U.S.-China Trade: Status quo Predicted





ANBOUND predicts the Chinese government has actually determined that maintaining the status quo of U.S.-China trade war is better than striking a deal but paying a high price.

This does not mean that China’s plan is to drag the negotiations until a new U.S. President replaces Donald Trump.

The Chinese high-level officials must have known that the next U.S. President will be similar too, or indeed even more challenging than President Trump, and they know that the trade talks have to continue in any case.

The core focus of China’s current concern is that the concessions of international trade should not be positioned as a certain kind of failure.

This is because once the outcome of the trade negotiations is positioned in that way, it will mean that the overall situation of China and the United States would be fixed.

Therefore, ANBOUND’s chief researcher Mr Chen Gong points out the U.S.-China trade negotiations will not have clear results, and there will be no clear comprehensive agreement seen in the usual trade negotiations.

Instead, there will only be constantly changing scopes and contents of the negotiations; in addition, there could also be reduced versions of partial agreements.

The aim is to drag the talks as long as to maintain the status quo. Yet, even so, the price to maintain this status quo could be very high, though it would still be better than reaching the trade agreement.

In the case that the United States makes major concessions in the face of this prolonged confrontational strategy, the outcome would be good in China’s perspective, as this signifies the United States is the losing side in the trade war.








US sanctions Chinese officials for ‘suppression of Muslims’





The US government on Tuesday placed visa restrictions on Chinese government officials who are involved in the suppression of Muslims in China.

The sanctions target officials and members of the ruling Communist Party of China who are complicit in the abuse of minorities.

The US believes these people are “responsible for, or complicit in, the detention or abuse of Uygurs, Kazakhs or other members of Muslim minority groups in Xinjiang.”

China has always rejected accusations that it is bullying Muslims and arrested families, locking them behind bars and barbed wire to convert them to ‘communism’.

But the US now says the Chinese government is a bully.

It has in place a highly repressive campaign against Uygurs and the other Muslim ethnic groups in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

SAUDI ARABIA





The US stance is in contrast to the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince who is said to be in agreement with the Chinese on its ‘detention’ and ‘brainwashing’ programme.

The US accused China of putting well more than a million minority Muslims in ‘concentration camps’.

But reports in various news outlets say the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman or MBS approves of the Chinese policies.

Saudi Arabia, Russia and 35 other states have written to the United Nations supporting China’s policies in its western region of Xinjiang.

This was reported by Haaretz, a Tel Aviv-based newspaper.

A letter says security had returned to Xinjiang and the fundamental human rights of people of all ethnic groups there had been safeguarded.

The letter addressed to the UN was seen by Reuters.

It adds there had been no terrorist attack there for three years and people enjoyed a stronger sense of happiness, fulfilment and security.

The letter was signed by the ambassadors from Saudi Arabia, Russia, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba, Belarus, Myanmar, the Philippines, Syria, Pakistan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, says Reuters.

End bullying, says the US

“The United States calls on the People’s Republic of China to immediately end its campaign of repression in Xinjiang, release all those arbitrarily detained and cease efforts to coerce members of Chinese Muslim minority groups residing abroad to return to China to face an uncertain fate,” US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo says.








Reform the U.N.: A useless exercise in 2019?





At the same time that Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong renewed a key defence pact with the US, Malaysian PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was attacking the UN.

Mahathir says there is a need to reform the UN. But the UN was built and structured with the 5 superpowers in mind.

Give them some leeway and the power to veto on some major global actions and the world is safe, peaceful and so on. Minus the major wars that we witnessed since the creation of the UN that is.

Perhaps the only change the UN can bring is to enlarge the super-power base with more countries having a veto?

OBSOLETE U.N.

Malaysian PM Mahathir wants a reform at the UN but it comes too late as the organisation is now a useless entity after it failed to stop the Iraq and Libya wars!

But forget the UN, pretty soon it will be obsolete. It will go the same way as the Non-Aligned Movement or the Asean, that is useless and non-functional.

The NAM is now the shadow of what it was. In its prime, the NAM could not dictate the terms at the UN. Its member nations were always bought over by one group or another and China got thrashed on the international scene.

Today China is rising and is claiming its place as a superpower. So they say. Funny it is not? China is one of the 5 goonies that has the power of veto at the UN.

China’s story shows how the UN is useless. A country with a large population was left to mend by itself. Today, it is conquering the world. Beijing did not need the UN to become what it is today.

The UN was basically useless for the Chinese. It is as useless for all the other poverty-stricken nations around the world.

With the help of the UN, the Western forces that makeup of 4 out of the 5 superpowers at the UN picked a bone with Iraq and Libya and won.

What else you expect from the UN? What reform can be done to change this global body which is now in a similar state as the World Trade Organisation?





LEE’s WISDOM?

Lee and U.S. President Donald Trump – Picture Credit: The White House

Lee’s deal with the US allows American forces to use Singapore’s air and naval bases, extending it by another 15 years to 2035.

But it does not ‘guarantee’ Lee a safety net as it would have prior to the arrival of the new American era, with President Barack Obama and subsequently with President Donald Trump in power.

Why does that matter? Lee knows that his options are now limited in terms of geopolitics. The new American era in Asia means the powers of the US matters little in the region.

China has conquered vast expanses of the Asean with savory deals in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. The Philippines and Cambodia are basically eating into the hands of China.

The pressure is mounting for Singapore to become a satellite in China’s aggressive expansion.

Nevertheless, an air-naval deal with the US is still a good deal, that gives Singapore a sense of belonging to one of the super-duper powers at the UN.

The US has the veto power at the UN. So if Malaysia is very close with a ‘veto’ country at the UN (China), Singapore, too, is an ally of a ‘veto’ nation, the US.

But does the 30-year deal with the US has the same meaning today, given that the US presence in the region is merely on visitation rights and China is now the domineering power?

Both Singapore and Malaysia have got the priorities wrong if you ask me. This is 2019 and China is the superpower in Asean’s backyard. One is dealing with the US on an important security issue, the other is blasting the useless UN.

DOES ASEAN MATTER?

This is the question. Does the Asean matter anymore? Every single nation in the grouping is acting on their own in terms of regional security.

Malaysia has closed its eyes on China barging into its own territory and into Vietnam’s waters. Vietnam stood up by criticising China but Putrajaya is koi. It is perhaps more worried about the consequences of its deals with Beijing?

It is clear the Asean has lost its shine and the actions of the member countries, including the closer ties between the Philippines and China is not going to cement the organisation.








Muslim, Jewish outrage against Swedish call for ban of circumcision





A Swedish party voted for a ban of circumcision of boys in the absence of a medical reason, sparking an outcry and outrage among Muslims and Jews

And the leader of Sweden’s Centre Party Annie Lööf said she “regrets” the party vote taken during the party’s annual meeting.

This means, if the proposal becomes reality, that it will be completely impossible to live as a Jew or a Muslim in Sweden.”

Aron Verständig, chairperson of The Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities

But the party did not vote in favour of the removal of restrictions on blood donations from gay and bisexual men but accepted a resolution to recognise a third gender.

The decision on circumcision, taken by party commissioners, went against the official party line.

The Centre Party is not in government, but is part of a four-party deal, along with the Liberal Party, which allows the centre-left Social Democrats and Green Party to govern.

Despite the 314 to 166 votes against circumcision, the party’s final decision was that it should work to ban all non-medical circumcisions of boys and not support a total ban on circumcision.

Such a ban would amount to a narrowing of religious freedom in the country.

Mohamed Temsamani, president of the United Islamic Associations in Sweden and a former politician

Confusing? They vote to ban what Muslims and Jews cherish and believes is a ‘healthy’ issue but the party end up not supporting the vote! Democracy?





Following the meeting, party vice-chairman Anders W Jonsson told the media and as reported by The Local, “This was not a decision that the party leadership wanted.”

He said that those who called for a ban on circumcision were focused on child rights and the debate had not been related to religion.

“This isn’t something we plan to write a motion on,” said Lööf on Sunday.

The good news for the Muslims and the Jews is no other party would support such a policy or any other kind of ban or restriction, although the Green Party described male circumcision as “problematic”.








Can they fire Trump? What will be the global consequences?





Can the Democrats fire President Donald Trump and what will be the global consequences of his firing?

While the Dems are looking at a political ‘revenge’ against Trump, there are a few points to consider in their attempt to fire him.

The impeachment move will need a vote in the House of Representatives and in the Senate. And here is the scenario:

While there are enough Democrats in the House of Representatives to vote for his impeachment, the Dems are in minority in the Senate.

This is how the Americans voted in the last round of elections and it will help Trump. If no Republicans vote against him in the Senate, he will remain as President.

In the Congress (House of Representatives) the Dems have 225 members in the 435-seat House. Their vote will initiate impeachment proceedings.

But there are not enough Dems in the Senate. Alas for them. They need Two-thirds majority to demote Trump and remove him from the White House.

There are 100 senators and the dems need 67 votes (what is known as a “supermajority”) to eliminate Trump. But only 46 are Democrats. They need 21 Republicans to vote with them to fire Trump.

At this stage, the Dems seems to be on a rocky road and a defeat of their impeachment is looking good for Trump.

Global Dimensions





Well, if they cannot really, really, fire the President, then why are we still talking of the ‘global dimensions’ of the ‘impeachment’?

We believe there are external forces at play in the impeachment moves by the Dems.

First of all, the Dems does not seem to understand the implications of removing Trump from power.

Either they are power-hungry or they are truly stupid. Removing Trump will keep a Republican in power. The Vice-President will be the ‘designated’ man to take over.

Mike Pence, the number two at the White House will then become President of the USA. That is if they manage to fire Trump. Which we think they won’t.

Yet, for the Dems in the eyes of the American public, it is the politically correct thing to do.

But it is one that will have dire consequences for the U.S. Why?

China for that matter will explode a nuclear bomb in its backyard to celebrate the demise of the Trump administration.

That means the Dems will be handing the Chinese a great victory. There will be no trade war and no bashing of the Chinese economy.

China will be freed from Trumpism! But that also means the U.S. may end up a heavy consumer of Chinese goods that may flood into the American market with rage.

The middle-class Americans may then enjoy the cheaper Chinese goods, foods and services at cheaper prices.

Losing the ‘trade war’ will deal a blow to the U.S. and the Dems does not seem to have a clue, or are they in bed with Xi Jinping?








Saudi high-speed train station burns: No cause for fire given

The authorities did not disclose the cause for the fire but said there were no casualties and they stopped the train services.

Five people were taken to a nearby hospital and some 16 medical teams rushed to the scene where firefighters started to tackle the blaze.


The fire erupted at 12:35 p.m. according to the Haramain High-Speed Railway’s Twitter account.


Security aviation had intervened to support the estimated 26 firefighting teams of the Saudi Civil Defense in fighting the fire.

Dramatic videos on social media showed teams using helicopters in an attempt to put out the fire, which sent huge palls of smoke into the sky of the coastal city.


As the first high-speed electric train in the region, the Haramain High-Speed Railway spans over 450km, connecting five stations across Makkah, Jeddah, King Abdul Aziz International Airport, King Abdullah Economic City and Madinah, says Arab News.

Read: Grace Kelly and Hermes’ sac a depeches!






The fact is Chirac did not take British money





Sir Richard Dearlove – head of MI6 in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 – says former French President Jacques Chirac took money from Saddam Husein.

Saddam’s regime was falsely accused by Blair and Bush

He said Saddam, the Iraqi leader killed by the Bush administration, paid $5 million to Chirac to oppose a war on Iraq in 2003.

But Dearlove, you did not give any single evidence of the accusations you are making.

However, what seems very true is the fact Chirac did not take British money to send French soldiers to fight an illegal war in Iraq.

If the Dearlove is really an M16 man, he would have known that Chirac also opposed a lot more than a war on Iraq.

Project For A New American Century (PNAC)

The Project For A New American Century or PNAC started in the year 2000. A year before the fatal Twin Towers attack in New York.

A great George W Bush’s “thinker” one Richard Perle (He is real), said, “If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war . . . our children will sing great songs about us years from now.”

The Bush regime wanted to rope in the European Union in this ‘total’ war against the rest of the world.

The aim was to create a totally NEW AMERICAN CENTURY. The idea is to get the US to dominate, to police the entire world and to conquer territories.

It did not happen. Instead, we had staged wars against a number of Muslim countries.

In the PNAC plans, seven Muslim nations were marked as ‘enemies’ that should be destroyed. Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, were on a list with that order.

Afghanistan was invaded in 2001, Iraq in 2003, Libya and Syria fell victims to the American-pro-American-Arabs nations coalition project called the Project For A New Arab Century.

READ ABOUT THE PNAC HERE

Arab Spring

In the media, it was given the name ‘Arab Spring’.

Well, why are we telling you this story? It is a fact, not the word of a ‘spy chief’ who has no evidence to prove his statement, that Chirac was against the PNAC.

It is not his opposition to go to war in Iraq that prompted the ban of ‘French Fries’ by some restaurants in the US.

It is his opposition to target one Arab-Muslim country at a time. The PNAC advocates even threatened to get their leaders, Bush and UK’s PM Tony Blair, to eliminate Chirac if they had to.





Well, Chirac is now eliminated naturally. But we are certain their plans to carry out an all-out war is still in the making. They here are the NeoCons.




Brexit: Will Boris bounce back?

Boris Johnson is facing a possible sudden exit and risks becoming the shortest-lived Prime Minister in the history of the United Kingdom.





The conservative wing in the UK believes Boris still has a chance to remain PM if he calls for snap elections.

They give him a lead of 41% over Labour Party’s Jeremy Corbyn (18%) and Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson (21%).

However, the question is: Will Boris call for elections? Or will he apologise to the Queen?

But just like U.S. President Donald Trump, Boris has more than one shot at turning the tables.

Trump survived the worst of inquiries and is now embattled with the launch of an impeachment hearing against him.

Yet, he is adamant he can go until 2021 and win the next Presidential elections.

Apology to the Queen?

The first hurdle for Boris is to decide if he will apologize to the Queen. The leftwing, the centrists and some right-wingers are saying he has to.

But Boris is ‘silencio’ on the subject. He is taking his time to decide while the Queen did not say a word on the Court judgement against his suspending the Parliament.

There is wild speculation Boris did lie to the Queen. Did he? The Queen does not seem to be moved by these accusations against the PM.





There is no way to know what he will do next. But he will surely bulldoze through the chaos to impose himself.

Snap Polls?

Can snap polls kill Boris’ political career? The possibility of him calling for elections without getting something from Brussels is limited.

He needs a bargaining power, a sort of balance of power instead, that he will dangle in front of the British public if he goes to polls.

Facing an upheaval in Parliament and defeated with a court ruling that he rejects, Boris is not down and out.

Though his reign is swinging on a thread, it is this thin hope that is keeping him afloat.

And this is where we can draw another parallel between the two controversial, unstable and disruptive leaders from the Western world.

Trump is running a government with a firing squad at his disposal. The number of quitting ministers is unprecedented.

Boris is also facing a similar situation. There might be more Conservative MP or party members who will quit before Brexit is finalised.

But this does not mean, like in Trump’s case, he will retire that soon.








Hong Kong’s solution lies in street politics?



The protest in Hong Kong does not stop even after Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of Hong Kong announced that the bill is “dead”. Instead, it becomes bigger due to various complicated factors.

To this day, the protest still shows no signs of ending. The impact of the Hong Kong issue has gone beyond Hong Kong itself and it has now become not only a matter of concern for China but also the international community.

Hong Kong’s economy is affected as a result. Morgan Stanley has lowered its GDP growth forecast for Hong Kong this year from 1% to -0.3%. Concerns about the sense of security in Hong Kong have increased, and this could well fatally damage Hong Kong as a financial centre.

At the social level, the differences of the Hong Kong society will inevitably leave social ruptures and traumatic memories that are difficult to heal.

What happens in Hong Kong has further influenced a wide range of other issues that affecting the establishment of Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Belt & Road Initiative, South China’s economy and many other aspects.

Street Politics

The keys to solving the Hong Kong problem are “street politics” and “parliamentary politics”. In recent years, Hong Kong people who did not care much about politics have become more and more concerned about it.

This phenomenon is closely related to many political and economic issues, as well as policy operations. Politics and governance cannot be limited to street politics, instead, it should be focused on the political structure and layout of the society so that stability can be truly achieved.

There are inherent limitations and problems in street politics, and it is easy to move toward the extremes, violence and irrationality.

Therefore, making “street politics” returning to the meeting rooms should be recognized as the fundamental goal to reconstruct a stable Hong Kong society.

Key Points

This involves two key points from China’s perspective. First of all, “one country, two systems” will remain as the basic institutional framework of Hong Kong’s governance.

Second, it is normal for young people in Hong Kong to participate in politics, but politics must be resolved within the parliament in accordance with procedures.

Under the basic framework of “one country, two systems”, the central government will also respect all decisions of Hong Kong’s parliament in accordance with the law.

The biggest worry for China about parliamentary politics in Hong Kong could be the loss of control and subversion in Hong Kong’s parliament. This is not very likely to happen, because there are three factors now govern the risks of parliamentary politics in Hong Kong.

The first is the military, which is the last powerful means of legal possession in any country. In Hong Kong’s Basic Law, there is a very clear definition of the military forces’ role in Hong Kong.


Second is the law. Hong Kong is a society under the rule of law, and the law is the core of its system. Judges at all levels of Hong Kong’s courts are appointed or removed by the Chief Executive in accordance with legal procedures, and the Chief Executive, whoever is elected, must be appointed by the National People’s Congress. Therefore, who is the ultimate “decision-maker” in Hong Kong is very clear.

Third, to stabilize Hong Kong, there are complex political, economic and information relations that can be harnessed. Therefore, the existing political structure and system of Hong Kong can ensure the political stability of Hong Kong.

The key to all this is to make good use of Hong Kong’s existing political structure, and not to create political topics out of nothing.

China and Parliament?

In this regard, the appeals of Hong Kong people are actually open to discussion, and it is up to the Hong Kong parliament to decide whether to agree or not.

From an objective point of view, whether China can do well in parliamentary politics in the future is the biggest challenge China will face in Hong Kong.

The key to Hong Kong’s long-term stability under the “one country, two systems” policy is the operation of parliamentary politics. Britain has long used parliamentary politics to achieve stability in Hong Kong, and China should be able to do the same.


How The French Brand Is Winning In The Trade War Between US-China

 




How are the dictators using democracy to bully you?



How do you vote for dictators, without you knowing whether they are dictators abusing the democratic system to win power and bully your entire nation?

In the United States, the President has superpowers. But he is not called a dictator. They do not like this word in the West.

In the United Kingdom, the Prime Minister calls the shot and he can even get the Queen to suspend the Parliament.

His opponents call it a ‘dictatorial’ move, but this is not a term described in the move to suspend the Parliament. Hence it is not a valid one.

But it is a valid one if a third-world nation’s leader (Prime Minister of President or King) behaves like a dictator.

Mugabe

Robert Mugabe passed away last month. He is a dictator according to Western media and some third-world media.

What qualifies him as a dictator? Did he rule for many years with an iron fist? Well, the iron got rusted and he was removed from power.

Margaret Thatcher the first woman PM in the UK was called at times, the iron-fist lady. She was never called a dictator perse, though she did act like one, at times.

The current PM of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad is called a dictator. A term he enjoys because with his sarcasm, he dubbs himself ‘dictator’ and teases the English for that.


Dictatorship Countries 2019

But he is one dictator who left power on his own accord to only reconquer it after the PM he chose failed the country.

Yet, he is now dictating the reformasi movement in power to rule on his own terms. He is being dictatorial, at times.

Maduro or Trump?

Do you think President Donald Trump is dictatorial? Or should this title be given to people like President Sisi of Egypt, who is a friend of Donald?

Or to the successor of Hugo Chavez, Nicolás Maduro? He is not a friend of Donald.

But what really makes a politician a dictator? Do they have to be Hitler? Or Idi Amin Dada?

The Wall Street Journal says these Western leaders and despots were somehow good ‘dictators’. They are rulers like France’s Louis XIV, Russia’s Peter and Catherine the Great, and Prussia’s Frederick the Great.

This is part one. Part 2 is coming soon.


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