Stocks, currencies and commodities fall sharply across region as investors fear a stalling China economy and possible currency war despite Beijing’s assurances.
The Guardian, By Martin Farrer & Fergus Ryan, August 11
Beijing – China stunned the world’s financial markets on Wednesday by devaluing the yuan for the second consecutive day, triggering fears the world’s second largest economy is in worse shape than investors believed.
The move sent fresh shockwaves through global markets, pushing shares sharply lower and sending commodity prices further into reverse as traders feared the move could ignite a currency war that would destabilise the world economy.
There were widespread losses in Asia, and in Europe stock markets suffered falls of about 1%, with the FTSE 100 tumbling almost 2% at one stage.
The unexpected yuan devaluation saw Chinese stocks slump in Hong Kong, with the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index sliding 2.6%, extending its loss this quarter to 15%. The Shanghai Composite Index lost 1% to 3,886.32 and the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen fell 1.2% to 4,016.13 points.
RT, July 11
A heavy storm forced more than a million people to leave their homes on the Chinese east coast not far from Shanghai on Saturday. Typhoon Chan-hom might be the strongest to hit the region in over 60 years, the national weather service said.
Some 1.07 million people were evacuated from coastal areas of Zhejiang and the Jiangsu provinces south and north of Shanghai, ahead of the typhoon that reached the coast on Saturday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
Although China’s National Meteorological Center downgraded the storm from super typhoon to strong typhoon on Saturday, it still whipped up winds of up to 160 kilometers (100 miles) per hour, CCTV reported. Dumping over 100 millimeters (4 inches) of rain since late Friday, the storm made landfall in the city of Zhoushan in Zhejiang province.
AP, By Binaj Gurubacharya, April 25
A strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake has hit near Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu and the U.S. Geological Survey says it expects heavy damage.
Early reports from Kathmandu say some houses have been damaged and walls toppled.
There is no immediate word on casualties.
The quake hit around noon Saturday and was also felt in neighboring India as well as in Pakistan.
M7.5 – 35km E of Lamjung, Nepal
Reuters, April 20
Beijing – China’s central bank on Sunday cut the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, the second industry-wide cut in two months, adding more liquidity to the world’s second-biggest economy to help spur bank lending and combat slowing growth.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) lowered the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for all banks by 100 basis points to 18.5 percent, effective from April 20, the central bank said in a statement on its website www.pbc.gov.cn.
“Though the growth in the first quarter met the official target of around 7 percent for 2015, the slowdown in several areas, including industrial output and retail sales, has caused concern,” said a report published by the official Xinhua news service covering the announcement.
The latest cut, the deepest single reduction since the depth of the global crisis in 2008, shows how the central bank is stepping up efforts to ward off a sharp slowdown in the economy.
“The size of the cut is more than expected,” said Shenwan Hongyuan Securities analyst Chen Kang.
“It’s going to release around a trillion yuan (in liquidity) at least.”
Asahi Shimbun, By Kunijiko Imai, Febrary 26
Japanese and Mongolian archaeologists said Feb. 26 that they have discovered the remains of a 13th-century military outpost established for Mongol conqueror Genghis Khan (c. 1162-1227) in southwestern Mongolia.
The joint research team said the discovery could be useful in learning about the Mongol Empire’s strategy on western expansion and trade routes.
“We hope the discovery will be useful in ascertaining the history of the Mongolian Plateau between the 13th and 14th centuries,” said team leader Koichi Matsuda, professor emeritus of Mongol Empire history at Osaka International University.
Data From Seized Computer Fuels a Surge in U.S. Raids on Al Qaeda
New York Times, By Matthew Rosenberg & Eric Schmitt, February 12
Washington — As an October chill fell on the mountain passes that separate the militant havens in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a small team of Afghan intelligence commandos and American Special Operations forces descended on a village where they believed a leader of Al Qaeda was hiding.
That night the Afghans and Americans got their man, Abu Bara al-Kuwaiti. They also came away with what officials from both countries say was an even bigger prize: a laptop computer and files detailing Qaeda operations on both sides of the border.
American military officials said the intelligence seized in the raid was possibly as significant as the information found in the computer and documents of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after members of the Navy SEALs killed him in 2011.
In the months since, the trove of intelligence has helped fuel a significant increase in night raids by American Special Operations forces and Afghan intelligence commandos, Afghan and American officials said.
Chinese ambassador to US says officials from both countries are discussing Xi making first state visit to US later this year
AP, February 8
A top Chinese diplomat has said President Xi Jinping plans to make his first state visit to the US later this year, Chinese state media reported on Monday.
The official China Daily newspaper quoted China’s ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai as saying Chinese and US officials were discussing the visit. Cui told Chinese reporters on Sunday that no date had been determined yet.
The US national security adviser Susan Rice said on Friday that the US had invited both Xi and the Japanese president, Shinzo Abe, for state visits.
AP, December 28
Kabul, Afghanistan – The United States and NATO formally ended their war in Afghanistan on Sunday with a ceremony at their military headquarters in Kabul as the insurgency they fought for 13 years remains as ferocious and deadly as at any time since the 2001 invasion that unseated the Taliban regime following the Sept. 11 attacks.
The symbolic ceremony marked the end of the U.S.-led International Security Assistance Force, which will transition to a supporting role with 13,500 soldiers, most of them American, starting Jan. 1.
Gen. John Campbell, commander of ISAF, rolled up and sheathed the green and white ISAF flag and unfurled the flag of the new international mission, called Resolute Support.
“Resolute Support will serve as the bedrock of an enduring partnership” between NATO and Afghanistan, Campbell told an audience of Afghan and international military officers and officials, as well as diplomats and journalists.
I need some help from the ladies.
How does one extrapolate, infer, or deduct and induct the role of women in a society 1,000 years old with pretty much nothing but textile fragments, kitchen and cooking utensils and a very, very thin literary record to go on?
I know I am missing something.
And I know it is right in front of my eyes because half the population of a city cannot remain invisible.
And please, keep the anti-patriarchal political grandstanding out of this. I am very aware of the problem and I’m looking into the solution.
So save it for another thread.
Reuters, By Kathy Chen & Stian Reklev, June 3
Beijing – China said on Tuesday it will set an absolute cap on its CO2 emissions from 2016 just a day after the United States announced new targets for its power sector, signalling a potential breakthrough in tough U.N. climate talks.
Progress in global climate negotiations has often been held back by a deep split between rich and poor nations, led by the United States and China, respectively, over who should step up their game to reduce emissions.
But the fact that the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases made unprecedented announcements on climate within 24 hours of each other sparked optimism among observers hoping to see the decades-old deadlock broken. The steps come ahead of a global meet on climate change starting on Wednesday in Germany.
China, the world’s biggest emitter, will set a total cap on its CO2 emissions when its next five-year plan comes into force in 2016, He Jiankun, chairman of China’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change, told a conference in Beijing.