Voices from Russia

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Kommersant: Russia to Side with Europe and China in Coming Global Trade War

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Economic Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin noted that Russia is likely to take part in the global trade war that’s gradually gaining momentum. Taking a cue from China and the EU, Russia will raise tariffs on imported US goods in response to Washington’s protective measures concerning steel and aluminium supplies. The tariff row is unlikely to fade away until the US Congress elections scheduled for November. Other countries announced tit-for-tat measures as well. China filed a WTO complaint and increased duties on US imports worth 3 billion USD (188.92 billion Roubles. 19.52 billion Renminbi. 203.6 billion INR. 3.99 billion CAD. 4.03 billion AUD. 2.57 billion Euros. 2.26 billion UK Pounds). The EU, Canada, and Mexico published their own lists of increased tariffs after Washington extended its steel and aluminium duties to them on 1 June. Sergei Afontsev, Head of the Economic Theory Department at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, said:

According to WTO rules, the countries affected by unjustified trade restrictions have the right to take tit-for-tat measures without waiting for the results of their WTO complaints. Concerning US steel and aluminium tariffs, that’s what India did a few days ago; we expect a relevant EU decision. Russia will follow the global trend. If the USA is willing to begin a dialogue, the parties could discuss the mutual damage, but this could take two or three years. A trade war between the USA and China is a very real threat. To date, both parties seem to be willing to raise the stakes by increasing duties and extending them to new groups of goods. Where the limits of such escalation are, and whether they exist at all, is a big question. This is a fundamentally new situation in global trade.

20 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/pressreview/1010251

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Saturday, 16 June 2018

Izvestiya: Russia and China Confirm High-Level Partnership

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President V V Putin wrapped up his three-day visit to China this weekend during which he held comprehensive bilateral negotiations and took part in the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit. Russia and China signed multibillion-dollar contracts, which included the construction of two additional power units at the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant and building the new Xudabao Nuclear Power Plant. According to experts, the talks set the tone for relations between Moscow and Beijing for the next few years. Putin said the parties confirmed “a very high level” of relations. The Chinese side also positively assessed the outcome of the talks. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs source Geng Shuang said, “The current visit by President Putin is an absolute success”. Zhao Huasheng, Director of the Department of Russia and Central Asia at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, noted:

The meeting of the two leaders was shortly after their election to new terms. For both countries, this visit is the new beginning of cooperation for the next five or six years. It once again showed that the sides are ready to continue and enhance cooperation.

Yang Cheng, a Sino-Russian relations expert from the Shanghai International Studies University, said:

For the first time, India and Pakistan participated in the SCO summit in Qingdao. Amidst difficult relations between New Delhi and Islamabad, there were fears that Indian-Pakistani bilateral tension would affect the SCO’s activity. However, on the contrary, their membership in the SCO made it possible to ease tensions.

13 June 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/pressreview/1009261

Sunday, 10 June 2018

10 June 2018. Why Is It Important That Kim Jong-un Flew In a Chinese Aeroplane to Singapore?

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Kim Jong-un flew in a Chinese Boeing 747 to Singapore. Moreover, PLA fighters escorted it all the way. China told the whole world:

We have the DPRK’s back. We’re behind it 100 percent. We’ll intervene like in 1950 if the Americans attack it. We’re the local power and you’d best adjust to that.

The USA doesn’t have the oomph to take on the PRC. The PLA is much larger than the American ground forces are and the ROK forces wouldn’t hold against the Chinese (Korea, historically, has been a Chinese client-state). If the Yanks were to involve the Japanese, it’d cause an explosion in both Korea and China. Both countries have a Number One White-Hot hatred of Japan. In other words, the USA is fucked… royally. Trump doesn’t have anything to negotiate over. China wants it done its way; the DPRK will repeat verbatim whatever Beijing tells it to do. That is, Trump can’t threaten an invasion, for Chinese forces are in Manchuria waiting to intervene in the case of such a scenario. The USA has nothing in the store-cupboard, militarily. It has no conventional forces to send, for all its forces are engaged in colonial wars in Southwest Asia and Africa. What reserve units exist in CONUS aren’t up to strength and need at least a year to get ready for the big time.

That’s what scary in this impasse. Trump could decide to go nuke because he has no other options. The USN can’t interdict the Chinese and Russian land-based transportation networks and the USAF would face world-class air defences. The Army simply has no troops to send. Trump is an impulsive and juvenile character. The Chinese will do their best to save his face (they aren’t like Anglo Americans, who like humiliating people), but Trump may resent it. Parenthetically, Russia is involved in this, but only as an ally of China. China is the major actor in the Anti-Empire Coalition, and all know this, including the Russians. They find being Number Two to China preferable to being the Victim of the USA (it’s much like St Aleksandr Nevsky making tribute to the Tatars whilst resisting the West… it’s the same historical situation, with the same result, no doubt).

This scene isn’t encouraging at all. God willing that we’ll get through it. China, Russia, and the DPRK are the grownups in the room… unfortunately, an adolescent US President holds the nuclear football. Let’s all hope for the best.

BMD

Kim Jong-un Departs for Singapore Summit

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According to the Yonhap News Agency, an Air China flight departed from Pyongyang airport at 0830 local time. Kim Jong-un boarded a Chinese Boeing 747 commonly used by high-ranking Chinese officials. However, the popular tracking online source Flightradar24 reportedly didn’t specify the destination of the aircraft. The website also didn’t detect any other flights departing from the DPRK. According to Yonhap, many government-chartered planes keep their routes secret due to security issues. According to Reuters, one more plane, an Il-76 cargo jet, departed early on Sunday from the DPRK for Singapore. According to media reports, the cargo plane carried food items as well as several cars to escort Kim Jong-un. The flight tracking service also reportedly showed that the Il-76 landed in Guangzhou in southern China before being airborne again, likely heading for Singapore. Reportedly, Kim Jong-un took only one known overseas trip by air since becoming DPRK leader in 2011. An Il-76 cargo plane accompanied his personal Il-62M jet to China in May.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the White House said that US President Donald Trump also departed for Singapore, where he should meet with Kim on Tuesday. Trump took off from Canada on Saturday after participating in the Group of Seven (G7) summit, and shall arrive in Singapore on Sunday. According to Japan’s Kyodo News agency, citing a diplomatic source, the DPRK leader will arrive in Singapore on Sunday. Earlier, a ROK Air Force official told the South China Morning Post that Chinese fighter jets would secure Kim’s flight route to the historic meeting.

The USA-DPRK summit will mark the first-ever meeting of the leaders of the two countries. The highly-anticipated talks were at risk following Trump’s 24 May declaration that he was cancelling the meeting with Kim over Pyongyang’s hostile rhetoric. Last week, however, Trump reinstated the summit after meeting with Kim’s top aide, Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol, at the White House.

10 June 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201806101065275784-singapore-trump-kim-summit-departure/

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According to ROK military sources, the PLA Air Force is preparing to send fighter aircraft to escort DPRK leader Kim Jong-un to an upcoming summit in Singapore where he’ll meet US President Donald Trump after years of hostile relations. A ROK Air Force official told the South China Morning Post that Chinese aircraft will secure Kim’s flight to the meeting… and perhaps remind the US side that Beijing will support Pyongyang. the ROK source told SCMP Thursday:

Escorting [a head of state] with jets is one of the highest security protocols that the air force can provide. If China sends air assets to conduct the escort, then, it may be a message directed to the USA-ROK alliance that China is strongly backing up Kim.

The Hong Kong-based newspaper, acquired by Alibaba Group in December 2015, also reported that Beijing is seeking to broaden its influence over Pyongyang ahead of the summit. In recent months, the USA, the ROK, and the DPRK engaged in unprecedented meetings that sparked hopes that the 68-year Korean War will finally be brought to an end, reducing the risk of nuclear conflict in the Korean peninsula.

Trump is also seeking to reduce the US trade deficit with its many trading partners, and China is America’s second-largest such partner, 2018 US Census Bureau data shows. On Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported:

Trump got fed up with hearing he was weak on China, calling on advisers at a 22 May meeting to get moving on imposing more tariffs against Beijing as a weapon to force trade concessions.

Sceptics of Trump’s approach to relations with China said Beijing is aware of Trump’s two-prong approach and, therefore, unlikely to allow major US victories on both trade and Korean Peninsula denuclearisation.

7 June 2018

Sputnik International

https://sputniknews.com/asia/201806071065208322-chinese-jets-escort-kim-jong-un/

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