The Longest War Of The 21st Century

15 JANUARY 2022

By Konrad Rekas

Source

The United States and Russia negotiate about limitation of the arms race, which is now even more obvious.   Central-European media threat the public with the “New Yalta” slogan, at the same time promising the inevitable victory of the only right Euro-Atlantic system.  Meanwhile, the geopolitical and geostrategic situation is more complex and much more dangerous, not only for the whole of Europe, being something different than simple new demarcation of spheres of influence between the powers.

No-Missiles Zone

The Cold War has always been closest to the transition to a hot one when it comes to strategic balance of power measured by the deployment and range of missile systems.  This was the case when in 1962 the Soviet Union reverted an attempt to locate American missiles in Turkey, what is known at misleading name of the Cuban Crisis.  That follows in 1980s, when the symbols of Reagan’s and Thatcher’s aggressive imperialism were Pershings, Tomahawks and the Trident System (still continued by UK).  Whenever war hawks prevail in the Euro-Atlantic zone – it can be seen in the translocation of offensive combat systems, moving closer and closer to the borders of the Russian Federation.

In practice, since Donald Trump’s anti-Chinese policy killed the INF (ДРСМД) – there is no effective international regulation of the ongoing, though not officially announced, arms race between the US and the rest of the world.  Of course, a very one-sided race, because although no one denies the modernity and training of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and the power of the People’s Liberation Army – these are the Americans, however, who spend more ($778 billion) on armaments than the next eleven countries on this list combined, eight of which are American allies and dependent countries.  This massive dependence of US policy on the interests of the military-industrial complex, unchanged since the Cold War, always leaves a margin of concern whether such a huge arsenal will tempt someone to finally be used.  Even just to make some space for new purchases…

Disarmament or at least non-proliferation negotiations are therefore a necessity, as urgent as during the most dangerous crises of the two-Blocks era.  In the 1950s example of such an initiative was the Rapacki Plan.  The Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Adam Rapacki, proposed establishing of a nuclear-free zone in Central Europe, encompassing the territories of both Blocks, i.e. both German states, Poland and Czechoslovakia.  Despite support from Moscow, Prague and East Berlin, as well as a very sympathetic reception by anti-war Western circles – this proposal failed facing the resistance of Atlantic militarists.  However, it would certainly be worth referring to it today by creating such a zone excluded from the relocation of missile systems, including at least Poland, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Scandinavia and the Baltic states.  Depending on a willingness of interested states, similar treaties could also be signed in Asia and other regions of the World.  Otherwise, we are threatened with a permanent state of universal hybrid war – with the possibility of turning into a full-blown global conflict at any time.

Will Russians invade Ukraine?  I invite them to dinner!

Of course, the USA, UK and NATO explain all their expansive actions in the East with „Russia’s aggressive plans towards Ukraine”.  We should add that these plans are so secret and diabolical that thanks to the Western media and politicians, people talk about them over a beer in a pub and at family lunches.  They are so obvious and known to everyone…  It is probably not difficult to guess that if something is the subject of such a clear and intrusive propaganda campaign – we can be absolutely sure that there is no relation to reality.  I have repeated many times, for the past seven years, when almost every day after the Euromaidan the Russian invasion into Ukraine was foretold: if only Russia wants that, after the morning roll call in Rostov, its soldiers will have lunch in Kharkiv, dinner in Kiev, and still have enough time for afternoon tea in Lviv cafes.  And for supper I invite them to the present Polish-Ukrainian border, near which I live…

Unfortunately, however, Russia has not attacked – because the Russians are not responsible for solving other nations’ problems.  Since we know more about the first years of People’s Republics in Donbas, the more we read and hear about the moderating role of Russia, which has tried to stop the escalation of the conflict.  This is not the place to judge whether it was right to grab the hands of Donbas field commanders, not letting them to go too far to the west.  The fact is, however, that it was so.  Russia could have liberated all of Ukraine (or conquered it if someone prefer that) a long time ago, and no one, least the West, could do anything about it.  Why then should it suddenly change politics and interfere with all this Ukrainian mess, especially announcing own entrance with so long run-up?  Just to help Western war hawks, gunmakers and the funny Kiev cacique who dreams of war to save his own stool?

Anyway, even in the Western media we can hear trumpets to retreat now.  After several months of continuous counting, how many thousands of Russian tanks are about to break into a peaceful Ukraine – suddenly we can hear and read that it was probably… “Putin’s bluff” and possibly Russia does not want to invade anyone.  For readers experienced in reading between the lines – the change of the message is therefore clear:  “We will never admit we lied, but now we can say that there will be no war”.  Well, looking at Ukraine’s impressive war budget (323 billion hryvnias, over 11 billion dollars!) it should be noted that the “Russo-Ukrainian war” has already fulfilled some of its tasks. The cash that the West “lends” to Kiev returns to the West in the form of military purchases, the business is booming, and the military-industrial complex with the media on its services counts profits.

For the New International Order

Therefore, there is no doubt that the period of World unipolarity has come to an end, but the new international order has not yet been clearly shaped.  All these collisions and conflicts are absolutely natural way of establishing new rules and defining new spheres of influence.  The descending empires often struggle with such problems, especially previously hiding and denying own weakness and decay.  The United States simply must put on mean face, flex muscles and show the longest missiles.  This is how they understand their prestige, these are their internal needs, and this is how they want to guarantee the subordination of the remaining vassals.  Escaping the crisis with a recent expansion attempt, distracting rivals, delaying the inevitable – these are normal tactical tricks.  Unfortunately, trying to displace reality by throwing everything on one card and creating a global war threat – that is also an option on the table.  And that is no secret that there are American circles that would not hesitate to set the World on fire believing that “all-or-nothing” and “if not us – no one!”.

Of course, however, there are also pragmatists, as well as that part of financial capital sceptical about the policies implemented by states, pointing out that these are large corporations, not the great powers, which became the real subjects of the international order.  These great interests will decide WAR or PEACE and so far (as we can see) the arguments are weighed.  Not only between Washington and Moscow, but even more between Wall Street, City and Beijing/Shanghai.

And as far poor Ukraine concerned… Well, it will be the subject of a conflict between the West and Russia as long as there is still something to be stolen left.  Although organized plunder has been going on practically from the first moments after the Euromaidan – Ukraine is still potentially a very rich country.  Do we not remember how during the previous World War the Germans even uprooted black soils and took them away by trains?  If the Ukrainians themselves do nothing about it, their country will only be left to itself when the last train with their resources leaves for the West.  And even then, Ukraine will be assigned the role of a battlefield, including atomic one.

As we know, Zelensky’s team has already legalised privatisation of land, privileging large foreign property, previously hidden in the form of leases and joint ventures.  In 2022 there is going to be a bargain with 700 of the 3,500 remaining state-owned enterprises, especially the power industry, mining and metallurgical one.  This a reason why Zelensky announced his cabaret “war with the oligarchs” (that means with himself?) – so no one would prevent Western capital from grazing on Ukrainian wealth.  To consume it in peace – capital must threat with war.  That is the whole secret of “Russian aggression plans against Ukraine”…

There will be no other end of the World

So, is the threat of global conflict just a kind of marketing trick?  Not exactly or probably not only.   A few years ago, there was quite popular theory that World War 3 had already begun, but we do not see all its symptoms yet.  The shortage of more dramatic moments made sceptics question this hypothesis – after all better, worse, but we live somehow.  The international situation is quite normal, although from crisis to crisis and overall we can focus on other issues, from celebrities trough climate to pandemic.  The problem is that the prophets of World War 3 were right.  Only, as in the poem by the Polish-Lithuanian poet Czesław Miłosz about the end of the World that no one noticed – perhaps there will be no more global war other than a permanently hybrid war.  And the inhabitants of not infected parts of the World will doubt if it is real at all.  But an endless war for the New World Order will spread everywhere on more and more fronts.

The war we already know from Donbas, Syria, Yemen, Transcaucasia, now also Kazakhstan, soon maybe Taiwan, Ukraine or Baltic States.  But also many, many other conflicts in which enemies from one theatre of operations will often and suddenly become tactical allies elsewhere.  This can be a war not only between states, because we already know that it is possible to fight almost entirely with private capital, only hiring states to carry out heavier air strikes.  Finally, it is a war in which whole cities can disappear under bombs and missiles, as it has been till now.  But also the one in which some silent killer will fly through a window and this child’s-toy-like thing will win the decisive battle.

And most of us, if we only have a bit of luck – might never even notice…

Why China and Russia Criticized Biden’s Democracy Summit?

27 Dec 2021

Source: Al Mayadeen

Ruqiya Anwar

China and Russia see that the US democracy summit has drawn new dividing lines globally. For China, democracy should be an internal process where every people has his path. Russia, on the other hand, criticizes the US’s contradictory behavior.

Why China and Russia Criticized Biden’s Democracy Summit?

China and Russia have responded angrily to US President Joe Biden’s proposed democracy summit, which excludes them, with Beijing enraged by a Taiwan invitation and the Kremlin dubbing it divisive.

The White House billed the two-day event, which was held via video connection due to the coronavirus outbreak, as US leadership perceives itself to be in an existential war between “democracies and autocracies or dictatorships.” The worldwide summit was a campaign promise made by the US President, who has made the fight between democracies and “autocratic states” a central theme of his foreign policy. Whereas, experts around the world, however, have criticized the meeting for dividing the world along ideological lines.

At a virtual summit in December, US President Joe Biden gathered world leaders from over 110 countries, including the US’ major Western allies, and made a plea to strengthen democracies, calling safeguarding rights and freedoms in the face of rising “authoritarianism,” the defining challenge of the current era. Significantly, Joe Biden has provoked uproar by ignoring China and Russia. The US “democracy summit,” according to China and Russia, has drawn new dividing lines (Tayyaba 2021).

Similarly, the guestlist for the event has drawn criticism for being divisive, with questions raised about why some countries were kept off the list while others with questionable human rights histories were included. 

But, after the world witnessed the United States’ contempt for the rule of law, the extension of presidential power, and distrust of elections, the question remains: What moral authority does Washington have to lecture the rest of the world about democracy? Critics argue that the United States lacks moral authority since it continues to back autocratic dictators across the world while curtailing voting rights at home.

Critics have also said that the invitation-only event risks exacerbating ideological divides at a time when global collaboration on a plethora of serious issues, including climate change, public health, and nuclear non-proliferation, is crucial. 

The Chinese Foreign Ministry stressed that “The so-called democracy summit held by the US is using ideology to draw lines globally, using democracy as a tool and weapon to incite separation and confrontations to divert attention from its internal problems and maintain its hegemony. The United States is not a beacon for democracy, and US-style democracy has gone against the essence of democracy. US democracy’s problems, such as money politics, identity politics, partisanship, political polarisation, social division, racial tension, and wealth gap, are worsening”.

Notably, democracy in the United States is a game of the wealthy, based on capital. Ninety-one percent of congressional elections go to candidates who have more financial backing. In theory, it’s one person, one vote, but in practice, it’s a rule of the minority elite. The general public is courted when their votes are needed, but they are forgotten once the election is finished. 

The Chinese spokesperson further discussed that rather than being imposed from the outside, a country’s route to democracy should be decided by its people. Democracy is the right of people in all countries as a universal human good. It is not a privilege reserved for a select few countries. Moreover, inciting conflict under the pretext of democracy is against the worldwide trend. It will only cause chaos and devastation in the world, according to the representative, who noted that the US has long forced its political systems and values on others, pushing for democracy transformation, misusing unilateral sanctions, and provoking colour revolutions. 

Most importantly, the United States’ wars and military actions in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria have killed hundreds of thousands of people, injured millions, and displaced tens of millions. The failure in Afghanistan has demonstrated that imposing American democracy on others does not work. According to Chinese analysts, Washington has demonstrated its lack of faith in its political system by refusing to invite numerous countries, including China and Russia, to contribute their perspectives on democracy, demonstrating that the US-dominated event is not democratic at all (Farah, 2021).

According to experts, the “summit” is a futile show that has offered a platform for some anti-China groups to gain attention, such as representatives of Hong Kong separatists and the Taiwan secessionist authority, demonstrating that the event serves the US goal of increasing tensions with China (DAWN, 2021).

On the other side, the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted long-standing issues in the US and its allies, such as freedom of speech, electoral rules, and human rights among others. “The democratizing rhetoric coming from Washington is not only completely disconnected from reality, but also utterly hypocritical, the flaws in the existing vote counting mechanism, the world’s highest prison population, and legislatures defending the interests of their sponsors rather than the voters”. Furthermore, Russia encouraged the United States to first address domestic issues and overcome widening societal conflicts over ethics, values, and the country’s past and future vision. 

The opinions mentioned in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Al mayadeen, but rather express the opinion of its writer exclusively.

America’s ‘Suez moment’: Another strategic mistake would be its last

27 December 2021

“The chance of a global conflict involving real armies and real arms has never been higher. Biden should bear this in mind” (Illustration by MEE)
David HearstDavid Hearst is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye. He is a commentator and speaker on the region and analyst on Saudi Arabia. He was The Guardian’s foreign leader writer, and was correspondent in Russia, Europe, and Belfast. He joined the Guardian from The Scotsman, where he was education correspondent.

David Hearst

In 2021, President Joe Biden truly reaped a bitter harvest from the strategic foreign policy errors of four of his predecessors. But Washington would do well to think before it makes its next move

“America has just had its Suez Crisis,” commented a member of the Iranian delegation at the nuclear talks in Vienna about the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, “but it has yet to see it.”

It’s not just the fall of Kabul.

In 2021, President Joe Biden truly reaped a bitter harvest from the strategic foreign policy errors of four of his predecessors. As he was the vice president for one of them, Barack Obama, he has trouble seeing this as well. The seeds of each of the major global conflict zones post – Afghanistan, Ukraine, Taiwan, and Iran were planted long ago. 

It’s not just the fall of Kabul. What unravelled this year was no less than three decades of bungled US global governance

What unravelled this year was no less than three decades of bungled US global governance.

Each US president in the post-Soviet period shared the belief that he had the file to himself. It was not something to be shared at the UN Security Council. He was the commander-in-chief of the largest, best-equipped and most mobile armed force in the world, one that could stage over the horizon attacks with devastating accuracy. The US president controls 750 military bases in 80 different countries. He also had the biggest pocket, the world’s reserve currency, so, ergo, he could now set the rules.

What could possibly go wrong?

With that belief came two assumptions that proved to be fatally flawed: that the US monopoly on the use of force would last forever – it ended with Russia’s intervention in Syria – and that the US could continue to enforce a “rules-based” world order – so long as it continued to make the rules. Biden has quietly buried both assumptions by admitting that great powers will be forced to “manage” their competition to avoid conflict that no one can win. 

But hang on a moment. There is something not quite right here.

The cause and effect theory

Major conflicts, which have the potential to produce tank battles not seen since World War II, like Ukraine, do not just happen.

There is cause and effect. The cause was the unilateral but at the time uncontroversial decision to expand Nato eastwards in the 1990s, abandoning the model of a largely demilitarised and missile-free Eastern Europe that had been discussed with president Mikhail Gorbachev a decade earlier.Why global conflict is no longer unthinkableJoe Gill Read More »

This was done to give new meaning to Nato, a military pact whose purpose died when its enemy did. Complete rubbish was talked about Nato “cementing” democracy in Eastern Europe by guaranteeing its independence from Moscow. But remember the mood at the time. It was triumphalist. Not only was capitalism the only economic system left, but its neo-liberal brand was the only brand worth promoting. 

For a brief moment, Moscow became an eastern gold rush, a Klondike for venture capitalists, Ikea, Carrefour, Irish pubs, and bible bashers. The Russians, meanwhile, were obsessed with designer labels, not politics.  

The Americans in Moscow – at the time – did not bother much about what their hosts thought or did. Russia became irrelevant on the international stage. US advisers boasted about writing the decrees the Russian president Boris Yeltsin issued. And Yeltsin returned the favour by handing over the designs of the latest Russian tank and the wiring diagram of bugs placed by the KGB in the concrete foundation of an extension being built in the US embassy. 

Then US President George Bush and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev after a two-day US-Soviet Summit dedicated to the disarmament on 31 July, 1991 (AFP)
Then-US president George Bush and his Soviet counterpart Mikhail Gorbachev after a two-day US-Soviet summit dedicated to disarmament, on 31 July 1991 (AFP)

For Russian nationalists, this was nothing less than an act of treason. But doors were open so wide to the West that literally everything that was not nailed down flew through them – nuclear scientists, missile engineers, the cream of the KGB, and suitcases full of cash. Where do you think the Russians who settled in Highgate in North London, or the Hamptons on Long Island, or Cyprus, or Israel got their money from?

For a time, even the word “West” dropped out of Russian political vocabulary because the new Russians thought they had just joined it.

Ukraine, the West’s victim

The first US ambassador to the newly created Russian Federation, Robert Strauss, spent more time defending what happened in the Kremlin than the White House. Western embassies became spokesmen for a Russia they thought they now owned. 

It is now in the US’ strategic interest to staunch any more bloodletting in the battlefields it created this century

Strauss downplayed the first reports of the rise of the Russian mafia state, as a mere bagatelle. “This is what Chicago was like in the 20s,” he told me. This was followed by inanities about the green shoots of democracy and the time it took to mow an English lawn. As if he knew.

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair were similarly blasé about what they did in Russia.

The Russian army was “a joke”. When the Russians sent their armoured columns into Grozny in December 1994, the West thought it could be stopped by small bands of determined Chechens; their pilots had only three hours flying time each month: their frigates sailed in pairs – one to patrol, the second to tow back the first one when it broke down; their submarines sunk.

And so Nato pushed eastwards.

No one at the time bought the argument that all Nato would do was to push the line of confrontation eastwards. Russia’s pleas to negotiate a security architecture for Eastern Europe fell on deaf ears. They are not falling on deaf ears now, with 90,000 Russian troops massed on Ukraine’s borders. 

The victim of this gross act of western stupidity was Ukraine, which for at least the first decade after the fall of the Soviets had survived intact and largely in peace. Civil wars raged all around it, but Ukraine itself maintained its political and social unity despite being comprised of very different communities. With the exception of Western Ukraine, which never forgot that it had been captured by the Bolsheviks from the crumbling Austro-Hungarian empire, Russian and Ukrainian speakers lived in peace.

Now it is divided forever, scared by a civil war from which it will never recover. Ukraine will never regain its lost unity, and for that, Brussels is as much to thank as the bully boys from Moscow.

Ukrainian servicemen take part in the joint Rapid Trident military exercises with the US and other Nato countries not far from Lviv on 24 September 2021 (AFP)
Ukrainian servicemen take part in the joint Rapid Trident military exercises with the US and other Nato countries not far from Lviv, on 24 September 2021 (AFP)

The new cold war

Then there is China. Pivoting eastwards surely did not mean ending one Cold War and starting a new one with China, but that too is inexorably happening. Biden cannot decide whether to calm President Xi down or confront him, but doing each in sequence will not work. 

To get a measure of what mainland China feels when British warships sail through the Taiwan Strait, how would Britain react if Chinese warships appeared in the Irish Sea and sailed between Scotland and Northern Ireland?How to avert a global conflict between China, Russia and the WestMarco Carnelos

Read More »

The game of “managing” competition has human consequences as devastating as the superpower triumphalism of the 1990s, and those can be observed in Afghanistan today. The Afghanistan of the ousted Afghani president Ashraf Ghani truly was a Potemkin village, a facade of independent statehood. 

An astonishing 300,000 troops and soldiers on its government’s books did not exist. “Ghost soldiers” were added to official lists so that generals would pocket their wages, Afghanistan’s former finance minister Khalid Payenda told the BBC. The black hole of the former corrupt regime’s finances was an open secret long before Biden set a date for withdrawal. 

A report for the US special inspector general for Afghanistan (SIGAR) warned in 2016: “Neither the United States nor its Afghan allies know how many Afghan soldiers and police actually exist, how many are in fact available for duty, or, by extension, the true nature of their operational capabilities.”

Now that the tap of US income has been turned off, Afghanistan is on the verge of a nationwide famine. But, incredibly, the US is blaming this situation on the Taliban. It withholds money on the grounds of human rights, the night-time revenge killings on former state employees, or the suppression of education for women.

Much of the Afghan central bank’s $10bn in assets is parked overseas, including $1.3bn in gold reserves in New York. The US Treasury is using this money as a lever to pressure the Taliban on women’s rights and the rule of law. It has granted a licence to the US government and its partners to facilitate humanitarian aid and it gave Western Union permission to resume processing personal remittances from migrants overseas.

But the US does not hold itself to account for having nurtured a state that cannot function without the money that it is now withholding. The US has direct responsibility for the famine that is now taking place in Afghanistan. To withhold money from the Taliban because they took power militarily, rather than negotiate their re-entry with other Afghan warlords, also wears somewhat thin. 

Same story

The Taliban walked into Kabul with barely a shot fired because everything crumbled before them. The speed of the collapse of Afghan forces blindsided everybody – even Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), who are accused by India and western governments of running the Haqqani network of the Taliban. The only country that really knew what was happening was Iran, because officers of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were with the Taliban as they walked in, according to Iranian sources close to the IRGC.

US President Joe Biden looks at Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) prior to their meeting at the 'Villa la Grange' in Geneva on 16 June, 2021 (AFP)
A child cries on a sidewalk in Kabul, on 27 December 2021 (AFP)

Even the ISI were blindsided by the speed of this collapse. An informed source told me in Islamabad: “We had expected the NDS [National Directorate of Security] to put up a fight in Mazar-i-Sharif, Herat, Kandahar and Kunduz. That would have produced a stalemate and the possibility for negotiation a more inclusive government.”

But we are where we are. “There were some improvements in the last 20 years. There was a middle class in Kabul, women’s education. But if you want to lose everything, this is the way to do it. The Taliban will go hardline if the place runs out of money. If you want to protect the liberal elements, you have to make Afghanistan stable.”

Pivoting eastwards surely did not mean ending one Cold War and starting a new one with China, but that too is inexorably happening

The Pakistani source listed 10 jihadi groups, as opposed to the one jihadi group, al-Qaeda, that was around in 2001. And the ISI do not know what happened to the arms the Americans left behind.

“We simply don’t know in whose hands they have ended up,” he said. When they pressed the Taliban on forming an inclusive government, the Taliban shot back at them: “Do you have an inclusive government? Do you have a government that includes the PML-N? What do you think it would be like in Pakistan if you had to reconcile groups of fighters who had killed each other’s sons and cousins?”

Starved of funds, there is only one way for the breakaway groups to go – into the hands of the jihadists. He ended his analysis with the following thought: is it really in the US interest to stabilise Afghanistan? If they let the money through, it would mean supporting the very axis of China, Russia and Pakistan that they were now determined to push back. The faltering talks in Vienna, the crisis on Ukraine’s border, renewed tension and military posturing in Taiwan, are all part of the same story.

Strategic mistakes

Washington would do well to look at the map of the world and think before it makes its next move. A long period of reflection is needed. Thus far it has obtained the dubious distinction of getting every conflict it has engaged with in this century wrong. 

The US has entered a new era where it can no longer change regimes by force of arms or sanctions

The chance of a global conflict involving real armies and real arms has never been higher and the tripwire to using weapons of mass destruction has never been strung tighter. Nor have all the world’s military powers been better armed, able and willing to start their own inventions.

Biden should bear this in mind.

It is now in the US’ strategic interest to staunch any more bloodletting in the battlefields it created this century. That means the US should come to a deal with Iran by lifting the sanctions it imposed on Tehran since the 2015 JCPOA. If it wants to balance the growing Chinese and Russian influence in the Middle East, that is the surest way to do it.

Iran is not going to give up its missiles any more than Israel is going to ground its air force. But a deal in Vienna could be a precursor to regional Gulf security negotiations. The Emiratis, Qataris, Omanis and Kuwaitis are all ready for it. If Washington wants to apply rules, let it do so first with its allies, who have extraordinary impunity for their brutal actions.

If Washington is the champion of human rights it claims to be, start with Saudi Arabia or Egypt. If it is the enforcer of international law, let’s see Washington make Israel pay a price for its continued settlement policy, which makes a mockery of UN Security Council resolutions, and the US’ own policy for a resolution to the Palestinian conflict. 

The Abraham Accords were devised to establish Israel as America’s declared and open regional surrogate. Had Donald Trump secured a second term, such a policy would have been a disaster for US strategic interests in the Middle East. Already Israel thinks it has a veto on US decision making in the region. With this policy fully in place, it would have been in charge of it, which would have meant permanent conflict created by a military power that always strikes first.

Israel acts with ruthless logic. It will use any opportunity to expand its borders until a Palestinian state becomes an impossibility. It probably has already succeeded in that aim. However, this is not US policy. But this expansion continues, almost week in, week out, because no one in Washington will lift a finger to stop it. Doing nothing about armed lynch mobs of settlers attacking unarmed Palestinian villagers in the West Bank is the same as agreeing to them. 

If you want to be a champion of rules, apply those rules to yourself first.

This is the only way to regain lost global authority. The US has entered a new era where it can no longer change regimes by force of arms or sanctions. It has discovered the uselessness of force. It should drop the stick and start handing out bucket loads of carrots. It should get on with the urgent task of deconfliction.

After the damage done this century by conflicts ordered, created and backed by US presidents – Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya – that is not only a responsibility but a duty. 

Another US strategic mistake would be its, and Western Europe’s, last. 

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

The Myth of Apolitical China: Why the West Refuses to Accept China’s Superpower Status

It behooves us all to abandon the notion that China is only interested in business and nothing else.

December 23, 2021

BY RAMZY BAROUD


A
n article by Gideon Rachman in the Financial Times last July is a prime example of western intelligentsia’s limited understanding of China’s unhindered rise as a superpower. “Becoming a superpower is a complicated business. It poses a series of connected questions about capabilities, intentions and will,” Rachman wrote.

To help us understand what this claim precisely means, the FT writer uses an analogy. “To use a sporting analogy, you can be an extremely gifted tennis player and genuinely want to be world champion, but still be unwilling to make the sacrifices to turn the dream into reality.”

At least, in Rachman’s thinking, China is capable of being a political actor, though it remains incapable of vying for the superpower status, as it supposedly lacks ‘the will’ to make the required ‘sacrifices’.

Although I visited Beijing only once, a few years ago, I, or even any casual visitor to the Chinese capital, could attest to the powerful collective economic engine that fuels not only China but much of the world economy. While Chinese officials do not outright profess that their ultimate aim is to make their country a superpower – for, frankly, rarely are superpowers aware of the mechanisms that lead to such status – the Chinese leadership fully fathoms the nature of the challenge at hand.

Read: Taiwan amidst the Emerging China – US Cold War

Take Chinese President Xi Jinping’s speech in October 2019, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of China. “Over the past 70 years, under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people, with great courage and relentless exploration, have successfully opened the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics.

Along this path, we have ushered in a new era,” he said. Note Xi’s constant references to ideology, nationalism, forward-thinking and insistence on China’s central position in this ‘new era’. Xi was elevated to the status of Mao Zedong – as a ‘core leader’ in 2019 and ‘helmsman’ in 2021 – precisely due to his role in transitioning China in terms of power, politics and global prestige.

The sooner we acknowledge that China is an influential political entity that operates according to a clear and decisive political strategy, the more meaningful our understanding of the geopolitical transformation in Asia, and the rest of the world, will be.

Indeed, the sooner we acknowledge that China is an influential political entity that operates according to a clear and decisive political strategy, the more meaningful our understanding of the geopolitical transformation in Asia, and the rest of the world, will be.

Since the rise of Britain as a colonial power, thus the advent of a new world order, determined almost exclusively by western powers, the global center of power, starting in the 18th century, had shifted away from Asia and the Middle East.

Later on, starting in the mid-twentieth century, the main competition that colonial western powers had been forced to contend with came from the Soviet Union, its Warsaw Pact, and their international allies, mainly Europe’s former colonies in the Southern hemisphere.

Read: The Gang’s All Here: New Western Imperialism in the South China Sea

The collapse of the Soviet Union, starting in 1989, ushered in the return of western control, this time led by the United States as the world’s only hegemon and neocolonial master.

It quickly became obvious, however, that the post-Soviet global paradigm was unsustainable, as Europe’s economic influence was rapidly shrinking and Washington’s desperate attempt at policing the world was failing due, in part, to its own miscalculations but also to the stiff resistance it faced in its new colonial domains, mostly in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Members of the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition (SAAC) participate in a protest in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, December 11, 2021. Members of the Sydney Anti-AUKUS Coalition (SAAC) are holding a protest in opposition to the AUKUS military agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States, the development of nuclear submarines and war on China. Photo by Steven Saphore. Anadolu Images.

The cost of war, aside from its incalculable massive destruction and human toll – according to a very modest estimate, almost one million people were killed in U.S. military adventures since 2001 – has also come at a great cost to the already weakening U.S. economy. Brown University’s Costs of War Project, published in September 2021, has calculated that the U.S. has spent up to $5.8 trillion in its failed military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. The same report has also estimated that an additional $2.2 trillion will be spent over the next 20 years in health care and disability coverage for veterans.

The U.S. involvement in long wars with undefined objectives opened up unprecedented geopolitical spaces that Washington and its western allies have dominated over the course of decades. For example, the U.S. had near-total geopolitical control over much of South America starting with the introduction of the Monroe Doctrine, in 1823. The same assertion can be made about Africa which, despite the formal end of colonialism in the long-exploited continent, continued to revolve around the same western colonial powers of yesteryears. However, a noticeable shift in the West’s geostrategic influence in these regions began taking place in the last three decades.

Russia has speedily offered itself as a military and strategic ally and alternative to the U.S. in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and South America.

While the West was fighting essentially futile wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of the intentionally ill-defined ‘war on terror’, regional and international political actors moved in to fill the gaps created by American and western absence from their various regions of influence. Russia has speedily offered itself as a military and strategic ally and alternative to the U.S. in parts of the Middle East, Africa, and South America – in Syria, Libya and Venezuela respectively – as China moved in to fulfill a much larger economic role, branding itself as a fair partner, especially if compared to western powers.

It was not until the gradual U.S. retreat from Iraq in 2011 that Washington announced its ‘Pivot to Asia’, a new military and political stratagem aimed at offsetting the Chinese influence in the Asian Pacific region. Much of former U.S. President Barack Obama’s first term in office was dedicated to America’s political strategic realignments in the Asia Pacific.

Read: Jens Stoltenberg on the Rise of China: Is NATO Pivoting to the Indo-Pacific?

“The United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay,” Obama declared in a speech to the Australian parliament in November 2011. “As we end today’s wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority.”

However, the American geopolitical shift may have arrived belatedly. For one, the repercussions of America’s military undertakings in Central Asia and the Middle East – as time has clearly demonstrated – were far too severe and costly to be simply canceled out by a declaration of a new strategy. Two, China had, by then, built a complex network of alliances in Asia and around the world, allowing it to cement real bonds with many nations, especially those concerned or fed up with the West’s obsession with military superiority and interventions.

According to a report published in October by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, over the last twelve years, China has been Africa’s largest trading partner. “China has created 25 economic and trade cooperation zones in 16 African countries,” the report reads, “and has continued to invest heavily across the continent throughout the COVID19 pandemic,” according to a government report about Chinese–African economic and trade ties.

Read: Will AUKUS Be Able to Encircle China?

In contrast, according to data published by Statista Research Department in August 2021, “after a peak in 2014, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Africa from the United States dropped to 47.5 billion U.S. dollars (from 69.03) in 2020.”

Here is precisely where many analysts go wrong, arguing, as Rachman did, that “China’s economic weight, as the world’s largest trading power and manufacturer, gives it significant political leverage internationally. […] But Beijing’s economic power is not always politically decisive”.

This limited thinking is based on the assumption that, to be ‘political’ is to follow the same blueprint used by the U.S. and its western partners in their approach to foreign policy, diplomacy and occasional wars. China’s take on politics, however, has always been quite different. According to Beijing’s thinking, China does not need to invade countries to earn the designation of a political actor.

Instead, China is simply tapping into its own historical trajectory of utilizing economic influence in its quest for greatness, and arguably, empire. The fact that the Road and Belt Initiative – a long-term strategy aimed at connecting Asia with Africa and Europe via land and maritime networks – is a modern interpretation of the Silk Road, which was a network of ancient trade routes which linked China to the Mediterranean region, is enough to tell us about the nature of the Chinese model.

Read: US-Indonesia Maritime Collaboration in the South China Sea: Harbinger of an Expanded Quad-Plus?

That in mind, China has also taken many steps that are unmistakably ‘political’ even from the selective definition of western intelligentsia. One of the many treaties that China has initiated, co-founded or joined is the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which, as of September, included Iran as well. The Shanghai Pact is a Eurasian political, economic, and security alliance that was established in 2001 and has served to counterbalance western, U.S.-led transnational organizations.

China’s so-called ‘wolf diplomacy’ is one of Beijing’s most trusted tactics through which clear and repeated messages are sent to Washington and its allies, that the rising East Asian nation will not be kowtowed or intimidated.

Until the last decade, Beijing had resorted to economic cooperation as the most productive way of facilitating its arrival to the global stage as a potential or a fledgling superpower. However, one may argue that, not until Obama’s ‘Pivot to Asia’, Donald Trump’s trade war, and Joe Biden’s incessant threats to China over Taiwan, did Beijing begin accelerating the political dimension of its strategy.

China’s so-called ‘wolf diplomacy’ is one of Beijing’s most trusted tactics through which clear and repeated messages are sent to Washington and its allies, that the rising East Asian nation will not be kowtowed or intimidated. The “wolf warrior diplomacy” describes a more assertive and even confrontational style employed by Chinese diplomats to defend China’s national interests.

According to the common western understanding, China, or any other country for that matter, that dares operate outside the dictates of western agenda, is a threat or a potential threat. However, even when China’s economic fortunes were rising, following Deng Xiaoping’s successful economic reforms campaign in 1978, the country was not seen as a ‘threat’ per se, as Beijing’s economic rise fueled Asia and, by extension, the global economy, eventually even mitigating the Great Recession of 2008, which itself resulted from the collapse of U.S. and European markets. China only became a threat when it dared define its geopolitical objectives in the Asia Pacific region, starting in the South and East China Seas.


N
ot only is China very much a political actor but one would contend that presently, it is the most important political actor in the world, as it gradually but surely challenges American and western dominance on various fronts – military in Asia, economically and politically elsewhere. China’s influence can also be observed beyond Asia and Africa, in Europe itself, as even Washington’s own allies are openly divided in their approach to the brewing U.S.-China cold war and America’s insistence on repelling the encroaching Chinese danger.

“A situation to join all together against China, this is a scenario of the highest possible conflictuality. This one, for me, is counter-productive,” French President Emmanuel Macron said during a discussion broadcast by Washington-based think tank, the Atlantic Council, in February.

It behooves us all to abandon the notion that China is only interested in business and nothing else. This stifling thinking regarding China helps perpetuate the notion that the U.S. has used its global dominance to achieve other noble objectives, for example, ‘restoring’ democracy and defending human rights. Not only are the degradation of China and the elevation of the U.S. essentially racist, but also entirely untrue.

(Romana Rubeo, an Italy-based journalist and editor, contributed to this article.)

The Russian website GEOFOR interviews the Saker

December 18, 2021

PUTIN-BIDEN: THERE ARE THINGS THAT RUSSIA WILL NOT TOLERATE

Translated from Russian into English by Lilia Shumkova

source: https://geofor.ru/4769-putin-bajden-est-veshhi-kotorye-rossiya-terpet-ne-budet.html

GEOFOR: Dear Mr. Raevsky, I recall how after the Geneva meeting with President Vladimir Putin, his American colleague President Joe Biden, in response to a question about the continuation of high-level contacts between our countries, said that we should wait until the end of the year, and after that time make an appropriate decision. And now, six months after Geneva, a new dialogue, albeit in a video format. Moreover, this time the initiator was the American side. What do you think this means? What did the White House want to achieve, and to what extent did it succeed?

Raevsky: Under Biden, the United States turned to Russia five times with a request for negotiations – three times by phone, once in person and now via a video conference. Why did they need it? Here, you just need to look at the general context from the point of view of the United States and Biden himself. He has several “fronts,” not only the problem of Russia and Ukraine. I would even say that this is not the main “front” for him. There are two main ones. First of all, there is an internal “front”: he has a very low rating; The social, economic, and political crisis in the United States is now total and, in many ways, resembles the Soviet Union in the 1980s. American armed forces have already proved many times their total inability to conduct combat operations and achieve anything with them. Iraq is a disaster. They are afraid of Iran and do not even want to compete with it. You have seen the disgrace in Afghanistan. Now the mood is very depressed and angry. This internal “front” of President Biden is undoubtedly the most dangerous.

The second very dangerous “front” he has is the issue of China. The Americans say that in two years they will no longer be able to gain the upper hand in the war against China; something needs to be done urgently.

People who understand the principles and timing of the reform of the armed forces and the development of new weapons systems, the principles of tactics and military art in general, understand that nothing can be done in two years. It takes a decade, and maybe more than one.

China and the United States are moving towards a confrontation. Beijing definitely occupies the position of the stronger player. And the Americans are weak on all fronts.

Then they have the Middle East, where Iran is now, in fact, ruling the ball. Israel is trying to maintain the appearance that it is very strong and very dangerous, but in reality the United States is now losing the entire Middle East.

This was an open goal of the Iranians. This is a country that is an order of magnitude smaller or weaker than Russia or China, now – in general, successfully – expels the United States from the Middle East, or at least from many parts of the Middle East.

And, of course, another “front” is Ukraine and Russia plus Europe. And in Europe – and this needs to be pointed out – there is an economic crisis.

For all these reasons, Biden was in an extremely difficult situation.

Russia has been retreating on all fronts over the past 20 – if not 30 – years. And now the situation resembles the one when German tanks were near Moscow. The time is now to say, “Not a step further.”

I think that [Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation Valery] Gerasimov and Putin conveyed exactly this to the Americans: “Say what you want, we will not practice the same belligerent rhetoric. But in reality we have the means to repel any provocation or strike from you, and we will have to do it if you don’t change course.”

I think that the realization of how dangerous the situation is today has reached the “collective Biden.”

Now about whether he achieved what he wanted in this video conference.

Sure. To some extent, yes. Because he will be able to say that it was he who stopped Russia in Ukraine, that it was he who stopped China, and no attack on Taiwan happened on his watch.

But this, of course, is fiction. Everyone understands perfectly well that neither China nor Russia need these wars. All these fears were fanned by the Americans themselves.

And, that’s where they really scared themselves, which was the right thing to do, because they are absolutely not tough enough to “butt heads” with Iran, China, and Russia at the same time.

But there is a certain specificity of American politics in this. Very often, American diplomats come to Moscow and say one thing, then when they come back, they are attacked by the media and Congress. Both the media and the Congress are totally in the hands of the “War Party” here. Accusations of weakness, softness, cowardice, etc. follow and here they need to show their “coolness”.

So, for example, Trump acted when he negotiated with the Russian side, and then declared: “There were no agreements.”

Therefore, it remains to be seen whether Biden will be able to withstand the onslaught of the “War Party” now. If he can do it, say, in the next 2-3 weeks, then I would say that for him this conversation was a clear and undoubted success.

And if the “War Party” breaks it, as Trump was very quickly broken, then everything will return to normal, and we will return to the same threshold where Russia and the United States will be on the verge of a full-scale war. This, in general, is not necessary for anyone, and maybe it has come to the American side that it is one thing to talk about world domination, to fight with weak incapacitated forces. And it’s quite another thing to wage war against a real military superpower.

GEOFOR: The meeting was preceded by a strong propaganda attack against Russia, during which Washington clearly tried to “raise the stakes.” President Biden even said that he does not see and does not accept any “red lines” outlined by Moscow. And yet, just before the meeting, Congress lifted a number of sanctions against Russia from the defense budget, including on the Nord Stream-2. Clearly under the influence of the administration. How do you explain such a metamorphosis?

Raevsky: Of course, firstly, it was necessary to “raise the stakes” in order not only, as they like to say in the West, “to negotiate from a position of strength,” but also to convince both public opinion and the “War Party” that we are in no way making concessions to Russia. And Biden said: “We will not recognize any red lines!” [NATO Secretary General] Stoltenberg said: “We do what we want and Russia does not order us!” and so on.

It’s all PR.

In reality – the fact that they have already asked for negotiations with Russia for the fifth time shows who is in a position of strength, and who is not.

And this lifting of the sanctions you are talking about from the defense budget is, in general, a small step, rather, a diplomatic step of goodwill. But, in fact, the issue with the Nord Stream-2 has already been resolved. The only thing that can close it is a full-scale war between Russia and Ukraine – or something worse. They have already sanctioned Russia so that there is nowhere else to go – they say it themselves.

So, if you no longer have the opportunity to impose other sanctions, then you can “sell” this “non-imposition” of sanctions as a gesture of goodwill.

This is Realpolitik, and nothing more.

The Americans have never abandoned their strategic goals – containing and encircling Russia, forcing it to submissive obedience and surrender of its sovereignty, and this is their ultimate goal which the Americans have never agreed to abandon.

This is a strategic goal. And everything that is being done now, for Americans, is the level of tactics, not strategy.

They have not discussed the strategy yet, because to revise the strategy means to revise the entire ideology on which this country is built. They are not ready for this yet.

GEOFOR: Could Putin’s visit to Delhi have influenced the position of the American side, and if so, what kind? Recall that during this bilateral meeting with the Indian leadership, a number of documents were signed, including an agreement on military issues until 2030. Moreover, this document concerns not only military-technical cooperation.

Raevsky: Here you need to understand a very subtle game that the Indians are playing. They are friends with the United States, they will even go to this Summit of Democracies. But they are friends not against Russia, but against China, which for them is a regional enemy.

But in order to emphasize how friendly they are with the United States not against Russia, Putin’s trip to India was organized and giant contracts were signed there, including contracts for weapons, including S-400 air defense, which the Americans categorically forbade Indians to buy, and the Indians did not care about this ban.

In fact, India’s attitude towards Russia is a slap in the face of the United States. This shows that the Indians will look very selectively at what is beneficial to them and act in their own interests, and not be a submissive puppet in the hands of anyone, and certainly not the United States.

I would also like to add that, in my opinion, the confrontation between China and India is the main current problem of the Eurasian continent. I see only one side that can help these two countries to change relations and switch to a different quality. This is, of course, Russia.

And the strategic task of the Americans, on the contrary, is to incite further conflicts between China and India at any cost.

And it is clear that the parties will continue to bend their own line. Moscow stands for peace in Eurasia, and the United States – if not for war, then, in any case, for military tension and confrontation between these two great countries.

GEOFOR: One of the main priorities of Moscow in these negotiations was the issue of ensuring the security of the Russian Federation, which was stated long before the meeting. As it became known, the American side confirmed its readiness for dialogue on this issue. In particular, to discuss the issue of the deployment of offensive weapons along the Russian borders from Norway to Romania and possibly Turkey. This also automatically includes Ukraine. How does this relate to the belligerent and harsh statements on the eve of the meeting?

Raevsky: Officially, right before the meeting, the Americans said that they categorically refuse to recognize Moscow’s red lines. Stoltenberg also said that “Russia is not a law for us, let it behave correctly and keep quiet, and we will do whatever we want.”

But in reality, expert groups will meet. And what will they discuss? Yes, of course, just these red lines. This is the only subject of real bargaining that is possible between these two countries.

So, in fact, the United States says one thing and does another.

Yes, they are now making concessions to Moscow. The growing power of the Russian Armed Forces, and the forces of the Russian economy and political “soft power” forced the Americans to make concessions.

From the Americans’ point of view, Ukraine itself in its current state is a “404 country”, and I would say, in general, the whole of Europe turned out to be such a “suitcase without a handle.” And Americans are no longer able to drag around with them – neither economically nor politically.

So what can they do? If it has already been decided to leave the suitcase without a handle, then you can set it on fire and hope that this arson can achieve something.

And what to achieve? Yes, it’s very simple – the dream of Americans is for Russia to really grab as much Ukraine as possible. First, because this is a “black hole” that would become a headache for Russia, not America. Second, it will create ideal conditions to block the Nord Stream-2 and even other energy projects between Europe and Russia. And, third, it will create – finally! – the next “cold war,” without which the American and, in general, western politicians and generals are so sad.

Everyone understands that in the event of a war, Russia will win quickly and convincingly. But after that, a situation will arise that will resemble, perhaps, the “Berlin crisis” with a similar level of confrontation. And the “War Party” in the West wants this for a number of reasons.

For example, if the supply of energy carriers from Russia is cut off, then whose fuel and energy sector will be able to compensate for the outgoing resources? American, of course. Their liquefied gas.

The same is true in the sphere of political influence. If, say, an open war happens, and Russia liberates even just a part of Ukraine from Nazi rule, it will be presented as proof that only NATO can save Europe from Putin’s “mordor”.

It would be very beneficial for the Americans to have a full-scale war unleashed. This is the interpretation of the “War Party”. But there are other people – sane people – who understand that such a situation is fraught with a very rapid escalation and direct confrontation between the United States and Russia. And they don’t want that.

And so, on the one hand, we are seeing “cool” statements. On the other hand, there are a number of concessions that the Americans are ready to make so far.

And the offensive weapons systems that they have now deployed in other countries is a purely political, not military, issue. When Putin says that for a Western hypersonic missile from the territory of Ukraine, the approach time will be five minutes to Moscow, this is a fact. But, on the other hand, the time of approach of a preemptive strike by Russian hypersonic weapons will also, by definition, be five minutes. And in this area, Russia has overtaken the United States for a long time and very significantly. Russia also has the opportunity to place missiles in the Atlantic Ocean outside the zone of operation of possible anti-submarine means of the United States and “swoop” from there.

These offensive systems are dangerous for Russia not so much from a military point of view as from a political one, since this is really a political provocation. It shows what, as Americans like to say, “they send a message”.

This is the message: “We don’t care about you! We do what we want and where we want.” This means that Russia is not an equal party to the negotiations, that there is a great Hegemon and Suzerain of the whole planet, who does everything he wants and how he wants, and Russia is invited to shut up, sit quietly, and not slack off.

This political problem is very real for Russia. Therefore, the current situation will force Russia at some point to draw red lines and say that there are things that we will not tolerate.

Obviously, both Putin and General Gerasimov have very successfully brought these realities to the consciousness of the “collective Biden.”

GEOFOR: The information that comes to us after the meeting suggests that the tone of the conversation between the Russian and American presidents is similar to the tone of Biden’s remote talks with Comrade Xi, which also took place recently. For example, during a conversation with the Chinese leader, the US president stressed the need to refrain from seizing Taiwan by force, which essentially meant that Washington did not object to economic and political methods. As for the Russian-American negotiations, in part of Ukraine, for example, issues related to its territorial integrity, Crimea and the notorious “Russian aggression” were not discussed at all. And at the briefing following the conversation, Assistant to the President J. Sullivan called on Kiev to stop the escalation of tensions in the Donbas and referred the Ukrainian leadership to the Minsk agreements. What is the reason for this position: the desire to maintain the status quo for a while? Then – for what purpose and for how long?

Raevsky: In this area, the situation can be said to have turned completely upside down.

Russia needed these decades of concessions in order to strengthen the Russian society itself, strengthen the information sphere, the Russian economy, establish import substitution, create new ties with other countries and, most importantly, to develop the Armed Forces to such a level that they can cope with any threat to Russia.

The Americans’ situation is flipped. They have the deepest internal crisis – political and economic. The state of the American armed forces is very fraught.

Of course, the current status quo is beneficial to them. The alternative is to continue on the path of escalation, and then there is only one way – to military confrontation. There’s nothing else left. Everything below the level of military confrontation has already been done. And it is completely unprofitable for them to go to an open military confrontation with Russia.

For how long is such a status quo beneficial to them? It is necessary to clearly distinguish two sides. On the military side, the reform of the armed forces is a very long and difficult process, very complex, and the armed forces have a huge inertia, which is very difficult to deploy in another direction, considering that the American political calendar is two years ahead; one year ahead, well, four years ahead at most.

On the political side, Biden’s rating is now catastrophically low. The situation inside the country is very bad. Therefore, it is more profitable for him to maintain the status quo for a year or two rather than to have a direct confrontation with Russia during his presidency. Plus, it is still unknown what benefits the Chinese and Iranians could find for themselves in such a confrontation.

Thus, Americans need the status quo. On the political side, two years, even one year, is much better than a war.

In the long run, the current status quo, I think, is just a screen put up to hide the fact that they will continue to self-destruct. In my opinion – and I know this country quite well – it is absolutely impossible to rebuild it. Reforms are impossible here, because this country is based on imperialism, on the ideology of world domination, and it is simply impossible for it to abandon this. Speaking “in American language,” “it’s not American.” That is, to recognize, for example, just the possibility that the United States is “one of the countries of the world”, but not “the leader of all mankind”, is something that is literally unthinkable for most Americans, and certainly for American politicians. For them, this is simply unacceptable.

The whole “crazy kindergarten” – there is no other way to say it – that we hear now from a local congressman about Russia, about China, about others, is a reflection of this type of thinking and worldview.

Unfortunately, in the United States, being an open supporter of the “War Party” looks patriotic. And since this country did not have any real war in defense of its homeland, and they lost all the other wars after World War II, this is a country that simply cannot abandon its imperial ideology, and now it lacks the tools that it needs to impose its imperialist ideology on the entire planet.

Therefore, realistically speaking, they need the status quo for as long as possible. But it is impossible to define this “longer”.” There are too many variables, too many scenarios.

GEOFOR: About protocol problems in relations with the White House. In preparation for the meeting, it was widely announced that the conversation would be “one-on-one.” And now we see President Biden negotiating surrounded by four of his advisers. Does such a transformation of the format of the meeting contribute to the establishment of an atmosphere of trust in negotiations and, more broadly, in bilateral relations in general?

Raevsky: First of all, you need to understand that when it comes to Biden, of course, we are talking about “collective Biden.” Biden himself is not able to delve into all the problems facing him, nor to negotiate. And, certainly, not with a man like Putin, who can talk for four hours without a piece of paper and remember all the numbers on all topics.

Naturally, there should be advisers around him; there is nothing new here.

When George Bush’s son was interrogated about the events of September 11 [2001], he was not trusted to answer questions alone. Dick Cheney was sitting next to him, who had to make sure, as the “senior supervisor,” that Bush would not blurt out anything superfluous. It’s the same here.

These advisers surround him, naturally, to advise, but also to keep an eye on him. They are the watchers, and he is their official representative.

Moreover, I would even say that this is a very good sign – just as I welcomed the trip of Victoria Nuland and the CIA director to Moscow. This shows that “serious people” are talking to the Russian side. Now if they sent Kamala Harris to talk to someone, that would be a sign of total disregard. Or, say, how Blinken calls Zelensky to tell him what happened at the negotiations.

There is no such contempt here. On the contrary, there are serious people who know what they are talking about and who are able to make decisions. This shows that the negotiations were not symbolic and that there really was a shift. In my opinion, this can only be welcomed.

But! There can be no question of any atmosphere of trust. This is what journalists think: there is an atmosphere of trust in the negotiations between Russia and the United States.

Such negotiations only develop confidence-building measures – those that are verifiable.

There can be no question of any trust.

Most likely, in general terms, the parties agreed to some steps, and expert groups will work on specifics – who, how and when will check the measures mutually agreed during the negotiations.

Here we can recall President Ronald Reagan, who said: “Trust, but verify”.

This is exactly what we are seeing now: both sides will check to the maximum, because the stakes are very high. When there is a risk of military confrontation between two nuclear superpowers, there can be no trust. There can only be absolutely verifiable mutually obligatory steps of the two sides.

GEOFOR: And now a few words about the affairs of Washington. The further away, the more noticeable the discord in the White House foreign policy team. If the aggravation of the situation in bilateral relations, harsh criticism of Russia, etc. comes from the Secretary of State and his team, then a certain constructive approach comes from the national security assistant. This became especially noticeable after Mrs. Nuland, whose work results apparently did not satisfy the White House much, an experienced diplomat, a former ambassador to Russia, and now the director of the CIA, William J. Burns, whom a number of Russian analysts write down in the “Sullivan team,” arrived in Moscow. Will President Biden be able to continue to stay above the fray of his closest aides? How subjective is he in making and implementing his political decisions? After all, it is still impossible to ignore the opinions of both parties on Capitol Hill… In short, how much can Russia trust the agreements that were reached during the dialogue at the highest level? Will the decisions on joint study of issues of interest to both sides go beyond expert consultations and translate into concrete binding agreements? Or is it still an attempt to get a respite in time in order to settle their internal problems, reformat relations with allies, and then return to the period of confrontation?

Raevsky: There are undoubtedly two parties here. There is a very serious struggle going on within the ruling classes of the United States and in the so-called “deep state.”

Imagine some kind of gangster group – one of those organized criminal groups, each of which controls some part of the city. As long as things are going well, they sit quietly. But as soon as the crisis begins, then they start fighting among themselves.

And so the election of Trump four years ago brought such a split in the ruling American elites that now a very strong battle is going on at the top in different groups, clans of the American government. And the divide is not between Republicans and Democrats. Relatively speaking, on the one hand there is a “War Party,” and on the other hand there is a “Peace Party.” This is very conditional, but not wrong.

First, the “War Party” members are pure ideologists. Second, it is the fuel and energy sector of America, which is very interested in “cutting off” Europe from Russia. It would be very beneficial for the American economy as a whole if Europe were both weaker and more dependent on the United States. Any cooperation between Russia and the EU is a direct and clear threat to the economic and political interests of the United States. There are still those who retain nostalgia for the Cold War. There are so-called “Neocons,” there are “Neoliberals,” and there are various lobbies that are hostile to Russia for various reasons. The Israeli lobby, the Polish lobby, the Ukrainian lobby. All of these groups lumped together can be called the “War Party”.

And there is a “Peace Party”, which, I think, consists of those people who understand that, going further along this path, you can only come to one point – war. This party does not want to pay such a price. This party probably understands that it is simply too much for the United States to go into a total confrontation with Russia, Iran and China at the same time.

Even if they wanted war, they realize that in this position it is better for them to present themselves as a “Peace Party”.

This is probably what Biden wants to achieve. He wants to demonstrate that with his “coolness” and disregard for any demands of Russia and China, he has succeeded, stopped both “Russian aggression” against Ukraine and “Chinese aggression” against Taiwan.

That there is absolutely no reality under this rhetoric, it does not matter at all. This is all for domestic consumption and for domestic policy. And also to preserve the image of the World Hegemon, which, unfortunately, it is absolutely impossible for Americans to abandon, since this ideology is “embedded” in the national identity of many – if not all – Americans. In addition, all politicians, in order to show that they are patriots, must be supporters of the “War Party,” supporters of wars and “cool” unilateral measures. In this country – alas! – this is interpreted not as a sign of insanity or irresponsibility, but as a sign of “coolness”. And if the president demonstrates these qualities, then he is a strong and serious president.

How to reform such a country and give it the opportunity to become just a normal country, and not an Empire, I can’t imagine. I don’t see how this system can be reformed. The only way out, which I unfortunately see, is that it should collapse. Collapse either quickly during a military confrontation, or – God forbid! – through some kind of agreement to “hit the brakes.” This is the best we can all hope for.

GEOFOR: So, how do you see the future of relations between Moscow and Washington?

Raevsky: First of all, I have always believed and written that for at least seven years – if not more – the American Empire and Russia have been at war. This is an ideological war, this is an informational war, a political war,  and an economic war. And-thank God! – there have not been any major military actions yet.

But this does not negate the fact that, in fact, there can be only one winner in this war.

Russia, Iran, China and other countries want a multipolar world in which there would be a place for sovereign states that treat each other with respect and in accordance with the principles of international law.

The American vision of the future is world hegemony, “the USA is ahead of the whole planet,”  the USA governs everything and everyone, and there are no equals.

This is a very important point – “We have no equal.” It’s an idea that generations of Americans have been raised on.

But suddenly [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff] General Milley said that, in general, from a military point of view, the world already has at least three poles – the United States, Russia and China. There are actually more of these poles. For example, in the Middle East, the strongest regional power is no longer Israel – it is Iran.

The situation is changing, and not to the benefit of the United States.

Russia plays for a long time. She has been yielding, stepping aside, and giving way for a long time, because it was necessary to create such Armed Forces that could really guarantee the security of Russia in any threats. Russia has finally achieved this.

For Russia, the idea of Anglo–Saxon domination over the planet, when everyone else should serve them, is fundamentally unacceptable – and I would even say civilizationally. Russia sees herself to be an equal player among the great of this world.

What will be the relations between Moscow and Washington? One side will lose the war, and the other will gain the upper hand in it.

Not necessarily, by the way, a war with military operations. This could be a purely political war only, God willing!

But only one of the two boxers in the ring will remain standing. The second one will have to accept a real defeat.

For Russia, such a defeat would mean the loss of sovereignty and destabilization. Which will once again put her in a dangerous position.

And for the United States, simply giving up world domination is already a total defeat, because it will force this country to completely reformat itself and recreate itself on a new basis. Which they are absolutely not capable of, at the moment. In order to reform the country, it takes decades – if there is no external force. And since Russian tanks will not appear on the streets of Washington, no purge like the one that was against the Nazis after World War II in Germany, here – alas! – it won’t happen.

It means that all this will take a long time, and this process will not only be long, but also dangerous for this country.

——-

Andrei Raevsky was born in Zurich, Switzerland, his father is Dutch, his mother is Russian from a family of White Russian immigrants.

In 1984, he entered active military service in the electronic warfare unit, and then was transferred to the military intelligence service as a language specialist, to work in the interests of the Swiss Air Force. Then he moved to the USA, where he received a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the School of International Service (SIS) American University (American University) and a Master’s degree in Strategic Studies (Strategic Studies) at the School of Advanced International Studies. Paul N. Nitze of Johns Hopkins University (Paul H. Nitze School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University). Upon returning to Switzerland, he worked as a civilian consultant (in a position corresponding to the military rank of “major”) in the Swiss Strategic Intelligence Service (SND), preparing strategic analytical materials, primarily about the Soviet/Russian armed forces. He worked as a specialist in “enemy operations” (“Red Team” in American military jargon) to train personnel at the operational level of the General Staff of the Swiss Armed Forces. Later he worked at the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR), where he specialized in peacekeeping tactics and operations. He wrote a book about psychological and intelligence operations in peacekeeping and four books of collected works “The Essential Saker” (The Essential Saker). Speaks Russian, English, French, Spanish and German.

Raevsky holds a Licentiate in Orthodox Theological Studies (PhD in Orthodox Theology) from the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies at the Monastery of St. Gregory Palamas in Etna, California (the “Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies” (CTOS) at the Saint Gregory Palamas monastery in Etna, California).

Swiss citizen.

Lives in the state of Florida.

The questions were asked by Sergey Dukhanov, an international journalist and an Americanist. He worked as his own correspondent for the NOVOSTI Press Agency in Canada (Ottawa, 1990-1992) and as the chief of the American Bureau (Washington, 1996-2001) of the newspapers Business MN, Delovoy Mir and Interfax-AiF.

Russia, China a Model of Inter-State Relations and Peace

December 17, 2021

Russia and China are proof that an alternative basis of international relations is possible. And fortunately, both are strong enough to prevail for the sake of peace.

For many observers around the world, the cordial and cooperative relations between Russia and China are inspiring, precisely at a time of mounting international tensions and belligerence.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin hailed the bilateral relations between Russia and China as a model for inter-state cooperation in the 21st century.

In a videoconference this week with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, the two leaders expressed warm greetings of friendship. Putin described the border between their countries as representing “a belt of eternal peace and good-neighborliness”.

President Xi said that both nations based their sound relations on principles of mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs, in accordance with international law and the UN Charter. Both countries, too, he noted, were committed to advancing people-centered development as a genuine manifestation of democracy and human rights.

Referring to the United States and its Western allies, the Chinese leader adroitly remarked how “international forces” had appointed themselves the right to meddle in the affairs of China and Russia under the duplicitous guise of advocating democracy and human rights. In doing so, these foreign powers were “trampling” all over international law and stoking dangerous tensions.

It is hard to disagree with that assessment. Just in recent weeks, the United States and its allies in the G7, NATO and European Union have been amplifying accusations against Russia and China over alleged malign conduct. It’s all sound and fury signifying little in the way of substance. Step back from the shrill rhetoric and sensational claims and what is actually apparent is an attempt to manipulate public opinion into accepting Western aggression towards Russia and China. The poachers are making themselves the gamekeepers in an audacious inversion of reality.

The Western powers arrogantly assume the right to rebuke over a bewildering array of issues. There is a vast media campaign of public perception management going on. In short, propaganda and psychological gaslighting.

Russia and China are accused of “authoritarianism”; of abusing human rights; of threatening Ukraine on the one hand and Taiwan on the other. China is condemned for alleged “genocide” against its Uighur people and “as a result” the U.S. and its allies are conducting a diplomatic boycott of the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing.

The evidence for all these tendentious claims is flimsy if non-existent.

The United States and the European Union are relentless in their accusations of a Russian military build-up and threat to invade Ukraine. Sanctions are drawn up to potentially cripple the Russian economy. But where’s the evidence or even credible logic? The U.S. and European governments and Western media have not reported any substantive evidence to back up their claims against Russia. Moscow has consistently and categorically rejected these claims as “hysterical nonsense”.

Russian troops are on Russian territory. The supposed satellite images depicting military build-up “on Ukraine’s borders” are of Russian troops in established bases such as Yelnya in Smolensk Oblast hundreds of kilometers from the border. Meanwhile, American and NATO warplanes and warships are increasingly menacing Russia’s borders in unscheduled maneuvers thousands of kilometers from their bases.

This is all ludicrous and is hardly worthwhile rebutting every accusation since it is time-consuming to do so. Provocative narratives are distractions from reality.

The germane point is this: the U.S. and its Western allies are self-anointed to throw pejorative claims at Russia and China when the reality is they are hurling bricks in glasshouses. Washington and its European partners have run amok for decades, destroying nations with illegal foreign wars, killing en masse civilians from drone assassinations and indiscriminate bombings. These criminal governments have no shame in smearing others with accusations that resonate a thousand-fold with the appalling reality of their own heinous misconduct.

Just look at some events this week. Russia has called on the United States and its NATO allies to agree on a mutual basis for security in Europe pertaining to its borders. So far, the U.S.-led military bloc has rebuffed Moscow’s reasonable concerns. NATO’s secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg arrogantly dismissed Russia’s appeals for the bloc to cease its eastward expansion. (Somehow it seems fitting that this automaton is reportedly applying to become the next head of Norway’s central bank after he steps down from NATO. It’s all just careerism and payoffs for Stoltenberg, who, as the quip goes, is more secretary than general.)

Then we have the European Union’s unelected wooden president Ursula von Der Leyen announcing that the bloc has prepared sanctions that will have “massive consequences” on Russia’s economy “in the event of further military aggression on Ukraine”. Based on what? What aggression is she talking about? The one that the United States intelligence agencies have told her to mouth like a ventriloquist? She is certainly not referring to the aggression of the U.S. and NATO funneling billions of dollars of weapons into a Neo-Nazi regime in Kiev that is waging a war against a civilian population in Southeast Ukraine for the last nearly eight years. (Russian President Putin is correct to describe that siege as resembling genocide.)

Western media report breathlessly on how Russia and China have “seen their relations deteriorate with the West”. But such media don’t explain or investigate why such deterioration is happening.

It is essentially instructive that the United States and its European powers are self-evidently behaving as Neo-colonialists and imperialists. They presume to have the superior right to interfere in other nations based on self-righteous arrogance and self-serving machinations.

It is absurd that the United States is declaring a diplomatic boycott of China’s Olympic Games given its own legion of flagrant violations and crimes against humanity, past and present. Australia and Canada have living legacies of genocide and yet they too have the brass-necks to pontificate to China about unsubstantiated claims of human rights abuses.

Going down this cynical, hypocritical path is par for the course for Western states. It is their inherent modus operandi. But ultimately it is futile. It inevitably leads to conflict and war.

Western relations towards Russia and China are becoming crystal clear in their incorrigible belligerence. The United States and its capitalist-imperialist partners-in-crime simply cannot coexist with other nations in peace and cooperation. The principles of peace and lawful respect for others are anathemas.

The toxic, destructive behavior of Western powers is more and more a transparent disgrace in today’s world. By contrast, Russia and China are proof that an alternative basis of international relations is possible. And fortunately, both are strong enough to prevail for the sake of peace.

The Structural debunking of the basis of construction of the Summit ON Democracy©

December 15, 2021

By Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

The ‘war on terror’ and the ‘war on drugs’ and similar empirical processes have come and gone and left in their wake a truly diabolical ‘Long arm of the Law and Dollar Hegemony’. A few years ago, this was labeled correctly as the rules-based international order.

The Summit for Democracy© opened up a new front, which has always been there but now lies stark and visible. Like a proverbial dirty old man in a dirty old raincoat obscenely flashing the wrinkly danglies, so this Summit for Democracy© exposed itself.  Empire attempted to copyright the word Democracy© as a social division.

According to empire, we have two types of countries/entities in the world: The Democrats, and the Autocrats. With the current administration in the home of empire, they get a double whammy of course in the language that they chose: actually quite astounding and clever marketing. Effectively they announced a social war, that at this time is not a war ON something, but a war FOR something. The wars ON, and the new war FOR is the same old sour wine marketed in new wineskins, and this is clear in Biden’s opening speech (video link at the end). Biden says his initiative is to stop the ‘retreat of democracy’ and this is the ‘defining challenge of our time’. Translated into real English and in contrast, this initiative actually sets out to undermine the retreat from empirical dictatorship widespread now in our world. The opening speech was a carefully constructed sleight of hand and we see the play, there is no multi-polarity: there are only autocrats and democrats.

This ‘defining challenge of our time’ is equally as vague as the wars ON terror or on drugs: it is an ephemeral definition.  This is an old strategy, the doubling down strategy. Biden even mentions doubling down. It is mind-blowing how Biden shamelessly uses Chinese concepts in his speech. For example, democracy is capable of self-correction. This is a Chinese trademark in terms of their own systems. It is capable of self-improvement which is again Chinese trademark. This democracy will define the course ‘our shared future for generations to come’, again lifted from the Chinese playbook: A shared future for all mankind. We have to stand up for the values that unite us, he says, justice and the rule of law, free speech, free assembly, and so on he goes.

All of these were harshly exposed by the end of the summit.

It is worth remembering how the US has actively destroyed democracies across much of the global South over the past several decades while propping up authoritarian regimes. Here are a few prominent examples from the Global South:

https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1469234821327167488.html

The wine being proffered is sour, and the danglies under the dirty raincoat are incompetent and yet, still proudly displayed harking back to a previous time of bloody empirical greatness. These word crafters of the ‘defining challenge of our time’ are speaking out of both sides of their mouths.

You may be surprised at what your own country said. Some countries took the opportunity to explain what their democracy is about. Mexico is typical and their delegate explained their own democracy in their own country without committing to this new defining challenge of our times. (I guess the summit did not expect to hear such truths). The greatest surprise was Argentina, who stated the Movement Towards Socialism in Bolivia is the most significant victory for democracy in the Americas for a very long time. A dictatorship was defeated and people’s rights were restored in record time. Of course, Bolivia was not invited. (Watch out Argentina, color revolutions are not yet off the list of regime change operations!)

It is heartening to see that some countries spoke the unvarnished truth and slapped the empire with the equivalent of a wet fish across the mouth, making it clear that Democracy depends on removing Democracy© from their own countries.

There were also comical moments. The Taiwanese delegate found her visual feed cut, after showing a map with Taiwan in a different color to China. The State Department said it was confusion over screen-sharing. In reality, the empire had a sphincter-clenching moment of fear over China’s possible response.

Take a look at what your own country said. https://www.state.gov/official-interventions-the-summit-for-democracy/

Exactly in the bull’s eye, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova suggested that the summit will give those taking part an “honorary right” to work for the agenda of the US worldwide. “This is exactly what we have been talking about for three years now: the United States is dismantling the system of international relations, which is based on international law and the central role of the UN, for the sake of creating its own comfort zone, which it intends to dominate single-handedly.

According to the spokeswoman, the US organized the ‘Summit for Democracy’ for the sole purpose of creating a new group that will then serve the interests of the “American regime” abroad.

In parallel with Russia, and external to the summit, China set to work and explained their own democracy, which they call Whole Process People’s Democracy. They are not trying to export it and say themselves that this is homegrown, suits China and its civilizational norms, and may not be suitable for others. http://english.www.gov.cn/archive/whitepaper/202112/07/content_WS61af46cdc6d09c94e48a1e49.htm

This epitomizes China’s view: “The summit held by the democratically dysfunctional US is essentially an anti-China farce, which includes a losers’ alliance and self-hypnotized cultists with “democracy” slogans”.

The Summit on Democracy is of course not the ‘defining challenge of our times’. It is a shameless attempt to maintain a power base run by mobs in a world that is involved with the process of moving toward multi-polarity, which is inexorably happening and that is the challenge of our times.

The list of invitees which initially seemed difficult to fathom is simple to fathom. It is a selection. It is a test as to who they think ‘stands with us for Democracy©, and who is defined as ‘autocrats’. It is a ‘you are either with us or against us’ according to an imposed definition of their own.

In context, we may view this summit as follows:

  1. It is a negotiation to retain a part of the world, perhaps a smaller and less shining city upon the hill. This negotiation aims at establishing two global areas of influence, and the hope is, if successful, to provide breathing room for the falling hegemonic power to Build Back Better.
  2. It is a paroxysm of a soft war council, to recruit those that are willing to go to social war for the hegemony.
  3. It is a first attempt at creating an alternate fragment of a United Nations, built on whatever remains of satrapies to the empire.

All of these have merit in the thinking of the creators of Democracy©. If you take a look at the panel discussions, these are mainly weak B-Roll 5th column type flunky’s, of course with an assigned leader, a person with more stature, assigned to them. Take a good critical look at how the structure is being established: https://www.state.gov/schedule-the-summit-for-democracy/

Listening to Biden’s opening speech, he outlines the hierarchy, the soldiers and gives them their tasks. The first column is Biden’s main points, the second one is my interpretation.

The Interventionists (Manager Soldiers)

Leaders of more than 100 governmentsI’ve outlined what some of those leaders said, which is not consistent with the Democracy©lub, and these will not be admitted. So from the outset, we can question the ‘more than 100’.Some will be dropped from the selection and become Autocrats.These interventionists are expected to do just that, to intervene.
Activists, Trade Unionists and other members of civil societyLeading experts, researchers, and delegates from the business communityWe see Juan Guaidó, a completely fabricated political player. There were Taiwanese who generally are 5th column type fodder.In the 2nd category, you will see the assigned leaders, for example:Hosted by Ursula von der Leyen – President of the European CommissionRemarks by Jacinda Ardern – Prime Minister of New ZealandRemarks by Mary Kay Henry – International President, Service Employees International Union https://www.state.gov/schedule-the-summit-for-democracy/

Their tasks are:

  • to lock arms and reaffirm our shared commitment to make our Democracies© better
  • make concrete commitments of how to strengthen our own democracies and to push back on authoritarianism
  • fight corruption
  • promote and protect human rights of people everywhere
  • doubling down our engagement with and support for democracies across the world

This is the second cadre of soldiers, the ‘woke’ in the streets and the online masses

women and girls in civic engagementempowering the lgbtq+ communitythe foot soldiers

Their tasks are:

  • promote labor law reform
  • address online harassment and abuse
  • reduce the potential for countries to abuse new technologies including surveillance technologies to suppress the rights of their people to suppress their views

The overall call to action is as follows:

  • we stand at an inflection point in our history that will define the direction our world is going to take in the coming decades
  • will we allow the backward slide of democracy to continue unchecked?
  • or will we once more lead the charge of human freedom forward?

(Can you hear the musical cadence from Henry V? Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more…)

And then they shot themselves in the foot as is typical from an imploding empire. On the second day, the previous ruling that Julian Assange could not be extradited to the US was overturned in London. The basis of this decision was that the US gave some assurances that Assange would not be harmed if extradited to the US. Of course, this was contingent upon him doing nothing wrong. In this instance, for example, if he stumbles upon a stair it would be classified as something he did wrong.

The world suddenly had a complete and clear view, and can only conclude that this Democracy© is a terrible and destructive system. They may not be able to pick up a small country and throw it against the wall as they now have too much opposition, so they now take people, and throw them against the wall. Chris Hedges made a list of how reliable these ‘assurances’ are, in a column titled The Execution of Julian Assange. These are only a few but he lists many more:

  • The Spanish courts can tell you what US “assurances” are worth. Spain was given an assurance that its citizen David Mendoza Herrarte, if extradited to the US to face trial on drug trafficking charges, could serve his prison sentence in his homeland. But, for six years, the DoJ repeatedly refused Spanish transfer requests, relenting only when the Spanish Supreme Court intervened.
  • The people in Afghanistan can tell you what US “assurances” are worth. US military, intelligence, and diplomatic officials knew for 18 years that the war in Afghanistan was a quagmire, yet they publicly stated, over and over, that the military intervention was making steady progress.
  • The people in Iraq can tell you what US “assurances” are worth. They were invaded and subject to a brutal war based on fabricated evidence about weapons of mass destruction.
  • The people of Iran can tell you what US “assurances” are worth. The United States, in the 1981 Algiers Accords, promised not to interfere in Iran’s internal affairs and then funded and backed the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, a terrorist group based in Iraq and dedicated to overthrowing the Iranian regime.
  • The thousands of people tortured in US global black sites can tell you what US “assurances” are worth. CIA officers, when questioned by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the widespread use of torture, secretly destroyed video tapes of interrogations while insisting there had been no “destruction of evidence.”

Assange, at tremendous personal cost, warned us. He gave us the truth. Now the ruling class is crucifying him for this truth. And with his crucifixion, the dim lights of our democracy go dark.

In summary, in this Summit for Democracy, we are seeing the attempted gathering of a subset in our word, the biggest color revolution yet. This one attempts nothing smaller than overthrowing all of the purported ‘autocrats’ worldwide, whether these are countries, areas, movements, or individual dissidents. This social color revolution is aiming for the soft underbelly of those that refuse to participate in or support the hegemony, its global control meme, and its various wars, its false Democracy©. Like the proverbial flasher in a dirty trench coat, the exposure of the Democracy© comedy central skit was complete.  We are all ‘autocrats’ now. 

Sitrep: Here Comes China – Taking the lead – a dialogue on democracy in China

December 05, 2021

By Amarynth for the Saker Blog including a number of data points from Godfree Roberts

Did you know that a huge International Forum on Democracy is ongoing in China right now?  This is before the supposed Summit on Democracy which is an attempt to divide the world into Democracies and Autocracies, according to the wishes of the rules-based international order.

As we have seen so often from China, they acted with incredible speed and presented their own high-quality International Forum.  They also published a Chinese White Paper on Democracy and it outlines how their Whole Process People’s Democracy functions for their people:  http://en.people.cn/n3/2021/1204/c312369-9928374.html

These are the first presentations followed by a panel discussion:

In addition, China released a full report on the state of US democracy:  http://www.news.cn/english/2021-12/05/c_1310352578.htm

China has learned over the past three years how to defend itself against accusations coming from the combined Western influence sphere.  Although we know that the media in general still balances toward the combined Western Sphere, there is now a serious contender in the room with the ability, incredible speed of implementation, track record, education, and creative expressive talent to gain media supremacy in getting their message to the world.

Oh, the poor ‘partners’ …

Australia

The ‘partners’ are being led by their noses.  The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that the US and its allies are the “biggest beneficiaries” of Australia’s trade row with China. Washington is in bed with Canberra, at the same time, it points the finger at Beijing and in the background, it picks up Australia’s lost Chinese trade.  So, simply stated, all the trade that Australia lost in their trade row with China, from coal to iron ore to meat, the US quietly picked up.

Taiwan

From Taiwan, I hear a similar activity is taking place but this is not yet confirmed by the needed 3 sources.  The idea of keeping the issues with Taiwan hot, is that the Taiwanese semiconductor foundry company (TSMC), the biggest employer in Taiwan with a raft of supporting industries around it, is being moved lock, stock, barrel, and existence to new facilities in Arizona.  We will wait for more confirmation, but this is a very dangerous move to make, as TSMC is not only the biggest semiconductor company in the world, the industry itself depends on a highly educated and trained workforce.  The Taiwanese workforce will lose its lunch.


All the latest from Godfree Roberts’ newsletter, Here Comes China:

BeiDou conducted the first inter-satellite and ground station communication using using lasers instead of radio signals, transmitting data a million times faster than radio and increasing satnav accuracy 4000%. Read full article →

A high-speed railway linking China to landlocked Laos opened Friday. The 660-mile, 160 km/h line runs through mountains and ravines from Kunming to Vientiane. Read full article →

Premier Li Keqiang says the establishment of a centre in Hong Kong to handle Asia – Africa trade and investment disputes will strengthen the city’s role as an arbitration hub and “provide more convenient and efficient dispute resolution services” for parties in both regions. [It also bypasses the WTO–Ed.] Read full article  →

China’s service trade rose 13% YoY to $659 billion in the first ten months of the year. Service exports rose 29% YoY, and service imports rose 1%. In October alone, the country’s service trade hit 414 billion yuan, up 24% YoY. Read full article  →

China now leads the world in trade of both goods and services and its trading partners now cover 230 countries and regions. China contributed 35% of the growth in global imports in the past five years. Read full article  →

Meeting its carbon goals could save China trillions: China could dodge $134 trillion in climate-related losses by meeting carbon neutrality targe. China is predicted to see an 81% reduction in its accumulative climate-related losses by 2100 if it achieves its carbon neutrality target, according to a new study from think tanks in Beijing and London. Read full article →

And extreme ethics violation in my view:  In 2018, Dr. He Jiankui shocked the world by announcing that he had used the CRISPR genome-editing technique to alter embryos that were implanted and led to the birth of two children. Today, the children are healthy toddlers and Western researchers want to get their hands on their DNA.  Read full article →

China has doubled installed renewable energy capacity since 2015, to one billion kW, or 43% of total installation: Wind power generation increased 30% year-on-year (299 million kWs), solar power generation grew 24% (282 million kWs), and hydropower remains at 385 million kWs; Cost inflation delays solar energy expansion. Read full article →

New groundwater regulations tackle overuse and contamination of 16 billion m³/year of water. Fines could reach  $783,000 daily. Right now 44% of groundwater monitoring stations record Grade V, the lowest water quality. Read full article →

China is scouring the countryside to find native seed, animal and fish genetic resources in a national germplasm census to protect “family property” and gain self-reliance in crop and animal breeding. “Excellent” plant and animal resources will be protected on company-run farms if they are in danger of extinction or turned over to Chinese breeding companies to exploit their commercial potential to propel Chinese seed companies as global competitors. Read full article →

Guinea-Bissau and Eritrea join the Belt And Road Initiative. Guinea-Bissau covers 36,125 square kilometres, with a population of 1,874,303, and like China’s Macau, was once part of the Portuguese Empire. Eritrea also signed an MoU with China to join the BRI and is expected to cement China’s presence in the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea, with interests ranging from a military base to protect shipping, in addition to infrastructure projects in ports and railways. China has been investing in the country for some time. Read full article →

To conclude, China developed its policies to deal with its national issues. But in so doing it has created both practical and theoretical achievements which are the world’s most advanced. China has never asked other countries to learn from its example, but neither can if forbid them to do so. Given the gigantic scale of China’s achievements anyone with sense in the world will study these intently. The “Resolution on the Major Achievements and Historical Experience of the Party over the Past Century” is therefore not only key for China, it is a document of crucial importance for the entire world. Learning from China.

The US Should Concede to Its Diminishing Role in the Region As Iran Will Not Accept Compromise

Nov 5, 2021

By Mohammad Youssef

Beirut – The world scene seems very confusing, a lot of tension and strain stretching and extending across the continents, nonetheless, there are doorways that can lead to temporary solutions or compromises in the worst case scenario.

  • The escalating tension between Russia and the western world over Ukraine, and the western military measures there
  • The western-eastern tension between China and the western world over Taiwan
  • The continuous strain in world politics over the Iranian nuclear file, and Vienna negotiations taking place without any hope looming about a longstanding agreement that could be finalized.

This file is preoccupying the world because of its repercussions and ramifications that could translate all over.

Washington has dragged itself and the whole Western governments into a tough place when it unilaterally and without any reasonable justification withdrew from the agreement with Tehran.

Iran proved credibility and has delivered over the agreement with all its articles and subdivisions.

Contrary to this, the US did not respect its commitments nor delivered its share of conditions in the agreement.

It is Tehran’s right to ask for more guarantees from the world society involved in the negotiations to make sure Washington would not dare to breach its commitments again.

One of the issues at stake during the current negotiations is that Tehran wants a direct and complete lift of American and Western sanctions, meanwhile Washington continues the procrastination policy.

Washington, furthermore, is attempting to add new files to the negotiating table, especially those in link to Tehran’s role in the region, more particularly, those in relation with advancing its rockets arsenal and supporting the resistance movements.

Iran continued to insist in limiting the negotiations to the same issues discussed before without adding any extra point.

What are the anticipated results for the ongoing Vienna negotiations?

It seems clearly that the Americans are not in anyway in a position to hand the Iranians guarantees that former US president Donald Trump’s scenario of pulling out of any reached  agreement would not be repeated again. So, the most probable outcome is to reach a temporary agreement that would generally ease the tensions in the region, especially in Iraq and allow for mutual intersection points that would secure a level of stability over different issues.

For its part, Tehran that has never aimed  anytime to have a nuclear weapon, has given and is ready to give necessary assurances to this effect, but will never accept to compromise its full sovereign position vis-a-vis other issues that boils down to its basic interests and principles.

Washington, who day and night preaches about real politics and pragmatism, should accept its dwindling position and diminishing role in the region and the world. 

This entails a different approach that renders the US accept to abandon its arrogant policy, and strike a settlement that would necessarily recognize the vital interests and role of Iran in its surrounding region. This is the most likely scenario; otherwise, we would be entering another vicious cycle of escalation!

The Solomon Islands’ Unrest Is Part Of The Hybrid War On China

3 DECEMBER 2021

By Andrew Koybko

Source

What this Hybrid War on the Solomon Islands has thus far shown is that small nations which switch their recognition from Taipei to Beijing will be punished through the external exacerbation of their preexisting identity tensions for regime change ends.

The Solomon Islands was recently destabilized by large-scale riots that prompted the government to request a military intervention from its historical Australian allies and nearby Fiji. The unrest was driven by people from the country’s most populous island, Malaita, who traveled to the capital on Guadalcanal to protest against the government’s recognition of Beijing as the legitimate government of China in late 2019. That move prompted the province to flirt with separatist aspirations a year later, which were also promoted during last week’s riots.

The author asked at the time, “Is The Quad Plotting To Provoke A Proxy War With China In The Solomon Islands?” The basis for this prediction was that Malaita is openly loyal to Taipei while Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, nowadays supports Beijing. The issue of Taiwan’s status is an extremely symbolic and highly strategic one for both China and its Quad rivals. For that reason, the author predicted that tensions would eventually boil over in order to destabilize this new Chinese-friendly government.

Prime Minister Sogavare claimed that the recent riots were incited from abroad and aimed to carry out a regime change against him while the Chinese Foreign Minister expressed confidence that they’ll fail to disrupt bilateral ties. These official statements lend credence to the author’s prediction last year about a brewing plot to punish the Solomon Islands for recognizing Beijing in a way that relies heavily upon the Malaita factor to disguise the true motivation behind the expected unconventional acts of aggression. It can therefore be concluded that the latest events perfectly fit into the predicted model.

The requested Australian military intervention added a curious twist to this Hybrid War since that country is fiercely against China nowadays yet just dispatched troops to prop up this nearby Chinese-friendly government despite the criticism that this provoked from Malaita’s leader. Canberra helped Honiara in order to advance several objectives: preempt a possible Chinese intervention in that country’s support; flex its regional leadership; and possibly set the basis for a Quad-led “peacekeeping” mission in the future, one which might ultimately lead to an independence referendum for Malaita.

Evidently, Australia doesn’t feel comfortable “surrendering” its historical influence in the Solomon Islands, especially not after literally being requested by its government to once again militarily intervene there. This shows that Canberra plans to compete with Beijing for influence, which it might begin doing in increasingly creative ways. It remains unclear whether it had a role in provoking the latest riots, but one can likely exclude that scenario since the Solomon Islands wouldn’t have realistically asked it to dispatch troops to quell the riots if it had any credible suspicion that it did.

That, however, doesn’t mean that the other Quad countries’ potential involvement can be dismissed. The US might have worked together with Taiwanese intelligence in order to engineer last week’s regime change scenario. Australia’s requested intervention could thus lead to the Quad playing a game of “good cop, bad cop” whereby Canberra fulfills the former role while Washington fulfills the latter. That would give the alliance maximum strategic flexibility in shaping events. Australia might even soon be expected to offer reconstruction aid to the Solomon Islands to pair with the US’ existing aid to Malaita.

What this Hybrid War on the Solomon Islands has thus far shown is that small nations which switch their recognition from Taipei to Beijing will be punished through the external exacerbation of their preexisting identity tensions for regime change ends. Even if these kinetic provocations fail to overthrow those new Chinese-friendly governments, they’ll still serve as politically convenient pretexts for the US and its allies to exert influence over them, even if initially in the form of support in quelling the same disturbances that the Quad was responsible for provoking. All of this could complicate Chinese diplomacy.

Russian Foreign Ministry Statement on the planned US «summit for democracy»

1 December 2021

Cartoon courtesy of Global Times

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

In connection with the so called summit for democracy to be held on December 9-10 at the initiative of the US administration, we consider it necessary to make the following statement.

The organisers and enthusiasts behind this strange event claim to lead the world in advancing the cause of democracy and human rights. However, the track record and reputation of the United States, Great Britain, and the EU member states in terms of respecting democratic rights and freedoms at home, as well as in the international arena, are, to put it mildly, far from ideal.

The evidence suggests that the United States and its allies cannot and should not claim the status of a “beacon” of democracy, since they themselves have chronic problems with freedom of speech, election administration, corruption and human rights.

The editorial policy of major Western media outlets is, in fact, controlled by the partisan and corporate elites. Well-oiled mechanisms for censorship, self-censorship and the removal of unwanted accounts and content from digital platforms are used to suppress dissent in the media, which represents a gross violation of the right to free expression promoted by the West.

Social media platforms controlled by US corporations are widely used for disinformation, propaganda and manipulation of public opinion. Mass electronic surveillance by intelligence agencies and the IT corporations that collaborate with them has become a reality of daily life in Western states.

About a year ago, during the election campaign in the United States, the world saw how the archaic electoral system of that country began to crumble. The existing vote counting mechanism has revealed itself to have many weaknesses. Millions of Americans question the fairness and transparency of the 2020 presidential election. This is understandable, because the way it was conducted and its outcome involved dubious practices such as gerrymandering, multi-week mail voting, and denying observers, especially international ones, access to polling stations.

Serious questions arise from the continuing reprisals of US authorities against protesters outside the Capitol on January 6, whom the US administration and aligned media openly call “domestic terrorists.” Dozens of people who disagreed with the results of the presidential election were sentenced to prison time which is disproportionate to their opposition activities.

While fashioning itself as the “global democratic leader”, the United States has for many years led the world in the number of prisoners (over 2 million people). Conditions in many penitentiary institutions degrade human dignity. Washington continues to keep silent about torture at the Guantanamo Bay prison. The US intelligence services pioneered the creation of secret prisons in allied states, a practice without precedent in the modern world.

Lobbying in the United States is, in fact, legalised corruption. Legislatures are de facto controlled by big business. Both within the country and internationally, they primarily defend the interests of their sponsors, such as private corporations, rather than the people, voters.

Against this backdrop, the democratising rhetoric coming from Washington is not only completely disconnected from reality, but is also utterly hypocritical. Before embarking on the path of “exporting democracy,” we urge our North American partners to first address their problems at home, and to try to overcome the deepening divisions in society on matters of ethics, values, and vision of the country’s past and future. Humbly admitting that US democracy is not perfect is clearly not enough.

Great Britain cannot position itself as a progressive democracy, either. That country is a comfortable home to organisations professing neo-Nazi ideology with rising incidents of racism and discrimination against ethnic and cultural minorities in many spheres of public life. There have been cases of British intelligence illegally gathering personal data of their own citizens, and police violence, including against peaceful demonstrators, has become commonplace.

The situation in the EU is no better. Brussels consistently ignores the legitimate rights and interests of ethnic Russians and Russian-speaking residents in the Baltic states, Ukraine and Moldova. It turns a blind eye to the mythmaking of the new EU member states in political history, where former Nazi henchmen who committed war crimes are proclaimed national heroes. Administrative suppression of dissent, aggressive inculcation of ultra-liberal values ​​and practices that are destroying the Christian foundations of European civilisation have become commonplace in many EU states.

Claiming to be on the right side of ideology and morality, the United States and a small group of its allies have undermined confidence in themselves with aggressive actions on the world stage under the banner of “promoting democracy.” There were more than a dozen military interventions and attempts at “regime change” over the past 30 years. Provocative actions in the military-political sphere often flagrantly violate international law, and cause only chaos and destruction.

Recent history shows that military adventures with the aim of forced democratisation ended in bloody wars and national tragedies in the countries that fell victim to this policy, among them former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. All kinds of pretexts were used to unleash wars – the need to combat terrorism and WMD proliferation and “to protect civilians.”

Everyone remembers how after the military intervention of “the coalition of the willing” in Iraq in 2003, President George W. Bush on board the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier announced the victory of democracy in that country. What happened next is common knowledge. There are no precise statistics to this day but according to some estimates, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis perished before their time.

Despite spending enormous sums running into the trillions of dollars, the American mission in Afghanistan ended in complete failure. The chaotic exodus of Americans and other members of the US-led coalition from Kabul last August was the sad culmination of the “war on terror” that lasted more than 20 years.

Libya has still yet to recover from NATO operation to “protect the civilians”. For all the peculiarities of the former socio-political system in the Jamahiriya, Libya was a stable country that ensured decent living standards for its population. This ill-conceived military action led, among other consequences, to the uncontrolled spread of weapons and terrorists in the entire Sahara-Sahel region.

We can continue quoting examples revealing the hypocrisy at the core of this “summit for democracy.” But is it necessary?

Russia, whom our Western colleagues have accused of almost every mortal sin of late, is shaping its foreign policy in a different way. We do not impose our own development model on anyone. We respect cultural and religious identities of every nation as well as distinct qualities of their political systems. We also respect the right of every nation to detemine in an independent way  its path of development. We are not going to dictate our world view to anyone. In the international arena, the rules we follow are the UN Charter #OurRulesUNCharter .

Russia strives to play a balancing, stabilising role in global politics. We uphold sovereign equality of states, non-interference in their internal affairs, non-use of force or threat of force, and peaceful settlement of disputes. We stand for international relations based on peaceful coexistence, cooperation and solidarity, equal universal security and fair distribution of the benefits of globalisation.

Russia is a world power with Eurasian and European roots to its identity. It does not chart its development trajectory exclusively in line with trans-Atlantic political, economic and cultural templates. We do not agree with the aggressive imposition of the so-called “new ethics” that are destroying moral standards upheld by traditional religions and respected by humanity for centuries.

Pursuing a non-confrontational and well-balanced foreign policy, we strive to create opportunities for the unimpeded development of all international players. We do not copy the example of the Western countries and do not intrude in their domestic affairs: if individuals living in these countries, or some of them, support the destruction of traditional moral and spiritual values, we merely regret this but nothing more than that.

We support dialogue between cultures, religions and civilisations as an important instrument for forming a unifying agenda and building up trust in relations between states and societies.

To resolve pressing problems, we urge all foreign partners not to engage in “democracy promotion,” not to draw new dividing lines, but to return to the compliance with international law and to enforce the principle of the sovereign equality of states, which is enshrined in the UN Charter. It embodies the foundation for a democratic world order that the US and its allies do not accept.

As humanity continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftereffects, the cooperation of all states on the basis of the principles of the UN Charter is needed now more than ever.

We will closely follow the “summit for democracy.”


To see Putin and die

November 29, 2021

by Rostislav Ischenko for Ukraina.ru
source: 
Note: this machine translated text

Joseph Biden, the 46th president of the United States, has asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for a meeting for the second time in six months. This would not be surprising: in the end, international tensions have reached a limit, and not only the most alarmist of experts, but also the most cautious of politicians have already started talking about the high probability of war

In such circumstances, responsible leaders of great powers are simply obliged to meet and seek compromises.

But this is the same Biden, whose team cried all the tears over Russian interference in the American elections and twice tried to organize the impeachment of the 45th US President Donald Trump, accusing the latter of surrendering American interests to Russia and working for Putin. Meanwhile, Putin and Trump had only one full-format meeting (in Helsinki, July 16, 2018, a year and a half before the expiration of Trump’s powers), and the rest — about five short conversations “on the sidelines” of various summits.

Relations between Russia and the United States had sunk to the freezing point even before Trump. At the same time, the 45th American president, although he negotiated more harshly, was still much more constructive than the 46th. Trump was inclined to seek a compromise, despite all the contradictions, because only a mutually acceptable compromise can ensure a long and lasting peace.

Biden, in a typical American manner, is trying to deceive a partner in the negotiation process, seeking only a truce – a postponement of confrontation for some time, during which the United States will try to solve its problems in order to take up the old with renewed vigor later.

That is why Biden’s team is begging for meetings with Putin, as if their ancient boss is afraid to die without telling Vladimir Vladimirovich something important. Pay attention to the diplomatic activity of the American president who does not always adequately perceive reality during the first year of his term:

* spring – activation of the US-European Union, an attempt to force the EU to go to a sharp deterioration in relations with Russia and abandon the SP-2;
* summer – a sudden request for a meeting with Putin, insistence on its early organization, declared readiness to resolve the entire spectrum of controversial issues. In fact, absolutely empty and unacceptable hints for Russia about the readiness of the United States not to interfere if the Kremlin decides to restore its exclusive sphere of influence in the post-Soviet space by force, so that, as a reciprocal courtesy, Russia refuses an informal (but very problematic for the United States) alliance with China. The rest of the summer is devoted to spreading disinformation that Moscow is ready to negotiate with the United States at the expense of Beijing;
* autumn — the formation of an anti-Chinese alliance of US vassals in the Asia-Pacific region and part of the European powers, followed by a sharp and persistent desire to organize a personal meeting between Xi Jinping and Biden (the meeting took place, was in vain, after which the United States began spreading disinformation that Beijing is ready to negotiate with Washington at the expense of Moscow);
* winter — against the background of the sharp aggravation of the situation on the borders of Russia and Belarus that began in the autumn and an undisguised attempt to draw Russia into a war with the participation of Eastern European members of NATO and the EU, a new insistence on a personal meeting with Putin.

In my opinion, there is no need to have an outstanding intellect to see the “swing” on which the United States is trying to “rock” Russia and China in order to break their partnership (absolutely nullifying all attempts by the United States to regain the status of a global hegemon) and suppress Moscow and Beijing one by one and one by one. The United States offers everyone something unnecessary, but seriously binding their hands and requiring large resource costs, they try to link everyone with a regional war with their allies (who, however, are not in a hurry to drag chestnuts out of the fire for Washington), they inspire everyone that the partner has almost agreed to the American proposal and we must hurry to negotiate ourselves so as not to be made fools of.

The method is simple, has been used since ancient times and quite often led to success. The United States understands that neither Russia nor China want to win right now and annex the post-Soviet territories in Europe and Taiwan (respectively).

Moscow and Beijing would prefer to solve these problems peacefully and later. At this stage, the too clearly expressed intention to return the fallen imperial territories may not only limit the possibilities of cooperation between Russia and China to resist the military-political and financial-economic pressure of the United States, but also undermine the entire system of Eurasian unions built by them.

Therefore, the United States, in order to persuade Russia and China to make concessions in the negotiations, frighten both of them with an unnecessary regional war, while at the same time offering to negotiate and solve this problem. If someone gives up and starts at least discussing options, Washington will immediately provide a proof leak of information in order to persuade the second partner to make a concession, and then bargain with both from a favorable position to bring down the price.

Realizing all this, the Russian leadership is in no hurry to talk with Biden. Peskov, on behalf of the Kremlin, said that the exact date has not yet been determined. However, the Kremlin has agreed in principle to organize a videoconference before the end of the year. Why did they do that?

Every month (not to mention a year) without war, Russia and China strengthen and weaken the United States. If we hold out for two or three years, the war will become meaningless for the United States, because, by their own admission, after 2024 they do not see the possibility of defeating China militarily. Consequently, in two years, the opportunities for American blackmail will decrease sharply, and America’s allies, who are already unwilling to risk themselves because of the Washington games, will become even more thoughtful, it will be even more difficult to persuade them to demonstrative aggressive actions against Moscow and Beijing. A certain US deadline is approaching, we need to act already. Under these conditions, Washington, having lost hope of achieving its goal by peace, can really bet on provocation of war.

Any negotiations are a way to delay time. While they are preparing and while they are going, it is unprofitable for the United States to be unconstructive, which means they will try to keep their allies on a short leash. But vassal states are not trained dogs that can be set on an object or calmed down in one second, rocking the situation takes time (albeit a little). The solution suggests itself: as long as possible to delay the time in determining the date of negotiations, postponing them for later. As soon as it becomes impossible to pull further – to hold negotiations and try, without giving a single opportunity to interpret their outcome as a willingness to take seriously American proposals for the surrender of an ally, to involve the United States in the preparation of the next meeting by creating permanent expert groups in the areas.

Any diplomatic department is a complex bureaucratic machine that is extremely difficult to force to move simultaneously in two directions. If you give the task to begin diplomatic preparations for war, this apparatus will move in one direction, if you set the task of finding a compromise, then in another. At the same time, it will have a serious informational impact on both the international and domestic agenda. That is, even meaningless, but regular meetings of experts reduce (though not completely remove) the risk of fatal confrontation.

Russia’s actions indicate that the Kremlin clearly sees the threat and has chosen the right tactics. The agreement on the creation of expert groups was reached during the first meeting with Biden, with the organization of which they stretched out as much as they could. However, America countered this agreement by saying that the expert groups did not work. So, now Russian diplomats will point this out and demand more constructive.

The current meeting is also being delayed as much as they can, having already postponed it until the end of December. If it works out, then under the pretext of New Year’s holidays they will postpone it until the middle-end of January (however, this is unlikely, the United States is in a hurry). The current meeting will be held online: the coronavirus. Although he does not interfere with Putin and Biden’s meetings with other politicians, but in this case only online. And not because I don’t want to waste time on flights, knowing in advance that the negotiations will be in vain. The online mode does not allow the organization of fake leaks about the content of negotiations. This is not a face-to-face conversation (in the presence of only unknown and controlled translators, in an office protected from wiretapping) – everything is recorded, and by both sides.

Thus, Russia is trying to win one and a half to two months out of the 48 required. Will it be possible to win the world completely?

This question has no definite answer. On the one hand, time is running out, and with the approach of 2024, the United States has nothing to lose, and in the vassal countries designated by them for slaughter, there are their own war parties that (for personal gain) are ready to start even a losing war that destroys their states. On the other hand, the current authorities, who are now in charge of American consumables, are doing everything possible to get rid of the honorable mission of pointlessly dying for the interests of the United States. How strong will they have enough strength to continue maneuvering on the verge of a foul? How ready are Americans to increase pressure on the dependent elites of limitrophs? Where is the weak link ready to break: in Europe or in Asia and who is it (Ukraine, Taiwan, someone else)? We can only assume with more or less certainty.

Often the expected danger comes at all from where it is not expected or when they stopped waiting and relaxed.

Tension Escalates: US Destroyer Sails through Taiwan Strait

Nov 23, 2021

By Staff, Agencies

An American warship has again sailed through the disputed Taiwan Strait, a move sure to enrage Beijing after repeat warnings over previous transits, which Washington deems “routine” missions to ensure a “free and open” Pacific.

A US guided-missile destroyer made its way through the strait on Tuesday local time, the Navy’s 7th Fleet announced in a statement, saying the move was conducted “in accordance with international law” and “demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The Joe Biden administration has largely carried on ex-President Donald Trump’s regular transits through the strait, with Biden conducting them on a near-monthly basis since taking office in January.

Last month, the Chinese military blasted a joint US-Canadian sail-through as threatening regional peace and stability, in line with reactions to previous missions in the area.

Beijing, for its part, has also invoked the ire of Taipei with its own military exercises in recent months, flying warplanes into what Taiwan considers to be its air defense identification zone, which was criticized as a violation of Taiwanese airspace and an attempt at intimidation.

Though the United States, like most other nations, keeps no formal diplomatic relationship with Taipei, Washington has long been a close partner to the island, with the Biden administration following in Trump’s footsteps by approving “defensive” weapons sales to Taiwan earlier this year, including hundreds of millions in artillery gear and precision guidance kits for munitions.

حلف «أوكوس» وأبعاده الإستراتيجيّة…

الجمعة 19 تشرين الثاني 2021

كاتب وباحث سياسي في العديد من المنافذ الإخبارية العربية ، ومنها جريدة الأخبار ، وقناة الميادين الإخبارية الفضائية ، وعربي 21 ، وراي اليوم ،.

عمرو علان

أعلنت كلٌّ من أميركا وبريطانيا وأستراليا في 15 أيلول 2021 عن إقامتها لحلفٍ أمنيٍ باسم «أوكوس»، ودارت عقب هذا الإعلان نقاشات موسّعة حول مدى ما يمثل هذا الحلف من تحول في «الجغرافيا السياسية»، ودارت تباعاً لذلك نقاشات حول قيمة هذه الخطوة من الناحية الإستراتيجية. وقد تَشكَّل شبه إجماع على كون هذه الخطوة تُعد بمثابة تبدلٍ رئيسٍ في «الجغرافيا السياسية» العالمية، فهي تمثل تحولاً عملياً في أولوية السياسة الخارجية الأميركية نحو منطقة «الإندو باسيفيك»، التي تُعد المجال الحيوي للصين، ناهيك عن كونها خطوةً أميركية ملموسة ضمن محاولاتها لعرقلة تقدم الصين في المجالات الاقتصادية والتقنية والتنموية عموماً. تطرّقت عدة مقالات بارزة إلى أهمية هذا الحلف وإلى ما يمثله في «الجغرافيا السياسية»، فمثلاً أكد أستاذ العلاقات الدولية البروفيسور «ستيفن والت» على أن سبب نشوء هذا الحلف وطريقة تشكيله يكشفان عما يتجه إليه العالم في قابل الأيام، وقالت مجلة «ذي إيكونوميست» في غير مقال بأن إقامة هذا الحلف تحاكي محطات تاريخية من قبيل زيارة الرئيس الأميركي الأسبق نيكسون إلى الصين في سبعينيات القرن الماضي، وبأن حلف «أوكوس» يعيد تشكيل المشهد الإستراتيجي في منطقة «الإندو باسيفيك» برمّته.

لكن، رغم إجماع الآراء على أهمية ما يمثله هذا التحالف الأمني الثلاثي في السياسة الدولية، يبقى النقاش مفتوحاً حول ثقل هذا الحلف في الميزان الإستراتيجي، وإذا ما كان يُعد تبدلاً حقيقياً في ميزان القوى في مواجهة الصين في منطقة «الإندو باسيفيك». كان أبرز ما تمخّض عن حلف «أوكوس» توقيع أستراليا على عقد شراء ثماني غواصات حربية أميركية الصنع تعمل بالدفع النووي، وذلك عوضاً عن اثنتي عشرة غواصة حربية تعمل بالوقود التقليدي، كانت أستراليا قد تعاقدت على شرائها من فرنسا سابقاً، قبل إلغاء العَقْد لمصلحة عَقْد «أوكوس» الأميركي.

وتتميز الغواصات النووية الدفع عن نظيراتها التقليدية بأنها أسرع بنحو خمسة أضعافٍ، أي بنحو عشرين عُقدة بحرية للغواصات النووية الدفع في مقابل أربع عُقَد بحرية للغواصات التقليدية الدفع، وكذلك تتميز الغواصات النووية بأنها ذات قدرة عالية على الإبحار لمسافاتٍ بعيدةٍ، ومددٍ زمنيةٍ طويلةٍ، دون الحاجة إلى التزوُّد بالوقود، فمن الممكن القول بأن الغواصات النووية قادرةٌ عملياً على مواصلة العمل طالما توفّر لطاقمها الغذاء، ما يجعل من هذه الغواصات أداةً مثاليةً في عمليات فرض الحصار البحري على الدول، علماً بأن كلاً من مخزون الغذاء على متن الغواصة، وعدد الأيام التي يستطيع الطاقم قضاءها قبل أن يعتريهم الإرهاق، هما أمران ثابتان بمعزل عن نوع الوقود الذي تستخدمه الغواصة.

وتُعد الغواصات النووية أداةً فعالةً في عمليات الرصد والتجسّس أيضاً، وذلك بسبب قدرتها على الإبحار بصمت، ما يُصعِّب عملية اكتشافها وتعقبها من قبل الخصم. لكن في المقابل، وبناءً على معايير «برنامج ترايدنت النووي» البريطاني، تحتاج القوات البحرية إلى ثلاث غواصاتٍ بالحد الأدنى لضمان وجود غواصةٍ واحدةٍ في عمق البحر، وهذا يخفض القدرة العملانية للبحرية الأسترالية من ثلاث إلى أربع غواصات ، كانت لتحققها الصفقة الفرنسية، لتصير غواصتين أو ثلاثاً في أفضل الحالات حسب ما تُؤمِّنه صفقة «أوكوس» الأميركية، ونستذكر هنا جملة الأدميرال «هوراشيو نيلسون» حينما قال: الكثرة فقط هي التي تُبيد. ويجادل البروفيسور هيو وايت، أستاذ الدراسات الإستراتيجية في الجامعة الوطنية الأسترالية، في مقال عن صفقة غواصات «أوكوس» النووية، بالقول إذا ما كان هدف أستراليا الانضمام إلى أميركا في حرب عسكرية ضد الصين، فعندها يكون خيار الغواصات النووية منطقياً، ويتابع، لكن أستراليا ليست قادرة على خوض حرب ضد جيش التحرير الشعبي الصيني وحيدةً، وبدون تواجد أميركي عسكري في منطقة «الإندو باسيفيك»، أما في حال وجود أميركا في المنطقة، فلا فرق عندها بين إذا ما كانت الغواصات الأسترالية نووية أم تقليدية، ويُفهم من حديثه بأنه في هكذا حرب ضد دولة نووية كبرى كالصين، يقع العبء الأكبر على عاتق أميركا، فهل من شأن غواصتين – أو ثلاث في أحسن الحالات – قلب موازين القوى بشكل جوهري في بحر الصين الجنوبي؟

وزيادةً على ذلك، كان يفترض أن تتسلّم أستراليا الغواصات الفرنسية بحلول عام 2030، بينما تحتاج الغواصات النووية الأميركية حتى عام 2040 على أقل تقدير لتكون جاهزة، وحتى ذاك الحين، على الأرجح أن تكون الصين قد حسمت لمصلحتها قضية تايوان، التي تعدها أميركا أمراً رئيساً في مشروع مناهضتها للصين، ناهيك عن أنها ستكون قد عزّزت تواجدها بشكل واسع بالفعل ضمن مجالها الحيوي.

أما إذا كان الحديث عن حلف «أوكوس» الأمني بصفته الشق العسكري من إستراتيجية أميركية أوسع لمناهضة الصين، فهكذا إستراتيجية يلزمها بالضرورة أولاً جانب اقتصادي، ولا سيما كون المنافسة الأميركية مع الصين تتركز على صعود هذه الأخيرة كعملاق اقتصادي عالمي، وثانياً، يلزمها تحالفات أميركية صلبة ذات مغزى وفعالية. ونجد بأن أول تداعيات حلف «أوكوس» كان إغضاب فرنسا، أحد حلفاء أميركا في «الناتو»، ووصف وزير الخارجية الفرنسي سياسة الرئيس الأميركي جو بايدن بالسياسة «الترامبية»، لكن بدون «تويتر»، وعدَّها «طعنة في الظهر» ممن يفترض كونهم حلفاء لفرنسا، ووصل الأمر إلى استدعاء فرنسا لسفيرَيها في أميركا وأستراليا للتشاور. وكانت ردة فعل الفرنسيين مفهومة، سيما أن صفقة الغواصات التي خسرتها كانت تُقدر بأكثر من 65 مليار دولار أميركي.

وأثار إقامة حلف «أوكوس» تساؤلاتٍ جدية لدى أعضاء حلف شمال الأطلسي عن موقع «الناتو» في الإستراتيجية الأميركية في مرحلة مناهضة الصين، حيث أقام الأميركيون هذا الحلف الثلاثي من وراء ظهر الأوروبيين، ذلك خلا بريطانيا التي كانت شريكة أميركا في تحالفها الجديد، ولا سيما أن الإعلان عن تحالف «أوكوس» جاء مباشرةً عقب الانسحاب الأميركي من أفغانستان، الذي لم تنسّق فيه أميركا مع شركائها لا من أوروبيين ولا من غيرهم.

وأما في الجانب الاقتصادي، فكان معبِّراً ما كتبته مجلة «ذي إيكونوميست»، حيث عنونت: وأخيراً أميركا تُبدي جديةً في مناهضة الصين في آسيا، لكنّ تقوية التحالفات العسكرية ليست وحدها أمراً كافياً، لتمضي بالقول إن علاقة أميركا بالصين يلزمها أكثر من مجرد استعراضٍ للقوة، وإنه ينبغي على أميركا تضمين إستراتيجيتها جوانب أخرى، من قبيل التعاون مع الصين حول التغيّر المناخي ضمن قواعد للتنافس الاقتصادي، وهنا فالسياسة الأميركية لا تزال تعاني. وقد كان لافتًا قيام الصين بتقديم طلب انضمامٍ إلى «اتفاق الشراكة الشاملة والتقدمية عبر المحيط الهادئ» بعد يوم واحد فقط على إعلان إقامة حلف «أوكوس»، هذا الاتفاق التجاري الذي يمثل المنطقة التجارية الحرة الكبرى في العالم، والذي انسحبت منه إدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب في عام 2017، ما أشار إلى عقليةٍ أميركيةٍ تجاريةٍ انعزاليةٍ، ولا يبدو أن أياً في أميركا يخطط إلى العودة إلى هذا الاتفاق بما في ذلك إدارة الديمقراطيين الراهنة، رغم تصريحات جو بايدن الانتخابية عن «تصحيح» ما قامت به إدارة دونالد ترامب، وعن نيته إعادة تقوية الشراكات الأميركية مع دول العالم. ويُعد تقديم الصين لطلب الانضمام هذا تعبيراً عن توجهاتها الاقتصادية، ويمكن إدراجه في سياق مناكفة أميركا، رغم الشكوك حول إمكانية قبول طلب الصين في هذه المرحلة من قبل الدول الأعضاء في «الشراكة عبر المحيط الهادئ».

إذاً، بنظرةٍ شاملةٍ لحلف «أوكوس» من جميع زواياه، نجد أنه يمثل تبدلاً عميقاً في «الجغرافيا السياسية»، كونه يعبر عن احتلال مناهضة الصين لرأس أولويات السياسة الخارجية الأميركية لسنوات قادمة، لكنه يظل خطوة عسكرية منقوصة «نصف إستراتيجية» كما وصفته مجلة «ذي إيكونوميست»، فعزّزت أميركا بهذه الخطوة العسكرية التحالف القائم أصلًا مع أستراليا، التي تُعد قزماً إذا ما قورنت بالصين سواءً أكان بعدد السكان أم بالقوة العسكرية، ناهيك عن كون أستراليا تعتمد بشكلٍ رئيسٍ على الصين في الجانب التجاري.

مما لا شك فيه أن أميركا قد حقّقت ربحاً تجارياً من بيع الغواصات النووية الباهظة الثمن، لكنه يبدو قصير الأمد في مقابل تعثرٍ إستراتيجيٍّ طويل الأمد، نتيجة إثارتها مجدداً للشكوك حول مصداقيتها، وعن مراعاتها لمصالح حلفائها، سواءً أكانوا من «الناتو» أم من الدول الأخرى. فهل كانت إذاً أستراليا «بقرةً حلوباً» أخرى تم ابتزازها في حلف «أوكوس»؟ حيث استبدلت أستراليا صفقة فرنسية بأخرى أميركية تفوقها مرة ونصف مرة في القيمة، من أجل حيازة عتادٍ عسكريٍ مشكوك في حاجتها إليه، حسب ما خلص إليه البروفيسور «هيو وايت» بالقول: عند الأخذ في الحسبان مجموع العوامل المرافقة لتشغيل الغواصات النووية، تفوز الغواصات تقليدية الدفع بكل تأكيد، فيا ليت أدارت أستراليا تعاقداتها بقليل من المنطق.

وهل خضعت حكومة «موريسون» إلى تهديد البروفيسور الأميركي المعروف وأستاذ العلوم السياسية «جون ميرشايمر»، حيث كان قد خاطب نخبة من الإستراتيجيين الأستراليين خلال ندوة بعنوان «هل تستطيع الصين النهوض بسلام»، أقيمت في عام 2019 في أستراليا، قائلاً: يرى البعض أنه يوجد هناك بديل، السير مع الصين عوضاً عن أميركا، وفي هذا الخيار أقول – إذا قرّرتم السير مع الصين فعليكم فهم أنكم ستغدون أعداء لنا، وبأنكم تختارون العداء مع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، فالحديث هنا يخصّ منافسةً أمنيةً حادةً، فإما أن تكونوا معنا وإما أن تكونوا ضدّنا، فإذا اخترتم الصداقة مع الصين، فهذا لن يجعلنا سعداء، وعليكم عدم الاستهانة بغضبنا حينما لا نكون سعداء، وما عليكم إلا سؤال فيديل كاسترو عن ذلك.


صعود الصين، عودة روسيا ونهاية فكرة تصدير الديمقراطية الأمريكية – البروفيسور جون ميرشايمر

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Here Comes China: Taiwan, RCEP, Earth-science satellite and The Plenum

November 08, 2021

Here Comes China: Taiwan, RCEP, Earth-science satellite and The Plenum

By Amarynth for the Saker Blog

Taiwan. In this article, Taiwan crossing the Red Line when the leader of the Taiwan region, Tsai Ing-wen, admitted to the presence of US military trainers on the island for the first time, was discussed. This was an open secret but the admission in public made it necessary for China to respond.  Now it is clear what form the response is taking.  At the time, all the media in English called for ‘punishment’.  There is always the option of kinetic action but China considers Taiwan as Chinese (despite the civil war) and the leadership really does not want to act kinetically against what they consider fellow Chinese. Soon we saw the words, Taiwan Separatists, appearing in the Chinese media. The reunification groups in Taiwan are becoming visible and reunification is presented as a fait accompli.

Here comes the ‘punishment’ but first the ‘accusation’.

China is accusing the Taiwan separatists of crimes against the peace:

  • inciting cross-Straits confrontation,
  • maliciously attacking and slandering the mainland and colluding with foreign forces to split the country.
  • undermining cross-Straits relations, peace, and stability in the Taiwan Straits, and therefore the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation.

This is the punishment

  • The separatists have been placed on a blacklist and circulating in Chinese social media, the words ‘dead or alive’ are used.
  • They and their families are banned from entering the mainland and the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.
  • Organizations related to them are restricted from cooperating with organizations and individuals on the mainland, and enterprises related to them and their financial backers are not allowed to make profits on the mainland.
  • The mainland will pursue criminal responsibility for the separatists in accordance with the law, and they will be held accountable for life.

In other words, they are being treated as traitors to their nation and their state and the peace, and there is no place to hide.

While there is no date for reunification yet, the laws governing such a reunification are being drawn up. The expectation is that the hot public opinion war between the reunificationists, separatists, and mainlanders will continue for a while yet. We can be thankful that it is a public opinion war and for now the probability of kinetic action between China and Taiwan is low. The western forces (US, NATO, European Union, etc.) are the dark horse in this configuration. We don’t know what to expect from a stated policy of strategic ambiguity, but which is openly hostile, running regime change operations, and stationing soldiers as trainers in what is China’s province.  Washington is expected to continue making noise and petty moves until they understand that reunification is not a choice, but a firm given.

The Chinese perspective on this:

US used to deter China by conducting military exercise around China, and the strategy recently changed to make its generals, political leaders and media contantly talking tough about Taiwan.

Why? Run out of budget? I know It is cheaper to conduct lip exercise.

— Dai Weiwei (@WEIWEIDAI4) November 8, 2021

[Sidebar] While we are discussing paradigm collapse themes in general in our world, the issue around Taiwan is considered internally as a guide or a measure of the current collapse of the paradigm of a single hegemonic world, into a multipolar world. This is their yardstick and their measure.  In other words, it is a sign of the times.


The RCEP has now been ratified. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement will take effect at the start of January. This is the largest trade agreement in all of the world and in all of history. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea have signed and ratified the RCEP agreement. (This is the agreement where India was part of the group and then would not sign and stomped off).

Yes, you are right to sit up and take notice. Both Australia and Japan are in the lineup. What do we make of that?  Australia is most probably figuring out where their food comes from and this is the first trade agreement where Japan is involved with both China and South Korea.

RCEP is huge. It groups the 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) plus Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea.

https://www.scmp.com/economy/global-economy/article/3154659/rcep-trade-deal-reaches-milestone-after-ratification

In the past few weeks, we had the twin spectacles of the G20 meeting and COP26 with the two most imminent leaders in our world not only not attending, but giving short shrift to the messaging in general, both leaders making simple statements that they will do what they will do generally but will fulfill agreements that they made.

[Sidebar] Again we can link this to a paradigm collapse theme in general where the disintegrating late-Washington world order attempts to implement political technology projects, doomed to fail, for people with no critical thinking.

And just days after COP26, China took the lead again by launching a new sophisticated Earth-science satellite. They have about 30 similar but less sophisticated measuring systems in orbit, but this one is dedicated to the UN 2030 Agenda, of course, to meet and fulfill agreements made with a factual presentation of actual data. What becomes clear is that the cheaters and self-worshipping big hot air statement makers from COP26 cannot hide their own actions any longer. (You can run but you can’t hide). If there are agreements to be made, China will measure the data and do the count.

Developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the satellite will carry out precision analysis of energy consumption, habitat patterns, and coastal areas in the vicinity of human populations, and provide data for sustainable development indicators.  This launch is the 395th flight of the Long March rocket series, developed by the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology.


A few data points gleaned from the Here Comes China Newsletter from Godfree Roberts (link at the end).

Governance:  President Xi proposed a ten-year education plan for SCO members, four of which are Central Asian nations: 30,000 government scholarships to study in China, plus 10,000 places for Confucius Institute teachers and students. Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, a fluent Mandarin speaker, studied in China. Ex-deputy PM Dariga Nazarbayev argued that closer ties to China is the destiny of Kazakhstan. Kyrgyzstan’s President Sadyr Japarov‘s parents lived in China for decades. Read full article →

The US is attempting to disrupt China’s Belt & Road Initiative across many parts of the world, so the BRI is setting up shop in Cuba, says Tom Fowdy, “China’s willingness to deepen ties with Cuba is illustrative of a broader strategic shift. In the past few years, Beijing may have been too wary of getting close to Havana for fear of upsetting the US or diluting its unilateral sanctions, but as the new reality of US-China competition has crystalized, and as Washington has sought to exploit the role of Taiwan, Cuba naturally becomes a means to push back”. Read full article →

The UN passed a Chinese draft resolution calling for peaceful cooperation on international security, the first arms control resolution proposed by Beijing in its 30 years as a member state. “Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security”, was approved with 75 votes in favour and 55 against. Beijing’s resolution was fuelled by a desire to enhance international security by preventing harmful military cooperation between countries, citing the trilateral Aukus deal in particular. Read full article →

Covid Policy in China.  China moved fast and closed down a Disney theme park in about 2 hours and tested everyone.  They also closed down schools for Covid testing. They believe that a Zero Covid policy is less costly than living with it and reintroducing restrictions each time outbreaks occur, China’s top expert, Zhong Nanshan, says. “The country had no option but to aim for zero infections because the coronavirus was replicating quickly and the global death rate of about 2% was unacceptable. Some countries have decided to open up entirely despite still having a few infections. That led to a large number of infections in the past two months and they decided to reimpose restrictions. This flip-flopping is more costly and the psychological impact on citizens is greater.”  https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3154568/zero-covid-still-less-costly-living-it-chinas-top-expert-zhong


The Sixth Plenum

Best described as the beginning of a new epoch, the Sixth Plenum of the 19th Party Congress has started. This is a big deal with a “resolution on history” on the cards. Only three of these have been adopted. The first was in 1945 and served to firmly cement Mao’s era of revolution. The second was adopted in 1981 and served a similar function for Deng with his reform and opening-up policy. It is expected that Xi Jinping will be established as a long-term party leader and charting what is termed a new era.  These resolutions are not only statements of the past, but serve strongly to confirm a new direction. The era of the Deng Xiaoping-inspired “opening and reform era” is now closing and Xi Jinping’s New Era will be entered as the era of Common Prosperity. While we usually talk about Mao and Deng and now Xi Jingping, the acknowledged representatives of the Chinese System and CCP are Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, and Hu Jintao.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202111/07/WS61870571a310cdd39bc73c86.html

We will hear more from this Plenum.  It is clear, that at least in China, they consider this to be of considerable importance.

Something that people should bear in mind when looking at Chinese governance:  These are not entry-level people.  By the time that they become household names, they have solid education and successful previous governance experience.  China is a merit-based country in its governance.


Please go and enjoy episode six of Nathan Rich’s excellent Epic China series, dealing specifically with the opium war.  Note that 1839 was the last year in history that China was completely free of official foreign interventionism.

In 1839, The Qing Dynasty sought to reason with Britain (“The Lion”), to stop its illegal cartel opium smuggling operations.

Here is the playlist of previous episodes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl1bPVn81Ok&list=PLo4_KHAgJYFypZFLczc5xf-BzNAfcHGgG


Many of the data points here are courtesy of Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

Red Line and Taiwan

Red Line and Taiwan

October 28, 2021

by Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

Every English media in China today ledes with the news that in an interview with CNN, the leader of the Taiwan region, Tsai Ing-wen, admitted to the presence of US military trainers on the island for the first time.  The first reports stated ‘soldiers’, but were soon edited to ‘trainers’.

Global Times bellowed back:  Redline: US troops must not station in Taiwan

In People’s Daily Online it is expressed like this: Commentary: Washington should stop playing with fire on Taiwan

It is wall-to-wall commentary in the media.  As The Saker expresses for the case of the presumed Bayraktar strike, Russia is compelled to act as if it happened, for political reasons.

In this case, China must also act.  Their people are up in arms and the media is writing up to three editorials in one day on this issue alone.

In Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference today, he confirmed the official position but with a throwaway line attached.  The readout is:

The one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations. On the Taiwan question, the US should abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, rather than unilaterally concoct anything. We firmly oppose official and military ties in any form between the US and the Taiwan region, and oppose the US’ interference in China’s internal affairs. The US vessels have repeatedly flexed its muscles to make provocations and stir up troubles in the Taiwan Strait in recent times, sending gravely wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces and threatening cross-Strait peace and stability. The international community is clear-eyed about who is engaging in “coercion” on the Taiwan question.

The cross-Strait reunification is an overriding historical trend and the right course, while “Taiwan independence” is a retrogression leading to a dead end. The DPP authorities’ acts of seeking “Taiwan independence” can not change the iron-clad fact that Taiwan is a part of China, neither will it shake the international community’s universal and firm commitment to the one-China principle. Those who forget their heritage, betray their motherland, and seek to split the country will come to no good end.

Seeking “Taiwan independence” leads to a dead end. So does supporting “Taiwan independence”. No country and no one should underestimate the resolve, the will, and the ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Otherwise, they will suffer another defeat.

This news comes against the backdrop of a call to boycott the Olympics and also Blinken’s issued statement:  “Taiwan’s meaningful participation in the UN system is not a political issue, but a pragmatic one”.

This led to an immediate statement by Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council:

The UN is an international intergovernmental organization composed of sovereign states. Taiwan is a part of China and the People’s Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing the whole of China.  Taiwan has no right to join the UN.

This is the political pressure and efforts at destabilization as China enters its last 100 days to prepare for the Olympics.

What will be the response?  I don’t know but there will be one.  The media asks for ‘punishment’ for Tsai Ing-wen.

Here Comes China: Xi Jinping’s speech, Major geo-political events, Joint naval patrol, Shangri-La was a novel

October 25, 2021

Here Comes China:  Xi Jinping’s speech, Major geo-political events, Joint naval patrol, Shangri-La was a novel

by Amarynth for the Saker Blog

There has been a slight pause in these sitreps. This writing became overshadowed with current events, fully covered in the Saker Blog by other writers.  Because of length, we will upgrade this one today from sitrep to guest analysis.

A shortlisting of four major events since the Sitrep paused:

1.Meng Wanzhou’s triumphant return to China and a win against the Long Arm of the Law.  Meng is back at work this morning.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1237211.shtml

2.The failed visit (yes another failed diplomatic visit) which resulted in this comical and humorous tweet from Escobar

@RealPepeEscobar

US-CHINA IN 30 SECONDS

  • Jake Sullivan – “We wanna talk about Uyghurs, Hong Kong, Taiwan, human rights.”
  • Yang Jiechi – “No.”
  • Sullivan – “Climate change.”
  • Yang Jiechi – “Maybe. If you listen.”
  • Sullivan – “So we’re coming after you big time.”
  • Yang Jiechi – “Bring it on.”

Uhm, how did that climate change maybe thing work out? Well it turns out not so well. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping are among several world leaders who will not be attending the big climate summit COP26 scheduled to begin this week in Britain. The two leaders will not even give it a pretense of legitimacy. Now, that is how to give a perfect diplomatic snub!  Or is it only a diplomatic snub?  I think both China and Russia are expressing that any attempt to do productive work with a naked insane emperor is now futile.  We will probably see light speed changes from now on into multipolarity to hopefully gain a world that is now insisting on decent human values and most of all, peaceful resolution of differences.     

3.The other big event was the forming of Aukus, obviously in an attempt to create a mini-NATO against first China and Russia.

4.At the height of all of these were and are still the Taiwan issues and we will take a look at Xi Jinping’s speech a little later in this writing.

One soon finds that it becomes almost impossible to approach China from a generalist perspective. But, we have help. On the economics side, we have Michael Hudson. On the historical side, we have writers such as Godfree Roberts, Jeff J Browne and many others. On the anti-China propaganda side, we have me and a number of reliable commentators on the Saker Blog and on the social, community, and humanity side, we have a host of excellent bloggers, documentary makers, and distributors of information as if one is walking in the streets and in the countryside with your own feet. And of course, China is now taking its rightful place in the world as a leader and has improved markedly in information dissemination; they are taking their place on the world stage as wolf warriors, (Uhm, no, I did not mean to write that, of course, I meant to write ..) diplomats.

Sidebar: China is a massive country and in landmass second only to Russia. But even in this simple measurement, the west tries quibbling techniques. Read it and weep. China is only second but Canada is bigger if we measure waterways. And really, China is really smaller than the US. Take a look at the quibble: https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/largest-countries-in-the-world

In this year, the year of the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, we experience an almost complete restatement and refinement of China’s goals in our world. We see internal nomenclature such as national rejuvenation, a modern socialist country, and continual reformation with comprehensive plans and strategy, and a peaceful and united domestic environment. Toward the world, we see phrases such as maintaining a revolutionary spirit, the courage to carry out a great struggle with contemporary features, courage, and skill, safeguard sovereignty, and protect security and development interests. We hear that China intends to assume a greater role in and for the world.  Aggression and hegemony are not in the blood of the Chinese people and they will strive for a human community with a shared future. There are specific goals set out. China will:

  • endeavor to improve the global governance system
  • engender peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom
  • work to strengthen solidarity of people of all other countries
  • engage in all efforts to oppose hegemony and power politics

What is the difference between Putin’s Optimistic Reasonable Conservatism and Xi’s Human Community with a Shared Future and moderately prosperous society?  I cannot see too big of a difference as the qualitative values expressed are similar although the civilizational socialization is different.  As Putin expressed his non-acceptance of woke ‘values’ in his Valdai speech, so China in the last few months took real action.  They threw the feminine men out of their television programs.  The feminine men is an inheritance from Japan to a lesser degree and Korea, to a larger degree.  China does not want girly men to become role models for their children.    They pulled the rug out from underneath expensive additional schools, acting as funnels to expensive university programs, and tutoring that basically burdened the Chinese children.  They have strengthened the Chinese schools to offer all additional education necessary, in order to have consistent educational standards.  They simply stopped computer games for younger children and limited this to no more than 3 hours per week.  They increased physical programs and education to get the kids out and about with healthy activities.  And in stark contrast to the western sphere who wants to control the kids, China just put the responsibility by law, properly and correctly in the parents’ hands.  “On Saturday, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee adopted a new law stating that China’s parents are responsible for family education.”

On Taiwan, we see Xi Jinping expressing the following: “The Taiwan question arose from weakness and chaos and will be resolved with national reunification, the one-China principle, and 1992 resolution”.

Regarding military action; we see even Putin expressing that Xi Jinping does not need to take military action.  The verbose threats come from the US and Australia.

There are three aspects that Putin and Xi Jinping express as in one voice.

  • We are in a time of momentous changes in the world.
  • Both Russia and China are prepared and can ride the waves of change in a manner that is helpful, peaceful, and supportive in and for the world. 
  • The UN (and it has been said a number of times that it needs to be updated) is still the only venue where world problems can be discussed.  From Russia, our Law is the UN Charter and this is expressed by China as well.  The rules-based concept does not feature whatsoever.

These concepts are fully supported by Putin’s speech at Valdai, and Xi Jinping’s speech at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of China’s formal joining of the United Nations.

During the years since the cold war, another momentous alliance grew almost from a grassroots level. This is the Russia / China treaty of Good Neighborliness. Here, with subtitles is what the Chinese office of foreign affairs thinks of this treaty at its 20th anniversary. China and Russia are not allies, but closer than allies:

In this atmosphere of global chaos, Xi Jinping delivered a speech this morning at the occasion of the 50th anniversary of restoration of People’s Republic of China’s lawful seat in the UN:

(Translation)

Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

At the Conference Marking the 50th Anniversary of the Restoration Of the Lawful Seat of the People’s Republic of China

In the United Nations

25 October 2021

Your Excellency Secretary-General António Guterres,

Your Excellencies Diplomatic Envoys and Representatives of International Organizations,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Comrades,

Fifty years ago today, the 26th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted, with an overwhelming majority, Resolution 2758, and the decision was made to restore all rights of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations and to recognize the representatives of the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations. It was a victory for the Chinese people and a victory for people of the world.

Today, on this special date, we are here to review the past history and look to the future, and that makes our gathering all the more significant.

The restoration of New China’s lawful seat in the United Nations was a momentous event for the world and the United Nations. It came as the result of joint efforts of all peace-loving countries that stood up for justice in the world. It marked the return of the Chinese people, or one-fourth of the world’s population, back to the UN stage. The importance was significant and far-reaching for both China and the wider world.

On this occasion, I wish to express, on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people, heartfelt gratitude to all countries that co-sponsored and supported UN General Assembly Resolution 2758, and to pay high tribute to all countries and people that stand on the side of justice.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Comrades,

The past five decades since New China restored its lawful seat in the United Nations have witnessed China’s peaceful development and its commitment and dedication to the welfare of all humanity.

— For these 50 years, the Chinese people have demonstrated an untiring spirit and kept to the right direction of China’s developmentamidst changing circumstances, thus writing an epic chapter in the development of China and humanity. Building on achievements in national construction and development since the founding of New China, the Chinese people have started the new historical era of reform and opening-up, and successfully initiated and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics. We have continued to unleash and develop productivity and raise living standards, and achieved a historic breakthrough of leaping from a country with relatively low productivity to the second largest economy in the world. Through much hard work, the Chinese people have attained the goal of fully building a moderately prosperous society on the vast land of China, and won the battle against poverty, thus securing a historic success in eradicating absolute poverty. We have now embarked on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country and opened up bright prospects for the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

For these 50 years, the Chinese people have stood in solidarity and cooperation withpeople around the world and upheld international equity and justice,contributing significantly to world peace and developmentThe Chinese people are peace-loving people and know well the value of peace and stability. We have unswervingly followed an independent foreign policy of peace, stood firm for fairness and justice, and resolutely opposed hegemony and power politics. The Chinese people are a strong supporter of other developing countries in their just struggle to safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests. The Chinese people are committed to achieving common development. From the Tazara Railway to the Belt and Road Initiative, we have done what we could to help other developing countries, and have offered the world new opportunities through our own development. During the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has been active in sharing COVID response experience with the world, and has sent large quantities of supplies, vaccines and medicines to other countries, and deeply engaged in science-based cooperation on COVID-19 origins tracing, all in a sincere and proactive effort to contribute to humanity’s final victory over the pandemic.

For these 50 years, the Chinese people have upheld the authority and sanctity of the United Nations and practiced multilateralism,and China’s cooperation with the United Nations hasdeepened steadily.China has faithfully fulfilled its responsibility and mission as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, stayed true to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and upheld the central role of the United Nations in international affairs. China has stood actively for political settlement of disputes through peaceful means. It has sent over 50,000 peacekeepers to UN peacekeeping operations, and is now the second largest financial contributor to both the United Nations and UN peacekeeping operations. China has been among the first of countries to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals. It has taken the lead in implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, accounting for over 70 percent of global poverty reduction. China has acted by the spirit of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and earnestly applied the universality of human rights in the Chinese context. It has blazed a path of human rights development that is consistent with the trend of the times and carries distinct Chinese features, thus making major contribution to human rights progress in China and the international human rights cause.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Comrades,

The trend of the world, vast and mighty, prospers those who follow it and perishes those who go against it. Over the last 50 years, for all the vicissitudes in the international landscape, the world has remained stable as a whole, thanks to the concerted efforts of people of all countries. The world economy has grown rapidly, and innovation in science and technology has kept breaking new ground. A large number of developing countries have grown stronger, over a billion people have walked out of poverty, and a population of several billion are moving toward modernization.

In the world today, changes unseen in a century are accelerating, and the force for peace, development and progress has continued to grow. It falls upon us to follow the prevailing trend of history, and choose cooperation over confrontation, openness over seclusion, and mutual benefit over zero-sum games. We shall be firm in opposing all forms of hegemony and power politics, as well as all forms of unilateralism and protectionism.

— We should vigorously advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and work together to provide the right guiding philosophy for building a better world. Peace and development are our common cause, equity and justice our common aspiration, and democracy and freedom our common pursuit. The world we live in is diverse and colorful. Diversity makes human civilization what it is, and provides a constant source of vitality and driving force for world development. As a Chinese saying goes, “Without achieving the good of one hundred various schools, the uniqueness of one individual cannot be achieved.” No civilization in the world is superior to others; every civilization is special and unique to its own region. Civilizations can achieve harmony only through communication, and can make progress only through harmonization. Whether a country’s path of development works is judged, first and foremost, by whether it fits the country’s conditions; whether it follows the development trend of the times; whether it brings about economic growth, social advancement, better livelihoods and social stability; whether it has the people’s endorsement and support; and whether it contributes to the progressive cause of humanity.

— We should jointly promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and work together to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. The human race is an integral community and Earth is our common homeland. No person or country can thrive in isolation. Humanity should overcome difficulties in solidarity and pursue common development in harmony. We should keep moving toward a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly create a better future. To build a community with a shared future for mankind is not to replace one system or civilization with another. Instead, it is about countries with different social systems, ideologies, histories, cultures and levels of development coming together for shared interests, shared rights and shared responsibilities in global affairs, and creating the greatest synergy for building a better world.

— We should stay committed to mutual benefit and win-win results, and work together to promote economic and social development for the greater benefit of our people. As ancient Chinese observed, “The essence of governance is livelihood; and the essence of livelihood is adequacy. Development and happy lives are the common aspirations of people in all countries. Development is meaningful only when it is for the people’s interest, and can sustain only when it is motivated by the people. Countries should put their people front and center, and strive to realize development with a higher level of quality, efficiency, equity, sustainability and security. It is important to resolve the problem of unbalanced and inadequate development, and make development more balanced, coordinated and inclusive. It is also important to strengthen the people’s capacity for development, foster a development environment where everyone takes part and has a share, and create a development paradigm where its outcome benefits every person in every country more directly and fairly. Not long ago, at the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, I proposed a Global Development Initiative with the hope that countries will work together to overcome impacts of COVID-19 on global development, accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build a global community of development with a shared future.

We should step up cooperation, and work together to address the various challenges and global issues facing humanity. The international community is confronted by regional disputes as well as global issues such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. Only with more inclusive global governance, more effective multilateral mechanisms and more active regional cooperation, can these issues be addressed effectively. Climate change is Nature’s alarm bell to humanity. Countries need to take concrete actions to protect Mother Nature. We need to encourage green recovery, green production and green consumption, promote a civilized and healthy lifestyle, foster harmony between man and Nature, and let a sound ecology and environment be the inexhaustible source of sustainable development.

We should resolutely uphold the authority and standing of the United Nations, and work together to practice true multilateralism. Building a community with a shared future for mankind requires a strong United Nations and reform and development of the global governance system. Countries should uphold the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. International rules can only be made by the 193 UN Member States together, and not decided by individual countries or blocs of countries. International rules should be observed by the 193 UN Member States, and there is and should be no exception. Countries should respect the United Nations, take good care of the UN family, refrain from exploiting the Organization, still less abandoning it at one’s will, and make sure that the United Nations plays an even more positive role in advancing humanity’s noble cause of peace and development. China will be happy to work with all countries under the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits to explore new ideas and new models of cooperation and keep enriching the practice of multilateralism under new circumstances.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Comrades,

A review of the past can light the way forward. Standing at a new historical starting point, China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development and always be a builder of world peace. China will stay committed to the path of reform and opening-up and always be a contributor to global development. China will stay committed to the path of multilateralism and always be a defender of the international order.

As an ancient Chinese poem reads, “Green hills immerse in the same cloud and rain. The same moon lights up towns however far away.” Let us join hands, stand on the right side of history and the side of human progress, and work tirelessly for the lasting and peaceful development of the world and for building a community with a shared future for mankind!

Thank you.

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-10/25/c_1310267311.htm

………………………

To my great surprise, Xi Jinping did not say one word about Taiwan, but sketched out the past as a harbinger of the future while cementing the legal status of China, which is not the legal status of Taiwan.  I guess he feels that the contretemps with Taiwan is not important enough.

On the speeches, we may say that those are lofty ideals. But we also see practical and real interaction between China and Russia. The two countries just completed a first joint naval patrol in waters of the West Pacific,  between October 17th to the 23rd, according to the Chinese Ministry of Defense. The patrol was held right after China and Russia wrapped up a joint naval exercise in the Sea of Japan from October 14th to 17th.

5 Chinese vessels and 5 Russian destroyers and frigates accompanied by six carrier-based helicopters made passage through the Tsugaru Strait (which caused Japan to run for the Prozac). Yet this Strait is not territorial waters, and warships from any country have the right to transit, which means the transit of the Chinese and Russian vessels was in line with international law. The Tsugaru Strait is narrow, only 12 miles wide at its narrowest point from the Sea of Japan to the Pacific Ocean.  This RT link has the photography and videos:  https://www.rt.com/news/538265-russia-china-pacific-patrol/

What is also very interesting is that it is said that the sea lane between these two islands is specifically maintained for quick access of US submarines to the Pacific Ocean.  A Chinese expert opined as follows:

Encircling Japan, particularly sailing to the east side of Japan, is of significance because many key military installations are located on that side, including the US Navy base in Yokosuka, a Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times.

Many US military provocations on China in places like the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea were launched from these bases, the expert said, noting that the joint patrol by Chinese and Russian vessels could be seen as a warning to the US and Japan, which have been rallying up to confront China and Russia, serves the goals of US hegemony, and undermines regional peace and stability.

“The joint maritime patrol is aimed at further developing the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era, elevating the joint action capabilities of both nations and jointly maintaining international and regional strategic stability. It’s a part of the annual cooperation plan between the two nations …”

In bold are the most important words, and this is not a lofty ideal, but a very hard challenge to the western power and of course Japan. Also, if one looks at that area with a strategic eye, it breaks up the supposed ‘ring of fire’ to keep China contained. In addition, it is also a warning for Japan, which has been dragging its feet to come to an agreement with Russia on islands further North in the island chain.

So, we have to ask, was this a threat? No, not at all on the surface of it, but it was a stark reminder that the so-called freedom of navigation game that has been constant in the South China Sea and the Straight of Taiwan can be played by more than one player.

It is also notable that from 2019, air forces from China and Russia have conducted annual joint strategic air patrols over the East China Sea and Sea of Japan. We are now seeing very visibly one of the aspects of the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era.

Did you see that? Did you see the evolution of the Russia / China treaty of Good Neighborliness to the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership?

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/chinese-russian-warships-still-circling-japan-counterweight-us-destabilization-region

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1237083.shtml

——————

As is usual, we look at a few of the China data points and I want to remind that you the Chinese governance is always refining, always testing, and prototyping new methods and systems across the spectrum of modern life, and always this is done on a grassroots level.

China is in trouble, clapped-out economically, and is going to bring the west down with it, is the message that we see with monotonous regularity.  The reality is different.   Chinese GDP expanded a whopping 9.8% in the first three quarters of 2021, and major indicators are within a reasonable range.

Evergrande – caused by poor management and that is all and the Chinese government will both let them burn, and also make them take responsibility to Chinese people first.  There will be no monopolies or other behemoth-type business structures in China that can challenge the state.  The Chinese people come first.   https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3152530/china-evergrande-crisis-caused-poor-management-exception?utm_source=rss_feed

(Evergrande has no option but to resume work and they did so today on 10 projects.  There is no quick bankruptcy for them, and certainly no bail-out).

Chinese banks have foreign-currency deposits of $1 trillion for the first time, an opportunity for Beijing to liberalize the country’s capital account. A resilient economy and strengthening currency have attracted record foreign purchases of bonds and stocks while surging demand for goods meant exporters brought back more dollars. The pace of the influx has tested the authorities’ tolerance for a strengthening yuan, with the currency now near a five-year high against a basket of its peers.

Exports grew 20% in September, up from 15.7% in August. September’s gain was higher than the median estimate of 13.3% in a Bloomberg survey of economists. Growth in imports slowed to 11% in September from 23.1% in the previous month.

China-Korea semiconductor industrial complex starts construction amid Beijing’s push for tech self-reliance. The municipal government of Wuxi and memory chip giant SK Hynix have teamed up to develop the China-Korea Integrated Circuit Industrial Park. The city is expected to become home to 19 new semiconductor-related projects with a combined investment of US$4.7 billion.

A Chinese herbal formula for coronavirus patients is undergoing clinical trials in the US for possible approval for people with mild-to-moderate symptoms of the disease. Qingfei Paidu, most commonly called QFPD, is a 21-herb formula whose name literally means lung cleansing and detoxification.

China, which pioneered controlling Covid-19 with lockdown orders and tight border rules, will  “wait and see” about adjusting its zero-tolerance policy. “We are discussing about the new strategy in China … everything is dynamic. We are ready for any possible reassessment”.  (Please do not consider this comment and the previous as an open sesame to start discussing Covid on the Saker Blog.  You all know the blog policy).

Between 1985 – 2019, the average height of a 19-year-old Chinese increased 3.5 inches, or 9 cm, supporting President Xi Jinping’s declaration in July that the country had achieved its goal of establishing a “moderately prosperous society” in time for the Party’s centenary.  This is a result of a relentless project to bring the Chinese people out of abject poverty.

An important question in auto showrooms: Can I sing karaoke in this car? The only acceptable answer is yes, as Nio and XPeng know well. Western rivals are scrambling, “We’ve identified this as a challenge,” said BMW’s Christoph Grote, “Chinese consumers are the most demanding when it comes to digital technology in the car.”

The dreaded Social Credit System which is abhorred in the West by most that do not have an idea what it is about: China’s social credit system is more of a bureaucratic interface for existing legal and regulatory systems than the widespread Western perception of a dystopian algorithm that uses “big-data collection and analysis to monitor, shape, and rate individual’s behavior”. Social credit includes new enforcement mechanisms but is an extension of the law rather than an independent rule-making authority, and all data collection and penalties require a legal basis.

This was mentioned before but as a reminder. When the Chinese students started being hunted and haunted specifically in the US, all the major universities opened campuses in China (they could not afford to lose the Chinese money). For Harvard, it did not take too long to become part of the propaganda war on China and they are moving their Chinese language program from Beijing to National Taiwan University, replacing a partnership with Beijing Language and Culture University. Harvard’s Jennifer Liu said the decision was made because of a perceived lack of friendliness from the host institution, Beijing Language and Culture University (BLCU).

This gives a taste of what is happening in China and now we need to give the regular shout-out to Godfree Roberts’ Here Comes China newsletter that supplies these data points. Subscribe here – it is worth it!: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

—————–

In the next few China Sitreps, I will post a selection of documentaries and information on those aspects of China’s history that remain western talking points, whether correct or not. This is Tibet, Tiananmen, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and the border skirmishes with India as a shortlist. Today we start with Tibet.

Tibet – if you have the romantic western mindset about Tibet, let’s revise that. Your knowledge most certainly comes from a book, movies, and a whole Shangri-La industry spawned in the wake.

Tibet was a dramatically brutal theocratic serfdom and never-ending debt peonage. Under the Dalai Lama in Tibet before China’s takeover:

  • 98% of the population were serfs or slaves or kept in debt peonage.
  • Disobedient serfs endured torture
  • The 14th Dalai Lama’s family owned 6,000 serfs
  • 95% of the population were illiterate
  • In 2015: 0.52% were illiterate
  • And in 2020: extreme poverty was eliminated in Tibet

From this documentary, you will learn that Tibetan Buddhism was not the sweet, and romantic Buddhist religion based on peace and high ideals and spinning colorful prayer wheels and praying in monasteries. It was based on the Indian Caste System where an extreme minority controlled the vast majority and kept them in abject poverty.

You will also learn why, on the death of a Dalai Lama (meaning God on earth), the successor, the soul boy was always found and appointed from a very poor family, in order to avoid any power struggles between the very few rich families.  The connection with the Roman Catholic Pope will astound you. And then you will see brutal sights of religious and shamanic powers whipped into inhumane forces. You will learn that Dalai Lamas regularly fled Tibet, sometimes to flee British Forces.

Tibet was the first lever that was used by at that time British forces, and this lever was seamlessly taken over by the rest of the west, to break up China, even after some territory had to be given to Japan and some even to Korea. You will learn how the Brits just simply carved out pieces of Chinese land from the Indian side. This effort to break up China is still in full swing today, by the current hegemon in its frenzied dying attempts to own the whole world using weapons, war, lawfare, internal destabilization, the appointment of external presidents, propaganda, kidnapping of high officials, outright assassinations, drugs, biological substances, and poison. Of course from the 1950s, CIA involvement around Tibet is well documented even to training ethnic Tibetans in Colorado for a planned Tibetan revolution.

You will also see one of the reasons why China will not let itself be hegemonized today, specifically with its history of never fighting a war of conquest in its 4,000 years of existence. The population stands firm and resolute. Never aired footage in the west will have you take part in the joy when religions serfdom and debt peonage was abolished in 1959 and the Tibetan Religious Serfs could burn their debt peonage documents.

If your stance in life is ‘Free Tibet’, which mine was, once upon a time before I did my homework, consider if you were romanticized by the CIA and a novel called Lost Horizon (1933) by English writer James Hilton. Two movies followed (Frank Capra directing one), a Broadway play, and the world’s first mass-produced paperback, all called Lost Horizon, set in a fictional utopian lamasery called Shangri-La, high in the mountains of Tibet. ‘Free Tibet’ for you may just be based on the fiction of Shangri-La.

Secret Deployment of US Troops to Taiwan — The Stephen Lendman Blog

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported the following: US troops have been “secretly training” Taiwanese forces “for at least a year,” adding: A “special-operations unit and contingent of marines” are involved, citing unnamed US officials. Claiming they number “two dozen (along with) support troops” may way understate the extent of Pentagon ties to Taiwan’s […]

Secret Deployment of US Troops to Taiwan — The Stephen Lendman Blog

Europa Scorned and Forsaken

October 8, 2021

By Alastair Crooke

Source

alia however, was a centrepiece to Paris’s strategy for European ‘strategic autonomy’. Macron believed France and the EU had established a position of lasting influence in the heart of the Indo-Pacific. Better still, it had out-manoeuvred Britain, and broken into the Anglophone world of the Five Eyes to become a privileged defence partner of Australia. Biden dissed that. And Commission President von der Leyen told CNN that there could not be “business as usual” after the EU was blindsided by AUKUS.

One factor for the UK being chosen as the ‘Indo-Pacific partner’ very probably was Trump’s successful suasion with ‘Bojo’ Johnson to abandon the Cameron-Osborne outreach to China; whereas the big three EU powers were perceived in the US security world as ambivalent towards China, at best. The UK really did cut links. The grease finally was Brexit, which opened the window for strategic options – which otherwise would have been impossible to the UK.

There may be a heavy price to pay though further down the line – the US security establishment are really pushing the Taiwan ‘envelope’ to the limit (possibly to weaken the CCP). It is extremely high risk. China may decide ‘enough is enough’, and crush the AUKUS maritime venture, which it can do.

The second ‘leg’ to this global inflection point – also triggered around the Afghan pivot into the Russo-Chines axis – was the SCO summit last month. A memorandum of understanding was approved that would tie together China’s Belt and Road Initiative to the Eurasian Economic Community, within the overall structure of the SCO, whilst adding a deeper military dimension to the expanded SCO structure.

Significantly, President Xi spoke separately to members of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (of which China is not a part), to outline its prospective military integration too, into the SCO military structures. Iran was made a full member, and it and Pakistan (already a member), were elevated into prime Eurasian roles. In sum, all Eurasian integration paths combined into a new trade, resource – and military block. It represents an evolving big-power, security architecture covering some 57% of the world’s population.

Having lifted Iran into full membership – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt may also become SCO dialogue partners. This augurs well for a wider architecture that may subsume more of the Middle East. Already, Turkey after President Erdogan’s summit with President Putin at Sochi last week, gave clear indications of drifting towards Russia’s military complex – with major orders for Russian weaponry. Erdogan made clear in an interview with the US media that this included a further S400 air defence system, which almost certainly will result in American CAATSA sanctions on Turkey.

All of this faces the EU with a dilemma: Allies who cheered Biden’s ‘America is back’ slogan in January have found, eight months later, that ‘America First’ never went away. But rather, Biden paradoxically is delivering on the Trump agenda (continuity again!) – a truncated NATO (Trump mooted quitting it), and the possible US shunning of Germany as some candidate coalition partners edge toward exiting from the nuclear umbrella. The SPD still pays lip service to NATO, but the party is opposed to the 2% defence spending target (on which both Biden and Trump have insisted). Biden also delivered on the Afghanistan withdrawal.

Europeans may feel betrayed (though when has US policy ever been other than ‘America First’? It’s just the pretence which is gone). European grander aspirations at the global plane have been rudely disparaged by Washington. The Russia-China axis is in the driving seat in Central Asia – with its influence seeping down to Turkey and into the Middle East. The latter commands the lions’ share of world minerals, population – and, in the CTSO sphere, has the region most hungry and ripe for economic development.

The point here however, is the EU’s ‘DNA’. The EU was a project originally midwifed by the CIA, and is by treaty, tied to the security interests of NATO (i.e. the US). From the outset, the EU was constellated as the soft-power arm of the Washington Consensus, and the Euro deliberately was made outlier to the dollar sphere, to preclude competition with it (in line with the Washington Consensus doctrine). In 2002, an EU functionary (Robert Cooper) could envisage Europe as a new ‘liberal imperialism’. The ‘new’ was that Europe eschewed hard military power, in favour of the ‘soft’ power of its ‘vision’. Of course, Cooper’s assertion of the need for a ‘new kind of imperialism’ was not as ‘cuddly’ liberal – as presented. He advocated for ‘a new age of empire’, in which Western powers no longer would have to follow international law in their dealings with ‘old fashioned’ states; could use military force independently of the United Nations; and impose protectorates to replace regimes which ‘misgovern’.

This may have sounded quite laudable to the Euro-élites initially, but this soft-power European Leviathan was wholly underpinned by the unstated – but essential – assumption that America ‘had Europe’s back’. The first intimation of the collapse of this necessary pillar was Trump who spoke of Europe as a ‘rival’. Now the US flight from Kabul, and the AUKUS deal, hatched behind Europe’s back, unmissably reveals that the US does not at all have Europe’s back.

This is no semantic point. It is central to the EU concept. As just one example: when Mario Draghi was recently parachuted onto Italy as PM, he wagged his finger at the assembled Italian political parties: “Italy would be pro-European and North Atlanticist too”, he instructed them. This no longer makes sense in the light of recent events. So what is Europe? What does it mean to be ‘European’? All that needs to be thought through.

Europe today is caught between a rock and a hard place. Does it possess the energy (and the humility) to look itself in the mirror, and re-position itself diplomatically? It would require altering its address to both Russia and China, in the light of a Realpolitik analysis of its interests and capabilities.

Sitrep: China. Is. Dead. Serious.

October 04, 2021

Escalation?  Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

By Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

China will not be conquered again, even if every last Chinese has to join the fight.

In the past four days, China has sent first 28, then 29 fighters and bombers near Taiwan. (Taiwan itself reports different numbers). Then, the US announced on Sunday that this is provocative. So, China called the statement irresponsible and sent a massive number of 59 fighters and bombers near Taiwan in a ‘take that!’ move.

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235639.shtml

But first, why would China militarily get involved in Taiwan, as it is their own territory under the 1992 Consensus for “one-China”? Taiwan is clearly China’s internal affair.  What are their red lines?

  • Taiwan declaring a flash independence (they cannot really because they are umbilically connected to the mainland)
  • Internal turmoil inside Taiwan as we saw in Hong Kong
  • Taiwan may make a non-legal military alliance with another country
  • And any violation of the 1992 consensus.

None of these conditions are currently present, but we will need expert advice on the 1992 consensus. I do not know de jure how close Taiwan is to that red line. De facto the Taiwan announcement that they are preparing for war is completely provocative.

Currently China is not threatening, she is using her air force to deliver very strong warnings that the conditions are approaching red lines.

Lets look at Global Times. Bear in mind that the Global Times is not a bullhorn for Chinese people. It is for the dissemination of information to western people. That is its function. 

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235638.shtml

The Take Aways are:

– Time to warn Taiwan secessionists and their fomenters: war is real:

“The secessionist forces on the island will never be allowed to secede Taiwan from China under whatever names or by whatever means, and, the island will not be allowed to act as an outpost of the US’ strategic containment against China. “

– “The strategic collusion between the US and Japan and the DPP authorities is becoming more audacious, and the situation across the Taiwan Straits has almost lost any room for maneuver teetering on the edge of a face-off, creating a sense of urgency that the war maybe triggered at any time.”

Sunday, further Global times writing appeared, by a GT voice, warning the EU (GT voice should indicate to us that this is unified among the Chinese people).

EU warned not to play with fire on Taiwan question. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202109/1235387.shtml

The Take Aways are:

– China will reconsider the European trade agreement.

“If the EU simply wants to develop normal economic and trade relations with the Taiwan island, its unusual emphasis on the latter’s role in its Indo-Pacific strategy should be viewed with suspicion. Some European politicians may think that playing the “Taiwan card” will draw more attention and could help pressure the mainland to make more concessions. But confusing the right and the wrong on China’s bottom line is a dead end.

The Chinese mainland’s position on the Taiwan question remains clear and resolute. All exchanges with the island must be handled in strict accordance with the one-China principle. They cannot exceed the scope of normal nonofficial cooperation and exchange.”

So, this is where we stand in this face-off and more analysis will follow.

October 05, 2021

Escalation? Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

by Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

Continuation of “Sitrep : China. Is. Dead. Serious.”

Let’s take a look at what China overcame in our near history.

  • The NED and similar organizations’ sponsored “Color Revolutions” in Hong Kong, Tibet, and Xinjiang all collapsed. We can also be sure that this escalation that we see now is not really about Taiwan. Taiwan is playing its role, like the dissidents in Hong Kong did.
  • The Trump Trade War collapsed and his focus on tariffs is now taking a tremendous toll on the US West Coast Ports.
  • The western propaganda war on China is collapsing because of the efforts of blogs like The Saker Blog and many others that took up writing about this.
  • The economic war is collapsing. For this, we have to follow Michael Hudson who details the butt-hurt Soros types who cannot make China dance to their tune. China has done massive work so that they do not have monopolies and internal destabilization by ‘too big to fail types’.
  • The return of Meng Wanzhou as a figure of national pride, which was a very delicate operation if one follows all of the plane routes during the sensitive exchange. Meng was exchanged for two worthless Canadian spies. There is another theory and this is that Canada tumbled to pay back the US for not including them in AUKUS.
  • The idea that the Chinese are not soldiers. They are that now because they have to be. * More about this following.

Let’s see what China gained in our near history

  • The pride, persistence, and trust of the citizens.
  • Major developments in space, like their own space station (slated to be a launching platform for? For what really? I do not know but the west has declared space a warfighting domain.) Most nations are welcome to come and hook up their own module, but the western world is not. This is a little payback for not allowing Chinese astronauts on the international space station.
  • A top US general, Milley, is so fearful of China that he called his counterpart in the late days of the Trump administration and told them that the US will not attack. (General Miley called to deliver a madman message–we have a madman at the helm and he may send nukes your way, so don’t do anything to give him an excuse. The poor general also had to deliver a contradicting message–at the same time, America is not falling apart; everything is hunky-dory and the well-oiled machine is running smoothly. ) (I know this has been taken out of perspective by almost everyone, but I am thankful, no matter that he may be a sniveling idiot. He did the rest of the world a favor).
  • China is in the process of destroying the dollar hegemony slowly but surely with Russia already having done its part and divesting from the dollar in their sovereign wealth fund. This deserves an analysis all by itself. Needless to say, China is launching its digital Renminbi, or Digital Currency Electronic Payment, commonly referred to as E-CNY, a central bank digital currency issued by China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China. It is the first digital currency to be issued by a major economy. The digital RMB is legal tender and has equivalent value with other forms of CNY, such as bills and coins.
  • The fight against a virus called Covid.
  • China is now exceeding the US in almost all economic metrics, although they still refer to themselves as the 2nd major economy.

And at this stage, China makes major military flights near Taiwan.

A few statements:

  • China has no interest in military action against Taiwan
  • Taiwan has no real desire for military action against China (it would be somewhat like swatting a fly for China and will be over in an hour whichever method China chooses).
  • Here is Taiwanese Foreign Minister warning that his country is preparing for war with China.  He asks Australia for help and Australia’s 60 minutes distributes the war propaganda.
  • https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-04/taiwan-preparing-for-war-with-china/100511294.
  • Is the US interested in a war against China over Taiwan? We simply do not know.

What do we know?

Taiwan is a smaller copy of the economic miracle of China and there is no question of its economic success and high tech ability. But China mainland purchases over 40% of Taiwan’s production in both high-tech and agricultural products.

By studying Taiwan’s financial reports, MintPress has ascertained that the semi-autonomous island of 23 million people has, in recent years, given out millions of dollars to many of the largest and most influential think tanks in the United States.

It is then easy to conclude that with this revolving door, the US decided that Taiwan is an easy ingress to their hope for regime change in China itself (stated publicly by Mike Pompeo) and the AUKUS deal started the new range of increased provocations: It looks like any of the old color revolution tactics or initiatives, just now with an added threat.

This one, could end up in a hot war with both Russia and China.

Taiwan will not have a referendum for independence, because independence is not a done deal for the Taiwanese people. The ruling class fears that such a referendum will not be successful. We all know the ‘call to democracy’ and we all know that this is invoked over and over by hegemonic powers to justify their own excesses. Well today, Taiwan’s Tsai is invoking ‘a call to democracy’ via an article in Foreign Affairs Magazine. China is not impressed as she knows as well as you and I, what that really means. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202110/1235658.shtml

China’s interest is peace and security in the region, which is now being called Indo-Pacific. Martyanov says this terminology is hegemon speak, and I’m inclined to agree with him. It used to be Asia Pacific. I so hope someone can draw me the borders (even a dash line) where the Indo pacific and the Asia Pacific exists. Wikipedia, instead of being obscurantist as usual, this time gives the plot away.

The term first appeared in academic use in oceanography and geopolitics. Scholarship has shown that the “Indo-Pacific” concept circulated in Weimar Germany, and spread to interwar Japan. German political oceanographers envisioned an “Indo-Pacific” comprising anticolonial India and republican China, as German allies, against “Euro-America”.[2] Since 2010s, the term “Indo-Pacific” has been increasingly used in geopolitical discourse. It also has “symbiotic link” with the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or “Quad”, an informal grouping of in the region, comprising Australia, Japan, India, and the United StatesIt has been argued that the concept may lead to a change in popular “mental maps” of how the world is understood in strategic terms. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pacific

Martyanov says that the US has clear dominance in submarine capability and he also says that escalation is something that is very hard to predict. Here we see escalation toward war, with the US using probably the only card that they have to play, trying to kick off an ocean-wide domination conflict on the shipping lanes of communications, with probably the only weapon that they have left, submarines to try and consolidate at least something of US economy and influence across the world. Right here the issue of escalation becomes complex. Russia will not stand out of this and what happens when the Zircons start flying? How soon until Japan, Australia and Taiwan are demolished? We will leave this here for professional analysts to opine.

With that as a backdrop, let’s return to China, specifically the general belief that the Chinese are not born soldiers. That is true, yet the difference is that they prefer to solve problems non-kinetically. (Which is 100% fine with me!) But, they have other abilities, one of which is that they do not give up. The Saker has often said that morale is the greatest weapon of a military force. In this case, I would add to that: preparedness. Again Martyanov said that this thinking on the dominance of sea-lanes is not new. Well, China knows that as well, and they have prepared.

Every school child and university student in China now goes through military training. For the school kids, it is part of the initiative by the Chinese leaders to relieve the school kids from absurd requirements for STEM learning and to get them outside to take part in healthy play and strengthen them physically.

Every city has a local militia and they are armed to the teeth and drill and practice continually. This alone is estimated at 1 million feet on the ground (from Chinese sources).

If kinetic action breaks out in their own backyard, they have the numbers and home team advantage.

Following are some comments from our China correspondents. I don’t have the necessary 2 sources plus another for these, but I put them here to give you an idea of the chat.

China is known to be able to set together production lines very quickly. In these comments, this one is comical and says that China is mass producing nuclear warheads like they crank out paper lanterns. The only thing on earth that is faster is the US money machine.

It may be a comical comment, but the underlying issue here is that the average Chinese person has no doubt that China will, and is able to build whatever is necessary, any war materiel of any kind, to withstand kinetic action.

Is this meaningful in discussing this escalation? I would say yes.

More comments:

If you think a war against China (and Russia – we have to call in Russia at this stage) will be a perpetual war, kindly think again. This is not a win or a lose – it is total destruction of the one that fires the first shot or shoots the first missile or positions the first submarine to destabilize sea-lanes.

This represents the average Chinese and their chat and it is not the type of barroom soldier chat. These are ordinary people.

China is a merit nation and very serious. One can expect precision and ruthlessness. You may want to believe that the Chinese are not born warriors or you may want to believe that they cannot innovate. You can believe what you want, but take a look at these comments:

They do not believe in surgical strikes should anyone attack them. They believe in pounding the source of the attack and whatever is around it, into oblivion. They have their own history as a template.

Btw, does this remind you of the Russians, who said that any strike on Russia will not only take out the strike, but also the platform where the strike comes from? The interaction between Russia and China militarily has grown tremendously as well, but again, this is another analysis.

I expect full-on military readiness as the Chinese military has been on a readiness footing for about a year now.

An outstanding question is how unified Asia is around China. Again we come up against Martyanov’s principle of escalation and this is really difficult to predict.

There is the old saying that goes like this: Do not march on Moscow!. We need to add one. Do not militarily threaten Baba Beijing!. It does not matter how for how long, they do not count their own possible dead, but they will stay the course.

Can we hope for level heads in Washington DC? Realism tells us that we have to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. China is doing that.

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