Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu

Just watched an interview on Frost Over the World with Mihai Răzvan Ungureanu who recently assumed the position of prime minister of Romania…and there is something about Ungureanu that suggests the he will be an agent of change.

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Maersk pulls out of Iran – sanctions aim at shipping lifeline

“On June 30, the Danish shipping giant Maersk startled Iran’s trade officials by abruptly pulling out of the country’s three largest ports. Company officials said little about the decision, but the timing was striking: A week earlier, the Obama administration had declared the ports’ operator to be an arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, a group linked to terrorism and weapons trafficking.”

via In Iran, sanctions aim at shipping lifeline – The Washington Post.

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FT.com / Companies / Oil & Gas – PetroChina shale gas talks collapse

PetroChina shale gas talks collapse

via FT.com / Companies / Oil & Gas – PetroChina shale gas talks collapse.

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RPT-UPDATE 2-Vale reroutes China-bound iron cargo to Italy | Metals & Mining | Reuters

Vale reroutes China-bound iron cargo to Italy

via RPT-UPDATE 2-Vale reroutes China-bound iron cargo to Italy | Metals & Mining | Reuters.

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Argentina’s got to be happy to hear about China’s ‘knock-off’ high speed rail

The Chinese ruling party may have turned a blind eye to counterfeiting in the legacy of the ‘ends justify the means’ Great Leap Forward, but this bit of social engineering may come back to truly haunt them. What further trespass is it to fake the engineering specifications when you’ve already faked the materials?

China’s High-Speed Trains Coming Off the Rails – Slashdot

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Chinese elite visa curbs next salvo in the ideological war with the US?

Washington’s outgoing ambassador to China, John Huntsman, made it clear in his farewell speech that relations were less than favorable between the world’s two superpowers. While curbing visas may be the next step in a game of diplomatic tit for tat set off by US pressures during China’s post Jasmine crack down, one wonders if it is more symptomatic of emerging hubris. The US is no poster child, however progress should be measured against the world’s collective ideals not in a game of moral relativism. -RM

via FT.com / China – Chinese elite faces curbs on US visas.

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#China Urges Respect for Burmese Junta’s Rebranding Effort #Burma #Myanmar

“China has praised Burma’s new government for promoting democracy. Beijing denounced other countries for criticizing its close neighbor’s new administration, which was sworn in this week.”

China Urges Respect for New Burma Government | Southeast Asia | English VOA

Burmese saying “Same old wine, different bottle”. See http://wp.me/p1jI0G-4a -RM

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Geithner: inflexible currencies are biggest monetary problem | Reuters

“…Both French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chinese officials have said it is time to consider bringing the yuan into the basket of currencies that constitutes the SDR, which is currently restricted to the dollar, euro, yen and pound. Geithner suggested that certain conditions should be met first.

“We believe that currencies of large economies heavily used in international trade and financial transactions should become part of the SDR basket, and that to achieve this objective, the concerned countries should have flexible exchange rate systems, independent central banks, and permit the free movement of capital flows,” he said…”

via Geithner: inflexible currencies are biggest monetary problem | Reuters.

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A buildup of external pressure, combined with growing internal economic stress, makes Tajikistan a Central Asian state worth keeping an eye on

Tajikistan: Rahmon Facing Pressure on All Sides | EurasiaNet.org.

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Will Chinese ascendency set free speech back 50 years? #China

The following story reminded me of when I was a kid in the Bay Area during the growing free speech movement at Cal Berkeley.

Peking University to Offer Consultations to Students with “Radical Thoughts” and Others | China Digital Times (CDT).

Naturally, the Chinese have a different idea of what a student radical is…

“…Zha explained that students who are critical of the university’s management belong to what is defined under the policy as students with “radical thoughts”.

“For instance, some students criticized the university just because the food price in the canteen was raised by 2 jiao (3 cents),” Zha told the Beijing Evening News…”

Somehow I would expect students to complain about the prices in the cafeteria, if not the food, especially if they’re surviving on money sent from home back in the rural providences, beyond the wealth divide. True, I was a kid along time ago, but this story made it feel like yesterday. -RM

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