West Virginia Signs Investment Pact With China Energy

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By Staff for Associated Press – West Virginia officials announced an agreement on Thursday with China Energy Investment Corp. Ltd. for the company to invest $83.7 billion in shale gas development and chemical manufacturing in West Virginia over 20 years. State Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher and China Energy President Ling Wen signed the memorandum in Beijing as part of the U.S.-China trade mission and an overall $250 billion of planned Chinese investments in the U.S. It during President Trump’s visit to Beijing. West Virginia commerce officials said project planning is already underway and will focus on power generation, chemical manufacturing and underground storage of natural gas liquids and derivatives. The state was chosen for its position as an energy producer and its large underground shale gas reserves. “West Virginia has actively sought direct foreign investment to strengthen and diversify our economy,” Thrasher said. Toyota, Hino Motors, Gestamp, Sogefi and other corporations with international parent companies have created jobs and generated income in the state, and they expect China Energy to bring mutual benefits, he said. West Virginia University since 2002 has been jointly researching coal liquefaction with mining company Shenhua Group, which merged with energy company Guodian Group to form China Energy.

South Korea Shifts Towards China

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By Alexander Mercouris for The Duran. The big news in Asia this week is not US President Trump’s grand but ultimately empty visit to China. It is the quiet steps China and South Korea have begun to take towards each other. In a recent article for The Duran I discussed how Russian foreign policy seemed to be edging towards a solution to the Korean crisis involving direct Chinese – Russian brokered talks between North and South Korea which would not involve the US. I also referred to the longstanding Russian projects to build railway lines and gas pipelines across North Korea to South Korea, providing South Korea via North Korea and Russia with a land bridge to Europe, whilst bringing the two Koreas together and binding them closer both economically and politically to the two Great Eurasian Powers ie. Russia and China. I also speculated that these Russian plans – which I said had unquestionably been worked out in collaboration with China – might also involve the two Koreas coming together in some form of confederation with each other.

China Shifts Course, Predicting ‘Minsky Moment’ Of Global Financial Instability

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By Jack Rasmus for Counter Punch – The past year the US and global ‘real’ economies have enjoyed a moderate recovery. Much of that has been due to China stimulating its economy to ensure real growth in anticipation of the Communist Party’s convention, which has just ended. China’s president Xi and central bank (Peoples Bank of China) chair, Zhou, have announced, post-convention, that China’s real growth will slow and have warned a global ‘Minsky Moment’ (i.e. financial crisis) may be brewing. China will now try, once again, to tame its shadow bankers and speculators who have been feeding China’s debt and bubbles, and prepare for the global financial instability that is brewing. The global financial bubbles–in stocks, bonds, currencies (crypto and real), derivatives, real estate, etc.– have been fueled since 2008 by capitalist central banks–led by the US Federal Reserve and followed even more aggressively by the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan. Central bank ‘free’ money has boosted stock and other financial asset prices into bubble territory and produced historic capital gains profits for corporations, professional investors, and the wealthiest 1% households in the US and worldwide. The world’s approximately 1500 billionaires’ wealth now totals more than $6 trillion–and that is only the officially admitted figure.

Japan’s Vote For Abe Could Worsen Prospects For Peace With North Korea, China

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By Nicole L Freiner for The Conversation – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gambled by calling a snap election – and he has won big. Voters handed Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party a sweeping victory in the Oct. 22 balloting for Japan’s House of Representatives. The call for the election came in late September after North Korea had just fired another test missile, with its longest delivery system yet. Over the past months, North Korea has tested six missiles, with each test either falling into the Japan Sea or passing over Japan to land in the Pacific. This latest missile flew over Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean. North Korea’s leader, Kim Jung Un, used strong threats after this missile test, saying that he hoped to see Japan sink into the sea. Abe and his hawkish, conservative coalition have been attempting to rebuild Japan’s military capabilities and to scrap its WWII-era constitution that prohibits aggression. Based on my research in Japanese politics, I believe the party’s electoral victory spells trouble for peace in Asia.

Korea? It’s Always Really Been About China!

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By Paul Atwood for Counter Punch – How many citizens have ever asked themselves what the United States is doing in Korea in the first place? In November of 1945, two months after the surrender of Japan, Army Chief of Staff General George Marshall spoke to President Truman and the chief figures of his cabinet about his fears of a “the tragic consequences of a divided China” as Chinese Nationalist forces and Communists resumed their struggle for power and Soviet forces seized control of large areas of Manchuria. The resumption of Soviet power in Manchuria Marshall emphasized would result “in the defeat or loss of the major purpose of our war with Japan (emphasis added). What could the general have meant by such a statement? What WAS the “major purpose” of the Pacific war? Most Americans are taught that the foremost reason the United States went to war with Japan was the attack on Pearl Harbor. But the reality was that the U.S. and Japan had been on a collision course since the 1920s and by 1940, in the midst of the global depression, were locked in a mortal struggle over who would ultimately benefit most from the markets and resources of Greater China and East Asia. Japan’s Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere was steadily closing the “Open Door” to American penetration of and access to the profitable riches of Asia at the critical moment.

China Plans To Ban Sales Of Fossil Fuel Cars Entirely

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By Darrell Etherington for TechCrunch – China’s big electric vehicle push is about to get even bigger: The country is planning to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles entirely, with regulators working currently on a timetable of when the ban will ultimately take effect, according to Bloomberg. China is the world’s largest auto market, with 28.03 million vehicles sold last year, a boost in demand of 13.7 percent vs. 2015 sales numbers. The nation has already done a lot to incentivize manufacturers to develop and sell new EVs, including allowing foreign automakers to create a third joint venture with local automakers (a standard requirement for doing business in the country for auto OEMs) so long as it’s dedicated to the creation of EVs exclusively. The government has also created a number of incentive programs for OEMs, including subsidies. This will add to its positive efforts to drive more EV sales in China with the ultimate negative condition on the other side – at some point, automakers just won’t be able to do business at all in the country if they’re still selling a mix of fossil fuel and electrified vehicles. This isn’t the first time a governing body has said it would eventually phase out the sale of traditional fuel vehicles: France said it will stop selling fossil fuel cars by 2040 in July, and the UK has committed to the same timeline for sales of those vehicles.

China Readies Yuan-Priced Crude Oil Benchmark Backed By Gold

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By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oil Price – The world’s top oil importer, China, is preparing to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan and convertible into gold, potentially creating the most important Asian oil benchmark and allowing oil exporters to bypass U.S.-dollar denominated benchmarks by trading in yuan, Nikkei Asian Review reports. The crude oil futures will be the first commodity contract in China open to foreign investment funds, trading houses, and oil firms. The circumvention of U.S. dollar trade could allow oil exporters such as Russia and Iran, for example, to bypass U.S. sanctions by trading in yuan, according to Nikkei Asian Review. To make the yuan-denominated contract more attractive, China plans the yuan to be fully convertible in gold on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges. Last month, the Shanghai Futures Exchange and its subsidiary Shanghai International Energy Exchange, INE, successfully completed four tests in production environment for the crude oil futures, and the exchange continues with preparatory works for the listing of crude oil futures, aiming for the launch by the end of this year. ? “The rules of the global oil game may begin to change enormously,” Luke Gromen, founder of U.S.-based macroeconomic research company FFTT, told Nikkei Asia Review.

China Has Already More Than Doubled Its 2020 Solar Power Target

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By Jing Yan and Lauri Myllyvirta for Eco Watch – China has more than doubled its end-of-decade solar power target, with new installations dramatically outstripping expectation, according to the government’s energy agency. By the end of July this year, China’s solar PV capacity topped 112GW, after installing a stunning 35GW in just seven months—more than twice as much as installed by any other country in all of 2016. As a result, total solar PV capacity now exceeds the government’s 2020 goal of 105GW, set as recently as last year. This could have created a very confusing situation for the industry—after years of record-setting installations, there was no target to hit—but the National Energy Administration (NEA) responded by setting new, ambitious annual installation targets. These targets would take capacity to 213GW in 2020—which is five times larger than current capacity of the U.S. That would mean covering an area of land equivalent to greater London—1500km2—with solar panels. Current growth rates suggest China could even surpass that new, higher target.

World's Biggest Floating Solar Farm Goes Live On Top Of A Former Coal Mine

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By Global Citizen for Eco Watch – Coal power is getting buried in China—both literally and figuratively. Earlier this week, a new floating solar farm went live in the Chinese city of Huainan above a retired coal mine, China Daily reported. The mine was flooded with groundwater after it went out of service, and, rather than simply losing an energy source, the city decided to get another form of power out of the space. Global Citizen campaigns on the Global Goals, one of which, Global Goal 13, encourages countries to adopt renewable energy sources. You can take action on these issues here. The new solar farm generates 40 megawatts, which can power 15,000 homes for a year. That’s more than six times the second biggest active floating farm, which has a capacity of 6.3MW. The project is part of China’s much broader strategy of investing in renewable energy. China has more solar capacity than any other country in the world and it intends to invest at least $361 billion in renewables by 2020. After the U.S. pulled out of the Paris climate agreement earlier in the year, China doubled down on its commitments and made joint statements with other countries to encourage stronger climate action.

Beijing’s “Belt And Road” Initiative, Towards An Economy Of Peace?

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By Peter Koeing for Information Clearing House – August 31, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – Why is the world one huge fireball of hostilities, conflicts, threats of economic sanctions, propaganda of lies and mind manipulations, fearmongering – killing – massive killing – 12-15 million people killed since 9/11? – Why is that? And all provoked and executed by ONE country, and her vassals in the form of NATO, stooges of Brussels and the Middle East, and their prostituted proxies, paid mercenary whores, Islamic State, by the one Rogue Nation the world is subjected to – the United States of America. All that at the cost of trillions of dollars, tax-payers’ money – really? – More likely privately FED, Wall Street created fiat money, pyramid money, based on usury and debt, subjugating debt to be pillaged from the ordinary citizens; but government debt never to be repaid, as per Alan Greenspan (FED Chairman, 1987-2006) to an exasperated journalist who asks, when will the US ever pay back its huge debt? – “Never – we will just print new money”. – So, is it really ‘tax-payers’ money’? – Would tax-payers’ money be able to pay for these trillions and trillion spent on conflicts, wars and hostilities – hundreds of billions spent on propaganda of deception and lies to promote endless assassinations around the globe? Hardly.

More Evidence Of Failing US Empire: Key Conflicts Are Really US V. China & Russia

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By Adam Garrie for The Duran – While some pundits continue to downplay the increasingly strong partnership between Russia and China, the reality is that as Russia’s economy continues to grow and as China’s geo-political pronouncements continue to become more wide reaching, the world is witnessing the final stage of a new geo-political alignment that has been many years in the making. China and Russia are now, not only on the same side of many global issues but they are speaking in a singular voice with a similarly loud volume. Three areas where this has manifested itself include of Venezuela, Afghanistan and North Korea. In each of these cases, both Russia and China are saying almost identical things at the same time and are doing so forcefully. By contrast, during the early stages of the Syrian conflict which started in 2011, while China was always supportive of the Syrian government in its battle against terrorists, Russia took a lead in the conflict both in respect of diplomatic announcements and after 2015, in respect of military assistance to the Syrian government.

Newsletter: As US Empire Fails, Trump Enters A Quagmire

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. Many ask why are we still at war in Afghanistan: Osama bid Laden is dead, other alleged 9-11 attack attackers are caught or killed. This shows that calling Afghanistan the longest running Fake War in US history is right — fake because it was never about terrorism but about business. If terrorism were the issue, Saudi Arabia would be the prime US enemy, but Saudi Arabia is also about business. We share the conclusion of human rights activist and Green vice presidential candidate in 2016 Ajamu Baraka who wrote for the Black Alliance for Peace that: “In an obscene testament to U.S. vanity and the psychopathological commitment to global white supremacy, billions have already been wasted, almost three thousand U.S. lives lost and over 100,000 dead. It is time to admit defeat in Afghanistan and bring the war to an end. Justice and common sense demand that the bloodletting stop.” When we understand the true motives of US Empire, that conclusion is even worse

China Tells US, North Korea To ‘Hit The Brakes’ On Threats

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By Christopher Bodeen for AP News – BEIJING (AP) — China is telling the U.S. and North Korea to “hit the brakes” on threatening words and actions and work toward a peaceful resolution of their dispute, in a sign of growing concern over the standoff on the part of Pyongyang’s only major ally. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a phone conversation with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, that the two countries should work together to contain tensions and permit no one to “stir up an incident on their doorstep,” according to a statement posted on the Chinese foreign ministry’s website. “The most important task at hand is for the U.S. and North Korea to ‘hit the brakes’ on their mutual needling of each other with words and actions, to lower the temperature of the tense situation and prevent the emergence of an ‘August crisis,’” Wang was quoted as saying in the Tuesday conversation. The ministry quoted Lavrov as saying tensions could rise again with the U.S. and South Korea set to launch large-scale military exercises on Aug. 21. “A resolution of the North Korea nuclear issue by military force is completely unacceptable and the peninsula’s nuclear issue must be peacefully resolved by political and diplomatic methods,” Lavrov was quoted as saying.

Newsletter: Power Dynamics Changing In World Order

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By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The G-20 summit highlighted a transition in geopolitical power that has been developing for years. The process has escalated in recent months since President Trump took office, but its roots go much deeper than Trump. The United States is losing power, a multi-polar world is taking shape and people power is on the rise. The G-20 bordered on being a G-19, with the US a loner on key issues of climate change, trade and migration. These are some of the biggest issues on the planet. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been saying lately “We as Europeans have to take our fate into our own hands.” This is an indication they no longer see the US as the leader or even a reliable partner on some issues. In a summation of the G-20, Politico writes: “Hamburg will also go down as a further mile marker in Europe’s slow emancipation from the U.S.”

Putin And Trump Stage Manage Win-Win Meeting

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By Pepe Escobar for Asia Times. From the start, the “positive chemistry” in the Mother of All Sit-Downs was a given. The format – with only the four principals, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and two translators – prevented any leaks. What was originally scheduled for 35 minutes went on for 2 hours and 16 minutes, and not even an impromptu appearance by First Lady Melania Trump – they were late for the Elbphilharmonie pomp and circumstance – managed to stop the flow. They needed to deliver. They needed headlines. They got plenty. Including a possible first step at real cooperation; a ceasefire deal in southwestern Syria. Yet the real headline is that diplomacy beats demonization. Still, from the toxic, overwhelmingly Russophobic Beltway point of view, that dystopia masquerading as a summit – the actual G-20 – was a mere backdrop.