CHINA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


CHINA

Jan 16 12:37

China’s Annual Trade Surplus With U.S. Hits Record Despite Trump’s Tariff Offensive

China’s trade surplus with the U.S. hit a record last year, as robust American demand for Chinese goods undercut the Trump administration’s tariff offensive aimed at narrowing the countries’ lopsided trade gap.

Jan 16 12:36

Chinese investment in US plunges 83% amid simmering trade war

Chinese investments in North America and Europe fell by 73 percent last year as a result of tightened US scrutiny of foreign takeover deals and Beijing’s restrictions on outbound investments.

Data from law firm Baker & McKenzie showed that Chinese foreign direct investment (FDI) flows into the United States have also turned negative, falling to the lowest in seven years. Chinese investments in the US fell by 83 percent, while growing by 80 percent in Canada.

Last year, Chinese companies completed just $4.8 billion in new business acquisitions and investments in the US, down 84 percent from $29 billion in 2017 and 90 percent from $46 billion in 2016.

Jan 16 12:36

B-2 Bombers to Hawaii: Why This Should Be China's Nightmare

With China rising to become an ever greater threat to American dominance in the Pacific , the United States Air Force has started to rotate its premier long-range strike assets to the region as a counter to Beijing’s increasing belligerence.

Earlier this year, the Air Force deployed three Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit stealth bombers to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii in order to demonstrate America’s ability to hold any target on Earth at risk—including deep inside Chinese airspace.

Jan 16 12:35

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

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.

Jan 16 11:42

'At any cost': China warns US Navy over Taiwan

A senior Chinese military official warned the US Navy Tuesday against any "interference" in support of Taiwan's independence, saying that Beijing would defend its claim to the island "at any cost".

General Li Zuocheng, a member of the Central Military Commission, made the remarks during a meeting in Beijing with Admiral John Richardson, the chief of US naval operations.

China sees Taiwan as part of its territory to be reunified, despite the two sides being ruled separately since they split in 1949 after a civil war won by Mao Zedong's communists.

The self-ruled island has its own currency, flag and government, but is not recognised as an independent state by the UN.

Beijing has said it will not hesitate to use force if Taipei formally declares independence, or in the case of external intervention -- including by the United States, the island's most powerful unofficial ally.

Jan 16 11:41

China Asks State Firms to Avoid Travel to U.S. and Its Allies

China asked some state-run enterprises to avoid business trips to the U.S. and its allies and to take extra precautions to protect their devices if they need to travel, according to people familiar with the request.

In recent weeks, the State-Owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission -- a regulatory body that oversees about 100 government-run companies -- has told some firms to only take secure, company-issued laptops meant for overseas use if traveling is necessary, the people said. They said the warning extended to the other countries in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing pact: the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Jan 16 11:41

China's Undergound "Great Wall" Missile Defense System Can Block Hypersonic Attacks

China has created a vast underground defense complex capable of intercepting hypersonic missiles which can defeat conventional missile defenses, according to a scientist who has worked on the system and received China's highest science and technology award last week.

Speaking with The Global Times, Qian Qihu, 82, said that China's "Underground Steel Great Wall" could "guarantee the security of the country's strategic arsenal" against attacks - including those from hypersonic weapons.

The "Underground Steel Great Wall" is a series of defense facilities located deep under mountains. While the mountain rock is thick enough to resist enemy attacks, entrances and exits of these facilities are often vulnerable and Qian's work was to provide extra protection for these parts. -The Global Times

Jan 16 11:33

Ottawa Asks Beijing for Clemency for Canadian Citizen Sentenced to Death Penalty

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg was handed the death penalty on Monday after appealing a 15-year jail term he was given in 2016. Canada has accused China of arbitrarily applying the capital punishment.

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Tuesday that Ottawa had officially asked Beijing to spare the life of its citizen.

"We have already spoken with China’s ambassador to Canada and requested clemency", Freeland told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday. Freeland stressed she had a "very emotional conversation" with the man’s father on Monday. She urged all Canadians going to China to consider the associated risks.

Jan 16 10:39

China’s Ambassador to Canada Exposes the White Supremacist Five Eyes Surveillance State

In a January 9, 2019 op-ed in Ottawa’s Hill Times, China’s Ambassador to Canada, Lu Shaye did what no other mainstream media outlet has been willing to do since the untimely arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou occurred while she was boarding a plane in Vancouver on December 1st. Much dispute has arisen over the arrest and China’s response with its own arrest of two Canadians suspected of espionage in Beijing.

Jan 16 09:52

Greece Fined €200MM Over Chinese Tax Fraud Network

While president Trump is cracking down on Chinese technology theft "transfer" in the US, with Canada somehow caught in the middle of the ongoing crossfire (as random Canadians are now getting arrested on the mainland in retaliation for Trump's aggressive practices), it has emerged that China's Belt and Road initiative may be nothing more than one giant, global tax fraud/trade laundering operation.

Take Greece for example, where the European Union’s Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) just issued a fine of more than 200 million euros to Greece for failing to stop a wide-scale tax fraud by Chinese criminal gangs importing ultra-cheap goods through the country’s largest port of Piraeus, Politico reported on Monday.

Jan 16 06:26

Orwellian

Jan 16 04:48

US and Britain conduct first joint drill in South China Sea

USS McCampbell and HMS Argyll join forces as US seeks to push back against China’s claims to disputed waters

The United States and Britain have conducted their first joint naval drills in the South China Sea, as Washington seeks support from its allies in challenging Beijing’s claims to the disputed waters.

US Navy guided missile destroyer USS McCampbell and Royal Navy frigate HMS Argyll conducted operations together in the South China Sea from Friday last week until Wednesday, the two countries said.

The US said the two vessels had practised communication drills, division tactics, and a personnel exchange designed to address common maritime security priorities and enhance interoperability

>>>

Jan 15 10:02

IN RETALIATORY TRAVEL ADVISORY, CHINA WARNS OF "ARBITRARY DETENTION" IN CANADA

One day after the Canadian government finally caved in to demands from conservative lawmakers and issued a travel advisory warning its citizens about the "arbitrary enforcement of laws" on the mainland - a warning that was apparently prompted by a local court handing down a death sentence to a Canadian citizen convicted of trafficking drugs - China has hit back with a tit-for-tat travel advisory of its own.

According to the South China Morning Post, a notice by the Chinese Foreign Ministry urged Chinese citizens to be aware of the risks of being "arbitrarily detained at the request of a third nation" in Canada, and urged caution when making travel plans - an obvious reference to the arrest of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested in Vancouver last month at the behest of the US.

Jan 15 09:42

PLANTS ARE GROWING ON THE MOON FOR THE FIRST TIME

Plants are growing on the Moon for the first time in human history.

Cotton seeds germinated in a small biosphere carried to the far side of the Moon by China’s lunar lander Chang’e-4, announced mission leads on Tuesday. The Chang’e-4 team released images of the sprouts, which began growing soon after the probe’s landing on January 3.

Seedlings in space! First-ever cotton plant on the Moon growing in #ChangE4 mini biosphere https://t.co/L8YpXqoVIG pic.twitter.com/3NVoCBUn5M

This Moon cotton is growing in soil that contains oilseed rape, potato, and arabidopsis seeds, but those have not visibly germinated yet. Fruit fly eggs were also put in the biosphere, which is protected by a sealed seven-pound canister, but they haven’t hatched (so far as we know as of Tuesday).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bravo to the Chinese science and engineering team that made this happen!!!!

Jan 14 08:48

Kim Jong-un in Beijing: is North Korea a bargaining chip in US-China trade talks?

There is a debate about whether China used the “North Korea card” against Washington in its trade negotiations with the US, capitalising on Kim Jong-un’s visit to Beijing. The two international headline-making events happened simultaneously in Beijing. Interestingly, both Beijing and Washington flatly deny any link. Analysts are divided. It warrants discussion because it offers an important insight into how the two superpowers strategise the North Korea issue in their dealings.

Jan 13 14:40

The Silent Genocide of Uyghurs in Xinjiang

Video

Jan 13 10:46

Chinese Super Soldiers Are Using These Futuristic Weapons 

The People's Liberation Army (PLA) is equipping its special forces with futuristic combat weapons like CornerShot-like pistols, knife guns, and grenade-launching assault rifles.

PLA special forces are being groomed into "super soldiers" to meet the requirements of the modern battlefield, according to Global Times.

The wide variety of advanced guns are being deployed with the Xuefeng Special Operation Brigade under the PLA 76th Group Army, CGTN News reported on Monday.

The CornerShot-like pistol system allows its operator to both see and attack the enemy, without exposing them to a counterattack. In dangerous urban warfare, the new system allows the operator to accurately shoot around a wall without exposing them to hostile threats, the report said.

Jan 12 15:43

Retailers are slashing iPhone prices across China as consumers say the phones aren’t worth the cost

Experts, however, told CNBC that much of the iPhone’s China problem comes down to the company setting the wrong prices.

For example, Apple’s 512GB iPhone XS Max, the most expensive of the new models, costs $1,499 in the U.S. But in Asia’s largest economy, the un-discounted price is 12,799 yuan, or nearly $1,900 — a more than 26 percent premium. Other variations of the latest iPhone models have similar price premiums in China.

Of note, the XR was meant to be the cheapest of the new models, but it has proven to be too pricey for many Chinese consumers — who were asked to pay a 28 percent premium compared to American buyers.

Jan 12 11:47

CHINA BROADCASTS NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN PICTURES OF THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOON

China has broadcast photos taken from the far side of the Moon, showcasing an entire world that has never been explored from the surface before.

Even the photos themselves are a triumph for the groundbreaking mission to the largely inaccessible part of our near neighbour, nicknamed the dark side because it permanently faces away from the Earth and blocks radio signals.

The pictures on state broadcaster CCTV showed the Jade Rabbit 2 rover and the Chang'e 4 spacecraft that transported it on the first-ever soft landing on the far side of the moon, which always faces away from Earth.

Jan 11 10:04

China’s yuan to challenge greenback as world’s main currency – Bank of England governor

The US dollar may one day be rivaled by the Chinese national currency – the yuan – which is likely to become a major global reserve currency, according to the governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Mark Carney.

“I think it is likely that we will ultimately have reserve currencies other than the US dollar,” the UK top financial official claimed during an online question-and-answer session carried out as part of the Bank of England’s Future Forum.

According to Carney, the global financial system is currently lagging behind the evolution of the global economy, facing asymmetric concentrations of financial assets in advanced economies relative to economic activity.

Jan 11 09:42

Kenya will start teaching Chinese to elementary school students from 2020

Kenya will teach Mandarin in classrooms in a bid to improve job competitiveness and facilitate better trade and connection with China.

The country’s curriculum development institute (KICD) has said the design and scope of the mandarin syllabus have been completed and will be rolled in out in 2020. Primary school pupils from grade four (aged 10) and onwards will be able to take the course, the head of the agency Julius Jwan told Xinhua news agency. Jwan said the language is being introduced given Mandarin’s growing global rise, and the deepening political and economic connections between Kenya and China.

Jan 11 08:23

North Korea's Kim appears to have a big goal: Winning Belt and Road investments from Beijing

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's three-day meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing this week likely focused on a range of issues including economic ties, nuclear talks and the possibility of a second summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump.

But there's one topic that likely wasn't officially discussed despite its importance to North Korea's future: The prospect of Pyongyang joining China's continent-spanning Belt and Road Initiative, a project aiming to link more than 60 countries in Asia, Europe, Africa and the Middle East through overland and maritime routes.

The isolated state is hungry for foreign investments, particularly in infrastructure, as U.N. sanctions take a toll on its economy. Many believe that's been a major reason underlining Kim's engagement with the international community over the past year or so.

Jan 10 21:41

Mahjong: An Ancient Chinese Game that Became a Roaring Twenties Fad

The 1920s saw the rise of several entertainment fads. Radio and magazines with national distribution helped to introduce fad trends to the farthest reaches of the United States. One such fad, however, traces its origins to faraway China and its roots go back several centuries. The ancient Chinese game of Mahjong swept through the U.S. in the twenties and spawned an interesting all things Chinese.

Jan 10 13:10

China Won’t Be Taking Over

Jan 10 12:16

Bank Of England Boss: China's Renminbi Will Rival The Dollar As Global Reserve Currency

The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Jan 10 12:16

China Activates "Ship Killer" Dong-Feng Missiles After US Navy Buzzes Disputed Islands

China has activated its "ship killer" Dong Feng ballistic missiles after a US navy ship traveled within 12 nautical miles of the Parcel Islands "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law," according to a US Pacific Fleet Spokesman.

In the 1990s, China laid claim to all of the Parcel Islands using a straight baseline around the entire archipelago, which it has labeled the Xisha Islands. The boundary is not recognized by international maritime law, while Vietnam and Taiwan have also laid claim to the islands.

Jan 10 12:15

Chinese Money Flees Silicon Valley As Trump Clamps Down On Access To US Tech

Thanks to new policies from the Trump administration aimed at cracking down at Beijing's access to strategic US technologies, China has all but halted investments in US-based tech startups, according to Reuters.

Venture funding out of China peaked last year at a record $3 billion according to the Rhodium Group, a New York economic research firm. The spike in capital is thought to have been spurred by investors and tech companies rushing to complete deals before the new regulatory measures were approved in August.

Jan 10 11:46

U.S. AND CHINA TUSSLE IN SOUTH CHINA SEA, CHINA ORDERS MILITARY "TO BE READY" TEST MOAB, RUSSIA AND IRAN PLAN DRILLS IN ATLANTIC

Tensions are continuing to rise between world superpowers. China has ordered its military to “enhance combat readiness” following a test of a MOAB (mother of all bombs); Russia and Iran are planning drills in the Atlantic; and the U.S. just sailed a Navy destroyer through the contested South China waters.

Last week, China’s President Xi Jinping Friday ordered the Chinese armed forces People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to enhance their combat readiness to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests after the U.S. had issued a travel warning to China stating Americans were at risk to arbitrary and indefinite detention.

Jan 10 10:12

EX-NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR TO 'POST': ISRAEL NEEDS TO REVIEW CHINA DEALS

In news stories that were scarcely noted last year, Prof. Avi Shimhon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s top economic advisor, and Meir Ben Shabbat, Israel’s National Security Advisor, were reportedly instructed to develop a mechanism to assess the threat of strategic investment by external actors in Israel’s critical infrastructure. Their task was described as a run-of-the-mill bureaucratic one. But it was clear that Israel’s leadership was reassessing foreign strategic investment in the state, including Chinese plans for the reconstruction and operation of the state’s largest seaport in Haifa.

This move was long overdue. The decision to work with China on the Haifa port has already rankled US decision makers and has reportedly alarmed the Pentagon. Indeed, there are rumors that the US Navy may no longer dock its vessels in Haifa if the China deal goes through.

Jan 10 08:56

China and the Uyghurs

America and its allies, under the guise of the War on Terror and humanitarian intervention, have droned, bombed and killed millions of Muslim children, women and civilians in a dozen of countries from Afghanistan to Yemen, and displaced millions more. In 2011 President Obama ordered the execution of Anwar al Awlaki, an American extremist preacher, for preaching the same kind of Wahabbist extremism, and separately executed al Awlaki, his sixteen-year-old son and eight-year-old daughter, without trial. This is why Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim mass organization, and the world’s Muslim governments have not condemned China’s actions: they know that the US stirs up trouble in every Muslim country. The West is engaged in full-scale irregular war to destabilize China. The US created the Uyghur problem in Xinjiang by sponsoring terrorists there–the same tactics it used in Cuba, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya.

Jan 09 13:15

U.S. And China Tussle In South China Sea, China Orders Military “To Be Ready” Test MOAB, Russia and Iran Plan Drills In Atlantic

By Aaron Kesel

Tensions are continuing to rise between world superpowers. China has ordered its military to “enhance combat readiness” following a test of a MOAB (mother of all bombs); Russia and Iran are planning drills in the Atlantic; and the U.S. just sailed a Navy destroyer through the contested South China waters...

Jan 09 12:15

"No Major Breakthroughs": US Issues Statement On Disappointing Trade Meeting In Beijing

As noted earlier, today's statement on the concluded 3 days of trade talks in Beijing confirmed that the event was a nothinburger, with the WSJ noting that the two sides made "progress toward an agreement but leaving the thorniest issues to be resolved in higher-level talks, according to people with knowledge of the discussions."

During three days of talks between midlevel trade officials from Washington and Beijing in the Chinese capital that ended Wednesday, the two sides made progress on issues such as additional Chinese purchases of U.S. goods and services, as well as opening China’s markets further to American capital, the people said. But they cautioned that the two teams hadn’t yet made a breakthrough and more discussions are needed to resolve a trade fight that has unnerved global markets.

Jan 09 12:13

Is The "Shanghai Accord" 2.0 Coming

Over the weekend, when commenting on the latest rather disappointing RRR cut out of China (which would release just enough liquidity to offset liquidity drains via the MLP and repo) we pointed out another, far more important event which took place in late December, when traders were generally away on vacation, and when the PBOC indicated a critical shift in the official monetary policy description at the December Central Economic Work Conference, from “prudent and neutral” to “prudent with appropriate looseness and tightness”.

Jan 09 11:57

Iran turns to traditional partners as EU tarries on bypassing US sanctions

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran is working with its traditional partners such as China, Russia and India to circumvent the US sanctions.

Zarif told reporters in New Delhi Tuesday that the European Union is moving more slowly than expected to facilitate non-dollar trade with Tehran through a mechanism called the special purpose vehicle (SPV).

"We continue to work with the Europeans for the special purpose vehicle but we will not wait for them [to act]," said Zarif who arrived in the Indian capital late Monday for a three-day visit.

"We are working with our traditional partners like India, China and Russia so that we continue to serve the interests of our people," he added.

Jan 09 09:20

Pentagon: Military Logistics System Not Ready for War With China or Russia

The strategic American military system for moving troops, weapons, and supplies over long distances has decayed significantly and needs rapid upgrading to be ready for any future war with China or Russia, according to a report by the Pentagon's Defense Science Board.

A special task force on survivable logistics evaluated the military's current airlift, sealift, and prepositioned equipment and supplies and found major problems with supporting forces during a "high-end" conflict.

"Since the end of the Cold War, the United States has not fought an adversary capable of the catastrophic disruption of military supply chains and deployment of personnel and materiel," an unclassified summary of the report states.

Jan 09 08:22

Kim Jong Un shows Trump there are plenty more — or at least one more — fish in the sea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has issued a veiled warning to President Trump with his surprise visit to China this week: He has other options for economic and diplomatic normalization if their rapprochement falters.

Kim and Trump are planning a follow-up meeting to their historic summit in Singapore in June. But there are misgivings on both sides about each other’s sincerity and commitment to improving their bilateral relations.

Against this backdrop, Kim, joined by his wife and an entourage of officials, arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for his fourth summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in less than a year. He will remain here through Thursday, making this the longest of his trips.

Jan 08 11:35

KIM JONG UN BEGINS SUMMIT IN BEIJING AS CHINA'S XI SENDS "MESSAGE" TO US

Just as the second day of mid-level trade talks between US and Chinese delegations in Beijing was beginning, a surprising report crossed the wire: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had been invited to travel to China for the first time since June to meet with President Xi Jinping. News of the visit immediately provoked speculation that Beijing was trying to send a message: If the US wants peace on the Korean peninsula, China will need to be involved.

Underscoring that point, President Trump affirmed last week that Washington and Pyongyang are planning a second diplomatic summit (though Trump claimed that North Korea was showing some reluctance) to continue negotiations about denuclearizing the peninsula.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to hope that the point is not lost on either the President or his Cabinet.

Jan 08 09:35

China warns US after guided-missile destroyer sent to patrol disputed islands

challenge excessive maritime claims”, a Navy officer said.

The USS McCampbell carried out a “freedom of navigation” operation, sailing within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Island chain, Pacific Fleet spokeswoman Rachel McMarr said.

The operation was not about any one country or to make a political statement, she added.

China lodged “stern representations” over the action, its foreign ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a regular briefing the US operation had violated China’s law and urged the US to stop such actions.

Jan 08 09:27

Kim Jong-un Makes Visit to China at Beijing's Invitation

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un arrived in China on Monday at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, marking his fourth summit with Xi. This visit is expected to last from January 7 to January 10, according to state media.

According to the Korean Central News Agency, Kim was spotted travelling with his wife and various high-ranking officials including Kim Yong-chol, who is the vice chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean ruling Workers' Party.

Although it's presently unclear what talking points the meeting will include, this latest get together comes amid reports that a second summit is in the works between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

Jan 08 08:15

North Korea's Kim Jong Un visits China, state media reports

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, China's official Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

Kim's visit, his fourth summit with Xi, comes amid reports of advanced negotiations for a second summit between the North Korean leader and U.S. President Donald Trump.

Jan 07 12:26

China passes law to make Islam 'compatible with socialism'

China has passed a new law that seeks to "Sinicize" Islam within the next five years, the latest move by Beijing to rewrite how the religion is practised.

China's main English newspaper, Global Times, reported on Saturday that after a meeting with representatives from eight Islamic associations, government officials "agreed to guide Islam to be compatible with socialism and implement measures to Sinicize the religion."

The newspaper did not provide further details or the names of the associations that agreed to the decree.

Jan 07 12:22

Xi Jinping’s Taiwan comments likely to scuttle talks, analysts say

Official talks between Taiwan and mainland China are unlikely to be held in the foreseeable future now that an understanding intended to allow the two sides to ditch their differences has been redefined, leaving the self-ruled island with no room to manoeuvre, observers said.

In a speech on Wednesday to mark the 40th anniversary of Beijing’s call to end military confrontation across the Taiwan Strait, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the two sides should begin talks on reunification to end the decades of animosity.

Jan 07 12:07

The State Department issues a travel advisory as the U.S. and China steamroll toward open conflict

The U.S. State Department has officially issued a level two advisory for travel to China, and U.S. citizens are being warned that they could “be detained” and “subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention”. That sounds extremely ominous, but most Americans typically ignore warnings like this and continue with their normal travel plans anyway.

Jan 07 11:38

"China, China, China" - Acting US SecDef Succinctly Summarizes World's Biggest Threat

To quote Shakespeare's Henry V, "The courses of his youth promised it not." The then-deputy secretary of defense Patrick Shanahan gave a speech at an Air Force Association conference on September 19 last year that seemed overly deferential to the then-secretary of defense, the globalist known as General James Mattis. The speech was light on factual content, reflecting a speaker who was a political animal, a speech composed of platitudes and pleasantries that showed contempt for its audience because it deliberately conveyed nothing of substance.

Jan 07 10:31

US Navy Sends First Ship Into Black Sea Since Kerch Strait Incident

The US Navy has confirmed the dock-landing vessel USS Fort McHenry has entered the Black Sea at moment tensions with Russia remain high following the Kremlin's seizure of three Ukrainian vessels in November in the Kerch Strait. This marks the first US vessel to enter the region since the Nov. 25th incident, which Russia said was an illegal and provocative violation of its territorial waters, and which as a result Ukraine has called on NATO powers, including the US and UK, to beef up its presence in the area to counter Russian aggression.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US is doing a pretty good job of behaving like a toreador does in a bullfight, with this deployment.

Jan 07 10:27

As Trade Talks Begin, US Infuriates Beijing With Latest Navy Operation In South China Sea

As a US delegation led by senior trade officials arrived in Beijing on Monday to begin the first round of in-person talks to resolve the burgeoning US-China trade war, the US has reportedly carried out its latest 'Freedom of Navigation' operation in the South China Sea - though at least this time there wasn't a near-collision with a Chinese ship.

Since President Trump's inauguration, the US has stepped up its 'Freeops' as the US Navy seeks to contain China's growing military ambitions in the Pacific. But since the trade war began, the US has demonstrated a keen sense of timing, contributing to China's decisions to cancel security conferences and reconsider coming to the table to talk on trade.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yet another, vivid, example of ..."Just because something is ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid, is utterly no guarantee that the US government won't order our military to uncork something where the optics, and timing, are absolutely at their worst.

Jan 07 10:22

Wilbur Ross: Trade War Is Hurting China More Than US

Contrary to claims made Monday by the pro-Communist Global Times, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Monday during an interview on CNBC that President Trump's trade war is hurting China more than it is hurting the US - implying that Beijing will relent and strike a trade deal with the US.

Ross claimed that US tariffs are impairing China's ability to "create jobs" and "stave off social unrest." Because China exports far more to the US than the US does to China, Beijing is facing a "binary decision", and it's finding out just how much it depends on the US.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I wouldn't look for that "relenting" any time soon; this is a question of "face", and of national pride on the part of China's President, Xi Jinping .

Jan 07 09:54

Is This Why China Went To The Dark Side Of The Moon?

The next step, of course, would be what every fan of author Robert Heinlein has been looking forward to since they were a kid; A moon base. The United States has been debating whether to send a mission back to the moon as soon as possible, or build a lunar base that would take quite a bit longer to orchestrate.

"The US thinks in presidential terms," said University of Notre Dame lunar expert Clive Neal. "China thinks in decades."

Jan 07 09:23

Starbucks Under Attack In China

One Chinese company is going down a road of massive losses in a seemingly megalomaniac attempt to operate more stores in China than market top dog Starbucks by the end of 2019.

Beijing startup Luckin Coffee only officially launched in January of 2018 but, as Statista's Katharina Buchholz reports, has already managed to open approximately 2,000 stores across the country. The Chinese growth objective of 600 new stores per year of their competitor seems tame in comparison – even though it entails opening a new location every 15 hours.

The attack on the Chinese market that is important to Starbuck's bottom-line is a calculated one. Luckin even threatened to sue Starbucks for monopolistic behavior as part of a PR stunt. China - traditionally a nation of tea drinkers - is currently the country with the most Starbucks stores in the world after the U.S.

Jan 07 08:55

IS THIS WHY CHINA WENT TO THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON?

China has embarked on an ambitious space program - surpassing the United States in orbital launches last year (primarily for satellites), and now landing their own lunar rover on the dark side of the moon, the Chang'e 4.

The stated purpose of Beijing's robotic lander is to collect samples and identify what minerals are there. And while the Chang'e 4 is unlikely to find precious metals such as gold, silver or platinum - there may be something up there that could serve as a "lunar fuel station to the stars," as the South China Morning Post puts it; Helium-3

The primary material on the moon is helium-3, which for now is too expensive to haul back to Earth. In theory, the non-radioactive isotope could be used as fuel for the next generations of spacecraft to explore deeper into space.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is starting to make absolute sense, and we should congratulate the Chinese scientists who realized that this could actually work, once the samples have been evaluated.

Jan 07 08:04

China Adds 320,000 Ounces To Gold Reserves – First Central Bank Purchase Since October 2016

Gold bullion remains a tiny component of the People’s Bank of China massive foreign exchange (FX) reserves which rose to $3.073 trillion

Jan 07 08:03

CHINA SHOWS ITS FUTURISTIC STEALTH DRONE IN FLIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME (VIDEO)

Beijing has released a video showing its cutting-edge ‘Sky Hawk’ UAV in flight for the very first time. The experimental ‘invisible’ military drone is designed to up China’s game in combat and recon missions.
In a video released by the state broadcaster CCTV on Saturday, the drone can be seen lifting off from an airstrip and landing in an undisclosed location. The broadcast also contained animated footage of the aircraft maneuvering in the air and undergoing maintenance on the ground.

A video featuring China's flying saucer-like stealth drone the Sky Hawk was shown for the first time on CCTV on Sat, with experts saying the technologies mastered by Chinese developers will allow the drone fly faster, farther and escape detection. https://t.co/AeTSjn7vHA pic.twitter.com/KQoi9gDKWt

— Global Times (@globaltimesnews) January 6, 2019

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem is not that China has drones like this; the problem is that the US weapons industry doesn't really have anything major to compete against this.

Jan 07 08:02

BOLTON TELLS NETANYAHU OF U.S. CONCERN WITH CHINESE PRESENCE AT HAIFA PORT

National Security Adviser John Bolton raised US concerns on Sunday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over China's creeping role in Israel's critical infrastructure, particularly its upcoming management of Haifa Port, a frequent dock for the US Sixth Fleet.

White House officials confirmed to The Jerusalem Post that Bolton raised the Haifa matter. The Post exclusively reported last month that the US Navy might change its longstanding operations there once the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) – a company in which the Chinese government has a majority stake – takes over the city's civilian port in 2021.

Jan 07 07:20

‘GLOBAL ZERO’ DOUBLE STANDARD FOR NUCLEAR WEAPONS

In the coming clash between President Trump’s $750 billion defense budget and House Democrats’ desire to cut Pentagon spending, especially on nuclear weapons, there will be tremendous fiscal pressure to shortchange the almost $30 billion annual cost to modernize America’s strategic deterrent. The ideological cover for such penny-wise, pound-foolish cuts is the so-called Global Zero movement to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

But in reality, the global-zero idealists practice a dangerous double standard: They push the US to unilaterally cut its nuclear arsenal even as they ignore or excuse nuclear buildups by Russia, China, North Korea, and (under the table) Iran. Even if they were consistent, their pursue of zero nuclear weapons would still make no sense when none of the nine existing nuclear powers has any interest in completely disarming.

Jan 06 15:27

China ready to use military force in Taiwan

Currency wars, proxy wars, and trade wars, oh my

Jan 06 14:45

It Begins: Russia, China, and India Are Now All Dumping the US Dollar

(RT) — The past year was full of events that inevitably split the global geopolitical space into two camps: those who still support using US currency as a universal financial tool, and those who are turning their back on the greenback.

Global tensions caused by economic sanctions and trade conflicts triggered by Washington have forced targeted countries to take a fresh look at alternative payment systems currently dominated by the US dollar.

RT has taken a deeper look into the recent phenomena of de-dollarization, summing up which countries have taken steps towards eliminating their reliance on the greenback, and the reasons behind their decision.

Jan 06 14:05

The new Great Game on the Roof of the World

On top of the graceful Baltit Fort, overlooking the Hunza Valley’s Shangri-La-style splendor, it’s impossible not to feel dizzy at the view: an overwhelming collision of millennia of geology and centuries of history.

We are at the heart of Gilgit-Baltistan, in Pakistan’s Northern Areas, or – as legend rules, the Roof of the World. This is an area about 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) crammed with spectacular mountain ranges and amidst them, secluded pristine valleys and the largest glaciers outside of the Polar region.

The location feels like vertigo. To the north, beyond the Batura Glacier, is the tiny northeast arm of Afghanistan, the legendary Wakhan corridor. A crest of the Hindu Kush separates Wakhan from the regional capital Gilgit. Xinjiang starts on Wakhan’s uppermost tip. Via the upgraded Karakoram highway, it’s only 240 km from Gilgit to the Khunjerab Pass, 4,934 meters high on the official China-Pakistan border.

Jan 06 10:06

Xi Jinping Orders Military to ‘Enhance Combat Readiness’ After U.S. Travel Warning

Chinese state media announced Friday that Communist Party leader Xi Jinping has ordered the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to “enhance their combat readiness,” without elaborating what threat has made preparation for combat so urgent.

The announcement followed threats from Xi himself that the Chinese state would not reject the use of force if necessary to invade and capture the nation of Taiwan, which it considers a breakaway province. It also follows remarks from the Pentagon that its prime concern is China’s military activities and a warning for Americans from the State Department to avoid traveling to China if possible because police can arbitrarily detain them at any time.

Jan 06 09:52

Canada says 13 citizens detained in China since Huawei CFO arrest

Canada said on Thursday that 13 of its citizens have been detained in China since Huawei Technologies Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou was arrested last month in Vancouver at the request of the United States.

"At least" eight of those 13 have since been released, a Canadian government statement said, without disclosing what charges if any have been laid.

Jan 06 08:33

Chinese Professor Censored After Admitting Real GDP Growth Is Below 2%

But in an well-timed reminder, the Financial Times has published a story citing a presentation by a controversial yet widely recognizable Chinese economist and others who argue that China's GDP growth could be much weaker than the official data - which showed the Chinese economy grew at an annualized rate of 6.7% through the third quarter - reflect.

To the consternation of Chinese censors, a presentation delivered by an economics professor at Renmin University in Beijing sparked a controversy last month when the professor claimed that a secret government research group had estimated China’s growth in gross domestic product could be as low as 1.67% in 2018, far below the official rate.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Big shock. Governments lie to their people about the economy!

Jan 06 08:31

Trump Set To Meet Vice President Of China In Three Weeks

President Trump will likely hold talks with China's Vice President, Wang Qishan, at the World Economic Forum later this month, according to the China Morning Post, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Wang will likely lead China's team to the annual forum in Davos, Switzerland, while the talks with Trump would take place on the sidelines. It's also possible that one or more of Trump's top trade lieutenants will meet with the Chinese VP if the US president himself does not.

Jan 06 08:29

China developing 'Space Silk Road' as moon landing marks new era of expansion

When a Chinese spacecraft successfully signalled from the ‘dark’ side of the moon this week, the country’s triumphalist state mediia was quick to describe the achievement as “a huge stride” for the Chinese nation.

The deliberate echo of Neil Armstrong - and the Cold War space race he won - also carried an implicit warning: China under its unabashedly nationalist president Xi Jinping is rapidly becoming a global space power and should be treated with more respect.

Jan 05 14:52

Xi orders armed forces to enhance combat readiness

"The world is facing a period of major changes never seen in a century, and China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity for development," he said, warning that various risks and challenges were on the rise.

The entire armed forces should have a correct understanding of China's security and development trends, enhance their awareness of danger, crisis and war, and make solid efforts on combat preparations in order to accomplish the tasks assigned by the Party and the people, Xi said.

Regarding combat capability as the only and fundamental criterion, Xi ordered all work, forces and resources to focus on military preparedness and ensure a marked progress in this regard.

Jan 05 14:38

‘All China’s assets in the US might be annulled‘, warns ex-BoE chief, urging countries to diversify

Washington may be forced to renege on its huge debt to Beijing under catastrophic circumstances, says the former head of the Bank of England Mervyn King. He suggests governments could mitigate risk by diversifying their assets.

Jan 05 10:45

US tensions with China, Russia rise

China has warned that it is not afraid to protect itself when necessary as tensions with the United States continue unabated.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said Beijing will prioritize developing cooperation between its armed forces and those of other countries.

“Also — looking at the bigger picture for our countries — if what we mutually seek is a partner, then we will likely get a partner. But if what we seek is an adversary, then we will certainly get an adversary,” Lu said on Thursday.

His remarks came after acting Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan said his top priority is to counter China.

Jan 05 10:03

CHINA RELEASES FOOTAGE OF "MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS" DROPPED BY NUKE CAPABLE JET

On Friday China unveiled video from a successful test of its most powerful non-nuclear weapon, dubbed the "Mother of All Bombs" in reference to a weapon previously used by US forces in Afghanistan. The official Xinhua news agency published details of the weapon for the first time while calling it the "Chinese version of the 'Mother of all Bombs'".

It is reportedly 5-6 meters long and its massive weight means the delivery vehicle, in this case China's H-6K long range nuclear capable bomber, can only carry one at a time.

While China has denied that it is a thermobaric bomb — an explosive that uses oxygen in the surrounding air to generate a high-temperature explosion — its incredible size mimics the 22,000-pound GBU-43 Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) bomb that US forces dropped in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province targeting a jihadist hideout tunnel complex in April of 2017.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The timing of this demonstration, right before trade talks are supposed to start next week, was absolutely not accidental; this test was done now, so that people in the American government and military, understand that they have this weapon, and will not be afraid to use it, if the Chinese military sees the timing as right.

Jan 05 08:23

Bound To Be Beautiful: 30 Photos of Chinese Women With Bound Feet

Foot binding was a custom practiced on young females for approximately one thousand years in China, from the tenth century until the early twentieth century.

Jan 04 18:26

CHINA'S ONE CHILD POLICY COMING HOME TO ROOST: OLD PEOPLE, IN BIG CITIES, FRIGHTENED OF THE SKY

Bruce Sterling says the future consists of old people, in big cities, afraid of the sky, and, as we all know, China is the future.Generations of brutally imposed limitations on fertility has created a looming demographic crisis in China, as the aging population means fewer and fewer productive workers supporting more and more elderly people.

Jan 04 13:42

What’s behind US labeling China a ‘threat’ & what if trade talks fail? Keiser Report weighs in

China undermines US monopoly, making cheaper goods and equipment America cannot spy on, veteran economist Michael Hudson told RT’s Max Keiser. He warns that the world is to split if the two powers fail to settle their row.
Washington cannot stand and feels insecure when it cannot totally control other countries, allowing it to make others do “whatever we want in foreign policy and treat you like we are treating Iran,” professor of economics at the University of Missouri and a researcher at the Levy Economics Institute explained in a New Year’s special of Keiser Report.

The same applies if the US is unable to put spyware in different devices, the analyst added. But China manufactures its own chips among other high technology equipment thus making this mission impossible.

China is making telephones and computer equipment that we can’t spy on and that is a threat to our national security because they’re interfering with our ability to spy on you and on it,” Hudson said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am hoping (and praying) that things at this meeting go well.

If not, we could be looking at the results of this "fracturing world" end in a world war.

Jan 04 13:35

Senate Bill Seeks Aggressive Clamp Down On Chinese Tech Espionage

After top FBI officials testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee last month that Chinese espionage poses the "most severe" threat currently facing American security, and after greater scrutiny of major Chinese telecommunications that had before operated with seeming impunity in the US like Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. — especially following the arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou and others in Canada — senators are now proposing a bill to combat technology threats from China.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One has to wonder; is this really, absolutely going on, and do these Senators have irrefutable proof, or is this just another broad-stroke demonization of China, in order to justify a war against it?!?

Jan 04 13:15

Scott Adams: Impeachment, the #Wence, Socialism, Syria, Kevin Hart, the Worst Climate Arguments. With Coffee.

Ellen DeGeneres says Kevin Hart has apologized and grown
Was exiting Syria a smart move? Elizabeth Warren says yes
US isn’t dependent on China trade
China much more dependent on trade with the US
Inevitable outcome…trade deal
Fears on the left just after the election
The left feared he would do terrible things…he hasn’t
Left has shifted, now it’s intensely personal complaints
A 3rd Option: Not Socialism, not Capitalism
A modified version of capitalism
Discarding bad arguments on both sides of climate change
Medieval warming, ice cubes in your glass and more
Both climate change sides have a “Whack-A-Mole” problem
Debunk each point and the person just shifts to another

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1081204877412392960

Jan 04 11:42

CHINA PARADES "RE-EDUCATED" UIGHUR MUSLIMS ON STATE TV TO EXTOL PRISON CAMPS

When previously last year the United Nations began scrutinizing claims that China has interned one million of its ethnic Uighur Muslim in "re-education" camps, Beijing stridently denied such charges, but now months after Western media and human rights groups have carefully documented a network of Uighur prisons, some by satellite photos, China is attempting to shift the narrative to one of a positive "de-radicalization" program. Beijing now not only fully owns up to its system of forced labor camps, but as a Times (UK) report finds, is even parading groups of Muslims on state TV to extol the virtues of the system.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I really think that someone ought to whisper in Chinese President Xi Jinping's ear, that the novel "1984" was a wake-up call and cautionary tale: not a "how to" Manual!!!!

Jan 04 11:36

BEIJING HAS DETAINED 13 CANADIANS SINCE ARREST OF HUAWEI CFO

When the US published its latest travel advisory warning its citizens about the "arbitrary law enforcement" risks they could face in China (and offering a list of recommended precautions for those obstinate enough to ignore the government's warnings), some wondered, why now? With trade negotiations set to begin in earnest next week, one would think that the US wouldn't want to kick the hornet's nest (though, in fairness, the DOJ's steady stream of indictments against Chinese government-sponsored hackers have continued, as has the prosecution of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou).

Well, Canada's Globe and Mail might have just answered that question by confirming that the Beijing's suspected retaliation against Ottawa over Meng's arrest has been even more severe than previously believed. According to the paper, 13 Canadians have been detained in China since Dec. 1 - the day Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities after landing in Vancouver.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It looks as though the Canadian/Chinese relationships have been strained nearly to the breaking point, with these arrests.

Hopefully, the "adults in the room" in Beijing and Ottawa, will get this sorted, before more unhappiness ensues in both countries.

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