The rise of the BRICS countries–Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa–may challenge the world order and lead to the end of US domination.
The five countries set up the New Development Bank during a recent summit in Brazil, which offers an alternative to the US-led International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
The five countries participating in the economic cooperation forum are likely to deepen their cooperation in various fields, which may rival the dominance of the United States and G7 countries in the world.
The BRICS countries will also increase their sway if they can improve their governance, considering the fact that they account for 42% of the global population and their GDP and trade volume each make up for about 20% of the world’s total. Continue reading
A giant U.S.-led naval exercise with 22 nations from around the world got an unexpected visitor on Sunday — a Chinese spy ship perched in international waters.
The 24th Rim of the Pacific exercises (RIMPAC) in and around the Hawaiian Islands features more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel. China is part of a host of nations taking part, which also includes Australia, Canada, France, Japan, the Republic of Korea, the Republic of the Philippines, the United Kingdom and others. Continue reading
The use of the renminbi in trade settlements increased sharply this year, according to HSBC’s annual renminbi survey.
The survey which began last year covered eleven countries, four of which were added this year. All seven markets surveyed in both years posted increases, the largest of which were in Germany, Hong Kong and the U.S.
Of the German companies profiled, 23 percent are using the renminbi to settle trades, up from 9 percent last year, while usage in Hong Kong rose to 58 percent from 50 percent and to 17 percent from 9 percent in the U.S.
Usage of the renminbi among French companies – a new addition to this year’s list – was high at 26 percent.
Prospects for next year are bright as nearly 60 percent of global companies plan to increase their cross border activity with China over the next 12 months. Currently, 22 percent of companies globally trade in renminbi. Continue reading
The probable nomination of the President of the European Commission at the European Council in late June is only the first stage in a process that will renew the leadership of European institutions — a political and diplomatic game of musical chairs marked by rituals and secrets that is played out between the capitals of the continent. Excerpts.
How do you come out on top in the grand reshuffle in Brussels? There is no single strategy. This is one conclusion that we can draw from a series of interviews with European civil servants, ambassadors and former ambassadors to Brussels. The second conclusion is that strategy alone is insufficient: “Chance and the luck of the draw also play their role,” explains the former ambassador of one small member state. Continue reading
BRUSSELS – Classified files leaked to Danish media suggest some EU states are allowing US spies to install surveillance equipment on cables in order to intercept the emails, private phone calls, and Internet chats of their citizens.
Large amounts of data are said to be swept up via a programme codenamed “RAMPART-A”, according to documents disclosed by former US agent Edward Snowden and made public on Wednesday (18 June) by Dagbladet Information and The Intercept.
At least 15 member states have some sort of partnership with the NSA, according to former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald. Continue reading
The appointment of an arch-federalist as the European Commission president risks creating a ‘dramatic’ backlash that will hasten Britain’s exit from the EU, one of the country’s most senior diplomats has warned.
A leaked document said Ivan Rogers, the UK’s permanent representative to the EU, believes the ‘die is cast’ in favour of Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg.
His proposed elevation to Europe’s top job has been fiercely opposed by David Cameron, who says Britain rejects the founding EU principle of ‘ever closer union’, which Mr Juncker supports. Continue reading
Two U.S. B-2 Spirit stealth bombers are being deployed to Europe for the first time. The deployment of the advanced aircraft will be used for “short term deployment” at Fairford, a Royal Air Force base in England — just three hours from Russia. Continue reading
A vote for independence in September’s referendum which would see Scotland leave the 307-year-old union would trigger “unforeseen chain reactions” in both the UK and Europe
Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt warned on Wednesday that Scottish independence would lead to the “Balkanisation” of the United Kingdom that would have consequences for the rest of Europe.
“The Balkanisation of the British Isles is something we are not looking forward to. It opens up a lot, primarily in Scotland but also in the UK. What are the implications for the Irish question? What happens to Ulster?” Continue reading
A RMB Yuan (CNY) clearing bank will be officially appointed in the United Kingdom (UK) in June, said Mark Boleat, policy chairman for the City of London Corp, in an interview at the weekend.
“There will be a clearing bank in London. In due course, there will be an announcement,” Mr. Boleat said. The news will be an endorsement for London’s efforts to become an offshore yuan center. Other European financial centers in the race to become a Yuan center include Frankfurt, Paris, Switzerland and Luxembourg.
An official clearing bank facilitates efficient clearing of offshore Renminbi transactions, achieved through the appointed bank’s direct cooperation with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) , the country’s central bank. Continue reading
The UK’s top professional investors think stock markets in the UK and US are over-valued raising fears of a crash
The number of investors who think the world’s leading stock markets such as the S&P 500 and the FTSE 100 are overvalued has reached its highest level yet, according to a survey of professional money managers completed by the CFA Society of the UK.
Two planes are turned back as they approach Scotland, as the Royal Navy “keeps an eye” on a Russian warship’s movements.
The aircraft, believed to be Tupolev 95s, were spotted off the coast of northeast Scotland.
They were turned away from Britain when an RAF Typhoon was scrambled from Leuchars airbase, near Dundee. Continue reading
A new global nuclear arms race may soon begin, and the world will have Putin to thank.
In 1994, Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United States and the United Kingdom entered into an agreement to remove former Soviet nuclear weapons from Ukraine, later known as the Budapest Memorandum. Ukraine agreed to sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
In the history of nuclear weapons, only four states have ever walked away from nuclear capabilities: three post-Soviet states (Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan) and South Africa, which had covertly developed a nuclear weapons arsenal. Continue reading
Britain’s economy could grow by 1.3 billion pounds if it left the European Union due to less regulation and more trade with emerging economies, acccording to a British diplomat who dreamt up a blueprint for the country’s EU exit.
Britain’s free market Institute of Economic Affairs on Tuesday awarded a 100,000-euro prize to Iain Mansfield, a British diplomat based in the Philippines, who it decided had come up with the best proposal for a ‘Brexit,’ a British departure from the EU. Continue reading
KIEV, Ukraine — Ukraine may have to arm itself with nuclear weapons if the United States and other world powers refuse to enforce a security pact that obligates them to reverse the Moscow-backed takeover of Crimea, a member of the Ukraine parliament told USA TODAY.
The United States, Great Britain and Russia agreed in a pact “to assure Ukraine’s territorial integrity” in return for Ukraine giving up a nuclear arsenal it inherited from the Soviet Union after declaring independence in 1991, said Pavlo Rizanenko, a member of the Ukrainian parliament.
“We gave up nuclear weapons because of this agreement,” said Rizanenko, a member of the Udar Party headed by Vitali Klitschko, a candidate for president. “Now there’s a strong sentiment in Ukraine that we made a big mistake.” Continue reading
There is a big difference between the known capabilities of Russian hackers — such as cyber espionage — and the debilitating software the country actually possesses, which could hamper U.S. efforts to predict Putin’s next move, say some security researchers.
So, far Russia’s alleged cyber operations amid unrest in Ukraine have caused more spectacle than destruction. Reportedly a “massive denial-of-service attack” paralyzed Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council servers for several hours last week, but such temporary traffic floods cannot access data or damage systems.
This doesn’t mean Russia can’t carry out a cyberattack that would physically or economically damage Ukrainian citizens. Continue reading