“We Need to Decide”

So says President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China.

Speaking in Spain while enroute to the G-20 conference in Argentina, Xi said

I think we are at a crossroads. In economic terms we need to decide if we are going to follow the economic globalization and free market or if we are going to choose unilateralism and protectionism.

Justice and Law

An Indian, a Creek, stands accused of murdering a fellow tribesman.  He was arrested on the Creek’s Oklahoma reservation, and with that, he’s demanding that he be tried in Federal court rather than in an Oklahoma State court.  The matter of which court should have jurisdiction, which centers on the existence or absence of the Creek Nation reservation in Oklahoma, now is before the US Supreme Court.

The government’s lawyer, US Deputy Solicitor General Edwin Kneedler, declaimed

This would be a dramatic change from the way everyone has understood it for the past 100 years[.]

He continued:

Another Betrayal

Recall Russia’s latest provocation (which amounts to an act of war), consisting of ships of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet ramming a Ukrainian tugboat and firing on and seizing the Ukrainian three-ship flotilla of which that tug was a part along with the “detention” of the crews of the three ships.

Germany—Chancellor Angela Merkel—has magnanimously offered to mediate the matter.

Foreign Aid to Whom?

The United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund has, with Venezuelan President Nicolas Madura’s permission (recipient nations’ permissions are required for CERF funds release), sent $9.2 million in emergency humanitarian aid to…someone…in Venezuela.  The money is intended to mitigate Venezuela’s medicine and food shortage crisis which stems from the Venezuelan government’s failure to perform.

In addition, the UN’s International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is expanding its aid for Venezuela.  UNICEF already has delivered…to someone…nearly 130 tons of medicine, health, and nutrition supplies for 350,000 women and children just since August.

The UN has not said to whom it sent these goodies, only for whom they’re intended.

Russia and Ukraine

Over the weekend, Russia has decided to block Ukraine’s access to the Sea of Azov from the Black Sea; it’s placed a cargo ship under the Kerch Strait Bridge, which Russia completed earlier this year to give it direct land access from Russia to Russian-occupied Crimea, and Russia has military helicopters orbiting above the bridge.  The Kerch Strait is a bit under 2,000 feet wide where the bridge sits.

Asylum

Folks from the “caravan” have begun arriving in the Mexican border town of Tijuana preparatory to their effort to enter the US and ask for asylum.

These folks, claiming to flee government persecution and/or criminal assaults (which isn’t an asylum criterion, anyway), in their home countries, succeeded in escaping those things when they succeeded in entering Mexico—especially with Mexico having offered them asylum (and job opportunities) after that entry.

No Nation is an Island

That’s the concern of The Wall Street Journal in one of its Thursday editorials.

President Trump’s biggest achievement has been the revival of faster US economic growth, but past performance is no guarantee of future results. The White House should be worried about growing economic strains in the rest of the world, and policy makers need to prepare. The US is not an island.

The WSJ went on to note that the Germany economy shrank 0.2% in the last quarter, the Japanese economy shrank by 0.3% in the same quarter, and the PRC’s economy “only” grew by 6.5% year-on-year in the same quarter.  The WSJ particularly worried about the German auto industry.

A European Army

There’s a nascent move afoot to create a European army to which, presumably, all the member nations of the EU would contribute men, equipment, and money.  German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested to the European Parliament last Tuesday that such a force

would complement NATO.

I’ll leave aside the question of how the EU’s member nations would pay for such an establishment when they’re having so much trouble finding ways—or reasons—to pay for their commitment (of all of 2% of their respective GDPs) to NATO.

Brexit Talks

In a Wall Street Journal article about the general government paralysis in Great Britain as the Brexit question is allowed to consume all of Parliament’s energy, one statement jumped out at me.

Instead, her [Theresa May’s] premiership is being defined by the Brexit negotiation itself.

What negotiations? Brussels is dictating punitive terms, and May and her team are meekly rolling over and accepting them. They’re even agreeing to discuss an effective partition of Great Britain rather than rejecting the question out of hand and walking out of all of the “negotiations” over the calculated insult and attempt to dismantle Great Britain.

Cold War Mentality and Objectivity

As Australia and Papua New Guinea work together to reconstitute a WWII naval base on the island, a People’s Republic of China official objected to those two nations moving to improve their ability to defend themselves.  Lu Kang, the PRC’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Department of Information Director-General, said

We hope the relevant countries, and relevant people, can discard the Cold War mentality…and view China’s relations with Pacific islands in an objective way.