Russia and China Establish Rating Agency; War Threat Still Looms
June 4, 2014 • 5:32AM

Russia, China Establish Rating Agency, Upgrade Trade and Investment Cooperation

Russia and China have agreed to establish a rating agency on joint projects, and later, international services, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Tuesday in Beijing, attending the fifth Financial Dialogue between Russia and China. According to Russian wires, Siluanov's discussions also touched on possible currency and credit swaps to finance Chinese-Russian bilateral trade; such arrangements had been mentioned in the 15-point "Glazyev Plan" for a response to western sactions against Russia, the proposals by Academician Sergei Glazyev that were leaked to the press on April 24. Also, the two sides discussed starting negotiations for China possibly to join the Eurasian Development Bank, a so far small institution set up by Russia and Kazakstan in 2006, and later joined by Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan.

Concerning the rating agency, Siluanov said, "There will be a Russian-Chinese rating agency, which will use the same tools and criteria for assessing countries and regional investments that existing rating agencies use."

Standard & Poors recently downgraded Russia's credit rating to just above junk status, citing concerns over the more than $50 billion capital flight due to the West's financial warfare against Russia. In China, officials are worried that negative feedback from rating agencies could derail their economy, reports RT.

Siluanov emphasized that the agency will not be political. "At first, the agency will evaluate projects and investment between Russia and China, as well as with a number of Asian countries. Then, the system will be exported as it gains prestige and authority," he said.

RT reports that Siluanov did not make clear if a new agency will be established, or there will be an extension to the existing Chinese-Russian rating agency Universal Credit Ratings Group (UCRG), which was set up this time last year. Some sources have reported that the Chinese Dagon rating agency would team up with the American and Russian RusRating in the UCRG venture.

Yakunin talks about Eurasian railway grid, again

As the website of Russian railways (RZD) reports, its CEO Vladimir Yakunin in a speech at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum two weeks ago elaborated on the perspectives of railway connections across the Eurasian continent and beyond. Interestingly, he also referred to such projects as an antidote against the economic-financial crisis that has the transatlantic world in its grip:

"Today there is no more or less serious expert who would not argue that in an era of crisis, it is necessary to invest in infrastructure. The crisis has led to the fact that the two major powers professing a neo-liberal approach to economics - the United States and Britain – have expressed the need for re-industrialisation. Moreover, the International Monetary Fund has acknowledged that in times of crisis, it is advisable to use public resources to invest in infrastructure," said Vladimir Yakunin at the May 23 session "Business Contribution To Economic Growth: Challenges And Solutions" at the St. Petersburg Forum.

China: Asia-Pacific Becomes "Increasingly Unstable the More the US Meddles." Warning of Third World War

Dong Chunling, an expert with the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR), said in a commentary carried in all major Chinese official press outlets, that U.S. culpability is evident in conflicts between China and Vietnam escalating from territorial disputes into bloodshed.

"After the US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific affairs Daniel Russel's visit to Vietnam on May 7, the disputes between China and Vietnam have flared up again. With the open support of the United States, Vietnam held news conferences in which it raised its tone against China and sent ships to interrupt the legitimate drilling operations of a Chinese company near the Xisha Islands; it even connived in domestic protests against Chinese enterprises, which finally resulted in Chinese citizens being killed and injured.

"The US has constantly told the world that its rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific is aimed at maintaining regional order and stability, not containing China. But what has happened in Vietnam — violence, social unrest, even bloodshed — has shown this for the lie it is.

"The Asia-Pacific has not been more peaceful or stable since it has become the focus of the United States' strategic attention; on the contrary, it is becoming increasingly unstable the more the US meddles in regional affairs.

"The region was on the path toward greater integration and common prosperity, and it was considered the engine of the global economy before the US implemented its rebalancing policy; now the integration process has been derailed and people are discussing the possibility of the region being the spark for a third world war.