“We Understand The Chinese Government Has Halted Purchases Of US Treasuries”: SGH

“We Understand The Chinese Government Has Halted Purchases Of US Treasuries”: SGH:

On Friday, we reported that among the five “nuclear” options available to Beijing to retaliate against Trump’s latest $100BN in proposed import tariffs, was the choice whether to sell US Treasuries. But what if Beijing did not want to unleash a full-blown market nuke, and instead was hoping for a targeted, EMP hit?

Then it would simply stop buying US paper, instead of dumping it outright; in the process it wouldn’t hurt the US too much – avoiding a furious tit-for-tat response – but would still send a clear signal to the White House, whose fiscal spending plan will more than double net Treasury issuance this year from under $500BN to over $1 trillion, and which needs every possible marginal buyer of US paper, both domestic and foreign. 

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China to make it rain over area 3 times the size of Spain

China to make it rain over area 3 times the size of Spain:

Since 2013 China has been creating 55 billion tons of artificial rain a year. The country is now embarking on its biggest rainmaking project ever.

In terms of the plan, announced this month, Chinese authorities intend to force rainfall and snow over 1.6 million sq km (620,000 sq miles), an area roughly three times the size of Spain.

According to media reports, the government will use new military weather-altering technology developed by the state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation. The country plans to build tens of thousands of combustion chambers on Tibetan mountainsides. The chambers will burn a solid fuel, which will result in a spray of silver iodide billowing towards the sky.

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US Deploys Three Carrier Battle Groups To Face-Off Against Chinese Aircraft Carrier In South China Sea

US Deploys Three Carrier Battle Groups To Face-Off Against Chinese Aircraft Carrier In South China Sea:

As Beijing flexes its naval war muscle in a South China Sea “show of force”, the US is preparing for a naval drill of its own, with the Pentagon deploying an unprecedented three carrier battle groups to the region.

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A.I. Researchers Boycott South Korean University Over Plan To Build “Killer Robots” – #AI

– AI Researchers Boycott South Korean University Over Plan To Build “Killer Robots”:

It looks like Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Russian President Vladimir Putin aren’t the only ones who’ve envisioned a nightmare scenario where “killer robots” stalk through neighborhoods murdering innocent Americans (or Russians).

A group of artificial intelligence researchers from nearly 30 countries is boycotting one of South Korea’s most prestigious universities over concerns about a recent partnership with an “ethically dubious” arms manufacturer with the stated purpose to design and manufacture “autonomous weapons systems”.

The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) and its partner, the weapons manufacturer Hanwha Systems, one of South Korea’s largest arms dealers, are pushing back against the boycott, saying they have no intention of developing “killer robots” – even though the description of the project clearly states its goals, per the Guardian. 

“There are plenty of great things you can do with AI that save lives, including in a military context, but to openly declare the goal is to develop autonomous weapons and have a partner like this sparks huge concern,” said Toby Walsh, the organiser of the boycott and a professor at the University of New South Wales.

“This is a very respected university partnering with a very ethically dubious partner that continues to violate international norms.”

What’s worse, the scientists say, is Hanwha’s history of manufacturing and selling cluster munitions and other arms that are banned in more than 120 countries under an international treaty that South Korea, the US, Russia and China have not signed.

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“We May Take A Hit”: Trump Warns Investors To Prepare For “Pain” In The Market

“We May Take A Hit”: Trump Warns Investors To Prepare For “Pain” In The Market:

Two days ago, when we commented on the early morning plunge in stocks (which was subsequently fully reversed by the close in a historic 800 point Dow reversal), we said that a long-standing question will Trump pick plunging stocks or trade war – had finally gotten its answer when CNBC’s Eamon Javers said that a “White House official said the the WH recognizes that Trump’s actions are hitting the stock market, but this is “a longer term thing,” and the president has to follow through on a key campaign promise.”

Moments ago, Trump himself confirmed that when in a radio interview on Friday morning, the president said that U.S. markets could face some “pain’’ from the trade standoff with China and other countries, but – like on Wednesday – asserted that in the long-run, Americans would be better off due to his protectionist actions.

Speaking on WABC Radio’s “Bernie & Sid in the Morning’’ program, Trump said “I’m not saying there won’t be a little pain so we might lose a little of it but we’re going to have a much stronger country when we’re finished, and that’s what I’m all about.’

“We have to do things that other people wouldn’t do. So we may take a hit, but you know what, ultimately we’re going to be much stronger for it,’’ Trump said during the radio interview on Friday. “It’s something we had to do, and ultimately if you take a look it’s not only trade with China – it’s everybody.”

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Kudlow: US Tariffs Are “Not A Bluff”, China’s Response Is “Highly Unsatsifactory”

Kudlow: US Tariffs Are “Not A Bluff”, China’s Response Is “Highly Unsatsifactory”:

Echoing comments by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin made during an early-afternoon interview on CNBC, National Economic Council head Larry Kudlow told a group of reporters at the White House Friday that China’s response to the first round of US tariffs announced was “highly unsatisfactory” and that, while he hopes the trade dispute doesn’t result in tariffs, that outcome remains a possibility.

That is in sharp contrast to Kudlow’s attempt on Wednesday to assuage the fears of nervous investors by promising them that the US will likely get a deal with China to avert the trade barriers threatened by both sides.

Still, a solution to the US-China trade spat could come within three months – but the Trump administration’s saber-rattling over trade barriers “is not a bluff”. And while the US isn’t currently in a trade war with China – any foreign policy “could go awry.”

Kudlow’s about-face notably comes as the White House has put its foot down on Friday and warned investors to expect some “some fluctuations” in the stock market as the trade dispute plays out.

He also raised the possibility that the US could provide a “list of suggestions” to China, per the Hill.

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Beijing launches enormous South China Sea live-fire exercise as three US carrier battle groups pass by

Beijing launches enormous South China Sea live-fire exercise as three US carrier battle groups pass by:

FORTY Chinese warships and three American aircraft carrier battle groups are converging on the South China Sea as dangerous tensions between the superpowers simmer.

CHINA’s navy has sent its aircraft carrier and more than 40 warships into the South China Sea for its largest live-fire military exercise in the troubled region yet.

And it comes as the United States has three aircraft carrier battle groups converging on the contested waterway for its own exercises.

Chinese state media says the exercises are centred on the aircraft carrier Liaoning, with warships combining from the North, East and South Sea fleets in an overt display of military muscle.

It’s a similar story for the United States Navy.

Both sets of military manouvers are being held as an Asian economic forum gets underway on the Chinese island of Hainan, which borders the disputed South China Sea.

“China wants to show the outside world its determination to defend the fruits of its economic reforms over the past 40 years,” Beijing-based military analyst Zhou Chenming told the South China Morning Post.

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Stocks Tumble As China Urges Americans To Rise Up Against “Unscrupulous” President

Stocks Tumble As China Urges Americans To Rise Up Against “Unscrupulous” President:

The war of words between President Trump and ‘everyone else’ continues to heat up, with market conniptions managed for now by Kudlow’s “good cop” headlines to Trump’s “bad cop” histrionics.

In his latest salvo in the trade war, following China’s ‘fight them on the beaches’ rhetoric, Trump turned his attention to the World Trade Organization, lambasting their lack of action as “unfair.”

But it appears China’s Xinhua news – unofficial mouthpiece of the Party – has sparked some more concerns as an op-ed calls for open rebellion against President Trump…

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China Declares Trade War Victory: Gloats At US “Suffering” After “Crushing Counterattack”

“If this trade war comes to pass, it will be an evenly matched total war between China and the US economies, and not some small scuffle. It would be delusional for the US to think it will be victorious at the end of this trade war.”

China Declares Trade War Victory: Gloats At US “Suffering” After “Crushing Counterattack”:

Barely a day after China dropped the hammer on US stock markets by unveiling retaliatory tariffs on $50 billion in US imports that – unlike US measures that mostly targeted obscure industrial products – actually struck at key industries like soybean farmers, automobiles and airplanes, the Communist Party crowed about what it already sees as its “victory” in the nascent trade war in an editorial published by the Global Times, China’s state-owned, English-language tabloid and extremely hawkish party mouthpiece.

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Futures Tumble After Trump Orders Consideration Of $100 Billion In New China Tariffs

Futures Tumble After Trump Orders Consideration Of $100 Billion In New China Tariffs:

“In light of China’s unfair retaliation, I have instructed the USTR to consider whether $100 billion of additional tariffs would be appropriate under section 301 and, if so, to identify the products upon which to impose such tariffs.”

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China Slaps Tariffs On US Imports Including Pork, Nuts And Wine

China Slaps Tariffs On US Imports Including Pork, Nuts And Wine:

As previewed one week ago, late on Sunday China unveiled new retaliatory duties on US food imports including pork, nuts, wine and fruits of between 15% and 25% in response to Trump administration’s Section 232 tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

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2018-2028: The Most Dangerous Decade

2018-2028: The Most Dangerous Decade:

Every 80 years, nations often experience colossal events. There are different theories about this cycle – for example, the Fourth Turning theory focuses on the cyclical strengths of institutions versus individuals. Others surmise that four generations after a major crisis, there are no more older people to warn the society, and the younger people take peace and prosperity for granted.

Well, exactly 80 years ago, America was mired in the Great Depression, and World War II was about to begin. Yet, predictably, most Americans and Europeans now cannot even fathom such scenarios repeating in their lifetime.

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China is building massive weather modification system to make more rain

China is building massive weather modification system to make more rain:

China is testing cutting-edge weather modification technology in Tibetan Plateau. The country aims to implement a large-scale weather changing project to ensure a consistent rain supply in the area three times as big as Spain, nearing 1 million km2 (620 000 mi2). The system is created from a network of solid fuel burning chambers that produce silver iodide, a compound with a structure much like ice that can be used in cloud seeding. Tens of thousands of small burning chambers will be installed across the Tibetan Plateau in an attempt to increase rainfall in the area. Once in place, the system has the potential to increase rainfall in the region by up to 10 billion cubic meters a year, which amounts about 7% of China’s total water consumption.

It is the world’s biggest single weather changing project ever attempted. The system relies on small low-tech chambers which burns solid fuel that produces silver iodide. As wind sweeps up the mountain, the particles are swept up into the air where they form rain clouds. The system has been developed by China’s state-owned Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

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Melbourne chemist is slammed for opening its doors before sunrise so crowds of Chinese shoppers can buy tins of baby formula in bulk before mothers have a chance

Melbourne chemist is slammed for opening its doors before sunrise so crowds of Chinese shoppers can buy tins of baby formula in bulk before mothers have a chance:

  • A Melbourne chemist has come under fire for opening its doors before sunrise 
  • Dozens of Chinese ‘daigou’ shoppers cleaned out entire stock of baby formula 
  • Chinese shoppers ship the formula back home where they fetch triple the price

H/t reader kevin a.

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In Unprecedented Move, China Plans To Pay For Oil Imports With Yuan Instead Of Dollars

In Unprecedented Move, China Plans To Pay For Oil Imports With Yuan Instead Of Dollars:

A change in the default crude oil transactional currency – which for decades has been the “Petrodollar”, blessing the US with global reserve currency status – would have monumental consequences for capital allocations and trade flows.

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