Showing posts with label Geopolitics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geopolitics. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Too big to fail: China maps out its Trump strategy

Wed Dec 14, 2016 | 2:15am EST


By Ben Blanchard and Christian Shepherd | BEIJING
When Donald Trump becomes U.S. president next month, one issue above all others could force his new administration to work closely with China and underscore why he and Beijing need each other - North Korea.

A nuclear armed North Korea, developing missiles that could hit the U.S. west coast, is clearly bad news for Washington but also Pyongyang's sometimes-reluctant ally Beijing, which fears one day those missiles could be aimed at them.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Inside China’s Global Spending Spree

By Scott Cendrowski
Photograph by Teru Onishi for Fortune
DECEMBER 12, 2016, 6:30 AM EST


“One Belt, One Road,” China’s $3 trillion infrastructure-building campaign, could be a windfall for some Western companies and investors.

The high-rise coastal city of Dubai plays host to all kinds of luxury oddities: indoor ski slopes, gold-bar vending machines, vast artificial archipelagoes shaped like palm trees. But six miles inland, something just as unusual, if far less gaudy, is taking shape—the first coal-fired power plant in the Middle East.

Trump draws rebukes after saying U.S. isn’t bound by one-China policy

The Washington Post

By Emily Rauhala December 12 at 9:43 AM
BEIJING — Donald Trump is talking about Taiwan again — and so is China, in angry and mocking ­comments Monday that questioned whether the president-elect grasps a core ­element of ­relations between the world’s top economic powers.

In an interview broadcast Sunday, Trump said the United States would not necessarily be bound by the one-China policy — the diplomatic understanding that underpins ties between Washington and Beijing and that leaves China’s ­rival Taiwan on the diplomatic sidelines with the United States.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Fearing abandonment by Trump, CIA-backed rebels in Syria mull alternatives

The Washington Post

By Karen DeYoung and Louisa Loveluck December 3 at 6:03 PM
Three years after the CIA began secretly shipping lethal aid to rebels fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, battlefield losses and fears that a Donald Trump administration will abandon them have left tens of thousands of opposition fighters weighing their alternatives.

Among the options, say U.S. officials, regional experts and the rebels themselves, are a closer alliance with better-armed al-Qaeda and other extremist groups, receipt of more sophisticated weaponry from Sunni states in the Persian Gulf region opposed to a U.S. pullback, and adoption of more traditional guerrilla tactics, including sniper and other small-scale attacks on both Syrian and Russian targets.

China says Trump clear about Taiwan, in touch with his team

Mon Dec 5, 2016 | 5:20am EST


By Ben Blanchard and Roberta Rampton | BEIJING/WASHINGTON
U.S. President-elect Trump is clear about China's position on the Taiwan issue and China has maintained contacts with his team, the foreign ministry said on Monday, as Trump took to Twitter to complain about Chinese economic and military policy.

Trump's unusual call with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen on Friday prompted a diplomatic protest on Saturday, though U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence played down the telephone conversation, saying it was a "courtesy" call, not intended to show a shift in U.S. policy on China.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tired of Syriza, Greece embraces a mainstream party

The centre-right New Democracy party is dull, technocratic and leading the polls
Dec 3rd 2016 | ATHENS

The Economist

THE headquarters of New Democracy, a centre-right political party, is in an unexpected part of Athens. The building, surrounded by warehouses, housed a branch of a Japanese technology firm before standing derelict for years. Few other political types are nearby. The rent, at €9,800 ($10,400) a month, is a tenth of what the party’s old office used to cost. Yet the relocation, which happened in August, is also symbolic. As the opposition party has moved to a cheaper part of town, so too does it hope that it can present itself to the public as a new, improved alternative to the Greek government. With Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister (pictured, on the left), growing less popular, New Democracy may well have a chance.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Another Financial Warning Sign Is Flashing in China


  Bloomberg News
November 15, 2016 — 11:00 PM EET

Add another credit indicator to the financial warning signs flashing in China.
The adjusted loan-to-deposit ratio, which includes a range of off-balance sheet items and is an indicator of the banking system’s ability to weather stress, climbed to 80 percent as of June 30, according to S&P Global Ratings. For some smaller lenders, the ratio has already topped 100 percent, S&P estimates.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Trump sees Japan's Abe as ally in push back against China: adviser

 Fri Nov 11, 2016 | 2:16am EST


By Tim Kelly | TOKYO
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump's meeting next week with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe may mark the start of talks to garner Japan's support for a push back against China's growing influence in Asia, a security adviser to Trump said.

Trump's campaign comments, including a demand Japan pay more for the upkeep of U.S. forces on its soil, have worried Tokyo about a rift in a security alliance with Washington, in the face of a rising China and a volatile North Korea, that has been the bedrock of its defense since World War Two.

A tougher stance against China, however, and a call for Japan to play a bigger security role through a Trump-Abe axis would however fit with Abe's hawkish policies that include allowing the military to operate more freely overseas.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Greece's Golden Dawn says Trump win a victory for ethnically 'clean' states

Wed Nov 9, 2016 | 4:18am EST


Nov 9 Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party hailed Donald Trump's election as president of the United States, calling it a victory against "illegal immigration" and in favour of ethnically "clean" nations.

Golden Dawn, Greece's third-largest party, took its first seats in parliament in 2012 on a backlash against austerity policies in Greece, which has received three international bailouts since 2010.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Brexit so complex it could overwhelm politicians, warn senior academics

Independent group says leaving EU will test constitution and legal framework to their limits and ‘possibly beyond’

The Guardian

Managing Britain’s exit from the European Union is such a formidable and complex challenge that it could overwhelm politicians and civil servants for years, senior academics have warned.

Theresa May has announced she will trigger article 50 – the two-year process of negotiating a separation from the EU – by the end of March next year. The government will also publish a great repeal bill, which will transfer all EU-originated laws into British law, so that MPs can decide how much they want to discard.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

UPDATE 1-Greece names Total-led consortium preferred bidder for offshore gas drilling

Wed Oct 26, 2016 | 1:05pm BST


Oct 26 Greece named on Wednesday a consortium of France's Total, its biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum and Italy's Edison as the preferred bidder for an offshore gas drilling block in the west of the country.

Greece, which signed up to a third bailout last summer, has made several fruitless attempts over the last 50 years to find big oil and gas reserves. Its debt crisis and important findings in neighbouring countries has prompted the country to step up those efforts.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Greece awaits Obama trip amid tough bailout talks

The Washington Post

By Derek Gatopoulos | AP October 25 at 12:08 PM
ATHENS, Greece — Greece’s government says it was facing pressure from the International Monetary Fund to aggressively scale back union powers and employment rights, as the White House confirmed Tuesday that U.S. President Barack Obama will pay a post-election visit to Athens.

Obama’s Nov. 15 trip could boost efforts by the left-wing government in Athens to press for debt relief from European bailout lenders, as the country’s national debt approaches 180 percent of Greece’s stagnant gross domestic product. Obama will travel on to Germany after his Greek visit.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Euro Gripes Threaten Economic Recovery as Populism Advances

Alessandro Speciale
October 25, 2016 — 7:00 AM EEST


Anti-establishment parties are gaining ground in the heart of the European Union, and they may pose a bigger challenge to the region’s economy than any of those that have drawn support in the periphery over the past years.
While populists in Spain or Italy are revolting against restrictive fiscal policies and a weakening of social safety nets, the backlash in France and Germany focuses on monetary union itself. Parties openly advocating a break from the euro are building momentum ahead of a year of election across the region and politicians skeptical about EU integration are already twisting policy decisions. Belgium’s Wallonia region blocked a trade deal with Canada just last week.

Monday, October 24, 2016

The threat from Russia

How to contain Vladimir Putin’s deadly, dysfunctional empire
Oct 22nd 2016

The Economist

FOUR years ago Mitt Romney, then a Republican candidate, said that Russia was America’s “number-one geopolitical foe”. Barack Obama, among others, mocked this hilarious gaffe: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the cold war’s been over for 20 years,” scoffed the president. How times change. With Russia hacking the American election, presiding over mass slaughter in Syria, annexing Crimea and talking casually about using nuclear weapons, Mr Romney’s view has become conventional wisdom. Almost the only American to dissent from it is today’s Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rodrigo Duterte’s impetuous pivot

Image result for south china sea map claims

Is the Philippines, until now a staunch American ally, falling into the Chinese camp?
Oct 19th 2016 | Asia

The Economist

EVEN in a year of extraordinary reversals, few would have expected it. In July China reacted with fury when an international tribunal upheld a complaint from the Philippines and rubbished China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. This week it is rolling out the red carpet for the mercurial Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte. He is being feted in a four-day state visit, with 400-odd businessmen in tow. Rub your eyes: America’s strongest ally in South-East Asia appears to be plopping like a ripe mango into China’s hands.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Kurdish Troops Advance on ISIS-Held Villages East of Mosul


The New York Times

BADANA PICHWK, Iraq — Kurdish forces on Monday morning began advancing on a string of villages east of Mosul, the start of a long-awaited campaign to reclaim Iraq’s second-largest city from the Islamic State, which seized it more than two years ago, officials said.

About 4,000 Kurdish pesh merga troops are involved in the operation to retake 10 villages, the opening phase of a battle that could take weeks or months and could involve nearly 30,000 Iraqi and Kurdish troops, with American warplanes providing air support. Iraqi counterterrorism forces, which work closely with American Special Operations commandos in Iraq, are also expected to join the Kurdish forces in the coming days.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

U.S. says foreign forces in Iraq should be there with Baghdad's approval

Tue Oct 11, 2016 | 4:36pm EDT


Foreign military forces in Iraq should be there with the approval of the Baghdad government and under the umbrella of the anti-Islamic State coalition, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Turkey and Iraq disagree over the presence of about 2,000 Turkish troops at a base in northern Iraq, as the coalition prepares for an attack on the Islamic State-held city of Mosul.

Monday, September 5, 2016

U.S., Russia not yet eye-to-eye on possible resumption of Syrian cease-fire

The Washington Post
By William Wan, Karen DeYoung and Liz Sly September 4 at 2:05 PM

HANGZHOU, China— Efforts by the United States and Russia to forge a deal for a cease-fire in Syria and to coordinate their counterterrorism operations there faltered again Sunday, even as a major new Syrian-Russian offensive in the besieged city of Aleppo appeared to undermine key components of the proposed agreement.

After an anticipated news conference did not take place, Secretary of State John F. Kerry told reporters that his negotiations here with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov snagged on “a couple of tough issues” — nearly identical to the language he used when the two failed to reach agreement in their last meeting, just over a week ago in Geneva. Officials said they would meet again Monday.

Friday, September 2, 2016

China Will Try to Deflect G-20 Complaints at Hangzhou Summit

Amid backlash against globalization, Beijing casts itself as victim—not cause—of ‘trade protectionism’
The Wall Street Journal
Updated Sept. 1, 2016 12:31 a.m. ET
BEIJING—A summit of major economies meant to be a moment of glory for China coincides with a world-wide backlash against globalization—and much of it is blamed on China.

Beijing sees gatherings of world leaders as its chance to emphasize China’s ascending role on the world stage, and spares no effort to ensure outsize pomp—or blue skies—for the occasion. But as President Xi Jinping prepares to welcome leaders of the Group of 20 economies to the ancient city of Hangzhou, keeping China from being singled out as a hindrance to global growth is increasingly emerging as a goal.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Japanese Government Urges Another Increase in Military Spending

The New York Times

TOKYO — The government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is requesting another increase in spending on Japan’s armed forces, with a plan to expand missile defenses that would test the nation’s commitment to pacifism and escalate a regional arms race with China and North Korea.

With rising threats from North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile program and repeated incursions by Chinese ships into waters surrounding a string of islands claimed by Japan, the request would let the Defense Ministry develop new antiballistic missiles and place troops on southern islands closer to the chain in dispute with China.

If approved, the budget proposal for 5.17 trillion yen, or $50.2 billion, formally submitted on Wednesday, would be the nation’s fifth-straight annual increase in military spending. It is a 2.3 percent rise over last year.