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Next Trump Provocation against China

This deal will certainly not help the battered US-China relationship.

Shortly after the swearing-in of Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen, 63, the US government announced the approval of a new arms deal with Taipei. 18 heavy U.S. torpedoes will be delivered for a total price of $ 180 million, the State Department said in Washington on Wednesday. The MK-48 torpedoes can also be fired from submarines.

The US State Department said it would contribute to Taiwan’s security and “political stability, military balance, and regional economic progress.”

The arms business is likely to further burden the relationship between the United States and China, which has been severely affected by the corona pandemic. Beijing sees Taiwan as a renegade province that is to be reunited with the People’s Republic – if necessary with military force. Taiwan had split off from China in 1949.

Tsai was sworn in for a second term on Wednesday. In her swearing-in speech, she called on Beijing for dialogue and peaceful coexistence. Beijing immediately rejected the offer of talks and sharply criticized Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, 56, who congratulated Tsai on the swearing-in.

Tensions between Beijing and Taipei have intensified since Tsai, an independent advocate first took office in 2016. In the election last January, she was re-elected by a large majority.

The United States cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979 and recognized Beijing as the only government in China. Unofficially, the US government continued to maintain friendly contacts with Taipei. Under President Donald Trump (73), Washington and Taipei continued to draw closer, while relations with Beijing deteriorated massively, primarily because of the trade conflicts.

Tensions between the United States and the People’s Republic have worsened in recent months because of the corona virus that first spread to the People’s Republic. With 1.55 million infected and more than 93,000 fatalities, the United States is now by far the most affected country by the pandemic.

US Coronavirus Situation Report
1,965,912
Confirmed
41,357
Confirmed (24h)
111,394
Deaths
1,184
Deaths (24h)
5.7%
Deaths (%)
738,729
Recovered
26,293
Recovered (24h)
37.6%
Recovered (%)
1,115,789
Active
56.8%
Active (%)

Trump accuses China of a lack of transparency regarding the causes of the pandemic. On Wednesday, the US president wrote on Twitter that “China’s incompetence” had caused “global mass extinction”.

Some wacko in China just released a statement blaming everybody other than China for the Virus which has now killed hundreds of thousands of people. Please explain to this dope that it was the “incompetence of China”, and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing! Donald Trump via Twitter

Trump had threatened the Chinese government to cut diplomatic ties a few days ago, saying he was not ready for bilateral talks.

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Reporting mainly on the Asia Pacific region and the global Coronavirus crises in countries such as the United States, Mainland China, Brazil, Mexico, Italy and Germany. Love to Travel and report daily on destinations reopening with a focus on Domestic travel within Europe, North America and the Caribbean. Fan of the English Premier League , the German Bundesliga,, the Spanish La Liga.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19 infection and Cannabis

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The novel pathogen Covid-19 can become a danger to all people due to its high infectivity. At the same time, it is worrying that no standardized treatment options are known so far, with which disease courses can be alleviated and shortened, healing processes can be supported or the development of difficult courses can be slowed down. Whether symptoms appear after infection and how violently they develop depends primarily on the functioning of your own immune system.

Covid-19 infection and cannabis

There is serious evidence that vaporized tobacco-free cannabis could help manage a Covid-19 infection.

In the search for suitable remedies, some patients included the use of cannabis on their own initiative. After all, the already known medical effects of cannabis (including anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, anti-convulsion, enlargement of the bronchi, soothing) underline that the use of cannabis, especially the vaporising inhalation of cannabis flowers, could be a way to alleviate symptoms or to contribute to the healing of the disease. This survey aims to gather the experiences of Covid 19 patients who have used cannabis more or less specifically to cope with their own health situation.

Covid-19 patients are all people who have received a positive test result and have developed no or more or less severe symptoms of the disease. Anyone belonging to this group of people is asked to complete this questionnaire to the best of their knowledge and to make their personal experiences accessible to LimeSurvey.

Also particularly interesting are data that provide information about the further course of an infection / disease over a longer period of time. That is why LimeSurvey plans to collect and evaluate this experience again in four weeks with a questionnaire. It would therefore be helpful if patients provided LimeSurvey with this information via the second questionnaire that is then also available on the website.

The survey is carried out by: Prof. Dr. Gundula Barsch , Merseburg University of Applied Sciences, Eberhard-Leibnitz-Strasse 2, Department of Social Affairs, Media and Culture, 06217 Merseburg and Christoph Roßner, interdisciplinary cannabis expert, Ulmer Str. 11, 87700 Memmingen.

Drug use after lockdown

Drugs educators and drug testers from The Loop in Manchester (Great Britain) have started a survey on drug use and the changes in the drug black market (availability, prices, qualities).

A number of northern European drug counseling centers, including The Loop, have developed a very short, anonymous survey to collect data on how drug and alcohol use has changed during public lockdown. The link here leads to the English language version. This survey aims to collect comparable data across Europe to inform drug and harm reduction services and support drug and alcohol users in these challenging times.

3 versions of this survey will be released, which will be released in three phases of the Covid 19 pandemic. The phase 1 survey will initially take place during the period of the strongest lockdown. In phase 2, the restrictions will be relaxed across Europe in a few months, and in phase 3 the consequences in late summer or early autumn will be recorded. At the end of each phase of the survey, The Loop will immediately provide European drug advice centers with a summary of the results of each survey.

The short, anonymous survey, which mainly has to be ticked, and which takes around 10 minutes to complete, is being carried out as part of a trans-European COVID-19 and drug use survey.

 

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Coronavirus

Thailand in Crisis – No work without Tourists

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The holiday paradise lives from tourism, a dangerous addiction, as can now be seen in the corona crisis.

The corona crisis is leaving deep traces in Thailand, although not necessarily in the health sector. The number of infected people, at just over 3000, is relatively low – with a population of around 70 million people, but the government ordered border closed and the slowdown in the global economy have hit Thailand’s economy hard.

Airports closed

Thai Airways still advertises its services on the Internet with airy promises, but the Thai state carrier has not been flying since April and until the end of June, none of their planes will take off as Thailand’s airports are closed for international flights.

The over 20,000 employees of Thai Airways are hard hit as the airline cut the wages this month from EUR 2,500 to EUR 350, said a Thai Airways steward via WhatsApp and he fears that he will lose his job and doesn’t want his name mentioned.

Badly hit state airline

He didn’t know what would happen to the employees. “We only learn everything from the media,” but this practice suits Thai Airways, after all THAI was known for the opaque business practices, says the temporarily unemployed flight attendant.

The Thai economy has failed to promote innovation and prepare itself for a crises
Somprawin Manprasert – Chief Economist of the Thai Bank of Ayudhya

Even before the corona crisis, the state-owned Thai airline was badly hit. The airline has now asked the Thai government for a loan of almost EUR 2.3 billion, otherwise THAI would have to file for bankruptcy.

However, the government gave no money, but provided Thai Airways under the supervision of a bankruptcy judge. This is to ensure that the airline is restructured and the management is changed ao that the airline can continue to fly and keep its employees, it said.

Lack of innovative ability

For Somprawin Manprasert, chief economist at the Thai Bank of Ayudhya, the collapse of Thai Airways is a symbol of the state of the Thai economy. Thai Airways as a state-owned company has not adapted and improved in recent years, he says.

“That doesn’t work in a constantly changing world in which you have to remain competitive,” says Manprasert. “In the same way, other Thai industries have failed to promote innovation and prepare themselves for crises.”

A severe economic crisis threatens

In recent years, Thailand has mainly focused on tourism and the production and export of cars and electronic devices. Because of Corona and the closure of the borders, tourism has collapsed completely and exports fell drastically in the first quarter.

Experts emphasize that – as elsewhere in the world – Thailand’s economy will grow more slowly than before the crisis and some economists even predict that the country will slide into the worst economic crisis since the 1998 Asian crisis.

According to a World Bank report, many Thais will soon have difficulty meeting their basic needs.

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Coronavirus

China is said to have held back data on coronavirus for days

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At the beginning of the corona pandemic, China apparently provided the WHO with a minimum of information. Nevertheless, the WHO is said to have tried to make China appear in the best light – probably to persuade the country to provide more details.
China has withheld essential information about the novel corona virus for more than a week. The news agency AP has evaluated internal documents and emails and conducted numerous interviews. Accordingly, the Chinese authorities already had detailed knowledge of the genetic code of the virus for days – knowledge with which tests, medicines and vaccines can be developed.

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News

Three Middle Fingers for the Communists in Beijing

No more cooperation with the supposedly China-affiliated WHO, no more trade advantages for Hong Kong and fewer visas for Chinese students

WASHINGTON / BRUSSELS / HONG KONG | US President Donald Trump has further tightened regulations with China, which are already burdened by trade disputes and other issues.

Trump said the cooperation and funding of the World Health Organization would end because the UN organization had been influenced by Beijing, he announced on Friday. Hong Kong would lose trade advantages because a so-called Chinese security law would reduce civil rights and democracy in what was once the British crown colony and Chinese students would no longer be issued visas if they were suspected of being part of a government campaign to acquire knowledge of trade and research for China’s military and economic development.

The WHO has let China use it to minimize the danger of the SAR COV-2 coronavirus at the beginning of the pandemic, Trump said. Beijing ignored its reporting obligations to WHO and misled the public about the scale of the Wuhan outbreak, which became a pandemic and resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 people in the United States alone.

Trump said the U.S. paid approximately $ 450 million to the WHO, but China only paid about $ 40 million. His country would spend the previous contribution on other urgent health tasks worldwide that deserved this.

The opposition Democrats had already declared when Trump threatened to end cooperation with the WHO in April that that would not have any legal status without the involvement of Congress. The head of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, described Trump’s actions on Friday as “an act of extraordinary senselessness”.

EU warns of break with World Health Organization

Meanwhile, EU Commission chief Ursula von Leyen has asked US President Donald Trump to rethink the announced break from the World Health Organization (WHO) as only global cooperation and solidarity can help in the fight against the corona virus, said von der Leyen on Saturday together with the EU foreign policy representative Josep Borrell.

“WHO must continue to be able to lead the international response to current and future pandemics,” said a joint statement. This requires the participation and support of everyone. “Anything that weakens international results must be avoided. In this context, we urge the US to reconsider its announced decision. “

Von Leyen and Borrell wrote that the European Union continued to support WHO in the fight against the pandemic and had already pledged additional funds. On May 19, all WHO member states had decided to launch an impartial, independent and comprehensive assessment as soon as possible and to learn from the international response to the corona virus.

Hong Kong government denies loss of autonomy

Trump said to Hong Kong that his government would begin to remove the “whole range” of agreements that give Hong Kong a special position compared to the Chinese mainland. The State Department would issue a warning to US citizens that they could be monitored or arrested when they visit Hong Kong.

The Chinese People’s Congress had approved an internal security law that could severely restrict opposition political activities and civil society in Hong Kong . Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an assessment for Congress on Wednesday that the law is undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms.

Hong Kong’s government criticized US action on Saturday and Teresa Cheng described it as “unacceptable”. The introduction of a national security law does not mean the end of the “one country, two systems” principle.

“It is claimed that we are now” one country, one system “and have lost our autonomy,” said Cheng: “This is completely wrong.” National security is also a matter for the central government in every other country in the world.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong (AmCham) was disappointed with Trump’s announcement.

It is a “sad day,” said AmCham President Tara Joseph: “This is an emotional moment for Americans in Hong Kong and it will take a while for businesses and families to digest the consequences.”

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Hong Kong

Changes to the HK Exchange : Why shares of Alibaba, Xiaomi & Co. could rise soon

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Washington is considering to throw Chinese companies from the New York Stock Exchange but this in not good for Alibaba & Co.’s share prices, however Hongkong Stock Exchange just announced that tech companies can list on the Hang Seng Index.

For Hong Kong companies that have their primary exchange abroad, there has so far been no possibility of being included in the country’s leading Hang Seng index. Now changes have been decided and giants like Alibaba & Xiaomi might move to the HSI.

hongkong1000x600

Alibaba, Xiaomoi & Co. soon on Hang Seng?

After 50 years, Hang Seng index will open to companies that have their primary listings abroad or that have two different share classes. As the index operator announced, companies from Greater China with a secondary listing in Hong Kong and companies with two share classes with different voting rights will be included in the index from August with a weighting limit of 5%.

Chinese tech giants such as the retail group Alibaba, the smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi and Meituan Dianping could then become members of the stock index, which is currently dominated by financial service providers and giants like CK Hutchison.

“Local indices such as Hang Seng are not believed to reflect opportunities,” said Reuters Michael Lai, portfolio manager for Chinese stocks at Franklin Templeton. The potential inclusion of the tech giants “would be a reflection of the development of Chinese markets and companies,” the expert continued.

Break through the dominance of financial service providers

The index is currently dominated by finance and  insurers and real estate developers.

The trading giant Alibaba, which is first listed in New York could generate around 13 billion dollars in a second listing in Hong Kong, as well as Xiaomi and Meituan, which are first listed in Hong Kong but have different classes of shares and it could also be positive for JD.com that wants to be listed in Hong Kong.

With the inclusion of major tech giants in the index, the Hang Seng could end its under-performance on other benchmark indices. Hong Kong’s leading index has lost around 16 percent in value over the past twelve months. The Shanghai Composite lost just 2.6 percent over the same period, while the US Dow Jones index lost 3.5 percent and the S&P 500 even 5.5 percent.

For companies such as Alibaba & Co., inclusion in the index could provide support for the price development of the shares, because in this case index funds would be forced to buy shares in order to be able to reflect the funds aligned with the index accordingly.

Morgan Stanley analysts expect passive fund inflows of $ 3.7 billion.

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