Friday, July 27, 2018

EU Now Trump's Lackey?

Update including Twitter Analytics added below on August 1st.


After the meeting between US president Trump and Claude Juncker, the high-ranking envoy of the European Community, it became clear that Trump is trying to clean up the mess of his trade war with China by pressuring Europe.

EU member states should now buy soy beans to save US farmers from the loss they are suffering from China's counter-measures against Trump's crazy import tariffs.

The Europeans should, as well, buy liquified natural gas (LNG) from America and act against a strategical decision, already made years ago by Germany and some of its European partners, to rely on natural gas from Russia. This time it's about selling America's LNG surplus and shipping it to Europe where a network of pipelines for the provision with Russia's natural gas is already existing or in construction. First comments are hinting at the fact that a change in the strategy of energy provision would cost too much, even though some EU members in Western Europe, might tend to prefer the LNG solution.

As a recompensation Trump would consider to refrain from further tariffs on European automobiles which would hit Germany especially hard.

Yesterday, a Chinese financial and economics publication came to my attention with a comment on the Trump-Juncker meeting:


The European Union gave in ! Agreed to import US soy beans
and liquified natural gas [LNG], thus creating a spearhead
actually pointing at China and Russia.


当中国对来自美国的大豆征收 25%的关税后,美国的大豆行情就一路下挫。 芝加哥期货交易所(CBOT)的大豆期货价格下跌 20%,跌至 10 年最低。

美国当地时间 7 月 23 日,民间出口商向美国农业部(USDA)报告, 又有 16.5 万吨销往中国的大豆订单被取消。而在 6 月, 我国也累计取消了 61.5 万吨美国大豆订单。

中国作为美国豆农的最大金主,进口的美国大豆占美国大豆总出口量的 62%。 据路透社报道,今年秋季,中国大豆进口量仅占美国提前采购量的 17%, 相比过去十年平均水平下降了 60%。

The impact of soy bean imports by the European Union:
The soy bean is China's "killing mace" in the Sino-US trade war.

After China imposed a 25% tariff on soy beans coming from the US, US market quotations dropped all the way. The forward prices for soy beans at the Chicago futures exchange (CBOT) dropped for 20% to a 10 year's minimum.

On July 23 US local date, nongovernmental export traders reported to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) that an order for 165.000 tons of soy beans [for shipment to] China had been cancelled, adding to another order of 615.000 tons of US soy beans cancelled in June.

China is being looked upon as US [soy] bean farmer's biggest money spender, its imports making up for 62% of all US soy bean exports. According to a [Lu Tou She] report, this autumn China's soy bean import volume will only make up for 17% of America's beforehand purchase volume. That is a decrease of 60% compared with the average level of the last ten years.

Dropping of soy bean market quotations during Trump's recent trade war on China (above)
and his allegations of earlier losses before his presidency (below) and that should be the
reason for a 12 billion $ governmental aid for US soy bean farmers. Recent losses due to
Trump are partly smoothed by an increase of European soy bean imports.


近年来在美国爆发页岩革命大伙应该不会陌生,美国的原油产量也是逐年上升。 其实,相比较页岩油,页岩气对对全球能源市场影响更大。

美国页岩油还只是能降低美国对进口石油的依赖,但页岩气不同, 不仅仅可以完全满足国内对天然气的需求,还可以对全世界进行出口。

The impact of natural gas imports by the European Union:
If it can be said that soy bean imports are effecting the Sino-American trade war, then imports of natural gas are closely linked with Russia.

In recent years, the shale [oil] revolution broke out in America, and with which everybody should be familiar. US crude oil production has risen as well year after year. In fact, the influence of shallow oil and shallow gas on the global markets of energy resources relatively increased.

While US shallow oil can only reduce America's dependence from oil imports, shallow gas is different as it cannot only completely satisfy the country's domestic demand, but can be globally exported.

[Opinion from FX168 财经网, a Chinese network for finance and economics, on July 26, 2018]


Voices from the Underground :

While US vice-president Mike Pence proposed 'Jesus Care' replacing Obama Health Care (left),
Russia's president Putin allegedly enjoyed a fantastic deal when 'Buying American' (right).


Visitors and Statistics :

Monday, July 23, 2018

US War Plannings - Iranian Warning

Evening Update on July 23 included !

رئيس أركان الجيش الإيراني: أمريكا خططت لشن هجوم عسكري على إيران

Iranian army chief: America planned to launch a military attack on Iran.

[Ahram Gate بوابة الأهرام, Egypt, on July 22, 2018]

“You cannot provoke the Iranian people against their own security and interests,” [Iran's president Rouhani] said.

Rouhani spoke ahead of a much-trailed speech by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later Sunday, seen as part of Washington’s efforts to foment unrest against the Islamic government in Iran.

Rouhani repeated his warning that Iran could shut down the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane for international oil supplies.

“We have always guaranteed the security of this strait. Do not play with the lion’s tail, you will regret it forever,” he said.

The US is seeking to tighten the economic screws on Iran, abandoning a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reimposing stringent sanctions.

Washington has also launched concerted propaganda efforts in Iran, including social media campaigns, designed to exacerbate popular discontent.

[Times of Israel on July 22, 2018]

Trump's big-letter tweet answering Hassan Rouhani's allegations
of US aggression and his threats to close the Strait of Hormuz.


Latest news on international oil prices: The heated confrontation between US and Iran
is driving up international oil prices. Rising fears about an interruption of Middle Eastern
crude oil supply !

Tendency for international crude oil.

[Gold Network 黄金网 on July 23, 2018]

US Ambassador Wendy Sherman, former Under Secretary of State for political affairs
and involved in negotiating the Iranian nuclear deal, is speaking out on Donald Trump
harrassing the Iranian leadership at a time "when the walls are closing in on him".


Visitor to "blueprint news" coming from Rennes, France, and who is interested in Iran.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

South China Sea - US Naval Exercises

In a press conference granted on his 7th week as the new commander of the US Indo Pacific Command, Admiral Philip Davidson faced the media for the first time. A journalist covering the 2018 Rim of the Pacific Exercises for the Philippine based GMA News informed his readers on July 21. Here are some quotations from his article:

It was no surprise that the first question was about the perceived belligerence of China in the Indo-Pacific Region.

Davidson admits there were some aspects of Chinese behavior in the region that was a matter of concern for the United States.

“There are areas in which China is trying to supplant the United States and our interests in the region. They’re exercising some coercive economic practices in the region as well," he said.

The US, Davidson said, is quite clear on the environment it wants to maintain in the region.

“We have made it quite plain that our interest is in a free and open Indo-Pacific as opposed to some alternative structure that is rather opaque," he said.

Previously, the US came under fire from some of its allies for not doing enough in the region to stem Chinese aggression, particularly in the disputed areas of the South China Sea.

China had built artificial islands on disputed waters in the South China Sea and was recently reported to have put missile and electronic jamming systems as well.

Fishermen from the Philippines have reported harrasment from Chinese Coast Guard personnel in one form or another in recent months, particularly at the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal).


As a consequence of China reneging on its promise not to militarize the artificial islands, US Pacific Command and the US State Department retracted the standing invitation to China for this year's RIMPAC exercises.

"The Chinese promised they would not militarize those outposts in the South China Sea. And in April it became evident that they had moved arms directly there; so that was the reason for the disinvite here to RIMPAC," Davidson said.

Upon the invitation of the US, China became a participant in the 2014 and 2016 RIMPAC exercises.

They were scheduled to attend this year's exercises until they were disinvited early this year.


Invited or not, China still managed to have its presence felt at RIMPAC. Davidson confirmed that a Chinese surveillance ship was in the area observing the exercises.

Reports coming from the US Naval Institute identified the vessel as a Dongdiao class auxillary general intelligence ship. This was the same ship the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy sent to RIMPAC in 2014 and 2016.


Without naming China in particular, Davidson outlined the biggest challenge facing his command.

"A challenge from a country that runs an authoritarian and closed internal order, how that would function in an international environment escapes me. I think it's important that the free and open nations that you guys all represent with us continue to advance this order for, again, our mutual security, our interests, economic interests, and our values," he said.

Davidson however did not rule out future cooperation with China in the region saying both superpowers had common interests as well.

美日澳环太军演击沉实体舰 美媒:专门打给中共看

US, Japan and Australia in "Rim of the Pacific Exercises" downing whole ships.
US media: Specific call for China to look.

[NTDTV 新唐人电视台 on July 21 (July 20 NY Time), 2018]

[The Guardian on July 21, 2018]

美日射10枚导弹才击沉靶船 能突破中国海军防护网?

US and Japan launched 10 missiles just to sink a target ship.
Could they break through the protective net of China's navy ?

After an assessment of weapons applied by the US, Japanese and Australian military vessels in their "sinking exercise", the author brings about a military analysis of that exercise:

分析认为,美日澳这次“击沉演习”虽然最终击沉了这艘退役的登陆舰,但是过程相当难堪,因为至少发射了超过10枚导弹和鱼雷, 才让其缓慢地沉入海底,这应该是对三国反舰能力的一次羞辱。如果说这次演习是“与中国作战的一次预演”,那么,美日澳可就心惊了, 类似排水量的中国舰艇可不是这样听任胡乱打击的,中国主战舰艇上的“红旗-10”、730近防炮和1130近防炮可以有效拦截4倍 音速以下的反舰导弹,美日澳这些导弹都在这个拦截范围之内。可以说,打一艘老旧登陆舰都这么难,对付中国最新舰艇可就更难了! (作者署名:军评陈光文)

An analysis therefore considers that the US-Japanese-Australian "sinking exercise" finally sunk that retired landing ship, but the process is quite embarrassing because at least 10 missiles and torpedoes were launched to make it slowly sink to the seabed. This should be a shame for the anti-ship capabilities of the three countries. If the exercise is "a preview of the battle with China," then the United States, Japan, and Australia will be frightened. The Chinese ships with a similar displacement cannot be so easily attacked. The "Red Flag-10" [missile] on China's main battleships, the 730 near-distance anti-aircraft gun and the 1130 near-distance anti-aircraft gun can effectively intercept anti-ship missiles below 4 times the speed of sound. The US, Japanese and Australian missiles are within their interception range. It can be said that if it is so difficult to hit an old landing ship, it will be even harder to deal with the latest Chinese ships ! (Author's signature: Military Review Chen Guangwen)

[SINA Military 新浪军事 on July 22, 2018]


Some of the Top-Tweets by @blueprint_news are dealing
with the Rising Tensions in the South China Sea.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Trump And Putin Talking Business

Last Update: July 20

Update: Photo shooting session on July 16, 2018

Tomorrow morning the Helsinki summit is going to start where US president Trump and his Russian counterpart Putin will have to discuss subjects of common interest.

Trump's expectations of a summit that unites the "big leaders who really count" in a photo shooting session (like that with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un) will probably come true, however, the urgence of discussing one additional new item on the agenda might become a headache for Trump: The need to challenge Putin on the item of Russian intelligence officials interfering in the US presidential elections of 2016 and which brought about Trump's own inauguration as a president against all odds.

Besides it's mainly about "talking business" and which means the placement of each side on the European markets for natural gas, either from Russia (Northstream-II pipeline for gas from Siberia) or the USA (Liquid Natural Gas LNG).

As far as I remember, a first US project for liquidizing natural gas had been started by Shell in Afghanistan prior to the September 11 incidents. Thereafter Shell resumed their activities in Shanghai, China, and which were related to China's giant project of building a natural gas pipeline intended to join the Central Asian part of China with the industrial region of Shanghai.

That should be the reason for People's Daily Network to point at the Russian project Northstream-II and which would establish an alternative for Europe's energy supply.

The fact of US-Russian competition delivers, as well, an explanation for Trump's behaviour on the latest NATO summit when he bullied Germany by naming it "a Russian captive". That's just how powerseller Trump is functioning: "You are still better off as a US captive than a Russian captive."

“北溪-2”项目计划在波罗的海海底铺设管道,把俄罗斯天然气输送到德国, 再通过德国干线管道输送到其他欧洲国家。建成后,俄罗斯将向德国每年输气 550亿立方米,可满足欧洲10%的天然气需求。

The Northstream-II project plans to lay pipelines on the Baltic Sea floor, transport Russian gas to Germany, and then transport it to other European countries through the German trunk pipeline. After the completion, Russia will deliver 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Germany and which can meet 10% of natural gas demand in Europe.

据报道,特朗普在出席北约峰会期间称“德国近70%的天然气市场被俄罗斯控制”, 认为德国同意推进“北溪-2”项目“不可接受”。俄方则认为,特朗普批评“北溪-2”项目, 原因在于美国有意向欧洲出口液化天然气。

According to reports, during his attendance at the NATO summit, Trump said that "nearly 70% of the natural gas market in Germany is controlled by Russia", and that Germany agreed to promote the Northstream-II project "in an unacceptable way". The Russian side believes that Trump criticized the Northstream-II project because the United States intends to export Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) to Europe.

[People's Daily Network 人民网, Beijing, on July 14, 2018]

Helsinki citizens protest against, both, Putin and Trump on July 15, 2018. [The Guardian, UK]

View my Collection of Related Tweets !


Visitors to "blueprint news" coming from Singapore, Australia and the USA.

Friday, July 13, 2018

US Elections 2016 Rigged by Russian Agents

Early Morning Update on July 14 included !

The Friday indictment of a dozen Russian nationals for hacking into the Democratic National Committee landed days before President Donald Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, adding a stunning new dimension to a meeting already fraught with tension.

Hours before Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced the charges, Trump vowed to ask Putin “firmly” about Moscow’s involvement in the last presidential election, but he warned that the “stupidity” of domestic politics and the special counsel's ongoing probe into the issue was holding back U.S.-Russian relations.


Rosenstein unveiled the indictments of 12 Russians, all Russian intelligence officers, that special counsel Robert Mueller alleged "engaged in a sustained effort to hack into the computer networks of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the DNC and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton."

Rosenstein said he had briefed Trump about the allegations earlier this week and said the timing of the announcement was a coincidence.

Throughout his European tour, Trump has suggested he would like to build a better relationship with Putin. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Trump described Putin as a "competitor," not an enemy or a friend.

"Not a question of friend or enemy. He’s not my enemy. And hopefully, someday, maybe he’ll be a friend. It could happen,” Trump said.

Democrats on Capitol Hill said the indictments underscored the need for Trump to press Putin on the issue. Several, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called on Trump to cancel the meeting altogether.

“These indictments are further proof of what everyone but the president seems to understand: President Putin is an adversary who interfered in our elections to help President Trump win," Schumer said.

[USA Today on July 13, 2018]

The 12 [indicted Russians] are members of Russia’s spy agency the GRU, the successor to the KGB, in which President Putin was an intelligence officer.

Mr Rosenstein said they disseminated the stolen emails, which rocked Clinton’s campaign, on the websites Guccifer 2.0, DCLeaks, and “another entity.”

DCLeaks disguised itself as the work of American hackers, while Guccifer was supposedly a lone Romanian. But Mr Rosenstein said they were all GRU agents.

The defendants were slapped with multiple charges, including conspiracy, identity theft and money laundering. They remain at large, presumably in Russia.

Mr Rosenstein said there was no evidence of American involvement in the indictments, and that nothing in the indictment suggested the hacking changed the election results.

And he warned people to avoid speculation about the ongoing Mueller probe.

“I want to caution you, the people who speculate about federal investigations usually do not know all of the relevant facts. We do not try cases on television or in congressional hearings,” he said.

[News.Com.Au , Australia on July 14, 2018]

Some days earlier on July 4, first allegations of Russia having interfered in 2016 US presidential elections were published by China News Network 中国新闻网:


US visitor to "blueprint news" and who has a special interest in the 2016 election subject.

Visitor coming from Sanaa in Yemen.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

US Tariffs - China Countermeasures

Latest News on China Tariffs - July 11

Please Note: Bloomberg videos can only be viewed under Youtube (use the link)

The Sydney Morning Herald on July 11, 2018:
'Reckless': Trump escalates trade war with another $US200b in Chinese tariffs

The Trump administration pushed ahead with plans to impose tariffs on further $US200 billion in Chinese products by releasing a list of targets, marking a sharp escalation in a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Comment from the Australian Financial Review on July 11, 2018:
The leader of the world's most powerful country is a dangerous ignoramus. So how should the rest of the world respond? What makes this so difficult to answer is that Donald Trump has created chaos. It is so difficult to negotiate with him because nobody knows what he and his team want. This is just not normal.

[Notification from China's Ministry of Finance on July 8, 2018]

That's what the Chinese might be thinking .....

Chinese music video " Cold War No.2 " 電影寒戰2

One of Donald Trump's most recent tweets composed on July 9, 2018, is intended to reassure us
that he was really elected president against all odds. The video included is a summary of opinions
denying he might have any chance in the elections and shows how surprised his enemies were
when the ultimate catastrophe happened.

However it doesn't need to convince the world of his "real" presidency. We already accepted that
Trump was elected by Homer Simpson and the people of Springfield. And there lies the problem !


Friday, July 06, 2018

China Trade - Trump Pulled The Trigger

Last Update: July 7

U.S. president Donald Trump fired the biggest shot yet in the global trade war by imposing tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports. China immediately said it would be forced to retaliate.

The duties on Chinese goods started at 12:01 a.m. Friday in Washington, which is just after midday in China. Another $16 billion of goods could follow in two weeks, Trump earlier told reporters, before suggesting the final total could eventually reach $550 billion, a figure that exceeds all of U.S. goods imports from China in 2017.

U.S. customs officials will begin collecting an additional 25 percent tariff on imports from China of goods ranging from farming plows to semiconductors and airplane parts. China’s officials have previously said they would respond by imposing higher levies on goods ranging from American soybeans to pork, which may in turn prompt Trump to raise trade barriers even higher.

[Quotations from Bloomberg on July 6, 2018]


Shen Jianguang: The key to winning the Sino-US trade war.


[Shen Jianguang is a well-known columnist on economic subjects with an interesting academic career.]

The Sino-US trade war is only at its beginning, and there are still many variables in its future evolution depending on the economic situation of the two countries, the political "game", the international battlefield and other factors.

[CAIXIN 财新,a Chinese publication on economics and financing on July 6, 2018]


Internal worries and external trouble; - which of both causes more headache for America ?


One needs to know that among US import market shares China accounts for about 21%, the European Union for 18% and Mexico / Canada for 13%. If America wants to wage a trade war against trading partners that exceed 60% of US import share, it will really be difficult to obtain benefits, and America will face difficulties in import substitution and a rising inflation rate. And if those countries collectively opposed US trade sanctions, they would cause a negative impact on US economy and employment.

[SINA Economics and Finance 新浪财经 on July 6, 2018]

.......... in recent decades the development of integrated supply chains has allowed countries around the world to concentrate on economic activities in which each holds a comparative advantage. In short, global supply chains mean countries can focus on what they do best. The result has been marked increases in productivity, widespread economic growth and big improvements in material living standards around the world.

By launching a trade war that threatens to disrupt these supply chains, Trump would in effect be attempting to roll back the tide of globalisation that has propelled global economic growth.

Although some countries would fare better than others in the conflict, emerging as winners in relative terms, the resulting slowdown in global trade and investment would clearly damage overall world economic growth, and could even lead to a contraction in the world economy as a whole.


The optimists hope the US president is bluffing, and that he intends to fight no more than a phoney war before settling for a showpiece settlement, as he did with North Korea.

In the pessimists’ view, Trump regards international trade as a zero-sum game, which for too long the US has been losing. To Trump, if tariffs inflict losses on other countries, the US will be the winner.

The coming weeks and months will determine which version is correct (and it is possible the US president himself does not know). In the meantime, however, the damage already done to trust in the global trade regime and to confidence in international investment suggests that the global economy as a whole is likely to be the big loser.

[South China Morning Post on July 7, 2018]

US experts: Winning trade wars is a myth.


Network News Blog: The Trade War World Cup - Trump will Tear Apart WHO and Kick NATO ?

[GUANCHAZHE (The Observer) 观察者 news blog quoted on July 7, 2018]