Connect with us

World

what it means for Shinzo Abe, economy

Published

on

Japan Prime Minister and ruling Liberal Democratic Party President Shinzo Abe at an election campaign rally in Japan.

Tomohiro Ohsumi | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his ruling coalition party won a majority in the country’s upper house elections on Sunday — but they failed to secure enough votes needed for Abe’s long-held dream of revising the constitution.

Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its partner, the Komeito Party, won at least 69 of the 124 seats contested in parliament’s 245-seat upper house — with nine seats yet to be called, according to Japanese media reports.

But the coalition fell short of a two-thirds “super majority” — or 85 seats — needed to revise the country’s constitution. The move would allow Japan to further legitimize its military, and end a ban that has kept its armed forces from fighting abroad since 1945, when World War II ended.

The fact that pro-constitutional revision forces lack a supermajority in the upper house after today’s elections will not prevent Abe from continuing to push to revise the constitution before he leaves office.

Scott Seaman

Eurasia Group

Abe’s grip on power is set to continue, experts say, while he will persist in going after his dream of Japan’s right to possess a military.

“The fact that pro-constitutional revision forces lack a supermajority in the upper house after today’s elections will not prevent Abe from continuing to push to revise the constitution before he leaves office,” Scott Seaman, director of Asia at Eurasia Group, wrote in a note on Sunday.

“Much of his attention in this area will focus on persuading more upper house members — such as politicians in the Democratic Party for the People — to support this cause,” he said, referring to Japan’s second-largest opposition party.

But, according to Seaman, Abe will not likely reach his goal by the end of 2020. That’s in part due to “lukewarm support” from the Komeito Party, left-leaning opposition parties as well as the public, where “many people regard issues such as pension reform and strengthening the economy as more urgent priorities.”

Opposition parties have focused on concerns over household finances, such as the impact from an upcoming 10% sales tax increase, and strains on the public pension system amid Japan’s aging population.

— Reuters and Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source link

World

US budget deficit to break $1 trillion in fiscal 2020, CBO says

Published

on

The U.S. budget deficit likely will break the $1 trillion barrier in 2020, the first time that has happened since 2012, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates released Tuesday.

After passing that mark this year, the deficit is expected to average $1.3 trillion between 2021-30, rising from 4.6% of GDP to 5.4% over the period. That’s well above the long-term average since around the end of World War II. The deficit since then has not topped 4% of GDP for more than five consecutive years, averaging just 1.5% over the period.

As part of a spending pattern that the CBO deemed unsustainable, the national debt is expected to hit $31.4 trillion by 2030. 

Tuesday’s projections reflect a slight increase from the estimates presented in August 2019.

In addition to the debt and deficit outlook, the CBO expects the economy to grow at a 2.2% pace in 2020. The office also estimated that real exports will rebound this year, driven mostly by a push in aircraft exports once the Boeing 737 MAX deliveries resume.

Economic growth also will come based on continued consumer strength and a rebound in business fixed investment, according to the CBO. 

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Trump administration ‘disappointed’ with UK decision on Huawei 5G

Published

on

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration expressed disappointment in the U.K.’s decision to allow Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei limited access to some British 5G mobile networks.

“The United States is disappointed by the UK’s decision,” a senior Trump administration wrote in an emailed statement to CNBC. The official added that the Trump administration will work “with the U.K. on a way forward that results in the exclusion of untrusted vendor components from 5G networks.”

The U.K. said equipment made by Huawei would not be banned but that access will be restricted from “sensitive functions.”

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government made the decision despite warnings from President Donald Trump, who has called Johnson a “friend,” key figures in the Republican Party and members of Johnson’s own Conservative party.

The latest development comes as the Trump administration works to isolate Chinese tech firm Huawei from developing a larger foothold in U.S. partner countries. The administration has specifically worked to keep members of the “five eyes” intelligence-sharing group, which includes the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, from working with Huawei.

In 2018, the Pentagon halted sales of Huawei and ZTE mobile phones and modems on military bases around the world due to potential security risks.

“We continue to urge all of our partners and allies to carefully assess the multifaceted impacts of allowing untrusted vendors access to important 5G network infrastructure,” Pentagon spokesman U.S. Army Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn wrote in a statement to CNBC.

“It’s been assessed that there is no safe option for untrusted vendors to control any part of a 5G network,” Eastburn added.

Long-standing concerns

U.S. officials have long complained that Chinese intellectual property theft has cost the economy billions of dollars in revenue and thousands of jobs and that it threatens national security. China maintains that it does not engage in intellectual property theft.

When asked about the issue by CNBC on his first day as secretary of Defense, Mark Esper said he was “very concerned about Chinese technology getting into our systems or the systems of our allies.”

“Huawei is the poster child right now for that,” Esper said, adding that the U.S. trade war with China is as much about national security as it is about the economy.

“When I was in Brussels three weeks ago we talked about this among defense ministers on how do we preserve the integrity of our networks as an alliance and so that will continue to be important for me as we go forward,” he said in July, referring to a NATO visit he made while acting Defense secretary.

Read more: New Defense secretary: ‘We need to be very concerned’ about Chinese tech

Last year, in spite of national security warnings, then-British Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly approved a plan to let Huawei build part of the UK’s 5G network. Her decision was leaked and resulted in the dismissal of then-Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson.

Williamson has denied that he was the source of the leak.

A month prior to Williamson’s departure, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford said that if U.S. allies proceed with Huawei’s equipment, intelligence cooperation could be undermined.

“One of the things that underlines an alliance is the ability to share information and when we share information with allies and partners we have to have common standards of information assurance. We have to be sure that our secrets are protected, whether it be intelligence or technology transfer,” Dunford told a House Appropriations subcommittee in April 2019.

Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick M. Shanahan and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, give testimony on the Department of Defense budget posture in review of the Defense Authorization Request for Fiscal Year 2020 and the Future Years Defense Program at the Dirksen Senate Office Building, March 14, 2019.

Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Dominique Pineiro | Department of Defense photo

Echoing Dunford’s sentiments, then-acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan told lawmakers that “China aims to steal its way to a China-controlled global technological infrastructure, including 5G.”

“Huawei exemplifies the Chinese Communist Party’s systemic, organized, and state-driven approach to achieve global leadership in advanced technology.”

What’s more, the Director of National Intelligence, alongside the heads of the FBI, CIA, NSA, Defense Intelligence Agency, and National Geospatial Intelligence Agency testified before lawmakers in 2018 on potential security risks posed by Huawei and ZTE.

“We’re deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee.

“It provides the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage,” Wray added.

Huawei’s denials

Huawei and ZTE have previously denied allegations that their products are used to spy on Americans.

Since 2012, the U.S. government has warned against using Huawei equipment and component parts, alongside one of Huawei’s Chinese competitors, ZTE. The company has been effectively banned since that time, with an executive order from Trump making those recommendations official.

“U.S. government systems should not include Huawei or ZTE equipment,” a 2012 report by the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence said. “Similarly, government contractors, particularly those working on contracts for sensitive U.S. system, should exclude ZTE or Huawei equipment from their systems.”

As for Huawei’s alleged ties to the Beijing government, the company has strongly denied the accusations. The 2012 report and subsequent intelligence briefings on Huawei do not outline specific proof of Huawei’s ties to Beijing, but assert the risk of allowing Huawei to supply this critical equipment is too great. Huawei officials have said they have repeatedly asked the Department of Defense to allow the company to submit to a risk mitigation process, but no agreement has ever been discussed.

Read more: Huawei USA security chief suggests the company could be open to ‘mitigation measures’ to address US national security concerns

“The task of finding and eliminating every significant vulnerability from a complex product is monumental,” the report reads. “If we consider flaws intentionally inserted by a determined and clever insider, the task becomes virtually impossible.”

— Kate Fazzini and Yelena Dzhanova contributed to this report from CNBC’s global headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey

Source link

Continue Reading

World

United Airlines cuts some China flights as demand falls amid coronavirus

Published

on

United Airlines on Tuesday said it would suspend dozens of China flights next month because of a “significant decline in demand” to the country as it battles the growing number of coronavirus cases.

United has the most service to China of the U.S. airlines.

The flight cancellations take effect Feb. 1 and last through Feb. 8. It wasn’t immediately clear if United would cancel more flights.

We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and will adjust our schedule as needed,” United said in a statement.

This is breaking news. Check back for updates.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending