BERLIN/BEIJING | | china

BERLIN/BEIJING (Own report) - German business circles are noting with relief that the anti-Chinese campaign around Tibet is subsiding, just a few weeks before the Olympic games are to open in Beijing. According to business associations, the resentment, unleashed in Germany last spring, could have seriously damaged German-Chinese business relations. Instead record results have again been registered and the threats of slumps are due only to the Chinese government's environmental protection measures. Whereas the former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder pleads in favor of enhancing German influence in China by extending Beijing's integration, transatlantic circles are calling for a stronger confrontationalist policy, because the People's Republic of China's rapid rise and its enormous economic potential has awakened doubts that the integration strategy can be successful. Accordingly state financed front organizations are supporting a sustained anti-Chinese public sentiment - with reversion to the theme of Tibet. The Protestant Church is also joining the campaign. Church functionaries suggested that, during the Olympics, German athletes should make use of press conferences to denounce Chinese policy with media attractive sound bites. more…

KHARTOUM/THE HAGUE/BERLIN | | sudan

KHARTOUM/THE HAGUE/BERLIN (Own report) - Western efforts against Khartoum have reached new heights with the arrest warrant issued for the Sudanese president. The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) seeks to have Omar al Bashir arrested and brought to trial in The Hague on charges of genocide. These measures correspond to Berlin and Washington's years of efforts to weaken the government in Khartoum, while exacerbating tensions in the West Sudanese civil war region and threatening to set off a new round of armed conflict. This arrest warrant is being met with loud protests from the UN General Secretary, the African Union, the Arab League and Beijing. Whereas experts raise strong accusations against both the government in Khartoum and the rebels in Darfur, the ICC, with its unilateral arrest warrant, is contributing to the implementation of the interests of the Western industrial nations. They are out to take the control over the Southern and Western Sudanese regions, rich in raw materials, out of the hands of the government in Khartoum and roll back Arab influence in Africa. Critics have been warning for years that the ICC would prove to be an instrument in the hands of Western power policy. more…

ALGIERS/BERLIN | | algerien

ALGIERS/BERLIN (Own report) - The German government is considering supplying warships and military aircraft to Algeria. This was reported in the Algerian press preceding the German Chancellor's visit to Algiers, due to begin next Wednesday. In return, Berlin is evidently demanding better access to this North African nation's energy resources. According to a high ranking representative of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the Algerian production of German military vehicles is also being considered. Among the agreements Chancellor Merkel seeks to reach with the Algerian government are those concerning the domestic repressive authorities, reinforcing the so-called war on terror. With its far-reaching bids, the German government is seeking to gain a decisive advantage over its rivals in this resource-rich area of North Africa. One of those rivals, Russia, has been strongly expanding its influence over Algerian and Libyan resources. The German thrust into Algiers puts the spotlight on Berlin's intervention against Paris' original "Mediterranean Union" project, through which France had sought to intensify also its own contacts to Algeria. more…

ULAANBAATAR/BERLIN | | mongolische-vrchina

ULAANBAATAR/BERLIN (Own report) - In a few weeks, German businessmen will be embarking on a business trip to Mongolia in spite of the uprisings in Ulaanbaatar. The objective is to conclude deals for Mongolian raw materials. Mongolia disposes of enormous deposits of untapped raw materials and is among the world's ten most rich countries in natural resources. Mongolia's selling off of its raw materials at a bargain price to foreign companies is causing anger in the country's poverty-stricken population, which was one of the causes of the protests last week. Mongolia has geo-strategic importance for the German government, whose Ministry of the Economy is supporting the business trip in August. Because of its geographic location, it is not only useful as a overland bridge for freight transport to China, but also as a bridgehead against the People's Republic of China. Since the 1990s, Berlin - in collaboration with Washington - has maintained a persistent military cooperation with Ulaanbaatar. more…

BAGHDAD/BERLIN | | irak

BAGHDAD/BERLIN (Own report) - Berlin is actively trying to extend German activities in the Iraqi war zone. A new business agreement, signed Monday July 1, is intended to revive the dormant business relations. The SPD-affiliated Friedrich Ebert Foundation is engaged in talks concerning stronger support for Iraq, whose government has approved the opening of a branch office of the foundation in Baghdad. The impending administration change in Washington is the reason for these efforts, flanked by an intensification of political contacts. The next US administration "will demand more support from Germany, particularly in the Iraq question" predict German government advisors, meaning "a substantial contribution to the reconstruction of the country". In spite of warnings of the danger of possible kidnappings and assassination attempts against German emissaries to Iraq, the government is exploring the German potential for supporting the US occupation. Baghdad is baiting with billions in business deals. Berlin's desires are focused on the country's oil and gas deposits. Licenses for oil extraction are currently being granted. Two German enterprises, including the BASF subsidiary Wintershall, based in Kassel, have applied. more…

CHANTY-MANSIYSK/BERLIN | | russische-foederation

CHANTY-MANSIYSK/BERLIN (Own report) - On the eve of talks about a new cooperation treaty between the EU and Russia, Berlin is considering closer military cooperation with Moscow. In reaction to official overtures made by the Russian president, government advisors in the German capital conclude "negotiations about a European security format" would "make a lot of sense". The current negotiations on the EU Cooperation Treaty with Russia serve as a test-run, in which Berlin can directly intervene in the process - a German is chairman of the competent section in the EU Commission. This is in line with the previous exclusive cooperation between Berlin and Moscow, which has long since expanded beyond solely the energy sector, to include numerous economic sectors such as logistics for German East-Asian exports. The most recent example is a cooperation agreement reached between the largest banks of Germany and Russia, who want to profit from financing the 2014 Winter Olympics and expand their businesses into the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe. The plans are aimed at cutting out the competition with strong market positions - particularly the finance institutions from Western and Southern Europe. more…

BERLIN/LA PAZ/ROSARIO |

BERLIN/LA PAZ/ROSARIO (Own report) - The Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF, affiliated with the German Free Democratic Party, FDP) has initiated a new program for networking neoliberal forces throughout Latin America including opposition forces from Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. The online-project, launched on Monday June 30, will last two months and is aimed, among other things, at "liberal political leaders and their action groups". The objective is to prepare the participants to seek, through neoliberal political methods, "solutions to current socio-political and economic problems". The FNF is cooperating, in this project, with the "Red Liberal de América Latina" (RELIAL), a network linking 46 organizations from 17 countries of the sub-continent, founded at the initiative of the FNF in 2003. By propagating liberal market concepts, RELIAL is in open opposition particularly to the governments in Caracas and La Paz, who reject these models. The support RELIAL members are giving Bolivian and Venezuelan secessionist movements is a highly explosive issue. With its activities, the state subventioned FNF has already been provoking public protests in Latin America. more…