Among those who took the floor at the open mic was an anti-poverty activist who spoke eloquently of how the most vulnerable, especially those who are unemployed and those living in poverty, are treated by G7 governments, whether conservative, liberal or of any other stripe. Marxist-Leninist Party representative Pierre Chénier also spoke. He said just holding the days of action against the G7, given all the media hype about police repression "winning" against protesters and creating an impression that the global elite are firmly in control of the people, is itself a success. This elite does not have the support of the people, who have never given their consent for the decisions and actions of institutions such as the G7, Pierre said, which is why they transform places like Quebec City and La Malbaie into armed camps. These powers have destroyed politics, leaving only destruction, anarchy, chaos and war; that is why we are stepping up our work to build a political movement based on the people becoming the decision-makers to provide society with a new direction that favours them, Pierre said.
Party activists participated in this demonstration on June 9 and in an earlier one on June 7 and distributed copies of the lead article from the June 2 TML Weekly entitled "All Out to Oppose the G7! No to the Neo-Liberal Anti-Social Offensive, Retrogression and War!"
Canada-U.S. Trade Dispute and Angry Words
The U.S. administration has put tariffs of 25 per cent on Canadian steel and 10 per cent on aluminum in a move it says is to protect its national security. It also refuses to renew the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), something the Canadian government appears desperate to achieve.
The Trudeau government has sent teams of high ranking officials throughout the U.S. seeking allies to counter the Trump administration's actions on trade and other issues. Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, in a speech delivered in Washington DC on June 13, rebuked the U.S. administration for creating an authoritarian climate that endangers "liberal democracy" and the rules-based international system. Prime Minister Trudeau appears to be taking sides in the civil war raging in the U.S. and for this interference President Trump condemned him as "weak and dishonest," while his closest advisers were even more vitriolic condemning Trudeau as a "backstabber" who awaits "a special place in hell."
With regards to trade, the Trudeau administration says it has no choice but to retaliate with reciprocal tariffs and angry words because Canadians "will not be pushed around." It equates the refusal to renew NAFTA and the specific U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum as an authoritarian attack on the longstanding friendship and security arrangements between Canada and the U.S., and on liberal democracy and the market economy. The House of Commons closed ranks behind Trudeau and passed unanimously an NDP motion to stand united against U.S. tariffs and tirades, declaring the MPs "reject disparaging ad hominem statements by U.S. officials which do a disservice to bilateral relations and work against efforts to resolve this trade dispute."
But what is this trade dispute? If the national rhetoric is stripped away, the dispute is amongst powerful private interests, which almost universally are not even Canadian private interests, let alone the interests of working people in both countries. The vast majority of Canadians do not control their workplaces let alone international trade.
The neo-liberal free trade agreement NAFTA was meant to give North American corporate private interests supranational rights to negate the national rights and control of Canadians, Mexicans and Americans. Many of those North American corporate private interests, plus others worldwide, have greatly concentrated their control and increased their social wealth to become global corporate private interests or oligopolies. They now feel powerful enough to negate the national rights of the entire world and do not need or want any rules-based order whether that be the World Trade Organization, NAFTA or the United Nations, especially if the rules do not favour and promote their private interests.
The steel and aluminum companies operating in Canada are not Canadian. For the most part they are global oligopolies such as the European/Indian ArcelorMittal steel giant and the mining/aluminum monster Rio Tinto. They are global financial/industrial giants that have tentacles throughout the world, including in both Canada and the U.S., along with private and state mercenaries armed with modern weapons and organized to defend their private interests.
ArcelorMittal is by far the largest steel producer in Canada and the third largest in the United States. Its mills in the U.S. produced 12 million metric tons (mmt) of steel in 2017, just short of the entire Canadian production of 13.7 mmt. ArcelorMittal workers worldwide produced 119 mmt of steel, along with around 80 million tons of iron ore and 9 million tons of coal, with 245,000 employees in 60 countries. Workers at ArcelorMittal Dofasco in Hamilton and ArcelorMittal Long Products, mostly in Quebec, produced over 6.5 mmt of steel, around half of Canada's entire production. Those two entities are grouped together with ArcelorMittal's operations in the U.S., Mexico and South America as ArcelorMittal Americas, which in turn reports to the global empire headquartered in Luxembourg, Europe.
Within the situation of supranational oligopolies
their private interests in the U.S. through their economic and
political connections, for the Canadian ruling elite to side with
this or that private interest in the U.S. and their political
representatives and to engage in retaliation and angry words is
capitulation to the Old and does not correspond to the concrete
conditions of today and the necessity for change. The Trudeau and
Trump actions and reactions do not open a path forward and will
end badly for both Canadians and Americans. Something new is
required that brings control over trade to Canadians. But control over
trade cannot be established when Canadians do not control their own
economy and its basic sectors, when supranational oligopolies control
the steel and other sectors and engage in trade to suit their narrow
private interests, not the public interests and needs of Canadians and
their economy. More importantly, control over trade cannot be
established when Canadians are gripped within the outlook of the
imperialists that the fight is between sovereign nation states and they
must side with "their" country against other countries under one
pretext or another.
The plaintive cries and angry words of Trudeau and Freeland for a return to liberal democracy as a defence against authoritarianism are part of an outlook which is not only pathetic but limits thinking to what has already passed away, which is liberal democracy. It is a lament similar in kind to those who wanted to go back to the horse and buggy and petty production to save the world from the negative consequences of modern means of industrial mass production. They miss the mark because the New is not a refurbished version of what has passed away. The New is found in negating the negation of the human factor/social consciousness within the old relations of production and their institutions. The New is found in the empowerment of the working people and releasing their energy and creativity to build new institutions that can open a path forward. New forms of governance and relations among humans, will unleash the full capacity of modern production and science within a self-reliant diverse economy not just in Canada but the U.S., Mexico and elsewhere, to meet the needs of all humanity and humanize the social and natural environment.
What Canadian Steel Industry?
The global imperialists completely dominate the Canadian steel sector. Their private interests dictate all actions, including international trade. Their disputes with other private interests are at the centre of trade disputes and have nothing in common with the interests of steelworkers and other working people. Trade in steel between the U.S. and Canada is trade amongst private interests without considerations for what benefits Canadians and their economy, let alone any notions of nation-building.
What problems do the U.S. steel tariffs purport to solve? And how should Canadians respond? All decisions in the sector are out of the hands of Canadians. Steel volume and value moving between Canada and the U.S. are almost identical and have been for a long time. U.S. financial and industrial private interests are integrated within the steel and other industries throughout North America both in production and consumption. The largest producers on both sides of the border often welcome tariffs as they boost prices. Tariffs are similar to sales taxes as they are passed on to the next level of production and the final consumer. In effect, they are yet another form of individual taxation deflecting government claims of new value away from the supranational oligopolies and onto working people. The value of U.S. 2017 steel imports was $29 billion. The U.S. steel tariff of 25 per cent represents a possible U.S. government annual windfall claim of $7.25 billion.
Within all the basic economic sectors, Canadians are mostly working people and only peripherally involved in directing the industry and making the big decisions. Those in control and making decisions are oligarchs with no particular attachment to Canada other than as a source of raw material and the expropriation of the new value workers produce.
Steel Exports from Canada
The volume of Canada's steel exports has remained relatively flat since 2013 at an average of 6.3 mmt exported per year. In value derived in U.S. dollars, Canada's steel exports amounted to $6.1 billion in 2017. Canada's exports represented only 1.3 per cent of all steel exported globally in 2016. Canada exports steel to over 125 countries and territories. Exports to Canada's top five steel markets represented 98 per cent of Canada's steel export volume in 2017 at 6.5 mmt. The U.S. dominated Canada's export market receiving 6 mmt or 90 per cent, with Mexico buying 468,000 metric tons or 7 per cent.
Steel exports equalled 48.9 per cent of total Canadian steel production of 13.7 mmt in 2017. Even with almost half of steel production exported, Canada has still consistently maintained a small trade deficit in steel commodities since 2005, including a deficit in money with the U.S. In 2016, Canada shipped $5.87 billion of steel to the U.S with a volume of 5.4 mmt. The same year, the U.S. shipped $5.96 billion of steel to Canada with a volume of 4.7 mmt. In 2017, Canada imported 2.08 mmt more than it exported.
Canada's annual crude steel production averaged 12.5 mmt between 2009 and 2017. Apparent consumption, a measure of steel demand in Canada, has outpaced domestic production for much of the same period. The gap between demand and production narrowed in 2015 to 1.6 mmt, where it remained in 2016. In 2017, this gap expanded slightly to 2.1 mmt with production of 13.7 mmt and apparent consumption of 15.8 mmt.
Regarding the U.S. steel industry: U.S. production of steel in 2017 was 81.6 mmt while apparent consumption was 100 mmt. On a usual scale of a U.S. economy ten times bigger than Canada's, it should be noted that both production and consumption of steel in the U.S. lags behind that in Canada. Canada/U.S.: production -- 13.7/81.6 (at ten times larger U.S. production should be around 137 mmt U.S. production); consumption -- 15.8/100 (U.S. consumption should be around 158 mmt). This incongruence needs to be investigated.
ArcelorMittal, which is the largest producer of steel in Canada by far, is the third largest producer in the U.S. with annual U.S. production of 12 mmt, just short of Canada's entire production. China is often raised as a problem steel exporter to the U.S. but in fact is far behind other exporters in 12th position.
Canadian exports of steel as a share of production have maintained an average of 50.7 per cent since 2009. In 2016, exports as a share of production dropped to 48.3 per cent, and then rose slightly to 48.9 per cent the following year.
Steel production in Canada is dominated by foreign-owned companies. The largest producer, Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal, alone accounts for roughly half of Canadian steel production through its two subsidiaries, ArcelorMittal Dofasco in Hamilton and ArcelorMittal Long Products in Quebec, plus mining operations. Foreign-owned Essar Algoma Steel is the next largest producer with Stelco accounting for much of the rest. Before neo-liberal free trade and the U.S. Steel takeover of Stelco, it was the largest steel producer in Canada with enormous capacity in all types of steel along with mining operations.
Steel Imports into Canada
Canada is the world's sixteenth-largest steel importer. In 2017, Canada imported 8.7 mmt of steel while production was 13.7 mmt and consumption was at 15.8 mmt. This represents a 44 per cent steel import growth since 2009. Production has not kept pace with consumption. Year-on-year from 2016 to 2017, import volume was up 13 per cent while import value was double that amount at 26 per cent. Import penetration in 2017 was 55.6 per cent of apparent consumption or domestic demand, which is a comparison of imports with apparent consumption. Import penetration averaged close to 60 per cent between 2009 and 2017. It should be noted that the growth of import penetration coincided with the destruction of much of the production capacity of Stelco Hamilton Works after U.S. Steel's takeover in 2007. This wrecking included extended lockouts of workers at both Hamilton and Lake Erie Works and physical destruction of capacity and refusal to renew existing facilities.
Canada's imports represented about 3.4 per cent of all steel imported globally in 2016. The volume of Canada's 2017 steel imports was roughly a quarter the volume of the world's largest steel importer, the United States, which is ten times larger than Canada in population and in its economy.
In value derived in money, steel represented 2.1 per cent of the total goods imported into Canada in 2017. Canada imports steel from over 80 countries and territories. The three top sources for Canada's imports of steel are the U.S., China and south Korea. They accounted for 69 per cent of Canada's steel imports in 2017.
Canada has maintained a trade deficit in steel products since 2005. Beginning in 2009, imports grew 44 per cent by 2017, while exports grew 31 per cent. Imports grew by 13 per cent in 2017 to 8.7 mmt. The value derived in money of Canada's 2017 steel imports grew by a greater amount, up 26 per cent to $9 billion from $7.1 billion in 2016. This resulted in a steel trade deficit of 2.08 mmt more imported than exported in 2017.
The top five source countries for Canada's steel imports represented 75 per cent of Canada's total steel import volume in 2017 at 6.6 mmt. The United States by far accounted for the largest share of Canada's imports by source country at 55 per cent (4.8 mmt), followed by China at 10 per cent (0.8 mmt), south Korea at 4 per cent (0.4 mmt), Brazil at 3 per cent (0.3 mmt), and Turkey at 3 per cent (0.3 mmt). The United States has ranked as Canada's top import source for steel products for more than 20 years.
Canada is the principal destination of U.S. steel exports, representing over 50 per cent. In reverse, the U.S. is the number one destination of Canadian steel exports, representing over 85 per cent. U.S. exports into Canada are 30 per cent of Canada's steel market. In contrast, Canadian exports to the U.S. represent only 6 per cent of the entire U.S. steel market.
Of additional consideration is the takeover and reorganization of Canadian production of raw material required for steel production. At present, even though Canada has an abundance of all raw material necessary for steel production, the majority of material inputs (already-produced value called transferred-value) in Canadian steel production is sourced from U.S. suppliers at a deficit of $2 billion.
Steel-making coal (bituminous) imported from the U.S. is valued in money at $596 million, representing 83 per cent of this type of import. Iron ore: $612 million from the U.S. equals 98 per cent of imports. Recycled steel scrap: $168 million from the U.S. equals 99 per cent of imports. Other metals: (e.g. zinc for galvanizing): $462 million from U.S. equals 60 per cent of imports.
Note on Canada's Steel Production
|Rank||Company||Production (mmt)||Main Products|
||ArcelorMittal Dofasco (Hamilton)||4.5 mmt||Hot-rolled sheet, cold-rolled sheet, galvanized|
||ArcelorMittal Long Products (Quebec)||2 mmt||Semi-finished, reinforcing bars, bars, wire rod, wire|
||Essar Steel Algoma
(Sault Ste Marie)
|2.8 mmt (capacity)||Hot-rolled sheet, cold-rolled sheet, plates|
Canada's top export markets by volume vary across types of steel products, though the United States has held the top spot in every product category and accounted for over 80 per cent of exports in four of the five categories. In 2017, Canada sent 93 per cent (3.4 mmt) of its flat product exports to the Unites States, 82 per cent (1.4 mmt) of long product exports, 96 per cent (946 thousand metric tons) of pipe and tube exports, 79 per cent (187 thousand metric tons) of semi-finished exports, and 91 per cent (49 thousand metric tons) of stainless exports.
In 2017, the export market share for Canada's steel products remained mostly unchanged in the majority of Canada's top 10 export destinations for which data are available. Among Canada's top export markets, the United States and Mexico received the highest shares of their total steel imports from Canada, and in the remaining six countries, Canada accounted for 2 per cent of imports or less. In 2017, flat products accounted for the largest share of steel imports from Canada into the United States at 57 per cent (3.3 mmt), while long products accounted for the largest share of steel imports from Canada to Mexico at 54 per cent (243 thousand metric tons).
Flat products accounted for 55 per cent of Canada's steel exports by volume in 2017 at 3.6 mmt. Long products represented the second-largest category at 26 per cent (1.7 mmt), followed by pipe and tube at 15 per cent (984 thousand metric tons), semi-finished steel at 4 per cent (238 thousand metric tons), and stainless steel at 1 per cent (54 thousand metric tons).
Flat products accounted for 41 per cent of Canada's steel imports in 2017 -- a total of 3.6 mmt.
Long products accounted for 29 per cent, or 2.6 mmt, of Canada's imports, followed by pipe and tube at 17 per cent (1.5 mmt), semi-finished steel at 8 per cent (713 thousand metric tons), and stainless products at 4 per cent (372 thousand metric tons).
The top source countries for Canada's imports by volume vary across types of steel products, though the United States held the top spot for imports in four of the five product categories. The United States accounted for more than 40 per cent of Canada's imports in four of five categories. In flat products, the United States accounted for 66 per cent of Canada's imports (2.4 mmt) in 2017. Imports from the United States accounted for 53 per cent of Canada's long product imports (1.4 mmt), 43 per cent of pipe and tube imports (635 thousand metric tons), and 64 per cent of stainless imports (239 thousand metric tons).
In 2017, Brazil moved into the top spot for imports into Canada of semi-finished steel, providing 36 per cent (258 thousand metric tons). The United States was Canada's second largest supplier of semi-finished imports in 2017 at 29 per cent (205 thousand metric tons).
The imports and exports of varied steel products show that Canada could reorganize its economy on a regional basis, and with some additional capacity, supply domestically most, if not all, apparent steel consumption. Of course to do so, control of the steel sector would have to be in the hands of Canadians and not the supranational oligopolies.
apparent consumption: Domestic crude steel production plus steel imports minus steel exports.
flat products: Produced by rolling semi-finished steel through varying sets of rolls. Includes sheets, strips, and plates. Used most often in the automotive, tubing, appliance, and machinery manufacturing sectors.
long products: Steel products that fall outside the flat products category. Includes bars, rails, rods, and beams. Used in many sectors but most commonly in construction.
pipe and tube products: Either seamless or welded pipe and tube products. Used in many sectors but most commonly in construction and energy sectors.
semi-finished products: The most basic initial and intermediate solid forms of molten steel, to be re-heated and further forged, rolled, shaped, or otherwise worked into finished steel products. Includes blooms, billets, slabs, ingots, and steel for castings.
stainless products: Steel products containing at minimum 10.5 per cent chromium (Cr) offering better corrosion resistance than regular steel.
steel mill products: Carbon, alloy, or stainless steel produced by either a basic oxygen furnace or an electric arc furnace. Includes semi-finished steel products and finished steel products.
import penetration: Ratio of imports to apparent consumption.
(With files from Canadian Steel Producers Association, Statistics Canada, U.S. International Trade Monitor.)
First DPRK-U.S. Summit Held in Singapore
For the first time in the histories of the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), on June 12, a historic Summit was held between the leaders of the two countries. The Summit between Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army and Donald Trump, President of the United States, held on Sentosa Island, Singapore, established new relations between the two countries.
With the establishment of new relations, the extremely hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. are ended. This is good news for the Korean people and the peoples of the world.
Putting the confrontation politics of the past to rest opens prospects that the long-standing problem of making sure peace prevails on the Korean Peninsula can be resolved on the basis of talks and reaching mutual understanding and agreements based on mutual benefit. New prospects for the future open up when talks can be carried out in a manner that favours the people of Korea and the peoples of the world. This is a very welcome development, a breath of fresh air at a time when the use of violence has become the default position of the U.S. imperialists and NATO powers in their striving to establish their hegemony all over the world.
The successful Summit in Singapore gives hope that a peace treaty ending the Korean War, which started on July 25, 1950 and has been subject to an Armistice Agreement since July 27, 1953, may become a reality sooner rather than later.
In one of his remarks to the media in Singapore,
Jong Un called for setting aside dogmas from the past. It is indeed
high time dogmas from the past are set aside and the concrete steps
being taken are supported. They are concrete measures commensurate with
the requirements of the times.
The need to set aside dogmas from the past refers to
the prejudices and dictums of the Cold War regime which led to the
Korean War in the first place. It was during discussion on whether or
not to use nuclear weapons in the Korean War that the U.S. first
introduced the outlook of taking a stand pro- or against peace within
the Cold War framework of nuclear blackmail. This Cold War outlook
defined what came to be called the Korean Question. This was after the
United States had already used nuclear weapons against Hiroshima and
Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945 at the end of World War II to
establish its dominant position in Asia. During the Korean War it
adopted an official policy of using nuclear threats to bully into
submission the countries it sought to dominate.
The use of nuclear weapons was discussed as an option
to wipe out the north of Korea and to keep China as well as the
then-Soviet Union in check. Their use was rejected at that time because
the U.S. was not in a position to overwhelm China or Russia.
Nonetheless, the U.S. Cold War policy of "peace through strength" based
on controlling who could have nuclear weapons was established to
maintain U.S. domination over the entire Korean Peninsula as well as
Japan and the region.
When the media and those whose starting point is the
Cold War outlook discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
more often than not, they engage in a tit-for-tat about whether
it is just the DPRK which has to denuclearize or whether the U.S.
should also do so. What is forgotten is the essential matter at hand --
that countries are made up of peoples and there are relations in the
world between countries which those who hold the monopoly over nuclear
weapons want to control. They permit some to have nuclear weapons but
not others in order to dominate the world. The discussion is geared to
depriving the peoples of the world of an outlook which permits
them to fight for new relations that are based on respecting the
national sovereignty of all nations, big or small, and their right to
choose their own course of development, free from any form of outside
interference. But the DPRK does not succumb to this nuclear blackmail
and has its own outlook which references national reunification and
peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) hails
the establishment of new relations between the DPRK and the United
States which augur well for ending the state of war on the Korean
Peninsula and sorting problems out without confrontation. CPC(M-L)
joins the Korean people and the many many people in Canada and around
the world who would like to see the 65th anniversary of the Armistice
Agreement be the occasion for the U.S., the DPRK and the Republic of
Korea to sign a peace treaty at Panmunjom.
(Photos: news agencies, SPARK)
There is no doubt that the establishment of new relations between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are a most welcome development. Everything must be done going forward to make sure that practical solutions which benefit the Korean people and the peoples of the world be found based on dialogue and not confrontation. Nonetheless, the elephant in the room remains why the U.S. president is being so cooperative on the question of relations with the DPRK and so bellicose on matters related to Iran, or Syria, or Venezuela, or, for that matter, so uncooperative with Canada and the European Union?
The answer may lie in how Donald Trump, who favours a tri-polar division of the world between the U.S., China and Russia, thinks he can establish U.S. domination over Asia by keeping China and Russia in check. The Panmunjom Declaration reached by President Moon Jae-in of the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Chairman Kim of the DPRK at the historic April 27 Summit held in Panmunjom, Korea said they would "actively pursue trilateral meetings [...] or quadrilateral meetings involving the two Koreas, the United States and China with a view to declaring an end to the war and establishing a permanent and solid peace regime" within the year. President Moon in a press conference following a second inter-Korean summit on May 26 also made remarks about pursuing a "declaration of the war's end through a trilateral summit."
Speaking at a news conference shortly after the Summit, Trump clearly stated that a declaration of the war's end would be coming "soon." President Moon declared in a position statement on the Summit that the parties would "put the dark times of war and conflict behind us and write a new history of peace and cooperation." The south Korean newspaper Hankyoreh wrote: "With Trump making references to discussing an end to the war ahead of the Summit and speaking about a declaration at his news conference afterwards, he may be waiting for the right moment to pursue the issue. On his flight back to the U.S. that day, Trump called President Moon from Air Force One to personally share details about the Summit's outcome. With President Moon also scheduled to meet directly with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on June 14, the question of whether to pursue a trilateral declaration may also be discussed there."
Meanwhile, following the Singapore Summit, Russian
Minister Sergey Lavrov reminded the world that China and Russia
have direct interests in resolving the problems on the Korean
Peninsula. He stated that the direct contact between the U.S. and north
Korean leaders is "worth support," the TASS news agency
reported. The "Russian-Chinese roadmap that was proposed less
than a year ago stipulated the rejection of a hostile rhetoric
and provocative actions by both sides at the first stage and the
establishment of direct contact and the start of discussions on
all problems of both sides at the second stage," Lavrov said.
After addressing the need for the DPRK to "receive security
guarantees as a result of this process" of denuclearization,
Lavrov raised the need for multilateral participation. "Regarding
all the importance of the solution of the problems between the
United States and North Korea, including the peninsula
denuclearization stages and security guarantees, it is clear that
it will hardly be possible to solve these problems in the
bilateral format," Lavrov stressed. "All the participants of the
Six-Party talks have always proceeded from the fact that this
process has to result in the creation of a system of peace,
security and stability across Northeast Asia."
Other signs that
matters on the Korean Peninsula are proceeding in a manner which
is not controlled by the United States followed the April 27 Panmunjom
Summit between the ROK and the DPRK which must have
prompted the U.S. to take a new approach.
On May 26, President Moon of the ROK, met with Chairman Kim of the DPRK, just north of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides the Korean Peninsula at the 38th parallel. The meeting was proposed by Chairman Kim and was convened within a day. It was an important meeting coming so quickly after U.S. President Donald Trump created a provocation against the DPRK on May 24 by unilaterally cancelling the planned DPRK-U.S. Summit in Singapore. This second meeting between President Moon and Chairman Kim was an affirmation in front of the whole world, and the U.S. in particular, that the Korean people, north and south, are determined to march forward on the road to peace and reunification independent of the U.S. It was an affirmation of the sovereignty of the Korean people in setting their own agenda in their own interests.
Four days before the meeting, President Moon had travelled to Washington to hold his fourth face-to-face meeting with President Trump, where reports indicate he urged the U.S. president to do all he can to ensure that the scheduled DPRK-U.S. Summit would be a success, carrying with it the hopes of the entire Korean nation to move forward the aspiration of the Korean people for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and peace. President Moon pledged that he would do everything he could to achieve this end.
On May 24, two days after this meeting, without even formally informing President Moon, Trump sent a terse and vulgar letter to Chairman Kim Jong Un, unilaterally cancelling the Singapore Summit. He gave the bogus excuse of the DPRK's alleged "tremendous anger and open hostility" because the DPRK, rightly, denounced the Max Thunder Air Exercises begun on May 11 where the U.S. deployed 100 warplanes, escalating the scale of the deployment from previous years, including F-22 stealth fighters and B-52 bombers designed to drop nuclear bombs. The DPRK had also denounced earlier remarks made by U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton on April 29, that the "Libya model" is the U.S.'s plan for denuclearizing the DPRK.
At the May 26 meeting of President Moon and Chairman Kim that lasted for more than two hours, the two leaders reaffirmed the principles of the historic Panmunjom Declaration and pledged to move with dispatch to actualize the decisions. Moon himself briefed his staff on May 28 that there will be more meetings between north and south to discuss "urgent matters, while omitting all the fussy formality and protocol."
"Holding regular and formal inter-Korean meetings like the previous summit in Panmunjom or the summit in Pyongyang scheduled for this fall is very important for developing inter-Korean relations. If technical meetings can be held frequently between these regular meetings when the urgent need arises, alternating between the south and north Korean sides of Panmunjom, it will help us develop inter-Korean relations even more quickly," President Moon said.
For his part, at the May 26 Summit, Chairman Kim said, "Meeting frequently and sitting down together to talk is very important for keeping our promises." President Moon responded to this by saying, "The ease with which we can contact each other and meet when necessary is a sign of a new era in inter-Korean relations."
To their credit, based on their motivation to reunify the Korean nation and achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula, the Korean people have seized the initiative presented by the historic Panmunjom Summit and the resulting Panmunjom Declaration which has created a new page in modern Korean history. They are laying the foundations for the peaceful and independent reunification of Korea.
In the face of this reality, the Trump administration changed tack and said it was open to having the DPRK-U.S. Summit once more. A high level delegation from the DPRK travelled to the U.S. on May 31 for talks with the Trump administration, to prepare the Summit in Singapore.
But how all this will play out is yet to be seen. One thing is clear which is that the stand taken by Trump at the Singapore Summit to end hostile war exercises on the Korean Peninsula is clearly intended to knock all other interested parties out of the water. A U.S. General is the Commander of the United Nations Command/Combined Forces Command/United States Forces Korea and, of course, Donald Trump is Commander-in-Chief of all U.S. forces which, through Cold War alliances, treaties and outlooks, puts him in command of all decision-making according to U.S. interests and striving for world domination. This is why he can make statements about what all armed forces stationed in and round the Korean Peninsula will or will not do.
But the position of the DPRK is motivated by the aim of achieving the reunification of the Korean nation and peace on the Korean Peninsula, not these geo-political considerations. Sorting out these problems on the new historical basis, not dogmas and arrangements from the Cold War era, is key to securing a bright future.
In this regard, of key importance is the stand of the DPRK and President Moon that inter-Korean relations are first and foremost a matter for the Korean nation to settle without outside meddling. Their unrelenting stand to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula is just and merits the support of all Canadians.
Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and Donald J. Trump, president of the United States of America, held the first historic Summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Trump conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new DPRK-U.S. relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Convinced that the establishment of new DPRK-U.S. relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Trump state the following:
1. The DPRK and the United States commit to establish new DPRK-U.S. relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
2. The DPRK and the United States will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
4. The DPRK and the United States commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Having acknowledged that the DPRK-U.S. Summit, the first in history, was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for opening of a new future, Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Trump commit to implement the stipulations in this joint statement fully and expeditiously.
The DPRK and the United States commit to hold follow-on negotiations led by the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the DPRK-U.S. Summit.
Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America have committed to cooperate for the development of new DPRK-U.S. relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.
June 12, 2018
Sentosa Island of Singapore
Kim Jong Un
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, Qingdao
China is working hard to occupy its own place in the neo-liberal globalized economy and foil the U.S. striving for world domination and policies of disruption and instability. While the G7 meeting was taking place in Quebec and the DPRK-U.S. Summit was being held in Singapore, the 18th Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Summit took place June 9 and 10 in Qingdao, Hubei Province, eastern China. For the first time, the Summit included new members India and Pakistan. The Qingdao Declaration and the Summit's keynote speech delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping speak of establishing international relations on a different basis.
President Xi called on members of the SCO to build
shared future, move toward a new type of international relations,
and build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that
enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common
"We should respect each other's choice of development paths and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns. We should enhance mutual understanding by putting ourselves in others' positions and boost harmony and unity by seeking common ground and setting aside differences," Xi said in his speech.
In his keynote speech, Xi announced that China will set up a 30 billion yuan (U.S.$4.7 billion) special lending facility within the framework of the SCO Interbank Consortium.
Addressing a joint press conference following the Summit, Xi Jinping said the SCO "will uphold the authority and efficacy of WTO rules, strengthen an open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory and rules-based multilateral trading regime, and oppose trade protectionism of any form," China's Xinhua news agency reports.
"We point out that economic globalization and regional integration are the compelling trend of our times," Xi said.
"All parties will continue to work in line with the principle of mutual benefit to improve regional economic cooperation arrangements, enhance the Belt and Road cooperation and complementarity of our respective development strategies, deepen cooperation in business, investment, finance, connectivity and agriculture, advance trade and investment facilitation, and foster new prospects for integrated development of the region to deliver benefits to our people and add fresh impetus to global growth," he said.
It is important to study what the Chinese are
advocating. Views expressed in support of the SCO confirm that the
peoples of this part of Asia are looking for a rules-based way of
participating in the neo-liberal global economy which is not filled
with volatility and violence. However, settling scores with the
striving of the big powers to dominate the world and spheres of
influence has to be taken into account in figuring out how to establish
a world where peace and prosperity prevail and the needs of the peoples
are put in first place. The total number of people who inhabit the
countries which are full members of the SCO comes to 3,150,662,153
people, or 42 per cent of the total population of the planet.
1. The Shanghai Cooperation
Organization (SCO), established on April 26, 1996 as the Shanghai
Five, is an international alliance that consists of eight member
states, four observers, and six dialogue partners.
Member States: China, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
Observer States: Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran, Mongolia
Dialogue Partners: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Turkey
Other Attendees: United Nations, Association of
Southeast Asian Nations, Commonwealth of
Independent States, Collective Security Treaty Organization, Conference
on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, Eurasian
Economic Commission, World Bank and IMF.
A press communiqué was issued after the 18th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) held on June 9 and 10 in the coastal city of Qingdao, east China's Shandong Province.
Member states emphasized that the SCO has seen continuously expanding potential for cooperation after the accession of India and Pakistan, and has become a unique, influential and authoritative regional organization, the communiqué said.
SCO members consistently support the mediation of conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula, as well as other regional conflicts under the frameworks of widely-acknowledged norms and principles of international law, it said.
The member states pointed out that it is very important to continue the implementation of the Iran nuclear deal, the document said.
The 2019-2021 program of cooperation for combating terrorism, separatism and extremism, approved at the Summit, will further promote pragmatic cooperation among member states in this respect, it added.
Leaders of member states support a series of work on the education of youngsters to prevent them from participating in destructive activities. To that end, the Summit passed a joint message from leaders of SCO members to young people, the document said.
In the communiqué, SCO member states also stressed the significance of improving the global economic governance system, consolidating and developing the multilateral trade mechanism with the World Trade Organization at its core, and building an open world economy.
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan reaffirmed their support for the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, it said.
Kyrgyzstan has taken over the SCO rotating presidency and the 19th SCO Summit will be held in Kyrgyzstan next year, the communiqué said.
For Your Information
According to the latest official data, China has remained Russia's largest trading partner for eight consecutive years, with the volume of bilateral trade in 2017 rising by 20.8 per cent to U.S.$84.07 billion, and expected to exceed U.S.$100 billion in 2018, Xinhua reports.
"There is a certain improvement and development of the trade turnover structure ... In the long term, the goal of U.S.$200 billion will be reached," Sergei Uyanayev, deputy director of the Far Eastern Studies Institute at the Russian Academy of Sciences said.
The further development of bilateral economic cooperation in traditional spheres, especially in the energy sector, speaks in favour of such a scenario, the Xinhua news agency points out. The second stage of the Yamal liquefied natural gas plant is expected to be launched this year, and the transport of Russian gas along the eastern branch of the "Power of Siberia" gas pipeline will begin in 2019, along with the expansion of the Skovorodino-Daqing oil pipeline.
China and Russia are also actively implementing major strategic projects in nuclear energy, infrastructure and aerospace, while cooperation in fields such as finance, agriculture, science and technology, innovation and cross-border electricity has been thriving as well, Xinhua says. In addition, various agreements have been reached by the two countries to jointly develop the Arctic region and the Far East, which will also stimulate regional cooperation.
"China is perceived [by Russians] as the most reliable and reasonable business partner," said Alexey Maslov, head of the Oriental Studies Department at the Russian Higher School of Economics Research University.
Experts also point to the pairing of the Belt and Road Initiative and Russia-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) in recent years as an important part of the whole complex of Russia-China interaction.
"It was the launching pad for new projects, such as the Moscow-Kazan speed railway and the Northern Sea Route. It also incorporated and gave new impetus to well-known former joint programs, including those related to cooperation in the Russian Far East," Uyanayev said.
On May 18, China and the EAEU signed an agreement on trade and economic cooperation, the first major systematic arrangement ever reached between the two sides, Xinhua reports.
"Now the EAEU and China have a common legal basis for further development of cooperation in a number of areas," said Timofei Bordachev, an expert at the Valdai International Discussion Club.
(Based on Xinhua report, May 24, 2018.)
India attended the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a full member for the first time this year. The relations between India and China were renewed at a meeting held between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China in April. The meeting was "a new starting point to promote bilateral relations," Xi Jinping said during a meeting between the two presidents prior to the Summit.
China's Xinhua news agency reported on the meeting as follows:
"China is willing to work with India to take the Wuhan meeting as a new starting point to continuously enhance political mutual trust and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, so as to push forward China-India relations in a better, faster and steadier manner, Xi said.
"Noting that China and India have reaped quite a few early-harvest outcomes in implementing the consensus reached at the Wuhan meeting, Xi said the two sides should make persistent efforts to accelerate the implementation, maintain strategic communication, expand economic and trade cooperation, promote people-to-people exchanges and enhance coordination and cooperation on international and regional affairs.
"Xi said the Chinese side stands ready to work with India and other member states to carry forward the Shanghai Spirit and promote the sound and stable development of the SCO.
"Describing the informal meeting with Xi in Wuhan as 'very successful and very important,' Modi said it has further strengthened his confidence in the development of India-China relations, and will certainly be a milestone in the history of the bilateral ties.
"India-China cooperation is of great significance to world peace and prosperity, and the Indian side is ready to advance the bilateral relations on the basis of the Wuhan meeting, said Modi.
"As a new member, India is ready to play an active role in the SCO, and supports China in making the Qingdao Summit a success, Modi noted. After the meeting, Xi and Modi witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation agreements."
Pakistan participated in the 18th Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a full member for the first time. China is willing to intensify high-level contact and strategic communication with Pakistan, Chinese President Xi Jinping said when he met his Pakistani counterpart Mamnoon Hussain.
"The China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperation is not only the shared asset of the two countries, but also offers a model for building a new type of international relations," Xi said.
China will steadily promote the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) construction, and strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas such as energy and transportation infrastructure under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Xinhua news agency reported. China also expects to enhance its anti-terrorism cooperation with Pakistan, Xi said. "He stressed that China would continue to support Pakistan in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and support Pakistan to choose its own development path," Xinhua writes.
"China and Pakistan will always support each other on issues involving each other's core interests, and safeguard common interests of the two countries as well as other developing countries," Xi said.
The President of Pakistan said that China is a reliable friend and steady partner of Pakistan, and relations between the two countries are unshakable. Pakistan would adhere to the one-China policy and support China's core interests, he said. Pakistan is willing to maintain high-level contact with China, deepen their cooperation in such terms as economy and trade, and security, push ahead with the construction of CPEC, and enhance coordination on global and regional affairs, Hussain said.
"Pakistan supports China to play a bigger role in international affairs, which is important to maintaining global security and stability," he added.
Xinhua reported on the views of various experts and think-tanks of countries that see themselves favoured by what China is building through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO):
Zivadin Jovanovic, an international relations expert based in Belgrade, Serbia who founded two think-tanks -- the Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals and the Silk Road Connectivity Research Centre -- said Xi presented "positive, visionary views on how to approach global economic, social and security challenges."
"Xi showed the world the SCO's role in global governance and cleared the way in order to reinforce peace, win-win cooperation in a multipolar world without geopolitical constraints and the relics of isolationism," he said.
Maria Guleva, an associate professor in history who chairs the study of social development theories of Asian and African nations at Russia's St. Petersburg State University, said China seeks to undertake serious international obligations that consolidate its status as a major country in the world.
"This is evident in a number of Xi's statements, which include the need to fill the gap of development levels among countries, and the announcement by Xi of (China's) contribution to the SCO Interbank Consortium," Guleva said.
Commenting on where Xi said in his speech that the SCO should "champion equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations" and "follow the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration in engaging in global governance," Tigran Sargsyan, former prime minister of Armenia, said those remarks show that China is both full of self-confidence and aware of its strengths and weaknesses.
Sargsyan, now chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission, said such an attitude is helpful in solving problems effectively and searching for solutions in external cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit.
It will also win the trust of the international community and lay the foundation for establishing long-term cooperative relations with other countries and achieving common prosperity, he added.
B.R. Deepak, a sinologist and professor of Chinese studies at the New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University, thinks that Xi's emphasis on the "Shanghai Spirit" is very timely since protectionist and unilateral political approaches tend to "disrupt the existing regional and international order" and create conflicts among nations.
The "Shanghai Spirit," a set of fundamental principles encompassing mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and consultation, "could essentially be regarded as an antidote" to these approaches, said Deepak.
Alina Grishikevich, deputy chair of the Belarus-China Friendship Society, highlighted Xi's remarks on building unity and mutual respect.
The Qingdao Summit is of great significance as it boosts mutual cooperation between member states and observers, said Grishikevich.
Sheetal Babu Regmi, former secretary-general of the Nepalese government, said that he was impressed by the mention of cultural exchanges and the development of human resources in Xi's speech.
If Xi's proposals in these two areas are earnestly implemented, the region will realize a substantial boost to its industrial upgrade and possibly become the centre of the global economy, said Regmi.
Avtandil Otinashvili, chief editor of the Georgian Newsday news agency, said that Xi's speech was imbued with the spirit of cooperation, consultation and inclusiveness and "charts the course" for the future development of the bloc.
Xi's proposals to improve global governance and his vision for a community with a shared future for mankind reflect the common aspiration of people in different parts of the world, and has offered a brand-new perspective as to why the world needs to abandon a Cold War mentality and seek global cooperation, he said.
Multilateral mechanisms, such as the SCO, the Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU) and the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa cooperation (BRICS), are also good opportunities to coordinate interests among Eurasian countries, experts said.
"The SCO can be one of the core regional links both within the global BRICS+ project and within the framework of Eurasia in the formation of an integration and cooperation platform for all the developing countries of the Eurasian continent," said Yaroslav Lissovolik, chief economist of the Eurasian Development Bank.
The bank is now considering taking part in major projects between China, Russia and other EAEU countries within the scheme of pairing the EAEU and the Belt and Road Initiative, he added.
"It is very important that bilateral and multilateral mechanisms are promptly established, within the framework of which the parties begin to work meticulously to find mutually beneficial options for cooperation," Uyanayev said.
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