The US-led administration in Iraq is to establish a major credit facility "within weeks" to lubricate overseas trade after last week's lifting of UN sanctions, its head Paul Bremer announced on Monday. \n"It will be a substantial credit facility that first symbolically indicates to the world that Iraq is open for business and also provides a practical incentive to people who want to trade with Iraq," Bremer told a news conference. \nThe facility will be funded by a raft of private banks as well as the Central Bank of Iraq, he said. \nHe added that a further US$250 million of central bank reserves had been recovered undamaged from the bank's vaults after they had been drained of wartime flooding from the Tigris River by coalition troops over the past week. \n"We are now nearing the end of the first stage of our task here and entering a new stage," said Bremer, noting that government ministries, most power and water supplies, and a new police force were all now up and running. \n"The task now is to help the Iraqis rebuild their economy after decades of state control and mismanagement." \nBremer said the lifting of UN sanctions had been a "big step along this road." \n"Oil revenues will now all be used for the Iraqi people as we work to establish the first free economy here in years," he said. \n"Encouraging robust trade between Iraq and the rest of the world is a key part of our stra-tegy," he said, adding that a market economy was the "best protection for political freedom" in Iraq. \nBremer said the occupation had yet to work out any detailed economic policies, and was still looking at the closely related issues of trade tariffs, currency, and price deregulation. \n"We are in the process now of trying to establish what the relationship should be and what the steps should be. I don't have a preconceived view on that," he said. "Because the economy was so tightly controlled and interlinked, you can't change any one part of it, without changing it all." \nBremer said that for the moment the ration system on which some 60 percent of Iraqis depended for basic goods under former president Saddam Hussein would be preserved. \n"In the long term we would like to see market prices brought into the economy," he said. \n"At this point it would be premature for me to lay down specific guidelines [for foreign investment] and it's a matter that, in the end, an Iraqi government would want to make a contribution to discussing," he said.
CAUTION: Taiwanese should be alert, even if they have just liked or shared posts that would breach Beijing’s national security legislation for Hong Kong, the council said Due to the newly implemented Hong Kong national security legislation, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) has drawn up a list of what it described as “high-risk groups,” cautioning them not to travel to Hong Kong. People who support independence for Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang; those who are critical of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Hong Kong government and the “one country, two systems” concept; and those who donated to or voiced support for the Hong Kong anti-extradition bill movement are urged to refrain from visiting Hong Kong, the council said on its Web site. It released two posts on
HONG KONG SECURITY: The president blasted regulations requiring Taiwanese agents or political organizations to provide information on their Hong Kong-related activities President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday warned of countermeasures should controversial Chinese national security legislation imposed on Hong Kong undermine or harm Taiwanese interests. Article 43 of the legislation empowers the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to serve written notices to Taiwanese political organizations or individual agents to furnish information on their Hong Kong-related activities, including their personal particulars, finances, assets, expenditure and capital in the territory. Failure to comply or providing false or incomplete information can result in a fine of HK$100,000 (US$12,903) or imprisonment of six months or two years respectively. Tsai said that Taiwan would keep a close watch on how
NEW HONG KONG LAW: A visit to Beijing-friendly nations or those with weak judicial systems could leave people at risk of deportation to China, a former MAC official said Beijing could request countries with which it has extradition agreements to deport Taiwanese to China to face criminal charges following the implementation of national security legislation for Hong Kong, a former Mainland Affairs Council (MAC) official warned yesterday. Some developing countries, and those close to China because of the Belt and Road Initiative, are likely to accommodate Beijing’s requests to extradite Taiwanese to China, said former deputy MAC minister Chen Ming-chi (陳明祺), who served from July 2, 2018, until May 20, and then returned to his former post as an assistant professor of sociology at National Tsing Hua University. While Taiwanese
MORAL COURAGE: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged the global community to face China’s intention to subdue Taiwan and reject such irrational requests The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday strongly condemned the Chinese government for meddling with US officials’ interactions with Taiwan after FBI Director Christopher Wray revealed China’s efforts to discourage US officials from visiting Taiwan. The greatest long-term threat to the US’ information security and intellectual property, as well as its economic vitality, is China’s counterintelligence and economic espionage operations, Wray told a video event at the Hudson Institute in Washington. Beijing is engaged in a highly sophisticated and maligning foreign influence campaign, with methods that include bribery, blackmail and covert deals, he said. Giving an example, Wray said that when a US official