Fighting for Russia against the New World Order.

Showing posts with label China. Show all posts
Showing posts with label China. Show all posts

Ceasefire: US, China Trade Talks "Back On Track" After Trump Folds On Huawei

The "worst case" trade war scenario was avoided in Osaka on Saturday when Trump agreed to restart trade talks with Xi, holding off new tariffs on Chinese exports, and signaling a pause in the trade hostilities between the world’s two largest economies; Trump added that while existing tariffs would remain in place the US president eased restrictions on Huawei as part of what is now the second ceasefire between the two superpowers in two months, removing an immediate threat looming over the global economy even as a lasting peace remains elusive.

"We had a very good meeting with President Xi of China, excellent, I would say excellent, as good as it was going to be," he said. "We discussed a lot of things and we're right back on track and we'll see what happens", Trump told reporters after an 80-minute meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit of leaders of the G-20 major economies in Osaka, western Japan.


President Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping at the start of their bilateral meeting at the G20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan

Trump said while he would not lift existing import tariffs, he would refrain from slapping new levies on an additional $300 billion worth of Chinese goods - which would have effectively extended tariffs to everything China exports to the America.



 “We’re holding back on tariffs and they’re going to buy farm products,” he said vaguely at a news conference, without giving any details of China’s future agricultural product purchases. “If we make a deal, it will be a very historic event.” He gave no timeline for what he called a complex deal but said he was not in a rush. “I want to get it right.”


Whereas Trump and top admin officials alleged that Beijing had reneged on provisions of a tentative trade deal, it was not immediately clear if Xi agreed to return to previous agreements as part of the new truce.

Trump, however, did relent on one of the major sticking points, saying U.S. firms would be allowed to sell components to Huawei, the world’s biggest telecom network gear maker, where there was no national security problem. The president said the U.S. commerce department would meet in the next few days on whether to take it off a list of firms banned from buying components and technology from U.S. companies without government approval.

"I like our companies selling things to other people, so I allowed that to happen," Trump said. “We’re talking about equipment where there’s no great national security problem with it.” In recent months, the Trump administration has been lobbying allies around the world not to buy Huawei equipment, which the U.S. says could be used for Chinese espionage.

Huawei was delighted by the news on its verified Twitter account: “U-turn? Donald Trump suggests he would allow #Huawei to once again purchase U.S. technology!”




Predictably, China also welcomed the step. “If the U.S. does what it says, then of course, we welcome it,” said Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese foreign ministry’s envoy for G20 affairs.

Trump said he had not yet decided how to allow U.S. companies to continue selling to Huawei or whether to remove the tech giant from the Commerce Department’s entity list. He said he would meet with advisors next week to determine how to proceed.

U.S. microchip makers also applauded the move. “We are encouraged the talks are restarting and additional tariffs are on hold and we look forward to getting more detail on the president’s remarks on Huawei,” John Neuffer, president of the U.S. Semiconductor Association, said in a statement. Recently, Broadcom warned of a broad slowdown in demand as a result of Huawei sanctions and slashed its revenue forecast.

And yet, it was not clear how long the exemption would last. Trump said he had agreed with Xi to wait until the very end of trade talks to resolve broader issues around Huawei, including Washington’s lobbying campaign against allies buying its 5G equipment.

“Huawei is a complicated situation,” Trump said. “We’re leaving Huawei toward the end. We’ll see where we go with a trade agreement.”

The concession will likely draw criticism in Washington where national security hawks have urged Trump not to ease any pressure against Huawei. The company has long been the target of concern at the Pentagon and intelligence agencies in part over what the U.S. claims are its close ties to the Chinese military.




In exchange for his Huawei concession, Trump said Xi Jinping had promised to buy “tremendous” amounts of U.S. agricultural products. “We’re going to give them a list of things we’d like them to buy,” Trump said at a news conference following the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan. However, as Bloomberg notes, the first indications the second fragile truce will collapse soon is that the Chinese official media reports said only that the U.S. president hopes China will import more American goods as part of the truce, without an actual confirmation it will do so.

For now, however, the second truce, after a similar ceasefire was announced on December 1 at the Buenos Aires G-20 summit, has been achieved, offering relief from a nearly year-long trade standoff in which the countries have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s imports, disrupting global supply lines, roiling markets and dragging on global economic growth.


In a lengthy statement on the two-way talks, China’s foreign ministry quoted Xi as telling Trump he hoped the United States could treat Chinese companies fairly. On the issues of sovereignty and respect, Xi said that "China must safeguard its core interests."

“China is sincere about continuing negotiations with the United States ... but negotiations should be equal and show mutual respect,” the foreign ministry quoted Xi as saying.

Trump had threatened to extend existing tariffs to almost all Chinese imports into the United States if the meeting brought no progress on wide-ranging U.S. demands for reforms.

The return to the negotiating table ends a six-week stalemate that has unnerved companies and investors, and at least temporarily reduces fears that the world’s two largest economies are headed into a new cold war, which they still are but only after the current stalemate ends allowing the S&P to rise above 3,000 in the the meantime. Because, as Bloomberg notes, it’s unclear how they can overcome differences that led to the collapse of a previous truce reached at the G-20 in November.

* * *

While Trump and Xi were all smiles at their press briefing, the bad blood between the two leaders behind the scenes is clearly still there. Xi spent much of the summit’s first day Friday promising to open up the Chinese economy, and attacking the U.S. (without naming it) for its attack on the global trading system. As Bloomberg reported, Xi took a "not-so-subtle swipe" at Trump’s “America first” trade policy in remarks to African leaders on Friday, warning against “bullying practices” and adding that “any attempt to put one’s own interests first and undermine others’ will not win any popularity.” Xi also called out the U.S. over Huawei and said the G-20 should uphold the “completeness and vitality of global supply chains.”


For now, however, there is optimism.

“Returning to negotiations is good news for the business community and breathes some much needed certainty into a slowly deteriorating relationship,” said Jacob Parker, a vice-president of China operations at the U.S.-China Business Council. But "now comes the hard work of finding consensus on the most difficult issues in the relationship, but with a commitment from the top we’re hopeful this will put the two sides on a sustained path to resolution,” he said.

Others were more skeptical, and warned the pause - just like the first ceasefire - will not last.
“Even if a truce happens this weekend, a subsequent breakdown of talks followed by further escalation still seems likely,” Capital Economics said in a commentary on Friday, quoted by Reuters.
The United States says China has been stealing American intellectual property for years, forces U.S. firms to share trade secrets as a condition for doing business in China, and subsidizes state-owned firms to dominate industries. Meanwhile, China has said the United States is making unreasonable demands and must also make concessions.

The talks collapsed in May after Washington accused Beijing of reneging on reform pledges. Trump raised tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, and China retaliated with levies on U.S. imports.

The U.S.-China feud had cast a pall over the two-day G20 gathering, with leaders pointing to the threat to global growth. In their communique, the leaders warned of growing risks to the world economy but stopped short of denouncing protectionism, calling instead for a free, fair trade environment after talks some members described as difficult.

* * *

Finally, global markets will breathe a sigh of relief on news of the resumption in U.S.-China trade talks, even as an official deal remains elusive, and there is no indication of how the two countries will bridge the most difficult aspect of a feud that has emerged beyond simple trade and now affects most aspects of US and Chinese life.

The flip-side is that with trade talks back on, the Fed will feel far less pressure to ease in July, and since in June stocks exploded higher on hopes that the Fed will cut rates as much as 50bps next month, such a reversal in US-China relations could potentially prevent Powell from capitulating, and leave the Fed on hold, an outcome which would lead to a sharp drop in US capital markets. Indeed, in recent weeks, the S&P has returned to record highs, treasury yields have tumbled to their lowest level in years. The Japanese yen, a traditional beneficiary of flight to quality, has gained, while the U.S. dollar has slipped across the board, including against China’s yuan.

Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-06-29/ceasefire-us-china-trade-talks-back-track-after-trump-concedes-huawei
Share:

Will US Elites Give Détente With Russia a Chance? By Prof. Stephen F. Cohen

The Trump-Putin meeting in Japan is crucial for both leaders—and for the world.


Despite determined attempts in Washington to sabotage such a “summit,” as I reported previously, President Trump and Russian President Putin are still scheduled to meet at the G-20 gathering in Japan this week. Iran will be at the top of their agenda. The Trump administration seems determined to wage cold, possibly even hot, war against the Islamic Republic, while for Moscow, as emphasized by the Kremlin’s national security adviser, Nikolai Patrushev, on June 25, “Iran has been and will be an ally and partner of ours.”

Indeed, the importance of Iran (along with China) to Russia can hardly be overstated. Among other reasons, as the West’s military alliance encroaches ever more along Russia’s western borders, Iran is a large, vital non-NATO neighbor. Still more, Teheran has done nothing to incite Russia’s own millions of Muslim citizens against Moscow. Well before Trump, powerful forces in Washington have long sought to project Iran as America’s primary enemy in the Middle East, but for Moscow it is a necessary “ally and partner.”

In normal political circumstances, Trump and Putin could probably diminish any potential US-Russian conflict over Iran—and the one still brewing in Syria as well. But both leaders come to the summit with related political problems at home. For Trump, they are the unproven but persistent allegations of “Russiagate.” For Putin, they are economic.


As I have also previously explained, while there was fairly traditional “meddling,” there was no “Russian attack” on the 2016 American presidential election. But for many mainstream American commentators, including the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, it is an “obvious truth” and likely to happen again in 2020, adding ominously that Trump is still “cozying up to the chief perpetrator, Russian President Vladimir Putin.” A New York Times columnist goes further, insisting that Russia “helped to throw the election” to Trump. Again, there is no evidence whatsoever for these allegations. Also consider the ongoing assault on Attorney General William Barr, whose current investigation into the origins of “Russiagate” threatens to conclude that the scandal originated not with Russia but with US intelligence agencies under President Obama, in particular with the CIA under John Brennan.

We should therefore not be surprised, despite possible positive national security results of the Trump-Putin summit in Japan, if the US president is again widely accused of “treason,” as he so shamefully was following his meeting with Putin in Helsinki in July 2018, and as I protested at that time. Even the Times’ once-dignified columnist pages thundered, “Trump, Treasonous Traitor” and “Putin’s Lackey,” while senior US senators, Democrat and Republican alike, did much the same.
Putin’s domestic problem, on the other hand, is economic and social. Russia’s annual growth rate is barely 2 percent, real wages are declining, popular protests against officialdom’s historically endemic corruption are on the rise, and Putin’s approval rating, while still high, is declining. A public dispute between two of Putin’s advisers has broken out over what to do. On the one side is Alexei Kudrin, the leading monetarist who has long warned against using billions of dollars in Russia’s “rainy day” funds to spur investment and economic growth. On the other is Sergei Glaziev, a kind of Keynesian, FDR New Dealer who has no less persistently urged investing these funds in new domestic infrastructure that would, he argues, result in rapid economic growth.

During his nearly 20 years as Kremlin leader, Putin has generally sided with the “rainy day” monetarists. But on June 20, during his annual television call-in event, he suddenly, and elliptically, remarked that even Kudrin “has been drifting towards” Glaziev. Not surprisingly, many Russian commentators think this means that Putin himself is now “leaning toward Glaziev.” If so, it is another reason why Putin has no interest in waging cold war with the United States—why he wants instead, indeed even needs, a historic, long-term détente.

It seems unlikely that President Trump or any of the advisers currently around him understand this important struggle—and it is a struggle—unfolding in the Russian policy elite. But if Trump wants a major détente (or “cooperation,” as he has termed it) with Russia, anyone who cares about international security and about the well-being of the Russian people should support him in this pursuit. Especially at this moment, when we are told by the director of the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research that “the risks of the use of nuclear weapons…are higher now than at any time since World War Two.”

This commentary is based on Stephen F. Cohen’s most recent weekly discussion with the host of The John Batchelor Show. Now in their sixth year, previous installments are at TheNation.com.

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his new book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition.
Share:

RUSSIA SURPASSES CHINA IN GOLD HOLDINGS


The Central Bank of Russia reported purchasing 8.5 million troy ounces of gold in January-November 2018. With its 67.6 million ounces of gold Russia is now the world's fifth largest holder behind the US, Germany, France and Italy.
China dropped to sixth place as it reported an increase in gold reserves just once in more than two years – to 59.6 million ounces in December 2018 from 59.2 million ounces in October 2016.
Industry sources told Reuters that Western sanctions against Russia lifted the country’s gold buying to record highs in 2018. One of the reasons Russia's Central Bank was betting on the yellow metal was because it could not be frozen or blacklisted, sources explained.
“It seems that there is an aim to diversify from American assets,” said a source in one of Russia’s gold producers, referring to the Central Bank's holdings.
While purchases of the precious metal by Russia jumped last year the country continued getting rid of US Treasury securities.
Earlier this month, Russia’s Central Bank reported that it cut the share of the US dollar in the country’s foreign reserves to a historic low, transferring nearly $100 billion into the euro, the Japanese yen and the Chinese yuan. The step came as a part of a broader state policy on eliminating reliance on the greenback.
According to sources, the Central Bank has been purchasing a significant portion of Russia's domestic gold production, which is also rising.
The world's third largest gold producer, Russia boosted its 2017 gold output by six percent. Data from Russia's Finance Ministry showed the country produced 8.5 million ounces (265 tons of gold) in January-October 2018. The Russian gold mining sector has nearly doubled its volume of extraction over the last two decades.
Share:

The EU Votes for the Installation of New US Missiles in Europe


Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled “Evil Defeated by Good”, representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987, which banned land-based short- and mid-range nuclear missiles (a reach of between 500 and 5,000 km). Symbolically, the body of the dragon is in fact made with pieces of US Pershing-2 ballistic missiles (originally based in West Germany) and Soviet SS-20 missiles (originally based in the USSR).
But the nuclear dragon, which in the sculpture is shown as dying, is now being reborn. Thanks to Italy and other countries of the European Union, which, at the United Nations General Assembly, voted against the resolution presented by Russia on the “Preservation and Implementation of the INF Treaty”, rejected by 46 to 43 with 78 abstentions.
The European Union – of which 21 of its 27 members are part of NATO (including the United Kingdom, which is currently leaving the EU) – has thus taken a uniform stance with the position of NATO, which in turn has taken a uniform stance with that of the United States.


Source: PandoraTV
The Obama administration first, followed by the Trump administration, have accused Russia, without any proof, of experimenting with a missile from the forbidden category, and have announced their intention of withdrawing from the INF Treaty. At the same time, they have launched a programme aimed at renewing the installation of nuclear missiles in Europe to guard against Russia, while others will also be based in the Asia-Pacific region against China.
The Russian representative at the UN has warned that “this constitutes the beginning of a full-blown arms race”. In other words, he warned that if the United States should once again install in Europe nuclear missiles pointed at Russia (as were the Cruise missiles based in Comiso in the 1980’s), Russia would once again install, on its own territory, similar weapons pointed at targets in Europe (but which would be unable to reach the USA).
Ignoring all that, the EU representative at the UNO accused Russia of sabotaging the INF Treaty, and announced the opposition vote by all the countries of the Union because “the resolution presented by Russia avoids the question under discussion”.
Essentially, therefore, the European Union has given the green light to the possible installation of new US missiles in Europe, including Italy.
On a question of this importance, the Conte government, like its predecessors, has abandoned the exercise of national sovereignty and aligned itself with the EU, which, has in turn adopted the position of NATO, under US command. And across the entire political arc, not one voice has been raised to request that it should be the Parliament which decides how to vote at the UNO. And similarly, no voice has been raised in Parliament to request that Italy observe the Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires that the USA must withdraw its B61 nuclear bombs from our national territory, and must also abstain from installing here, as from the first half of 2020, the new and even more dangerous B61-12’s.
So this is a new violation of the fundamental constitutional principle that “sovereignty belongs to the people”. And since the politico-media apparatus swaddles Italians in the ignorance of these questions of such vital importance, it is also a violation of our right to information, not only in the sense of the freedom to inform, but also the right to be informed.
We must do this now, or else tomorrow there will be no time to decide – a mid-range ballistic missile can reach and destroy its target with its nuclear warhead in between 6 and 11 minutes.
Share:

Russia’s trade with China surges to more than $107 billion

© Sputnik / Vitaliy Belousov
Trade turnover between Russia and China soared by nearly 30 percent in 2018, reaching a record number of $107.06 billion, according to the latest report released by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC).
The agency noted that last year Russian imports of Chinese goods increased by 12 percent to $47.98 billion. At the same time, China’s imports from Russia grew by 42.7 percent, reaching $59.08 billion. In December alone, the volume of trade between the neighboring countries reportedly totaled $9.8 billion.
Russia-China trade turnover has grown significantly over recent years. In 2017, mutual trade amounted to $84.07 billion demonstrating a growth of 20.8 percent. In 2016, the trade turnover grew by 2.2 percent in annual terms to $69.52 billion.
Russia became China’s number one partner when it comes to trade growth dynamics, according to the GAC spokesman Li Kuiwen. The spokesman added that China had mostly exported electromechanical goods to Russia, while purchased oil, coal, and wood.
Last week, the Chinese commerce ministry said that mutual trade between the countries in December reached $100 billion for the first time ever. Russia is currently ranked as China’s tenth biggest trade partner. Beijing remained a major importer of Russian produce, accounting for 15 percent of the country’s international trade as of 2017.
Share:

‘Best New Year’s gift to Russia’: Putin boasts successful test of Avangard hypersonic glider

CGI showing deployment of an Avangard glider by Russian Defense Ministry

The Russian defense ministry has conducted the final successful test of the Avangard hypersonic glider before its entry into service, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced. The weapon will be deployed in 2019, he added.
Related: [Video] Russian Nukes: A Warning To Globalists
A hypersonic glider is a special type of a warhead, which can fly through the atmosphere at a high speed. This extends the range of a missile, potentially increases accuracy and makes defending against it harder through unexpected maneuvers. But prolonged controlled flight requires special protection of the glider from heat and shock produced at hypersonic speeds. China, the US and Russia are considered the most advanced nations in the relevant technologies, and Moscow claims it is winning the race with the Avangard project.

“The test was finished just now in a complete success,” Putin told the cabinet on Wednesday. “All its specifications were confirmed.”
The president said the first regiment armed with missiles carrying Avangard gliders will be deployed in Russia next year.
"It’s a big event for the armed forces, and probably for the entire country. Russia has a new kind of strategic weapons."
In a separate statement, the Kremlin said that the Avangard glider tested on Wednesday was fired from the Dombarovsky site in southern Russia and targeted the test range in Kura in the Kamchatka Peninsula. The glider performed vertical and horizontal maneuvers in flight and accurately hit its intended target at a range, the statement said.

Avangard is one of five advanced weapon systems, which Putin presented in March this year as Russia’s response to the development by the US of anti-ballistic missile systems. Washington insists that its global ABM shield is meant to protect it and its allies from states like Iran and North Korea. Moscow believes it to be deception and sees the American effort as an attempt to undermine Russia’s nuclear deterrence.
The glider allows attacking targets that would normally be protected from a traditional ballistic missile warhead. It can take a course around land sites and warships with anti-ballistic missile capabilities or rely on its speed and maneuverability to avoid interception.
The project remains highly classified and even the appearance of the glider was not shown to the public. The video of the test released by the defense ministry showed only the launch of the carrier vehicle, but not the deployment of the glider, it’s flight or the moment it hit the target. According to Moscow’s statements’ Avangard can travel at the speed of over 20 Mach and its composite material hull withstands temperatures of up to 2,000 Celsius. The weapon is believed to be impossible to counter by any ABM systems for decades to come.

Share:

EUROPE SHOULD BECOME AN “EMPIRE” SAYS FRENCH FINANCE MINISTER

France’s finance minister has called on Europe to become an “empire” so that it can better compete with the United States and China.
Asserting that “it takes courage to stand in the way of the government” of Donald Trump, Bruno Le Maire told Handelsblatt newspaper that, “Europe should no longer be afraid of using its power and [become] an empire of peace.”
“I’m talking about a peaceful empire which is a constitutional state,” he added.
Le Maire’s statement follows French President Macron’s call for a “real European army” to counter Russian threats and reduce dependence on the U.S.
During yesterday’s Armistice centenary in Paris, Macron also urged world leaders to reject nationalism, claiming it represented a “betrayal of patriotism”.
Given the internal situation in France, it might be advisable for Le Maire and Macron to focus on their own country’s problems.
In an interview published last month, the country’s former Interior Minister warned that mass immigration could bring societal breakdown within five years.
“Communities in France are engaging in conflict with one another more and more and it’s becoming very violent,” said Gérard Collomb, agreeing with the interviewer that some form of societal breakdown like partition or secession was a major concern.
“How much time do we have before it’s too late?” the interviewer asked Collomb, to which he replied, “I don’t want to create fear, but I think there’s very little time left….It’s difficult to estimate, but I would say that within five years the situation could become irreversible. Yes, we have five, six years to avoid the worst.”
President Macron’s failure to deal with Islamic extremism and tensions caused by dislocated communities of migrants has contributed to his approval rating continuing to plummet.
poll published at the end of last month found that Macron’s approval had dropped a further 4 percentage points to just 26 per cent.

Share:

Not finding itself on Iran exemption list, Europe vows to defy US sanctions

© Global Look Press / Christian Ohde

European countries have vowed to maintain “effective financial channels” and to keep trading with Tehran after the US announced that the EU is not among those spared from its sweeping sanctions against Iran.
European countries suddenly discovered that they were not on the list of the ‘lucky ones’ that their ally, the US, decided to exempt from the new wave of all-encompassing sanctions it plans to unleash on Iran. The sanctions, targeting Iran’s shipping, finance and energy sectors, which come into force on November 5, are also designed to punish those countries that dared to do business with the Islamic Republic in defiance of the US pressure.
Only eight nations were graciously granted exemptions by the US, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. However, Pompeo made it clear that the EU as a single entity is not on the list, sparking an angry reaction from the US’ western allies. Washington also specifically mentioned that it plans to target the special mechanism the EU has been creating to circumvent the restrictions, prompting its allies to fight back.
In response, the EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, together with the foreign and finance ministers of Germany, France and the UK, vowed to maintain “effective financial channels with Iran” and in particular to continue buying the Islamic Republic’s oil and gas.
They also said that despite Washington’s pressure the EU is still committed to establishing a “Special Purpose Vehicle” for Iran-EU trade. The European nations will seek to protect its companies engaged in “legitimate business with Iran,” the statement said, adding that the EU will cooperate with Russia and China in particular to achieve these goals.

Since its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, the US has been pursuing a policy of “maximum pressure” on Tehran, vowing to bring its oil exports to ‘zero’, much to the dismay of the European countries, which praise the agreement as “a key element of the global nuclear non-proliferation architecture” and have re-affirmed their commitment to the deal.

Washington, meanwhile, seems to be ready to stop at nothing to force Tehran to bow to its wishes, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin even threatening sanctions against the international service SWIFT, if it refuses to block Iran’s transactions.

Source: https://www.rt.com/news/443006-europe-iran-us-sanctions/
Share:

China Secretly Placing Military Scientists in Western Universities – Report


 China is reportedly enrolling military scientists into western universities to gain intel on areas like “hypersonic missiles and navigation technology.”

The nation’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) came up with the moniker “Five Eyes countries” to denote the preferred targets for infiltration (America, U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand), according to a new report released by a think tank tied to Australia’s defense ministry.

“Dozens of PLA scientists have obscured their military affiliations to travel to Five Eyes countries and the European Union, including at least 17 to Australia, where they work in areas such as hypersonic missiles and navigation technology,” reads the official report. “Those countries don’t count China as a security ally but rather treat it as one of their main intelligence adversaries.”

Additionally, the groundbreaking report details how the PLA has inserted thousands worldwide over the past decade as “students or visiting scholars” while continuously augmenting their findings as peer-reviewed literature in “strategic and emerging technology sectors.”

“The PLA has sponsored more than 2,500 military scientists and engineers to study abroad and has developed relationships with researchers and institutions across the globe,” reports the think tank. “Those scientists work in strategic and emerging technology sectors such as quantum physics, signal processing, cryptography, navigation technology and autonomous vehicles.”

Moreover, a PLA outlet bluntly describes the intelligence campaign as “picking flowers in foreign lands to make honey in China.”

Correspondingly, China has pursued other continents for different reasons, specifically Africa, to such a degree that it has been accused of engaging in a “new colonialism” and even “debt trap” diplomacy due to the host countries becoming deeply indebted to Chinese lenders.

For example, in early September, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged $60 billion to African leaders with “no political strings attached” to expand China’s “Belt and Road” initiative (BRI) to build ports and other infrastructure.

BRI could prove to be lucrative for China as the infrastructure projects will be financed by loans from China’s state-owned banks while being built by Chinese contractors.

Alternatively, African leaders are historically keen to accept Chinese offers because they “come without demands for safeguards against corruption, waste, and environmental damage.”


Source: https://www.infowars.com/china-secretly-placing-military-scientists-in-western-universities-report/
Share:

US Places 33 Alleged Russian Spies And Military Officials On Sanctions Blacklist

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has authorized the addition of 33 alleged Russian spies, defense and intelligence officials to the US sanctions list. The blacklisting took place following an executive order from President Trump authorizing Steven Mnuchin, in consultation with Pompeo, to employ all powers granted to the President "by IEEPA and certain CATSAA sections" for implementation of certain sanctions with respect to Russia.



A White House official said the new measures were aimed at "imposing costs on Russia in response to its malign activities."

Washington has also imposed new sanctions on a Chinese military unit over the purchase of Russian jets and missiles.The Chinese sanctions are to come into effect immediately.

Trump has been criticized by Congress for not using his legal powers to target Russia’s defense industry and gas export pipelines, and with the Mueller probe still continuing, Trump has been eager to show an "unfriendly" side to Putin in advance of the probe's release.

Unlike other occasions, which saw the ruble slide on any incremental sanctions or blacklist news, today the ruble - following the lead from the rest of the EM space - is trading stronger on the day, and is the third best performing currency of the week. Earlier in the day, the First Deputy Governor of the Russian Central Bank, Ksenia Yudaeva, said that even if FX drop, the central bank will stick to its recent promise of not engaging in FX purchases by the end of the year which is why the Ruble may have more upside to go, even as Russian stocks hit a new all time high.


Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-20/us-places-33-alleged-russian-spies-and-military-officials-sanctions-blacklist
Share:

Taxing and Tracking the Independent Media: Censorship and Control


One of the most heinous things about taxes is that they support the very “organs” (to quote a Soviet-era term) of government that crush the people…even further. The taxes are weapons used by the authorities…and all authority comes from the barrel of a gun (to paraphrase Mao). The taxes are used to corral in the masses and keep them upon a continuous treadmill that sustains the system…the very system that exploits and enslaves the citizens.

The most heinous of all is the “death tax” of 50% to the government after you die. If you made a million in money and property at the end of your existence…paying taxes on it all the way…the original income taxes on the money you made, and then the interest income tax on what you made from your investments. You have property taxes on your house. You are (depending on your state) levied taxes on ad valorem, or state income taxes, or community (city, town) taxes. You are taxed on gifts you give to your children. You are taxed when you begin a business.

Many states have “ingenious” (mostly insidious) means of exploiting the populace and terming it a “tax,” per se.  Maryland has a great one they instituted a few years ago: the rainwater tax…to actually estimate the amount of rainfall off of a person’s roof/property, and place it under “management” of the state….yes, taxed on the amount of rain falling on you. Cigarette taxes, liquor taxes…the list is endless.

Related: [Video] Infowars Full Show - FBI Corruption, Kavanaugh Accuser To Testify, Free Alex Jones Rally On Saturday - Sept 19, 2018

Taxes never decrease: they may present the illusion of decreasing in one category, but they always rise, and rise with the prices of things. Go to this site. They’re not hiding anything, and they’ll come out and tell you what they’re going to take from you. The site is put out by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (the EIA), and the address is here: EIA.gov

You can find state-by-state fuel taxes (on average 28 cents per gallon), and the federal taxes of 18.3 cents per gallon…for a total of about 47 cents per gallon. Yeah, isn’t that grand?

Taxes (by their reporting and declaration) also give the government more control and information about how you live, what you do. Taxes are used now in an even more sinister manner, beginning with the EU (European Union).  Yes, all of those “happy” messages you see on your e-mails are harbingers of things to come. On 09/12/2018, Planet Free Will published an article entitled Catastrophic: EU Passes Copyright Directive Including Internet ‘Link Tax’ and ‘Upload Filter.” 

Here’s an excerpt:
“The European Parliament has passed a controversial copyright directive that contains provisions which force tech giants to install content filters and sets in place a potential tax on hyperlinking. The bill was passed in a final vote of 438 – 226 and will need to be implemented by individual EU member states.  …two key provisions: Articles 11 and 13, which [have been] dubbed the “link tax” and “upload filter.”  Article 11 is intended to give publishers and papers a way to make money when companies like Google link to their stories, allowing them to demand paid licenses. Article 13 requires certain platforms like YouTube and Facebook stop users sharing unlicensed copyrighted material.”
The bottom line on this: the government(s) would set in place bureaucratic agents to scan every page that is uploaded to a site…superficially to “protect the sacred copyrights,” but in reality, it is a way to accomplish monitoring and censorship of everything that passes across their scanners.

They have to institute stuff such as that to completely quell the independent media and stop any “non-certified, non-accredited (State-approved) journalists and news sites. In addition, they’ll levy taxes on it. Once again, the vicious cycle: pay your taxes or the Euro-Swat team comes in with MP-5’s, huffs, puffs, and blows down your house. Pay the taxes…and you’ll then fund their budgets for increased Draconian measures. Let’s not forget: ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and the Obama giveaway of the Internet to the Chinese.

Measure after measure comes into play. Little by little, in the name of taxes and the protection of rights, governments are instituting even more intrusive measures into privacy and exploiting their populaces…generating more wealth and power for themselves and more control over the life of the average person. There is no more objective, grassroots reporting or news within the mainstream media. The only material that is not AP and State-approved comes from outlets of the independent media.

Keep this in mind: back in the days of the USSR, you would be either killed or sent to a Gulag for possessing either a Xerox/mimeograph machine or a typewriter. Do you know why that was? It was because they did not want any communication among the people in the form of underground newspapers, memos, letters, or any venue not under State control. We’re heading in that direction now. First the taxes, to force our  submission while simultaneously funding their oppression. Then the isolation and identification of non-State-approved reporters. Then the inevitable shutdowns, confiscations of computers and news media venues, arrests, and worse.

The best way to accomplish that is to overwhelm the people with laws and gendarmes/jackboots to enforce them.  History teaches us, and it repeats itself in one way, shape, or form. Nothing new under the sun, and the assault on freedom of the press is not just in the U.S., but is worldwide. Better plead the 5th Amendment, since you can’t use the 1st Amendment anymore. Keep these words in mind from the Declaration of Independence on abuse of power:
“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
Happening in Europe and coming to our shores soon: the complete destruction of the independent media, and the creation of “Pravda and Isvestia” News outlets controlled entirely by the State.

Source: http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/taxing-and-tracking-the-independent-media-censorship-and-control_09182018
Share:

Trump To Make "China Trade Announcement" After Market Close

There will be no more delaying the announcement of the $200BN in China tariffs.

Moments ago, Trump said that the "China Trade Announcement" which likely refers to the $200BN in second round tariffs, will come after the market close, perhaps so that stocks - which arguably can no longer discount the future - won't be impacted?
  • TRUMP SAYS CHINA TRADE ANNOUNCEMENT COMING AFTER MARKET CLOSE
It is unclear if the tariffs will carry a 10% or 25% tax, although according to the latest reports it will be the former, and potentially increase if China still refuses to "fold" to Trump demands.
What happens next? First, visually this is what the trade war with China will look like after today:

As a reminder, the list of the first $50bn in tariffs contained 1,333 tariff lines of products. It was based on "extensive interagency economic analysis", and would "target products that benefit from China’s industrial plans", such as Made in China 2025, while "minimizing the impact on the U.S. economy". The second $200bn list share the same considerations on US economy and consumers, though China's industrial policy was no longer a focus. All finalized lists also took into account public comments received.

So far the US has carefully avoided consumer and China dependent products. As a result, the trade war so far has had little impact on US economy and consumers.
But this will change as the tariff list expands to by another 200bn.

Within the currently proposed 200bn list, about 78bn are consumer products (Figure 7). These include different types furniture (24bn), travel bags(2.2bn), vacuum cleaners (1.8bn), vinyl flooring(1.7bn), window/wall air conditioners (1.3bn), etc. Similarly, reliance on China increases sharply for the 200bn products in tariff pipeline. China import shares are above 20% for most of the products, and for about half of them, China's share are more than 50% (Figure 8).

Furthermore, many of the consumer products subject to tariff also happen to have very high China import share. China's import share is about 93% for air conditioners, 78% for vacuum cleaners, and 60-90% for various types of furniture. Therefore, we believe each dollar of tariff imposed on this 200bn list is a lot more painful for the US than one dollar of tariff imposed on the first 50bn list.
Not surprisingly, US domestic resistance on the latest $200bn list appeared stronger than before. The majority of the  industry representatives were against it during the six-day public hearing. Will the US be able to accommodate their complaints by exempting these products and finding other products to tariff instead?

In other words, while so far US consumers - and capital markets - have been spared from the tit-for-tat escalation, once Trump greenlights the next round of $200BN in tariffs, US purchasers of cheap Chinese imports will find them not so cheap anymore, hitting not only the pocket book of the US consumer, but also downstream corporations who will see their profit margins shrink rapidly, and which also explains the recent panic in various Fed and private sector surveys about the growing threat of ever greater tariffs.

* * *
Trump's action also means that trade talks with China scheduled for later this week will be canceled, and all eyes will be on how China retaliates. Recall that as the WSJ reported last night, Chinese officials involved in advising the leadership are proposing to step up the trade fight a notch by restricting China’s sales of materials, equipment and other parts key to U.S. manufacturers’ supply chain.

While the announcement is not news, as the market had plently of warnings, the Nasdaq has slumped to session lows with both the Dow and the S&P following lower:
Source: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-17/trump-make-china-trade-announcement-after-market-close
Share:

[Video] Partitioning of Syria is drawing China into the theater of war


The law of unintended consequences has forced China’s hand in Syria.

As the battle for Idlib draws near, China is set to fight Al Qaeda trained Uyghur jihadists in Syria in order to help the Syrian government retake their territory, preventing those very jihadist terrorists from returning to Xinjiang province and sewing the seeds of partition in China.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst, from Moscow, Mark Sleboda discuss how the American plan to partition Syria has pressured China to take part in an already crowded and complicated conflict.


After Syria’s partition, will Xinjiang be destabilized?” Authored by Christina Lin via Asia Times…
The US policy of permanently balkanizing Syria appears to be a foregone conclusion, even as the Syrian Arab Army and Russian forces proceed with their last major counter-terrorism operation in Idlib.
According to Wolfgang Mühlberger, senior fellow for EU-Mideast relations at the Finnish Institute for International Affairs, “Idlib is the very Arab Kandahar with potentially more than 100,000 experienced, battle-hardened Sunni jihadi fighters hiding between the civilians.”
This high number is due to the amalgamation of all the militants from de-confliction zones or reconquered battle zones (e.g., Aleppo, Ghouta, Deraa, etc.) throughout Syria that have been shipped to Idlib over the past couple of years, as well as remnants of the Free Syrian Army.
However, despite Washington acknowledging that the governorate is an Al Qaeda safe haven for militants from over 100 countries, the tripartite powers of the UK, US and France are now asking Germany to join planned airstrikes against Syria – as soon as President Bashar al-Assad gives them the green light by using chemical weapons.
It is not entirely clear why the US believes the Syrian president would deliberately provoke western airstrikes on Syrian forces when they are on a winning streak in their war with the terrorists, but it does seem apparent that Washington intends to prevent Syria from regaining sovereignty over Idlib.
As discussed in a previous Asia Times article, RAND Corporation drew up a Syria partition plan wherein the US would occupy the northeast, Turkey the northwest, Russia and Iran the coastal area and large parts of the Syrian desert, and Israel and Jordan the southwest.
The US zone would contain oil fields where 90% of Syria’s pre-war oil production took place, while Israel would control the newly discovered oil reserves in the Golan Heights. Turkey’s control of Idlib as a safe haven for militants would put continued pressure on the Syrian government, and a balkanized Syria would be weak and less likely to provide a viable base for Iran and Hezbollah to attack Israel.
However, the partition of Idlib as a jihadi sanctuary has important implications for another actor – China. Back in August, there were reports that Beijing would participate in the Battle for Idlib due to the presence of Chinese Uyghur jihadi colonies. If Turkey controls Idlib, China fears Ankara and the West would exploit Uyghur militants as proxies to destabilize Xinjiang.

Idlib proxies to destabilize Xinjiang?

There are historical reasons for this concern, given that the CIA tried to destabilize Xinjiang and supported separatists in Tibet during the Cold War. As Israeli sinologist Yizhak Shichor pointed out, in the 1950s Washington tried to exploit Muslim grievances against China and the Soviet Union, by attempting to form a Middle Eastern Islamic pact to organize fifth columns in these countries.
Brian Fishman, a counter-terrorism expert at the New America Foundation, also noted that in the 1990s Osama Bin Laden accused the US and CIA of inciting conflict between Chinese and Muslims. After a series of 1997 bombings in Xinjiang that Beijing ascribes to Uyghur separatists, bin Laden blamed the CIA in an interview, saying, “The United States wants to incite conflict between China and the Muslims. The Muslims of Xinjiang are blamed for the bomb blasts in Beijing. But I think these explosions were sponsored by the American CIA.”
Interestingly at the time, Al Qaeda had its eyes on the West and largely ignored Uyghur separatism as a Chinese domestic issue. But as Fishman assessed, over time the transnational problem of al Qaeda and its allies, and the increasing prominence of Uyghurs in jihadi propaganda, meant that China could no longer avoid them.
Indeed, given that the 2016 bombing of the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyzstan was a joint operation between Al Nusra and its Uyghur affiliate Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP); the continual supply of advanced weaponry and tacit Western support for TIP due to its intermingling with the “rebel” opposition; professional military training by the private security company Malhama Tactical to improve TIP’s warfighting capabilities; and TIPs ultimate goal to attack China, James Dorsey at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore argued that Beijing mulling military intervention in Idlib underscores the gravity of this threat to China’s core interests.
Currently, China seems to be steering clear of direct military involvement and instead relies on Syria and Russia, but it would be concerned should Western powers block Damascus and Moscow’s campaign to reclaim Idlib and continue to partition a safe zone for Uyghur militants.
Moreover, as Jacob Zenn from the Jamestown Foundation pointed out, China is also concerned by “the prospect of re-shaping the borders in the Middle East that could lead to new conceptions of sovereignty and statehood – not only in the region but elsewhere throughout the Islamic world, including Central Asia and Xinjiang.’

Xinjiang at heart of Belt and Road Initiative

Now it appears that a Western united front is emerging to confront China on human rights issues, using various tools of media coverage, economic sanctions, political activism by NGOs and think tanks to internationalize the Uyghur issue in Xinjiang. 
Similar to Israel’s dilemma over the internationalization of the Palestinian issue, China is bracing itself for a destabilization campaign and possible call for secession and partition of the province from Chinese sovereignty.
This perception is due to US backing of the Munich-based World Uyghur Congress, which aspires to revert Xinjiang to an independent East Turkistan. The first president of the Congress was Erkin Alptekin, son of Isa Alptekin, who headed the short-lived First East Turkestan Republic in Kashgar (November 12, 1933 to February 6, 1934), and also served as an advisor to the CIA while working at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty in Munich.
The Alptekin family and Xinjiang secession enjoy strong support from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who while being mayor of Istanbul in 1995, named a section of the Blue Mosque park after Isa Alptekin and built a memorial to commemorate Eastern Turkistani martyrs who lost their lives in the “struggle for independence.”
Given resource-rich Xinjiang is at the heart of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), destabilizing the province would not only spoil the plan for Eurasian integration and development, but also weaken China’s economy by cutting off its overland energy supply from Central Asia and the Middle East, hamper its market access, and keep Beijing bogged down in an ethnoreligious conflict.
While this may augment current Washington’s trade war against the Middle Kingdom and weaken the Pentagon’s “peer competitor,” by deliberately stoking Chinese fears about Xinjiang destabilization and increasing radicalization, thereby egging Beijing to clamp down on Uyghurs, is in effect exploiting the ethnic Uyghur’s plight for narrow geopolitical agenda.
And as Yizhack Shichor perceived, “Vocal criticism of China related to its Uyghur persecution comes primarily, in fact almost entirely from outside the Middle East, from Western non-Muslim countries…[which] may have little do to with loving the Uyghurs, and much more to do with opposing China.”
 Source: http://theduran.com/partitioning-of-syria-is-drawing-china-into-the-theater-of-war-video/
Share: