The Solomon Islands announced on September 16 that it had broken diplomatic relations with Taiwan and established diplomatic relations with China. AFP analysis said that this move will be regarded as a major diplomatic achievement by Beijing, especially on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The Solomon Islands officially acknowledged that the Beijing government will bring a lot of investment and development assistance to the country.
A total of 16 products imported by China from the United States will be exempted, from the 25% tariffs imposed by Beijing in the open trade war with Washington for almost a year and a half, according to the General Administration of Customs of the Chinese State Council announced on Wednesday.
China continues its anti-US propaganda using media, including the topic of the possibility of a US-Russia war and a blatant overstatement of Russian defense arsenal superiority in comparison to the US. In an article posted on SOHU (one of the largest internet companies in China) they claim Russia can overpower the US in the defense sector and that Russia is the only country globally who can successfully rebuff the US.
The Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) announced on Wednesday that it will propose a merger plan to the board of directors of the London Stock Exchange Group, with a transaction value of £31.6 billion, to create a global market interconnection platform that is beneficial to Hong Kong, China and the United Kingdom.
China warned Britain not to enter the South China Sea to sail near disputed islands, saying that it constitutes “hostile behavior,” and implied that Beijing would be forced to make a military response. The Chinese ambassador in London said that Britain “should not do this dirty job for somebody else.”
The founder of the Chinese Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, left his post as the board of directors chairman on Tuesday and retired, as promised exactly a year ago. Ma founded Alibaba in 1999. In 20 years under his leadership, Alibaba has become one of the largest e-commerce corporations in the world. Its capitalization exceeds $500 billion.
Russian media continues to run pro-China propaganda and justifications for the use of force against demonstrators in Hong Kong. The unrest in the former British colony has been ongoing for the past four months. Demonstrators wearing black face masks became the new heroes and modern day revolutionaries, protesting against China’s brutal arrest and prosecution system.
China’s communications equipment giant Huawei plans to release its new flagship phone in Munich, Germany this month. However, due to the US government’s sanctions, the new mobile phone will only be equipped with an open-source Android operating system, without pre-installing Google’s supporting applications. This will greatly affect the experience of users in China’s overseas markets.
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced the “formal” withdrawal of the extradition bill that has caused months of massive protests in the autonomous region of China. “The government will formally withdraw the bill in order to fully allay public concerns,” she read from a statement.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute released a new report on Tuesday, based on Twitter’s data released last month, about China’s intention to influence Hong Kong’s anti-extradition (or “reverse delivery”) campaign. Among the findings, the Chinese government has spent the past two years intending to spread fake news targeting specific people across several social media platforms.
China officially sued the United States at the World Trade Organization on Tuesday over American import duties. The Chinese Ministry of Commerce on September 2 said Beijing is “strongly dissatisfied” with the punitive tariffs on Chinese imports from the US that came into force a few days ago and resolutely opposed it.
Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s head of Government, said on Tuesday that she has no intentions whatsoever of resigning after an audio recording began trending in which she allegedly said otherwise. According to the viral video, she also apologized for causing the disturbances that have lately shaken the city.
Thousands of demonstrators in Hong Kong ignored the police’s warning on Saturday. Demonstrators frequently used petrol bombs. The police fired tear gas and blue water jets to disperse demonstrators for the first time, and strongly condemned the demonstrators for “violent acts.”
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has launched his fifth visit to China on Wednesday. In addition to the South China Sea issue, he is also believed to discuss trade, investment, and infrastructure projects with China. After meeting with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing, Duterte will fly to Guangzhou with Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan to watch a basketball game.
Huawei will announce its new mobile phone Mate 30 series in Munich, Germany on September 18. Reuters quoted a Google spokesperson saying that due to the US sales ban on Huawei, Huawei Mate 30 will not be able to ship authorized Google apps and services.
Since 2014, China has been developing a social score system for its citizens. The official system launch will take place in 2020. A negative score will result in punishment. The criteria include: wrong religion, late payment of taxes, financial loan default, political critique against the current government, smoking, loud music and even the condition of your front lawn. Consequences under the above criteria will include being banned from overseas travel, public transport, hotel stays, etc.
Up to this point the Trump presidency has been marked with controversy, uncertainty, disapproval, and excitement. Of All of the president’s policies none embody these characteristics as well as his tariffing of Chinese imports, and the subsequent trade-war with China. This trade war has caused volatility in the stock market, increased costs to American manufacturers, and has threatened US imports into China. It has also has also helped to protect American industry and to give the US leverage against China to renegotiate trade agreements.
France hosted the G7 summit in Biarritz from August 24th to 26th, 2019. Although China did not participate, and the China-US trade war is not an issue, it is an unavoidable topic. Only seven Western countries (and the European Union representing Europe) are present, but the group discussed pressing issues, such as the global economy, climate change, Libya, Iran, terrorism and immigration issues.
For a long time, experts described the active modernization of China’s armed forces as that of a “growing power.” Perhaps this definition is outdated, and China is already able to challenge the United States in many military fields.
US President Donald Trump says he has issued an “enforceable order” for US companies to leave China, after Beijing announced tariffs on US goods and products. The White House did not say whether the president had the authority to force private US companies to leave China. Trump pledged to respond to Beijing after Chinese authorities unveiled a plan to impose a 10 percent tariff on US goods and products, worth up to $75 billion a year.
Security officials blocked the way for protesters in Hong Kong. They began to erect barricades from bamboo scaffolding and street iron partitions. Near the police station building, the confrontation continued for several hours, until the demonstrators began to throw stones, bricks and water bottles at the police. The police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and began to detain the protesters, beating them with batons.
Hong Kong broke out again in “reverse delivery” protests Friday, opposing the now-withdrawn extradition bill to mainland China, and demanding democracy in the city. The organizers said that the number of people participating in a human chain reached 1.7 million. On the same day, Shenzhen, a mainland Chinese city adjacent to Hong Kong, received a “birthday gift”– the Chinese government issued a plan to build Shenzhen into a pilot demonstration area for socialism with Chinese characteristics.
According to official British data, the number of Chinese students studying in the UK last year has increased by 30% from the previous year. This fall, the number of Chinese students studying in the UK will reach a new high. Although many universities in the UK have been in the new school year for a while, most students have already received admission notices, and are preparing for admission. That includes Chinese students going to the UK for undergraduate and postgraduate studies.
Mike Pompeo has claimed that the White House sanctions on Iran’s oil exports have prevented the sale of 2.8 million barrels of oil. Iran claims to be able to sell its oil. The US secretary of state, speaking in an interview with MSNBC, said he was confident that the White House could continue its strategy. Pompeo made reference to the “Iran zero oil export” strategy that Donald Trump’s government has adopted since May. Mr. Pompeo has called on the United Nations Security Council to extend Iran’s arms embargo, which expires next year.
Following a demonstration in Hong Kong, government head Carrie Lam spoke of her readiness to talk to the protesters. The protests in Hong Kong prompted the local government to withdraw. Lam says she is ready to negotiate with the protesters to get out of the political crisis and find a comprehensive solution. She believes her offer is a turning point in the crisis and expressed hope that dialogue with the protesters could provide grounds for restoring peace to Hong Kong.
Social media Twitter and Facebook announced on Monday that they blocked a large number of accounts on their platforms. The two social media giants said that these accounts spread false information about Hong Kong demonstrations and they were dominated by Chinese officials.
Reuters quoted two sources saying that the US Department of Commerce will extend the time for Chinese technology giant Huawei to purchase US corporate products. It is expected to be extended for another 90 days. If the ban is strictly enforced, it will seriously affect Huawei’s supply chain. However, it may also strike against US customers that Huawei is serving and suppliers that supply Huawei. In view of this, the United States proposed a delay in implementation shortly after the ban was issued.
Tensions in Hong Kong are still rising, but the Hong Kong police said that although they are in a state of anxiety, they do not need assistance from the Chinese authorities and Chinese troops will never take action in Hong Kong. Over the past few months, Hong Kong has held a call for democratic reforms. The protesters have changed their strategies. At the same time, they have responded to multiple targets and the Hong Kong police have been struggling.
Protests continue in Hong Kong after ten weeks and could swell to a “million march” on Sunday. The EU has warned the Hong Kong government not to undermine the legal rights of protesting citizens. While China has not ruled out military intervention in Hong Kong, protests continue in the former British colony against local government and Beijing’s interference in domestic affairs.
China has announced that it has no plans to forcefully end the protests in Hong Kong, but it will not be ruled out if necessary. China has said that if the Hong Kong executive government fails to bring peace, then China will intervene. Satellite imagery, which has been widely shared on social networks, indicates an increase in China’s military presence in the border town of Shenzhen. The pictures show dozens of Chinese police and military vehicles in the grounds of a sports stadium.
President Trump has given consumers a break with removing a number of key products from China’s list of imports that have been imposed with new tariffs beginning from September this year. Mobile phones, computers, and video game consoles, among others, will not be taxed until December 15, allowing US companies to stock up for Christmas holidays. The announcement, which led to a surge in the stock market, provides more time to try to open negotiations on a way out of a trade war fought by both powers.
Thirty-two people have lost their lives in Eastern China due to Typhoon Lekima that has ravaged the region. The information was relayed by the local government on Sunday, while the monsoon has caused the loss of at least 144 people in India. In China, searches for missing persons are in progress, and more than one million people have so far been evacuated.
Hong Kong is presently experiencing a political crisis. Large scale use of law enforcement and military is being used to disperse the protesters. However, the system itself is failing and it will lead to additional protests. Historically, an achievement of the Freudo-Marxists was the quantum leap through the rationalistic outlook which had dominated in the Marxist tradition. Furthermore, the escalation of the crisis in Hong Kong is inevitable due to the bygone times and political reality of the Chinese territory.
A day after massive anti-government protests effectively shut down one of the busiest airports in the world, life in Hong Kong had still not returned to normal. Hundreds more flights were cancelled Tuesday at Hong Kong International Airport, which was still dealing with the effects of the sit-in. The local authorities defended both the use of plainclothes policemen and their tactics, which viral videos showed turning violent over the weekend and into Monday. The protests, which have gone on for more than two months, after an extradition bill to mainland China was pulled, show no sign of slowing down. Meanwhile, Beijing ratcheted up the rhetoric, but remained at the gates. Waiting.
The Hong Kong airport authorities canceled all their flights after thousands of protesters occupied the city’s international airport terminal for the fourth consecutive day. The airport authority attributed the cancellations, which affected all flights after 4 pm local time (08.00 GMT) today to; “a large number of protesters that prevented passengers from checking-in” and have “seriously interrupted” the service.
Hong Kong International Airport canceled all flights on Monday as the fourth day of protests at the airport’s main terminal continued. The Airport is one of the busiest in East Asia and the world. Thousands of protesters started rallying at the airport’s entrance and exit lounges four days ago trying to make their protest heard around the world.
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The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticizes the Uzbek government’s official acceptance of the Taliban, saying such acceptance does not represent a basis for peace talks between the Afghan government and Taliban representatives. Two days ago, the Taliban announced that Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the head of Taliban’s political bureau in Qatar, met with Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Aziz Kamelov.
“Foreign forces intervene” has become the new direction of China’s official explanation for the endless struggle in Hong Kong. On August 8th, Hong Kong media reported that the “United States Consulate General in Hong Kong” political group director Julie Eadeh and “Hong Kong Zhongzhi” core personnel Huang Zhifeng and Luo Guancong and other people met in Hong Kong and discussed Hong Kong affairs.
The collective wealth of the 500 richest people in the world suffered a gigantic loss in a single day after the escalation in the US-China trade war. According to news sources, the biggest tycoons lost 2.1% of their fortune on Monday, equivalent to the $110 billion, after the biggest stock market fall following China devaluing its currency, the yuan.
On Monday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin put his mouth where the money was. After China allowed the Yuan to fall to below 7 per U.S. dollar, its lowest rate in eleven years, Mnuchin, at the behest of the Trump administration, labelled China a currency manipulator. The declaration opened yet another front in what is quickly becoming a total trade war between Washington and Beijing. It also shook global markets and stirred China to hit back ten times harder.
Shortly after the Chinese yuan’s exchange rate against the US dollar fell “breaking seven,” US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin issued a statement saying that the US government determined that China is manipulating the RMB exchange rate. This is the first time in 25 years that the United States has listed China as a currency manipulator.
As joint military exercises between the United States and South Korea began on Monday, North Korea for the fourth time in less than two weeks fired “unidentified projectiles,” in a clear protest and opposition to Washington-Seoul military co-operation. North Korea on Tuesday said that US and South Korean joint military maneuvers were not only a violation of peace efforts on the Korean peninsula but also showed a lack of “political will “of the two countries to improve relations.”
Hong Kongers from all walks of life, and seven districts of the city, took to the streets Monday as part of a general strike, the largest such demonstration since 1967. Teachers and students, aviation workers, finance employees, and civil servants took part in the protests, aimed at both Hong Kong’s pro-Beijing government and mainland China itself. What initially began as a row over a now-suspended extradition bill has morphed in to a movement against Chinese encroachment, Hong Kong’s non-democratic system, and its unaccountable police force. Now in their ninth week, and showing no signs of slowing down, some fear Beijing may be compelled to act.
Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai recently made striking accusations against the United States. Karzai is claiming the US is trying to meddle in the upcoming September 28, 2019 presidential elections. The former Afghan president is insinuating that Afghan citizens have no influence over who the US installs into the executive office. These allegations may cause a new round of tensions in Afghanistan, and at a time where international peace negotiators are trying to organize a treaty that will allow an exit for the US led peacekeeping coalition.