+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 45

Thread: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

  1. Link to Post #21
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    The Bank of England signals the end of the use of the US dollar as international currency. This is quite a signal. This is from Bloomberg which tends to give a particular narrative... so it may just be political.

    Quote World needs to end risky reliance on U.S. dollar: BoE's Carney

    JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (Reuters) - Bank of England Governor Mark Carney took aim at the U.S. dollar’s “destabilizing” role in the world economy on Friday and said central banks might need to join together to create their own replacement reserve currency.

    The dollar’s dominance of the global financial system increased the risks of a liquidity trap of ultra-low interest rates and weak growth, Carney told central bankers from around the world gathered in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the United States.

    “While the world economy is being reordered, the U.S. dollar remains as important as when Bretton Woods collapsed,” Carney said, referring to the end of the dollar’s peg to gold in the early 1970s.

    Emerging economies had increased their share of global activity to 60% from around 45% before the financial crisis a decade ago, Carney said.

    But the dollar was still used for at least half of international trade invoices - five times more than the United States’ share of world goods imports - fuelling demand for U.S. assets and exposing many countries to damaging spillovers from swings in the U.S. economy.

    Carney - who was considered a candidate to be the next head of the International Monetary Fund but failed to secure backing from Europe’s governments - said the problems in financial system were encouraging protectionist and populist policies.

    Earlier on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was ordering U.S. companies to look at ways to close their operations in China, the latest escalation of mounting trade tensions between Washington and Beijing.

    Carney warned that very low equilibrium interest rates had in the past coincided with wars, financial crises and abrupt changes in the banking system.

    As a first step to reorder the world’s financial system, countries could triple the resources of the IMF to $3 trillion as a better alternative to countries protecting themselves by racking up enormous piles of dollar-denominated debt.

    “While such concerted efforts can improve the functioning of the current system, ultimately a multi-polar global economy requires a new IMFS (international monetary and financial system) to realize its full potential,” Carney said.

    China’s yuan represented the most likely candidate to become a reserve currency to match the dollar, but it still had a long way to go before it was ready.

    The best solution would be a diversified multi-polar financial system, something that could be provided by technology, Carney said.

    Facebook’s (FB.O) Libra was the most high-profile proposed digital currency to date but it faced a host of fundamental issues that it had yet to address.

    “As a consequence, it is an open question whether such a new Synthetic Hegemonic Currency (SHC) would be best provided by the public sector, perhaps through a network of central bank digital currencies,” Carney said.

    Such a system could dampen the “domineering influence” of the U.S. dollar on global trade.

    “Even a passing acquaintance with monetary history suggests that this center won’t hold,” Carney said. “We need to recognize the short, medium and long-term challenges this system creates for the institutional frameworks and conduct of monetary policy across the world.”

    Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by David Milliken and Andrea Ricci
    From: https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-us...-idUKKCN1VD28C

    Re:
    Quote best solution would be a diversified multi-polar financial system, something that could be provided by technology
    see posts #14 and #18 above for more on plans for digital monetary system developments.
    Last edited by Cara; 24th August 2019 at 12:06.
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  2. The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (24th August 2019), Franny (24th August 2019), Hervé (24th August 2019), Jayke (26th October 2019), Ken (22nd September 2019)

  3. Link to Post #22
    France Administrator Hervé's Avatar
    Join Date
    7th March 2011
    Location
    Brittany
    Posts
    16,744
    Thanks
    60,044
    Thanked 94,789 times in 15,454 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    Top UK bankster argues for new 'synthetic hegemonic currency' to replace sinking dollar

    RT
    Sat, 24 Aug 2019 02:27 UTC


    Form and Function © Reuters/Dado Ruvic

    Bank of England head Mark Carney has urged his fellow central bankers to embrace tech like Facebook's Libra to build a multipolar system, warning against "swapping one currency hegemon for another" - unless it's their hegemon.

    Acknowledging that the US dollar's days as the world reserve currency are numbered, he gushed that "technology has the potential to disrupt the network externalities that prevent the incumbent global reserve currency from being displaced" - and to ensure that Western central banks are properly positioned to take the helm in whatever system replaces it.

    Carney declared that a Libra-like currency - with a few tweaks to silence critics - can bring about a new "multipolar international monetary financial system" (IMFS) during a speech at the Fed-sponsored Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on Friday.

    The Bank of England bigwig warned a who's-who of status quo representatives, shocked many with his suggestion of radical change:
    "Blithe acceptance of the status quo is misguided. When change comes, it shouldn't be to swap one currency hegemon for another. Any unipolar system is unsuited to a multipolar world."
    But it soon became clear his objection was to one particular country winning the unipolar sweepstakes, as he acknowledged that China has long since overtaken the US' trade volume and the yuan is logically next in line for reserve-currency status.

    The yuan, Carney maintained, had too many problems - though he couldn't name any, instead admitting that with the Belt and Road Initiative unfolding, China was ideally positioned to fill the void left by the decaying dollar - and "a multipolar global economy requires a new IMFS to realize its full potential." How to get there without the economic carnage that usually surrounds such a massive paradigm shift? That's where (pseudo?) decentralized cryptocurrency comes in, he suggested.

    "We would do well to think through every opportunity, including those presented by new technologies, to create a more balanced and effective system," Carney continued, with a nod to his Silicon Valley ally. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with Carney while Libra was still in the planning process, and while neither have been forthcoming about what they discussed, Carney is one of the few non-corporate leaders to express unqualified support for the not-quite-cryptocurrency, which he calls "the most high profile" of electronic payment systems even though it hasn't actually been rolled out yet and is facing major regulatory scrutiny from governments wary of Facebook's dismal privacy track record.

    Carney framed the embrace of a "synthetic hegemonic currency" as a natural step in breaking up with the dollar, though Libra is backed by a "basket of currencies" that includes not only the dollar but also the pound, euro, and Swiss franc. Noting that trouble in the US economy tends to spill over into emerging market economies which have difficulty absorbing the shock, he claimed a Libra-like coin could reduce the negative impact on those countries if the dollar takes a dive, as if placing emerging markets at the mercy of US, UK, and European central bankers solved the problem. Far from breaking up with the dollar - adopting any central-bank-backed "crypto" as a reserve currency would just make the unhealthy relationship polygamous.

    With the US poised on the brink of a recession, alienating its allies with a sanctions regime that violates their economic sovereignty, and ramping up a trade war it can't conceivably win with China, it's not surprising that establishment stalwarts like Carney are finally coming to terms with the post-dollar future. But a central bank governor, even one a few months away from retirement, proposing such a huge paradigm shift doesn't happen if the central bank doesn't benefit from that shift.

    For a talk touting the virtues of a "synthetic hegemonic currency," Carney's omission of actual cryptos - bitcoin being the obvious name, but any of the less well-known currencies actually in use by real people would have made more sense than Libra, which still exists only in theory - is proof his embrace of the Facebook coin is merely a means to an end. As governments grudgingly accept cryptos - with New Zealand legalizing paying salaries in Bitcoin, and many governments mulling issuing their own digital currencies - central banks live in fear of being sidelined. Libra - and other corporate "cryptos" that are anything but - represents a chance to keep their hooks in the global economy, even when the current system falls apart. If you can't beat them, (pretend to) join them.


    Related: ========================================

    Right... electronic currency... cashless society... RFIDs... ooops... your infraction points have reached the maximum authorized... your account has been closed...
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

  4. The Following 6 Users Say Thank You to Hervé For This Post:

    Baby Steps (19th September 2019), Bill Ryan (19th September 2019), Cara (25th August 2019), Franny (24th August 2019), Jayke (26th October 2019), Ken (22nd September 2019)

  5. Link to Post #23
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    The speech referred to in post #21 above (here) from The Bank of England’s Mark Carney at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA is here: https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/me...D4B79F09B6BFBC
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  6. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (19th September 2019), Hervé (25th August 2019), Ken (22nd September 2019)

  7. Link to Post #24
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    This also posted here: http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1314723

    This move by Facebook ties into the growing overt role of multinational corporations in global structures of governance, first posted in this thread in post #3: http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1307994

    ~~~

    Facebook steps into the role of the judiciary.... this may be a precedent for corporate managed and controlled law in other spheres of social life.

    As quoted in the article below, Mark Zuckerberg:
    “We expect the board will only hear a small number of cases at first, but over time we hope it will expand its scope and potentially include more companies across the industry as well”

    Quote Facebook will bankroll an ‘independent supreme court’ to moderate your content & set censorship precedents
    Published time: 18 Sep, 2019 01:43

    Facebook has unveiled the charter for its ‘supreme court,’ a supposedly independent content moderation board that will take money from, and be appointed by, Facebook itself – while making binding decisions. What could go wrong?

    Facebook has released preliminary plans for an “Oversight Board” tasked with reviewing content disputes. The 40-member body, referred to previously as Facebook’s “supreme court,” will have the authority to make binding decisions regarding cases brought to it by users or by the social media behemoth itself, according to a white paper released Tuesday, which stresses that the new board will be completely independent of Facebook, by popular request.

    The company has clearly taken pains to make this new construct look independent, the sort of place a user might be able to go to get justice after being deplatformed by an algorithm incapable of understanding sarcasm or context. But board members will be paid out of a trust funded by Facebook and managed by trustees appointed by Facebook, while the initial board members will also be appointed by Facebook.

    “We agreed with feedback that Facebook alone should not name the entire board,” the release states, proceeding to outline how Facebook will select “a small group of initial members,” who will then fill out the rest of the board. The trustees – also appointed by Facebook – will make the formal appointments of members, who will serve three-year terms.

    Facebook insists it is “committed to selecting a diverse and qualified group” – no current or former Facebook employees or spouses thereof, current government officials or lobbyists (former ones are apparently OK), high-ranking officials within political parties (low-ranking is apparently cool), or significant shareholders of Facebook need apply. A law firm will be employed to vet candidates for conflicts of interest, but given Facebook’s apparent inability to recognize the conflict of interest inherent in paying “independent” board members to make binding content decisions, it’s hard to tell what would qualify as a conflict.

    How will Facebook decide which cases get the democracy treatment? Cases with significant real-world impact – meaning they affect a large number of people, threaten “someone else’s voice, safety, privacy, or dignity,” or have sparked public debate – and are difficult to parse with regard to existing policy will be heard first. “For now,” only Facebook-initiated cases will be heard by the board – Facebook users will be able to launch their own appeals by mid-2020. Is the company merely reaching for an “independent” rubber-stamp to justify some of its more controversial decisions as the antitrust sharks start circling? Decisions will not only be binding, but also applicable to other cases not being heard, if they’re deemed similar enough – potentially opening a Pandora’s box of far-reaching censorship.

    In a letter accompanying the white paper, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claims the company’s moderators take into account “authenticity, safety, privacy, and dignity – guided by international human rights standards” when they make a decision to take down content. Given that the company’s own lawyers have questioned the very existence of users’ privacy, what does this bode for the other “values,” let alone international human rights standards?

    Perhaps most ominously, Zuckerberg seems to have bigger things in mind for his Oversight Board than merely weighing in on Facebook content moderation decisions. “We expect the board will only hear a small number of cases at first, but over time we hope it will expand its scope and potentially include more companies across the industry as well” (emphasis added). Not exactly a throwaway line from the man who said he wanted Facebook to become an internet driver’s license. The private-sector social credit score may be closer than we think – and Zuckerberg would very much like to be the scorekeeper.

    By Helen Buyniski, RT
    From: https://www.rt.com/news/469041-faceb...mpression=true
    Last edited by Cara; 19th September 2019 at 05:35.
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (19th September 2019), Ken (22nd September 2019)

  9. Link to Post #25
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    Sergei Lavrov, foreign minister of Russia, in his usual articulate manner outlines the current global landscape. This article is timed to coincide with the opening of this year’s UN session.

    This is a review of some of the themes and strategies being played in the international arena - along with their consequences. He rightly draws attention to the hypocrisy of and dissonance between what is said and what is done. He highlights the devastation wrought on the world by a privileged, unipolar, western power elite:

    Quote So, what do we have as a result?
    • In politics, erosion of the international legal basis, growth of instability and unsustainability, chaotic fragmentation of the global landscape and deepening mistrust between those involved in the international life.
    • In the area of security, blurring of the dividing line between military and non-military means of achieving foreign policy goals, militarization of international relations, increased reliance on nuclear weapons in US security doctrines, lowering the threshold for the use of such armaments, the emergence of new hotbeds of armed conflicts, the persistence of the global terrorist threat, and militarization of the cyberspace.
    • In the world economy, increased volatility, tougher competition for markets, energy resources and their supply routes, trade wars and undermining the multilateral trade system.
    • We can add a surge of migration and deepening of ethnic and religious strife.
    He draws attention to the manipulation of language and ideas that is being done to suit the purposes of this elite through the examples he cites.

    This article is well worth reading for the summary and overview of the attempts to shape the global landscape by this elite.

    Quote World at a Crossroads and a System of International Relations for the Future
    September 21, 2019

    “World at a Crossroads and a System of International Relations for the Future” by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov for “Russia in Global Affairs” magazine, September 20, 2019

    These days, the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly opens up. So does a new international “political season”.

    The session begins at a highly symbolic historical moment. Next year we will celebrate two great and interconnected anniversaries – the 75th Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic and Second World Wars, and the establishment of the UN.

    Reflecting on the spiritual and moral significance of these landmark events, one needs to bear in mind the enormous political meaning of the Victory that ended one of the most brutal wars in the history of mankind.

    The defeat of fascism in 1945 had fundamentally affected the further course of world history and created conditions for establishing a post-war world order. The UN Charter became its bearing frame and a key source of international law to this day. The UN-centric system still preserves its sustainability and has a great degree of resilience. It actually is kind of a safety net that ensures peaceful development of mankind amid largely natural divergence of interests and rivalries among leading powers. The War-time experience of ideology-free cooperation of states with different socioeconomic and political systems is still highly relevant.

    It is regrettable that these obvious truths are being deliberately silenced or ignored by certain influential forces in the West. Moreover, some have intensified attempts at privatizing the Victory, expunging from memory the Soviet Union’s role in the defeat of Nazism, condemning to oblivion the Red Army’s feat of sacrifice and liberation, forgetting the many millions of Soviet citizens who perished during the War, wiping out from history the consequences of the ruinous policy of appeasement. From this perspective, it is easy to grasp the essence of the concept of expounding the equality of the totalitarian regimes. Its purpose is not just to belittle the Soviet contribution to the Victory, but also to retrospectively strip our country of its historic role as an architect and guarantor of the post-war world order, and label it a “revisionist power” that is posing a threat to the well-being of the so-called free world.

    Interpreting the past in such a manner also means that some of our partners see the establishment of a transatlantic link and the permanent implanting of the US military presence in Europe as a major achievement of the post-war system of international relations. This is definitely not the scenario the Allies had in mind while creating the United Nations.

    The Soviet Union disintegrated; the Berlin Wall, which had symbolically separated the two “camps,” fell; the irreconcilable ideological stand-off that defined the framework of world politics in virtually all spheres and regions became a thing of the past – yet, these tectonic shifts unfortunately failed to bring the triumph of a unifying agenda. Instead, all we could hear were triumphant pronouncements that the “end of history” had come and that from now on there would be only one global decision-making center.

    It is obvious today that efforts to establish a unipolar model have failed. The transformation of the world order has become irreversible. New major players wielding a sustainable economic base seek to increase their influence on regional and global developments; they are fully entitled to claim a greater role in the decision-making process. There is a growing demand for more just and inclusive system. The overwhelming majority of members of the international community reject arrogant neocolonial policies that are employed all over again to empower certain countries to impose their will on others.

    All that is greatly disturbing to those who for centuries have been accustomed to setting the patterns of global development by employing exclusive advantages. While the majority of states aspire to a more just system of international relations and genuine rather than declarative respect for the UN Charter principles, these demands come up against the policies desighned to preserve an order allowing a narrow group of countries and transnational corporations to reap from the fruits of globalization. The West’s response to the ongoing developments reveals true worldview of its proponents. Their rhetoric on liberalism, democracy and human rights goes hand in hand with the policies of inequality, injustice, selfishness and a belief in their own exceptionalism.

    “Liberalism”, that the West claims to defend, focuses on individuals and their rights and freedoms. This begs the question: how does this correlate with the policy of sanctions, economic strangulation and overt military threats against a number of independent countries such as Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea or Syria? Sanctions directly strike at ordinary people and their well-being and violate their social and economic rights. How does the bombing of sovereign nations, the deliberate policy of destroying their statehood leading to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and condemning millions of Iraqis, Libyans, Syrians and representatives of other peoples to innumerable suffering add up to the imperative of protecting human rights? The reckless Arab Spring gamble destroyed the unique ethnic and religious mosaic in the Middle East and North Africa.

    In Europe, the proponents of liberal concepts get along quite well with massive violations of the Russian-speaking population rights in a number of EU and EU-neighboring countries. Those countries violate multilateral international conventions by adopting laws that infringe language and education rights of ethnic minorities.

    What is “liberal” about visa denials and other sanctions imposed by the West on residents of Russia’s Crimea? They are punished for their democratic vote in favour of reunification with their historical homeland. Does this not contradict the basic right of the people to free self-determination, let alone the right of the citizens to freedom of movement enshrined in international conventions?

    Liberalism, or rather its real undistorted essence, has always been an important component of political philosophy both in Russia and worldwide. However, the multiplicity of development models does not allow us to say that the Western “basket” of liberal values has no alternative. And, of course, these values cannot be carried “on bayonets” – ignoring the history of states, their cultural and political identities. Grief and destruction caused by “liberal” aerial bombings are a clear indication of what this can lead to.

    The West’s unwillingness to accept today’s realities, when after centuries of economic, political and military domination it is losing the prerogative of being the only one to shape the global agenda, gave rise to the concept of a “rules-based order.” These “rules” are being invented and selectively combined depending on the fleeting needs of the people behind it, and the West persistently introduces this language into everyday usage. The concept is by no means abstract and is actively being implemented. Its purpose is to replace the universally agreed international legal instruments and mechanisms with narrow formats, where alternative, non-consensual methods for resolving various international problems are developed in circumvention of a legitimate multilateral framework. In other words, the expectation is to usurp the decision-making process on key issues.

    The intentions of those who initiated this “rules-based order” concept affect the exceptional powers of the UN Security Council. A recent example: when the United States and its allies failed to convince the Security Council to approve politicized decisions that accused, without any proof, the Syrian government of using prohibited toxic substances, they started to promote the “rules” they needed through the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). By manipulating the existing procedures in flagrant violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention, they managed (with the votes of a minority of the countries participating in this Convention) to license the OPCW Technical Secretariat to identify those responsible for the use of chemical weapons, which was a direct intrusion in the prerogatives of the UN Security Council. One can also observe similar attempts to “privatize” the secretariats of international organizations in order to advance interests outside of the framework of universal intergovernmental mechanisms in such areas as biological non-proliferation, peacekeeping, prevention of doping in sports and others.

    The initiatives to regulate journalism seeking to suppress media freedom in an arbitrary way, the interventionist ideology of “responsibility to protect”, which justifies violent “humanitarian interventions” without UN Security Council approval under the pretext of an imminent threat to the safety of civilians are part of the same policy.

    Separately, attention should be paid to the controversial concept of “countering violent extremism”, which lays the blame for the dissemination of radical ideologies and expansion of the social base of terrorism on political regimes that the West has proclaimed undemocratic, illiberal or authoritarian. This concept provides for direct outreach to civil society over the head of legitimate governments. Obviously, the true goal is to withdraw counterterrorism efforts from beneath the UN umbrella and to obtain a tool of interference in the internal affairs of states.

    The introduction of such new concepts is a dangerous phenomenon of revisionism, which rejects the principles of international law embodied in the UN Charter and paves the way back to the times of confrontation and antagonism. It is for a reason that the West is openly discussing a new divide between “the rules-based liberal order” and “authoritarian powers.”

    Revisionism clearly manifests itself in the area of strategic stability. The US torpedoing first the ABM Treaty and now the INF Treaty (a decision that enjoys unanimous NATO members’ support) have generated risks of dismantling the entire architecture of nuclear arms control agreements. The prospects of the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (The New START) are vague – because the US has not given a clear answer to the Russian proposal to agree to extend the New START beyond its expiry date in February 2021.

    Now we are witnessing alarming signs that a media campaign in the United States is being launched to lay the groundwork for abandoning the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (which has not been ratified by the United States). This calls into question the future of this treaty, which is vital for international peace and security. Washington has embarked upon the implementation of its plans to deploy weapons in outer space, rejecting proposals to agree on a universal moratorium on such activities.

    There is one more example of introducing revisionist “rules”: the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran’s nuclear program, a multilateral agreement approved by the UN Security Council that is of key importance for the nuclear non-proliferation.

    Yet another example is Washington’s open refusal to implement unanimous UN Security Council resolutions on the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

    In the economic field, the “rules” consist of protectionist barriers, sanctions, abuse of the status of the US dollar as the principle means of payment, ensuring competitive advantages by non-market methods, and extraterritorial use of US laws, even towards the United States’ closest allies.

    At the same time, our American colleagues are persistently trying to mobilise all of their foreign partners to contain Russia and China. Simultaneously they do not conceal their wish to sow discord between Moscow and Beijing and undermine multilateral alliances and regional integration projects in Eurasia and Asia-Pacific that are operating outside of the US oversight. Pressure is exerted on those countries that do not play by the rules imposed on them and dare make the “wrong choice” of cooperating with US “adversaries”.

    So, what do we have as a result? In politics, erosion of the international legal basis, growth of instability and unsustainability, chaotic fragmentation of the global landscape and deepening mistrust between those involved in the international life. In the area of security, blurring of the dividing line between military and non-military means of achieving foreign policy goals, militarization of international relations, increased reliance on nuclear weapons in US security doctrines, lowering the threshold for the use of such armaments, the emergence of new hotbeds of armed conflicts, the persistence of the global terrorist threat, and militarization of the cyberspace. In the world economy, increased volatility, tougher competition for markets, energy resources and their supply routes, trade wars and undermining the multilateral trade system. We can add a surge of migration and deepening of ethnic and religious strife. Do we need such a “rules-based” world order?

    Against this background, attempts by Western liberal ideologues to portray Russia as a “revisionist force” are simply absurd. We were among the first to draw attention to the transformation of the global political and economic systems that cannot remain static due to the objective march of history. It would be appropriate to mention here that the concept of multipolarity in international relations that accurately reflects emerging economic and geopolitical realities was formulated two decades ago by the outstanding Russian statesman Yevgeny Primakov. His intellectual legacy remains relevant now as we mark the 90th anniversary of his birth.

    As is evident from the experience of recent years, using unilateral tools to address global problems is doomed to failure. The West-promoted “order” does not meet the needs of humankind’s harmonious development. This “order” is non-inclusive, aims to revise the key international legal mechanisms, rejects the principle of collective action in the relations between states, and by definition cannot generate solutions to global problems that would be viable and stable in the long term rather than seek a propaganda effect within an electoral cycle in this or that country.

    What is being proposed by Russia? First of all, it is necessary to keep abreast of the times and recognise the obvious: the emergence of a polycentric world architecture is an irreversible process, no matter how hard anyone tries to artificially hold it back (let alone send it in reverse). Most countries don’t want to be held hostage to someone else’s geopolitical calculations and are determined to conduct nationally oriented domestic and foreign policies. It is our common interest to ensure that multipolarity is not based on a stark balance of power like it was at the earlier stages of human history (for example, in the 19th and the first half of the 20th century), but rather bears a just, democratic and unifying nature, takes into account the approaches and concerns of all those taking part in the international relations without an exception, and ensures a stable and secure future.

    There are some people in the West who often speculate that polycentric world order inevitably leads to more chaos and confrontation because the “centers of power” will fail to come to terms among themselves and take responsible decisions. But, firstly, why not try? What if it works? For this, all that is necessary is to start talks on the understanding that the parties should seek a balance of interests. Attempts to invent ones’ own “rules” and impose them on all others as the absolute truth should be stopped. From now on, all parties should strictly comply with the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, starting with the respect for the sovereign equality of states regardless of their size, system of government or development model. Paradoxically, countries that portray themselves as paragons of democracy actually care about it only as they demand from other countries to “put their house in order” on a West-inspired pattern. But as soon as the need arises for democracy in intergovernmental relations, they immediately evade honest talk or attempt to interpret international legal norms at their own discretion.

    No doubt, life does not stand still. While taking good care of the post-WWII system of international relations that relies on the United Nations, it is also necessary to cautiously though gradually adjust it to the realities of the current geopolitical landscape. This is completely relevant for the UN Security Council, where, judging by today’s standards, the West is unfairly overrepresented. We are confident that reforming the Security Council shall take into account interests of the Asian, the African and the Latin American nations whilst any such design must rest upon the principle of the broadest consensus among the UN member states. The same approach should apply to refining the world trade system, with special attention paid to harmonizing the integration projects in various regions.

    We should use to the fullest the potential of the G20, an ambitious, all-encompassing global governance body that represents the interests of all key players and takes unanimous decisions. Other associations are playing a growing role as well, alliances projecting the spirit of a true and democratic multipolarity, based on voluntary participation, consensus, values of equality and sound pragmatism, and refraining from confrontation and bloc approaches. These include BRICS and the SCO, which our country is an active member of and which Russia will chair in 2020.

    It is evident that without collective effort and without unbiased partnership under the central coordinating role of the UN it is impossible to curb confrontational tendencies, build up trust and cope with common threats and challenges. It is high time to come to terms on uniform interpretation of the principles and norms of international law rather than try to follow the old saying “might goes before right”. It is more difficult to broker deals than to put forward demands. But patiently negotiated trade-offs will be a much more reliable vehicle for predictable handling of international affairs. Such an approach is badly needed to launch substantive talks on the terms and conditions of a reliable and just system of equal and indivisible security in the Euro-Atlantic and Eurasia. This objective has been declared multiple times at the top level in the OSCE documents. It is necessary to move from words to deeds. The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) have repeatedly expressed their readiness to contribute to such efforts.

    It is important to increase our assistance to the peaceful resolution of numerous conflicts, be it in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Latin America or the post-Soviet space. The main point is to live up to the earlier arrangements rather than to invent pretexts for refusing to adhere to the obligations.

    As of today, it is especially relevant to counter religious and ethnic intolerance. We urge all the nations to work together to prepare for the World Conference on Interfaith and Inter-Ethnic Dialogue that will be held in Russia in May 2022 under the auspices of the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the UN. The OSCE that has formulated a principled position condemning anti-Semitism should act with equal resolve toward Christianophobia and Islamophobia.

    Our unconditional priority is to continue providing assistance to the unhindered formation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership, a broad integration framework stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific that involves the member states of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and all other countries of the Eurasian continent, including the EU countries. It would be unwise to contain the unifying processes or, worse still, to put up fences. It would be a mistake to reject the obvious strategic advantages of the common Eurasian region in an increasingly competitive world.

    Consistent movement towards this constructive goal will allow us not only to keep up the dynamic development of the national economies and to remove obstacles to the movement of goods, capital, labor and services, but it will also create a solid foundation of security and stability throughout the vast region from Lisbon to Jakarta.

    Will the multipolar world continue to take shape through cooperation and harmonization of interests or through confrontation and rivalry? This depends on all of us. Russia will continue to promote a positive and unifying agenda aimed at removing the old dividing lines and preventing the appearance of new ones. Russia has advanced initiatives to prevent an arms race in outer space, establish efficient mechanisms for combating terrorism, including chemical and biological terrorism, and to agree upon practical measures to prevent the use of cyberspace for undermining national security or for other criminal purposes.

    Our proposals to launch a serious discussion on all aspects of strategic stability in the modern era are still on the table.

    There have been ideas floated recently to modify the agenda and update the terms. The proposed subjects for discussion vary between “strategic rivalry” and “multilateral deterrence.” Terminology is negotiable, but it is not terms but the essence that really matters. It is now much more important to start a strategic dialogue on the existing threats and risks and to seek consensus on a commonly acceptable agenda. Yet another outstanding statesman from our country, Andrey Gromyko (his 110th birth anniversary we mark this year) said wisely: “Better to have ten years of negotiations than one day of war.”
    From: http://thesaker.is/world-at-a-crossr...or-the-future/
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  10. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (22nd September 2019), Ken (22nd September 2019), silvanelf (25th September 2019)

  11. Link to Post #26
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    The next two posts are copied from the Financial Flows thread and they concern the trade and economic war between the USA and China / Russia (and others).

    Both are significant because they point to a new cold war situation with a bifurcation of the global economy.
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  12. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (2nd October 2019), silvanelf (3rd October 2019)

  13. Link to Post #27
    Madagascar Avalon Member silvanelf's Avatar
    Join Date
    19th May 2019
    Age
    59
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    1,480
    Thanked 406 times in 119 posts

    Default Re: Financial flows: moves, changes and significant events

    Moderator note

    This is posted previously here: http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1316369

    ~~~~

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    This to me is a very significant statement:
    Quote the Trump administration is trying to divide the world in two. In other words, there's a China-based system, and there's an American-based system. And in other words, there's a lot more that comes after this trade dispute. In other words, there's attempts to try and divide the world economy. And that was more or less what was happening in the 1930s.
    What if ... the trade war is in reality an already ongoing process of economic decoupling between US and China?

    Delisting Chinese firms from US stock markets appears as a major escalation of the trade war. Take a look at the news:

    Quote Trump considers delisting Chinese firms from U.S. markets: sources

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump’s administration is considering delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, three sources briefed on the matter said on Friday, in what would be a radical escalation of U.S.-China trade tensions.

    -- snip --

    China says it cannot allow its companies to submit to oversight by PCOAB because of rules prohibiting the storage, processing or transfer of any material considered to be state secrets or national security matters.

    U.S. hedge fund manager Kyle Bass, a prominent critic of China, said on Friday that Chinese companies should have to play by U.S. rules if they want to sell to U.S. investors.
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-u...-idUSKBN1WC1VP


    An article which represents the Chinese view -- emphasis is mine:

    Quote An economic decoupling from the United States is looking more likely and China should get ready, scholars in Beijing warned on Saturday, a year after US President Donald Trump fired the first shot in the trade war.

    The break-up of the world’s two biggest economies was gradually becoming a real possibility as Beijing and Washington clashed over issues beyond trade and the White House sought to push China out of global value chains, according to Li Xiangyang, director of the National Institute of International Strategy, a think tank under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

    “This economic decoupling is completely possible, in theory,” Li told a symposium on the trade war at Renmin University of China on Saturday.

    [...]

    “The ultimate target [of the United States] is to contain China’s rise … this is a life-or-death game [for them],” Li said, adding that decoupling could be seen as “strategic blackmail” for Washington to try to prevent China from growing stronger.

    He made the remarks as debate heats up in both the US and China about a potential economic decoupling.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping told an economic forum in St Petersburg last month that he did not want a decoupling from Washington, and he doubted Trump did either.
    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/arti...-decoupling-us
    Last edited by Cara; 2nd October 2019 at 07:56.

  14. The Following User Says Thank You to silvanelf For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (2nd October 2019)

  15. Link to Post #28
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: Financial flows: moves, changes and significant events

    Moderator Note:

    This is posted previously here: http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1316563


    ~~~~


    Quote Posted by silvanelf (here)
    ...What if ... the trade war is in reality an already ongoing process of economic decoupling between US and China?...
    Thanks Silvanelf, that's an important wider context.

    And your question and articles you shared remind me of a piece written by Alastair Crooke published 18 December 2018:

    Quote America’s Technology and Sanctions War Will End, by Bifurcating the Global Economy
    Alastair Crooke, Strategic Culture Foundation, 18 Dec 2018

    “The true reason behind the US-China ‘trade’ war has little to do with actual trade … What is really at the basis of the ongoing civilizational conflict between the US and China … are China’s ambitions to be a leader in next-generation technology, such as artificial intelligence (AI), which rest on whether or not it can design and manufacture cutting-edge chips, and is why Xi has pledged at least $150 billion to build up the sector”, Zerohedge writes.

    Nothing new here: yet behind that ambition, lies another, further ambition and a little mentioned ‘elephant in the room’: that the ‘trade war’ is also the first stage to a new arms race between the US & China – albeit of a different genre of arms race. This ‘new generation’ arms-race is all about reaching national superiority in technology over the longer-term, via Quantum Computing, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Hypersonic Warplanes, Electronic Vehicles, Robotics, and Cyber-Security.

    The blueprint for it, in China, is in the public domain. It is ‘Made in China 2025’ (now downplayed, but far from forgotten). And the Chinese expenditure commitment ($ 150 billion) to take the tech lead - will be met ‘head on’ (as Zerohedge puts it), “by a [counterpart] ‘America First’ strategy: Hence the ‘arms race’ in tech spending … is intimately linked with defence spending. Note: military spending by the US and China is forecast by the IMF to rise substantially in coming decades, but the stunner is: that by 2050, China is set to overtake the US, spending $4tn on its military, while the US is $1 trillion less, or $3tn … This means that sometime around 2038, roughly two decades from now, China will surpass the US in military spending.”

    This close intimacy between tech and defence in US future defence thinking is plain: It is all about data, big data and AI: A Defense One article makes this very clear,

    Quote “The battle domains of space and cyber are divorced, largely, from the raw physical reality of war. To Hyten [Gen. John E. Hyten, who leads US Air Force Space Command], these two uninhabited spaces mirror one another in another way: They are fields of data and information and that’s what modern war runs on. “What are the missions we do in space today? Provide information; provide pathways for information; in conflict, we deny adversaries access to that information,” he told an audience on Wednesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference outside Washington, D.C.. The same is true of cyber.

    The U.S. wages war with tools that require a lot of information … Inevitably, more adversaries will eventually employ data-connected drones and gunships of their own. The heavy information component of modern-day weapons, particularly that those wielded by air forces, also creates vulnerabilities. Air Force leaders this week discussed how they are looking to reduce the vulnerability for the United States while increasing it for adversaries”.
    So, the ‘front line’ to this trade/tech/defence war, effectively pivots about who can design - and manufacture - cutting-edge, semi-conductors (since China already has the lead in Big Data, Quantum computing, and AI). And, in this context, General Hyten’s comment about reducing US vulnerability, whilst increasing it for adversaries takes on major significance: For Washington, the plan is to ramp up export controls (i.e. ban the export) of so-called ‘foundational technologies’ — those that can enable development in a broad range of sectors.

    And the equipment for manufacturing chips, or semi-conductors – not surprisingly - is one of the key ‘target areas’ under discussion.

    Export controls though, are just one part of this ‘war’ strategy of ‘data denial’ to adversaries. But semi-conductors is one field in which China is indeed vulnerable: since the global semiconductor industry rests on the shoulders of just six equipment companies, of which three are based in the US. Together, these six companies make nearly all of the crucial hardware and software tools needed to manufacture chips. This implies that an American export ban would choke off China’s access to the basic tools needed to manufacture their latest chip designs (though China can retaliate by choking-off the supply of Raw Earth, upon which sophisticated tech, is reliant).

    "You cannot build a semiconductor facility without using the big major equipment companies, none of which are Chinese,” said Brett Simpson, the founder of Arete Research, an equity research group. And, as the FT, notes, the real difficulty is not [so much] designing the chips, but in the making of very cutting-edge chips."

    So here is the point: the US is attempting to clasp to itself both the ‘pure’ technology-knowledge, plus additionally, the practical tech supply-chain experience and knowhow, in order to repulse China out from the western tech sphere.

    At the same time, another strand to the US strategy – as we have witnessed with Huawei, a global leader in 5G infrastructure technology (in which the U.S. is falling behind) – is to scare everyone off incorporating Chinese 5G in to their national infrastructures - through such devices as the arrest of Meng Wanzhou (for breach of US sanctions).

    Even before her ‘arrest’, America has been systematically cutting Huawei out of the global 5G rollout, by quoting the magical words: ‘security concerns’ (Just as it is attempting to cut Russia out of weapons sales in the Middle East, on similar, tech-protective, grounds: i.e. that states should not buy Russian air defence, since this would give Russia a ‘window’ into NATO tech capabilities).

    And, as General Hyten made clear, this not just about increasing tech and area denial, and promoting vulnerability for adversaries in terms of chips - but the US also plans to extend tech and area info-denial to space, cyber, avionics and military equipment.

    It’s another Cold War - but this time it is about technology and ‘data denial’.

    Well, China, with its centralized economy, will throw money and brainpower, into creating its own, ‘non-dollar sphere’, supply lines: for semi-conductors; for components – both for civil and military use. It will take time, but the solution will come.

    Clearly, one consequence of this new arms race between the US - and China and Russia - is that specialized, and thinly-populated supply lines will have to be disentangled, and made anew, each in its own separate sphere: that is, on one hand, within the NATO-dollar sphere, and on the other, in the non-dollar sphere, led by China and Russia.

    And not only will there be this physical supply-line disentanglement and separation, but should the US persist with its Huawei leverage tactic of ‘War on Terror’-style ‘rendition’ of foreign businessmen, or business women, alleged to have breached any US broad spectrum tech sanctions, there will have to be a disentangling of mixed boardrooms to avoid exposing company officials to individual arrest and prosecution. Limitations on company officers’ travel, where their business spans spheres, is already happening (as a result of the attempted rendition of Meng Wahzhou - and in order to avoid being caught up in tit-for-tat, retribution).

    The bifurcation of the global economy was already in process. This stemmed firstly from America’s geo-political financial sanctions regime (i.e. Treasury Wars) – and the consequent attempts by targeted states to de-couple from the dollar sphere. The ‘war hawks’ surrounding the President are now inventing a whole new swathe of ‘tech crimes’ for sanctioning – ostensibly to give Trump oven more of his much-desired negotiating ‘leverage’. Clearly the hawks are using the ‘leverage’ pretext, to up-the-ante against China, Russia and its allies – for far wider ambitions than just giving the President more ‘cards in his hand’: Perhaps rather, to re-set the entire power-balance between America versus China and Russia.

    The obvious and inevitable consequence has been an accelerating financial separation from the dollar sphere; and the development of a non-dollar architecture. De-dollarisation in a word.

    Effectively, the US seems prepared to burn-down its reserve-currency status, to ‘save’ itself - to ‘Make America Rich Again’ (MARA), and to hobble China’s rise. And while burning down dollar-hegemony, the Administration is burning its own ‘global order’ too: attenuating it from the ‘global’ - down to a reduced sphere of US tech and security allies, facing China and the non-West. The domestic consequences for America will be felt in the new (for Americans) frustration of finding it harder to finance itself, in the manner in which it has grown accustomed, over the last 70 years, or so.

    Peter Schiff, CEO and Chief Global Strategist of Euro Pacific Capital, says that:

    Quote “The dollar – [the US] having the reserve currency, [is placing that] status … in jeopardy. And I don’t think the world likes giving America this kind of power that we can impose our own rules and demand that the entire world live by it. So, I think this has a much bigger and broader ramifications other than what’s going on in the stock market today. I think long-term, this is going to undermine the dollar, and its role as a reserve currency. And when that goes, so does the American standard of living: because it’s going to collapse.”

    “People think we have the upper hand because we have this huge trade deficit with China. But I think it’s the other way. I think the fact that they supply us with all this merchandise that our economy needs, and the fact that they hold a lot of our bonds [debt], and continue to lend us a lot of money so we can live beyond our means - they’re the ones, I think, that call the tunes, and we have to dance to it.”
    This tech and data new Cold War will polarise the global economy into spheres, and already it is polarising it politically, into a new ‘with us, or against us’ American paradigm. Politico notes:

    Quote “The Trump administration's global campaign against telecom giant Huawei is pitting Europe against itself - over China. In the midst of a ballooning U.S.-China trade conflict, Washington has spent the past few months pressing its EU allies via its ambassadors to take a stronger stance against Chinese telecom vendors such as Huawei and ZTE.

    The American push…is exposing fault-lines between U.S. allies in Europe as well as [between] the so-called "Five Eyes" intelligence community — which have largely followed the U.S. lead — and others that resist the American pressure, by stopping short of calling out Chinese tech.

    On the other side there is Germany, which wants proof from the United States that Huawei poses a security risk, as well as France, Portugal and a slew of central and eastern EU nations.

    The increasingly divergent attitudes show how Donald Trump is forcing allies to take sides in a global dispute and measure their economic interests — often deeply embedded with the Chinese vendors — against the value of a security alliance with Washington.”
    The potential for accelerated de-dollarisation is one aspect, but there is another potential flaw inherent to the wholesale repatriation of supply-lines. US corporate earnings have ballooned over the last two decades. Part of this earnings hike stemmed from ‘easy’ liquidity, and ‘easy’ credit; but a major element owed to cost-cutting -- that is to say, off-shoring elements of higher-cost US production (because of wage levels, regulatory costs and employee entitlements) to lower wage, less regulated states. The coming bifurcation of the global economy has therefore, as its inevitable consequence, the repatriation of lower-cost production (in China and elsewhere) to a now higher-cost, and more highly regulated, US and European environment.

    Perhaps this is a good thing -- but for sure it means costs and prices will rise in the US and America, and it means that corporate business models will be impaired as they de- off-shore. Americans’ standards of living will decline further (as Peter Schiff foretells).

    The alienation and disgruntlement of America’s ‘deplorables’ and Europe’s ‘Yellow Vests’ is evidently a profound problem – and one that will not be solved by a new Cold War. The roots to our present discontents lie precisely with the ‘easy’ liquidity, and the ‘easy’ credit paradigm, which centrifuged-out societies into the asset owning 10% and into the non-asset holding 90% of society, and which degraded so the sense of societal well-being and security.

    Of course this discontent can really only be resolved by addressing the question of our hyper-financialised economic paradigm – which is not something the élites will, or want, to ‘touch’.
    From: http://www.conflictsforum.org/2018/a...lobal-economy/
    Last edited by Cara; 2nd October 2019 at 07:57.
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  16. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (2nd October 2019), silvanelf (3rd October 2019)

  17. Link to Post #29
    Madagascar Avalon Member silvanelf's Avatar
    Join Date
    19th May 2019
    Age
    59
    Posts
    143
    Thanks
    1,480
    Thanked 406 times in 119 posts

    Default Re: Financial flows: moves, changes and significant events

    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    Quote Posted by silvanelf (here)
    ...What if ... the trade war is in reality an already ongoing process of economic decoupling between US and China?...
    Thanks Silvanelf, that's an important wider context.

    And your question and articles you shared remind me of a piece written by Alastair Crooke published 18 December 2018:

    Quote America’s Technology and Sanctions War Will End, by Bifurcating the Global Economy
    Alastair Crooke, Strategic Culture Foundation, 18 Dec 2018

    [...]

    From: http://www.conflictsforum.org/2018/a...lobal-economy/
    That article is excellent! It raises some interesting questions and I'm still reading other articles about these issues.

    For example, Huawei's 5G technology seems to play an important role in the conflict between the US and China. It is not just a conflict about patents or tariffs, it looks more like a conflict about spheres of influence on a technological level.

    Quote Secretary Pompeo, in his recent European tour, came close to giving Europeans an ultimatum: ‘Include Chinese 5G technology in your state infrastructure – and you will lose having any American technology alongside it’ – With us (against China), or (with China) against ‘us’. Revised US foreign investment screening and export control laws, especially as applied to ‘emerging and foundational technologies’, ultimately will break significant linkages between the United States and China.
    https://www.strategic-culture.org/ne...-war-on-china/

    Quote Huawei offers to tie both arms behind the back-so the West can compete!

    Huawei is the dominant global 5G player, it offers to sell its core technology and share its 5G base stations around the world, with the country that had the founder’s daughter, Meng Wanzhou, kidnapped and imprisoned (https://www.scmp.com/news/china/dipl...ite-her-bank)?

    Whaaaaat? It’s true. Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei says he is ready to sell Huawei’s 5G tech to Western buyers (https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/a...-western-buyer). He clearly means Apple. In April, he offered to sell it its 5G chip, which Apple sorely needs to remain relevant in global mobile tech (https://www.marketwatch.com/story/hu...ple-2019-04-14). Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, who is a very astute businessman indeed, didn’t seem to bite, at least publicly, as I’m sure the Western deep state would crush the deal, as is explained why, below.
    http://thesaker.is/huawei-offers-to-...t-can-compete/
    Last edited by Cara; 4th October 2019 at 03:02. Reason: Fixed quote tags

  18. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to silvanelf For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (10th October 2019), Cara (4th October 2019)

  19. Link to Post #30
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    Thanks silvanelf. Yes, that Alastair Crooke article (http://www.conflictsforum.org/2018/a...lobal-economy/) is really good for its expansive viewpoint.

    I agree that the moves against Chinese tech firms ZTE and now Huawei are a big part of this “game”. Whatever it is that these two companies have created it must be quite a significant threat to the players who are orchestrating things within the US as they seem quite okay to see collateral damage in US agriculture etc.
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  20. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (10th October 2019), silvanelf (8th October 2019)

  21. Link to Post #31
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    This is a useful summary of the state of play in the space sector.

    Quote Private Investment in Space Blasts Off
    by Sarah Feldman ,Oct 7, 2019
    Space Investment

    Space Week runs through Thursday, an international week where science and technology are celebrated. NASA is dealing with some more terrestrial problems, though. The agency is gearing up to secure over $22 billion from Congress next year to realize the Trump administration’s goal of putting U.S. astronauts back on the moon. Even with these funding woes and sky-high aspirations, NASA’s annual budget dwarfs the amount of private investment being channeled into space ventures.

    The funding NASA has received in the 21st-century totals around $381 billion, while private investment over the past two decades is just over $17 billion. Despite that clear advantage, private investment in space has taken off in recent years, increasing close to 400 percent over the past decade, while NASA’s budget has largely flatlined. NASA’s budget is much smaller than it once was. In the 1960s, during the heart of the Cold War space race, NASA received a budget worth about $50 billion in today’s dollars.

    Private investments and commercial projects have tried to find their footing among the stars. Private ventures into space have increased astronomically since the beginning of the 21st century.

    Infographic: Private Investment in Space Blasts Off | Statista

    Description

    This chart shows private and public investment in space over the course of the 21st century.

    Download Chart
    From: https://www.statista.com/chart/amp/1...mpression=true

    ~~~

    A question: will we soon see modern, space equivalents of the British East India company? Or are those players already on the stage?
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  22. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (10th October 2019), Franny (8th October 2019), silvanelf (8th October 2019)

  23. Link to Post #32
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    Is there a hydrogen economy developing? There have been a several articles in the news on this lately:

    Nordstream supplies to Europe:
    Quote Nord Stream 2 Gas Pipeline May Be Used for Shipping Hydrogen in Future - Eurogas

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) - The Nord Stream 2 pipeline for carrying gas from Russia to Europe may also be used for shipping hydrogen in future, Eurogas Secretary General James Watson said.

    "Regarding Nord Stream 2 in particularly I am interested because my understanding from speaking with people from Gazprom is that they could also in the future use it to ship hydrogen. So, instead of just shipping natural gas, Nord Stream 2 can carry 80% of hydrogen. I believe that in the European Union we have a strong decarbonization agenda, and at some point hydrogen is likely to replace natural gas in parts of our system," Watson said.

    Eurogas is an association representing the European gas wholesale, retail and distribution sectors. It was founded in 1990 and is comprised of 47 companies and associations from 21 countries.

    The Nord Stream 2 pipeline is a joint venture of Russia’s Gazprom and five European companies. The pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of this year and to carry an annual 1.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas from Russia to Europe.

    Nord Stream 2 is set to pass through the territories of Denmark, Finland, Germany, Russia and Sweden. Denmark remains the only country that has not given its consent to the construction so far.
    From: https://sputniknews.com/amp/europe/2...mpression=true

    And in Germany:
    Quote Germany should aim to be a leader in hydrogen technology - minister
    Vera Eckert, Published 12 Hours Ago

    * Germany aims to cut carbon emissions by 55% by 2030
    * Berlin set to miss 2020 target for emission cuts
    * Hydrogen as a commercial fuel faces challenges

    FRANKFURT, Oct 9 (Reuters) - Germany should aim to be a leader in technologies needed to make and utilize hydrogen, which offers a green alternative to fossil fuels in the shift towards a low carbon economy, the economy minister said on Wednesday.

    The government has been pushing renewables and other technologies to help cut Germany's carbon emissions by 55% of their 1990 level by 2030 and by 80% to 95% by 2050. But it is already set to miss a target of a 40% cut in emissions by 2020.

    "We have to set the course so that Germany becomes the No. 1 in the world in hydrogen technologies," Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said in a statement.

    "Now is the time for hydrogen and the technologies that are necessary for it," he said after a meeting in Berlin to discuss Germany's 2030 targets and its strategy for hydrogen usage.

    Hydrogen gas has long been viewed as a potential alternative to fossil fuels because it emits water when it burns in oxygen rather than CO2, the greenhouse gas that coal, oil and natural gas emit.

    But there are challenges to using hydrogen. Although the gas can be produced from water by electrolysis, this requires large amounts of electricity which Germany mostly generates from fossil fuels, although Berlin is expanding sources.

    Germany aims to use more natural gas, which produces less greenhouse gas emissions than coal or oil, as a transition fuel in the shift towards a low carbon economy.

    Existing infrastructure for natural gas, such as pipelines and storage tanks, could also be used for hydrogen, if the fuel became available in commercial quantities, analysts say.

    Pipeline operators have said the German network could be slowly adjusted so that it carries 10% hydrogen and 90% natural gas by 2030, rising to 20% to 30% hydrogen in the longer term, helping reduce emissions from gas combustion.

    Germany has pilot projects to test ways to produce hydrogen from water using electrolysis but these are not yet commercially viable. Major industries have also been working on projects that could use hydrogen as fuel in manufacturing.

    To encourage hydrogen usage, the Economy Ministry has proposed creating European and international certification for hydrogen technologies, exploring ways to market those technologies and seeking partner countries. (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Edmund Blair)
    From: https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2019/10/09/...mpression=true

    And Germany’s Siemens invests in Australia:
    Quote Siemens Backs Mega Green Power Hydrogen Project in Australia

    James Thornhill, October 8, 2019, 7:23 AM GMT+4

    Siemens AG is partnering on a 5,000-megawatt combined solar and wind farm in Western Australia that will produce renewable hydrogen for potential export to Asia.

    The Murchison facility will use Siemens’ electrolyser technology to convert power from the solar and wind units into hydrogen, it said in a joint statement with developer Hydrogen Renewables Australia. The project’s location, north of the coastal town of Kalbarri, makes it “one of the most cost-effective” spots in Australia to produce clean energy, according to the statement.

    HRA has six years to scale up the project to enable exports to Japan and South Korea, ramping up to full capacity by 2028, when it could be supplying as much as 10% of Asia’s hydrogen demand, Chief Executive Officer Terry Kallis said by phone. Total investment is seen at about A$10 billion ($6.75 billion).

    Murchison is the latest in a string of hydrogen projects announced in Australia recently, as the country looks to develop the fuel for potential export into Japan and South Korea. A government report in 2018 found that the industry could be worth over $1 billion to the economy annually by 2030.

    “Australia has potential like no other country in the world for hydrogen production and export, as long as we act upon the opportunity quickly,” said Siemens Australia Pacific CEO Jeff Connolly.

    The project will be developed in stages. The first is a demonstration phase providing hydrogen for transport fuels. The second will involve blending with natural gas in the nearby Dampier-to-Bunbury pipeline. The third will be an expansion to produce hydrogen for Asian markets.

    HRA has held preliminary talks with the state and federal governments, and will start a consultation process with local stakeholders in November.
    From: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...t-in-australia

    And in China:
    Quote China’s Father of Electric Cars Says Hydrogen Is the Future

    His vision to make China an electric-vehicle powerhouse revolutionized the global auto industry, cementing a move away from the combustion engine. Now, Wan Gang says get ready for the next game-changing moment.

    The world’s biggest car market is set to embrace hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles the way it did EVs, Wan, who’s been called the father of China’s electric-car movement, said in a rare interview in Beijing on June 9.

    ...

    “We should look into establishing a hydrogen society,” said Wan, 66, who’s now a vice chairman of China’s national advisory body for policy making, a role that ranks higher than a minister and gives him a voice in the nation’s future planning. “We need to move further toward fuel cells.”

    That means the government will commit resources to developing such vehicles, he said. While China plans to phase out the long-time subsidy program for the maturing EV industry next year, government funding for fuel-cell vehicles may stay in place to some extent, Wan said.

    Shares of some hydrogen-related companies rose. Jiangsu Huachang Chemical Co., which develops hydrogen pumping stations, advanced by the 10% daily limit on Thursday in Shenzhen. Shanghai Tongji Science & Technology Industrial Co. and Lanzhou Great Wall Electrical Co., which are both invested in the fuel-cell vehicle industry, also rose in Shanghai.

    ...

    China is promoting the adoption of hydrogen vehicles in selected trial regions as it sets up an ecosystem that includes hydrogen production, storage, transportation and refueling, Wan said. Long-range commercial vehicles aren’t currently well-suited to run on batteries alone because of weight and range constraints, according to a BNEF report last month. Fuel cells would be a good bet should the government ease restrictions on hydrogen-refueling infrastructure....
    From and continues: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-is-the-future

    ~~~

    A coordinated effort?

    The somewhat orchestrated media coverage could indicate some behind the scenes work from a public relations team. And if so, who is paying the PR team?
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  24. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Bill Ryan (10th October 2019), silvanelf (21st October 2019)

  25. Link to Post #33
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    This is from the UK’s Financial Times so it has its own bias and narrative to spin. It is the mouthpiece for a certain power and money set. It is also written as editorial rather than news reporting, so can be viewed perhaps as a pronouncement on what this particular establishment thinks.

    It points to the “turning inwards” of the US as being a phenomenon that exists outside of president Trump. Questions that spring to mind are:
    • Is this establishment now resigned to the US’s changed style of engagement with the world?
    • Is this an indication that at least some part of the Anglo part of the Anglo American alliance is set to find new alliances?

    Quote America’s retreat will outlast Donald Trump
    Until now, the security of Europe and east Asia has depended on US leadership

    Philip Stephens, October 10, 2019 4:00 am


    © FT montage/Getty

    Beijing’s display of martial might on the 70th anniversary of Communist rule was a sobering moment. The line-up of sophisticated weaponry, including a new intercontinental ballistic missile, said a good deal about China’s great power ambitions. Europe was looking the other way as the tanks trundled through Tiananmen Square. For now, second-guessing the fortunes of US president Donald Trump is the only game in town.

    Mr Trump has broken the rhythm of history. We expect threats to the established order to come from rising powers. China is no different, though it has become very big, very fast. The assault on the postwar Pax Americana, however, has been led by, well, America. When Europeans fret about another war breaking out they have usually been looking at Mr Trump’s Twitter account.

    The White House decision to pull US troops out of northern Syria and leave their Kurdish allies to face an invading Turkish army fits this bill. The Kurds have been the west’s most reliable allies in the fight against Isis and other jihadi groups. Mr Trump has decided that America owes them nothing. Washington, its allies are reminded again, cannot be trusted. How will things look when Isis fighters start breaking out of the detention centres that are at present guarded by the Kurds?

    There is little purpose in searching for a grand strategy in Mr Trump’s foreign policy. His worldview is shaped by a set of emotional impulses. Looking for a framework is like searching for symmetrical patterns in a bowl of spaghetti.

    This is the president, after all, who lionises North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, a dictator upon whom he once threatened to rain “fire and fury”. Iran’s Hassan Rouhani has replaced him in the line of fire. But you never know. Would anyone be that surprised if the Iranian leader tipped up as a guest at the White House?

    We do know that Mr Trump starts from an assumption that the US can do as it pleases. Multilateralism is a globalist plot against the US, and trade sanctions are a good way to browbeat friends and adversaries alike. In the manner of Queen Victoria’s Lord Palmerston, the president has no time for permanent alliances. More encouragingly, although Mr Trump is careless about inflaming global tensions, he is wary of wars of choice.

    With the odd exception — Israel and Hungary come to mind — “America First” is the very definition of dangerous for most friends and allies. The security of Europe and east Asia has been embedded in alliance and treaty systems operating under US leadership. Prosperity has rested on multilateral rules designed mostly in Washington.

    Take away the glue of a US security guarantee and the systems begin to dissolve. Russia and China loom larger as regional threats, and allies are more likely to fight among themselves — witness the escalating dispute between Japan and South Korea about war reparations. Remove US backing for international trade rules and globalisation begins to go into reverse.

    So no one should be surprised by the fierce foreign attention focused on the drama now unfolding in Washington. For most nations the biggest geopolitical event already visible on the near horizon is the 2020 US presidential election. Were the European foreign policy establishment to be given a single wish to make the world a safer place, it would be Mr Trump’s departure.

    Watching Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren in the Democratic debates, Europeans had allowed resignation to set in. Mr Biden’s time had passed; Ms Warren, a social democrat by European lights, seemed too leftish for the US. Maybe a second term for Mr Trump was preordained. That would give him the time to finish off the postwar order.

    The impeachment proceedings, centred on Mr Trump’s attempts to strong-arm the president of Ukraine, have lifted spirits. Even if the Senate cannot be persuaded to convict the president, the process of disclosure and his increasingly erratic pronouncements could lose him the White House. Couldn’t it? Ms Warren lately seems to be shrugging off the charges that she is a dangerous Marxist. Perhaps impeachment is the get-out-of-jail-free card.

    Real life, sadly, is not like that. Most Europeans will tell you that the world has had a Trump problem, not an American one. To the extent that this president’s behaviour has been uniquely capricious, they have a point. But the clock cannot be turned back to an era that was passing before Mr Trump reached the White House.

    The Pax Americana was lost to the flames of Afghanistan and Iraq, to the economic weaknesses exposed by the global financial crisis, and to the unprecedented speed of China’s rise. Barack Obama understood this when he sought to recast US leadership as that of a convening power. Mr Trump’s bellicose unilateralism has greatly accelerated America’s retreat, but the direction of travel had already been set.

    The world should be safer without Mr Trump. But, to my mind, three things can be said with confidence about his successor. The next president — she or he, in 2020 or 2024 — will not halt the country’s turn inwards. The protectionist tilt will harden, above all when it comes to technology-rich industries. And the US will be far more attentive to vital national interests before expending blood and treasure overseas. Impeachment, successful or otherwise, will not solve anyone else’s problems.
    From: https://amp.ft.com/content/f34fa1ee-...mpression=true
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  26. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Baby Steps (11th October 2019), Bill Ryan (11th October 2019), silvanelf (21st October 2019)

  27. Link to Post #34
    United States Avalon Member
    Join Date
    24th June 2013
    Posts
    1,361
    Thanks
    821
    Thanked 3,815 times in 1,114 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    Small countries, Islands and any countries which are not the main world traders have been permanently shafted by the NWO Trade Agreement which President Trump correctly said is the worst deal ever made. These countries as well as the United States have had their manufacturing hands tied behind their backs so that their economies would fail and all the fancy verbiage of the banking industry would be waiting there to shovel them into the IMF's clutches. Give away the right to print and control your own currency and you are dead. As for Crypto-currencies, that is the same as being blindfolded and marched over a cliff. Further more, I know of a country in the clutches of "The Bankers" where even the few fruits they grow for their population have been deliberately crippled by introduced diseases. They have been "discouraged" from growing their own food by sending in outside grocery firms to provide the people food they should be growing themselves. All this to send up the foreign exchange debt of the country which has now landed in the hands of the IMF. Vast numbers of the formerly employed are now unemployed in a climate of hugely inflated prices since everything must be imported. If anyone wonders about my rage, only because I cannot think of a worse word, against "the bankers" it is because I would like to get my hands on them for the global misery they are causing.

  28. The Following User Says Thank You to amor For This Post:

    silvanelf (21st October 2019)

  29. Link to Post #35
    United States Avalon Member
    Join Date
    24th June 2013
    Posts
    1,361
    Thanks
    821
    Thanked 3,815 times in 1,114 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    Dear Cara: You have done an interesting piece of writing above. I personally back Mr. Trump 100% in America First because it is crystal clear to me that the Globalists have plotted to destroy it so that they can bring forth their ROTTEN GLOBALIST PLOT OF MURDER. As for China and its new showcase city with its hive of skyscrapers, I do believe that is all Globalist foreign capital being spent in China to promote, along with the video I saw about the Smart Phone Currency they are using, the banning of CASH. People have resisted governments which are organized from the top down where the RIGHTS of people have been effectively removed either by total dictatorship or the dictatorship of technology intended to assign us the status of chickens awaiting slaughter without reprieve. I believe you have heard of the CHIP? Well I understand the technology is a lot more comprehensive and advanced than most people can even imagine. Once taken, you are an obedient zombie under total physical, mental and spiritual control. Who will be the first idiot to volunteer?

  30. Link to Post #36
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    Quote Posted by amor (here)
    Dear Cara: You have done an interesting piece of writing above. I personally back Mr. Trump 100% in America First because it is crystal clear to me that the Globalists have plotted to destroy it so that they can bring forth their ROTTEN GLOBALIST PLOT OF MURDER. As for China and its new showcase city with its hive of skyscrapers, I do believe that is all Globalist foreign capital being spent in China to promote, along with the video I saw about the Smart Phone Currency they are using, the banning of CASH. People have resisted governments which are organized from the top down where the RIGHTS of people have been effectively removed either by total dictatorship or the dictatorship of technology intended to assign us the status of chickens awaiting slaughter without reprieve. I believe you have heard of the CHIP? Well I understand the technology is a lot more comprehensive and advanced than most people can even imagine. Once taken, you are an obedient zombie under total physical, mental and spiritual control. Who will be the first idiot to volunteer?
    Hi amor,

    Thanks for your comments. I'd like to clarify that the article above post (http://projectavalon.net/forum4/show...=1#post1318113) was in the Financial Times and written by Philip Stephens.

    Cheers,
    Cara
    Last edited by Cara; 21st October 2019 at 07:35.
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  31. Link to Post #37
    UK Avalon Member
    Join Date
    20th February 2011
    Location
    Manchester
    Age
    35
    Posts
    977
    Thanks
    7,443
    Thanked 5,397 times in 901 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape


    Oct. 19—The following is a slightly abridged version of the speech delivered by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Oct. 3, 2019, at the final plenary session of the 16th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, in Sochi, Russia. The speech is followed by a few selected questions and answers. The session was attended by Ilham Aliyev, President of Azerbaijan; King Abdullah II, of Jordan; Kassym-Jomart Tokaev, President of Kazakhstan; Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines; and many other international guests and dignitaries.

    In this speech, President Putin has defined a necessary approach to international relations that should be heeded by all people of good will in the world. To put it in American terms, what Putin describes as the approach to be taken is a “Community of Principle among Perfectly Sovereign Nations.” This is a world without hegemonies, but also a world not simply reduced to individual competing interests; it is, rather, a new order of national sovereignty and cooperation beneficial to all.

    As Putin emphasizes, it was the collaboration between Presidents Trump and Putin in Syria which was crucial to resolving that catastrophe. This demonstrates what is possible when nations work together. The new set of relations among nations that is emerging can potentially lead to an unprecedented era of peace and economic development.

    (Subheads have been added)

    Putin: “Your Majesty King Abdullah, Mr. Aliyev, Mr. Tokaev, Mr. Duterte, friends, ladies and gentlemen. . . .

    This time, the hosts have come up with a truly inexhaustible and, I would say, fascinating topic which is “The East and the Role of Asia,” as the world’s largest and most populated region. Relations between Russia and the Asian states, which have always been of particular importance to us, I believe, are of interest to everyone. The nature of Russia’s relations with Asia is dictated not only by today’s realities, but by history as well.

    India and China, Egypt and Iran, Turkey and Japan, the countries of Central and Southeast Asia are heirs to great ancient civilizations, which gave humankind unique knowledge and technology, as well as discoveries in medicine, mathematics, culture and the arts.

    Asia has always aroused special feelings among intellectuals and creative people, it seemed a little mysterious and mystical, and was considered a source of spiritual strength and wisdom, perhaps not always fully understood, but invariably interesting.


    Portrait by Vasily Tropinin
    Alexander Pushkin

    In Russia, the bright colors of the East inspired many of our writers, poets, artists and musicians, specifically Pushkin, Rimsky-Korsakov, Arsenyev, Vereshchagin, Kandinsky and Roerich. The Russian people, and not only Russians, know these names.

    Today, Asia, throughout its vast reach from the Maghreb and the Middle East all the way to East and Southeast Asia, is regaining its natural place in international affairs, which is commensurate with its great heritage and today’s undoubtedly vast and growing potential.

    The positions of the Asian states are becoming stronger in all areas, but mainly in the economy. The region already accounts for over a third of the gross world product. Living standards are improving at a higher pace than the global average. The most advanced technology is being introduced. The unprecedented scale of integration processes and globalization are drawing both individual countries and entire adjacent sub-regions to Asia.

    While demonstrating impressive examples of progress, the Asian nations still preserve their unique features and traditions. They remember their roots and prove in their forward progress that the principles of state sovereignty do not contradict openness and globalization, that sustainable development can be based on independence and self-sufficiency rather than their mandatory renunciation, and that growing national economic and humanitarian potential requires political identity.

    . . . [T]he Asian states are striving to play a bigger role in world politics. This is an absolutely natural process. They uphold their own opinions on key international issues, treasure their independence and hope that their objectively increasing influence will be recognized. We believe this is only fair and meets the realities of today and tomorrow.

    Incidentally, at one time, Asia’s awakening, as it is called, and the national and cultural revival of its states, played an enormous role in the democratization of international ties. Today, it is obvious that global problems cannot be resolved without Asia. Of course, it is possible to try to do this with momentum and based on past experience, but the legitimacy, and most importantly, the practical value of such approaches, which are presented as global and universal, will be questionable.

    The world has become multi-polar and, hence more complicated largely owing to the Asian countries. But, as I have said, multi-polarity as such is not a cure-all. Nor does it mean that urgent problems will disappear by themselves.



    kremlin.ru
    Vladimir Putin addresses the plenary of the 16th Annual Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club on October 3, 2019.

    Time for Outside-the-Box Steps

    The authors of the annual Valdai Club report insist, and we have just heard this, that we have entered an era with no world order whatsoever. This has been practically voiced right now. Yes, such a scenario is indeed possible. But it is fraught with many threats; we are all aware of that. I would like to hope that however complicated the relations between countries, however dangerous the legal lacunae might be, such as in nuclear and missile weapons areas, the world order, based on the key role of international law, will be transformed, but it will remain. We will all be working to protect it. A different way is obviously fraught with global calamities for practically all of humanity.

    The world system is undoubtedly multi-faceted and complicated and unprecedentedly interconnected at that. Everyone has their own objective interests that do not always coincide with those of others; this is also evident. But there is a feeling of common responsibility. Ultimately, I hope, no, actually, I do not doubt that there is also common sense, a striving for security.

    This is why we cannot do without a systemic world order. But we also need both flexibility and, let me add, non-linearity, which would not mean a rejection of the system but the capability to arrange a complex process rooted in realities, which presupposes the ability to consider various cultural and value systems, the need to act together, dismissing stereotypes and geopolitical clichés. This is the only way to effectively solve the challenges on the global, regional, and national levels.

    We have such examples before our eyes. Those of you who attended the 2015 Valdai Club meeting may remember that at virtually the very same time the decision was taken on Russia’s operation in Syria. Let me be straightforward: not everyone, including the experts in the audience back then, believed it could bring a positive result. On the contrary, they were very skeptical about it, and many of them asked questions about why it was necessary. They asked if we understood what sort of a hornets’ nest we would get into, whereas some foreign partners, I do not mean those experts present here, I mean just foreign partners with whom we collaborate in the global arena, were also trying to interfere, to resist.

    But I would like to draw your attention to the essence of what has been done, and above all, of course, I mean what has been done for our country, as I represent its interests. We defeated the terrorist international that was actually winning on Syrian territory, and we prevented the return, the infiltration of hundreds and later, perhaps, thousands of armed cut-throats into our country and neighboring countries with whom we have a visa-free regime, our borders are transparent.

    Most of Syria was freed from terrorists within several years, and the level of violence has drastically decreased. In conjunction with our Astana format partners and with the support of the UN, we managed to launch an intra-Syrian political process and to establish close working contacts with Iran, Turkey, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other countries of the Middle East, as well as the United States. Colleagues, you will agree that it was difficult to even imagine such a complicated diplomatic alignment with the participation of very different states with very different emotions towards each other even a few years ago. But now this is a fait accompli, and we managed to do it.

    The Syrian Settlement as a Model

    We think the Syrian settlement can become a model for resolving regional crises where diplomatic mechanisms will be used in the vast majority of cases. The use of force is an extreme and forced exception. Indeed, in Syria, we were faced with an attempt to create a terrorist quasi-state with an actual—I am saying this without any exaggeration—an actual terrorist army.

    Occasionally, many new and chronic problems and crises look too tangled and even approaching them is a problem. But, I repeat, now is the time for outside-the-box steps and actions. In Syria, Russia and its partners (of course, we could never have done this alone) managed to do a lot while adhering to and following norms of international law, respecting sovereignty and thinking primarily about the life, safety and interests of the people.

    I am convinced that these approaches can be used to resolve other existing problems in the world, including in Asia, such as for example, the situation on the Korean Peninsula, which has long been in a clinch.


    White House
    President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands across the Military Demarcation Line between the two Koreas on June 30, 2019.

    In this regard, notably, as soon as the United States decided to have a direct conversation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, without preliminary formalities and conventions, abandoning the usual, sometimes very rude, even insulting, rhetoric, the hope for a peaceful settlement immediately appeared.

    Of course, we understand and see that there are still many unresolved problems and a long way to go. But there is movement in the right direction. We must give credit to President Trump’s courage and ability to take outside-the-box steps. Indeed, for many decades, U.S. presidents ignored the DPRK and saw it as an outcast. Mr. Trump was able to take a historic step, overcome the “demarcation line” of misunderstanding and alienation, meet with Kim Jong-un and begin the negotiating process.

    Let me repeat: the most complicated conflicts, such as the Palestinian-Israeli and Afghani or the situation around the Iran nuclear deal, can and must be resolved on the principles of mutual cooperation, respect, recognition of all the parties’ interests and rejection of any kind of blinkers or philosophy of blocs.

    In this context, let me remind you that this was Russia’s logic this July, when it presented the concept of providing collective security in the Persian Gulf area. I believe the idea is still important, considering the tense and unpredictable situation there.

    We suggest that the accumulated prejudices and mutual pretenses must be pushed aside, and a security and cooperation organization be created in the region almost from scratch. In addition to Western countries, Russia, China, the U.S., the EU, India and other interested countries could join as observers.

    A New Global Concert of Development

    Ladies and gentlemen, of course, economic cooperation, which opens real prospects for sustainable long-term development for everyone, is the basis of equal political relations aimed at the future, including between Asian countries.

    Let me use transport interconnection as an example. It is impossible to develop trade and industrial cooperation and establish mutual exchanges in any other sphere without an up-to-date road, sea and railway infrastructure. We should think together how to speed up the establishment of such a Eurasian transportation framework, a real network of latitudinal and longitudinal trading routes.

    Of course, Russia is open to this joint work and is already implementing several joint projects, such as the North-South trading route from Europe via Russia to the Caspian Region, Central Asia, Iran and India. Another route, Europe-West China, will connect Russian Baltic ports with Yellow Sea ports.


    CC/Tuomas Romu
    The Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker Vaygach (left) escorting the bulk cargo carrier Pavel Vavilov from the port of Sabetta on the Yamel Peninsula on April 3, 2015.

    There is one more prospective route, the Arctic-Siberia-Asia. The idea is to connect ports along the Northern Sea Route with ports of the Pacific and Indian oceans via roads in East Siberia and central Eurasia. In order to implement this and add the missing links, we intend to speed up the construction of railways around the port in Sabetta (it is located in the north of Russia, on the Yamal Peninsula), to accelerate and complete the construction of the entire Northern Latitudinal Railway project complex as well as the construction of the Kuragino-Kyzyl railway (Kyzyl is located in the Republic of Tyva in eastern Russia) to later connect it to the railway network of Mongolia, China and other countries in the region. We are ready to work with all interested parties on this initiative, which is significant for the whole of Eurasia.

    It is obvious to us that diversity within a nation is normal. It teaches both patience and tolerance in the true meaning of these words, and the ability to understand and accept different opinions, traditions and ways of life rather than impose our model as an axiom. We believe our experience can be useful for many of our partners.

    With regard to the world in general, since all nations are obviously different, uniformity and universalization are impossible by default. A system is required whereby different values, ideas and traditions can co-exist, interact and mutually enrich one another while retaining and highlighting their peculiarities and differences. . . .


    CC/Pierre André Leclercq
    The Trans-Mongolian Railway negotiates a curve in the Gobi Desert, September 2011.

    So, in the 19th century they used to refer to a “Concert of Powers.” The time has come to talk in terms of a global “concert” of development models, interests, cultures and traditions where the sound of each instrument is crucial, inextricable and valuable, and for the music to be played harmoniously rather than performed with discordant notes, a cacophony. It is crucial to consider the opinions and interests of all the participants in international life. Let me reiterate. Truly mutually respectful, pragmatic and consequently solid relations can only be built between independent and sovereign states.

    Russia is sincerely committed to this approach and pursues a positive agenda. We stand for strict compliance with international law and enhancing mutual confidence and respect. We are building interstate relations and communication on fair and democratic foundations with an emphasis on the UN Charter.

    Our country is focused on stepping up security and stability, on fighting international terrorism and other threats and challenges. We act for the sake of establishing—including in Asia—a system of equal and indivisible security resting on far-ranging and collective work.

    Incidentally, the Russia-Africa Summit will be held here, in Sochi, in three weeks. We are prepared to propose to our African colleagues and friends a broad agenda of equal interaction covering many different areas—the economy, energy, transport, education and the environment.

    Russia’s Resurrection

    In conclusion, I would like to divert from the main topic and tell you something, which, just the same, is related to it. I would like to say that it was almost 20 years ago—just before the year 2000—that my article, “Russia at the Turn of the Millennium,” was published. The analysis of global affairs and development prospects it then offered seems to me to have generally matched reality.


    EIRNS/Connor Soules
    Street vendors in St. Petersburg, Russia in November 1999.

    Indeed, in the 1990s, Russia lived through one of the hardest periods in its history. In addition to the deep political, economic and social crisis in the country, we found ourselves exposed to aggression by international terrorism. At the time, Russia drew close to a very dangerous line and if it had crossed it, it would have faced the worst thing for any nation and country, which is the break-up and disintegration of the state. The threat was in the air and the majority of people were aware of it.

    Of course, back then we could—the threat was absolutely real—plunge into the abyss of a large-scale civil war and be stripped of national unity and sovereignty, ending up on the periphery of global politics. It was only thanks to patriotism, bravery, and the rare ability of the Russian and other peoples living in the country to bear the hardships and work hard so that Russia could move back from this dangerous line.

    Of course, there are things that could have been done differently and better during these 20 years. But we have gained unique experience, and I believe there is demand for it around the world. Before we came into this room, my colleagues and I discussed one of the most important issues today—terrorism.

    Indeed, we in Russia still have to address plenty of issues. At the same time, due to political stability and the efforts of the whole nation, Russia has not only recovered and continues to grow stronger economically and socially, it confidently ranks among the leading, authoritative and responsible countries. Our country complies in full with its obligations as one of the guardians of the existing world order. I am sure this will continue in the future. This will be even more effective if we work together.

    Thank you very much for your attention.”

    * * * *
    President Putin’s speech was followed by a lengthy discussion period. We present here a few selected questions and answers.

    Mikhail Pogrebinsky: I am from Ukraine, and our country is going through troubled times. I have a question for President Putin.

    This year was marked by a big electoral cycle, we have had a “reset” of both legislative and executive powers. The elections and polls reveal that public opinion favors stability and a peaceful settlement in the east of the country.

    The new authorities are trying to take the first steps, somewhat cautiously, towards a search for peace. But they are so timid that they raise doubts about their resolve and ability to arrive at the logical completion of the process.

    Do you see any political forces in Ukraine—perhaps you can name them—that can act as drivers of this process of political settlement?

    Vladimir Putin: . . . [R]egarding the new leader’s efforts for a settlement in the southeast of the country. I do not know how strong are those who are against a settlement, especially based on the Minsk agreements. Thus the public’s interest in a settlement is obvious.


    The Presidential Admin. of Ukraine/Mykola Lazarenko
    Volodymyr Zelensky walking to the presidential office in Kiev, following his inauguration as President of Ukraine on May 20, 2019.

    I think Mr. Zelensky won the [Presidential] election so convincingly primarily because of that interest. People in Ukraine are waiting for this issue to be resolved. And if he has enough political courage and strength to complete it, I think he will assert himself as an honest politician, brave and capable of pursuing the decisions made.

    I think he is sincerely willing to do that, it is his sincere conviction, at least his striving. It is hard for me to say if he is able to stand up to those who oppose the process, but we do see some hesitation.

    It seems inevitable that he will need to look for compromise, come to terms with the whole nation, with all members of society regardless of their point of view. However, he still has to follow up on election promises he gave to the majority of the Ukrainian people.

    Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean: Good afternoon, my name is Tatiana Kastoueva-Jean. I am an analyst at the French Institute of International Relations in Paris.

    Mr. President, I have a question for you. At the beginning of your speech, you proposed outlining the shape of the future and talking about it. One serious subject, of course, is global warming, climate change. . . .

    As for Russia, it seems to me that there has always been such a duality in relations, even in the doctrines, because Russian Environmental Security Doctrine says the right things, while the Economic Security Doctrine through 2025 says that green economic development is a threat and has risks for the Russian economy, and it is clear why: because oil and gas represent a very high percent of exports.

    It’s the same thing, the same duality in the reasons for explaining climate change. Is it the result of human activity, or is it part of the Earth’s global cycles?

    . . . Do you think that Russia put an end to these doubts, hesitations and questions by ratifying this agreement? Will a new socioeconomic development paradigm emerge now at the domestic and external global levels? Will this topic be a unifying measure, or the cause of further division?

    Vladimir Putin: As for the uniformity of approaches and evaluations, we will probably never reach this. Indeed, experts in various fields who somehow try to answer the question about the causes of climate change do not give unambiguous answers to the causes of climate change.

    There are different opinions, I have heard them. Some say there is some global change in space that affects the Earth, so from time to time huge changes like this take place on our planet. I sailed along the Lena River in our country and saw high banks with deposits containing the remains of obviously ancient tropical mammals, which lived in tropical seas. I am talking about the Lena River, its stretch north of the Arctic Circle. It means back then the climate there was like this. Well, were there any anthropogenic emissions at the time? Of course, not. You see, there is no answer.

    Just the same, my position is that if the human race is responsible for climate change, even in the slightest degree, and this climate change has grave implications, and if we can do something to, at least, slow down this process and avoid its negative consequences, we must spare no effort. This is our position. Despite all disagreements, we will support the international efforts to combat climate change. . . .

    Fyodor Lukyanov: Angela Stent and Jill Dougherty [British-born director of Georgetown University’s Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Studies, and CNN’s Moscow Bureau Chief, respectively—ed.] would like to ask the President about this, and actually this question can be addressed to all participants as well. The situation in the United States is rather complicated at the moment and has become particularly so in the past week.

    It is hard to understand what is happening there, with domestic policy issues clearly dominating. Is it possible to build relations in such condition at all? Or maybe we should wait?


    kremlin.ru
    Vladimir Putin at the plenary session of the 16th Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club on October 3, 2019.

    Vladimir Putin: As regards the developments in the United States—how can we cooperate with them when they are so engaged in their domestic political affairs? Obviously, this is always the case during an election campaign, and the United States is no exception. But this domestic political race has got a little over the top. I do not think this has ever occurred in the history of the United States before.

    But life goes on, and we should factor in the current domestic situation there. But it is simply not possible to steer clear of such a global power as the United States. We intend to do as much as the U.S. itself is ready for.

    Vitaly Naumkin: In conclusion, I would like to ask the last one.

    During these four days, we have discussed various issues related to the current state of the world order and made a firm conclusion that it is undergoing a crisis and the future global order will be established with an increasing role of Asian countries.

    How do you see this future global order?

    Vladimir Putin: The existing system of international relations, international institutions and structures took shape following World War II as its result. The situation around the globe is changing drastically, both in Europe and on the American continent, with new rapidly growing and developing players, as well as in Africa, and, of course, Asia.

    For the existing system and its institutions to last, it has to correspond to the realities of the ever-changing world. I believe that we must not destroy what has been created in the past decades, but should gradually transform it and adapt it to these realities, with due consideration of the growing power and prospects of Asia’s development in general and certain Asian countries in particular. They certainly have the right to and must take the place they deserve in global politics and international affairs.

  32. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Jayke For This Post:

    Cara (27th October 2019), edina (28th October 2019), mountain_jim (29th October 2019)

  33. Link to Post #38
    Canada Avalon Member
    Join Date
    23rd September 2017
    Posts
    685
    Thanks
    65
    Thanked 2,388 times in 581 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    Quote Posted by Bill Ryan (here)
    Quote Posted by Cara (here)
    Relevant to the post above is a book written by David Korten in 1995 and republished in 2015: When Corporations Rule the World


    [ .... ]

    Here is a web version of the book (I think the 1995 version): http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Ko...ld_Korten.html
    Yes, highly recommended. I read it from cover to cover back in 2002, and it really made quite an impact.
    Brings to mind free trade advocate Thomas Friedman's best-selling book, The World Is Flat.

    But I agree with Ian Hunter:
    "There's too much information but not enough to go on
    I think I liked it better when the world was round"

    https://youtu.be/Ki620ZxtlMU

  34. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to TomKat For This Post:

    Cara (27th October 2019), mountain_jim (29th October 2019), Valerie Villars (30th October 2019)

  35. Link to Post #39
    UK Avalon Member
    Join Date
    20th February 2011
    Location
    Manchester
    Age
    35
    Posts
    977
    Thanks
    7,443
    Thanked 5,397 times in 901 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    The “Great Green Wall of China”?

    In an effort to clean up air pollution, China have been utilising 60,000 soldiers to plant 12 Billion trees a year.
    This is huge if it turns out to be true and the NASA satellite images can be verified. Greening the Mongolian desert!


  36. The Following User Says Thank You to Jayke For This Post:

    Cara (31st October 2019)

  37. Link to Post #40
    Administrator Cara's Avatar
    Join Date
    12th February 2014
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Language
    English
    Posts
    1,331
    Thanks
    9,027
    Thanked 6,491 times in 1,246 posts

    Default Re: The Changing / Emerging Global Landscape

    An update on the shifting sands of the Middle East. This article by Alastair Crooke highlights some of the wider drivers and implications.

    I recommend it.

    Quote The ‘War’ for the Future of Middle East

    Alastair Crooke
    November 4, 2019

    Oh, oh, here we are again! In 1967, it was then the ‘threat’ of the standing Arab Armies (and the ensuing six-day war on Egypt and Syria); in 1980, it was Iran (and the ensuing Iraqi war on Iran); in 1996, it was David Wurmser with his Coping with Crumbling States (flowing on from the infamous Clean Break policy strategy paper) which at that time targeted secular-Arab nationalist states, excoriated both as “crumbling relics of the ‘evil’ USSR” and inherently hostile to Israel, too; and in the 2003 and 2006 wars, it was Saddam Hussein firstly; and then Hezbollah that threatened the safety of the West’s civilizational ‘outpost’ in the Middle East.

    And here we are once more, Israel cannot safely ‘live’ in a region containing a militant Hezbollah.

    Not surprisingly, the Russian Ambassador in Beirut, Alexander Zasypkin, quickly recognized this all too familiar pattern: Speaking with al-Akhbar on 9 October in Beirut (more than a week before the protests in Beirut erupted), the Ambassador dismissed the prospect of any easing of regional tensions; but rather identified the economic crisis that has been building for years in Lebanon as the ‘peg’ on which the US and its allies might sow chaos in Lebanon (and in Iraq’s parallel economic calamity), to strike at Hezbollah and the Hash’d A-Sha’abi — Israel’s and America’s adversaries in the region.

    Why now? Because what happened to Aramco on 14 September has shocked both Israel and America: the former Commander of the Israeli Air Force wrote recently, “recent events are forcing Israel to recalculate its path as it navigates events. The technological abilities of Iran and its various proxies has reached a level at which they can now alter the balance of power around the world”. Not only could neither state identify the modus operando to the strikes (even now); but worse, neither had any answer to the technological feat the strikes plainly represented. In fact, the lack of any available ‘answer’ prompted one leading western defense analyst to suggest that Saudi should buy Russian Pantsir missiles rather than American air defenses.

    And worse. For Israel, the Aramco shock arrived precisely at the moment that the US began its withdrawal of its ‘comfort security blanket’ from the region – leaving Israel (and Gulf States) on their own – and now vulnerable to technology they never expected their adversaries to possess. Israelis – and particularly its PM – though always conscious to the hypothetical possibility, never thought withdrawal actually would happen, and never during the term of the Trump Administration.

    This has left Israel completely knocked, and at sixes-and sevens. It has turned strategy on its head, with the former Israeli Air Force Commander (mentioned above) speculating on Israel’s uncomfortable options – going forward – and even postulating whether Israel now needed to open a channel to Iran. This latter option, of course, would be culturally abhorrent to most Israelis. They would prefer a bold, out-of-the-blue, Israeli paradigm ‘game-changer’ (i.e. such as happened in 1967) to any outreach to Iran. This is the real danger.

    It is unlikely that the stirring of protests in Lebanon and Iraq are somehow a direct response to the above: but rather, more likely, they lie with old plans (including the recently leaked strategy paper for countering Iran, presented by MbS to the White House), and with the regular strategic meetings held between Mossad and the US National Security Council, under the chairmanship of John Bolton.

    Whatever the specific parentage, the ‘playbook’ is quite familiar: spark a popular ‘democratic’ dissent (based on genuine grievances); craft messaging and a press campaign that polarizes the population, and which turns their anger away from generalized discontent towards targeting specific enemies (in this case Hezbollah, President Aoun and FM Gebran Bassil (whose sympathies with Hezbollah and President Assad make him a prime target, especially as heir-apparent to the leadership of the majority of Christians). The aim – as always – is to drive a wedge between Hezbollah and the Army, and between Hezbollah and the Lebanese people.

    It began when, during his meeting with President Aoun in March 2019, US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo reportedly presented an ultimatum: Contain Hezbollah or expect unprecedented consequences, including sanctions and the loss of US aid. Leaked reports suggest that Pompeo subsequently brought ally, PM Hariri into the picture of the planned disturbances when Hariri and his wife hosted Secretary Pompeo and his wife for a lunch banquet at Hariri’s ranch near Washington at the end of the Lebanese premier’s August visit to the US.

    As the Lebanese demonstrations began, reports of an ‘operations room’ in Beirut managing and analyzing the protests, and of large scale funding by Gulf states proliferated; but for reasons that are not clear, the protests faltered. The Army which originally stood curiously aloof, finally engaged in clearing the streets, and returning some semblance of normality – and the Central Bank governor’s strangely alarmist forecasts of imminent financial collapse were countered by other financial experts presenting a less frightening picture.

    It seems that neither in Lebanon or in Iraq will US objectives finally be achieved (i.e. Hizbullah and Hash’d A-Sha’abi emasculated). In Iraq, this may be a less certain outcome however, and the potential risks the US is running in fomenting chaos much greater, should Iraq slip into anarchy. The loss of Iraq’s 5 million barrels/day of crude would crater the market for crude – and in these economically febrile times, this might be enough to tip the global economy into recession.

    But that would be ‘small beer’ compared to the risk that the US is running in tempting ‘The Fates’ over a regional war that reaches Israel.

    But is there a wider message connecting these Middle East protests with those erupting across Latin America? One analyst has coined the term for this era, as an Age of Anger disgorging from “serial geysers” of discontent across the globe from Equador to Chile to Egypt. His theme is that neoliberalism is everywhere – literally – burning.

    We have noted before, how the US sought to leverage the unique consequences arising from two World Wars, and the debt burden that they bequeathed, to award itself dollar hegemony, as well the truly exceptional ability to issue fiat credit across the globe at no cost to the US (the US simply ‘printed’ its fiat credit). US financial institutions could splurge credit around the world, at virtually no cost – and live off the rent which those investments returned. But ultimately that came at a price: The limitation – to being the global rentier – has become evident through disparities of wealth, and through the incremental impoverishment of the American middle classes that the concomitant off-shoring brought about. Well-paid jobs evaporated, even as America’s financialised banking balance sheet ballooned across the globe.

    But there was perhaps another aspect to this present Age of Anger. It is TINA: ‘There is no alternative’. Not because of an absence of potentiality – but because alternatives were crushed. At the end of two World Wars, there was an understanding of the need for a different way-of-being; an end to the earlier era of servitude; a new society; a new social contract. But it was short-lived.

    And – long story, short – that post-war longing for ‘fairness’ (whatever that meant) has been squeezed dry; ‘other politics or economics’ of whatever colour, has been derided as ‘fake news’ – and in the wake of the 2008 great financial crisis, all sorts of safety-nets were sacrificed, and private wealth ‘appropriated’ for the purpose of the re-building of bank balance sheets, preserving the integrity of debt, and for keeping interest rates low. People became ‘individuals’ – on their own – to sort out their own austerity. Is it then, that people now are feeling both impoverished materially by that austerity, and impoverished humanly by their new era servitude?

    The Middle East may pass through today’s present crises (or not), but be aware that, in their despair in Latin America, the ‘there is no alternative’ meme is becoming reason for protestors ‘to burn the system down’. That is what happens when alternatives are foreclosed (albeit in the interests of preserving ‘us’ from system collapse).
    From: https://www.strategic-culture.org/ne...f-middle-east/
    *I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night*

  38. The Following User Says Thank You to Cara For This Post:

    Jayke (5th November 2019)

+ Reply to Thread
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts