“By virtue of our unique geography”, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in a 2011 Foreign Policy article, “the United States is both an Atlantic and a Pacific power.” Russia, meanwhile, has seen itself as a Euro-Asian country, as Vladimir Putin has argued from the start of his first term in the Kremlin. The American attitude, which in Secretary Clinton’s locution is about as uncontroversial a statement as an American Secretary of State can make, reflects the country’s historic “maritime” vocation. The Russian one reflects the longstanding fascination with the country’s continental scale and reflects its traditional terrestrial focus. It is really no surprise, when you think about it, that during the “space race” Americans fetched their returning astronauts at sea, while Russians did so over land. Continue reading
WASHINGTON: The American who leads the leading edge of our sword in the Pacific — the Air Force — worries that China‘s sometimes “aggressive approach” in using its fighters, bombers and ships to signal its territorial claims across the Pacific creates “the potential” for a serious incident in the region.
But the United States and its allies are clearly working well together to remind China that it faces enormous power and cannot act unilaterally without cost. The latest American fighters and bombers will be deployed in an arc from Japan to India, lacing across all of China’s maritime regions, Carlisle made clear. Continue reading
When you print money, the money does not flow evenly into the economic system. It stays essentially in the financial service industry and among people that have access to these funds, mostly well-to-do people. It does not go to the worker. I just mentioned that it doesn’t flow evenly into the system. Continue reading
UNITED NATIONS — Despite the persistent economic headwinds which are expected to slow economic expansion this year, “growth in the Asia and the Pacific area remains better than in any other region; continuing as an anchor of stability and a new growth pole for the world economy.”
That’s the guardedly optimistic prognosis from the 2012 Economic and Social Survey of Asia and the Pacific survey.
Produced by the UN’s Bangkok-based Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the annual survey concedes that the region continues to face a challenging external environment which will slow regional growth this year to 6.5 percent from last year’s average of 7 percent.
More than any one event, the devastating tsunami and aftermath created severe shocks to the already ailing Japanese economy through a dislocation of industrial production, the supply chain, and the enduring psychological trauma following the disaster. Equally but largely overlooked has been the serious floods in Thailand which have created havoc in large urban areas such as Bangkok the capital in both manufacturing as well as tourism sectors.
Yet the Survey states that despite the slowdown “the region will remain the world’s fastest growing with China forecast to grow at a robust 8.6 percent, decelerating from the 9.2 percent rate of 2011.” It adds, Growth in India is projected at 7.5 percent in 2012, up from 6.9 percent in the past year.
Full article: As West falters, Asia Pacific region emerging as new global economic engine (World Tribune)
On 25 December 2011, the government of Peoples Republic of China and Japan unveiled plans to promote direct exchange of their currencies. This agreement will allow firms to convert the Chinese and Japanese currencies directly into each other, thus negating the need to buy dollars. This deal between China and Japan followed agreements between China and numerous countries to trade outside the sphere of the US dollar. A few weeks earlier, China also announced a 70 billion Yuan ($11 billion) currency swap agreement with Thailand.
After visiting China, the Prime Minister of Japan Yoshihiko Noda went on to India and signed another currency swap agreement with the government of India. These currency agreements in Asia came in a year when the countries of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam) were seeking to deepen ways to strengthen their firewall to protect their economies from the continued devaluation of the US dollar. In the year of the ‘Eurozone crisis’ when the future of the EURO as a viable currency was fraught with uncertainty, many states were reconsidering holding their reserves in the US dollar.
Continue reading article: China And Japan Currency Swap: Nail In US Dollar’s Coffin (Eurasia Review)