BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – In the dispute over boycotting the Chinese Huawei corporation, the German government is considering joining a campaign of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing network, it was reported in Canada and Australia. According to the media, intelligence chiefs of the five English-speaking “Five Eyes” countries launched a boycott campaign last July under US leadership. The campaign seeks not only to put pressure on the governments of Five Eyes members Great Britain and Canada, which – for economic reasons – have initially been reluctant to boycott Huawei, but also to increase the pressure on the Germany and Japan. Experts in Australia speculate that, in return for its participation in the boycott, Berlin could become an accepted FIVE Eyes member, something Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been striving to do for years. To “maintain their own technology competence,” EU companies should develop 5G, according to Berlin. German managers, however, are up in arms, fearing falling far behind and never catching up with China.
BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – Strong criticism is coming from Germany’s business community, as the German government prepares to exclude the Chinese company Huawei Technologies from the development of Germany’s 5G network. According to media reports, the government tender for the 5G will be formulated in such a way that Huawei cannot apply. This is based on allegations of espionage by US intelligence services, for which, not a single piece of evidence has been presented anywhere in the world. The Trump administration is seeking to shut Huawei and other Chinese high-tech companies out of the US market, to drive them bankrupt. The US is calling on its allies to join; and in mid-December, a US delegation visited Germany’s foreign ministry to apply pressure. This aggression is aimed at halting China’s ascendance. Protest is being raised from Germany’s business community: Huawei is leading in 5G technology and a functioning 5G network is imperative for using state-of-the-art technologies of the future. Managers warn that excluding Huawei would mean higher costs and a painful setback in Germany’s 5G development.
Russia is continuing to ramp up its efforts to move away from the American dollar. The country just shifted $100 billion of its reserves to the yuan, the yen, and the euro in their ongoing effort to ditch the dollar.
The Central Bank of Russia has moved further away from its reliance on the United States dollar and has axed its share in the country’s foreign reserves to a historic low, transferring about $100 billion into euro, Japanese yen, and Chinese yuan according to a report by RT. The share of the U.S. dollar in Russia’s international reserves portfolio has dramatically decreased in just three months between March and June 2018. The holding decreased from 43.7 percent to a new low of 21.9 percent, according to the Central Bank’s latest quarterly report, which is issued with a six-month lag. Continue reading
Yet another trade agreement excludes the U.S.
A new trade agreement that covers more than 13 percent of the world economy, accounting for 15 percent of global trade, was ratified by its first six countries on December 30. The Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (cptpp) will cover 500 million people.
Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand and Singapore will be joined by another four countries that have already signed but not yet ratified the agreement. Vietnam joins on January 14, while Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru will join the deal 60 days after completing the ratification process. Continue reading
Poland and Italy’s right-wing rulers are to cement their “special relations” at a meeting in Warsaw, in what could make a new anti-EU league a major force in the next European Parliament (EP).
The meeting, between Polish ruling party chief, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and Italian interior minister and deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini, on Wednesday (9 January) is to discuss Poland’s membership in Salvini’s new EP group, according to Italian daily La Repubblica. Continue reading
China’s prophesied rise in space exposes the dangerous weakness of the West.
China achieved a world first on January 3 when its moon lander, Chang’e 4, made a soft landing on the far side of the moon. This is another triumph in China’s quest to dominate the 21st century’s space race, and it will have important consequences for us on Earth.
Many probes have photographed or crash-landed onto the moon’s far side, but Chang’e 4 is the first to make a “soft” lunar landing, a type of landing where no serious damage occurs to the spacecraft. This is a tricky manoeuvre because signal transmissions from Earth are blocked by the other half of the moon. Continue reading
According to the Polish Foreign Minister, Jacek Czaputowicz, a nuclear deterrent is the only way for European countries to demonstrate their sovereignty. Czaputowicz proposed that France share its nuclear weapons with the rest of the EU as well hand over to it its place on the UN Security Council.
Poland and Ukraine cannot stop provoking laughter from international observers. After the lunatic idea circulating in Ukraine of resurrecting the country’s nuclear arsenal, it is now Poland’s turn to send shockwaves around Europe. Polish foreign minister Czaputowicz proposed that France share its nuclear arsenal and hand over its seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to the European Union. It is is worth noting that this suggestion did not even receive an official comment from Paris, showing that there was little prospect of the Polish idea being taken seriously. Warsaw continues its opposition to the EU’s domestic policies on migration and austerity, while in foreign policy, agrees with countries like Ukraine and the United States, particularly the neocon faction opposed to Russia. If there is a distinctive feature in the political proposals that come from Poland, it is an acute Russophobia. The idea of hosting a US base on Polish territory, and assuming its costs, is another Polish proposal. The Americans are serious considering taking them up on the offer. Continue reading
In a public debate, the leaders of China and Taiwan reveal what it takes to create a national identity rooted in shared ideals.
In a rather public debate, the leaders of China and Taiwan have revealed what it takes to create a national identity rooted in shared ideals. Let’s just say the small island nation off China’s coast won, as its president’s statements make clear. Continue reading
Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in Vancouver on Dec. 6 led to immediate blowback.
Furious Chinese Communists have begun arresting innocent Canadians in retaliation. So far, three of these “revenge hostages” have been taken and are being held in secret jails on vague charges. Beijing hints that the hostage count may grow if Meng is not freed and fast.
Even for a thuggish regime like China’s, this kind of action is almost unprecedented.
So who is Meng Wanzhou? Continue reading
MOSCOW (AP) — The world is facing a rising threat of a nuclear war because of the U.S. pullout from arms control treaties and its destabilizing military plans, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday
Speaking at his annual news conference, Putin warned that “it could lead to the destruction. of civilization as a whole and maybe even our planet.” Continue reading
The defining question about global order for this generation is whether China and the United States can escape Thucydides’s Trap. The Greek historian’s metaphor reminds us of the attendant dangers when a rising power rivals a ruling power—as Athens challenged Sparta in ancient Greece, or as Germany did Britain a century ago. Most such contests have ended badly, often for both nations, a team of mine at the Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs has concluded after analyzing the historical record. In 12 of 16 cases over the past 500 years, the result was war. When the parties avoided war, it required huge, painful adjustments in attitudes and actions on the part not just of the challenger but also the challenged.
– From Graham Allison’s article: The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War?
For the past two years, my geopolitical assumption has been that the Trump administration would more or less continue along with the reckless, shortsighted, and disastrous neocon/neoliberal interventionist foreign policy of the past two decades focused on undeclared regime change and proxy wars across the world, especially the Middle East. Given his strange obsession with Iran, I figured he’d start a conflict there and that this conflict would end up a bigger disaster than Iraq. Continue reading
Prominent European leaders are pushing for a revival of the spirit of Charlemagne.
In a November 17 interview with the Austrian daily newspaper Kurier, former German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg made a statement that ought to shock the world. He said that European heads of government should take a close look at, or follow the example of, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
Kurz has proudly declared that his religion guides his politics. Which religion is that? The same one that has powered the Holy Roman Empire in the spirit of Charlemagne for centuries! We are witnessing the seventh and final incarnation of this bloody empire. God’s Church has warned about this for over 80 years! Continue reading
BERLIN/LONDON/PARIS/ROME (Own report) – London’s government crisis escalated yesterday under the pressure of Berlin and the EU’s unaccomplishable Brexit requirements. Prime Minster Theresa May has barely survived a vote of confidence, which was ultimately triggered by the so-called backstop. Brussels insists on a regulation, which could indefinitely subjugate Great Britain to a customs union, without an option for a unilateral withdrawal and erect a trade border between two areas of the United Kingdom. These provisions are in Germany’s interests, but they will plunge Great Britain into chaos. The current government crisis in France is largely due to the austerity programs imposed by Berlin on Paris – while refusing to make any concessions at the EU level. In France and Great Britain, the extreme right is profiting, like in Italy, where Berlin’s drastic austerity dictates, have already crushed the traditional political establishment.
Police agencies in the United States and Canada said that most of the threats were emailed, but some were phoned in by unknown individuals. They warned that devices containing explosive compounds such as tetryl or trinitrotoluene would be detonated unless funds were deposited into an international account using the virtual currency bitcoin. The messages also warned that the alleged devices would be detonated if “any police activity or unusual behavior” were detected. A deadline of one business day was given to deposit the funds. Throughout the day, police agencies across three continents issued notices cautioning people to remain aware of their surroundings and report suspicious messages or behavior. It was eventually determined that virtually all bomb threats were not credible. Continue reading
By spring 2019, ‘our politics will be even more poisonous than now’
Is it coincidence or contagion, this malady that seems to have suddenly induced paralysis in the leading nations of the West?
With lawyer-fixer Michael Cohen’s confession that he colluded with Donald Trump in making hush money payoffs to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, America’s stage is set for a play that will run two years. Continue reading