China and Russia Launch a ‘Global Resistance Economy’

Former British diplomat, founder and director of the Beirut-based Conflicts Forum.

Alastair Crooke

Apri l 5, 2021

The U.S. will ignore the message from Anchorage. It is already testing China over Taiwan, and is preparing an escalation in Ukraine, to test Russia.

Sun Tzu’s The Art of War (c. 500 BCE) advises that: “To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands; yet the opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself … Therefore the clever combatant imposes his will; and does not allow the enemy’s will to be imposed on him”. This is the essence of the Chinese resistance economy – a strategy which has been fully unveiled in the wake of the Anchorage talks; talks that silenced any lingering thoughts in Beijing that America might somehow find some modus vivendi with Beijing in its headlong pursuit of primacy over China.

Although earlier there had been tantalising glimpses of déshabillé, the full reveal to China’s tough stance and rhetoric has only been permitted now – post-Anchorage – and the talks’ confirmation that the U.S. intends to block China’s ascent.

If it is assumed that this ‘resistance’ initiative constitutes some tit-for-tat ‘jab’ at Washington – through sinking Biden’s Iran ambitions, as revenge for America loudly crying ‘war crimes’ (‘genocide’ in Xingjian) – then we miss wholly its full import. The scope of the Iran pact by far transcends trade and investment, as one commentator in the Chinese state media made plain: “As it stands, this deal (the Iran pact) will totally upend the prevailing geopolitical landscape in the West Asian region that has for so long been subject to U.S. hegemony”.

So here is the essence to ‘a clever combatant moving to impose his will’ – there is no need for China or Russia or Iran to go to war to do this; they just implement ‘it’. They can do ‘it’ – quite simply. They don’t need a revolution to do it, because they have no vested interest in fighting America.

What is ‘it’? It is not just a trade and investment pact with Tehran; neither is it simply allies helping each other. The ‘resistance’ lies precisely with the way they’re trying to help each other. It is a mode of economic development. It represents the notion that any rent-yielding resource – banking, land, natural resources and natural infrastructure monopolies – should be in the public domain to provide basic needs to everybody – freely.

The alternative way simply is to privatise these ‘public goods’ (as in the West), where they are provided at a financialized maximum cost – including interest rates, dividends, management fees, and corporate manipulations for financial gain.

‘It’ is then a truly different economic approach. To give one example: New York’s Second Avenue Subway extension cost $6 billion, or $2 billion per mile – the most expensive urban mass transit ever built. The average cost of underground subway lines outside the U.S. is $350 million a mile, or a sixth of New York’s cost.

How does this ‘it’ change everything? Well, just imagine for a moment: the biggest element in anyone’s budget today is housing at 40%, which simply reflects high house prices, based on a debt-fuelled market. Instead, imagine that proportion at 10% (as in China). Suppose too, you have low-cost public education. Well then, you are rid of education-led debt, and its interest cost. Suppose you have public healthcare, and low priced transport infrastructure. Then you would have the capacity to spend – It becomes a low-cost economy, and consequently it would grow.

Another example: The cost of hiring R&D staff in China is a third to half the comparable cost in the U.S., so China’s tech spend is closer to $1 trillion a year (in terms of purchasing power parity), whereas the U.S. spends just 0.6% of GDP, or about $130 billion, on federal R&D.

At one level therefore, this ‘it’ is a strategic challenge to the western eco-system. In one corner, the debt-driven, hyper-financialised, yet stagnant economies of Europe and the EU – in which strategic direction and economic ‘winners and losers’ are set by the Big Oligarchs, and in which the 60% struggle, and 0.1% thrive. And, in the far corner, a very mixed economy in which the Party sets a strategic course for state enterprises, whilst others are encouraged to innovate, and to be entrepreneurial in the mould of a state-directed economy (albeit, with Taoist and Confucian characteristics).

Socialism versus capitalism? No, it is a long time since the U.S. was a capitalist economy; it’s hardly even a market economy today. It has become, more and more, a rentier economy since leaving the gold standard (in 1971). This forced U.S. exit from the ‘gold window’ facilitated the U.S. via the resultant global demand for U.S. debt instruments, (Treasury bonds), to finance itself for free (from out of the entire world’s economic surplus). The Washington Consensus ensured additionally that the inflows of dollars to Wall Street from around the globe would never be subject capital controls, nor would states be able to create their own currency, but would have to borrow in dollars from the World Bank and the IMF.

And that essentially meant borrowing from the Pentagon and the State Department in U.S. dollars, who ultimately were the system ‘enforcers’, as Professor Hudson notes. The shift in the U.S. financial system to being an entity that that prioritises ‘real’ assets, such as mortgages and real estate that offer a certain ‘rent’, rather than to invest directly in speculative business ventures, also means that debt jubilees are verboten. (The Greeks can recount the experience of what that entails, in grim detail).

The point is that – at the economic plane – the U.S., hyper-financialised sphere is fast shrinking, as China, Russia and much of the ‘World Island’ turn to trading in their own currencies (and do not buy U.S. Treasuries). In a ‘war’ of economic systems, America therefore starts on the back foot.

Halford Mackinder argued a century ago that control of the ‘Heartland’, which stretched from the Volga to the Yangtze, would control the ‘World Island’, which was his term for all Europe, Asia and Africa. Over a century later, Mackinder’s theory resonates as the two leading nations behind the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) transform this into a system of inter-relations from one Eurasian end to another. It is not so new, of course. It is simply the revival of the ancient trade-based economy of the Eurasian heartland, which finally was collapsed in the 17th century.

Alastair Macleod notes that commentators usually fail to understand ‘why’ this flourishing in West Asia is happening: “It is not due to military superiority, but down to simple economics. While the U.S. economy suffers a post-lockdown inflationary outcome and an existential crisis for the dollar – China’s economy will boom on the back of increasing domestic consumption … and increasing exports, the consequence of America’s stimulation of consumer demand and a soaring budget deficit”.

There, explicitly said, is Sun Tzu’s point! “Opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself”. There is in Washington (and to an extent in Europe too), a faction entertaining a pathological emotional desire for war with Russia, largely stemming from a conviction that the Tzars (and later Stalin), were anti-Semitic. Their emotion is one of hatred and anger, yet it is they who largely are responsible for bringing Russia and China together. This, and America’s proclivity to sanction the world, has given China and Russia their opportunity.

The underlying point however, is that – even for the EU – the Rimland periphery is less important than Mackinder’s World Island. There was a time when British and then American primacy outweighed its importance – but this may no longer be true. What is actualising here is the greatest challenge yet mounted to American economic power and technological supremacy.

Yet this economic Realpolitik is but half the story to China and Russia’s launch of a ‘global resistance economy’. It has a parallel geo-political frame, too.

It is to this latter aspect, most probably, that the Chinese official referred when he said that the Iran deal would “totally upend the prevailing geopolitical landscape in the West Asian region that has for so long been subject to U.S. hegemony”. Note that he did not say that it would upend Iran’s relations with U.S. or Europe – he said the whole region. He implied too, that China’s initiatives would free West Asia from American hegemony. How so?

In an interview last week, FM Wang Yi outlined Beijing’s approach to the West Asian region:

“The Middle East was a highland of brilliant civilizations in human history. Yet, due to protracted conflicts and turmoil in the more recent history, the region descended into a security lowland … For the region to emerge from chaos and enjoy stability, it must break free from the shadows of big-power geopolitical rivalry, and independently explore development paths suited to its regional realities. It must stay impervious to external pressure and interference, and follow an inclusive and reconciliatory approach to build a security architecture that accommodates the legitimate concerns of all sides … Against this backdrop, China wishes to propose a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East:

“Firstly, advocating mutual respect … Both sides should uphold the international norm of non-interference in others’ internal affairs … it is particularly important for China and Arab states to stand together against slandering, defamation, interference and pressurizing in the name of human rights … [the EU should take note]

“Second, upholding equity and justice, opposing unilateralism, and defending international justice … China will encourage the Security Council to fully deliberate on the question of Palestine to reaffirm the two-state solution … We should uphold the UN-centred international system, as well as the international order underpinned by international law – and jointly promote a new type of international relations. We should share governance experience … and oppose arrogance and prejudice.

“Third, achieving non-proliferation … Parties need to … discuss and formulate the roadmap and timeframe for the United States and Iran to resume compliance with the JCPOA. The pressing task is for the U.S. to take substantive measures to lift its unilateral sanctions on Iran, and long-arm jurisdiction on third parties, and for Iran to resume reciprocal compliance with its nuclear commitments. At the same time, the international community should support efforts by regional countries in establishing a Middle East zone free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

“Fourth, jointly fostering collective security … We propose holding in China a multilateral dialogue conference for regional security in the Gulf (Persian Gulf) …

“And fifthly, accelerating development cooperation …”.

Well, China has spectacularly made its entrance in the Middle East, and is challenging the U.S. with a resistance agenda. FM Wang, when he met with Ali Larijani, special adviser to the Supreme Leader Khamenei, framed it all in a single sentence: “Iran decides independently on its relations with other countries, and is not like some countries that change their position with one phone call”. This single comment encapsulates the new ‘wolf warrior’ ethos: states should stick with their autonomy and sovereignty. China is advocating a sovereigntist multilateralism to shake off “the western yoke”.

Wang did not confine this political message to Iran. He had just said the same in Saudi Arabia, before arriving in Tehran. It was well received in Riyadh. In economic development terms, China earlier had linked Turkey and Pakistan into the ‘corridor’ plan – and now Iran.

How will the U.S. react? It will ignore the message from Anchorage. It will likely press on. It is already testing China over Taiwan, and is preparing an escalation in Ukraine, to test Russia.

For the EU, the Chinese entry into global politics is more problematic. It was trying to leverage its own ‘strategic autonomy’ by erecting European values as the gateway to inclusion into its market and trade partnership. China effectively is telling the world to reject any such hegemonic imposition of alien values and rights.

The EU is stranded in the midst. Unlike the U.S., it is precluded from printing the money with which to resurrect its virus-blighted economy. It desperately needs trade and investment. Its biggest trading partner, and its tech well-spring, however, has just told the EU (as the U.S.), to give up on its moralising discourse. At the same time, Europe’s ‘security partner’ has just demanded the opposite – that the EU strengthens it. What’s to be done? Sit back, and watch … (with fingers crossed that no one does something extremely stupid).

Sino-US Dialogue in Alaska: Outcomes.

Sino-US Dialogue in Alaska: Outcomes.

March 23, 2021

by Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

The first direct, high-level dialogue, under Joe Biden Administration, was held on 18-189 March 2021 in Anchorage, Alaska, USA. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Chinese Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the dialogue.

After welcoming the Chinese guests, Secretary of state Mr. Blinken accused China of many issues, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong, Taiwan, cyberattacks on the United States, and economic coercion toward our allies. Each of these actions threatens the rules-based order that maintains global stability.

Director Yang responded that “What China and the international community follow or uphold is the United Nations-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, not what is advocated by a small number of countries of the so-called rules-based international order. And the United States has its style — United States-style democracy –and China has the Chinese-style democracy. It is not just up to the American people, but also the people of the World, to evaluate how the United States has advanced its own democracy. After decades of reform and opening up in China’s case, we have come a long way in various fields. In particular, we have engaged in tireless efforts to contribute to the peace and development of the World and to upholding the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter.”

“The wars in this World are launched by some other countries, which have resulted in massive casualties. But for China, what we have asked for, for other countries, is to follow a path of peaceful development, which is the purpose of our foreign policy. We do not believe in invading through the use of force, in toppling other regimes through various means, or massacring other countries’ people because all of those would only cause turmoil and instability in this World. And at the end of the day, all of those would not serve the United States well. So we believe that it is important for the United States to change its own image and stop advancing its own democracy in the rest of the World. Many people within the United States actually have little confidence in the democracy of the United States, and they have various views regarding the government of the United States. In China, according to opinion polls, China’s leaders have the wide support of the Chinese people. So no attempt to — the opinion polls conducted in the United States show that China’s leaders have the support of the Chinese people. No attempt to smear China’s social system would get anywhere. Facts have shown that such practices would only lead the Chinese people to rally more closely around the Communist Party of China and work steadily towards the goals that we have set for ourselves.”

“Xinjiang, Tibet, and Taiwan are an inalienable part of China’s territory. China is firmly opposed to U.S. interference in China’s internal affairs. We have expressed our staunch opposition to such interference, and we will take firm actions in response. On human rights, we hope that the United States will do better on human rights. China has made steady progress in human rights, and the fact is that there are many problems within the United States regarding human rights, which is admitted by the U.S. itself as well. The United States has also said that countries can’t rely on force in today’s World to resolve the challenges we face. And it is a failure to use various means to topple the so-called authoritarian states. And the challenges facing the United States in human rights are deep-seated. They did not just emerge over the past four years, such as Black Lives Matter. It did not come up only recently. So we do hope that for our two countries, it’s important that we manage our respective affairs well instead of deflecting the blame on somebody else in this World. We’ve had a confrontation in the past, and the result did not serve the United States well. China will pull through and has pulled through such confrontation.”

Outcomes:

China availing this opportunity has conveyed that China will not accept U.S. supremacy and will not accept dictation. China will not allow any country to interfere in its domestic issues. Generally speaking, the Chinese are well-mannered, polite, submissive, and friendly people. It seems that the U.S. has crossed all the limits where China have to take a firm and blunt stand and express their point of view so clearly. It is up to the U.S. administration to analyze the Chinese response and do their homework before meeting them again.

The World has conceived well that the U.S. can not sustain its hegemony anymore. It is no longer a unipolar world, and the U.S. is no longer a unique superpower. The U.S. needs to understand the emerging geopolitics and have to accept realities. It might need to share power with other rising nations and respect them. The U.S. must keep in mind the existence of other emerging nations’ potential while making any decision.

It is an established fact that the U.S., after enjoying the global leadership role for seven decades, may not sustain this status anymore. The U.S. is on the decline and, with every passing day, may decline further. Whereas China is a rising power and, with the passage of each day, may grow further. The time is on the Chinese side. If Americans are wise, they might give up confronting China and extend cooperation to be the beneficiary of Chinse rise. There exists enormous goodwill about America among the general public in China.

The American claim of promoting democracy and the law-based rule is no more trusted as the Americans are a supporter of all dictators in the oil-rich Gulf countries in the Middle-East. The U.S. was behind the toppling of the democratically elected legitimate Government of Mr. Adil Morsey in Egypt. Again, it was the U.S. who was among the first nations to support the dictator General Sissi in Egypt. American history is full of supporting dictators around the globe. Regarding law-based rule, it is just a joke. It was the U.S. that destroyed Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, etc.

Under the Trump Administration, America was deteriorated in respect of human rights violations, hate among various ethnicities in America. And official discriminatory laws were introduced against Muslims; immigration laws were biased. The pandemic was mismanaged, the economy was collapsed. President Trump harmed America so severely that it might take several decades to recover such losses. President Trump has offended some of his close allies too.

President Joe Biden’s remarks about President Putin were misconceived and may spoil the geopolitics further. More tensions between Russia and the U.S. are predictable visibly. It may cement China-Russia relations further.

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

For Leviathan, it’s so cold in Alaska

For Leviathan, it’s so cold in Alaska

March 18, 2021

Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi will seek to make shark’s fin soup out of Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan at the Anchorage summit

By Pepe Escobar with permission and first posted at Asia Times.

Leviathan seems to be positioning itself for a geopolitical Kill Bill rampage – yet brandishing a rusty samurai high-carbon-steel sword.

Predictably, US deep state masters have not factored in that they could eventually be neutralized by a geopolitical Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

In a searing, concise essay, Alastair Crooke pointed to the heart of the matter. These are the two key insights – including a nifty Orwellian allusion:

1. “Once control over the justifying myth of America was lost, the mask was off.”

2. “The US thinks to lead the maritime and rimland powers in imposing a searing psychological, technological and economic defeat on the Russia-China-Iran alliance. In the past, the outcome might have been predictable. This time Eurasia may very well stand solid against a weakened Oceania (and a faint-hearted Europe).”

And that brings us to two interconnected summits: the Quad and the China-US 2+2 in Alaska.

The virtual Quad last Friday came and went like a drifting cloud. When you had India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the Quad is “a force for global good,” no wonder rows of eyebrows across the Global South were raised.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi remarked last year that the Quad was part of a drive to create an “Asian NATO.”

It is. But the hegemon, lording over India, Japan and Australia, mustn’t spell it out. Thus the vague rhetoric about “free and open Indo-Pacific,” “democratic values,” “territorial integrity” – all code to characterize containment of China, especially in the South China Sea.

The exceptionalist wet dream – routinely expressed in US Thinktankland – is to position an array of missiles in the first island chain, pointing towards China like a weaponized porcupine. Beijing is very much aware of it.

Apart from a meek joint statement, the Quad promised to deliver 1 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccines throughout the “Indo-Pacific” by the end of… 2022.

The vaccine would be produced by India and financed by the US and Japan, with the logistics of distribution coming from Australia.

That was predictably billed as “countering China’s influence in the region.” Too little, too late. The bottom line is: The hegemon is furious because China’s vaccine diplomacy is a huge success – not only across Asia but all across the Global South.

This ain’t no ‘strategic dialogue’

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken is a mere apparatchik who was an enthusiastic cheerleader for shock and awe against Iraq 18 years ago, in 2003. At the time he was staff director for the Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, then chaired by Senator Joe Biden.

Now Blinken is running US foreign policy for a senile cardboard entity who mutters, live, on camera, “I’ll do whatever you want me to do, Nance” – as in Nancy Pelosi; and who characterizes the Russian president as “a killer,” “without a soul,” who will “pay a price.”

Paraphrasing Pulp Fiction: “Diplomacy’s dead, baby. Diplomacy’s dead.”

With that in mind, there’s little doubt that the formidable Yang Jiechi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, side by side with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, will make shark’s fin soup out of their interlocutors Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan at the 2+2 summit in Anchorage, Alaska.

Only two days before the start of the Two Sessions in Beijing, Blinken proclaimed that China is the “biggest geopolitical challenge of the 21st century.”

According to Blinken, China is the “only country with the economic, diplomatic, military and technological power to seriously challenge the stable and open international system – all the rules, values and relationships that make the world work the way we want it to, because it ultimately serves the interests and reflects the values of the American people.”

So Blinken tacitly admits what really matters is how the world works “the way we want it to” – “we” being the hegemon, which made those rules in the first place. And those rules serve the interests and reflect the values of the American people. As in: It’s our way or the highway.

Blinken could be excused because he’s just a wide-eyed novice on the big stage. But it gets way more embarrassing.

Here’s his foreign policy in a nutshell (“his” because the hologram at the White House needs 24/7 instructions in his earpiece to even know what time it is):

Sanctions, sanctions everywhere; Cold War 2.0 against Russia and “killer” Putin; China guilty of “genocide” in Xinjiang; a notorious apartheid state getting a free pass to do anything; Iran must blink first or there’s no return to the JCPOA; Random Guaido recognized as President of Venezuela, with regime change still the priority.

There’s a curious kabuki in play here. Following the proverbial revolving door logic in DC, before literally crossing the street to have full access to the White House, Blinken was a founding partner of WestExec Advisorswhose main line of business is to offer “geopolitical and policy expertise” to American multinationals, the overwhelming majority of which are interested in – where else – China.

So Alaska might point to some measure of trade-off on trade. The problem, though, seems insurmountable. Beijing does not want to eschew the profitable American market, while for Washington expansion of Chinese technology across the West is anathema.

Blinken himself pre-empted Alaska, saying this is no “strategic dialogue.” So we’re back to bolstering the Indo-Pacific racket; recriminations about the “loss of freedom” in Hong Kong – whose role of US/UK Fifth Column is now definitely over; Tibet; and the “invasion” of Taiwan, now on spin overdrive, with the Pentagon stating it is “probable” before 2027.

“Strategic dialogue” it ain’t.

A junkie on a bum trip

Wang Yi, at a press conference linked to the 13th National People’s Congress and the announcement of the next Five-Year Plan, said: “We will set an example of strategic mutual trust, by firmly supporting each other in upholding core and major interests, jointly opposing ‘color revolution’ and countering disinformation, and safeguarding national sovereignty and political security.”

That’s a sharp contrast with the post-truth “highly likely” school of spin privileged by (failed) Russiagate peddlers and assorted Sinophobes.

Top Chinese scholar Wang Jisi, who used to be close to the late Ezra Vogel, author of arguably the best Deng Xiaoping biography in English, has introduced an extra measure of sanity, recalling Vogel’s emphasis on the necessity of US and East Asia understanding each other’s culture.

According to Wang Jisi, “In my own experiences, I find one difference between the two countries most illuminating. We in China like the idea of “seeking common ground while reserving our differences.” We state that the common interests between our two countries far exceed our differences. We define common ground by a set of principles like mutual respect and cooperation. Americans, in contrast, tend to focus on hard issues like tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea. It looks that the Chinese want to set up principles before trying to solve specific problems, but the Americans are eager to deal with problems before they are ready to improve the relationship.”

The real problem is that the hegemon seems congenitally incapable of trying to understand the Other. It always harks back to that notorious formulation by Zbigniew Brzezinski, with trademark imperial arrogance, in his 1997 magnum opus The Grand Chessboard:

“To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”

Dr Zbig was referring, of course, to Eurasia. “Security dependence among vassals” applied mostly to Germany and Japan, key hubs in the Rimland.  “Tributaries pliant and protected” applied mostly to the Middle East.

And crucially, “keep the barbarians from coming together” applied to Russia, China and Iran. That was Pax Americana in a nutshell. And that’s what’s totally unraveling now.

Hence the Kill Bill logic. It goes back a long way. Less than two months after the collapse of the USSR, the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance preached total global dominance and, following Dr Zbig, the absolute imperative of preventing the emergence of any future peer competitor.

Especially Russia, defined as “the only power in the world with the capacity of destroying the United States.”

Then, in 2002, at the start of the “axis of evil” era, came the full spectrum dominance doctrine as the bedrock of the US National Security Strategy. Domination, domination everywhere: terrestrial, aerial, maritime, subterranean, cosmic, psychological, biological, cyber-technological.

And, not by accident, the Indo-Pacific strategy – which guides the Quad – is all about “how to maintain US strategic primacy.”

This mindset is what enables US Think Tankland to formulate risible “analyses” in which the only “win” for the US imperatively requires a failed Chinese “regime.”

After all, Leviathan is congenitally incapable of accepting a “win-win”; it only runs on “zero-sum,” based on divide and rule.

And that’s what’s leading the Russia-China strategic partnership to progressively establish a wide-ranging, comprehensive security environment, spanning everything from high-tech weaponry to banking and finance, energy supplies and the flow of information.

To evoke yet another pop culture gem, a discombobulated Leviathan now is like Caroline, the junkie depicted in Lou Reed’s Berlin:

But she’s not afraid to die / All of her friends call her Alaska / When she takes speed / They laugh and ask her / What is in her mind / What is in her mind / She put her fist through the window pane / It was such a / funny feeling / It’s so cold / in Alaska.

Chinese Foreign Policy Outlook

Chinese Foreign Policy Outlook

March 13, 2021

By Zamir Awan for the Saker Blog

China achieved miraculous progress during the last four decades, which were never seen in humankind’s known history. There must be many reasons for its rapid developments, but its foreign policy was one of the significant reasons. In simple words, China opted for a reconciliation policy and avoided any confrontation with any other nation or country. It helped China to focus only on developments and achieved the desired results.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed outlooks of Chinese foreign policy and answered questions about the country’s foreign policy and external relations at a virtual press conference on Sunday during the fourth session of the 13th National People’s Congress, China’s top legislature. Some of the highlights are given below:-

Pandemic

Through innovative “cloud diplomacy,” President Xi Jinping has championed solidarity in the world’s fight against COVID-19 and pointed the way forward for the international community to jointly fight the virus.

China will continue working with other countries in ongoing efforts to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic ultimately. Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, China has carried out its most extensive emergency humanitarian action, contributing to the world’s anti-coronavirus efforts.

On China-Russia relations

In the face of the once-in-a-century pandemic, China and Russia have stood shoulder to shoulder and worked closely to combat “both the coronavirus and the political virus.”

China and Russia should be each other’s strategic support, development opportunity, and global partner. It is both an experience gained from history and an imperative under the current circumstances.

On CPC leadership

Facts have proved that the Communist Party of China’s leadership is the most prominent political advantage of Chinese diplomacy. Leadership will offer fundamental support for China’s diplomatic agenda to secure more victories.

Wang said that China’s diplomacy is people-oriented diplomacy led by the CPC, and the Party set the direction for China’s diplomatic agenda. The original inspiration and mission of the CPC – to seek happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation — determine China’s diplomacy’s responsibility.

On China-Africa relations

Helping African countries contain the COVID-19 pandemic and bringing their economies back on track is the top priority of the China-Africa cooperation. China will always support developing countries. China has started to provide COVID-19 vaccines to 35 African countries and the African Union Commission already.

On ‘patriots administering Hong Kong’

Hong Kong is a particular administrative region of China. One cannot talk about loving Hong Kong without loving its motherland, adding that love for the country and Hong Kong is entirely consistent. Hong Kong enjoyed no democracy during colonial rule. Since its return to the homeland 24 years ago, no one is more concerned about Hong Kong’s democratic development and wishes Hong Kong to remain prosperous and stable than the central government, he said.

On China-US relations

It is logical for China and the US, two countries with different social systems, to have differences and disagreements. “What matters most is to manage them effectively through candid communication to prevent strategic miscalculation and avoid conflict and confrontation.”

China hopes the US can remove its unreasonable restriction on bilateral cooperation as soon as possible and refrain from artificially creating new ones. China is willing to work with the US and set China-US relations on a new path of healthy and steady development.

On Taiwan question

The two sides of the Taiwan Strait must be and will surely be reunified, which is the trend of history and the entire Chinese nation’s collective will, Wang said, adding the one-China principle is the political foundation of the China-US relationship. It is considered a red line and should not be crossed. There is no room for compromise or concession from the Chinese government on the Taiwan question.

“We would hope to see a clear departure from the previous administration’s (Trump Administration) dangerous practice of ‘pushing the red line’ and ‘playing with fire, and we hope that the Taiwan question will be handled prudently and properly,” Wang said.

China stresses the UN’s core status

The UN is not a club for big or rich countries. All countries enjoy equal sovereignty, and no country is in a position to dictate international affairs, Wang said. He also urged efforts to enhance the representativeness and voice of developing countries in the UN to better reflect the common aspiration of most countries.

China, EU not systemic rivals

The China-Europe relationship is equal and open and not targeting any third party or is controlled by anyone else. China never intends to divide relations between Europe and the United States, Wang said, adding that the country is glad to see the European Union uphold multilateralism and remain devoted to coordination and cooperation among major countries.

China opposes ‘vaccine nationalism.’

China opposes “vaccine nationalism,” rejects any “vaccine divide” or any attempt to politicize vaccine cooperation. More than 60 countries have authorized the use of Chinese vaccines. China has provided COVID-19 vaccine aid free of charge to 69 developing countries urgently need while exporting vaccines to 43 countries.

On China-Arab relations

China will work with Arab states in solidarity, pursue expected progress, and prepare for a China-Arab States Summit.

In the past year, relations between China and the Arab States have continued to progress amid various challenges, Wang said, adding their joint fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has set an excellent example for international cooperation.

On multilateralism

Building small circles in the name of multilateralism is, in fact, “group politics,” multilateralism with one’s own interests taking precedence, is still unilateral thinking, and “selective multilateralism” is not the right choice.

Genuine multilateralism means openness and inclusiveness instead of closeness and exclusion. It means equal-footed consultation instead of supremacy over others.

China’s WTO accession

The past two decades had taught China four crucial lessons: China will stay committed to the fundamental policy of opening-up, remain committed to the principle of win-win cooperation, remain committed to the right direction of economic globalization, and we must stay committed to the central role of the WTO.

“China has injected energy into economic globalization and facilitated the optimization of global industry chains and resources,” he said.

On China-Japan relations

China and Japan should remain focused without being distracted by any single event to make the bilateral relations more mature and stable. China and Japan should support each other in hosting the upcoming Olympic Games this year and next year. China hopes the Japanese society would truly embrace an objective and rational perception of China to solidify public support for long-term progress in China-Japan relations.

‘Xinjiang genocide’ claim a thorough lie

The so-called claim of genocide in Northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region is preposterous, a rumor fabricated with ulterior motives and a complete lie.

Some western politicians chose to believe in the lies cooked up by a few instead of listening to the voice of 25 million Xinjiang residents of various ethnic groups, Wang said, adding that they chose to dance with the clumsy dramas by a few anti-China forces instead of acknowledging the progress in Xinjiang.

On China-ASEAN relations

Wang said that China stands ready to develop an even closer community with a shared future with ASEAN as the two sides celebrate the 30th anniversary of establishing bilateral dialogue relations this year.

China will continue to prioritize efforts to meet vaccine demand from ASEAN and further consolidate beneficial cooperation and see that China’s new development paradigm is better to align with the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Framework, he said.

On the Belt and Road Initiative

China’s commitment to supporting the Belt and Road Initiative has not changed, and the country will continue to work with stakeholders to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, Wang Yi said.

COVID-19 may have changed the world, but the need for Belt and Road cooperation has not subsided, he said.

“As we pursue a new development paradigm, we will explore better pathways for Belt and Road cooperation and offer greater opportunities to BRI partners,” he added.

In the new development stage

China will create a better business environment, pursue opening-up at a higher level, and work with various countries to accelerate an open world economy, Wang Yi said.

China is like an express train with the greater driving force and load capacity accelerating towards a new goal in the further development stage, he said.

On China-India relations

China stands in a firm position to solve border disputes through dialogue and consultations and, at the same time, is determined to safeguard its own sovereign interests, Wang Yi said.

Border issues are not the whole of the China-India relationship, Wang said, noting that what happened again proves that initiating confrontation will not solve the problem and that returning to peaceful negation is the right way forward.

On climate change

Even though China and the US, and the European Union are in different development stages and face other challenges, they share the same mission in coping with climate change.

Wang urged enhanced communication and coordination between the three sides. They play a leading role in the international community, adding that China welcomes the US’s return to the Paris Agreement and expects that the US will shoulder its responsibility and make its due contribution.

On Iran nuclear issue

China hopes the United States will show sincerity on the Iran nuclear issue, take actions as quickly as possible, including removing unjustified unilateral sanctions and lifting the “long-arm jurisdiction” on third-party entities and individuals, Wang Yi said.

At the same time, he said, Iran should resume compliance with the Iran nuclear deal and shoulder its responsibility of nuclear non-proliferation, Wang said.

On the South China Sea

The only intention of some Western countries, including the United States, is to stir up troubles in the South China Sea in the name of so-called free navigation and undermine peace in the South China Sea and disturb regional stability, Wang said.

He called on China and ASEAN countries to continue to remove distractions and press ahead with Code of Conduct consultations, and continue with the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.

On Myanmar tensions

Relevant parties in Myanmar should maintain calm and exercise restraint, address their differences through dialogue and consultation within the constitutional and legal framework, and continue to advance the democratic transition.

“The immediate priority is to prevent further bloodshed and conflict, and ease and cool down the situation as soon as possible,” Wang said.

On China and Latin America

China is providing COVID-19 vaccines to 12 Latin American and Caribbean countries. “China and Latin American and Caribbean countries have stood alongside and supported each other in COVID-19 response and economic recovery,” he said. “Our cooperation best illustrates the saying, that ‘a bosom friend afar brings a distant land near.”

On objective coverage of China

China hopes to see and welcome more journalists in Edgar Snow’s mold in this new era among foreign journalists.

Wang Yi said he hopes that foreign journalists will not apply any filter to their camera, whether beautiful or gloomy, when reporting on China.

“Truthful, objective, and fair stories will always appeal to people and can stand the scrutiny of history,” he said. “However the world changes, the media should stand by their professional ethics.”


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

Chinese President Xi Shared His Vision Of Win-Win Ties With America

By Andrew Korybko

Source

Chinese President Xi Shared His Vision Of Win-Win Ties With America

here are two main arguments in favor of President Biden responding positively to his Chinese counterpart’s suggestions other than the most obvious one that it’s simply the right thing to do in the interests of global stability.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden had their first phone call last week since the latter was inaugurated last month. The Chinese leader used this opportunity to share his vision for win-win ties with America. He emphasized their common goals in containing the COVID-19 pandemic, assisting the global economic recovery, combating climate change, and ensuring regional stability. President Xi also suggested reestablishing dialogue mechanisms to this end and cooperating more closely on a whole range of other issues such as financial, law enforcement, and military ones among others.

One of the most important highlights of their conversation was President Xi reminding his American counterpart that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Xinjiang are China’s internal affairs and that the US must respect them accordingly. The US has been meddling in these issues over the past few years, so it’s important that it changes its behavior for the better in order for relations with China to finally improve. Provided that President Biden listens to President Xi’s advice, then both countries can focus on the boundless possibilities for win-win cooperation between them.

There are two main arguments in favor of President Biden responding positively to these suggestions other than the most obvious one that it’s simply the right thing to do in the interests of global stability. First, America is beset with numerous domestic problems at the moment which require the new administration’s full attention. It mustn’t remain distracted by following in former President Trump’s footsteps in trying to “contain” China since that would be a serious neglect of its responsibility to address issues as urgent as the COVID-19 crisis, America’s economic recovery, and the recent disturbing rise in domestic extremism.

Second, while President Biden provocatively spoke about his expectations for a continued so-called “extreme competition” between his country and China during a recent speech, he also added that he’ll seek to focus on what he described as the “international rules of the road”. This might be a euphemism for resorting to multilateral means in pursuit of advancing his predecessor’s goal of “containing” China, but it could also suggest a much-needed and long-overdue rethinking about the present trajectory of bilateral relations. Should that be the case, then it might result in a renewed impetus to comprehensively regulate their relations.

If the US starts by respecting China’s internal interests per President Xi’s advice, then it would go a long way towards getting ties back on track. The previously discussed possibilities for expanding upon what the Chinese leader described as “the most important development in international relations over the past half century or more”, the restoration and growth of China-US relations, would then be unlocked and the entire global community would benefit as a result of them working more closely together in pursuit of shared interests. Some competition might continue to exist, but it wouldn’t be “extreme” and could therefore be managed.

For example, the US-led Quad might come to take on less of a military nature and instead focus more on economic and political cooperation, ideally in a way that doesn’t imply any negative intent towards China. In that scenario, the Quad might even become a useful platform for managing China-US relations in the region, especially if its Australian and Japanese partners help facilitate talks on the eventual incorporation of China and the US into a larger trade bloc between them all. This could come about because of Canberra and Tokyo’s joint inclusion in two regional economic organizations.

They’re members of both the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). China and the US have signaled interested in joining the first-mentioned while Beijing is already part of the second. The US also has a free trade pact with Australia and recently reached an economic deal with Japan in 2019. This creates the perfect backdrop for Australia and Japan to help bring China and the US closer on the economic front upon any rapprochement between them. That’s the most promising scenario that China and the US should work towards in the future.

The triads, the Kuomintang and Hong Kong’s “democracy riots”

February 02, 2021

The triads, the Kuomintang and Hong Kong’s “democracy riots”

By Ji Pei for the Saker Blog

To put the World in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the Family in order; to put the Family in order, we must first cultivate our personal lives by setting our hearts right. Confucius

The extent of the criminal and corrupt past of Hong Kong and Taiwan is little known in the West.

People know that Hong Kong has been a British colony and the center of the opium trade with China from the the nineteenth century on, but this often remains an abstract knowledge for most readers, who often ignore to which extent this “trade” was tied to blackmailing, corruption, money laundering, war, colonial exploitation and other criminal activities. Part of the huge growth of British banking and of the financial power of the City of London in the 19th century resulted notably from the profits from the opium sold in China. This trade grew from around 5000 crates of opium sold in 1820, to 96,000 crates sold in 1873. This took place against the fierce resistance of the Chinese imperial government, which for this reason had to suffer the three so called Opium Wars waged by Great Britain against China. Expressed in tons, the British opium exports reached very nearly ten thousand tons during the year 1873. An incredible quantity for a substance sold in grams!

Colonial exploitation and crime expanded to new heights after 1949 in Hong Kong and, for that matter, also in Taiwan. Why?

Western people interested by Chinese history usually know that the Kuomintang (KMT) came to power in China as a result of Chiang Kai-shek’s 1926 “Northern Expedition” against the northern warlords. With 6000 Whampoa cadets and 85,000 troops, Chiang took Wuhan in September, 1926, and Shanghai and Nanking in March 1927. Many also know, if only by having read the famous French Author André Malraux’s moving text on this event, that Chiang Kai-shek organized the liquidation of the communists in Shanghai in April, 1927, and that he used the help of the Shanghai criminal syndicates, the so called triads to this aim. What is much less known is the incredible high level of influence played by the triads and by crime in the history of the Kuomintang government of China until its defeat at the hands of Mao Tse-tung’s and Chu Teh’s communists in 1949. This ignorance is due to the fact that the USA, which supported the Kuomintang-based anti-communist government in China during the war with Japan and later in Taiwan after the liberation of China, did everything to let Chiang and the KMT appear clean and solid. They thus laid a coating of governmental respectability on everything that concerned Chiang Kai-shek and his KMT.

In the twenties of the twentieth century, Shanghai’s underworld was dominated by three triads: Pockmarked Huang’s (Huang Chih-jung’s) Red Gang, which would soon be the most militant anti-communist force in China after Big-eared Tu (Tu Yueh-sheng) took the gang’s operational direction, Tu’s own Green Gang, and the Blue Gang. These three triads associated under Big-eared Tu’s pressure to exercise a monopoly of opium handling in order to raise the price. Tu was soon pulling all strings in Shanghai, not only in the underworld, but also in the city’s administration (the gangsters could even read the mail and gather information on banking operations) and in the police. He also had the best connections to the Kung banking family and to the Soong finance dynasty, thus combining the resources of the Kung banking empire, the leverage of the Soong family and the mammoth clout of the green gang. With Chiang Kai-shek, Tu would soon add political power to this extraordinary pyramid of forceful means.

Chiang Kai-shek, the Kuomintang and the triads

And here comes violent-tempered Chiang Kai-shek, born around one year before Big-eared Tu left his mother’s womb in 1888. In 1906, young Chiang left for Japan to receive a military training. On arriving, he discovered that he did not own the official recommendation necessary for that. Soon, he came in contact with the Chinese expatriate community, many of which were followers of Sun Yat-sen’s republican movement. One of them, Ch’en Ch’i-mei, one of Sun’s most ardent recruiters and member of Pockmarked Huang’s Shanghai Red Gang, befriended him. Back in China where he attended the lessons of a military academy, Chiang finally obtained a permission to follow a three-year course at the famous Shimbu Gakko military academy. There in Japan, Ch’en put Chiang up for membership of Sun’s political movement and he was accepted. During one of his visits to China with Ch’en, Chiang Kai-shek was also enrolled into the Green Gang. Involving himself in the gang’s activities, he took part in extortion, armed robberies and a jail break. “His police record in the British-administered International Settlements grew over the years to include murder, extortion, numerous armed robberies, and assorted other crimes.” (Seagrave, page 156).

In 1911, now graduated from Shimbu Gakko, Chiang joined Ch’en for the revolution in October with a unit of Sun Yat-sen’s Republican army composed entirely of Green Gang personnel. After the success of the revolution, Ch’en was appointed military governor of Shanghai and Chiang was made commander of a regiment. He spent the years of WW I mostly in Shanghai (and in Japan when Yuan Shih-kai’s secret police was after him and after Ch’en), usually active in Green Gang extortions and also assisting Ch’en Ch’i-mei who was now chairman of the Kuomintantg’s Central Committee. After Ch’en’s murder by the secret police in May, 1916, Chiang found himself at the heart of a hefty realignment of power in the Kuomintang. He became senior political assistant to Sun Yat-sen and, in 1917, his military adviser in Guangzhou, at the same time always closely working with Big-eared Tu on insider dealings in Shanghai’s stock market. His Shanghai patrons (Tu, the Soongs and wealthy industrialists, bankers like Kungs and merchants) wanted him to ingratiate himself with Sun to increase their common influence upon the Kuomintang. He fulfilled the task with success and was himself made chairman of the Kuomintang’s military academy in Whampoa and chief of staff of the Kuomintang army. Following Sun Yat-sen’s death (1925), Sun’s favored successor, left of center politician Liao Chung-k’ai, was gunned by five Green Gang killers. The murder was attributed to right wing influence: this eliminated the conservative candidates to Sun’s seat, while other leftist candidates couldn’t secure enough support because the workers’ strikes called by the Communist Party scared too many. Thus in the end, it was the “middle of the road” candidate Chiang Kai-shek, Big-eared Tu’s secret candidate of choice, who was elected president of the Kuomintang, the ‘Nationalist Party’. Chiang organized immediately the election of Curio Chang (Chang Ching-chang, another Green Gang friend of Tu with wide connections) to the chairmanship of the KMT’s Central Committee. “With them in charge, the Kuomintang was finally thoroughly criminalized.” (Booth, page 143). Two years later, Chiang and the Green Gang would carry against the communists the heavy blow mentioned at the beginning of this article (the Shanghai 1927 communists’ massacre), thus opening the long civil war between KMT and CPC that would end 1949 with Chiang Kaishek’s defeat at the hands of Mao Tse-tung and Chou Teh and with the establishing of the People’s Republic of China. Chiang fled to Taiwan with his defeated army.

New Regime on Mainland China: the triads flee to Hong Kong and Taiwan

Whatever position one has on communism, one must admit that Mao’s new regime proscribed the triads with a vigor never seen before. The triads were considered a real threat: the Kuomintang had used them as they had used the Kuomintang, virtually running (and ruining) the country together. So the communists feared and abhorred triad criminality: triads had plundered China for decades and in their eyes, this had to stop. Within three years of the communists’ victory, opium got completely removed from Chinese society, the nation “clean” again after more than one century and the triads bereft of their most lucrative business. Addicts were treated sympathetically, farmers ordered to grow food crops instead of poppies. Opium-den owners were publicly humiliated and sent for political reeducation in labor camps. Dealers and traffickers were shot in public after brief trials. The triads got outlawed all over the country.

It is easy to imagine where the triad bosses and members that did not get caught by the communists would go: to Taiwan and to Hong Kong.

As a colony, Hong Kong had attracted Chinese triads almost from the beginning. The more affluent the colony became, the more worthwhile crime also grew. So by 1848, Hong Kong was already considered the nerve center for triad activity all over South China. Hundred years later, by 1949, it looked as if Hong Kong would become the biggest criminal city on earth: prostitution, protection, gambling rackets, narcotics trade, nothing was missing. It is in this situation that refugee members of the big Chinese triads (especially the Shanghainese ones) arrived to Hong Kong and Taiwan in great numbers. Big-eared Tu and his Green Gang chose Hong Kong, not Taiwan, as their mainstay. A new scourge came with them, Heroin: the first Hong Kong heroin laboratories were financed by Big-eared Tu and went into production in 1950. “With an orchestrated, vicious ruthlessness, they also started their own extortion rackets and staged armed robberies on Chinese jewelers’ and gold shops. Well organized and financed, they were soon challenging the local societies (…), coordinating vice with the efficiency of corporate managers. They opened dance halls full of ‘taxi dancers’ who, charging clients by the dance, in turn paid the Green Gang operators for the right to work in their establishments. They ran brothels and massage-parlors, and administered opium and gambling dens. Not content with this, they bribed immigration officials, then preyed upon wealthy criminal exiles, offering protection to avoid deportation or to avoid being sent back to China. Wealthy non-criminals were forced to invest in Green Gang-controlled legitimate business.” (Booth, page 264). However, not everything developed smoothly in Hong Kong for the Green Gang. They had to ward off the competition of the local triads, and the arrest of a high member of the gang, Li Choi-fat in 1952, was a serious setback.

For Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan, on the contrary, the refugee triads from the mainland were welcome. Here again one may say: ‘With them in charge, the island’s new government was now fully criminalized’. Chiang’s government itself consisted almost exclusively of triads, which could so continue their life of crime. They associated themselves into a new government sponsored society, the United Bamboo Society, which helped other triads to gain foothold in Hong Kong. They also formed an effective branch of Chiang Kai-shek’s secret service. Chiang had originally even hoped to be able to establish some political power in Hong Kong to run the colony as another KMT center of power against communist China.

After riots in Hong Kong’s refugee settlements in 1956, during which triads had supported the rioters, the British colonial government increased its fight against the secret societies. The triads had to adopt a low profile and to reconsolidate their position. At the same time, they re-oriented their criminal business to take advantage of the worldwide growing level of wellbeing. “Within four years of the riots, they were in a position to internationalize the narcotics trade. A new triad era was dawning.” (Booth, page 275).

The worldwide narcotic trade

Soon, the triads developed their infrastructure, increased their grip on Hong Kong, and organized during the Vietnam War an essentially Asian-wide, and later a worldwide Heroin trafficking. To gather the huge quantities of morphine base they needed, they set up a purchase agreement with Kuomintang general Li Wen-huan who lived in the Thai jungles in the so called ‘Golden Triangle’ ready to strike at communist China, and who paid his troops by selling Heroin. They also had agreements with Burmese insurgents, with General Rattikone, head of the Laotian army, with the Vietnamese heroin ring of air Vice-marshal Ky etc., thus controlling unlimited sources of morphine base. The CIA, Air America, Continental Air Service and Laos Development Air Service flew the narcotics for them to Thailand and to Hong Kong. In this way, the Hong Kong triads could soon control the entire heroin smuggling, processing and trade from the source to distribution. Hong Kong was the place which accommodated the Heroin labs, where the worldwide income was gathered, laundered and invested in casinos, in general and in commodity trading companies, in commercial property, cinemas, restaurants and bars. Triad bosses like the Ma brothers founded the Oriental Press Group, the main publication of which was the Oriental Daily News, one of Hong Kong’s most popular daily papers. They took part in high profile philanthropic activities, were accepted on the select Hong Kong racecourse and even in the exclusive Royal Jockey Club and lived in luxurious mansions.

After the end of the Vietnam war in 1973, the Hong Kong triads organized connections to the American Mafia (some say they even met Mafia boss Meyer Lansky), to the French Corsican crime syndicates, the French Marseilles gangsters and others. Soon, heroin addiction rose sharply in most Western countries and the triads’ income rose correspondingly. Meanwhile, the fight of the British authorities against the Hong Kong triads was most of the time rather a joke. Even the Ma brothers, if arrested, were released on appeal, or went to Taiwan if necessary. Many high level traffickers were acquitted. Why would police officers or judges risk their lives, seeing the attitude of their bosses: according to a Sunday Times report, the triad’s Oriental Press Group had donated considerable sums to the Conservative Party funds. Even Christopher Patten, sung of as the so incredibly democratic minded last governor of Hong Kong, “attended functions at the Oriental Press Group headquarters and gave his blessing to the founding of a new English-language daily newspaper, the Eastern Express. John Major, as party leader as well as prime minister, entertained [triad boss] Ma to tea at Downing Street.” (Booth, page 295). No change from the 19th century: Great Britain’s elites (if not the poor British youth addicted to Heroin!), Hong Kong’s elites ‒ and their banks! ‒ have always thrived on opium. And the USA always followed the example.

Chinese corruption and Chinese Fight against corruption

Everybody knows that in the early eighties, Deng Xiaoping told the Chinese to “Get rich” in order to launch the process of building up efficiently a market economy to strive out of underdevelopment. The Chinese people obeyed and the economy started to thrive and to boast incredible GDP growth rates never seen before. Obviously, in this process, quite a few Chinese would transgress the laws of morals, and corruption grew again in China at a rate never seen since 1949. Hong Kong triads reestablished business with the new Chinese criminal scene. Even the People’s Liberation Army, the communist party and the administration were caught in this corrupting frenzy. But because the Chinese communist party is – with more than eighty million members – the biggest people’s party worldwide, the law abiding majority of this party let their party leaders understand that they had to do something against corruption, or else… Since China had and has energetic leaders like Jiang Zemin, Zhu Rongji or now Xi Jinping, who organized a war against corruption never seen of in our parts of the world, things started to change: in the meantime, even high level officials or ministers found guilty of corruption have been condemned to heavy sentences (even death penalty) in China, whereas similar persons in the West get a few months on probation for the same level of corruption, if at all.

However, the corruption fighting leaders of the Communist Party had a problem: if criminal or corrupt members of the Chinese society and of the party could flee to Hong Kong before being arrested, they couldn’t be brought to trial in their homeland because the ex-colony had no extradition law. That was a real problem for China’s politics and for China’s justice.

In the final months of British rule under Governor Patten, Hong Kong had passed laws barring the extradition to mainland China due to claimed concerns about the quality and objectivity of the mainland’s justice. This in spite of the huge progress made in China in the field of justice, especially since the law of 2004 strongly reinforcing the position of the defending counsels in court, and in spite of the fact that colonial justice itself had always been a caricature of justice, since in Hong Kong Chinese people could never be tried by Chinese judges, but only by British ones.

Beijing formulated very early its wish to see this Patten “non-extradition” bill changed for a law allowing extradition, but displayed much patience in order to avoid doing violence to the autonomy and anti-communist feelings of part of the Hong Kong population. But the constant misuse of Hong Kong’s protection by persons menaced by the Xi Jinping government’s legal, useful and successful fight against corruption and graft led to an increase of Beijing’s pressure for a change in this field. Beijing let it know that more than 300 wanted fugitives were hiding in Hong Kong. Finally, the Hong Kong government decided in February, 2019 to amend the law and to allow for extradition on a case-by-case basis with countries not already covered by mutual agreements—and this would include mainland China and Macao, doing away with the geographical restrictions on the PRC in the existing rules.

Street war against extradition law

Opposition to this change manifested itself very soon. Aside of the old anti-communist prejudice of a part of Hong Kong’s population, this change obviously affected huge interests: the financial interests of the Hong Kong triads which earned millions with the corrupt part of mainland China’s industry, banking and import-export business, the financial interests of the Taiwan triads doing similar businesses, the financial interests of the money laundering and money manipulating British and overseas Chinese banks, the financial interests of Hong Kong’s big import-export houses, the financial and political interests of Taiwan’s Kuomintang party, the huge political and geopolitical interests of the imperialist NATO countries, especially Great Britain and the USA and their secret services and NGOs, which have been practicing the containment of China since 1949 and which dream of a weak China which could be recolonized, and finally the financial and political interests of the infamous One Percent billionaires dreaming of globalization and world power and who saw there an opportunity to sabotage China’s Belt and Road Initiative. With such interests ready to finance and support opposition against the new extradition bill, and within the framework of the anti-China business war waged by the Trump government against the Chinese government, it is clear that huge rioting activities and widespread protests were soon mobilized on a very large scale against China in the streets of Hong Kong and Kowloon during the whole of 2019 and part of 2020.

The incredibly brutal and nasty protests against the extradition law in Hong Kong thus lasted more than one year. The West has probably never before invested so much money and political influencing in a single China containment political struggle, fortunately to no avail: bar associations, chambers of commerce, law societies, so called human rights groups, journalist’s associations, dozens of colonial era officials including of course Chris Patten himself, the whole of the Western mainstream media and dozens of government representatives in the line of Great Britain, the EU, the USA, Canada, etc. have criticized the People’s Republic’s policy. A nastier intervention into the internal affairs of a country is difficult to find. The world can rest thankful to the Peoples Republic of China for having shown much patience: the units of the People’s Liberation Army established in Hong Kong never intervened except to clean up the debris of destroyed shop fronts. Having brought seven hundred million citizens out of poverty within twenty-five years, China is now a strong, proud dragon that obviously no longer needs to brawl with misled students and louts. One only feels sorry for the tens of thousands of these naïve students and other young people who believed the lies of their agitators and thought to fight for liberty and democracy, whereas they were fighting for the financial and political interests of criminals, of money launders, globalists and of corrupt politicians.

In the end, an extradition law had to be. And it is now effective in Hong Kong.


Literature:

One could fill many pages with titles of books on the Chinese triads, on the history of Kuomintang China, on the history of Hong Kong, etc. The two books mentioned in this article bring the most important facts together in attractive, easy readable texts:

SEAGRAVE, Sterling, 1985: The Soong dynasty, Corgi Books, London

BOOTH, Martin,, 1999: The dragon syndicates. Bantam Books, London

See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_hong_kong_extradition_bill

Dr. Ji Pei was lecturer for Chinese history at a European University.

Pompeo’s Last Stand

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

Source

Philip Giraldi

January 21, 2021

The neocons and the media demand tough talk and even tougher action from their candidate and Pompeo is already running hard to oblige them.

Pompeo's Last Stand - TheAltWorld
© Photo: REUTERS/POOL New

It is finally over. Joe Biden has been inaugurated President of the United States while his predecessor Donald Trump has retired to Florida. Trump intends to remain the driving force in the Republican Party but there are many in the GOP who would like to see him gone completely and the national media is obliging by depriving him of a “voice,” cutting him off from his preferred social media. The Democratic Party’s top “megadonor” Israeli film producer Haim Saban goes one step farther, recommending that all the media stop reporting on Trump and his activities, thereby taking away his platform and making him disappear politically speaking.

Prior to the inauguration, which proceeded protected by an unprecedented display of military and police, there had been so much going on in and around Washington that other serious developments worldwide were not getting the attention that they merited. President Donald Trump was impeached for “high crimes and misdemeanors” relating to his alleged encouragement of the January 6th rioting at the U.S. Capitol building, but to my mind the recent travels and meetings involving Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could turn out to be far more damaging to America’s long-term interests. One wonders why Pompeo was engaging in frenetic activity with the Administration that he represented being about to vanish in a few days, but the answer is perhaps obvious. Trump and Pompeo want to lay a foreign policy mine field for the Joe Biden White House, locking the new administration into policies that will prove difficult to untangle.

Pompeo has been most active in four areas: Iran, China, Cuba and Yemen. Iran, as has often been the case with the Trump Israeli-driven policy in the Middle East, has been the principal focus. The Trump Administration has consistently responded to Israeli and also Saudi perceptions of the threat from Iran to the entire region, even though those claims were generally based on self-interests and deliberately falsified intelligence. Washington has withdrawn from the nuclear agreement with Iran signed in 2015 and has been waging incrementally expanded economic warfare against the Iranians for the past three years. It has collaborated with the Israelis on assassinations and air attacks on primarily civilian targets in Syria and Lebanon.

During Trump’s last two weeks in power there was much talk about the possibility of a U.S. attack on Iran. The Israeli military was on alert and there was a surge in attacks on Syria, frequently using Lebanese airspace. One incident in particular on January 6th used U.S. intelligence to enable multiple bombing attacks on targets inside Syria, killing 57. Pompeo reportedly dined publicly in a well-known Washington restaurant Café Milano on the day after the carnage to discuss the “success” with Israel’s head of Mossad Yossi Cohen.

The public meeting with Cohen was a sign from the Trump Administration that the U.S. supports Israel’s bombing campaign against claimed Iranian targets in Syria. If Biden wishes to change that, he will have to do so publicly, earning the ire of Israel’s friends in the Democratic Party and media. And more was to come. Last Tuesday, Pompeo gave a speech in which he accused al-Qaeda and the Iranian government of being “partners in terror” , constituting an “axis” of terrorism. He further claimed that al-Qaeda has a “new home base” and a “new operational headquarters” built for it in Tehran, an assertion that ran counter to the intelligence collected by U.S. counterterrorism officials, who said there was no evidence to support such a claim. In fact, the Intelligence Community has long asserted that al-Qaeda is fundamentally hostile to Shi’ite Iran and that the Iranians return the favor. In other words, Pompeo is either lying or making something up that will be an impediment if Biden tries to improve relations with Tehran. Pompeo also went so far as to declare that Iran is the “new Afghanistan” for al-Qaeda, which is meant to imply that Iran is now its home base and safe haven. There is also no evidence to support that claim.

The Trump Administration has also included Cuba on the list of state sponsors of terrorism, based on nothing whatsoever, apparently as something of a throw away item to shore up support from the rabid Cuban exile community in Florida. So too the decision to designate the Houthis of Yemen as terrorists to give a parting gift to the Saudis and the UAE. Yemen is suffering from famine and the terror designation will have a drastic impact on imports of food and medicine, condemning many Yemenis to death. Daniel Larison opines that the “Houthi designation is by far the worst thing that Pompeo has done as Secretary of State, because if it is not quickly reversed it will lead directly to the deaths of tens and possibly even hundreds of thousands of people. It takes severe cruelty to look at a war-torn, famine-stricken country that depends heavily on outside aid and imports and then choose to suffocate the survivors with additional economic warfare. That is what Pompeo has done, we shouldn’t forget that.”

And, incidentally, the United States gains absolutely nothing from killing thousands of people in Yemen, but that is not all. Pompeo has also opened the door to new problems with China. His easing of the longstanding restrictions on contacts between American diplomats and Taiwanese has been described by the State Department as a strong gesture of support for the democratic government and “ally” in Taipei. It overturns more than forty years of “strategic ambiguity” which has prevailed since Richard Nixon traveled to Beijing and recognized the communist People’s Republic of China as China’s only legitimate government, to include over Taiwan by implication. The so-called “One China” principle states that Taiwan and China are part of the same China with the U.S. recognizing, though not necessarily endorsing, that the PRC has a historic claim to sovereignty over Taiwan.

Apart from locking in policies that Biden will find hard to shift, Pompeo also has a secondary motive. It is widely believed that he would like to run for president in 2024. He will need the support of the Israelis and their powerful domestic lobby as well as the Cubans in Florida and it does not hurt to show him playing hardball in the Middle East and against an increasingly vilified China. The so-called neocons, who have again become influential in the Republican Party and the media, demand tough talk and even tougher action from their candidate and Pompeo is already running hard to oblige them.

US hits Search and Destroy against the New Silk Roads

US hits Search and Destroy against the New Silk Roads

December 09, 2020

By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times.

Seven years after being launched by President Xi Jinping, first in Astana and then in Jakarta, the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) increasingly drive the American plutocratic oligarchy completely nuts.

The relentless paranoia about the Chinese “threat” has much to do with the exit ramp offered by Beijing to a Global South permanently indebted to IMF/World Bank exploitation.

In the old order, politico-military elites were routinely bribed in exchange for unfettered corporate access to their nations’ resources, coupled with go-go privatization schemes and outright austerity (“structural adjustment”).

This went on for decades until BRI became the new game in town in terms of infrastructure building – offering an alternative to the imperial footprint.

The Chinese model allows all manner of parallel taxes, sales, rents, leases – and profits. This means extra sources of income for host governments – with an important corollary: freedom from the hardcore neoliberal diktats of IMF/World Bank. This is what is at the heart of the notorious Chinese “win-win”.

Moreover, BRI’s overall strategic focus on infrastructure development not only across Eurasia but also Africa encompasses a major geopolitical game-changer. BRI is positioning vast swathes of the Global South to become completely independent from the Western-imposed debt trap. For scores of nations, this is a matter of national interest. In this sense BRI should be regarded as the ultimate post-colonialist mechanism.

BRI in fact bristles with Sun Tzu simplicity applied to geoeconomics. Never interrupt the enemy when he’s making a mistake – in this case enslaving the Global South via perpetual debt. Then use his own weapons – in this case financial “help” – to destabilize his preeminence.

Hit the road with the Mongols

None of the above, of course, is bound to serenade the paranoid volcano, which will keep spitting out a 24/7 deluge of red alerts deriding BRI as “poorly defined, badly mismanaged and visibly failing”. “Visibly”, of course, only for the exceptionalists.

Predictably, the paranoid volcano feeds on a toxic mix of arrogance and crass ignorance of Chinese history and culture.

Xue Li, director of the Department of International Strategy at the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has shown how “after the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in 2013, China’s diplomacy has changed from maintaining a low profile to becoming more proactive in global affairs. But the policy of ‘partnership rather than alliance’ has not changed, and it is unlikely to change in the future. The indisputable fact is that the system of alliance diplomacy preferred by Western countries is the choice of a few countries in the world, and most countries choose non-aligned diplomacy. Besides, the vast majority of them are developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”

Atlanticists are desperate because the “system of alliance diplomacy” is on the wane. The overwhelming majority of the Global South is now being reconfigured as a newly energized Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) – as if Beijing had found a way to revive the Spirit of Bandung in 1955.

Chinese scholars are fond of quoting a 13th century imperial handbook, according to which policy changes should be “beneficial for the people”. If they only benefit corrupt officials, the result is luan (“chaos”). Thus the 21st century Chinese emphasis on pragmatic policy instead of ideology.

Rivaling informed parallels with the Tang and Ming dynasties, it’s actually the Yuan dynasty that offers a fascinating introduction to the inner workings of BRI.

So let’s go for a short trip back to the 13th century, when Genghis Khan’s immense empire was replaced by four khanates.

We had the Khanate of the Great Khan – which turned into the Yuan dynasty – ruling over China, Mongolia, Tibet, Korea and Manchuria.

We had the Ilkhanate, founded by Hulagu (the conqueror of Baghdad) ruling Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, parts of Anatolia and the Caucasus.

We had the Golden Horde ruling the northwestern Eurasian steppe, from eastern Hungary to Siberia, and most of all the Russian principalities.

And we had the Chaghadaid Khanate (named after Genghis Khan’s second son) ruling Central Asia, from eastern Xinjiang to Uzbekistan, until Tamerlane’s rise to power in 1370.

This era saw an enormous acceleration of trade along the Mongol Silk Roads.

All these Mongol-controlled governments privileged local and international commerce. That translated into a boom in markets, taxes, profits – and prestige. The khanates competed to get the best trading minds. They laid out the necessary infrastructure for transcontinental travel (13th century BRI, anyone?) And they opened the way for multiple East-West, trans-civilizational exchanges.

When the Mongols conquered the Song in southern China they even expanded overland Silk Roads trade into Maritime Silk Roads. The Yuan dynasty was now controlling China’s powerful southern ports. So when there was any kind of turbulence overland, trade switched to the seas.

The key axes were through the Indian Ocean, between south China and India, and between India and the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea.

Cargo was traveling overland to Iran, Iraq, Anatolia and Europe; by sea, through Egypt and the Mediterranean, to Europe; and from Aden to east Africa.

A slave trade maritime route between the Golden Horde’s ports on the Black Sea and Egypt – run by Muslim, Italian and Byzantine traders – was also in effect. The Black Sea ports transited luxury merchandise arriving overland from the East. And caravans traveled inland from the Indian coast during dangerous monsoon seasons.

This frantic commercial activity was the proto-BRI, which reached its apex in the 1320s and 1330s all the way to the collapse of the Yuan dynasty in 1368 in parallel to the Black Death in Europe and the Middle East. The key point: all the overland and maritime roads were interlinked. 21st century BRI planners benefit from a long historical memory.

“Nothing will fundamentally change”

Now compare this wealth of trade and cultural interchange with the pedestrian, provincial, anti-BRI and overall anti-China paranoia in the US. What we get is the State Dept. under exiting Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo issuing a paltry diatribe on the “China challenge”. Or the US Navy recommissioning the First Fleet, probably to be based in Perth, to “have an Indo-Pac footprint” and thus maintain “maritime dominance in an era of great power competition”.

More ominously, here is a summary of the humongous, 4,517-page, $740.5 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021, just approved by the House by 335 to 78 (Trump threatened to veto it).

This is about funding for the Pentagon next year – to be supervised in theory by the new Raytheon General, Lloyd Austin, the last “commanding General” of the US in Iraq who run CENTCOM from 2013 to 2016 and then retired for some juicy revolving door gigs such as the board of Raytheon and crucially, the board of ultra-toxic air, water, soil polluter Nucor.

Austin is a revolving door character who supported the war on Iraq, the destruction of Libya, and supervised the training of Syrian “moderate rebels” – a.k.a. recycled al-Qaeda – who killed countless Syrian civilians.

The NDAA, predictably, is heavy on “tools to deter China”.

That will include:

1. A so-called “Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI), code for containment of China in the Indo-Pacific by boosting the Quad.

2. Massive counter-intel operations.

3. An offensive against “debt diplomacy”. That’s nonsense: BRI deals are voluntary, on a win-win basis, and open to renegotiation. Global South nations privilege them because loans are low-interest and long-term.

4. Restructuring global supply chains which lead to the US. Good luck with that. Sanctions on China will remain in place.

5. Across the board pressure forcing nations not to use Huawei 5G.

6. Reinforcing Hong Kong and Taiwan as Trojan Horses to destabilize China.

Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has already set the tone: “Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically”. Be afraid, very much afraid of the evil Chinese Communist Party, “the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II”.

There you go: Xi is the new Hitler.

So nothing will fundamentally change after January 2021 – as officially promised by Biden-Harris: it’s gonna be Hybrid War on China all over again, deployed all over the spectrum, as Beijing has perfectly understood.

So what? China’s industrial production will continue to grow while in the US it will continue to decline. There will be more breakthroughs by Chinese scientists such as the photonic quantum computing – which performed 2.6 billion years of computation in 4 minutes. And the 13th century Yuan dynasty spirit will keep inspiring BRI.

Taiwan: A US Foothold Before a Chinese Tidal Wave

By Tony Cartalucci
Source: New Eastern Outlook

Taiwan has found itself increasingly in the middle of the growing power struggle between a waning US and a rising China.

Taiwan is recognized by both the UN and the vast majority of the world’s nations including (officially) the United States under the One China policy – but Taiwan’s pro-independence circles have nonetheless enjoyed large amounts of financial and political support from Washington and has been a point of contention in the region and between Beijing and Washington for decades.

The most recent example of this – reported by the Taipei Times in their article, “Two Washington-based pro-democracy NGOs to establish offices in Taipei,” – was the increased footprint of Washington’s notorious regime change front – the National Endowment for Democracy.

The article would claim:

Two Washington-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), are to establish offices in Taiwan after they were sanctioned by Beijing last year.

The two institutes, along with the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Freedom House and Human Rights Watch were sanctioned last year after speaking in support of Hong Kong democracy activists and as well as being part of China’s tit-for-tat reaction against US President Donald Trump signing the US’ Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. 

Of course the US NED was not simply “speaking in support” of Hong Kong opposition groups – but was a primary conduit through which US government funding passed to these opposition groups.

Making the purpose behind the US NED’s expansion in Taiwan much clearer was IRI president Daniel Twining’s comments claiming (emphasis added):

From our Taipei base, we will work with our partners to highlight Taiwan’s hard-won democratic lessons, strengthen networks of Asia’s democratic actors and build resilience against malign authoritarian influence in the region… As the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] becomes more aggressive in violating the global rules-based order, now is the time for all democracies … to invest in strengthening ties with Taiwan.

In other words, the US NED’s move in Taiwan is meant to contribute to Washington’s wider campaign of encircling and containing not only China but to fuel US-funded unrest targeting China’s closest regional allies.

Independence movements in Taiwan have identified themselves as part of the so-called “Milk Tea Alliance” – a united front of US-funded opposition groups from across the region attempting to coerce their respective governments into a confrontational posture toward Beijing. Most recently this has included the opposition in Hong Kong and anti-government protests in Thailand.

And while the US is clearly banking on its heavy investments in “soft power” – essentially region-wide political interference – China’s strategy focuses instead on economic ties underpinned by principles of non-interference.

It is no surprise that the Asian region has responded positively to the latter instead of the former.

Taiwan’s Future is Inevitable 

The US and the wider Western media have promoted narratives of an impending Chinese invasion of Taiwan. This narrative has been used to justify the sale of US weapons to Taiwan’s military including a recent arms deal worth several billion US dollars.

The Business Insider in an article titled, “A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would not be easy, and the 400 anti-ship missiles the US plans to sell to Taiwan would make it even harder,” would note:

Less than a week after it authorized a $1.8 billion arms sale to Taiwan, the US Department of State notified Congress on Monday of another possible Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan for $2.4 billion that includes hundreds of Harpoon anti-ship missiles and launchers.

The big sale, if approved by Congress, would give Taiwan 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS) and 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface-Launched Missiles, very capable all-weather weapons that can search for and take out ships as far as half-way across the Taiwan Strait.

The sale of the additional missiles would later be approved.

The weapons are for a “Chinese invasion” that will likely never come and in addition to the US “soft power” networks Taiwan now serves as a base for – the US still lacks any means to confront or contain China’s influence – both in regards to Taiwan and in regards to the wider region.

The need for a “Chinese invasion” of territory already recognized as part of China by the UN makes so little sense on so many levels. But the clearest level is economically where mainland China now stands as Taiwan’s largest trade partner and investor.

Mainland China has been the key to Taiwan’s economic growth throughout recent years and had helped drive the easing of cross Strait tensions.

Because of Taiwan’s economic ties with the mainland, the most recent drive by the US to re-introduce a wedge between the two has come at high cost to Taiwan’s economy. The government fulfilling Washington’s desire to restrict mainland investment and  oppose Beijing’s decisions regarding Chinese territory has cut Taiwan off from economic inflows the US – and even the wider West – are unable to compensate for.

A look at Taiwan’s foreign investment and trade over the last two decades reveals an obvious and unavoidable trend regarding Taiwan’s near to intermediate future.  It is a trend of a shrinking Western role in Taiwan’s economy replaced by a rising mainland China – and a trend that inevitably impacts Taiwan geopolitically.

Twenty years ago only 4% of Taiwan’s exports headed to mainland China while 18% headed to the United States. Today, 34% of Taiwan’s exports head to China versus 10% to the United States. Taiwan’s imports reflect a similar shift in economic power. Both China’s economic rise and its proximity to Taiwan means that this trend will only continue.

US efforts to build up Taiwan’s independence movement is meant to deliberately disrupt this trend – and it is doing so not by providing Taiwan with economic alternatives but instead baiting the island into a growing political and even military standoff with the mainland and its regional allies. This is being done specifically at the expense of Taiwan’s economic ties to both.

Just like Australia and others being drawn into Washington’s anti-Chinese foreign policy – such a stance is not sustainable. As long as China can avoid provocations and conflict and continue offering the benefits of economic prosperity and peace as an alternative to Washington’s strategy of tension – patience and time will run out for Washington’s style of Indo-Pacific hegemony and the interests in the region abetting it will be displaced by those interested in a more constructive regional architecture.

Perhaps on a more global scale a similar process can play out within the United States itself – where current circles of power pursuing this counterproductive foreign policy are displaced by those with a more constructive vision of America’s role not only in Asia but around the globe.

China Newsbrief and Sitrep

November 25, 2020

Source

China Newsbrief and Sitrep

By Godfree Roberts – selected from his extensive weekly newsletter : Here Comes China

This is why we study China.

There is no point in believing we can make sense of China by a skin-deep knowledge of present-day China. We will be little the wiser. Chinese civilization is over 4,000 years old: as a political entity it is over 2,000 years old, the longest continuously existing polity in the world. Chinese history and culture is fundamentally different from that of the West: it always has been and always will be. So best to dispense with our Western-tinted spectacles and open our minds to arguably the world’s most successful civilization. China has been the most advanced country not just once but at least four times; and we are on the verge of this becoming five. A country, a culture, and a people with the most extraordinary history that is fast becoming the magnet of the future.    (This was the keynote address to the Buzz Expo China Summit.)


A small diplomatic snub

Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State and fourth in line for the presidency, requested a meeting with his opposite number in China’s six-man cabinet but, China delivered a gentle snub by sending Yang Jiechi, a member of the 35-member State Council.


Debt Forgiveness

Of course the West would want China to forgive debts and thus enhance the value of Western revenue streams. This is another aspect of the war. Just as trillions of dollars of cash injected into the banking cartel at the start of the crisis constitute a prophylactic against the damage of this closure policy, it also defends the asset values from destruction while allowing Western banks to buy up assets from the failed business sector and freeze out China, from cash flows of any kind. The extension of the crisis to the West’s debt peons means that those who participate locally in the West’s protection racket can be asked to freeze China out on the international lending stage. The nature of the Western “loansharking” business remains obscured. China should wait until the West cancels all its fraudulent debt instruments before even discussing its own loan book.


Scholarship for Sale?

Five of Washington’s most prominent think tanks have been producing policy papers urging closer U.S. ties with Taiwan — a territory locked in an uncertain legal status that threatens to be a flashpoint between Beijing and Washington. These seemingly impartial research institutions are pushing for expanded arms sales and trade agreements with Taiwan without widely disclosing their high-level funding from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office (TECRO), Taiwan’s equivalent to an embassy. The five think tanks — the Brookings Institution, the Center for American Progress*, the Center for a New American Security, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, and the Hudson Institute — all disclose their funding from TECRO but bury it deep on their websites or annual reports. [I am shocked, shocked! to find partisan scholarship traded on the open market]

None of their researchers disclose the potential conflict of interest between Taiwanese funding and advocating for more security guarantees for and trade with Taiwan. “Taiwan is an interesting case because we know Taiwan gives a good amount of money to think tanks, and we know they have a good amount of influence around town,” said Ben Freeman, director of the Foreign Influence Transparency Initiative at the Center for International Policy. “For most people in this town, Taiwan doesn’t have the scarlet letter that funding from Saudi Arabia or China would, but it begs the question, why not just disclose at the front of a report, ‘We get funding from this government,’” said Freeman, who authored “Foreign Funding of Think Tanks in America,” a recent report. “I don’t see the reasons you’d just keep this under wraps.” And yet, while urging greater U.S. economic and security commitments to Taipei, Washington’s most influential think tanks do just that.

What Taiwan’s money buys: When Ryan Hass of the Brookings Institution wrote for the Taipei Times in December about the importance of bipartisan support in both Taiwan and the U.S., it appeared to be an impartial op-ed. Nowhere in the article was the Taiwan government’s funding for Brookings and its scholars disclosed. One would have to go to Brookings’s 2019 annual report to see that TECRO provides between $250,000 and $499,999 to the think tank. In February, Hass, again writing for the Taipei Times, urged policymakers in Washington and Taipei to counter potential economic risks to Taiwan in a U.S.-China technology competition by “pursu[ing] a U.S.-Taiwan trade agreement that includes chapters covering trade in goods and services, as well as e-commerce, investment rules, and possibly other areas.”  The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with close ties to the Clinton and Obama administrations, collected between $50,000 and $99,999 from TECRO in 2019. That information was only disclosed in an “annual honor roll recognizing supporters who make gifts of $5,000 or more.”It was not disclosed when CAP senior fellow Trevor Sutton published a March column in Washington Monthly, in which he posited that strengthening U.S.-Taiwan relations would assist in “defeating” the “narrative” by “illiberal movements” to portray “democratic governance” as “messy, corrupt, and ineffective.” Nor was TECRO’s funding disclosed when CAP senior fellow Michael H. Fuchs published a September 2019 report on “How to Support Democracy and Human Rights in Asia,” and offered direct recommendations about what U.S. policymakers should do to “robustly support Taiwan.” [MORE]

Footnote: Taiwan is a breakaway Chinese province, one of hundreds led astray by warlords over the centuries. Like most US protectorates, it is a stagnant, corrupt backwater whose educated elite are leaving in droves for careers in China proper.


Those Chinese Scientists Arrested by the US?

Michael Lauer, deputy director of the NIH, confessed that 93% of the 189 researchers surveyed by the NIH had undisclosed scientific research funding from China, but only 4% of them have intellectual property issues, and another 9% had hidden the establishment of companies abroad. Under the pressure of the investigation, 54 scholars were expelled or offered to resign because they did not fully disclose their cooperation with China. The vast majority of them were ethnically Chinese scholars. Some scholars have also been prosecuted and sentenced. There were no cases of theft of significant intellectual property.

This means that the researchers under investigation did not, as previously claimed by the FBI, systematically transfer intellectual property rights to China or other countries. Rao Yi, a professor at Peking University, pointed out that even among the 4% of the respondents involved with IP rights issues, it could be their personal issues, and it does not mean that China’s initial establishment of the talent plans was for stealing US intellectual property rights. Rao Yi’s letter to NIH head Francis Collins August 2018:  “Your August 20th statement is shocking because it is the first time when any government official has issued a statement restricting scientific collaborations in peacetime. If there are competitions, the Olympic Games have shown us how to compete.”  [MORE]


Who Knew?

Trump’s Chip Ban Gives Huawei and South Korea an Enormous Incentive to Strike a Grand Bargain “Chip fabricators will remove American equipment from production lines in order to maintain market share in China.”  A US ban on foreign companies’ sales of chips to Huawei Technologies if American equipment or software is involved will undermine America’s already-weakened position in the global semiconductor equipment market, industry sources say. Chip fabricators will remove American equipment from production lines in order to maintain market share in China, the world’s largest purchaser of semiconductors.  [MORE]

Huawei surpassed Samsung to become the world’s largest smartphone maker in April, a feat that was considered impossible with America’s ban in effect. Huawei now holds a 19% market share ahead of Samsung’s 17%.

Huawei’s new 54,000 sq.ft flagship store in Shanghai has more than 200 customer care consultants that can provide support in 10 languages. At the same time, it also has 19 reception counters and 12 after-sales service area.

Shanghai Micro Electronics Equipment announced that the first China-made 28nm immersion type lithography machine will be delivered in 2021-2022. Although it still has a big gap with the Dutch 7nm chip preparation process, it also marks a leap forward in China-made lithography, which is gradually reducing the gap with ASML. The Chinese market accounts for one-third of global semiconductor sales, and there is an urgent need for semiconductor import substitution.[MORE]

Yangtze Memory Technologies has unveiled its latest 3D NAND memory chip with cutting-edge 128-layer technology. The Wuhan-based company, whose work was not interrupted by the Covid-19 outbreak, said its new chip, the X2-6070, has passed sample verification with several partners, and could start mass production by end of this year or in the first half of 2021. The rollout makes it China’s first NAND chip using 128-layer technology, where the number of layers determines the density of data storage. The new chips will come in two specifications, one featuring 1.33 terabytes of storage and the other 512 gigabytes, according to a company announcement dated on Sunday. Yangtze Memory hopes the 1.33 TB product will initially be used in high-capacity USB drives, flash memory cards and solid-state hard drives, and eventually be expanded into enterprise-level servers and data centers


The Ruling in the Meng Case

On 28 January 2019, formal charges were laid by the U.S. Department of Justice, accusing Meng’s employer, Huawei, of misrepresentations about its corporate organization which had enabled it to circumvent laws that imposed economic sanctions on Iran. Huawei was also charged with stealing technology and trade secrets from T-Mobile USA. Meng, the Chief Financial Officer of Huawei, was charged with fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. Huawei pled not guilty to the charges of violating the Iran sanction provisions in a New York court and not guilty to the stealing charges in a Seattle court. After a number of preliminary legal skirmishes, the extradition hearings against Meng began in 2020. Associate Justice Holmes issued her ruling on 27 May, 2020. Law takes its time.

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

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

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

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

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

Canada’s government has the authority to halt the extradition of a Huawei executive and should do so as part of efforts to secure the release of two Canadian citizens detained in China, a former Supreme Court Justice has said. Former Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour told Radio Canada on Tuesday that it was “high time for the [justice] minister to exercise his authority, his responsibility under the law and put an end to this process. From the beginning it was not in Canada’s interest to go ahead with this extradition request from the United States,” added Arbour, also a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. She added Meng is accused by Washington of violating “unilateral American sanctions against Iran” that Ottawa has never applied. [MORE]

Harry Glasbeek comments: Everyone on earth knew why US charged Huawei and its CFO: to obtain bargaining chips in its fight with China: to persuade Americans that the government was right to deny them access to cheaper goods and a better 5G system and to make China more pliable when the US demanded better trade terms and more protection for its intellectual property. There was no attempt to hide any of this. Did the Canadian government understand this? Of course. Did it feel it had to allow the U.S. to use Canada’s supposedly neutral legal machinery to further its political project? Of course. Could the Canadian government have said “no” and simply turned a blind eye when Wanzhou Meng landed in Vancouver? Of course. Was Associate Justice Holmes, at the very least, in a position to guess all of this? Of course.

More on the Meng Case – Jeff J Brown did a fascinating expose which he recently published at Covert Action Magazine and gave us permission to post here.

Exclusive: Huawei Sting Operation Exposed

What makes Meng’s story so volatile, is that, due to her being arrested/kidnapped in Canada, her case is now a ménage-à-trois, with Ottawa being the submissive, as it has been caught in the middle. While claiming that they are only “respecting its extradition treaties,” Canada and the U.S. indicate they must defer to their “independent judiciaries” and honor the “rule of law.” Upon close examination, however, this case demonstrates gross hypocrisy, if not many inconsistencies and fault lines. At least U.S. President Trump admitted publicly what routinely goes on behind closed doors. On December 11, 2018, just days after Meng’s apprehension, Trump said he would be happy to use her as a bargaining chip to win a better trade deal with China.


Finally, a Note to China from Michael Hudson

This is from January 2020 and I’m sure it was presented to Mr.Hudson’s students.  De-dollarization is the alternative to privatization and financialization.

“The United States is not telling China or Russia or third world countries or Europe how to get rich in the way that it did, by protective tariffs, by creating its own money and by making other countries dependent on it. The United States does not want you to be independent and self-reliant. The United States wants China to let itself become dependent on U.S. finance in order to invest in its own industry. It wants Chinese corporations to borrow from the United States, and to sell its stocks to US investors just like Khodorkovsky in Russia was trying to sell Yukos oil to Standard Oil, and essentially turn Russia’s oil reserves to U.S. investors.”


This represents but a fraction of what is included in the Here Comes China newsletter.  If you want to learn about the Chinese world, get Godfree’s newsletter here

China’s Reaction to a US Unannounced visit to Taiwan – PressTV Interview

By Peter Koenig

Global Research, November 24, 2020

Background

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is US_Taiwan-400x267.jpg

China has reacted strongly to a senior US official’s unannounced visit to Taiwan, warning that it will take legitimate and necessary action according to circumstances.

The Chinese foreign ministry spokesman reiterated Beijing’s firm opposition to any official ties between Taiwan and the US. The reaction came after the media cited sources, including a Taiwanese official, as saying that US Navy’s Rear-Admiral Michael Studeman was on a trip to the self-ruled island. He’s the director of an agency which oversees intelligence at the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command. The administration of US President Donald Trump has recently ramped up support for Taiwan, including with the approval of new arms sales and high-level visits. Beijing has long warned against such moves. China considers Taiwan a breakaway province and maintains its sovereignty over the region under the One-China policy.

Interview of Peter Koenig with Press TV

***

PK

China has of course every right to protest against any visit and any US intervention in Taiwan, be it weapons sales, or provoking conflict over Taiwan self-declared “sovereignty” which it clearly has not, as it is but a breakaway part of Mainland China.

By and large this looks to me like one of Trump’s last Lame Duck movements to do whatever he can to ruin relations between the US and China.

In reality, it will have no impact of significance.
In fact, China’s approach to Taiwan over the past 70 years, has been one of non-aggression. With various attempts of rapprochement – which most of the times were actually disrupted by US interference – as Taiwan is used by the US, not because Washington has an interest in Taiwan’s “democracy’ – not at all – but Taiwan is a tool for Washington to seek destabilizing China – not dissimilar to what is going on in Hong Kong, or Xinjiang, the Uyghur Autonomous Region, or Tibet.

But China’s objectives are long-term and with patience – and not with force.

Just look at China’s recently signed Trade Agreement with 14 countries – the so-called Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. This agreement alone is the largest in significance and volume of its kind ever signed in recent history. It covers countries with some 2.2. billion people and controlling about one third of world GDP.

And the US is not part of it.
Worse, the US-dollar is not even a trading currency.
This must upset the US particularly – especially since the 2-year trade war Trump was waging against China resulted in absolutely zilch – nothing – for the US. To the contrary, it pushed China towards more independence and away from the US.

The same applied to Chinese partners, happy to have honest trading partners, not of the western, especially the Washington-type, that dish out sanctions when they please and when they don’t like sovereign countries’ behavior.

So – no worries for China, but geopolitically, of course, they must react to such acts against international rules of diplomacy.

——
PressTV:
What will change under President Biden?

PK

Most likely nothing. To the contrary, Biden’s likely Secretary of Defense, Michèle Flournoy, played an important behind the scene role in the Obama Administration. She has not changed the aggressive position of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” which essentially consisted in surrounding China with weapons systems and in particular stationing about 60% of the US navy fleet in the South China Sea.

Though at this point, it looks like China is but the target of an off-scale aggression by President Trump, in reality, China is part of a long-term policy of the US, not only to contain China, but to dominate China.

As we see, though, to no avail.

Interestingly, China does not respond with counter-aggression, instead she moves steadily forward with new creations, towards an objective that does not seek domination, but a multi-polar, multi-connected world, via, for example, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – not the type of globalization that especially the Biden camp – along with the corporatocracy behind the World Economic Forum (WEF) is seeking.

The US empire is on the decline and China, of course, is aware of it. Washington may be lashing around in its deteriorating times, to create as much damage as possible and to bring down as many nations as they can. Case in point is the constant aggression, sanctions and punishment against Iran and Venezuela – but here too, these two countries are moving gradually away from the west and into the peaceful orbit of China – pursuing after all a shared bright future for mankind.


Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a water resources and environmental specialist. He worked for over 30 years with the World Bank and the World Health Organization around the world in the fields of environment and water. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe and South America. He writes regularly for online journals such as Global Research; ICH; New Eastern Outlook (NEO) and more. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.
Peter is also co-author of Cynthia McKinney’s book “When China Sneezes: From the Coronavirus Lockdown to the Global Politico-Economic Crisis” (Clarity Press – November 1, 2020)

Peter Koenig is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

The World is Changing: China Launches Campaign for Superpower Status

October 23, 2020

China’s President Xi Jinping (R) and US President Donald Trump. (Photo: File)

By Ramzy Baroud

The outdated notion that China ‘just wants to do business’ should be completely erased from our understanding of the rising global power’s political outlook.

Simply put, Beijing has long realized that, in order for it to sustain its economic growth unhindered, it has to develop the necessary tools to protect itself, its allies and their combined interests.

The need for a strong China is not a novel idea developed by the current Chinese President, Xi Jinping. It goes back many decades, spanning various nationalist movements and, ultimately, the Communist Party. What sets Xi apart from the rest is that, thanks to the unprecedented global influence acquired by Beijing during his incumbency (2013 – present), China is now left with no alternative but to match its ‘economic miracle’ with a military one.

US President, Donald Trump, made the trade deficit between his country and China a cornerstone in his foreign policy agenda even before his rise to power. That aside, it is the military deficit that concerns China most. While world media often focuses on China’s military encroachment in the South China Sea – often dubbed ‘provocations’ – little is dedicated to the massive US military presence all around China.

Tens of thousands of US troops are stationed in the West Pacific and in other regions, creating an encirclement, all with the aim of cutting off the possibility of any Chinese strategic expansion. Numerous US military bases dot the Asia-Pacific map, stationed mostly in Japan, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, Guam and Australia.

In response to China’s military maneuvers in the South China Sea, the US composed the 2018 National Defense Strategy, which is raising the prospects of military confrontations between the US and its Asian allies on the one hand, and China, on the other. US military expansion soon followed. On September 8, the Wall Street Journal, citing US officials, reported that the Republic of Palau has “asked the Pentagon to build ports, bases and airfields on the island nation”.

It is obvious that the Pentagon would not base such a consequential decision on the wishes of a tiny republic like Palau. The immensely strategic value of the country – spread over hundreds of islands in the Philippine Sea, with close ties to China’s arch-enemy and US ally, Taiwan – makes Palau a perfect choice for yet more US military bases.

This is not new. The rise of China, and its clear intentions to expand its military influence in the Pacific, has irked the US for years. Barack Obama’s administration’s ‘Pivot to Asia’ in 2012 was the genesis of the new American belief regarding the imminent challenges awaiting it in that region. The National Defense Strategy of two years ago was a further confirmation that the focal point of US foreign policy has largely shifted away from the Middle East to the Asia-Pacific.

The compromising language that became a feature in China’s foreign policy throughout the 1980s and 90s is now being supplanted by a different discourse, one of political resolve and unprecedented military ambitions. In his speech at the historic October 2017 Communist Party Congress in Beijing, Xi declared the dawn of a “new era”, one where development and strength must synchronize.

“The Chinese nation … has stood up, grown rich, and become strong. It will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contributions to mankind,” he said.

Since then, Xi has tirelessly aimed to strike the balance between strength, bravery and victory with that of progress, ingenuity and wealth. For the “China dream” to be realized, “it will take more than drum beating and gong clanging to get there.”

The Chinese quest to reach its coveted ‘center stage’ has already been launched in earnest. In the economic realm, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is in full swing. Announced by Xi in 2013, the giant plan hopes to outweigh all traditional trade channels that have been put in place over the course of many years. When completed, the China-led infrastructure network will establish connectivity throughout Asia as well as the Middle East and Africa. If successful, a future China could, once more, become a world-leading hub of trade, technological renovation and, of course, political power.

In contrast, the US has solidified its global dominance largely based on military might. This is why the US counter-strategy is now intently focused on military expansionism. On October 6, US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, said that his country’s navy requires more than 500 ships to counter China. Of this number, 355 traditional warfighting vessels are needed by 2035. This future fleet is dubbed “Battle Force 2045”.

Particularly intriguing in Esper’s recent announcement is the claim that by 2045, “Beijing wants to achieve parity with the United States Navy, if not exceed our capabilities in certain areas and to offset our overmatch in several others.” In fact, Beijing already has. China currently has the largest navy in the world and, according to the Pentagon, “is the top ship-producing nation in the world by tonnage.”

By China’s own calculations, Beijing does not need 25 more years to fully change the rules of the game. On October 15, President Xi told the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Marine Corps to focus their energy on “preparing for war”. Many interpretations have already been made of his statement, some linking it to the US, others to Taiwan, to various South China Sea conflicts and even to India. Regardless, Xi’s language indicates that China does not ‘just want to do business’, but is ready to do much more to protect its interests, even if this means an all-out war.

China’s foreign policy under Xi seems to portray an entirely different country. China now wields enough wealth, economic strategic influence – thus political power – to start the process of strategic maneuvering, not only in the Asia Pacific but in the Middle East and Africa, as well.

Another central piece in Xi’s strategy is to copy the American model and to rebrand China as a stately power, a defender of international law and against global crises. The US’ growing isolationism and failed leadership at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic have been Xi’s perfect opportunity for this new China debut.

The world is changing before our eyes. In the coming years, we are likely to, once more, speak of a bipolar – or, possibly, tri-polar – world, one in which Washington and its allies no longer shape the world for their benefit. In some way, China is well on its way to reclaim its new status.

– Ramzy Baroud is a journalist and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of five books. His latest is “These Chains Will Be Broken: Palestinian Stories of Struggle and Defiance in Israeli Prisons” (Clarity Press). Dr. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA) and also at the Afro-Middle East Center (AMEC). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net

As U.S. Tensions Soar With China, Taiwan Fears Cannon Fodder Risk

As U.S. Tensions Soar With China, Taiwan Fears Cannon Fodder Risk —  Strategic Culture

Source

Finian Cunningham October 22, 2020

After 40 years of “strategic ambiguity” in its partnership with the United States, Taiwan has taken the unprecedented move of calling Washington for “clarity” on whether it would be defended in the event of armed conflict with China.

The Washington Post reported last week a senior Taiwanese representative to the U.S. as saying: “We need some degree of clarity.” The post headlined with the question: “Would the U.S. protect Taiwan from China?”

The growing nervousness on the island territory off China’s southern coast comes amid heightened tensions between Washington and Beijing. Those tensions have been fueled by the Trump administration’s sharp divergence from respecting Washington’s erstwhile One China policy.

Washington severed official relations with Taiwan in 1979 in deference to China’s claims of territorial sovereignty over the island. That move was an expedient concession by Washington to inveigle China away from alliance with the Soviet Union. Taiwan became a redoubt for nationalist forces after the 1949 victory in the civil war by Chinese communists led by Mao Zedong.

During the past four decades, the U.S. has maintained friendly relations with the separatist government in Taipei. Past American administrations have sold arms to Taiwan. However, Washington has always refrained from declaring a military defense pact with the island, even as Beijing reserves the right to take back control by use of force if necessary.

Under Trump, relations were thrown into upheaval. Washington has signed off on an unprecedented number of offensive weapons deals over the past four years with Taiwan. Just last week the Trump administration gave notice that it was moving ahead with three separate advanced-arms packages, including rocket and missile launchers. The arming of Taiwan has provoked anger in Beijing which views the U.S. moves as turning the territory into a “porcupine”, and emboldening separatist intransigence.

There has also been a step-change in American military deployment in the Taiwan Strait. Last week saw the 10th passage this year of a guided-missile destroyer through the strait which the Pentagon calls “freedom of navigation” exercises in international waters.

China has stepped up its military presence in the southern region. Earlier his month, Beijing launched maneuvers which simulated an invasion of Taiwan. Warplanes of the People’s Liberation Army have also increased flights near Taiwan. From Beijing’s point of view, these drills are legal because it holds territorial claim over Taiwan.

The Trump administration seems to be using Taiwan in its wider confrontation with China over trade and geopolitical objectives. By ramping up support for Taiwan, it is calculated to be a destabilizing jab at China.

This summer, the U.S. sent its most senior official to Taiwan since 1979. Health Secretary Alex Azar’s visit infuriated Beijing as it openly flouted the One China status of Taiwan in relation to China. It was seen as a provocative snub to Beijing’s authority.

Taiwan’s President Tsai Ing-wen is being buoyed by what she sees as Washington’s moves towards restoring diplomatic relations. The Trump administration has called for Taiwan to be given full representation at the United Nations, which again is a daring insult to Beijing’s sovereignty.

It is not clear what policy a Joe Biden administration would adopt if the Democrat presidential candidate is elected to the White House on November 3. One hint comes from Michèle Flournoy who is speculated to be in the running to become Biden’s defense secretary. In June this year, Flournoy wrote a lengthly article in Foreign Affairs in which she urged tougher American military support for Taiwan to “deter China”.

On October 10, Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen delivered a strident separatist speech in she called for dialogue with Beijing “as equals”. While the proposition for dialogue might sound welcome, the presumption of “equals” would be seen in Beijing as impudent.

The dangerous tensions over Taiwan are a direct manifestation of U.S. policy to antagonize China. Taiwan is a classic pawn in a bigger game which Washington is pursuing with regard to trying to contain the rise of China as a perceived global rival to the U.S.

The Trump administration’s reckless arms sales to Taiwan have little to do with “protection” of the breakaway territory. China’s far greater military power is no match for the U.S. weapons being plied to the island. The American military-industrial complex is enjoying a surge in sales and profits, but there seems no conviction on Washington’s part to step up to the plate with regard to committing to a defense pact.

That self-serving ambiguity is putting Taiwan in a discomfiting bind. It is being caught in a geopolitical crossfire between the U.S. and China. In its antagonism with Beijing, Washington is fueling separatist tensions which could spark an armed confrontation through miscalculation or frustration.

No wonder Taiwan is belatedly demanding “clarity” from Washington as tensions reach boiling point. Nerves are fraying because, it seems, Taiwan is being assigned the role of American cannon fodder. The clarity it is seeking is unlikely to be rendered by Washington as the latter is only using Taiwan as a device against China.

The limits of Chinese power

October 08, 2020

The limits of Chinese power

By Pepe Escobar, posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times

Everything about US-China hinges on the result of the upcoming US presidential election.

Trump 2.0 essentially would turbo-charge its bet on decoupling, aiming to squeeze “malign” China on a multiple Hybrid War front, undermine the Chinese trade surplus, co-opt large swathes of Asia, while always insisting on characterizing China as evil incarnate.

Team Biden, even as it professes no desire to fall into the trap of a new Cold War, according to the Dem official platform, would be only slightly less confrontational, ostensibly “saving” the “rules-based order” while keeping Trump-enacted sanctions.

Very few Chinese analysts are better positioned to survey the geopolitical and geoeconomic chessboard than Lanxin Xiang: expert on relations between China, US and Europe, professor of History and International Relations at the IHEID in Geneva and director of the Center for One Belt, One Road Studies in Shanghai.

Xiang got his PhD at SAIS at Johns Hopkins, and is as well respected in the US as in China. During a recent webinar he laid out the lineaments of an analysis the West ignores at its own peril.

Xiang has been focusing on the Trump administration’s push to “redefine an external target”: a process he brands, “risky, dangerous, and highly ideological”. Not because of Trump – who is “not interested in ideological issues” – but due to the fact that the “China policy was hijacked by the real Cold Warriors”. The objective: “regime change. But that was not Trump’s original plan.”

Xiang blasts the rationale behind these Cold Warriors: “We made a huge mistake in the past 40 years”. That is, he insists, “absurd – reading back into History, and denying the entire history of US-China relations since Nixon.” And Xiang fears the “lack of overall strategy. That creates enormous strategic uncertainty – and leads to miscalculations.”

Compounding the problem, “China is not really sure what the US wants to do.” Because it goes way beyond containment – which Xiang defines as a “very well thought of strategy by George Kennan, the father of the Cold War.” Xiang only detects a pattern of “Western civilization versus a non-Caucasian culture. That language is very dangerous. It’s a direct rehash of Samuel Huntington, and shows very little room for compromise.”

In a nutshell, that’s the “American way of stumbling into a Cold War.”

An October Surprise?

All of the above directly connects with Xiang’s great concern about a possible October Surprise: “It could probably be over Taiwan. Or a limited engagement in the South China Sea.” He stresses, “Chinese military people are terribly worried. October Surprise as a military engagement is not unthinkable, because Trump may want to re-establish a war presidency.”

For Xiang, “if Biden wins, the danger of a Cold War turning Hot War will be reduced dramatically.” He is very much aware of shifts in the bipartisan consensus in Washington: “Historically, Republicans don’t care about human rights and ideology. Chinese always preferred to deal with Republicans. They can’t deal with Democrats – human rights, values issues. Now the situation is reversed.”

Xiang, incidentally, “invited a top Biden adviser to Beijing. Very pragmatic. Not too ideological.” But in case of a possible Trump 2.0 administration, everything could change: “My hunch is he will be totally relaxed, may even reverse China policy 180 degrees. I would not be surprised. He would turn back to being Xi Jinping’s best friend.”

As it stands, the problem is “a chief diplomat that behaves as a chief propagandist, taking advantage of an erratic president.”

And that’s why Xiang never rules out even an invasion of Taiwan by Chinese troops. He games the scenario of a Taiwanese government announcing, “We are independent” coupled with a visit by the Secretary of State: “That would provoke a limited military action, and could turn into an escalation. Think about Sarajevo. That worries me. If Taiwan declares independence, Chinese invade in less than 24 hours. “

How Beijing miscalculates

Unlike most Chinese scholars, Xiang is refreshingly frank about Beijing’s own shortcomings: “Several things should have been better controlled. Like abandoning Deng Xiaoping’s original advice that China should bide its time and keep a low profile. Deng, in his last will, had set a timeline for that, at least 50 years.”

The problem is “the speed of China’s economic development led to hot headed, and premature, calculations. And a not well thought of strategy. ‘Wolf warrior’ diplomacy is an extremely assertive posture – and language. China began to upset the US – and even the Europeans. That was a geostrategic miscalculation.”

And that brings us to what Xiang characterizes as “the overextension of Chinese power: geopolitical and geoconomic.” He’s fond of quoting Paul Kennedy: “Any great superpower, if overstretched, becomes vulnerable.”

Xiang goes as far as stating that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – whose concept he enthusiastically praises – may be overstretched: “They thought it was a purely economic project. But with such wide global reach?”

So is BRI a case of overstretching or a source of destabilization? Xiang notes how, “Chinese are never really interested in other countries’ domestic policies. Not interested in exporting a model. Chinese have no real model. A model has to be mature – with a structure. Unless you’re talking about export of traditional Chinese culture.”

The problem, once again, is that China thought it was possible to “sneak into geographical areas that the US never paid too much attention to, Africa, Central Asia, without necessarily provoking a geopolitical setback. But that is naiveté.”

Xiang is fond of reminding Western analysts that, “the infrastructure investment model was invented by Europeans. Railways. The Trans-Siberian. Canals, like in Panama. Behind these projects there was always a colonial competition. We pursue similar projects – minus colonialism.”

Still, “Chinese planners buried their head in the sand. They never use that word – geopolitics.” Thus his constant jokes with Chinese policy makers: “You may not like geopolitics, but geopolitics likes you.”

Ask Confucius

The crucial aspect of the “post-pandemic situation”, according to Xiang, is to forget about “that wolf warrior stuff. China may be able to re-start the economy before anyone else. Develop a really working vaccine. China should not politicize it. It should show a universal value about it, pursue multilateralism to help the world, and improve its image.”

On domestic politics, Xiang is adamant that “during the last decade the atmosphere at home, on minority issues, freedom of speech, has been tightening to the extent that it does not help China’s image as a global power.”

Compare it, for instance, with “unfavorable views of China” in a survey of nations in the industrialized West that includes only two Asians: Japan and South Korea.

And that brings us to Xiang’s The Quest for Legitimacy in Chinese Politics – arguably the most important contemporary study by a Chinese scholar capable of explaining and bridging the East-West political divide.

This book is such a major breakthrough that its main conceptual analyses will be the subject of a follow-up column.

Xiang’s main thesis is that “legitimacy in Chinese tradition political philosophy is a dynamic question. To transplant Western political values to the Chinese system does not work.”

Yet even as the Chinese concept of legitimacy is dynamic, Xiang stresses, “the Chinese government is facing a legitimacy crisis.” He refers to the anti-corruption campaign of the past four years: “Widespread official corruption, that is a side-effect of economic development, bringing out the bad side of the system. Credit to Xi Jinping, who understood that if we allow this to continue, the CCP will lose all legitimacy.”

Xiang stresses how, in China, “legitimacy is based on the concept of morality – since Confucius. The communists can’t escape the logic.

Nobody before Xi dared to tackle corruption. He had the guts to root it out, arrested hundreds of corrupt generals. Some even attempted two or three coups d’état.”

At the same time, Xiang is adamantly against the “tightening of the atmosphere” in China in terms of freedom of speech. He mentions the example of Singapore under Lee Kuan Yew, an “enlightened authoritarian system”. The problem is” China has no rule of law. There are a lot of legal aspects though. Singapore is a little city-state. Like Hong Kong. They just took over the British legal system. It’s working very well for that size.”

And that brings Xiang to quote Aristotle: “Democracy can never work in bigger countries. In city-states, it does.” And armed with Aristotle, we step into Hong Kong: “Hong Kong had rule of law – but never a democracy. The government was directly appointed by London. That’s how Hong Kong actually worked – as an economic dynamo. Neoliberal economists consider Hong Kong as a model. It’s a unique political arrangement. Tycoon politics. No democracy – even as the colonial government did not rule like an authoritarian figure. Market economy was unleashed. Hong Kong was ruled by the Jockey Club, HSBC, Jardine Matheson, with the colonial government as coordinator. They never cared about people in the bottom.”

Xiang notes how, “the richest man in Hong Kong only pays 15% of income tax. China wanted to keep that pattern, with a colonial government appointed by Beijing. Still tycoon politics. But now there’s a new generation. People born after the handover – who know nothing about the colonial history. Chinese elite ruling since 1997 did not pay attention to the grassroots and neglected younger generation sentiment. For a whole year the Chinese didn’t do anything. Law and order collapsed. This is the reason why mainland Chinese decided to step in. That’s what the new security law is all about.”

And what about that other favorite “malign” actor across the Beltway – Russia? “Putin would love to have a Trump win. The Chinese as well, up to three months ago. The Cold War was a great strategic triangle. After Nixon went to China, the US sat in the middle manipulating Moscow and Beijing. Now everything has changed.”

Could Taiwan Have Saved the World from the Coronavirus?

May 05, 2020

Could Taiwan Have Saved the World from the Coronavirus?

by Allen Yu for The Saker Blog

Many people in the West – apparently led on by the U.S. government – believe that the Chinese had covered up information regarding initial extent of the epidemic in China. Some had asserted that the death toll in China was actually magnitudes higher. When that could not be proven, some are taken to the notion that China kept data regarding human-to-human transmission from the world. The supposed evidence? An email Taiwanese authorities sent to the WHO on December 31.

This email has often been presented to constitute evidence that Taiwan had learned of and warned the WHO of human-to-human transmission in Wuhan, but that the WHO ignored. Turns out, the email did not make any such assertion. No one has been able to present an email from Taiwan to the WHO reporting any information about human-to-human transmission.

The Taiwan CDC has now put up a page indicating the “facts” about that email. As it turns out, Taiwan concedes now that when it sent out the email, it did not have any evidence about what was happening in Wuhan other than “online sources” and “rumors that were circulating.” Taiwan CDC insists however that because the mainland authorities used the term “atypical pneumonia,” which was used in SARS in 2003, Taiwan authorities had speculated that human-to-human transmission was a possibility.

Well … of course transmission was considered a possibility! However, epidemiology and public policy are not about speculations. No one wants a repeat of the H1n1 fiasco of a few years ago. (See, e.g., Sound the Alarm? A Swine Flu Bind, New York Times, 2009The elusive definition of pandemic influenza, Bulletin of the WHO, 2011Swine flu: is panic the key to successful modern health policy?, J. of the Royal Society of Medicine, 2010) What is needed is evidence to inform a commensurate response. This is what the Chinese experts and authorities worked so hard to figure out.

Evidence would soon come forth. Chinese researchers would determine a novel coronavirus to be the cause of these new pneumonia cases on January 8. On January 11, they would publish the sequence to the world. And On January 20, they would confirm human-to-human transmission. (For a detailed review of the Chinese early response, see, e.g., this report).

The allegation that Taiwan provided early warning of human-to-human transmission that China had covered up thus simply does not hold up to scrutiny. In the crucial early days of the outbreak, Taiwan did not do work relating to the virus and did not contribute any knowledge to the world regarding virus.

Below are some more details of Taiwan’s supposedly smoking gun email on China’s cover-up of Covid-19 (Chinese followed by English translation).

新华社北京4月17日电 国台办发言人朱凤莲17日应询向媒体表示,民进党当局声称,台防疫部门曾于去年12月31日向世卫组织发函“示警”新冠肺炎病毒“人传人”,世卫组织未向全球公开这项信息。这些说法完全不符合事实。

Xinhua News 4/17 PRC Taiwan Affairs Spokemans Mr. Zhu responding to journalist questions regarding Taiwan’s recently alleged that Taiwan had sent in an email on 12/31 to the WHO to warn of human-to-human transmissions and that the WHO has yet to disclose.

朱凤莲指出,新冠肺炎疫情发生以来,我们及时向世卫组织以及有关国家和地区通报疫情信息。去年12月31日,武汉市卫生健康委在官方网站首次对外发布《关于当前我市肺炎疫情的情况通报》,通报了27例病例,明确说明已采取隔离治疗措施。这既是向社会大众、也是向国际社会公布疫情信息,体现了我们对待疫情公开、透明、负责任的一贯态度。世卫组织当天也获悉有关情况。可以说,武汉卫健委公布的信息,为世卫组织立即决定自1月1日在该组织三个层级组建事故管理支持小组,并进入抗疫紧急状态发挥了关键作用。

Mr. Zhu has pointed that since the inception of Covid-19, we have notified the WHO as well as other relevant nations and authorities regarding the epidemic. On 12/31, Wuhan CDC announced on its website the up-to-date information, regarding 27 mysterious pneumonia cases and clearly detailing the quarantining measures being taken. The reports were presented to the public as well as to the international community and constituted our effort to a transparent and responsible. On the same day, we also sent a report to the WHO. WHO would soon set up IMST (Incident Management Support Team) across the three levels of the organization, putting the organization on an emergency footing for dealing with the outbreak.

朱凤莲说,台方所称12月31日邮件,仅是引述武汉卫健委公布的内容,并没有其他信息,也就是说武汉卫健委发布的信息是台方邮件内容的唯一信息来源。去年12月31日,台卫生部门还向国家卫健委发函了解武汉卫健委公布的信息,国家卫健委通过两岸医药卫生合作协议联系窗口书面回复台方,请其参考武汉卫健委公布的情况通报。事实很清楚,大陆方面首先公布信息,台卫生部门再进行转述,不存在所谓台方首先向世卫组织报告的情况。台方邮件也未提及“人传人”,主要是向世卫组织了解情况。台卫生部门1月4日、6日发新闻稿表示“并没有明显人传人现象及医护人员感染”。3月15日后台方却把去年12月31日转述邮件包装成首先“示警”信息。如果从“示警”角度看,这封邮件也不过是证明了武汉卫健委第一时间向社会公众和国际社会发布信息。可见,民进党当局的炒作是一个伪命题,目的就是作政治文章。一些外国政客跟风炒作,以讹传讹,借此攻击大陆和世卫组织,完全是别有用心的。

Mr. Zhu indicates, the so-called Taiwan email to the WHO on 12/31 merely quoted the contents of Wuhan CDC’s announcements and contained no other information. To stress, Wuhan’s CDC announcement on its website on 12/31 is the only source for Taiwan’s email to the WHO on 12/31. Taiwan CDC did contact Mr. Zhu seeking more information, and through Taiwan Affairs Department, Mr. Zhu did direct Taiwan CDC to public bulletins available on Wuhan CDC’s website. The timing is very clear. The Mainland side first announced information relating to unknown cases about pneumonia to the world. Taiwan side then sought more information. Taiwan DID NOT disclose information to the WHO before China had already provided the information to the WHO and the world. Taiwan’s email to the WHO was geared at soliciting information from the WHO and did not make any mention of “human-to-human” transmissions. In Taiwan CDC’s press briefings on 1/4 and 1/6, it is stated that there were “no obvious signs of human-to-human transmissions or transmissions to medical workers.” It is only after 3/15 that Taiwan side began promoting its 12/31 email to the WHO as an “early warning.” The email however was not an early warning and if anything supports the opposite proposition that the “early warning” came from Wuhan CDC. This whole recasting of Taiwan’s email to an early warning is but an attempt for political jockeying….

朱凤莲表示,台方称无法与世卫组织进行沟通,这封邮件却证明此言不实。台湾地区卫生机构通过世卫组织《国际卫生条例》架构下的联络窗口,可以及时获取世卫组织发布的信息并直接向世卫组织更新信息。台湾地区医疗卫生专家一直以适当身份参加世卫组织的会议。从2019年初到2020年3月,16批24人次台湾地区专家参加世卫组织举办的技术会议。大陆方面1月12日至14日即安排台湾专家到武汉实地考察,了解新冠肺炎确诊病人诊治和疫情处置情况。截至4月13日,大陆方面向台湾方面通报疫情信息127次。对这些情况,民进党当局一再回避,讳莫如深,始终不如实向岛内民众说明,不断炒作所谓“防疫缺口”,现在又大肆炒作“邮件示警”,可见其用心并不是公共卫生防疫。其实这些都不难理解,民进党当局这么做,不过是不断暴露“以疫谋独”的政治目的而已。

Mr. Zhu also pointed out that the idea that Taiwan authorities have no ability to community with the WHO is also utterly incorrect. Under the international framework provided under the WHO, Taiwan has the ability to communicate with and obtain most updated information with the WHO. Taiwan public health and medical workers have always had ability to join WHO meetings and conferences. From 2019 to March 2020, Taiwan has sent teams of 24 to WHO meetings and conferences some 16 times. From 1/12-1/14, the Mainland side has invited Taiwanese experts to Wuhan for visits and studies, to get the up to date information and to see measures we are taking on the ground. By 4/13, Mainland has already given Taiwan 127 official updates. We wish the Taiwan authorities would be clear and transparent about all this to the Taiwan public. It is unfortunate the Taiwan side has chosen to obfuscate truth and try to make political advantage out of this.

朱凤莲强调,世卫组织是由主权国家组成的联合国专门机构。台湾是中国的一部分,其参与世卫组织等国际活动,必须在一个中国原则下处理。民进党当局炒作世卫组织涉台问题、企图“以疫谋独”,是不可能得逞的。

Mr. Zhu stressed, WHO is an organization made up of sovereign nations. Taiwan is a part of China and not a sovereign nation. To join world activities, Taiwan must live up to the one-China principle.

Allen Yu is an IP attorney in Silicon Valley, a founding blogger at blog.hiddenharmonies.org, as well as an adjunct fellow at the Chunqiu Institute for Development and Strategic Studies. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a D. Engr., M.S., and B.S. from UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. 

حرب المضائق والجزر بين الغرب والصين والعدوان الأميركيّ

محمد صادق الحسيني

يقع بحر الصين الجنوبي بين الصين الشعبية شمالاً، وفيتنام وماليزيا غرباً، وجزء من ماليزيا في الجنوب الغربي، والفلبين في الشرق. وهو بالتالي يتوسّط أهم ممرّين بحريين، في كل منطقة آسيا وغرب المحيط الهندي، وهما مضيق مالاقا الواقع بين ماليزيا وجزيرة سومطرة الإندونيسية ومضيق تايوان الواقع بين جزيرة تايوان الصينية المنشقة والبر الصيني (جمهورية الصين الشعبية).

تنبع أهمية هذه الممرات او المصائد البحرية من كونها معبراً اجبارياً لسفن التجارة الدولية الى دول كل تلك المنطقة من العالم، بما في ذلك اليابان وكوريا الشمالية والجنوبية والفلبين وإندونيسيا وفيتنام ودول اخرى.

فعلى سبيل المثال لا الحصر فإن:

ما قائمتة 37.3 ترليون دولار من حجم التجارة العالمية يمر عبر المضيقين وبالتالي عبر بحر الصين الجنوبي
وأن 80% من واردات الصين النفطية والغازية تصل الى الصين عبر هذين المضيقين.
وان 39,8 من إجمالي واردات الصين وصادراتها الى العالم تمر عبر هذين المضيقين.
وبما أن بحر الصين الجنوبي يحتوي على مجموعات عدة من الجزر، مثل مجموعة جزر باراسيل (Paracel Islands)، التي لا تبعد أكثر من 250 كم عن البر الصيني / مقاطعة هاينان / وجزر سبراتلي (Spratly Islands)، وانطلاقاً من المسؤولية الدولية، التي تقع على عاتق جمهورية الصين الشعبية، كدولة عظمى وعضو دائم في مجلس الامن الدولي، فإن بكين قد عملت ومنذ انتصار الثورة في البلاد سنة 1949 على تأمين طرق التجارة الدولية في تلك البحار. وبما ان مجموعات الجزر، المذكورة اعلاه، تقع في نقاط حساسة من هذا البحر، فإن تأمينها، او بالأحرى تعزيز حمايتها، كان دائماً جزءاً من مسؤوليات بكين الأساسية، في حماية وتأمين طرق الملاحة التجارية الدولية. خاصة أن هذه الجزر جميعها ليست مشمولة بأية اتفاقيات دولية قد تشمل أساساً قانونياً، لاي جهة كانت، كي تطعن في سيادة الصين الشعبية عليها، وذلك لأنها كانت عبر التاريخ جزرًا صينية خالصة.

ولمزيد من الإضاءة على الموضوع فلا بد من الاشارة الى بعض الحقائق الهامة، المتعلقة بهذه الجزر، وأهم هذه الحقائق ما يلي:

1

ـ ان هذه الجزر بقيت خاضعة لسيطرة الدولة الصينية، ما قبل الفترة شيوعية، حتى سنة 1930، عندما قام الجيش الإمبراطوري الياباني باحتلال معظمها وأقام عليها قواعد او مرتكزات عسكرية له.

2

ـ ان الحكومة الفرنسية، بموجب اتفاقية جنيف، الموقعة سنة 1954 لإنهاء حرب الهند الصينية، بعد هزيمة فرنسا في معركة ديان بيان فو الفيتنامية، بقيادة الجنرال جياب، قد أعطت حق السيادة على معظم هذه الجزر لفيتنام الجنوبية، جنوب خط عرض 17، والذي بقي خاضعاً لحكم قادة محليين تابعين للاستعمار الأجنبي. علماً انه كان من المفترض، حسب اتفاقية جنيف نفسها، اجراء انتخابات عامة في جنوب فيتنام سنة 1956، لإعادة توحيد البلاد. لكن فرنسا وبدعم واضح من الولايات المتحدة قد عرقلت ذلك ومهدت بذلك لحرب فيتنام الثانية التي تورطت فيها الولايات المتحدة ومُنيت بهزيمة نكراء سنة 1975.

3

ـ ان جمهورية الصين الشعبية، وقبل هزيمة الولايات المتحدة، في حرب الهند الصينية – فيتنام وكمبوديا ولاوس – وسقوط سايغون، عاصمة جنوب فيتنام، وفي إجراء احترازي، لتعزيز امن تلك الجزر، وبعد ان اضطرت واشنطن ان تعطيها ضمانات بعدم التدخل في شؤون تلك الجزر، قامت بتعزيز حامياتها العسكرية فيها، وذلك خوفاً من قيام الجيش الاميركي باحتلال هذه الجزر ونشر فلول قواتة الهاربة من فيتنام الجنوبية فيها، واقامة قواعد عسكرية لضمان استمرار هيمنته على تلك المنطقة من العالم.

ولكن فشل تلك المحاولة الاميركية، أواسط سبعينيات القرن الماضي، لم يمنعها من مواصلة التحرش بالصين، ومحاولة إعادة سيطرتها على تلك الممرات البحرية الهامة. اذ انها لجأت، ومنذ بداية القرن الحالي، بتحريض دول المنطقة، وخاصة فيتنام، التي باعتها واشنطن قطعاً بحرية مهمة، ضد جمهورية الصين الشعبية، وشنت حملة إعلامية واسعة ضد بكين، خاصة بعد احتلال واشنطن لأفغانستان سنة 2001، وبدء عمليات الحشد والتطويق الاستراتيجيين لجمهورية الصين الشعبية، من قبل الولايات وحلفائها الغربيين في حلف شمال الأطلسي. كما ان اكتشاف النفط والغاز أواخر العشرية الاولى من هذا القرن، في بعض مناطق وجزر بحر الصين الجنوبي، قد صعَّد من عدوانية واشنطن بشكل كبير ضد الصين، اذ انها واصلت إرسال قطعها البحرية، من الاسطول الاميركي السابع على وجة الخصوص، الى بحر الصين الجنوبي وذلك بحجة أن الصين تقيم جزراً صناعية في هذا البحر لبناء منشآت عسكرية صينية عليها.

وعلى الرغم من مواصلة الصين سياسة الاستثمار في الحلول الدبلوماسية، ومواصلة الجهود السلمية للتوصل الى حلول سلمية، يرضى بها الجميع، وتحافظ على مصالح جميع الدول المعنية بموضوع بحر الصين الجنوبي وتوصلها الى اتفاقية مع مجموعة دول آسيان العشرة ASEAN COUNTRIES)) وتوقيعها بتاريخ 20/7/2011، وذلك كقاعدة للتعاون بين تلك الدول والصين الشعبية وحل جميع الخلافات البحرية بالطرق السلمية، إلا ان واشنطن لجأت الى خطوة استفزازية وتصعيدية، مثلت عدواناً مباشراً على مصالح الصين، وذلك عندما قامت سنة 2015 وفِي عهد باراك اوباما، بالتعاون مع دول الاستعمار القديم، فرنسا وبريطانيا، بتشكيل قوة بحرية أُطلق عليها اسم: فريدوم أوف ناڤِغيشن Freedom of navigation، ضمّت خلالها عدداً من مدمرات وبوارج الاسطول السابع الاميركي، الى جانب مدمرات وطرادات وفرقاطات فرنسية وبريطانية عدة، والتي بدأت بعمليات الاستفزاز والتحرش، بالجزر الصينية، وبقطع القوات البحرية الصينية، التي تقوم بأعمال الدورية الروتينية، في بحر الصين الجنوبي وبحر الصين الشرقي. وقد تصاعدت هذة الاستفزازات الأميركية الى حد عرقلة أعمال سفن الصيد الصينية وبشكل مستمر.

كما عمدت الاساطيل الاميركية منذ عام 2016، وفِي مسلسل خطوات استفزازية جديدة ضد الصين الشعبية، وضمن تعزيز عمليات الحشد الاستراتيجي الاميركي ضد الصين، بتنظيم تدريبات عسكرية بحرية مع القوات البحرية لدول آسيان، وهي: ميانمار، تايلاند، كمبوديا، ماليزيا، سنغافورة، إندونيسيا، بروناي، الفلبين وفيتنام، لاوس، التي تدّعي بعض منها السيادة على بعض جزر بحر الصين الجنوبي.

علماً ان قطع المجموعة البحرية الاميركية الاوروبية المشار اليها اعلاه تتعمد إجراء التمارين العسكرية مع سلاح البحرية لكل دولة من دول آسيان على حدة، وذلك لضمان وجود القطع البحرية الاميركية بشكل دائم في تلك البحار.

ولعله من الجدير بالذكر ايضاً ان رئيس الولايات المتحدة الحالي قد اكد، ومنذ تسلمة الحكم، على ما يلي:

أ ـ ضرورة تعزيز عملية: فريدوم أوف ناڤيغيشن، الاميركية الاوروبية المشار اليها اعلاه، في منطقة بحر الصين الجنوبي وذلك حفاظاً على استراتيجية استمرار ديناميكية (حركية) الانتشار العسكري الاميركي هناك.

ب ـ ان تكون استراتيجية الولايات المتحدة للانتشار العسكري الاميركي، في المنطقة، غير قابلة للتخمين او التوقع او التقدير وضرورة ان يتم نشر القطع البحرية هناك دون سابق إنذار ودون الاعلان عن ذلك.

ج ـ وفي هذا الإطار قامت القطع البحرية الاميركية الأوروبية، المكلفة بعملية فريدوم أوف ناڤيغيشن، ومنذ شهر أيار 2019 حتى اليوم، بتنفيذ اربع عمليات «دورية»، في محيط جزر باراسيل وجزر سبراتلي الصينية،

في بحر الصين الجنوبي، بالإضافة الى القيام بعمليات تحليق جوي، في اجواء الجزر المذكورة اعلاه، من قبل قاذفتي قنابل استراتيجيتين أميركيتين من طراز B 52، وفي الفترة الزمنية نفسها، المذكورة اعلاه.

فهل تقبل الولايات المتحدة أن تقوم القطع البحرية الصينية بأعمال الدورية البحرية، في محيط جزيرتي كاتارينا آيلاند (Catalina island)و تشانيل آيلاند (Chanel Island)، قبالة شواطئ لوس انجيلوس، ام أنها ستعتبر ذلك عدواناً صينياً على سيادتها؟

اوقفوا عدوانكم قبل أن يفوت الأوان وتصبح سواحلكم مسرحاً مفتوحاً للقطع البحرية الصينية وغيرها من الدول التي ترفض عنجهيتكم وعدوانكم المدان. انتهى زمن العربدة البحرية والجوية ولم تعد تخيف أحداً وأنتم تعلمون ذلك جيداً ولن تفيدكم المكابرة الزائفة والتي يجب ان تستعيضوا عنها بسياسة التعاون المثمر مع كل دول العالم ولإنقاذ اقتصادكم ومستقبل أجيالكم قبل كل شيء.

إن كنتم تفقهون.

بعدنا طيبين، قولوا الله…

RUSSIAN STATE-OWNED COMPANY ORDERS TRACKING BRACELETS TO ASSIST IN COVID-19 QUARANTINE

South Front

Russian State-Owned Company Orders Tracking Bracelets To Assist in COVID-19 Quarantine
A prototype of what the bracelet should look like. Click to see full-size image

A Russian state-owned company – Russian Advanced Electronics Technologies JSC ordered the urgent development and manufacture of an unnamed volume of a novel electronic wristband designed to control the movement of citizens under quarantine in view of the coronavirus pandemic, and other similar applications.

The developer is the Taiwanese company Himatek Computing Inc. (Xinbei).

This was reported by Taiwanese specialized semiconductor industry magazine “Mínguo Shíqí Bandaoti Wentí” (民國 時期 的 半導體 問題), published by the Taiwanese Science and Technology Association Yushan, in early March 2020.

As per the publication, the company acts on behalf of the Russian government, is financially capable and is only interested in the contract being fulfilled with the utmost haste.

Contract funding has been described by Taiwanese sources as “exceptionally generous.”

At the same time, the customer’s requirement is the complete transfer of technology and software codes with the aim of organizing the production of these bracelets in Russia – presumably in Zelenograd.

Initially, it is planned to use Taiwan-made chips to accelerate production, the supplier of which will be Himatek, but in the future the Russian side is determined to completely localize production using Russian-made chips.

The main requirement of the customer was the cost of the bracelet in bulk deliveries of not more than 500 Taiwan dollars ($16.5).

The bracelet must be extremely light, compact, to have an aesthetic appearance, to have a long battery life, as well as to make the bracelet somewhat hard to remove by normal means.

The bracelet should be equipped with a combined device for determining the exact location, combining the GLONASS module with positioning according to the data of mobile operators, for which it is equipped with a kind of built-in programmable micro-SIM card.

Location data is continuously transmitted through conventional cellular networks.

Also, the bracelet must contain information on the person wearing it within the built-in micro-memory card, and this information can be transmitted remotely at a distance of several meters to the corresponding scanner devices – thus, the bracelet will act as a comprehensive electronic identifier, for example, for law enforcement agencies and government and social services, and may also serve as a means of contactless payment, and so on.

Any attempt to remove or damage the bracelet should give a special signal for communication. Charging the device should also be remote through the appropriate device.

Representatives of Advanced Electronic Technologies JSC made it clear to Taiwanese counterparts that in the long run we are talking about the production of “tens of millions” of such devices to equip the entire population of Russia with them.

Everybody would have to wear it and there would be no possibility to remove it.

According to the publication, this is an idea of ​​the complete mandatory “chipization” of the population, and this “chipization” will be permanent after the coronavirus pandemic, putting the entire population of Russia under “organized control” and will enable track the location of each citizen.

Not wearing the bracelet or its inoperability will be considered an offense. It is assumed that the population will pay for the cost of the bracelet and its constant work in cellular networks in the form of a kind of small “security tax”, and will also be required to maintain its performance.

“It will be like an electronic passport.”

This is an example of the COVID-19 pandemic potentially being used as a justification for the introduction of various means of tracking citizen movements, which could potentially remain even after the epidemic, just for safety.

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دروس من معركة إدلب.. كيف تم إيقاف جموح إردوغان؟

 التطورات الأخيرة في إدلب السورية تزيح غبار التصعيد الحاد الذي شهده الأسبوع الأخير من شباط/فبراير، وتعيد لغة العقل إلى العمل من خلال محطتين بارزتين: مذكرة تفاهم روسية-تركية جديدة، وموقف رسمي سوري يرسم خطوط سوريا المستقبلية على لسان الأسد. فكيف أفضت المواجهة السورية-الروسية مع تركيا، إلى وقف جموح إردوغان في إدلب؟

بوتين وإردوغان في قمة حول ادلب في العاصمة الروسية موسكو – آذار/مارس (ا ف ب)

لم تكن الأسابيع الماضية سهلة بالنسبة إلى اللاعبين المعنيين بالوضع القائم في إدلب السورية. احتدم الصراع بصورة دراماتيكية، من دون أن يكون ذلك مفاجئاً لأحد من المتابعين لمواقف تلك الدول، وغاياتها، وإدارتها لسياستها طوال الأزمة السورية منذ بدايتها.

حاول الرئيس التركي رجب طيب إردوغان فرض أمرٍ واقع في إدلب، مستفيداً من دعمٍ أميركي لفظي. دعم بقي دون مستوى توقعات الرئيس التركي وفي مرحلة فقدت فيها الولايات المتحدة أوراقها القوية للتأثير في مسار الأزمة السورية على المستوى الميداني، وفي ما يتعلق بمستقبل سوريا بصورةٍ عامة في مدى أبعد.

 محاولة إردوغان باءت بالفشل لأسبابٍ عديدة، أولها صمود الجيش السوري وحلفائه في الميدان، وتكبيدهم القوات التركية خسائر بشرية قاسية، وثانيها رسائل عسكرية حمّالة للمعاني تضع في وعي إردوغان احتمالات الخسارات الميدانية المقبلة في حال تابع مغامرته هناك، وليس آخرها انعكاسات معركة إدلب على العلاقات الروسية-التركية، وحقيقة موقف إردوغان الضعيف في مثل تلك المواجهة مع روسيا.

المحاولة التركية الفاشلة استتر وراءها هدفان لإردوغان. تمثل الهدف الأول بمحاولة فرض بقاء قواته في سوريا ضمن عمقٍ بحجم محافظة إدلب، كمقدمة تأسيسية لموقف تركي قوي في شرق الفرات. فيما تمثل الهدف الثاني باستخدام هذه المكتسبات، فيما لو تحققت، لتحسين شروط معركته بوجه الروس في ليبيا.

في مقابل محاولة إردوغان تلك وأهدافها السورية والليبية، فرضت القوات السورية مع حلفائها تنفيذا قسرياً لاتفاقات سوتشي التي لم يلتزم بها إردوغان. بعد ذلك، كان لا بد من سلّم يتيح للرئيس التركي النزول عن شجرة المغامرة الخاسرة، فكان لقاؤه مع الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين الذي أخّره الروس بضعة أيامٍ، نضجت خلالها قناعة الرئيس التركي بالتراجع خطوة إلى الخلف.

ما من شك بأن حضور تركيا في سوريا لايزال قوياً ومؤثراً، ومن المنطقي جداً أيضاً إدراج نقاط عديدة تعلي من أهمية تركيا في أعين الروس، خصوصاً إذا استرجعنا موقف تركيا في المنافسة الجيوسياسية بين الأميركيين والروس على اجتذاب القوى الإقليمية الكبرى في “سياسة أحلاف محدّثة” تلوح ملامحها منذ سنوات من خلال الشبك الجديد بين القوى الناشئة من جهة، والتجميع الأميركي المتكرر لأطر الحلفاء في أكثر من منطقة حول العالم.

 في السنوات القليلة الماضية وجدت تركيا نفسها وحيدةً عند كل مواجهة يكون فيها الروس طرفاً مواجهاً. أيضاً وجدت أنقرة أن أولى الأيادي الممتدة لانتشالها من إخفاقاتها المتكررة هي الأيدي الروسية أو الإيرانية. هكذا حصل عند تعرض إردوغان لمحاولة الانقلاب الفاشلة في صيف 2015، وهكذا يحدث اليوم.

وعقب توتر العلاقات الروسية-التركية على خلفية إسقاط المقاتلة الروسية فوق الشمال السوري قبل سنوات، لوحت تركيا بقدرتها على إقفال مضيقي البوسفور والدردنيل في وجه السفن الروسية المتجهة نحو البحر الأبيض المتوسط. يومها أرسلت روسيا حاملة طائرات ومجموعة من القطع البحرية العسكرية واختبرت في بحر الواقع جدّية أنقرة التي تراجعت ورضخت للتفوق الروسي الذي لم يستند إلى قدرة عسكرية إمبراطورية أكبر حجماً من القياس التركي فحسب، بل إلى حق المرور السلمي الآمن وفق القانون الدولي بما يتصل بالممرات البحرية.

إذن، لا إمكانيات فاعلة لتركيا بوجه روسيا في حالات الاحتكاك المباشر. في حالات التنافس الحاد تؤكد التجربة كل مرة أن أنقرة تحتاج إلى جيرانها من أجل استعادة دورٍ أوسع من مساحتها، وعلى رأس جيرانها إيران وروسيا الحاميتان الأساسيتان لوحدة سوريا واستقلالها، والمراهنتان على مرحلة بناء جديدة في سوريا، واللتان لن تتهاونا في مواجه أي محاولة للمساس بها.

مذكرة التفاهم الجديدة الموقعة بين بوتين وإردوغان عقب أحداث إدلب الأخيرة تضمنت وقفاً لإطلاق النار، وإنشاء ممر آمن بطول 12 كيلومتراً. والمعنى السياسي لطول هذا الممر في ظل وقف إطلاق النار يقول إنه لا ولن يكون هناك مشروعاً سياسياً لتركيا في إدلب، إنما ضماناً لأمن تركيا فقط.

النتائج الحقيقية لتصعيد إدلب الأخير والاتفاق الروسي-التركي الجديد ظهرا جلياً في مقابلة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد مع قناة “روسيا24″، والتي تضمنت تحديداً منطقياً للموقف من المساعي التركية في الشمال السوري، ويمكن القول إن مقاربة الأسد كانت إيجابية حين أكد أن قواته “لم تقم بأي عمل عدائي ضد تركيا”، وأنه “حتى تعود العلاقات بين البلدين” على إردوغان “التخلي عن دعم الإرهاب”.

في هذا الموقف شروط طبيعية جداً ويد ممدودة لأنقرة. موقف يطرح تساؤلين ملحّين أمام إردوغان وجميع الأتراك: الأول يقول إنه إذا كانت سوريا تحارب الجماعات الإرهابية في إدلب، ما الذي يضر أنقرة في ذلك؟ أما السؤال الآخر، فهو الذي طرحه الأسد نفسه، “ما القضية التي تستحق أن يموت من أجلها الجنود الأتراك في سوريا؟”.

 من خلال مواقف الرئيس السوري، يتضح أن سوريا تسير نحو مستقبلها من خلال انتخابات تشريعية في غضون أشهر، على الرغم من وضعه الكرة في ملعب الأميركيين الذي يحاولون من بعيد عرقلة هذه الانطلاقة عبر ترهيب الشركات الأجنبية المتحفزة بقوة للمشاركة بإعادة إعمار سوريا من جهة، ومحاولة تأخير هذا المشروع الضخم، كما من خلال “سرقة” النفط السوري. بالإضافة إلى ترهيب الدول الأوروبية والعربية من استعادة علاقاتها بدمشق، وهو أمرٌ لا بد سيحدث بحكم قوانين السياسة ومنطق الصراع.

أما السؤال عن موقف أنقرة من الخطوة التالية بعد الأحداث الأخيرة، فقد أجاب عليه المنسق الروسي للمفاوضات بين الأطراف السورية في موسكو وجنيف فيتالي نعومكن، حين رجّح أن تسحب تركيا قواتها من إدلب، وتقبل ببسط الجيش السوري سيطرته، وتأكيده أن الجيش السوري حقق أهدافه في إدلب بإنهاء سيطرة المسلحين على طريقي M4 وM5.

تستخدم رؤية دمشق الجديدة لمستقبل سوريا دروس الحرب كقوة دافعة نحو المرحلة الجديدة. بوتين والأسد تحدّثا الجمعة 6 آذار/مارس هاتفياً عن أن تنفيذ الاتفاقيات سيحقق الاستقرار في إدلب. وهذا يبدو قراراً أكثر مما هو توقعات أو أمنيات.

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China’s Coronavirus: A Shocking Update. Did The Virus Originate in the US?

Japan, China and Taiwan Reports on the Origin of the Virus

By Larry Romanoff

Global Research, March 04, 2020

The Western media quickly took the stage and laid out the official narrative for the outbreak of the new coronavirus which appeared to have begun in China, claiming it to have originated with animals at a wet market in Wuhan.

In fact the origin was for a long time unknown but it appears likely now, according to Chinese and Japanese reports, that the virus originated elsewhere, from multiple locations, but began to spread widely only after being introduced to the market.

More to the point, it appears that the virus did not originate in China and, according to reports in Japanese and other media, may have originated in the US.

Chinese Researchers Conclude the Virus Originated Outside of China

After collecting samples of the genome in China, medical researchers first conclusively demonstrated that the virus did not originate at the seafood market but had multiple unidentified sources, after which it was exposed to the seafood market from where it spread everywhere. (1) (2) (3)

According to the Global Times:

A new study by Chinese researchers indicates the novel coronavirus may have begun human-to-human transmission in late November from a place other than the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan.

The study published on ChinaXiv, a Chinese open repository for scientific researchers, reveals the new coronavirus was introduced to the seafood market from another location(s), and then spread rapidly from the market due to the large number of close contacts. The findings were the result of analyses of the genome data, sources of infection, and the route of spread of variations of the novel coronavirus collected throughout China.

The study believes that patient(s) zero transmitted the virus to workers or sellers at the Huanan seafood market, the crowded market easily facilitating further transmission of the virus to buyers, which caused a wider spread in early December 2019. (Global Times, February 22, 2020, emphasis added (2)

Chinese medical authorities – and “intelligence agencies” – then conducted a rapid and wide-ranging search for the origin of the virus, collecting nearly 100 samples of the genome from 12 different countries on 4 continents, identifying all the varieties and mutations. During this research, they determined the virus outbreak had begun much earlier, probably in November, shortly after the Wuhan Military Games.

They then came to the same independent conclusions as the Japanese researchers – that the virus did not begin in China but was introduced there from the outside.

China’s top respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan  said on January 27

“Though the COVID-19 was first discovered in China, it does not mean that it originated from China”

“But that is Chinese for “it originated someplace else, in another country”. (4)

This of course raises questions as to the actual location of origin. If the authorities pursued their analysis through 100 genome samples from 12 countries, they must have had a compelling reason to be searching for the original source outside China. This would explain why there was such difficulty in locating and identifying a ‘patient zero’.

Japan’s Media: The Coronavirus May Have Originated in the US

In February of 2020, the Japanese Asahi news report (print and TV) claimed the coronavirus originated in the US, not in Chinaand that some (or many) of the 14,000 American deaths attributed to influenza may have in fact have resulted from the coronavirus. (5)

A report from a Japanese TV station disclosing a suspicion that some of those Americans may have unknowningly contracted the coronavirus has gone viral on Chinese social media, stoking fears and speculations in China that the novel coronavirus may have originated in the US.

The report, by TV Asahi Corporation of Japan, suggested that the US government may have failed to grasp how rampant the virus has gone on US soil.

However, it is unknown whether Americans who have already died of the influenza had contracted the coronavirus, as reported by TV Asahi. (People’s Daily, English, February 23, 2020, emphasis added)

On February 14, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said they will begin to test individuals with influenza-like-illness for the novel coronavirus at public health labs in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, and New York City.

The TV Asahi network presented scientific documentation for their claims, raising the issue that no one would know the cause of death because the US either neglected to test or failed to release the results. Japan avoided the questions of natural vs. man-made and accidental vs. deliberate, simply stating that the virus outbreak may first have occurred in the US. The Western Internet appears to have been scrubbed of this information, but the Chinese media still reference it.

These claims stirred up a hornet’s nest not only in Japan but in China, immediately going viral on Chinese social media, especially since the Military World Games were held in Wuhan in October, and it had already been widely discussed that the virus could have been transmitted at that time – from a foreign source.

“Perhaps the US delegates brought the coronavirus to Wuhan, and some mutation occurred to the virus, making it more deadly and contagious, and causing a widespread outbreak this year.” (People’s Daily, February 23, 2020) (1)

China – Western China Bashing – vs. Western Biowarfare?

Shen Yi, an international relations professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, stated that global virologists “including the intelligence agencies” were tracking the origin of the virus. Also of interest, the Chinese government did not shut the door on this. The news report stated:

“Netizens are encouraged to actively partake in discussions, but preferably in a rational fashion.”

In China, that is meaningful. If the reports were rubbish, the government would clearly state that, and tell people to not spread false rumors.

Taiwan Virologist Suggests the Coronavirus Originated in the US

Then, Taiwan ran a TV news program on February,27,(click here to access video (Chinese), that presented diagrams and flow charts suggesting the coronavirus originated in the US. (6)

Below is a rough translation, summary and analysis of selected content of that newscast. (see map below)

The man in the video is a top virologist and pharmacologist who performed a long and detailed search for the source of the virus. He spends the first part of the video explaining the various haplotypes (varieties, if you will), and explains how they are related to each other, how one must have come before another, and how one type derived from another. He explains this is merely elementary science and nothing to do with geopolitical issues, describing how, just as with numbers in order, 3 must always follow 2.

click map to enlarge

One of his main points is that the type infecting Taiwan exists only in Australia and the US and, since Taiwan was not infected by Australians, the infection in Taiwan could have come only from the US.

The basic logic is that the geographical location with the greatest diversity of virus strains must be the original source because a single strain cannot emerge from nothing. He demonstrated that only the US has all the five known strains of the virus (while Wuhan and most of China have only one, as do Taiwan and South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam, Singapore, and England, Belgium and Germany), constituting a thesis that the haplotypes in other nations may have originated in the US.

Korea and Taiwan have a different haplotype of the virus than China, perhaps more infective but much less deadly, which would account for a death rate only 1/3 that of China.

Neither Iran nor Italy were included in the above tests, but both countries have now deciphered the locally prevalent genome and have declared them of different varieties from those in China, which means they did not originate in China but were of necessity introduced from another source. It is worth noting that the variety in Italy has approximately the same fatality rate as that of China, three times as great as other nations, while the haplotype in Iran appears to be the deadliest with a fatality rate of between 10% and 25%. (7) (8) (9)

Due to the enormous amount of Western media coverage focused on China, much of the world believes the coronavirus spread to all other nations from China, but this now appears to have been proven wrong. With about 50 nations scattered throughout the world having identified at least one case at the time of writing, it would be very interesting to examine virus samples from each of those nations to determine their location of origin and the worldwide sources and patterns of spread.

The Virologist further stated that the US has recently had more than 200 “pulmonary fibrosis” cases that resulted in death due to patients’ inability to breathe, but whose conditions and symptoms could not be explained by pulmonary fibrosis. He said he wrote articles informing the US health authorities to consider seriously those deaths as resulting from the coronavirus, but they responded by blaming the deaths on e-cigarettes, then silenced further discussion. …

The Taiwanese doctor then stated the virus outbreak began earlier than assumed, saying, “We must look to September of 2019”.

He stated the case in September of 2019 where some Japanese traveled to Hawaii and returned home infected, people who had never been to China. This was two months prior to the infections in China and just after the CDC suddenly and totally shut down the Fort Detrick bio-weapons lab claiming the facilities were insufficient to prevent loss of pathogens. (10) (11)

He said he personally investigated those cases very carefully (as did the Japanese virologists who came to the same conclusion).. This might indicate the coronavirus had already spread in the US but where the symptoms were being officially attributed to other diseases, and thus possibly masked.

The prominent Chinese news website Huanqiu related one case in the US where a woman’s relative was told by physicians he died of the flu, but where the death certificate listed the coronavirus as the cause of death. On February 26, ABC News affiliate KJCT8 News Network reported that a woman recently told the media that her sister died on from coronavirus infection. Montrose, Colorado resident Almeta Stone said, “They (the medical staff) kept us informed that it was the flu, and when I got the death certificate, there was a coronavirus in the cause of death.” (12)We cannot ascertain the number of such cases in the US but since the CDC apparently has no reliable test kits and is conducting little or no testing for the virus, there may be others.
***

Just for information

In the past two years (during the trade war) China has suffered several pandemics:

  • February 15, 2018: H7N4 bird flu. Sickened at least 1,600 people in China and killed more than 600. Many chickens killed. China needs to purchase US poultry products.
  • June, 2018: H7N9 bird flu. Many chickens killed. China needs to purchase US poultry products.
  • August, 2018: outbreak of African swine flu. Same strain as Russia, from Georgia. Millions of pigs killed. China needs to purchase US pork products.
  • May 24, 2019: massive infestation of armyworms in 14 province-level regions in China, which destroy most food crops. Quickly spread to more than 8,500 hectares of China’s grain production. They produce astonishing numbers of eggs. China needs to purchase US agricultural products – corn, soybeans.
  • December, 2019: Coronavirus appearance puts China’s economy on hold.
  • January, 2020: China is hit by a “highly pathogenic” strain of bird flu in Hunan province. Many chickens died, many others killed. China needs to purchase US poultry products.

The standard adage is that bad luck happens in threes, not sixes.

***

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Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms, and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr. Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at: 2186604556@qq.com. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Notes(1) https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1180429.shtml

(2) https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-02-23/New-study-shows-Wuhan-seafood-market-not-the-source-of-COVID-19-OjhaHnwdnG/index.html

(3) https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0140-6736%2820%2930183-5

(4) http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-02/27/c_138824145.htm

(5) http://en.people.cn/n3/2020/0223/c90000-9661026.html

(6) https://m.weibo.cn/status/4477008216030027#&video

(7) http://en.people.cn/n3/2020/0301/c90000-9663473.html

(8) http://www.ansa.it/english/news/2020/02/27/coronavirus-italian-strain-isolated-at-sacco-hospital_986ff0c2-7bd6-49fe-bbef-b3a0c1ebd6f4.html

(9) Coronavirus has Mutated, Iran attacked by a Different Strain from Wuhan

(10) https://www.fredericknewspost.com/news/health/fort-detrick-lab-shut-down-after-failed-safety-inspection-all/article_767f3459-59c2-510f-9067-bb215db4396d.html

(11) https://www.unz.com/wwebb/bats-gene-editing-and-bioweapons-recent-darpa-experiments-raise-concerns-amid-coronavirus-outbreak/

(12) https://www.sohu.com/a/376454525_164026

The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Larry Romanoff, Global Research, 2020

U.S.-UK Deep State Tries to Grab Hong Kong

by Eric Zuesse for The Saker Blog

U.S.-UK Deep State Tries to Grab Hong Kong

What can explain these recent instances, proven by Agence France-Press, in which outright frauds — lies (in the form of faked photos and videos) — are being spread online to support the agenda of breaking off, from China, Hong Kong (which has historically always a part of China), so as to make Hong Kong an ‘independent’ nation?:

——

https://factcheck.afp.com/
This video actually shows Chinese tanks in Hong Kong in June 2012
26 July 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/old-
This is an old video of a training exercise by South Korean riot police
29 July 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/
The press pass in this doctored photo is from Apple Daily’s Taiwan bureau, not Hong Kong
30 July 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/all-
All crime legal in Hong Kong for 12 hours? No, the ’emergency broadcast’ is fictional
5 August 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/
This photo shows a different cat — the owner of Hong Kong’s Brother Cream says he is unharmed
8 August 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/its-
It’s an old photo of an actor on a Hong Kong TV show
9 August 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/
This video shows Hong Kong police firing tear gas at Kwai Fong station in August 2019
14 August 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/
Gangsters beat up Hong Kong protester? The video was actually filmed in Taiwan in 2018 and shows a man being attacked over debts
16 August 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/
Hong Kong airport has said ‘all lighting operated as normal’
20 August 2019
https://factcheck.afp.com/
These pictures are from protests in France and Spain, not recent demonstrations in Hong Kong
21 August 2019

——

The context might explain it:

On August 14th, Toronto lawyer Christopher Black, who is an expert on U.S.-UK Deep State efforts to grab back Hong Kong for the British Empire, headlined at Global Research “America’s ‘Hybrid War’ against China has Entered a New Phase”, and he described a six-phase “hybrid war” by the U.S.-UK Deep State against China in Hong Kong:

The first stage involved the massive shift of US air and naval forces to the Pacific. …

The second stage was the creation of disinformation about China’s treatment of minority groups, especially in Tibet and west China. …

[The third stage is] the propaganda was extended to China’s economic development, its international trade, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, its Silk and Belt Road Initiative, its development bank, and other facilities and trade initiatives, through which China is accused of trying to control the world. …

The fourth phase is the US attempt to degrade the Chinese economy with punitive “tariffs,” …

A fifth phase [is] the kidnapping and illegal detention of Meng Wanzhou, the Chief Financial Officer of China’s leading technology company Huawei, …

[The sixth phase] in this hybrid warfare is the insurrection being provoked by the US, UK, Canada and the rest in Hong Kong, …

Also on August 14th, the anonymous “Moon of Alabama” blogger (a German intelligence-analyst), headlined “Violent Protests In Hong Kong Reach Their Last Stage”, and he opened:

The riots in Hong Kong are about to end.

The protests, as originally started in June, were against a law that would have allowed criminal extraditions to Taiwan, Macao and mainland China. The law was retracted and the large protests have since died down. What is left are a few thousand students who, as advertised in a New York Times op-ed, intentionally seek to provoke the police with “marginal violence”:

“Such actions are a way to make noise and gain attention. And if they prompt the police to respond with unnecessary force, as happened on June 12, then the public will feel disapproval and disgust for the authorities. The protesters should thoughtfully escalate nonviolence, maybe even resort to mild force, to push the government to the edge. That was the goal of many people who surrounded and barricaded police headquarters for hours on June 21.”

The protesters now use the same violent methods that were used in the Maidan protests in the Ukraine. The U.S. seems to hope that China will intervene and create a second Tianamen sceneThat U.S. color revolution attemptfailed but was an excellent instrument to demonize China. A repeat in Hong Kong would allow to declare a “clash of civilization” and increase ‘western’ hostility against China. But while China is prepared to intervene it is unlikely to do the U.S. that favor. Its government expressed its confidence that the local authorities will be able to handle the issue.

There are rumors that some Hong Kong oligarchs were originally behind the protests to prevent their extradition for shady deals they made in China. There may be some truth to that. China’s president Xi Jingpin is waging a fierce campaign against corruption and Hong Kong is a target-rich environment for fighting that crime.

The former British colony is ruled by a handful of oligarchs who have monopolies in the housing, electricity, trade and transport markets: …

Then there was this from him, after the Sunday, August 18th, demonstration:

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https://www.moonofalabama.org/

August 19, 2019

Which Hong Kong Protest Size Estimate is Right?

The New York Times further promotes the protests in Hong Kong by quoting an extravagant crowd size estimate of yesterday’s march.

… So what is it? 128,000 or the 13 times bigger 1.7 million? With the mood set in the first paragraphs the Times is clearly promoting the larger estimate.

But that estimate is definitely false. (As was my own early estimate of 15-20,000 based on early pictures of the event.) It is impossible that 1.7 million people took part in the gathering and march. There is no way that the 1.7 million people would physically fit in or near the protest venue.

——

He demonstrated there, beyond question, that the NYT’s allegation that the crowd was 1,700,000 was at least 13 times too large.

Consequently, since all of those matters are documented facts — not mere conjectures — the rational conclusion would be that the same Deep State that overthrew Iran’s democracy in 1954, and that overthrew Guatemala’s democracy in 1954, and that overthrew Chile’s democracy in 1973, and that overthrew Ukraine’s democracy in 2014, and that installed brutal military regimes in each one of those places, and that also in many other instances has installed dictatorial U.S.-controlled vassal-states, and that has been trying to do similar things to Libya, and to Syria, and to Venezuela, and to Russia (“color revolutions” they are called) is trying to do that also in Hong Kong. And, as has always been the case in the past, the U.S.-and-allied Deep State regime’s propaganda is that this is being done for ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’. This would explain those hoaxes that AFP has been documenting against Hong Kong’s government.

The lying continues on, at all U.S. mainstream (and most of its non-mainstream) ‘news’-media, such as:

——

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/

A Guide To What’s Happening In Hong Kong

August 20, 2019 12:38 PM ET COLIN DWYER

Organizers say more than a million demonstrators gathered Sunday in Hong Kong … carrying umbrellas that have come to signify resistance. …

Janis Mackey Frayer✔@janisfrayer

Pouring rain in #HongKong but tens of thousands still protesting today… chanting ‘Hong Kong people, keep going’. The rally is seen as a measure of public support for the protest movement, after 11 consecutive weekends and increasingly violence. @NBCNews @NBCNightlyNews @MSNBC

5:26 AM – Sun. Aug 18, 2019 …

“We demand that the bill be formally withdrawn now,” said Alvin Yeung, a member of the region’s Legislative Council and leader of the pro-democracy Civic Party. He also told All Things Considered that protesters are demanding “an independent inquiry to look into police misconduct and brutality.”

“That is something so simple that any open and civil society would do,” he added. “But then this government has been refusing to set up a commission to look into that. And more importantly, of course, is a democratic system.” …

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/

Twitter And Facebook Shut Down Fake Propaganda Accounts Run By Chinese Government

August 20, 20194:23 PM ET

Heard on All Things Considered

NPR’s Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Adam Segal, at the Council on Foreign Relations, about Facebook and Twitter shutting down hundreds of fake accounts run by the Chinese government.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

We have heard a lot about Russia creating fake social media accounts to influence political discourse in other countries. Now Facebook and Twitter say they have shut down hundreds of fake accounts created and run by the Chinese government. These pages are mainly spreading messages against the Hong Kong protests.

Adam Segal is the director of digital and cyberspace policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He has studied China’s use of disinformation, and he joins us now. Hi, there.

ADAM SEGAL: Thanks for having me.

KELLY: So help us understand what exactly China stands accused of doing. Give me an example of one of these fake accounts and what it’s been tweeting or posting.

SEGAL: Twitter and Facebook have said that the Chinese have created fake accounts or inauthentic accounts and that they’ve spread disinformation about the protests in Hong Kong. Some of the accounts have compared the protesters to cockroaches or to ISIS and have suggested that they’ve taken money from either foreigners or what one of the accounts called bad guys.

KELLY: What is the scope of this operation, as far as we can tell? …

——

The amazing thing is that America’s leading ‘reporters’ of ‘news’ continue on with their lying even after it has been conclusively exposed in honest foreign, and in the honest non-mainstream, news-sites online (such as here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here — all 25 of those are great  news-sites, reliable news-sites, news-sites that are punctilious about truth, and careful to avoid lies). America’s leading ‘reporters’ just ignore truth, and they continue to pump the regime’s lies, as stenographers for its lies, trusting and never challenging such ‘authorities’ as the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Brookings Institution, and the U.S. Government, and the New York Times, and the Washington Post, and U.S. TV and radio, etc. — all of the same fraudsters who were pumping for the invasion of Iraq, up to and including the U.S. regime’s criminal invasion in 2003. This country hasn’t learned a thing, except lies, since at least  2003. There seems to be an endless market for lies, in the U.S.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

 

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