News around the World

Qatar signs deal with China to supply gas for 27 year

The recent volatility of gas supply since the Ukraine war has driven country leaders to understand the importance of having long-term energy supply.

QatarEnergy chief Saad al-Kaabi said that they are happy about the firm signed a 27-year sales and purchase agreement with Sinopec of China. This agreement is the longest in the history of liquefied natural gas deals and an important milestone for North Field East Project. The North Field is part of the world’s biggest gas field what Qatar shares with Iran.

Image source: https://media.cnn.com/api/v1/images/stellar/prod/221121093100-south-pars-iran-qatar-joint-gas-field-file.jpg?c=16×9&q=h_720,w_1280,c_fill

News around the World

UK government warns China is recruiting UK pilots to train its military

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The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) warns that it believes former British pilots or even serving British pilots are being lured to China with large compensative packages to train People’s Liberation Army personnel in the People’s Republic of China.

To stop Chinese recruitment schemes to headhunt serving and former UK Armed Forces pilots, MoD are taking decisive steps. The MoD said that there was no evidence to suggest that any former UK pilots have passed on any information which would violate the Official Secret Act.

In the meantime, Britain’s Minister of State said the UK government will looking to change the law to punish military pilots who pass on their expertise to the Chinese army. He also mentioned that there is no secret in their attempt to gain access to our secrets, and Chinese recruitment of UK pilots in order to understand the capabilities of IL air force is clearly a concern to UK government He expressed that China is a competitor that is threatening the UK interest in many places around the world.

News around the World

Nancy Pelosi expected to visit Taiwan tonight

The US congressional delegation’s itinerary includes stops in South Korea and Japan, but no official mention has been made of a visit to Taiwan. However, the Taiwanese official said that Nancy Pelosi is expected to stay in Taiwan overnight. It is unclear when exactly Pelosi will land in Taipei.

China warned against the “egregious political impact” of Pelosi’s planned visit to the self-governing island that China claims as a part of its territory and reiterated that its military “won’t sit by idly” if Beijing feels its “sovereignty and territorial integrity” is being threatened.

Image resource:https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220731032604-02-china-pelosi-asia-trip-file-restricted-exlarge-169.jpg

News around the World

China could have an unprecedented response to Pelosi’s potential Taiwan visit

Last week, US House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi would like to have a Taiwan visit to show support for Taiwan. China immediately gives a warning against a potential high-stakes trip and vowed to take “resolute and forceful measures” of the trip goes ahead.

However, Chinese government has not specified in public what “forceful measures” it is planning to take. Some Chinese experts say Beijing’s reaction could involve a military component and the situation between China and the US will be very tense.

Pelosi’s potential trip wouldn’t be the first time a sitting US House speaker has visited Taiwan. In 1997, Newt Gingrich met Taiwan first democratically elected President Lee Teng-hui. At that time, China’s response was limited to rhetoric. Twenty-five years on, it is a completely different regime in Beijing with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. China is stronger, more powerful, and confident, and its leader XI, Jinping has made it clear that Beijing will no longer tolerate any perceived slights or challenge to its interests. China is in a position to be more assertive, to impose costs and consequences to countries that don’t take China’s interest into consideration in their policy or actions.

Last Wednesday, US president Joe Biden told reporters the US military thinks a Taiwan visit by Pelosi is “not a good idea right now.” 

On this Monday, Gingrich wrote on the social media about his comment on the potential visit and raise out the concern about political timidity.

The potential Taiwan visit by Pelosi would come at a sensitive time for China. The PLA is celebrating its founding anniversary on August 1, while Xi, the country’s most powerful leader in decades, is preparing to seek a third term at the ruling Communist Party this fall.

But with Pelosi’s potential visit is now playing out in public, any decision to delay or cancel, risks being seen as a concession. 

 

Image sources:https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220720000950-01-china-warns-pelosi-taiwan-visit-exlarge-169.jpg

 

News around the World

Nearly 1 billion people had their of personal data leaked in China possibly

A massive online database in China apparently containing the personal data of up to one billion Chinese citizens was left unsecured and publicly accessible possibly for more than a year.

Those personal data was collected by the Shanghai police and stored in a database had been hosted by Alibaba Cloud. Both Alibaba and Shanghai police did not aware of this possibly data leak until last week. An anonymous user in a hacker forum offered to sell the data for 10 bitcoin and brought it to wider attention.

The anonymous user claimed the data included names, address, mobile numbers, national ID numbers, ages, birthplaces, and billions of records of phone calls made to police to report on civil disputes and crimes. As China is home to 1.4 billion people, the data breach of 1 million personal data could potentially affect more than 70% of the population. This would be the largest leak of public information by far.

The database which did not require a password possibly was shut down already. However, it is unclear how many people have accessed or downloaded the database during the 14 months of more. Experts are worried that this personal data leak might lead to extortion. Extortion of individual will often happen after data leaks. Hackers can even try to ransom individual using the leaked information.

 

Image source: https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220422142130-02-cyber-attack-cellphone-stock-exlarge-169.jpeg

Investment

The inflation is making the West difficult to go further on Russian oil

European Union and the United States have barred the import of Russian oil to cut off the revenue source for Kremlin and force Vladimir Putin to reconsider the war in Ukraine. However, it seems like this measure hasn’t worked.

When EU and the US looked at the data, they found that Russia is making just as much money from oil export as it was before the invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, global inflation is surging, and it generates Politian pressure on leaders like US president Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and French President Emmanuel Macron.

In the recent G7 meeting, these leaders tried very much to reach a consensus on that to do next. However, on oil, only few options are available. several measures were being discussed. For examples, price caps on Russian oil imports and centralized purchasing, insurance bans on ships. Unfortunately, these tools have downsides, and they could push the oil price and inflation rate even higher. These prospective measures may come with significant costs directly to consumers in the US and Europe.

Nevertheless, there is an uptick in exports to Asia. China is currently taking advantages of huge price discounts. Russia is selling barrels of its Urals crude for about USD 35 cheaper than the Brent global benchmark. The Kremlin is still getting a pretty good price for their oil export. The West need to go further to get Russian oil off the market quickly, since any delay will give market participants time to come up with creative ways to skirt the rules.

To make it harder for China, India, and other countries to keep importing Russian oil, EU intends to phase in a ban on insuring ships. Such a move may push China and India to find replacement barrels, the price of oil could easily go rocket high.

Therefore, Treasury Secretary Yellen suggested that using price caps to push down the price of Russian oil and depress Putin’s revenues while allowing more oil supply to reach the global market.

Image source: https://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220624114155-india-crude-oil-freight-file-restricted-exlarge-169.jpg

Investment

Gold Price Down USD 50 on the Day Indicating Markets in Chaos.

The markets in chaos: precious metals prices down, Bitcoin price hits lowest level since December 2020 and stocks plunges. Analysts warn of panic selling as investors are pre-reacting to the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike on this Wednesday following a high inflation rate of the U.S.

The inflation is now expecting at annual pace of 8.6%. economists believe the Fed will need to get more aggressive to tame the inflation. The U.S. dollar reacted positively to the expected rate hike and goes stronger. In response to rising yields and a strong U.S. dollar, Gold saw a very sharp sell off as it plunged around USD 50 per oz on the day.

The precious metals are struggling as investors are still digesting inflation data and the looming economy downturn in China caused by the latest outbreak in Beijing and Shanghai. The latest lockdowns could lead to a much more extended period of supply chain issues and disruption.

Even though the market expects that the Fed will have an aggressive rate hike, but it is still not enough to get the inflation under control.

in the meantime, gold remains at risk of a more significant selloff. The support at USD 1,800 per ounce might not hold and we will see a retreat towards USD 1,750 per ounce. 

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/gold-and-silver-round-coins-and-bullions-8442328/

Investment

The global economy is on the edge of a precipice

The global economy is on the edge of a precipice, and it may be the biggest crisis since the Second World War.

The invasion of Ukraine has compounded the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. It brings the cost of the food and fuel to skyrocket which weighing on the economic recovery and fanning inflation.

Rising interest rates are putting more pressure on countries, companies, and households. Climate changes, market turbulence and ongoing supply chain constraints also make the situation become more worse.

To lower economic stress, the IMP is calling for government officials and business leaders meeting in Davos to discuss reducing trade barriers.

However, earlier this month, Indian government decided to ban the export of wheat and it triggered the price of grain soaring. Some countries are heading in the opposite direction of IMF and implementing restrictions on trade in food and agriculture products that could probably exacerbate the shortages and push the prices even higher.

Image source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/american-and-chinese-flags-and-usa-dollars-4386371/

My Collections

A rare Chinese vase kept in the kitchen sold for 1.8 million at auction

A precious Chinese vase dating from Qianlong era (18th century) was sold for nearly USD 1.8 million at Dreweatts Auction.

The seller was a son of a surgeon who stated that his father bought this Chinese Vase in 1980s for just a few hundred pounds. The seller then inherited this vase from his father and kept it in his kitchen. He did not realize its value until it was discovered by an expert.

The Chinese Vise was a porcelain blue artifact in two feet height. It was crafted using innovative heating techniques to gild its blue, gold and silver coloring. It was made during the reign of Qianlong Emperor – the sixth emperor of the Qing dynasty.

The result of high sale prices shows the high demand for the finest antique porcelain in the world.

Images source: https://auctions.dreweatts.com/auctions/8176/drewea1-10298

Investment

Political Influence of Chinese Government over Stock Markets

Tecent stock fell over 10% in Hong Kong stock market on Tuesday after Economic Information Daily – a business newspaper owned by Xinhua News Agency published an article about online game.

The article used the terms of “spiritual opium” and “electronic drug” to describe the harmful effects of oline gaming on children and teenagers. The analysis also pointed out that industries insiders and leaders should be vigilant about the harm of online games in young people and children.

Actually there was a massive sell-off for Tecent few days ago. This analysis of online games just a week after a big slumps of Chinese tech stocks. Last week, Tecent temporarily suspended new user registration for its WeChat messaging platform because of secutiy systems udpates. Investors believe its updates is due to compliance and regulation issues from Chinese government.

The recent incidents about Tecent also proof that Chinese tech giants have to keep a good relationship with Chinese Governemnt. And they have to fulfill more social responsibility when doing business in China.