Major Chinese banks ditching US dollar to prop up domestic currency

RT – July 3, 2018

China’s state-owned banks have reportedly been buying US dollars in forwards on behalf of the central bank (PBOC) and immediately selling them on the spot market for yuan to support the domestic currency.

PBOC deputy governor and head of the foreign exchange regulator Pan Gongsheng said China was confident it could keep the yuan basically stable and at a “reasonable” level.

A government central bank buys domestic currency when it wants to strengthen it. By protecting the buying power of domestic currency the country protects its citizens from inflation risks and rising consumer prices.

The government can also weaken domestic currency by selling it on the foreign exchange market. While hurting the domestic consumer, this step helps major export economies, such as China. It makes export goods cheaper to produce at home and, therefore, more competitive on the global market.

“It feels like the state-owned banks are stocking up on bullets to prevent the yuan from falling too much,” an unnamed trader at a Chinese bank in Shanghai told Reuters.

In early trade on Tuesday, yuan weakened to a low of 6.7204 against the dollar, the lowest since August 7, 2017. The Chinese currency’s downturn comes ahead of July 6, when US tariffs on $34 billion worth of Chinese goods are to kick in. Beijing has promised to retaliate with tariffs on US products.

https://www.rt.com

Summer campers face deadly ticks and mosquitoes

Elizabeth Cohen and John Bonifield – June 25, 2018

(CNN)In many parts of the United States, this weekend marks the start of summer sleep-away camp season, which means swimming, arts and crafts, marshmallow roasts — and, very often, ticks.

Of the more than 1,600 overnight camps that are members of the American Camp Association, more than a third are in New England and the mid-Atlantic states, where Lyme disease is particularly prevalent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a May CDC report, cases of vector-borne diseases — those caused by viruses and bacteria carried by ticks, mosquitoes and other bugs — tripled in the United States from 2004 to 2016.

For years, experts have voiced concern that many local public health agencies are unprepared to control such pests and limit the spread of these diseases which include Lyme disease, dengue fever and Zika.

https://www.cnn.com

Communist Chinese Organ Harvesting Draws Global Condemnation

 – June 20, 2018

Despite official denials, the Communist Chinese regime’s barbaric organ-harvesting program is drawing renewed attention and condemnation from Missouri and Georgia to Canada, Japan, Australia, and everywhere in between. Numerous legislatures around the world have taken testimony and even approved official condemnations of the practice, which often involves murdering prisoners of conscience jailed for their beliefs. But with the mass-murdering dictatorship in China trying to whitewash the atrocities involved in its multi-billion-dollar organ-trade business, activists and lawmakers say humanity must turn up the pressure.

The horrific Communist Chinese practice of stealing organs from prisoners and even religious or political dissidents has been well documented, and global awareness is growing. And so the regime has launched a campaign to mislead the world, claiming that it no longer steals organs from prisoners. At a Vatican conference on organ trafficking earlier this year, Communist Chinese “health” officials, whose mere presence stirred controversy worldwide, even pretended that the regime in Beijing was working to combat the illegal organ trade. But numerous experts and investigators, even from left-wing groups such as Amnesty International, suggested that the regime continues to murder people and plunder their organs with impunity.

https://www.thenewamerican.com

US President Donald Trump announces ‘Space Force’ military wing

DW – June 18, 2018

US President Donald Trump announced a sweeping new space policy on Monday that will focus both on reducing satellite clutter in space as well as creating a specific “Space Force” as the newest branch of the military.

“It is not enough to merely have an American presence in space. We must have American dominance in space,” said Trump, saying that he wished to revive the US’ flagging space program that has been bogged down by rising costs and a lack of political will.

Trump said he does not want “China and Russia and other countries leading us.”

“I’m hereby directing the Department of Defense and Pentagon to immediately begin the process necessary to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces,” Trump said.

http://www.dw.com

Chinese Navy Runs Anti-Aircraft Drills in South China Sea After B-52 Flyby

Sputnik News – June 16, 2018

Two B-52 heavy bombers flew “in the vicinity of the South China Sea,” US Pacific Air Forces said June 6.

While US Navy warships sometimes conduct “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea as a way to challenge what Washington maintains are Beijing’s excessive maritime claims, flying the potentially nuclear-armed B-52s over the waterway represented an “escalation,” Business Insider reported Friday.

On Friday, the PLA-Navy practiced its responses to an aerial attack on islands in the South China Sea. Chinese forces targeted three unmanned aerial vehicles flying in formation “at varying heights and directions” as part of efforts to improve the force’s fighting ability, the South China Morning Post reported, citing a PLA Daily report.

On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping “stressed building an elite maritime force to resolutely accomplish various missions entrusted by the Party and the people” while visiting a navy outpost, Xinhua reports.

https://sputniknews.com

‘DISEASE X’ FEARS Terrifying new strain of bird flu that kills over a THIRD of those who contract it discovered in China amid fears of new global pandemic

Mark Hodge – June 15, 2018

A NEW strain of deadly bird flu which kills 38 per cent of those infected and could spark a global pandemic has been identified in China.

Scientists around the world believe the new pathogen, dubbed “Disease X”, could be as lethal as 1918 Spanish flu which killed up to 100million people.

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, deputy chief medical officer for England, told The Telegraph that virus H7N9, which is circulating poultry in China, could cause a global outbreak.

He said: “[H7N9] is an example of another virus which has proven its ability to transmit from birds to humans.

“It’s possible that it could be the cause of the next pandemic.”

In China, the deadly pathogen has killed 623 of the 1,625 people which have been infected.

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk

China Hosts Russia, Iran for Summit as US Tensions Rise

Newsmax – June 9, 2018

Chinese President Xi Jinping will open late Saturday a two-day regional security summit attended by Russia, Iran and other allies confronting rising tensions with the US over trade and Washington’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.

Armored vans lined the streets of the coastal city of Qingdao as world leaders arrived Friday for the 18th annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russia.

Its member states also include four ex-Soviet Central Asian republics, Pakistan and India. Iran is an observer member.

Authorities emptied an entire ocean-side swathe of the city — clearing out shopkeepers, residents and day-trippers to make way for Xi, his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will also attend the meeting.

https://www.newsmax.com

Taiwan conducting war games simulating repelling Chinese attack amid heighted tensions

Yahoo – June 7, 2018

Fighter jets, helicopters and thousands of troops in Taiwan fought back a simulated Chinese invasion Thursday as the self-ruled island faces increasing military and diplomatic pressure from Beijing.

Relations between Taipei and Beijing have deteriorated since President Tsai Ing-wen was elected in 2016, as her government refuses to acknowledge that Taiwan is part of “one China”.

Live-fire drills began Monday with troops simulating surprise air and coastal assaults to reflect increased military threats from China, which sees Taiwan as a renegade province to be brought back into the fold – by force if necessary.

Tsai watched Thursday’s session of the ongoing “Han Kuang” (Han Glory) exercise involving 4,100 soldiers, attack helicopters and fighter jets from an air base in Taichung.

https://www.yahoo.com

US Marine General on China: ‘Military Has Had a Lot of Experience…Taking Down Small Islands’

Patrick Goodenough – June 1, 2018

(CNSNews.com) – Amid simmering U.S.-China tensions in the South China Sea, a top U.S. general on Thursday underlined the military’s readiness to “protect U.S. and allied interests in the region,” and made a reference to the U.S. experience in “taking down small islands” in the Pacific during World War II.

“We continue to seek areas to cooperate with China where we can, but where we can’t we’re prepared to certainly protect both U.S. and allied interest in the region,” Marine Lt. Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie, Director of the Joint Staff, told reporters at the Pentagon.

He declined to say whether China or North Korea posed a bigger security threat, saying the threats were very different, and both were taken seriously, but that it was not “useful, actually, to compare the two.”

https://www.cnsnews.com

‘Plan B’: Tehran Gives European Powers One Week to Salvage Nuclear Deal

Sputnik News – May 25, 2018

The Western European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal have until next Friday to provide Tehran with concrete proposals to offset the consequences of the US decision to pull out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a senior Iranian official said.

“To be honest with you, we are not confident,” the official said, speaking to reporters before the start of Friday’s talks with representatives from Iran, Russia, China, the UK, France and Germany on how Tehran might mitigate the financial and economic impact of Washington’s withdrawal from the JCPOA.

“We expect the (economic) package to be given to us by the end of May,” the official noted, according to Reuters. “I’m sorry to say that we haven’t seen Plan B yet. Plan B has just started to be figured out.”

https://sputniknews.com