On May 14-15, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The Beijing meeting attracted 29 heads of state (including Russian President Vladimir Putin) and representatives of 130 other countries (including the U.S.), plus the leaders of 70 international organizations, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres.
Chinese President Xi Jinping gave the keynote address heralding the “One Belt, One Road” initiative (BRI) as a top priority. And well it should be, given that its goal is nothing less than to establish Chinese preeminence (even hegemony) over Eurasia and Africa. Continue reading
(TRUNEWS) The push for a cashless society has begun to gain steam around the globe, with nearly every major nation taking strides to adopt digital currencies, centrally governed cash controls and incentivize cashless transactions.
A Bloomberg Op-Ed published on January 31st called for the end of paper currencies, touting that “cash had a pretty good run for 4,000 years or so,” but was “dirty, dangerous, unwieldy and expensive, antiquated and so very analog.”
Now though each of these reasons all have some merit of truth behind them, such as paper currency serving as a vector for disease, incentivizing physical robberies, and complicating P2P long distance transactions, the existence of physical legal tender has an equal set of priceless characteristics.
In the Book of Revelation, God forewarned his people through the Apostle John, that during the Tribulation period the global system will be dictatorially ruled by a single political authority, known as the antichrist. In Chapter 13 verses 16-17 the antichrist’s control over the economy is described as absolute: “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name.” Cashless technology and centralized restrictions of transactions fit this warning. Continue reading
Russia’s central bank recently warned about the growing financial risks to the Russian economy from Saudi Arabia encroaching upon its traditional export market for crude oil. Russia sends 70 percent of its oil to Europe, but Saudi Arabia has been making inroads in the European market amid the oil price downturn.
The result is a heavier discount for Russia’s crude oil, the so-called Urals blend. Bloomberg reported that the Urals typically lands in Rotterdam, a major European destination, at a discount to Brent of around $2 or less. But the discount has widened to $3.50 lately due to increased competition from Saudi Arabia. “Oil supplies to Europe from Saudi Arabia are probably adversely affecting Urals prices,” the Russian central bank warned in a recent report.
Russia and China are both successfully putting a wedge between America and Europe. With their tightening grip on Athens, Europe is threatened in its own homeland and will eventually decide to turn their backs on America. The alternative is to risk potential military conflict with Russia. In the future you will likely see a third marriage between Russia and Europe — and Russian military bases in Greece.
A Chinese executive with shipping company Cosco has helped transform part of Athen’s Port of Piraeus into a success story. The multinational firm now has a controversial plan to acquire the whole facility and put it on track to join the ranks of Hamburg and Rotterdam.
One could argue that China’s long path to Piraeus, Greece, began on April 27, 1961. It’s the day Mao Zedong founded the communist state’s first freight company, the China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO). The Great Leap Forward, Mao’s plan for industrialization, had proven to be a disaster at the time, leaving millions dead or starving. With Cosco, China had its eyes on overseas markets.
Almost 54 years later, the company is steering toward a major prize in Greece. After lengthy wavering, the Greek government– comprised of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, his far-left Syriza party and the right-wing populist Independent Greeks — has announced it will be selling the majority of its share in Athens’ Piraeus Port Authority. So far, Cosco is the most promising bidder. Continue reading
Five years old, but vindicated, still quite relevant and accurate:
Who is China’s largest trading partner?
If you guessed the United States, you’re wrong. It’s the European Union.
If you got the first one right, here is another question: Who are the biggest exporters in the world? First place goes to the European Union. Second goes to China. Third would then go to Germany if it wasn’t already included within the EU. America comes in at a distant fourth place, followed by Japan.
The world has changed. Not long ago, America was both the largest exporter of manufactured goods and the world’s most important economy.
Yes, a shift is occurring—and it is titanic. Today’s global power centers of manufacturing and trade have swung back to Europe and China. The most important and lucrative trade routes are once again between the old world’s East and West. The modern Silk Road is swarming with the new merchants.