Integrity Legal

Archive for the ‘China Business’ Category

17th September 2012

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the American Secretary of Defense recently commented upon the apparent tensions arising between Tokyo and Beijing over island claims increasingly disputed between China and Japan. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of The Japan Times, JapanTimes.co.jp:

Visiting U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Monday urged Japan and China to peacefully resolve the intensifying territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands, expressing concern the diplomatic row could result in a military clash over uninhabited islets in the East China Sea. ”It is extremely important that diplomatic means on both sides be used” to avoid further escalation, Panetta said… [H]e also repeated that the United States will “stand by treaty obligation” with Tokyo, which includes defending Japanese soil, based on the Japan-U.S. security treaty…The Japan-U.S. security treaty obliges the U.S. to defend Japan if an area under Japanese administration is attacked by another country. But observers say if a remote island is attacked, it would likely be up to Japan to respond first, not the U.S. military…

Readers are encouraged to visit the hyperlinks noted above to read this story in detail.

It might seem unlikely that this situation could evolve into major confrontation, there are signs that tensions between Japan and China could get worse if some sort of solution is not found. This information comes as anti-Japanese protests in China spread and claims to certain Southeast Asian islands by members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are voiced. Hopefully, this situation will be resolved peacefully and to the benefit of all concerned.

Meanwhile, it would appear that the Malaysian and Singaporean stock exchanges are set to link up in an effort to provide more trading opportunities and capabilities on each of those respective platforms. To shed further light upon these developments it is necessary to quote from the official website of Live Trading News, LiveTradingNews.com:

The Malaysian and Singaporean stock exchanges are seeking to attract individual investors and boost volumes by offering cross-border trading, the 1st step in creating a Southeast Asian platform. Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) and Bursa Malaysia Bhd. (BURSA) start offering the services Tuesday…

Readers are again asked to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

These developments could result in future interest in Southeast Asian Securities from investors abroad. Concurrently, it would appear that Thailand’s stock exchange is prepared to provide more integrated services for ASEAN investors, to quote further from the aforementioned article:

[T]he Stock Exchange of Thailand is set to join the link-up between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations members next month…The trading platform is part of a push by Asean Exchanges to boost regional capital markets and lure more investors to exchanges whose companies had a combined market value of $1.98-T at the end of March, according to the group’s website…

Although the results of these efforts remain to be seen, there is good reason to speculate that these developments could lead to further investment in Southeast Asia both by domestic investors as well as investors from outside the region.

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2nd September 2012

It is interesting to note that apparently Mainland China and Taiwan have signed an agreement streamlining currency and banking transactions occurring between these two jurisdictions, to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the Channel News Asia website, ChannelNewsAsia.com:

TAIPEI: Taiwan and China on Friday signed a deal paving the way for Taiwanese banks to take Chinese yuan deposits and make yuan loans, in the latest agreement to boost trade between the former arch-rivals. The memorandum of understanding outlines the new arrangement, known as direct yuan clearing, which is expected to come into force in 60 days, Taiwan’s central bank said…The deal will also allow Taiwanese companies to issue yuan bonds and sell yuan-denominated investment products on the island, Taiwan’s central bank said…

Readers are encouraged to click the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

It will be interesting to see whether the promulgation of the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding noted above will effect the the economies of these two jurisdictions as it could be argued that these changes will foster greater synergy between these two markets which are both very strong in their own right.  This information is noted at the same time that there is speculation that the countries comprising the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) may be the destination for future growth and investment. To quote from the website of the Vancouver Sun, VancouverSun.com

A growing number of U.S. companies plan to shift some operations from China to Southeast Asia in the next two years…a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore showed…According to AmCham Singapore, 92 percent of the executives surveyed said they were positive about investment opportunities in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN – a regional grouping that comprises Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei. ”ASEAN is not only a vital U.S. trade and investment partner, it is a bright spot in the global economy,” said AmCham Vice President Tami Overby.

Please click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

Clearly it remains to be seen whether resources, financial or otherwise, will be shifted away from China in favor of ASEAN. In fact, it could be argued that there may simply be growing investment and positive economic activity in the region as a whole which would benefit both regions. In any case, notwithstanding a rather stagnant global economic environment, China and the Nations comprising ASEAN would seem clearly poised for growth in the future.

 

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15th January 2012

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the President of Taiwan has won his recent bid for re-election. In order to shed further light upon these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the website of Asia News Network:

Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou yesterday defeated rivals Tsai Ing-wen and James Soong sweeping more than 51 per cent of the presidential vote. The incumbent garnered more than 6.68 million votes to win another four year term after a re-election campaign that relied heavily on its China-friendly platform.

This blogger recommends that readers click upon the hyperlinks noted above in order to gain further insight into these developments.

It is often unwise to try to analyze the politics of Taiwan especially when comparing that jurisdiction to China. However, both Taiwan and China are very important players in an increasingly expanding and broad Asian economic landscape. Therefore, to ignore either jurisdiction may be unwise.

Concurrently, it would appear as though the Mainland Chinese economy is experiencing a slowdown of sorts. To quote directly from an article posted on the website of the Thai-ASEAN News Network:

Export growth slowed to 13.4% in December compared with a year earlier, down from 13.8% the previous month, while Chinese imports grew only 11.8% over December 2010, well below the 17% consensus prediction in a Reuters survey of economists…Fourth-quarter 2011 data for gross domestic product (GDP), to be published next week, are now expected to the worst for at least two years. Economic growth may have slowed to 8.7% from a year earlier, according a survey by Bloomberg News, which reports that UBS AG estimates 7.7% growth this quarter…

Readers are strongly encouraged to read this article in detail for further information.

Although it is difficult to say for certain whether any of these forecasts will actually result in an overall slowdown of the Chinese economy this blogger merely finds it interesting to peruse Chinese trends, both political and economic, because such trends can have an impact upon the Southeast Asian region. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is becoming an increasing potent economic conglomeration especially since it encompasses dynamic economies such as the Kingdom of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam along with emerging economies such as Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. The “ripple effect” of the different Asian economic strategies can often lead to unforeseen consequences across the pan-Asia spectrum. In any event, simple speculation is sometimes an interesting pastime for both outsiders as well as those well versed in the multifaceted nature of Asian economics.

For information regarding legal matters in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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5th October 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that exporters in Australia are expecting a robust economy in Asia in the future. In order to provide further explanation it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the Herald Sun, HeraldSun.com.au:

AUSTRALIAN meat exporters are hoping Asia’s dynamic economies will deliver boom times, with the industry forecasting gains of up to 20 per cent in markets such as Thailand once the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is underway from 2015. Amir Gun Mohammad, a regional representative for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), says the expected boost has followed the rapid development of the local food services industry, a growing middle class and expanded trade opportunities. ”Hopefully it will be very, very good for us. I think Thailand has been seen to be a major player in the ASEAN region. They export a lot to other parts of ASEAN,” Amir Gun told AAP. Amir Gun said once the ASEAN free trade system was in place Australian beef and livestock importers would face an easier path to regional markets…

This blogger encourages readers to click upon the aforementioned hyperlinks to learn further details from this interesting article.

There are many who feel that the economies which comprise ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) are likely to continue to show signs of economic integration along with the concomitant economic benefits that come therewith. Hopefully such possible circumstances will accrue to the benefit of all concerned.

The economies in the ASEAN jurisdictions are not the only foreseeable beneficiaries of possible future economic luster. In fact, China appears to be viewed by many as a possible economic powerhouse in coming decades. This is not to say that this will accrue to the disadvantage of other economies since global economics is not always a “zero sum” game. The growth of a sustainable middle class in any of the Asian jurisdictions is likely to create tangible economic rewards on a local, regional, and global scale. To provide further insight into the encouragement of Chinese small business it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of China Daily, ChinaDaily.com.cn:

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao has urged stronger financial support for China’s smallbusinesses and better regulation of private lending activities to prevent risks of capital shortage from spreading.

This blogger strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this interesting and concise article in detail.

Clearly tangible benefits can be garnered by both the Chinese and ASEAN economies through bi-lateral relations, but when viewing this in conjunction with the fact that Australia and the US maintain a strong economic relationship with ASEAN and her component jurisdictions there is at least an inference which can be made to support the conclusion that there is likely to be dynamic economics at play in Asia’s future. Meanwhile, this economic dynamism can have ancillary benefits for the global economy.

How future economic events will transpire remains to be seen, but there are strong indicators that all of the economies mentioned above have bright futures indeed.

For information regarding legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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2nd October 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the President of the Philippines has voiced his belief in the advisability of further integration of the economies in the countries which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam). In order to provide further insight into these comments it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of Asia One at AsiaOne.com:

Asean must take advantage of opportunities at a time when the world’s traditional growth centres are slowing down, Philippine President Benigno S Aquino III yesterday said. At the close of Asia Inc Forum’s Asean 100 Leadership Forum here, Aquino said for Asean to grow further, it is necessary for the member states to work together to continue to maintain peace, stability and an environment that attracts investments. “I am aware that the diversity in Asean makes it difficult to completely agree with one another on some issues, but this has not stopped us from collaborating on the economic front, and integration has always helped us push our economies.”

This blogger encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this interesting article in detail.

There seem to be few who question the soundness of the idea that economic integration in ASEAN would provide benefits to the citizens of all of the economies at issue. That stated, ASEAN is a unique regional bloc due to the fact that it has utilized a relatively slow economic integration process which has allowed the participating members to provide mutual benefits to one another while simultaneously allowing the member nations to respect the views of each other regarding national interest and foreign policy, especially in a global context.

Meanwhile, another ASEAN member; specifically the Kingdom of Thailand, has recently been the topic of an article about that nation’s relationship with the United States. In order to provide further context it is necessary to quote directly from an article by Walter Lohman posted to the official website of The Heritage Foundation at Heritage.org:

The United States and Thailand have enjoyed more than a century and a half of close relations, beginning with the signing of the Treaty of Amity and Commerce in 1833. They fought side by side on the Korean Peninsula and fought together again in Vietnam. However, as a result of U.S. withdrawal from Indochina, both nations’ 1970s rapprochement with China, and China’s subsequent rise to major power status, the alliance has struggled for lack of shared strategic purpose…As critical as this cooperation is, it is not enough to reconstitute a grand strategy on the scale of the Cold War. But rediscovering shared purpose in the U.S.–Thai alliance does not require a grand strategy. The regional dynamic is too complex, Thailand’s position ambivalent, and America’s own relationships in the region too varied and layered to foster a strategic meeting of the minds with Thailand…Both U.S. and Thai officials praise Cobra Gold as a pillar of the cooperation and interoperability of the U.S. and Thai militaries, an achievement that has proved useful for military missions, such as joint patrols of vital sea lanes, and noncombat missions, such as disaster relief following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2008 Cyclone Nargis in Burma.[1] Two other major joint exercises are the annual CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training) naval exercises[2] and Cope Tiger, an exercise involving both countries’ air forces…[3]

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the aforementioned hyperlinks in order to read this article in detail.

This blogger must take note of the rather precise understanding of the complex interplay of relationships between Asian countries in the context of global diplomacy. It is especially gratifying to see that type understanding in an analysis of US-Thai relations. A prime example of how some such relationships smoothly operate over time can be viewed in an analysis the relationship between the United States and Thailand. The US-Thai Treaty of Amity has proven to be a useful platform for Thai-American business while simultaneously having the ancillary benefit of providing new business opportunities in the economies of the surrounding nations. Hopefully the same trend will continue and similar situations will arise in the other ASEAN economies which foster and facilitate sustainable regional growth for the whole of ASEAN.

For information pertaining to procurement of legal services in the Kingdom of Thailand or the Greater ASEAN region please see: Legal.

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26th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the National People’s Congress in China has apparently ratified a protocol regarding that nation’s Treaty of Amity with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of Xinhua, XinhuaNet.com:

BEIJING, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) — The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), or China’s top legislature, on Friday ratified the Third Protocol Amending the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. According to Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai, ratifying the protocol will help exhibit China’s political support for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and boost ties between China and the European Union. Cui was entrusted earlier by the State Council to brief the NPC Standing Committee on the basic information of the protocol. The Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia was signed in February 1976. It was one of the basic political documents of the ASEAN…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

It should be noted that the United States of America and the Kingdom of Thailand maintain the US-Thai Treaty of Amity which could be described as similar to the aforementioned Sino-ASEAN agreement mentioned above. There has been recent speculation regarding the future of both the Chinese and ASEAN jurisdictions’ economies with many noting the possibility of a very bright economic outlook for both locations as well as Greater Asia as a whole. Meanwhile, there has been speculation that ASEAN could see a unified ASEAN visa scheme, but such developments have yet to come to fruition.

In news related to the struggle for LGBT equality it recently came to this blogger’s attention that some of the Citizens of the sovereign State of Maryland have recently petitioned one of their Senators regarding the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA). In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the website of On Top Magazine, OnTopMag.com:

More than 3,000 people have signed on to a petition urging Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski to co-sponsor a bill that would seek to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which forbids federal agencies from recognizing the legal marriages of gay and lesbian couples. Freedom to Marry will present Mikulski with the petition on Friday at 3PM, the group said in an email to On Top Magazine. “Recent census data show nearly 17,000 same sex couple living across the state of Maryland,” Freedom to Marry President Evan Wolfson said in a statement. “These loving, committed couples and their families are harmed every day by the denial of marriage, and by federal discrimination against the marriages they are able to celebrate across the border in the District of Columbia and six other states.” “We hope that Senator Mikulski will heed the call of her constituents and join us in ending marriage discrimination at the federal level and in Maryland,” he added…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to learn more from this interesting article.

Frequent readers of this blog may recall that the provisions of DOMA currently preclude visa benefits such as the CR-1 visa, the IR-1 visa, and the K-1 visa to those in a same sex marriage even if said marriage has been legalized and/or solemnized by one of the sovereign American States which recognize such unions. Federal Legislators such as Representative Jerrold Nadler have sponsored legislation such as the Respect for Marriage Act and the Uniting American Families Act in an effort to end this discrimination, but as of yet it remains to be seen if said legislation will see passage.

For those interested in information pertaining to Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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7th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that financial and economic analysts in China are rather pessimistic regarding the prospects of the American financial system in its present form. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the CNBC website, CNBC.com:

The man who leads one of China’s top rating agencies says the greenback’s status as the world’s reserve currency is set to wane as the world’s most powerful policy makers convene to examine the implication of S&P’s decision to strip the United States of its triple “A” rating. In comments emailed to CNBC, Guan Jianzhong, chairman of Dagong Global Credit Rating, said the currency is “gradually discarded by the world,” and the “process will be irreversible.” Dagong made headlines last week when it became the first rating agency to cut its U.S. credit rating from “A+” to “A” after policymakers in Washington failed to act in a timely manner to lift its debt celing…[sic]

The administration of this web log strongly encourages readers to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

It is this blogger’s opinion that although the American economy is in a rather precarious position as of the time of this writing, the one attribute most notable about said economy is her ability to recover and thrive even after a significant downturn. How the American economy and the United States dollar will fare moving forward remains to be seen, but it is clear that many in Asia monitor such developments closely as economic conditions in the United States can have implications for the Asia-Pacific region, the so-called BRICS countries, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In news directly pertaining to the Kingdom of Thailand and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it recently came to this blogger’s attention that officials in Thailand are attempting to provide ASEAN exposure to Thai small and medium sized businesses. To provide further information it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the Bangkok Post, BangkokPost.com

The Thailand Plaza programme to help local small businesses gain exposure abroad needs a fresh focus with more showrooms in Asean countries, according to the Office of Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion (Osmep). The programme that originated during the Thaksin Shinawatra government focused on developed Western countries but the results were poor. The first plaza in the United States folded as the cost of maintaining the office was too high. Thailand Plazas, with a budget of 100 billion baht, are seen as having potential to become a key marketing channel for Thai small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to gain access to Asean countries. Yuthasak Supasorn, the Osmep director-general, said partners of Thai SMEs could also order products via Thailand Plaza outlets in each country.

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

As the jurisdictions which comprise the ASEAN community continue to expand economically it stands to reason that intra-ASEAN trade will be facilitated by programs like the aforementioned one noted in the quotation above. How the scheme above will ultimately be implemented remains to be seen, but clearly there is reason to believe that a program such as this could be beneficial for both ASEAN jurisdictions outside of Thailand and the overall Thai business community.

For information related to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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4th August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that a United States Federal Court may soon hear a case involving a plaintiff bringing suit against a former Secretary of Defense which alleges that the plaintiff was subjected to extra-legal abduction and torture. In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the Associated Press, AP.org:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld can be sued personally for damages by a former U.S. military contractor who says he was tortured during a nine-month imprisonment in Iraq. The lawsuit lays out a dramatic tale of the disappearance of the then-civilian contractor, an Army veteran in his 50s whose identity is being withheld from court filings for fear of retaliation. Attorneys for the man, who speaks five languages and worked as a translator for Marines collecting intelligence in Iraq, say he was preparing to come home to the United States on annual leave when he was abducted by the U.S. military and held without justification while his family knew nothing about his whereabouts or even whether he was still alive. The government says he was suspected of helping pass classified information to the enemy and helping anti-coalition forces get into Iraq. But he was never charged with a crime, and he says he never broke the law and was risking his life to help his country…

The administration of this web log asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks noted above to read this article in detail.

The issues in the case noted above are likely to cause tension in a political context as matters pertaining to national defense can be the source of strong opinions. That stated, it would appear that the Court sees the case as being meritorious enough to warrant allowance of this personal lawsuit. That stated, until such time as a final ruling on the matter has been handed down all parties are viewed as innocent of any charge until culpability is proven. Hopefully justice will prevail.

Pursuant to the United States Constitution and the notions of due process of law emanating therefrom; individuals, particularly American Citizens, must be accorded certain procedural formalities prior to having their liberties abridged. For example, in order to bring a person under the criminal jurisdiction of an American Court of competent jurisdiction it is generally required, absent exigent circumstances, that a valid arrest warrant be issued. In some cases, US Courts opt to issue a bench warrant whereby a judge issues a warrant directly from the bench. Meanwhile, in situations where an individual has fled a particular jurisdiction there are instances where a fugitive warrant is issued. The procedure for bringing a fugitive from one jurisdiction to another is generally referred to as extradition.

Meanwhile, in matters pertaining to the region of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the former King of Cambodia is traveling to Beijing, China. In order to provide further insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from the website of The Straits Times, StraitsTimes.com:

PHNOM PENH – CAMBODIA’S ailing former king Norodom Sihanouk left his country for Beijing on Wednesday to undergo medical tests, officials said. The 88-year-old monarch, who remains a revered figure in Cambodia, was given a red-carpet sendoff by his son King Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen and other senior government officials at Phnom Penh airport…’He goes back this time to have his health checked to stay healthy and live longer among his people,’ Prince Sisowath Sirirath, second deputy president of the royalist Funcinpec party, told reporters. He said he didn’t know when Sihanouk would next return…

This blogger asks readers to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this poignant article in its entirety.

Former King Norodom Sihanouk remains a respected and highly venerated figure in the Kingdom of Cambodia notwithstanding the fact that his son King Norodom Sihamoni has taken up the responsibilities of Kingship. Hopefully, the former King’s upcoming health check up will result in benefits to his health as it is clear that the hopes and prayers of his people are with him.

For information pertaining to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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1st August 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that the current Attorney General of the sovereign State of New York is challenging the Constitutionality of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA) on the grounds that it violates the 5th and 10th Amendments of the United States Constitution. In order to provide insight into these developments it is necessary to quote directly from an article posted to the website Patch.com:

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has filed court papers charging that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, is unconstitutional on a number of fronts, including an “unprecedented intrusion” on the right of states to regulate marriage. DOMA, passed in 1996, has been under heightened scrutiny since the Obama administration announced in February that it would no longer uphold the part of the law that bars the federal government from recognizing legal same-sex marriages…In a brief filed in the case Windsor v United States of America, Schneiderman argued that DOMA violates the Fifth Amendment by failing to provide equal rights to all Americans and the Tenth Amendment by impeding the right of states to regulate marriage.

Readers are asked to click upon the hyperlinks noted above to read this article in full.

Frequent readers may recall that Representative Jerrold Nadler has rather recently introduced legislation colloquially referred to as the Respect for Marriage Act (RFMA) which attempts to rectify the current legal discrimination faced by those who have entered into a same sex marriage. The RFMA would provide federal “certainty” to validly licensed State sanctioned same sex marriages which would presumably allow federal protection for marital benefits regardless of the geographic location of a same sex married couple. Meanwhile, those same sex bi-national couples who are currently separated from their loved ones due to the discrimination which currently prohibits same sex couples (even those validly married in a State jurisdiction) from receiving visa benefits for their foreign spouse in the same manner as those who seek a K-1 visa, CR-1 visa, or an IR-1 visa. Representative Nadler has also introduced legislation to specifically rectify discrimination in an immigration context in the form of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA). It has long been this blogger’s opinion that inter-jurisdictional issues pertaining to same sex marriage will ultimately be resolved in the US Courts, but a final resolution has yet to present itself.

In matters related to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it was recently noted that diplomatic progress has been made with respect to negotiations pertaining to the South China Sea. In order to provide further insight it is necessary to quote directly from the official website of the Japan Times, JapanTimes.co.jp:

KANEOHE, Hawaii — Last week a sense of optimism wafted out of the Bali meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. ASEAN and China agreed on “guidelines” for implementing their previously agreed 2002 Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Some players including China hailed this as a breakthrough. Others agreed with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that “It was an important first step but only a first step” and that ASEAN and China should move quickly — even urgently — toward an actual code of conduct…ASEAN made a major compromise by agreeing to drop a clause that would mandate that it form an ASEAN position before dealing with China on South China Sea issues. This gesture was important to convince China that the other claimants (Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam) are not using ASEAN to “gang up” on it. China also deserves considerable credit. It had long resisted the draft guidelines and made a major compromise by agreeing to them…

Readers are encouraged to click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this interesting posting in full.

As the tensions in the South China Sea seem to be subsiding there seem to be many who hope that a lasting framework can be implemented in order to deal with the myriad issues that are raised by the complexity of this multi-jurisdictional dispute. The issue of maritime freedom of navigation is an important and salient one for those nations which maintain sea power. Therefore, balancing the interests of all such parties in any agreement can be difficult and the drafting of such an agreement could be time consuming as well.  Hopefully, any possible future agreement will operate to the benefit of all concerned.

For information related to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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31st July 2011

It recently came to this blogger’s attention that there are increasing instances of Western commentators discussing the Pan Asia Gold Exchange (PAGE). As these discussions can have implications for the wider business community it may be prudent to quote directly from an article written by Ned Naylor Leyland and posted on the website 24hgold.com:

Today was the inauguration ceremony replete with myriad ministers and mandarins from central and regional government. This initiative is supported at the highest levels in China with SOEs as shareholders, the support of the Beijing Gold Exchange and SAFE (State Administration of Foreign Exchange). PAGE are buying into the concept that leverage has its limits and that leasing must also be carefully monitored…The biggest bombshell however, is the offer of Rmb contracts for international investors, agreed by SAFE. The international part of the Exchange’s business is expected to be available by Q4…

This blogger strongly encourages readers to click on the hyperlinks noted above to read this insightful article in detail.

Issues related to business and capital movement in the jurisdictions which comprise the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, and Vietnam) have been of increasing interest to those who monitor international trade and geopolitics. Meanwhile, many in the business community would appear to be anticipating how the ramifications of further business in China will impact Greater Asia and the global economy. Hopefully, these developments will be beneficial for all concerned.

In news pertaining to American immigration, it recently came to this blogger’s attention that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) is apparently trying to encourage further use of the T visa. To quote directly from the Daily Journal website, DailyJournal.net:

PHILADELPHIA — Federal immigration officials are working with authorities in Philadelphia and other cities around the U.S. to try to increase the use of a special visa to help victims of human trafficking, a visa that has been underutilized since its creation nearly a decade ago. At issue is the nonimmigrant “T visa,” which U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services officials say is an underutilized tool that can be used to help victims of human trafficking who have been brought into the country — using deception in many cases — and then used as sex slaves or forced into other types of involuntary servitude. There is a 5,000 yearly cap on the visa, which allows eligible victims and family members to stay in the country up to four years. But fewer than 5,000 have been approved in total since it was instated in 2002…

The administration of this web log asks that readers click upon the relevant hyperlinks above to read this article in detail.

Unfortunately, the scourge of human trafficking has yet to be fully eradicated in either an international or national context. Hopefully, USCIS can effect some change to this situation through astute use of the T visa noted above. Meanwhile, as noted previously on this blog, there are other agencies of the United States government taking proactive measures to decrease incidents of human trafficking. Hopefully these efforts results in tangible benefits for all people since the issue of human trafficking is something which effects everyone.

For information pertaining to legal services in Southeast Asia please see: Legal.

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