Autor: João

Chinese economy grew 6.9% in 2015 January 19, 2016, 6:33 am

  China’s economy grew 6.9 per cent year on year in 2015, the slowest annual expansion in a quarter of a century, but it is still in line with the official target, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday. Growth in the fourth quarter came in at 6.8 per cent year on year, the lowest quarterly rate since the global financial crisis, the data showed. The Chinese government targeted an annual economic growth of around 7 per cent for 2015. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) reached 67.67 trillion yuan (about $10.3 trillion) in 2015, with the service sector accounting for 50.5 per cent, the first time the ratio exceeded 50 per cent, according to the NBS. China’s economy still “ran within a reasonable range” in 2015, with its structure further optimized, upgrading accelerated, new growth drivers strengthened and people’s lives improved, NBS chief Wang Baoan told a press conference in Beijing. However, the country faces a daunting task in deepening reforms on all fronts and needs to step up supply-side structural reforms, he said. Major economic indicators softened in 2015, with industrial output growth slowing to 6.1 per cent year on year from 8.3 per cent in 2014, NBS figures showed. Urban fixed-asset investment continued to cool, expanding 10 per cent year on year, compared with 15.7 per cent in 2014. Retail sales rose...

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Obama’s Foreign Policy State of the Union: A Laughable and Absurd Tour de Force in American Exceptionalism

Not only does the boast of US ‘global leadership’ sound more and more hollow, it is also bad for the US and has been particularly bad for the world Philip Giraldi  (The Unz Review)  19.Jan.2016, 19 hours ago I had expected that there would be little in last week’s State of the Union address about foreign policy as it is not an Administration strength, but, to my surprise, President Barack Obama gave it about eight minutes, a little over 1000 words. Governor Nikki Haley was, however, more detached from the issue in her rebuttal speech, stating only that “… we are facing the most dangerous terrorist threat our nation has seen since September 11th, and this president appears either unwilling or unable to deal with it.” Obama made a number of points which illustrate his own inclinations regarding how to deal with the rest of the world. He emphasized that America, the “most powerful nation on earth,” must be the global leader, “…when it comes to every important international issue, people of the world do not look to Beijing or Moscow to lead. They call us.” Regarding the major conflict zones, he observed that “In today’s world, we’re threatened less by evil empires and more by failing states. The Middle East is going through a transformation that will play out for a generation, rooted in conflicts that date back millennia. Russia is...

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“Assad Is Winning”

The American Interest   Posted: Jan 19, 2016 – 12:19 pm While the US rearranges chairs around the table for another round of diplomacy over the fate of Syria in Geneva, Russia, Iran and their allies are rearranging the armies on the battlefield, undermining the very basis for the negotiating process the Americans are counting on. The AP reports: In November, government troops broke a three-year siege of the Kweiras air base in the northern province of Aleppo, and in December they captured another air base, Marj al-Sultan, in an opposition stronghold near the capital, Damascus. Allied fighters from the Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah group, as well as Iranian military advisers and pro-government militias, have helped the army take several areas in and around Latakia province, the heartland of Assad’s minority Alawite sect, which dominates the military and government. The latest victory came last week with the capture of the town of Salma, one of the most significant government advances since the Russian air campaign began. Overlooking the coast, it is only 12 kilometers (seven miles) from the border with Turkey, a key supporter of rebels in the area.“The Syrian army has shifted from a defensive mode to offense,” said Gerges. “Before the Russian intervention the army was bleeding, it was desperately trying to maintain its position, but now it has achieved major tactical gains on many fronts.”This does not bode well...

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Week 15 of Russia’s Syria Campaign: Tightening Cooperation

Syrians made some advances as their cooperation with the Russians tightens. Western campaign continues to amount to effectively nothing The Saker  (The Unz Review)  18.Jan.2016, 22 hours ago We could say that the Russian intervention in Syria has settled into somewhat of a routine: the Russians are bombing, a lot, and the Syrians are advancing on almost all fronts, but slowly. While those who expected a rapid collapse of Daesh followed by a series of major government victories might be disappointed, I am personally rather encouraged by these events. Here is why: If the Syrians did not win in a rapid Blitzkrieg it is first and foremost because such a Blitzkrieg was never a real possibility. The Syrians never had the numbers to concentrate enough forces on one attack axis and to subsequently exploit a breakthrough. The Syrians also lack the firepower needed to prepare the Daesh defenses before attempting such a offensive. In fact, a secondary role for the Russian AirSpace forces has been to provide from the air the firepower the Syrians lacked in their ground forces. However, while a Blitzkrieg is always very impressive, if risky, there is another time tested form of warfare, attrition warfare, which can also yield results. I am not talking about a WWI kind of attrition warfare, of course, but one specific to the Syrian conflict. The Russians are steadily degrading Daesh on many levels: they are hitting their...

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Weak Pickup in Global Growth, with Risks Pivoting to Emerging Markets

WORLD ECONOMIC OUTLOOK UPDATE IMF Survey January 19, 2016 Global growth forecast revised down—3.4 percent in 2016 and 3.6 percent in 2017 Emerging market and developing economies facing increased challenges Key risks relate to China slowdown, stronger dollar, geopolitical tensions, renewed global risk aversion The pickup in global growth is weak and uneven across economies, with risks now tilted toward the emerging markets, says the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) Update. Advanced economies will see a modest recovery, while emerging market and developing economies face the new reality of slower growth. The WEO Update now projects global growth at 3.4 percent this year and 3.6 percent in 2017 (see Table), slightly lower than the forecast issued in October 2015. “This coming year is going to be a year of great challenges and policymakers should be thinking about short-term resilience and the ways they can bolster it, but also about the longer-term growth prospects,” said Maurice Obstfeld, IMF Economic Counsellor and Director of Research. ”Those long-term actions,” he continued, “will actually have positive effects in the short run by increasing confidence and increasing people’s faith in the future.” Marginal improvements in advanced economies  Growth in advanced economies is projected to rise to 2.1 percent and to hold steady in 2017, a slightly weaker pickup than that forecast in October. Overall activity remains robust in the United States, supported by still-easy financial conditions...

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