Trump và Tập: chiến tranh thương mại?

Vũ Quang Việt Thứ Năm,  9/2/2017, 23:10 (GMT+7)

(TBKTSG) – Tổng thống Mỹ Donald Trump đã ký sắc lệnh quyết định rút Mỹ khỏi Hiệp định Đối tác xuyên Thái Bình Dương (TPP), thảo luận lại Hiệp định Thương mại tự do bắc Mỹ (Nafta), xác định từng vi phạm hiệp định thương mại với từng nước để có biện pháp thích hợp.  Còn với Trung Quốc (TQ), Trump tuyên bố đó là nước thao túng hối suất, trợ cấp hàng hóa, ăn cắp công nghệ  và hứa hẹn sẽ  cứng rắn với TQ, sẽ làm “nước Mỹ vĩ đại trở lại”.  TQ dưới sự lãnh đạo của Tập Cận Bình đang làm gì và Trump có thể đối sách như thế nào? Tiếp tục đọc “Trump và Tập: chiến tranh thương mại?”

Plan for $10 Billion Chip Plant Shows China’s Growing Pull

Sanjay Jha, the chief executive of GlobalFoundries. The company will build an advanced semiconductor factory in Chengdu, China. Credit Arno Burgi/European Pressphoto Agency

HONG KONG — After Intel and Foxconn said they would build advanced factories in America, it might have seemed as if the United States were gaining high-end manufacturing momentum.

But on Friday, the California-based chip maker GlobalFoundries announced a $10 billion project in China, showing how the center of gravity continues to shift across the Pacific.

The new advanced semiconductor factory, in the central Chinese city of Chengdu, is only the most recent in an array of investments, often by major multinationals, into China with the support of the Chinese government. The projects have become markedly more sophisticated, making more modern microchips, memory chips or flat-panel displays.

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A Rare Survivor of a Philippine Drug Raid Takes the Police to Court

Maria Belen Daa, 61, with a photo of her son Marcelo, 31, in the Philippines last week. He was shot along with four others by the police, who raided his home looking for drugs last August. Credit Jes Aznar for The New York Times

MANILA — The drug raid ended like so many others in the Philippines, with all the suspects shot by the police.

But one of them, Efren Morillo, a 28-year-old fruit and vegetable vendor, did not die.

As the only known survivor of a so-called buy-bust operation, Mr. Morillo has provided a chilling first-person account that challenges the government’s assertion that the thousands of suspects killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s antidrug campaign were killed by the police in self-defense. And his testimony lies at the heart of the first court case to challenge that campaign.

According to his sworn affidavit, none of the five suspects were drug users and none were armed.

The police took two of them, including Mr. Morillo, inside a house, handcuffed, Mr. Morillo said. Three others were lined up at a clearing near a ravine, ordered to kneel, their hands tied behind their backs.

There was begging and crying as the police shot each man at close range, Mr. Morillo said.

“Thoroughly frightened that I might be shot again, I closed my eyes and played dead,” he said. As he lay on the floor bleeding, he said, he overheard the police officers talking about planting guns and drugs because they had found none there.

When the police officers left the house, he took a chance and fled.

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Backing away from a fight, Trump to honor one-China policy


February 10 at 5:54 AM Wasjington Post
President Trump just backed down from what could have been a serious fight with China.

On Thursday evening in Washington, he appeared to shy away from confrontation with Beijing by agreeing to honor the one-China policy, during a lengthy telephone call with China’s President Xi Jinping.

The move is set to ease tensions between the world’s two most powerful nations: relations had been inflamed after Trump suggested he would only commit to the one-China policy if Beijing addressed his concerns about trade and currency issues.

Continue reading of Washington Post

Federal appeals court rules 3 to 0 against Trump on travel ban

Washington Post

A federal appeals court upheld a lower court ruling suspending President Trump’s controversial immigration order barring refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. on Feb. 9. (Peter Stevenson/The Washington Post)

February 9 at 9:26 PM
A federal appeals panel has maintained the freeze on President Trump’s controversial immigration order, meaning previously barred refugees and citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries can continue entering the United States.In a unanimous 29-page opinion, three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit flatly rejected the government’s argument that suspension of the order should be lifted immediately for national security reasons, and they forcefully asserted their ability to serve as a check on the president’s power.The judges wrote that any suggestion that they could not “runs contrary to the fundamental structure of our constitutional democracy.”

The judges did not declare outright that the ban was meant to disfavor Muslims — essentially saying it was too early for them to render a judgment on that question. But their ruling is undeniably a blow to the government and means the travel ban will remain off for the foreseeable future.

Audio: Trump reacts to federal appeals court decision


Play Video1:12
President Trump said on Feb. 9 that he looked forward to seeing the judges “in court” after a federal appeals court upheld the suspension of his controversial immigration order. (Editor’s note: Audio only.) (The Washington Post)

Trump reacted angrily on Twitter, posting just minutes after the ruling, “SEE YOU IN COURT, THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” He later said to reporters that the judges had made “a political decision.”

“We have a situation where the security of our country is at stake, and it’s a very, very serious situation, so we look forward, as I just said, to seeing them in court,” he said.

The Justice Department, which was defending the administration’s position, said in a statement it was “reviewing the decision and considering its options.” Tiếp tục đọc “Federal appeals court rules 3 to 0 against Trump on travel ban”

Is Vietnam in for Another Devastating Drought?

February 08, 2017

Lessons learned from last year’s disaster can shape a climate-resilient approach in the Mekong Delta.

Is Vietnam in for Another Devastating Drought?
A farmer burns his dried-up rice on a paddy field stricken by drought in Soc Trang province in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam (March 30, 2016).
Image Credit: REUTERS/Kham


The Tet Holiday (Vietnamese lunar New Year) has come to an end, marking the commencement of a new dry season in Vietnam’s lower Mekong Delta. Right now in coastal provinces around the Delta, thousands of farmers, especially those who miserably suffered during last year’s historic drought, are mobilizing to prepare for another similarly devastating drought, which is expected to arrive in the Delta in a few weeks.

During last year’s dry season, the record drought, followed by saltwater intrusion, cost Vietnam VND 15 trillion ($669 million) due to the heavy toll on agricultural production. It also caused dire humanitarian and other economic impacts: almost half a million households lacked fresh drinking water and experienced food shortages and thousands of affected people had to migrate to urban areas in search of jobs. The drought was mainly caused by Mekong upstream dams built by China in connection with El Nino effects. Tiếp tục đọc “Is Vietnam in for Another Devastating Drought?”

Hundreds of whales wash up dead on New Zealand beach

WELLINGTON: More than 400 whales were stranded on a New Zealand beach on Friday (Feb 10), with hundreds already dead as volunteers tried to refloat the survivors, the Department of Conservation said.

Andrew Lamason, spokesman for the department, said it was one of the largest mass beachings recorded in New Zealand, where strandings are relatively common.

Lamason said 416 pilot whales beached themselves overnight at Farewell Spit in the Golden Bay region at the northern tip of South Island.

He said about 70 per cent had perished and attempts were underway to get the remaining whales offshore at high tide but the outlook was gloomy.

“With that number dead, you have to assume that the rest are in reasonably poor nick as well,” he told Radio New Zealand. “So we’re sort of preparing ourselves for a pretty traumatic period ahead.”

Taiwanese woman jailed for shark fins’ haul in Costa Rica

SAN JOSE: A Costa Rican court has sentenced a Taiwanese business owner to prison over a fishing haul of illegally hacked-off shark fins destined for sale abroad, officials and environmentalists said on Thursday (Feb 9).

The businesswoman, identified by her last name of Tseng, was ordered to spend six months behind bars. The verdict was handed down on Monday by the court in the western port city of Puntarenas.

It was the first criminal sentence in the country against the practice of shark finning, which involves slicing off a shark’s fins before dropping the live fish back in the sea. Unable to swim effectively, the wounded creature faces a grim future: suffocating, starving or being eaten.

Shark fins fetch a high price in Asia, where they are often used in soups served on special occasions.

Tseng’s was “a historic sentence,” said Gladys Martinez, lawyer for the Interamerican Association for Environmental Defense (AIDA).

Her case began in October 2011, when her fishing boat, the Wan Jia Men 88, was found with 151 sharks aboard. Their fins had been chopped off.

She was initially acquitted in 2014, but the matter went to appeal, and the Puntarenas court this week found her responsible for damage to Costa Rica’s natural resources.

The Central American country, known for its biodiversity, has ratified several treaties for the protection and sustainable use of marine resources.

Pope Francis Rebukes Myanmar Over Treatment of Rohingya

A Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The United Nations estimates that about 69,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled to Bangladesh from Myanmar since October. Credit Allison Joyce/Getty Images

Pope Francis on Wednesday issued a fresh rebuke against Myanmar over its repression of the Rohingya minority group, just days after a United Nations report concluded that security forces had slaughtered and raped hundreds of men, women and children in a “campaign of terror.”

“They have been suffering, they are being tortured and killed, simply because they uphold their Muslim faith,” Francis said of the Rohingya in his weekly audience at the Vatican.

He asked those present to pray with him “for our Rohingya brothers and sisters who are being chased from Myanmar and are fleeing from one place to another because no one wants them.”

Continue reading on  New York Times

U.S. General Seeks ‘a Few Thousand’ More Troops in Afghanistan

Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. Credit Alex Wong/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The commander of the American-led international military force in Afghanistan told Congress on Thursday that he needed a few thousand additional troops to more effectively train and advise Afghan soldiers.

“I have a shortfall of a few thousand,” Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr. said in a sober assessment of the United States’ longest-running war, during testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

President Trump has said little about Afghanistan, speaking mainly instead of the need to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The American-led international force that is helping the Afghans has about 13,300 troops today, 8,400 of which are American.

Continue reading on New York Times

Trump and Abe to Talk: Why They Are Meeting and What They’ll Discuss

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan during a ceremony at a base north of Tokyo last year. He will meet with President Trump on Friday in the Oval Office. Credit Eugene Hoshiko/Associated Press

HONG KONG — Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, the first world leader to meet Donald J. Trump after the election in November, plans to meet with the president in Washington on Friday in the Oval Office. Mr. Abe is then planning to fly to Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., to play golf with the president.

Why are they meeting?

Mr. Abe wants to talk to Mr. Trump about trade and economic issues, which have already been the subject of some critical Twitter postings and remarks from the president.

Mr. Abe is also eager to pursue a closer personal relationship with Mr. Trump, with whom he shares some ideological leanings, including a resistance to immigration.

In Letter to China, Trump Says He Wants ‘Constructive Relationship’

President Xi Jinping of China in Lima, Peru, last year. The fact that President Trump and Mr. Xi have not talked since Mr. Trump took office in January has drawn increasing scrutiny. Credit Cris Bouroncle/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HONG KONG — President Trump has sent a letter to his Chinese counterpart saying he looked forward to developing a “constructive relationship” with Beijing, the latest in a series of conciliatory signals by the new administration after months of heated rhetoric aimed at America’s largest trading partner.

The letter, dated Wednesday, also thanked China’s president, Xi Jinping, for a message he sent congratulating Mr. Trump on his inauguration and conveyed wishes to the Chinese people for the Lunar New Year, the White House said in a two-sentence statement.

It is unclear whether the letter was meant as a substitute for an anticipated phone conversation between the two leaders or as an ice-breaking prelude to such a call. Before his inauguration, Mr. Trump and his cabinet appointees made comments and took actions that alarmed Beijing and pointed to rocky ties between the world’s two biggest economies.

Since his inauguration, Mr. Trump has spoken by phone with about 20 foreign leaders. Usually highly scripted affairs, many of those calls have been anything but. The president’s conversation last month with Malcolm Turnbull, the prime minister of Australia, turned contentious when Mr. Turnbull urged Mr. Trump to honor an agreement made under President Barack Obama to accept 1,250 refugees from an offshore detention center.

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But arguably no bilateral relationship is more important than the one between Beijing and Washington, and the fact that Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi have not talked since Mr. Trump took office in January has drawn increasing scrutiny.