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Turkey says EU measures won't deter it from drilling off Cyprus

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Statement by foreign ministry comes after EU takes punitive steps against Ankara’s activities in Eastern Mediterranean.Turkey has said punitive European Union measures against it will not deter it from continuing to search for oil and gas off the
'Statement by foreign ministry comes after EU takes punitive steps against Ankara’s activities in Eastern Mediterranean.Turkey has said punitive European Union measures against it will not deter it from continuing to search for oil and gas off the coast of Cyprus.On Monday, the foreign ministers of the EU agreed to call off high-level political meetings,  suspend negotiations on an aviation deal and reduce EU accession funding earmarked for Turkey.The ministers of the 28-member bloc, of which Cyprus is a member, also invited the European Investment Bank to review its lending activities in Turkey, notably with regard to sovereign-backed lending.In a statement on Tuesday, the Turkish foreign ministry said the EU’s moves  “will not affect in the slightest our country’s determination to continue hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean”. The ministry said that the bloc’s failure to mention Turkish Cypriots in its decisions “showed how biased and partisan the EU is on the subject of Cyprus”. Opposite claims Cyprus has e ffectively been divided since 1974 when Turkish forces invaded northern Cyprus in response to an Athens-backed Greek Cypriot coup seeking union with  Greece .  The country’s internationally recognised government is seated in the Greek Cypriot south.Only Turkey recognises a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence and keeps some 35,000 troops in the north.In recent years, the discovery of huge gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has  set off a race  to tap underwater resources, sparking a dispute between  Turkey  and  Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004.Turkey claims to have exploring rights off the island, either through its own continental shelf or in zones where Turkish Cypriots have equal rights over any finds with Greek Cypriots.Cyprus rejects the claim, saying that assertion is not only inconsistent with international law, but that Turkey would not accept any international dispute settlement mechanism where its claims could be put to the test. “Turkey seems to be decisive about its political position in the Eastern Mediterranean and says that it will continue its activities in there like the other players in the region,” Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, said.Turkey’s Yavuz ship recently arrived off eastern Cyprus, becoming the second ship to conduct energy exploratory activities off the coast of Cyprus.The other Turkish vessel, the Fatih, is located off the western coast of the island in an area the Republic of Cyprus claims is its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the maritime zone in which it has rights over its natural resources.Earlier this month, Cyprus said it has launched local legal proceedings against three firms that it accused of supporting illegal Turkish oil and gas exploration in its waters.It also issued arrest warrants for Fatih’s crew, accusing the ship of breaching the republic’s sovereign territory.Source: Read Full Article . The post Turkey says EU measures won't deter it from drilling off Cyprus appeared first on Best World News .'

China cracks down on subsidies to zombie companies as US trade war hits economy

World News Bunkerist

As part of its goal to make the economy more efficient, China unveiled a new reform plan on Tuesday to make it easier for companies, including zombie state-owned enterprises, to be closed down. It intends to better allocate resources to unleash the
'As part of its goal to make the economy more efficient, China unveiled a new reform plan on Tuesday to make it easier for companies, including zombie state-owned enterprises, to be closed down. It intends to better allocate resources to unleash the economy’s growth potential, which is under pressure from the trade war with the United States,  by lowering the cost of closing down insolvent firms. The government “must fully employ the decisive role of the market in resource allocation, standardise market competition, reduce market distortions … and promote the flow of components and resources to the most efficient market entities,”  the joint circular from 13 major ministries said. The plan specifically forbids central government agencies and local governments from providing subsidies or loans to prop up the operation of state-owned firms that would not be financially viable without such help, which are known as zombie enterprises. “For state-owned enterprises that already meet the criteria for bankruptcy, all related parties must not hinder their exit [from the market],” the circular said. However, the final decision on whether a firm is solvent or not is usually in the hands of local officials, who often are reluctant to act given the importance of such firms to the local economy. The reform plan was jointly released by 13 major ministries, including the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the People’s Bank of China, the Ministry of Finance, and the nation’s Supreme People’s Court. Tang Jianwei, a senior analyst with the Bank of Communications, warned that local opposition to the closure of state-owned firms remains strong, given they are often large contributors to local employment and tax revenue. “For state-owned enterprises that already meet the criteria for bankruptcy, all related parties must not hinder their exit [from the market] Joint circular” The government also plans to set up an early warning mechanism for financial institutions and a legal channel that could be used for restructuring or bankruptcy, according to the plan. In recent months, China’s financial regulators have had to take control of Anbang Insurance Group and the embattled Baoshang Bank to safeguard the Chinese financial system. The government will also study creating a mechanism that allows Chinese individuals to file for bankruptcy, the circular said. Numerous detailed regulations will be needed to implement the new bankruptcy policy, since closing industrial or financial companies requires significant changes in employment and disposal of large amounts of debt, Tang suggested. “Amidst external pressure and changes in state capitalism, China still needs to improve its market mechanisms and business environment, open its market wider and integrate itself with best international practices” he said. The announcement of the reform plan came just a day after the government reported that Chinese gross domestic product (GDP) growth slowed to 6.2 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, the lowest growth rate since records began in the first quarter of 1992. The latest reform effort would, at least on the surface, seek to address some of the widespread complaints about China’s dual-track economic system, where state-owned firms are often offered preferential treatment at the expense of private enterprises, even though the latter group contributes more than 60 per cent of the GDP and over 80 per cent of new urban jobs. Private firms are more vulnerable to the current economic slowdown given restrictions on market access, constraints on their access to credit and the heavy impact of the trade war on the many private sector export firms. On other hand, the dominance of state-owned enterprises, which usually control upstream resources and have access to cheap credit from state-owned financial institutions, remain largely intact despite the economic slowdown. The State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission, which oversees 96 large state-owned enterprises including the China National Petroleum Corporation and China Mobile, said it disposed of 1,900 zombie enterprises in 2018, but the country’s huge stock of state assets and the expanding power of national champion enterprises are constantly questioned, particularly by US President Donald Trump as part of the ongoing trade war. The bankruptcy reform plan is the latest effort by Beijing to reform the economy after it passed a new foreign investment law in March that would aim to create a more level playing field for foreign firms in China. It also scaled back the number of sectors in which foreign investment is restricted or prohibited. Speaking at an economic analysis meeting on Monday, members of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, the country’s top political advisory body, urged the government to pursue further structural reforms to create new growth drivers so as to double the nation’s middle-income population. Source:www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3018778/china-cracks-down-subsidies-zombie-companies-us-trade-war'