China’s Participation in US Mission in Persian Gulf ‘Wishful Thinking’: Paper

US Navy destroyer

The damaged US Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald is towed back to Yokosuka Naval Base by a tugboat on Saturday after its collision with the container ship ACX Crystal off the coast of Yokosuka, Japan.

Source

August 17, 2019

A state-run Chinese newspaper says it is “wishful thinking” to expect that Beijing will join a US-led naval mission purportedly aimed at protecting shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf.

The Global Times reported that the US bid to form a coalition of escorting vessels through the Strait of Hormuz is actually part of Washington’s strategy “to comprehensively crack down” on Iran.

However, only “a handful of countries” have responded to the US propaganda campaign against the Islamic Republic, the paper added.

Some Americans wish China would participate in the mission in a bid to mitigate tensions between the two sides, but such an expectation is very unlikely to happen as it would endanger the interests of both Beijing and Tehran, according to the report.

“This is obviously wishful thinking. Iran is a comprehensive strategic partner of China and China is dedicated to safeguarding peace and stability in the Persian Gulf. Such a coalition would only damage Iran’s interests and thus China’s,” it said.

It further highlighted China’s close cooperation with Iran in fighting pirates and its attempts to maintain regional stability and security.

China has sent naval fleets on escort missions to the Gulf of Aden as well as waters off Somalia and established a support base in Djibouti for the People’s Liberation Army ships, the report said.

“There should be a maritime coalition, but definitely not one led by the US or one meant to serve US strategies. The coalition should actually safeguard the interests of Persian Gulf countries and their legitimate trading partners,” it pointed out.

The Global Times report also complained about “Washington’s arrogance and reckless moves” which have caused turmoil in the Persian Gulf.

The United States has been trying to persuade its allies into joining a coalition with the declared aim of providing “security” for merchant shipping in the Strait of Hormuz through which about a fifth of all oil consumed globally passes.

Only Israel and the UK have welcomed the call, which has not been well received among Washington’s other allies.

The US is trying to project its campaign as a bid to secure the Persian Gulf, but “the Europeans argue that Washington created the problem in the first place by trying to kill off Iran’s oil exports”, the New York Times wrote this month.

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China Just Went Nuclear in the Trade War, and There Is No Turning Back Now

Global Research, August 07, 2019

When will Americans start to wake up and realize what is happening?  At the end of last week, President Trump announced that the U.S. would be imposing a 10 percent tariff on 300 billion dollars worth of Chinese imports, and that marked a dramatic escalation in our trade war with China.  This move by Trump came as a total shock to Chinese officials, and global financial markets were thrown into a state of turmoil.  Since that announcement, we have been waiting for the other shoe to drop, because we knew that the Chinese would retaliate.  But honestly, very few of the experts expected something like this.  On Monday, China announced that it is going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products

China confirmed reports that it was pulling out of U.S. agriculture as a weapon in the ongoing trade war.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said Chinese companies have stopped purchasing U.S. agricultural products in response to President Trump’s new 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

This is essentially a trade war equivalent of a nuclear bomb.

If the Chinese would have slapped U.S. agricultural products with tariffs, that would have been a proportional response.  But to quit buying them entirely is an unprecedented escalation in a trade war that is really starting to spiral out of control.

And it is also clearly a political attack on President Trump.  The Chinese know that Trump is highly popular in rural areas, and this ban on U.S. agricultural products is going to severely hurt farmers in rural areas all across the United States.

U.S. voters tend to be more influenced by their bank accounts than by anything else, and so this is a smart strategic move by the Chinese if they would like to see a Democrat get elected in 2020.

In 2017, the Chinese bought 19.5 billion dollars worth of U.S. agricultural products, and that number dropped to just 9.1 billion dollars in 2018.

Now that number is going to zero, and according to Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvallthis latest move by China is going to be “a body blow to thousands of farmers and ranchers who are already struggling to get by.”

Please say a prayer for our farmers, because they really need it.

In addition to ending purchases of U.S. agricultural products, the Chinese also allowed the value of the yuan to decline dramatically on Monday.  This really rattled global financial markets, and shortly thereafter U.S. Treasury officials formally designated China as a “currency manipulator”.  The following comes directly from the official website of the Treasury Department

The Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to analyze the exchange rate policies of other countries. Under Section 3004 of the Act, the Secretary must “consider whether countries manipulate the rate of exchange between their currency and the United States dollar for purposes of preventing effective balance of payments adjustments or gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade.” Secretary Mnuchin, under the auspices of President Trump, has today determined that China is a Currency Manipulator.

As a result of this determination, Secretary Mnuchin will engage with the International Monetary Fund to eliminate the unfair competitive advantage created by China’s latest actions.

This is the first time since the 1990s that the Treasury Department has used this designation on any of our trading partners, and it is the kind of move that would not be made unless all hopes for a trade deal were completely gone.

Of course the Chinese wouldn’t have made the moves that they made either if they were still holding out hope for a negotiated solution.  According to one market analyst that was quoted by CNBC, the Chinese are “signalling that they have lost confidence that they can reach an agreement with Trump.”

So what this means is that in the short-term things are going to get bad for the global economy.

Really bad.

In the longer term, the structure of the entire global economic system could change dramatically, and this will especially be true if Donald Trump emerges triumphant in 2020.  According to economist Neil Shearing, we could literally be looking at “the end of the world as we know it”…

Among the implications for more deterioration in the global picture that Shearing cites are the “disintegration of the rules-based system” that has governed international commerce since the end of the World War II, and a potential “Balkanization” of the world economy as the U.S. and China develop their own standards, tech platforms and payment systems.

“It’s too soon to say exactly how events will pan out, but this casts the escalation in the US-China trade war over the past year in an altogether more ominous light. We may be witnessing the end of the world as we know it,” he wrote.

It is difficult to imagine a world in which there is no trade between the United States and China, and many would argue that we would be far better off today if we had never gone down that road in the first place.

But now that our two economies are so deeply integrated, trying to decouple is going to be an exceedingly painful process.

If you are familiar with my work, than you already know that I am not a fan of the Chinese government at all.  Something needed to be done about China, because they have been brazenly taking advantage of us and flouting the rules for decades.

Having said that, it is imperative that the American people understand that a messy breakup with China is going to cause an extraordinary amount of pain for us, for them and for the whole world.

It looks like this trade war could be the spark that plunges the global economy into utter chaos, and right now very few Americans seem to understand the true scope of the economic nightmare that appears to be headed our way.

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Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared NowThe Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News.

Featured image is from Foreign Policy

تجدّد الفشل الأميركي في مواجهة التنين الصيني وقنابله الدخانية في الخليج تذروها الرياح

أغسطس 10, 2019

محمد صادق الحسيني

بداية لا بدّ من القول إنه يجب على كلّ متابع للشأن الصيني، وبالتالي لجهود الصين المشتركة مع روسيا وإيران وغيرهما من الدول لإنهاء سيطرة القطب الأميركي الواحد على العالم، ان يتذكر أنّ ما ينفذه الرئيس الأميركي ترامب ضدّ الصين، من إجراءات اقتصادية/ مالية وسياسية وعسكرية، ليست بالإجراءات الأميركية الجديدة إطلاقاً.

اذ انّ العداء الأميركي لجمهورية الصين الشعبية قد بدأ منذ نشأة هذه الدولة، سنة 1949، ومنذ أن قام الجنرال تشين كاي تشيك، زعيم ما كان يُعرف بالكومينتانغ واثر هزيمة قواته امام قوات التحرير الشعبيه الصينية، بقيادة الزعيم الصيني ماوتسي تونغ في نهاية الحرب الأهلية الصينية، التي استمرت من سنة 1945 حتى 1949، نقول حيث قام زعيم الكومينتانغ، مع فلول قواته، بالهرب من البر الصيني المحرر الى جزيرة فورموزا تايوان وسيطر عليها، من خلال وحدات الكومينتانغ العميلة للولايات المتحدة، والتي تمكنت من ذلك بمساعدة عسكرية أميركية مباشرة.

وقد تمادت الولايات المتحدة في عدوانها على جمهورية الصين الشعبية بدعمها هذا الكيان اللقيط، الذي أطلقت عليه اسم تايوان، ومنحته ليس فقط عضوية الأمم المتحدة، وإنما عضوية دائمة في مجلس الأمن الدولي. أيّ انها أصبحت دولة تتمتع بحق الفيتو في ما كانت جمهورية الصين الشعبية محرومة من حق العضوية في منظمة الامم المتحدة بالمطلق، وذلك حتى سنة 1971 عندما بدأت الولايات المتحدة بتطبيق سياسة انفتاح مبرمج على الصين.

ولكن المخططات الأميركية، المعادية لاستقلالية القرار الصيني والهادفة الى وقف التطور الاقتصادي الصيني، لم تتغيّر مطلقاً، طوال سبعينيات وثمانينيات القرن الماضي التي شهدت إقامة علاقات دبلوماسية بين الدولتين. وقد وصلت مؤامرات الولايات المتحدة، ضدّ الصين، قمتها في ربيع سنة 1989، عندما أطلقت واشنطن حملة سياسية وإعلامية دولية ضدّ جمهورية الصين الشعبية، تحت حجة دعم مطالب شعبية صينية، كان قد طرحها محتجون صينيون عبر تظاهرات في عدة مدن صينية، خاصة في ميدان تيان ان مين، الذي شهد احتجاجات وصدامات، منذ أوائل شهر نيسان وحتى أواسط حزيران سنة 1989، بين المحتجين وقوات الأمن الصينية. تلك الصدامات التي انتهت بإعادة فرض النظام في كلّ مكان والقضاء على ظاهرة الثوره الملوّنة في مهدها.

وها هي الولايات المتحدة، ومعها بقايا ما كان يطلق عليه مسمّى بريطانيا العظمى، تحاول إثارة المتاعب أمام الحكومة الصينية المركزية، وذلك عبر إثارة الشغب وحالات الفوضى في جزيرة هونغ كونغ، التي اضطرت بريطانيا الى إعادتها الى الوطن الأمّ، الصين الشعبية، عام 1997، مستخدمة مجموعات محلية مرتبطة بمخططات خارجية، يتمّ تسييرها وتوجيهها من قبل أجهزة مخابرات أميركية وبريطانيا منذ ما يقارب الشهرين، دون أن تقوم قوات الأمن الصينية بأكثر من الحدّ الأدنى لحفظ النظام.

ولكن استمرار هذه السياسة الانجلوأميركية وتزامنها مع استمرار التحشيد العسكري الأميركي، في البحار القريبة من الصين كشرق المحيط الهندي وبحر الصين الجنوبي وخليج البنغال وبحر اليابان وغيرها من البحار، وصولاً الى إرسال حاملة الطائرات الأميركية رونالد ريغان الى بحر الصين الجنوبي، في خطوة استفزازية للصين، نقول انّ استمرار هذه السياسة الأميركية، الى جانب العقوبات الاقتصادية والمالية التي فرضت على الصين، وفِي ظلّ قدسية الحفاظ على وحدة وسيادة جمهورية الصين الشعبية على كافة أراضيها، فقد أصدر المتحدث باسم مكتب شؤون هونغ كونغ وماكاو تصريحاً شديد اللهجة قال فيه: بودّنا التوضيح لمجموعة صغيرة من المجرمين العنيفين عديمي الضمير ومن يقف وراءهم انّ من يلعب بالنار سيُقتل بها.لا ترتكبوا خطأ في تقييم الوضع. ولا تعتبروا ممارستنا لضبط النفس ضعفاً .

إذن… هذه رسالة صينية نارية واضحة وصريحة، لا بل أمر عمليات، موجّه لليانكي الأميركي، وليس فقط لبعض أذناب الاستعمار في هونغ كونغ، من سواحل بحر الصين الجنوبي، مفادها: لا تلعبوا بالنار…

وما يزيد أمر العمليات الصيني هذا زخماً وقوة، هو صدوره بعد الجولة الفاشلة، التي قام بها وزيرا الحرب والخارجية الأميركيان، في استراليا وعدد من دول المحيط الهادئ، في محاولة منهما لإقناع تلك الدول بالموافقة على نشر صواريخ أميركية، موجهة الى الصين، على أراضيها ورفض جميع الدول المعنية لهذه الفكرة الأميركية الهدامة. كما انّ أمر العمليات هذا قد تزامن مع وصول حاملة الطائرات الأميركية، رونالد ريغان، الى بحر الصين الجنوبي كما أسلفنا.

إذن وكما جرت العادة فإنّ الولايات المتحدة، ممثلة برئيسها ورئيس دبلوماسيتها، تمارس الكذب والتضليل بشكل فاضح وخطير. ففي الوقت الذي تشنّ فيه إدارة الرئيس ترامب حملتها التضليلية الكاذبة، حول ضرورة الحفاظ على أمن الخليج ومضيق هرمز، وحماية السفن التجارية التي تبحر فيهما فإنها تطلق قنابل دخانية للتغطية على خطواتها الأكثر خطورة على الأمن الدولي، المتمثلة في تعزيز الحشد العسكري الاستراتيجي ضدّ كلّ من روسيا والصين الشعبية، وذلك من خلال:

1 ـ مواصلة إرسال حاملات الطائرات، ابراهام لينكولن ورونالد ريغان، ومجموعتيهما البحريتين الى مناطق عمليات أكثر قرباً من الصين.

2 ـ سحب قاذفات القنابل الأميركية الاستراتيجية، من طراز /B 52/ التي كانت ترابط في قاعدة العيديد القطرية ونقلها الى قاعدة دييغو غارسيا في المحيط الهندي، غرب المحيط الهندي.

3 ـ مواصلة الولايات المتحدة لمناوراتها المشتركة مع كوريا الجنوبية والتي لا تشكل استفزازاً لكوريا الشمالية فحسب، وإنما لجمهورية الصين الشعبية أيضاً، وذلك لأنها تفضي إلى مزيد من الحضور العسكري الأميركي في المحيط القريب من الصين.

وفي إطار قنابل الدخان هذه، فإنّ القنبلة الأكثر إثارة للسخرية هي الهراء الذي أطلقه وزير خارجية نتن ياهو، ايسرائيل كاتس، يوم امس الأول حول احتمال مشاركة إسرائيل في التحالف البحري الذي دعت الولايات المتحدة لإقامته في الخليج.

ولكن هذا الوزير نسي انّ دولته لا تعتبر دولة تملك قوة بحرية ذات قيمة على الصعيد الدولي، على الرغم من امتلاكها غواصات دولفين، الألمانية الصنع، والقادرة على حمل رؤوس نووية، والخاضعة لمراقبة سلاح البحرية الإيراني على مدار الساعه والعديمة القدرة على المناورة ضدّ إيران في أيّ من بحار المنطقة، لأسباب لا مجال للتوسع في شرحها.

اذن هذه التصريحات الإسرائيلية لا يمكن اعتبارها أكثر من قنبلة دخان انتخابية لصالح نتن ياهو ليس إلا. ولا تدخل حتى في استراتيجية الولايات المتحدة الأكثر شمولية. ولمزيد من التوضيح فانّ هذا الوزير، كاتس، كان كمن أراد الاستجارة من الرمضاء بالنار، أيّ أنه أراد أن يغطي على فشل كيانه في مواجهة حلف المقاومة وعلى رأسه إيران بحشر أنف إسرائيل في وضع الخليج، مستنداً الى الوجود الأمني الإسرائيلي الواسع في السعودية ودول الخليج العربية الأخرى.

هذا الوجود الذي تعود جذوره إلى أكثر من عشرين عاماً، أيّ إلى نهاية تسعينيات القرن الماضي، حيث بدأت السعودية والإمارات بإبرام عقود حماية أمنية، للمنشآت النفطية في البلدين، مع شركات أمن إسرائيلية، وهو الأمر الذي مكَّن هذه الشركات الإسرائيلية، وهي في الحقيقة أذرع لجهاز الموساد الإسرائيلي، من إقامة بنية تحتية استخبارية كاملة تخدم الأهداف الإسرائيلية. علماً أنّ هذا الوجود الاستخباري الإسرائيلي الكثيف لا يمثل أيّ قيمة لها تأثير على موازين القوى في ميادين القتال. حيث انّ مناطق هذا الوجود، أيّ السعودية ودوّل الخليج، لم يكن يوماً جزءاً من ميادين القتال ضدّ الجيش الإسرائيلي ، وعليه فإنه وجود لا يختلف عن وجود العصافير في القفص، لا قيمة له ميدانية أو عملية إطلاقاً.

لكلّ نبأ مستقرّ.

بعدنا طيبين قولوا الله…

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The Dragon lays out its road map, denies seeking hegemony

July 29, 2019

By Pepe Escobar – posted with permission

The Dragon lays out its road map, denies seeking hegemony

The key merit of China’s National Defense in the New Era, a white paper released by the State Council in Beijing, is to clear any remaining doubts about where the Middle Kingdom is coming from, and where it’s going to by 2049, the mythical date to, theoretically, be restored as the foremost global power.

Although not ultra-heavy on specifics, the white paper certainly should be read as the Chinese counterpoint to the US National Security Strategy, as well as the National Defense Strategy.

It goes without saying that every sentence is being carefully scrutinized by the Pentagon, which regards China as a “malign actor” and “a threat” – the terminology associated with its “Chinese aggression” mantra.

To cut to the chase, and to the perpetuating delight of China’s supporters and critics, here are the white paper’s essentials.

What global stability?

The Beijing leadership openly asserts that as “the US has adjusted its national security and defense strategies, and adopted unilateral policies” that essentially “undermined global strategic stability.” Vast sectors of the Global South would concur.

The counterpart is the evolution of “the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era,” now playing “a significant role in maintaining global strategic stability.”

In parallel, Beijing is very careful to praise the “military relationship with the US in accordance with the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.” The “military-to-military relationship” should work as “a stabilizer for the relations between the two countries and hence contribute to the China-US relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability.”

Another key counterpart to the US – and NATO – is the increasingly crucial role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is “forging a constructive partnership of non-alliance and non-confrontation that targets no third party, expanding security and defense cooperation and creating a new model for regional security cooperation.”

The white paper stresses that “the SCO has now grown into a new type of comprehensive regional cooperation organization covering the largest area and population in the world”, something that is factually correct. The latest SCO summit in Bishkek did wonders in featuring some of the group’s much-vaunted qualities, especially “mutual trust,” “consultation,” “respect for diverse civilizations” and “pursuit of common development.”

On hot spots, contrary to Western skepticism, the white paper asserts that, “the situation of the South China Sea is generally stable,” and that a “balanced, stable, open and inclusive Asian security architecture continues to develop.”

There should be no illusion regarding Beijing’s position on “Taiwan independence” – which will never deviate from what was set by Little Helmsman Deng Xiaoping in the late 1970s: “Separatist forces and their actions remain the gravest immediate threat to peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the biggest barrier hindering the peaceful reunification of the country.”

And the same applies to “external separatist forces for ‘Tibet independence’ and the creation of ‘East Turkestan’.” How Beijing dealt with – and economically developed – Tibet will continue to be the blueprint to deal with, and economically develop, Xinjiang, irrespective of the Western outcry over China’s subjugation of more than a million Uighurs.

In regard to the turmoil Hong Kong and the degree it reflects interference by “external forces,” the white paper shapes Hong Kong as the model to be followed on the way to Taiwan. “China adheres to the principles of ‘peaceful reunification,’ and ‘one country, two systems,’ promotes peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, and advances peaceful reunification of the country.”

On the South China Sea, the white paper notes that

“countries from outside the region conduct frequent close-in reconnaissance on China by air and sea, and illegally enter China’s territorial waters and the waters and airspace near China’s islands and reefs, undermining China’s national security.”

So there won’t be any misunderstanding, it says: “The South China Sea islands and Diaoyu Islands are inalienable parts of the Chinese territory.” ASEAN and Japan will have to deal with what Beijing says are facts.

Chinese soldiers in the PLA Hong Kong Garrison take part in a drill during an open day on June 30 to mark the 22nd anniversary of the return of the city from Britain to China. Photo: AFP

No hegemony, ever

While noting that “great progress has been made in the Revolution in Military Affairs with Chinese characteristics” – the Sino-version of the Pentagon’s – the white paper admits that “the PLA still lags far behind the world’s leading militaries. The commitment is unmistakable to “fully transform the people’s armed forces into world-class forces by the mid-21st century.”

Special emphasis is placed on China’s relatively quiet, behind-the-scenes diplomacy. “China has played a constructive role in the political settlement of regional hotspots such as the Korean Peninsula issue, the Iranian nuclear issue and Syrian issue.” The corollary could not be more clear-cut. “China opposes hegemony, unilateralism and double standards.”

Arguably the most important point made by the white paper – in stark contrast with the “Chinese aggression” narrative – is that “Never Seeking Hegemony, Expansion or Spheres of Influence” is qualified as “the distinctive feature of China’s national defense in the new era.”

This is backed up by what could be defined as the distinctive Chinese approach to international relations – to respect “the rights of all peoples to independently choose their own development path,” and “the settlement of international disputes through equal dialogue, negotiation and consultation. China is opposed to interference in the internal affairs of others, abuse of the weak by the strong, and any attempt to impose one’s will on others.”

So the road map is on the table for all to see. It will be fascinating to watch reactions from myriad latitudes across the Global South. Let’s see how the “Chinese aggression” system responds.

زخمٌ جديدٌ في «طريق الحرير» الصينية: مواجهة لـ«الحمائية» الأميركية

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الأخبار

 الثلاثاء 30 نيسان 2019

انتهت أعمال قمة «منتدى الحزام والطريق»، التي عُقدت في بكين بحضور أكثر من 37 من رؤساء دول وحكومات ووفود، مسجّلة صفقات يزيد إجمالي قيمتها على 64 مليار دولار أميركي

اختتم الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ، قبل يومين، قمة «منتدى الحزام والطريق»، بحضور قادة من 37 دولة ومنظمة دولية، من بينهم الرئيس الروسي فلاديمير بوتين. القمة، وهي الثانية للمنتدى، شكّلت مرحلة جديدة في مسيرة مبادرة «حزامٌ واحد وطريقٌ واحد» التي أطلقتها بكين قبل ستة أعوام، وتهدف إلى إعادة إحياء طريق الحرير التاريخي، الذي كان يربط الصين بعشرات الدول تجارياً.

شي أعلن في نهاية القمة التي احتضنتها بكين لمدة ثلاثة أيّام، التوصل إلى توافقات واسعة بشأن تدعيم «التعاون العالي الجودة» في إطار المبادرة، مع سعيٍ لطمأنة المتشككين في أن مشروع البنية التحتية الهائل سيركز على «تنمية مفتوحة ونظيفة وصديقة للبيئة» مع الأطراف المختلفة، التي تُجري «مشاورات على قدم المساواة»، مؤكداً أن مزيداً من الدول ستنضم إلى هذا المشروع لإنشاء بنى تحتية تربط بين آسيا وأوروبا وأفريقيا. وفي مؤتمر صحافي، أكد الرئيس الصيني أن مبادئ السوق ستطبق في جميع مشاريع التعاون التي تتضمنها المبادرة التي تهدف إلى إحياء «طريق الحرير» القديم الذي كان يربط بين الصين وآسيا وأوروبا، مشيراً إلى أن الشركات هي المحرك الأساسي لكل مشاريع المبادرة التي ستطبق عليها كل مبادئ السوق، فيما تلعب الدول دوراً داعماً.

أكّد شي أن المبادرة ستواصل رفض «الحمائية» في انتقاد لواشنطن التي تتبع سياسة حمائية (أ ف ب )

وفي تصريحات خلال الجلسة الختامية للقمة، قال شي إن «المزيد من الأصدقاء والشركاء سينضمون إلى المبادرة»، موضحاً أن «الجميع دعم فكرة تطوير شراكة، واتفقوا على تعزيز آليات التعاون». ووُقّعت اتفاقيات تعاون بقيمة تزيد على 64 مليار دولار أميركي في مؤتمر للمديرين التنفيذيين خلال المنتدى. كذلك، أشار البيان الختامي المشترك إلى أن الزعماء اتفقوا على أن يحترم تمويل المشاريع الأهداف العالمية المتعلقة بالديون، وعلى الترويج للنمو الاقتصادي الصديق للبيئة». من جهتها، أعلنت الصين، في بيانٍ منفصل، أنها وقّعت مذكّرة تفاهم مع دول عديدة، من بينها إيطاليا وبيرو وباربادوس ولوكسمبورغ وجاميكا.

أمّا على صعيد مهاجمة الولايات المتحدة المبادرة الصينية، واتهامها بإيقاع الدول النامية في ديون بعرض تمويل رخيص لا يمكنها تحمّله، فقد حاول شي في خطابه تبديد هذه المخاوف. وقال: «هذا العام، يرسل المنتدى رسالة واضحة: المزيد من الأصدقاء والشركاء سينضمون إلى دائرة الحزام والطريق»، مؤكداً أن المبادرة ستواصل رفض «الحمائية»، في انتقاد لواشنطن التي تبنّت سياسات حمائية في عهد الرئيس دونالد ترامب.

والمبادرة التي تم اقتراحها عام 2013، امتدت من آسيا وأوروبا إلى أفريقيا والأميركيتين وأوقيانوسيا، لتفتح مساحة جديدة للاقتصاد العالمي بنتائج أفضل من المتوقع. ووقّع أكثر من 150 دولة ومنظمة دولية على وثائق تعاون مع الصين في إطار المبادرة. واللافت أنه خلال السنوات الخمس الماضية، تجاوز حجم التجارة بين الصين والدول الأخرى المشاركة في المبادرة 6 تريليونات دولار أميركي، فيما تجاوزت استثمارات الصين في الدول المشاركة في المبادرة 90 مليار دولار. كذلك، حظيت المبادرة بدعم قوي من قبل القادة ورجال الأعمال الأجانب. وقد تمظهر ذلك في الكلمات الافتتاحية للرؤساء.

تم توقيع اتفاقيات تعاون في القمة بقيمة تزيد على 64 مليار دولار أميركي

من جانبه، دعا بوتين الدول المشاركة في المنتدى للانضمام إلى مشروعي الطريق البحري الشمالي و«طريق الحرير». وفي كلمته، أوضح الرئيس الروسي أن بلاده تولي اهتماماً كبيراً لتطوير الطريق البحري الشمالي، مضيفاً: «نحن نفكر في إمكانية ربطه بطريق الحرير الصيني، وبالتالي إقامة طريق نقل عالمي وتنافسي، يربط شمال شرق، وشرق وجنوب شرق آسيا بأوروبا». وأكد بوتين أن هذا المشروع الضخم يعني قيام تعاون وثيق بين دول أورآسيا لزيادة حركة الترانزيت وبناء محطات استقبال البضائع والحاويات في الموانئ، وكذلك المراكز اللوجيستية.

يُذكر أن الطريق البحري الشمالي هو وجهة نقل تمتد من المحيط الأطلسي إلى المحيط الهادئ على طول سواحل شمالي روسيا في الدائرة القطبية الشمالية. ويعبر هذا الطريق بحور الشمال بمحاذاة سيبيريا إلى الشرق الأقصى الروسي على الحدود مع اليابان وكوريا، وصار متاحاً أمام حركة الملاحة البحرية مع ذوبان الجليد في القطب الشمالي.

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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

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.”

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