Ralph Jennings , Forbes CONTRIBUTOR China and the Philippines have warmed to each other since President Rodrigo Duterte took office in Manila. In October the president of five months visited Beijing where China pledged $24 billion in aid and both agreed later to discuss how they might work together on a sticky maritime dispute. That dispute, […]
25 Nov, 2016 13:05 FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attend a meeting on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Lima, Peru, November 19, 2016 © Mikhail Klimentyev / Reuters Russia and the Philippines will hold talks on signing a defense cooperation agreement, according to a […]
Global Times Published: 2016/11/14
Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President-elect Donald Trump spoke on the phone Monday. Xi pointed out during the phone conversation that “the facts prove that cooperation is the only correct choice for China and the US,” which was highlighted by headlines carried in many global media outlets. Xi also emphasized that there is an important opportunity and massive potential for China-US cooperation. According to Trump’s transition office, the president-elect and Xi “established a clear sense of mutual respect for one another,” and Trump stated that he believes the two leaders “will have one of the strongest relationships for both countries moving forward.”
This communication heralds an important step in the transition of Sino-US relations and is a good start for diplomatic contacts between the leaders of both sides. Based on media reports, the content of the phone call is diplomatically impeccable and has bolstered optimism over bilateral relations in the next four years.
This change in the US presidency is widely considered, especially among its allies, a signal that Washington’s foreign policy will become uncertain. Given that the make-up of Trump’s administration has not been established, Trump’s diplomatic policies have not yet been formed.
The outside world does not know much about Trump, other than he is a businessman and a presidential candidate, and most knowledge about him comes from mainstream US media. However, the election result showed that those reports and descriptions about him are to a large extent twisted. The outside world must escape traditional information channels to understand Trump as president.
Over the past eight years, US President Barack Obama is generally believed to have been a moderate president. But he has been profoundly affected by the US elites’ traditional political mindset. His understanding of the world is mainly based on a Cold War mentality. Therefore, he accepted former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s diplomatic strategy – squeezing Russia’s strategic space while promoting the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific strategy, which is exemplified by a zero-sum mindset. All that has led to a number of contradictions in his foreign polices during the latter period of his presidency.
Trump is an inexperienced politician. His interests in governance are different from the previous president and his views on the world have not been kidnapped by Washington’s political elites. Coupled with the fact that he will incorporate business and grass-roots angles into the actual interests of the US, Trump is probably the very American leader who will make strides in reshaping major-power relations in a pragmatic manner.
The world has changed. The basic causes for the traditional political game among big powers either have disappeared or altered. For instance, military expansion, which used to be popular, is difficult to use today and war has become unacceptable to most countries. But in front of new forms of competition and threats, Washington, in the past eight years or longer, has been reluctant to advance with the times, and has been mired in outdated mentality and practices.
It seems that Trump is about to bring Americans’ attention back to economic development and social construction and make these fields the main emphasis of the work of the new government. By contrast, Obama claimed that the US must be the one to write the rules, but he lacked support from the US domestic economy as the whole world suffered from sluggish trade. All he could do was create turbulence in the global arena by using geopolitical tactics. If Trump wants to actually realize making the country great again, he has to focus on the economy, instead of making aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines as engines to drive the US economy.
Obama outlined his vision of a nuclear-weapons-free world in the early days of his presidency, but his idea has become little more than empty words as he failed to lead the US and West to get rid of their Cold War mentality. Trump’s experience and ideology match well with the new era. However, it is still uncertain how far he would go on the right path. Trump knows that he himself as well as the US are standing at a crossroads. It is hoped that he could bring real surprises
Posted on November 3, 2016 by Richard Edmondson [ Ed. note – One very important question Americans should ask themselves when trying to assess relations between the US and Russia, and to figure out why certain things are the way they are, is…of the two countries, Russia and America, which currently is moving toward a […]
Published on 9 Aug 2016
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United States Armed Forces
America spends more on its military than THE NEXT 15 COUNTRIES COMBINED
By 2033 the U.S. will be paying $59 billion a year to its veterans injured in the wars
The yearly cost of stationing one soldier in Iraq could feed 60 American families.
The pentagon budget consumes 80% of individual income tax revenue
The Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety
As of 31 December 2015, 1,369,532 people were on active duty in the armed forces, with an additional 850,880 people in the seven reserve components. It is an all-volunteer military, but conscription through the Selective Service System can be enacted at the President’s request and Congress’ approval. All males ages 18 through 25 who are living in the United States are required to register with the Selective Service for a potential future draft.
The U.S. military is the world’s second largest, after China’s People’s Liberation Army, and has troops deployed around the globe.
From 1776 until September 2012, a total of 40 million people have served in the United States Armed Forces.
People’s Liberation Army (Chinese Armed Forces)
The People’s Liberation Army (PLA; simplified Chinese: 中国人民解放军; traditional Chinese: 中國人民解放軍; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn) is the military of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) under the leadership of the CPC. August 1 is celebrated annually as Chinese Workers and Farmers Red Army Day. The PLA consists of four professional service branches: the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force, the People’s Liberation Army Navy, the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the Second Artillery Corps. The PLA is the world’s largest military force, with a strength of approximately 2,285,000 personnel, 0.18% of the country’s population. The People’s Liberation Army’s insignia consists of a roundel with a red star bearing the Chinese characters for Eight One, referring to August 1 (Chinese: 八一).
People’s Liberation Army Ground Force
The People’s Liberation Army Ground Force (PLAGF) (simplified Chinese: 中国人民解放军陆军; traditional Chinese: 中國人民解放軍陸軍; pinyin: Zhōngguó Rénmín Jiěfàngjūn Lùjūn) is the land-based military service branch of the People’s Liberation Army and it is the largest and oldest branch of the entire Chinese armed forces. The PLAGF can trace its lineage from 1927, however it wasn’t officially established until 1948. As of 2013, the PLAGF has a strength of 1,600,000 personnel making it the largest standing army in the world. In addition, the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force has an estimated 510,000 strong reserve force.
V. Putin: Dear Mr. President! Ladies and Gentlemen! We have just completed the main part of the talks with the President Erdogan. It is clear that this meeting is very important for the further fate of the Russian-Turkish relations. We had substantive and – I would like to emphasize –constructive dialogue on the various aspects […]
The Turkish Stream project was parked late last year due to the dispute between Moscow and Ankara after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane in Syria. However, with a thaw in relations the project is expected to be given another life.
The pipeline was announced by President Putin in December 2014 during a visit to Turkey. The project was to replace the abandoned South Stream pipeline through Bulgaria.
The Turkish Stream pipeline is intended to deliver gas from the Russian Black Sea coast to Turkey and on to Greece.
Initially, Russia’s Gazprom wanted to deliver 63 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Later the capacity was cut to 32 billion cubic meters. Turkey would take about 14 billion cubic meters, with the rest going to Europe.
The two sides also decided to continue with Turkey’s first nuclear power plant at Akkuyu. The agreement to build four 1,200 MW reactors at a total project cost of $20 billion was signed in May 2010. Before relations between the countries deteriorated, the first reactor was planned to be commissioned in 2022.
President Putin also said Russia intends to resume charter flights to Turkey, as Ankara has provided security guarantees for Russian tourists.
“We have considered the possibility of the resumption of charter flights. It’s a mere formality and time,” said Putin.
The Russian President added that the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey will soon return to pre-crisis levels, and that the sale of tour packages to Turkey resumed in June. On Tuesday, it was reported the number of Russian tourists visiting Antalya has plummeted 97 percent this year.
In February, Russia’s Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov said Turkish exports to Russia fell by two-thirds soon after the jet incident. In November 2015, a Russian pilot died when his plane was shot down over Syria by a Turkish fighter.
Following the incident, Moscow introduced a package of economic measures against Ankara – a visa regime, travel ban, as well as an embargo on agricultural products and on hiring Turkish nationals. All major projects were also frozen.