Asia

  • Rumor that Taiwan may purchase “Iron Dome”, battle tested in Gaza War, from Israel and seek consulting advice from Yud, Bet, Mem on how to defend Denial-of-Service attacks.
  • Concerns aired at the meeting that contributed to the policy shift were the short-term risk of a confrontation with the U.S. under President-elect Donald Trump over trade or Taiwan, and longer-term challenges including how to spur the innovation needed to prevent economic stagnation as well as cleaning up toxic air that enrages and poisons citizens, said the person. Left unsaid was that economic growth underpins the legitimacy of Communist Party rule.”China’s reaching the point where it has to pick its poison and giving up a half percentage point of growth would be far less politically damaging than instability in the bond or currency markets,” said David Loevinger, a former China specialist at the U.S. Treasury and now an analyst at fund manager TCW Group Inc. in Los Angeles. “Looking past the Party Congress later in the year, President Xi Jinping may realize that unlike his predecessor, Hu Jintao, he can’t kick the can to his successor, even more so if he plans on extending his term” beyond 2022.
  • Trump’s Reaction:

    South Korea said Tuesday that U.S. President-elect Donald Trump had sent a “clear warning” to North Korea over the isolationist nation’s nuclear ambitions, while a Trump aide suggested Pyongyang was being put “on notice” by the incoming administration.

    Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway backed up South Korea’s assessment of the president-elect, following his tweet that North Korea will not be able to develop a nuclear weapon capable of reaching the United States. She added that Trump was “not making policy at the moment.”

    China’s foreign ministry today, however, warned against aggravating the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

    “We hope all sides can refrain from speaking or doing anything that can aggravate the situation and make concerted efforts to pull the issue back to the track of dialogue and negotiation,” Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for the Ministry, said today during a press briefing.

    Trump’s tweet referred to the annual New Year’s address given by North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, in which he said that his country is in the “final stages” of preparing an intercontinental ballistic missile.

    North Korea has previously conducted several medium and long-range missile tests, and has been rebuked in the past by U.S. leaders for its nuclear ambitions.

    The UN Security Council has passed a series of resolutions, including sanctions, aimed at curtailing North Korea’s nuclear program since the country conducted its first test in 2006.

    Conway categorized Trump’s remarks as a warning to North Korea against pursuing such ambitions, which she said “could be deployed to reach Seattle almost immediately,” according to unnamed experts.

  • In the opinion of this author, past tests landed in the Sea of Japan and I do not believe they have the capability for an ICBM unless the Chinese or Russians shared it with them.
  • Kim Says North Korea Close to Testing ICBM – 

    North Korea “will continue to strengthen its ability based on nuclear might to mount a preemptive attack,” Kim said during a half-hour speech that touched on a range of issues, including economic policy and relations with South Korea.

    Since taking power in late 2011, the North Korean leader has concentrated on developing nuclear missiles that could reach the U.S.  Kim said he would “gladly join hands” with anyone who seeks better relations between North Korea and South Korea.

  • “One China” Policy Could End
  • Chinese Stealth Fighter to Shed Cloak of Secrecy
  • The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to tackle the global supply glut last month by cutting production levels by up to 700,000 barrels per day.

    In order to shore up supply as domestic production slows, Mahesh said that China has invested in the oil infrastructure of a number of OPEC countries, including Ecuador, Venezuela, Iran and Iraq. When asked about the incentives behind these particular choices, Mahesh said that these partnerships could provide a secure future source for imports.

    China produces 4.15 million barrels of oil per day according to Mahesh, making it one of the largest non-OPEC producers in the world. But with regards to a future oil-related strategy for the country, Mahesh explained that as domestic production drops, China is “expecting to rely on these captive resources.”

    This could be sooner rather than later as GDP (gross domestic product) data released Wednesday revealed that China’s growth for the third quarter of 2016 came in at 6.7 percent, identical to the preceding two quarters. Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics, told CNBC Wednesday that “downward pressures on the industrial side of the economy have not disappeared,” and that growth was pivoted on the government’s “willing(ness) to continue to prop up growth with credit.”

  • The figure should be a wake-up call for governments, however the trade numbers coming out of China should dispute these numbers in the near future, Director-General Roberto Azevedo declared, after the World Trade Organization cut its forecast for global trade growth this year by more than a third. The new figure of 1.7%, down from the WTO’s previous estimate of 2.8% in April, marked the first time in 15 years international commerce was seen lagging behind the growth of the world economy.  Courtesy of Seeking Alpha.
    Earnings growth accelerated sharply in China’s industrial sector last month, adding to recent signs that domestic economic growth is beginning to stabilize. Profits jumped 19.5% from a year earlier to 534.8B yuan ($80.2B), marking the fastest monthly rate since August 2013. “GDP growth in the third quarter could be faster than the first or second, in the range of 6.7% to 6.8%,” said Liao Qun, chief economist at Citic Bank International.  Courtesy of Seeking Alpha.

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