Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Tag: China

THE FITZGERALD AND MCCAIN INCIDENTS, APPLE, GOOGLE, & CHINA

by Joseph P. Farrell, Giza Death Star:

Before we get to today’s blog topic, I want to extend some remarks of thanks to all of you who’ve been so patient as this never-ending saga of delays never ends. This has played havoc with my ability to schedule anything for almost a year and a half, and hence this month I have not yet scheduled any vidchats nor been able to schedule any interviews. Needless to say, this is not easy to deal with, and I truly appreciate everyone’s patience. I am exhausted and dog tired from constantly getting things ready, and then having the schedule collapse once again. So thank you for understanding and for your patience.  This means, also, that blogs and News and Views are up in the air this week as well, but I will try to keep everyone apprised.  Some components have arrived, which now sit uselessly in big boxes in my living room.

America, China, and the Battle for the “Indo-Pacific”

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by James Corbett, The International Forecaster:

… the writing is on the wall: The neocons in charge of the American war machine have chosen India to be their next best hope for a potential roadblock to Chinese dominance in Asia, and they’re re-naming the entire region just to prove it.

Goodbye, Asia-Pacific! Hello, Indo-Pacific?  That’s right, the old “Asia-Pacific” label is so last decade, guys. It’s time to start calling that part of the globe the “Indo-Pacific.” Who cares if it’s geographically nonsensical? America’s military planners and their think tank lackeys are starting to change their nomenclature, and you should too!

The term entered the vernacular last year when Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used it in his “Remarks on ‘Defining Our Relationship With India for the Next Century.'” It was immediately parroted by all the usual propaganda outlets, including the mouthpiece of the globalist establishment, CFR.org.

So why bother? What was wrong with “Asia-Pacific” as a descriptor and why now the shift to “Indo-Pacific?” When questioned about the change in terminology during Trump’s Asia tour last year, a White House official told India’s Economic Times that the phrase “captures the importance of India’s rise.”

There may be some truth to the narrative of India as a rising power. It has, after all, surpassed China as the fastest growing economy in the world and foreign investment figures indicate that boom might not be stopping any time soon.

But if you get the sense that Washington’s sudden inclination to rename an entire region to reflect this rising importance is not merely about goodwill for the Indian people, then give yourself a prize. It has everything to do with Washington’s interest in India’s potential use as a pliable vassal state that can be used as a roadblock against the rise of the region’s other great power: China.

But don’t take that from me. Take it from Tillerson:

“[…]the very international order that has benefited India’s rise – and that of many others – is increasingly under strain.
“China, while rising alongside India, has done so less responsibly, at times undermining the international, rules-based order even as countries like India operate within a framework that protects other nations’ sovereignty.
“China’s provocative actions in the South China Sea directly challenge the international law and norms that the United States and India both stand for.
“The United States seeks constructive relations with China, but we will not shrink from China’s challenges to the rules-based order and where China subverts the sovereignty of neighboring countries and disadvantages the U.S. and our friends.
“In this period of uncertainty and somewhat angst, India needs a reliable partner on the world stage. I want to make clear: with our shared values and vision for global stability, peace, and prosperity, the United States is that partner.”

As I reported in these very pages last year, relations between Beijing and New Delhi cooled when India declined to attend China’s much ballyhooed first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. The forum, held in Beijing last May, brought together 29 foreign heads of state to discuss China’s proposed trillion dollar “One Belt One Road” project (OBOR) aimed at developing trade routes, infrastructure and development projects throughout the region. Given the incredible amounts of money China has been dispensing in recent years, it isn’t hard to see what excites so many regional leaders about OBOR. The logic is simple: Take Beijing’s infrastructure and development money in return for giving Chinese companies and products a foot in the door of domestic markets. Who wouldn’t take such a deal?

India, that’s who. They ended up skipping the party in Beijing over well-publicized concerns about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a proposed $60+ billion infrastructure project to develop parts of Pakistan’s border area that are disputed by arch-rival India. India’s concern was that China was trying to use its financial clout to force a resolution to India and Pakistan’s border disputes, and guess who sided with New Delhi on the issue? Extra points if you guessed Mad Dog Mattis and his cohorts at the White House.

And as I also reported last year, China and India came surprsingly close to military confrontation last summer over a seemingly insignificant mountain pass in a disputed area between China and Bhutan. In short, Bhutan objected to China’s attempt to extend a road in the area and India, taking Bhutan’s side, actually sent troops into the region to prevent the construction. This led to back-and-forth allegations of “breaches of national sovereignty” and a nearly two month-long standoff between China and India. Eventually the two sides agreed to a speedy disengagement from the area, although China refused to rule out its continuation of the road construction in the future.

But if all that wasn’t enough, along comes a crisis in the Maldives to once again put Beijing and New Delhi on opposite sides of a geopolitical dispute. The story of the Maldives’ constitutional crisis is beyond the scope of this editorial (fascinating as it may be), but the long story short is that the Maldives—a chain of islands southwest of Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean—is in a declared state of emergency after the current president, Abdulla Yameen, refused to abide by a Supreme Court decision to release nine political opposition members from jail. The Maldives has traditionally been considered squarely within India’s sphere of influence, but Yameen has been friendlier with China and, not incidentaly, the easy OBOR money that Beijing is sloshing around these days.

Once again, China and India are squaring off against each other. The political opposition in the Maldives has called on India to intervene militarily to restore order in the country, which at any other time in history India would have gladly done. But this is not any other time in history. This time China made its presence known by sending eleven warships into the East Indian Ocean just as India was debating whether or not to act. The bold move seems to have worked. India has, thus far, stayed out of the situation. But Indian fears about growing Chinese presence in the region, from Gwadar to Djibouti, are becoming outright panic, if the always-interesting Indian TV panel shows are any indication. (Seriously, could you imagine an American television show convening a commercial-free, one hour, high-level geopolitical discussion that was free of sensationalism and didn’t talk down to its audience?)

Worryingly, this sense of panic seems to be setting in at the highest echelons of the Indian military. In a severe breach of diplomatic protocol that again could lead to military tension, the chief of the Indian army this week accused China and Pakistan of facilitating an influx of insurgents into India’s northeast from Bangladesh.

In short, the relationship between Beijing and New Delhi is not all rainbows and lollipops these days.

Read More @ TheInternationalForecaster.com

110 Million TON Silver Reserve Discovered in Mongolia Region, China

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by Rory Hall, The Daily Coin:

110 Million TON Silver Reserve Discovered in Mongolia Region, China by Rory – The Daily Coin

This certainly has my full undivided attention. Apparently 110 MILLION TON silver ore reserve has been discovered in China’s Mongolia region. Did the silver market just change and what does this mean for stackers?

According to Xinhua, China’s state owned news service, silver is free flowing through the Inner Mongolia region. The 110 million tons of silver ore may be flanked by even more silver but the miners can not or will not say at present. Will any of this silver make it’s way to the open market or will China, as they have done for the past several years, keep all the silver that is mined internally. Not only does China keep all their internal silver, and gold for that matter, they import a fair amount of silver each year. Most of the silver is used for industrial manufacturing like solar panels, biocides and a great many other uses including finer things like jewelry and investment coins and bars.

As YiCai Global reported

 

Local authorities in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region have found a silver reserve with over 110 million tons of the precious metal’s ore.

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The main and associated mines also contain 15,474 tons of silver metal, 38 million tons of lead ore, 392,200 tons of lead, nearly 105 million tons of zinc ore and 1.5 million tons of zinc, the report added.

My guess is we will never see any of the this silver come to the open market, especially with the electric vehicles coming online and the demand for silver, as the second most used commodity, will only continue to grow. This is to say nothing of the Belt and Road Initiative, EAEU and the other economic alliances that will be demanding massive infrastructure projects which means massive demand for all metals, both precious and base metals like lead, copper and zinc. It will be interesting to see how the COMEX uses this new discovery to beat down the metals on the COMEX and LBMA.

Read More @ TheDailyCoin.org

Whose Private-Sector Debt Will Implode Next: US, Canada, China, Eurozone, Japan?

by Wolf Richter, Wolf Street:

Canadians, fasten your seat-belt. Here are the charts.

The Financial Crisis in the US was a consequence of too much debt and too much risk, among numerous other factors, and the whole house of cards came down. Now, after eight years of experimental monetary policies and huge amounts of deficit spending by governments around the globe, public debt has ballooned. Gross national debt in the US just hit $20.5 trillion, or 105{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP. But that can’t hold a candle to Japan’s national debt, now at 250{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP.

And private-sector debt, which includes household and business debts — how has it fared in the era of easy money?

In the US, total debt to the private non-financial sector has ballooned to $28.5 trillion. That’s up 14{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from the $25 trillion at the crazy peak of the Financial Crisis and up 63{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from 2004.

In relationship to the economy, private sector debt soared from 147{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP in 2004 to 170{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP in the first quarter of 2008. Then it all fell apart. Some of this debt blew up and was written off. For a little while consumers and businesses deleveraged just a tiny little bit, before starting to add to their debts once again.

But the economy began growing again too, and private-sector debt as a percent of GDP fell to a low of 148{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in Q1 2015. It has since picked up steam, growing once again faster than the economy, and now is at 151.7{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP, back where it was in 2005. This chart shows US private sector debt to the non-financial sector, in trillion dollars (blue line, left scale) and as a percent of GDP (red line, right scale):

In the Eurozone, the pattern looks similar before the Financial Crisis, with total debt growing sharply both in euros and as a percent of GDP. But after the Financial Crisis, private-sector debt continued to grow in euro terms. As a percent of GDP, it largely leveled off, and as the economy picked up steam over the past two years, this debt declined to 163{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of GDP:

These charts are based on data from the Bank for International Settlements and the St. Louis Fed.

Read More @ WolfStreet.com

China, Russia Call on U.S. To Conduct Diplomacy, Not Threats, over North Korea; LaRouche Stresses, U.S. Holds the Key

from LaRouche PAC:

The United Nations Security Council yesterday issued a statement of condemnation of the latest missile firing by North Korea. Since then, a number of spokesmen for China and Russia, calling for a response of calm, have specifically spoken out that the United States should stop threatening North Korea, and resume diplomacy. In fact, Russia’s Ambassador to the U.N. Vasily Nebenzya, underscoring the need for negotiations, proposed yesterday the possibility for UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres playing a mediating role with North Korea and other nations. This should be considered, Nebenzya said.

Lyndon LaRouche, briefed on these statements, concurs that, the U.S. holds the key to the North Korean situation. He said that this view is on the mark, and reiterated that the problem can be solved only through dialogue and political means. The proposal about Guterres is sound, he said.

Amb. Nebenzya stated that there is no way out of the North Korean crisis other than the political and diplomatic one. He made reference to the fact that the U.S. has called on Russia and China to comply with the new sanctions against North Korea under Resolution 2375, while likewise, Nebenzya called on the U.S. to implement the other part of the resolution, mandating political measures to resolve the crisis.”We said we are a responsible member of the international community and we fulfill the UN Security Council’s resolutions diligently, but this resolution also stipulates the political measures that also should be fulfilled,”Nebenzya said according to TASS.”That’s why we urged the Americans and other partners to fulfill the political and diplomatic decisions the resolution spelled out.”Further, he said that,”We’ll consider their non-fulfillment as non-compliance or insufficient compliance with the resolution.”

China’s Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai has also spoken out. He said the U.S. should stop threatening North Korea and begin negotiations.”They [the US] should refrain from issuing more threats. They should do more to find effective ways to resume dialogue and negotiation.”He said this to reporters in Washington, D.C. yesterday, according to today’s Guardian.“Honestly, I think the United States should be doing much more than now, so that there’s real effective international cooperation on this issue.”

In Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said China opposed the D.P.R.K.’s missile launch, but also urged the U.S. to change its tactics towards Pyongyang.”China is not to blame for the escalation of tensions. China does not hold the key to resolving the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, either. Those who tied the knots are responsible for untying [them].”

On the U.S. side, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said:”We have been kicking the can down the road and we’re out of road. For those who have been commenting about the lack of a military option, there is a military option. Now, it’s not what we prefer to do, so what we have to do is call on all nations to do everything we can to address this global problem, short of war.”

Read More @ LaRouchePAC.com

The West continues to buy paper gold while the East buys physical according to World Gold Council

by Kenneth Schortgen, The Daily Economist:

On Aug. 3 the World Gold Council published a report for the second quarter (Q2) on overall sales of the precious metal.  And in this report the WGC found that although there was a rise in gold buying in the United States and Europe, the majority of their purchases were done in the ETF and paper markets.

Simultaneously, gold buying in India and China rose over the first quarter (Q1), and their primary buying was done in the physical gold markets.

Global gold demand was 953.4 tonnes in the second quarter, which was 10{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} lower than the same time last year. Demand in the first half fell 14{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-on-year to 2003.8 tonnes. The World Gold Council stressed that the declines in demand reflect a slowdown after a surge in ETF demand during the first half of 2016. 

Gold-backed ETFs enjoyed a 56 tonne increase in assets under management in the quarter, with holdings of ETFs reaching 2,313 tonnes in June – the highest level since October last year. Holdings in the first half rose by roughly 168 tonnes. 

Second quarter investment in the U.S. and Europe was 30.9 tonnes and 35.2 tonnes, respectively, though European-listed ETFs accounted for 76{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of net global inflows in the first half. Assets under management in European-listed funds hit a record high of 977.7 tonnes at the end of the second quarter. However, Chinese investors turned cold on gold in the quarter: 

Chinese demand for bars and coins was strong in the second quarter, rising 56{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} from the same time last year. Here’s a little more detail from the World Gold Council: 

This was a solid quarter, broadly in line with the three- and five-year average quarterly demand of 62.9t and 69.5t respectively. But when we look at recent trends it is clear that Chinese retail investment has slowed down a little. China saw exceptionally strong demand in the final quarter of 2016 and the first quarter of 2017, with over 100t bought in each. A depreciating currency and fears over State-imposed restrictions on the property markets in Tier 1 and 2 cities fuelled demand for gold as a high-quality liquid asset. So far in 2017, however, the yuan has stabilised and the property market regulations have not had the impact many investors had feared. 

Indian coin and bar demand rose 46{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-on-year in the second quarter, while demand in Turkey rose to the highest level since 2013. Indian jewelry demand rose 41{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} year-on-year in the second quarter: 

India drove global Q2 jewellery demand growth almost single-handedly. Demand shot up to 126.7t compared with just 89.8t in Q2 2016. The strong recovery had been widely expected after exceptional import figures were reported, hitting an all-time high of 104.6t in May as the market stockpiled gold ahead of the June GST rate announcement. Expecting a punitive GST rate, jewellers and consumers alike crammed their purchases into the first two months of the quarter, slowing down once the government confirmed that a 3{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} rate would be applied. – Barrons

As usual, most Americans do not truly understand diversification in their portfolios, as their buying of gold through and ETF means that they have only purchased another dollar based security, and have only a promise of access to real gold.  However over in Asia, diversification is much more acute since many investors there are buying assets in opposition to their own sovereign currencies, such as with physical gold, cryptocurrencies, and overseas real estate.

Read More @ TheDailyEconomist.com