G7 trade row escalates
The G7 summit ended in farce and a renewed threat of global trade war as US President Donald Trump abruptly rejected the text of a consensus statement and bitterly insulted the Canadian host. Just minutes after a joint communique that had been approved by the leaders of the Group of Seven allies was published in Canada’s summit host city Quebec, Trump launched a Twitter broadside from aboard Air Force One. “Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our US farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our US Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the US Market!” Trump tweeted.
Two-year stint only a suggestion: Mahathir
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said that his stint at the premiership could be extended beyond the two years previously stated, emphasising that it was only a “suggestion”. While he acknowledged that two years was the initial decision, following which he would hand over to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Tun Dr Mahathir said this was not set in stone. The PKR is part of the four-party ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition led by Dr Mahathir. “It (the two years) is a suggestion, but we are not fixed on this. It could be earlier, or even later,” he said. “The priority is to return the nation’s wealth and build our economy to become more sustainable he said in an interview with Sinar Harian published on June 9.
Xi rejects ‘selfish’ trade policies
Chinese President Xi Jinping, whose country is locked in a high-stakes trade dispute with the United States, on June 10 said China rejects “selfish, shortsighted” trade policies, and called for building an open global economy. Xi did not mention the United States during a speech at a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security bloc led by China and Russia. The leaders of China and Russia Sunday praised the expansion of their regional security bloc at the summit which put on a show of unity in stark contrast to the acrimonious G7 meeting. Xi Jinping gave the leaders of Pakistan and India a “special welcome” to their first summit of the SCO, in the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao, since their countries joined the group last year. “We reject selfish, shortsighted, closed, narrow policies, (we) uphold World Trade Organisation rules, support a multi-lateral trade system, and building an open world economy,” Xi said in a speech.
US-N Korea Summit: Leaders reach S’pore for historic meet
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump arrived in Singapore for an unprecedented summit, with Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal at the top of the agenda and the US president calling it a “one-time shot” at peace. Bringing the Korean War to a formal end 65 years after hostilities ceased will also be on the table at the first-ever meeting between a North Korean leader and a sitting president of its “imperialist enemy”. It is an extraordinary turnaround from the tensions of last year, when Kim accelerated his weapons programmes -- earning the North more sets of UN Security Council sanctions -- and the two men traded personal insults and threats of war. But critics charge that the meeting risks being largely a triumph of style over substance.