Trump says he expects ‘great deal’ with China, but more tariffs if not


October 30, 2018

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump said he thinks there will be “a great deal” with China on trade, but warned that he has billions of dollars worth of new tariffs ready to go if a deal isn’t possible.

“I think that we will make a great deal with China and it has to be great, because they’ve drained our country,” Trump told FOX News Channel’s “The Ingraham Angle” on Monday.

Trump said in the interview he would like to make a deal now, but that China was not ready. He did not elaborate.

Bloomberg news reported on Monday that Washington was preparing to announce tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports by early December if talks next month between Trump and his counterpart Xi Jinping fail to ease the trade war.

Both Trump and Xi are expected to attend next month’s G20 summit in Buenos Aires, where they could meet.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said China and the United States have all along been in communication about exchanges at all levels, including a possible Xi-Trump meeting in Argentina, though he gave no details.

If the United States is not willing to promote win-win cooperation with China then China is fully confident in being able to continue with its reforms and develop itself, Lu added.

The United States has already imposed tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, and China has responded with retaliatory duties on $110 billion worth of U.S. goods.

“And I have $267 billion waiting to go if we can’t make a deal,” Trump said.

Trump has long threatened to impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese imports into the United States if Beijing fails to meet U.S. demands for sweeping changes to Chinese trade, technology transfer and industrial subsidy policies.

Reporting by John Ruwitch; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Editing by Kim Coghill

Source: Reuters “Trump says he expects ‘great deal’ with China, but more tariffs if not”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.

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Germany’s BASF scoops second China chemicals deal in four months


Chen Aizhu, Meng Meng October 29, 2018

BEIJING (Reuters) – Chemical giant BASF (BASFn.DE) said on Monday it had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s Sinopec Corp (600028.SS) to build a steam cracker in east China, the second major investment pledged by the German firm in four months.

China, the world’s top chemicals consumer, is allowing greater access by global majors and local independents to its massive chemicals market to feed plastics, coatings and adhesives to the fast-growing consumer electronics and automotive sectors, as well as polyesters for clothing.

According to the MoU, BASF-YPC, the German group’s joint venture with Sinopec in Nanjing, will invest in a 50 percent stake in the new cracker. SINOPEC Yangtzi Petrochemical (YPC) will take the other 50 percent.

“This additional investment into a new steam cracker and the expansion of our BASF-YPC joint venture in Nanjing underline the strong partnership between Sinopec and BASF and the commitment to our customers in China,” BASF Chief Executive Martin Brudermueller said.

BASF said the new steam cracker will have an annual capacity of one million tonnes of ethylene, a building block for plastics, rubber and synthetic fiber. The group declined to disclose financial details.

A joint venture consisting of French oil group Total (TOTF.PA), Borealis [BESGR.UL] and NOVA Chemicals [INPTVN.UL] last year said it would spend $1.7 billion on an ethane steam cracker at Port Arthur, Texas, with a similar capacity.

In July, BASF landed a preliminary deal to build China’s first wholly foreign-owned chemicals complex in Guangdong, worth some $10 billion in investment to 2030, aided in part by trade tensions between Beijing and Washington.

The German group made 22 percent of sales in the Asia-Pacific region last year, its annual report shows. It does not break out Chinese numbers.

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BASF said a joint pre-feasibility study on the cracker will be completed by the end of 2018.

Zhong Jian, chief analyst with consultancy JLC, said global chemicals firms have been encouraged by China’s top leaders, who have repeatedly expressed support this year for foreign investment in the petrochemicals sector.

“The companies are more ambitious than just building ethylene plants. They are aiming for a bigger market share in the whole supply chain and the ethylene complex might just be their first step,” said Zhong.

BASF and Sinopec will also explore new business opportunities in China’s fast-growing battery materials market, they said. Founded in 2000, BASF-YPC has spent approximately $5.2 billion in China.

“The rising importance of alternative energy in China, especially in the automotive industry, has led to a surge in demand for innovative battery materials for a range of applications,” the groups said in a joint statement.

Following on from BASF’s July deal, U.S. energy titan Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) signed a pact in September to build a petrochemical complex in Huizhou city of Guangdong, which will also be solely foreign-owned.

Just a week later, Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) 2010.SE followed suit and signed a deal with Fujian government.

Additional reporting by Christoph Steitz; editing by Richard Pullin and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

Source: Reuters “Germany’s BASF scoops second China chemicals deal in four months”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.


China Waiting for Trump Pushing Iran, India, Turkey Into Its Arms


Reuters says in its report “Trump’s sanctions on Iran tested by oil-thirsty China, India” yesterday that in order to reimpose sanctions on Iran, the US wants Iran’s major oil customers to refrain from purchase of Iran’s oil.

Two of Iran’s five major oil customers India and Turkey have difficulties to obey. They fear rise of oil price due to reduction of world oil supply caused by the sanction.

Iran’s largest oil customer China, however, has geopolitical consideration. Since the US regards it as trade war enemy, it shall help Iran to counter US sanctions like that it has been doing for Russia. The core of China’s united front against the US is its alliance with the enemies of the United States.

True enough, on October 25, Reuters says in its report “Iran to boost oil supplies to China in October-November: Rosneft CEO”, “Iran plans to supply more than 20 million barrels of crude oil to the Chinese port of Dalian in the October-November period, up sharply from the usual monthly volumes of up to 3 million barrels, Igor Sechin, the CEO of Russian oil major Rosneft, said on Thursday.”

China will pay Iran Renminbi for its oil due to US financial sanction so that Iran will buy much more goods from China. That will partially compensate China’s loss in US market due to US trade war with China.

Moreover, increase of oil purchase from Iran may reduce Russian oil supply to China so that Russia may sell more oil to Japan and South Korea that are also oil=thirsty. Both Japan and South Korea are US trade war targets and both of them want to expand their shares in China’s vast market.

If India and Turkey need Iranian oil, China certainly will not take all Iranian oil but will left some for them. It can even help India build pipelines to get oil and gas from Iran through Pakistan.

China- and Russian-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has already taken in India and Pakistan. It may soon take in Iran as Iran is applying for SCO membership. Then SCO will be quite a large new cold war camp to counter the US with other Asian countries including Japan and South Korea as its peripherals.

Where is US camp of cold war? It even has difficulties in its relations with its European allies.

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ report, full text of which can be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-oil/trumps-sanctions-on-iran-tested-by-oil-thirsty-china-india-idUSKCN1N30GW.


Configuration of China’s Aircraft Carrier Battle Group


Model of China’s carrier battle group

Model of China’s carrier battle group

Model of China’s carrier battle group

Model of China’s carrier battle group

China International Marine, Port & Shipbuilding Fair 2018 displays models of quite a few ships including nuclear powered dredgers and logistics supply ships. There is also a model of the configuration of China’s aircraft carrier battle group as shown in the above photos.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com “Display of configuration of China’s aircraft carrier battle group” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese)


China’s Homegrown Aircraft Carrier Begins Third Sea Trial


Mil.huanqiu.com says in its report “Homegrown aircraft carrier begins its third sea trial! Bringing with it a special warship” today that Hong Kong’s takungpao.com says on October 28 that China’s first homegrown aircraft carrier set out for its third sea trial in the morning of that day. China’s national flag and a “Being Tested” flag have been raised on the ship.

According to some photos on the internet, the carrier is accompanied for the first time by Chinese navy’s logistics support ship No. 89.

The report says in addition that according to Taiwan’s CTnews, the photo of the site shows the carrier has installed arrest cables and whip-shaped antenna and there are models of various carrier-borne aircrafts on the ship’s flight deck.

The ship conducted its first sea trial for 5 days from May 13 and second for 10 days from August 26. CTnews expects that the third trial will also take 10 days.

Source: mil.huanqiu.com ““Homegrown aircraft carrier begins its third sea trial! Bringing with it a special warship” (summary by Chan Kai Yee based on the report in Chinese).


China’s United Front and US Isolation Grow in Asia


Japan is America’s closest ally in Asia. Its Prime Minister Abe has made great efforts to help former US President Obama establish the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to contain China. However, Obama’s successor President Trump, though is trying hard to contain China with trade war now, scrapped TPP as soon as he was inaugurated in spite of Abe’s great efforts in trying to persuade Trump not to do so.

Moreover, Trump has been pressuring Japan to make trade concessions to the US in order to reduce US trade deficit with Japan.

He has thus pushed Japan into China’s arms. According to Reuters’ report “China, Japan to forge closer ties at ‘historic turning point’” on October 25, Abe is now making great efforts to improve relations with China that he previously tried hard to contain and will make efforts to make Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) a reality, which China takes the lead to form in order to counter Obama’s TPP.

There were also Reuters’ reports “Pakistan PM Khan, in search of loans, to visit China next week” and “Iran to boost oil supplies to China in October-November: Rosneft CEO” the same day on Pakistan seeking financial aids from China and Chinese purchase of Iran’s oil to help Iran deal with US sanctions.

However, the most disappointing Reuters’ news for the US on that day is “India aim to hold army drills in China by end of year”. Due to the border dispute between China and India, the US has tried hard to have India join its quad of the US, Japan, Australia and India to counter China. However, India refused to join the other three of the quad in their military drill. On the contrary has been planning to conduct military drill jointly with China that the US wants it to contain.

What India, Japan, Iran and Pakistan have been doing proves that the US is risking being entirely isolated in Asia while China is successful in forming a united front in Asia to counter US hegemony.

What diplomacies!

Comment by Chan Kai Yee on Reuters’ reports, full text of which can repectively be viewed at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-india-defence/china-india-aim-to-hold-army-drills-in-china-by-end-of-year-idUSKCN1MZ1BW, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-japan/china-japan-to-forge-closer-ties-at-historic-turning-point-idUSKCN1MZ00O, https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-oil-china-rosneft/iran-to-boost-oil-supplies-to-china-in-october-november-rosneft-ceo-idUSKCN1MZ15K and https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-pakistan/pakistan-pm-khan-in-search-of-loans-to-visit-china-next-week-idUSKCN1MZ1HZ.


Pakistan PM Khan, in search of loans, to visit China next week


October 25, 2018

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – New Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit China next week and meet President Xi Jinping, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said on Thursday, on a trip seen as vital to Islamabad’s efforts to obtain fresh loans to prop up the economy.

Khan, accompanied by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, will lead a delegation from Nov. 2-5 which will sign several agreements on “diverse fields”, the foreign ministry said in a statement. Khan is also set to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

This week Pakistan received a $6 billion rescue package from Saudi Arabia, but officials say it is not enough and the country still plans to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to avert a balance of payments crisis.

On Wednesday, Khan said Pakistan was also in discussions with two “friendly nations” for more loans, with analysts saying one of those countries was China.

Though China is now Pakistan’s closest ally, Khan’s newly elected government has sought to re-think the two countries’ signature project, the $60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which Beijing touts as the flagship infrastructure program in its vast Belt and Road Initiative.

Pakistan has sought to amend CPEC to put greater emphasis on projects that focus on social development, rather than purely on infrastructure.

“Prime minister’s visit is expected to provide further impetus to enhancing the existing strategic ties between Pakistan and China and break new grounds for broadening the bilateral partnership,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

After visiting Beijing, Khan is set to be a key note speaker at the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai, the ministry added.

Reporting by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Nick Macfie

Source: Reuters “Pakistan PM Khan, in search of loans, to visit China next week”

Note: This is Reuters’ report I post here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.