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Chinese President meets Trump on April 6-7

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[yt_dropcap type=”square” font=”” size=”14″ color=”#000″ background=”#fff” ] E [/yt_dropcap]ver since Trump assumed office at White House, rumors have been spinning about possible meeting between Presidents of America and China even before Trump would be able to meet his favourite leader Russian president Putin. But Trump gave preference to Israeli leaders ahead of both for a face to face meeting soon.

Letter writing

US President Donald Trump wrote recently to his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping the first contact the two leaders have had since Xi sent a congratulatory note for the inauguration. According to the White House, Trump sent a letter to President Xi wishing him a prosperous Year of the Rooster and saying he looks forward to developing “a constructive relationship that benefits both the United States and China,” press secretary Sean Spicer said. The two leaders have yet to speak by phone.

Beijing had previously said that preparatory work for the meeting was underway. But it had not yet confirmed the trip, despite western media reports on a scheduled meeting and an announcement by the Finnish government that Xi would make a brief stop in Finland on April 5. There is a new twist in the program.

Confirming recurring rumors from the past month, overnight both China’s Foreign Ministry and the White House confirmed that China’s president Xi Jinping will meet with President Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida on April 6-7. It will be Xi’s first meeting with Trump, a little over a month after Trump used the same venue to meet with Japan’s PM Abe, and comes at a time when the two sides face pressing issues, ranging from North Korea and the South China Sea to trade disputes.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang, who made the announcement at a daily news briefing, did not give any more details of the meeting agenda, but spoke of the need to see the big picture while fostering mutual interests in trade relations. “The market dictates that interests between our two countries are structured so that you will always have me and I will always have you,” Lu said. “Both sides should work together to make the cake of mutual interest bigger and not simply seek fairer distribution,” he said in response to a question about trade frictions.

The summit follows a series of other recent U.S.-China meetings and conversations aimed at mending ties after strong criticism of China by Trump during his election campaign. Rex Tillerson ended a trip to Asia this month in Beijing, agreeing to work together with China on North Korea and stressing Trump’s desire to enhance understanding.

Foreign trade criticism

In expanding trade across the globe, including in Africa, the Chinese government plays a heavy hand in structuring its economy, moves that Trump and others have argued put US companies and manufacturers at a disadvantage against their Chinese counterparts. Trump’s attempts to change that reality come on top of years of attempts by previous administrations.

President Trump and his years-long rhetorical crusade against Chinese foreign trade abuses is finally colliding with the reality of face-to-face negotiation. The real estate businessman is staring down his first major opportunity to make headway on his campaign pledge to level the terms of the US-China trade relationship as he meets for the first time with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday.

While Trump’s longstanding rhetoric on the trading relationship will hang over the meeting, the encounter also comes as Trump nears three months in office having done little to make good on his bold promise to fundamentally alter the trading relationship.

While Trump has focused the brunt of his rhetoric on simply reversing the United States’ $347 billion trade deficit with China, experts say an improved trading relationship will rest not on China simply changing that top-line number, but fundamentally altering the role it plays in its economy.

Florida opportunity

The series of meetings at Trump’s opulent south Florida residence, Mar-a-Lago, an opportunity to “set a framework for discussion” of the trading relationship and begin the process of urging China to change policies that have led to “an uneven playing field for US companies.” One official stressed that they did not view the meeting as an opportunity to “resolve any particular issue.”

Former US officials and experts on China and international trade said they were heartened to see that Trump had not made good on some of his boldest campaign pledges — like imposing double-digit tariffs on Chinese imports or labeling China a currency manipulator. experts also warned that Trump may be enticed by a Chinese public relations coup with little long-term value aimed at Trump’s eagerness for clear-cut “wins,” like a series of quick, pre-packaged Chinese announcements of investments in the US, or headline-worthy purchases of high-profile US products. Rather than a willingness to make fundamental changes to their economies, experts said the Chinese were more likely to come bearing political enticements, like promises of investments in manufacturing plants.

Trump and his advisers have thus far signaled they will aim for more than just window dressing changes with the Chinese trade. The USA would look to “reduce the systemic trade and investment barriers that they’ve created. Trump will now need to push Xi to reduce the Chinese government’s heavy-handed regulation of its economy to lower the barriers of access to its economy for US companies, said David Dollar, a China expert at the Brookings Institution.

Dollar and other experts said top targets for the US efforts to level the playing field will also include addressing China’s abuse of US intellectual property, high tariffs on certain goods and stricter labor standards that make Chinese manufacturer’s more competitive.

Deliberate error?

Most economists and China experts have argued that Trump’s move to withdraw the USA from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement will only serve to embolden China.

The trade deal, spearheaded by the Obama government, would have represented a clear statement of US influence in a region China has sought to dominate and would have raised labor and environmental standards in the region — putting Chinese manufacturers on a more level playing field should China choose to join the agreement, as it was likely to do.

Amid Trump’s tough talk on curbing Chinese trade abuses and reversing the US’ trade deficit with China in favor of boosting US manufacturing, Trump has yet to telegraph what he is prepared to offer China in return.

Trump had previously been criticized by some Chinese commentators for not recording a Lunar New Year message, although his daughter and granddaughter did attend a celebration at the Chinese embassy in Washington.

Since his election, Trump has challenged Beijing over a range of issues — slamming its military build-up in the South China Sea, its currency and trade policies and, perhaps most controversially, upending decades of diplomatic protocol by questioning a longstanding US policy towards Taiwan. “We highly commend President Trump for expressing festival greetings to President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said.

Politics plus

America keeps pressuring Beijing on North Korean efforts for nukes that threaten neighboring South Korea, a loyal ally of NATO and USA, and Among the most pressing recent issues, China has been irritated at being repeatedly told by Washington to rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs and by the US decision to base an advanced missile defense system in South Korea. Beijing also remains suspicious of US intentions towards self-ruled Taiwan, which China claims as its own.

Ahead of the first meeting between US President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korea fired a ballistic missile off the coast of the Korean Peninsula. The missile — which fell into the Sea of Japan, also known as the East Sea, on Wednesday morning — is one of several the country has test-fired in recent months.

Even before the missile test, North Korea’s nuclear program was expected to be an important talking point between Xi and Trump. The USA has been pushing China to put pressure on North Korea to stop its nuclear program and missile testing, but Trump said on Sunday the United States would be prepared to act alone to stop North Korea. The test elicited a terse response from the US State Department, unlike the standard diplomatic condemnations that usually follow Pyongyang’s missile tests.

The primary concern surrounding North Korea’s weapons program is that Pyongyang could eventually equip long-range missiles with a nuclear warhead. North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests — including two last year — but experts said the country still hasn’t developed nuclear warheads that can be mounted onto missiles. Both US and South Korean officials said the projectile was a KN-15 medium-range ballistic missile- from a site in the vicinity of Sinpo, South Hamgyong province, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said. It flew a distance of around 60 kilometers (37 miles) and flew as high as 189 kilometers (117 miles), South Korean officials said. The North Koreans use Sinpo shipyard for their submarine activity, and US satellites have observed increased activity there in recent days. Solid fuel is like an explosive jelly, less corrosive than liquid fuel, and it can be more easily stored in the rocket’s fuel tank than the liquid alternative, which requires specially lined tanks.

Of course, trade will be a dominant topic. Trump has repeatedly accused China of unfair trade policies, criticized its island-building in the strategic South China Sea, and accused it of doing too little to constrain North Korea, although with the “Goldman” block silencing Peter Navarro in recent months, Trump has significantly moderated his tone.

With an uptick in tests, North Korea may have significantly advanced its missile technology and increased the size of its arsenal. USA cannot do anything now, nor would it be able use China to end or threaten Chinese efforts.

Kremlin and Great Wall

Relations between Russia and China have improved considerably in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and the international sanctions that followed. In 2014, the two countries signed a landmark $400 billion gas deal, as well as numerous other trade and energy agreements. In September last year, Chinese and Russian naval forces conducted joint exercises in the South China Sea, where China’s aggressive territorial claims have hurt relations with regional neighbors. Beijing, a major global investor, has invested $40 billion in a Silk Road Fund to back OBOR, and it was the primary reason for the establishment of the $50 billion China-backed AIIB development bank. Though some critics have suggested the plan could harm Sino-Russian ties, as it expands Beijing’s influence well into Moscow’s backyard, a 2015 report by 16 Russian academics said OBOR could complement Russia’s own Eurasian Economic Union, and improve ties between the two countries. “Driven by strengthening personal ties between Putin and Xi, the breadth and depth of China-Russia relations have spilled over into multiple spheres of governmental and institutional policymaking,” according to Bob Savic, a senior research fellow at London Metropolitan University’s Global Policy Institute.

Kremlin watch

Meanwhile, setting the stage for a just as critical summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin said last week that he was ready to meet US president Trump at an Arctic summit in Finland. The Russian president made this remark responding to his Finnish counterpart, who said he would be happy to receive Russian and US presidents in Finland. “I believe Finland suits this purpose well, and Helsinki is a very convenient platform to organize an event like this,” Putin said, when asked if he thought a meeting between him and Trump was possible in Finland. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto said earlier that his country would “certainly be very happy to have the opportunity to hold such a summit.”

A meeting with Trump could any case take place in the framework of the G20 summit set to take place in July, according to Putin. The summit is set to take place at Finlandia Hall in Helsinki on September 18-20, 2017, according to the event’s official website.

As Trump reached out to Beijing, it was confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin would meet with Xi in May on the sidelines of a major economic summit, according to Russian state media.

Preliminary observation

Global media are focused on the meeting between Trump and Xi as a major event of intentional importance.

Clearly, President Trump appears to favor Russia over China: he made a point of criticizing Chinese economic policy during the campaign and has also questioned US policy orthodoxy on the matter of Taiwan.

Conversely, Xi has emerged as an unlikely champion of globalization (though his rhetoric abroad often contradicts actions at home) and a potential new leader on tackling climate change.

So it is unclear whether Trump, who made criticism of expansive trade deals a key part of his platform and personally withdrew the US from President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership, would choose to attend the OBOR conference even if he was invited. It is also unclear whether Trump will join the pair at the “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) forum — Xi’s landmark scheme to pump billions of dollars into infrastructure and other projects across Asia, Africa and Europe. However, many in China wanted a meeting between Trump and Xi as soon as possible, with some suggestion that Trump could be invited to the May multilateral meeting.

Essentially USA and China are anti-Islamic nations with hidden agendas and the hatred for Islam as global phenomenon could be motivating factor in slashing hatred or fear between them.

Observers, especially in the West, watch keenly the meeting in Florida between two giant global leaders with veto back up and any positive outcome could help improve intentional relations.

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Global Warming And COP26: Issues And Politics

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The president’s massive social services and infrastructure package is under consideration by Congress.  The problem is Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat from West Virginia.

Not only is West Virginia a coal-producing state but Mr. Manchin owns two coal companies.  Although in a blind trust operated by his son, it is clear that coal companies make money when they sell coal.

But coal is a serious polluter, possibly the worst among fossil fuels.  Any serious attempt to reduce the impact of climate change will replace coal with at least natural gas — available in abundance and emitting almost 50 percent less CO2 according to the US Energy Information Administration.

Republicans — many of whom deny global warming following Trump’s lead — adamantly oppose the plan en bloc, so Senator Manchin’s vote is crucial.  For the moment then, the fate of the planet lies in the hands of one man because, quite simply, if the US backs off, China will be relieved of pressure — also Russia which has an abundance of fossil fuels.

Hence the importance of the COP26 climate summit scheduled for October 31 – November 2 in Glasgow.  Originally planned for 2020, the meeting was postponed to 2021 due to the pandemic.  The town is preparing for an influx of 25,000 people as lobbyists, conference attendees and demonstrators arrive. 

It is an interesting meeting, liked by some to a teacher requiring a class to prepare and bring term papers.  The 200 countries represented will be bringing their plans to meet the goals of the Paris accords.  These require the signatories to commit to enhance ambitions every five years — thus 2020 postponed to 2021 — under the so-called ‘ratchet mechanism’.  The Paris Accords aimed to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius and to aim for 1.5 degrees Celsius.

As often, people leak documents to help their agenda.  This time a huge leak shows how important fossil fuel using and producing countries are attempting to modify a crucial scientific report.  Oil producer Saudi Arabia, coal producer Australia and heavy user Japan are among those questioning a rapid change from fossil fuels.  Saudi Arabia for one also lobbied previously in 2015 with some success.

This time the lobbying effort consists of more than 32,000 submissions (by governments, corporations and other interested parties) to the team of scientists preparing scientific reports designed to coalesce the best science on tackling global warming.  One can imagine the headache for the scientists, who for the most part have a regular job, often as professors.  Produced as “assessment reports” by IPCC (the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) these represent a consensus of the views of different governments, and are used by them to decide what action will be needed. 

The many bodies involved, the complicated murky politics and the enormous pressure from different parties all point to the crucial fact that billions of dollars are involved now in today’s dollars versus promises of a better and distant future.  We can only hope we have  decision makers with foresight, and leaders without Trumpian climate change ignorance and excess.

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America’s Two-Tiered Justice System

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The Constitution states only one command twice. The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” The Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, uses the same eleven words, called the Due Process Clause, to describe a legal obligation of all states. These words have as their central promise an assurance that all levels of government must operate within the law and provide fair procedures to all its citizens.

In this politically divisive climate, the central promise has been broken with little to no assurance that one can trust the American democratic system where some courts have disavowed their responsibility to uphold the Constitution’s meaning of the laws passed by Congress. For instance, the Bill of Rights was passed because of concepts such as freedom of religion, speech, equal treatment, and due process of law were all deemed so fundamental to protect every legal resident in the nation; yet we are now witnessing politically charged judicial appointments eradicating these principles under which all persons and entities are accountable to equally enforce and independently adjudicate, as well as being consistent with international human rights.

On the heels of the Chinese coronavirus, there is an escalating epidemic of unequal justice and character assault where much of the news media is politically aligned with the rulers in turning a blind eye or complicit in the coverup; and in some cases, ravenously endorses the demise of what has essentially now become political dissidents falsely accused, intimidated, and jailed. While many Americans are attempting to scrape by in difficult times, they remain astute to the moral failure of the elites in power as well as the tacit elected opposition’s assiduous silence in whitewashing the legal duplicity. Historical trends over centuries of betraying the peasants eventually succumbs to a reckoning where the privileged corrupt politician and their corporate fascists will be exposed and held accountable in some fashion.  

Americans are confounded by the coronavirus decrees requiring masks to be worn for thee and not for me double standards. The politicians hammer away at enforcing mask mandates on the common folk, yet they do not adhere to their own edicts while attending fine dining with their elite backers. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Californian Governor Gavin Newsome, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot all violated their own mask mandates in public venues while the masked servants waited on them.

President Biden was caught on video walking maskless through a swanky Washington restaurant in violation of the District’s laws on facial coverings, yet regular citizens are subject to civil penalties which result in fines of $1000.00 or revocation of licenses during the COVID-19 emergency. In defending the emperor, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said we should ‘not overly focus on moments in time that don’t reflect overarching policy.’ These double standard by the progressives are a far cry from Americans being punished and ostracized all over the country for not wearing a mask.

Identity politics has resulted in two systems of justice – one where BLM rioting and looting is described by the media as peaceful demonstrations and where assaulting police has no criminal consequences; yet the January 6th actions at the Capital has resulted in the largest round up of protesters ever seen in America. It is estimated that the Federal Government has upwards to 70 rioters/trespassers in solitary confinement and they are only let out in a larger area for one hour at 2 am due to COVID. Some of those being held in detention have been charged with trespassing on restricted grounds, others with assault and obstruction, and some haven’t been charged with anything. There are no bail hearings for these political activists yet BLM and Antifa rioters typically spend one night in the brig and let out the next day to rejoin the frontlines of carnage.  

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has vocally pushed for the January 6th ‘insurrectionists’ to be added to the TSA no-fly list. Civil liberties are being trampled by exploiting insurrection fears with people in attendance no longer permitted to take a flight in their own country and they have not been convicted of a crime. This action by the government had previously only happened to suspect foreign terrorists, and now it is happening to Americans under suspicion. We see no similar actions taken against the militant Antifa anarchists who attacked and torched federal buildings in Portland.

Washington DC has essentially been abusing these inmates in captivity. There have been complaints on the nourishment of their fellow Americans where they are served white bread and a packet of tartar sauce. This is ultimately a violation of the 8th Amendment that prohibits the federal government from imposing excessive bail, nor cruel and unusual punishments, and from inflicting unduly harsh penalties. Some judges are expressing concern at the length of these pretrial incarcerations, however they’ve largely deferred to the Justice Department. Meanwhile anarchists who burn down buildings and shoot projectiles at police officers and federal buildings have charges dismissed. Justice is not equal.   

One female trespasser was shot dead by police during the Capital unrest and there was no outcry or charges against the officer. She was white and a Trump supporter. Federal prosecutors are not seeking criminal charges against the police lieutenant whose single shot killed Ashli Babbit, the 14-year veteran who served four tours with the US Airforce. If the unarmed Babbit committed any crime, it would have been for trespassing, a misdemeanor that should have seen her arrested and not slain. The lieutenant’s life was not at risk nor was he saving the lives of others as he stood with numerous police officers in riot gear and strapped with submachine guns. If a member of BLM was shot dead by police during an unlawful riot, there would have been an immediate racial outcry from political elites and from across the news media for justice followed by looting local retailers and ransacking a police precinct. The action by BLM is considered righteous violence whereas the slain Babbit had it coming to her.  

On a very disturbing and new level of injustice is the threatening actions being taken against parents of schoolchildren by the Department of Justice. Most Americans are familiar with the Patriot Act following 9-11 where the National Security Division conducts counterterrorism operations against foreign adversaries planning suicide bombings and stealing nuclear secrets. Now the Biden Administration, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, has turned the NSD’s crosshairs against everyday Americans conducting their civil duties and free speech as school board meetings.

Garland’s actions followed the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) claim that American public schools and its education leaders are under immediate threats and intimidation as parents grow frustrated over the divisive neo-Marxist Critical Race Theory being injected into their children’s curricula. This is clearly an injustice to weaponize the DOJ and FBI investigators to intimidate and arrest parents under the same counterespionage to that of Al Qaeda and ISIS. Parents may be angry, but they are certainly not domestic terrorists in taking on the powerfully partisan school unions who somehow believe they are justified to influence civilization by indoctrinating their children.        

Garland’s poster boy for his hideous partisan support of the NSBA is a Virginia father who was arrested at a school board meeting when he attempted to raise the alarm over his young daughter being raped in the school washroom. The father became the symbol of angry parents confronting school officials when he was taken down by several police officers and apprehended for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He became vocally upset when school officials denied the attack on his daughter, but he was not physically confrontational.

The father said it is scary that our government will weaponize themselves against parents and they’re using my video across the nation to spread fear; while the school officials did not seem to want to listen to him regarding his daughter being assaulted by a boy wearing a skirt who took advantage of transgender rules to access the girl’s washroom. The boy has now been charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, one count of anal sodomy, and one count of forcible fellatio related to the incident at that school. At a later date, the same boy was charged for a similar attack at neighboring school where he allegedly forced a victim into an empty classroom where he held her against her will and inappropriately touched her.  Regardless of the raped daughter, Garland and the NSBA still have their video of the father being wrestled down to support the use of the FBI against parents and send a chilling effect on harmless dissent.  

The Russian collusion narrative against then President Donald Trump may seem dated, however it can never be swept aside or forgotten in what may well have been the biggest political scandal and injustice to a man in American history. The country endured four years investigating Russian collusion into the legitimacy of Trump’s 2016 presidential win with senate and congressional impeachment hearings over a Clinton-paid-for fake dossier, the biased Obama hatchet men overseeing the FBI and CIA shirking the law, a frenzied media that never let up on Trump’s guilt, and a special counsel comprised of Clinton partisans that turned over every leaf that eventually found the nearly crucified Trump to be innocent of the false charges. The former president had to withstand an incessant blitzkrieg of injustice through his entire presidency while leading the most powerful country in the world.   

On the hand, there is compelling evidence that President Joe Biden spent years while in government enriching himself through family ties, specifically his son Hunter, to the tune of millions of dollars in foreign money from China, Russia, and Ukraine. The foreign players simply used the unqualified son to leverage access to Biden while satisfying Hunter’s greed and questionable lifestyle. Biden has little to no ability to stand up to China or Russia knowing they are holding damaging transactions over his head. There have been no investigations into Biden’s quid-pro-quo against Ukraine or the transfer of tens of millions of dollars to Biden family members, no impeachments, and the news media buried these stories; including damaging information found on Hunter’s laptop during the 2020 presidential election. Had Trump and his sons engaged in these activities, there would have been a very different level of justice.   

What of this injustice that is making its mark on history? If we take a moment to think through the confusion of the moment and see the morale issue involved, then one may refuse to have this sense of justice distorted to grip power rather than for the good of the country. Those who have sown this unjust wind may eventually reap a whirlwind that provokes reform by convulsion of the people instead of a natural order of business. We must all remember that democracy lies with the people of this land and whether the nation will be stirred to stand for justice and freedom in this hour of distress and go on to finish in a way worthy of its beginning.  

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Biden’s Department of Justice: parents as domestic terrorists

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In recent developments in the United States, US Attorney General, Merrick Garland, and the FBI have put under the FBI radar parents as potential domestic terrorists. You heard it right. This is now a new formal legal policy contained in memos of the Department of Justice trying to reign in parents discussions on Biden’s new school curricula. They are not going after potential outbursts but outright terrorism. 

This is an attack on freedom of speech in the sense that parents have the right to discuss and disagree with the new Biden school curricula. This is where the issue originated: parts of Biden’s new school curricula are not accepted by many parents and if they disagree, the FBI treats them now as potential domestic terrorists as a matter of policy. Apart from a First Amendment case, this is also a case for international human rights law and I reported the development to the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of speech this week hoping to get a statement.

The Department of Justice is referring to some constitutional provision on “intimidation of views” to override and take down one of the most firmly established rights, the right to freedom of speech, in quite frankly a ridiculous interpretation. Those parents that dare to speak up against controversial parts in the new text books could be investigated for domestic terrorism. This is the most incompetent interpretation on limitations of freedom of speech I have seen in awhile. 

Garland and the FBI have totally lost their marbles. The woke discussion is not funny to me anymore. It increasingly looks like a woke tyranny that has nothing to do with rights and equality anymore but simply serves as a vehicle to empower the FBI to run wild against regular people. This lunacy needs to be stopped.

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