Jean Lievins: (YouTube 9:30) The Human Cost of Your iPhone – Should SHOCK You

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Who Pays the Price? The Human Cost of Electronics

This short documentary reveals the hazards of the electronics industry in China profiling workers poisoned by chemicals and their struggle for compensation.

Thousands of young people in China enter export factories to make the West’s favorite electronic gadgets, only to find they have contracted occupational diseases or worse, leukemia, by the age of 25.

Benzine is a class one carcinogenic banned everywhere EXCEPT China.

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Apr 12

Berto Jongman: Turkey Buys Chinese Missiles, Separates from NATO — De-Americanization Moves Forward

Berto Jongman

Berto Jongman

Turkish missile deal ‘almost done’: Chinese company

Chinese firm China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp. (CPMIEC) has made its first public statement on Turkey’s $3.4 billion long-range air and missile defense system, claiming that the finalization of the tender “is almost done.”

Wu Yang, the coordinator of the project, spoke at DIMDEX 2014 International Maritime Defence Exhibition in Doha, saying: “It’s almost done. We are also approaching the end in the evaluation of Turkey’s requests.”

In September 2013, NATO member Turkey chose CPMIEC, a firm that has been sanctioned by Washington, to co-produce the system, rejecting rival bids from Russian, United States, French and Italian firms.

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Mar 28

NIGHTWATCH: India Begins Military Support for Afghanistan — Robert Steele Comments

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

India-Afghanistan: Indian Minister of External Affairs Slaman Khurshid said on 15 February that India will provide helicopters to Afghanistan.

“We are giving them helicopters and we will be supplying them very soon,” Khurshid told reporters accompanying him on a day-long visit to the Afghan city of Kandahar, where he inaugurated an agricultural university built with Indian aid. “We also have been giving them some logistical support and we hopefully will be able to upgrade and refurbish their transport aircraft.”

Khurshid did not specify the number or type of helicopters to be provided to Afghanistan. Nor did he elaborate on transport aircraft contracts.

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Feb 18

4th Media: China as Financial Stabilizer for Latin America?

4th media cropped“China Has Good Reason to Help Stabilize Latin American Economies”

Although these alliances will primarily be closer to home, most of Latin America is a naturally ally not only because of its increasing trade and commercial relations with China, but because of its common interest in an international political order that favors respect for national sovereignty and independence over unilateral intervention and military force.

In the last week or so much of the international business press has been focused on the problems of financial stability in developing countries, some of whom have recently become more vulnerable to capital outflows.

The main cause is that investors are trying to get the jump on possible moves by the U.S. Federal Reserve to allow U.S. interest rates to rise, which will draw capital from developing countries and cause their borrowing costs to rise.

Argentina has gotten some of this attention, as it allowed the peso to fall by 15 percent in one day and increased some access for Argentines to dollars on the official market.

Venezuela is not so much affected by these market developments, but is always negatively portrayed in the international media, and more so in the last year since its exchange rate system problems have caused its inflation to rise to an annual rate of 56 percent over the past year.

The two countries face different sets of problems, but they will both likely have to stabilize their exchange rates in order to resolve them.

This is where international help can make a big difference, and there is one country that has both the ability to help and a compelling interest in doing so: China.

China has already helped Venezuela with tens of billions of dollars of loans – much of which has already been repaid – as well as investment.

It has also provided significant lending and investment in Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, and other countries. But there is more that they could do at this moment.

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Feb 1

Chuck Spinney: Should US Leave Afghanistan? Is BBC Out of Its Mind? Robert Steele Comments

Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney

The attached BBC report/video by John Simpson describing Afghan attitudes toward the US/UK exit struck me as bizarre.  The weight of Simpson’s gist is that most Afghans do not want us to leave.  But the report based most of its information on interviews in Kabul and only a short part (the wobbly part) on the countryside where the vast majority of Afghans live — i.e., Helmand.  Simpson did not mention of Taliban strongholds in Kandahar and the border areas with Pakistan,nor did he mention the western areas like Herat, or the Northern areas.  So I asked an Afghan friend who follows events in Afghanistan closely for his take on this report.  Attached below the video link is my friend’s reaction and a NYT piece with yellow highlights.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25864611

(BBC) The BBC’s world affairs editor John Simpson visited Kabul, a city he knows well, to discover what shape Afghan government forces are in and whether the Taliban could take over after UK and American troops leave.
 
———–
Email from Mr. X 
(a highly educated Afghan — ethnic Pashtun — an expat living in Europe)
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Jan 28

Robert Ellis: Russia, Iran, and China in Latin America

Evan Ellis

Evan Ellis

I am writing to share with you my new article, “Russia, Iran and China in Latin America,” just published by the American Foreign Policy Committee in their e-journal “Defense Dossier.”  The work comparatively examines the activities of the three extra-regional actors in Latin America and the Caribbean, including ways in which commercial and governmental initiatives by each compliment (and occasionally conflict or compete with) each other.  I emphasize that each actor presents a different type of challenge to US interests in the region, on a different time-scale.

Defense Dossier, December 2013 (pp. 7-10)

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Jan 6

NIGHTWATCH: Saudi-Funded Wahhabism on the Table as Enemy #1

Syria: President Bashar Asad Monday called for a battle against Wahhabism, the political and religious theology embraced by the Saudi Arabian government that backs the Sunni uprising against his regime.

“President Assad said that extremists and Wahhabi thought distort the real Islam, which is tolerant,” state news agency SANA reported. He underlined the role of men of religion in fighting against Wahhabi thought, which is foreign to our societies, according to Asad.

Wahhabism is an ultra-conservative Muslim tradition, which is predominant in Saudi Arabia and whose intolerant precepts govern Saudi religious, civilian and political life. It is a sect of Sunni Islam, whose leaders profess has no sects.

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Dec 31

Robert Ellis: China Pulls Back from Argentina

Evan Ellis

Evan Ellis

I am writing to pass along to you a story from Argentina which, in addition to the story itself, says much about the nature of Chinese engagement in the region, including how the Chinese approach to pursuing business and political objectives in the region differs from that of the US.

For me, the story below illustrates well the nuances, contradictions and complexity of Chinese engagement in the region:  here, it is not the Chinese who are behaving badly, but rather, their partners.   The Chinese are powerfully exercising influence, yet using informal channels and indirect pressures, rather than public conditions and demands.  The Chinese are both attempting to “save face” for their partner, and yet also indirectly show their ire when they themselves ‘lose face.”  And finally, a reminder that the dynamics of the China-Latin America engagement is a story of PEOPLE, and not just countries and faceless companies.

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Dec 30

Evan Ellis: China in Venezuelan Oil

Evan Ellis

Evan Ellis

In the aftermath of elections in Venezuela, I am writing to share with you my new publication “China, Russia, India and the Venezuelan Petroleum Industry,” just published by Latin Business Chronicle.

PDF (5 Pages): CN RU IN & VE Oil

Given the amount of confusion that has existed about the role of external actors in Venezuela, the article seeks to present the key  facts and data regarding Chinese loans, oil investment and other support to the Venezuelan petroleum sector, in the context of Indian and Russian activities in the sector as well.  I would like to offer my sincere thanks to a number of experts in the Venezuelan petroleum, financial, and other sectors who shared their knowledge and dedicated the time so that I could get the story right.

Dr. Evan Ellis is a professor of national security studies, modeling, gaming and simulation with the Center for Hemispheric Defense Studies at the National Defense University, with a research focus on Latin America’s relationships with external actors, including China, Russia and Iran, as well as work on populism in the Andes, transnational criminal organizations and gangs in Mexico and Central America, energy security, and non-traditional national security topics. Dr. Ellis has published over 50 works, including the 2009 book China in Latin America: The Whats and Wherefores, as well as articles in national security, finance, and technical journals.

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Dec 13

Reference: HSBC South-South Special – What a Globalizing China Means for Latin America + China RECAP

Categories: 02 China
Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

Points to Consider:

01 PRC Rising in Caribbean, Central & South America

02 Banking, Mining, Power, Water…

03 PRC Non-Official Rising Employer and Tax Revenue Power

04 Not Addressed: Export of Chinese Males — Demographic Majority Inevitable

Source Snap-Shot:

South-South ties between China and LatAm are growing beyond the well-known trade flows.

Chinese corporates are now key players in the region, while Chinese banks lend more than the multilaterals.

We (HSBC) highlight the 10 Chinese companies leading the way, as well as seven investment implications.

PDF (54 Pages): (U) South-South Special

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Dec 10