Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Chinese President Xi Jinping in the scenic southern town of Chennai. The town has a historic old temple and is popular with tourists because it is suitable for surfing. In this seaside town, Xi and Modi held a few hours of one-on-one talks. Xi said on Saturday that he had a free and frank discussion with Modi.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Beijing on a visit to China. It is his third visit to the country since becoming Prime Minister. Hours before reaching the capital of China, a spokesman for the Pakistani military tweeted that Chief of Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa has reached a meeting with the Chinese military leadership. In the tweet, it was written that Bajwa will also attend the meeting of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang with Imran Khan.
Notice of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India is expected to be made within the next 24 to 48 hours. According to The Indian Express, Xi will visit India for an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next 5 days. Experts said that in the upcoming visit to India, the Chinese side will not mention much of the long-standing tense disputes, but will instead focus on cooperation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s said that nothing ever really gets done at the G20, which is currently meeting in Osaka, Japan. Nineteen member countries and the European Union agreed to a new deal to tackle climate change. Guess who was the lone holdout. President Trump was harshly criticized, at home and abroad, for praising Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who ordered the killing of Washington Post columnist (who had legal residency in the U.S.) Jamal Khashoggi. There was one cautiously positive development to emerge from the summit, however. Trump and Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed to restart talks and temporarily de-escalate the trade war.
Nineteen countries are meeting this Friday and Saturday in Osaka, Japan, for the G20. “Welcome to Osaka,” said Shinzo Abe, Japan Prime Minister, who hosts the G20 on Friday and Saturday.
“Together, I hope we will achieve a beautiful harmony in Osaka,” he said in reference to the meaning of “Reiwa,” the name of this new era. Flanked on one side by President Trump, on the other side of Chinese President Xi Jinping, the two great rivals of the moment, Shinzo Abe called for “finding common ground rather than highlighting the clashes.” “We have time” to resolve the tensions.
For someone who speaks so often, and so fondly, of “democratic socialism,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) seems to have no idea what it is. On Wednesday, the two-time independent candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination delivered a “major speech,” entitled “How Democratic Socialism Is the Only Way to Defeat Oligarchy and Authoritarianism.” It was the second time he has attempted to describe this utopian society entirely free from want. And, just as in 2015, he left all but his most dedicated Berners wanting.
It’s never good when North Korea is in the news. On Thursday, the Hermit Kingdom launched two short-range ballistic missiles in to the Sea of Japan. The pair were similar to one the DPRK test-fired on Friday. Later that day, American authorities seized a coal ship used by North Korea for sanction-busting.
The missile tests were the first by North Korea in more than 500 days. Yet, the self-imposed moratorium on long-range testing remains. The state media, whose prophesies of mass annihilation and lakes of fire normally rival that of any shortwave radio preacher, assured the world that nothing was amiss.
On Sunday, President Trump tweeted an escalation to his trade war with China, warning tariffs would more than double, from 10% to 25%. By Tuesday, stocks were sent tumbling, and companies scrambling. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 472 points Tuesday, it’s worst day in four months. Grain futures hit their lowest mark in more than 40 years. Companies weren’t given much in the way of warning, with tariffs due to increase Friday. They’ll have to decide whether to eat the tariffs themselves or pass the costs on to consumers.
Trump’s escalation comes amid a five-month truce between the world’s two biggest economies, and as the U.S. and China appeared close to a deal. However, Administration officials say China has been backtracking from earlier commitments. In a Washington Post op-ed, former chief strategist Steve Bannon urged the president to “follow his instincts and not soften his stance against the greatest existential threat ever faced by the United States.” Trade advisor Peter Navarro, and others, see no deal as preferable to any deal, and some fear the president will cave, again.
- Fed Chairman Jerome Powell sparked a huge stock market rally after he delivered just the message investors wanted to hear — that the Fed will be flexible on policy and it is in no hurry to raise interest rates. The central bank’s balance sheet wind-down was on “autopilot.” He reversed that impression and reassured investors Friday that the Fed would be flexible with all of its policy tools, including the balance sheet.
- The Federal Reserve’s pledge to be more “patient” with its interest rate hikes erased one of the biggest obstacles to a stock market rally that went on for much of President Donald Trump’s time in office.
- The central bank “will be patient” as it weighs future interest rate hikes in light of low inflation, adding that policymakers will also take into account recent stock market volatility. Powell seemed to deliberately convey a more cautious approach to rate hikes this year than he did during a news conference last month after the Fed raised rates for a fourth time in 2018.
- Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Friday he would not resign from his post if President Donald Trump asked him to. Powell also said he had not received any direct communication from the White House about unhappiness with the central bank’s rate policy, and no meeting with Trump has been scheduled.
- A further step by China’s central bank late Friday to secure liquidity to the slowing economy may also help assuage concerns. Apple Inc. last week cut its revenue outlook for the first time in almost two decades, citing weakness in China’s economy as one of the reasons. U.S. and Chinese officials will begin trade negotiations on Monday in the hope of reaching a deal during a 90-day truce between President Donald Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping.
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