits $11,000 for the first time since January

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A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on October 24, 2017 in London, England.

Dan Kitwood | Getty Images

A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin on October 24, 2017 in London, England.

Bitcoin broke through the $11,000 mark over the weekend for the first time since the end of January as its price continues to slowly rise following a violent sell-off at the start of the month.

The price of the cryptocurrency went as high as $11,279.18 on Sunday, its most elevated level since January 30, according to CoinDesk’s bitcoin price index, which tracks prices from four major cryptocurrency exchanges.

On Monday, bitcoin was trading below $11,000, at $10,789, at around 9:30 a.m. London time (4:30 a.m. ET).

Bitcoin’s price has been slowly climbing higher after a massive sell-off in early February, which was triggered by fears over tighter regulation, rumors of price manipulation in the market, and a hack on cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck that saw over $500 million stolen.

Bitcoin is up over 80 percent since it bottomed at $5.947.40 on February 6.

In South Korea, a key market for bitcoin, there were fears that an outright ban on cryptocurrency trading could come into effect. But as new measures were implemented, they were less strict than investors thought, and many sounded a positive note.

Earlier this month, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Christopher Giancarlo, and the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, gave a testimony in front of the Senate Banking Committee on cryptocurrencies. They struck a positive tone, with Giancarlo saying that regulators should have a “thoughtful and balance response, and not a dismissive one.”

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High-level U.S. visits to Taiwan annoy China but did not cross the red line: Eurasoa

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SINGAPORE — Tensions are escalating in the Taiwan Strait and Beijing has been flexing its military might.

While a high-level U.S. State Department official visit to Taiwan last week angered China, it probably didn’t cross any “red line,” said Kelsey Broderick, China analyst at the Eurasia Group.

“Red lines are tricky, the only real red line we know from Beijing for certain is if Taiwan declares formal independence,” Broderick told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” 

“However, anything that assumes or leans toward Taiwan sovereignty is maybe something of an orange line or a yellow line when it comes to China’s relationship with Taiwan.”

U.S. undersecretary of state for economic affairs, Keith Krach, visited Taiwan last week. It was the highest level visit to the island in decades, and came on the heels of another high-profile visit in August by U.S. Health Secretary Alex Azar.

The visits drew protests from China, which considers Taiwan as part of its territory that must one day be reunified with the mainland and therefore, has no right to participate in international diplomacy.

“For China, that was pretty escalatory in their view and something they were responding to. Was it a red line? Probably not,” said Broderick.

Keith Krach (top center), US Undersecretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, gestures after landing at the Sungshan airport in Taipei on September 17, 2020.

Pei Chen | AFP | Getty Images

Taiwan has been building closer relations with the U.S. recently, raising the ire of China.

Last week on Friday and Saturday, Chinese aircraft crossed the mid-line and entered Taiwan’s air defense identification zone, prompting the island to scramble jets to intercept them. Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called China a threat to the entire region. Taiwanese and Chinese combat aircraft typically do not cross the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait and the rule is unofficially observed by both sides.

“If (the visit) was a red line, we’d be seeing more than Chinese flights across the Taiwan median line, we might be seeing potentially missiles or something a little bit more more destabilizing,” said Broderick.

However, with “a lot” of orange lines crossed recently, the question now is: “how many of those cumulatively become a red line?” she added. “And that’s something that really only Beijing at this point knows.”

“The Taiwan region is an inalienable part of China’s territory,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin on Monday, according to an official transcript. He added that the “so-called” mid-line of the Taiwan Strait does not exist.

Washington has no formal diplomatic ties with Taiwan but is the island’s most powerful international backer and largest arms supplier.

Broderick said China’s aggressive stance toward Taiwan present a rising risk that is “concerning and worth watching.”

In the run-up to the U.S. presidential election, Washington may take more action with regard to Taiwan to further anger Beijing amid U.S.-China tensions, said Broderick.

Immediately after the election, even if Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden were to win the election, the Trump administration still has a few months before the new president is sworn in to change the status quo, she noted.

So China’s recent actions are a “warning to the Trump administration and the Tsai administration over what they could possibly do in this time period.”

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TikTok deal splits control between U.S. and Chinese owners

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China economy recovering from Covid-19, says ex-Goldman economist Jim O’Neill

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