What is China really doing with its digital Yuan?

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What is China really doing with its digital Yuan?

June 28, 2020

by Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

Reserve currency, backing of a currency and value of the financial systems that distribute a currency.

Its going to take years for the US dollar as reserve currency to fully reduce in importance and of course, the US should continue to use their currency as their own even when it changes into a normal currency. Yet there are financial technologies (FinTech) which may accelerate this process via leapfrogging and I would argue that from a Chinese perspective this is happening. (Leapfrogging is easiest understood by looking at an older example: slower developing countries without a well developed terrestrial telephone system, where these countries leapfrogged the building of a terrestrial system, and directly went to cellular telephone technological networks without loss of function.)

Let’s first take a look at some general concepts:

The fact of ownership of financial systems is very powerful. There is value in the currency that the financial system produces, and there is value in the system itself.

The value proposition is similar but differently done in cryptocurrencies and in digital currencies. The backing frequently lies in the system itself, and not as many think, in a hard asset such as gold. This is a large step to take in thinking for most people, as the idea generally still is that money has to be something that is tangible and real – like gold (or cowrie shells). But it is not such a big step to take if one considers that the act of money creation, production and distribution of currency itself is modernizing and is developing on the same trajectory that the rest of our technological and currently digital society is developing in.

As an example, compare the development of current money distribution systems and the new Financial Technologies (FinTech) with fully automated manufacturing plants for example, where the product coming off the production line is as a result of the technological system. Money is the same, it has to be manufactured, distributed or created or somehow brought into being and these systems are now modernizing, just the same as modern fully automated manufacturing.

The current financial systems belong to the west and banking systems technology is expensive, old, legacy, decrepit and not friendly to the ordinary person, not to mention very hard to maintain. Even the ubiquitous credit cards are now old technology and fast becoming deprecated technology and being replaced by wallets on cell phones that work like supermarket scanners.

It is often speculated that China will back their digital Yuan with gold. This is not an accurate speculation. The backing is the same as with other digital and cryptocurrencies, i.e., the work that the system provides to create the financial transactions in the financial ledger confirms that the transaction is secure and someone actually owns digital currency, they can pay for goods or sell goods and they can do it much easier and incredibly cheaper via a scan of a cell phone or other digital device.

The difference between China’s digital Yuan and common crytocurrencies is the ownership of the system. In modern independent cryptocurrencies the system (the technology) is owned by those that use the cryptocurrency – it is open source. Obviously for the digital Yuan ownership of the system lies with the Chinese State. The digital Yuan though retains the strength of other cryptocurrencies. It is secure transactions, tamper proof, immediate, inexpensive, easily distributed, can cross borders and all this by virtue of being a distributed blockchain system. The easiest to explain a blockchain is that it is self-policing because of technology of consensus algorithms that verify the efficacy of financial transactions. Blockchain very simply stated is blocks of financial transactions that are algorithmically created, are by definition encrypted, and chained together in such a way that nobody can meddle with any one of them.

To recap:

– The digital Yuan is not a cryptocurrency. It is a state issued digital electronic currency that happens to run on a blockchain (the FinTech).

– As the Chinese digital yuan is not and will not be backed by gold at least in our term (it is backed by the strength of the yuan as well as its system), we may well ask what the objective is of this currency.

Is it just a cute technological way of using money?

I would argue absolutely not.

Internationalization of the Yuan

Few realize the extent of the internationalization of the Yuan. As example, 20% of French trade with China is currently settled in Yuan and this is 55% of payments made between both countries. The Macron government is encouraging banks and companies to increase Yuan uptake.

I would argue that the digital yuan is a part of the 5th plank of the Belt and Road process of facilitating cross border investments and supply chain cooperation (perhaps not openly stated).  If one takes into consideration that belt and road is operating now in infrastructure development and investments in nearly 70 countries and international organizations – this is not such a difficult leap to make.

So how can that bold statement be supported? It may be hard for people in countries with old financial systems (the US would be one), to even imagine the new FinTech operating in many other countries. Where I live, I can go to the local corner store, and literally send cash money to someone on the other side of the country, and they will have it immediately. I don’t have to go to a bank, do a bank transfer, send a check, or interact with a bank or a type of Paypal at all. This is a service that the corner store offers at a very reasonable cost. I can also do this directly from my cell phone. We know that in China there is little use for hard currency, and most transactions take place on internal Chinese financial networks and cell phones for the average person, but business finance still flows through banks.

So, let’s start supporting that bold statement

  • The Chinese authorities added Crypto (cryptographic as well as cryptocurrency) to the School Curriculum – quite literally ‘educating the future’ in new FinTech.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/chinese-communist-party-adds-crypto-to-curriculum

  • In reality the distribution of the new Chinese Digital Yuan is proceeding apace. In size, the following is not a massive deal, but in construction of the agreement, this is probably the number one of the new Chinese Digital Yuan Deals and is pure modern FinTech.

China Baowu Group, the world’s largest iron and steel complex, completed a yuan-denominated, blockchain-technology-based transaction of more than 100 million yuan ($14 million) with Rio Tinto …, a move signaling the rising influence of Chinese currency in pricing major commodities.

Standard Chartered issued a blockchain-technology-powered letter of credit for the Baowu-Rio Tinto deal, which the bank said was the world’s first such certificate pegged with offshore yuan.

The use of blockchain technology – a digital public ledger of transactions that has seen increased usage in the global commodity trade – helped facilitate the trade and reduced costs for all parties involved in the transaction …”.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1188131.shtml

So, what can we learn from this transaction?

This is not only a further distribution of the Yuan, but is a further distribution of the digital Yuan. While we do not know how this deal is constructed in detail, the use of the words blockchain-technology-powered letter of credit says it all. It looks like this deal will run completely on a blockchain, in the form commonly known as a smart contract, where each step of the deal and its payment schedule in digital currency are transactions on a blockhain. (Now try and skim off that transaction where the rules are hardcoded at the outset with technical principles of consensus pre-programmed in the smart contract and agreements signed directly on contract existent on the blockchain– those that know project management, will know the value of a self-documenting project).

  • the “Moodies

In addition China has become the ranker of record for private cryptocurrency projects.

The health of financial systems or countries are ranked by three major ranking agencies. These are S&P Global Ratings (S&P), Moody’s, and Fitch Group. S&P and Moody’s are based in the US, while Fitch is dual-headquartered in New York City and London, and is controlled by Hearst. These organizations hold the collective global market share of who can be considered good, and who can be considered bad in the global financial system. Not too healthy in my opinion as this is a disproportionate western control over the financial well-being of other countries.

So, as the proverbial quote from Buckminster Fuller states: “You never change things by fighting against the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.

The old banking and financial systems are indicative of the existing reality and are old, decrepit, ancient technology, needs a bunch of maintenance, and the worst is that they are of course owned by those that use them as weapons against others.

China is doing no less than building a new model in FinTech that will make the old model obsolete and in this way they are simply leapfrogging the current financial systems distributing the dollar with fast, lean and modern systems supporting the Financial Silk Road. They have made their own ranking system in new FinTech, i.e., cryptocurrencies. The June rankings are as follows:

Quite rightly the Asiatimes is asking .. Who is actually decoupling from Whom? And I can add, and using modern FinTech to do so with solutions appropriate contextually to our modern world.

My own expectation is that the notable private cryptocurrency systems (those that actually make it to the Chinese ranking system) will eventually be able to exchange smoothly and seamlessly with the Chinese Digital Yuan.

A quick look for the same trajectory, leapfrogging legacy systems, outside of FinTech

We see this creation of seamless new systems outside of hard FinTech as well. Here are three examples. The current hegemon in its common ‘break it’ style, made errors as it thinks if it breaks something, people will come back begging, to make a new plan. This is not happening any longer, and the world simply decouples and creates new systems, as we see from three seminal events and the hegemon further losing its power base.

– The US attacked the WTO on the basis of refusing to allow it to vote for and institute staff for the appeals body for trade disputes. Usually this would have taken many meetings to solve. This time, what happened is that China has joined 18 other members including the European Union, Canada, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong in launching a temporary system for trade disputes at the World Trade Organization, with the agency’s appeal body having ceased to function in December after the United States blocked appointments of new judges to the top trade court.

The needed functionality is now still there, the US having excluded itself (actually shot itself in the foot), while the rest of the world moved forward saying we need this body, and we will have this body, with or without hegemon. The Multi-Party Interim Appeal Arbitration Arrangement (MPIA) was developed in just over three months, after the members announced at the World Economic Forum in January that they would seek to form a new body to work around the demise of the regular WTO panel.

From a combined statement by the European Union: The new system is designed to preserve the principle enshrined in international trade law that governments have the right to appeal in any dispute.

https://www.scmp.com/economy/global-economy/article/3082748/china-eu-join-19-member-temporary-global-trade-dispute

– Most readers of this blog will know how the US is trying to carve out for itself some way back to the JPCOA, the Iran agreement, after simply breaking this agreement. It is proving to be not so easy to walk this one back and so far, they have lost their power base. Do-overs are not so easy in terms of diplomacy, after one has squandered the world’s goodwill and Iran is receiving widespread help to overcome the results of any further sanctions.

It is no wonder then that the EU policy chief made this statement: US century ceding to Asian one, says EU foreign policy chief. https://tass.com/world/1160031

– The third event is the US stunt at the recent Vienna arms control talks. The US stealthily placed Chinese flags, took photos and posted media – then accused China of being a no-show, knowing full well that China declined to attend these talks and refuses to be roped into an agreement that is not in the least appropriate for it. Clear petulance is the hegemon’s only response to a visible decoupling of the world with the US and western cronies. They have nothing more left than petulance and literal pictures of false flagging to offer.

So, it is clear that both inside and outside of hard FinTech which this writing is about, the trajectory of recreating systems and simply leaving the US out, is alive and well.

A small note on Iran and Venezuela as part of the empire resistance countries. Iran is mining cryptocurrency and Venezuela floated theirs, namely the Petro. Unfortunately (and this is not the focus of this writing), they did not do that cleverly but the newest news is that the Venezuelan government is now beginning to trade in cryptocurrencies, and for example, accepting current private chain cryptos for payment for passports. Bear in mind I said that some private chain cryptos will eventually be exchanged with the digital Yuan, so, very soon now, if a government takes payment in a crypto, they will have digital Yuan if they decide to exchange – and they do not need anyone’s permission (Like a Central Bank).

What is the Chinese View

With ‘the moodies’ rating system, cryptography education in China, a clear project based on the digital yuan and blockchain technology and more to follow, it becomes clear that the Yuan and the digital Yuan is being moved into the global financial sphere, de facto without years of negotiation and agreements and trade type negotiations. My expectation then is that certain cryptography and cryptocurrencies will eventually be seamlessly exchanged on China’s blockchain(s) – and you will have a digital yuan wallet on your phone, or on your computer or even a credit card supporting and in this way, you and I could be right on the Belt and Road. In other words, if I want to use a cryptocurrency to pay for something, and I have digital Yuan or another crypto, I can simply, within my electronic wallet exchange for the right currency that I need. This is how China is distributing their Digital Yuan de facto.

What is the Russian view

Russia is still a little behind this revolution in FinTech. but with one fell swoop they can get rid of their central bank if they so choose. The Russian Central bank is following Western ways on the renewal of currency through their central bank. https://cointelegraph.com/news/russias-central-bank-seeks-to-ban-crypto-issuance-and-circulation.

Yet, the decoupling continues. It is interesting to wait to see if the 5 UN security council countries will in fact gather for the summit that Mr. Putin invited them to. My expectation is that if they don’t, Putin will run out of patience and choose others, perhaps the G20 or something new. The decoupling will continue.

We now have clear precedence set on the decoupling part of FinTech and other organizations. It is no longer a big deal to decouple from empire.

What is the Western view?

Forbes stated recently that the launch of the Digital Yuan could create serious problems for the U.S. banking system—potentially forcing the U.S. to digitalize the dollar to compete. The Federal Reserve has warned that central bank digital currencies might one day replace commercial banks, creating “a deposit monopolist” and playing “havoc” with the banking system. (This seemed to me somewhat like gobbeldy-gook and is meaningless – yet, they know something is happening.)

The West is 20 years behind this technology, because China decided to leapfrog and not follow the accepted development trajectory and as such has reconfigured the potentials for the entire planet.

It is high time and in the words of Michael Hudson: “So the United States, through the World Bank, has become I think the most dangerous, right-wing, evil organization in modern history — more evil than the IMF. That’s why it’s almost always been run by a Secretary of Defense. It has always been explicitly military. It’s the hard fist of American imperialism.”

The world is leapfrogging, and elegantly zig-zagging around current imperial financial systems, for a true birth of a new post capitalist post industrial order, without going to war for it.

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 2

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June 29, 2020

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 2

by Straight-Bat for the Saker Blog

This will be presented in 3 parts and in 3 different blog posts

PART – 1 can be found here


PART – 2

5. POST-DENG CHINA

Post-Deng China witnessed three variants of socio-economic trajectories associated with three different Leaders. Even though the economic programme of reform initiated by Deng went on unhindered, there were significantly different style of implementation of the same. A brief recapitulation is noted below:

A.  Jiang Zemin (till 2003)

In 1997, after Deng’s departure Jiang Zemin became the paramount leader of China. Both – the economic reforms and the deep-rooted problems of economy – accentuated during Jiang’s stewardship. There was marked increase in political corruption, inter-regional imbalance and inter-class imbalance in growth, rural migration into urban areas, unemployment, inequality and wealth gap, and crime rates across China. During 1998 and 1999, many SOE were privatized with massive lay-offs and asset transfer to private businessmen, many others were restructured to make them profitable. The employee welfare and social welfare system which were embedded in SOE (since the Mao era) were completely dissolved – this also created a low-income urban working class. The government followed a policy of retaining the crucial sectors within state-owned enterprises while small and medium SOW were either privatised or closed down. Crucial sectors or ‘commanding heights’ were:

  • Nation-wide service networks like railways, aviation, telecommunication, electricity etc.
  • Mining and exploration coal, oil, and natural gas
  • Basic metal processing like steel, and aluminium
  • Basic hydrocarbon processing like refinery and petrochemicals
  • Heavy industrial machinery such as machine tools, power generation equipment, rolling stock
  • Infrastructure engineering and construction – roads, railways, ports, dams
  • Significant consumer durables like automobiles
  • Military machinery

Apart from reducing the number of SOE (from 262,000 units employing 113 million in 1995-1997 period to 110,000 units employing 64 million in 2007-2008) and restructuring bigger SOEs, the government reduced tariffs, trade barriers, regulations; reformed banking system. The average return on assets in SOEs soared from 0.2% in 1998 to 5% in 2007. In the same period, the SOEs’ profits rose from 0.3% to 6.6% of GDP. Funds continued to be poured into SEZ and export-oriented manufacturing industry. As per Chinese National Bureau of Statistics, Hong Kong-Taiwan-Japan-South Korea-Singapore contributed about 71% of the FDI that flowed into China between 1990 and 2004. To sum it up cogently, it can be said that government of China pursued neoliberal economic agenda along with consulting advice from USA bankers and capitalists. China joined World Trade Organization in December’2001. During the period 1990–2004, China’s economy grew at an average rate of 10% per year.

A very interesting observation can be made related to the foreign relations during Jiang era – all foreign trips by the leadership and communication with foreign media were consciously made to revolve around China’s (the then) economic growth model and the imperatives. Incidents like USA bombing of China embassy in Belgrade, and collision with USA aircraft near Hainan Island were played down after some exchange of documents. Apparently, the top leadership aimed only at maintaining the stability of the government and the economy.

Very significant transformation took place in the CPC itself – from being a party of predominantly peasants and workers, CPC converted itself to a party with large number of middle-class petty bourgeois. This class evolved during the industrial restructuring of 1990s, who came out as the main beneficiary due to their entrepreneurship and connection with the then local and central leadership of CPC, and more importantly this class acted as a robust base of CPC in the urban regions of China.

B. Hu Jintao (2003 to 2012)

Hu Jintao had to continuously swim against the tide of domino effect from the (capitalist) economic reform and opening which was primarily initiated by Deng in 1979. During October’2003 Third Plenum, amendments to the constitution were discussed – an overarching government economic policy would be introduced to reduce unemployment rate, to re-balance income distribution, and to protect the environment. Also private property rights would be protected. Due to widespread poverty, inequality, and discontent the Chinese Government was forced to seek a balanced society above all. Using the concept of “socialist harmonious society”, balanced wealth distribution, improved education, and improved healthcare were assigned high priority.

During 1995, exports from East Asian countries to China were not very significant percentage of their total exports (Japan exported 4.95%, South Korea exported 7.0%, Taiwan exported 0.3%, Singapore exported 2.3%). In 1995, Chinese total exports were worth about 149 billion USD. However, by 2013 there was an explosive growth in exports from East Asian countries to China as a percentage of their total exports – (Japan exported 18.1%, South Korea exported 26.1%, Taiwan exported 26.8%, Singapore exported 11.8%). And, in 2013, Chinese exports to the world were worth about 2210 billion USD (a little over 30% of the value were exported by wholly foreign-owned enterprises, and 12% of the value were exported by joint ventures between foreign-owned and China-owned enterprises). Apparently, during this period China evolved as ‘core’ and East Asia as ‘periphery’ in a new sub-system within the overall world-system (with USA and west Europe as ‘core’ and rest of the world as ‘periphery’).

China’s GDP grew 10.1%, in 2004, and 10.4% in 2005 in spite of attempts by the government to cool the economy. And, in 2006 trade crossed USD 1760 billion, making China third-largest trading nation in the world. Again, in 2007 China registered 13% growth in GDP (USD 3552 billion) becoming world’s third largest economy by GDP. According to UN estimates in 2007, around 130 million people in rural areas of the backward inland provinces still lived in poverty, on consumption of less than $1 a day, while about 35% of the Chinese population lived under $2 a day. Chinese government’s official Gini index peaked at 0.49 in 2008– 2009 and thereafter declined only marginally, to 0.47 in 2014. The Global Financial Crisis in 2008 revealed the innate weakness of Chinese economy – export-oriented economy depends upon economic conditions in foreign countries much more than internal consumption. Government of China took highly effective policy decisions about economic stimulus and implemented those effectively (however, it also increased the already high debt burden). The stimulus (about US$600 billion at the then-current exchange rate) involved state investments into physical infrastructure like railway network, roads, bridges and ports, urban housing complex, easing credit restrictions and lowering tax on real estate. As per National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2010, GDP of China was Yuan 40850 billion, which can be broken down into following expenditure categories:

  1. Household Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 14146.55 billion (34.63% of GDP)
  2. Government Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 6011.59 billion (14.71% of GDP)
  3. Gross (Fixed) capital formation – Yuan 19186.69 billion (46.96% of GDP)
  4. Net Exports of Goods and Services – Yuan 1505.71 billion (3.68% of GDP)

Household consumption has not increased substantially with economic growth – may be one of the reasons were wages and salaries of working class didn’t move upwards with same pace. Even though the reforms helped to improve the socio-economic indicators, taking into consideration the difference between coastal region and inland regions as well as between urban and rural regions, China could hardly overcome the poverty and inequality predominantly in the inland and rural regions.

By 2011, there were less than 10 out of 40 major industrial sectors in which SOE accounted for more than 20 percent of output. Another significant statistics of 2012 on industrial enterprises (as per National Bureau of Statistics, China) shows:

State-owned EnterprisesPrivate-owned EnterprisesPrivate-owned FDI Enterprises
Total Asset (billion Yuan)31,20915,25517,232
Profit (billion Yuan)1,5182,0191,397

The above statistics might suggest at the first glance that, state-owned enterprises are laggard in profitability. However, such conclusion will be clearly wrong if it is noted that there exist wide difference of asset ownership across various sectors – in mining and extraction of coal, petroleum, natural gas etc. SOE commands 93% of sector-specific assets, while in textiles sector Private enterprises commands 90% of sector-specific assets. Different sectors of industry have different profit-capital asset employed ratio.

C. Xi Jinping (2013 onwards)

Since around 2010, Chinese government and CPC has been busy implementing economic policies that will pursue ‘economic growth based on domestic consumption’ while maintaining the decades old export-oriented economy. With Xi Jinping at the top chair, a long pending but top priority task was undertaken – war against corruption and nepotism. CPC took strong measures so that corrupt among ruling party cadres and government officials were identified and punished, Marxist principles were enforced as guideline for CPC so that the society and economy can be steered towards equality and justice. CPC has also became proactive in taking actions to enhance its geopolitical and geo-economic base throughout the world. Simultaneously, Chinese government has taken concrete measures to modernize all wings of military through research and development of 5th generation stealth military aircrafts, naval ships, nuclear submarines, hypersonic missiles, anti-satellite missiles, as well as procuring most lethal S400 air defence system and electronic warfare systems from Russia.

However, China has performed extremely well in reduction of poverty. In 2015, World Bank Group estimated that only 0.7% of Chinese citizens live below extreme poverty line of $1.9 (2011 PPP) per day, while 7.0% of Chinese population live below lower-middle poverty line of $3.2 (2011 PPP) per day. Such rapid poverty-reduction is an unparalleled achievement in the history of mankind.

As per National Bureau of Statistics of China, in 2019, GDP of China was Yuan 99492.74 billion (by expenditure approach), which can be broken down into following categories:

  1. Household Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 38589.56 billion (38.78% of GDP)
  2. Government Consumption Expenditure – Yuan 16559.90 billion (16.64% of GDP)
  3. Gross (Fixed) capital formation – Yuan 42862.78 billion (43.08% of GDP)
  4. Net Exports of Goods and Services – Yuan 1480.50 billion (1.49% of GDP)

Compared to 2010 statistics, in 2019 the household consumption has moved upwards at almost 39% of GDP. However, the 2019 figures of household consumption below 50% of GDP can’t be considered as healthy neither gross capital formation more than 30% of GDP can be termed as balanced growth. This is not to say that, the period of 1970-1975 was better because household consumption component was around 60 – 65% of GDP (GDP itself was very low).

The inequality between urban and rural remained too glaring even in 2019 – as we can note in the following data as per National Bureau of Statistics of China (2019 data),

  1. Per Capita Disposable Income Nationwide – Yuan 30,733
  2. Per Capita Disposable Income of Urban Households – Yuan 42,359
  3. Per Capita Disposable Income of Rural Households – Yuan 16,021
  4. Per Capita Expenditure Nationwide – Yuan 21,559
  5. Per Capita Expenditure of Urban Households – Yuan 28,063
  6. Per Capita Expenditure of Rural Households – Yuan 13,328

The growth model chosen by Deng and reinforced by Jiang has already run out of steam. It had its own utility to provide mass employment and to build the fixed capital for the national economy. Chinese government need to pivot economic growth on domestic consumption as soon as possible without damaging the export sector much. To boost consumption, ‘demand’ for goods and services will have to be enhanced – in China, ‘purchasing power’ is the key for boosting demand and hence, domestic consumption. Income of ordinary citizens should be increased through forced regulations whereby the surplus from industrial operation (that is pocketed by the capitalists for accumulation of capital) will be distributed to the working class. Similarly for the agricultural sector, government should provide much higher procurement prices for agricultural produces. Another key area that needs government intervention is social security and welfare system, whereby housing-education-healthcare for all rural and urban people living with daily expenditure below USD 10 will be arranged by the government (against a token amount of annual insurance premium). Most of such people will be confident enough to spend instead of saving money for rainy day. The well-entrenched capitalist elites will resist because such steps would restrict their continuous capital accumulation process – however, China being a socialist peoples’ democracy, it has to give priority to the common people.

BRI – Challenge to Current World-system?

Belt and Road Initiative (formerly One Belt One Road – OBOR programme) of China actually is a framework wherein investments amounting to anything between one to two trillion USD in different countries of Asia, Europe, Africa, South America will be done in primarily government-to-government projects. When successfully implemented, may be around 2035, BRI will completely transform the economy and comfort of peoples in more than 100 countries. Investments are mainly channelled into physical infrastructure, mining and exploration, power generation, industrial production hub, agricultural production hub, and communication network. BRI, instead of moving away from existing liberal capitalist economy, predicates on existing capitalist system with more inclusive agenda compared to Zionist Capitalist dominated financial system – thus BRI projects attempt to alleviate poverty and unemployment in participating states without bothering about the government ideology.

BRI benefits China in primarily four ways:

  1. Corridors like CPEC (through Pakistan) and CMEC (through Myanmar), when fully established, will provide alternate trade routes for China-based companies to import energy and raw materials as well as export finished goods through Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal respectively; the corridors will circumvent the ‘choke point’ of Malacca Strait
  2. China-Mongolia-Russia and China-Central Asia-West Asia corridors will be channel for further Chinese investments across Asia; in the long run exports and imports among these Eurasian states will experience quantum jump
  3. ‘State capitalism’ will get a boost with most of the BRI projects being G-to-G kind; most of the participant governments will control the new projects thereby reproducing the production relations of capitalist society with the ‘state’ playing the role of capitalist who will make ‘profit’ and accumulate ‘capital’
  4. Enhance Chinese ‘image’ through socio-cultural exchange
  5. Enhance Chinese ‘influence’ through government-to-government contacts

There are more BRI corridors as well as ‘Maritime Silk Road’ planned as part of BRI. I would not get into the details of such a mammoth programme (consisting of hundreds of gigantic projects) which itself is a separate subject. However, it will be very interesting to analyse if and how BRI will pose a challenge to the existing world-system coordinated by the Deep State.

BRI follows the traditional capitalist economic model of ‘profit’, but unlike the Zionist Capitalist propelled system, BRI system aim for nominal profit margins that will create a tremendous ‘pull factor’ among the developing countries to seek BRI projects. Another key difference is: BRI system is radically different from existing capitalist system by shunning hegemony and force BRI promotes harmonious global integration. In all probability, BRI will create a ‘benign core’ and ‘exultant periphery’ in a global scale which uncannily resembles the Confucian concepts of family and state governance. The existing hegemonic world order and the Deep State will find it very hard to digest such decline of their stature and the formation of a new core-periphery. However, by no means will this new development threaten to upend the existing Zionist Capitalist world order – the new core-periphery will form a significant non-imperial sub-system within the existing world-system. USA, 5-Eyes, and Israel will have to share the hegemony with China being the BRI core and Russia as the semi-periphery (with low population count and hence limited domestic market, Russia can’t play much bigger role).

In practice, post-WW II world order has seen the working of core-periphery system with USA (and NATO) enforcing their will on the weak countries on the ‘periphery’ whenever a threat to the primacy of ‘accumulation capital’ was perceived by the Deep State cabal. The Deep State capital, through control of the media and academia, ensure that such threat to capital gets portrayed as a threat to ‘democracy and human rights’ which in turn provides a moral high ground to the Hegemonic superpower to invade any country at will. In the BRI system such supremacy of capital is not expected simply because Chinese outlook on ‘world-system’ was built typically on Confucian praxis.

Significant observations on post-Deng China:

1. CPC central committee in a conference in 2015 formulated eight principles of ‘socialist political economy with Chinese characteristics’:

  1. Sustainability Led by Science and Technology
  2. Orienting Production to Improve the Livelihood of the People
  3. Public Ownership Precedence in National Property Rights
  4. The Primacy of Labour in the Distribution of Wealth
  5. The Market Principle Steered by the State
  6. Speedy Development with High Performance
  7. Balanced Development with Structural Coordination
  8. Economic Sovereignty and Openness

Undoubtedly the above eight principles (like Buddha’s ‘asta-marga’ teaching) are very sound principles – but these are not focussed to Marxist ideology in a sense that, any other liberal democratic capitalist political party can also follow such principles for an effective management of economy and society. CPC leadership should take into account the core ideology of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Mao to explore that, the owners of capital can never reconcile with the proletariat and petty-bourgeois (as petty-bourgeois, I’m meaning only the middle-income group of rural land-holding peasants and urban professionals and self-employed people who own very little capital to earn their livelihood) – the theory of historical materialism clearly and correctly predict that, in the long-run, the capitalists will continue to accumulate capital with endless exploitation of 90% of the population, eventually they will overrun the CPC setup (as insider like CPSU in Soviet Union, or as outsider like Solidarity Movement in Poland) and create a state which will be ‘liberal capitalist’ in letter and spirit. Mao and Deng differed only on strategy to achieve Marxist economy and classless society, they never differed in the end objective – successive CPC leaders shouldn’t forget to take note of that.

Questions will be raised, ‘why then Mao didn’t create a classless society since 1950 or why Mao also tried for accumulation of capital to begin with’ or for that matter, even before Mao, ‘why in 1921 Lenin was staking on new economic policy (NEP) to introduce free market and capitalism under state control’?

To seek the answer, let’s visit the greatest leader of transformation – Lenin. Lenin considered the NEP as a strategic retreat from principles of socialism – Bolshevik party leaders had to create the “material basis” of economic development in Soviet Union before they could initiate the first stage of socialism to be followed by the second stage. This was exactly the situation for Mao and Deng in China who wanted to first create the basic building block for Chinese economy for which the forces of production were either outdated or non-existent. Interestingly, both CPSU and CPC tried to create ‘communes’ as an ideal communist construct for the rural regions and agricultural sector – primarily due to mismanagement among the party members and lack of indoctrination among the rural population, both the experiments failed. More valid question however remains, ‘why both CPSU and CPC got lost in the quagmire of ‘initial capitalistic development’ and never returned to their end objectives’ even after there was basic level of ‘fixed capital formation’ in Soviet Union by 1960 and in China by 2010! May be because geopolitical events were unsurmountable. To best of my knowledge, this question remains unanswered till date.

2. Another issue related to very high exports and some trade surplus obscures two significant points:

(a) China (with a GDP of Yuan 99,492.74 billion i.e. USD 14,140 billion) in 2019 not only exported goods and services worth USD 2,486.69 billion, but the import was also huge at USD 2,135.74 billion (as per National Bureau of Statistics of China). Even if the overall export surplus is not substantial, when the values are grouped continent-wise, large imbalance due to export surplus can be noted for Oceanic and Pacific Islands (about USD 64 billion), Europe (about USD 95 billion), North America (about USD 330 billion), while marginal imbalance of USD 5 – 10 billion export/import surplus exists in case of Asia, Africa, Latin America. Moving deeper at a country-level, one would find more imbalances. The main reason is that, the sourcing requirements of China (energy, raw materials, manufacturing components, foodstuff, etc.) and sourcing countries are, most of the time different from the nature of exported item (manufactured finished goods), quantity and destination where export opportunity exist.

(b) More often than not, the economists forget to mention that the imports of China has multiple categories including import by foreign-owned export-oriented enterprises for value addition before exporting goods, import by Chinese-owned enterprises for value addition before dispatching for export as well as for domestic selling, import of plant and machinery etc. for capital formation, and import for direct household consumption. Contrary to that, export has almost single dimension – manufactured finished goods, primarily consumer goods with some industrial goods as well. There is overwhelming dependence on exports which jeopardise Chinese economy to the extent that, without continuous growth in demand from foreign countries, Chinese economy will encounter slow growth. In future, there can be scenarios where trade partner countries (other than USA) may reduce good imports from China in order to produce within their country (to reduce unemployment).

3. Trade surplus resulting from the exports and high internal savings empowered the east Asian countries like Japan and China to accumulate largest forex reserves (together they account for more than USD 6 trillion) which were used to purchase USA Treasury bonds. USA Treasury bonds are issued by USA government to cover fiscal deficit – thus China and Japan are largest creditors of USA. With this arrangement of deficit financing successive USA government has been reckless to cut taxes (of oligarchy) and increase direct government expenditure to keep voters happy. The prices of east Asian exports into USA were kept low to keep it attractive in the USA market. Finally, more demand of east Asian goods increased trade surplus and more trade surplus meant more purchase of Treasury bonds. A two-way mutual relation between USA and China-Japan thus helped USA engage in end-less wars as well as keep inflation within USA low, hence, even if USA leaders take anti-import posture that will be only to please the constituency of nationalist voters. However, China will not only be at the receiving end if and when exports get restricted suddenly, China should be prepared for the worst scenario when, in future, USA will simply refuse to pay for their debt.

China will have to take a serious initiative on how US Dollar can be removed from world’s reserve currency status. Along with Russia, China should look into the possibility of introducing a new international currency which will be backed by gold – this action will not lead to a socialist economy, but this action will certainly work towards curbing the USA government’s undue advantage of printing as much fiat Dollar as possible using the global reserve currency without gold-backing status.

4. Indisputably China achieved incredible feats in economic growth and socio-economic indicators during past few decades. But such achievements to a large extent depended also on credit policy (apart from FDI and export). As a result, China’s total debt burden including households, government (central, regional, local), non-financial industry sector (including real estate), and financial sector has been rising over the decades albeit slowly. Apparently, in 2019 beginning, Household debt rose to more than 50% of GDP, Government debt crossed 50% of GDP, Financial sector debt rose to more than 40%, non-financial Industry sector breached 150% of GDP. As a whole, Chinese government is in a precarious position to control such huge debt (total crossing 40 trillion USD) – with strict control economic growth will be at stake. Even though the government of China have been periodically trying to deleverage the economy with control measures, economic growth trounced all such attempts till date.

The problem of bad debt first hit the Jiang government in late 1990s. The non-performing loans (NPL) caught the leadership’s eyes back then. And to address the burning issue, in 1999 asset management company was created, which absorbed Yuan 2 trillion bad loans from state-owned banks leaving the banks normal and healthy. For Chinese government NPL issue will continue to be a thorn in the flesh.

5. Maritime border disputes in South China Sea and East China Sea have historical roots when Japan displaced European powers from these two sea regions. It is also true that, after WW II most of the littoral countries (except Vietnam and North Korea) were/are backed by the Deep State and were/are armed to the teeth. However, it will be a monumental milestone for Chinese diplomacy and indeed, image, if China can resolve the maritime border issues without conflict, and if required, sharing the under-sea resources with the littoral states.

On the land border disputes, China resolved all but the dispute with India. The land border was drawn by the British colonial power who ruled most of south Asia till 1947, but Chinese government never accepted the border. Chinese government should keep no stone unturned to bring India-Pakistan-China on the same discussion table with UNO as observer. It will be beneficial for all three countries if they settle the dispute once for all through mutual concessions using give-and-take policy. A border war for a land with little economic value (but high geopolitical strategic value) makes no sense.

6. During 1700 to 1840 China was world’s biggest economy and second largest land empire. However that position didn’t deter the European powers from rampaging at their will inside Chinese territory. Chinese empire lost the edge because of inability to keep track with global technological changes. For the European powers, advancements in few industrial and military technology proved decisive. Keeping such watershed moments in view, government of China should make extraordinary arrangements (like special task force etc.) to bridge manufacturing technology gaps which have been pointed out by McKinsey Global Institute in “China and the world” report published in July 2019, some of which are:

  1. Electronic Components
    1. Display
    2. Integrated circuits
  2. Pharmaceuticals
    1. Small-molecule drugs
    2. Biomolecule drugs
  3. Genomics
    1. Gene sequencing
    2. Gene editing

The above mentioned elements are not necessarily of military in nature – the backwardness in military technology are well-known which are being addressed by Chinese government since past two decades, jet engines with thrust-vectoring control technology among the most significant ones.

6. GEOPOLITICS 1930 ONWARDS

With the setting up of Bank for International Settlements (BIS) in Switzerland in 1930, the disputes and tussle among the most prominent Jewish and Anglo banker families (like Rothschild, Rockefeller, Morgan, Warburg, Lazard, et al.) over type of business, geographical region of influence, and share of banking sector operations got resolved. The Zionist Capitalist elites were fully united in words and deeds notwithstanding the occasional rivalry and difference of opinion between followers of two camps: Rothschild and Rockefeller. The long-term objective of the Zionist Capitalist Deep State clique (representing primarily the Jewish, Anglo, Dutch, French, German oligarch and aristocrat families who had accumulated wealth and have been engaged in business in banking-land-industry-trading) after WW I has been to establish a hegemonic world order which would:

  1. own ‘political process and power’ in every society/country on the earth
  2. own ‘economic process and wealth’ in every landmass/country/ocean on the earth
  3. control ‘socio-cultural process and population’ in every region/country on the earth

I find it difficult to consider that, ‘winning’ political power anywhere in the world, has ever been an objective of the Deep State – they want to ‘own’ the process through which any political party may be made to ‘win’ or ‘loose’ power depending on short-term and long-term interest of the Deep State.

The Zionist Capitalist Deep State crystallized in its existing form when WW II started in 1936 (with signing of anti-communist pact between Germany, Italy, and Japan). Expectations of the Zionist Capitalist Deep State were destruction of powerful societies (non- Anglo/Jewish/Dutch/French) who had potential to develop advanced economy, and expansion of Zionist Capitalist empire:

  1. combatants Fascist Germany and Communist Soviet Union decimating each other’s (i) military forces, (ii) physical infrastructure, and (iii) population across entire Eurasia;
  2. combatants Fascist Japan and Nationalist China decimating each other’s (i) military forces, (ii) physical infrastructure, and (iii) population across entire East Asia;
  3. stages (a) and (b) would be followed by occupation of whole Europe and Asia by the ‘benevolent’ Anglo-American military who would claim that they have ‘liberated’ these ancient civilizations from the ‘authoritarian dictatorships’ of fascism and communism;
  4. stage (c) would be followed by establishment of ‘liberal democratic capitalism’ version of empire (as against ‘colonial extractive capitalism’ version) in whole Europe and Asia to continue plunder of wealth in maximum possible way;

Unfortunately half of the objectives remained unfulfilled in the WW II that was over by 1945 – because of two political parties: Communist Party of Soviet Union (CPSU) and Communist Party of China (CPC) whose top leadership mobilised their countrymen in collective patriotic spirit, Soviet Union and China didn’t capitulate but their direct adversaries (Germany and Japan) were trounced. Phase II became a necessity for the Deep State.

WW II – Phase II:

Phase II of WW II was initiated as soon as phase I was over. ‘Operation Unthinkable’ was planned by most ardent imperialist Churchill in order to launch a surprise attack on Soviet Union to achieve the original objectives that Hitler failed to achieve, but dropped. Realising that a military block consisting of all societies that join together as Zionist Capitalist Deep State would be more effective to demolish: (a) morally and militarily supreme power like Soviet Union which recuperated economically,

(b) new power like Communist China (where by January’1949, Peoples Liberation Army already won three major campaigns in last strongholds of Kuo Mintang party in east and south regions of China), NATO was formed in April’1949.

To achieve the long-term objective of hegemonic world order as well as the four WW II objectives, the Deep State displayed creativity in designing and deploying diplomatic, political, economic, cultural tools and methods that proved to be highly durable and extremely effective:

  1. UNO and its key sister organizations were established to control the international political incidents in all regions across the globe
  2. Through WBG, IMF, ADB global banking and financial companies spread its tentacles to every region of the world to control natural resources and economy
  3. US Dollar as the foreign currency exchange basis across the globe – not only the gold backing was withdrawn from Dollar in 1971 by USA government, but the hegemon also manipulated the Arab rulers to use Dollar as currency for most crucial commodity trading (of petroleum)
  4. Trade pacts like GATT, WTO, and similar other pacts driven by USA-West Europe-Japan were implemented so that the hegemonic power maintains their hold over global trade
  5. Promotion of ‘periodic election’ plus ‘market economy’ plus ‘private ownership’ masquerading as ‘Democracy’ across the globe
  6. Promotion of literature-cinema-fine arts that revolves around sex-drug-commercial duplicity in all major languages across the globe
  7. Promotion of mainstream media for broadcasting and publishing round-the-clock propaganda on the above mentioned tools (i) to (vi) in all major languages across the globe
  8. Promotion of academic institutions and intellectual for propagating curriculum on the above mentioned tools (i) to (vi) in all major languages across the globe
  9. Promotion of religious fundamentalist groups (male chauvinists with belief in illusory past glory from society which profess religious faiths like Sunni Islam, in Catholic Christianity, in Puritan Christianity, Brahminical Hinduism etc.) as well as ethnic fundamentalist groups (believing superiority of his/her ethnicity) in all regions across the globe
  10. Development of highly complex computerised system and other industrial technology to replace human labour in every sphere of productive work as much as possible

During the ensuing four and a half decades- from 1945 to 1990- major tasks accomplished by Deep State were:

  1. The Zionist Capitalist elites located primarily on either side of the Atlantic (who were driving force for aristocratic groups like Bilderberg Club, Club of Rome, Trilateral Commission as well as think-tanks like Council for Foreign Relations) were immensely successful in mobilising most of the academic institutions and media entities across world to spread propaganda among the people world-wide about ‘failure’ of socialism/ communism/ Marxist principles in Soviet Union and east European countries as well as China. While it was true that these countries which were devastated during WW II couldn’t provide the standard of living as west European imperialist/colonialist countries could offer to their citizens, these socialist countries provided all basic amenities of life to all its citizens.
  2. In most unfortunate turn of history, in the second half of 1950s CPSU led by Khrushchev (a closet Zionist) denounced Stalin’s leadership in Soviet Union that not only defeated the most cruel war machinery ever built on earth but became the second superpower of the world by 1945 (in 22 years after Stalin got the top leader’s position). This created an unbridgeable ideological gap between CPSU and CPC that divided the entire socialist/communist movement across the globe. After removal of Khrushchev from the position of top leader in Soviet Union political situation was salvaged internally, however, China became completely blind about the changing landscape of Soviet Union. The lack of trust of Chinese leadership in Soviet leadership was utilised by the Deep State elites in the 1980s to bleed Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Angola.
  3. By 1960 most of the Asian, and African countries got freedom from the west European imperialist/ colonialist powers like UK, France, and Belgium etc. Most of these countries were ruled by nationalist party who heavily mixed socialist ideological tenets with their nationalist creed. Most of these countries, backed by Soviet Union, had highly corrupt ruling party. Such leaders easily became prey for the global capitalist-imperialist elites, and simultaneously those semi-literate societies came under the spell of ‘Hollywood’-promoted illusion and ‘drug-sex-violence’ kind of culture. The significant block led by Soviet Union and relatively small islands of Chinese sphere came to a crossroads – they were falling behind in harnessing technological progress in economic growth, which resulted in relatively low standard of living of majority population while government officials and ruling party leaders led much better life.
  4. Deep State tried hard to manipulate the policy of government and bureaucracy as well as to co-opt the key political parties across all countries so that they can create pro-USA, pro-5 Eyes, pro-Israel policies as well as anti-Soviet Union anti-China policies. Simultaneously, oligarch-aristocrat families and elite individuals with servility towards Zionist Capitalist ideology (i.e. capitalist enterprises, private ownership, European ‘liberal imperialism’) were promoted in political leadership-bureaucracy-judiciary in those countries so that they can convert the policies into actions to advance interests of global oligarchy.
  5. In many large countries across the world, the Zionist Capitalist Deep State manipulated domestic politics to overthrow patriotic and incorruptible leaders who couldn’t be co-opted by them – Congo, Iran, Indonesia, Chile, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, etc. The Deep State mainly mobilised the country’s military forces to grab state power by killing the top leader(s) and by creating a repressive environment. Sometimes that would include mass murder of leaders and members of socialist party/communist party – in Indonesia, in the 2nd half of 1960s, between one to two million members of communist party were killed by military junta. In all the above mentioned cases, soon after coming to power the military junta would create economic policies that would favour the MNC from USA, 5 Eyes, west European countries, and simultaneously reduce contacts with Soviet Union and China.
  6. Developing conventional, nuclear, biological, chemical, and other special weapons and building a military force based on land, marine, air, and space that will be able to dominate every other country in every region, and if necessary, the military force can take punitive actions against any country including carrying out ‘first strike’ against other nuclear powers like Soviet Union and China without any possibility of retaliatory strike. USA built over 700 military bases all over the world.

The Deep State operatives were very successful in their original plan of wrecking Soviet Union from within. In the beginning of 1980s two leaders got into powerful political positions in the Soviet block – Yuri Andropov became top leader of CPSU and Lech Walesa became top trade union leader in Poland, Such high-ranking anti-socialist leaders quickly made inroads into state structure and policies in Soviet Union and Poland. After Andropov handpicked Gorbachev to lead CPSU, it was only a matter of time for the Deep State to wrap-up the socialist experiment what was known as USSR. Gorbachev and his so-called reformist clique systematically incapacitated Soviet economy, and also actively promoted downfall of governments in every east European country which were led by socialist party aligned with CPSU. This clique was helped by professionals from USA and west Europe. They also pinned hope that CPC leader Zhao Ziyang will become the ‘Gorbachev of China’ to bring down the government ruled by CPC – however this was a complete failure as Zhao himself confided with Gorbachev that ‘Deng was the top leader’ in a meeting when Tiananmen Square protest was raging in Beijing in 1989. Without a single gun-shot being fired by the military wings of Zionist Capitalist cabal, the Soviet Union dissolved itself between 1990 to 1991 CE – the phase II of WW II came to an end. Instead of serious introspection and course correction among ruling party officials and government departments to design policies keeping pace with socio-economic changes and technological changes, all these ‘reformist’ leaders decided that the best way to (personal?) growth was to join hands with Zionist-Capitalist world order after bringing down the governments ruled by their own party communist/socialist party.

By 2020 whole Europe and half of Asia had been occupied by the ‘benevolent’ Anglo-American NATO military who claimed that they guarantee ‘independence’ of those ‘liberated countries’ from the clutch of ‘authoritarian’ communism, and they also ensure that ‘liberal democratic capitalism’ version of empire will suck the land and citizens dry. No wonder, Soviet WW II war memorials and monuments have been systematically destroyed in east Europe – how long the Deep State would tolerate anti-zionist anti-capitalist flag hoisted by Soviet Red Army in Europe with immense sacrifices and sufferings by Soviet leaders, soldiers and people?

Concomitant with the complete control of all political parties (across the wide spectrum of their professed ideology) on both sides of the Atlantic: North America, South America, Europe, the discerning Zionist Capitalist cabal maintains a complex cobweb connecting all key members and rotating them from one role to another. Thus a retired Director of intelligence department of USA will occupy the chair of Chairman of a big financial investment firm as well as the role of a university Professor! The cabal maintains a carefully constructed façade where professionals from different spheres of society jointly appear as a highly educated, experienced and intelligent wing – industrialists, bankers, politicians, bureaucrats, military officials, business managers, legal and media professionals, academicians, NGO managers, cinema directors and artists all walks of life are present.

[ Link: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-06-10/does-bilderberg-really-run-world-one-chart-help-you-decide ]

Interlude?

After Soviet Union was pulled down, the corrupt and treacherous Soviet leaders and their lackeys backed by the Zionist Capitalist oligarchy and elites ripped apart the socio-economic fabric of Russian society. The state exchequer was looted blatantly, the natural resources were divided among the Soviet elites-turned-businessmen, the industrial capital largely destroyed or privatised without any meaningful payment to state, workers were retrenched or pauperised without regular wages, and peasants were left without proper means of cultivation. Not only peoples tried to earn livelihood offering sex-drug-smuggling etc., but steep drop in birth rates across all splinter provinces of USSR made it to appear like entire Eurasian landmass will get depopulated within two generations. The Deep State also tried to split Russia (which, after the USSR dissolution, became largest state in Eurasia) into 4 – 5 regions through creating and aiding regional separatist movements with help of the 5th column elites and oligarchy within Russia. Without funding, military capabilities of Russia went into oblivion. Technological research and development as well as manufacturing of defence machinery came to a dead end. Demoralised troops and open corruption became symbolic of Russian military.

So, were the different factions of Zionist Capitalist cabal content with the successful closure of the WW II by 1991? What were they thinking about the glaring failure of destroying the CPC rule in China? Apparently, the Deep State was not only happy with their performance in destroying the CPSU and Soviet Union, they were also very confident about China becoming a ‘normal country’ with full-scale liberal democratic capitalist system of economy and periodic elections to elect governments that will be run by the Zionist Capitalist world order staying behind the curtain (as it happened for all countries in the world in 1992 except China-Vietnam-North Korea-Iran-Zimbabwe-Angola-Cuba). We need to ask ourselves, how the Deep State was so confident that China will be on board with them.

1978 onwards the drive towards industrial capitalism in China using the global finance owned by the Zionist Capitalist bankers and industrialists was initiated by Deng and followed up by Jiang Zemin in such earnestness that, the Deep State representatives like Kissinger and Financial Institutions like JP Morgan had to conclude that Chinese acumen for business and trade will transform the society into a capitalist society. Japan was anyway part of the world order triad i.e. USA-West Europe-Japan, and with China’s entry, the triad would have become USA-West Europe-East Asia. Chinese government went all-out to create a ‘happy hunting ground’ for global Zionist Capitalist interests which wanted more and more profits towards endless accumulation of capital, and hence were busy shifting their manufacturing base to China to harness low-cost labour and slack regulations. By 2008, i.e. after 30 years of reform, China became third largest economy in terms of GDP nominal (as per IMF estimates USD 4604 billion) and largest export base in the world (In 2007-2008, its Export-to-GDP ratio reached 32%, and its Exim-to-GDP ratio was 59%), but it also became a society where inequality was one of the highest in the world – China’s Gini coefficient (a measure of inequality – ‘0’ represents perfect equality, ‘1’ represents perfect inequality) rose from about 0.3 in early 1980s to 0.49 in 2008. The media, academia, multilateral institutions funded by the Deep State went all-out to woo the CPC leaders towards ushering a new era of ‘political reforms’ after such a brilliant success of ‘economic reforms’ – by ‘political reforms’ they meant introduction of multi-party election system and privatisation of the state-owned enterprises. After one and a half decades of persuasion, by middle of 2000s the Deep State cabal understood that, CPC never ever had any such plan of changing their ideology of political economy.

And about the same time in 2007 Munich Security Conference, Putin as the leader of Russia, delivered his famous Munich speech. In no uncertain terms, Putin criticized USA’s hegemonic dominance and its “almost uncontained hyper use of force in international relations“. That speech came as a shocker to the Zionist Capitalist clique – it was like waking up from a slumber. All these years they thought WW II was over with Soviet Union completely decimated – after 16 years they had the ignominy of attending a conference on European soil, where a Russian leader was chastising them about use of force in settling disputes!

Actually 2000 onwards, there had been relentless sole-searching among top leadership of Russia. It was about the overall decay of Russia within a span of just 10 years – between 1985 and 1995. As a result, the Russian government and a section of ruling party led by Putin has been pushing economic policies that created new consumer goods industry and improved agricultural production, enhanced the oil-gas extraction operation. Within few years’ time Russia got on its feet and created an economy based on ‘domestic consumption’ and pushed export of oil-gas to earn foreign exchange. However, the Zionist Capitalist oligarchy led by powerful faction of the ruling party was deeply entrenched in the bureaucracy, academia and media who supported (and benefited from) their illegal amassing of wealth. Corruption, nepotism, extortion among ruling party cadres and government officials, mostly went unpunished. Outward flow of capital and tax breaks for rich businessmen were also happening albeit at a slow pace. But noticing the overall upswing in Russian society the Deep State got alarmed – ‘filthy’ Russian bear is again cooking up some curry that may prove difficult to digest in long run!

Part 1

Part 3 – pending


By profession I’m an Engineer and Consultant, but my first love was and is History and Political Science. In retired life, I’m pursuing higher study in Economics.

I’m one of the few decade-old members of The Saker blog-site. Hope that this website will continue to focus on truth and justice in public life and will support the struggle of common people across the world.

An Indian by nationality, I believe in humanity.

دلالات الردّ الصيني… وأسباب القلق الأميركي من اتجاه لبنان لقبول العروض الصينيّة

حسن حردان

من النادر أن نعثر سابقاً على قيام سفارة الصين الشعبية في لبنان بالردّ على مواقف لمسؤولين أميركيين متعلقة بلبنان.. فالصين طالما كانت تنأى بنفسها عن الدخول في سجال سياسي له علاقة بلبنان.. وكانت تُركّز دائماً ولا زالت على بناء علاقات اقتصاديّة وتجاريّة وثقافيّة بين الصين ولبنان وهي حرصت على تنظيم سلسلة زيارات لأحزاب وقوى سياسيّة من فريقي ٨ و١٤ آذار إلى الصين، وكذلك فاعليات اقتصاديّة وثقافيّة وأكاديميّة..

لقد جاء بيان السفارة الصينيّة، الذي صدر قبل أيام، رداً على تصريحات مساعد وزير الخارجية الأميركية ديفيد شينكر، ليعكس توجّهاً جديداً في السياسة الصينيّة يقضي بعدم السماح لأميركا بتضليل الرأي العام اللبناني عبر محاولة تشويه سياسة الصين والتأثير سياسياً على الواقع اللبناني.. بشأن ما يجري من احتدام للصراع في لبنان حول الخيارات الاقتصادية والمالية التي عليه أن يأخذها لحل أزماته.. حيث عمد شينكر إلى ممارسة التحّريض الخبيث ضد بكين عبر اتهامها بصفات لا تمت بصلة إلى طبيعة سياساتها الخارجيّة في لبنان وعموم المنطقة والعالم.. والقول بأنها تسعى من خلال تقديم المساعدات الماليّة إلى نصب فخاخ للدول.. وذلك في سياق السعي إلى تحّريض اللبنانيّين على رفض الدعوات المتزّايدة للتوجّه شرقاً صوّب الصين وعدم قبول عروض المساعدات والمشاريع الاقتصاديّة التي أبدت الاستعداد لتنفيذها في لبنان..

فالصين، كما برهنت التجّربة، تعتمد سياسات خارجيّة معاكسة تماماً للسياسات الأميركيّة الغربيّة:

أولاً، تقيم الصين علاقاتها الخارجية على قاعدة تعزيز السلم والاستقرار في العالم، والحرص على تطبيق المواثيق والقوانين الدوليّة، القاضية باحترام سيادة واستقلال الدول وعدم التدخل في شؤونها الداخليّة.. في حين تقيم الولايات المتحدة علاقاتها الخارجيّة بتعارض صارخ مع القوانين والمواثيق الدوليّة، حيث تعمل على فرض قوانينها وقراراتها على الدول للهيّمنة عليها، وتقوم بفرض الحصار الاقتصادي والمالي على الدول التي ترفض هذه الهيّمنة، وتطالب باحترام القانون الدولي..

ثانياً، تبنّي الصين علاقاتها الاقتصاديّة والتجاريّة مع دول العالم كافة على أساس تبادل الخبرات والمنافع من دون أيّ شروط سياسيّة.. وهذا النموذج من العلاقات لاقى نجاحاً في أفريقيا وآسيا، لأنّ الشركات الصينيّة التي استثمرت في هذه الدول، نفَّذت مشاريع حققت التنمية وحسّنت الخدمات العامة.. على عكس النموّذج الأميركي الغربي الذي اعتّمدتُ شركاته ويقوم على استغلال ثروات الدول من دون المساهمة بأيّ أنّشطة تنمويّة تُخرج البلاد من حالة التخلف والفقر..

ثالثاً، تمتنع الصين عن التدخل في شؤون وقرارات وسياسات الدول التي تستثمر فيها، وتعتبر ذلك شأناً داخلياً لا علاقة لها به.. في حين تعمد الولايات المتحدة وحلفاؤها في الغرب إلى التدخل في الشؤون الداخليّة للدول.. وتقوم بحياكة المؤامرات وتنفيذ انقلابات تطيح بالأنظمة والحكام الذين ينتهجون سياسات مستقلة غير تابعة للغرب..

انطلاقاً من ذلك فإنّ واشنطن شعرت بقلق شديد من اتجاه لبنان نحو قبول العروض الصينية لتنفيذ مشاريع اقتصادية وخدمية، لأنّ ذلك إذا حصل سوف يؤدّي ويكشف:

1

ـ إنّ هناك فرقاً شاسعاً بين طبيعة العلاقات مع الصين، التي تفيد البلدين وتنتشل لبنان من أزماته من دون أن ترتب عليه أيّ شروط سياسيّة، وبين طبيعة العلاقات القائمة بين لبنان وأميركا وبقية الدول الغربية والتي تقوم على فرض الوصاية على لبنان والتدخل في شؤونه وعدم حصول لبنان على أي منافع منها.. والدليل على ذلك أن أميركا تفرض حصاراً اقتصادياً مالياً على لبنان وتشترط رفعه خضوع لبنان للإملاءات الأميركيًة الإسرائيليًة.. وهي تمتنع أصلاً عن تقديم أيّ قروض غير مشروطة، ولا تقدم أيّ مشاريع لحل مشكلات لبنان المزمنة، بل تسارع إلى وضع العراقيل أمام لجوء لبنان لأي دولة تعرض عليه المساعدة لإقامة مثل هذه المشاريع لحل أزماته…

2

ـ انّ لبنان قد أضاع عقوداً من الزمن للنهوض باقتصاده وإعادة تأهيل بنيته الخدميّة بأقلّ التكاليف، فيما لو سلك خيار تنويع علاقاته الاقتصاديّة مع دول العالم كافة.. لكنّ الطبقة السياسيّة التي حكمت لبنان بعد الطائف ربطت لبنان بالتبعيّة الاقتصاديّة للغرب وانتهجتّ سياسات ريعيّة نيو ليبرالية تناسب الغرب، أشاعت الفساد، فأباحت المال العام للنهب من خلال عقد الصفقات بالتّراضي، وكانت النتّيجة تنفيذ مشاريع بأسعار مكّلفة، وتبيّن في ما بعد أنها غير صالحة، مثل معامل الكهرباء… فيما رتبت هذا السياسة على لبنان ديوناً كبيرة تحت عنوان إعادة إعمار ما دمرته الحرب الأهليّة.. فلا أُقيمت شبكة سكك حديد، ولا تمّ شق نفق بيروت شتوره، ولا أُنشئّت معامل انتاح الكهرباء وفرز النفايات، ولا أُقِيمت السّدود للنهوض بالزراعة.. وكل هذه المشاريع أساسيّة للنهوض بالزراعة والصّناعة والسّياحة.. وهي القطاعات المنّتجة التي تحقق القِيمة المضافة وتؤمن فرص العمل.

3

ـ إنّ لبنان سيخرج من أزماته ويتخلّص من الارتهان للولايات المتحدة وابتزازها، ويلّمس لأول مرة الفوائد الاقتصاديّة الكبيرة من تنويع خياراته، ويُحققُ حرية قراره الاقتصادي ويُدرك مدى أهمية ذلك في اتخاذ القرارات التي تنسجم مع مصلحتهِ، ورفض كل ما يتعارض مع هذه المصلحة.. الأمر الذي يمكّنهُ من استغلال ثرواته النفطيّة والغازيّة كاملة، ورفض التّنازل عن أيّ جزء منها، والتمسك بكامل حقوقه في مياهه الإقليميّة الخالصة، وعدم القبول بأيّ مساومة عليها.

4

ـ إنّ لبنان سيزداد قوّةً ومنعةً.. فمعادلة «الجيش والشعب والمقاومة» سوف تتّعزز أيضاً بخروج لبنان من الأزمة الاقتصاديّة والماليّة والاجتماعيّة وتحرره من وصاية الولايات المتحدة التي تعمل على استغلال الأزمة الماليّة والاقتصاديّة لتحقيق مآربها السياسيّة..

لهذا كله فإنّ واشنطن باتت قلقة جداً من اتجاه لبنان نحو الشرق لحلّ أزماته لأنها ستؤدّي إلى فقدان أميركا أخر ورقة تمسّك بها للضغط على لبنان بهدف فرض شروطها عليه، وهي كلها شروط «إسرائيليّة»…

Why Iran won’t be broken

June 26, 2020

Why Iran won’t be broken

Submitted by Pepe Escobar – source Asia Times

So what’s goin’ on in Iran? How did the Islamic Republic really respond to Covid-19? How is it coping with Washington’s relentless “maximum pressure”?

These questions were the subject of a long phone call I placed to Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran – one of Iran’s premier, globally recognized analysts.

As Marandi explains, “Iran after the revolution was all about social justice. It set up a very elaborate health care network, similar to Cuba’s, but with more funding. A large hospital network. When the coronavirus hit, the US was even preventing Iran to get test kits. Yet the system – not the private sector – managed. There was no full shutdown. Everything was under control. The numbers – even contested by the West – they do hold. Iran is now producing everything it needs, tests, face masks. None of the hospitals are full.”

Expanding Marandi’s observations, Tehran-based journalist Alireza Hashemi notes, “Iran’s wide primary healthcare system, comprising public clinics, health houses and health centers is available in thousands of cities and villages”, and that enabled the government to “easily offer basic services”.

As Hashemi details, “the Health Ministry established a Covid-19 call center and also distributed protective equipment supplied by relief providers. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei ordered the armed forces to help – with the government deploying 300,000 soldiers and volunteers to disinfect streets and public places, distribute sanitizers and masks and conduct tests.”

It was the Iranian military that established production lines for producing face masks and other equipment. According to Hashemi, “some NGOs partnered with Tehran’s chamber of commerce to create a campaign called Nafas (“breath”) to supply medical goods and provide clinical services. Iran’s Farabourse, an over-the-counter stock market in Tehran, established a crowd funding campaign to purchase medical devices and products to help health workers. Hundreds of volunteer groups – called “jihadi” – started producing personal protective equipment that had been in short supply in seminaries, mosques and hussainiyas and even natural fruit juices for health workers.”

This sense of social solidarity is extremely powerful in Shi’ite culture. Hashemi notes that “the government loosened health-related restrictions over a month ago and we have been experiencing a small slice of normality in recent weeks.” Yet the fight is not over. As in the West, there are fears of a covid-19 second wave.

Marandi stresses the economy, predictably, was hurt: “But because of the sanctions, most of the hurt had already happened. The economy is now running without oil revenue. In Tehran, you don’t even notice it. It’s nothing compared to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Turkey or the UAE. Workers from Pakistan and India are leaving the Persian Gulf in droves. Dubai is dead. So, in comparison, Iran did better in dealing with the virus. Moreover, harvests last year and this year have been positive. We are more self-reliant.”

Hashemi adds a very important factor: “The Covid-19 crisis was so massive that people themselves have pitched in with effort, revealing new levels of solidarity. Individuals, civil society groups and others have set up a range of initiatives seeking to help the government and health workers on the front line of countering the pandemic.”

What a relentless Western disinformation campaign always ignores is how Iran after the revolution is used to extremely critical situations, starting with the eight-year-long Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. Marandi and Hashemi are adamant: for older Iranians, the current economic crisis pales in comparison with what they had to put up with throughout the 1980s.

Made in Iran soars

Marandi’s analysis ties up the economic data. In early June, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht – responsible for planning Iran’s state budgets – told the Majlis (Parliament) that the new normal was “to sideline oil in the economy and run the country’s programs without oil.”

Nobakht stuck to the numbers. Iran had earned just $8.9 billion from the sale of oil and related products in 2019-20, down from a peak of $119 billion less than a decade ago.

The whole Iranian economy is in transition. What’s particularly interesting is the boom in manufacturing – with companies focusing way beyond Iran’s large domestic market towards exports. They are turning the massive devaluation of the rial to their advantage.

In 2019-20, Iran’s non-oil exports reached $41.3 billion. That exceeded oil exports for the first time in Iran’s post-revolutionary history. And roughly half of these non-oil exports were manufactured goods. Team Trump’s “maximum pressure” via sanctions may have led to total non-oil exports going down – but only by 7%. The total remains near historic highs.

According to Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) data published by the Iran Chamber of Commerce, private sector manufacturers were seriously back in business already in the first month following the relaxation of the partial lockdown.

The fact is Iranian consumer goods and industrial products – everything from cookies to stainless steel – are exported by small and medium enterprises to the wider Middle East and also to Central Asia, China and Russia. The myth of Iranian “isolation” is, well, a myth.

Some new manufacturing clusters bode well for the future. Take titanium – essential for myriad applications in military, aerospace, marine industries and industrial processes. The Qara-Aghaj  mine in Urmia, the provincial capital of West Azarbaijan, which is part of Iran’s mineral belt, including the country’s largest gold reserves, has tremendous potential.

Iran features in the Top 15 of mineral-rich countries. In January, after getting the technology for deep-level mining, Tehran launched a pilot project for extraction of rare earth minerals.

Still, Washington pressure remains as relentless as the Terminator.

In January, the White House issued yet another executive order targeting the “construction, mining, manufacturing, or textiles sectors of the Iranian economy.” So Team Trump is targeting exactly the booming private sector – which means, in practice, countless Iranian blue-collar workers and their families. This has nothing to do with forcing the Rouhani administration to say, “I can’t breathe”.

The Venezuelan front

Apart from a few scuffles between the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Health Ministry about China’s response to Covid-19, the Iran-China “comprehensive strategic partnership” (CSP) remains on track.

The next big test is actually in September. That’s when Team Trump wants to extend the UN arms embargo on Iran. Add to it the threat to trigger the snapback mechanism inbuilt in UNSC resolution 2231 – if other Security Council members refuse to support Washington and let the embargo expire for good in October.

China’s mission at the UN has stressed the obvious. The Trump administration unilaterally abandoned the JCPOA. Then it reimposed unilateral sanctions. Thus it has no right to extend the arms embargo or go for the snapback mechanism against Iran.

China, Russia and Iran are the three key nodes of Eurasia integration. Politically and diplomatically, their key decisions tend to be taken in concert. So it’s no wonder that was reiterated last week in Moscow at the meeting of Foreign Ministers Sergey Lavrov and Javad Zarif – who get along famously.

Lavrov said, “We will be doing everything so that no one can destroy these agreements. Washington has no right to punish Iran.”

Zarif for his part described the whole juncture as “very dangerous”.

Additional conversations with Iranian analysts reveal how they interpret the regional geopolitical chessboard, calibrating the importance of the axis of resistance (Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Hezbollah) in comparison with two other fronts: the US and its “stooges” (the House of Saud, UAE, Egypt), the master – Israel – and also Turkey and Qatar, which, like Iran, but unlike the “stooges”, favor political Islam (but of the Sunni variety, that is, the Moslem Brotherhood).

One of these analysts, pen name Blake Archer Williams, significantly remarks, “the main reason Russia holds back from helping Iran (mutual trade is almost at zero) is that it fears Iran. If Trump does not have a Reagan moment and does not prevail on Iran, and the US is in any event driven out of the Middle East by the continuing process of Iran’s weapons parity and its ability to project power in its own pond, then all of the oil of the Middle East, from the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain, to Iraq, of course, and not least to the oilfields in Saudi Arabia’s Qatif region (where all the oil is and is 100% Shi’ite), will come under the umbrella of the axis of resistance.”

Still, Russia-China continue to back Iran on all fronts, for instance rebuking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for giving in to US “bullying” – as the IAEA’s board last week passed a resolution submitted by France, Britain and Germany criticizing Iran for the first time since 2012.

Another key foreign policy front is Venezuela. Tehran’s soft power, in quite a spectacular manner keenly observed all across the Global South, de facto ridiculed Washington’s sanctions/blockade in its own Monroe Doctrine “backyard”, when five Iranian tankers loaded with gasoline successfully crossed the Atlantic and were received by a Venezuelan military escort of jets, helicopters, and naval patrols.

That was in fact a test run. The Oil Ministry in Tehran is already planning a round two of deliveries to Caracas, sending two or three cargos full of gasoline a month. That will also help Iran to offload its huge domestically produced fuel.

The historic initial shipment was characterized by both sides as part of a scientific and industrial cooperation, side by side with a “solidarity action”.

And then, this past week, I finally confirmed it. The order came directly from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei. In his own words: “The blockade must be broken”. The rest is – Global South – history in the making.

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 1

June 27, 2020

Bridging China’s past with humanity’s future – Part 1

by Straight-Bat for the Saker Blog

This will be presented in 3 parts and in 3 different blog posts

PART – 1

1. INTRODUCTION

The world is tottering under the omnipresent virus covid19. Since January’2020, economic and sociological parameters went into a tailspin in one after another country across the globe. By end of year 2020, when the corona pandemic would be under control in all the top 25 countries (with GDP PPP more than 1 trillion $ in 2018, as per World Bank estimates), global economic fabric would have been torn apart with unheard of impact on society, few of which are:

  • millions of sick people will need medical care,
  • millions of unemployed people (and continuously growing) will need food and shelter,
  • at least one-third of the medium and large industrial and utility producing units will be financially sick, while close to half of the small scale units permanently closed down,
  • due to decline of overall purchasing power among the citizens, demand of manufactured products will decline dramatically with simultaneous upsurge of demand for medicines,
  • banking system will be under tremendous stress to renegotiate with their clients to reschedule loan repay and/or write-off loans,
  • Governments will be embarrassed with dwindling tax collection, large scale impoverishments which would accompany increasing unrest among common people

Under the above circumstances, what would be the action plan of the global oligarchy who collectively own banking and industrial sectors and who maintain the current unipolar world order through chosen members of the so-called (USA/5Eyes/Israel) Deep State? We need to remember that there exist nothing like ‘national capitalism’ – by virtue of its expansionary characteristic, ‘capitalism’ has always been global in outlook which resulted in ‘world system’ with industrially advanced society forming the ‘core’ and rest of the world forming the ‘periphery’. The global oligarchy has its interest in EVERY nook and corner of the globe. Deep State elites maintain strong economic and political alliances with almost all countries where, ALL significant political parties and large business houses of every hue and colours are joined through invisible covenant to continuously extend their support, and, in return get benefitted from the global oligarchy. (Cuba and North Korea are the exceptions owing to their overtly and fiercely ‘independent’ policy of governance; for past two decades, Russia-China-Iran-Venezuela governments are resisting the global oligarchy and their local partners with gusto.)

The answer to above question is – state policy and implementation of the same would be geared towards accumulation of capital in every country except the above mentioned six countries. Other than getting humongous sums as bailout packages from governments and share buy-back programmes through zero interest loan, the oligarchy (1% of the population) and flunky elites (5% to 15% of the population) has little interest in governance and support to common people in distress.

[ Link: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/21/american-billionaires-got-434-billion-richer-during-the-pandemic.html ]

A closer look reveals that, among those six ‘resistance camp’ countries, only China has both: landmass and population, that can be termed as ‘resources’ necessary to resist unipolar world order, roll back onward march of global capitalism, and simultaneously build a multipolar world order and more equitable society in close coordination with Russia. So it is natural to expect that China leads socio-economic rejuvenation of the world with full support from Russia. China is also well positioned to harness the strengths of Iran-North Korea-Cube-Venezuela. On behalf of peace-loving people who believe in truth-justice-equality, let me dig deeper into the proposition.

The journey will begin with review of Qing Chinese society as well as economy and industry of Qing era, then discuss the current Communist epoch, and end with future possibilities. Looking back is necessary, because a society which have a significant past would have a remarkable future as well.

2. CHINA IN QING ERA

While mentioning three successive empires: Yuan-Ming-Qing in late medieval and early modern China, it is often forgotten that, Yuan empire was divided into two parts: Ming and Northern Yuan empires, and most of the regions falling under these two empires were brought under control by Qing empire. Even though during the ‘century of humiliation’ starting from 1839 CE Qing empire gradually lost large territories in north-east, north, north-west as well as smaller tracts of land in the south and South China Sea, Qing empire should be given due credit for the following:

  1. Notwithstanding the preferential treatments meted out to the Manchu aristocrats, the Qing emperors transformed the Chinese empire as a multi-ethnic multi-language empire in official policy and procedures (in contrast to Ming era that was truly Han chinese in outlook), thereby creating a fundamental basis of a modern Chinese society. Starting in 1618 through renunciation of Ming overlordship and creating Manchu kingdom by Jurchen/Manchu tribal chief, by 1648 Qing dynasty formed by the Jurchen/Manchu tribal chief extended their control over most part of the erstwhile Ming empire through a military force in which Manchu Bannermen represented below 20% of the manpower while Han Bannermen made up more than 70%. This data amply represented the multi-ethnic character of Qing policies.
  2. The successive Qing emperors maintained warm relationship with all tributary states and protectorates until the onset of the ‘century of humiliation’ in 1839. Commentators and academicians who bring up Westphalian concept while discussing relationship between empires/kingdoms in pre-colonial Asia generally forget that Westphalian sovereignty was a concept that was necessary for and was derived under ‘feudal’ environment of medieval and early modern Europe. Except Japan, statecraft in Asian empires/kingdoms never introduced ‘feudalism’ in medieval and early modern Asia. Hence, the relationship between Qing empire and different categories of vassals had multiple vectors that can’t be seen through the Westphalian lens. Even though Qing empire didn’t lack manpower or military resources that would be necessary to directly rule over the vassals, they were comfortable with the tributary system (based on Confucian ideals) whereby different kingdoms surrounding the Chinese empire would accept Chinese emperor as the predominant authority of that part of the world, and the benevolent Chinese empire would guarantee the opportunity of peaceful trading and commerce across central, east and south-east Asia – this ensured continuation of the two millennium long exchange of goods-services-knowledge-culture between Asia and Europe.
  3. Continuation of the merit-based entry through examination system to the bureaucratic institutions and pre-eminence of Confucian family value system (both were adopted from earlier dynasties) ensured that Qing China stepped into the modern era keeping the fundamental socio-political basis of Chinese society intact. Both of these ancient Chinese practices are valued in all modern societies across world.

By the end of the 18th century, Qing empire commanded an area of around 14 million sq.km with estimated population of around 300 million. Qing society was divided into mainly five categories:

  • Bureaucratic Officials
  • Gentry elite aristocracy
  • Literati, scholar
  • Respectable “Commoner”
    • occupational group of farmers
    • occupational group of artisans
    • occupational group of merchants
  • Debased “Mean” people (slaves, bond-servants, entertainers like prostitutes, tattooed criminals, very low-level employees of government officials)

About 80% of total population were peasants. Landholding peasants were largest labour force with presence of insignificant number of hired (landless) labour. The state also recruited army personnel from rural population.

Agriculture and Land-use:

Agriculture sector was the largest source of employment in Chinese society. With private property rights over land, the farmers had natural incentive to produce more quantity and produce variety of crops. This resulted in increased factor productivity. Land owning peasantry also got benefitted from the state policy that supported hiring of labourers. On the other hand, tax from agriculture made up the largest share of state revenue. So, the landholding peasantry and fiscal-military state both had incentive for territorial expansion. And, the state often resettled farmers in new regions with material (seed and farming tools) and finance (free passage and tax holidays). By the 18th century the Han ‘refugees’ from northern China who were suffering from drought and flood were resettled in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia regions. The Han farmers farmed about 0.5 million hectares of privately owned land by Manchu elites in Manchuria and about 200,000 hectares of lands that were part of noble estates and Banner lands.

There were other innovative actions as well – introduction of maize and sweet potatoes, double cropping, fertilizer such as bean-cakes, re-introduction of early-ripening rice – that helped to increase productivity and conversion of marginal land into regular farm land. A system of monitoring grain prices helped the rulers to eliminate severe shortages, as well as to eliminate hoarding and price shock to the consumers.

The farmers on the basis of a high-yield agriculture produced a constant and sizeable ‘surplus’ that ensured development of market economy in (medieval and) early modern China. Historians estimate that up to one-third of China’s post-tax agricultural output was subject to market exchange. This surplus also became the basis of growth and development of other sectors in the economy.

Trade and Commerce:

For the first time, a large percentage of farming households began producing crops for sale in the local and national markets rather than for their own consumption or barter in the traditional economy. Surplus crops were placed onto the national market for sale, integrating farmers into the commercial economy from the ground up. This naturally led to regions specializing in certain cash-crops for export as China’s economy became increasingly reliant on inter-regional trade of bulk staple goods such as cotton, grain, beans, vegetable oils, forest products, animal products, and fertilizer.

Merchant class functioned within the state-imposed boundary. At the apex of the market structure, the state controlled key commodities like salt, wine, iron and steel etc. Qing state refused new mining rights to private merchants. Foreign trade was controlled by the state, participated by both state and private merchants. So the Chinese merchant class was left with unrestricted platform to engage in commercial transactions at village level (surplus-based market exchange with farmers) and at region level (estimated around 1,000–1,500 such regions in Qing empire). Trade between markets at the village level, region level, and province levels developed into a network covering much of Qing empire. Hence, the merchant class became very wealthy but lacked the strength (as a class) to influence the economy and state politics.

Merchant guilds proliferated in all growing cities in China who sourced manufactured items (by artisans and commoners) like textile, handicraft, ceramics, silk, paper, stationary, cooking utensils. More efficient administration of the Grand Canal created new opportunities for private merchants who could transport goods easily within Qing empire. It has been estimated that in the early nineteenth century, as much as one-third of the world’s total manufactures were produced by China. Though In 1685 the state opened maritime trade for the merchants along the coast by establishing customs offices in port cities like Guangzhou, Xiamen, Ningbo, due to internal political moves such trade arrangement was abandoned. By the time when maritime trade was again made legal, trade with west Europe grew to such an extent that, Canton alone housed more than forty mercantile houses. China primarily imported war horses (for the army), and metals (for currency). China exported silk, ceramics, textiles, metal products (made of iron, copper, bronze etc.), non-metal handicrafts, tea. Trade between China and Europe grew at an average annual rate of 4% between 1719 and 1806. Qing state established the Canton System in 1756 CE that restricted maritime trade to Canton/Guangzhou and gave monopoly trading rights to private Chinese merchants. European merchant ‘companies’ British East India Company and Dutch East India Company had been granted similar monopoly rights by their governments long ago. In the early modern era, demand in Europe for Chinese goods were met through import for which payments were made by silver (sourced by European colonial powers from western hemisphere colonies). Resulting inflow of silver expanded the money supply, facilitating the growth of competitive and stable markets. Thus China had gradually shifted to silver as the standard currency for large scale transactions and by the beginning of 18th century collection of the land tax was done in silver. Since China was self-sufficient in all types of consumer goods, very low import caused imbalance of trade vis-à-vis Europe, which in turn resulted in drain of silver from European powers. British East India Company started importing opium into China. Import of opium into China were paid for by silver – It is estimated that between 1821 and 1840, as much as one-fifth of the silver circulating in China was used to purchase opium. Alarmed with both over the outflow of silver and damage that opium smoking was causing to Chinese people, emperor ordered to end the opium trade, which started the conflicts with European powers in 1839 CE.

Apart from short-term credit systems, offering house and farm land as collateral to raise long-term money was also present. But, community and state interference with such contracts by blocking land transfers from debtors to creditors was one of the significant factors that displacement and dispossession (basis of ‘capitalistic’ primitive accumulation) never took root in China.

Due to ‘equal opportunity’ meritocracy and social mobility, the talented youth were generally drawn towards literati and officialdom (‘Pan’ family of Anhui transformed from one of wealthiest merchant family to powerful family of bureaucrats within two centuries). Merchant class was not considered as sufficiently suave which can attract talented people. They could not rival the influence of large landholding aristocracy notwithstanding localised influence of very rich merchants. Instead, the existence of factor markets for land allowed merchants to join the landholding class.

Some merchants with entrepreneurship zeal migrated to the European colonial outposts like Manila, Macau, Jakarta to avoid empire’s policies which were Confucian (assigning merchants and other commoners same level who deserved equal treatment from the state as a patriarch).

Early Banking:

Copper coins were used for everyday transactions, while silver was used for larger transactions as well as for payment of tax to the government. Apart from monetary conversion the money-changers also provided credit, and rudimentary banking services. Remittance banks evolved during this period that would take cash deposits from merchant in one place and issue remittance certificates, which the merchant could then take elsewhere to pay his supplier. That person would in turn go to bank in his vicinity and exchange the certificate for coins. By the 18th century there was a vast network of such banks which played a stellar role for development of commercial activity in China.

Development of Trade Towns:

Due to the commercialization of the surplus agricultural products as well as booming ‘cottage industry’ (if I may say so), merchants were involved in inter-region and inter-province trades with help of long-distance transportation network. Towns popped up as commercial centres to direct the flow of domestic trade. As more and more people travelled, ‘guild halls’ came up in market-towns for lodging and boarding of those people which included merchants, buyers, and sellers. It has been that about 45,000 market towns developed, some of which became home to some of the merchants.

During mid-17th century guild halls were introduced for more specific purpose – to facilitate craftsmen and artisans of specific sectors like textiles weaving, carpentry, medicine, iron and steel work. Thus those guild halls acted as nucleus of industrial-towns, which further developed into large cities with real estate, water supply, sewerage system etc.

Similarities & Dissimilarities with Western Europe:

In 18th century Qing era, the standards of living in south and east regions of China reached a high level which was comparable with wealthy regions of 19th century Western Europe. As per renowned Historians-cum-Sinologists key factors were ‘(1) the rationality of private property rights-led growth, (2) total factor productivity growth associated with China’s green revolutions from Han to Ming-Qing and the economic revolution under Song dynasty, and (3) China’s export capacity (hence China’s surplus output) and China’s silver imports (hence purchasing power of China’s surplus)’.

Ken Pomeranz showed that the core productive regions in China and West Europe both faced major bottlenecks in the form of land and energy constraints in the 19th century. A combination of domestic and international factors as well as much luck enabled England to overcome these challenges and embark on a capital-intensive path of industrialization. As per Pomeranz, two major factors here were ‘(1) the conveniently located coal reserves, which, being near the core areas helped Britain escape its energy constraints more easily, and (2) Britain’s coercive colonization of the western hemisphere, which served as a source of land-intensive goods such as cotton, sugar and grain, while at the same time providing a market for its manufactured goods. In China, where coal reserves were not as readily available, and a policy of coercive colonization, which could provide it with free land, was absent, ecological constraints led to a turn to labour-intensive agriculture.’

Yet another line of thought considers (1) families of ‘strong, urban, entrepreneurial class capable of concentrating the agrarian surplus to foster a capitalist-industrial’ were absent in China unlike in UK, (2) In both agriculture and cottage industry sectors the Qing emperors’ policy of conflict-containment (between landlord and tenant, between owner and labour) contained appeasing and accommodating attitude towards the tenants and labours (very much unlike the UK where merchants, landlords and entrepreneurs received unconditional support from state) which ultimately were detrimental to accumulation of capital.

Socio-economic indicators:

As per Maddison, percentage share of global GDP and GDP per Capita of China, West Europe, and USA:

YearChinaGDPChinaGDP per CapitaWest EuropeGDPWest Europe GDP per CapitaUSAGDPUSAGDP per Capita
150024.91.115.51.4
182033.00.920.41.91.81.8
19406.40.327.52.520.63.6

As per Allen, and Pomeranz, select socio-economic indicators in early-modern China and England:

CountryAverage Life Expectancy at Birth in mid-18th centuryAverage Calorie Intake/male/dayin 19th centuryLand Productivity 1806 to 1820 CE (Pound/Acre)Labour Productivity 1806 to 1820 CE (Pence/Day)
China35 to 39About 260026.151.3
England31 to 342000 to 35003.360.9

Significant observations on Qing China:

1. Even though Chinese society maintained a robust lead over rest of the world in science and technology (as conclusively shown by Joseph Needham) including metallurgy, porcelain, gunpowder, compass, silk, paper, block printing, water turbine, herbal medicines and many other areas, China was slow to catch up with the technology behind (a) industrial machinery, (b) transportation systems, (c) military arms developed in West Europe since mid-18th century

2. By end-18th century when territorial expansion stopped, population continued a healthy growth. Due to prevailing equal-inheritance practice, farm-owners started facing the problem of a shrinking farm that resulted in decreasing prosperity among farmer class, which finally reflected in less than expected tax realisation by the Chinese state. Combination of key factors like (a) the organised hooliganism and colonialism of European trading companies, (b) internal discontent and rebellion among the common people, and (c) territorial competition with Russian and Japanese empire, proved fatal after 1840 CE

3. With a thriving agriculture and a splendid cottage industry that catered domestic demands China mostly needed war horses and metals to be imported. This was in direct contrast to West European states who needed consumer goods to be imported from China but couldn’t offer goods to be exported to maintain somewhat balance in trade, so they brought in opium. Qing administration should have analysed this problematic trading relation beforehand to take necessary actions to forestall such developments

4. The debate among a large number of Historians and Sinologists about ‘why China couldn’t develop capitalism before West Europe’ continues till date. The fact of the matter is that, the social-economic-political checks and balances that existed in China since 1st millennium BCE (largely due to pervasive Confucian thought in Mandarin Chinese mainland as well as Buddhist thought in Mongolian-Tibetan dominated regions) were diametrically opposite to concept of the so-called ‘animal spirit’ of zionist capitalism. The wealthy landlord and merchant class in China could never pursue profit and endless accumulation of capital by controlling state super-structure. However, the hard-working and merit-based dynamic society of China allowed commercialization, trading, proto-industrialization, and urbanization in a big way since medieval Song era.

3. CHINA IN MAO ERA

Since mid-19th century, one-after-another onslaught by the west European colonialist powers, and Russian-Japanese empires devastated China: first the Qing empire up to 1911, then the Nationalist China up to 1945. Overcoming the ‘century of humiliation’, through armed struggle and huge loss of life, the Chinese Communist Party seized state power in mainland China in 1949. Mao Zedong lost his wife, a son, two brothers, and sister, Zhou Enlai lost all his children, while Zhu De found decapitated head of his pregnant wife nailed to the city gate. At the time, China was a backward agrarian economy with widespread poverty, lawlessness and illiteracy; of its five hundred million people, eight in every ten people were illiterate, one in every eight people was drug addict. It was a time when peasants had to give away two-thirds of their produce in rent/tax, and people sold themselves to avoid starvation.

One can only look back at 1949 China with bewildering awe about how the Peoples’ Liberation Army completed their task of liberation under Mao and his comrades, which culminated with CPC’s emphatic take-over of state power. No other revolutionary leader, anywhere in the world till date, could mobilise such vast number of his countrymen through such enormous hardships for decades. Initial acts were swift and effective. The banking system was nationalized and People’s Bank of China became the central bank for the country. The government tightened credit, established value of the currency, implemented centrally controlled government budgets – all of these ensured that inflation was under strict control. CPC undertook a land reform programme through which 45% of the arable land were redistributed to the 65% of peasant families who owned little or no land. These peasants were encouraged to form sort of mutual aid teams among 7-8 households. CPC also nationalised most of the industrial units as soon as they came to power. By 1952, 17% of the industrial units were outside state-owned enterprises compared to about 65% during Kuo Mindang government.

The First Five-Year Plan (1953–57) followed the Soviet Union model which assigned primacy to development of heavy industry. Government of China controlled about 67% as directly state-owned enterprise and 33% as joint state-private enterprise. There was no more privately owned company. Key sectors like Coal and Iron ore mining, Electricity generation, Heavy Machinery manufacturing, Iron and Steel manufacturing, Cement manufacturing etc. were modernised by construction of hundreds of new factories with help from engineers sent by Soviet Union. Growth of industrial production increased at average rate of 19% per year during this period. During this period, more than 90% of cottage/handicraft industries were organized into cooperatives.

The agricultural sector however didn’t perform as per expectation and only clocked average growth rate of 4% per year. From loosely constructed ‘mutual aid teams’, peasants were encouraged to form ‘cooperatives’, in which individual families still received some income on the basis of their contribution of land. In the next stage, ‘collectives’ were formed on which income was based only on the amount of labour contributed by each family. In addition, each family was allowed to retain a small plot to grow vegetables and fruit for their personal consumption. By 1957 the collectivization process covered 93% of all farm households.

Second Five-Year Plan (1958–62) was abandoned. The leadership introduced new set of policies, and decided to engage entire population to produce a “great leap” in production for all sectors of the economy at once. 3-tier Communes were built to spearhead quantum jump in agricultural produce – at the top level commune central administration, at the next level 20 or more production brigades represented by the old ‘collectives’, and the last tier production team that consisted of about 30 families of village. They attempted to build vast irrigation network by employing unemployed and underemployed farmers – final objective was to increase the agricultural output and employment. Similarly, surplus rural labour was also employed in thousands of small-scale, low-technology, industrial projects in rural areas – final objective was enhancement in industrial and agricultural output and employment. Such small scale industry (including steel making furnaces) were also run by communes. The communes proved to be too bulky to carry out administrative functions efficiently. As a result of economic mismanagement, and unfavourable weather for two years, food production in 1960 and 1961 plunged. As a result, China faced a famine – in 1960 the death rate was 2.54% compared to average death rate of 1.14% registered during 1957 and 1958.

In 1958 industrial growth was 55%, in 1961 it was 38%. By 1962 overall economic collapse propelled the leadership to devise a new set of economic policies. Agricultural taxes were reduced, supplies of chemical fertilizer increased, agricultural machinery were made available, procurement prices for agricultural products were raised, the role of the commune central administration was significantly reduced, and private farming plots were restored. In industry, planning was again emphasized, import of technologically advanced foreign machinery started, hydro-electric power plants were setup, old plants were refurbished, chemical fertilizer plants and agro-machinery plants were setup in large numbers. Between 1961 and 1966, average annual growth of industrial output surpassed 10% while agricultural output grew at an average rate more than 9% a year.

The Cultural Revolution, a political upheaval whereby Mao re-established control over the party by pushing aside the right-of-centre and left-of-centre factions of CPC. It didn’t produce major changes in official economic policies or the basic economic model. Nonetheless, the disturbances affected urban society which impacted about 14% decline in industrial production in 1967. By 1969 industrial sector returned to a normal growth rate. Fourth Five-Year Plan (1971-1975) saw resumption of systematic economic growth especially in industrial sector (with new plants setup for Petroleum Exploration and Refinery, Fertilizer, Steel, building materials, Chemicals etc.). Petroleum and Coal were exported since the beginning of 1970s. With industrial sector average rate of 8% and agricultural sector average rate of 3.8% it was clear that, contrary to popular image Mao era targeted industrial growth as the top priority.

CPC leadership re-evaluated the economic state of affairs and Zhou Enlai presented a report to the Fourth National People’s Congress in Jan’1975. He formulated the famous ‘Four Modernizations’ policy targeting agriculture, industry, defence, science and technology. By 1976, when both Mao and Zhou departed, foundation for a strong self-reliant country had been built, and mainland China had (1) a very large, and healthy labour force having basic education, (2) a huge battery of state-owned industrial enterprises across sectors, (3) infrastructure, power, communication required for further economic growth, (4) an economy burdened by extremely low external debt (2.99% of gross national income as of 1981).

Socio-economic indicators:

Except three interludes – Great Leap Forward (1958–60), Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966–69), and post-Mao political struggle (1976–78) – different sectors of the Chinese economy (agriculture, mining, manufacturing) experienced healthy growth, albeit with quite difficulty aroused out of frequent policy changes. Economists estimate that during the period 1952–1978, China’s real GDP per capita grew at a robust 4% average annual rate, the industrial share of GDP rose from 20.9% in 1952 to 47.9% in 1978 (as per Chinese National Bureau of Statistics), industrial labour productivity grew by 236.7% and agricultural labour productivity growth was only 25.5% over the same period, the fraction of the labour force in agriculture declined from 83% to 75% with the value added produced in agriculture declined from 78% in 1953 to 30% in 1977, household consumption grew by only 2.3% annually, retail prices for consumer goods grew at an average rate of 0.6% a year. Life expectancy at birth improved from 43.5 years in 1960 to 66.5 years in 1978, according to World Bank data.

YearGDP Nominal(Billion USD)GDP per Capita(USD)Population(Billion)
195230.55540.569
196059.72890.667
197092.601130.818
1977174.941850.943

Significant observations on Mao China:

1. Treading on the same path taken by Soviet Union, 1949 onwards China went on to implement a mode of production which was essentially ‘state capitalism’. Soviet Union as a state was the owner of the means of production and ‘commodity’ (which by definition is integrated with exchange-value i.e. ‘price’ in the ‘market’) that were produced. Following similar model, China created a new economy that also revolved around commodity production by state-owned enterprises, agricultural output production by state-owned communes and accumulation of capital by the state (through extraction of surplus from the rural agriculture and light industry). In Soviet Union and China, the ideologues termed it ‘socialist commodity’, however, socialism’ can’t theoretically accommodate production of ‘commodity’ that inherently refers to ‘market’.

In fact as Marxism suggests, the concepts of ‘commodity’, ‘market’, ‘capital’ and ‘surplus capital’ are intricately joined with ‘ownership’ of means of production. Marx and Engels were clear that these concepts don’t have place in socialist/communist society. It is not true that ownership pertains to only ‘private’ citizens, even ‘state’ can own assets to be used as ‘capital’ and the profits out of business gets appropriated by the state authority and close followers.  Undoubtedly, Stalin and Mao being the most committed followers of philosophy and ideology of Marx-Engels-Lenin, were well aware of the final destination of the Marxist journey. Why then both of them set out to accumulate capital in the state treasuries? We will come back to this question again in the last part of this hypothesis in section 5.

2. The central planning system initially adopted from Soviet Union, was the punching bag for CPC leaders whenever they reviewed the planned-vs.-achieved results and found variance (actual results were less than planned). The centralised economic planning as a concept was correct – there were shortcomings in the execution process. Firstly, sector-wise prioritization should have been done that reflects the reality in the society – Chinese society being overwhelmingly agrarian, the 1st Five Year Plan should have assigned primary importance to agriculture and next level of importance to light industry, heavy machinery being at the last layer of importance. Secondly, centralised economic planning needs accurate and complete set of data – China being a vast country with wide regional differences in weather, natural resources, social norms, demography, occupation, infrastructure etc., compilation of complete and correct and data for planning process 70 years back was much more complex than we can imagine today. Thirdly, in reality the central planning was a top-down process albeit with participation of all concerned ministries and departments. In a large country like China, bottom-up would have been a better approach.

3. Government introduced hukou system (originated in medieval China) in 1958 through which all rural households got registered through which the family members will get entitlement for housing, education, medical care in the place of their registered birthplace. In a way government controlled migration of rural population towards urban and semi-urban regions. Intellectuals who value human rights as inalienable natural right, termed this system as draconian. However, such arrangements were highly effective in controlling large-scale migration of unemployed rural people to urban areas causing socio-economic problem in both rural and urban areas.

4. The revolutionary spirit of Mao knew no bounds. Undoubtedly, he was right in emphasizing that, (a) not only economic sphere needs transformation from capitalism to socialism, but cultural sphere of society equally calls for such transformation, (b) the proletarian revolution has a long way to go. Time and again he became impatient with policies that were developed by him and his team earlier. Possibly Mao was oblivious of the fact that, frequent changes in political and economic policy would leave a trail of inefficiency, maybe he was not. During the second half of 1950s, the decisive rejection of Stalin’s achievements by CPSU, dampening of Leninist ideals, and withdrawal of all kinds of Soviet support from China made Mao deeply perceptive of the overall challenges on the way to build socialism in a country– this alone can explain Mao’s vacillation in policy issues and in-depth deliberations on socio-cultural aspects of socialist revolution (a territory, which was much less travelled by Lenin and Stalin). Thus Mao delved into too many intangible factors (apart from political economy) that would influence the final outcome of a complete communist transformation of any society.

4. CHINA IN DENG ERA

After a brief struggle for leadership, Deng Xiaoping took control of CPC in 1978. At the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC held in December’1978 in Beijing, the majority party leaders decided to undertake reform and opening up of economy. They repudiated the Cultural Revolution of Mao era. The reform, as Deng proposed, would develop productive forces through increasing role of market mechanisms and reducing role of government planning.

Agricultural production was stimulated by an increase of over 22% in the procurement prices paid to the peasants for farm produces. The commune system was decollectivized but the state still owned the land and household responsibility system was introduced in agriculture starting in 1979 – individual farming families would get ‘right to use’ on plots of land (divided from old ‘communes’) from government, earn profit by selling their products on the market in lieu of delivering a small contractual amount of produce to the state as taxes. This arrangement increased productivity through the profit incentives for the farmers, and about 98% of farm households were brought under this system by 1984. In 1985, by employing 63% of the country’s labour force the agricultural sector achieved 33% of the GNP, agricultural production got increased by about 25%. Among agricultural produces grains like rice, wheat, corn, barley, millet, cash crops like oil seeds, sugarcane, cotton, jute, fruits, vegetables, poultry and pigs were primarily produced by peasant families. Though efficiency of agriculture sector improved a lot with all arable plots producing at least one crop per year, and under favourable conditions two or three crops a year, fundamental problems remained as before – small farm size, and inadequate agriculture equipment.

Apart from a significant category of small handicraft/cottage industry, light industries formed second category while large industry category included Power plants, Petroleum Refineries, Petrochemicals, Chemicals, Fertilizers, Textile, Steel, Cement, and Automobile. Reforms targeted in urban industrial regions. In industrial sectors, state-owned industries received permission to sell production above the ‘plan quota’ at market at prevailing market prices, as well as received affirmation to experiment with the bonuses to reward higher productivity among employees. Industrial Responsibility System introduced in mid-1980s allowed individuals or groups to manage the state-owned enterprise by entering into contract with government. Private businesses (which almost disappeared after the Cultural Revolution) were allowed to operate and price flexibility was introduced, and gradually private ownership enterprises began to make up a greater percentage of industrial output. Bringing in modern business enterprise management process, government allowed managers to gain control over their business operation including recruitment and layoff (with approval from bureaucrats and CPC). Industrial sector generated around 46% of GNP in 1985 by employing only about 17% of the total labour force in China. Enterprises further got incentive when in 1985 the policy of retaining the net profit (after payment of tax-on-profit to government) within the enterprise was made across China. On banking and financing also there were policy changes – bank loans were made available to the enterprises at a very low interest which would have to be paid back to banks. Budgetary support by government was reduced. For industries, foreign trade procedures were made much easier; (soon special economic zones would be launched to be in the forefront of the boom in foreign trade). The effect of profit-driven competitive environment on working class people was that, many enterprises slowly replaced permanent employment with short-term contractual job as well as eliminated welfare packages for workers – this impacted industrial workers’ living standard and social security negatively.

Perhaps the most sweeping policy decision taken by Deng related to the open door policy for foreign investment. Starting in January’1979, Chinese government created initial 5 special economic zones (SEZ) in Shantou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai (all in Guangdong province), Xiamen (in Fujian province), and Hainan province where many additional infrastructure, fiscal incentives, and freedom from too many bureaucratic regulations were provided to foreign investors for setting up industry. Primarily geared to exporting goods, the five SEZs housed foreign joint ventures with Chinese companies as well as fully owned foreign companies. In 1984, China opened 14 coastal cities to MNC investment: Dalian (Liaoning province), Qinhuangdao (Hebei province), Tianjin, Yantai, Qingdao (both in Shandong province), Lianyungang, Nantong (both in Jiangsu province), Shanghai, Ningbo, Wenzhou (both in Zhejiang province), Fuzhou (Fujian province), Guangzhou, Zhanjiang (both in Guangdong province), and Beihai (in Guangxi province). Beginning in 1985, new economic zones were established in Liaodong peninsula, Hebei province, Shandong peninsula, Yangtze river delta, Pearl river delta, Xiamen-Zhangzhou-Quanzhou in southern Fujian province, and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region. In the post-Deng era, these regions became high-power engines of economic growth and technological breakthroughs for the Chinese economy.

The open door policy changed the landscape of foreign trade in China. Before the reforms, combined exports-imports in 1969 was 15% of GDP; with reforms in 1984 it became about 20% and in 1986 it reached 35% of GNP. Textiles, Petroleum, and foodstuff were main export goods while machinery, transport equipment, and chemicals were key import items. By 1986, Japan became the dominant trading partner accounting for 28.9% of imports and 15.2% of exports. During the same time, USA appeared on the horizon as the third largest overall trade partner, next only to Hong Kong which accounted for 13% of imports and 31.6% of exports. Under Deng, the SEZ and foreign trade became significant tools for both foreign direct investment (FDI) and modern technology. Most interesting part of China’s industrial drive was ‘technology transfer’. While historically China was always on the forefront of applied science and technology, as the 18th century was drawing to a close China was slowing down in the technology race compared to west Europe – hence Deng made it a point that following the ‘four modernisation’ programme China should rapidly close the technology gap by upgrading old mining and manufacturing plants as well as installing plants with sophistication.

Apart from huge coal reserves, China had substantial reserves of natural gas. With many rivers running across the country, hydroelectric potential was among the largest in the world. Large number of coal-fired thermal power plants and large hydroelectric projects were undertaken by the government to generate electric energy necessary for a thriving industrial economy.

Undoubtedly Deng’s overall reform programme accomplished very impressive success, but it also gave rise to several serious socio-economic problems – rise of factions attached to neoliberal free-market political economy within CPC, managerial autonomy in state owned and private owned enterprises, rampant corruption, economic crime, widening income disparities, uncontrolled inflation, and large scale moral deterioration. These concerns created huge storm within CPC and party general secretary Hu Yaobang was forced to resign in 1987. The left-of-centre faction of CPC stalled some of the reform programmes. Student leaders mainly based in Beijing and Shanghai who were fascinated by the neoliberal free-market ideology, pointed out to such socio-economic issues in the then Chinese society and built a movement (supported by the Zionist Capitalist Deep State) that aimed at toppling the CPC rule. The People’s Liberation Army was mobilised to break seize by protesting students at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in June’1989.

In November and December of 1990 Deng reopened the Shanghai Stock Exchange and established the Shenzhen Stock Exchange respectively. Party Congress in 1992 echoed Deng’s views while stating that China’s key task ahead would be to create a ‘socialist market economy’. And, in 1992 Deng undertook ‘southern tour’ during which he underscored the need to continue reforms to open up the economy. Through these actions Deng re-established control over the party (which was weakened in the aftermath of Tiananmen Square protests) by pushing aside the far-left and left-of-centre factions of CPC. Deng made Jiang Zemin the CCP’s new top leader. A new round of market reforms was initiated. Private enterprises and enterprises owned by the local governments took advantage of easy loans from state-owned banks to expand their business. This again caused inflation and fiscal deficit during 1993. New policy of floating exchange rate and convertibility for renminbi caused about 33% devaluation of renminbi. Foreign Direct Investment was further encouraged and capital inflows to China poured. Economy cooled down after enterprises owned by local governments transferred a larger portion of revenue to the central government, and bank credits were tightened. Exports surged due to devaluation. In 1996, the economy grew at around 9.5% accompanied by low inflation.

Working on the free trade and economic zone policy after 1990, the government opened the Pudong New Area in Shanghai and cities in Yangtze river delta to overseas investment. Since 1992 the government opened more border cities and capital cities of provinces and autonomous regions.

The total number of industrial enterprises rose from 377,300 in 1980 to nearly 8 million in 1990. During the Deng era, higher levels of inflation appeared with reduced government controls – in 1980 consumer prices rose by 7.5% while in 1985 the increase was 11.9% going down to 7.6% in 1986. In 1995 China exported 24.7 billion USD to USA and 149 billion USD to rest of the world. In 1997, the year when Deng departed, share of private consumption in GDP was only around 43% while share of exports in GDP was around 22%.

Changing socio-economic indicators:

Economists John Whalley and Xiliang Zhao estimated the impressive performance of Chinese economy (using Barro-Lee approach) between 1978 and 1999:

  • Output growth rate – 9.72%
  • Growth rate in Input
    • physical capital – 7.30%
    • labour – 2.03%
    • human capital (represented by average years of schooling) – 2.81%
  • Growth rate in Total Factor Productivity (TFP) – 3.64%
  • Contribution to GDP growth
    • physical capital – 36.35%
    • labour – 10.78%
    • human capital – 14.95%
    • TFP – 37.93%
YearGDP Nominal(Billion USD)GDP per Capita(USD)Population(Billion)
1980306.173120.98
1990394.573481.135
1997961.607821.23

Significant observations on Deng China:

1. The 14th National Communist Party Congress held in the year 1992 not only backed Deng’s continuous push for market reforms but they thought that China was on the way to create a ‘socialist market economy’. This was the official expression of CPC to document their push for reform using market forces. I doubt, if such terminology existed in pre-Deng China or in pre-Gorbachev Soviet Union.

Again, as the Marxist theory proposed, socialism would be antithesis to market-driven economy which had been propelled by capitalistic mode of production. In capitalist society the ‘factor of production’ would be sourced from ‘market’ and commodity would be sold in the ‘market’. In socialist parlance, concept of market shouldn’t exist irrespective of whether the concept is proposed by any faction within the communist party: ‘left’, ‘right’, or ‘centre’. It was, primarily, the inability of the then CPC leadership to reorganise and galvanize the rural and urban economy to unleash the productive forces; instead they got into the ‘market economy’ which was the engine of ‘mercantile’-‘agrarian’-‘industrial’ versions of capitalism that took root in west European societies since 16th century.

2. Deng was the great architect of what can be termed as the ‘Chinese juggernaut for export’. China’s market reform was undertaken much later compared to Japan and other Asian Tigers. Beginning in the 1980s the late-coming exporter did a splendid job of absorbing huge amount of investment and latest manufacturing technology. Relatively stagnant urban living standards and falling rural living standards resulted in massive transfer of rural labour into the growing export sector. Additionally, the state-owned enterprises already had disciplined, educated, and skilled labour force that made the entry of big Multi-National Corporations (MNC) easy into Chinese market – giants like Boeing, Toyota started their businesses in China through collaboration with Chinese state-owned enterprises who were in same sector of aircraft or automobile. This environment was another legacy of the Mao era. China’s attractiveness to global capital was further enhanced by persistently low level of workers’ wage compared to other Asian countries like Japan, Singapore, as well as the competitive pressure among local provinces who raced with one another to achieve high GDP growth by offering favourable terms possible to foreign investors (ranging from tax breaks to free industrial land).

While China went on to build world’s largest export-dependent economy in 2000s, unlike Japan and other Asian Tigers who built on the basis of private-owned enterprises, Chinese government depended on both: state-owned and private-owned enterprises to manufacture and to export an amazing range of consumer goods to every nook and corner of the world. Deng foresaw this economic boom that provided much needed upliftment of living standard of millions of educated Chinese. However, Chinese economy couldn’t avoid the short-term economic hardships unleashed by such rapid reforms to push export-oriented economy.

3. Far from being a follower of liberal capitalist political thought, Deng was a committed socialist unlike many top leaders of Soviet Union at that point of time. Researchers should remember that for Deng, ‘market economy’ was ‘a method of using black cat to catch mice instead of using a red cat’, and capability development in China would follow the policy ‘hide your strength, bide your time’. In my opinion, Deng didn’t have ever any doubt on the final outcome of the Marxist view that, the final history will be written by the classless communist society. Hence, his advice to build strength.

While authorising the deployment of PLA forces to remove the protesting student by force from Tiananmen Square in 1989, Deng was clear that the leadership of protesting students were liberal capitalist ideologues who was trying to bring down the CPC rule in China using the discontent among the people about corruption-inflation-nepotism. Had Deng and most other senior leadership believed an iota of liberal capitalist philosophy, by 1991, words like ‘socialism’, ‘communism’, ‘Marxism’ would have been completely erased from even the written history of civilization.

Part 2 – pending

Part 3 – pending


By profession I’m an Engineer and Consultant, but my first love was and is History and Political Science. In retired life, I’m pursuing higher study in Economics.

I’m one of the few decade-old members of The Saker blog-site. Hope that this website will continue to focus on truth and justice in public life and will support the struggle of common people across the world.

An Indian by nationality, I believe in humanity.

China’s $12.5 billion plan to transform Lebanon’s infrastructure (Arab TV report)

Source

June 26, 2020

China’s $12.5 billion plan to transform Lebanon’s infrastructure (Arab TV report)

A recent Al Mayadeen TV presentation illustrating the major infrastructural projects that China is proposing to build in Lebanon.

Whether these projects actually reach fruition or not hinges upon a greater consensus within the Lebanese political establishment.

However, the deteriorating socio-economic situation in the country is reducing the credibility of pro-American parties who have long argued Lebanon’s prosperity is dependent upon the benevolence of Washington, Europe, and the Arab Gulf states.

Source: Al Mayadeen News

Date: June 18, 2020

China and Russia Reject UN Secretary General Proposal on Open Borders for Al-Qaeda

Source

June 26, 2020 Arabi Souri

United Nations UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

China and Russia are reported to have rejected a proposal presented in a communique by the UN Secretary-General presented to the current penholders, Belgium and Germany. The SG has on several occasions expressed his desire to extend the free border crossing from Turkey into Idlib for 12 months. The current mandate established in 2014 (UNSCR 2165) expires on 10 July.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for the opening of Syria’s borders for the free flow of ‘humanitarian aid’ for one year; Syria, China, and Russia object it and consider it a breach of Syria’s sovereignty offering a secure passage for terrorists to sneak into Syria with their weapons as proven in the past.

Per reports, Russia proposed to deliver the intended humanitarian aid through Damascus, the Syrian capital, a proposal the UN’s top diplomat considered ‘not a viable applicable solution’, he might be worried that the Syrian state will confiscate any weapons, gears, and advanced satellite communication devices ‘gifted by the generous western donors’ to al-Qaeda terrorists operating in Idlib.

Resolutions — passed by the P5 Security Council members — require aye votes or a combination of ”ayes” and abstentions. UNSCR 2165 was extended with UNSCR 2393 (2017), UNSCR 2449 (2018)Its likely final extension, UNSCR 2504 (2020) passed with the French “aye,” and abstensions by US, UK, Russia, & China.

There are up to three million Syrians living in the region under the control of a number of assorted al-Qaeda and other Muslim Brotherhood terrorist groups loyal to the Turkish madman Erdogan; the real humanitarian aid delivered to Idlib falls in the hands of those terrorists who then sell it at high prices to the needy Syrian families, whereas if the Russian proposal is accepted, convoys of the aid would be delivered under the supervision of the United Nations itself and not al-Qaeda commanders.

Furthermore, what about the 18 million Syrians not living in al-Qaeda’s safe haven in Idlib and suffering from the increased sanctions imposed on them by the same ‘generous donors’ sending the aid to al-Qaeda terrorist groups in Idlib? Don’t they deserve some help instead of renewing the sanctions against them by the European Union earlier this month and the Trump regime imposing its unprecedented regime of sanctions dubbed the Caesar Act on the 17th of the month? Can the United Nations Secretary-General explain this hypocrisy under the supervision of his organization?

We know there’s no comfortable answer to this question since the UN organization was essentially built under the control of the victors of the WWII to serve their interests not to actually implement its own Charter, otherwise, there are dozens of un-implemented United Nations Security Council resolutions and other resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly to solve the Palestinian problem, the core issue destabilizing most of the world for the past 7 decades.

There is also the UNSC Resolution 2253 issued to dry up the sources of terrorism funding and facilitating, it was issued a few hours before the infamous UNSC Resolution 2254 calling for a ‘political solution for the Syrian crisis’, to enable implementing 2254, the UNSC needs to implement 2253. The United States of America and its cronies never mention Resolution 2253 while never stop calling for the implementation of Resolution 2254, they want to include elements from terrorist groups in the political solution in Syria, ie ministers in a future Syrian government from al-Qaeda… Just naming another example of the ways the UN functions.

Postscript:

It is noteworthy that Antonio Guterres’ humanitarian concerns for the suffering of the Syrian people — by all evidence — is limited to support for NATO countries to impose a new Sykes-Picot in Syria (maps showing that increased, non-sovereign border openings are around areas illegally occupied by Madman Erdogan and Trump regime troops, here.)

SG Guterres did not dispatch communique in condemnation of Erdogan’s bombing the electrical grid of the Alouk Water & Power plant — twice — in October; surely Syrian people need water and electricity.

There has been no communique over Turkey’s occupation of the water plant in Alouk, either, an occupation which has seen Syrians deprived of essential water for days at a time. Surely, humanitarian concerns involve Syrians not having access to their own clean water supplies.

Erdogan War Crimes, SDF Atrocities, No Reconciliation

https://www.syrianews.cc/erdogan-war-crimes-sdf-atrocities-no-reconciliation/embed/#?secret=qdeIMcckxO

The Secretariat has been silent over Trump’s illegals in Syria firebombing wheat fields in Hasaka, last month, followed by ongoing arsonof surrounding Syrian farmlands, by NATO-supported terrorists.

Surely humanitarian concerns of the truly righteous would include concern for the rights of Syrians to have access to their water and their food.

NATO Allies Hold Emergency UNSC Meeting to Save al-Qaeda in Idlib

Trump Unloads on Bolton After Bolton Unloads on Trump

Source

Philip Giraldi

Ph.D., Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.

June 25, 2020

Trump Unloads on Bolton After Bolton Unloads on Trump - TheAltWorld

John Bolton’s new memoir “The Room Where It Happened,” which came out two days ago in spite of White House attempts to block it, is the standard kiss and tell that senior American politicians and officials tend to write to make money for their retirement. There should be no question but that Bolton has done his best to cast the president in as bad a light as possible, which is easily done considering that communicating by twitter and through insults leaves a lot of room for second guessing about motive and intentions.

As required by law, Bolton’s book was reviewed for classified information starting in December, and when the process was finished it was started all over again, making clear that the tit for tat over the contents was essentially political and unrelated to national security. Having failed to stop the publication, the Trump Justice Department will now move to take away Bolton’s earnings from the book, a tactic that originated back in the 1970s with CIA whistleblower Frank Snepp’s “Decent Interval.” Critics of the security review process have noted that when a book says nice things about the government it is rarely interfered with no matter what classified information it might reveal, while a work that is unfriendly can expect to be hammered and delayed by the state secrets bureaucracy.

Why Donald Trump hired leading neoconservative John Bolton in the first place remains somewhat of a mystery, but the most plausible theory is that the number one GOP donor Sheldon Adelson demanded it. Adelson regards Bolton as something of a protégé and was particularly taken by Bolton’s enthusiasm for attacking Iran, something that the Las Vegas casino magnate and the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu both passionately desired.

After months of an apparently difficult tenure as National Security Advisor, John Bolton was finally fired from the White House on September 10, 2019, but the post mortem on why it took so long to remove him continued for some time afterwards, with the punditry and media trying to understand exactly what happened and why. Perhaps the most complete explanation for what occurred came from President Donald Trump himself shortly after the fact. He said, in some impromptu comments, that his national security advisor had “…made some very big mistakes when he talked about the Libyan model for Kim Jong Un. That was not a good statement to make. You just take a look at what happened with Gadhafi. That was not a good statement to make. And it set us back.”

Incredible as it may seem, Trump had a point in that Bolton was clearly suggesting that North Korea get rid of its nuclear weapons in exchange for economic benefits, but it was the wrong example to pick as Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi gave up his weapons and was then ousted and brutally killed in a rebel uprising that was supported by Washington. The Bolton analogy, which may have been deliberate attempt to sabotage any rapprochement, made impossible any agreement between Kim and Trump as Kim received the message loud and clear that he might suffer the same fate.

Subsequently, Bolton might have been behind media leaks that scuttled Trump’s plan to meet with Taliban representatives and that also, acting on behalf of Israel, undercut a presidential suggestion that he might meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Trump summed up his disagreements with Bolton by saying that the National Security Advisor “wasn’t getting along” with other administration officials, adding that “Frankly he wanted to do things — not necessarily tougher than me. John’s known as a tough guy. He’s so tough he got us into Iraq. That’s tough. But he’s somebody that I actually had a very good relationship with, but he wasn’t getting along with people in the administration who I consider very important. And you know John wasn’t in line with what we were doing. And actually in some cases he thought it was too tough, what we were doing. Mr. Tough Guy.”

Trump’s final comment on Bolton was that “I’m sure he’ll do whatever he can do to spin it his way,” a throw-away line that pretty much predicted the writing of the book. Bolton has many supporters among hardliners in the GOP and the media as well as among democracy promoting progressive Trump haters and it will be interesting to see what damage can be inflicted on the president’s reelection campaign.

Pre-publication reviews have focused on the takeaways from the book. The most damaging claim appears to be that Donald Trump asked the Chinese government to buy more agricultural products from the U.S. to help American farmers, which the president described as a key constituency for his reelection. Bolton claims that Trump specifically asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to buy American soybeans and other farm commodities and, as a possible quid pro quo, Trump intervened to reduce some financial penalties imposed on the Chinese telecommunications company ZTE for evading sanctions on Iran and North Korea.

Also concerning China, Bolton asserts that the president encouraged Xi to continue building concentration camps for the Muslim Uighurs, a religious and ethnic minority largely concentrated in the country’s Xinjiang region. The context of the alleged comment is not clear, nor is it easy to imagine how the subject even came up, so the claim might be regarded as exaggerated or even apocryphal. Bolton was not even present when the alleged conversation took place and only learned of it second hand.

Other claims made by Bolton include that Trump didn’t know that Britain was a nuclear power and that Finland is not part of Russia. The book also describes in some detail how Trump spent most of his time in White House intelligence briefings presenting his own views instead of listening to what analysts from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) offices had to say.

That Donald Trump was a poor student and is an intellectual lightweight has been noted by many observers. Combining that with his essential lack of curiosity about the world and its peoples means that he does not know much about foreigners and the places they live in. But it is both condescending and somewhat of a cheap trick by Bolton to pillory him for his ignorance.

The media’s vision of the most damaging charge, that Trump colluded with the Chinese, is, quite frankly ridiculous. Buying American agricultural products is in the interest of both farmers and the U.S. economy. Reducing penalties on a major Chinese company as a sweetener and to mitigate bilateral tensions is called diplomacy. Of course, anything a president does with a foreign country will potentially have an impact when reelection time rolls along, but it would be difficult to suggest that Trump did anything wrong.

The Bolton book has also been critiqued by some, including the New York Times, as the exposure of “a president who sees his office as an instrument to advance his own personal and political interests over those of the nation.” Bolton writes how “Throughout my West Wing tenure, Trump wanted to do what he wanted to do, based on what he knew and what he saw as his own best personal interests… I am hard-pressed to identify any significant Trump decision during my tenure that wasn’t driven by re-election calculations.”

Trump is, to be sure, a man who has subordinated the dignity of the office he holds to personal ambition, but he differs more in the pervasiveness of his actions than in the substance. Many other presidents have made many of the same calculations as Trump though they have been more restrained and careful about expressing them.

Finally, a number of editors who have read review copies of the book have observed how badly written and organized it is. If anyone is looking for a real indictment of Donald Trump and all his works, they will not find it in the Bolton book. Apart from the new information it provides, which seems little enough, it would appear to be a waste of $20 to possibly enrich an author who has been promoting and saying “more please” to America’s wars for the past 20 years.

Meng, Huawei and Canadian Law: Soap, Rinse and Dry-Laundered

By Harry Glasbeek

Global Research, June 25, 2020

The Bullet

Prologue

One of the graver risks for big-time criminals is that investigators will be able to identify them and their deeds by ‘following the money’. The criminals have to hide the proceeds of their crimes. This is done by depositing their monies into legitimate finance houses and businesses. It often requires some fancy book-keeping tricks and intricate transactions. This is called layering by the afficionados of this dark art. Once it is done, the criminals can draw on the accounts created and mix the ill-gotten gains with legally garnered capital. The term for this is ‘integration’ and it makes the investigators’ tasks much harder. The rotten fruit of crime will have been laundered.,

Extradition

For some time now, Hong Kong has seen massive street protests as many people want more of a say for themselves in governance and less of a say for Beijing. In the midst of the chaos, Hong Kong’s legislators proposed to ink an extradition agreement to which China would be the other signatory.

Extradition treaties are arrangements whereby a nation state agrees to return to its partner-nation to the treaty people alleged to have committed criminal acts against that other nation’s laws. It is meant to prevent alleged criminals from avoiding the consequences for their misconduct by escaping to another jurisdiction. When a request for extradition by a signatory to a treaty is received, a court there is to determine whether the application should succeed. It is not its task to question whether the person actually committed a crime. It merely has to determine whether it is the kind of crime which could lead to prosecution if the conduct had occurred in its jurisdiction. This gives the process its legitimacy because it gives effect to legal values shared by both parties to the extradition treaty. The court considering the request has no interest in whether the conduct actually amounted to a crime, either in the applicant nation or in its own. It assumes the facts as alleged by the applicant nation and then determines whether that conduct would amount to a violation of its own laws if it occurred in its jurisdiction.

It is, then, a judicial exercise which is purely formal. It does not make any findings about the issues between the applicant for extradition and the person resisting extradition.

Although this was the essential nature of the Hong Kong Bill, it met with fierce resistance: huge marches, physical fights in the legislature. The protests added fuel to the already widely burning fires of dissent and the Hong Kong government withdrew the Bill. In addition to the upheaval and violence in the streets, the government was likely somewhat influenced by the great show of support for the anti-Extradition Bill movement in countries such as the UK, the US and Canada. This anti-extradition stance by these nations seemed to sit uneasily alongside the fact that they had signed on to many similar extradition treaties themselves. But, they bought into the argument made by the Hong Kong dissidents. This was that, even though an extradition request made by China would be vetted by Hong Kong courts steeped in the principles and values of English common law, the proposed treaty would allow China to use extradition requests for crass political purposes, to help it chase down political opponents and agitators. It would lead to attacks on precious freedoms. Even though the proposed treaty ‘looked’ much like any other, it was likely to be used for unacceptable purposes. This sort of thing would never occur in the UK the US or Canada because, unlike China, they respected and lived by the Rule of Law.

The Lore and Lure of the Rule of Law

Canada’s legal system presents itself as embodying society’s shared values and norms. They are embodied in principles and the instrumental rules devised to give these fundamental principles life. This presupposes that the basic principles can be found and defined and that the rules will be appropriately fashioned and applied. The conventional view is that the judiciary is an independent institution and can be trusted to go about the finding of principles and the interpretation and application of rules in a non-partisan, in a non-political, manner.

Courts will treat all private individuals, whatever their social or economic circumstances, as legal equals whose disputes must be settled by the application of known, rational criteria. Rationality, of the legal kind, is to replace political and economic power, that is, irrational power.

The courts abide by generalizing principles and specific rules. The rules have to be spelled out clearly; citizens are to know of the existence of those rules; new rules should not apply retroactively. The principles and rules are to be applied even-handedly, regardless of status and class. The access to this justice system should be equally available to one and all. These are some of the ingredients of what is so often termed the Rule of Law. It is an attractive system because it suggests that everyone is subject to the same laws and requirements, that political or economic power is not allowed to deny anyone their entitlements or rights established in law. The UK, US and Canadian view is that it, or any equivalent, regime does not exist in China. But, while the idea of it certainly exists in our rather self-satisfied Anglo-American settings, its implementation may leave something to be desired.

While our courts are punctilious about following the procedural safeguards which make up the Rule of Law, they have an enormous amount of leeway when determining how substantive principles and rules are to be interpreted and applied. They are in a position to launder otherwise politically troubling, anti-liberal, anti-democratic, policies and decisions. What happens is a mixing of the adherence to procedural formalities which abjure bias and prejudice with the manipulation of substantive laws which incorporate bias and prejudice. The integrated outcome is analogous to the consequence of the criminals’ mixing suspect monies with legally acquired assets. It makes it hard to see whether there was a political wrong in the first place. It is a form of laundering, legalized laundering.1

The recent proceedings in Canada dealing with the US demand that the Chief Financial officer of Huawei, Meng Wanzhou, be extradited to the US brings some of this into the open. The Supreme Court of British Columbia ruled that Meng’s argument that there was no legal basis for extradition was rejected. Canada’s talking heads and chattering class sighed with relief. The self-proclaimed liberal Toronto Star’s editors welcomed and characterized the virtue of the decision: “Beijing must understand: out courts don’t serve the government… It’s called ‘rule of law,’ a concept foreign to China’s Communist Party and its mouthpieces.” Apart from their evident cold war genre chauvinism, the editors undoubtedly were glad to have any doubts about the Trudeau government’s and Canada’s allegiance to the Rule of Law stilled.

The recent embarrassment caused by the tawdry behaviour of almost every cog in the ruling class’s legal engine room during the SNC-Lavalin scandal which involved the government forcing its own Minister of Justice to resign because she wanted to act independently and deny a flagrantly wrongdoing corporation any kind of soft landing, now could be pushed aside as an uncharacteristic violation of Canada’s basic principles. To them, the Meng ruling signified that, once again, Canada was entitled to be smug, to assert that it was to be envied because of its stout adherence to an unalloyed good, the Rule of Law.

The Ruling in the Meng Case

It all began with a warrant issued by a New York court for Meng Wanzhou’s arrest in August 2018. She was not there. On December 1, 2018, after an extradition request from the US, Meng was arrested by Canadian authorities when she landed in Vancouver. On 28 January 2019, formal charges were laid by the US Department of Justice, accusing Meng’s employer, Huawei, of misrepresentations about its corporate organization which had enabled it to circumvent laws that imposed economic sanctions on Iran. Huawei was also charged with stealing technology and trade secrets from T-Mobile USA. Meng, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, was charged with fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Huawei pled not guilty to the charges of violating the Iran sanction provisions in a New York court and not guilty to the stealing charges in a Seattle court. After a number of preliminary legal skirmishes, the extradition hearings against Meng began in 2020. Associate Justice Holmes issued her ruling on 27 May, 2020. Law takes its time.

Meng had told HSBC officials who met with her in the back of a Hong Kong restaurant in 2013 that, despite the allegations in a newspaper article, Huawei had not made improper use of a closely associated firm, named Skycom Tech, to supply US materiel to Iran. The reason she had made this statement to HSBC, it was alleged, was that Huawei used HSBC as a banker when transacting business. If Huawei, as alleged, was implicated in violations of the Iran sanction laws, HSBC might well be held to be complicit in such crimes. The US alleged that Meng’s representations to HSBC constituted fraud under its law.

Meng Wanzhou argued that, for a case of fraud to be made out, in both the US and Canada, it was necessary for the prosecution to prove that the fraud materially contributed to a tangible loss. This could not be made out here. For Meng’s deception of HSBC to cause it a tangible loss in the US, it was necessary for US prosecutors to invoke the impact of another law, the Iranian sanction law. Without it there would not be any harm and, therefore, no fraud in the US. As Canada did not have any such sanction provisions in place, Meng’s deception would not have led to any tangible loss in Canada and there would have been no fraud committed in Canada. This argument that the basic requirement for extradition – mirroring laws – had not been met, was rejected by Associate Chief Justice Holmes.

She deployed standard legal reasoning that is, she looked for previous holdings and used the imprecisions she found in them and in the wording of the legislation she was interpreting. Holmes found that previous decisions had held that, in order to determine whether the conduct in the applicant jurisdiction created an offence, it was necessary to assess the essential nature of that conduct. That meant evaluating the foreign conduct in its context, in its legal environment. Meng argued that looking at the legal environment required taking a foreign law, one distinct from the laws being compared, into account, something which should not be done under the Extradition Law.

The presiding judge responded that only some aspects of the legal environment, constituted by that other law, had to be taken into account, not all of it. It was her job to say which aspects could be so used. Holmes admitted that she was going out on a limb because the distinction between looking at some aspects of a foreign law and taking the actual law into consideration is fraught, both as a matter of logic and of established law. She wrote that “the issue is at what level of abstraction… the essence … of the conduct is to be described… there is little authority or precisely what may be included in ‘imported legal environment’.”

Undeterred by the lack of any known criteria (remember the Rule of Law!), she used what she likely calls her common sense and what Meng’s supporters probably think was her unconscious bias. Associate Justice Holmes decided that, in this case, it was appropriate, when looking for the essential nature of the foreign conduct, to look at the effects of that US law, the Iran sanction law. As its effects made Meng’s deceiving conduct fraudulent in the US, and as deception is the core of fraud in Canada, the essential/contextualized nature of Meng’s conduct satisfied the essence of fraud as defined under Canada’s Criminal Code. Lawyers call this sort of finessing good lawyering; in the wider community it is seen as legal chicanery. Holmes ruled that Canada was free to extradite Meng.

Laundered

All that effort to put Wanzhou Meng’s fraud into legal context and not a scintilla of regard for the political, social and economic context of the case!

Everyone, literally everyone, knew what had led the US to charge Huawei and its CFO. It was to obtain bargaining chips in its fight with China. It was to persuade its citizens that it was right for the government to deny them access to cheaper goods and a better 5G system because China would abuse its growing economic influence and enhance its spying potential. It was to make China more pliable when the US demanded better trade terms and more protection for its intellectual property, etc. There was no attempt to hide any of this.

Did the Canadian government understand this? Of course. Did it feel it had to allow the US to use Canada’s supposedly neutral legal machinery to further its political project? Of course. Could the Canadian government have said “no” and simply turned a blind eye when Wanzhou Meng landed in Vancouver? Of course.

Was Associate Justice Holmes, at the very least, in a position to guess all of this? Of course.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia had the timelines of the saga before it. All the events that led to the fraud charges occurred years before the tug-of-war between the US and China turned into a full blown version of a new cold war. Meng’s alleged misrepresentations to HSBC occurred in August 2013, several months after Reuters had published its report on the links between Huawei and Skycom Tech. that supposedly led to Iran being supplied with US materiel.

It took five years for the US to charge Huawei and Meng. It took five years for its righteous indignation about Huawei’s and Meng’s violations to reach fever pitch. It took five years for the US to decide that a deception of one set of private entrepreneurs by other private entrepreneurs ( a garden variety event in an aggressive competitive milieu), a deception which took place in a far away jurisdiction, presented a danger to the integrity of the US justice system. That integrity had not been seen as severely threatened when the masters of the universe deceived millions of people during the subprime mortgage scandals, at least not sufficiently to charge any of the more senior perpetrators. None of this was of any concern to the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The court was only concerned with the narrowest of decontextualized legal issues before it. Its certainty that its only responsibility was to the Rule of Law signified to it that it should not be troubled by the possibility that it might be used as a pawn, by either the US or the Canadian government or both.

Nor was this lack of concern shaken by President Trump’s highly publicized statement to Reuters (the outfit which had written the report which started the ball rolling), made just after Wanzhou Meng was released on bail. Trump said that he would certainly intervene in her case “if I thought it necessary” to help forge a trade deal with China. Undoubtedly some people (especially lawyers) might think it right and proper for a court to ignore a blatant admission by a craven politician that the supposedly independent system of law of both the US and Canada was being used for partisan political purposes. After all, the statement had been made extrajudicially and had not been put before the court. While the judge might have known about the Trump intervention, much as she knew that the US and China were having a political tug-of-war and that Canada had been drawn into it, the wilful blindness demanded by the Rule of Law demanded that she make no reference to any off this knowledge.

This reasoning makes no sense to anyone not held in rapture by the Rule of Law fantasy. Immediately after Trump made his provocative statement, Trudeau realized that the public might draw the inference that Canada was just bowing to its Big Brother ally and permitting it to abuse the Canadian justice system. It evoked the notion that the US and Canada were just one country with two systems. He was forced to respond.

Trudeau issued the following statement: “Regardless of what goes on in other countries, Canada is and will always remain a country of the rule of law.” The message was clear: we, the elected government and its executive have nothing to do with any of this; we rule an independent country; we have an independent legal system and it makes these kinds of decisions. We respect this and abide by the results. When it comes to the extradition of Meng, we, the politicians, like Pontius Pilate, wash our hands off the whole mess. It has nothing to do with us. It is not a political matter.

This is why the editors of the Toronto Star and all other opinion moulders greeted the ruling in the Meng case with such acclaim. By ignoring all the real facts underlying the dispute, the court had given support to the Canadian government’s pretence that the Meng case had not raised questions about its participation in a complex set of political, economic and ideological controversies. Their role had been laundered. If the outcome suited the US in its struggle with China, this was incidental; Canada’s government had not pushed for such an outcome because it believed in the Rule of Law. These cheerleaders pointed out that, if Canada had interfered with the judiciary’s operations, it would certainly have pushed for a different result.

As it was, the judicial ruling could only strain relations between Canada and China, a most undesirable state of affairs as Canada hoped to have China release two Canadians accused of committing serious offences in China; more Canada had no interest in imperilling important trade relations with China, as the judicial ruling might well do. That is, the result may be a political win for Trump, but a loss for Trudeau, two Canadian citizens and, likely, some farmers and manufacturers if China uses its economic clout to punish Canada.

So viewed, the judicial outcome gives the impression that the government had not played any part in the decision-making. It should, therefore, not be held politically responsible for the consequences. The government had acted righteously, it had been true to the Rule of Law. Its conduct had been sanitized, laundered.

Of course this argument is not as strong if the judicial outcome is not seen as inimical to the government. What did Canada actually want? We can only guess. But it is to be remembered that the government did detain Wanzhou Meng; if it had not done so, the worst that would have happened is that the US might have been annoyed. Assuming, as it makes sense to do, that Canadian officials understood full well what the US was up to, the detention suggests, although it does not prove, that the government was not opposed to the obvious political and economic goals of the US. More strongly, it indicated that it was willing to support those goals. After all, it knew the risks it was taking. The headline in the Ottawa Citizen on 15 December, 2018, read: “Abelev: In the Huawei case, Trump has enlisted in a game Canada can’t win.”

Another glimpse of the Canadian government’s thinking is provided by Prime Minister’s request that John McCallum resign from his post as Ambassador to China after he had made public statements which indicated that he thought the case against Meng was trumped up and, therefore, should lead the government to reject the extradition request. This would help Canada in its negotiations with China which, in apparent retaliation, had jailed two Canadian citizens.

Implicit in McCallum’s intervention was a reference to a legal power that Canada has reserved for itself over extradition processes. The Minister for Justice can, at any moment after a request for extradition is received, abort the process. In Trudeau’s angry reaction to McCallum, he made no reference to this, pretending political interference with the judicial system was to be eschewed.2 While to some people, then, Trudeau’s publicized disapproval of McCallum’s views (and of similar ones by former Prime Minister Jean Chretien a little later), did dovetail with the claim that the government should not take a position on matters to be determined by a judge, it also suggested that the government would not object too much if the ruling went against Meng, regardless of what it might mean for Huawei, Meng and the prisoners. After all, the justification for the hands-off the justice system proffered by Trudeau should not have been given too much credence.

At that time a full-blown scandal was raging over the SNC-Lavalin affair. Trudeau was brazenly trying to get rid of an independent Minister of Justice precisely because she was thwarting his enactment of a law which was to apply retroactively (remember the Rule of Law!) to save a serial wrongdoing corporation. A curious symmetry weirdly surfaces. The Trudeau government was trying to give its rogue actor, SNC-Lavalin, the kind of gentle treatment the US had given HSBC by giving it access to a deferred prosecution agreement of the kind that the US had given that deviant bank.

There were many polluting particles in the ambient air as the Meng case was processed in the supposedly politically unpolluted atmosphere of law. Undoubtedly, Associate Justice Holmes did her best to blow all these toxic particles out of her mind, as all judges claim to do. But this does not mean that they did not influence her mind-set. We will never know. That is how laundering works: if the dirt which soiled the cloth is rinsed out, all that one is left with is clean cloth. Just what the government needed.

Epilogue

The legal processes have not ended. Meng may appeal the ruling on double criminality handed down by the Supreme Court of British Columbia, arguing the Holmes’ reading of how the essential nature of conduct in a foreign state was to be found was erroneous. Her lawyers do have some plausible arguments to proffer on this issue. Before that will take place, a hearing will be held into Meng’s allegation that, when she was detained in Vancouver, prior to being turned over to the RCMP, the border official obtained Meng’s telephone numbers and passwords and then passed these on to the RCMP. She was detained and questioned for three hours before she was told of her arrest. She claims her constitutional rights were violated and that the RCMP and Canada’s Border Services Agency acted, improperly, as US agents.

This is a claim that procedural safeguards essential to the proper operation of the Rule of Law had been breached. If successful it would make the arrest wrongful and mean that the committal process which led to Holmes’ ruling should be voided. The result of the adjudication on this action by Meng can also be the basis for an appeal. If all of it, the denial of proper process and the Supreme Court of British Columbia’s ruling on double criminality, are settled in favour of Canada, the extradition process can continue, although, as seen, the Minister for Justice can always set the whole thing aside.

There are many other hurdles to clear. The Trump Administration may be replaced, the Trudeau government (in a minority position) may fall before all this is over. It is also difficult to know what steps China will take and how this will influence political minds in Washington and Ottawa. These unknowns highlight how artificial it is to pretend that a request for extradition is a legal, non-political, struggle based on rational aseptic criteria.

To underscore this point, note that, on 4 June, 2020, the US State Department issued a threat. It will reassess its sharing of intelligence with Canada (a member of the so-called Five Eye intelligence network) if Canada chooses to let Huawei market its 5G technology in Canada. This makes it clear that the extradition case was never about a fraudulent misrepresentation to a ‘vulnerable’ foreign bank, but about furthering US efforts to ward-off the danger of an economic and political threat posed by China.

Law and its Rule of Law are convenient tools, no more no less. They should not be granted too much respect. Certainly they should not permit our governments to present themselves as unsullied, as if they have come out of the washing machine, smelling fragrantly.

And, oh yes, after its agreement with the US Department of Justice, HSBC had made much of its new approach and had spent money on better systems to inhibit wrongdoing. On 8 April, 2020, it was reported that HSBC had admitted it had engaged in money laundering in Australia. Maybe it does not require Huawei or Meng to engage in fraud to get HSBC to participate in criminality.

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Harry Glasbeek is a Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. His latest books are Class Privilege: How law shelters shareholders and coddles capitalism (2017) and the follow-up, Capitalism: a crime story (2018) both published by Between the Lines, Toronto.

Notes

  1. ‘The legalization of politics’ is the name given by Harry Glasbeek and Michael Mandel, “The Legalization of Politics in Advanced Capitalism: The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms” (1984), Socialist Studies, 2:84, and by Michael Mandel, The Charter of Rights and the Legalization of Politics in Canada, rev. ed., Toronto; Thompson Educational, 1994, to a process which removes class and history from political discourse and consciousness.
  2. As well, there is a rarely used law on the books, the Foreign Extra Territorial Measures Act, that the Attorney-General can deploy to repulse measures of a foreign state that are likely to significantly affect Canadian interests. This is the legislation used to allow Canada not to comply with the US sanctions on Cuba. Arguably, but not certainly, it could be used to block the extradition of Meng.

Featured image is from The BulletThe original source of this article is The BulletCopyright © Harry GlasbeekThe Bullet, 2020

THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF THE EMERGING NEW WORLD ORDER

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Source: New Eastern Outlook

By James O’Neill
One of the many difficulties in interpreting the statements of United States President Donald Trump is to decide what category to put his many statements (and even more prolific tweets) in.

Is it another thought bubble similar to his pronouncements on a cure for COVID-19 that was more likely to kill rather than to cure those who followed his advice? Is the latest pronouncement said with an eye to his re-election this coming November, to be discarded once that hurdle has been passed?

The answer to that question is perhaps best found by looking at his track record over the past 3 ½ years. There have been many pronouncements in the foreign policy field, but vanishingly small achievements have followed. The much-heralded nuclear deal with North Korea is one of the latest to fall by the wayside with North Korea’s president Kim announcing a resumption of nuclear testing.

Kim’s cited reason was the total absence of any concrete moves by the United States in settling their multiple outstanding issues. Kim noted, with some justification, that Trump’s negotiating technique was to demand concessions from the North Koreans which had to be fulfilled before the US would make any moves itself, such as reducing troop numbers in South Korea, or ceasing its economic warfare on the North.

It is a well-established principle that what a person does is a much more reliable indicator of future behaviour than what they say. Since becoming president, Trump has withdrawn from, or announced the United States’ intention of withdrawing from, a significant number of major treaties. These included, a by no means exhaustive list, the nuclear arms deal with Iran negotiated with the other United Nations Security Council permanent members plus Germany and European Union; the International Postal Union; the Paris climate agreement; the Trans-Pacific Partnership; UNESCO; and the Human Rights Council.

Whatever else these moves may mean; they are not the actions of a country committed to solving international problems in a multi-national format. Given this track record over the past 3+ years there is no basis for believing that they are temporary measures designed only to enhance Trump’s re-election prospects. Rather the attitude has been, “as long as you do what we want, we will stay.”

Given also the lack of any serious opposition to these moves in the US Senate or his putative presidential opposition candidate Joe Biden, it is probably safe to assume that these moves reflect a broader US approach to multilateral relations. That is, “as long as you do what we want we will stay” in any given organisation.

The reaction to unfavourable decisions by international bodies does however go further. The International Criminal Court (that the United States does not belong to) recently announced it was reopening its investigation into war crimes committed by the United States (and its allies) in Afghanistan. One might argue that this is long overdue, given that these alleged crimes have been a feature of the long 18+ years of warfare carried out on that country. This is before one even begins to contemplate the manifest lies on which the original invasion was based.

Trump’s reaction to the ICC announcement was to threaten both the organisation and its investigating staff, implying a military response if they had the temerity to indict any Americans for war crimes. The principles established in the Nuremberg and Tokyo war crimes trials are, it seems, but an historical aberration when even the investigation of what are, in reality, well documented crimes, invokes such a lawless and violent response.

It is in this context that one has to look at Trump’s sudden enthusiasm for an arms control treaty with Russia. This is the topic to be discussed at the forthcoming meeting between the United States and Russian representatives at a 22 June 2020 meeting in Vienna.

There are a number of ways to interpret the United States’ sudden enthusiasm for an agreement with Russia. The first and most obvious is that it is that the United States has realised that the modern Russian arsenal, partially detailed in President Putin’s March 2018 speech to the Russian parliament, is vastly superior to anything in the United States arsenal and that gap is unlikely to narrow, little alone close, for the foreseeable future.

The Russian (but United States resident) writer and military analyst Andre Martyanov is particularly scathing on this point, both in his books and all his website.

While that is possibly part of Trump’s motivation, this is far from being the whole explanation. One has only to look at the continuing role of the United States in Ukraine, not to mention the farcical trial of four alleged perpetrators of the shooting down of MH 17 (three Russians and one Ukrainian) to gauge a measure of United States sincerity.

Far more likely a motive is that Trump is using the meeting as part of his much wider campaign of trying to disrupt the burgeoning Russia China partnership that is going from strength to strength. Trump wants a new deal on nuclear arms that includes China, but he is silent on the other nuclear powers (Great Britain, India, France, Pakistan and Israel) all of whom have a similar or greater number of nuclear weapons than China.

China has long since passed the United States as the world’s largest economy in terms of parity purchasing power. It has formed a close and growing relationship with Russia, not only in its huge Belt and Road Initiative (with now more than 150 countries) but in a series of other organisations such as the Shanghai Corporation Organisation and ASEAN that is presenting a radically different model of economic co-operation and development than the exploitative western model that has dominated for the past 300 years.

This threat to the United States’ self-defined role as the world’s dominant power did not commence during Trump’s presidency, and the United States reaction to it will not cease with the ending of that presidency, either at the end of this year or in four years’ time. If Biden wins in November, we may be spared the endless tweets and bombastic behaviour, but it would be naïve to anticipate any significant change in United States foreign policy.

Therein lies the greatest danger to world peace. The likely future trends arising out of the growing might of China and its relationship with Russia have recently been analysed by the imminent Russian academic Sergey Karaganov. His analysis of the developing China Russia relationship and its geopolitical implications was recently published in an Italian outlet and conveniently summarised in English by Pepe Escobar in his article “Russia Aiming to Realise Greater Eurasian Dream”.

Karaganov argues that Russia’s growing relationship with China represents a wholly new non-aligned movement centred in the greater Eurasian landmass. Unlike the British and the later United States models which depended on invasion, occupation and exploitation of the natural resources of the conquered nations, the new Eurasian model is much more likely to recognise the individual rights and aspirations of the participating nations and pursue policies of mutual benefit.

None of which is seen as other than a threat to the United States and the model it seeks to impose upon the world. Trump’s recent gestures towards Russia need to be interpreted in that light. The United States has no genuine interest in the welfare and prosperity of either Russia or China. Rather, they exist as pieces to be used in the United States version of the world chess board, manipulated to try and maintain the old model of Western, and in particular, United States dominance.

The reluctance of a growing number of European countries to subscribe to that version is more apparent by the day. Therein lies the challenge, the prospect for a better future for the countries joining the pivot to the east, and the greatest danger from a desperate United States unwilling to acknowledge that its days of dominance are rapidly disappearing.

As the Indian commentator M.K. Bhadrakumar says: “Trump’s diatribe against the ICC exposes the hypocrisy of American policies, which keeps blabbering about a rules based international order while acting with impunity whenever it chooses, for geopolitical reasons.” He cites examples and then concludes that “America under Trump has now become the rogue elephant in the international system.” That is, with respect, a perfect summation of where we are at present.

MODI CAN’T PUT THE GENIE OF INDIAN JINGOISM BACK IN THE BOTTLE

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Prime Minister Modi released the genie of Indian jingoism after coming to power six years ago, irresponsibly hoping that the state-sponsored cultivation of hyper-nationalist sentiment would lead to the false domestic perception of the country as the “superpower” that it claims to be, which has actually been more successful than he planned since the indoctrinated masses are now becoming very disillusioned upon experiencing severe cognitive dissonance and are thus asking politically uncomfortable questions of his government after the disastrous aftermath of its brief border conflict with China last week.

***

The Genie Of Jingoism

The state-sponsored cultivation of hyper-nationalist sentiment is a dangerous tiger that few leaders in history have ever been able to tame, something that Indian Prime Minister Modi is quickly learning the hard way after he let the genie of Indian jingoism out of the bottle over the past six years as part of his irresponsible strategy of cultivating the false domestic perception that his country is truly the “superpower” that it claims to be. Nothing could have been further from the truth, but the indoctrinated masses were successfully conned after hearing this narrative multiple times a day in practically every media out in the country. Following the disastrous aftermath of India’s brief border conflict with China last week, however, many can’t help but feel disillusioned after the government itself was forced to acknowledge that it lost at least 20 soldiers and counted several times as many injuries as a result of non-firearm clashes with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi made an epic mistake when he told an all-party meeting on Friday that “no one has intruded into our territory“, which has been widely interpreted as ceding India’s claims to the recently disputed Galwan Valley and tacitly admitting to provoking the latest incident by invading Chinese territory, which essentially means that India’s servicemen were killed for no domestically justifiable reason.

Modi In Panic Mode

The author wrote more on this topic in his recent piece about how “Modi’s Major Himalayan Mistake Crushed The Indian Military’s Morale“, which explains that India expected to impress its new American ally by taking a high-profile lead in “containing” China at its behest. What it didn’t anticipate, however, was that the much more formidable PLA would so brutally expose India’s Bollywood dreams as nothing more than a dangerous self-delusion, which in turn prompted Modi to panic and instinctively try to “save face” in pretending that New Delhi had never laid claim to the Galwan Valley in the first place. That’s not factual true, but it goes to show just how much the Chinese have shaken the Indian leadership to its core that the country’s chief jingoist, Prime Minister Modi, was cowering in fear to such a degree that he conveniently forgot about his past six years of chest-thumping. A rapidly growing segment of Indian society is furious that their leader, who handily won re-election last year in a sweeping landslide largely due to his hyper-nationalist rhetoric, would behave in such a weak way that’s totally at odds with his strongman reputation and even arguably disrespects the recent losses that the Indian military recently experienced. The Prime Minister’s Office has since attempted to walk back his controversial statement by attacking its “mischievous” interpretation by many, but the damage is already done.

Cognitive Dissonance

Many Indians are experiencing severe cognitive dissonance after having been brainwashed into believing that their country was a “superpower” but then realizing that it’s really a “paper elephant” like the author described it in his previously cited analysis from last week. This is extremely dangerous for the country’s stability because the resultant psychological stress brought about by this revelation can provoke people into acting in ways that they otherwise wouldn’t, be it participating in violent protests or more peacefully disowning the ruling party that they used to sincerely look up to. Either way, the situation is untenable and Modi knows that he has to do something more to “save face” otherwise his, his party’s, and India’s reputations are all irreversibly ruined. There’s a chance that he might simply sit back and hope that the genie of jingoism that he unleashed over the past six years will go back into the bottle, but the likelihood of that happening is nil and some form or another of blowback is bound to occur in the coming future. For that reason, last week’s unconfirmed report by Nepal 24 Hours alleging the presence of “RAW And Indian Guard Commando Force With Weapons In Soaltee Crowne Plaza Nepal” deserves to be taken more seriously than it might initially seem.

India’s False Flag Plot

The report cites unnamed Nepalese security officials who allege that Indian intelligence agents and highly trained military forces are surreptitiously surveilling the capital from a safe house owned by the former King, who they claim is passively facilitating this treasonous activity out of hope that the conventional, unconventional, or false flag attack that these foreign forces might be planning could restore the monarchy. It’s unclear whether the details of Nepal 24 Hours’ report are true, but suspicions about Indian intentions towards Nepal are certainly warranted considering the recent thawing of their long-frozen border dispute that was caused by India’s jingoistic publication of a map last November that included the disputed Kalapani region as its own. The author analyzed the situation a month ago after Nepal’s tit-for-tat publication of its own map claiming Kalapani caused India to go into a tizzy. Titled “India’s Hybrid War On Nepal Backfired By Creating A Geopolitical Nightmare“, it explores the origins of this dispute and points out how the recent escalation might have been avoided had Indian leaders not been drunk with Bollywood-driven neo-imperial dreams of carving out “Akhand Bharat” (“Greater India”) in order to impose a “Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu fundamentalist state) in the region. The past month has seen relations between the two formerly “fraternal” countries deteriorate real drastically.

Hybrid War Blowback

Regarded as an Indian puppet state for decades, Nepal began liberating its foreign and military policies from de-facto Indian suzerainty following New Delhi’s disastrous unofficial blockade of the landlocked country in fall 2015 in response to the promulgation of a new federal constitution for ending the landlocked country’s long-running civil war. After India decontextualized, over-amplified, and propagated Nepal’s tit-for-tat cartographic response to New Delhi’s provocative publication of its jingoist map in November as “unprovoked aggression”, the tiny state realized that it was one of the next targets in India’s “Akhand Bharat” crosshairs. Accordingly, it began beefing up its border defenses, and some of its security forces even engaged in a lethal shootout with India two weeks ago. Shortly thereafter, the Nepalese Chief Of Army Staff visited the disputed Kalapani border area, following which it was revealed that Nepal will deploy its troops to that part of the frontier for the first time in India’s post-independence history. Quite clearly, Nepal perceives India to be a credible threat to its national security, which is a direct result of the larger state’s HybridWar on its much smaller neighbor. It’s for this reason why Nepal 24 Hours’ unconfirmed report should be taken seriously because it conforms with the expectations that an objective observer might have of the next phase in India’s Hybrid War on Nepal.

The Reverse-Donglang Scenario

That said, it remains to be seen whether Modi will go through with the scenario of launching some sort of attack (whether conventional, unconventional, or false flag) against Nepal in a desperate attempt to “save face” before India’s uncontrollably jingoistic population that his government is entirely responsible for provoking to this point. Perhaps the only thing causing him to think twice is his fear that China might undertake a “reverse-Donglang” in response. Just like Bhutan requested Indian assistance during the months-long summer 2017 border incident with China over the Donglang Plateau (referred to as “Doklam” by India and therefore most of the world’s media), so too might Nepal do the same in any forthcoming border incident over the disputed Kalapani region or any other part of their extensive frontier. The prospect of Chinese troops rushing to assist their Nepalese counterparts upon request, in spite of such a request being at odds with Nepal’s 1950 “Friendship Treaty” with India (but justified on the basis that India was the first to violate it by provoking whatever incident might eventually transpire), could worsen the nightmarish blowback from India’s Hybrid War on Nepal by possibly resulting in the PLA being deployed all along the Terai plains bordering India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh in the “worst-case” scenario.

Concluding Thoughts

Modi is visibly panicking after realizing that the genie of Indian jingoism can never be put back in the bottle after he irresponsibly unleashed it over the past six years as part of his party’s mistaken belief that it’ll unify the nation behind his Hindu nationalist leadership. The utter humiliation that the PLA inflicted on the Indian military last week without a single shot being fired, on top of Modi’s mistake in tacitly acknowledging Chinese sovereignty over the recently disputed Galwan Valley, is leading to tremendous pushback from his disillusioned population that’s now suffering in the throes of severe cognitive dissonance after having previously fallen for the lie that their country is truly the “superpower” that it professes to be. Faced with yet another looming disaster entirely of his own making, this time one which credibly runs the risk of further delegitimizing the ruling party and its ideology, Modi might desperately seek to “save face” by bullying what he wrongly regards as the weakest of his neighbors that India has some sort of dispute with. The unconfirmed report from Nepal 24 Hours suggests that some sort of operation might already be in the works, but that would be among the most epic mistakes that Modi ever made if he actually goes through with such a scheme because it could very easily result in the “reverse-Donglang” scenario of PLA troops being deployed all along India’s border with Nepal.


By Andrew Korybko
Source: One World

خريطة طريق لإنقاذ لبنان

أحمد بهجة

الكلمة العميقة والدقيقة التي وجّهها سماحة الأمين العام لحزب الله السيد حسن نصر الله مساء الثلاثاء الفائت إلى اللبنانيين هي بمثابة خريطة طريق لإنقاذ لبنان وإخراجه من كلّ أزماته، ولمنع أيّ أحد من أخذ الشعب اللبناني رهينة لأيّ مشروع معادٍ على حساب مصلحة لبنان واقتصاده ومستقبل أبنائه.

وعليه بات من الضروري أن تحسم الحكومة أمرَها وتأخذ القرار الصائب بعدم الاتكال فقط على المفاوضات مع صندوق النقد الدولي، لأنّ هذه المفاوضات صعبة ومعقدة وقد تطول إلى أمد لا يستطيع اللبنانيون انتظاره في ظلّ التعقيدات المتزايدة في حياتهم اليومية نتيجة الغلاء الذي لم يعد محمولاً على الإطلاق.

إنّ الشروط المعلنة والمعروفة لصندوق النقد الدولي لها علاقة بالأمور السياسية أكثر من الاقتصادية والمالية، وهذا ما ألمح إليه رئيس الحكومة الدكتور حسان دياب. ورغم ذلك لا يدعو أيّ من الأفرقاء في الحكومة وخارجها إلى وقف هذه المفاوضات، بل على العكس، فلتستكمل ولتأخذ الوقت الذي تحتاجه حتى لا يُقال في أيّ يوم إنّ هناك طرفاً ما عارض المفاوضات وفوّت على البلد فرصة الاستفادة من الصندوق.

لكن هذه المفاوضات لا يجوز مطلقاً أن تعطل التفكير وأن توقف البحث في أيّ مبادرة من شأنها أن تسهم في إيجاد حلول لهذا الكمّ الهائل من الأزمات الذي ينزل كالصواعق على رؤوس اللبنانيين.

من هنا أتت مبادرة وزير الصناعة الصديق الدكتور عماد حب الله حين طرح على الجلسة الأخيرة لمجلس الوزراء ضرورة التوجه شرقاً، لأنّنا بالتعاون مع الصين نستطيع أن نوفر الحلول للكثير من المشاكل القديمة والمزمنة في لبنان، ومن دون أن تتكبّد خزينة الدولة اليوم أيّ تكاليف، خاصة أزمة الكهرباء التي تكاد تكون عصية على الحلّ منذ ثلاثين سنة، وأيضاً يمكن حلّ مشكلة المواصلات سواء بإنجاز الأنفاق أو سكك الحديد في الداخل اللبناني وأيضاً بين لبنان وسورية والعراق والأردن، الأمر الذي يعني حياة جديدة لاقتصادنا الوطني وقطاعاته الإنتاجية كلها وخاصة الصناعة والزراعة لأنّنا عندها نتحدث عن سوق واحدة من نحو ثمانين مليون نسمة.

وفي التوجه شرقاً أيضاً هناك حلّ لمشكلة المحروقات، وروسيا على لسان سفيرها النشيط في لبنان ألكسندر زاسيبكين تبدي كلّ استعداد لذلك، كما أنّ السيد نصرالله طرح حلّ شراء المحروقات من إيران بالليرة اللبنانية، وهل هناك عاقل يمكنه رفض هذا الطرح، خاصة أننا نستورد من المحروقات سنوياً بين 4 و 5 مليارات دولار، (فيول وبنزين ومازوت وغاز…) بمعنى أننا إذا استوردنا من إيران بالليرة، ومن روسيا بتسهيلات معيّنة، فإننا خلال سنتين فقط نوفر ما نطلب أن نقترضه من صندوق النقد الدولي في خمس سنوات.

على أيّ حال، هناك الكثير من التفاصيل على هذا الصعيد، لكن المهمّ أن قطار المعالجات قد انطلق، وأنّ مجلس الوزراء تجاوب بالإجماع مع طرح الوزير حب الله، على أن يتمّ في وقت قريب استكمال التفاصيل المتعلقة بكلّ مشروع، ليلمس بعدها اللبنانيون أنّ هناك فعلاً مَن يعمل لإخراج البلد واقتصاده وناسه من هذا النفق المظلم إلى النور…

*خبير مالي واقتصادي

Nasrallah: US choking Lebanon, Hezbollah will respond, Iran/China on standby

Source

Nasrallah: US choking Lebanon, Hezbollah will respond, Iran/China on standby
Click the Picture to see the Video

June 19, 2020

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Source: http://middleeastobserver.net/nasrallah-us-strangling-lebanon-iran-china-ready-to-help/
Description:

In a televised speech on Tuesday (16.06.2020), Hezbollah’s leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah attributed the deteriorating economic situation in Lebanon to the role of the United States in seeking to strangle the Arab country in the service of Israeli interests.

Nasrallah said that Hezbollah will not allow the United States to starve Lebanon and its people, and that his group had a “grave equation” of its own that it may activate in response to this American economic war.

Hezbollah’s leader also presented very real alternatives for Lebanon, in the form of dealing economically with ‘friendly states in the East’, such as Iran and China, in order to reduce reliance on the US dollar and extract Lebanon from the US stranglehold.

Source: Newsgate (YouTube)

Date:June 16, 2020

Note: we have added our own sub-headings in the below transcript to make for easier reading

Transcript:

The real causes of the current economic crisis in Lebanon

The core issue as to why the value of the (US) dollar has (drastically) increased (relative to Lebanon’s currency), very briefly speaking…we all know the law of supply and demand. Any commodity over which there is high demand, and which is in low supply in the market, will increase in price. High supply and low demand will cause the commodity to drop in price. All people know about this. What has happened to us here in Lebanon, is that demand for the (US) dollar grew…and there was a lack of dollar supply. So the growing demand for the dollar, and this will not stop, because…especially due to the past policies that greatly tied the Lebanese economy to the US dollar. And all imports require the dollar…The problem is in the lack of supply. Why is there a lack of supply? Now we are about to share (definitive) facts, we are not accusing anyone or politicising the issue:

1) There is definitive information, this is from official sources, I am not speaking based on my opinion, there is definitive information that the Americans are preventing sufficient and required amounts of dollars from reaching Lebanon, later we will explain why (they are doing this).

2) The Americans are interfering and pressuring the Lebanese Central Bank to refrain from pumping the necessary amounts of dollars into the (Lebanese) markets. The pretext that the Americans are using, and the Americans themselves are saying this, this is not secret information, this is known now in the country: the excuse that the Americans say they are doing this is because they claim that when the dollar is injected into the Lebanese market, Hezbollah and others are buying them up and sending them to Syria and Iran. Last time I clarified this issue (and said it was false), and I realised that in the two weeks that followed, no one is now saying (Hezbollah) is gathering dollars from (Lebanon) in order to send to Iran. However, what remains is the claim that (Hezbollah) is gathering dollars and sending them to Syria.

So, with the excuse that the dollar is being gathered up by (Hezbollah) from the (Lebanese) markets and is being sent to Syria, the Americans, the AMERICANS, the US administration, the US Treasury, the US State Department, and their representative here (in Lebanon) i.e. the US ambassador, they are preventing (US) dollars from coming into Lebanon, this is one. And two, they are pressuring the Lebanese Central Bank to avoid providing (US dollars) to the (Lebanese) market aimed at dealing with this problem. This is the reality. So that we know where the problem lies, to know who is causing this problem. When you’re going out to protest against the rising price of the dollar, you ought to know who you are protesting against. What do these stores in central Beirut that people are attacking have to do with this?

…If Hezbollah is indeed transferring dollars to Syria and Iran (as some claim), then let the security forces investigate the matter and show us proof. I have mentioned a few times, and when I again speak about this matter it harms Hezbollah, because it opens up the eyes of the Americans on us more, but I must say again: we (Hezbollah) bring dollars into Lebanon, we do not take dollars out of Lebanon. We bring dollars into Lebanon. I won’t get into how we do this.

3) (The truth is that) there are people who are taking dollars outside of Lebanon, and not to Syria. A specific bank, which I won’t name, smuggled tens of millions of dollars out of Lebanon, in August 2019. It did not take them to Syria, nor to Iran. And this bank is protected by certain political sides. Come forward and tell the people the truth. In official (government) sessions, Lebanese officials are on record to have said that between September 2019, meaning before the protest movement began in October (2019), and here it raises certain question marks surrounding certain sides within the protest movement: between September 2019 and February 2020, 20 billion dollars were taken out of Lebanon. They were taken neither to Syria, nor to Iran. And they weren’t taken out by Hezbollah. Nor by the Amal Movement. Who is it that took 20 billion dollars out of (Lebanese) banks and took them abroad? These (facts) have gone down on record in an official (government) meeting. When 20 billion dollars is taken out of the country within a few months, and a certain bank buys tens of millions of dollars in cash, and takes this money out of the (market), and takes this money abroad, all these (facts) are ignored (by certain sides in Lebanon), (and they claim that) this is not where the problem lies?!

The problem is actually (as some sides claim), that ‘there’s a few (illegal) money exchanges (here or there) that are selling dollars to the Syrians on the borders’. I do not deny that this occurs, but to what extent does this contribute to the problem? And regardless go ahead and apprehend these people. Did we (Hezbollah) protect such people? We did not protect any such people. The problem is (obviously) not here, this is a (form) of deception. This is an American lie. The issue of the (drastic rise in the price of) dollars is in fact a conspiracy against Lebanon, its people, economy, and currency, before it is a conspiracy against Syria. Syria is merely an excuse. The mentioned bank did not take out tens of millions of dollars from Lebanon and take them to Syria. Go ask the Governor of the (Lebanese) Central Bank, out of the 20 billion dollars that were taken out of Lebanon, was even one dollar of those taken to Syria? And if any amount was taken to Syria, how much? Therefore, out there is a (side) that is directing this operation, so that there are no more dollars in the country, causing the price of dollars to rise, thereby causing the value of the (Lebanese) Lira to fall, causing everything to rise in cost, harming thereby the economy, production, agriculture, shops, employment etc., leading the country towards collapse. This is the truth.

We should know regarding this issue who is our enemy and with whom is our problem, so that we can hold them responsible and not smile in their face (as some are doing), and so that we know that it is they who are slaughtering and executing us, he is the one who is humiliating our country and our people, so we can see how we can confront them properly…So the issue is much bigger than (illegal) money exchanges here or there, this is a simplification of the currency problem in Lebanon. In fact, this is a smokescreen to hide the huge beasts that gathered (US) dollars and took them out of the country, or who prevent dollars from entering the country. Some one may say: wow, so we have a huge problem, the issue is with the Americans, and not with money exchanges here or there, or a few banks that need to be penalised – even though this does need to happen. Do we surrender? Ofcourse not, we must see how to fix this problem.

…How can we reduce the pressure on the need for the dollar? Where are they holding and pressuring the country, from which point are they trying to bring this country to its knees and humiliate it? By (exploiting) our need for the US dollar. (We currently need it) to buy petrol, gas, diesel, wheat…medicine, to import medical equipment, basic commodities for production to occur, all of these require the dollar. The Lebanese Central Bank comes and says: I don’t have enough dollars to cover all of these (commodities). Okay, we cannot confront America itself and throughout the world (as Lebanon), that is understandable. Okay then, are we able to – and I am not bringing forth a new idea here, but I mean we really  need to work on this practically now – can we try to resolve these (economic) issues without using the dollar?

Trading with friendly nations such as Iran to reduce reliance on USD

Can we try to resolve these (economic) issues without using the dollar? To put things simply, can we find a friendly regional country, such as Iran for instance, that can sell to the Lebanese government or (Lebanese) companies oil, gas, diesel, fuel, petrochemical products, and other products, without the dollar? Not just Iran (but other states too)? Would these countries for instance, accept from us our national currency, the Lebanese Lira? Is this possible? Can we possibly explore such ideas?

But first, based on past experiences, we have to convince the Lebanese (themselves) to accept this before we go trouble ourselves and talk to the Iranians and others. I haven’t gone to ask any (state) yet, I am taking the initiative right now based on my personal responsibility.  Even if the Iranians are watching me right now, they may be surprised that I am talk about such huge steps while not having spoken to them beforehand. I am frankly speaking about this. Because in the past, when our brother Mohammad Fneish was the (Lebanese) Minster of Electricity, I went to Iran for 15 days and sat with officials there to try to draw up electricity (infrastructure) projects (for Lebanon). We brought back the plans to the Lebanese (officials), but not (all) accepted these (plans to go ahead).

…Another example: perhaps we can use a bartering system i.e. exchanging goods for goods. Perhaps they won’t accept the Lebanese Lira, but in exchange for their oil they take Lebanese products, industrial, agricultural (products), or anything of this sort. Lebanon has some capabilities, even if they are limited. Are there such possibilities, can we potentially explore such avenues? And this could work with Iran or other states, (the bartering system) is easier…

…If we open such a door, this will stimulate Lebanese production, agricultural production, economic activity in the country, it will create job opportunities, it will raise the value of the Lebanese national currency once again, because demand for the dollar will be reduced…there will always be some demand for (US) dollars, but demand for it will (greatly) reduce, and the value of the national currency will go up once again. It has great advantages (for Lebanon). And we wont remain seated before the Americans, waiting for them, wondering whether they will have mercy on us or not, whether they will allow dollars to reach Lebanon or not, whether they will allow our Central Bank to pump dollars into our market (or not). Frankly speaking.

…This would be a huge door of salvation that will open up for Lebanon. I am addressing the Lebanese people to tell them not to feel helpless, that there are options, and I am calling on the Lebanese people to help us pressure Lebanese officials if they happen to say “no”,  because they are afraid of the Americans for instance. So are we to always remain afraid of the Americans? (As the saying goes): ‘They do not have mercy upon us, nor do they allow God’s mercy to fall upon this country and people either?’ This is unacceptable. This is unacceptable.

This is an option that one can work on. We will be addressing (these options) earnestly with Lebanese officials, and if we see some acceptance, we will send a delegation from our brothers to go speak with the Iranians or other states, I won’t name those countries so as not to put them on the spot right now, Iran won’t mind me mentioning it by name. We will go and explore such avenues (if we find there is Lebanese acceptance).

Opening economic relations with China to transform Lebanon

….Today I have definitive information – if I am not certain of something I never say it – that Chinese companies are ready to bring money (into Lebanon), without all these complications we experience in Lebanon. It won’t be us giving them money. They will bring money into this country. One project is the high-speed rail from Tripoli to Naqoura – not just from Tripoli to Beirut, but all the way to Naqoura. If this happens, it will infuse the country with money and investments, it will create jobs, and will give a boost to the economy, to society, to the living conditions, and so on. Imagine a high-speed train from Tripoli to Naqoura. I am telling you this while the information is official, Chinese companies are ready for this as we speak. So go ahead.

(Another project is) the building of power plants. The Chinese – we have their specific names and addresses – are ready to come and build electric plants. They will do it in the BOT format. You won’t be asked to pay a single penny. There will be understanding with the Lebanese government as to how this money will be paid back. Furthermore, a few days ago, I enquired about the tunnel regarding which a decision was made, to dig between Beirut to Chtoura in the Beqaa. Ofcourse (such a project) will have great impacts on Lebanon and its economy and society, and it will help people transport from area to area, and the money that will saved etc. There are so many analyses about the importance of this tunnel. (I asked:) ‘Are you ready?’ The Chinese companies are ready to carry out this project, also in the BOT (format). So go ahead (O’ Lebanese and take action)…We don’t have much time to waste, I am with this issue being finalizing in a decisive and swift manner. Come forward O’ Lebanese and act (on these projects with the Chinese), why should we keep waiting for the Americans?

…The Lebanese people cannot continue in this manner, just sitting here and waiting for the Americans. There are negotiations ongoing (between the Lebanese government) and the IMF, it is unclear how long they will last for, one month, two months, some say it could take a whole year. Does the country have that long? This is one.

Two, France and the EU are waiting for American permission on resuming CEDRE. Arab states, particularly Gulf states, and regardless of their readiness or not, require American permission (before supporting Lebanon). The Americans are using the Lebanese economy to secure their own interests, and not the interests of Lebanon. There is no such thing as the Lebanese interest in the American calculus and conscience. In fact there is no such thing as American interests in Lebanon, do you want more than that? The only thing that exists in the American calculus (vis-à-vis Lebanon) is the interests of Israel i.e. the security of Israel, the land borders with Israel, the maritime borders with Israel, the oil and gas within (Lebanese) maritime territory (and how that can be seized) by Israel, the future of Israel etc. This is what the Americans are working on in Lebanon. Otherwise, whether the Lebanese people live or die, eat or not, gain access to medicine, education and work or not, all this means nothing to the Americans. Neither for their president nor their ambassador here (in Lebanon). It means nothing to them at all.

Shall we remain waiting for the Americans? That would mean waiting for starvation, humiliation, and submission. Look at how Americans treat their allies around the world. They steal from them, milk them, and humiliate and insult them, every single day…

Our weapons will remain in our hands, we will not starve, & we will set the equations

If anyone is trying to turn the (supportive) base of the resistance on the resistance, he is a failure and is wasting his time, whether (he tried this) for one, two, or even a hundred years. Give up on this. If you are betting on us starving, or that we allow the country to starve, I tell you that we will neither starve, nor allow the country to starve. I am certain in what I am saying. If you are betting O’ Americans on the idea that through starvation, we will come to you submissively and abjectly, and surrender our country and its security to you, and that we fall under the mercy of the Israelis, (you should know) that this is completely out of the question for us.

Now what are some people doing in Lebanon, they say: ‘yes, frankly speaking, Hezbollah has nothing to do with the (widespread) corruption, nor the past economic policies (of the country), and has nothing to do with etc. etc., but we are now in a situation such that O’ Sayyed, for us to obtain bread, you will need to surrender your weapons. Weapons in exchange for bread, weapons for food’. When they wish to put us before such an equation, they should know that we have an equation (of our own) that is much bigger, more important and more grave, which I will not talk about now. And you (O’ enemies) go ahead and try to analyse what I mean. We have our own equation in this regard, but as for your equation, we cannot possibly accept it.

I wish to simplify the issue for the Lebanese: it is like someone sitting in an orchard, and around him are wolves, and this man owns weapons that prevent these wolves from entering his orchard and killing his wife and children. And this man is somehow surviving and living. They come and tell him: give us your weapons or we will starve you to death. Okay, if he gives them his weapons and they give him bread to eat, and then the wolves and beasts set upon him, what would he then do? How would he protect his wife and children? So it is like you are saying: I wish to kill you either (by taking) your weapons, or through starvation. This is the equation being talked about today in Lebanon.

Lebanon is neither protected by international resolutions nor the United Nations Security Council. See now in Yemen, I was intending to leave this for the end (of my speech). This Secretary General of the UN, this submissive and subservient one to US policies, he removes the ‘American-Saudi aggression’ from the list of those killing children (in the world). That same day, Saudi warplanes carry out a massacre in the province of Saada, killing women and children. This is so God exposes this weak, submissive and subservient one (i.e.the UN Secretary General).

What (really) protects people? Who protects Lebanon from Israel? Look at the Palestinian people. They (the Israelis) annexed the West Bank or parts of it. The Palestinian people are screaming. Jordan is screaming. The Europeans say this is illegal. So? If the Palestinian people don’t go down themselves in the West Bank and in Gaza – and internally and externally – and take responsibility (for their fate), then no one in the international community will do anything for the Palestinian people. And we in Lebanon, after an experience dating back to 1948, what safeguards our country, sovereignty, water, oil, gas, people, dignity, security, honour, women and children, is our weapons.

As for the one who wishes to put us before two options, either we kill you with weapons or through starvation, I say to him: our weapons will remain in our hands, and we will not starve, and we (are the ones that) will kill you! We will kill you! We will kill you!

(Your equation) is completely out of the question as far as we’re concerned. The options are in our hands. When we say let’s look Eastwards, we are not saying cut (all relations) with America, France, the West, and Arabs. No. We are saying open all the doors, East and West. Except for Israel. Even America, it is our enemy and we (as Hezbollah) have no relations with it, but if it helps you (Nasrallah is addressing here certain Lebanese parties), then accept its offers. Except for Israel.

Whoever is ready to help us in the world and help us free our reliance on the hard currency (US dollar), by selling us gas, diesel, fuel, foodstuffs, medicines, manufacturing material etc., in exchange for the Lebanese Lira, then we must open up relations with those sides. And we should not wait for anyone nor their approval nor permission. Whichever state or company in the world is ready to come and invest in Lebanon, (under a) BOT (arrangement), and carry out (infrastructure) projects in the country, we should kiss them on the forehead and warmly welcome them, and we must not wait for anyone. Otherwise, they wish to starve this country to death and in an abject state too. And we will never allow this to happen to our people in Lebanon, never!

Syria’s allies will not allow it to fall in the face of US Economic War

Syria gained victory in the global war against it, (whether in terms of the) military, security, political or psychological (levels). They were not able to divide it, neither through military (means), nor security, nor political (means), nor through psychological warfare.

Today, the (American) Caesar Act, which activates this tough siege on the state and people in Syria, this measure is the final American weapon. Today if I wish to prove that Syria gained victory in the military, security, political and moral war (against it), I do so by pointing to how America is resorting to this Caesar Act. If Syria was suffering defeat they would not need the Caesar Act.

….I wish to remind people of the first 1-2 years of events in Syria. I made a television appearance and delivered a speech, and I used an expression that some later thought was an exaggeration and what not. That day the city of Damascus was in a dangerous situation. The battle was at a critical point. I said at the time: ‘Indeed the allies of Syria will not allow Damascus to fall’. And this indeed occurred thereafter.

Today I would like to affirm to the Syrian people and to all our brothers in Syria – and to all those in Lebanon and the region who care about the fate of Syria, that Syria’s allies, who stood by it in the military war, the security war, and the political war – and even if they themselves are in tough circumstances – will not give up on Syria in the face of this economic war. They will not allow the fall of Syria in the face of this economic war. I am certain of that. Hezbollah and I are part of the machine that works on this

Modi’s Major Himalayan Mistake Crushed the Indian Military’s Morale

By Andrew Korybko

Source

The death of at least 20 members of the Indian military during non-firearm clashes with China along their disputed frontier in Kashmir has been extremely demoralizing for this already distressed institution, but it’s all due to Modi’s major Himalayan mistake in thinking that he can reap immediately tangible benefits from his new American patron by making a show out of “containing” China.

Modi’s Latest Mistake Was His Worst One Yet

At least 20 members of the Indian military were killed during non-firearm clashes with China earlier this week along their disputed frontier in Kashmir, which crushed the morale of this already distressed institution. Publicly financed Russian international media outlet Sputnik, citing Indian government sources, reported that they died after Chinese soldiers attacked them with “stones” and “iron rods as well as batons wrapped in barbed wire”. Sputnik also said that “Many of the unarmed men (OneWorld Note: this means that they weren’t armed with firearms but could have conceivably had other weapons just like their Chinese counterparts did) jumped into the Galwan River in an attempt to escape.” Others, they reported, “who were critically injured at the standoff location died after exposure to sub-zero temperatures.” This epic disaster wouldn’t have happened, however, had it not been for Modi’s major Himalayan mistake in thinking that he can reap immediately tangible benefits from his new American patron by making a show out of “containing” China.

Systemic Demoralization In The Indian Armed Forces

Before explaining the strategic drivers behind India’s misguided strategy of aggression against China, it’s important to emphasize just how demoralizing of a development this was for the country’s armed forces. According to a report from Modern Diplomacy asking “Why more Indian soldiers die in suicides and fratricides than in combat?“, “One jawan (OneWorld Note: this means ‘soldier’) commits suicide every third day.” Quite clearly, there are deep systemic problems driving this epidemic in the military, including discrimination against soldiers by their superiors for ethno-religious or caste-based reasons, insufficient rations that leave some recruits on the brink of starvation, and a lack of support for their illegal occupation of Kashmir where most of the suicides take place and the latest clash with China occurred. Against this backdrop, one can only imagine how crushing it was to the Indian military’s already dismal morale to have so many of their members killed by the Chinese without a shot being fired and die of the cold simply because their military couldn’t rescue them.

“Paper Elephant”

Many in India had hitherto been brainwashed by their government-pressured media into thinking that China was a so-called “paper tiger”, but recalling that their country proudly associates itself with the image of the elephant (patient but powerful, as its proponents allege), India itself can be described as a “paper elephant” following the recent disaster in Kashmir. So many of its military members died in brutal face-to-face combat, not because someone pulled a trigger or pressed a button from far away. Others fled in fear and basically committed suicide by jumping off the mountains into a nearby river, while still others died unnecessarily of the cold because their military lacked the political will and/or physical means to rescue them. The Bollywood-propagated myth of India as a so-called “superpower” was conclusively shattered once and for all, which explains society’s literal shock at what happened and its leadership’s inability to even comment on the matter immediately after it transpired. The “politically inconvenient” fact is that the “paper elephant” was just shredded by a real tiger.

Ideology & Geopolitics

India should have known better than to have tested China’s resolve by invading its territory under the mistaken belief that the People’s Republic was supposedly just a “paper tiger”, but it did so anyhow for two interconnected reasons as the author wrote in his recent piece for CGTN about how “India Must Urgently Refrain From Its Strategy Of Regional Aggression“. The Hindu nationalist BJP wants to carve “Akhand Bharat” (Greater India) out of “Greater South Asia” (which includes parts of China’s Xinjiang and Tibet regions) so as to impose a “Hindu Rashtra” (Hindu fundamentalist state) upon the region. It’s been encouraged by the US in pursuit of this ideological-geopolitical goal since America regards India as a proxy for “containing” China. Prime Minister Modi thought that he could reap immediately tangible benefits from his country’s new ally through India’s failed foray, but America has thus far refrained from formally intervening in the conflict, whether militarily or diplomatically.

The American Proxy

Three of the author’s recent pieces shed some relevant insight on the US’ strategic aims in this proxy war and should be reviewed by the reader in order to familiarize themselves with its Machiavellian objectives:

In summary, the American goal is to misportray China as the “aggressor”, solidify its emerging trans-regional alliance against it in response, restructure supply chains away from the People’s Republic, and thus “contain” it.

“Saving Face”

The US will likely provide some tangible form of these envisioned benefits to India with time, but the fact that they haven’t immediately materialized in the aftermath of the recent clash has humiliated India as a country and especially its armed forces. The ultra-nationalist sentiment that the ruling party has cultivated over its past six years in power is at risk of backfiring against it since approximately 1,3 billion people have just realized that they’ve been lied to by their leaders this entire time about their civilization-state supposedly being a “superpower”, only to be exposed as the “paper elephant” that it’s always been. This dangerously means that the authorities might undertake another military foray against what they consider to be a less formidable military foe in order to “save face” and distract the agitated masses. This scenario could take the form of another false flag provocation against Pakistan like last February’s (with predictably similar self-inflicted humiliation), an attack against Nepal, or another “surgical strike” against Naga rebels hiding out in Myanmar.

Concluding Thoughts

There’s no going back to the status quo ante bellum wherein India unconvincingly tried to deceive China into thinking that its much-ballyhooed policy of so-called “multialignment” with the US wasn’t really a strategic pivot aimed at “containing” the People’s Republic. India learned the hard way that there’s a tremendous difference between its domestically-targeted propaganda against China and the cold reality of the Chinese military. Just as there’s no returning to the prior state of affairs between the two countries, so too is there no return to how the average Indian previously perceived of their military’s strength. The “paper elephant” was shredded into pieces by the Chinese tiger without a shot being fired, and the Indian military was unprecedentedly humiliated. The resultant demoralization that’s expected to take hold of the entire armed forces in the aftermath of Modi’s major Himalayan mistake will likely ensure that it’ll never regain its prior confidence, which could prove catastrophic when it comes to defending what it regards as its national interests.

Nixon-Trump vs. the Strategy of Tension

Nixon-Trump vs. the Strategy of Tension, by Pepe Escobar - The Unz ...
Nixon-Trump vs. the Strategy of Tension
Pepe ESCOBAR
Independent geopolitical analyst, writer and journalist

Pepe Escobar June 18, 2020©

Nixon 68 is back with a vengeance, with President Trump placing himself as the guarantor/enforcer of Law & Order.

That slogan guaranteed Nixon’s election, and was coined by Kevin Phillips, then an expert in “ethnic voting patterns”.

Philips makes for a very interesting case. In 1999, he became the author of a seminal book: The Cousins’ Wars: Religion, Politics, and the Triumph of Anglo-America, where he tracks how a “small Tudor kingdom” ended up establishing global hegemony.

The division of the English-speaking community into two great powers – “one aristocratic, ‘chosen’ and imperial; and one democratic, ‘chosen’ and manifest destiny-driven”, as Philips correctly establishes – was accomplished by, what else, a war triptych: the English Civil War, the American revolution and the U.S. Civil War.

Now, we may be at the threshold of a fourth war – with unpredictable and unforeseen consequences.

As it stands, what we have is a do-or-die clash of models: MAGA against an exclusivist Fed/Wall Street/Silicon Valley-controlled system.

MAGA – which is a rehash of the American dream – simply cannot happen when society is viciously polarized; vast sectors of the middle class are being completely erased; and mass immigration is coming from the Global South.

In contrast, the Fed as a Wall Street hedge fund meets Silicon Valley model, a supremely elitist 0.001% concoction, has ample margins to thrive.

The model is based on even more rigid corporate monopoly; the preeminence of capital markets, where a Wall Street boom is guaranteed by government debt-buybacks of its own debt; and life itself regulated by algorithms and Big Data.

This is the Brave New World dreamed by the techno-financial Masters of the Universe.

Trump’s MAGA woes have been compounded by a shoddy geopolitical move in tandem with Law and Order: his re-election campaign will be under the sign of “China, China, China.” When in trouble, blame a foreign enemy.

That comes from serially failed opportunist Steve Bannon and his Chinese billionaire sidekick Guo Wengui, or Miles Guo. Here they are in Statue of Liberty mode announcing their no holds barred infowar campaign to demonize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to Kingdom Come and “free the Chinese people”.

Bannon’s preferred talking point is that if his infowar fails, there will be “kinetic war”. That is nonsense. Beijing’s priorities are elsewhere. Only a few neo-conned Dr. Strangeloves would envisage “kinetic war”- as in a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Chinese territory.

Alastair Crooke has masterfully shown how the geoeconomic game, as Trump sees it, is above all to preserve the power of the U.S. dollar: “His particular concern would be to see a Europe that was umbilically linked to the financial and technological heavyweight that is China. This, in itself, effectively would presage a different world financial governance.”

But then there’s The Leopard syndrome: “If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change”. Enter Covid-19 as a particle accelerator, used by the Masters of the Universe to tweak “things” a bit so they not only stay as they are but the Master grip on the world tightens.

The problem is Covid-19 behaves as a set of – uncontrollable – free electrons. That means nobody, even the Masters of the Universe, is able to really weigh the full consequences of a runaway, compounded financial/social crisis.

Deconstructing Nixon-Trump

Russiagate, now totally debunked, has unfolded in effect as a running coup: a color non-revolution metastasizing into Ukrainegate and the impeachment fiasco. In this poorly scripted and evidence-free morality play with shades of Watergate, Trump was cast by the Democrats as Nixon.

Big mistake. Watergate had nothing to do with a Hollywood-celebrated couple of daring reporters. Watergate represented the industrial-military-security-media complex going after Nixon. Deep Throat and other sources came from inside the Deep State. And it was not by accident that they were steering the Washington Post – which, among other roles, plays the part of CIA mouthpiece to perfection.

Trump is a completely different matter. The Deep State keeps him under control. One just needs to look at the record: more funds for the Pentagon, $1 trillion in brand new nuclear weapons, perennial sanctions on Russia, non-stop threats to Russia’s western borders, (failed) efforts to derail Nord Stream 2. And this is only a partial list.

So, from a Deep State point of view, the geopolitical front – containment of Russia-China – is assured. Domestically, it’s much more complicated.

As much as Black Lives Matter does not threaten the system even remotely like the Black Panthers in the 60s, Trump believes his own Law & Order, like Nixon, will once again prevail. The key will be to attract the white women suburban vote. Republican pollsters are extremely optimistic and even talking about a “landslide”.

Yet the behavior of an extra crucial vector must be understood: what corporate America wants.

When we look at who’s supporting Black Lives Matter – and Antifa – we find, among others, Adidas, Amazon, Airbnb, American Express, Bank of America, BMW, Burger King, Citigroup, Coca Cola, DHL, Disney, eBay, General Motors, Goldman Sachs, Google, IBM, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Microsoft, Netflix, Nike, Pfizer, Procter & Gamble, Sony, Starbucks, Twitter, Verizon, WalMart, Warner Brothers and YouTube.

This who’s who would suggest a completely isolated Trump. But then we have to look at what really matters; the class war dynamics in what is in fact a caste system, as Laurence Brahm argues.

Black Lives Matter, the organization and its ramifications, is essentially being instrumentalized by selected corporate interests to accelerate their own priority: to crush the U.S. working classes into a state of perpetual anomie, as a new automated economy rises.

That may always happen under Trump. But it will be faster without Trump.

What’s fascinating is how this current strategy of tension scenario is being developed as a classic CIA/NED playbook color revolution.

An undisputed, genuine grievance – over police brutality and systemic racism – has been completely manipulated, showered with lavish funds, infiltrated, and even weaponized against “the regime”.

Just to control Trump is not enough for the Deep State – due to the maximum instability and unreliability of his Demented Narcissus persona. Thus, in yet another priceless historical irony, “Assad must go” metastasized into “Trump must go”.

The cadaver in the basement

One must never lose track of the fundamental objectives of those who firmly control that assembly of bought and paid for patsies in Capitol Hill: to always privilege Divide and Rule – on class, race, identity politics.

After all, the majority of the population is considered expendable. It helps that the instrumentalized are playing their part to perfection, totally legitimized by mainstream media. No one will hear lavishly funded Black Lives Matter addressing the real heart of the matter: the reset of the predatory Restored Neoliberalism project, barely purged of its veneer of Hybrid Neofascism. The blueprint is the Great Reset to be launched by the World Economic Forum in January 2021.

It will be fascinating to watch how Trump deals with this “Summer of Love” remake of Maidan transposed to the Seattle commune. The hint from Team Trump circles is that he will do nothing: a coalition of white supremacists and motorcycle gangs might take care of the “problem” on the Fourth of July.

None of this sweetens the fact that Trump is at the heart of a crossfire hurricane: his disastrous response to Covid-19; the upcoming, devastating effects of the New Great Depression; and his intimations pointing to what could turn into martial law.

Still, the legendary Hollywood maxim – “no one knows anything” – rules. Even running with a semi-cadaver in a basement, the Democrats may win in November just by doing nothing. Yet Teflon Trump should never be underestimated. The Deep State may even realize he’s more useful than they think.

Korybko to Indian Media: India Is Doing America’s Bidding Against China

Source

By Andrew Korybko and Parth Satam

Asia-Pacific Research, June 17, 2020

Andrew Korybko gave an interview to Indian journalist Parth Satam last weekend about India’s relations with China, the US, and Russia, just days before Monday night’s deadly clash between Indian and Chinese troops. Two excerpts were ultimately included in the article that Mr. Satam was writing about this topic. Given its importance in light of the latest clash, OneWorld is publishing the interview in its entirety with Mr. Satam’s permission.

***

Parth Satam: Can the present India-China border standoff be viewed as a larger part of the changing geopolitical scenario driven by the US pullout in Afghanistan, the abrogation of Article 370 (special status for Kashmir) by the Modi government, and the growing Indian proximity to the US where India is toeing the American line on Chinese issues (e.g. joining the anti-China chorus on the COVID pandemic)?

Andrew Korybko: Absolutely, that’s the most accurate way to assess the current situation. The preexisting differences between China and India on a host of issues were exacerbated by India’s abrogation of Article 370. Beijing condemned New Delhi for violating UNSC Resolutions on the disputed region, then some Indian officials reaffirmed their claims to Aksai Chin, which provoked a defensive reaction from China. This escalating issue was then exploited by the US, which has a shared interest with India in “containing” China, as they both perceive it. That’s why American officials have started comparing the latest incident to the situation in the South China Sea in an attempt to draw a parallel of so-called “Chinese aggression” and therefore justify their ever-intensifying “comprehensive global strategic partnership” with India (per what they both agreed to call it during Trump’s visit in February). It was therefore predictable that there would eventually be a flare-up since the situation is so tense, and India is being encouraged by the US to assert its claims. It naturally follows that India is also toeing the American line on other anti-Chinese issues as well, especially those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and “poaching” foreign companies from the People’s Republic so as to re-engineer global supply chains in a way that supports the US’ grand strategic goals.

PS: Strategists from both side of the political divide in India (albeit suspicious towards China) broadly agree that China does not intend to go to war with India despite its technological, military, and industrial superiority due to larger geopolitical priorities and is undertaking this current intrusion into Indian territories to signal to not threaten its interests in PoK and other anti-Chinese Indian moves (joining the QUAD, support to the Dalai Lama) etc. What’s your response to this assessment?

AK: I personally disagree with the characterization of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan as “PoK”, as well as describing the latest border incident as a Chinese “intrusion”, but I do agree with the spirit of the view that China does not intend to go to war with India. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that India doesn’t intend to go to war with China, even if only a brief border one similar in essence to what transpired between India and Pakistan in February 2019. Should that be the case, then I also predict that there would be a similar outcome, namely that India will not achieve its military objectives, though it might very well succeed with certain strategic ones.

For instance, India — whether rightly or wrongly, and irrespective of whether one supports its view or not — feels uncomfortable about China’s de-facto leadership of both BRICS and the SCO. New Delhi’s efforts to court Moscow as part of a grand “balancing” act have only been mildly successful but not enough to the point of making Russia as openly suspicious of China as India is. If there’s a Chinese-Indian border war, however, then India would send several powerful signals to the whole world even if it militarily loses the likely brief conflict.

First, India would position itself as the country most directly “countering/containing” China, which would appeal to its new American ally and the latter’s network of like-minded allies as well. Secondly, India would compel Russia to either choose a side (unlikely) or more vigorously “balance” between it and China. By default, any further tilt towards India along the lines of Russia’s present trend (e.g. selling more advanced offensive weapons systems) would be interpreted very negatively by China, potentially weakening their strategic partnership to New Delhi and Washington’s indirect advantage. And thirdly, BRICS and the SCO would never be the same again, which also serves American interests.

I don’t endorse that scenario because I personally hope that it doesn’t transpire, but I’d certainly understand what goals India is aiming for in the event that it happens. India also desperately needs another external enemy other than Pakistan to rally its domestic audience and distract them from the current economic difficulties and sharp partisan divides that have recently developed in the country. By presenting itself as the “American bulldog” against China, India hopes that it would receive preferential investment and other forms of support from the US and its allies, also enabling it to reach a more equitable trade deal with America later on.

PS: What is the Russian position on the Indian proximity to the US? Is the Russian Federation frustrated with India merely maintaining a transactional relationship in terms of weapons purchases or does it wish to take the partnership in newer dimensions (i.e. wanting it to be a part of the Eurasian Economic Union project)?

AK: I’m not an official representative of the Russian government so I can’t speak about their formal position, but from what I’ve observed, they’ve expressed both sentiments in recent years. Lavrov described the so-called “Indo-Pacific” as “an artificially imposed concept” created by the US during a press conference in February 2019, and he repeated his skepticism about it during the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi back in January. At that second-mentioned time, however, he expressed hope that Russia’s “Indian friends are smart enough to understand” that the US is simply trying to use this scheme to “contain” China.

Nevertheless, Russia has regularly reiterated its commitment to diversifying relations with India beyond their present mostly transactional nature largely dependent on military-technical cooperation. This is evidenced by the joint statement that was released during Prime Minister Modi’s attendance at the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok as President Putin’s guest of honor, where both leaders reaffirmed their strategic relations and promised to take them further than ever before. Two projects that are presently in the works are the Vladivostok-Chennai Maritime Corridor (VCMC) and selling BrahMos missiles to ASEAN states.

Russia’s position on India’s growing proximity to the US appears to be a mirror image of India’s position towards Russia’s growing proximity to China. Both Great Powers respect the other’s sovereign right to reach whichever partnerships they’d like, though they’d prefer that neither of them occur at the other’s expense (whether real, perceived, or speculatively latent). One solution for stabilizing their relations into the future would be to jointly lead a new Non-Alignment Movement (Neo-NAM), which I elaborated on in an article that I co-authored earlier this month for the official journal of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO), which is run by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Titled “The Prospects of Russia and India Jointly Leading a New Non-Aligned Movement”, it can be read in full for free here. The proposal is already being actively discussed in one of Russia’s top think tanks, the Valdai Club, and certainly deserves further study given the important “balancing” role that it can play in the future international system. In a gist, the idea calls for both of them to pool their collective resources (especially diplomatic and economic) towards creating a third pole of influence in the increasingly bipolar world led by the American and Chinese superpowers.

Not only could that help maintain trust between Russia and India, but it could also prevent one or the other from becoming their counterpart’s “junior partner”, something that they each fear for understandable reasons. That said, I’ve since expanded on my academic proposal to incorporate my prior work on the importance of Russian-Pakistani relations, which I explain at length in my analytical piece about how “Improved Russian-Pakistani Relations Will Help Moscow Balance The New Bipolarity“. I assert that this could perfect Russia’s “balancing” act by upholding its trust with China despite any progress that might be made on the Neo-NAM simultaneously with making India think twice about the consequences of more fully pivoting towards the US.

In sum, the solution to the dilemma posed by Russia’s increasingly close relations with China as perceived by India and India’s increasingly close relations with the US as perceived by Russia is for them both to come together to jointly lead a Neo-NAM, though Moscow’s chances of successfully maintaining this complex “balancing” act between China and India would be greatly strengthened by the continued improvement of its relations with Pakistan for the aforementioned reasons. This scenario presents what I sincerely believe to be the best outcome for all five players — Russia, India, China, the US, and Pakistan — and would therefore greatly contribute to establishing a relative sense of order in today’s extremely anarchic international arena.

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This article was crossposted from OneWorld.

Mr. Satam’s article that included the two earlier mentioned excerpts from this interview was published at the Mission Victory India autonomous defence think tank under the title “What is China’s Intent? The Answer is in the Regional Diplomatic Scenario & the New Cold War with the US“. Mr. Satam can be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from OneWorldThe original source of this article is Asia-Pacific ResearchCopyright © Andrew Korybko and Parth Satam, Asia-Pacific Research, 2020

رئيس الحكومة إلى الصين… ماذا ننتظر؟ ‏

ناصر قنديل

مقابل سقف وهميّ يبلغ 21 مليار دولار على سنوات عدة لمجموع ما يمكن أن يقدّمه صندوق النقد الدولي ومؤتمر سيدر معاً، تخاض حرب سياسية إعلامية تستهدف الدعوة لنزع سلاح المقاومة، والقطيعة مع سورية، والقبول بترسيم الحدود البحرية بما لا يُغضب واشنطن، ويلبي بالتالي مصالح كيان الاحتلال على حساب لبنان، وعدا عن الأكلاف الباهظة لهذه الأثمان. فمعلوم بمنطق الحسابات الواقعية بعيداً عن أي وطنية ومبادئ، أن دون تنفيذ هذه الطلبات معارك يعجز دعاتها الداخليّون عن خوضها، ويعجز دعاتها الخارجيّون عن فرضها بالقوة، وبالمقابل يرفض المعنيون بهذه الدعوات التنازل عن ثوابتهم بقبول هذه الدعوات لتجريدهم مما يرونه مفهومهم للسيادة والدفاع عنها.

بالمقابل بات ثابتاً أن هناك عرضاً صينياً، يصل لـ 30 مليار دولار، يمكن أن تستثمرها شركات صينية، وفقاً لتفاهمات من دولة إلى دولة، تطال تطوير مرفأي طرابلس وبيروت وفق معايير عالمية وربطهما بخطوط سكك حديد مع بغداد عبر دمشق، وإنشاء واستثمار خط سكك حديد سريع بين طرابلس والناقورة، وتنفيذ وتشغيل معامل كهرباء وشبكات نقل لتوفير الكهرباء 24/24، وإنشاء وتشغيل نفق ضهر البيدر، وبينما لا مجال للحديث هنا عن هدر وفساد، سيتم توظيف أموال صندوق النقد وسيدر ضمن آليات سبق اختبارها ويعشعش فيها الفساد، وبينما أثمان أموال صندوق النقد وسيدر عالية الكلفة لدرجة يستحيل على لبنان سدادها في السياسة، فإن لا أكلاف سياسية للعرض الصيني، فهو عرض اقتصاديّ بحت.

لا أحد يدعو لتغيير نمط العيش الذي يتحدث عنه البعض والقائم على النمط الغربي، ولا أحد يدعو لمقاطعة أوروبا وأميركا، ولا لوقف التفاوض مع صندوق النقد والتحرك الحثيث للحصول على أموال سيدر. فكل المطلوب هو فعل ما يفعله الأوروبيون والأميركيون الذين تشغل مرافئهم الكبرى في بوسطن وأمستردام، رافعات ومصنفات للحاويات، صينية، والذين لا يضيرهم التعاون مع شركة هواوي في إنشاء شبكات اتصالات للجيل الخامس للهاتف الخلوي، كما لا يضير أميركا أن تسد عجز حزينتها بآلاف المليارات من الدولارات التي تستثمرها الصين في سندات الخزينة الأميركية، وإذا كنا نسمع دائماً كلاماً عن لا مانع من التعاون مع الصين، فإننا نعلم أن محاولات التعطيل على قدم وساق والحجة هي عدم إغضاب أميركا. وهذه قمة العبودية الثقافية والتبعية السياسية حتى العمالة.

هل من قضية أهم اليوم من إنقاذ لبنان، وفقاً لخطة نهوض اقتصادية تشكل المشاريع التي درستها الشركات الصينية، وتبدي البنوك الصينية برعاية حكومتها الاستعداد لتنفيذها وتشغيلها، ولأن رئيس الحكومة جاد في مهمته الإنقاذيّة، فإنه من الأولوية بمكان أن يفعل كما فعل رؤساء أميركا الذين زاروا الصين لبحث المصالح الاقتصادية لبلادهم، من دون انتظار زيارة عواصم عربية مقفلة بوجه الحكومة، والمعلومات تقول إنه إذا قرّر رئيس الحكومة زيارة الصين على رأس وفد وزاري واقتصادي، وتم ترتيب برنامج منتج للزيارة فإن رقم الـ 30 مليار دولار قد يصل 50 مليار دولار بينها مصافٍ للنفط وحل تقني لملف النفايات ومشاريع سكنية ضخمة في الأرياف ومراكز المحافظات، وأن طلب وديعة صينية في البنك المركزي سيكون على جدول الأعمال، لكن المطلوب التحرّر من عقدة عدم إغضاب الأميركي، الذي تقول تجربة تركيا، إنه لا يقيم حساباً حتى بين أقرب الحلفاء، أعضاء الأطلسي إلا لمن يمارس سيادته واستقلاله، بينما يخاطب الأتباع الضعفاء بلغة ملؤها الإهانة وقاعدتها الإذلال، فماذا ننتظر؟

Caesar: Another Failing Attempt to Restrict Syria, Hezbollah

Caesar: Another Failing Attempt to Restrict Syria, Hezbollah

By Nour Rida

On Wednesday, the United States is due to bring into effect the toughest set of sanctions on Syria, as part of the Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act. The Caesar act is a law that was passed in December of 2019 and allows the American administration to impose sanctions on foreign companies, countries, and people who do trade or transactions with Syria.

Mainstream media outlets describes the law’s main intent is as “to punish Bashar al-Assad’s government for atrocities committed against the Syrian people,” using negative ideology to shape the story according to the US political agenda in the region.

The mainstream narrative of Western media is a penetrating medium, capable of creating false consciousness among the viewers. This is something many peoples of Western countries know by now. Looking back at media reports, one can see how positive ideology to describe the Bush administration was used as he was classified as ‘friendly’ and a ‘liberator’ at the time he invaded Iraq. This is one simple example of how media manipulates words and discourse to serve its own goals. Lest we forget the Takfiri terrorist groups in Syria that killed and raped and destroyed across the country regardless of the religious or ethnic background of the people; the US administration would call them “Syrian opposition” and legitimizing their existence and violence.

Back to the topic, today media reports call Syria an oppressive regime and the US claims it stands by the Syrian people by imposing the Caesar act. Words matter, but they cannot change history. The Caesar act imposed on Syria carries the same goals of the US backing and support of terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq throughout the past few years; stopping Bashar al-Assad from supporting the resistance movement in Lebanon of Hezbollah. Hezbollah is the only force by far that has been able to defeat ‘Israel’ and prove its vulnerability.

As said earlier, looking at the geopolitics of the region, it is obvious that the main target of the Caesar act is the Hezbollah resistance movement which constitutes a threat to the ‘Israeli’ apartheid regime. The act aims at breaking the Syrian will and causing uproar across the country as it puts pressure on the people.

The Caesar act seems to be paired with another attempt to cripple the resistance or weaken it that was overlooked by the media. It comes under the pretext of bolstering surveillance capacity of the UNIFIL inside Lebanon. UN chief Antonio Guterres said in a report that video surveillance and sensors already deployed, Guterres called for thermal-imaging cameras, hi-tech binoculars and drones which could strengthen the UNIFIL surveillance capacity.

In a report published Tuesday ahead of the mission’s renewal in August, Guterres said the UNIFIL criticized by the United States and ‘Israel’, needs to be “more agile and mobile” in particular on the Blue Line separating Lebanon from Occupied Palestine.

Guterres said the changes could come from “replacing some heavy infantry functions used for day-to-day activities with reconnaissance functions” using smaller “high-mobility light tactical vehicles and reconnaissance vehicles with improved monitoring capacity.”

The UN head also said he wanted to see construction of observation posts and for UN troops to have modern technology to collect and analyze data and improve their communications. Amid such demands skepticism rises on the real need of such equipment at a sensitive time and place.

Back to the sanctions, what the US has still not realized after its experience of imposing sanctions on Iran- an ally and supporter of Syria and the resistance in the region, is that it has failed to achieve its goal of destroying the resistance and its allies. The attitude of Syria would be similar to that of Iran, the sanctions will probably be an incentive to achieve self-sufficiency. Yes, choking Syria’s economy will hurt and will cause the troubled economy of Lebanon also to deteriorate further, but what does not kill someone only makes him stronger.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time the US imposes sanctions on Syria. In 1979, the US considered Syria a ‘supporter of terrorism’ as it stood by The Islamic Republic of Iran after its victory and overthrow of the US-backed Pahlavi regime. By imposing the act, the US again aims at toppling the resistance axis in the region or bringing about what it calls “change in attitude”.

“The new US sanctions will be far broader in terms of their sectoral targeting, but also, critically, will involve US targeting of other countries and businesses seeking to do business with the Syrian government in a bid to ensure Syria’s tightening economic isolation,” Julien Barnes-Dacey, director of the Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council of Foreign Relations (ECFR), told Al Jazeera.

It is true that imposing sanctions on Syria will make things tough and strangle the reconstruction of the war-hit country after around 9 years of Takfiri terrorist groups destroying Syria, but the US and its allies must keep in mind that Syria has the potential and the infrastructure to reactivate its agricultural and industrial activities. So for media outlets that have been exacerbating their campaigns and picturing Syria in starvation and famine, keep in mind that the Syrians will always manage to have food on the table despite all pressure.

Hezbollah for its turn is the main target behind all this. “Impose sanctions on Syria, force the ending of transactions and import into Lebanon, force the end of Syria-Hezbollah cooperation and it is all sorted out.” This is far from being accurate. The resistance forces in the region including Hezbollah are immune against such attempts. Some Lebanese factors are cooperating with the US and ‘Israel’ to disarm Hezbollah, but that remains to be an unrealized dream. Resistance in face of occupation is a right, and standing up for oneself is an act of self-defense.

That is one important thing to keep in mind. Another important issue to remember is that the US is in decline and this is a fact today. Russia, China and Iran will not abandon Syria and its people. Lebanon as well, stands before the option of moving towards the East, where it can find its way out from American pressure. Whether it is fiber optics and pipe gas lines, the silk road project, the trade corridor designed to reopen channels between China and countries of Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe, these are all considered as potential for cooperation between Syria, Iraq, Iran, Russia, China and Lebanon (if its political factions agree to turn their back to the US and its dictations). It takes bravery, consent and a political decision to stand in face of US coercion, and as the US power declines by the time such a scenario of shifting towards the East and abandoning the US supremacy becomes possible.

SYRIA CAESAR’S LAW: WHO DOES IT TARGET, AND HOW WILL IT AFFECT PRESIDENT ASSAD?

By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

In mid-June, the US sanctions against Syria will escalate, with the enactment of “Caesar’s Law“, sanctions designed to “pursue individuals, groups, companies, and countries that deal with the Damascus government.” This law – purportedly named after a Syrian army officer who smuggled out thousands of photos of torture by the Syrian army in prisons – is designed to prevent companies and countries from opening diplomatic channels with Syria, and to prevent them from contributing to reconstruction, investment, and the provision of spare parts for the energy and aviation sectors in Syria. The sanctions also affect the Syrian central bank, freezing the assets of individuals who deal with Syria and invalidating any visa to America. Who will abide by this law, and what are its consequences for Syria, Lebanon, and the countries that stand beside Syria?

Torture is a common practice in many nations around the world. Syria practised torture (the case of Maher Arar) on behalf of the United States of America and the Bush administration. At least 54 countries (Middle Eastern and African nations but also western countries like Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and more) supported US “extraordinary renditions” in 2001 and secret detentions under President Barack Obama. Washington thus lacks any moral authority to claim opposition to torture as a basis for its policies. Over recent decades the US has become notorious for authorising gruesome forms of torture, stripping people of their most basic rights, and generally violating human rights in defiance of the Geneva convention and above all the 1984 UN convention against torture. James Mitchell, a CIA contract psychiatrist who helped draft and apply “enhanced interrogation techniques“, disclosed several methods approved by the US administration to torture prisoners placed in detention in “black sites” outside the US, illegally but with official authorisation. Images of torture in Abu Ghraib prisons showed the world that the US use of torture and illegal methods of interrogation against detainees in Iraq. 

Thus, US sanctions on Syria cannot plausibly indicate US concern for human values and opposition to the abuse of power. Moreover, the US administration’s adherence to its own Constitution is in grave doubt, given the reaction of the security forces against demonstrators in America in response to widespread racial discrimination and racially motivated police attacks.

These new US sanctions, under the name of Caesar Syria Civilian Protection Act, can in no way be ascribed to some moral value, but rather to the failure by the US, Israel and several Western and Arab countries to change the regime in Syria, and their refusal to acknowledge defeat. They keep trying, and in this case, imagine that through harsh sanctions against Syria and its allies they can achieve what they have failed to accomplish through many years of war and destruction.

In the 1990s, the US imposed sanctions on Iraq (oil-for-food). Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens died as a result of US sanctions on Iraq without Saddam Hussein’s regime and his entourage being affected. Consequently, we can predict that US sanctions in general primarily affect the population and not the leaders.

The US fails to realize that it is no longer the only superpower in the world, and in the Middle East in particular. Russia has done what many thought was impossible and elbowed its way into the Levant to remain in Syria and confront NATO at the borders. China has followed as a rising economic superpower to make its way into the Middle East, mainly Iraq and Syria. Iran has already a strong presence and powerful allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Palestine. These three countries, along with Syria, are playing a leading role in actively eliminating US hegemony in this part of the world.

In Beirut, the government cannot adopt and abide by “Caesar’s Law” and close its gates to Syria. Lebanon’s only land borders are through Syria since Israel is considered an enemy. Any national economic plan to revitalise the abundant local agriculture sector and export to Syria, Iraq or other countries in the Gulf would fail if “Caesar’s Law” were put into effect. Any regenerated industry or import/export from the Middle Eastern countries must go through the “Syrian gate”. Besides, the current Lebanese government risks falling if it implements the US sanctions. Washington is not providing any financial assistance to the Lebanese economy in crisis and clearly has no intention of offering necessary and immediate help to the crippled Lebanese economy. The US, as has become the norm, seeks to impose sanctions and conditions on the nations it targets but offers little in return to affected countries. In the case of Lebanon, its budget deficit is close to 100 billion dollars following decades of corruption and mismanagement.

The government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab is, theoretically, a technocratic and non-political government. It does not consider the US an enemy but neither is it likely to follow US dictates, since it is close to the “March 8 Alliance” whose strongest members are not US friendly. Hence, the only solution for this government or any future government is to go east towards China, Russia and Iran. America will likely lose in Lebanon, with its “March 14 Alliance” allies rendered voiceless and powerless. 

There is no doubt that the Christian party within the “March 8” political group will be challenged and affected by US sanctions. These have an international relationship to look after and maintain as well as external bank accounts. Regardless, “Caesar’s Law” cannot be implemented in Lebanon, whatever the consequences of its violation.

As for Iran, it has already been subject to “maximum pressure” and harsh sanctions increasing year after year since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, for daring to reject US hegemony. Hence, it has no consideration whatsoever for the US “Caesar’s Law”. Even more, Iran is certainly not unhappy that the US blocked the return and reopening of Gulf countries’ embassies – who dare not disobey the US wishes – in Syria. Gulf companies are no longer in the field as competitors to divide shares in Iran’s reconstruction contracts related to projects in the field of industry, trade and energy. Iran has already challenged US and EU sanctions on Syria by sending oil tankers to Damascus. Also, Tehran sent five tankers to Venezuela, another country suffering from harsh US sanctions. The Gulf and European countries – US’s allies – are thus losing their opportunity to return to Syria, to be involved in its reconstruction and to regain their foothold in the Levant.

As for Russia, it has just signed a deal with the Syrian government to expand its military airport and naval bases in Tartous, Hasaka and Hmeymim. Furthermore, it is supplying Syria with modern military hardware and fulfilling the Syrian army needs to come up to full strength. It supplied Syria with squadrons of the updated MiG-29 fighters this month in a clear message to the US and its “Caesar Act” sanctions.

As for China, it is now in a “cold war” situation over US accusations that Beijing is responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19. The US is seeking to prevent Beijing from doing business with the European market, and particularly to prevent Europe from embracing China’s 5G network and technology. The US administration is also pushing Israel to curtail trade with China and to call off its billion-dollar contracts signed with China to avoid “hurting the relationship with the US”. Moreover, the Iraqi-US relationship took a severe blow when the former Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi signed off on a $20 billion “oil for reconstruction” agreement with China. Thus China, already involved in different projects in Syria, is not likely to abide by “Caesar’s Law”.

As for Syria, it will never accept starvation nor buckle under the US’s economic siege. President Bashar al-Assad is reconstructing the liberated areas under the government forces’ controls. He is rebuilding infrastructure for the Syrian population present in the homeland, excluding the areas abandoned by refugees who fled the country many of whom will not return. The Syrian government is not suffering from the absence of the five to seven million refugees in Idlib, in refugee camps outside the control of the government or in nearby bordering countries. Those refugees are financed and looked after by the international community and the United Nations. This relieves the central government of a considerable financial burden.

Consequently, Syria does not need to reconstruct the refugees’ homes or provide them with oil, electricity, schools, infrastructure and subsidies for as long as Western countries want them to stay outside Syria. The international community wants these refugees to remain away from the central government’s control and is doing everything in its power to prevent their return so as to be able to reject a future Presidential election- where Bashar al-Assad’s victory is guaranteed.

President Assad will work with Iran, Russia and China to secure his needs. Iran has defied US-European sanctions by sending oil tankers to Syria through the Straits of Gibraltar twice. Iran is building drug and medicine factories in Syria, and is also working on other projects that it shares with Russia and China. Syria is heading toward the east, not the west, since that it is the only remaining option left to it. This is the long-awaited dream of the “Axis of Resistance”. Lebanon, Syria and Iraq are looking to Asia to reverse the US-European sanctions against them and their allies in the Middle East. By imposing further unaffordable sanctions on Syria, the US is helping the Levant come out of the US sphere of influence and presence.

Iran, Russia, China and Syria are uniting as allies with an integrated project against US hegemony. There is no place for the domination of one state over another in this gathering of nations because solidarity is required to help Syria, for example, stand as a healthy and reliable country to confront the US. Their strength grows as the weakness of the US becomes more apparent, at a time when President Donald Trump is struggling domestically and his world influence is weakening. Washington is unilaterally imposing sanctions on nations and populations, forcing some allies to follow but also forcing them to consider seriously future possibilities for detaching from this burdensome “umbilical cord.”  

The US “Caesar’s Law” aims to submit and suppress the Syrian nation and people, as Washington has attempted with Iran and Venezuela, so far failing miserably. This policy can no longer be effective because the Russian – Chinese – Iranian alliance has now become important to many countries in the Middle East. The influence of this alliance now extends to the Caribbean Sea. “Caesar’s Law” will turn against its architects: “he who prepared the poison shall end up eating it.”

Proofread by:  Maurice Brasher and  C.G.B.

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The cause of tension between China and India

The cause of tension between China and India

June 15, 2020

by Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “positive consensus” on resolving the latest border issue was achieved following “effective communication” through diplomatic and military channels. New Delhi said the two countries had agreed to “peacefully resolve” the border flare-up after a high-level meeting between army commanders. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had sought to ease the tensions at summits over the past two years when they agreed to boost border communications between their militaries.

Tensions flare on a fairly regular basis between the two regional powers over their 3,500-kilometre frontier, which has never been properly demarcated. Thousands of troops from the two nuclear-armed neighbors have been involved in the latest face-off since May in India’s Ladakh region, bordering Tibet – before signs in recent days that a resolution was in sight.

The recent issue arose when India fortified its position in Ladakh disputed territory, which India included in its union territory on August 5, 2019, unilaterally. In contrast, it was a recognized disputed territory, and both countries having a claim over the area. India was illegally trespassing and constructing defense facilities across the border into Chinese territory in the Galwan Valley region, leaving Chinese border troops no other option but to make necessary moves in response. India wants to build an airbase in the disputed territory. It is worth mentioning that, under a defense agreement, between the US and India, both countries can have access to each other’s military bases and have the right to use in case of any war-like situations. It was a direct threat to China if American uses Ladakh Airbase against China. That was the immediate concern of the Chinese side and left with no option to stop construction works in the disputed territory.

In India, the focus has been turned to the Durbuk- Shyok-Daulet Beg Oldi Road (DSBDBO) along the Galwan River — which runs more or less parallel to the LAC (Line of Actual Control) and improves India’s access to the Karakoram Highway — as the possible trigger point for the latest flare-up between China and India. India has designs to cut the land link between China and Pakistan to harm CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor). That is why India was fortifying its infrastructure close to Khunjrab-Pass, connecting China and Pakistan.

However, China remains much more concerned about the newly constructed 80-kilometer stretch from Dharchula to Lipulekh (the gateway to Kailash-Mansarovar, a site for Hindu pilgrimage in Tibet), completed on April 17 and inaugurated on May 8 by Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh. That may have led Beijing to review the situation at the China-India borders.

In the Chinese assessment, India’s construction activity in the disputed areas with Nepal has affected China’s border security in Tibet. By building the 80 km stretch (76 km has been completed recently, and the last 4 km of the road to Lipulekh Pass is expected to be completed by the year’s end), India has moved its frontier vis-a-vis China, gaining direct access to the concrete highway in Purang county in Tibet. It has thereby changed the status quo in the region. China already has border defense roads in Purang county on the middle border, and Cona county on the southern border with India and a Chinese airport in Purang is scheduled to be completed in 2021. Despite its preparedness on its side of the border, China is concerned that India still has much room for maneuver, using Nepal’s geographical advantage to challenge China’s dominant position in the region.

As a matter of fact, India has disputes with all its neighbors like China, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Srilanka, and the Maldives. Indian expansionist theory of “greater India” is the cause of real trouble. In the past, India has occupied some of its neighboring independent sovereign states like Sikkim, Nagaland, Jammu & Kashmir, Hyderabad, Juna Garh, etc. India has a track record of aggression and coercion against its small neighbors. But may face a tough time from China. The lesson learned in the 1962 war, Indians should not have to develop enmity with China.

Historically, the border disputes existed since 1947, when India got independence from British rule. This was the era of the Chinese revolution when a weak, corrupt and naïve government of Nationalist Party (Guo Ming Dang) was in power in Beijing, and the Communist Party of China, led by Chairman Mao, was over-engaged in the power struggle. The Government in China at that time was not strong, not stable, or not visionary and were fighting for their own survival. They were least bothered with their International borders, whereas, they were focusing on their grip on Beijing city only, as a symbol of their Government. The Britsh demarcation of the border was unjust and one-sided. There were Chinese territories marked into Indian control and vis-à-vis. The people’s republic of China was established in 1949, since then, China was demanding a rational border, but India was denying and delaying to resolve the border disputes.

It is worth understanding the importance of Tibet, which is a region in East Asia covering Tibetan Plateau spanning about 2.5 million sq.km, with an average elevation of 4000 – 5000 meters above the sea. It is the major source of waters for China, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Several major rivers have their source in the Tibetan Plateau. These include the Yangtze, Yellow River, Indus River, Mekong, Ganges, Salween and the Yarlung Tsangpo River (Brahmaputra River). Who rule over Tibet, will control the water. The Yarlung Tsangpo Grand Canyon, along the Yarlung Tsangpo River, is among the deepest and longest canyons in the World. Tibet is one of the most ancient civilizations, with its unique culture and traditions. India sponsored the Tibet Government in exile led by Dalai Lama, based in New Delhi, which is a permanent cause of tension between China and India. CIA classified documents revealed that the CIA helped India to establish Tibet exiled Government and used to pay them funding to date.

Since the last two decades almost, the growing US-India relations were also not considered in Chinese favor. The US was supporting India politically and diplomatically to join UNSC, NSG, and other International platforms to counter China. The US has been extending economic and military assistance to India generously, to strengthen India to contain China. The US-India cooperation in Education, S&T, High-tech, Advance Technologies, especially in Defense, is raising many questions. India has become a “Major Defense Partner” with the US. India is an active member of the Indo-Pacific Treaty with Japan, Australia, and the US. India is openly opposing Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI), which is included in the Chinese Constitution and mega initiative of the Chinese Government. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a flagship project of BRI, India, is engaged in sabotaging and damaging it. India opposes China on all issues in the International platforms. Indian over-tilt toward the US is also alarming for China. India has become the largest beneficiary of US aid after the state of Israel. The US will not offer a “free lunch” to India, but rather task India to “Count China,” “Contain China,” and “Resist China’s Rise.”

The current geopolitics, especially the US-China rivalry, may add fuel to Sino-Indian tension. There are possibilities that the US may use this region as a battle-ground against China. Astrologists also predicts war in this region. The region is rather volatile and leading toward the danger of conflicts. It may not be a simple war between China and India but may engulf the whole region and world powers, including Russia and the US. Even it might spread to the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean too. It will not be a simple conventional war but will be high tech, including cyber-war, electronic-ware-fare, Space-Technolgy, and Artificial Intelligence. All the lethal weapons will be used, especially China, India, and Pakistan are all nuclear states and possess enough piles of weapons to destroy each other completely. Extremists have hijacked the Government in India and visibly moving toward rivalry with all its neighbors.

It is worth mentioning that the population of China is 1.4 Billion, India 1.3 Billion, Pakistan 220 Million, Bangladesh 165 Million, the total population of this region is almost half of the Whole World’s population. Any misadventure may threaten half of the World. International Community may take serious notice and may step in to avert any disaster. We must think, not once or twice, but multiple times!


Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, Pakistan.

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