China challenges U.S. tariffs, lodging case at WTO


A World Trade Organization (WTO) logo is pictured on their headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

 

China files WTO lawsuit against US tariffs on $300 billion Chinese goods

China filed a lawsuit under the WTO dispute settlement mechanism on the US’ 15 percent tariffs on $300 billion Chinese goods, the first batch of which started on September 1, China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) announced on Monday.

China lodges tariff case at WTO against the U.S. – Reuters

 

 

New China-U.S. tit-for-tat tariffs go into effect

Costco’s opening in China defies US attempts at decoupling

China will not proactively escalate the trade war, and will not discriminate against US companies that invest in China due to the trade war. As the trade war is messing up the world, China is bound to be stronger.

https://youtu.be/yjzsDNMEe1U

 China wants a deal, but won’t stand down against new tariffs

Why China Holds a Trade War Edge Over U.S. 

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Is Trump insane? Escalating trade tension woos equity bears to Asia


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Escalation of China-U.S. trade tension

Markets sink as Trump presses US companies to leave China

Stocks fall amid fresh tensions in US-China trade war

KUALA LUMPUR: Asian markets started the week on a weak note amid escalating trade war concerns after the US and China announced plans for additional tariffs against each other.

Locally, the FBM KLCI stayed in negative territory for the whole of yesterday, before paring losses to close 8.8 points or 0.55% lower at 1,600.53 points. Before the closing, the index hovered below 1,595, falling 1.17% to an intraday low of 1,590.51.

Despite the fall, the local index was among the least affected by the regional selldown, compared with other Asian indices. The biggest loser among the regional indices was Japan’s Nikkei 225, falling 2.17% to 20,261.04. This was followed by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and the Taiwan Stock Exchange, down 1.91% and 1.74% respectively. India’s Sensex notably closed 2.16% higher.

In Southeast Asia, Singapore’s Straits Times Index was the biggest decliner, down 1.45% at 3,065.33, and the Jakarta Composite index closed 0.66% lower at 6,214.51.

Last Friday, US President Donald Trump announced an additional duty on some US$550 billion worth of targeted Chinese goods, following China’s move to hike trade levies on US$75 billion worth of US goods.

Trump said US tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese imports will increase from 25% to 30% on Oct 1, while an additional 5% tax on US$300 billion worth of Chinese goods — raising the tariff to 15% from 10% — starts on Sept 1.

The president made it clear that the US was responding to China’s threat of additional tariffs on US$75 billion of goods including soybeans, automobiles and oil.

“This looks like a tit-for-tat [response] and I don’t see an easy resolution to the trade war, as there seems to be no middle ground between the US and China. It is very unsettling for the market because there is no direction from day to day,” said Inter-Pacific Securities Sdn Bhd research head Pong Teng Siew.

However, the tensions eased a bit towards the later part of yesterday, as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He said China was willing to resolve the trade dispute through calm negotiations, stating the nation was against the escalation of the conflict.

Trump responded positively to China’s suggestion and, on the sidelines of a summit in France, had hailed Chinese President Xi Jinping as a great leader and welcomed the latter’s desire for calm negotiations.

It remains to be seen how the trade dispute will be resolved, given the constant retaliatory tariffs between the two economic behemoths since early last year.

Several trade talks between the two nations have not brought any solutions to the trade war, still affecting investor sentiments towards global markets. For the KLCI, the trade war remains a major factor affecting analysts’ forecasts.

Kenanga Research said the index’s underlying trend remains bearish but does not discount the possibility of a technical rebound as the KLCI has been in oversold territory for about a month. “Look out for overhead resistance levels at 1,630 and 1,650. If selling pressure continues, the key support levels to keep an eye on are 1,570 and 1,550,” Kenanga Research wrote in a note yesterday. – Source link
Read more: 

 

Clout eroded as US shirks intl duties

I think it’s necessary to include something Liu once said that also applies here, “The world needs a new America. It needs an America that is free of prejudice and intolerance. It needs an America that understands respect, that matches words with deeds, that understands the principles of benevolence, righteousness, propriety,
wisdom, and faithfulness. The world would be lucky if the new America could become such a country.”

Why are the Chinese brushing aside Trump’s tweets?

Trump has turned Twitter into a stage for his political show, where he says things to gain votes for reelection. He repeats what he has done for the US – to provide Americans welfare, and to “make America great again.” But he is actually damaging the interests of his own country and people.

China unfazed by swaying US policies

In today’s world of production patterns, no country can marginalize China anymore. Whichever country forcibly cuts economic ties with China will only harm itself. After Trump tweeted, he received almost one-sided opposition and doubts, which showed how inappropriate was his unrealistic proposal.

Former U.S. treasury secretary criticizes policies of Trump administration

American expert accuses Western countries of double standard in HK affairs

Poking its nose into other countries’ affairs is an American obsession

The past few months have been sad and depressing for those who live in Hong Kong. The safety guaranteed on the streets of Beijing and Xi’an should be available to the people of Hong Kong. China should not be asked to compromise its sovereignty. If Americans want to boycott anyone, they should do so with their politicians who support the
Hong Kong unrest.

West will shed no tears for Hong Kong

Many Hongkongers are confusing right from wrong while Western public opinion constantly delivers the ideological energy that the radical protesters need. The West has shed no tears for Iraq, Syria and Ukraine, which had gone through similar hardships. Now, it is turning Hong Kong into the forefront of the struggle with China, and, as usual, they will shed no tears for the city’s misery.

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US divides China by playing risky Taiwan card with arms sales that will lead to serious consequences and puts Taiwan at risk


New U.S. arms sale to Taiwan and rising trends of ‘white supremacy’ in the U.S.

White House playing wrong card in its risky game with China

Following its $2.2 billion arms deal with Taiwan that was announced on July 9, the United States Department of State has reportedly “informally” notified corresponding House and Senate committees that it supports the sale of F-16 fighter jets to the island.

Not surprisingly, the Chinese government has lodged “solemn representations” against the $8 billion deal, as it has each time arms sales to the island have been proposed or carried out.

That is because they seriously violate the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, especially the Aug 17, 1982, communiqué, and interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, as the Chinese Foreign Ministry pointed out on Monday.

Of course, should the deal get the green light and be inked by both Washington and Taipei, the actual delivery will not take place for several years.

Even if they were to be delivered immediately, 66 F-16s will do very little to change the military imbalance between the two sides of the Taiwan Straits.

Given the mainland’s asymmetrical and constantly enlarging military advantage against Taiwan, rather than constituting a severe security challenge to the mainland, the surplus F-16s to be sold to Taiwan represent a matter of principle in Beijing’s eyes. It holds sovereignty over Taiwan to be a “core interest” as well as a diplomatic redline in its relations with foreign countries.

Not to mention there is the legitimate concern that the Washington may be employing the arms sales to Taiwan, along with the ongoing protests in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, as bargaining chips in its trade talks with Beijing.

However, playing the Taiwan card will more likely than not ruin the prospect of a deal rather than facilitate it. As Beijing has repeatedly stated, a deal will not be made at the expense of such a key national interest.

The only thing the proposed arms sale can do is to send what Washington has time and again been warned are the “wrong messages” to Taipei, encouraging it to edge further toward a military showdown with the mainland, the outcome of which is easily predictable. Such a scenario would be detrimental to Taiwan, the mainland and the US.

Given it announced it would impose sanctions on the companies involved in the July deal, Beijing’s response to the latest arms sales has actually been disproportionally restrained so far considering the severity of the matter.

But Washington should stop its grave interference in China’s internal affairs, cease selling arms to the island and end all military contacts with it, otherwise China will have to take measures to safeguard its interests depending on how the situation develops. Source link

US arms sales to Taiwan will lead to serious consequences 

 

Gun and Freedom

 

US President Donald Trump confirmed Sunday that he has approved the sale of $8 billion worth of F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan. According to reports, the arms sales involved 66 fighters of this type, and it was believed that the deal will pass smoothly in US Congress.

It would be the largest single US arms sale to Taiwan in recent years. In 1992, the Bush administration decided to sell 150 F-16A/B fighter jets worth $6 billion to Taiwan. That deal wreaked havoc on Sino-US relations.

Objectively, with the PLA’s combat capability constantly increasing, even if Taiwan spends all defense budgets to buy US weapons, it will have no real impact on the military situation across the Taiwan Straits. Taiwan is no longer a military rival of the Chinese mainland. The PLA has the ability to disarm the Taiwan military in a very short time. US arms sales to Taiwan cannot change this basic reality.

However, US arms sales to Taiwan have become the biggest link in strengthening political relations between the US and the island of Taiwan.

Beijing has been consistently opposing US arms sales to Taiwan. This time the Trump administration is doing what the Bush administration did 27 years ago, and it comes at a time of tensions between China and the US. It is expected that China will take strong countermeasures.

The Chinese mainland can take steps in two directions. First, it can crank up military pressure on Taiwan, so that it will become a political liability for Tsai ing-wen and her administration. Second, the more weapons Taiwan buys, the greater the risk. Whoever pushes for arms purchases will suffer politically. The Chinese mainland must act firm to establish a new political understanding of Taiwan’s military purchases.

There are many measures that the Chinese mainland can take in this regard. To date, promoting peaceful reunification has been the basic purpose of the mainland’s cross-Strait policies. China’s policy toward Taiwan can be changed, given the worsening cross-Strait relations by Taiwan authorities. Ratcheting up military pressure is another option for China.
It is very dangerous to use force to resist reunification and serve as a strategic pawn of the US, especially at a time of serious tensions between China and the US.

Beijing should insist that the money for the F-16V sold by the US be deducted from its trade with China. The twists and turns of China-US economic and trade negotiations tell us that the US has no bottom-line, and the longer the battle against it lasts, the more likely it will increase our losses.

We suggest that China directly link US arms sales to Taiwan with China’s purchase of US agricultural products in the future. China will buy less US agricultural products for every weapon the US sells to Taiwan. If we make that decision, and stick with it for a few years, it will be American farmers versus arms dealers. It won’t be long before there is a domestic backlash in the US against arms sales to Taiwan.

It is a long process from the signing of the arms sales contract between the US and island of Taiwan to its implementation. We must not allow this contract to be implemented comfortably between both parties. We must make both the island of Taiwan and Washington suffer because of it. Source link

 

Arms purchase puts Taiwan at risk 

 

The US State Department formally announced on Tuesday that the US government had decided to sell $8 billion in military equipment, including 66 new F-16V fighter jets, to the island of Taiwan. The plan still needs congressional approval but it is unlikely to be turned down.

This is the largest-ever US arms sale to the island, which will definitely impact the China-US relations and the situation across the Taiwan Straits.

Taiwan regional leader Tsai Ing-wen’s authorities consider the arms purchase a big political score and will try to use it to convince Taiwan people that the US is reliable in protecting the island and that the radical policy of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) is secure, hoping the arms sale could help get Tsai reelected as the regional leader in 2020.

Taiwan’s military buildup is meaningless when compared with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which is getting increasingly stronger. Most analysts believe that it will only take the PLA hours to take down the island if the mainland resorts to force. It doesn’t matter what weapons the island has purchased.

What Taiwan needs most to keep itself safe is to hold the political bottom line rather than picking a wrong path that leads to the extreme condition, in which the PLA has no alternative but to take decisive action. The major arms purchase could probably bring the island greater risks instead of security.

Taiwan must never try to promote de jure independence. If the island goes toward the direction with the salami-slicing strategy, it will only accumulate risks for itself. Taiwan must not act as a puppet of the US to contain the Chinese mainland. Otherwise, it will only find a dead end. The US won’t be able to protect it and the Chinese mainland will definitely not let it have its way.

Taiwan considers Chinese mainland-US tensions an opportunity to develop its ties with the US. The island has been trying to get involved in the US Indo-Pacific Strategy, proactively enhancing its role as a leverage of the US to strategically contain the Chinese mainland. It is a very risky move.

The higher cost and the risk of resorting to force is an important reason the Chinese mainland upholds peaceful reunification. Once the island’s authorities, by cooperating with the US, sharply increase the mainland’s cost of maintaining peace across the Taiwan Straits, the mainland will certainly reconsider its peaceful reunification policy and deliberate on other options.

If the Taiwan authorities insist on going their own way, the PLA will likely take action against the island to either liberate the island or deter and alert Taiwan secessionist forces. If the island’s authorities are bent on their wrong way, the mainland will increase military pressure on the island. Simultaneously, the probability of cross-Straits military frictions will grow, which will boost the likelihood that the PLA will take forceful military measures to punish the island. The DPP will pay for its ventures. Source link

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US mixed move on Huawei ban shows its limited hand in dealing with China: analysts


Move reflects Washington’s limited options: analysts

The US on Monday moved to grant another 90-day reprieve for Chinese telecom firm Huawei Technologies, but it also appeared to be increasing pressure on the company by adding more subsidiaries to its Entity List, in a sign of its increasingly limited options in cracking down on the company and China.

The move underscored the delicate situation faced by the Trump administration, which wants to continue its ill-intentioned goal of containing China’s technological and economic rise but is also under intensifying domestic pressure as its actions also inflict pain on US companies and consumers, analysts noted.

The US Department of Commerce announced on Monday (US time) that it will extend the temporary general license, which allows certain US companies to continue supplying Huawei, for another 90 days. The current 90-day reprieve was due to expire on Monday. But in the same statement, the agency also announced that it had added 46 additional subsidiaries of Huawei to its Entity List.

Huawei opposes the US decision to add another 46 Huawei affiliates to the Entity List, which is politically motivated, the company said in a statement sent to the Global Times on Monday.

The extension of the temporary license does not change the fact that the company has been treated unjustly, and today’s decision won’t have a substantial impact on Huawei’s business either way, the statement said.

“This is typical of the US: tough on words but soft on actions,” Bai Ming, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, told the Global Times on Monday, noting that the US is facing more difficulties in following up on its tough threats. “They know that they can’t do much about Huawei without hurting themselves.”

In the statement, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross acknowledged the dilemma. “As we continue to urge consumers to transition away from Huawei’s products, we recognize that more time is necessary to prevent any disruption,” he said.

But the new moves are unlikely to either ease or add new pressure that Huawei hadn’t anticipated, said Jiang Junmu, the chief writer at telecom industry news website c114.com.cn.

Huawei’s sign is seen at an exhibition hall of MWC19 in Barcelona, Spain on Sunday. Photo: Chen Qingqing/GT

“Huawei has already been forced to the bottom and whatever the US decision is will not change Huawei’s rise,” Jiang told the Global Times, noting that the company has been preparing for the worst-case scenario.

Since being added to the US blacklist, Huawei has mounted a fierce response to US accusations against its products and has moved to release a series of new technologies and products in anticipation of the ban. Most notably, the company has launched its own Harmony operating system to replace Android, which is from Google.

“The US move will only speed up Huawei’s adoption of its Plan B,” said Jiang, who follows Huawei closely.

The US decision will also have a limited impact on the trade negotiations between Chinese and US officials, which are facing a rough road as the US continues to adopt its bullying tactics.

Even as new talks are scheduled for Washington in September, the US administration announced a 10 percent tariff on more than $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. In another sign of its limited control over trade, the US later delayed tariffs on some household goods ahead of the Christmas shopping season to quell rising domestic pressure.

“The US has not changed its tactics but increasingly its hand is forced,” Bai said.

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‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’, ‘the glory of American experiment’ by US Secretary of State/Ex-CIA director Mike Pompeo



https://youtu.be/DPt-zXn05ac

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: “I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. We had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment.”

Pompeo said this at an event at Texas A&M University on April 15, 2019. Here is the official State Department transcript:https://www.state.gov/secretary/remar…. https://thegrayzone.com

Support our original journalism at Patreon: https://patreon.com/grayzone

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‘Glory of American experiment’: What did Pompeo mean by that?

 

 

 

 

 

Mike Pompeo is loved by the Koch brothers, big oil, Islamophobes, people against  marriage equality, and of course, Donald J. Trump. Narrated by Judy Gold. » Subscribe to NowThis: http://go.nowth.is/News_Subscribe
With business ties to foreign governments, connections to the defense and oil industries, nonchalance towards torture, and hatreds of entire cultures, it’s no surprise Mike   Pompeo’s run as Trump’s CIA Director was short lived – but his time in the White House continues on as U.S. Secretary of State and head of all U.S. diplomatic relations.

Pompeo: ‘I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole’

 

 

 

 ‘I was the CIA director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It’s – it was like – we had entire training courses. It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment’ – Pompeo

Mike Pompeo says, “Lying, cheating and stealing reminds you of the glory of the American experiment”

 

Pictured above: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, telling it like it is: lying, cheating and stealing are the glory of the American experiment. It’s what the capitalist West does best. He was adored by the audience like a success guru.
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Who is messing with Hong Kong?


A rioter waves a US national flag in Tsim Sha Tsui district in Hong Kong on August 11. Photo: AFP

Who’s behind Hong Kong protests?

What went wrong with Hong Kong’s education? Is it one root-cause of the current hostility how these young people are being educated?

How can the HK government bring back law and order?



Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation to ask UN to probe U.S. involvement in riots

Foreign forces have been trying to influence HK for years to infiltrate mainland

Some foreign forces have had a hand in what is happening in Hong Kong. The list includes the US Democratic politician Nancy Pelosi, Senate MajorityLeader Mitch McConnell and Republican senator Marco Rubio as well as staff from the Consulate General of the US in Hong Kong and think tanks from the US.

They either neglect what is happening in Hong Kong, make groundless accusations about the Chinese government or send the wrong signals to radical protesters. They also invited people involved in what is happening in Hong Kong to visit the US and funded the so-called democratic and political movement.

Analysts said that long before Hong Kong returned to China, the US made it a point to contain China in a soft way by promoting the West’s ideology. And now the US is openly interfering in China’s domestic affairs.

In 1998, US president Bill Clinton paid a visit to Hong Kong and praised the city for its trade and globalization, and noted that the US thinks Hong Kong is not only important to China, but also to Asia, the US and the whole world.

But now, some Americans are using Hong Kong as a card to contain China.

In the book Hong Kong and the Cold War: Anglo-American Relations 1949-1957, the author Chi-kwan Mark wrote that after 1949, the British Empire in Hong Kong was more vulnerable. “Concerned about possible Chinese retaliation, the British insisted and the Americans accepted that Hong Kong’s role should be as discreet and non-confrontational in nature as possible.”

“Top decision-makers in Washington evaluated Hong Kong’s significance not in its own right, but in the context of the Anglo-American relationship: Hong Kong was seen primarily as a bargaining chip to obtain British support for US policy elsewhere in Asia.”

During the Cold War, the Truman Administration ramped up efforts in ideological propaganda and infiltration of China and undertook a series of moves in Hong Kong through the US Information Agency there.

The main mission for the agency in Hong Kong was to create an anti-China atmosphere through broadcasts, movies, media and book publishing, cultivating support for the US and capitalism.

In 1957, the US National Security Council made US policy on Hong Kong, which explained its goal of conducting ideological and infiltration work on the Chinese mainland through Hong Kong. The document was signed by the then US president.

An officer at the US Consulate General reportedly met with major “Hong Kong Independence” activists in early August. The officer was later identified as Julie Eadeh, political unit chief of the consulate general.

Eadeh was involved in plotting subversive actions under the name of human rights and democracy while she was stationed in the Middle East as a diplomat, said Ta Kung Pao.

Eadeh’s former superior, Kurt Tong, former Consul General of the US to Hong Kong and Macao, frequently warned Hong Kong not to promote the extradition bill through the media.

Tong once said in an interview with the media that the legal systems of mainland and Hong Kong are different, so it is a natural reaction for Hong Kong people to pay attention to the amendment of the bill, according to Ta Kung Pao. His remarks were criticized by some media as “open political interference.”

Chan Yong, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People’s Congress was quoted by Ta Kung Pao as saying that Tong’s remarks showed “gangster logic.” The US has started color revolutions in many places in the world. Tong is only a diplomat who is not elected by the Hong Kong people and has no qualification to discuss what is happening in Hong Kong, Chan said.

Tang Fei, a member of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong & Macao Studies, told the Global Times that the US has been openly interfering in Hong Kong affairs since 2010 when Stephen Markley Young was the US Consul General in Hong Kong.

Tang said that almost all the US consul generals in Hong Kong had been appointed to work in Taiwan. During Young’s stay in Hong Kong, the “Arab Spring” took place and his remarks on the anti-government protests and armed rebellions that spread across North Africa and the Middle East in the early 2010s were criticized as intentionally stirring up political movements movements in Hong Kong.

NGO involvement

With Hong Kong’s chaotic situation, some think tanks and NGOs that are closely connected with the White House are also interfering.

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, on July 9 hosted a forum named “Protests, Crackdowns, and the Future of Hong Kong: A Conversation with Jimmy Lai Chee-Ying.”

Schanzer has frequent interactions with John Bolton, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs. However, Schanzer does not study Chinese affairs, but is an expert on Middle East issues.

NBC reported that during the event, Lai emphasized America’s “moral force,” saying, “We need to know that America is behind us.”

The Center for Strategic and International Studies of the US invited Kurt Tong to give a speech. Tong suggested Washington should conduct more active communication with Hong Kong, instead of seeing the region as a minor issue.

The website of US think tank Jamestown Foundation on July 16 published a report related to Hong Kong by Russell Hsiao, Executive Director of the “Global Taiwan Institute.” Hsiao has maintained a close relationship with the Democratic Progressive Party, which promotes Taiwan secession.

In US academia, there are not many scholars who have been following Hong Kong issues. Most people who study Hong Kong are those with experience of living in the region, such as Richard Bush III, the director of the Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies (CNAPS) of the Brookings Institution.

According to a Chinese language BBC report in July, Bush said the Hong Kong radicals have set a very high goal and their strategy is becoming more aggressive, which is almost certain to draw a reaction from the police.

“US Government, NGOs Fuel and Fund Hong Kong Anti-Extradition Protests,” read an article published on the Global Research website in Canada.

“Maintaining Hong Kong’s distance from China has been important to the US for decades. One former CIA agent even admitted that “Hong Kong was our listening post,” the article read, stating that the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA soft-power cutout, has been funding groups in Hong Kong since 1994.

NED has two branches out of its main four, the Solidarity Center (SC) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which are closely connected with the groups in Hong Kong. Louisa Greve, vice president of programs for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, said that NED’s funding for Hong Kong groups has been “consistent,” according to the article.

In 2014, Greve even admitted in public that “activists know the risks of working with NED partners” in Hong Kong, but do it anyway.

When searching “Hong Kong” on the NED website, the Global Times reporter found 14 related items, including $1.95 million in funding for the region. In May, the foundation invited some “pro-secession” activists for a seminar, after which the violence in Hong Kong streets became increasingly severe, echoing the voice of anti-China politicians and NGOs in Washington.

Similar tricks to ‘Color Revolution

The US has always kept a close economic and social relationship with Hong Kong. American companies generally praise the business environment in Hong Kong, including its judicial system, free flow of information, low tax rate and local infrastructure. More than 1,300 US firms operate in Hong Kong, including 726 regional operations and there are approximately 85,000 American residents in Hong Kong, according to a report released by the US Department of State in July 2018.

In addition, “The US trade surplus with Hong Kong is the single largest with a US trading partner, with a surplus in 2017 of $32.6 billion,” said the report. Main Hong Kong imports from the US are American aircraft and spacecraft, electronic machines, pearls, gold, diamonds, artwork, meat, fruit and nuts.

However, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong has been playing a dishonorable role. In March, the chamber expressed views in newspapers belonging to the opposition camp in Hong Kong, saying it sent a strongly-worded position paper to the Security Bureau under the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR).

In the past, the chamber submitted such advice directly to the HKSAR, but this time, it made a show of “politicizing the commerce chamber” – deliberately revealing the advice through opposition media in order to stir up society.
Anson Chan Fang On-sang and several other opposition leaders visited the US to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US House speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has frequently made irresponsible remarks and even “gave orders” to the HKSAR Chief Executive.

Some opinions in Hong Kong said pro-democracy leaders receive a high standard of hospitality from the US, which shows how much attention the US pays to Hong Kong, but amid the tense situation of the China-US trade friction, such behavior “gets Hong Kong and the opposition camp involved in the wrestling between China and the US,” which is very unwise.

The main influence of the US on Hong Kong is reflected in the high-end financial industry, as the big investment banks are mainly from the US, Tang told the Global Times.

Tang noted the cost for the US to play the “Hong Kong card” to start a strategic competition with China is not high. Even though the surplus of US enterprises in Hong Kong reaches $40 billion each year, which balances out the deficit with China, the US can control its enterprises and investment banks in Hong Kong through “long-arm jurisdiction.” It can threaten to cancel Hong Kong’s position as an “independent customs area” using the excuse of the “extradition bill crisis.”

This situation puts Hong Kong in a dilemma: even if Hong Kong compromises, the city will not gain goodwill from the opposition camp backed by the US; if Hong Kong shows a tough position, the US may weaken Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center.

During the Cold War, the US made Hong Kong a “shop window” to showcase Western values of democracy, thus implementing a type of “soft containment.” The infiltration by the US, to some extent, has impacted Hong Kong society and its people. For instance, some Hongkongers are prejudiced against the Chinese government, which proves that the US infiltration has made the values of some intellectuals and youths in Hong Kong more Westernized.

The political, economic, social and cultural system have basically remained unchanged since China resumed exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, so the values of some Hongkongers are still close to the UK and US, said Chan Chi-Ho, vice executive chairman of the Hong Kong CPPCC Youth Association. During the “anti-extradition bill” protests, some people frequently came to meet US politicians and took the initiative to ask foreign forces to intervene, Chan said. For example, they published joint signatures on the White House website and connected with US diplomatic personnel in Hong Kong.

Chan said many Hongkongers know that the reason for the protests is support from foreign forces. The locals do not agree with waving UK and US national flags in public places because it completely betrays the national interest and the Chinese people’s feelings. After all, very few people want Hong Kong to become a colony again.

Meanwhile, it is notable that the action of waving foreign flags drew strong disgust from people who love China and Hong Kong. Many local people were angered by this traitorous action.

The situation in Hong Kong can now be described as “UK retreating but US advancing,” which was reflected in the Occupy Central Movement in 2014, according to Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, from Nankai University in Tianjin. The movement made Hong Kong a strategic strongpoint supported by foreign political forces, as well as a wedge that deeply affects China.

Li noted the operations, tricks and methods taken by the US during the “anti-extradition bill” protests are similar to color revolutions in other places. Everything from the image building and power allocation to propaganda and political objectives are very similar. The duration and mobility of the recent protests all surpassed that of the 2014 movement in terms of level and width.

Li predicts that the US will not give up playing the Hong Kong card easily. At the same time, Beijing will enhance its countermeasures. As a result, the overall situation in Hong Kong will be controlled, he said. – Source link 

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Singapore growth forecast down to 1%


Unknown future: As Singapore further cut its growth forecast, New Zealand, India and Thailand also cut their interest rates signalling concerns on growth outlook. — AFP

SINGAPORE: Singapore slashed its full-year economic growth forecast as global conditions were seen worsening and data confirmed the slowest growth rate in a decade amid mounting fears of recession in the city-state.

The government cut its forecast range for gross domestic product in Singapore – often seen as a bellwether for global growth because international trade dwarfs its domestic economy – to zero to 1% from its previous 1.5%-2.5% projection.

Singapore’s downgrade adds to concerns globally about the effect of increasing protectionism on exports and production.

The deterioration in the global outlook has pushed central banks to cut interest rates and consider unconventional stimulus to shield their economies.

“GDP growth in many of Singapore’s key final demand markets in the second half of 2019 is expected to slow from, or remain similar to, that recorded in the first half, ” the trade ministry said in a statement to the media yesterday.

The ministry flagged a host of growing economic risks including Hong Kong’s political situation, the Japan-Korea trade dispute, the Sino-US tariff war, slowing growth in China and Brexit.

Final second quarter GDP data yesterday showed a 3.3% on-quarter contraction on a seasonally-adjusted annualised basis. That was slightly smaller than the 3.4% decline seen in the government’s advance estimate but deeper than a 2.9% fall predicted in a Reuters poll and a sharp contrast to the robust 3.8% first quarter expansion, which was driven by brisk construction activity.

Yesterday’s data also confirmed annual GDP expanded 0.1% in April-June from a year earlier, its slowest rate in a decade, and lower than poll expectations of 0.2% and the first quarter’s 1.1%.

Singapore’s benchmark stock index fell 1.2% to a two-month low in early trade, underperforming other bourses in the region.

Singapore has been hit hard by the Sino-US trade war, which has disrupted world supply chains in a blow to business investment and corporate profits.

Also yesterday, Singapore cut its full-year forecast for non-oil domestic exports to a 9% contraction from an 8% fall previously.

That comes after a 26.9% drop in electronics exports in the second quarter year-on-year.

“With trade tensions between the US-China unlikely to abate anytime soon, we expect exports and trade-related services to push the economy into technical recession in Q3, ” said Sian Fenner, lead Asia economist at Oxford Economics.

New Zealand, India and Thailand all cut interest rates last week, signalling major concerns about the outlook for economic growth. Last month, the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time since 2008.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an annual speech last week that the government stood ready to stimulate the economy.

“It feels like the storm is coming if you look at the whole macro economic fundamentals softening, ” said Selena Ling, head of treasury and strategy at OCBC Bank.

“All the downside risks are piling up on one side, ” Ling added, pointing to the myriad of global risks flagged in the trade ministry statement. — Reuters

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