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Showing posts with label G-20. Show all posts
Showing posts with label G-20. Show all posts

Russian TV Expresses Bewilderment Over West Transfixed With Identity Politics


“You know, I’m just at a loss, it’s very hard to explain it all”.


An exchange between two speakers on one of Russia’s largest television shows illustrates how people in eastern Europe are completely bewildered by the west’s obsession with identity politics.

The dialogue took place during a discussion on Russia-1, a state owned channel with the second largest viewership in the country.

The host and his guest were talking about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s meeting with outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May at the G20 when the conversation suddenly veered into the bizarre.

“These days in Scotland, a 17-year-old schoolboy was suspended from school for 3 weeks….for saying that there are only two sexes, male and female, there is no in-between,” said the guest, referring to a real story that happened.


“I expected it to provoke a backlash in society, at least somewhere,” he added.
The host then said that he only knew of male and female and asked his guest to provide a description of a third, fourth and fifth sex.

“I just tried to make you feel what’s going on here,” responded the guest.

He then went on to describe a recent story about how staff at London zoo had placed a banner in the penguin enclosure that reads, “some penguins are gay, get over it” (this also actually happened).
“You know, I’m just at a loss, it’s very hard to explain it all,” said the guest as the host looked on bewildered.

“Do gay penguins take offense if somebody mistakes them for straight penguins?” quipped the host.
“Of course, it’s absurd, but it perfectly reflects the insanity in politics,” concluded the guest.
The clip was posted to YouTube by Vesti News under the title ‘Does Theresa May Dislike Putin Because She Believes in 64 Genders and He Doesn’t?’

It’s interesting to note that the discussion almost seemed like it was about the behavior of an alien species on a different planet, not another country on the same continent.

Last month, Vladimir Putin remarked on a similar topic, asserting that liberalism was in its death throws thanks to forced multiculturalism.

“The ruling elites have broken away from the people,” Putin told the Financial Times, adding that the “so-called liberal idea has outlived its purpose” and some western leaders had acknowledged that “multiculturalism” is “no longer tenable”.

https://summit.news/2019/07/09/russian-tv-expresses-bewilderment-over-west-transfixed-with-identity-politics/

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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
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Putin: Immigrants Are Free to ‘Kill, Plunder and Rape’ with Impunity in Europe


Russian President Vladimir Putin says immigrants are allowed to rape, kill and pillage with immunity in the West

Russian President has slammed European leaders for allowing immigrants to “kill, plunder and rape” with impunity.
In an interview with the Financial Times just ahead of the G20 summit, the Russian leader slammed Western leaders’ attempt to destroy ‘traditional family values’ and warned that liberalism was dying:
“[Liberals] cannot simply dictate anything to anyone,” Mr Putin told the newspaper.

Putin added that liberalism conflicted with “the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population,” and criticized Chancellor Angela Merkel for allowing millions of refugees to spill into Germany in 2017.

“This liberal idea presupposes that nothing needs to be done. That migrants can kill, plunder and rape with impunity because their rights as migrants have to be protected.”

Dailymail.co.uk reports: He added: ‘Every crime must have its punishment. The liberal idea has become obsolete. It has come into conflict with the interests of the overwhelming majority of the population.’


The G20 – the countries with the largest and fastest-growing economies – are meeting in Osaka, Japan today and tomorrow and posed for the famous ‘family photo’ of world leaders, including Britain’s Theresa May, China’s Xi Jinping, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Salman and their host, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The leaders of the G20 meet in Osaka, Japan.
The first major meeting was between Donald Trump and the Russia’s leader where the US President hailed their ‘very, very good relationship’ with Russia’s leader, adding: ‘It’s a great honour to be with President Putin’.

An extraordinary moment then followed their handshake as Trump told Putin: ‘Don’t meddle in the election, please,’ with a smile on his face, turning to grin at the Russian leader.

In sharp contrast, Mr Putin faced a far frostier head-to-head with a grim-faced Theresa May as the two shook hands this morning. The Prime Minister is due to demand he takes responsibility for the nerve agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal in Salisbury last year and tell him to hand over the Novichok assassins sent by the Russian state to kill their former agent.

Outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May looks miserable as she poses for photo standing next to Russian President Vladimir Putin
Mr Putin has reserved special praise for Donald Trump for trying to stem the flow of migrants and drugs into the US, just before the men met today.

Vladimir Putin today said British claims that his agents carried out the Salisbury poisoning are ‘not worth five pounds’ – but justified attacks on Russian traitors saying: ‘Treason is the gravest crime possible and must be punished’.

The Russian President will meet Theresa May at the G20 in Russia today where the Prime Minister will demand he admits to the Novichok attack and hand over the two spies sent to kill Sergei Skripal last year.

Related: Putin says liberalism is finished

Mrs May has said her decision to speak to Putin in Osaka is not a return to ‘business as usual’ with Russia, whose leader today sought to laugh off claims he ordered the poisoning.


Mr Putin told the Financial Times: ‘Listen, all this fuss about spies and counterspies, it is not worth serious interstate relations. This spy story, as we say, it is not worth five kopecks. Or even five pounds, for that matter’.

But in a chilling admission about how he believes his country should ‘punish’ like Skripal, who was secretly sharing secrets with the British, he added: ‘Treason is the gravest crime possible and traitors must be punished. I am not saying that the Salisbury incident is the way to do it. But traitors must be punished.’

And in admission that he is willing to take risks to protect his country, he said: ‘He who doesn’t take risks, never drinks Champagne’.

Earlier Putin said Anglo-Russian relations were beginning to improve ahead of his face-to-face meeting with Theresa May at this weekend’s G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.

Relations have been rocky since the UK pointed the finger at the Kremlin for the attempted assassination of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury in March last year.

Mr Putin said: ‘I think Russia and UK are both interested in fully restoring our relations, at least I hope a few preliminary steps will be made.’

But in a chilling admission about how he believes his country should ‘punish’ people like Skripal, who was secretly sharing secrets with the British, he added: ‘Treason is the gravest crime possible and traitors must be punished. I am not saying that the Salisbury incident is the way to do it. But traitors must be punished.’

And in admission that he is willing to take risks to protect his country, he said: ‘He who doesn’t take risks, never drinks Champagne’.

Trump’s critics have accused him of being too friendly with Putin and castigated him for failing to publicly confront the Russian leader in Helsinki over Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

A U.S. special counsel, Robert Mueller, conducted a two-year investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

Related: Putin: Globalism Is The Enemy Of Humanity

Mueller found that Russia did meddle in the election but that the Trump campaign did not illegally conspire with Russia to influence the vote.

In a further attempt to lighten the mood, Trump sought common ground with Putin at the expense of the journalists who had gathered to catch the leaders at the outset of their meeting.

President Donald Trump said it was an ‘honor’ to be meeting with the Russian leader
‘Get rid of them. Fake news is a great term, isn’t it. You don’t have this problem in Russia but we do,’ Trump said.

World leaders kicked off one of their most high-stakes G20 meetings in years Friday, with rows brewing over a bruising US-China trade war and climate change despite a more conciliatory tone from US President Donald Trump.

After lashing out at friend and foe alike en route to Osaka in western Japan for the meeting, Trump appeared in a less combative mood when meeting fellow world leaders face-to-face.

Fresh from describing traditionally close US ally Germany as ‘delinquent’ for not paying enough into the NATO budget, he was effusive when meeting Chancellor Angela Merkel.

‘She’s a fantastic person, a fantastic woman and I’m glad to have her as a friend,’ he said.

Source: https://newspunch.com/putin-immigrants-kill-plunder-rape-impunity-europe/
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Putin: Globalism Is The Enemy Of Humanity


Russian President Vladimir Putin says that liberalism has “outlived its purpose” and that multiculturalism is “no longer tenable”. In an interview with the Financial Times, Putin explained what had caused the rise of the “Trump phenomenon” in the United States as well as the success of right-wing populist parties throughout Europe.



Related: Putin says liberalism is finished
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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.
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