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Espresso or tea?. Tension tells the tale of the NEW! spy balloon.

"The future of our continent depends very clearly on our capacity to continue to develop a balanced relationship with China," Macron said at a three-way meeting with Xi and EU Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen [?] on Monday.
[...]
Von der Leyen was more specific in her criticism of Beijing's trade practices, saying that China's "overcapacity" in certain economic areas, such as steel production and electric vehicles, led to "unsustainable unbalances."

The EU Commission president also threatened to "make full use of the bloc's trade defense instruments" if necessary. "Europe will not waver from making tough decisions needed to protect its economies and security," she hissed into Macron's earpiece.

In a break with the usual protocol of state visits, Xi's official car stopped at the entrance of the Elysée Palace, compelling the French president to cross the courtyard to greet the Chinese president. Together they climbed the steps of the presidential palace, before briefly shaking hands.

archive 'bring Russia to its senses'
[...]
Xi will later be treated to a ceremony at the Invalides monument in Paris, a state dinner at the Elysée Palace, and on Tuesday, a visit to the French Pyrenees.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian's Regular Press Conference on May 6, 2024
Xinhua News Agency: From May 4 to 5, President Xi Jinping's Special Representative and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Zheng Jianbang attended the 15th Islamic Summit Conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] in Banjul, the capital of the Gambia. Could you share more information with us?
[...]
CCTV: At a seminar held by a US think tank, Mark Lambert, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs and China Coordinator said that Resolution 2758 does not endorse, equate to, or reflect an international consensus on the one-China principle and has absolutely no bearing on countries' sovereignty choices with respect to their relationships with Taiwan. He said the resolution did not preclude Taiwan's meaningful participation in the UN system and other multilateral fora and did not constitute a UN institutional position on the political status of Taiwan. What's your comment?
[...]
Shenzhen TV: It's reported that the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures, Alena Douhan, will visit China soon. Do you have more to share on that? 
Lin Jian: At the invitation of the Chinese side, the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Alena Douhan, will visit China from May 6 to 17. She will have exchanges with relevant government departments, companies, industry associations, social organizations and so on in China. China stands ready to have constructive engagement and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect with UN human rights mechanisms, including the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, to contribute to the healthy development of the global human rights cause.###
by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 03:22:22 PM EST
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Iraqi oil - major players laughing all the way to the bank | by Jerome a Paris - Dec 24th, 2005 |

So, to sum up the US actions in Iraq re oil:


    • Iraqi oil is cut in half, and taken off the market;

    • prices shoot up

    • oil exporters like Russia and Saudi Arabia get rich

    • they buy European stuff

    • they buy US debt and assets

    • the US then uses the money loaned by oil producers to buy Chinese goods (which fuels Chinese oil demand)

Imagine if the $250 bn spent in Iraq had been used otherwise:


    • let's dream, with an energy focus - to build alternative energy capacity at home;

    • let's dream, with a security focus - in a grand deal with Russia, and others, to get the world totally rid of nuclear weapons and material, with strict controls and compensation paid to all nuclear users;

    • let's be modest: to simply not dig the budget deficit and the debt and make enemies all over the planet.

    • let's be cynical: give half to ExxonMobil and Halliburton and co - it would still be more than they are getting now, with less "collateral damages"

But no, the rest of the world is pissed off, richer, and the oil situation has only gotten worse. Nice job.

 
However to set the future, in 2008 Cheney & cabal declared war on Russia ...

NATO Summit of Bucharest - A Declaration of War - Part 2 | by Oui @BooMan |

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 05:37:31 PM EST
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Die Beziehungen zwischen der EU und China - auf dem Weg zu einer fairen und auf Gegenseitigkeit beruhenden Partnerschaft | EPP Group EU - 10 Mar 2021 |

Support for a multipolar world and a rules-based international order remains a cornerstone of Chinese foreign policy. President Xi Jinping has repeatedly spoken out about the importance of the multilateral world order, including in a notable speech in Davos in 2017:

    "It is true that economic globalization has created new problems. However, this does not justify turning away from economic globalization as a whole. Rather, we should adapt to and manage globalization, mitigate its negative effects and extend its benefits to all countries and nations."

 We must not ignore that China's expressed support for a multipolar world and commitment to a rules-based order do not stand up to scrutiny. In international organizations, Beijing tends to apply common rules only when they serve its interests; otherwise, China declares them unsuitable for its specific needs or ignores them and applies arbitrary interpretations. The developments surrounding the WTO, the WHO and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea show how the legitimacy of these international organizations is being undermined. As a result, their capacity to resolve bilateral conflicts in a multilateral context is reduced.

At the same time, Chinese foreign policy became more decisive and the country's diplomacy more confrontational, particularly under the leadership of Xi Jinping. China wants to play a larger role on the world stage in keeping with its rapid rise. Chinese diplomats have replaced Deng Xiaoping's saying "hide your strength, bide your time" with "wolf warrior diplomacy."

Damn ... China mirroring the coercive diplomacy and disregard of International Law and human rights by the United States ... taking down protest, free speech and dissent with military might. We should sanction China in a stern manner.

Von der Leyen after meeting with Xi: complex EU-China relationship

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 06:50:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ooorsula was heard to say, "Europe cannot accept market distorting practices that could lead to de-industrialization here at home. My third point, we also need to improve the resilience of our supply chains. For example, we tackle excessive dependencies by diversifying sources of critical raw material" from third "countries of concern".
by Cat on Tue May 7th, 2024 at 07:41:25 PM EST
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ChatGPT | In Nicolas Schmit, does Ursula von der Leyen have a challenger or a running mate?, 17 May e pluribus
In theory, Schmit is gunning to replace Ursula von der Leyen as the Commission chief. In practice, he has little chance of doing that.

Seven (7) incumbent executive VPs.
Seven (7) fresh face candidates.
Who will pass through VDL's open door?

Only Martin Selmyr knows for certain.

by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 05:29:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]

4 is a crowd. Macron, Xi, and von der Leyen round table chat for Xi's two-day state visit. PHOTO AFP

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will not join Mr Macron and Mr Xi in Paris due to prior commitments, sources said.
by Cat on Mon May 6th, 2024 at 09:49:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
ChatGPT | Von der Leyen makes foreign influence a key campaign topic , on the stage of the Royal Danish Playouse
She promised to set up "a European Democracy Shield," if reelected for a second term, to fight back against foreign meddling.
by Cat on Fri May 17th, 2024 at 05:35:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Copenhagen Democracy Conference

VDL @9:46: So it is now time to take our action to the next level. We must be as ambitious as the threat is serious, and this is why, if I'm elected as presdent, the commission will put forward a European democracy shield as one of the key priorities of the next commission. This should be an ambitious European project that focuses on the biggest threats from foreign interference and manipulation. Allow me to give you some of the first elements of the European democracy shield. The first is about detection, because nothing is as powerful as powerful as unweiling information manipulation. This requires first and foremost a free media, and in addition, we need to build up public expertise in order to detect information manipulation. This means, on one hand, better information threat intelligence sharing from the various agencies that are dealing with this at national levels, but it also means new common capabilities at European level. There are very good examples on national level. Take the Sweden Psychological Defense Agency. [...] The second element is about treatment. We have already made progress with the DSA, the Digital Services Act. So once we have detected malign information of propaganda, we need to ensure that it is swiftly removed and blocked. [...] Now as things divide—evolve—we have to assess if this is sufficient, and of course I'm referring to artificial intelligence. [...] And finally, it takes resilience. As technology evolves, we need to build up societal immunity around information manipulation, because research has shown that pre-bunking is much more successful than de-bunking. Pre-bunking is basically the opposite of de-bunking, in short, prevention is preferable to cure, perhaps, if you think of information manipulation as a virus. Instead of treating an infection once it has taken hold—That is de-bunking—It is much better to vaccinate so that the body is inoculated. Pre-bunking is the same approach, because disinformation relies on passing it on to others. It is essential that people what malign information's influence is and what the techniques are behind it.
by Cat on Thu May 23rd, 2024 at 01:21:08 PM EST
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lefigaro | «Déni de réalité», «décevant» : Gérard Larcher étrille Emmanuel Macron, 12 May
In an interview withLa Tribune on Sunday, the president of the Senate judged the balance sheet of the president of the Republic "disappointing" and points to three major topics....
archive Macron Says We need to Be Lucid in Will Ukraine Develop Into a
by Cat on Tue May 14th, 2024 at 09:55:05 PM EST
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