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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
Friday 19th of June 2020

Ecclesiastes 1:2-11 2 Vanity[a] of vanities, says the Preacher

Vanity[a] of vanities, says the Preacher,

    vanity of vanities! All is vanity.

3 What does man gain by all the toil

    at which he toils under the sun?

4 A generation goes, and a generation comes,

    but the earth remains forever.

5 The sun rises, and the sun goes down,

    and hastens[b] to the place where it rises.

6 The wind blows to the south

    and goes around to the north;

around and around goes the wind,

    and on its circuits the wind returns.

7 All streams run to the sea,

    but the sea is not full;

to the place where the streams flow,

    there they flow again.

8 All things are full of weariness;

    a man cannot utter it;

the eye is not satisfied with seeing,

    nor the ear filled with hearing.

9 What has been is what will be,

    and what has been done is what will be done,

    and there is nothing new under the sun.

10 Is there a thing of which it is said,

    “See, this is new”?

It has been already

    in the ages before us.

11 There is no remembrance of former things,[c]

    nor will there be any remembrance

of later things[d] yet to be

    among those who come after.

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10 Is there a thing of which it is said, “See, this is new”? It has been already in the ages before us.

There is no remembrance of former things,[c] nor will there be any remembrance of later things[d] yet to be among those who come after.

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Edward Hopper and American Solitude @NewYorker

I’ve been thinking a lot about Edward Hopper. So have other stay-at-homes, I notice online. The visual bard of American solitude—not loneliness, a maudlin projection—speaks to our isolated states these days with fortuitous poignance. But he is always doing that, pandemic or no pandemic. Aloneness is his great theme, symbolizing America: insecure selfhoods in a country that is only abstractly a nation. “E pluribus unum,” a magnificent ideal, thuds on “unum” every day throughout the land.

His subjects—atomized persons, inauspicious places—are specific to his time. But his mature art, which took two decades to gestate before consolidating in the nineteen-twenties, is timeless, or perhaps time-free: a series of freeze-dried, uncannily telling moments.

Though termed a realist, Hopper is more properly a Symbolist, investing objective appearance with clenched, melancholy subjectivity. He was an able draftsman and masterly as a painter of light and shadow, but he ruthlessly subordinated aesthetic pleasure to the compacted description—as dense as uranium—of things that answered to his feelings without exposing them.

He leaves us alone with our own solitude, taking our breath away and not giving it back. Regarding his human subjects as “lonely” evades their truth. We might freak out if we had to be those people, but—look!—they’re doing O.K., however grim their lot. Think of Samuel Beckett’s famous tag “I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” Now delete the first sentence. With Hopper, the going-on is not a choice.

I haven’t seen “Edward Hopper: A Fresh Look at Landscape,” a large show at the lately reopened Beyeler Foundation, Switzerland’s premier museum of modern art, outside Basel

Hopper was explicit on this score, saying, in 1933, “I have tried to present my sensations in what is the most congenial and impressive form possible to me.”
De Kooning noted a startling effect of the summarily brushed woods in the background of “Cape Cod Morning” (1950), in which a woman is seen from the side leaning forward at a bay window and staring at something beyond the picture’s right edge: “The forest looks real, like a forest, like you turn on it and there it is, like you turn and actually see it.” That’s on the mark with Hopper: thereness that becomes hereness, in a viewer’s eye and mind.

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06-APR-2020 :: The Way We Live Now
World Of Finance

There is a luminous and Fairy Tale feel to life in quarantine and as you know most fairy tales have an oftentimes dark and dangerous and unspoken undercurrent. 

I sit in my study and its as if my hearing is sharpened. I hear the Breeze, birdsong, Nature in its many forms and the urban background noise which was once the constant accompaniment to daily life has entirely retreated. 

The Nights are dark, the stars are bright and the neighbiours long gone.

“Going home at night! It wasn't often that I was on the river at night. I never liked it. I never felt in control. In the darkness of river and forest you could be sure only of what you could see — and even on a moonlight night you couldn't see much. When you made a noise — dipped a paddle in the water — you heard yourself as though you were another person. The river and the forest were like presences, and much more powerful than you. You felt unprotected, an intruder ... You felt the land taking you back to something that was familiar, something you had known at some time but had forgotten or ignored, but which was always there.You felt the land taking you back to what was there a hundred years ago, to what had been there always.” ― V.S. Naipaul, A Bend in the River

One feels one must tread more carefully now, with a lot of circumspection, that not just my purchase but all of ours is a lot more precarious now and that there is something Karmic in this #COVID19.

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“He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome” @washingtonpost
Law & Politics

“He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome. I would print Trump’s exact words but the government’s prepublication review process has decided otherwise.”

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At the same meeting, Xi also defended China’s construction of camps housing as many as 1 million Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang — and Trump signaled his approval. @washingtonpost
Law & Politics

“According to our interpreter,” Bolton writes, “Trump said that Xi should go ahead with building the camps, which Trump thought was exactly the right thing to do.”

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In one May 2019 phone call, Putin compared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, part of what Bolton terms a “brilliant display of Soviet style propaganda” @washingtonpost
Law & Politics

In one May 2019 phone call, for example, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, part of what Bolton terms a “brilliant display of Soviet style propaganda” to shore up support for Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro. Putin’s claims, Bolton writes, “largely persuaded Trump.”

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.@MarthaRaddatz “How would you describe Trump's relationship with Vladimir Putin?” @ABC

John Bolton: “I think Putin thinks he can play him like a fiddle.”

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In the months following the summit, Bolton described Trump’s inordinate interest in Pompeo delivering an autographed copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” on CD to Kim during Pompeo’s follow-on visit to North Korea @washingtonpost
Law & Politics

In the months following the summit, Bolton described Trump’s inordinate interest in Pompeo delivering an autographed copy of Elton John’s “Rocket Man” on CD to Kim during Pompeo’s follow-on visit to North Korea. 

Trump had used the term “Little Rocket Man” to criticize the North Korean leader but subsequently tried to convince Kim that it was a term of affection.

“Trump didn’t seem to realize Pompeo hadn’t actually seen Kim Jong Un [during the trip], asking if Pompeo had handed” the CD, wrote Bolton. “Pompeo had not. Getting this CD to Kim remained a high priority for several months.”

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The Pandemic and Political Order @ForeignAffairs @FukuyamaFrancis
Law & Politics

Another reason for pessimism is that the positive scenarios assume some sort of rational public discourse and social learning. Yet the link between technocratic expertise and public policy is weaker today than in the past, when elites held more power. 

The democratization of authority spurred by the digital revolution has flattened cognitive hierarchies along with other hierarchies, and political decision-making is now driven by often weaponized babble. 

That is hardly an ideal environment for constructive, collective self-examination, and some polities may remain irrational longer than they can remain solvent

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Ten Indian Soldiers Freed By China’s Military Days After Clashes @bpolitics
Law & Politics

China’s military has released 10 Indian soldiers captured on Monday during deadly clashes between troops from the two nations along their contested Himalayan border, senior Indian officials with knowledge of the matter said.

The Indian Government did not ever confirm the troops -- including two officers -- were missing. Instead it issued a statement on Thursday saying there were no soldiers missing in action.

Their release followed talks between senior military commanders in Galwan, the officials said, asking not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

The skirmishes with stones, iron rods and bamboo poles wrapped in barbed wire laced with nails left 20 Indian soldiers dead along with an unknown number of Chinese casualties. 

The scuffle is the worst border incident between the two nations in at least 45 years, and signaled a sharp deterioration in ties between the two regional giants.

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The Chinese are here 2 teach India a lesson especially after Amit Shah’s bombast in Parliament, [b] the Chinese intend no further escalation unless we escalate. 4 them it is “mission accomplished.” @sonaliranade
Law & Politics

2 things have become clear to my mind.  I am no expert in these things but  [a] the Chinese are here 2 teach India a lesson especially after Amit Shah’s bombast in Parliament, [b] the Chinese intend no further escalation unless we escalate.  4 them it is “mission accomplished.”

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The Chinese will of course take their own sweet time to settle the new terms of engagement in Ladakh. There may be no return to status quo ante. Modi ji will now have 2 manage domestic opinion. @sonaliranade
Law & Politics

The Chinese will of course take their own sweet time to settle the new terms of engagement in Ladakh.  There may be no return to status quo ante.  It will be something new that leaves the balance of advantage to the Chinese side. Modi ji will now have 2 manage domestic opinion.

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Modi ji will do what he does best - manage headlines in the press. soothing talk about how quiet but firm diplomacy with a tough military posture is best way to tame the dragon. Over to court poets. @sonaliranade
Law & Politics

Modi ji will do what he does best - manage headlines in the press.  So expect all this talk of tension at the border to subside & be replaced with soothing talk about how quiet but firm diplomacy with a tough military posture is best way to tame the dragon.  Over to court poets.

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24-FEB-2020 :: The Viral Moment has Arrived #COVID19
Law & Politics

"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." - Professor Allen Bartlett

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#COVID19 Positive test rate @OurWorldInData

―They fancied themselves free, wrote Camus, ―and no one will ever be free so long as there are pestilences.

―In this respect, our townsfolk were like everybody else, wrapped up in themselves; in other words, they were humanists: they disbelieved in pestilences.

A pestilence isn't a thing made to man's measure; therefore we tell ourselves that pestilence is a mere bogy of the mind, a bad dream that will pass away.

But it doesn't always pass away and, from one bad dream to another, it is men who pass away, and the humanists first of all, because they have taken no precautions.

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10-MAY-2020 :: Daily Confirmed Cases in the 80,000-100,000 Cases Range

We are witnessing a Spill Over into EM and Frontier Geographies

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30-APR-2018 :: "A new history starts now. An age of peace, from the starting point of history."
Law & Politics

The Events that took place on Friday at the truce village of Panmunjom and during the Inter-Korean Summit were breathtaking for the Hollywood Optics. The Opening Shot of Kim Jong Un surrounded by a Phalanx of North Korean Officials [later replayed as Chairman Kim sat in his Presidential Vehicle surrounded by his Ninja bodyguards] was almost as good as the opening Sequence in PT Anderson's Boogie Nights [Steadicam operator Andy Shuttleworth]. This was Cinema of the highest level which is no surprise when You consider that Kim Jong-Il the Father was obsessed with Cinema and amassed arguably the world’s largest personal film collection: over 20,000 bootlegged 35mm screening copies. Kim Jong-Il also had a penchant for Hennessy Paradis cognac and for two years in the mid-1990s, he was the world's largest buyer of Hennessy Paradis cognac, importing up to $800,000 of the stuff a year.  Kim Jong-Il began his career as the head of the state’s propaganda and agitation department and its clear that Kim Jong-Un's sister Kim Yo Jong who holds the same role and evidently handles all the optics, is a chip off the old Block. Friday was tip-top Geopolitical Optics.

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29-11-2010 FAR away in distant lands lies the Hermit Kingdom They all have had tiny little hands like the Elves in the Elves and the Shoemaker.
Law & Politics

They all have had tiny little hands like the Elves in the Elves and the Shoemaker. And this country has nuclear weapons and on its border with its neighbour South Korea sit 25,000 American soldiers.

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Genomic surveillance @jleibold and @emiledirks for @ASPI_org

The Chinese Government is building the world’s largest police-run DNA database in close cooperation with key industry partners across the globe. 

Earlier Chinese Government DNA collection campaigns focused on Tibet and Xinjiang, but, beginning in late 2017, the Ministry of Public Security expanded the dragnet across China, targeting millions of men and boys with the aim to ‘comprehensively improve public security organs’ ability to solve cases, and manage and control society’.

1 This program of mass DNA data collection violates Chinese domestic law and global human rights norms. 

And, when combined with other surveillance tools, it will increase the power of the Chinese state and further enable domestic repression in the name of stability maintenance and social control.

The forensic use of DNA has the potential to solve crimes and save lives; yet it can also be misused and reinforce discriminatory law enforcement and authoritarian political control. 

Forensic DNA analysis has been a part of criminal investigations for more than three decades. 

Dozens of countries have searchable DNA databases that allow police to compare biological samples found during forensic investigations with profiles stored in those databases. China is no exception.

The Chinese Government’s genomic dataset likely contains more than 100 million profiles and possibly as many as 140 million, making it the world’s largest DNA database, and it continues to grow (see Appendix 3).

This report provides new evidence of how Xinjiang’s well-documented biosurveillance program is being rolled out across China, further deepening the Chinese Government’s control over society while violating the human and civil liberties of millions of the country’s citizens.

6 In those minority regions, DNA collection was only one element of an ongoing multimodal biometric surveillance regime, which also includes high-definition photos, voiceprints, fingerprints and iris scans, which are then linked to personal files in police databases. 

In both Xinjiang and Tibet, authorities intentionally concealed the reasons for biometric collection.

7 When that data was combined with an extensive system of security camera

s8 and intrusive monitoring of local families,

Yet in contrast to the wholesale approach adopted in Tibet and Xinjiang, authorities are using a more cost-efficient but equally powerful method: the collection of DNA samples from selected male citizens. 

This targeted approach gathers Y-STR data—the ‘short tandem repeat’ or unique DNA sequences that occur on the male (Y) chromosome. 

When these samples are linked to multigenerational family trees created by the police, they have the potential to link any DNA sample from an unknown male back to a specific family and even to an individual man.

The mass and compulsory collection of DNA from people outside criminal investigations violates Chinese domestic law and international norms governing the collection, use and storage of human genetic data.

The corporate world is profiting handsomely from this new surveillance program. Leading Chinese and multinational companies are providing the Chinese police with the equipment and intellectual property needed to collect, store and analyse the Y-STR samples

China’s national Y-STR database

In 2003, China’s Ministry of Public Security established a national DNA database for police forensic work.

12 Over the following decade, police collected DNA samples during criminal investigations.

Unlike autosomal STR data, which is present in the DNA of both males and females, Y-STRs (the short tandem repeats on Y chromosomes) are found only in male DNA.16 Passed directly from father to son, they aren’t recombined with every successive generation

For the Chinese Government, Y-STR analysis presents a more cost-effective and efficient method of building a national genetic panopticon. 

This is highly disturbing. In China’s authoritarian one-party system, there’s no division between policing crime and suppressing political dissent

A Ministry of Public Security-run national database of Y-STR samples connected to detailed family records for each sample would have a chilling impact not only on dissidents, activists and members of ethnic and religious minorities, but on their extended family members as well.

26 A police-run Y-STR database containing biometric samples and detailed multigenerational genealogies from all of China’s patrilineal families is likely to increase state repression against the family members of dissidents and further undermine the civil and human rights of dissidents and minority communities.

We also know that Chinese researchers are increasingly interested in forensic DNA phenotyping. T

his computational analysis of DNA samples—also known as ‘biogeographic ancestry inferences’27—allows investigators to predict the biogeographical characteristics of an unknown sample, such as hair and eye colour, skin pigmentation, geographical location, and age

A national database containing the genetic information of tens of millions of ordinary Chinese citizens is a clear expansion of the already unchecked authority of the Chinese Government and its Ministry of Public Security. 

Chinese citizens are already subjected to extensive surveillance. Even beyond Tibet and Xinjiang, religious believers and citizen petitioners across China are added to police databases to track their movements,

33 while surveillance cameras have expanded across the country’s rural and urban areas.

34 The expansion of compulsory biometric data collection only increases the power of the Chinese state to undermine the human rights of its citizens.

Instead, the Chinese Government’s national Y-STR database appears to be part of larger efforts to deepen comprehensive social control and develop multimodal biometric profiles of individual citizens.

Those profiles would allow state security agents to link personal information to biometric profiles, including DNA samples, retinal scans, fingerprints and vocal recordings.

The Chinese Government’s DNA database feeds into a constantly evolving program of state surveillance under the banner of the Golden Shield Project, which is led by the Ministry of Public Security. 

Evidence already suggests that this new DNA database is being integrated with other forms of state surveillance and ‘stability maintenance’ social control operations.

97 More disturbingly, Thermo Fisher’s Huaxia PCR amplification kit was developed specifically to identify the genotypes of Uyghur, Tibetan and Hui ethnic minorities

.98 Such kits have been instrumental to the current national Y-STR collection program aimed at ordinary men and boys, and numerous local public security bureaus have purchased Thermo Fisher Y-STR analysis kits as part of the construction of male ancestry investigation systems99 and Y-STR databases.

100 Thermo Fisher may defend these sales, as it did to Human Rights Watch in 2017, on the grounds that it’s impossible ‘to monitor the use or application of all products’ that it makes.

101 That may be true, but the company is clearly aware of how its products are being used, and it actively promotes its close collaboration with the Chinese police in its Chinese-language publicity material. 

In a profile of Gianluca Pettiti, Thermo Fisher’s former head of China operations and current President of Specialty Diagnostics,102 the company boasts: ‘In China, our company is providing immense technical support for the construction of the national DNA database, and has already helped to build the world’s largest DNA database.’

103 Similarly, in 2018, the company’s Senior Director of Product Management, Lisa Calandro, discussed the ‘sinicizing’ of their forensic science product line for the Chinese market.104

Furthermore, Article 16 of the Regulations grants the Chinese state sweeping powers to make use of DNA datasets created by public or private researchers for reasons of ‘public health, national security and the public interest’.

Unconstrained by any checks on the authority of its police, the Chinese Government’s police-run DNA database system is extending already pervasive surveillance over society, increasing discriminatory law enforcement practices and further undermining the human rights and civil liberties of Chinese citizens.

The tools of biometric surveillance and political repression first sharpened in Xinjiang and Tibet are now being exported to the rest of China.

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Figure 1: Blood being collected as part of the free physical exam projects in Lhasa, Tibet Autonomous Region, May 2013, and Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, February 2018

Sources: ‘Tibet: People’s physical examination to protect the health of the people on the plateau’ (西藏:全民体检为高原百姓保健康), Government of China Web (中国政府网), 15 May 2013, online; ‘Xinjiang National Health Checkup: Cover the last mile and benefit the furthest family’ (新疆全民健康体检:覆盖最后 一公里 惠及最远一家人), Xinhuanet (新华网), 9 February 2019

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Figure 5: Illustration of shared Y-STR profile among patrilineal male relatives (translated)
Minerals, Oil & Energy

Source: ‘The “hero” behind the murder case of the girl from the Southern Medical University: What is the Y-STR family investigation technique?’ (南医大女生 被害案背后 “功臣”: Y-STR家系排查技术是什么), Youku Video Net (优酷影视网), 25 February 2020, online. Partially translated from Chinese by ASPI.

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Figure 10: DNA sample collection in a private residence in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province, September 2018, and at a Hui ethnic minority community centre in Shiyan, Hubei Province, October 2019

Sources: ‘The Baima Police Station of the County Public Security Bureau went to the jurisdiction to carry out blood collection work’ (县公安局白马派出所到 辖区开展血液采集工作), Pujiang County Public Security Bureau (浦江县公安局), 28 September 2018, online; ‘The Hubeikou Police presented safety lectures to the Hui ethnic people on the spot and collected male blood samples during the holy Ramadan festival of the Hui ethnic people’ (湖北口派出所利用回族 群众圣纪节日,给到场回族群众做法制安全讲座,并采集男性血样), Hexie Hubeikou Microblog (和谐湖北口微博), 10 October 2019, online.

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Figure 13: National Public Security Organ DNA Database screenshot (cropped)

Source: ‘Public Security Organ DNA Database Application System’ (公安机关DNA数据库应用系统), Beijing Haixin Kejin High-Tech Co. Ltd (北京海鑫科金高 科技股份有限公司), online.

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05-MAR-2018 :: China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang

China has unveiled a Digital Panopticon in Xinjiang where a combination of data from video surveillance, face and license plate recognition, mobile device locations, and official records to identify targets for detention. Xinjiang is surely a precursor for how the CCCP will manage dissent. 

The actions in Xinjiang are part of the regional authorities’ ongoing “strike-hard” campaign, and of Xi’s “stability maintenance” and “enduring peace” drive in the region. Authorities say the campaign targets “terrorist elements,” but it is in practice far broader, and encompasses anyone suspected of political disloyalty.

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We simply cannot be blind to the fact that the Party, this enormous Party, and the country is using these lies to indoctrinate 90 million Party members, and hold 1.4 billion Chinese people hostage
Law & Politics

We must completely abandon the theories of the so-called New Era of Socialism with Chinese Characteristics. They are nonsense. For something that does not even make sense logically nor read with any sense of flow, it is preposterous that we are making the entire Party study them as if they were some kind of a divine text. I am saying all this with disdain. But we simply cannot be blind to the fact that the Party, this enormous Party, and the country is using these lies to indoctrinate 90 million Party members, and hold 1.4 billion Chinese people hostage. It has let Chinese people become the laughing stock of the world, with its 7 billion people laughing at the so-called members of the Chinese Communist Party.

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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies

Euro 1.1206
Dollar Index 97.367
Japan Yen 106.98
Swiss Franc 0.9505
Pound 1.2427
Aussie 0.6862
India Rupee 76.2325
South Korea Won 1209.25
Brazil Real 5.3776
Egypt Pound 16.1843
South Africa Rand 17.64

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Full text: Xi Jinping's speech at Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 @CGTNOfficial
Law & Politics

"Defeating COVID-19 with Solidarity and Cooperation" at the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 via video conference from Beijing, calling for more efforts to mobilize necessary resources, stick together in collaboration, and do whatever it takes to protect people's lives and health and minimize the fallout of COVID-19.

Here is the full text of the speech:

Your Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Your Excellency President Macky Sall,

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,

Your Excellency Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission,

Your Excellency António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations,

Your Excellency Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization,

At such a critical moment in the global fight against COVID-19, we are gathered together in this Extraordinary China-Africa Summit. Friends old and new are connected via video link to discuss our joint response to COVID-19 and to renew the fraternity between China and Africa

I thank President Ramaphosa and President Sall for joining me in initiating the Summit, and I appreciate the participation of all colleagues present. I also want to send my regards to other African leaders who are not able to be with us today.

The sudden onslaught of COVID-19 has taken a heavy toll on countries around the world, with the loss of several hundred thousand precious lives. 

Here, I suggest that we observe a moment of silence for those who have tragically passed away due to COVID-19 and express our condolences to their families.

— In the face of COVID-19, China and Africa have withstood the test of a severe challenge. The Chinese people have put up a fierce fight and made enormous sacrifice to bring the situation in China under control

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Debt Relief with Chinese Characteristics @SaisCari
World Of Finance

In nearly all cases, China has only offered debt write-offs for zero-interest loans. Our study found that between 2000 and 2019, China has cancelled at least US$ 3.4 billion of debt in Africa. 

There is no “China, Inc.”: for interest-bearing loans, treatment for inter-governmental debt and Chinese company loans are negotiated separately, and often loan-by-loan rather than for the entire portfolio. 

While rescheduling by increasing the repayment period is common, changes in interest rates, reductions in principal (“haircuts”), or refinancing are not. 

We found that China has restructured or refinanced approximately US$ 15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019. 

We found no “asset seizures” and despite contract clauses requiring arbitration, no evidence of the use of courts to enforce payments, or application of penalty interest rates. 

Although Chinese lenders have applied Paris Club terms to some rescheduling, on the borrower’s request, Chinese lenders prefer to address restructuring quietly, on a bilateral basis, tailoring programs to each situation. 

Yet the lack of transparency fuels suspicion about Chinese intentions. These patterns are likely to play out as Chinese lenders and African borrowers grapple with the impact of COVID-19.

Between 2000 and 2018, we estimate that Chinese lenders signed US$ 152 billion in loan commitments to African sovereign borrowers and their state-owned enterprises.

The vast majority of China’s recent lending in Africa – concessional loans, preferential buyer’s credits, and commercial loans– has never been considered for cancellation.

Our data records more than 1,000 Chinese loan commitments in 49 African countries since 2000. Between 2000 and 2019, Chinese lenders restructured or refinanced at least 26 individual African loans. 

We found that China has restructured or refinanced approximately US$ 15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019. Refinancing is rare, limited to one transaction in Angola by China Development Bank. 

Unlike the Paris Club, Chinese lenders have tended to treat restructuring or cancellation loan-by-loan, not on the basis of the entire debt portfolio in that country.

While China Eximbank is the lender in most cases of restructuring, there is no “China Inc.” when it comes to debt relief. More than 30 Chinese banks and companies have provided credit to African governments.

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19-APR-2020 :: China Africa Win Win

And the entire China Africa relationship has been an extraordinary exercise in Narrative Framing and linguistic control, accompanied by a chorus of Party Hacks chirruping Hosannas at every turn amplifying largely meaningless feel good Phrases artfully placed in the mouths of our Politicians and our Newspapers. It is remarkable.

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Africa’s ‘Bulldozer’ @MagufuliJP Runs Into Covid-19, Claims God on His Side @bpolitics @AntonySguazzin
Law & Politics

Tanzania’s maverick President John Magufuli has used his strong personality to cow corrupt civil servants and force foreign mining companies to pay millions of dollars in outstanding tax. 

The coronavirus may be less responsive.
Last week, he became the first African leader to declare victory over the virus, even though health data haven’t been released for more than a month. 

He’s criticized the national laboratory for exaggerating the number of infections, dismissed health experts and discouraged the wearing of masks, all the while saying God will protect Tanzania. 

Tanzania’s approach to the pandemic “has caused panic and tension within the East African community,” Haningtone Amol, chief executive officer of the East African Law Society, said from Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. 

“The truth is, cemeteries are busy across Tanzania.”

“President Magufuli has decided to please the crowd by not locking down the country and allowing people to continue to scratch out a living,” said Fatma Karume, a lawyer and former president of the Tanganyika Law Society. “It’s a high-risk game.”
Crackdowns on the media and those who poke fun at the government mean that criticism of how Magufuli is handling the outbreak is mostly restricted to social media. 

Official information is limited and tightly controlled. At least 13 journalists, students and politicians have been detained since March 23 for distributing information about the virus, Tanzania’s Legal and Human Rights Centre said.
When the health ministry stopped releasing data, the country had 480 cases and 16 deaths. That compares to almost 4,000 cases and more than 100 deaths in neighboring Kenya as of Tuesday.
Last week, Tanzania’s parliament passed a resolution to praise Magufuli for “exemplary leadership” in handling the pandemic. 

CCM lawmaker Ally Kessy urged fellow parliamentarians to abolish presidential term limits and allow the 60-year-old to rule indefinitely, saying he was irreplaceable.
Still, residents aren’t convinced the authorities have the disease under control.
“I think we still have a lot of coronavirus infections out there, despite the government saying we now have very few cases,” said Hamisi Thabiti, a mechanic in Dar es Salaam. 

“That’s why I’m still taking precautions and take a lemon and ginger drink every day to boost my immunity.”
Infections are down and some hospitals in Dar es Salaam are empty, said government spokesman Hassan Abbasi. 

That success is due to measures the state has taken “but also our firm belief in divine intervention, that’s why churches and mosques were open throughout,” he said by text message.

“The president doesn’t want to postpone his inevitable election victory,” Amol said. “We are staring at the bigger picture of someone preparing for the elections without observers.”

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02-MAR-2020 :: The #COVID19 and SSA and the R Word

We Know that the #Coronavirus is exponential, non linear and multiplicative.

what exponential disease propagation looks like in the real world. Real world exponential growth looks like nothing, nothing, nothing ... then cluster, cluster, cluster ... then BOOM!

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
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June 2020

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