Posts Tagged ‘China’

Missile Threats Surging Worldwide, U.S. Defense Study Finds

June 26, 2017

By Tony Capaccio and Larry Liebert

June 26, 2017, 12:01 AM EDT June 26, 2017, 10:32 AM EDT
Includes Video:
  • ‘Dramatic improvements in accuracy’ cited in report on trends
  • The missiles can carry nuclear or conventional warheads

Technology for ballistic and cruise missiles is advancing in countries from North Korea and Iran to Russia and China, increasing potential threats to the U.S. even if they don’t carry nuclear warheads, according to a new Pentagon report.

“Many countries view ballistic and cruise missile systems as cost-effective weapons and symbols of national power,” defense intelligence agencies said in the report obtained by Bloomberg News in advance of its release. “Many ballistic and cruise missiles are armed with weapons of mass destruction. However, numerous types of ballistic and cruise missiles have achieved dramatic improvements in accuracy that allow them to be used effectively with conventional warheads.”

The report comes as President Donald Trump’s administration seeks a way to stop North Korea’s drive to develop a nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missile that could hit the U.S. mainland. While citing the ballistic missile programs being pursued by Kim Jong Un’s regime in Pyongyang and by Iran, the study describes a broader proliferation of missiles, advanced technology and launch options.

“Ballistic missiles can be deployed in silos, on submarines, surface ships, road- and rail-mobile launchers and aircraft,” the report said. “Mobile missiles can provide greater pre-launch survivability. The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in ballistic missile capabilities to include accuracy, post-boost maneuverability, and combat effectiveness.”

Read More About the Options for Dealing With North Korea

Among the new technologies are hypersonic glide vehicles being developed by Russia and China.

“HGVS are maneuverable vehicles that travel at hypersonic (greater than Mach 5) speed and spend most of their flight at much lower altitudes than a typical ballistic missile,” according to the report. “The combination of high speed, maneuverability, and relatively low altitude makes them challenging targets for missile defense systems.”

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Shahab 3 ballistic missile

Other findings in the report by the National Air and Space Intelligence Center and the Defense Intelligence Ballistic Missile Analysis Committee:

  • “Tehran’s desire to have a strategic counter to the United States could drive it to field an ICBM. Progress in Iran’s space program could shorten a pathway to an ICBM because space launch vehicles (SLV) use inherently similar technologies.”
    Iran has modified its medium-range Shahab 3 ballistic missile, which is based on a North Korean model, to extend its range and effectiveness. The longest-range variant reportedly is able to reach targets at a distance of about 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles.) The U.S. agencies assess that Iran currently has fewer than 50 Shahab 3s.
  • “China continues to have the most active and diverse ballistic missile development program in the world. It is developing and testing offensive missiles, forming additional missile units, qualitatively upgrading missile systems, and developing methods to counter ballistic missile defenses.”
    China is expected to increase the number of warheads on its ICBMs capable of threatening the United States to substantially more than 100 by 2022 from the “relatively small number of nuclear armed, liquid-propellant” CSS-3 and CSS-4 ICBMs capable of reaching the U.S. today.
  • Russia, which surpassed the U.S. in 2014 in deployed nuclear warheads, “is expected to retain the largest force of strategic ballistic missiles outside the United States.”

Vatican Worries About ‘Forcibly Removed’ Bishop in China — Beijing Government Has Apparently Detained Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin — “Communism is a terrible totalitarian regime and people who haven’t experienced that find difficulty to understand that.”

June 26, 2017

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican is expressing “grave concern” for a Chinese bishop who it says was “forcibly removed” from his office several weeks ago.

The Holy See in a statement Monday said neither Catholics in Wenzhou diocese nor the prelate’s relatives know where or why Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin was taken.

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Bishop Peter ShaoZhumin

The Vatican recognizes Shao’s appointment as bishop; Chinese authorities don’t.

The Catholic church and the ruling Communist authorities of China have wrestled for decades over Vatican insistence only the pope can appoint bishops.

Last week, a Vatican-affiliated missionary news service said Shao’s disappearance is believed to be part of an attempt to persuade him to join the Communist-controlled Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association church.

The Vatican, saying it’s “profoundly saddened” by Shao’s case and “other similar episodes,” expressed hope he’ll return quickly.


“Communism is a terrible totalitarian regime and people who haven’t experienced that find difficulty to understand that.” — Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen

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Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen

A crane winching a large red cross from one Guantou’s three domes

A crane winches a large red cross from one of three domes on the Guantou church in Wenzhou

Officials in eastern China must abandon plans to demolish churches and crosses and stop their

Parishioners line up outside the Sanjiang church in Wenzhou hoping to save it from demolition by the Chinese Communist government. China destroyed the church anyway: but the massive showing of government defiance startled the Communist government.  Photo: Tom Phillips

Four bulldozers started demolishing Sanjiang church in Wenzhou on Monday, after six weeks of protests

Four bulldozers started demolishing Sanjiang church in Wenzhou after six weeks of protests

 — No room for Jesus?

 (May 2015)

China’s Catholics: ‘Rome may betray us, but I won’t join a Church which is controlled by the Communist Party’

 (From 2014)

 (The Dalai Lama is considered an outlaw to the Communist Chinese government)

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Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan

Hong Kong activists stage China protests ahead of Xi visit

June 26, 2017


© AFP / by Elaine YU | High-profile student campaigner Joshua Wong and a dozen demonstrators attached the black cloth to the giant golden bauhinia flower on Hong Kong’s harbourfront in an early morning protest

HONG KONG (AFP) – Hong Kong saw multiple protests Monday ahead of a visit by President Xi Jinping to mark 20 years since the city was handed back to China by Britain.Pro-democracy activists including high-profile student campaigner Joshua Wong draped a black flag over a statue symbolising Hong Kong’s return to China in an early morning act of defiance.

Dozens more campaigners marched to China’s representative office in the city in the afternoon in a rally against the detention of hundreds of human rights lawyers on the mainland, while a group of protesters also gathered in central Hong Kong to “sing for democracy”.

Xi’s visit will be his first since becoming president in 2013 and will culminate with the inauguration of Hong Kong’s new leader, Carrie Lam, on Saturday.

It comes as there are increasing concerns Beijing is trampling the handover agreement guaranteeing Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status by interfering in a range of areas, from politics to education and media.

In the morning demonstration, a dozen activists attached a black cloth to the giant golden bauhinia flower on Hong Kong’s harbourfront as security tried to stop them climbing on the famous tourist attraction.

The sculpture of the bauhinia, which became the emblem of Hong Kong after the handover, was a present to the city from China in 1997 and stands outside the convention centre where Xi will attend anniversary events during a three-day visit starting Thursday.

Police were called to take the flag down while the protesters chanted “democratic self-determination for Hong Kong’s future” and “one country, two systems has been a lie for 20 years”, referring to Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status.

– ‘Barbaric’ treatment –

Campaigners like Wong are calling for democratic reforms, promised in the handover deal, to change a system where the city leader is still chosen by a pro-China committee and the legislature is weighted towards Beijing.

Wong led mass Umbrella Movement rallies calling for fully free leadership elections in 2014, but they failed to win concessions.

Since then calls for self-determination or even full independence from China have emerged.

Wong’s party Demosisto wants a public referendum on Hong Kong’s future in 2047, the year the handover agreement protecting the city’s way of life and liberties expires.

Veteran politician and former legislator Emily Lau was among those who gathered in a separate protest Monday afternoon against the detention of lawyers by China, which she called “barbaric”.

“We firmly believe that a regime that does not respect basic human rights… cannot maintain stability and cannot secure legitimacy,” added activist Joseph Cheng.

Another group of around 20 protesters, including pro-democracy lawmaker Claudia Mo, sang “Do You Hear the People Sing?” outside the Court of Final Appeal in central Hong Kong in the late afternoon.

The song from the musical “Les Miserables” was a popular chant for the tens of thousands who gathered during the 2014 Umbrella Movement which brought parts of Hong Kong to a standstill for over two months.

Protesters say they are preparing further actions during the handover celebrations and Xi’s visit will be shrouded in a huge security operation.

by Elaine YU

China sentences 16 from Australia’s Crown Resorts to prison

June 26, 2017



SHANGHAI — Jun 26, 2017, 3:17 AM ET

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Cameraman and photographer film a court van arrives at an entrance gate of the Baoshan District People’s Court in Shanghai, China, Monday, June 26, 2017. Australian and Chinese casino employees stood trial Monday on charges relating to gambling, in a case that highlights the sensitivity of doing certain businesses in China.(AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Australian and Chinese staff of a casino company pleaded guilty Monday to charges relating to gambling, and 16 were sentenced to nine or 10 months in prison, the company and an Australian official said.

The 19 defendants, including three Australians from the sales and marketing team of Australia’s Crown Resorts Ltd., were convicted by a court in Shanghai. Casino gambling, the marketing of casinos and organizing overseas gambling trips involving 10 or more people are illegal in China.

Eleven defendants were sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment and five defendants to 10 months, Crown Resorts said. Their time spent in detention since Oct. 14 will count toward their sentences.

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The 16 were also fined a total of 8.62 million yuan ($1.3 million), which Crown Resorts is paying ex gratia, the company said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

The remaining three defendants who had been released on bail on Nov. 11 were not fined or sentenced to prison, Crown Resorts said.

“The three Australians and the other defendants pleaded guilty,” the Australian Consul General in Shanghai, Graeme Meehan, said outside the Baoshan District People’s Court.

Jason O’Connor, the head of Crown Resorts international VIP programs, was sentenced to 10 months in prison, and Australian-Chinese dual nationals Jenny Pan and Jerry Xuan received sentences of nine months, Meehan said.

The company said the court fined O’Connor 2 million yuan ($293,000), Pan 400,000 yuan ($59,000) and Xuan 200,000 yuan ($29,000). O’Connor, who is based in Melbourne, Australia, was also ordered deported.

Crown’s vice president in China, Malaysian Alfread Gomez, was also among the defendants.

Casino gambling and the promoting of gambling are illegal in mainland China, and agents are banned from organizing groups of more than 10 Chinese citizens to gamble abroad. According to Crown, the 17 current and two former employees were convicted of clauses including organizing gambling parties or being engaged in gambling as one’s main business, which carried a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

While illegal on the mainland, gambling is allowed in the Chinese enclave of Macau — Asia’s gambling center — and Chinese are often coveted by foreign casinos.

The industry has been known to skirt China’s ban by touting destination packages rather than gambling, particularly as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ongoing corruption crackdown has deterred some gamblers from Macau.

“Crown remains respectful of the sovereign jurisdiction of the People’s Republic of China and does not intend to comment further at this time,” the company said.


Watt reported from Beijing. Associated Press researcher Fu Ting contributed to this report.

China’s aircraft carrier sets off for drills and a port call in Hong Kong

June 26, 2017

Former Soviet vessel is expected to stop in city to help mark anniversary of handover to Beijing

By  South China Morning Post

Sunday, June 25, 2017, 10:57pm

The aircraft carrier Liaoning has departed Qingdao in Shandong province for a series of training exercises, the PLA Navy announced on Sunday.

The carrier is expected to stop in Hong Kong early next month, following a visit by President Xi Jinping to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover of the city to Beijing.

The carrier was travelling with a flotilla that includes the destroyers Jinan and Yinchuan and the frigate Yantai, and was carrying a squadron of J-15 fighters and some helicopters, Xinhua said.

The view from the Liaoning as it leaves Qingdao. Photo: Xinhua

The report said the drills were “routine” and would strengthen coordination among the vessels and improve the skills of crew members and pilots in different marine regions.

The Liaoning was the PLA’s first carrier, and was originally laid down in 1985 for the Soviet navy. It was later purchased by China and commissioned into the navy in 2012. It was combat-ready four years later.

Beijing-based naval analyst Li Jie said the flotilla was expected to focus its training on coordination, and was also expected to show the flag during a port call.

“Senior Chinese leaders are also visiting the city and events will be organised to mark the 20th anniversary of the handover,” he said. “It is highly possible that Liaoning will make a visit to Hong Kong.”

But Li said port calls to Hong Kong by the carrier would not be too frequent.

The PLA has been signalling that its Hong Kong garrison is not just a symbol of sovereignty but a combat-ready force that can show mainland military might.

“[The garrison] has changed from being a symbolic presence to a show of force, from image building to combat capability development,” fleet commander Yuan Yubai and political commissar Wei Liang of the Southern Theatre Command wrote earlier this month.

Xi would be in Hong Kong from Thursday to Saturday to mark the anniversary, swear in a new administration and “inspect” the city, Xinhua reported.

Xi has a packed itinerary that includes overseeing the swearing-in of the new chief executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, and her cabinet on July 1.

In China, Xi Jinping’s new mega city Xiongan is expanding underground

June 26, 2017

Geological survey says conditions good at Xiongan to develop shopping and entertainment complexes, plus other infrastructure beneath the surface

By Mandy Zuo
South China Morning Post

Monday, June 26, 2017, 2:32pm

President Xi Jinping’s ambitious scheme to build a new city at Xiongan in northern China will not only change the landscape of the little known area in Hebei province, but also aims to create a new world underground.

Chinese geologists are examining subterranean conditions of Xiong, Rongcheng and Anxin counties, which will become a new district to rival special economic zones such as Shenzhen and Pudong in Shanghai, in the hope of building structures under the ground as well as above, state media reported.

The China Geological Survey, a research agency under the Ministry of Land and Resources, has found the area is “very suitable for underground development” in its preliminary surveys, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

A tentative plan suggested by the agency divided the subterranean areas to be developed into two sections: up to 26 metres underground and below 40 metres, the report said.

The higher sections will be used for storage, shopping and entertainment complexes, parking and civil defence, while lower sections will carry pipes and transportation.

Deeper areas will also carry water storage areas, important infrastructure and special projects including defence structures.

The report did not give an estimate for the amount of land that might be developed underground.

China announced plans in April to build a brand new city in the three counties – about 100 km south of Beijing – to absorb some of the capital’s institutions, schools, laboratories and corporate head offices.

President Xi, the mastermind of the scheme, wants to ease Beijing’s heavy pollution and population by relocating “some city functions” of the capital to neighbouring Hebei and Tianjin.

 President Xi Jinping (centre) discussing the scheme in Hebei province in February. Photo: Xinhua

Of the over 1,400 square kilometres of land the geological survey has investigated so far, more than 96 per cent is free from heavy metal pollution and about 13 per cent is in good shape for farming, the agency said.

There is “slight pollution” in underground water, with 98 per cent from deep layers and 72 per cent from shallow strata qualified as fit to drink after treatment.

The three counties, which cover over 1,500 square kilometres, have not been hit by any earthquake above magnitude 6, classified as strong, in a thousand years, the survey found.

Land subsidence, a serious issue in northern China, is less serious in the area, geologists said.

Rich geothermal resources in the area will also help the city become greener.

Using existing technologies geothermal resources equivalent to 2.2 million tonnes of coal could be exploited each year, enough to provide heating for about 40 million square metres of buildings, according to the article.

Dozens of state-owned enterprises, including the country’s aircraft carrier builder, have pledged to support Xi’s plan and move some operations to the new city.

The most immediate consequence of the announcement to create the Xiongan New Area was that speculators moved in, with prices of property or locally related company stocks soaring.


Coal on the Rise in China, US, India After Major 2016 Drop

June 26, 2017

BEIJING — The world’s biggest coal users — China, the United States and India — have boosted coal mining in 2017, in an abrupt departure from last year’s record global decline for the heavily polluting fuel and a setback to efforts to rein in climate change emissions.

Mining data reviewed by The Associated Press show that production through May is up by at least 121 million tons, or 6 percent, for the three countries compared to the same period last year. The change is most dramatic in the U.S., where coal mining rose 19 percent in the first five months of the year, according to U.S. Department of Energy data.

Coal’s fortunes had appeared to hit a new low less than two weeks ago, when British energy company BP reported that tonnage mined worldwide fell 6.5 percent in 2016, the largest drop on record. China and the U.S. accounted for almost all the decline, while India showed a slight increase.

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Russian underground coal mine. Credit Sputnik

The reasons for this year’s turnaround include policy shifts in China, changes in U.S. energy markets and India’s continued push to provide electricity to more of its poor, industry experts said. President Donald Trump’s role as coal’s booster-in-chief in the U.S. has played at most a minor role, they said.

The fuel’s popularity waned over the past several years as renewable power and natural gas made gains and China moved to curb dangerous levels of urban smog from burning coal.

Whether coal’s comeback proves lasting has significant implications for long-term emission reduction targets, and for environmentalists’ hopes that China and India could emerge as leaders in battling climate change.

While the U.S. reversal is expected to prove temporary, analysts agree that India’s use of coal will continue to grow. They’re divided on the forecast for China over the next decade.

Industry representatives say the mining resurgence underscores coal’s continued importance in power generation, though analysts caution its long-term growth prospects remain bleak.

The U.S., China and India combined produce about two-thirds of the coal mined worldwide, and the latter two nations also import coal to meet demand. India’s production expanded even during coal’s global downturn.

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“If you look at those three countries, everyone else is irrelevant in the scheme of things,” said Tim Buckley, energy finance director for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

Burning coal for power, manufacturing and heat is a primary source of the carbon dioxide emissions that scientists say is driving climate change. Reducing such emissions was a critical piece of the 2015 Paris climate accord that Trump announced this month he wants to exit.

Almost every other nation continues to support the deal, including China and India. China, India and the U.S. produce almost half of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Coal accounts for almost half of greenhouse emissions from burning fossil fuels, according to the Global Carbon Project. China is by far the world’s largest coal user, consuming half the global supply.

China has committed to capping its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and some have suggested it might accomplish that up to a decade earlier. Xizhou Zhou, a senior energy analyst with IHS Markit based in Beijing, said the recent uptick in coal production that the AP identified raises doubts about such optimism, but he added that China is still expected to meet its 2030 deadline.

“Coal consumption will continue to increase, mainly driven by Asian countries,” Zhou said. “We’re seeing a recovery starting this year and an increase until the mid-2020s before you see coal plateau globally.”

China’s production rose more than 4 percent through May, according to government figures, compared to a drop of more than 8 percent for the same period a year earlier.

Hundreds of mines shut down in China last year and the government forced others to cut back hours in a bid to reduce an oversupply of coal and boost prices. The government has since relaxed that policy and production is rebounding.

Also, as China continues to recover from a 2015 economic slowdown, it’s seeing increased manufacturing and new investments in roads, bridges and other projects. That creates more demand for electricity, most of which continues to come from coal even after huge Chinese investments in wind and solar power.

Despite the announced cancellation or suspension of 100 coal plants, others remain under construction, meaning consumption of coal for power will continue to rise, Zhou said. Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Pakistan also are building new plants.

In India, where 70 percent of electricity comes from coal, production has long been increasing in defiance of global trends. The country has long argued it has both a right and an obligation to expand power generation as it extends electricity access to hundreds of millions of people who still have none. India also is seeking to reduce its reliance on imported coal by mining more of its own reserves.

An AP review of reports from the Coal Ministry of India found that mining among state-owned companies, which comprise the overwhelming majority of the nation’s production, grew 4 percent in the first five months of this year.

In the U.S., the bulk of the increase occurred in major coal-producing states including Wyoming, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

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Photo: A dragline uncovers a stretch of coal seam at the North Antelope Rochelle coal mine, Campbell County, Wyoming, where 235 employees were laid off earlier this year.  Peabody Energy, Inc.

Prices for natural gas, a competing fuel in power generation, edged up in early 2017, helping coal, said Andy Roberts of the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. That’s expected to be a temporary boost given the nation’s huge natural gas supplies. A cold winter in parts of the U.S. also benefited coal by increasing power demand.

World Coal Association Chief Executive Officer Benjamin Sporton acknowledged that it’s been “a difficult few years for coal” but argued that the market remains strong, particularly in China and India.

“All the signs point to (a) positive upward trend,” Sporton told the AP.

Still, coal’s dominant role in providing electricity has been eroding. China now has more renewable energy than any other nation. Its Communist Party leaders have vowed to invest $360 billion in the sector through 2020.

India’s government has said it needs no more coal-powered power plants and last month canceled 13.7 gigawatts in proposed plants, enough to power more than 10 million homes if the plants ran at full capacity. It has promoted renewables with a raft of incentives and declared that power from some solar installations should be used first when demand goes up.

Analysts said India is struggling to adjust to what appears to be a “new normal” — with its growth in electricity capacity outstripping the rise in demand. Manufacturing has not grown as quickly as hoped, and though transmission is steadily expanding to reach more households, 260 million Indians are still off-grid.

As a result, the country’s power plants are running at below 60 percent of capacity on average — down from 2009, when India was using 75 percent of its capacity.

“The private sector is not undertaking any new investment in thermal energy” such as coal plants, said Ashok Khurana, director general of the Association of Power Producers in India. “There’s no sense in it.”

Trump’s advocacy for reviving the coal-mining industry stands as an exception among the three nations’ leaders. Yet the U.S. also is where coal’s rebound could be briefest.

Cheap natural gas, a growing appetite for renewable energy and stricter pollution rules spurred utilities to shut down or announce retirements for several hundred U.S. coal plants. U.S. utilities that invested heavily in alternatives are considered unlikely to revert to coal, Roberts said, meaning market forces and not Trump’s politics will play the biggest role in determining the industry’s future.

Buckley, the energy finance specialist, said he expects the mining increases of 2017 to emerge as an anomaly and global declines will soon resume. But he noted that many existing coal plants will continue operating for years to come.

“We’re not talking about the end of coal tomorrow or the end of coal next decade. We’re talking about a 40-year transition,” he said.


Daigle reported from New Delhi.

New U.S. ambassador to China says North Korea a top priority

June 26, 2017


The new U.S. ambassador to China has said that stopping the threat posed by North Korea will be a top priority, along with resolving the U.S.-China trade imbalance, according to a video message to the Chinese people released on Monday.

Terry Branstad, a former Iowa governor, has been described by Beijing as an “old friend” of China. Branstad was confirmed on May 24 as President Donald Trump’s new ambassador to China but his arrival date has yet to be announced.

“Resolving the bilateral trade imbalance, stopping the North Korea threat, and expanding people-to-people ties will be my top priorities,” Branstad said in the video message, which was released on a popular Chinese video-streaming platform.

Trump has placed high hopes on China and its president, Xi Jinping, exerting greater influence on North Korea, although he said last week Chinese efforts to rein in the reclusive North’s nuclear and missile programs had failed.


China’s foreign ministry regularly says that Beijing is doing all that it can with regard to North Korea by implementing United Nations Security Council sanctions, while also pushing for greater dialogue to reduce tensions.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he had pressed China to ramp up economic and political pressure on North Korea during his meeting with top diplomat Yang Jiechi in Washington last week.

“We face many of the same challenges. A strong U.S.-China relationship can contribute to solutions,” Branstad said in the video, without giving details about how he hoped to work with China.

Branstad also recounted his three decades of engagement with China, from his first visit there in 1984 to hosting Xi, then a county-level Communist Party leader, in Iowa in 1985, and then again in 2012 when Xi was vice president.

Trump pledged during his campaign to take a tough stance on Chinese trade practices deemed unfair to the United States, but his rhetoric softened after a friendlier-than-expected meeting with Xi in Florida in April.

Shortly after their meeting, Trump said he had told Xi that China would get a better trade deal if it worked to rein in the North. China is neighboring North Korea’s lone major ally.

The United States ran a trade deficit of $347 billion with China last year, U.S. Treasury figures show.

(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Editing by Paul Tait)

Bank of International Settlements Warns of Risks to Global Economic Growth — Next recession could hit with a vengeance

June 25, 2017

Puja Menon |

Updated: June 25, 2017, 9:32 PM IST
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The headquarters of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) are seen in Switzerland.(Image: Reuters)

Zurich: The Bank of International Settlements (BIS) on Sunday urged governments to allow growth trends toward long-term averages to target structural reform while warning against inflation and protectionist winds.

In its annual report, the BIS said the growth outlook appeared more favourable than the anaemic climate of a year ago, Claudio Borio, head of its monetary and economic department, told reporters in a conference call.

“We had already stressed last year that the rhetoric being used to describe the global economy was too downbeat,” said Borio, noting a strengthening of the global growth outlook, lower jobless tallies in major economies and inflation coming closer to target.

“One good year has been sufficient for economic conditions to become the most favourable since the Great Financial Crisis (GFC),” said Borio in a report which noted that “raising the economy’s growth potential is critical”.

For Borio, “the problems we face are global. The solutions must be global too. It would be illusory to think and act otherwise”.

Borio further cautioned against higher inflation and debt, rising protectionism and timidity on investment.

Taking into account fears on the consequences of globalisation, the BIS devoted a whole chapter in its report to the issue.

For the BIS, “economic globalisation has contributed to a substantial rise in living standards and falling poverty over the past half-century” amid enhanced competition and new technologies driving efficiency gains.

But “like any other form of far-reaching economic change, globalisation poses challenges,” notably rising income inequality, while “financial openness exposes economies to destabilising external influences,” the report said.

“Properly designed domestic policies can enhance the gains from globalisation and mitigate the adjustment costs. And international cooperation must supplement such policies in order to address global linkages.”

Overall, the BIS said it supported “rebalancing policy towards structural reforms, relieving an overburdened monetary policy, and implementing holistic policy frameworks that tackle more systematically the financial cycle”.



Next global financial crisis to hit with a ‘vengeance’, warns BIS

The ‘Bank of Central Bankers’  in Basel is the stern conscience of the monetary overlords

The global economy is caught in a permanent trap of boom-bust financial cycles. This deformed structure is becoming ever more corrosive and dangerous as debt ratios rise to vertiginous levels, the world’s top monetary watchdog has warned.

The Bank for International Settlements said the rot in the global monetary system has not been cut out since the Lehman crisis in 2008.

The current ageing and unstable cycle could finish in much the same explosive way, contrary to the widespread belief that it was a once-in-a-century event caused by speculators.

“The end may come to resemble more closely a financial boom gone wrong, just as the latest recession showed, with a vengeance,” said Claudio Borio, the BIS’s chief economist.

Read the rest:

China Aims to Improve Ties Between Afghanistan, Pakistan

June 25, 2017

ISLAMABAD — China’s foreign minister says Beijing will hold a dialogue with Afghanistan and Pakistan to help improve relations between the two South Asian neighbors.

Wang Yi said during a visit to Pakistan on Sunday that foreign ministers from the three countries would discuss relations, with an emphasis on economic cooperation.

Afghanistan and Pakistan have accused each other of turning a blind eye to militants operating along their porous border. Pakistan’s construction of a fence along part of the frontier has also caused tensions, as Afghanistan does not recognize the colonial-era line as an international border.