China

Opinion/Analysis: NBA grovels and makes spineless concession to China’s brutally repressive regime

The National Basketball Association found itself in the middle of a political firestorm of its own making when the Houston Rockets’ general manager tweeted something simple and admirable: “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” The NBA’s first statement was cowardly. It began: “We recognize that the views expressed by… Daryl Morey have deeply offended many of our friends and fans in China, which is regrettable.” Morey buckled and deleted his tweet. The NBA then went overseas to grovel. A statement posted on the NBA’s Weibo social media network in China stated that it was “extremely disappointed in the inappropriate comment,” and as a result, Morey “has undoubtedly seriously hurt the feelings of Chinese basketball fans.” China is a huge and lucrative market for the NBA. If business means turning your back on freedom while defending one of the most brutally repressive regimes in human history – so be it. That abject surrender, that spineless concession to a government now shooting pro-democracy protesters in the streets drew near-universal condemnation in America, ranging in Washington from conservative Sen. Ted Cruz to socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. So the NBA commissioner, Adam Silver, readjusted to insist the league would not discourage athletes or executives from speaking freely. “We are not apologizing for Daryl exercising his freedom of expression” – which is disingenuous. That is exactly what all of the NBA’s “extremely disappointed” remarks implied. And the duplicity continued. In Philadelphia, a 76ers fan named Sam Wachs and his wife brought a pair of signs that read “Free Hong Kong” and “Free HK” as the Sixers took on the Guangzhou Loong Lions, a Chinese Basketball Association team. Wachs said he lived in Hong Kong for two years, so he sympathized with the protests. First, security confiscated the signs. When the couple yelled “Free Hong Kong” during the second quarter, Wachs said they were removed from the game. Then the same Chinese team played the Washington Wizards in D.C., and the routine repeated itself. Several fans standing with a sign reading “Free Hong Kong” and “Google: Uighurs” had them confiscated prior to the game. (The Uighurs are a Muslim minority in northwestern China, with an estimated 1 million people held in concentration camps.) The NBA now doesn’t want to be political. But it’s been very political on the home front, when it has suited its purposes, which is to say, when it placates the left. The league moved the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte over a North Carolina law that in government offices, transgender people should use the bathroom of their gender “assigned at birth.” The NBA commissioner criticized President Trump’s travel ban on people from seven Muslim countries as going “against the fundamental values and the fundamental ingredients of what makes for a great NBA.” The NBA allowed players to wear “I can’t breathe” shirts to protest police after Eric Garner suffocated while laying down on the sidewalk in New York. National Review’s Jim Geraghty underlined the hypocrisy: “Apparently the NBA is fine with protesting American police brutality, but not Hong Kong police brutality.” Speaking of American police brutality, nobody’s found Colin Kaepernick saying anything about China’s grip on the NBA. The man with the Nike sneaker-selling slogan of “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything,” is silent while Nike orders the removal of all the Houston Rockets merchandise from its stores in China. Apparently, America is still the most horrible country in the world that was founded on racism, slavery and genocide.

Thanks to authors Tim Graham and Brent Bozell for that outstanding op/ed calling out the hypocrisy, and liberal pandering, by the NBA.  The way the NBA has handled this is nauseating.

Analysis: Trump’s tough trade tariffs on China have raked in $30 billion for U.S.

President Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on Chinese products over the Asian superpower’s “unfair” trade practices has brought in tens of billions of dollars, prompting Republican lawmakers to propose ways to pass along the windfall to American taxpayers. U.S. Customs and Border Protection says special levies on China, known as Section 301 duties, have brought in more than $30 billion since they were imposed in July 2018 to combat Beijing’s “harmful industrial policies.” Special levies on steel, aluminum, solar panels and washing machines have reaped roughly $10 billion more from countries, including China, since early 2018, according to CBP data. Mr. Trump frequently points to those numbers to boast that his pressure tactics are paying dividends while White House and Chinese negotiators reach for an elusive trade deal. “We’re taking in billions and billions of dollars in tariffs. We’re taking in tremendous numbers in tariffs,” Mr. Trump said during a press conference last week at the United Nations in New York. Analysts say the sheer amount of revenue isn’t unprecedented but is an unusual turn of events in the post-World War II era. “We used to get most of our revenue from tariffs. But it’s very unusual because for the last 80 years tariffs have been a declining source of revenue, so this is the first time [in recent history] it’s been a rising source of revenue,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. Tariffs are taxes on imports, largely designed to promote domestic producers by making outside goods less attractive. Mr. Trump said China is “eating” the cost of his levies, but it’s complicated. Some Chinese companies may be forced to offer discounts to U.S. importers, though American-based businesses often pay the cost of the tariffs and pass it along to consumers in the form of higher prices. The price is set to rise this fall when Mr. Trump imposes a 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of additional Chinese goods. It took partial effect on Sept. 1 but won’t be fully implemented by mid-December to avoid ripples during the Christmas shopping season. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase estimated that the average American family could face up to $1,000 more in annual costs once the levies are in place because the tariffs are starting to hit popular consumer goods. China, meanwhile, has retaliated with trade moves and tariffs of its own, hurting farmers in particular. While Mr. Trump is using some of the incoming duties to bail out the agricultural sector, some Senate Republicans say all Americans should get relief. Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Republican, has been meeting with the White House on a proposal that would pass along tariff revenue in the form of tax cuts. “Sen. Scott supports the president’s efforts to get tough on China, but any revenue brought into the federal government should be returned to the taxpayers,” Scott spokeswoman Sarah Schwirian said. Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, filed legislation last week that would gather tariff revenue and give it to working-class taxpayers in the form of a rebate check that arrives several months after tax-filing season. “Tariffs are an effective way to apply pressure to China and other nations in trade negotiations, but there’s no reason that tariff revenue can’t help working Americans in the process,” Mr. Cotton said. U.S. adults who are citizens or legal residents, file federal taxes and earn less than $84,200 as individual filers or $168,400 as joint filers would be eligible for rebate checks. The plan starts with a special rebate check for calendar years 2017 and 2018 — mailed within 90 days of enactment — and would establish a recurring annual rebate for eligible filers as long as money is pouring in from what are known as Section 201, 232 and 301 duties. According to Mr. Cotton’s office, the rebates would be a good way to shore up political support for the U.S. crackdown on China while protecting Americans against any price increases resulting from tariffs. The White House hasn’t weighed in yet — the bill was just released — though Mr. Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, has voiced support for Mr. Scott’s push to offer tax cuts equal to the amount the U.S. collects in tariffs. Mr. Scott’s spokeswoman said the senator plans to put forward a formal proposal in the coming weeks.

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Trump announces new tariffs on China

President Trump said Thursday he is slapping a 10 percent tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports as of Sept. 1, saying President Xi Jinping failed to fulfill key promises. Mr. Trump said the levy is on top of the heftier tariffs affecting more than $250 billion in imports. In a series of tweets, the president said Mr. Jinping has failed to block shipments of fentanyl to the U.S, as he’s promised, and hasn’t purchased U.S. farm products. Mr. Trump had touted both pledges as signs of incremental progress when they occurred, though now he says he’s disappointed with Mr. Xi. The China tariff announcement immediately reversed a positive day on Wall Street, turning a 250 point-plus gain in the Dow Jones index Thursday into a loss of more than 100 points within 15 minutes of the White House announcement. Both the broader S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq indexes also fell back sharply. Even as he slammed China, Mr. Trump held out hope for a trade deal after “constructive” talks between both sides in Shanghai this week. Mr. Trump said his new levies will take effect right as Chinese officials travel to Washington in September to resume talks. “We look forward to continuing our positive dialogue with China on a comprehensive Trade Deal, and feel that the future between our two countries will be a very bright one!” Mr. Trump wrote.

China’s economy growth cools further amid US tariff war

The tariff war showed another sign of impacting the Chinese economy. China’s economic growth sank to its lowest level in at least 26 years in the past quarter, adding to pressure on Chinese leaders. The world’s second-largest economy grew 6.2 percent over a year ago. That’s down from 6.4 percent in the prior quarter, according to government data. President Trump Opens a New Window. hiked tariffs on Chinese imports to pressure Beijing over its technology development tactics and he tweeted about the results. Now, economists say the slowdown might extend into next year. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed last month to resume negotiations. The two sides still face the same number of disputes that caused talks to break down in May. Weaker Chinese activity has global repercussions. China is the biggest export customer for its Asian neighbors and a major market for global suppliers of food, mobile phones, industrial technology and consumer goods. The International Monetary Fund and private sector economists have cut this year’s Chinese growth forecast to as low as 6.2 percent, a further marked decline after last year’s three-decade low of 6.6 percent.

Bottom line..  Trump’s tariff’s ARE working “big time!”  And, given China’s poor economic situation, NOW is the time to keep that pressure on so we get that better “deal” which hopefully will include addressing American intellectual property rights, etc

Trump: U.S., China to resume trade talks ‘where we left off’

The U.S. will not impose new tariffs on China as the mega-powers restart trade talks that fell apart in May, President Trump said Saturday, signaling a freeze in an economic war that’s rattled investors, farmers and consumers alike. Mr. Trump said Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to resume talks “where we left off,” with guardrails in place. “We’re holding on tariffs and they’re going to buy farm products. They would like to make a deal, I can tell you that,” Mr. Trump said in a lengthy press conference at the end of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. Tariffs that Mr. Trump already slapped on China will remain in place for now. What to do about Huawei, a Chinese tech company effectively blacklisted by the U.S., will wait until the end of talks, though Mr. Trump said they agreed to let American companies sell components to the controversial firm. “Huawei is a very complicated situation,” Mr. Trump said. “We agreed to leave that.” It’s unclear if American and Chinese negotiators will be able to strike an accord, given complex hurdles, though both sides agreed not to heighten tensions. “China and the United States both benefit from cooperation, and lose in a confrontation,” Mr. Xi said. “Cooperation and dialogue are better than friction and confrontation.” Mr. Trump discussed the way forward after a two-day summit that focused on trade, climate change and women’s empowerment in the economy. Mr. Trump took questions from reporters for over an hour at a closing press conference. He then hopped on Air Force One for Osan Air Force Base in South Korea..

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Newt Gingrich: Chinese companies pose serious threats to US

The recent federal indictments of Chinese telecom giant Huawei and its affiliates lay out a frightening story of a foreign company illicitly manipulating and exploiting loopholes in the American business system. The first indictment, filed in the Eastern District of New York, outlines 13 charges related to bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, and obstruction of justice. During Monday’s press conference about the indictments, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker clearly described Huawei’s lies about its affiliations with an Iranian subsidiary, Skycom, which misled banks into conducting business that is illegal under U.S. law. As Whitaker pointed out, Huawei has been allegedly deceiving and conducting illicit activities against the U.S. government and global financial institutions for at least a decade. He said this behavior “goes all the way to the top of the company.” The second indictment was filed in Washington and details 10 charges related to theft of trade secrets, wire fraud, and obstruction of justice. This indictment describes how Huawei relentlessly attempted to steal the technology behind T-Mobile’s robot mobile phone testing system, Tappy. In this case, Huawei actually created an employee bonus program for those who engaged in stealing valuable and confidential information from their competitors. These allegations are serious and alarming. Circumventing U.S. sanctions against Iran – a nation ruled by a government that leads chants of “Death to America” and supports terrorist activities – undermines our national security interests. Engaging in activities that add to the estimated $225 billion to $600 billion that is lost every year to China through intellectual property theft is an attack on our economic interests. As I describe in my upcoming book, “Trump vs. China: Facing and Fighting America’s Biggest Threat,” in order to comprehend the significance of these charges – and the substantial risks that Huawei’s alleged crimes pose to America’s national security and economic interests – we must look at the bigger picture. Huawei was founded in 1987 by a former officer of the People’s Liberation Army – the Chinese Communist Party’s military arm. Since then, the company has become the world’s largest telecommunications equipment manufacturer – and the second largest smartphone maker. Huawei has benefitted greatly from China’s subjectively discriminatory business policies and has raised significant security concerns among U.S. government officials. In a hearing last February, intelligence officials, including the heads of the CIA, FBI, NSA and the director of national intelligence all agreed that they would not advise private American citizens to buy Huawei devices or services. This week, FBI Director Christopher Wray said that America’s national security and economic security are threatened by “the immense influence that the Chinese government holds over Chinese corporations like Huawei.” According to Wray, “the potential for any company beholden to a foreign government, especially one that doesn’t share our values, to burrow into the American telecommunications market” would allow “the foreign government the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information, to conduct undetected espionage or exert pressure or control.” It is also important to consider the worldwide rollout of 5G telecommunications infrastructure and Huawei’s current leading position in the development of this new revolutionary technology. A company exhibiting this type of illicit behavior and generating the level of concern that it has within the American intelligence community should not be setting the global standards for the world’s telecommunications industry. Yet Huawei is currently testing in, has memorandums of understanding with, or is a confirmed network or vendor for at least 80 countries around the world. The reality is, whoever controls 5G ultimately controls the future. The emergence of this technology will be the cornerstone of the world’s advanced operational capabilities. It will be the key to connected infrastructure, autonomous vehicles, high-tech factories, worldwide commerce, aircraft, and even our personal devices. This 5G technology facilitates the ability to control critical infrastructure on a massive scale – which poses extraordinary security risks. It is not in the United States’ interest to have this emerging industry controlled by a foreign company or government which has already raised substantial security concerns. Lastly, the emergence of 5G and these new connective capabilities will result in a massive influx of data. Already, China has a strict set of laws that force companies to cooperate with government surveillance initiatives. FBI Director Wray said China’s cybersecurity law mandates that “Chinese companies, like Huawei, are required to provide essentially access upon demand (to the Chinese government) with little to no process to challenge that.”

Crazy..  For more on this excellent op/ed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R), click on the text above.

Sinking US aircraft carriers will resolve tension in South China Sea, says Chinese admiral

The deputy head of a Chinese military academy told an audience in Shenzhen last month that tensions in the South China Sea could be resolved by sinking a pair of U.S. aircraft carriers, reports said. “What the United States fears the most is taking casualties,” said Rear Admiral Lou Yuan, deputy head of the Chinese Academy of Military Sciences, news.com.au reported. He said sinking one carrier would kill 5,000 and sinking two would double that number. Brad Glosserman, a China expert and professor at Tokyo’s Tama University, said Lou’s comments reflect a growing belief in China that the United States has lost its stomach for war, according to a report from military.com. The Chinese believe that “Americans have gone soft … [they] no longer have an appetite for sacrifice and at the first sign of genuine trouble they will cut and run,” Glosserman said. In his speech, Loui said there were “five cornerstones of the United States” open to exploitation: their military, their money, their talent, their voting system — and their fear of adversaries, according to the news.com.au report.

Interesting…  For more, click on the text above.