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500th Blog post

Three years on: state of EU-China relations When I posted my first blog exactly three years ago on 11 October 2007, not for one moment did I anticipate 500. But I confess that I enjoy it – I hope a pleasure I share with you. Watching the US, in particular during the Obama election, it… » read more

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger strongly urged his country Wednesday to quickly implement a free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea, saying a failure to do so will be the worst thing the United States can do. South Korea and the U.S. signed the free trade deal in 2007 after nearly two years of negotiations, but… » read more

• Many fewer Poles than other EU respondents approve of Obama’s handling of international policies. • Given the choice between accepting a nuclear Iran and taking military action, 64% of Americans and 43% of Europeans favour military action. • Fewer than 20% of EU and US citizens believe that China plays a positive role internationally.… » read more

The World Commerce Review of September 2010 contained the following article: US-China relations: storm clouds gathering Stanley Crossick President Hu Jintao’s long-planned visit to the United States is not likely to take place soon, as Beijing has postponed the preparatory talks as tensions mount between the two countries. Their relationship has global reach and influences… » read more

A worrying and increasingly bitter debate continues in the United States on whether a mosque should be allowed at Ground Zero. But how widely is it understood that: • The building is two blocks away from Ground Zero and cannot be seen from there • The building is not a mosque as we know it,… » read more

The 22 Nation Pew Global Attitudes Survey published on 17 June makes interesting reading. US favourability rating • Overwhelmingly favourable in Western Europe: eg 73% in France and 63% in Germany. • Improved sharply in Russia (57%), up 13% since 2009, in China (58%), up 11% and in Japan (66%), up 7%. • Highly positive… » read more

The German Marshall Fund of the US and The Centre Asie Ifri, held a joint seminar on 15 June on “Responding to China’s Rise: Balancing Hard and Soft Power”. The presentation by Gary Schmitt of the American Enterprise Institute was very disturbing. Although The AEI is ‘neocon’ in philosophy, I fear that much of what… » read more

The China-EU Strategic and Economic Dialogue (SED), held in Beijing on 24-25 May, brought a pack of high-ranking officials on both sides. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, accompanied by 16 cabinet secretaries or agency heads, led a group of 200 Americans, while State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Vice Premier… » read more

Ian Bremmer’s article in the March 2010 issue of Prospect is well worth reading. The world’s two great powers are growing dangerously hostile to one another. Could this be worse than the cold war? Previous posts have raised the increasing conflict between China and the US. President Hu Jintao’s attendance at the nuclear disarmament conference… » read more

I have expressed growing concern over the dangers of the deterioration of US-China relations – the Obama visit, Taiwan arms sales, Dalai Lama, Google, cybersecurity and the trade deficit, with the likelihood of China being branded a ‘currency manipulator’ by the US Treasury on 15 April. The leaders on both sides have realized these dangers… » read more

RMB: countdown to April?

The US Treasury is expected to issue its semi-annual report in 15 April. Will it declare China a “currency manipulator”? This would be “for purposes of preventing effective balance of payments adjustments or gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade.” This could lead to the imposition of countervailing duties on Chinese imports. The possibility of… » read more

The British House of Commons all-party Foreign Affairs Committee has concluded that the phrase “the special relationship” no longer reflects the current Anglo-American relationship. The MPs believe the link to be “profound and valuable” but the British government needs to be “less deferential” towards the US and more willing to say no to Washington. The… » read more

In interpreting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s long speech of 22 March, the audience – the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) – has to be taken into account. Her support for Israel was effusive: • The relationship between the US and Israel has never been more important. • The US has long recognized… » read more

Yesterday’s post reported on the non-attendance of Premier Wen Jiabao at the small leaders’ meeting on 17 December. Wen’s explanation of what happened was the same as previously reported in the Chinese media, except that the latter said that the meeting was held by the US. Wen did not repeat this. It’s hard to understand… » read more

The US Treasury, in its semi-annual report delivered every April and October, can formally label China as a “currency manipulator” on account of the yuan’s substantial undervalue. This would allow the Department of Commerce to impose countervailing duties on a wide range of Chinese products. US Treasury Secretary-designate Timothy Geithner told the Senate Finance Committee… » read more

The Department of Energy has closed its $465 million loan with Tesla Motors, Inc. for construction of a manufacturing facility in southern California on the Model S electric sedan and a power-train manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California. The Palo Alto facility will assemble electric vehicle battery packs, electric motors, and related electric vehicle control… » read more

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