Toma nota.../Take note...

Japan & EU eager to promote free trade as US hardens its protectionist stance

Japan and the EU concluded negotiations for an economic partnership agreement last December and the pact will be signed on June 17th in Brussels. They expect it to take effect early 2019, before Britain leaves the EU late March 2019. Once ratified, this pact will encompass a population of about 600 million people in 29 countries that account for roughly 30% of the world's gross domestic product.

Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement Will Create Major New Trade and Investment Opportunities  

Brussels, July 13.– With a highly favourable business climate, global-leading innovation and one of the largest economic agreements in the world to be signed shortly, Japan is in a better position to attract business investment than ever before.

This was the message a group of more than 120 industry experts, researchers, policy makers and corporate leaders heard at a packed seminar in downtown Brussels' Stanhope Hotel today. While Japan and the EU prepare for the historic signing of the Japan-European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) on July 17th, the Government of Japan hosted an engaging session that highlighted how the EPA will not only increase and modernize free, fair and open trade, but will also open up tremendous business opportunities between Japan and the EU.

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Taiwan's plight: The uncertainty of an unfinished war

The Republic of China retreated to Taiwan in 1949 maintaining its de facto, if not de jure, independence, but Beijing has consistently refused formally to abandon the idea of reunifying Taiwan with China. As well as growing military pressure, the Peoples Republica of China (PRC) irredentist policy is premised on encouraging cross-Strait economic integration. Responding to preferential measures, Taiwanese industrialists have invested massively in the PRC, often relocating their businesses there. Fragments of a nation torn apart by contradictory claims, these entrepreneurs are vectors of a new form of unification imposed by the Chinese Communist Party, promoted but postponed on the island by the Nationalist Party, and rejected by a majority of the Taiwanese Taiwan & other islands remaining under its controlpopulation.Within what can be described as an unfinished civil war, socio-economic dynamics remain embedded in conflicts over sovereignty.

Taiwan and Neutrality

A way forward for Asia’s direct democratic tiger

by Bruno Kaufmann

Neutrality, combined with participatory democracy, is not a guaranteed recipe for a country’s lasting stability. But history suggests it is better insurance than the most sophisticated weapons systems.

Taipei, Jul.3.– How can a small country like Taiwan best defend its democracy against the explicit threats of its stronger neighbours? How can it withstand the pressures of geopolitical aggression between great powers?

Neutrality might be the answer.

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Democracy & Christian thought

Contrary to what is usually reflected in the mass media, Christian thought has been Alexis de Tocquevillehighly relevant in the evolution from absolutism to democracy and its eventual struggle against totalitarianism. Alexis de Tocqueville in the 19th Century and Jacques Maritain in the 20th Century, through Leo XIII from the Holy See and the resulting Church Social Doctrine are notable exponents of the relevance of Christian teachings and their influence on democratic ideas. The following article offers an excellent analysis of this topic. 

Frenchmen in America: How Alexis de Tocqueville and Jacques Maritain Discovered America

Jacques Maritain(...)

At first glance, Alexis de Tocqueville and Jacques Maritain would appear to have little in common. An aristocrat from one of France’s oldest families, Tocqueville had many doubts about the truth claims of Christianity, though we have good reason to believe that he returned to the Catholic faith on his deathbed. Tocqueville also wrote very much as what we would call political sociologist, even a type of political scientist. Though obviously familiar with Christian sources and thought – indeed, he never stopped attending Mass – it’s clear that he was as much influenced by reading Rousseau, Voltaire, and especially Montesquieu as he was by reading Augustine.

By contrast, our second figure, Jacques Maritain, was raised as a Protestant. For a time, he was an agnostic before converting to Catholicism in 1906. Aristotle and Aquinas were Maritain’s lodestones, and his thought forms part of that great revival of Thomas Aquinas’ thought occasioned by Leo XIII’s 1879 encyclical Aeterni Patris. A fierce critic of Voltaire and even more so of Rousseau, Maritain authored over 60 books, which focused on subjects ranging from metaphysics to the nature and role of the state. Maritain was also viewed as a type of representative of 20th century Catholic intellectuals. It was not a coincidence that Pope Paul VI presented his “Message to Men of Thought and of Science” at the end of Vatican II to Maritain.

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Why Russian expansionism failed in Moldova

Russian meddling failed in Moldova and their annexation did not crystallize thanks to Ukraine's independence creating a buffer zone between this small country and their powerful Eastern neighbor. Nevertheless, an artificial geographic belt baptized as Transdniester Republic was snatched from the moldovans and is controlled by Russia since 1992, well before the Russian anexation of Crimea.  Moldova and Trandsniester

Republic of Moldova: Transition from communism to democracy

Chişinău, May 16.– The Moldovan Democratic Republic was established in 1917, but was incorporated by the Kingdom of Romania in 1918. After the Second World War, the country was part of the Soviet Union. In 1990, the Pridnestrovian Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic proclaimed its independence from Moldova, because they wanted to remain in the Soviet Union and feared a reunification with Romania. It was neither recognised by Moscow or Chişinău.

Moldova became itself independent in 1991. Since then, and until 2009, Moldova was under a more or less disguised communist government. On the 5th of April 2009, the Communist Party won the parliamentary elections with 60 seats out of a possible 101. It became contested after people claimed that there had been some manipulation with the votes and their counting. The electoral campaign was marked by numerous accusations against the Communists (harassment of opposition political parties, misuse of administrative funds, and interference in the editorial policy of public mass media).

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EEUU: Policía de Inmigración pone más presión a empleadores de trabajadores ilegales

En su sitio oficial de la WEB, US Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE):  

prioritizes violators who abuse and exploit their workers, aid in the smuggling or trafficking of their alien workforce into the United States, create false identity documents or facilitate document fraud, or create an entire business model using an unauthorized workforce [...] Further priority is given to looking closely at those companies or industries that are deemed national security or critical infrastructure interests. 

Aumentan inspecciones de contrataciones de trabajadores en Estados Unidos

Arrecian las auditorías a empresas para asegurarse que no estén explotando a su personal, o pagando salarios de miseria, o empleando niños u otras personas sin permiso para trabajar legalmente en el país

Washington DC, Mayo 14.– Las autoridades de Estados Unidos han aumentado las auditorías a compañías para revisar si sus empleados están autorizados a trabajar en el país, señal de que la campaña del gobierno del presidente Donald Trump contra la inmigración ilegal está llegando a los lugares de trabajo para crear una “cultura de cumplimiento” entre los empleadores que dependen del trabajo de los inmigrantes.

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