Can China Sink The Dollar As The Main World Reserve Currency? It Can But It Won’t

March 30, 2009

Can China Sink The Dollar As The Main World Reserve Currency? It Can But It Won’t

Martin McCauley writes: China has caused something of a storm in the world of finance by staging a spectacular attack of the US dollar. Zhou Xiaochuan, Governor of the Central Bank of China, has come up with the idea that the IMF should make its Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) the main world reserve currency. Shock and horror in Washington!The sacred US dollar came under attack. So why has Beijing come up with this proposal now? There are two reasons. One is that there are various law suits going through the courts against China for dumping cheap goods on the American market. China has decided that the best tactic is to put the boot into the US currency and hope that the anti-dumping claims fade away. The other reason is that Beijing is seriously concerned about the value of its dollar assets. During... 

US-Russia Mini-Summit In London: It Can Still Prove Worthwhile

March 30, 2009

US-Russia Mini-Summit In London: It Can Still Prove Worthwhile

Anton Goryunov writes from Moscow: As the G20 summit in London approaches one meeting on its fringes that would have dominated the headlines 20 years ago is not attracting too much attention: the first ever face to face encounter between US President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev.The post Cold War world has seen its priorities change. Nuclear arms control comes way behind things like the economic crisis, terrorism and regional instability. The role of Russia has also diminished, quite substantially, in the past couple of decades with a new mighty player emerging in the world – China. As one Russian seasoned observer pointed out to me recently, it is the meeting between Mr Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao that everyone will be watching with particular... 

Latest Revelations About Jacqui Smith’s Expenses Are Hilarious. Let’s Hope There’ll Be More Coming

March 30, 2009

Latest Revelations About Jacqui Smith’s Expenses Are Hilarious. Let’s Hope There’ll Be More Coming

R.F.Wilson writes: This is probably one of the most hilarious revelations that have hit the Labour party since Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott was found out to have had an affair with his diary secretary, indulging himself in sexual games with her at his government office, often leaving the door wide open to introduce more excitement into the whole thing and boost his libido. Not only was it outrageously funny because Prescott was the last person in the cabinet that you would have suspected of being a sexual predator but it was also very entertaining to watch Labour’s top brass defending the Deputy Prime Minister, while managing to keep a straight face and claiming that it was a private affair which had nothing to do with sleaze or corruption or waste of public money. The fact that... 

China And East Timor: Problems In A Developing Country

March 29, 2009

China And East Timor: Problems In A Developing Country

Martin McCauley writes: China was the first country to recognise the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste (or East Timor) when it gained independence in May 2002.It was colonised by the Portuguese but in 1975 declared independence. It was immediately invaded by Indonesia and became a province of that country. In 1999 the United Nations negotiated the withdrawal of Indonesian troops. Beijing regarded the new state as a great opportunity to increase its influence in an important strategic region. It has extended economic assistance but has been outmatched by the European Union, Australia, Portugal and Japan. East Timor’s immediate neighbour, Indonesia, looms much larger in Dili’s foreign policy. But Beijing was determined to raise its influence in East Timor. It has concentrated on... 

Next Week In London Promises To Be An Eventful One. In More Ways Than You Can Imagine

March 28, 2009

Next Week In London Promises To Be An Eventful One. In More Ways Than You Can Imagine

R.F.Wilson writes: Where do I start, ladies and gentlemen? How can I best describe to you the importance of the gathering next week in London of people from afar to discuss matters of great relevance? It was while I was sitting in pub in West London yesterday, waiting for a friend of mine to join me, that I first found out about the exciting things that were going to happen in the next few days on the banks of the Thames.There it was, in black and white, in a newspaper that somebody had left behind: the first ever ‘open university’ skill classes for prostitutes, both male and female, from all over Europe, would be held next week in London. For a moment I was struck by the apparent connection: the G20 summit taking place next week in the British capital and the first hooker’s seminar,... 

The Group Take That Is Rumoured To Be Getting Together. As A Quintet, That Is

March 27, 2009

The Group Take That Is Rumoured To Be Getting Together. As A Quintet, That Is

Ben Delicious writes: This is going to be the most exciting reunion in pop music ever – if it happens at all, that is. Robbie Williams, the superstar of British pop, who has finally turned his back on the low cultured United States, has made the clearest hints of all that he is ready to team up with the four other members of his old band and perform with them. So that you know, Take That has re-emerged a couple of years ago, to the delight of their fans but without Robbie, and is once again thrilling audiences from Blackpool to Sheffield and even Southampton. Whereas another former super-group of the 1990s, Spice Girls, has failed spectacularly while trying to stage a comeback, the lads from Take That have triumphed and are as popular now as they have ever been. Sadly, there are some... 

Of Poison And Poisonous Intentions

March 27, 2009

Of Poison And Poisonous Intentions

Many moons ago, as they say in Ukraine and many other places in the world, we posted a piece about a drama that had unfolded more than 4 years ago, during the presidential election in Ukraine. As that drama is still being remembered widely in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, we thought we would post the article once again, to remind our readers that sometimes the strangest of things happen in politics that could not be explained from a scientific or purely logical point of view. These things have to be taken for what they are – miracles. Something Has Always Bothered Me About One Poisoning Ukrainian President, Viktor Yushenko, has recently paid an official visit to Britain and held talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The two men had discussed a whole range of issues including British... 

‘Devil’s Dance’: The Mystery Surrounding The Remains Of The Russian Imperial Family

March 26, 2009

‘Devil’s Dance’: The Mystery Surrounding The Remains Of The Russian Imperial Family

Today we present an article by Prince Zurab Chavchavadze, a famous public figure in Russia, who spells out his case about the controversy surrounding the ruthless slaughter of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas II, his wife, Empress Alexandra, and their five children, Grand Duchesses Maria, Tatiana, Anastasia and Olga and young Crown Prince Aleksey by the Bolsheviks in July 1918 in the city of Yekaterinburg. Prince Chavchavdze reveals some remarkable details about the tragedy and questions the results of the DNA analysis of the bone fragments conducted to establish whether the remains were actually that of the members of the last ruling Russian Imperial Family. The ‘Devil’s Dance’: The Mystery Surrounding the Remains of the Russian Imperial Family Prince Zurab Chavchavadze writes... 

Obama’s Exit Plan for Afghanistan Will Fail. The Taliban Cannot Be Defeated Militarily

March 25, 2009

Obama’s Exit Plan for Afghanistan Will Fail. The Taliban Cannot Be Defeated Militarily

Martin McCauley writes: US President Barack Obama seems to be confused: having announced that America will send an extra 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, he is now talking about an exit plan. He made clear that the ‘central mission’ was to ensure that al-Qaeda cannot attack the ‘US homeland and US interests and our allies’. Obama shares the view of Richard Holbrooke, his tough talking special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Their opinion is that President Hamid Karzai is a lightweight and not up to the job of normalising Afghanistan. Holbrooke has made clear that the fundamental fault of the Bush Administration’s strategy in the region was to treat Afghanistan and Pakistan as separate entities. Now they will be considered as one, because Afghanistan’s main problems... 

The Chinese Leadership Is Anxious. What Will The Future Bring?

March 24, 2009

The Chinese Leadership Is Anxious. What Will The Future Bring?

Martin McCauley writes: The recent National People’s Congress in China turned out to be a strange affair: the Chinese people were told to work harder to achieve an economic growth rate of 8 per per cent this year. To keep the economy going. However, the Communist Party of China (CPC) leadership banned any discussion of the fiscal stimulus package that is supposed to achieve this goal. (If only President Barack Obama could do the same! Think how much easier his life would be.)The lack of any serious debate at the National People’s Congress, though, raised more doubts about the efficacy of the huge injection of 4 trillion yuan ($588 billion) into the economy. Would it be enough and would it help to kick-start the ‘engine’ that has powered China for the last two decades? One... 

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