Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Trump pushing WTO; Saudi authorities have offered; Kissinger

 8-12-2019     Trump Administration is pushing the World Trade Organization (WTO) to prevent advanced economies such as China from self-declaring as developing countries.   Trump Administration is pushing the World Trade Organization (WTO) to prevent advanced economies such as China from self-declaring as developing countries.  
  If there is no progress with the WTO, the United States said it would unilaterally stop treating such advanced economies as developing countries for WTO purposes.  The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) also would publish a list of countries that are inappropriately seeking WTO benefits as developing countries.  President Donald Trump signed the "Memorandum on Reforming Developing-Country Status in the World Trade Organization" (Presidential Memorandum) on July 26, 2019, directing the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) to stop treating advanced economies such as China as developing countries under the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
  On the same day President Trump tweeted that "The WTO is BROKEN when the world's RICHEST countries claim to be developing countries to avoid WTO rules and get special treatment."  USTR Robert Lighthizer applauded President Trump's directive and stated "For far too long, wealthy countries have abused the WTO by exempting themselves from its rules through the use of special and differential treatment.”  The Presidential Memorandum pointed out that many of the wealthiest economies in the world are designated as developing countries, including Brunei, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Macao, Qatar, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey.  But special emphasis was placed on China, the second-largest economy and the largest exporter of goods in the world.   According to the Presidential Memorandum, such countries have been taken "unfair advantage" of the special treatment and weaker commitments under WTO rules as developing countries, including longer timeframes for the imposition of safeguards, generous transition periods, softer tariff cuts, procedural advantages in WTO disputes and the ability to utilize certain export subsidies.  

  President Trump called on the WTO to reform and recognize the economic development of these countries and directed the USTR to "use all available means" to secure changes at the WTO.   https://www.lexology.com/library/detail.aspx?g=b9d71933-7e5f-41d0-81d7-035fe29fa89e 
  When Putin came into power he immediately seized control of nearly every Russian television network, newspaper and radio station and put them under the direct control of the Kremlin after exiling or arresting the station's owners for reasons he pulled directly out of his frigid anus….
  Putin knows how to spread his message so effectively and so loudly that it drowns out all conflicting voices.  Which is surprisingly subtle, considering how he usually just kills people who disagree with him. To whit, It's the oldest trick in the tyrannical dictator's handbook:  someone stupid enough to disagree with the way things are run winds up dead under "mysterious circumstances."  This kind of thing happens so often in Putin's Russia that I wouldn't be surprised if parents tell their kids folktales of The Poots, the bare-chested snow beast so insecure in his masculinity that he'll snatch you away if you don't say nice things about him….
  Over 350 Russian journalists have been killed since the end of the USSR.  Thirty-four since 2000, and all of those are suspected to have been ordered by military or government officials.  On October 7, 2006, journalist and human rights activist Anna Politkovskaya was shot in the lobby of her apartment building in Moscow.  Her reporting was often highly critical of Putin.  She called him out on his suppression of civil liberties and his attempts to bring back a Soviet-style dictatorship.  But hey, she could have been killed by anyone, right?  Well Putin has a pattern, and he is persistent.  Two years before she was murdered Politkovskaya fell ill and lost consciousness on a flight.  The tea she had been drinking was laced with poison.  As you've noticed by now Russia loves poisoning people….
  Beneath Putin's icy exterior is a softy who's nostalgic for the good ol' days—back when things were simpler.  Back when Russia had an iron grip on a bunch of nations it refused to release until the union collapsed and they all moved on with their lives.  Everyone except for Putin, who to this day fantasizes that the former Soviet countries will give him and Russia another shot….Putin is playing the role of the jealous ex-boyfriend who needs a restraining order slapped on him because he keeps showing up at his ex's house holding a knife.    https://www.cracked.com/blog/why-vladimir-putin-piece-sh21t-explainer/    —Yeah, but the US East Coast Establishment (led by Kissinger*) brought this on because they built up China so much--during Kissinger’s many covert and overt visits over decades to China--that Russia was/is squeezed hard.         -R. Mt. Shasta      
2-27-2002  Washington, D.C. -- Today the National Security Archive publishes for the first time the verbatim transcripts of Henry Kissinger's secret trip to China in July 1971, as part of a world wide web briefing book of 41 recently declassified U.S. documents on Sino-American communications that led to Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in February 1972, 30 years ago.  The transcripts of meetings between Kissinger and premier Zhou Enlai contradict Kissinger's memoirs and show Kissinger readily acknowledging Beijing's position that Taiwan was part of China.  Kissinger declared that "we are not advocating a `two Chinas' solution' or a `one China, one Taiwan' solution."  Only after Kissinger had taken this position would Zhou declare that he was "hopeful" about prospects for U.S.-China diplomatic relations.  In other words, without conceding to Beijing's position on Taiwan's status, it would have been most difficult for substantive discussions to continue and a presidential visit would have been most unlikely.  Kissinger made other commitments on Taiwan, e.g., to withdraw two-thirds of U.S. forces from the island once the Vietnam War had ended, but nowhere in his memoirs does he discuss these dramatic concessions.  Instead Kissinger wrote on p. 749 of White House Years (1979) that "Taiwan was mentioned only briefly during the first session."     
  Yet some 9 pages, nearly 20 percent, of the 46-page record of the first Zhou-Kissinger meeting on 9 July 1971 include discussion of Taiwan, with Kissinger disavowing Taiwanese independence and committing to withdraw two-thirds of U.S. military forces from the island once the Vietnam War ended.  Moreover Kissinger told Zhou that he expected that Beijing and Washington would "settle the political question" of diplomatic relations "within the earlier part of the President's second term."  Kissinger did not say what that would mean for U.S. diplomatic relations with Taiwan but undoubtedly Zhou expected Washington to break formal ties with Taipei as a condition of Sino-American diplomatic normalization.
    Undoubtedly Kissinger hoped that the Taiwan problem would gradually fade away, with peaceful "evolution" uniting China and its wayward province, but Taiwan proved resilient and the downgrading of the U.S.-Taiwan relationship remained a sore point for Republican Party conservatives during the 1970s.  Indeed Nixon's resignation in 1974 and the political weaknesses of his successor, Gerald Ford, made it impossible for Kissinger to complete the U.S.-PRC normalization process.  Ford could not break ties with Taiwan without raising the ire of the Republican right.  Undoubtedly when Kissinger published his memoir he did not want to provoke the conservatives, much less Taipei, by disclosing what he had said to Zhou about Taiwan….
   One intriguing episode in Chen's account is the story of the four marshals whom Mao instructed in 1969 to report on trends in world politics, especially U.S-Soviet, Sino-Soviet, and Sino-American relations.  Worried about a dangerous confrontation with Moscow, two of the marshals, Chen Yi and Ye Jianying, proposed that Beijing play "the card of the United States" to provide leverage with Moscow.  During the last decades of the Cold War, top U.S. officials would sometimes recommend playing the "China card," but it is a rare policymaker who understands that the United States may also be the object of other nations' card playing.(7)…As useful as the new Chinese materials are in elucidating the story of the rapprochement, for the most part Beijing's archives are closed to all but C Com Party insiders.  https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB66/press.html and https://nsarchive2.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB66
  Saudi authorities have offered to release jailed activist
Loujain al-Hathloul in exchange for her video testimony denying that she had been tortured and sexually harassed in prison, her family claimed Tuesday.    https://www.dailysabah.com/mideast/2019/08/13/jailed-activist-al-hathloul-told-to-deny-torture-sexual-harassment-in-release-deal-with-saudi

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