The tension in the South China Sea is very high, and the main reason for that is the CCP. They claim it`s their territory. China`s claim to the sea is based both on the law of the Sea Convention and its so-called «nine-dash» line.
This line extends for 2,000 kilometers from the Chinese mainland, encompassing over half of the sea. This consept is important: it means that by definition, the South China Sea is a shared maritime space.
But why is South China Sea so dangerous? The area is poorly charted, making it exceptionally dangerous to navigate. The major Singapore-to-Hong-Kong routes go well to the west and east of the area, and this is one of the reasons why the South China Sea is so important for the U.S, but also for the Global UK.
Maintaining freedom of navigation is a fundamental interest of the U.S. Unhindered navigation by all ships and aircraft in the South China Sea is essential for the peace and prosperity of the entire Asia-Pasific region, including the United States.
Since the two-day clash of arms between China and the former Republic of Vietnam (South) in January 1974, the Paracels have been firmly in Chinese control, while the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam are each holding a part of the Spratlies.
This is a dangerous global conflict, and China`s sweeping claims of soverignty over the sea, and the sea`s estimated 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, have antogonized competing claimants Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is warning; if the the South China Sea dispute with China escalates, «it will be bloody.»
President Duterte has said he is prepared to send military ships to «stake a claim» over oil and mineral resources in the South China Sea, while noting that challenging Beijing in the disputed waters will only lead to violence.
«If we go there to assert our jurisdiction, it will be bloody,» Duterte said in a televised briefing, his first remarks after hundreds of Chinese vessels were spotted at a disputed reef in March.
Not only the U.S marines are one the way to the South China Sea. So are Britain, with a huge naval force. The war-drums is also a wake-up call for Australia.
The largest naval flotilla assembled by Britain in recent years will set sail in May on a months long voyage through tha Pacific, the country`s Defence Ministry said.
«When our Carrier Strike Group (CSG) sets sail next month, it will be flying the flag for Global Britain, projecting our influence, signaling our power, engaging with our friends and reaffirming our commitment to addressing the security challenges of today and tomorrow,» UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Monday.
«The UK is not stepping back but sailing forth to play an active role in shaping the international system of the 21 century,» Mr Wallace said.
The growth in the UK has been almost flat for a very long time, but an invisible enemy called COVID-19 made it worse for the UK. The UK GDP plummeted 20,4 percent in Q2 of 2020, and that drop is the biggest since the records began in 1955.
The drop means that the UK, like the US, is officially in a recession. People were told to stay at home and that is expensive. Private consumption accounted for more than 70 percent of the decline in the GDP in the UK, and that is down by 23,1 percent. Fixed capital formation also plummeted -25,5 percent.
At the same time, there is good news from the UK. Industrial production skyrocketed 9,3 percent month-over-month in June 2020. That is the biggest jump in industrial output since March 1972. The jump came after the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
More good news; manufacturing grew 11 percent, and that is the largest increase since records began in January 1968.
The unemployment rate in the UK came in yesterday, and it stood at 3,9 percent in Q2 of 2020. The unemployment rate is unchanged from the previous three-month period and below market ecpectations of 4,2 percent, as many people gave up looking for a job and who were therefore not considered to be unemployed.
Approximately 7,5 million workers were away from work in the UK in June with over 3 million of these being away for three months or more.
The UK is in a recession and hard times are here to stay for a while. I will not be surpriced if the unemployment rate rice in the future.
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MEP`s (Members og the European Parlieament) voted overwhelmingly to approve the withdrawal agreement today. MEP`s ratified the Brexit Withdrawel Agreement by 621 votes to 49 following an emotional debate in Brussels today.
The UK will leave the EU on Friday night this week, and Nigel Farage is the happiest man in the world right now.
Nigel Farage had a speech in the parliament today and said the EU is anti-democratic, while most British MEP`s who spoke expressed deep sadness about Brexit. Many of them predicted that the UK will return to EU some times in the future.
The Brexit party leader said this earlier today: «I`m hoping this begins the end of this project. It`s a bad project, it isn`t just undemocratic it`s anti-democratic…..
There is a historic battle going on now across the West. In Europe, America and elswhere. It is globalism against populism. And you may loathe populism, but I`ll tell you a funny thing – it`s becoming very popular.
And it has great benefits. No more financial contributions, no more European Court of Justice, no more common fisheries policy, no more being talked down to, no more being bullied, no more Guy Verhofstadt.»
Guy Verhofstadt is a Belgian politician who was the leader of the Allicance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe from 2009 to 2019. He has been a MEP from Belgium since 2009. He was also a Prime Minister of Beligium from 1999 to 2008.
He led the Allicance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Group (ALDE) from 2009 to 2019, and founded the inter-parliamentarian federalist Spinelli Group. He has been the European Parliament`s Brexit Coordinator and Chair of the Brexit Steering Group since 2016.
Verhofstadt is an advocate for federalisation of the European Union, and earlier today he said this; «What is in fact threatening Britain`s sovereignty most – the rules of our single market or the fact that tomorrow they may be planting Chinese 5G masts in the British islands?…..
It is sad to see a country leaving that twice liberated us, has twice given its blood to liberate Europe…
In the last couple of days I have received hundreds of mails from British citizens saying they desperately want to stay or return….. So this vote is not an adieu, this vote, in my opinion, is only an au revoir.»
Verhofstadt and Farage know the history of the United Kingdom. What`s happening today is similar to the era of Henry VIII who broke England`s ties with the Roman Catholic Church, becoming the sole head of the English Church. It was time for the English Reformation.
The English Reformation was a series of events in 16th – century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church.
These events were, in part, associated with the wider European Protestant Reformation, a religious and political movement that affected the practice of Christianity across western and central Europe.
Caused included the invention of the printing press and increased circulation of the Bible, and the transmission of new knowledge and ideas among scholars, the upper and middle classes and readers in general.
However, the various phases of the English Reformation, which also covered Wales and Ireland, were largely driven by changes in government policy, to which public opinion gradually accommodated itself.
The English Reformation was at the outset more of a political affair than a theological dispute. The reality of political differences between Rome and England allowed growing theological disputes to come to the force.
Until the break with Rome, it was the Pope and general councils of the church that declared doctrine. Church law was governed by canon law with final jurisdiction in Rome. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, and the Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops.
The break with Rome was effected by a series of acts of Parliament passed between 1532 and 1534, among the 1534 Act of Supremacy, which declared that Henry was the «Supreme Head on earth of the Church of England».
But this title was renounced by Mary I in 1553. Under Mary, the whole process was reversed and the Church of England was again placed under papal jurisdiction. Soon after, Elizabeth reintroduced the Protestant faith but in a more moderate manner.
The structure and theology of the church was a matter of fierce dispute for generations.
The violent aspect of these disputes, manifested in the English Civil Wars, ended when the last Roman Catholic monarch, James II was desposed, and Parliament asked William III and Mary II to rule jointly in conjunction with the English Bill of Rights in 1688 (in the «Glorious Revolution»), from which emerged a church polity with an establshed church and a number of non-conformist churches whose members at first suffered various civil disabilities that were removed ove time.
The legacy of the previous Roman Catholic heritage and establishment as the state church remained an issue for some time and still exists today. A Substantial but dwindling minority from the late 16th to early 19th centuries remained Roman Catholic in England. Their chuch organisation remained illegal until the Relief Act of 1829.
The Reformation was a clash of two opposed schemes of salvation. The Catholic Church taught that the contrite person could cooperate with God towards their salvation by performing good works. Medieval Catholic worship was centered on the Mass, the church’s offering of the sacrifice of Christ’s body and blood.
The Mass was also an offering of prayer by which the living could help souls in purgatory. Protestants taught that fallen humanity was helpless and under condemnation until gien the grace of God trhough faith.
They believed the Chatholic emphasis on purgatory was an obstacle to true faith in God and the identification of the Mass with Christ’s sacrifice a blasphemous perversion of the Eucharist. In place of the Mass, Protestant worship was centered on the Bible, to them the only road to faith in Christ, either read or presented in sermons.
More calls for reform came from Renaissance humanists, such as Erasmus. Humanists downplayed the role of rites and ceremonies in achieving salvation and criticised the superstitious veneration of relics.
Erasmus and John Colet emphasised a simple, personal piety and a return ad fones («back to the sources») of Christian faith. Colet’s commentaries on the Pauline epistles emphasized double predestination and the worthlessness of human works.
Anne Boleyn’s own religious views were shaped by French humanists such as Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples, whose 1512 commentaries on Paul’s epistles stated that human works were irrelevant to salvation five years before Luther publiched the same views.
Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples was a French theologian and humanist. He was a precursor of the Protestant movement in France, and a friend of Erasmus. He anticipated some ideas that were important to the Protestant Reformation.
Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples remained a Roman Catholic throughout his life, and sought to reform the Church without seperating from it. Several of his books were condemned as heretical, and he spent some time in exile. He was, however, a favorite of the king of France, Francis I, and enjoyed his protection.
By the early 1520’s, the views of German reformer Martin Luther were known and disputed in England. The main plank of Luther’s theology was justification by faith alone rather than by good works. In this view, only faith, itself a gift from God, can secure the grace of God.
Justfication by faith alone threatened the whole basis of the Roman Catholic penitential system with its doctrine of purgatory, prayer for the death, indulgences, and the sacrifice character of the Mass.
Early Protestans portrayed Catholic practices such as confession to priests, clerical celibacy, and requirements to fast and kepp vows as burdensome and spiritually oppressive. Not only did purgatory lack any biblical basis according to Protestants, but the clergy were accused of using fear of purgatory to makke money from prayers and masses.
Catholics countered that justification by faith alone was a «licence to sin».
English Catholicism was strong and popular in the early 1500’s, and those who held Protestant sympathies would remain a religious minority until political events intervened. Protestant ideas were popular among some parts of the English population, especially among academics and merchants with connections to continental Europe.
Martin Luther was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk, and a ceminal figure in the protestant Reformation. Another word is the European Reformation, and it was a movement within Western Christianity in the sixteenth-century Europe that posed a religious and political challenge to the Roman Catholic Church and papal authority in particuar.
It started with Luther’s Ninety-five Thesis in 1517. About 500 years ago. There was no schism between the Catholic Church and the nascent Luther until the 1521 Edict of Worms. The edict condemned Luther and officially banned citizens of the Holy Roman Empire from defending or prpagating his ideas.
The end of the Reformation era is disputed: it could be considered to end with the enactment of the confessions of faith which began the Age of Orthodoxy.
Other suggested ending years relate to the Counter-Reformation, the Peace of Westphalia, or that it never ende since there are still Protesters today.
Those who identify with Luther`s wider teachings, are called Lutherans, though Luther insisted on Christian or Evangelical as the only acceptable names for individuals who professed Christ.
In two of his later works, Martin Luther expressed antagonistic, violent views toward Jews, and called for the burning of their synagogues and their deaths. His rhetoric was not directed at Jews alone, but also towards Roman Catholics, Anabaptists, and nontrinitarian Christians.
Luther was the most widely read author of his generation, and within Germany he acquired the status of a prophet. According to the prevailing opinion among historians, his anti-Jewish rhetoric contributed significantly to the development of antisemitism in Germany, and in the 1930’s and 1940’s provided an «ideal underpinning» for the Nazis’ attacks on Jews.
Reinhold Lewin writes that anybody who «wrote against the Jews for whatever reason believed he had the right to justify himself by triumphantly referring to Luther.»
According to Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Third Reich contained references to and quotations from Luther.
The leading member of the Nazi Party of Germany, Heinrich Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and a main architect of the Holocaust. He formed the Einsatzgruppen and built extermination camps.
Himmler directed the killing of some six million Jews, between 200,000 and 500,000 Romani people, and other victims. The total number of civilians killed by the Nazi regime is estimated at eleven to fourteen million people Most of them Polish and Soviet citizens.
Heinrich Himmler (albeit never a Lutheran, having been brought up Catholic) wrote admiringly of his writing and sermons on the Jews in 1940. Professor Richard Geary noted, based on his research, that the Nazi Party received disproportionately more votes from Protestants than Catholic areas of Germany.
Chruch historian Martin Brecht said; «There is a world of difference between his belief in salvation and a racial ideology. Neverthless, his misguided agitation had the evil result that Luther fatefully became one of the «church fathers» of anti-semitism and thus provided material for the modern hatred of the Jews, cloaking it with the authority of the Reformer.»
Luther saw the Turks as a scourgge sent by God to punish Christians, as agents of the Biblical apocalypse that would destroy the Antichrist, whom Luther believed to be the papacy, and the Roman Church.
He went on to produce several critical pamphlets on Islam, which he called «Mohammedanism» or «the Turk». Though Luther saw the Muslim faith as a tool of the devil, he was indifferent to its practice: «Let the Turk believe and live as he will, just as one lets the papacy and others false Christians live».
Henry VIII broke England`s ties with the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church hundreds of year ago and said goodbye. Church taxes were paid straight to Rome, but not anymore. The Pope had the final word in the appointment of bishops, but that also came to an end. So is it today. The UK will no longer pay to the EU, and the EU has nothing they can say.
But they didn`t say goodbye to Europe, and so is it today. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the United Kingdom is leaving the club European Union, but they are still a part of Europe.
The UK isn`t leaving Europe but a trading club that provides several non-rival but excludable goods to its members. Now, they want free trade and to be a member of another club like EU. We can assume the United States is on top of that list.
This is the end of the relationship with EU, but it is also the beginning of a new era for those who are building Europe. The UK is leaving the EU because EU is the problem. Not the UK. Therefore, the European Union must change.
The old European model is dead. So is the globalisation as we know it. It`s tragic for those in charge of building Europe not to see that this is a great opportunity to build a new one.
Last week I talked about America`s fantastic growth of 4,1 percent on quarter in Q2 of 2018, and this is only the beginning. It is no doubt; President Trump must be doing something right. But, what about the European Union?
GDP in the European Union rose «only» 0,4 percent on quarter in the first three months of 2018. Not much to write home about. But the growth have never been above 1 percent since the financial crisis in 2008.
The European Union reached an all time high of 1,30 percent in 1999 and that is right before the tech bubble burst. Since then it has been a dead fish, reaching an all time low of -2,60 percent in the first quarter of 2009.
At the same time we can see that the unemployment rate reached a record low of 6,80 percent in February of 2008, and that`s right before the financial crisis. It reached an all time high of 11 percent in February 2013, but in May this year it fall down to 7 percent again.
This isn`t good enough if we are living in a capitalistic world.
The European Union in Brussels are nothing more than unelected bureaucrats. Draghi and the ECB have, just like Japan and the U.S «printed» a lot of money, and will continue to do so. If they can`t turn around the ship, they need to consider a strong cheerleader.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had a meeting with President Trump last week. They were talking about trade, free trade and tariffs. Mr Trump`s goal is to make better deals so both the U.S and the EU can take more profit and prosper.
I think that the EU should be glad for that and they need to hurry up. The U.S is the world`s third biggest exporter, yet exports account «only» for 13 percent on GDP. Exports in the U.S reached an all time high of 215328 USD million in May this year, which is pretty impressive.
The EU has 28 member states and the biggest among them all is Germany (21 percent of total GDP), the United Kingdom (15 percent), and France (15 percent).
Exports of goods and services account for 46 percent of GDP while imports account for 42 percent, adding 4 percent of total GDP. But this is about to change. If the UK contribute with 15 percent of the total GDP in the EU, then what will happen to their growth after Brexit?
That being said; nor is the UK a success story. The British economy grew by 0,1 percent in the first three months of 2018 and well below 0,4 percent in the previous period. It is the lowest growth rate since a 0,1 percent contraction in Q4 2012.
The largest contribution to growth in the UK was from household spending at 0,2 percentage points. From the production side, the service industries made the largest contribution to GDP growth, followed by production.
Agriculture, the smallest component within the output approach of GDP made no contribution to growth to one decimal place, while construction deducted from GDP growth. The service industries increased by 0,3 percent.
Positive growth was recorded within all sub-sectors of the services industries; distribution, hotels and restaurants (0,1 percent vs -0,1 percent).
President Trump have repeatedly said that the EU have treated the US very bad. I have written many articles about that long before Mr Trump`s inauguration. The European Commission has fined Google €4,34 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules this month.
In May 2009, Intel was imposed with a 1,06 billion euro fined for abusing its market dominance on central processing units. Microsoft has been in trouble with the Commission on several occasions. In 2004, the Commission ruled that Microsoft had abused its market dominance.
In 208, the Commission fined Microsoft nearly 900 million euros for charging «unreasonable» royalty fees. In 2013, another fine of 561 million euros was imposed on Microsoft. This time for failing to comply with the Commission`s ruling that it had to allow users to more easily choose a prefered web browser.
The European Commission fined Facebook for 110 million euros in May this year in relation to its takeover of WhatsApp. Facebook acquired the messaging service in 2014 for $19 billion, but provided the Commission with misleading information about the acquisition.
In August 2016, the Commission ruled that tech giant Apple had received illegal tax benefits from Ireland worth up to 13 billion euros. Ireland was ordered to recover the unpaid tax from Apple, plus interest.
As early as 1966, British Politician Tony Benn said that «Communism run by commissars from Moscow did not work, and nor will capitalism run by commissioners in Brussels. Both deny people their right to develop in their own way.»
Now, under President Donald Trump, big companies like Apple are moving home to the United States with billions of dollars. Apple alone, are bringing in $230 billion. They will build new plants and a magnificent campus.
They will spend their money wisely and the money will be in the U.S. All this is possible because of Trump`s tax cuts and reforms. This is how you make growth.