It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
China is on a collision course with Washington after steering its currency sharply lower to protect its export industries, despite a near record trade surplus of $29bn (£19bn) in July. The yuan dropped at the fastest pace in almost two years last week and is now 1.8pc lower against a basket of currencies than in June, when Beijing announced the end to its fixed peg against the dollar.
Western economists had seen yuan liberalisation as a sign that China is abandoning its mercantilist policy in a step-by-step move towards a floating currency, which was expected to rise. They misjudged China's motives badly.
Tension between the US and China is escalating on several fronts. China has restricted exports of rare earth minerals by more than 70pc in the second half of this year, cutting off the world supply. China produces 97pc of these minerals, used in a wide range of high-tech industries, from hybrid engines to computers, mobile phones, radar, navigation and precision-guided weapons.
The US is to conduct naval manoeuvres with Vietnam in the South China Sea in response to live fire exercises by China, which has stepped up its claims to total sovereignty over a region disputed by a ring of countries. The US is also conducting manoeuvres with South Korea, prompting accusations of "gunboat diplomacy" in the Chinese media.
China has restricted exports of rare earth minerals by more than 70pc in the second half of this year, cutting off the world supply. China produces 97pc of these minerals, used in a wide range of high-tech industries, from hybrid engines to computers, mobile phones, radar, navigation and precision-guided weapons.
Obama Speech Pushes Clean Energy
By KATE GALBRAITH
In a major economic speech today, President-elect Barack Obama pledged strong backing for clean energy and energy efficiency. “To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years,” Mr. Obama said in a speech at George Mason University in Virginia. “We will modernize more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of two million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills.” Mr. Obama also said that the nation must begin building a “smart grid,” which he said would make the country less vulnerable to blackouts or even attacks, in addition to saving money and aiding renewable energy. (In a Green Inc. post in December, a utility expert explains the “smart grid” concept.) Mr. Obama has long talked about creating new energy priorities for the nation — as a presidential candidate, he often spoke about creating green jobs and once even discussed the importance of weatherization of homes. His speech today is likely to provide reassurance to the fledgling renewable energy industry, which hopes for a generous slice of aid from the stimulus package.