Tag Archives: Xi Jinping

Trump And Xi – You Are Scaring Markets Cut It Out. By Eric Margolis

Trade wars can in fact lead to shooting wars. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

The United States and China look like two punch-drunk prizefighters squaring off for a major championship fight.  They have no good reason to fight and every reason to cooperate now that both their stock markets have been in turmoil.

Six hundred point market swings down and then up look like symptoms of economic nervous breakdown.

Factions in both nations are beating the war drums, putting presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping under growing pressure to be more aggressive.

Trump shoulders much of the blame for having started this unnecessary confrontation by imposing heavy duties on Chinese goods.  The US president has turned the old maxim on its head that nations that trade heavily don’t go to war.  The US and China, both huge trading partners, appear headed to military clashes, or even full scale war, if their governments don’t come to their senses soon.

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“I’ll Eat My Hat If This Means Anything Substantive”: Why The Trump-Xi Truce Achieves Little, by Tyler Durden

The pomp and circumstance signify little. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The most important, and much-anticipated dinner date between Trump and Xi in years, which concluded amid loud applause and brief celebrations by both sides, ended in a three-month truce to the ongoing trade war between the two superpowers, with the US agreeing to postpone a planned tariff hike on January 1 and to keep the rate on existing tariffs at 10% for another 90 days in return for greater purchases of American goods.

While the arrangement provides breathing space to both leaders as they face slumping stock markets and economic warning signs, and will likely result in a brief jump in the market in the coming days, the two sides failed to make any tangible progress on the fundamental divide and core issues separating the world’s biggest economies.

“You blink first!”… “No, you blink first.”

As Bloomberg recaps this morning, “negotiations have long been stuck over U.S. demands for deep structural reforms such as stopping forced technology transfers, enforcing intellectual property rights and ending state subsidies for strategic industries – all of which China sees as an American strategy to thwart its rise as a global power.” It is on these most thorny of issues that there was no real progress during the Trump-Xi dinner.

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Putin and Xi Jinping Affirm Both “Oppose Unilateralism And Trade Protectionism” In Summit, by Tyler Durden

Hats off to the geniuses who believed the best US foreign policy was to drive a wedge between China and Russia. It worked well; they are getting closer by the day. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on the Sino-Russian border Tuesday. Simultaneously Russia and China kicked off unprecedented joint military exercises as part of Russia’s annual Vostok war games, which will run for a week and includes thousands of Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops, and some 300,000 Russian personnel.

President Putin has of late sought closer relations with China, which Russia shares a massive 4,200km border with, amidst both countries experiencing deep tensions with the West, including US sanctions against Moscow and a growing trade war between China and Washington.

It’s the third time this year the two leaders have met and the fact that it was planned at the inauguration of Vostok 2018 no doubt sent a strong signal to Washington that the two countries’ usually chilly relations are warming fast in the face of a common increased threat from the West.  Continue reading

From Beijing to the Beltway: The Revolt Against the Entitled, by Justin Raimondo

It would be a mistake to think that China is any more politically stable than the US, and it may be less so. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

China’s woes mirror our own

Elites and their privileges are under attack throughout the world, and not just in the West. While here in the US the security clearances of former national security officials are being revoked to the howls of the #TheResistance, in China the Communist Party “nobility” is facing a similar challenge:

“Elite privileges for retired high-level cadres should be eliminated. The system of the present ‘dynasty’ allows for the state to provide inclusive retirement-to-grave care for high-level cadres according to a standard that is far and away above that allowed to the average citizen. These cadres retain the privileges they enjoyed during their careers …

“This system continues the kinds of prerogative given to the Imperial Zhu Family Lineage during the Ming dynasty [founded by Zhu Yuanzhang in 1368CE] and the emoluments permitted to the families of the Eight Banners [exclusive Manchu military and administrative groups that contributed to the founding and rule of the Qing dynasty in 1644; the privileges continued until the end of the dynasty in January 1912].

“This is not merely a betrayal of the self-advertised ‘revolutionary spirit’ [of the Communist Party], it is also in breach of modern standards of civic life. What’s all that talk of ‘the remnants of feudalism’? This is a perfect example of it! People are outraged but powerless to do anything about it; it is one of the main reasons people hold the system itself in utter contempt.”

So writes Xu Zhangrun, a distinguished law professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing, on the web site of the Unirule Institute of Economics, which the New York Times describes as an independent thinktank operating out of Beijing. The professor emphasizes the material privileges enjoyed by the Party elite, and yet the same principle – and the economic reality – is equally applicable right here in the good ol’ US of A: the political class arrogates special status to itself, and this is routinely monetized. How much does John Brennan get for slandering the President on MSNBC?

To continue reading: From Beijing to the Beltway: The Revolt Against the Entitled

All the Makings of a Major Economic Fiasco, MN Gordon

Governments are the problem, not the solution. And when they enact “solutions” to the problems they caused, they make the problems worse. From MN Gordon at economicprism.com:

About 6,940 miles west of Washington DC, and at roughly the same latitude, sits Beijing.  Within China’s massive capital city, sits the Country’s paramount leader, Xi Jinping.  According to Forbes, Xi is currently the most powerful and influential person in the world.

Xi, no doubt, is one savvy fellow.  He always knows the right things to say.  He offers his nation’s citizens the “Chinese Dream.”  They consume it like boysenberry funnel cakes at the county fair.

So, too, Xi always knows the right things to do.  He elaborates his vision for securing world dominance through something called the Belt and Road Initiative.  His people get behind it without question.

But all is not bliss for Xi…

After decades of hard work, dedication, and loyalty to the Communist Party of China, Xi finally rose to the top of the trash heap in 2016.  That’s when the party gave him the elite title of core leader.  What a disappointment it must have been to first look out across the geopolitical landscape and see a boorish New York blowhard like President Trump snarling back at him.

What could be a more ignoble fate for an anointed leader from a culture with a zealous emphasis on the abstract concept of “saving face,” than having to get twisted up with Trump?

Trump, without question, is a guy that likes to tuck in his shirt, fluff up his hair, and put on a coat and tie, before stepping out to the back alley with his opponent to roll around in the mud.  Xi, on the other hand, is more of a ‘let’s settle it at the poker table’ type of guy.

Naturally, it’s Trump’s bad-manners, and the popular delusion of MAGA, that provokes the unwavering support of Trumpians.  However, Xi, in order to save face, must get muddy with Trump.  And the trade war provides the perfect opportunity to do so.

We’ll have more on this in just a moment.  But first a brief diversion – and a scratch for instruction…

To continue reading: All the Makings of a Major Economic Fiasco

The great firewall of China: Xi Jinping’s internet shutdown, by Elizabeth C. Economy

Repression of the internet has become more strict under Xi Jingping. From Elizabeth C. Economy at theguardian.com:

Before Xi Jinping, the internet was becoming a more vibrant political space for Chinese citizens. But today the country has the largest and most sophisticated online censorship operation in the world.

In December 2015, thousands of tech entrepreneurs and analysts, along with a few international heads of state, gathered in Wuzhen, in southern China, for the country’s second World Internet Conference. At the opening ceremony the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, set out his vision for the future of China’s internet. “We should respect the right of individual countries to independently choose their own path of cyber-development,” said Xi, warning against foreign interference “in other countries’ internal affairs”.

No one was surprised by what they heard. Xi had already established that the Chinese internet would be a world unto itself, with its content closely monitored and managed by the Communist party. In recent years, the Chinese leadership has devoted more and more resources to controlling content online. Government policies have contributed to a dramatic fall in the number of postings on the Chinese blogging platform Sina Weibo (similar to Twitter), and have silenced many of China’s most important voices advocating reform and opening up the internet.

It wasn’t always like this. In the years before Xi became president in 2012, the internet had begun to afford the Chinese people an unprecedented level of transparency and power to communicate. Popular bloggers, some of whom advocated bold social and political reforms, commanded tens of millions of followers. Chinese citizens used virtual private networks (VPNs) to access blocked websites. Citizens banded together online to hold authorities accountable for their actions, through virtual petitions and organising physical protests. In 2010, a survey of 300 Chinese officials revealed that 70% were anxious about whether mistakes or details about their private life might be leaked online. Of the almost 6,000 Chinese citizens also surveyed, 88% believed it was good for officials to feel this anxiety.

For Xi Jinping, however, there is no distinction between the virtual world and the real world: both should reflect the same political values, ideals, and standards. To this end, the government has invested in technological upgrades to monitor and censor content. It has passed new laws on acceptable content, and aggressively punished those who defy the new restrictions. Under Xi, foreign content providers have found their access to China shrinking. They are being pushed out by both Xi’s ideological war and his desire that Chinese companies dominate the country’s rapidly growing online economy.

Putin and Xi top the G6+1, by Pepe Escobar

The outcomes were markedly different between the G-7 summit and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit. From Pepe Escobar at atimes.com:

All hell broke loose at the G6+1, aka G7, while the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) aimed at global integration and a peaceful multipolar order

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at a reception in Tianjin. Photo: AFP via Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin  Sputnik

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) at a reception in Tianjin. Photo: AFP via Sputnik/Alexei Druzhinin Sputnik