Obama Moves to Block Chinese Acquisition of a German Chip Maker
The intervention in a Chinese company’s bid to buy a German semiconductor company, Aixtron [website here], comes after Chinese companies have spent billions to acquire technology in Europe and the United States. American officials have increasingly moved to stop such deals, but Chinese companies have shown growing adeptness in getting around those restrictions to strike up relationships that could someday lead to greater access to technology.
A statement from the Treasury Department said the administration blocked the purchase of the American portion of Aixtron’s business because it posed a national security risk relating to “the military applications of the overall technical body of knowledge and experience of Aixtron.”
It wasn’t clear whether other parts of the deal could be salvaged. Officials at the German chip company and its would-be Chinese buyer, the Fujian Grand Chip Investment Fund [website here], did not immediately comment.
By rejecting the deal, the Obama administration showed how far it would go to keep China from using its wallet to acquire sensitive technology from the West. It blocked previous Chinese technology purchases only indirectly, using an advisory panel of government and intelligence officials who can discourage — but not directly kill — foreign deals. That same panel earlier expressed skepticism over the Aixtron deal.
Last year the United States accounted for more than one-fifth of Aixtron’s sales. And nearly one-fifth of its more than 700 employees are based in the United States.
That indirect strategy kept Mr. Obama from looking like a free-trade opponent, especially when the company in question was not American, and softened any potential response from Beijing. But Aixtron and its Chinese suitor tested that strategy by plowing ahead despite the panel’s concerns, forcing Mr. Obama to act…
Contents via a message from the CDAI:
Ottawa, 1 December 2016 – The CDA Institute is pleased to release the latest issue of ON TRACK which features thoughtful and informative articles by experts from Canada and abroad on security and defence issues.
“Editorial – Canada is Back – The Defence Budget Must Grow…Significantly” by Tony Battista and Dr. David McDonough
“Defending Canada in the 2020s?” by Vice-Admiral Drew Robertson (Ret’d)
“Vérité, Devoir, Vaillance : Le CMR Saint-Jean retrouve son statut universitaire” par Oksana Drozdova
“Les stratégies arméniennes pour garder le contrôle du Haut-Karabakh” par Michael Lambert
“Paranoid or Pragmatic? What Pakistan’s policy in Afghanistan can tell us about international rivalry” by John Mitton
“L’hiver Yéménite” par Alexandra Dufour
“Chemical Weapons use in Syria and Iraq: implications” by Dr. Jez Littlewood
“2016 Vimy Award – Acceptance Speech by recipient Dr. James Boutilier”
“Evaluating China as a Great Power: The Paradox of the ‘Responsible Power’ Narrative” by Adam MacDonald
“Supporting an Informed Public Debate: Seven Important Facts to Know about Military Requirements Planning” by Colonel Chuck Davies (Ret’d)
“Australia and Canada – different boats for different folks” by Dr. Andrew Davies and Christopher Cowan
“Space and the Third Offset in the post-post-Cold War period – Lessons for Canada and Australia” by Dr. Malcolm Davis…
Further to this post,
the Liberals are walking a fine environment/economy tightrope and it remains to see when (if?) something actually gets built–an opinion piece at the Globe and Mail’s business section:
Canadians about to see yet again that approvals don’t end pipeline battles
If there’s one thing that’s become clear over the past decade of pipeline battles, it’s that approval doesn’t beget acceptance. Canadians are about to get more proof.
For those executives and politicians with big dreams of sending batches upon batches of heavy Canadian crude oil to the Pacific and onward to Asian markets, that’s good reason to keep any victory dances to a minimum. These fights are far from over.
Yes, with new federal approvals in hand, Kinder Morgan Canada and Enbridge Inc. can get on with the business of working through the lists of conditions they must meet before trenching rights of way to points south and west from Alberta.
But the project that is now officially dead – Northern Gateway – is the most instructive as backers, opponents and governments huddle to hammer out strategies for their next moves, all while claiming the environmental and economic high ground. It was three years ago that Northern Gateway, the $7.9-billion pipeline proposed by Enbridge to ship oil sands-derived crude to Kitimat, B.C., from Alberta, won National Energy Board approval.
After a decade of planning, discussion and hearings, that proved to be not the beginning of the project’s road to construction, but the beginning of the end…
Tuesday’s [Nov. 29] approvals don’t signal clear sailing either. Battles are about to intensify for Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement and Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain expansion. The curve ball in the equation is the increasingly likely resurrection of Keystone XL under the administration of president-elect Donald Trump after years as a protest point.
The Trans Mountain expansion is seen as the oil patch’s best hope to get its crude to the Shangri-La known as tidewater. Today, backers say increasing pipeline capacity to the United States is all fine and good, but that long-relied-upon customer is turning into a fierce competitor as its own exports increase.
Kinder Morgan wants to use its existing right-of-way to triple the capacity to nearly 900,000 barrels a day, which would land in Burnaby, B.C., for shipment to Asia-Pacific markets. The Alberta government has been front and centre pushing for such market access, hoping for it to help jump-start its stalled economy while holding out the promise of tougher carbon restrictions.
Despite that, the wall of opposition to the expansion has been growing to include the mayors of both Burnaby and Vancouver, as well as First Nations such as the Tsleil-Waututh. Its leaders met with Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr this week to press their case that Trans Mountain should not proceed under any circumstances due to oil-spill risks that could have long-lasting impact on the coastal community. Count on busy courts. One would think Line 3 would be a breeze, given that Enbridge touted the $7.5-billion project as a safety measure – fitting out an existing route to the U.S. Midwest with all new equipment. It won NEB approval last spring, but is still hung up in the United States, where it faces opposition by environmental groups in Minnesota, including 350.org, one of the leaders of the battle against Keystone XL [website here].
Indeed, the protests and blockade of the Dakota Access pipeline have shown opposition to projects is pancontinental in scope [more here].
Government approval isn’t the end of the fight. Not even close…
Whilst at the main news section:
Then there’s still this sticky challenge:
Further to this post,
I am finishing his journal:
It is an accumulation of events, thoughts and emotions that is one of the most powerful books I have read. I would add that his amateur appreciation of military developments is quite acute (it would appear that Romanians had access to quite a variety of information from non-Axis sources).
Romania, as Germany’s ally, joined the war against the Soviet Union. The country’s declared reason for doing so was to recover the territories of Bucovina and Bessarabia. Individual Jews’ fates in Romania critically depended on the region in which they lived at the beginning of the war. In Antonescu’s plan for “cleaning up the land,” the Jewish population of Bessarabia and Bucovina was considered hostile and was destined for “elimination.” Intense antisemitic propaganda was spread especially within the army, but also at all levels of the state hierarchy. This particular population, and by extension all Jews, was depicted as the embodiment of the “Bolshevik threat.”
Under Antonescu’s rule, Jews were subjected to discriminatory regulations, but there were quite a few fluctuations in their status, depending on the war front situation and on the political interests of the regime. Jewish real estate was nationalized on 28 March 1941, except for a few categories (exemptions included decorated Jewish war veterans; war orphans who had been baptized as Christians 20 years earlier; Jews married to Romanian nationals; Jews baptized as Christians at least 30 years before). Jewish men aged 18 to 50 had to perform forced labor.
One week after the beginning of the war, on 29–30 June 1941, the Jewish community of Iaşi was the victim of a pogrom in which more than 14,000 Jews were killed in massacres supervised by the army and the local police, with the support of Nazi troops. With the German–Romanian invasion, on Antonescu’s order 45,000–60,000 Jews in Bessarabia and Bucovina were massacred. The remaining 157,079 Jews were deported to Transnistria: 91,845 from Bucovina, 55,867 from Bessarabia, and 9,367 from Dorohoi. Between 105,000 and 120,000 of the deported Romanian Jews died. More than 21,000 Jews from southern Bucovina (the counties of Dorohoi, Câmpulung Moldovenesc, Suceava, and Rădăuți), which was still a part of the Old Kingdom, were also deported before 1942.
From the very beginning of the war, in Bucharest, community leaders (namely Filderman, leader of the Federal Union of Jewish Communities [FUCE]; with the assistance of Alexandru Şafran, the chief rabbi), succeeded in organizing an institutional network to provide religious services, education, and social support. In December 1941, FUCE was dissolved and replaced by the Jewish Central, following the model of the Judenrat. Remaining the true leader of the community, Filderman led the fight against resuming deportations and other anti-Jewish measures. In some communities, permission was granted to set up schools for Jewish children who had been excluded from the Romanian education system. Ways were found to send aid, financed substantially by international Jewish organizations, to Jews who had been deported to Transnistria.
In the summer of 1942, Jews in the Old Kingdom [the Regat] confronted the most critical times, as Romania accepted the Nazi plan to deport all Jews living in Romania to the Bełżec extermination camp. However, by November 1942 it became clear that the Romanian authorities were deferring the enforcement of this action and eventually gave it up completely [emphasis added]. They did so as a result of pressure from the Allied forces, but also because of internal opposition mobilized especially by Filderman. Policies concerning Jews began to change in October 1942, and the deportations finally ended in March–April 1943. Approximately 340,000 Romanian Jews survived. Partial repatriation began in the second half of December 1943. On 20 December, the 6,053 inhabitants of Dorohoi who had survived deportation were sent back to their hometown. On 6 March 1944, a total of 1,846 of the more than 5,000 orphans were repatriated.
Approximately 135,000 Jews living under Hungarian rule in northern Transylvania were murdered after deportation to Auschwitz, beginning in the spring of 1944. The territory of Romania, thanks to the change in attitude of authorities toward Jews, became a refuge for those who succeeded in crossing the border from Hungary…
The inimitable George Will weighs in at the Washington Post–and Canadian campuses?
Higher education is awash with hysteria. That might have helped elect Trump.
Many undergraduates, their fawn-like eyes wide with astonishment, are wondering: Why didn’t the dean of students prevent the election from disrupting the serenity to which my school has taught me that I am entitled? Campuses create “safe spaces” where students can shelter from discombobulating thoughts and receive spiritual balm for the trauma of microaggressions. Yet the presidential election came without trigger warnings?..
Even professors’ books from serious publishers are clotted with pretentious jargon. To pick just one from innumerable examples, a recent history of the Spanish Civil War, published by the Oxford University Press, says that Franco’s Spain was as “hierarchizing” as Hitler’s Germany, that Catholicism “problematized” relations between Spain and the Third Reich, and that liberalism and democracy are concepts that must be “interrogated.” Only the highly educated write so badly. Indeed, the point of such ludicrous prose is to signal membership in a closed clerisy that possesses a private language.
An American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) study — “No U.S. History? How College History Departments Leave the United States out of the Major,” based on requirements and course offerings at 75 leading colleges and universities — found that “the overwhelming majority of America’s most prestigious institutions do not require even the students who major in history to take a single course on United States history or government.” Often “microhistories” are offered to history majors at schools that require these majors to take no U.S. history course: “Modern Addiction: Cigarette Smoking in the 20th Century” (Swarthmore College), “Lawn Boy Meets Valley Girl” (Bowdoin College), “Witchcraft and Possession” (University of Pennsylvania).
At some schools that require history majors to take at least one U.S. history course, the requirement can be fulfilled with courses like “Mad Men and Mad Women” (Middlebury College), “Hip-Hop, Politics and Youth Culture in America” (University of Connecticut) and “Jews in American Entertainment” (University of Texas at Austin). Constitutional history is an afterthought.
Small wonder, then, that a recent CTA-commissioned survey found that less than half of college graduates knew that George Washington was the commanding general at Yorktown; that nearly half did not know that Theodore Roosevelt was important to the construction of the Panama Canal; that more than one-third could not place the Civil War in a correct 20-year span or identify Franklin Roosevelt as the architect of the New Deal; that 58 percent did not know that the Battle of the Bulge occurred in World War II; and that nearly half did not know the lengths of the terms of U.S. senators and representatives.
Institutions of supposedly higher education are awash with hysteria, authoritarianism, obscurantism, philistinism and charlatanry. Which must have something to do with the tone and substance of the presidential election, which took the nation’s temperature.
Meanwhile one Canadian example at the University of British Columbia (quote at bottom of webpage):
The Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice and the Critical Studies in Sexuality Program are at the forefront of leading research globally. Help us to forward our research and our teaching, and join us in supporting social justice and advocating for change.
Dig in at the site.
…if the president-elect notices that these industries are essentially being kept going by governments’ subsidies, with perhaps the most US political relevance, in the case of cars, to the rust-belt states that gave Mr Trump his electoral college victory.
Plus Québec money essentially saving Bombardier:
Bombardier on ‘brink of bankruptcy’ in 2015, CEO reveals
Quite a few significant people in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City must be excreting bricks hoping that all that Canadian corporate welfare somehow escapes detection by the Trump, er, radar with his Mexican fixation.
Beijing Tightens Its Grip in Hong Kong Again
Two months after tumultuous legislative elections, and two years after the pro-democracy Umbrella Movement paralyzed the city center, Hong Kong is in the throes of another great political crisis.
Last Monday [November 7], the Chinese government intervened in the territory’s political affairs in an unprecedented way. Brazenly exploiting a technicality, and to the extreme, it barred two young legislators-elect who advocate for greater freedoms for Hong Kong from taking their seats.
The night before, demonstrators had briefly turned the cramped area around Beijing’s Central Liaison Office in Hong Kong into a battleground reminiscent of the worst of the 2014 protests, replete with police batons and tear gas. They had anticipated the bomb that was about to go off: By interfering in a case against two lawmakers brought by the Hong Kong government before a local court, Beijing demonstrated with one single gesture that it was ready to quash any electoral outcomes in Hong Kong that displeased it, to subordinate Hong Kong’s legislature to its executive branch and to subdue its judiciary, which has a reputation for independent-mindedness.
Hong Kong voters breached a floodgate in September with the election for the local legislature, known as LegCo, and now Beijing wants to close it at all costs. A group of young candidates with separatist leanings won half a dozen seats in LegCo, having campaigned on platforms that went well beyond what protesters in the Umbrella Movement ever demanded — from rewriting the Basic Law, Hong Kong’s mini-constitution since 1997, in order to cement Hong Kong’s autonomy, to self-determination or even outright secession from China. Last week, the empire struck back [read on]…
But can our government resist the lure of the lucre, especially with Donald Trump elected, the TPP dead and NAFTA apparently in the balance:
Chinese business leaders laud ‘golden era’ for Canadian relations
Canada, China at dawn of golden decade [at Chicom mouthpiece, Global Times]
Oh, that cuddly panda.
Further to this post (note Senegal as logistics hub in “Comments”),
the national defence minister gives a timeline and some details of types of mission but not yet where–and sensibly makes clear that new “peace operations” will not be like “traditional peacekeeping”:
Canada committed to three-year deployment in Africa
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment in Africa that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact.
Canadian troops headed to Africa will operate in dangerous territory where peacekeepers have been killed, says Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan.
In an exclusive interview with the Star from Vancouver Sajjan said Canada has committed to a three-year deployment that will be reassessed each year to ensure it has an “enduring” impact.
It will be spread among a number of unspecified African countries, have a major focus on training and increasing “capacity” of the host nation as well as other countries’ troops, and build on existing social, economic and deradicalization programs on the ground.
“These missions, all of them, have the level of risk where peacekeepers have been hurt, they have been killed. And we’ve been looking at the risk factor in a very serious way,” said Sajjan.
Asked about his approach to deploying Canadian forces to conduct counter-insurgency operations — something the previous Conservative government was keen to avoid in Africa when it turned down requests to deploy soldiers to Congo and Mali — Sajjan said “some of it is going to be the reduction of radicalization in certain areas, in other parts it will be developing the capacity of the host nation [i.e. Mali].”
Just back from Mali, which hosts the deadliest United Nations mission in the world right now, Sajjan says it’s clear there are risks there. He said the same risks exist in the other African missions under consideration by the Liberal government.
But, he added, there are also risks to Canada of doing nothing to counter insurgent groups that are terrorizing populations and radicalizing new recruits, and suggested he and the Liberal government have made this clear to Canadians from “day one.”
“This is not the peacekeeping of the past — we need to look at what the challenges are of today and develop the peace operations for today’s challenges.”
After having travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ethiopia in late summer, and Senegal and Mali in the past week — Sajjan said he believes the UN mandate for and rules of engagement with hostile forces are “robust” enough to address the risks, particularly in Mali. The UN mission in Mali, known as MINUSMA, has seen 106 casualties since it was established in 2013, including 69 from “malicious acts.”
“One thing I did learn, the mandate for the mission is robust so there no concern that our troops would be limited in any way,” said Sajjan. “I had a very direct conversation with the political leadership of the UN and the force commander about that, and the safety of our troops is always paramount.”..
Sajjan stressed that a big part of the federal analysis underway — as he, two other federal ministers, and military and civilian fact-finders have travelled to Africa — is examining how Canada’s contribution of some 600 soldiers and up to 150 police can have a maximum impact, whether it’s through military training, building on economic development programs and opportunities like on the “agriculture side” in Mali, or combating sexual violence, including by UN peacekeeping troops…
Sajjan said Canada is looking at spreading its various contributions — military, police and civilian — among a number of UN missions [see list here], not African Union-led missions, in Africa. But it will support African Union efforts at the same time…
Right now, he said, much of the public attention is on exactly where soldiers will be sent.
But he said Canadians should expect a broader mission that could see troops sent to one end of Africa while other elements of Canada’s contribution will be sent to a different part. He said there are troop and police training centres across Africa, and “a small number of troops or even RCMP can have significant impact in other areas, to make a training centre far more effective.”..
Sajjan said the government has “narrowed” the ultimate destinations for its Canadian mission, but did not tip his hand on his preference.
He said there is nothing to be read into the countries he’s travelled to, nor the fact that he recently went to Mali, saying he couldn’t fit it into the earlier trip to central and East Africa. Although he has not travelled to the Central African Republic, Darfur, or South Sudan, Sajjan said he has addressed the same questions around those missions at meetings in Ethiopia late summer.
He said the decision on where to dispatch Canada’s peace support mission is expected to be finalized by the federal cabinet before end of year [emphasis added]…
So a Schwerpunkt in Mali with several penny-packets elsewhere it seems.
Further to this post,
Letter: Brecht dissolves the electorate
Neal Ascherson [a writer I rather like] writes: “After the East Berlin rising in 1953 [more here], Bertolt Brecht is supposed to have made the ironic suggestion that the Communist regime should dismiss the people and appoint a new one.” (“Are we the electorate they deserve?” 23 March [article here]). There’s no supposed about it. These words are to be found in one of Brecht’s most famous poems, “The Solution”:
“After the uprising of June 17th
The Secretary of the Authors’ Union
Had leaflets distributed in the Stalinallee
Which said that the people
Had forfeited the government’s confidence
And could only win it back
By redoubled labour. Wouldn’t it
Be simpler in that case if the government
Dissolved the people and
Elected another [emphasis added]?”
Bertolt Brecht. Earlier on now president-elect Trump and universal suffrage:
As for this, omit the “under-assistant West Coast”–but keep the”just how sharp I am”: