Trump’s Trade War May Be His Waterloo

Trump’s Trade War May Be His Waterloo

MATTHEW JAMISON | 16.12.2018

Trump’s Trade War May Be His Waterloo

With the passing of former American President George Herbert Walker Bush we have been reminded of what a sincere and good friend President Bush was of China and the Chinese people, and how after President Nixon’s seminal opening to China, Bush played a pivotal role in cementing the burgeoning diplomatic relationship between the USA and PRC, for the benefit of the planet as a whole.

This wise and enlightened statesmanship and with it the careful and thoughtful management of the Sino-American alliance stands in stark contrast to the reckless and bewildering management (or mismanagement) of American-Chinese relations under the Trump administration. The Trump administration have taken US-China relations to their worst state of being since Nixon and Kissinger’s historic founding of modern diplomatic relations between the two global giants in the 1970s with Chairman Mao.

By initiating a bewildering and highly damaging, plus needless, trade war between the Earth’s two largest economies Trump squandered much good will that existed after his election to attempt to work in a serious and statesmanlike fashion for the betterment of the Washington-Beijing relationship – the most important strategic state on state diplomatic relationship of the 21st century. The appointment of the Trade advisor Peter Navarro has also been extremely nauseating and disturbing for the overall direction of the Trump administration’s policy regarding China.

It has been bewildering because the tariffs the Trump administration have introduced on American-Chinese trade have badly hit American businesses and consumers, not that a person and shabby con artist business merchant such as Trump could care less about that, he has after all spent his entire life sticking it to working class folks. There has always been a natural, organic synergy to US-China relations with a mutual win-win for both countries rather than a zero-sum game. That is why the Tariffs have been so disruptive, damaging and discouraging for the symbiotic nature of the Washington-Beijing alliance, and it is an alliance, that when a good and healthy state of relations between DC and Beijing has existed has always been of the greatest benefit for the American and Chinese peoples united in friendship and cooperation and for the world as a whole.

That is why the management of the American-Chinese relationship is of the greatest strategic global geopolitical importance, especially as this century the PRC will be an incredible economic superpower that will drive and influence a huge amount of global economic growth. With this the management and handling of the relationship between America and China is a top tier significant planetary and historical matter alongside such pressing global challenges of our age like climate change. By behaving so badly and acting in such an immature, petty and irresponsible way in conducting Superpower diplomacy with a pre-eminently ancient, supremely wise and magnificent civilization such as China, Donald Trump may just finally have met his Waterloo. Unless Trump changes tack immediately matters will only get worse for the Trump administration, and indeed further down the line in years to come, the Trump organisation.

Trump must sack Peter Navarro and have a shake up and overhaul of the Office of US Trade Representative. Protectionists must be junked and a preference for free trade restored. Trump must also stop his anti-China rhetoric which is not helpful and only serves to whip up unfounded prejudice and paranoia among his supporters. Trump must also desist immediately from pursuing the CFO of Huawei and shut that appallingly politically motivated case down. The Trump Trade Tariffs must go with normalcy returning to US-China trade which was the case before Trump instigated these disgusting tariffs. And Trump must rein in his Vice-President Mike Pence who has been making matters worse and increasing tensions with ignorant, inflammatory and stupid comments regarding the rightful Chinese sovereignty over the South China Sea. Trump is fundamentally a non-serious spoilt brat showman who has never really had to work hard for anything in his life but rather has had it handed to him on a plate. As a politician, apart from getting some groups whipped up and putting on one heck of a tour de force in modern American political campaigning, Trump has shown little real appetite or knowledge or skill for actually running a Government and a country with far too much of his time spent on twitter or watching the media. Yet patience is starting to wear very thin for this Trump clown circus act that passes for a Superpower Government.

Photo: Flickr

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The “Punishing Truth” About Donald Trump’s Policies

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Before long the world will act typically numb when President Donald Trump announces a “hit” on a prominent public figure via his Twitter account. The American administrations of the past few decades have already made an art out of the mafia-like military and economic sanctions on people from Kiev to Kandahar, so it’s only a question of who’s going to get “whacked” next these days. My prediction will be China, here’s why.

A New York Times story the other day told the world the Trump administration had authorized a hit on China’s most successful communications conglomerate Huawei. Trump has already put the squeeze on the Canadians so that officials there could arrest the CFO and daughter of the company founder, Meng Wanzhou for extradition to the U.S. for undisclosed wrongdoings. Trump-China relations of late remind me of the mafia gangland 60s TV shows and the movie The Godfather; only American presidents play with live bullets and real bagmen. Look at the wording from the NYTs story with regard to Huawei competitor ZTE and Trump’s anti-China penchant:

“Eventually, the Trump administration decided to ease its punishment of ZTE, in an effort to cool tensions with China’s leader, Xi Jinping, ahead of a historic North Korea meeting.”

My point is hidden in plain sight in the media narrative, you see? Our newspapers and TV shows now reflect our common acceptance of a strange truth. Can’t you detect it in this passage? We elect presidents these days so that they can “punish” foreign companies that compete with us. We elect officials that punish and sanction people and nations that run contrary to their policies. And make no mistake, Trump’s policies have nothing whatsoever to do with the best interests of the people of the United States of America.

I am no fan of the Chinese leadership or any leadership driven by the businesspeople who stand behind wringing their bloody hands. But arresting foreign business persons based on whether or not their technology is being used to spy on us? Hell, Bill Gates and the rest of the American oligarchs had best stay home from now on. For those who’ve forgotten Snowden and the NSA revelations, I think you needn’t worry about your spanking new Huawei P20 Pro with the magical Leica cameras. It’s no more likely to be a listening ear than the iPhone or Samsung, and I can attest to the fantastic imagery from the cameras – WOW. Oh, but Apple is a U.S. company, my bad. I did not mean to be a traitor. I’d better shut up before I get whacked next.

Crime Bosses, Zealots, and Factions

Our own NSA develops a vast surveillance network underneath our own noses, they even create a catalog for ways to spy on us, and somehow we are supposed to shudder in fear if the Russians or Chinese know our bank details. Excuse me; I don’t get it. We cannot even seem to find one decent human being to vote for these days, and Russia in Russian speaking Crimea is something we should go to war over. I could list a thousand bits of strangeness here, but my point is well made. Who cares if my Huawei P20 Pro is a security risk? None of us is safe anyhow. We’re in protection racked, we’re running the numbers, and each and every one of us lives under a crime boss. You can be Russian, Italian, or from Sumatra – nothing you have is secure. Vladimir Putin may smear VX Gas gel on your doorknob. Barack Obama leftovers may order a drone strike on your SUV. Hillary Clinton’s Arkansas mob may snuff you out in your sleep. The world is just not safe.

But by God, you’d better let your bank details flow through that iPhone because America has to be great again. Here, read about the worst crimes of Apple from 2013 and be amazed Donald Trump has the unmitigated gall to arrest a Huawei exec. Remind yourself about Microsoft handing over your perceived personal security to the NSA.

Turning to Trump and the insinuation he’s a captain of the new organized crime web of this world, a Washington Post story from some time back paints this picture for me. Imagine a U.S. president tied to such names as Fat Tony Salerno and Carmine Galante! Donald Trump is connected, sure enough, through his  political mentor and personal lawyer Roy Cohn, who was the consigliere for those mafiosos. And you thought I was just blowing off steam comparing Trump policy to gangland tactics. Hell, his construction firms bought expensive concrete from the Gambino crime family, for crying out loud. Read the WaPo piece, do the research, and understand the Australians would not let Trump build in Sydney because of his “mob connections.” This Vice story by Tom Robbins loosely aligns Donald Trump with some of the most notorious crime bosses in modern history. No wonder the Trump narrative and policy sounds so “punishing.”

Trump or the Triad?

Back in the day, I used to know these “made guys” put in place by a couple of labor unions I was close to. Heck, I even had a cousin who ran drugs for the mob back in the 70s. From those experiences I know this, business is all a racket and politicians are the paid pawns that help grease the wheels. You all know this, but society has conditioned us to lay off the conspiratorial talk. We Americans like our crime squeaky clean, you know? Admitting that each and every one of us has been in bed with the mob in one way or another, it’s just uncomfortable. I understand you. Factions, crime families, and our zealous clinging to the fantasy we want people to see as America – I am still amazed when my friends feign ignorance. Trump and all those fellows of his up in Washington, they’re dirty as hell. Let’s just be real with one another. Once you sit in a room and hear the deals being made, after your pal the city mayor confides his duplicity to you when your father the doctor or lawyer gives you the score – don’t you know the score from then on?

We’re going to punish those Russians and the Chinese. But who will punish us and how harshly? For my part, after decades of deliberation, I choose the Huawei P20 Pro even though it costs €1,000 euro. I chose it because it takes great selfies and the touch screen is flawless. I pick the Chinese manufacturer because I am less afraid of the Communists spying on me than I am of our own leadership. At least the Triads are not threatening to “punish” us for being Americans.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

Xinjiang : The New Great Game

The world crossed a geopolitical watershed at the end of 2017. That was when the American Empire officially declared China its No.1 national-security threat, alongside Russia.

Since then, Washington has spared no effort to confront and contain China on multiple fronts. These include an intensifying trade war, bans on Chinese acquisitions of US assets, a witch-hunt against Chinese companies and individuals in America, military and political provocations in the South China Sea and relating to Taiwan, and whipping up Sinophobic activity among US allies (translation: vassals). And playing a key role in fanning and marketing these efforts, as usual, are the Western corporate media.

The latest such assault centers on Xinjiang’s sensitive Uighur issue. With the Empire’s support, Uighur radicals have in recent years stirred tensions in the Western Chinese region, even as foreign-trained Uighur militants staged high-profile terror attacks in various parts of the country. Chinese authorities’ efforts to defuse such tensions and combat the violence are being mendaciously depicted as systematic, large-scale repression of one of China’s biggest ethnic minorities.

The recent spate of Western media reports alleging brutal repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang marks a new phase of a propaganda drive to demonize China and destabilize its periphery. Highlighted by screaming headlines in Western corporate media are accounts of a million Uighur Muslims (or 2 in 5 Uighur male adults!) being interned in concentration camps and subject to torture, such as waterboarding. The suggestion or assertion is that Xinjiang has become an open-air prison (which actually reminds one of the real one operated by Washington’s ally Israel in Palestine).

That bald and barefaced accusation was made with nary a shred of supporting evidence by the lone American on an external committee (with no representation from UN officials) of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Western media such as Reuters went to town with the allegation, misrepresenting it as a charge levelled by OHCHR against China. An OHCHR spokesperson denied that the UN agency had made that finding and criticism against Beijing.To cover up the lie, Reuters cited reports issued by an anti-China, extreme right wing group based in Washington and funded by the American government and NGOs such as National Endowment for Democracy.

That’s not the first time allegations of Beijing’s repression of Uighur Muslims were made by western media . Previous provocative and unsubstantiated claims of Chinese authorities banning fasting by Uighurs during Ramadan had surfaced periodically. Furthermore, malicious and ludicrous lies that Uighur Muslims were forced by the government to eat pork and drink alcohol were making the rounds in Western press and social media last year.  In recent times, China-hating lies fabricated and spread by western corporate media have become more vile and venomous. The intent is to demonize China, incite hatred and instigate violence and even Jihad by Uighur militants in Xinjiang and Islamic State terrorists outside China.

It’s the third time in as many decades that the CIA has sought to dominate Central Asia (the Great Game), with Afghanistan as the core and other parts of Central Asia including Xinjiang in the Empire’s cross hairs.

The first attempt was in the 1990s, after the dissolution of the Soviet Union but before the 9/11 cataclysm. The CIA worked hand in glove with the mujahideen in Afghanistan as well as Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda. Boot camps were set up in Afghanistan to train Uighur separatists, in much the same way as Islamic State extremists were trained and armed to overthrow the Syrian government a decade later. CIA-instigated destabilization culminated in the bombing of three public buses in Urumqi in February 1997. Nine people died and more than 70 were injured. Chinese authorities swiftly put down the insurrection and stabilized the situation.

In 2007-08, Uighur separatists saw and seized a historic opening — the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing — to internationalize their cause. An attempted suicide bombing on a China Southern Airlines flight was thwarted. The terrorist attack in Kashgar in southern Xinjiang resulted in the death of 16 police officers four days before the start of the Games. In July 2009, riots by Uighur extremists in the provincial capital Urumqi caused the death of nearly 200 people, mostly Han Chinese. True to the imperial double standard, Washington didn’t consider and characterize such calamitous riots and other deadly attacks by Uighur militants as acts of terrorism.

The orgy of violence continued through to 2014. There were two more failed hijackings of commercial planes as well as scores of bombings, killing tens of civilians each time. The knife attack at the southwestern China city of Kunming railway station in March 2014 was a watershed, resulting in 31 dead and 141 injured.

Faced with such armed insurrections, many sovereign states would have imposed martial law or declared a state of emergency nationwide or in the affected region, suspending the rule of law. That was the case in southern Thailand and Indonesia’s Aceh province. Even peninsular Malaya’s British colonial rulers imposed emergency rule from 1945 to 1957 when confronted with a communist insurgency. And post-9/11, US authorities enacted a draconian security law (the Patriot Act) and implemented other measures that stripped away civil liberties in the name of anti-terrorism.

China has done nothing of that sort. It has stepped up security, including armed patrols and checkpoints in hot spots. The objective is clear and transparent: to restore law and order, and go after terrorists and prevent them from inflicting more violence. Chinese authorities describe their action as high-intensity regulation. The strategy has succeeded in containing the spread of terrorism beyond Xinjiang and purging religious extremists and separatists from the civil society. Beijing’s counter-terrorism efforts have been helped by Shanghai Cooperation Organization members like Kyrgyzstan, as well as President Erdogan of Turkey, who has stopped acting as the Empire’s proxy in Xinjiang by funnelling money and providing a secret corridor for Uighur terrorists to flee China.

Almost a decade after the Urumqi riots, China has turned its anti-terrorism focus to undoing the toxic brainwashing of ordinary Uighurs by extremists. Neighborhood religious institutes have been set up to educate citizens on the perils of religious extremism (these community centres where classes are held to detoxify radical Wahhabism were labelled “re-education camps” or concentration camps by the western press, and those attending the classes claimed to be “incarcerated”!) Programs to eradicate poverty are implemented to train and prepare Uighurs for jobs in towns and cities. Some 600,000 Uighurs were lifted out of poverty in 2016, and another 312,000 in 2017. More than 400,000 have been relocated from remote villages to places where they are gainfully employed.

The Chinese government, through various programs, has been winning the hearts and minds of ordinary Uighurs. That is bad news for the US Empire and the Uighur separatists. They are making a desperate, all-out bid to unravel the good work done by Beijing to eradicate religious extremism and poverty in Xinjiang. The deluge of fake news from Western corporate media since the beginning of this year seeks to demonize the Chinese government, painting it as a gross violator of human rights, when the truth is the exact opposite.

It would be funny if it wasn’t serious that Washington has taken up the cudgels against unproven abuses and repression of Uighurs in Xinjiang when the American Empire and its allies, under the guise of War on Terror and humanitarian intervention, have droned, bombed and killed millions of Muslim children, women and civilians in a dozen of countries from Afghanistan to Yemen, and displaced millions more.

By THOMAS HON WING POLIN – GERRY BROWN
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