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SubwayGuy

They're At it again...why America MUST STAND UP TO THEM

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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/China-Consolidates-Grip-on-nytimes-2650144197.html?x=0&.v=1

 

China Consolidates Grip on Rare Earths

KEITH BRADSHER, On Thursday September 15, 2011, 7:46 pm EDT

 

BEIJING — In the name of fighting pollution, China has sent the price of compact fluorescent light bulbs soaring in the United States.

 

By closing or nationalizing dozens of the producers of rare earth metals — which are used in energy-efficient bulbs and many other green-energy products — China is temporarily shutting down most of the industry and crimping the global supply of the vital resources.

 

China produces nearly 95 percent of the world’s rare earth materials, and it is taking the steps to improve pollution controls in a notoriously toxic mining and processing industry. But the moves also have potential international trade implications and have started yet another round of price increases for rare earths, which are vital for green-energy products including giant wind turbines, hybrid gasoline-electric cars and compact fluorescent bulbs.

 

General Electric, facing complaints in the United States about rising prices for its compact fluorescent bulbs, recently noted in a statement that if the rate of inflation over the last 12 months on the rare earth element europium oxide had been applied to a $2 cup of coffee, that coffee would now cost $24.55.

 

An 11-watt G.E. compact fluorescent bulb — the lighting equivalent of a 40-watt incandescent bulb — was priced on Thursday at $15.88 on Wal-Mart’s Web site for pickup in a Nashville, Ark., store.

 

Wal-Mart, which has made a big push for compact fluorescent bulbs, acknowledged that it needed to raise prices on some brands lately. “Obviously we don’t want to pass along price increases to our customers, but occasionally market conditions require it,” Tara Raddohl, a spokeswoman, said. The Chinese actions on rare earths were a prime topic of conversation at a conference here on Thursday that was organized by Metal-Pages, an industry data firm based in London.

 

Soaring prices are rippling through a long list of industries.

 

“The high cost of rare earths is having a significant chilling effect on wind turbine and electric motor production in spite of offsetting government subsidies for green tech products,” said one of the conference attendees, Michael N. Silver, chairman and chief executive of American Elements, a chemical company based in Los Angeles. It supplies rare earths and other high-tech materials to a wide range of American and foreign businesses.

 

But with light bulbs, especially, the timing of the latest price increases is politically awkward for the lighting industry and for environmentalists who backed a shift to energy-efficient lighting.

 

In January, legislation that President George W. Bush signed into law in 2007 will begin phasing out traditional incandescent bulbs in favor of spiral compact fluorescent bulbs, light-emitting diodes and other technologies. The European Union has also mandated a switch from incandescent bulbs to energy-efficient lighting.

 

Representative Michele Bachmann of Minnesota is running for the Republican presidential nomination on a platform that includes strong opposition to the new lighting rules in the United States and has been a leader of efforts by House Republicans to repeal it.

 

China says it has largely shut down its rare earth industry for three months to address pollution problems. By invoking environmental concerns, China could potentially try to circumvent international trade rules that are supposed to prohibit export restrictions of vital materials.

 

In July, the European Union said in a statement on rare earth policy that the organization supported efforts to protect the environment, but that discrimination against foreign buyers of rare earths was not allowed under World Trade Organization rules.

 

China has been imposing tariffs and quotas on its rare earth exports for the last several years, curtailing global supplies and forcing prices to rise eightfold to fortyfold during that period for the various 17 rare earth elements.

 

Even before this latest move by China, the United States and the European Union were preparing to file a case at the W.T.O. this winter that would challenge Chinese export taxes and export quotas on rare earths.

 

Chinese officials here at the conference said the government was worried about polluted water, polluted air and radioactive residues from the rare earth industry, particularly among many small and private companies, some of which operate without the proper licenses. While rare earths themselves are not radioactive, they are always found in ore containing radioactive thorium and require careful handling and processing to avoid contaminating the environment.

 

Most of the country’s rare earth factories have been closed since early August, including those under government control, to allow for installation of pollution control equipment that must be in place by Oct. 1, executives and regulators said.

 

The government is determined to clean up the industry, said Xu Xu, chairman of the China Chamber of Commerce of Metals, Minerals and Chemicals Importers and Exporters, a government-controlled group that oversees the rare earth industry. “The entrepreneurs don’t care about environmental problems, don’t care about labor problems and don’t care about their social responsibility,” he said. “And now we have to educate them.”

 

Beijing authorities are creating a single government-controlled monopoly, Bao Gang Rare Earth, to mine and process ore in northern China, the region that accounts for two-thirds of China’s output. The government is ordering 31 mostly private rare earth processing companies to close this year in that region and is forcing four other companies into mergers with Bao Gang, said Li Zhong, the vice general manager of Bao Gang Rare Earth.

 

The government also plans to consolidate 80 percent of the production from southern China, which produces the rest of China’s rare earths, into three companies within the next year or two, Mr. Li said. All three of these companies are former ministries of the Chinese government that were spun out as corporations, and the central government still owns most of the shares.

 

The taxes and quotas China had in place to restrict rare earth exports caused many companies to move their factories to China from the United States and Europe so that they could secure a reliable and inexpensive source of raw materials.

 

China promised when it joined the W.T.O. in 2001 that it would not restrict exports except for a handful of obscure materials. Rare earths were not among the exceptions.

 

But even if the W.T.O. orders China to dismantle its export tariffs and quotas, the industry consolidation now under way could enable China to retain tight control over exports and continue to put pressure on foreign companies to relocate to China.

 

The four state-owned companies might limit sales to foreign buyers, a tactic that would be hard to address through the W.T.O., Western trade officials said.

 

Hedge funds and other speculators have been buying and hoarding rare earths this year, with prices rising particularly quickly through early August, and dipping since then as some have sold their inventories to take profits, said Constantine Karayannopoulos, the chief executive of Neo Material Technologies, a Canadian company that is one of the largest processors in China of raw rare earths.

 

“The real hot money got into the industry building neodymium and europium inventories in Shanghai warehouses,” he said.

 

Stephanie Clifford contributed reporting from New York.

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I honestly don't see us doing it anytime soon. That's a crazy article there and just shows they know they can get away with it. We'll see China getting bolder and bolder from here and I have very little to no faith in the USA taking a stand any time soon. And with the candidates we have right now for 2012 forget it. The next 4 years scare me to think about.

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I honestly don't see us doing it anytime soon. That's a crazy article there and just shows they know they can get away with it. We'll see China getting bolder and bolder from here and I have very little to no faith in the USA taking a stand any time soon. And with the candidates we have right now for 2012 forget it. The next 4 years scare me to think about.

 

Agreed it's going to be a dark period in this nation's history. This is why I keep advocating buying gold, saving money, not spending beyond your means, and buying American made products.

 

But above all, buying NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that is made in China or Pakistan.

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Agreed it's going to be a dark period in this nation's history. This is why I keep advocating buying gold, saving money, not spending beyond your means, and buying American made products.

 

But above all, buying NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that is made in China or Pakistan.

 

What does pakistan make? I thought it'd be India.

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Agreed it's going to be a dark period in this nation's history. This is why I keep advocating buying gold, saving money, not spending beyond your means, and buying American made products.

 

But above all, buying NOTHING and I mean NOTHING that is made in China or Pakistan.

 

It's a little late to get on the gold train at this point. You will be shelling out a lot for a small chance at getting returns that much significantly higher. The dollar is bad, but it's not gonna collapse. Bonds from (many local and state) governments are probably just as good, especially if you do your homework.

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It's a little late to get on the gold train at this point. You will be shelling out a lot for a small chance at getting returns that much significantly higher. The dollar is bad, but it's not gonna collapse. Bonds from (many local and state) governments are probably just as good, especially if you do your homework.

 

I'm already ON the gold train homee.

 

And be careful what you say there. The dollar might not collapse, but it can slowly lose its wealth. Even today buying gold may well turn out to be a wise decision thirty years from now.

 

Beats the hell out of common stock.

 

Municipal bonds may have tax benefits, but if the federal government doesn't get its house in order, the municipalities are the ones that are gonna feel it the most. So "buyer beware" there. OK to use to diversify, but don't consider it a cash cow.

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and with that said they still want to ban incandescent light blubs which are much cheaper.

 

Started under Bush, which is why I continue to maintain that both parties are incompetent...because they are rich who are bought and sold by the super rich, who do the political bidding of their corporate cronies who owe no allegiance to any nation, and no allegiance to any THING except MONEY!!!!

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Follow up...the bastards are going after Europe too:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/china-charms-europe-beijing-own-agenda-063837797.html

 

China charms Europe, but Beijing has own agenda

By BARRY HATTON - Associated Press | AP – 2 hrs 12 mins ago

 

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — When a nervous horse unseated its cavalry officer at a red-carpet event during Chinese President Hu Jintao's state visit to Portugal last year, the leader of the world's second-largest economy broke with protocol and walked over to the bruised guardsman.

 

"I hope you get well soon," Hu told him through an interpreter.

 

The public display of compassion was in keeping with China's European charm offensive in recent years. It has waved its checkbook at a growing number of financially ailing European countries — although the actual impact on Europe's debt-stricken countries has been limited so far, and aimed mainly at winning friends and business contracts.

 

Europe's frail economies are wobbling under the weight of their debts. Their urgent austerity measures are stunting growth and driving unemployment higher, and their citizens are clamoring for improvements. That has changed the complexion of European dealings with booming China.

 

Crisis-hit European countries are swooning over China's $3.2 trillion cash pile — the world's biggest foreign exchange reserves — even though many are angry about what they view as unfair Chinese practices.

 

"China is increasingly trying to diversify its foreign policy relationships ... trying to find the right ways to use its new-found influence, to gain from it," says Nicholas Consonery, an Asia analyst at Eurasia Group in Washington DC.

 

Join the dots, Beijing-watchers say, and China's strategy becomes clear: It wants to use its economic leverage to make friends who may be more forgiving in disputes over trade and human rights, and ensure doors are open for its goods and corporate investments in the European Union, its main export market.

 

Most immediately, many European countries are looking for a lifeline to extricate themselves from the continent's severe sovereign debt crisis, which threatens to collapse the continent's financial system.

 

In the latest example, Rome officials disclosed this week they held talks with China's sovereign wealth fund about buying debt-stressed Italy's bonds.

 

Before those talks, Beijing had vowed to buy the bonds of Greece and Portugal, which ended up needing international bailouts, and Spain and Hungary.

 

Though neither China nor EU countries disclose figures on Chinese bond purchases, analysts believe Beijing's repeated expressions of faith in the EU's finances are aimed principally at building goodwill and have not translated into large disbursements.

 

"Europeans have a tendency to pray for rain from China, but the rain is not necessarily coming," says Francois Godement, a Paris-based senior policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Experts reckon cautious Chinese leaders are hesitant about putting big money into jittery debt markets. Some leading Chinese economists have discouraged the investment as too risky, and analysts note Beijing has to pay attention to the needs of its own poor.

 

According to EU officials, China has invested in Europe's euro440 billion ($605 billion) bailout fund. But that fund carries a top AAA rating, meaning it is an extremely safe way for Beijing to help Europe without exposing itself much to the dangers of a default. The sums were never disclosed.

 

Rachel Shoemaker, an Asia expert at Executive Analysis in London, says the bond purchases — however modest — can help win approval for broader Chinese investments down the line, such as in trade and corporate and infrastructure investments.

 

"We assess that China's rhetoric is likely to exceed its actual support, with China likely to focus on commercial gains and thus to negotiate bilateral deals that essentially result in investment opportunities in return for bond purchases," Shoemaker said in a written reply to AP questions.

 

She cites Greece as an example. As China promised to acquire that country's bonds, state transport giant China Ocean Shipping Co. snared a $1 billion concession deal in 2009 for the country's largest container-terminal port near Athens. That gives COSCO's growing port management business a foothold in Europe and positions it to prosper as Chinese trade with the Balkans and Central Europe grows. China also pledged to help double the trade volume with Greece to nearly euro6 billion by 2015.

 

It's a similar story across Europe, with Chinese pledges of bond purchases coming simultaneously with announcements of major investments in the continent's corporations and infrastructures.

 

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi last year spoke optimistically of doubling bilateral trade to $100 billion within five years. In one of the deals signed in their presence, Internet service provider Tiscali SpA and Zte, a Chinese maker of telecommunications equipment, made a deal for development of ultra-wideband in Italy.

 

One of the conditions of China's purchase of Spanish bonds in January 2011, analysts say, was the sale to Sinopec of around $7 billion worth of Brazilian oil assets held by Spanish energy company Repsol. That deal gave birth to one of Latin America's largest energy companies.

 

On his Portugal trip, the Chinese president signed cooperation agreements which sought to double trade between the two countries within five years. Chinese and Portuguese companies signed deals in areas covering energy production, information technology, telecommunications, tourism, banking, port infrastructure, and agriculture.

 

China's European push came after its expansion into Africa where it has invested billions, mostly in gaining access to raw materials.

 

"It's clear that China has been successful in pushing emerging market investments and it increasingly wants to diversify into the developed world," said Consonery of Eurasia Group.

 

Even so, Beijing knows that in the U.S. and Europe "the political hurdles are higher" than in Africa, Consonery said.

 

Europe, like the U.S., is fighting Beijing over trade barriers. Europe is vexed by aspects such as investment rules and copyright violations in China. The Chinese, meanwhile, are pressing the EU to grant China market economy status that would relax remaining trade obstacles.

 

Human rights issues are another sore point.

 

French President Nicolas Sarkozy took a soft line during a visit by Hu last year, when French companies won deals with China worth $22.8 billion.

 

Sarkozy said then that China has "a different culture," and Paris respected that. Two years previously, Sarkozy had threatened to boycott the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics over China's treatment of Tibet.

 

Beijing doesn't shrink from retaliation. After the Norwegian Nobel Committee gave the Peace Prize to imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the country's salmon exporters said their fish were being held up at ports by Chinese food safety inspectors.

 

Godement, of the European Council on Foreign Relations, says that in some debt-rattled southern EU countries human rights issues in China are being "de-emphasized."

 

China "hardly needs to push (on the issue) because there is so much economic anxiety ... in those Mediterranean countries about getting something from China," he said.

 

But opposition to China's advances are coming from other quarters.

 

In Italy, Chinese businesses have been buying up textile factories and producing the "made in Italy" label under Chinese conditions. That has undercut the prices of the finished goods and wages of Italian workers, causing tension.

 

When Greece announced its Piraeus privatization plan the Federation of Greek Port Employees went on strike, saying that "the government and the Chinese leadership should realize that we will not allow our ports ... to become Chinatowns."

 

Across Europe, storekeepers complain about losing business to Chinese rivals selling cheaper goods manufactured in a country which does not observe the same labor and environmental standards as in Europe.

 

China's foreign investment and export drive shows no sign of letting up.

 

"It's pretty clear that over the past couple of years Chinese foreign policy and international investment policies are becoming much more far-reaching in terms of their global footprint," said Eurasia Group's Consonery.

 

It is "one of those inevitable global trends that's going to persist for the next couple of decades really," he said.

 

____

 

Associated Press writers Victor L. Simpson in Rome, Derek Gatopoulos in Athens and Joe McDonald in Beijing contributed to this report.

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I'm already ON the gold train homee.

 

And be careful what you say there. The dollar might not collapse, but it can slowly lose its wealth. Even today buying gold may well turn out to be a wise decision thirty years from now.

 

Beats the hell out of common stock.

 

Municipal bonds may have tax benefits, but if the federal government doesn't get its house in order, the municipalities are the ones that are gonna feel it the most. So "buyer beware" there. OK to use to diversify, but don't consider it a cash cow.

 

Haha, well good for you. I'm still gonna stick to my bonds. I'm not looking for a cash cow, just a little bit of extra security. Even if the municipalities I invest in get screwed by the gov't, my money will be just fine.

 

And if that changes, well there is always cash-4-gold B)

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Its too bad that normal people don't have the disposable income to buy gold. It would be especially too bad if the dollar strengthens because that Gold will mean nothing. You would actually lose money buying it today. It would be even more especially bad if the economy collapses and people realize that Gold has no intrinsic (survival) value like water and food.

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Its too bad that normal people don't have the disposable income to buy gold. It would be especially too bad if the dollar strengthens because that Gold will mean nothing. You would actually lose money buying it today. It would be even more especially bad if the economy collapses and people realize that Gold has no intrinsic (survival) value like water and food.

 

Gold always has an intrinsic value, in the sense that unlike paper money, gold will never, ever become totally worthless. There is always someone willing to accept gold as a security/payment (in the global economic sense, not in the sense that you can pay for a sandwich in gold at the deli. Although that might work). Paper money can always fall back down to the value of the paper it was printed on.

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Started under Bush, which is why I continue to maintain that both parties are incompetent...because they are rich who are bought and sold by the super rich, who do the political bidding of their corporate cronies who owe no allegiance to any nation, and no allegiance to any THING except MONEY!!!!

 

did you hear that people are protesting outside Wall Street? I don't know the details, it was something I heard on the radio news station yesterday.

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Then don't buy made in china products, you will see how low they will go when they get you to buy there stuff.

 

Way ahead of you buddy, now tell that to the rest of the country

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did you hear that people are protesting outside Wall Street? I don't know the details, it was something I heard on the radio news station yesterday.

 

Read about this on the NY Metro last Friday while taking the bus to class that morning, they're protesting what some of us have been discussing on these forums as of late.

 

I'm thinking of it as the beginning of bigger things to come

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and with that said they still want to ban incandescent light blubs which are much cheaper.

 

Exactly. The government can't force me to buy a certain type of lighting over another. Besides, I prefer incandescent bulbs in the first place. The only thing that flourescent lights are good for is street-lamps or whatever. The irony is that this law was signed and authorized by George W. Bush, of all people.

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did you hear that people are protesting outside Wall Street? I don't know the details, it was something I heard on the radio news station yesterday.

 

Yeah, well apparently they cracked down on it. They allowed them to protest but prevented them from blocking the streets with their numbers. Wall Street gets what it wants again.

 

Exactly. The government can't force me to buy a certain type of lighting over another. Besides, I prefer incandescent bulbs in the first place. The only thing that flourescent lights are good for is street-lamps or whatever. The irony is that this law was signed and authorized by George W. Bush, of all people.

 

What's ironic about that? Like Coolidge, Hoover, Reagan, and Woodrow Wilson...his incompetence has outlived his presidency.

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Its too bad that normal people don't have the disposable income to buy gold. It would be especially too bad if the dollar strengthens because that Gold will mean nothing. You would actually lose money buying it today. It would be even more especially bad if the economy collapses and people realize that Gold has no intrinsic (survival) value like water and food.

 

Funny, because I've always had disposable income despite not being rich and chosen to put it to good use.

 

GLD exchange traded fund...currently $176.03. Got a couple hundred bucks? You could get in on the action. I'm in at well less than that and showing unrealized gains already. Better investment than a rollsign.

 

Why would the dollar strengthen when the currency has been continually weakening for quite some time and further borrowing is necessary? Even if the dollar did strengthen slightly...I wouldn't lose anything, and even if I lost a little...I'd still be up on the poker game of life because I'm up already. Investing is gambling...embrace it. I'm giving you a stud pony in the fifth stall going off at 3 to 1 odds, and lucky for me I'm playing with earned profits, not with savings. Take it or leave it. But don't cry about it when you don't win cuz I'll just say I told you so. Corporate stocks are the skinny pony in the 10th stall going off at 48 to 1...yeah you keep holding out for that longshot (economic recovery under current rich leadership)...

 

Gold is the ONLY thing that has intrinsic value, so you are wrong about the entire last part of the post (actually you're wrong about the whole thing...but mostly the last part). Gold is the only thing that history has shown ALL peoples accept as payment, for holding value. Worthless greenbacks mean nothing worldwide. Gold is always good, in any nation at any time. Many people on this planet would risk dying to have it.

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US caves again:

 

http://news.yahoo.com/us-upgrade-taiwan-f-16s-not-sell-ones-005821230.html

 

US to upgrade Taiwan F-16s, not sell new ones

AP By MATTHEW PENNINGTON - Associated Press | AP – 2 hrs 5 mins ago

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration has decided to upgrade Taiwan's existing fleet of F-16 fighter jets but not sell it the new planes it also wants, congressional staff said.

 

The administration gave a briefing on Capitol Hill on its decision Friday, but has yet to issue a formal notification of the intended deal. An announcement is expected by the end of this month.

 

Two congressional aides confirmed the decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to make it public.

 

The decision represents a compromise aimed at improving Taiwan's ability to defend itself, while assuaging China's concern over the arms sales. However, Beijing is still expected to react angrily. It regards the self-governing island as part of its territory.

 

There will also be criticism from Republicans and some Democrats in Congress who have strongly backed the sales of 66 F-16 C/D fighters that Taiwan wants, in addition to the upgrades of the 145 F-16 A/Bs that the U.S. sold it in the 1990s.

 

There were no immediate details on the package of upgrades the U.S. is providing for the A/Bs. But even if it includes sophisticated radar, avionics and missile systems, Taiwan's air force will still lag far behind its Chinese counterpart, which is equipped with state-of-the-art jet fighters.

 

A Pentagon report issued last year painted a grim picture of Taiwan's air defense capabilities, saying many of the island's 400 combat aircraft would not be available to help withstand an attack from the mainland.

 

Wang Kao-cheng, a military expert at Taipei's Tamkang University, said Taiwan's air defenses could get some lift from the upgrade, but the island is still at a profound disadvantage with Beijing in the number of third-generation warplanes it has at its disposal.

 

"Taiwan has fallen behind in air superiority as of now, not to mention the fact that China is developing the fourth-generation stealth fighters, which could be very powerful," Wang said. "The upgrade program will not fill the vacuum left over by the absence of the C/Ds."

 

On Friday, Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, where the Lockheed Martin plant that would build the F-16s is located, said the decision would be a slap in the face to strong ally Taiwan.

 

Howard Berman, the ranking Democrat on the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, called it a "half-measure." He said Taiwan needed more advanced fighter aircraft to defend itself against increasing Chinese military threat.

 

China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949. While Taiwan's relations with the mainland have greatly improved in the past three years and tensions across the Taiwan Strait are their lowest in six decades, China's military buildup has carried on apace.

 

The United States is legally obligated to sell weapons to Taiwan for its self-defense. The last major arms sale announced in early 2010 prompted China to cut military ties with the U.S. for several months.

 

Taiwan's Defense Ministry said it had no immediate comment on the U.S. F-16 decision.

 

China's Defense Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not respond immediately to faxes asking for comment, and calls to the Taiwan Affairs Office rang unanswered Monday.

 

The official China Daily newspaper had a front-page article Monday warning that an arms sale would "spark strong reaction."

 

It quoted Tao Wenzhao, a senior researcher at Tsinghua University in Beijing, as saying "the (arms sale) hurts China's core interests. And to keep on doing the wrong thing for 30 years just doesn't make it right."

 

China temporarily suspended military exchanges with the U.S. last year after the Obama administration notified Congress it was making $6.4 billion in weapons available to Taiwan, including missiles, Black Hawk helicopters, information distribution systems and two Osprey Class Mine Hunting Ships.

 

___

 

Associated Press writers Scott McDonald in Beijing, and Peter Enav and Annie Huang in Taipei contributed to this report.

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It's ironic that the US and Western Europe built up their defenses against the Soviet Union but the weaker communist country (China) is buying their way to power in the US, Europe, and the African nations. Tell me again how the patron saint of the Republican Party, Ronald Reagan, defeated communism or am I missing something ? IIRC the saying is " money talks and BS walks" Guess who has the money.

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