China says it will respond to any US trade threat

Beijing: China has expressed “grave concern” at the Trump administration’s probe into whether China steals intellectual property and discriminates against US technology companies.

After Mr Trump signed a presidential order to start the probe, which could lead to sanctions, China’s commerce ministry hit back saying the United States “should not become a destroyer of the multilateral rules” of world trade. Continue reading

The REAL Russia Scandal

 

Vladimir Putin is sowing division within the United States to keep America from becoming the next energy superpower. Continue reading

Russia To Cut Dependence On U.S. Dollar, Payment Systems

 

Quoted by Reuters, Ryabkov said that “we will of course intensify work related to import substitution, reduction of dependence on U.S. payment systems, on the dollar as a settling currency and so on. It is becoming a vital need.” The reason for that is that “the US is using its dominating role in the monetary and financial system to impose pressure on foreign business, including Russian companies.”

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Wintershall warns U.S. against playing ‘geopolitical football.’

 

German energy company Wintershall, a European partner with Russia’s Gazprom, said the European energy sector can’t be used for “geopolitical football.”

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a bill into law that sanctions Iran, North Korea and Russia. The Russian measure in particular is significant given the election issue clouding the Trump administration. Continue reading

Trump To Launch Trade War With China On Friday, Beijing Vows Retaliation

 

Yesterday, the WSJ reported that the Trump administration is planning to begin a probe of what the U.S. sees as violations of intellectual property by China. Against a backdrop of Trump’s frustrations with domestic policy, sliding approval ratings and disagreement with China over North Korea, the chances of protectionist action are rising, as is the probability of a “hot”, retaliatory trade war. This morning ow learn when Trump is set to fire the first shot. Reuters reports, citing White House officials, that President Trump is expected to make a speech and sign a memorandum at the White House on tomorrow, Friday, that will target China’s intellectual property and trade practices, effectively firing the first shot in what could escalate into a major US-China trade war. Continue reading

EU “Sounds Alarm” Over New US Sanctions On Russia; Germany Threatens Retaliation

Late on Friday, Congressional negotiators reached a deal to advance a bill that would punish Russia for its interference in the 2016 election and restrict the president’s power to remove sanctions on Moscow, according to the WSJ. The measure, if signed into law, will also give Congress veto powers to block any easing of Russian sanctions by the president. And while it remained unclear if President Donald Trump would sign the bill if it reaches his desk, which is now likely, the loudest complaint about the bill to date has emerged noe from the Oval Office, but from Brussels, after the EU once again urged (and warned, and threatened) US lawmakers to coordinate their anti-Russia actions with European partners, or else. Continue reading

The U.S. Firms at Risk From China Trade War: QuickTake Scorecard

 

U.S. companies need to prepare for greater tension between the Trump administration and China. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross opened high-level economic talks on July 19 by scolding China over its trade surplus. That doesn’t necessarily signal a trade war is imminent — the two countries have come through other rocky patches since Donald Trump became U.S. president. Still, Trump is weighing whether to restrict imports of Chinese steel and aluminum, a move that could prompt retaliation from President Xi Jinping. Such tit-for-tat actions could lead to a Chinese backlash against American businesses. The following are among those most at risk:

1. Hollywood

The movie studios want more access to China, where foreign releases accounted for 61 percent of box office sales in the first half of 2017. China allows about three dozen foreign films to be imported on a revenue-sharing basis — with the studio only getting 25 percent. Hollywood wants a higher number of imports and better revenue splits. Negotiations are ongoing and the U.S. could take China to the World Trade Organization if the two sides don’t reach an agreement by the start of 2018. Continue reading

Germany Warns Its Citizens: They Risk Arrest If Traveling To Turkey

 

Escalation of the diplomatic row between Berlin and Ankara ended in a clear message. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned German citizens that they risk arrest if they travel to Turkey.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Germany had revised its travel advice in the wake of the recent arrests of several human rights activists, including German national Peter Steudtner. Continue reading

EU Threatens to Remove Poland’s Voting Rights

 

Dictatorial Brussels disagrees with internal Polish laws.

The European Parliament is “getting close” to removing Poland’s voting rights in yet another clamp down on national sovereignty. Continue reading

The Limits of the Dictates

BERLIN/ATHENS/BELGRADE/BEIJING (Own report) – Berlin’s austerity dictate, ruthlessly imposed on Athens, is suffering its first blowbacks, weakening German hegemony over the EU. The China Ocean Shipping Company’s (COSCO) purchase of stakes in the Piraeus Port Authority, Athens had been forced to sell under pressure from Berlin and Brussels, is one example. COSCO, which had already acquired a small share in 2009, has been upgrading the port with investments in the three-digit millions. In the meantime, Piraeus has become Europe’s eighth largest port and is among the top 40 worldwide. Greece, which economically has been completely ruined by the austerity dictates, is hoping for more Chinese investments – and is no longer willing to participate in the EU’s routine official condemnation of China at the UN Human Rights Council. A similar development can be seen with Serbia. As part of its “Silk Road” initiative, China is planning to upgrade the rail line between Belgrade and Budapest. For the Serbian government, this offers hopes for a long term recovery. Brussels has now launched a probe into this project. According to experts, a policy based solely on austerity dictates and open pressure, as has been pursued by Berlin and the EU, can no longer be successful “in a multi-polar world.”

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Revealed: City of London accuses France of plot to ‘wreck Britain’ – even if it gains nothing itself

The 'giddy' effect of newly elected Emmanuel Macron is said to be blamed for the new French plot to 'actively disrupt' the City 

The ‘giddy’ effect of newly elected Emmanuel Macron is said to be blamed for the new French plot to ‘actively disrupt’ the City [Getty Images]

 

  • A leaked memo says French bankers are plotting to ‘actively disrupt’ the City
  • The London financial centre is worth £66 billion a year to the Treasury
  • The City’s Brexit envoy says Macron has declared ‘open war’ on the Square Mile
  • French representatives are now offering firms big money to move to Paris

France has boasted to City of London chiefs that it will use Brexit to sabotage the British economy, according to a bombshell leaked memo.

The memo, sent to Ministers, says the French government and banking chiefs are plotting to ‘actively disrupt and destroy’ the UK’s multi-billion-pound financial sector when Britain leaves the EU – even if France gains nothing.

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Those Who Have, Shall Get

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – Through loans and government bonds, Germany is reaping a billion euros in profits from Greece’s debt crisis. The German government has confirmed that profits from financial transactions with Greece have already reached €1.34 billion. German firms have also profited from the fact that, due to the crisis, Greece has been forced to sell government property. In a joint venture, just recently, a German investor bought the majority of shares of Greece’s Thessaloniki Port Authority – in cooperation with a fabulously rich Greek oligarch. At the same time, the German discounter Lidl was able to increase its market shares in competition with its Greek supermarket rivals because growing poverty is forcing people to buy low-priced groceries. Mass emigration, particularly that of highly qualified Greeks, is generating little noticed profits. Many Greeks, whose expensive education was paid by Athens, now work in Germany – placing their skills, for which Germany has not paid a cent, at Germany’s disposal.

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China’s maritime Strategic Realignment

A simplified view of the PLAN maritime lines of communication between its major naval bases in southern China and its newly established oversees bases. The major island bases in the South China Sea are omitted from this map, but should be considered in gaining an accurate picture of Chinese maritime defense posture.

 

Introduction

China has begun construction of the first Type 075 Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) at the Shanghai based Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company. Construction most likely started in January or February of this year, with some satellite imagery and digital photos appearing online of at least one pre-fabricated hull cell. The Type 075 will be the largest amphibious warfare vessel in the Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), with similar displacement and dimensions as the U.S. Navy Wasp Class LHD. The PLA has also made it known through non-official channels that the force plans to expand the current PLA Marine Corps from 20,000 personnel to 100,000. As China completes preparations for its new military base in Djibouti, located in the strategic Horn of Africa, it has also continued its substantial investment in developing the port of Gwadar, Pakistan. Not only will Gwadar become a key logistics hub as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the “One Belt, One Road” trade initiative, but will also be a key naval base in providing security for China’s maritime trade in the region. Continue reading

Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

Saudi Strikes Back Against U.S. Shale

 

The price of oil is plunging.

For the first quarter of 2017 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) held a pretty stable range between $54–58 per barrel. Now it is back to the roller coaster that we have been on since mid-2014.

As I write this, WTI is struggling to hold $43 per barrel and is sinking like a rock. Continue reading

Germany, Austria vs. US Senate: America and Europe on Collision Course

 

Germany and Austria have lashed out against US Senate for approving a legislation tightening sanctions on Russia. The bill has a provision that enables the United States to impose sanctions on European firms involved in financing Russian energy export pipelines to Europe. European companies could be fined for breaching US law. In a joint statement, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern accused the US of threatening European economic interests, describing it as an illegal attempt to boost US gas exports. The United States recently started shipping liquefied natural gas to Poland and has ambitions to cultivate other European customers.

The bill says the US government «should prioritize the export of United States energy resources in order to create American jobs, help United States allies and partners, and strengthen United States foreign policy». But the European foreign chiefs believe that «Europe’s energy supply is Europe’s business, not that of the United States of America». Gabriel and Kern said they «can’t accept» proposed US sanctions targeting European energy companies as part of measures against Russia.

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