Views on the News – 12 August 2015


  • China Currency Devaluation
  • State of Emergency Declared in Ferguson, Again
  • Iraqi Prime Minister Fights for Government


China Currency Devaluation

China’s central bank has devalued its national currency, the yuan, to its lowest rate against the US dollar in almost three years. Chinese officials announced it was a “one-off depreciation” of 1.9% in a move to make the exchange rate more market-oriented. China has for long engaged in currency manipulation, this occurs when countries sell their own currencies in the foreign exchange markets, usually against dollars, to keep their exchange rates weak and the dollar strong. These countries thereby subsidize their exports and raise the price of their imports, sometimes by as much as 30-40%. They strengthen their international competitive positions, increase their trade surpluses and generate domestic production and employment at the expense of the United States and others. China uses its currency as one tool to ensure its exports are the cheapest in the world, cheaper than Germany and Indonesia, so consumers will always buy form china. This erasures China remains the textile factory of the world, created employment for its 1.6 billion population and maintains social stability. China has used $340bn in the past 13 months to prop up its currency against the dollar.

As the effects of the global economic crisis continue to weigh upon China and the West, the Chinese government has been forced to provide a leg up to its economy. The economic crisis exposed the Chinese economies fragile nature and questions main how long China can maintain an economic model that has cracking.


State of Emergency Declared in Ferguson, Again

A state of emergency was declared August 11 following an escalation in violence during a demonstration marking the first anniversary of the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, US. The emergency was declared after a police officer shot a man during a one-year anniversary march to mark the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white officer. The St Louis County executive Steve Stenger said in a statement. “In light of last night’s violence and unrest in the city of Ferguson, and the potential for harm to persons and property, I am exercising my authority as county executive to issue a state of emergency, effective immediately,” The police arrested numerous protestors, despite them peacefully protesting in this race issue which has evolved into a thorny issue for the US overall. During the year, numerous videos have emerged of police brutality targeting America’s minority black population. Videos of aggressive tactics and heavy sentencing to minor incidents have left the US with deep scares about its long struggle over racism.


Iraqi Prime Minister Fights for Government

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi presented his sweeping political reforms to parliament, calling for the elimination of the Vice President and Deputy Prime Ministers positions. This took place on his first anniversary, since he took power. Iraq’s leading religious figure, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, actively backed the Prime Minister and pressured Shi’a political parties to comply. The Sadrist Trend and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), two of Abadi’s major, Shi’a coalition partners have supported the reforms. Sistani not only reaffirm Abadi as premier, but also to protect him against removal by rivals. All of this took place as massive protests began in Iraq on July 31. Popular demonstrations against poor services and corruption have continued in Baghdad, Diyala, Sulaimaniya, and throughout southern Iraq. Popular anger has been directed at local governments over power and water shortages and at the Electricity Minister. Central government officials from across the spectrum, including PM Abadi, have endorsed the protesters’ demands as legitimate and have simultaneously warned against politicization and escalation of security.

The rivalries remain intense in Iraq, with many faction answering more to Tehran then to the Baghdad government or influential in Najaf. Most of the rivalries are based on realignment with or opposition to Maliki, who had stepped down from office under intense domestic and international   pressure. PM Abadi was chosen as a compromise candidate for PM. Abadi’s first year in office has been characterized with multiple existential threats to his office and to the integrity of Iraq’s central government. This reform package is in reality the Prime ministers attempt to Control Government.