Sunday, September 4, 2016

After Snubbing Obama, China Gives Putin Red Carpet Treatment, Merkel's CDU Stunned By Election Defeat In Her Home State

After Snubbing Obama, China Gives Putin Red Carpet Treatment, Warns Against Protectionism At G-20

Roughly at the same time as China's infamous snub of Obama's arrival at Hangzhou for the G-20 summit, when the G-20 host nation's delegation first made sure there was no staircase for Obama to exit the plane and descend on the red carpet; forcing the president of the world's most powerful nation to use an emergency exit...

... followed by a shouting match by a Chinese official who unleashed on the US Press corps and national security advisor Susan Rice, blocking them from crossing a blue rope holding back press and saying "This is our country. This is our airport", Chinese officials had no such problems greeting Russian president Vladimir Putin with full honors, whose arrival - on the red carpet - took place without a glitch.

The favor was returned: according to RT, Putin brought a box of Russian ice-cream as a gift to Chinese leader Xi Jinping:  “I promised you I’d bring some ice-cream,” Putin said. “I’ve brought for you a box of it as a gift.” Xi Jinping is a real fan of Russian ice-cream. “Thank you very much for the gift, for the tasty ice-cream. In my every trip to Russia I always ask to buy Russian ice-cream. And then, at home, we eat it,” the Chinese leader said.

Having brought no ice cream of his own, and his embarrassing arrival in China making front page news over the weekend, Obama quickly tried to talk down the embarrassing incident, saying the tensions were the result of different approaches to the media, as well as the sheer scale of the US operation when he travels, according to AFP. Obama pivoted away from the snub, instead accusing China of once again showing little respect for human rights: "Washington stands up for press freedom and human rights and - whatever the fallout - does not leave our values and ideals behind when we take these trips" he said.
"It can cause some friction. The seams are showing a little more than usual in terms of some of the negotiations and jostling that takes place behind the scenes," Obama told reporters on Sunday.
The justification continued: "Part of it is we also have a much bigger footprint than a lot of other countries. And we've got a lot of planes, a lot of helicopters, a lot of cars, a lot of guys. You know, if you're a host country, sometimes it may feel a little bit much."
Obama said it was not the first time Washington's differences with Beijing had erupted during a visit, and that clashing values were also on display in his discussions with Xi.
Obama concluded by expressing hope the world would quickly move on and forget China's snub of Obama on his last official visit to the country: "And so I wouldn't over-crank the significance of it," he said.
Obama's "explanation" aside, China took the initiative to continue piling its critisim of the US, when Chinese President Xi Jinping said at the open of a two-day G-20 summit that the global economy is being threatened by rising protectionism and risks from highly leveraged financial markets. He was referring to recent US trade war escalations, and Washington's recent response to Chinese dumping with duties on cold-rolled steel as high as 522%. As for highly leveraged financial markets, pretty much anyone could be at fault 

His warning on Sunday followed bilateral talks with Barack Obama that the U.S. president described as "extremely productive", but which failed to bring both sides closer on thornier topics such as tensions in the South China Sea. 
In addition to the previously leaked communique details, which as reorted last night will call for more fiscal and monetary stimulus, observers expect G20 leaders to mount a defense of free trade and globalization and warn against isolationism, eyeing Britain's vote in June to exit the
European Union and before the U.S. presidential election in November. The global economy has arrived "at a crucial juncture", Xi said, in the face of sluggish demand, volatile financial markets and feeble trade and investment.
"Growth drivers from the previous round of technological progress are gradually fading, while a new round of technological and industrial revolution has yet to gain momentum," he said.

Last Thursday we previewed that in today's regional election in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, the home state of Angela Merkel, she was looking at the unthinkable: losing and not just to anyone but to her nemesis, the anti-immigration AfD. This is what we reported: "According to the latest shock poll, released late on Wednesday, the AfD is leading the CDU by 23 percent to 20 percent, with the Social Democrats, who currently run the rural state in coalition with Merkel’s party, at 28 percent support. What’s more, according to Bloomberg the AfD’s recent history in regional votes suggests it will perform better on election day than predicted in polls."
Sure enough, according to the first exit polls released moments ago, Merkel's CDU has come in third, in line with expectations, and more importantly, behind the AfD, which is the only party to see popular support in the elections as all other major parties have seen an exodus in popularity
The media Europhiles are once again disturbed, and quickly point out that Mecklenburg is Germany's poorest state, which is indeed the case.

What the apologists don't realize is that in a world in which the middle class is disappearing due one after another failed central bank policy, what happened in Germany's poorest state today will happen in most other places soon enough (and already did in the UK, the same place all the apologists said a vote for Brexit was unthinkable).
The good news, according to ARD, is that - for now - the grand SPD-CDU coalition in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania can continue, but the real news is that Merkel's CDU has been beaten by by an anti-immigrant party. As Bloomberg put it last week, "defeat in her home state by the AfD would prove a political embarrassment for Merkel, and likely reignite grumblings about her refugee policies among some in her bloc.
What makes the defeat even more bitter is Merkel's aggressive recent campaigning in her home state: she has campaigned hard to win back support, crisscrossing Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania in recent weeks. Yet ironically, she’s adopted a law-and-order tone at rallies, calling for a larger police force and “more video surveillance of public spaces", precisely the things potential voters loathe the most. Just as inexplicably, she’s doubled-down on the question of refugees, refusing to step back from her “we can do this” slogan adopted last year as 1 million asylum seekers poured into the country. Her opponents have ridiculed the remarks as na├»ve.
It's only downhill from here: as reported before, Sunday's vote will mark the start of a tough month for the chancellor. It will be followed on Sept. 18 by a regional election in Berlin, where the CDU is trailing the SPD and has virtually no hope of winning power. 
And now the fingerpointing begins.

The Philippines demanded an explanation from China’s ambassador over the "increasing number" of Chinese military vessels near the disputed Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea.

Earlier this year the Obama administration issued a "red line" declaration to China warning that there would be severe consequences if Beijing sought to reclaim the Scarborough Shoal from the Philippines despite a number of defense analysts predicting that Xi Jinping’s government planned to do just that in the heart of the US election season when politics would be placed above international affairs.

The disputed shoal sits at the heart of the South China Sea territorial dispute between China and the Philippines who sought a declaration from The Hague international tribunal to invalidate Beijing’s longstanding claim to the territory and much of the surrounding waters. The basis of that decision, in large part, was Manila’s control of the shoal and the decision, which China has denounced, would rip waters from Beijing’s control through which 40% of the world’s shipborne trade transits through.

On Sunday, the Philippines rang the alarm over what they perceive as a move by China to begin the process of reclaiming the shoal while the world is distracted with the G-20 Summit after Filipino surveillance aircraft spotted an increasing number of Chinese vessels – much more than Beijing has maintained since seizing the shoal after a 2012 standoff according to Philippines Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.
"There were four Chinese coastguard ships and six other vessels, including blue-colored barges, around Scarborough Shoal," he said in a text message to reporters. "The presence of many ships other than coastguard in the area is a cause of grave concern."
If the Philippines were to engage in an armed conflict against China then the United States would immediately be drawn into the conflict pursuant to the mutual defense treaty signed by the two countries nearly six decades ago considerably raising the stakes over what is actually nothing more than a few rocks that are sticking up out of the Pacific Ocean waters.

We have had another quake hit fairly close to Yellowstone Super Volcano. There has also been a strong 5.7 Hit the Philippines.

A powerful 5.9 magnitude earthquake has struck the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, according to the US Geological Survey.
Meanwhile the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) measured the quake at a preliminary magnitude of 5.7.
Michael Marleau
hey, if you dig enough, you’ll find that those 3.8+ and other quakes in yellow stone are right on that old nuke test sight…ya know the one with all the test dummies they have dressed up in the cold war Era building…yeah…they are right on and next to THAT site

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