Pubblicato in: Agricoltura, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Geopolitica Mondiale, Russia

Putin. Dal controllo del petrolio a quello del grano.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-11-15.

2017-11-15__Putin_Grano__001

La vera grande difficoltà intrinseca ad ogni discorso economico è la complessità del sistema nella sua generalità.

Se sicuramente la comprensione è facilitata dal ragionare su di un argomento per volta, alla fine arriva sempre il momento in cui si resta obbligati a considerare la situazione nel suo insieme.

Questo momento riserva sorprese anche molto grandi, e spesso non molto piacevoli.

Un elemento che considerato a sé stante sarebbe sembrato della massima importanza, nel quadro di una visione globale potrebbe diventare secondario, financo privo di valore.

Sarebbe davvero ingenuo pensare che i diversi elementi non interagiscano di loro, esattamente come sarebbe ingenuo pensare che gli effetti seguano leggi lineari.

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Nel rudimentale immaginario collettivo, la Russia è vista quasi esclusivamente come potenza militare oppure come potenza energetica. Due aspetti reali e concreti, che certo non estinguono la realtà russa. Non solo. L’uso delle risorse naturale non è il fine di una nazione, bensì un mezzo per portare avanti le proprie strategie, sempre che, ovviamente, quelle nazioni possano concedersi governi in grado di avere visioni strategiche e strutture organizzative in grado di perseguirle in modo coerente.

In questa ottica i governi occidentali sono severamente penalizzati dal troppo frequente ricorso alle urne. Generalmente parlando, ogni quattro o cinque anni mutano gli orientamenti strategici, condannandosi alla marginalizzazione.

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2017-11-15__Putin_Grano__002

«Russia, a leading exporter of crude oil for decades now, is increasingly dominating another critical global commodity. Its output of wheat has surged in recent years as good growing conditions boost farmers’ profits, allowing them to reinvest in better seeds and equipment»

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«About half the countries in the world import wheat from Russia»

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«Some of the biggest buyers are situated a short distance away, in the Middle East and North Africa, but demand comes from as far away as Mexico and Indonesia»

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«This season’s shipments are expected to be up more than 40 percent from just three years ago»

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«What’s the allure of Russian grain? It’s cheap»

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«tractors made by U.S. firm Deere & Co. and Germany’s Claas KGaA roll across Russian farms, and crops are sprayed with pesticides made by Monsanto Co. and Syngenta AG.»

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«Now forecast as the top wheat shipper, Russia saw its share of the export market jump from less than 1 percent in 2000 to an estimated 18 percent this season»

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«Russian grain typically doesn’t meet strict quality requirements set by key buyers Algeria and Saudi Arabia, for example, and it’s cheaper for Brazil to buy from suppliers within the Mercosur free-trade bloc.»

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«Transforming its farm industry will still leave Russia a long way from competing in the global corn, sugar or meat markets in the way it does with wheat»

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«The nation struggles to compete in corn because the government bans genetically modified seeds that make growing the crop more profitable in other countries»

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Cerchiamo di riassumere, sintetizzando.

– L’umanità necessita di un alto numero di materia prime, di commodities, che sono indispensabili: il cibo è prioritario su tutto.

– Se è strategico per una nazione raggiungere una ragionevole autosufficienza alimentare, altrettanto stratetico è il dominare e controllare i mercati mondiali: da questo punto di vista la produzione agricola è una arma, ed anche molto efficiente.

– Il grano russo è prodotto a prezzi di circa la metà di quello occidentale. Seguire il mercato delle commodities, ossia quei beni le caratteristiche dei quali non differiscono per sito di produzione, può essere anche fuorviante, se gli indici considerati prendano in esame solo la componente produttiva occidentale.

– La Russia ha il grande vantaggio nel poter stabilire prezzi politici, ed usualmente i grandi contratti sono stilati nell’ambito di accordi internazionali bilaterali, evitando il confronto con il mercato globale.

– Non solo. Un governo accentrato e snello, dotato di effettivo potere decisionale, può coordinare in modo particolarmente efficiente prezzi e disponibilità delle materie prime prodotte per l’estero: li vede non parcellizzati, bensì come un tutto unico.

– Da questo punto di vista il Chicago Board of Trade, classico mercato del frumento, pur restando di primaria importanza, ha perso molto del suo passato valore quando si considerino gli equilibri alimentari mondiali.


Bloomberg. 2017-11-13. How an Oil Giant (Russia) Came to Dominate Wheat

Russia, a leading exporter of crude oil for decades now, is increasingly dominating another critical global commodity. Its output of wheat has surged in recent years as good growing conditions boost farmers’ profits, allowing them to reinvest in better seeds and equipment. As low oil prices hurt the ruble, making grain more alluring for overseas buyers, Russia grabbed more of the wheat-export market from major shippers like the U.S. This is particularly welcome news for Russia as it tries to cut its dependence on agricultural imports, after it banned imports of some western foods in retaliation to sanctions imposed over the annexation of Crimea.

  1. Who’s buying Russian wheat?

About half the countries in the world import wheat from Russia. Some of the biggest buyers are situated a short distance away, in the Middle East and North Africa, but demand comes from as far away as Mexico and Indonesia. Russia’s top customer, Egypt, depends on Russian wheat to feed its people, while No. 2 buyer Turkey uses the grain to make flour it then exports. This season’s shipments are expected to be up more than 40 percent from just three years ago.

  1. What’s the allure of Russian grain?

It’s cheap. Gluts from years of bumper harvests depressed prices, which are also kept down by the short shipping routes from the Black Sea — the hub for the bulk of Russia’s supply — to Middle Eastern and African buyers. More recently, poor crops made grain from North America and Australia less attractive to some of their traditional markets in Asia, opening up the door for Russian wheat.

  1. How did Russia become a wheat export king?

Russia’s wheat exports began to surge at the start of this century, after Soviet-era collective farms gave way to private ownership of rich soils and farmers gained access to the latest international technology. Now, tractors made by U.S. firm Deere & Co. and Germany’s Claas KGaA roll across Russian farms, and crops are sprayed with pesticides made by Monsanto Co. and Syngenta AG. Helped by state support, farmers’ costs can be as little as half those of major competitors, so Russia can afford to keep planting even when prices tumble.

  1. What does Russian dominance mean for world markets?

Now forecast as the top wheat shipper, Russia saw its share of the export market jump from less than 1 percent in 2000 to an estimated 18 percent this season. During the same period, the U.S. share was cut almost in half. Bigger Russian harvests have added to the global glut and pushed prices in Chicago to near a decade low, prompting American farmers to plant the least winter wheat in a century last year. Russia’s dominance also gives it the power to shake up world markets. Benchmark prices surged almost 50 percent in 2010 as Russia banned exports, following a drought.

  1. Can Russia keep tightening its grip on exports?

Harvests may keep setting records — weather permitting — but there are signs the country’s ports and railways are starting to creak under the pressure of so many exports. Plus, Russia has struggled to crack some markets. Russian grain typically doesn’t meet strict quality requirements set by key buyers Algeria and Saudi Arabia, for example, and it’s cheaper for Brazil to buy from suppliers within the Mercosur free-trade bloc. Russia has made inroads in Asia, but high shipping costs will likely limit how much it sends there.

  1. Can Russia replicate its success with other foodstuff?

Transforming its farm industry will still leave Russia a long way from competing in the global corn, sugar or meat markets in the way it does with wheat. It’s now self-sufficient in producing sugar, but output costs are too high for large-scale exporting. Plus, Russia isn’t equipped to adequately handle shipments in containers, the world’s preferred way to haul white sugar. The nation struggles to compete in corn because the government bans genetically modified seeds that make growing the crop more profitable in other countries. Widespread African swine fever in Russia’s agricultural regions prevents significant pork exports.

The Reference Shelf

– A report on the revival of Russian agriculture by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

– Climate change helped Russia become a food-supply superpower, writes Bloomberg View’s Leonid Bershidsky.

– Ukraine is among the nations struggling to keep up in wheat.

– Duke University research on Russia’s wheat economy and its influence on the Middle East’s food security.

– An analysis of Russian agricultural potential by Sara Menker, founder and CEO of Gro Intelligence.

– A report by the Australian Export Grains Innovation Center on implications for Australia of Russia’s wheat expansion.

– The United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization’s country profile on Russia.

 

Annunci
Pubblicato in: Cina, Commercio, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Geopolitica Mondiale, Stati Uniti, Trump

Cina ed Usa firmano accordi bilaterali per 250 miliardi di dollari.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-11-10.

 2017-11-10__Xi_Trump__001

Poniamoci una domanda e cerchiamo di rispondere, anche se la risposta sarebbe davvero molto complessa: a cosa servono i Governi ed i Capi dello stato?

Sicuramente servono a preservare la pace internazionale e domestica, frutto dell’esercizio di giuste costumanze e decisioni, di rapporti intrinsecamente corretti ed equi.

Altra importante componente è la conservazione del potere di acquisto della valuta ed una osservanza ragionevole dei rapporti giuridici ed economici, nel rispetto sostanziale della libertà umana.

Infine, un buon governo innalza il potere di acquisto della popolazione: non si chiedono miracoli impossibili, ma ogni anno diminuisca il numero delle persone indigenti, lasciando anche che i benestanti migliorino ed i ricchi continuino ad arricchirsi.

È da considerarsi buono il governo che abbassa le tasse.

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Se a prima vista quanto detto sembrerebbe essere banale, uno sguardo alla storia ci permetterebbe di dire che governi del genere sono una rarità.

Esattamente come si resterebbe stupiti dal dover constatare che risultati del genere siano stati ottenuti anche, e soprattutto, da sistemi di governo profondamente differenti da quelli attuali in Occidente.

Ci si rende conto quanto un simile approccio euristico possa anche urtare la sensibilità di alcuni, ma alla fin fine tutto è giudicabile sulla base dei risultati conseguiti. I mezzi usati diventano immediatamente trasparenti.

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«Two-way investment is gaining steam»

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«Bilateral trade surged to 519.6 billion U.S.dollars in 2016 from 2.5 billion dollars in 1979 when the two countries established diplomatic ties»

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«We also welcome U.S. companies and financial institutions to participate in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative»

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«Chinese and U.S. companies signed deals worth more than 250 billion U.S. dollars during President Donald Trump’s state visit to China»

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«China and the United States have huge potential in reciprocal economic and trade cooperation, Xi sai»

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«China and the United States are highly complementary rather than competitive»

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«Deals include purchases of Boeing aircraft, Ford automobiles, U.S. soybeans and joint development of liquified natural gas in Alaska»

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«The two sides should uphold the principles of equality and mutual benefit, mutual understanding and accommodation, and handle disputes through dialogue and consultation»

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Il Presidente Trump ha fatto ciò che avrebbe dovuto fare ogni capo di stato degno di tale nome: rafforzare i legami economici e commerciali e portare a casa contratti vantaggiosi per ambo le parti.

E così è stato: accordi per 250 miliardi sono un ottimo risultato.

Come si vede, la strada degli accordi bilaterali è ben più proficua di quella dei trattati commerciali locoregionali.

Solo per fare un esempio pratico:

Boeing committed to forging closer partnership with China for common development

«According to Boeing’s 2017 China Current Market Outlook, China will need to purchase more than 7,240 new airplanes valued at 1.1 trillion U.S. dollars over the next 20 years, he said.»

Avere un mercato sicuro per venti anni e stimabile a circa 1,100 miliardi di dollari non è cosa da poco. E questo riguarda solo la Boeing.

L’accordo per il gas naturale liquefatto ha una stima ancora superiore a quello della Boeing.

Delfin taps China for US floating LNG plant

«Delfin Midstream, developing the first floating facility to export U.S. natural gas, has sealed a preliminary 15-year sales deal with city gas distributor China Gas Holdings ….

unnamed Chinese banks to fund its ambitious $8 billion as the current global supply overhang in liquefied natural gas (LNG)»

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La White House ha voltato pagina.


Xinuanet. 2017-11-09. Chinese, U.S. companies sign over 250 bln USD business deals

BEIJING, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) — Chinese and U.S. companies signed deals worth more than 250 billion U.S. dollars during President Donald Trump’s state visit to China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday revealed the figure after he and President Trump witnessed the signing of the agreements.

China and the United States have huge potential in reciprocal economic and trade cooperation, Xi said.

Deals include purchases of Boeing aircraft, Ford automobiles, U.S. soybeans and joint development of liquified natural gas in Alaska.

Being the world’s biggest developing economy and developed economy, China and the United States are highly complementary rather than competitive, Xi said when meeting with business delegates from both countries.

“We are willing to expand imports of energy and farm produce from the United States, deepen service trade cooperation. We hope the U.S. side will increase exports of civil technology products to China. We will continue to encourage Chinese companies to invest in the United States. We also welcome U.S. companies and financial institutions to participate in the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’,” he said.

Given the rapid growth of bilateral trade, it’s unavoidable to have friction, said Xi. The two sides should uphold the principles of equality and mutual benefit, mutual understanding and accommodation, and handle disputes through dialogue and consultation, he said.

Xi reaffirmed China’s commitment to opening up and reform and said China will not close its door to the world, and it will only become more and more open.

Overseas-invested companies, including the U.S.-invested firms, will enjoy a more open, transparent and standard market environment in China, he said.

Xi said China’s economic outlook will look bright for a long time. The Chinese economy has been transitioning from a phase of rapid growth to a stage of high-quality development with improving economic structure. It has the foundation, condition and impetus to sustain the good momentum.

China is the United States’ largest trading partner while the U.S. is China’s second largest. Bilateral trade surged to 519.6 billion U.S.dollars in 2016 from 2.5 billion dollars in 1979 when the two countries established diplomatic ties.

Over the past decade, U.S. exports to China increased 11 percent annually on average, while China’s exports to the United States only rose 6.6 percent.

China holds a surplus in goods trade with the United States while the United States maintains service trade surplus with China.

Two-way investment is gaining steam. Jobs created by Chinese-invested firms across America had jumped ninefold since 2009 to 140,000 last year, according to a recent report by the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations and Rhodium Group.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Mondiale, Problemia Energetici, Russia, Stati Uniti

Putin. Rosneft come strumento geopolitico.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-11-02.

Raffineria 010

Mr Putin sta utilizzando Rosneft come grimaldello per cercare di penetrare aree strategiche che in passato dipendevano dagli Stati Uniti.

Ovviamente, ogni operazione ha i suoi pro ed i suoi contro.

Rosneft. Роснефть. Chi la possiede e chi la comanda.

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«Russia is increasingly wielding oil as a geopolitical tool, spreading its influence around the world and challenging the interests of the United States»

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«The strategy faces a crucial test this week in Venezuela, a Russian ally that must come up with a billion dollars to avert defaults on its debts»

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«Russia has been making a flurry of loans and deals all centered on the Venezuelan oil business, money that could make the difference between the government’s collapse and its survival. In return, Moscow is getting a strategic advantage in Washington’s backyard»

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«Moscow, through the state oil giant Rosneft, is trying to build influence in places where the United States has stumbled or power is up for grabs. Its efforts are also driven out of necessity, as American and European sanctions have forced Rosneft to find new partners and investments elsewhere»

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«The company, which Russia has long relied on to finance its government and social programs, has been pushing deeply into politically sensitive countries like Cuba, China, Egypt and Vietnam, as well as tumultuous places where American interests are at stake»

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«It is wielding economic and political sway in northern Iraq, by making big oil and natural-gas deals in Kurdish territory. And it is angling to bid for control of Iranian oil fields as tensions between Tehran and Washington escalate»

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«They really give the Russian government unbelievable leverage on questions of importance to the United States»

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«Over the past three years, Russia and Rosneft have provided Caracas with $10 billion in financial assistance, helping Venezuela stave off default at least twice under the weight of as much as $150 billion in debt.»

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«Last year, Rosneft took a 49.9 percent stake in Citgo, the Venezuelan state oil company’s refining subsidiary in the United States, as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan to the Venezuelan company»

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«In April, Rosneft went further, providing a $1 billion advance payment for crude oil produced by the state oil company, crucial aid for it to make nearly $3 billion in payments to bondholders»

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«The Russian company resells about 225,000 barrels a day of Venezuelan oil, equivalent to 13 percent of Venezuela’s exports.»

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«Russia had already invested more than $4 billion over the past year in the Kurdistan oil fields. And Rosneft became the largest buyer of Kurdish oil as Western oil companies reduced their investments»

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Quello che sembrerebbe intravedersi, sarebbe una tela di ragno che avvolgerebbe gran parte dei paesi in difficoltà attuale, ma dotati di ampie riserve petrolifere, quali il Venezuela ed il Kurdistan.

Tuttavia questa sembrerebbe essere la punta di un iceberg, perfettamente integrata con il progetto cinese del Belt and Road.

Il blocco sino-russo sta facendo investimenti degni del massimo rispetto in paesi emergenti, senza condizionare gli aiuti elargiti a condizioni etiche o morali, ma solo a rapporti economici da considerarsi sul lungo termine.

Il pericolo concreto sarebbe quello che gli Stati Uniti un bel giorno potrebbero trovarsi isolati a livello mondiale, scalzati con quattro scudi da quelle che una volta erano sue sfere di influenza.

Una mutazione non solo di politica economica locoregionale, ma anche ben più ampia, tenendo conto che in sede delle Nazioni Unite votano anche paesini piccoli piccoli, e che il loro voto equivale a quello della Francia oppure della Germania.


The New York Times. 2017-10-29. Russia Uses Its Oil Giant, Rosneft, as a Foreign Policy Tool

Russia is increasingly wielding oil as a geopolitical tool, spreading its influence around the world and challenging the interests of the United States.

But Moscow risks running into trouble, as it lends money and makes deals in turbulent economies and shaky political climates.

The strategy faces a crucial test this week in Venezuela, a Russian ally that must come up with a billion dollars to avert defaults on its debts.

Russia has been making a flurry of loans and deals all centered on the Venezuelan oil business, money that could make the difference between the government’s collapse and its survival. In return, Moscow is getting a strategic advantage in Washington’s backyard.

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela was all smiles this month on a visit to Moscow seeking fresh financial backing, thanking Vladimir V. Putin “for your support, both political and diplomatic.”

Moscow, through the state oil giant Rosneft, is trying to build influence in places where the United States has stumbled or power is up for grabs. Its efforts are also driven out of necessity, as American and European sanctions have forced Rosneft to find new partners and investments elsewhere.

The company, which Russia has long relied on to finance its government and social programs, has been pushing deeply into politically sensitive countries like Cuba, China, Egypt and Vietnam, as well as tumultuous places where American interests are at stake.

Rosneft is looking for deals around the eastern Mediterranean and Africa, areas of tactical importance beyond the energy picture. It is wielding economic and political sway in northern Iraq, by making big oil and natural-gas deals in Kurdish territory. And it is angling to bid for control of Iranian oil fields as tensions between Tehran and Washington escalate.

Rosneft is “trying to create opportunities that can be extremely valuable in geopolitical ways,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, an energy security expert at the Council on Foreign Relations. “They really give the Russian government unbelievable leverage on questions of importance to the United States.”

The new push by Rosneft follows a clampdown on Russia.

Rosneft, which is 50 percent owned by the Russian state, is led by Igor I. Sechin, a former deputy prime minister and a close Putin ally. After the Russian invasion of Crimea three years ago, the United States and Europe hit Mr. Sechin with sanctions.

Since then, Exxon Mobil and other Western oil companies have been prevented from using their technological expertise to help Rosneft develop deepwater, shale and Arctic oil and gas fields. That has forced Rosneft to go far and wide to find new oil fields to replace its reserves.

Rosneft’s biggest bet so far is Venezuela. Over the past three years, Russia and Rosneft have provided Caracas with $10 billion in financial assistance, helping Venezuela stave off default at least twice under the weight of as much as $150 billion in debt.

Russia is effectively taking China’s place as Venezuela’s principal banker. While President Hugo Chávez was in power, China lent Venezuela tens of billions of dollars for projects to be paid for with oil. But China quietly stopped making new loans, leaving Russia to fill the void.

Last year, Rosneft took a 49.9 percent stake in Citgo, the Venezuelan state oil company’s refining subsidiary in the United States, as collateral for a $1.5 billion loan to the Venezuelan company. The state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, or Pdvsa, used the money to pay its bills and keep its oil fields producing.

The deal was sharply criticized by members of Congress, who warned that an eventual Russian takeover of Citgo would threaten national security. Citgo operates about 4 percent of American refining capacity and has a sprawling network of pipelines and gas stations. And Caracas remains highly dependent on the American market, since few refineries outside the United States can process large quantities of low-quality Venezuela crude.

In April, Rosneft went further, providing a $1 billion advance payment for crude oil produced by the state oil company, crucial aid for it to make nearly $3 billion in payments to bondholders.

But Russia’s investments are not without risk. Venezuela’s oil fields are aging and in disrepair. Oil service companies have been withdrawing after years of partial payments for their work. And fresh American sanctions have largely prohibited long-term loan transactions with Pdvsa or investments in other new government debt, making Venezuela’s financial straits even more acute.

“Russia is the only country that can give Venezuela a lifeline to survive through the rest of the year,” said Francisco J. Monaldi, an energy policy analyst at Rice University. “China has the capacity but not the willingness to do it, and that’s why Venezuela is so desperate to get the Russian support. There is no other way out.”

Venezuela is now Rosneft’s second-largest source of crude, after Russia itself. The Russian company resells about 225,000 barrels a day of Venezuelan oil, equivalent to 13 percent of Venezuela’s exports.

More Venezuelan oil could soon flow to Russia. Rosneft is negotiating with the Venezuelan state oil company to trade its collateral in Citgo for stakes in oil fields, as a way to gain more reserves at bargain basement prices and avert any sanctions or other legal issues with Washington.

“There is absolutely a geopolitical element to these deals,” said Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets. “Rosneft acquires cheap acreage in Venezuela, but does it also expand Vladimir Putin’s influence in our backyard? Yes.”

Rosneft’s Venezuela model is also finding traction in the Middle East, where Russia is looking for ways to support the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, make friends in Iran and help drive a wedge between Turkey and the West.

In the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, Moscow is seeking influence with competing sides. It follows a Kurdish referendum favoring independence from Baghdad that both the United States and Turkey fear will bring more instability to the region.

Russia also formally opposes Kurdish independence. But that did not stop Rosneft from signing a $400 million deal with the Kurdistan regional government this month for oil field drilling rights.

Russia had already invested more than $4 billion over the past year in the Kurdistan oil fields. And Rosneft became the largest buyer of Kurdish oil as Western oil companies reduced their investments.

“For Russia to be able to play in and have influence over Kurdish politics is useful in Syria, and it’s useful as a counterpressure on Turkey as well,” said David L. Goldwyn, who was the State Department’s top energy diplomat in the first Obama administration.

Now, Rosneft is angling for stakes in coming Iranian oil field auctions even while Mr. Putin seeks energy and other deals with Saudi Arabia, Iran’s archrival.

All the wheeling and dealing appears to be at its most aggressive in Venezuela, where Moscow’s engagement is more risky.

The Venezuelan government says it has more than $9 billion in currency reserves, though much of that is gold that must be sent abroad to liquidate, a transaction that can take time.

The next major debt payment comes due on Thursday, for $1.2 billion, on a Pdvsa bond that is maturing. Flirting with default, the company scrambled to pay most but not all of a $1 billion bond due on Friday, while the country still owes $350 million more in payments that were due this month.

The American sanctions against Venezuela, declining production and recurring pipeline and port disruptions have prompted several refiners to turn to other Latin American countries for supplies.

Should there be a default and the Maduro government collapses, Russia and Rosneft could be left holding bad loans that a new government might not want to pay.

“Will Russia continue to fund Venezuela?” asked Siobhan Morden, Nomura Holdings’ head of Latin America fixed income strategy. “That is still a question. I don’t know.”

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Mondiale

1717 – 2017. Due trecentesimi anniversari passati in silenzio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-11-02.

Pieta_de_Michelangelo_-_Vaticano

I primi anni del 1700 furono densi di avvenimenti che hanno condizionato la storia dell’Occidente.

Ne enucleiamo solo i due principali.

Risoluzione del problema turko.

L’Impero turko aveva costituito per quattrocento anni un severo pericolo per l’Occidente. Da una parte la sua presenza navale nel Mediterraneo, ridottasi quasi alla sola pirateria dopo la sconfitta di Lepanto del 1571, dall’altra la spinta militare volta alla conquista dei Balcani. Nel suo periodo di massima espansione, l’Impero turko arrivava in Ungheria.

Nel 1683 i turki arrivarono ad assediare Vienna, che fu liberata tra l’11 ed il 12 settembre dal’intervento dei polacchi di Re Sobieski e di una vasta coalizione di principi tedeschi. Il sultano fece strozzare il visir Kara Mustafa. Questa guerra era terminata con la Pace di Karlowitz del 1699: pace che in effetti era solo una tregua temporanea. L’Impero austriaco voleva risolvere la partita una volta per tutte.

La guerra riprese a breve, e questa volta l’imperatore austriaco aveva ingaggiato il miglior generale al momento disponibile: Eugenio di Savoia. Le ostilità ripresero nel 1716 ed Eugenio di Savoia penetrò strategicamente lo schieramento ottomano ottenendo con il suo coraggio personale una clamorosa vittoria a Petervaradino: 70,000 imperiali sconfissero 200,000 turki.

L’anno successivo, 1717, anno in cui ricordiamo nacque il 13 maggio la futura imperatrice Maria Teresa, Eugenio di Savoia cinse di assedio Belgrado ed in grandioso combattimento notturno, all’epoca evento rarissimo, sbaragliò in modo definitivo i turki. Quel 16 agosto segnò uno spartiacque storico: l’impero turko non avrebbe mai più preso l’iniziativa strategica.

La successiva pace di Passarowitz prese atto della situazione militare e l’Austria si espanse per tutta la regione balcanica. Per la prima volta nella sua storia, l’Impero Turko fu nominato per secondo in un trattato di pace,

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Ma se l’Europa avesse mai pensato che avrebbe potuto vivere in santa pace avrebbe dovuto presto ricredersi.

Debellato il nemico esterno, ecco nascere quello interno.

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Nasce lo stato nello stato.

«Il 24 giugno 1717 fu ufficialmente fondata a Londra la Gran Loggia con lo scopo di federare le logge che operavano nel distretto di Londra senza collegamenti tra loro. Purtroppo non si sono conservati gli atti di quella fondazione, ma rimangono numerosissime attestazioni di questo evento storico che segnò formalmente la nascita di quella che poi fu chiamata la massoneria moderna, per distinguerla dalla muratoria delle antiche corporazioni. La riunione di fondazione si svolse nella birreria The Goose & Gridiron (“Oca e Griglia”), con la partecipazione di tre logge londinesi e una del Westminster, la stessa The Goose and Gridiron (“L’Oca e la Griglia”), The Crown (“La Corona”), The Apple Tree (“Il Melo”) e The Rummer and Grapes (“Il Calice e l’Uva”). I nomi di ogni loggia era infatti quello del locale presso cui si riuniva. La Goose and Gridiron era una birreria sul sagrato della Cattedrale di San Paolo (loggia ora denominata Lodge of Antiquity No. 2); la Crown una birreria all’incrocio tra Parker’s Lane e Drury Lane; la Apple-Tree una taverna in Charles Street, Covent Garden (loggia ora denominata Lodge of Fortitude and Old Cumberland No. 12); infine la Rummer and Grapes una taverna in Channel Row, Westminster (loggia ora denominata Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No. IV).

A capo della gran loggia, con il titolo di gran maestro, fu eletto il gentiluomo Anthony Sayer. All’organismo direttivo appartenevano alcuni prestigiosi personaggi come il pastore anglicano John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744), membro della Royal Society, brillante divulgatore delle teorie newtoniane e letterato ben introdotto nell’alta società londinese, Francis Scott duca di Buccleuch (1694-1751), scozzese e anche lui membro della Royal Society, Charles Lennox (1672-1723), primo duca di Richmond, primo duca di Lennox e duca d’Aubigny, figlio illegittimo del re d’Inghilterra Carlo II Stuart, lord John Montagu 2º duca di Montagu (1690-1749) membro della Royal Society, ed anche alcuni borghesi come il citato Sayer, il gentiluomo George Payne (c. 1685-1757). La contiguità ideale tra le corporazioni muratorie e le prime logge massoniche trova conferma nell’elaborazione delle Costituzioni dei Liberi Muratori del 1723; per la stesura del suo testo fu dato incarico al reverendo James Anderson, pastore presbiteriano, prendendo come riferimento ideale gli antichi manoscritti degli Statuti delle Corporazioni Muratorie allora conosciuti.

La funzione della gran loggia era quella di organizzare in modo centralizzato le varie logge. Infatti già nel 1725 si trovano, nelle minute della gran loggia, le adesioni di molte altre logge in Bath, Bristol, Norwich, Chichester, Chester, Reading, Gosport, Carmarthen, Salford, e Warwick, e un’embrionale provincial grand lodge nel Cheshire e nel Galles meridionale. La gran loggia si era ormai estesa ben oltre la città di Londra.

Le regole costitutive della prima gran loggia massonica furono date alla stampa il 17 gennaio 1723 per ordine del duca di Montagu, ex Gran Maestro, dopo che il manoscritto fu approvato in Gran Loggia e fu stampato per volontà della società raccomandandone l’uso nelle logge. I firmatarî furono Philip, duca di Wharton, Gran Maestro e Theophilus Desaguliers, Deputato (cioè vice) Gran Maestro.» [Fonte]

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Ci si pensi bene. La crisi attuale dell’Occidente è la crisi del pensiero massonico, la crisi del metodo sincretico. La crisi del sistema di reggimento dei popoli basato sul suffragio universale.

Questo era egemone il secolo scorso, quando l’Occidente rendeva conto della quasi totalità dell’economica mondiale ed era politicamente stabile. Ora che è in crisi, in Occidente risulta quasi impossibile formare governi basati su larghe maggioranze omogenee.

Ad oggi, l’economica occidentale rende conto di circa il 30% dell’economia mondiale, ed è in regresso. Chi anche riuscisse a governare l’Occidente non sarebbe più il padrone del mondo, ma solo una componente, importante quanto si voglia, ma una componente.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Mondiale

North Korea. Bombe? Missili? Sanzioni? Non pigliamoci in giro.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-25.

2017-10-27__Korea_North__001

Lo spettro di una Korea del Nord dotata di missili balistici e di armamento atonico in grado di minacciare il mondo è stato oltremodo utile a permettere che nelle elezioni anticipate giapponesi il governo Abe abbia ottenuto la maggioranza qualificata per poter cambiare la costituzione.

A breve vedremo il Giappone riarmarsi e dotarsi verosimilmente di armamento atomico e relativi vettori balistici: era nella logica della cose.

A questo punto la Korea del Nord non serve più. Non fa più notizia.

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Con perfetto sincronismo, la Cnn è uscita con un poderoso articolo:

Statues and ammunition: North Korea’s Africa connections.

«North Korea’s illicit African connections»

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L’articolo è troppo esteso per poterlo riportare.

Sono decenni che la Korea del Nord intrattiene simpaticissimi rapporti con numerosi stati africani, offrendo loro consulenze nel settore degli armamenti e relativi munizionamenti in cambio di tutto ciò che l’Occidente non vorrebbe darle.

Lo vende ai paesi africani, talora persino lo dona, e questi lo rimettono al destinatario finale: la Korea del Nord: semplice, ne vero?

La sanzioni servono solo alle persone che proprio non sanno regolarsi da sole.

Era ed è il segreto di Pulcinella. Il Danaus plexippus lo sbandiera ai quattro venti nelle sue migrazione americane.

L’articolista liberal democratico della Cnn ne parla con accorato dolore, quasi fosse una candida orsolina che parlasse di uno stupro di massa. L’unica viola mammola che nulla sapeva.

Sicuramente dolore ne prova, eccome. Bolla con estrema forza la Namibia, da dove recentemente i liberal democratici sono stati sfrattati. Per incanto, da brava gente, quelli della Namibia sono diventati discoli impenitenti. E pure omofobi.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Geopolitica Mondiale

Cina si è già conquistata gran parte del mondo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-13.

2017-10-12__AidData China foreign aid__001

La Cina sta sviluppando una rete di relazioni internazionali del tutto impensate ed impensabili per gli occidentali. Ciò che sta costruendo con paziente lungimiranza è un qualcosa che sfugge gli schemi della logica occidentale o, almeno, degli attuali governanti dell’Occidente.

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Cina. Quanzhou. I Brics decidono cosa farsene dell’Occidente.

Cina. Banche Cinesi e Belt and Road. Yuan come valuta internazionale.

Brics. Il Summit di settembre a Xiamen. Ripudio dell’Occidente.

Cina. Inversione di rotta. Inizia la riduzione del debito.

Cina. Xiamen. Brics Plus alla conquista del mondo.

Obor. Progetto cinese su di un terzo del pil mondiale, per ora.

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Cina. Consolida il suo impero in Africa.

Prosegue e si allarga la rivolta all’impèrio mondiale. Gambia.

Kenyatta: Gay rights is a non-issue for Kenya

Rifugiati. Uganda un milione in un anno, e tutti zitti.

Cina ed Africa. Una politica di rapporti internazionali paritetici.

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2017-10-12__Cina_001

«The vast majority (93%) of US financial aid fits under the traditional definition of aid that’s agreed upon by all Western industrialised countries. That aid is given with the main goal of developing the economic development and welfare of recipient countries. At least a quarter of that money represents a direct grant, not a loan that needs to be repaid.»

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«In contrast, only a small portion (21%) of the money that China gives to other countries can be considered as traditional aid. And the rest of that money? The “lion’s share” of that money is given in commercial loans that have to be repaid to Beijing with interest. “China wants to get attractive economic returns on its capital,”»

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«There is evidence that China’s no-strings loans have had an effect on the entire global lending system, forcing traditional donors to stop placing so many requirements on receiving countries. Using AidData’s database, economist Diego Hernandez revealed that China’s role as a major lender has boosted competition between traditional donors.»

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2017-10-12__Cina_002

«”When an African country is also assisted by China,” he writes, “the World Bank provides fewer conditions attached to its loans”. For every 1% increase in Chinese aid, Hernandez found the World Bank lessened its typical demands for things like market liberalisation or economic transparency by 15%.»

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«Critics have long charged that “rogue aid” from China allows some countries to avoid democratic reforms because they can simply turn to China for aid, dodging the scrutiny of traditional Western donors.»

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«Cambodia is a recent example; independent newspapers and western NGOs have been shuttered, as Cambodian leaders’ strengthening ties with China embolden them to turn away from Washington’s demands to hold fair elections.»

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«Xiaojun Li studied how Chinese aid has changed countries in Africa, arguing that democratic reforms have slowed as the developing countries concluded they could bypass the political demands of Western donors by turning to Chinese aid.»

2017-10-12__Cina_003

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Cerchiamo di operare una rapida sintesi.

«There is evidence that China’s no-strings loans have had an effect on the entire global lending system, forcing traditional donors to stop placing so many requirements on receiving countries»

– La Cina persegue una politica estera di rapporti bilaterali paritetici, ove le due parti ritengono la propria identità, usi e costumi senza interferenza alcuna, mentre il terreno collaborativo è quello economico. Nel converso, l’Occidente ammette alle relazioni estere solo quegli stati che si impegnano a condividerne i valori. Senza condivisione dei valori etici, morali e politici occidentali non sono concessi fondi di finanziamento.

– L’Occidente eroga fondi in gran parte tramite organizzazioni internazionali, mentre la Cina finanzia in proprio e per il 79% nella forma di prestiti. Mentre i fondi occidentali sono per lo più fondi di gestione, i prestiti erogati dai cinesi sono finalizzati ad investimenti produttivi: questi generano quindi reddito locale, permettono l’ammortamento dell’investimento e la resa finale del prestito. Sono presiti sui quali si richiedono interessi perché sono investimenti produttivi, che alla fine restano di proprietà del paese aiutato.

– Mentre l’Occidente non si è mai curato di finanziare infrastrutture, se non in quota trascurabile, i cinesi prediligono questa tipologia di investimento: il progetto Belt and Road, Obor, è un classico esempio. Il progetto Obor coinvolge paesi per un terzo del pil mondiale e le infrastrutture, strade ferrate, strade, acquedotti, centrali elettriche e così via sono elementi basilari per ogni possibile sviluppo economico.

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Le differenze tra Occidente ed Oriente in questo settore sono evidenti e stridenti.

Nulla da stupirsi che l’approccio cinese surclassi quello occidentale e si sia conquistato il mondo. Per correr dietro le proprie ubbie, l’Occidente ha regalato il mondo alla Cina.


Abc News. 2017-10-11. Report: China catching up to US in foreign aid flow.

Attention to Chinese financing has increased as Beijing promotes its “Belt and Road Initiative,” a multibillion-dollar initiative to expand China’s trade links with Asia, Africa and the Middle East by building ports, roads and other facilities.
About 23 percent of Chinese spending met the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s definition of aid, or “official development assistance,” which requires at least 25 percent of a transfer to be a grant. By contrast, 93 percent of U.S. spending qualifies as aid.
The bulk of Beijing’s financing appears to be export credits and other measures aimed at promoting Chinese exports or other goals, which produced little measurable growth in recipient economies, according to Parks. He said such “official finance” doesn’t count as development assistance but is part of the OECD’s broader definition of aid.
“The lion’s share of the portfolio is really not delivering, at least on average, any significant economic growth benefits for its partner countries,” said Parks.
That leaves Beijing room to have a positive impact by shifting spending to development assistance, he said.
“There still is a lot of scope for them to learn and adapt,” said Parks.
The portion of Chinese financing that qualifies as aid “substantially improves economic growth,” according to the report. It said results were comparable to the impact of U.S.- and other Western-financed projects.
“I thought that was a pretty important finding and an encouraging one,” said Parks.
The 5-year-old project used a computerized system to look for information from more than 15,000 sources including news reports, Chinese government offices, ministries of other countries and academic reports. Its data cover 4,304 projects in 138 countries and territories.
China doesn’t participate in global aid reporting systems. It released some figures in 2011 and 2014 but gave few details and none about individual countries.
AidData released its first report in 2013 focusing on Chinese financing to Africa. Parks said its data have been used by other scholars to launch more than 100 research projects.
“AidData is the most comprehensive source of information on China’s lending for development projects,” said David Dollar, an economist at the Brookings Institution in Washington and former World Bank country director in Beijing, in an email.
“The data show that China’s lending is indiscriminate with respect to governance. Some big borrowers have poor rule of law, such as Venezuela, Angola and Pakistan,” Dollar wrote. “The overall pattern of lending indicates that it is demand-driven by which countries want to borrow rather than by a Chinese master plan.”
Parks said the data show more Chinese finance goes to countries that vote with Beijing at the United Nations. He said that “might not look good,” but a similar analysis of U.S. and other Western donors shows they act the same way.
“In a sense, Beijing has taken a page out of the playbook of traditional Western donors,” said Parks. “That doesn’t comport with the ‘rogue donor’ narrative that China is somehow inferior or different.”
Parks said the project didn’t try to measure whether Chinese aid undercuts environmental or other standards by giving an alternative to more stringent conditions on Western aid.
But a separate study published this year by researcher Diego Hernandez of Heidelberg found the World Bank attached “significantly fewer conditions” to loans if recipients also had aid available from China.
“New donors might be perceived as an attractive financial option to which the World Bank reacts by offering credits less restrictively in order to remain competitive,” wrote Hernandez.


The Washington Post. 2017-10-11. China treats its foreign aid like a state secret. New research aims to reveal it.

Since the turn of the century, China has become an unavoidable global provider of foreign assistance, funding everything from opera houses in Algeria to tobacco farms in Zimbabwe.

Try to find in-depth data about these projects, however, and you are mostly out of luck. China treats its foreign assistance budget like a state secret, refusing to work with international bodies that try to coordinate and quantify foreign development funding.  In part due to this paucity of information, a reputation has spread among Western critics that China is a “rogue donor” — one that lavishes illiberal regimes with cash to plunder raw materials for its own growth.

An ambitious new research project released this week challenges that assumption by producing the first-ever global data set on Chinese overseas development spending between 2000 and 2014. Brad Parks, the executive director of AidData, a research lab at the College of William & Mary, said it took five years for a team of nearly 100 scholars and research assistants from all over the world to piece together data from 15,000 distinct information sources covering 4,300 projects in 140 different countries and territories.

“What we’re about to release is the most comprehensive and detailed source of project information about China’s global development footprint ever,” Parks said. The end result is so unique, he said, that they’ve even had some inquiries from Chinese officials about using it.

AidData’s research offers a picture of a rising financial giant that is challenging even the biggest donor nations. China provided $354.4 billion in official funding around the world between 2000 and 2014 — not far off the amount spent by the United States in the same period, $394.6 billion. In some counties, the two nations looked like competitors, with China sometimes usurping the United States to become the preeminent donor.

The research also turns some widespread assumptions about Chinese foreign assistance on their heads. In a previously released project, AidData was able to show when you look at Chinese aid that matches the strict, internationally agreed-upon definition — official development assistance, also known as ODA — it does not appear to be motivated by acquiring natural resources or propping up Beijing-friendly authoritarians.

“China is well known for funding a number of governments with poor governance such as Venezuela, Angola, Iran, and Pakistan,” said David Dollar, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who was the U.S. Treasury’s economic and financial emissary to China between 2009 and 2013. “[However,] these are balanced by large amounts of lending to countries with relatively good governance: Brazil, India, Indonesia, and the East African states. China’s lending seems to be indifferent to governance.”

The data set suggests Chinese aid is instead generally motivated by two interests: the need level of the recipient country and the broader foreign policy aims of China. AidData found African countries that vote with China at the United Nations get an average bump of 86 percent in aid from Beijing.

“The criteria for China to provide foreign aid is not the nature of the government, but the convergence of interests,” said Yun Sun, an expert on Chinese funding who is with the Stimson Center in Washington. “That need could be political, commercial, or even reputational.”

AidData’s research also shows the lions share’s of China’s global development spending is not official aid but rather distributed via “other official flows,” or OOF. This bracket of funding includes huge deals, like the enormous loans given to Russian oil companies in 2009, in which the motivation is clearly commercial.

“ODA and OOF really need to be considered separately,” Park said. “If the country is rich in natural resources, if it trades a lot with China and if it is credit worthy, it tends to get a lot of OOF.” China’s widespread funding of more commercially minded projects is what sets it apart from Western donors, who have largely moved away from loans toward grants. “China is operating to its own rules,” Park said.

AidData’s research has shown when Chinese funding is similar to ODA, it boosts economic growth in recipient countries just like Western aid. If a country is on the receiving end of such a Chinese aid project, it will see 0.4 percent average growth two years after the project is committed — a similar rate of growth to aid from the United States and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (and notably higher than aid from the World Bank).

“If you just read a random sampling of media reports about Chinese development project, you will hear about individual projects where the project was reportedly a white elephant project,” Parks said. When it comes to ODA at least, “we just don’t really see any evidence. it doesn’t seem to be systematically true.”

As China enters the fourth year of its ambitious international infrastructure project, widely known as “One Belt, One Road,” understanding how it spends its money abroad will probably prove more and more important. Whether China will offer a more opaque view of its foreign assistance in the future remains unclear — experts say Beijing remains skeptical of transparency, at least in part due to a tradition of secrecy.

Austin Strange, a PhD candidate at Harvard University who worked with AidData, said numerous Chinese officials have been briefed on the project over the past five years, and at least some have professed an interest in getting better “fine-grained data” to inform their own work.


Bbc. 2017-10-11. China’s secret aid empire uncovered

China has a long list of state secrets – how many people it puts to death every year, and even the birthdays of its top leaders. But now, overseas researchers have uncovered another Chinese state secret: how much money Beijing gives in aid to other countries.

Not very long ago, China was a foreign aid recipient. Now, it rivals the United States as one of the world’s largest donors, through traditional development aid or through financial loans.

For the first time, a large group of researchers outside China have compiled a major database detailing virtually all of China’s financial money flow to recipient countries. Citing more than 5,000 projects found across 140 countries, it reveals that China and the US rival each other in terms of how much they offer to other countries.

However, “they spend those budgets in radically different ways. And the different compositions of those portfolios have far-reaching consequences”, explains Brad Parks, the project’s chief researcher.

He heads the AidData research lab at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, which teamed up with other researchers at Harvard University and the University of Heidelberg in Germany to complete the research.

How did they uncover the secret?

The AidData team had to develop its own methodology to answer the questions that weren’t provided by the Chinese government. They tracked money flows from China to recipient countries using news reports, official embassy documents and aid and debt information from China’s counterparts.

Piece by painstaking piece, the information came together to draw a relatively complete picture of where Chinese aid is going and what impact it’s having.

“We think the methodology has revealed the known knowable universe,” Brad Parks says. “If the Chinese government really wants to conceal something, we won’t necessarily pick it up.” But if there are sizeable money transfers going from China to a recipient country, “word is going to get out”, he adds.

How does China hand out money?

One major finding from the study: China and the US, the world’s biggest donor, have handed out similar amounts of money in the years covered in the database, but the countries distribute that money in radically different ways.

The vast majority (93%) of US financial aid fits under the traditional definition of aid that’s agreed upon by all Western industrialised countries. That aid is given with the main goal of developing the economic development and welfare of recipient countries. At least a quarter of that money represents a direct grant, not a loan that needs to be repaid.

In contrast, only a small portion (21%) of the money that China gives to other countries can be considered as traditional aid. And the rest of that money? The “lion’s share” of that money is given in commercial loans that have to be repaid to Beijing with interest.

“China wants to get attractive economic returns on its capital,” Brad Parks explains.

And what does that money achieve?

The team’s other major finding: when China gives out traditional aid, the recipient countries reap impressive economic rewards. For a long period, there were suspicions that Chinese aid projects were only set up to benefit China; infrastructure projects built by imported Chinese workers, for instance, that did little to improve the lives of people on the ground. However, this research shows that China is just as capable of managing development aid projects as Western donors.

Which countries are getting China’s money?

Since 2000, African countries have captured a large slice of the aid and loans given by China.

However, China’s wealth is distributed to points across the globe, from hospitals in Senegal to ports in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In 2014, the most recent year covered by AidData, Russia topped the recipient list, followed by Pakistan and Nigeria.

In contrast, the US list in 2014 was topped by Iraq and Afghanistan, followed by Pakistan.

Politics plays a big part in how both China and the US decide to spend their money. Earlier studies by the researchers behind AidData show that both Beijing and Washington tend to offer money to countries which support them at the United Nations.

But for China, economics play a key role: the AidData researchers found Beijing is often focused on promoting Chinese exports or market rate loans where China wants to get the loan repaid with interest.

The North Korea factor

China is often cited as the main source of aid propping up the fragile North Korean economy. But the AidData researchers tracked down just 17 Chinese projects in North Korea over the 14-year period, totalling a measly $210m.

Brad Parks calls North Korea “an informational black hole”, admitting that it’s the only recipient country that truly evaded the researchers. To a large extent, the vast amounts of money and other kinds of aid that China is believed to give North Korea fall outside the global financial system.

Why is China’s money so attractive?

In the 1960s to the 1990s, Western countries offered high-interest market-rate loans to developing countries. However, that strategy misfired when recipient countries could not begin to repay the interest on the debts they had acquired. Outrage ensued and the Western aid model was overhauled.

“There was a shared principle that we should not be offering market-rate loans to developing countries,” Brad Parks says. “And now, here comes China, enter stage left. They’re not part of that coalition. They haven’t been socialised to that principle and they’re very willing and able to provide loans near or at market rate.

“Increasingly, countries that don’t want to go the IMF for a bailout when they’re in trouble, they will go to China instead.”

Will China continue to loan out money?

So far, the data shows that the countries that receive China’s market-rate loans are not suffering economically, but they aren’t experiencing economic growth either. Researchers fear that could change in 10 or 15 years, when countries build up debts because they can’t repay the money they will owe to Beijing. At that point, China might have to rethink things.

“They may very well 10 years from now, or 15 years from now, encounter the same problems that Western donors and creditors encountered when loans are not getting repaid,” Brad Parks explains. “If and when that point of reckoning occurs, then perhaps Beijing will revisit how it structures these loans.”

Already, researchers have uncovered signs that China’s starting to shift its approach to lending, researcher Xiaojun Li from the University of British Columbia says. Increasingly, Beijing is lending through multilateral institutions like the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, China’s answer to the World Bank.

Why does it matter if China becomes a big global lender?

There is evidence that China’s no-strings loans have had an effect on the entire global lending system, forcing traditional donors to stop placing so many requirements on receiving countries. Using AidData’s database, economist Diego Hernandez revealed that China’s role as a major lender has boosted competition between traditional donors.

“When an African country is also assisted by China,” he writes, “the World Bank provides fewer conditions attached to its loans”. For every 1% increase in Chinese aid, Hernandez found the World Bank lessened its typical demands for things like market liberalisation or economic transparency by 15%.

 

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Mondiale, Stati Uniti, Trump

Usa ed Israele lasciano l’Unesco.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela

2017-10-12.

Unesco 001

«The US withdrawal will become effective at the end of December 2018 – until then, the US will remain a full member»

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«The US will establish an observer mission at the Paris-based organisation to replace its representation»

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«Hours after the US announced its withdrawal, the Israelis joined in, with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying he had instructed his foreign ministry to begin preparations to leave»

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«Unesco is an easy target for US President Donald Trump – it is a multilateral body with educational and developmental goals like promoting sex education, literacy and equality for women»

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«The US withdrawal will be seen by many as a manifestation of Mr Trump’s “America First” approach and his across-the-board hostility to multilateral organisations; the irony being that Unesco is part of the international architecture that the US helped to establish in the wake of World War Two.»

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«But it is the organisation’s perceived anti-Israel bias that is the fundamental issue here. It has condemned Israel in the past for its activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and earlier this year it designated the old city of Hebron a Palestinian World Heritage Site – a step Israel insisted denied centuries of Jewish history there, not least the Tomb of the Patriarchs that dates back to biblical times.»

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«Unesco head Irina Bokova earlier called the US withdrawal a matter of “profound regret”. …. She admitted, however, that “politicisation” had “taken its toll” on the organisation in recent years.»

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In passato l’Unesco ha accontentato gli Stati Uniti accogliendo tra le sue attività

«Promoting pluralism, gender equality and cultural diversity in the media».

Ma non si vive di solo sesso.

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«In 2011, Palestine became a UNESCO member following a vote in which 107 member states supported and 14 opposed. Laws passed in the United States in 1990 and 1994 mean that it cannot contribute financially to any UN organisation that accepts Palestine as a full member. As a result, it withdrew its funding which accounted for about 22% of UNESCO’s budget. Israel also reacted to Palestine’s admittance to UNESCO by freezing Israel payments to the UNESCO and imposing sanctions to the Palestinian Authority, claiming that Palestine’s admittance would be detrimental “to potential peace talks”. Two years after they stopped paying their dues to UNESCO, US and Israel lost UNESCO voting rights in 2013 without losing the right to be elected (as a consequence, US was elected as a member of the Executive Board for the period 2016-2019)» [Fonte]

Sono passati ventitre anni da quando il Congresso aveva legiferato che gli Stati Uniti non possono contribuire finanziariamente ad organizzazioni che accettano come membro effettivo la Palestina.

Il Presidente Trump ha dato seguito, ha applicato, una legge già esistente.

Nota.

Nelle organizzazioni internazionali l’Occidente non ha più la maggioranza dei voti.

Piaccia o meno, si voglia o meno, occorre però prenderne atto.


Bbc. 2017-10-12. Israel to join US in quitting Unesco

Israel has said it will join the US in pulling out of the UN’s cultural organisation Unesco, after US officials cited “anti-Israel bias”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the US decision as “brave and moral”, a statement said.

The agency is known for designating world heritage sites such as Syria’s Palmyra and the US Grand Canyon.

Unesco head Irina Bokova earlier called the US withdrawal a matter of “profound regret”.

She admitted, however, that “politicisation” had “taken its toll” on the organisation in recent years.

The withdrawal represented a loss to the “UN family” and to multilateralism, Ms Bokova added.

The US withdrawal will become effective at the end of December 2018 – until then, the US will remain a full member. The US will establish an observer mission at the Paris-based organisation to replace its representation, the state department said.

Hours after the US announced its withdrawal, the Israelis joined in, with Prime Minister Netanyahu saying he had instructed his foreign ministry to begin preparations to leave.

As well as accusing Unesco of bias, the US state department said it was also concerned about mounting financial arrears at the agency and said it should be reformed.

The decision follows a string of Unesco decisions that have drawn criticism from the US and Israel.

In 2011 the US cut its funding to the agency – slashing its budget by 22% – in protest at its decision to grant full membership to the Palestinians.

And last year, Israel suspended co-operation with Unesco after the agency adopted a controversial resolution which made no reference to Jewish ties to a key holy site in Jerusalem.

The resolution also criticised Israel’s activities at holy places in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.

Then earlier this year, Mr Netanyahu condemned Unesco for declaring the Old City of Hebron in the West Bank a Palestinian World Heritage site.

He accused Unesco of ignoring Judaism’s ancient connection to the city, which includes the crypt where its matriarchs and patriarchs are buried.

The US withdrawal is also motivated by a desire to stop accruing arrears to the agency, Foreign Policy magazine reported. The US cut funding of more than $80m (£60m) of funding to the agency amid the furore over Palestinian membership six years ago, but continues to be charged, and now owes more than $500m, the magazine said.

Mr Trump has criticised what he sees as a disproportionate contribution by the US to UN institutions. The US funds 22% of the UN’s regular budget and 28% of UN peacekeeping.

The decision to pull out of Unesco was applauded by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), which said that for years, the agency had “betrayed its original laudatory mission… and chosen instead to unfairly target the Middle East’s lone democracy, Israel”.

The US was a founding member of Unesco. The Reagan administration withdrew from the organisation in 1984 – accusing the agency of corruption and an ideological bias towards the then Soviet Union – but the US rejoined in 2002.

Unesco is in the process of choosing a new leader, with Qatari and French former ministers Hamad bin Abdulaziz al-Kawari and Audrey Azoulay neck-and-neck in the contest to replace Ms Bokova.

*

‘An easy target’ [By Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent]

Unesco is an easy target for US President Donald Trump – it is a multilateral body with educational and developmental goals like promoting sex education, literacy and equality for women.

The US withdrawal will be seen by many as a manifestation of Mr Trump’s “America First” approach and his across-the-board hostility to multilateral organisations; the irony being that Unesco is part of the international architecture that the US helped to establish in the wake of World War Two.

But it is the organisation’s perceived anti-Israel bias that is the fundamental issue here. It has condemned Israel in the past for its activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and earlier this year it designated the old city of Hebron a Palestinian World Heritage Site – a step Israel insisted denied centuries of Jewish history there, not least the Tomb of the Patriarchs that dates back to biblical times.

Pubblicato in: Geopolitica Mondiale, Medio Oriente, Russia, Stati Uniti, Trump

Putin il Grande. Bloomberg lo incorona Master of the Middle East.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-10-06.

Putin 1000

Intelligenti si nasce, non si diventa.

Ma la scuola del Kgb forma politici allo stato dell’arte.


Il politico è quell’uomo che sa conglutinare persone con idee e credenze differenti, che sa raccogliere consensi, che sa percepire cosa esattamente siano e vogliano i suoi interlocutori, è uomo che sa formare accordi: non compromessi, bensì accordi soddisfacenti per tutte le controparti.

Se però lo statista è sicuramente un uomo politico, altrettanto sicuramente è persona capace di orientare e guidare verso soluzioni convergenti ai suoi propri interessi. Lo statista pur stando attentamente a sentire, riesce a convincere tutti gli altri a perseguire con gioia i suoi propri interessi. Lo statista si erge di fronte la storia e la modula secondo i propri desiderata.

Sulla scena mondiale vi sono molti capi di stato, ben pochi politici, ed un solo statista: Mr Putin.

Bloomberg alla fine riconosce il Presidente Putin quale ‘Master of the Middle East’.

Ma siamo solo agli inizi.

* * * * * * * * * * *

«The Israelis and Turks, the Egyptians and Jordanians — they’re all beating a path to the Kremlin in the hope that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, can secure their interests and fix their problems»

*

«The latest in line is Saudi King Salman, who this week is due to become the first monarch of the oil-rich kingdom to visit Moscow»

*

«It changed the reality, the balance of power on the ground»

*

«Putin has succeeded in making Russia a factor in the Middle East. That’s why you see a constant stream of Middle Eastern visitors going to Moscow»

*

«Moscow was a major power in the Middle East during the Cold War»

*

«The tables began to turn in 2013, when the U.S. under Obama decided not to attack Assad. Two years later, Putin sent troops and planes to defend him»

*

«Meanwhile the Saudis, who had financed rebels fighting against Assad, are cooperating with Russia in coaxing the opposition to unite for peace talks – which will likely cement the Syrian leader in power»

*

«Russia also rejected a U.S. demand to make the Euphrates river a dividing line between Syrian government troops and U.S.-supported forces in eastern Syria»

*

«Washington remains the indispensable power in the region …. The Kremlin is on everyone’s mind»

* * * * * * *

Andiamo al sodo e dimentichiamoci la propaganda liberal.

Mr Putin ha ottenuto in Medio Oriente una grande vittoria strategica. Potranno esserci altri alti e bassi, ma oramai non si può agire in Medio Oriente senza il suo consenso. E questo vale anche per gli americani.

Questi ultimi stanno pagando e ben salato il conto dell’idealismo dei liberal e della dabbenaggine politica di Mr Obama.

L’America paga a caro prezzo l’essersi consentita il lusso di avere i liberal democratici, con le loro ideologie utopiche e questa delirante sindrome del perdente mai rassegnato. Intaccare la figura carismatica del Presidente americano, in questo caso Mr Trump, significa aver intaccato il più potente motore del potere americano.

Ma ci si metta l’animo in pace. Questa è la realtà dei fatti.

Finita la partita per il Medio Oriente, Mr Putin sta iniziando quella per l’Europa.

Diamo tempo al tempo, ed a Bruxelles dovranno ripassarsi il russo.


→ Bloomberg. 2017-10-03. Putin Is Now Mr. Middle East, a Job No One Ever Succeeds At

– Saudi king’s first visit brings another Mideasterner to Moscow

– Russia a ‘nimble boxer’ vs musclebound U.S., diplomat says

*

The Israelis and Turks, the Egyptians and Jordanians — they’re all beating a path to the Kremlin in the hope that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, can secure their interests and fix their problems.

The latest in line is Saudi King Salman, who this week is due to become the first monarch of the oil-rich kingdom to visit Moscow. At the top of his agenda will be reining in Iran, a close Russian ally seen as a deadly foe by most Gulf Arab states.

Until very recently, Washington stood alone as the go-to destination for such leaders. Right now, American power in the region is perceptibly in retreat — testimony to the success of Russia’s military intervention in Syria, which shored up President Bashar al-Assad after years of U.S. insistence that he must go.

“It changed the reality, the balance of power on the ground,” said Dennis Ross, who was America’s chief Mideast peace negotiator and advised several presidents from George H. W. Bush to Barack Obama. “Putin has succeeded in making Russia a factor in the Middle East. That’s why you see a constant stream of Middle Eastern visitors going to Moscow.”

Success brings its own problems. As conflicting demands pile up, it’s not easy to send all those visitors home satisfied. “The more you try to adopt a position of dealing with all sides, the more you find that it’s hard to play that game,’’ Ross said.

Moscow was a major power in the Middle East during the Cold War, arming Arab states against Israel. Its influence collapsed along with communism. When the U.S. invaded Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, Russia was a bystander, unable to do more than protest.

The tables began to turn in 2013, when the U.S. under Obama decided not to attack Assad. Two years later, Putin sent troops and planes to defend him.

Getting Results

For the most part, America’s local allies were firmly in the Assad-must-go camp. They were disillusioned when U.S. military might wasn’t deployed to force him out.

Russia’s clout in the region has grown “because Obama allowed it to,’’ said Khaled Batarfi, a professor at Alfaisal University’s branch in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. “Unfortunately he withdrew to a great extent from the Middle East.’’

That view is widespread. It was bluntly expressed last month by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spent years urging American action against Assad. Talks with the U.S. “couldn’t get any results,’’ he said.

Turkey has now joined Russia and Iran in a plan to de-escalate the conflict. It’s “achieving a result,’’ Erdogan said. Two years ago, tensions between Putin and Erdogan had threatened to boil over, after the Turkish military shot down a Russian jet on the Syrian border. Last Friday, the Russian president flew to Ankara for dinner with his Turkish counterpart and “friend,’’ who’s agreed to buy Russian S-400 air defense missile systems, riling fellow NATO members.

‘Here’s the King’

Meanwhile the Saudis, who had financed rebels fighting against Assad, are cooperating with Russia in coaxing the opposition to unite for peace talks – which will likely cement the Syrian leader in power.

America’s Middle East allies mostly welcomed the change of U.S. president, and Donald Trump’s tough talk about challenging Iran. So far, though, he’s stuck close to his predecessor’s policy in Syria, concentrating on fighting Islamic State not Assad.

So, as the goal of regime-change in Syria recedes, priorities have shifted. The Saudis and other Arab Gulf powers are urging Russia to reduce Iran’s role in Syria, where Hezbollah and other Shiite militias supported by Tehran have provided shock troops for Assad’s offensive.

“Russia is better off not to be on one side of it. That’s the key message,’’ said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a U.A.E.-based political analyst. “Here is the king, representing Arab Gulf countries, representing a lot of geopolitical weight, coming to Russia. And Russia has to take that into consideration.’’

But Putin won’t shift his stance on Iran to accommodate Saudi wishes, according to a person close to the Kremlin.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has visited Russia four times in the past 18 months, has also found it hard to sway the Russian leader.

In August, Netanyahu told Putin that Iran’s growing foothold in Syria is “unacceptable.’’ In September he told CNN that the Iranians are trying to “colonize’’ Syria with the aim of “destroying us and conquering the Middle East.’’

Russia, though, refused his demand for a buffer zone inside Syria that would keep the forces of Iran and Hezbollah at least 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the Israeli border, a person familiar with the matter in Moscow said. Instead, Russia offered a 5-kilometer exclusion zone, the person said.

Russia also rejected a U.S. demand to make the Euphrates river a dividing line between Syrian government troops and U.S.-supported forces in eastern Syria. This has led to a race to capture territory from retreating Islamic State fighters in a strategic and oil-rich border region.

Yet Russia has succeeded in keeping open channels of communication to all sides, from Iran to Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian radical Islamist group Hamas to Israel, said Ayham Kamel, Middle East and North Africa director at Eurasia Group.

While Russia didn’t give way on the buffer zone, it has a tacit understanding that permits Israel to carry out airstrikes against Hezbollah in Syria, said Andrey Kortunov, director general of the Russian International Affairs Council, a research group set up by the Kremlin.

It’s been mediating, along with Egypt, to end the decade-old inter-Palestinian rift between Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza. Putin invited rival Libyan factions to Moscow, after a series of peace efforts by other countries came to nothing. Russia has become a leading investor in oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan, and was one of the few world powers to refrain from condemning its recent vote on independence.

In economic terms, the contest for influence looks like an unequal one – America’s GDP is 13 times Russia’s. That’s not always the decisive factor, said Alexander Zotov, Moscow’s ambassador to Syria from 1989 to 1994.

“Sometimes you have two boxers coming out to the ring, one is huge with bulging muscles and the other is smaller but nimble, and has a better technique,’’ he said.

Russia’s rise came as U.S. policy makers grew preoccupied with Asia, and the American public tired of Middle East wars – something both Obama and Trump acknowledged.

“Washington remains the indispensable power in the region,’’ said Eurasia’s Kamel. But its commitment to traditional alliances is weakening, he said, and that’s encouraged regional leaders to hedge their bets. “The Kremlin is on everyone’s mind.’’

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Mondiale, Problemia Energetici, Sistemi Politici

Cina. Contratti petroliferi in yuan convertibili in oro.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-09-06.

2017-09-04__ChinaOilImportPie_article_main_image

«Dum Romae consulitur, Saguntum expugnatur.»

(Tito Livio, Storie, XXI, 7, 1)


Per comprendere a fondo cosa stia succedendo sarebbe opportuno aver ben presente almeno alcuni aspetti della situazione internazionale.

«Da un punto di vista meramente economico, se si considera il pil per potere di acquisto, il mondo genera 108,036,500 milioni Usd, la Cina 17,617,300 (16.31%) e gli Stati Uniti 17,418,00 (16.12%). L’Eurozona rende conto di 11,249,482 (10.41%) ed il Gruppo dei G7 di 31.825,293 (29.46%). Però i Brics conteggiano un pil ppa di 32,379,625 Usd, ossia il 29.97% del pil ppa mondiale. I Brics valgono come i paesi del G7.

Di conseguenza, la voce dell’Occidente vale nel mondo al massimo per il 29.46%, ma quella degli Stati Uniti vale solo il 16.12% e quella dell’Eurozona uno scarno 10.41%.»

*

Quanti ragionassero ancora con la visione dell’Occidente padrone del mondo incorrerebbero in un serio errore percettivo: questo era il modo di pensare tipico del passato, ma inconsistente con la situazione attuale e, soprattutto, con quella futura: il Gruppo dei G7 vale meno di quello dei Brics, ed ancor meno di quello dei Brics Plus.

Cina. Quanzhou. I Brics decidono cosa farsene dell’Occidente.

Brics. Il Summit di settembre a Xiamen. Ripudio dell’Occidente.

Cina. Xiamen. Brics Plus alla conquista del mondo.

Cina. Banche Cinesi e Belt and Road. Yuan come valuta internazionale.

^ ^ ^

Lord Keynes e gli autori post-keynesiani in Cina sono studiati nella storia dell’economia: le loro teorie hanno portato al suicidio dell’Occidente e gli Orientali non hanno nessuna intenzione di seguirli. Li lasciano volentieri ai loro contorsionismi mentali ed alla pratica dell’lgbt, da loro peraltro considerata reato e, quindi, penalmente perseguibile.

Cina. Inversione di rotta. Inizia la riduzione del debito.

Trump. Il debito sovrano totale da gennaio è sceso di 102.365 miliardi.

* * * * * * *

«Yuan-denominated contract will let exporters circumvent US dollar»

*

«China is expected shortly to launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold»

*

«The contract could become the most important Asia-based crude oil benchmark, given that China is the world’s biggest oil importer»

*

«move will allow exporters such as Russia and Iran to circumvent U.S. sanctions by trading in yuan»

*

«To further entice trade, China says the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong»

*

«It is a mechanism which is likely to appeal to oil producers that prefer to avoid using dollars, and are not ready to accept that being paid in yuan for oil sales to China is a good idea either»

*

«By creating a gold contract settled in renminbi [an alternative name for the yuan], Russia may now sell oil to China for renminbi, then take whatever excess currency it earns to buy gold in Hong Kong. As a result, Russia does not have to buy Chinese assets or switch the proceeds into dollars …. It’s a transfer of holding their assets in black liquid to yellow metal. It’s a strategic move swapping oil for gold, rather than for U.S. Treasuries, which can be printed out of thin air»

*

«China proposed pricing oil in yuan to Saudi Arabia in late July, according to Chinese media. It is unclear if Saudi Arabia will yield to its biggest customer, but Beijing has been reducing Saudi Arabia’s share of its total imports, which fell from 25% in 2008 to 15% in 2016. Chinese oil imports rose 13.8% year-on-year during the first half of 2017»

*

«The rules of the global oil game may begin to change enormously»

* * * * * * *

Conclusioni.

Fonti di informazione e difficoltà di tenersi informati.

I grandi media internazionali hanno taciuto sul fatto, ma questo esiste e resta nella realtà dei fatti.

Alcuni elementi da valorizzare.

– La Cina è il maggiore importatore di petrolio e gas naturale al mondo;

– L’economia cinese vale il 16.31% del pil mondiale, ma agendo sempre in collaborazione e sintonia con i Brics, in effetti ne vale 29.97%: ciò che fa determina ciò che accadrà nel resto del mondo;

– Tutto il circuito Obor, One Belt One Road, è finanziato in yuan. Questo sta generando un mercato di questa valuta che quasi ne raddoppia i volumi domestici;

– Dallo scorso anno lo yuan è rientrato nei diritti di prelievo del Fondo Monetario Internazionale;

– La Cina ha tutti gli interessi a mantenere ragionevolmente stabile il rapporto di cambio con il dollaro;

– La possibilità concreta di prezzare i prodotti petroliferi in yuan spezza il monopolio del dollaro in questo settore strategico;

– Nessuno si illuda che lo yuan possa rimpiazzare il dollaro a breve termine: per molti anni si dovrà però prendere atto dell’esistenza della possibilità di acquistare petrolio dia in dollari sia in yuan;

– La convertibilità in oro dei contratti dovrebbe sia ridurne la volatilità sia ostacolare la speculazione finanziaria su questi prodotti. Non solo: fornisce una solida garanzia e, simultaneamente, fonde i due mercati. Inoltre, il mercato energetico è talmente ampio che legarlo all’oro equivale ad un primo passo verso un Gold Standard;

– Nessuno si aspetti una riedizione di Bretton Woods. Però il passo è oltremodo significativo. Stiamo assistendo all’inizio della ricongiunzione della finanza all’economia: anche per questo processo sarà necessario molto tempo, ma la strada è questa;

– Quanto accade però non è un qualcosa di avulso dal resto del contesto, anzi, si muovo tutto in modo coordinato.

– Questi contratti in yuan convertibili in oro sono solo il primo esempio: nella pentola cinese ne stanno soffriggendo innumerevoli altri.

Ricordiamocelo bene: sta cambiando un’epoca.

Cina. Inversione di rotta. Inizia la riduzione del debito.

Trump. Il debito sovrano totale da gennaio è sceso di 102.365 miliardi.

Nota.

212.4 milioni di tonnellate di petrolio corrispondono grosso modo a 1,335 milioni di barili. Ossia ad un prezzo all’ingrosso di  circa 67 miliardi di dollari americani, trasporto e raffinamento escluso.


Crude Oil. 2017-09-03. China Readies Yuan-Priced Crude Oil Benchmark Backed By Gold

The world’s top oil importer, China, is preparing to launch a crude oil futures contract denominated in Chinese yuan and convertible into gold, potentially creating the most important Asian oil benchmark and allowing oil exporters to bypass U.S.-dollar denominated benchmarks by trading in yuan, Nikkei Asian Review reports.

The crude oil futures will be the first commodity contract in China open to foreign investment funds, trading houses, and oil firms. The circumvention of U.S. dollar trade could allow oil exporters such as Russia and Iran, for example, to bypass U.S. sanctions by trading in yuan, according to Nikkei Asian Review. To make the yuan-denominated contract more attractive, China plans the yuan to be fully convertible in gold on the Shanghai and Hong Kong exchanges.

Last month, the Shanghai Futures Exchange and its subsidiary Shanghai International Energy Exchange, INE, successfully completed four tests in production environment for the crude oil futures, and the exchange continues with preparatory works for the listing of crude oil futures, aiming for the launch by the end of this year. ?

“The rules of the global oil game may begin to change enormously,” Luke Gromen, founder of U.S.-based macroeconomic research company FFTT, told Nikkei Asia Review.

The yuan-denominated futures contract has been in the works for years, and after several delays, it looks like it may be launched this year. Some potential foreign traders have been worried that the contract would be priced in yuan.

But according to analysts who spoke to Nikkei Asian Review, backing the yuan-priced futures with gold would be appealing to oil exporters, especially to those that would rather avoid U.S. dollars in trade.  

“It is a mechanism which is likely to appeal to oil producers that prefer to avoid using dollars, and are not ready to accept that being paid in yuan for oil sales to China is a good idea either,” Alasdair Macleod, head of research at Goldmoney, told Nikkei.

Nikkey Asian Review. 2017-09-03. China sees new world order with oil benchmark backed by gold

Yuan-denominated contract will let exporters circumvent US dollar.

*

DENPASAR, Indonesia — China is expected shortly to launch a crude oil futures contract priced in yuan and convertible into gold in what analysts say could be a game-changer for the industry.

The contract could become the most important Asia-based crude oil benchmark, given that China is the world’s biggest oil importer. Crude oil is usually priced in relation to Brent or West Texas Intermediate futures, both denominated in U.S. dollars.

China’s move will allow exporters such as Russia and Iran to circumvent U.S. sanctions by trading in yuan. To further entice trade, China says the yuan will be fully convertible into gold on exchanges in Shanghai and Hong Kong.

“The rules of the global oil game may begin to change enormously,” said Luke Gromen, founder of U.S.-based macroeconomic research company FFTT.

The Shanghai International Energy Exchange has started to train potential users and is carrying out systems tests following substantial preparations in June and July. This will be China’s first commodities futures contract open to foreign companies such as investment funds, trading houses and petroleum companies.

Most of China’s crude imports, which averaged around 7.6 million barrels a day in 2016, are bought on long-term contracts between China’s major oil companies and foreign national oil companies. Deals also take place between Chinese majors and independent Chinese refiners, and between foreign oil majors and global trading companies.

Alan Bannister, Asia director of S&P Global Platts, an energy information provider, said that the active involvement of Chinese independent refiners over the last few years “has created a more diverse marketplace of participants domestically in China, creating an environment in which a crude futures contract is more likely to succeed.”

China has long wanted to reduce the dominance of the U.S. dollar in the commodities markets. Yuan-denominated gold futures have been traded on the Shanghai Gold Exchange since April 2016, and the exchange is planning to launch the product in Budapest later this year.

Yuan-denominated gold contracts were also launched in Hong Kong in July — after two unsuccessful earlier attempts — as China seeks to internationalize its currency. The contracts have been moderately successful.

The existence of yuan-backed oil and gold futures means that users will have the option of being paid in physical gold, said Alasdair Macleod, head of research at Goldmoney, a gold-based financial services company based in Toronto. “It is a mechanism which is likely to appeal to oil producers that prefer to avoid using dollars, and are not ready to accept that being paid in yuan for oil sales to China is a good idea either,” Macleod said.

Yuan-denominated gold contracts have significant implications, especially for countries like Russia and Iran, Qatar and Venezuela, said Louis-Vincent Gave, chief executive of Gavekal Research, a Hong Kong-based financial research company.

These countries would be less vulnerable to Washington’s use of the dollar as a “soft weapon,” if they should fall foul of U.S. foreign policy, he said. “By creating a gold contract settled in renminbi [an alternative name for the yuan], Russia may now sell oil to China for renminbi, then take whatever excess currency it earns to buy gold in Hong Kong. As a result, Russia does not have to buy Chinese assets or switch the proceeds into dollars,” said Gave.

Grant Williams, an adviser to Vulpes Investment Management, a Singapore-based hedge fund sponsor, said he expects most oil producers to be happy to exchange their oil reserves for gold. “It’s a transfer of holding their assets in black liquid to yellow metal. It’s a strategic move swapping oil for gold, rather than for U.S. Treasuries, which can be printed out of thin air,” he said.

Market share

China has been indicating to producers that those happy to sell to them in yuan will benefit from more business. Producers that will not sell to China in yuan will lose market share.

Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, is a case in point. China proposed pricing oil in yuan to Saudi Arabia in late July, according to Chinese media. It is unclear if Saudi Arabia will yield to its biggest customer, but Beijing has been reducing Saudi Arabia’s share of its total imports, which fell from 25% in 2008 to 15% in 2016.

Chinese oil imports rose 13.8% year-on-year during the first half of 2017, but supplies from Saudi Arabia inched up just 1% year-on-year. Over the same timeframe, Russian oil shipments jumped 11%, making Russia China’s top supplier. Angola, which made the yuan its second legal currency in 2015, leapfrogged Saudi Arabia into second spot with an increase of 22% in oil exports to China in the same period.

If Saudi Arabia accepts yuan settlement for oil, Gave said, “this would go down like a lead balloon in Washington, where the U.S. Treasury would see this as a threat to the dollar’s hegemony… and it is unlikely the U.S. would continue to approve modern weapon sales to Saudi and the embedded protection of the House of Saud [the kingdom’s ruling family] that comes with them.”

The alternative for Saudi Arabia is equally unappetizing. “Getting boxed out of the Chinese market will increasingly mean having to dump excess oil inventories on the global stage, thereby ensuring a sustained low price for oil,” said Gave.

But the kingdom is finding other ways to get in with China. On Aug. 24, Saudi Vice Minister of Economy and Planning Mohammed al-Tuwaijri, told a conference in Jeddah that the government was looking at the possibility of issuing a yuan-denominated bond. Saudi Arabia and China have also agreed to establish a $20 billion joint investment fund.

Furthermore, the two countries could cement their relationship if China were to take a cornerstone investment in the planned initial public offering of a 5% state in Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company. The IPO is expected to be the largest ever, although details on the listing venue and valuation are yet scant.

If China were to buy into Saudi Aramco the pricing of Saudi oil could shift from U.S. dollars to yuan, said Macleod. Crucially, “if China can tie in Aramco, with Russia, Iran et al, she will have a degree of influence over nearly 40% of global production, and will be able to progress her desire to exclude dollars for yuan,” he said.

“What is interesting is that China’s leadership originally planned to clean up the markets next year, but brought it forward to this year. One interpretation of that change is that they have brought forward the day when they pay for oil in yuan,” said Simon Hunt, a strategic adviser to international investors on the Chinese economy and geopolitics.

China is also making efforts to set other commodity benchmarks, such as gas and copper, as Beijing seeks to transform the yuan into the natural trading currency for Asia and emerging markets.

Yuan oil futures are expected to attract interest from investors and funds, while state-backed oil majors, such as PetroChina and China Petroleum & Chemical (Sinopec) will provide liquidity to ensure trade. Locally registered entities of JPMorgan, a U.S. bank, and UBS, a Swiss bank, are among the first to have gained approval to trade the contract. But it is understood that the market will be also open to retail investors.

Pubblicato in: Cina, Geopolitica Mondiale, Politica Mondiale

Cina. Xiamen. Brics Plus alla conquista del mondo.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2017-08-30.

Pechino-Cina

Abbiamo già riferito del Simposio di Quanzhou e del programma Belt and Road.

Cina. Quanzhou. I Brics decidono cosa farsene dell’Occidente.

Russia, Cina e Stati Uniti. Venezuela. I venezuelani sono comparse.

Belt and Road Forum. L’alternativa a Davos ed al G20.

Obor. Progetto cinese su di un terzo del pil mondiale, per ora.

Brics. Il Summit di settembre a Xiamen. Ripudio dell’Occidente.

Cina. Banche Cinesi e Belt and Road. Yuan come valuta internazionale.

Filippine. La situazione analizzata dal punto di vista cinese. Xinhua.

*

Cina. Inversione di rotta. Inizia la riduzione del debito.

*

I Brics crescono ogni giorno che passa.

Da un punto di vista meramente economico, se si considera il pil per potere di acquisto, il mondo genera 108,036,500 milioni Usd, la Cina 17,617,300 (16.31%) e gli Stati Uniti 17,418,00 (16.12%). L’Eurozona rende conto di 11,249,482 (10.41%) ed il Gruppo dei G7 di 31.825,293 (29.46%). Però i Brics conteggiano un pil ppa di 32,379,625 Usd, ossia il 29.97% del pil ppa mondiale. I Brics valgono come i paesi del G7.

Di conseguenza, la voce dell’Occidente vale nel mondo al massimo per il 29.46%, ma quella degli Stati Uniti vale solo il 16.12% e quella dell’Eurozona uno scarno 10.41%.

Il pil ppa rende bene l’idea, ma non è l’unico modo di conteggiare. Secondo altre metodiche i Brics varrebbero il 25% dell’economia mondiale e renderebbero conto del 50% della crescita dei sistemi economici. Un risultato molto simile al 29.97%.

Il pil ppa rende conto del reale potere di acquisto.

* * * * * * *

Brics. Il Summit di settembre a Xiamen. Ripudio dell’Occidente.

Cina. Banche Cinesi e Belt and Road. Yuan come valuta internazionale.

Filippine. La situazione analizzata dal punto di vista cinese. Xinhua.

 *

La Cina sta per lanciare il progetto Brics Plus.

The Valdai Discussion Club. 2017-07-19. BRICS-Plus: Alternative Globalization in the Making?

«Given that the BRICS is a unique grouping that is present in all key regions and continents of the developing world, it could serve as a platform for expanding South-South cooperation and economic integration across a wide range of areas. In this regard, rather that seeking to expand core membership, the BRICS+ construct is first and foremost about a different approach to economic integration and a different technology of how alliances are structured globally.»

The Valdai Discussion Club. 2017-07-19. BRICS Plus: New Technology, New Vision for Economic Integration

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The Times of India. 2017-05-09. China wants ‘BRICS plus’ to include ‘friendly’ countries

The Quint. 2017-08-23. BRICS-Plus? Or a BRICS-Minus Modi Summit in Xiamen?

First Post. 2017-06-20. China says proposed ‘BRICS Plus’ will enhance cooperation with other countries, will not become military alliance

China Daily. 2017-04-17. ‘BRICS Plus’ can become new integration model for world economy

China Org. 2017-03-26. The BRICS-Plus paradigm

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«China will host the ninth BRICS annual summit in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian Province, from September 3 to 5»

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«the growing impact of the association of emerging countries on the world»

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«The actions of the BRICS members have a global impact rather than just being restricted to the five member countries»

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«Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China would explore the expansion modalities for “BRICS Plus” and build a wider partnership by holding dialogues with other major developing countries»

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«Currently, the BRICS group has five member countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and potential new members such as Mexico, Pakistan and Sri Lanka»

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«This governance approach could provide a reference point for other countries with some adaptations to meet varying national conditions …. various options for governance suited to their own situation»

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«to discuss good practices of domestic governance as well as new approaches to global governance»

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Cerchiamo di ragionare, nei limiti del possibile.

– Quanto a potere di spesa, al momento i Brics valgono come i paesi del G7;

– Già ora i Brics Plus sarebbero il blocco economico più grande del mondo;

– Prendendo atto del tasso di crescita, tra dieci anni, che passano presto, saranno il blocco economico capace di imporre le proprie regole al mondo, relegando l’Occidente a ruolo subalterno;

– Il “governance approach” dei Brics è esattamente l’opposto di quello occidentale o, più esattamente, di quello liberal e socialista ideologico, che esce storicamente battuto, in declino;

– I Brics hanno un obiettivo dichiarato, ossia quello di proporre, ed imporre de facto, il proprio “new approaches to global governance“.

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Il modello di governo offerto dai cinesi tende a rispettare e valorizzare le singole identità statali, e questa è la carta vincente. Propone, non impone. Esattamente l’opposto della visione liberal. L’opposto di quanto nell’Unione Europea stanno cercando di fare Frau Merkel e Mr Macron. È immune da pruriti ideologici ed avversa la visione etica e morale dei liberal.

Distruggendo il proprio retaggio religioso, storico, culturale e sociale l’Occidente che abbatte le statue dei suoi grandi, che è ossessionato da ogni possibile perversione sessuale assunta a traguardo di civiltà, non fa altro che spianare la strada all’innalzamento dei Brics e della Cina.

Se non fosse fantapolitica, si dovrebbe concludere che i liberal democratici ed i socialisti ideologici europei siano al soldo della Russia e della Cina.

Nota.

L’articolo citato di China Org usa il termine “socialismo” secondo l’accezione cinese del termine, non secondo quella occidentale: si evitino le confusioni.


China Org. 2017-08-23. Huang Youyi: BRICS influence beyond five countries

“With improved cooperation, improved economy and shared solutions for fighting world challenges, BRICS will further expand its influence in the next decade,” predicted a Chinese expert on Thursday during a seminar in southeastern China.

Huang Youyi, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and executive vice president of the Translators Association of China, foresaw the growing impact of the association of emerging countries on the world stage during an interview with China.org.cn on the sidelines of the BRICS Seminar on Governance that opened Aug. 17 in Quanzhou, Fujian Province.

“The actions of the BRICS members have a global impact rather than just being restricted to the five member countries,” said Huang, pointing out that more countries were showing interest in the mechanism and would like to learn from each country’s successful development models.

As many as 160 people from government agencies, business circle and the academia in the BRICS nations and over 10 countries outside the bloc joined the seminar to discuss good practices of domestic governance as well as new approaches to global governance, leading to openness, inclusiveness, mutual benefits and win-win output.

Earlier this year, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China would explore the expansion modalities for “BRICS Plus” and build a wider partnership by holding dialogues with other major developing countries and organizations, so as to turn BRICS into the world’s most influential platform for South-South cooperation.

Currently, the BRICS group has five member countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – and potential new members such as Mexico, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The seminar in Quanzhou, in Huang’s words, “fully reflects the BRICS spirit as well as China’s position of common consultation and win-win resolution”, with people from different parts of the world, including Africa, Asia and Latin America, coming together to exchange ideas and explore various options for governance suited to their own situation.

Explaining China’s approach to domestic governance, Huang said that, after many trials and tribulations and more than 100 years of experience, only in the last decades had the nation managed to find a path suitable to its own conditions, namely, the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, able to carry out reforms and meet various important goals.

This governance approach could provide a reference point for other countries with some adaptations to meet varying national conditions, he added.

Besides the domestic approach, China’s global governance style has met with strong support, with its ideas like building a community of shared future for mankind, inclusive development and common consultation gaining popularity worldwide.

This, Huang argued, was proved by the sheer number of international participants in and outside the BRICS mechanism attending the Quanzhou seminar.

“The idea of ‘BRICS Plus’ does sound attractive,” he added.

Before the organization, as expected, includes more members, he believed there would be all kinds of forums as well as annual meetings held under the BRICS mechanism involving the participation of more people outside of the five countries.

China will host the ninth BRICS annual summit in the southeastern coastal city of Xiamen, Fujian Province, from September 3 to 5, as the country takes the rotating chair of the influential bloc.