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Chinese Fund Managers Sentenced to Death after Cheating Investors out of 1 Billion USD

HANGZHOU – Two brothers and their father were sentenced to death on Monday for cheating 15,000 investors out of over $1.1 billion in east China’s Zhejiang province. Ji Wenhua, president of the Yintai Real Estate and Investment Group, was sentenced to death for the crime

Gold at $7,000 article goes viral in Chinese media

Dan Collins CMR “Gold going to $7,000”, an article today in the Chinese media is going viral and one of the most viewed articles in the financial press. The article references American Jim Rickards and his concept of comparing inflation-adjusted gold prices. Most Chinese economists

Western paper markets manipulate gold prices lower as China takes the real stuff off the market.

It’s not uncommon for the large Wall Street banks to combine in shorting an entire years supply of minded silver in a single day.The same goes for all commodities. Endless paper printing getting funneled to Wall Street has destroyed all real price discovery. Capitalism fails

“American Collapse Theory” Gaining Ground in China

Dan Collins CMR When I moved to China back in 1998 I was surprised to learn how highly the Chinese thought of America. Of course China was a much poorer place back then but coming from the Detroit area I couldn’t fathom where was all

Chanos is back….This is getting sad

Chanos is back! His short China thesis is very long in the tooth but as it goes with most ego maniacs he cannot accept failure or that fact that he might be wrong. Being wrong on an entire country where you have never visited and

China Car Sales Up 22.6% -The Chinese economy is collapsing?

You have to laugh at the whole “China will collapse crowd” on CNBC and even respected sites like Zero Hedge. Personally, I love the Zerohedge stuff. They understand the ponzi-financial fraud-money printing-welfare state economy that now envelops the West. But China is a real economy,

Cloud Computing in China booming as American giants are pushed out

D.Collins CMR China’s cloud computing market is expected to be worth 37.2 billion yuan (US$6 billion) in 2017 as demand for the service grows, the Chinese-language China Securities Journal reported on Friday. Some American tech companies are watching the largest and fastest I.T. market in

Oil rig dispute could see repeat of Sino-Vietnamese War: report

Breaking News today that a Chinese vessel as rammed and sunk a Vietnamese fishing boat. All countries in the South China Sea and East China Sea are using fishing boats in a game of cat-and-mouse to challenge each other on their respective areas. This time

China now runs 4 of the world’s 5 biggest banks

Stockswatch China has become a banking powerhouse. Four of the five largest banks in the world are Chinese, according to SNL Financial’s latest global bank rankings. It’s a big change from the past few years when only two Chinese banks made the top five. Beijing-based

France relents to China, Chinese police to help patrol Paris streets

Scared of losing the Chinese tourist dollar, France has relented to China and will allow Chinese police on the streets of Paris. More signs of the benefits of third-world immigration into the West to the point where cultural breakdown has occurred and law and order

People’s Bank of China will take down global gold price manipulation

Gold has been flowing East for a decade. When the West wakes up to the fact that their gold is gone, they will no longer have sound money with which to back a currency. The world has only been off a gold standard since 1971

China to lower reserve requirement ratio

From the China Daily… BEIJING – China will lower banks’ reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 0.5 percentage points starting May 18, the country’s central bank announced Saturday. The cut, the second of its kind this year, will drop the RRR for the country’s large financial

Chinese Officials Falsify Data To Mask Slowdown, NYT Says

Is China tweaking its numbers on GDP? Probably. For twenty years Chinese GDP roughy came in right on the governments target. This would be an almost magical performance record considering economists in the West can predict absolutely nothing. For years, China most likely lowered GDP

Japan Learning the Hard Way, Destroying your Currency is Not an Economic Strategy

Japan will learn the hard way that destroying your currency is not an viable economic strategy. Shanghai Daily JAPAN posted a record 1.63 trillion yen (US$17.4 billion) trade deficit in January as rising exports trailed surging imports of crude oil and gas due to rising

Renminbi-yen trade growing strongly a year after launch

One year after the launch of direct trading between the renminbi and Japanese yen, the daily trading volume between the two currencies has reached 50-100 billion Japanese yen on the Shanghai market and 15 billion yen on the Tokyo market, a combined volume double that

China Scared to Death of a Trump Presidency…but not for reasons you would expect

Editor CMR

Chinese leadership is scared to death of a Trump presidency. And why shouldn’t
they be? They have been walking all over the U.S for decades, along with most
other U.S. trading partners.

The stakes are HUUGEEE. The results of a Trump presidency may result in the U.S.
matching the average Chinese tariff against U.S. goods which is 13%. The average
tariff rate against Chinese good is less than 2% currently. The Fortune 500 are
against Trump as they have set their business up based on labor arbitrage with
low cost foreign manufacturing, off-shoring of profits, and using the U.S. as only
sales and distribution centers. And of course, many of them living off large
contracts from the U.S. government.

A Trump Presidency may also result in a rebuilding of the American military power
and rapprochement with Russia which would not be good for China. These things,
however, are not what scares China the most.

What scares them the most is that Trump will reduce the corporate tax.

With the second highest corporate tax rate in the world, the manufacturing plants
have all fled the country to places like China which charge them 0% tax rates for
3-5 years then only 15%. Of course, all multinationals have additional companies
set up in H.K. to even avoid the 15% tax rate. China doesn’t mind as there coffers
are full with productive citizens working, gaining productive skills and technology
while the country collects their government revenue off import duties. The several
decade result of these policies have been of course Chinese cities flourishing
and American cities becoming solidly second-world locations with crumbling
infrastructure, poor schools, and in the case of Flint not even being able to
provide safe drinking water.

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Chinese Fighter Jets Intercept and Chase Away U.S. Spy Plane

An incident not unlike the U.S. EP-3 spy plane that was forced to land
on Hainan Island back in 2003.

Forbes
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said in a statement that two Chinese fighter jets, J-11 tactical aircraft, carried out an “unsafe” intercept of a U.S. military EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft over the South China Sea. According to the Pentagon statement, the incident took place in international airspace on Tuesday as the maritime patrol aircraft carried out “a routine U.S. patrol.” A Pentagon official said that the Chinese jets came within 50 feet of the U.S. aircraft at one point. This latest incident comes just a week after China scrambled fighter jets as a U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS William P. Lawrence, sailed within 12 miles of one of China’s largest artificial islands, Fiery Cross Reef, in the …

In that incident, three Chinese fighter jets monitored the U.S. destroyer, along with three Chinese ships, until the American vessel left the area. After the incident, the Pentagon said that the U.S. vessel was exercising freedom of navigation rights and “right of innocent passage,” which is maintained by international law.

Chinese pouring billions into US real estate: study

Washington (AFP) – Chinese nationals became the largest foreign buyers of US homes last year as they pour billions into American real estate, seeking safe offshore assets, according to a new study.

A huge surge in Chinese buying of both residential and commercial real estate last year took their five-year investment total to more than $110 billion, according to the study from the Asia Society and Rosen Consulting Group.

The sheer size of that total has helped the real estate market recover from the crash that began in 2006 and precipitated the 2008 economic crisis, they said.

And despite a slowdown due to Beijing’s clampdown on capital outflows, the figure for the second half of this decade is likely to double to $218 billion, the study said.

“What makes China different and noteworthy is the combination of the high volume of investment (and) the breadth of its participation across all real estate categories,” including a “somewhat unique entry into residential purchases,” the study said.

The authors of the study said their numbers, based on public and real estate industry data, understate the total. They necessarily miss purchases made by front companies and trusts that don’t identify the sources of the funds.

While big deals, like the Anbang insurance group’s $2.0 billion purchase of the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York last year, and its failed $14 billion offer for the Starwood group in March, make headlines, the study said Chinese buying of US homes far outpaces its investment in commercial land and buildings.

– Buying most expensive markets –

Between 2010 and 2015, Chinese buyers put more than $17 billion into US commercial real estate, with half of that spent last year alone.

But during the same period at least $93 billion went into US homes. And in the 12 months to March 2015, the latest period for which relatively comprehensive data could be gathered, home purchases totalled $28.5 billion.

That put the Chinese past Canadians, who have long been the biggest foreign buyers of US residential real estate.

Geographically, Chinese buyers are concentrated in the most expensive markets: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle.

But Chicago, Miami and Las Vegas have also drawn buyers.

That focus means they pay well above the average US home price: last year, Chinese buyers paid on average about $832,000 per home in the United States, compared to the average for all foreign purchases of $499,600.

The motivations are broad: some are buying second homes, some are buying as they move to the United States on EB-5 investor visas; some are investing for rental and resale.

Most of the money in US homes, the study noted, is private wealth, not corporate.

“This familiarity of utilizing real estate as an investment or wealth preservation tool is more prevalent in China and reflects the broader comfort of purchasing second homes in the United States by Chinese individuals and families,” the study noted.

Since last year, there has also been the motivation to get money outside China and into dollar assets amid worry about the continued fall in the yuan, which was devalued slightly against the dollar in August.

The study says it expects a lot more commercial real estate buys in the United States by Chinese companies.

Last month, Chinese conglomerate HNA announced it would buy the 1,400-hotel group Carlson Hotels, owner of the Radisson brand.

“Anbang is not the only firm looking at these assets. Other Chinese entities were originally interested in acquiring Starwood in 2015 before Marriott reached an initial deal, including Jin Jiang Hotel Group, which had already acquired a European hotel chain in 2015, and CIC, the sovereign wealth fund,” the study said.

China Weekly Update

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Import Tariffs lead to Massive pipe plant to boost Chinese FDI in Texas

The U.S. was put a duty of 11-13% on steel pipes coming from China and
low and behold… a manufacturing plant showed up and with it high paying jobs.

China Daily-
By the end of this year, a $1.3 billion plant near Corpus Christi, Texas, that will make seamless pipe for the energy industry — the largest single Chinese investment in a US manufacturing facility — is expected to start production. Area economic development officials hope the facility will bring in additional Chinese and foreign investment to the area.
TPCO America, a subsidiary of Tianjin Pipe Corporation, is building the plant. It is expected to create 600 jobs and generate $2 .7 billion in economic activity for the area in a decade. Ground breaking for the facility, which is located in the town of Gregory outside of Corpus Christi, occurred in 2011.
“We’ve got FDI (foreign direct investment) coming to the US with this project,” noted John LaRue, executive director of the Port of Corpus Christi Authority. “Everyone should be happy with the signal that this sends.”

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China to buy $90 billion gold vault in London

China is buying one of London’s biggest gold vaults.

The Chinese state-owned ICBC Standard Bank (IDCBF), the world’s biggest bank by assets, has agreed to buy Barclays precious metals storage business, including its state-of-the-art storage facility in London.
The deal will boost China’s access to London’s gold market, and expand the country’s role in the gold business.

The vault is in a secret location in London, and can store 2,000 tonnes of gold and other precious metals. At current prices, up to $90 billion worth of gold could be stored inside.

Barclays (BCLYF) has previously announced a move away from the precious metal business. The bank opened the facility in 2012.
The financial details of the sale were not released.

London is the world’s largest wholesale over-the-counter gold market by trading volume, with estimated $5 trillion worth of gold trades cleared there every year. The precious metal has been traded in London for over 300 years.

But China dominates in terms of actual physical gold trading. Gold imports to China have surged over 700% since 2010, and the country overtook India to become the world’s biggest gold consumer in 2013.
China now consumes about 40% of the gold that comes out of the Earth’s ground every year, according to Wells Fargo.

Pentagon: China is restructuring itself for war

Business Insider

China’s military underwent a major restructuring last year in a bid to prepare its military for conflict, the Pentagon said in its latest annual assessment of the Communist Party-controlled People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

The armed forces were reformed with new military regions, a new command structure, and updated strategies to better fight regional, high-technology warfare, the 145-page report to Congress says.

“These reforms aim to strengthen the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) control over the military, enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations, and improve its ability to fight short-duration, high-intensity regional conflicts at greater distances from the Chinese mainland,” the report said.

Abraham Denmark, deputy assistant defense secretary for East Asia, told reporters the military reforms “are intended to enhance the PLA’s ability to conduct joint operations by replacing the old military regions with new geographic commands.”

“Our approach focuses on reducing risk, expanding common ground, and maintaining our military superiority,” Denmark said.

As part of its military strategy, China continued to expand its building of new islands in the South China Sea where military forces can be used to control the strategic waterway linking the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

From some of the 3,200 acres of new islands, “China will be able to use them as persistent civil-military bases to enhance its long-term presence in the South China Sea significantly,” the report said.

China also is asserting sovereignty over Japan’s Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea.

Beijing has been careful to avoid a confrontation with the United States over the maritime disputes and used “coercive tactics short of armed conflict” in pressing its policies, the report said.

The PLA continued a major build up of military forces across the range of weapons and troops, including large numbers of new missiles, warships, aircraft, along with cyber warfare capabilities and space weaponry.

The report said among the challenges for the Chinese military is widespread corruption that ensnared more than 40 senior PLA officers in illegal activities since 2012, including the PLA’s most senior officer.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has told the PLA to prepare to “fight and win” battles, and the Pentagon said the slogan is an indication Chinese leaders are concerned the military, which has not fought a war in more than 30 years, may not fare well in modern combat.

The Chinese military restructuring was announced late last year when China set up five new regional “theaters” out of seven military regions and restructured its military command system and services.

The separate nuclear and conventional missile service, Second Artillery Corps, was renamed the Rocket Force.

A new Strategic Support Force was created that includes the military intelligence service, and space warfare and cyber warfare forces, key elements of China’s asymmetric strategy aimed at defeating more advanced U.S. forces in a war.

The report reveals that China is expanding its ability to conduct military operations far from Chinese territory. However, fighting a war over Taiwan remains the PLA’s top priority.

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Apple just invested $1 billion in Didi, China’s Uber rival

www.qz.com

The world’s most valuable company has finally placed a bet on the global ride-hailing wars—and it’s not for Uber.

Didi Chuxing, the Beijing-based ride-hailing firm that rivals Uber in China (also referred to as Didi Kuaidi), announced it has received a strategic investment of $1 billion from Apple.

“We are making the investment for a number of strategic reasons, including a chance to learn more about certain segments of the China market,” Apple CEO Tim Cook told Reuters. “Of course, we believe it will deliver a strong return for our invested capital over time as well.”

In a conference call, Didi president Jean Liu said that Apple’s investment comes as part of an ongoing funding round for Didi that has yet to close. The deal was finalized at “lightning speed,” she says. Liu met Cook for the first time less than a month ago, in Cupertino, California.

The investment presents numerous opportunities for collaboration between the two companies. Apple rolled out Apple Pay in China earlier this year, so it’s possible that the service will be placed in Didi’s app. Apple is also believed to be working on an autonomous vehicle of its own, so it’s possible the companies will work together to bring it to market. When asked about what specific new features or projects the investment would bring, Liu remained elusive.

“Tencent and Alibaba have been great supporters of Didi,” she said. “On payments and maps, in the future there will be more partnerships going forward. With Apple we are confident that with data science and technology the company will be pushed to a new level.”

The deal also marks Apple’s first official bet on a ride-hailing company. Didi is a member of an “anti-Uber alliance” that includes Lyft in the US, Grab in Southeast Asia, and Ola in India, as well as carmaker General Motors. It’s not unreasonable to speculate that Apple’s support will extend to these companies as well.

Apple’s funding also comes just as the company faces new challenges in China. iPhone sales in the country are not as stunning as they once were, and the government recently forced it to shut down its iBooks and iTunes services in China.

The investment marks a hurdle for Uber, which has not been as successful in China as it has in most other parts in the world. CEO Travis Kalanick has admitted to burning $1 billion a year in China, and while reliable data is scarce, reports indicate that Didi occupies somewhere between 70% to 90% of the ride-hailing market in China. Apple’s investment in Didi certainly won’t help Uber’s position.

China scrambles fighters as U.S. sails warship near Chinese-claimed reef

By Michael Martina, Greg Torode and Ben Blanchard

BEIJING/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China scrambled fighter jets on Tuesday as a U.S. navy ship sailed close to a disputed reef in the South China Sea, a patrol China denounced as an illegal threat to peace which only went to show its defense installations in the area were necessary.

Guided missile destroyer the USS William P. Lawrence traveled within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of Chinese-occupied Fiery Cross Reef, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Bill Urban said.

The so-called freedom of navigation operation was undertaken to “challenge excessive maritime claims” by China, Taiwan, and Vietnam which were seeking to restrict navigation rights in the South China Sea, Urban said.

“These excessive maritime claims are inconsistent with international law as reflected in the Law of the Sea Convention in that they purport to restrict the navigation rights that the United States and all states are entitled to exercise,” Urban said in an emailed statement.

China and the United States have traded accusations of militarizing the South China Sea as China undertakes large-scale land reclamation and construction on disputed features while the United States has increased its patrols and exercises.

Facilities on Fiery Cross Reef include a 3,000-metre (10,000-foot) runway which the United States worries China will use to press its extensive territorial claims at the expense of weaker rivals.

China’s Defence Ministry said two fighter jets were scrambled and three warships shadowed the U.S. ship, telling it to leave.

The U.S. patrol “again proves that China’s construction of defensive facilities on the relevant reefs in the Nansha Islands is completely reasonable and totally necessary”, it said, using China’s name for the Spratly Islands where much of its reclamation work is taking place.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said the U.S. ship illegally entered Chinese waters.

“This action by the U.S. side threatened China’s sovereignty and security interests, endangered the staff and facilities on the reef, and damaged regional peace and stability,” he told a daily news briefing.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry waved aside a question as to whether the U.S. aim was to send a message ahead of a visit to Asia by President Barack Obama this month.

“This is not a pointed strategy calculated to do anything except keep a regular process of freedom of navigation operations underway,” he told reporters in London.

SENSITIVE AREA

China claims most of the South China Sea, through which $5 trillion in ship-borne trade passes every year. The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and Brunei have overlapping claims.

The Pentagon last month called on China to reaffirm it has no plans to deploy military aircraft in the Spratly Islands after China used a military plane to evacuate sick workers from Fiery Cross.

“Fiery Cross is sensitive because it is presumed to be the future hub of Chinese military operations in the South China Sea, given its already extensive infrastructure, including its large and deep port and 3,000-metre runway,” said Ian Storey, a South China Sea expert at Singapore’s ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute.

“The timing is interesting, too. It is a show of U.S. determination ahead of President Obama’s trip to Vietnam.”

Speaking in Vietnam, Daniel Russel, assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific, said freedom of navigation operations were important for smaller nations.

“If the world’s most powerful navy cannot sail where international law permits, then what happens to the ships of navy of smaller countries?” Russel told reporters before news of the operation was made public.

China has reacted with anger to previous U.S. freedom of navigation operations, including the overflight of fighter planes near the disputed Scarborough Shoal last month, and when long-range U.S. bombers flew near Chinese facilities under construction on Cuarteron Reef in the Spratlys last November.

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China Market Update

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US struggling to retain dominant position in world economy as China’s credit rises

By Zhou Jimo Source:Global Times Published: 2016-5-4 22:48:01

Ever since the fall of the gold standard, there hasn’t been a currency that can counter the US dollar’s dominance. The global economic system relies heavily on credit ratings, among which currency credit is pivotal. Any national currency is backed by a country’s sovereign credit rating, so if the rating is lowered it suggests the credit of the country’s currency has fallen as well.

The dollar’s global influence has long been dominant, and US credit, backed by its currency, also became unprecedentedly powerful. But following the 2008 global financial crisis, US quantitative easing (QE) has led to increasing frothiness in asset prices and the dollar itself, and has also led to a decline in US credit. On the other hand, with the launch of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the yuan’s influence and China’s sovereign credit have been enhanced.

A credit comparison between China and the US could be based on the US-led Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the China-initiated AIIB and “One Belt, One Road” initiative. For the US, It is never difficult to set up an international political alliance, let alone an economic union. But the outcome of the TPP seems to be more rhetorical than real. Only a total of 12 countries have signed up to it, and it remains to be seen when the agreement will become effective. This situation apparently isn’t commensurate with the US and the dollar’s dominant status, and this can be explained by the sovereign credit decline of the US.

By comparison, the China-initiated AIIB has already had 57 countries join up as founding members. Meanwhile, the “One Belt, One Road” initiative has seen even more rapid development. Unveiled in 2013, the initiative launched direct investment in 49 relevant countries, and established more than 50 economic and trade cooperation zones overseas by the end of 2015. Such swift development has demonstrated China’s increased sovereign credit.

In the evolving global landscape, it is a natural move for one side to attempt to reduce the other side’s growing advantages and influence. But this is not always appropriate, especially as the Sino-US relationship is inclusive and interdependent nowadays.

The fall in US dominance is tied to the country’s deindustrialization, and its re-industrialization strategy is only a tactical contingency plan. Even this tactical adjustment requires a huge capital injection. Sadly, the US has taken QE programs to the extreme since the 2008 financial crisis. Today, among the world’s major currencies, the euro is weak and the yen is not as influential as it used to be, which has left the yuan with the capacity to provide support for the US and its re-industrialization.

If this is the case, why would US credit rating agencies lower China’s credit rating outlook? US President Barack Obama has said that the US should make regional trade rules, not China. But if the US is truly an advocate of the free market, it shouldn’t force rules on other countries. Presently, despite the world’s gloomy economic environment, the Chinese economy has been largely stable, and the IMF still holds a positive attitude toward it. In this regard, it’s safe to say that bucking the trend to reduce China’s credit rating is a way for the US to enforce its rules.

It is undeniable that China’s growth is not as fast as it used to be, but this is natural amid the current economic upgrading, and should not be seen as too much of a disadvantage. In this regard, reducing China’s credit rating could to a certain degree impact China, but it could affect the US even more.

Britons Warned “The housing bubble we created will collapse if we leave the EU”

Radisson Hotel Chain Is Latest U.S. Giant to Be Snapped Up By Chinese

A unit of Chinese conglomerate HNA Group has agreed to buy Carlson Hotels, which owns brands including Radisson and Country Inns and Suites, the latest in a flurry of overseas investments by Chinese companies.

HNA Tourism Group will acquire all of Carlson Hotels Inc., the companies said in a joint statement released late Wednesday that did not disclose the purchase price.
They said that Carlson’s headquarters would remain in Minnetonka, Minn., after the deal is completed.

HNA Tourism Chairman Bai Haibo said buying Carlson Hotels will help the Chinese company “establish our presence in the U.S. market and expand our footprint in hospitality internationally.”

He added that HNA would “accelerate growth by investing substantially in the business.”

The purchase is the latest in a string of global transactions by Chinese companies as they diversify abroad to counter slowing growth at home while also scooping up foreign expertise and technology.

Other deals this year include Haier Group’s acquisition of General Electric’s home appliance business, conglomerate Wanda Group’s purchase of Hollywood studio Legendary Entertainment, and state-owned ChemChina’s mammoth $43 billion bid for Swiss pesticide maker Syngenta. It also comes weeks after China’s Anbang Insurance Group was thwarted by Marriott International in its attempt to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

As part of the deal, the Chinese company will also acquire a 51.3 percent stake in Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel Group AB, which operates Carlson hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

Under Swedish takeover rules, HNA is required to either buy the remaining shares of Rezidor it doesn’t own or sell its stake down to 30 percent.

Carlson has 1,400 hotels in 115 countries and territories and employs about 90,000 staff worldwide.

HNA Group, based in southern Hainan province, operates hotels, airlines, airports and financial services and real estate businesses.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed in the second half of 2016.

Why China Wants Yuan-Denominated Gold

Yahoo
Chinese gold demand

It’s crucial to understand the potential benefits for China of having yuan-denominated gold. Besides internationalization, the fix may also increase the liquidity and efficiency of the gold markets. Yuan-denominated gold may also reduce the dependency of gold on the US dollar, though this may not hold true in the short run. In the longer run, gold may untangle from the US dollar.

According to the World Gold Council, in 2015, China’s gold demand hit 984.5 tons. The initiation of the yuan benchmark for gold is aimed at increasing the usage of the yuan as a global currency.
China likely believes that it should have a greater influence on gold prices, as it’s the biggest consumer of the metal. The demand from China may soon be completely directed to yuan-based gold. The higher the demand for yuan-based gold, the higher the demand for yuan currency.

China and the world economy
China could directly control the world gold markets once it has a significant chunk of the gold demand in the yuan. The above chart shows the current relationship of yuan to gold prices. The correlation between the two also remains weak, unlike the US dollar.

China has already acknowledged that it wants gold to play a much more important role in the world monetary system, and it’s also likely downplaying its gold holdings. With the larger influence of gold in the financial system, China may get in a position to dominate global economies.

The changes in gold price often amplify the changes in leveraged funds like the Direxion Daily Gold Miners (NUGT), the Direxion Daily Junior Bull Gold 3X (JNUG), and the Direxion Daily Junior Gold Bear 3X (JDST).

China Successfully Tests Hypersonic Missile

China successfully flight tested its new high-speed maneuvering warhead last week, days after Russia carried out its own hypersonic glider test, according to Pentagon officials.

The test of the developmental DF-ZF hypersonic glide vehicle was monitored after launch Friday atop a ballistic missile fired from the Wuzhai missile launch center in central China, said officials familiar with reports of the test.

The maneuvering glider, traveling at several thousand miles per hour, was tracked by satellites as it flew west along the edge of the atmosphere to an impact area in the western part of the country.

It was the seventh successful flight test of the revolutionary glider, which travels at speeds between 4,000 and 7,000 miles per hour.

U.S. intelligence officials have assessed that China plans to use the glider to deliver nuclear weapons through increasingly sophisticated missile defenses. The DF-ZF also could be used as part of a conventional strategic strike weapon capable of hitting targets around the world within an hour.

“China’s repeated test of a hypersonic glide vehicle demonstrates Beijing is committed to upending both the conventional military and nuclear balance, with grave implications for the stability of Asia,” Forbes told the Washington Free Beacon.

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command, said Jan. 22 that the new hypersonic glide vehicle is among an array of high-technology missiles and weapons, both nuclear and conventional, being developed and deployed by Beijing.

China “recently conducted its sixth successful test of a hypersonic glide vehicle, and as we saw in September last year, is parading missiles clearly displaying their modernization and capability advancements,” Haney said.

China has kept details about the DF-ZF program secret. In March 2015, a Defense Ministry spokesman confirmed one of the hypersonic missile tests after the test was reported in the Free Beacon. The spokesman said the missile test was not aimed at any country and was done for scientific research.

Mark Schneider, a former Pentagon strategic forces specialist, said the new Chinese hypersonic glider is a serious threat.

“In testimony before the congressional China commission, an Air Force intelligence analyst revealed that it is nuclear armed although there could also be a conventional version,” Schneider said.

“The Chinese probably see this as one of their ‘assassin’s mace’ weapons which are designed to defeat the U.S.”

By contrast, the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency is doing little to deal with the emerging hypersonic missile threat.

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China Market Weekly Update

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Chinese Brokers on the Rise in HK

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Graph of the Day

Free Trader America= 2% avg tariff rate
Mercantilist economy China= 12.5% average tariff rate

A thought for American academics.. “Mabey your tex books aren’t right”?

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Chinese State Security Service Warns female staff to not get “Honey-Dicked” by Handsome Foreign Men

A tale the Chinese know well as they have been honey-trapping U.S. intelligence assets for decades.

RT.COM
China has released a comic titled “Dangerous Love” that warns female government workers about dating foreigners who could turn out to be spies.

The 16-panel comic, which you can see below, was issued by a Beijing district government on Friday to mark China’s National Security Education Day. It is aimed at enlightening its employees on the importance of confidentiality and the laws relevant to it in order to fight espionage carried out by foreign nations.

The comic, which was posted to numerous public bulletin boards, tells the story of a young Chinese civil servant named Xiao Li, or Little Li, who falls for a “visiting scholar researching issues about China” named David after meeting him at “a gathering” organized by “a foreign friend.”

Like any classic love story, Xiao Li and David “begin a romantic involvement,” and it transpires that Xiao Li works for the “foreign publicity department.”

Dapper David asks many questions about what Xiao Li does at work, but she’s oblivious to his conniving ways, because “having a handsome, romantic and talented foreign boyfriend is pretty good.”

This ultimately leads poor Poor Xiao Li to end up in handcuffs while being told by police that her “very shallow understanding of secrecy” had allowed David to abscond with files, as he was, in truth, “an overseas spy.” This girl just can’t catch a break.

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The Next Shoe to Drop: Pensions will disappear without massive bailouts of printed money

The next show to drop in this “booming” economy of 4% unemployment, low inflation,
and shining cities on the hill such as Baltimore, Detroit, Flint, Cleveland, Chicago
and others.

(Pay no attention to the rotting infrastructure and killings please)

You didn’t really think you were going to get those pension and social
security payments did you?

Zerohedge
“This Is Going To Be A National Crisis” – One Of The Largest U.S. Pension Funds Set To Cut Retiree Benefits

As the Washington Post reports, the Central States Pension Fund, which handles retirement benefits for current and former Teamster union truck drivers across various states including Texas, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, New York, and Minnesota, and is one of the largest pension funds in the nation, has filed an application to cut participant benefits, which would be effective July 1 2016, as it “projects” it will become officially insolvent by 2025. In 2015, the fund returned -0.81%, underperforming the 0.37% return of its benchmark.

Over a quarter of a million people depend on their pension being handled by the CSPF; for most it is their only source of fixed income.
Pension funds applying to lower promised benefits is a new development, albeit not unexpected (we warned of this mounting issue numerous times in the past). For many years there existed federal protections which shielded pensions from being cut, but that all changed in December 2014, when folded neatly into a $1.1 trillion government spending bill, was a proposal to allow multi employer pension plans to cut pension benefits so long as they are projected to run out of money in the next 10 to 20 years. Between rising benefit payouts as participants become eligible, the global financial crisis, and the current interest rate environment, it was certainly just a matter of time before these steps were taken to allow pension plans to cut benefits to stave off insolvency.

The Central States Pension Fund is currently paying out $3.46 in pension benefits for every $1 it receives from employers, which has resulted in the fund paying out $2 billion more in benefits than it receives in employer contributions each year.

As a result, Thomas Nyhan, executive director of the Central States Pension Fund said that the fund could become insolvent by 2025 if nothing is done. The fund currently pays out $2.8 billion a year in benefits according to Nyhan, and if the plan becomes insolvent it would overwhelm the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (designed by the government to absorb insolvent plans and continue paying benefits), who at the end of fiscal 2015 only had $1.9 billion in total assets itself. Incidentally as we also pointed out last month, the PBGC projects that they will also be insolvent by 2025 – it appears there is something very foreboding about that particular year.

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