Far-Reaching Impact of the 20th National Congress of CPC

October 27, 2022

by Zamir Awan

China has reached a stage where it can reshape the world order. It has emerged as the second largest economy, just after the US. But, the pace of growth is so steady and fast, that it will surpass the US within a few years. It has also emerged as a major power and is proactive in International Affairs. It is a key player in geopolitics already.

During the last four decades, China has made unprecedented progress in all dimensions. Especially during the last decade, under the visionary leadership of President Xi Jinping, has strengthened the overall leadership of the Party at all levels and the centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee. And devoted great energy to finishing building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. It has fully and faithfully applied the new development philosophy on all fronts, focused on promoting high-quality development, and worked to create a new pattern of development.

China has persuaded reform at a swift and steady pace, made solid progress in developing whole-process people’s democracy, and advanced law-based governance across all fields of endeavor. It has actively developed advanced socialist culture and ensured improved public well-being as a matter of priority and pooled resources to wage a critical battle against poverty. It has made a big push to enhance ecological conservation and worked with a firm resolve to safeguard national security, fended off and defused major risks, and ensured social stability. It has devoted great energy to modernizing national defense and the armed forces.

It has conducted major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts. And have made sweeping efforts to advance the great new project of Party building through political reforms.

In responding to the sudden outbreak of Covid-19, China has put the people and their lives above all else worked to prevent both imported cases and domestic resurgences, and tenaciously pursued a dynamic zero-Covid policy. In launching an all-out people’s war to stop the spread of the virus. It has protected the people’s health and safety to the greatest extent possible and made tremendously encouraging achievements in both epidemic response and economic and social development.

In the face of turbulent developments in Hong Kong, the central government exercised its overall jurisdiction over the special administrative region as prescribed by China’s Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was formulated and put into effect, ensuring that Hong Kong is administered by patriots. Thanks to these moves, order has been restored in Hong Kong, marking a major turn for the better in the region. Further headway has been made in developing the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and supporting Hong Kong and Macao in growing their economies, improving living standards, and maintaining stability.

In response to separatist activities aimed at “Taiwan independence” and gross provocations of external interference in Taiwan affairs, China has resolutely fought against separatism and countered interference, demonstrating its resolve and ability to safeguard China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and to oppose “Taiwan independence.” It has strengthened the strategic initiative for China’s complete reunification and consolidated commitment to the one-China principle within the international community.

Confronted with drastic changes in the international landscape, especially external attempts to blackmail, contain, blockade, and exert maximum pressure on China, China put its national interests first, focused on internal political concerns, and maintained firm strategic resolve. It has shown a fighting spirit and a firm determination to never yield to coercive power. Throughout these endeavors, it has safeguarded China’s dignity and core interests and kept it well-positioned for pursuing development and ensuring security.

Over the past five years, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has rallied the people and led them in solving a great number of problems that had long gone unsolved, securing many accomplishments that hold major future significance, and achieving impressive advances in the cause of the Party and the country.

In the past decade, China’s GDP has grown from 54 trillion yuan to 114 trillion yuan accounting for 18.5 percent of the world economy, up 7.2 percentage points. China has remained the world’s second-largest economy, and its per capita GDP has risen from 39,800 yuan to 81,000 yuan. It ranks first in the world in terms of grain output, and it has ensured food and energy security for its more than 1.4 billion people. The number of permanent urban residents has grown by 11.6 percentage points to account for 64.7 percent of the population. China’s manufacturing sector is the largest in the world, as are its foreign exchange reserves. China has built the world’s largest networks of high-speed railways and expressways and made major achievements in building airports, ports, water conservancy, energy, information, and other infrastructure.

It has accelerated efforts to build self-reliance and strength in science and technology, with nationwide R&D spending rising from 1 trillion yuan to 2.8 trillion yuan, the second highest in the world. It is now home to the largest cohort of R&D personnel in the world. It has grown stronger in basic research and original innovation, made breakthroughs in some core technologies in key fields, and boosted emerging strategic industries. It has witnessed major successes on multiple fronts, including manned spaceflight, lunar and Martian exploration, deep sea and deep earth probes, supercomputers, satellite navigation, quantum information, nuclear power technology, new energy technology, airliner manufacturing, and biomedicine. China has joined the ranks of the world’s innovators.

It has implemented the Party’s thinking on strengthening the military for the new era, followed the military strategy for the new era, and upheld absolute Party leadership over the people’s armed forces. Having established combat effectiveness as the sole criterion, it has acted with resolve to focus the entire military’s attention on combat readiness. We have coordinated efforts to strengthen military work in all directions and domains and devoted great energy to training under combat conditions. It has carried out bold reforms of national defense and the armed forces, restructuring the military leadership and command systems, the modern armed forces system, and the military policy system and has moved faster to modernize its national defense and the armed forces and reduced the number of active service personnel by 300,000. With new systems, a new structure, a new configuration, and a new look, the people’s armed forces have become a much more modern and capable fighting force, and the Chinese path to building a strong military is growing ever broader.

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was held on 16-22 October 2022 in Beijing and has transformed China into a more united, more strong, more committed, and more proactive in all respect. The Newly appointed leadership is fully aware of their task, responsibility, and capabilities. They will meet the expectations of the people of China as well as global responsibilities.

The Communist Party of China is dedicated to pursuing happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. It is also dedicated to human progress and world harmony. It will expand its global vision and develop keen insight into the trends of human development and progress, respond to the general concerns of people of all countries, and play its role in resolving the common issues facing humankind. With an open mind, it will draw inspiration from all of human civilization’s outstanding achievements and work to build an even better world.

We will leverage the strengths of China’s enormous market, attract global resources and production factors with its strong domestic economy, and amplify the interplay between domestic and international markets and resources. This will position China to improve the level and quality of trade and investment cooperation.

It will steadily expand institutional opening up with regard to rules, regulations, management, and standards and will upgrade trade in goods, develop new mechanisms for trade in services, and promote digital trade, in order to accelerate China’s transformation into a trader of quality.

China will better plan regional opening up, consolidate the leading position of eastern coastal areas in opening up, and more widely open the central, western, and northeastern regions. It will accelerate the construction of the New International Land-Sea Trade Corridor in the western region and will work faster to develop the Hainan Free Trade Port, upgrade pilot free trade zones, and expand the globally-oriented network of high-standard free trade areas.

China will promote the internationalization of the RMB in an orderly way, deeply involve itself in the global industrial division of labor and cooperation, and endeavor to preserve the diversity and stability of the international economic landscape and economic and trade relations.

For its part, China has always been committed to its foreign policy goals of upholding world peace and promoting common development, and it is dedicated to promoting a human community with a shared future. It remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace. It has always decided its position and policy on issues based on its own merits, and it has strived to uphold the basic norms governing international relations and safeguard international fairness and justice.

China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries. It stays true to the principle of equality of all countries big or small, strong or weak, and rich or poor, and it respects the development paths and social systems independently chosen by all the world’s peoples.

China stands firmly against all forms of hegemonies and power politics, the Cold War mentality, interference in other countries internal affairs, and double standards. China pursues a defensive national defense policy, and its development strengthens the world’s forces for peace. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony or engage in expansionism.

China adheres to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and cooperation with other countries. It is committed to promoting a new type of international relations, deepening and expanding global partnerships based on equality, openness, and cooperation, and broadening the convergence of interests with other countries. China works to enhance coordination and positive interaction with other major countries to build major-country relations featuring peaceful coexistence, overall stability, and balanced development. Acting on the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendships and partnerships with its neighbors, China strives to enhance friendly ties, mutual trust, and converging interests with its neighboring countries. Guided by the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity, and good faith and with a commitment to the greater good and shared interests, China endeavors to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries and safeguard the common interests of the developing world.

China is committed to its fundamental national policy of opening up to the outside world and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. It strives to create new opportunities for the world with its own development and to contribute its share to building an open global economy that delivers greater benefits to all people.

China adheres to the right course of economic globalization. It strives to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, advance bilateral, regional, and multilateral cooperation, and boost international macroeconomic policy coordination. It is committed to working with other countries to foster an international environment conducive to development and create new drivers for global growth. China opposes protectionism, the erection of “fences and barriers,” decoupling, disruption of industrial and supply chains, unilateral sanctions, and maximum-pressure tactics.

China is prepared to invest more resources in global development cooperation. It is committed to narrowing the North-South gap and supporting and assisting other developing countries in accelerating development. China plays an active part in the reform and development of the global governance system. It pursues a vision of global governance featuring shared growth through discussion and collaboration. China upholds true multilateralism, promotes greater democracy in international relations, and works to make global governance fairer and more equitable.

China is firm in safeguarding the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It opposes all forms of unilateralism and the forming of blocs and exclusive groups targeted against particular countries.

China works to see that multilateral institutions such as the WTO and APEC better play their roles, cooperation mechanisms such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) exert greater influence, and emerging markets and developing countries are better represented and have a greater say in global affairs.

China is actively involved in setting global security rules, works to promote international security cooperation, and takes an active part in UN peacekeeping operations. China plays a constructive role in safeguarding world peace and regional stability.

Building a human community with a shared future is the way forward for all the world’s people. An ancient Chinese philosopher observed that “all living things may grow side by side without harming one another, and different roads may run in parallel without interfering with one another.” Only when all countries pursue the cause of the common good, live in harmony, and engage in cooperation for mutual benefit will there be sustained prosperity and guaranteed security. It is in this spirit that China has put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and it stands ready to work with the international community to put these two initiatives into action.

China is committed to building a world of lasting peace through dialogue and consultation, a world of universal security through collaboration and shared benefits, a world of common prosperity through mutually beneficial cooperation, an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning, and a clean and beautiful world through green and low-carbon development.

We sincerely call upon all countries to hold dear humanity’s shared values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom; to promote mutual understanding and forge closer bonds with other peoples, and to respect the diversity of civilizations. Let us allow cultural exchanges to transcend estrangement, mutual learning to transcend clashes, and coexistence to transcend feelings of superiority. Let us all join forces to meet all types of global challenges.

Although this is an era fraught with challenges, it is also an era brimming with hope. The Chinese people are ready to work hand in hand with people across the world to create an even brighter future for humanity.

Author: Prof. Engr. Zamir Ahmed Awan, Founding Chair GSRRA, Sinologist (ex-Diplomat), Editor, Analyst, and Non-Resident Fellow of CCG (Center for China and Globalization). (E-mail: awanzamir@yahoo.com).

China: Xi Gets Ready for the Final Countdown

October 19, 2022

By Pepe Escobar

Global Research,

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President Xi Jinping’s 1h45min speech at the opening of the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing was an absorbing exercise of recent past informing near future. All of Asia and all of the Global South should carefully examine it.

The Great Hall was lavishly adorned with bright red banners. A giant slogan hanging in the back of the hall read, “Long Live our great, glorious and correct party”.

Another one, below, functioned like a summary of the whole report:

“Hold high the great flag of socialism with Chinese characteristics, fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, carry forward the great founding spirit of the party, and unite and struggle to fully build a modern socialist country and to fully promote the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.”

True to tradition, the report outlined the CPC’s achievements over the past 5 years and China’s strategy for the next 5 – and beyond. Xi foresees “fierce storms” ahead, domestic and foreign. The report was equally significant for what was not spelled out, or left subtly implied.

Every member of the CPC’s Central Committee had already been briefed about the report – and approved it. They will spend this week in Beijing studying the fine print and will vote to adopt it on Saturday. Then a new CPC Central Committee will be announced, and a new Politburo Standing Committee – the 7 that really rule – will be formally endorsed.

This new leadership line-up will clarify the new generation faces that will be working very close to Xi, as well as who will succeed Li Keqiang as the new Prime Minister: he has finished his two terms and, according to the constitution, must step down.

There are also 2,296 delegates present at the Great Hall representing the CPC’s over 96 million members. They are not mere spectators: at the plenary session that ended last week, they analyzed in-depth every major issue, and prepared for the National Congress. They do vote on party resolutions – even as those resolutions are decided by the top leadership, and behind closed doors.

The key takeaways

Xi contends that in these past 5 years the CPC strategically advanced China while “correctly” (Party terminology) responding to all foreign challenges. Particularly key achievements include poverty alleviation, the normalization of Hong Kong, and progress in diplomacy and national defense.

It’s quite telling that Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was sitting in the second row, behind the current Standing Committee members, never took his eyes off Xi, while others were reading a copy of the report on their desk.

Compared to the achievements, success of the Xi-ordered Zero-Covid policy remains highly debatable. Xi stressed that it has protected people’s lives. What he could not possibly say is that the premise of his policy is to treat Covid and its variants as a U.S. bioweapon directed against China. That is, a serious matter of national security that trumps any other consideration, even the Chinese economy.

Zero-Covid hit production and the job market extremely hard, and virtually isolated China from the outside world. Just a glaring example: Shanghai’s district governments are still planning for zero-Covid on a timescale of two years. Zero-Covid will not go away anytime soon.

A serious consequence is that the Chinese economy will most certainly grow this year by less than 3% – well below the official target of “around 5,5%”.

Now let’s look at some of the Xi report’s highlights.

Taiwan: Beijing has started “a great struggle against separatism and foreign interference” on Taiwan.

The Shape of Things to Come in China. A New Stage in Economic and Social Development

Hong Kong: It is now “administered by patriots, making it a better place.” In Hong Kong there was “a major transition from chaos to order.” Correct: the 2019 color revolution nearly destroyed a major global trade/finance center.

Poverty alleviation: Xi hailed it as one of three “major events” of the past decade along with the CPC’s centenary and socialism with Chinese characteristics entering a “new era”. Poverty alleviation is the core of one of the CPC’s “two centenary goals.”

Opening up: China has become “a major trading partner and a major destination for foreign investment.” That’s Xi refuting the notion that China has grown more autarchic. China will not engage in any kind of “expansionism” while opening up to the outside world. The basic state policy remains: economic globalization. But – he didn’t say it – “with Chinese characteristics”.

“Self-revolution”: Xi introduced a new concept. “Self-revolution” will allow China to escape a historical cycle leading to a downturn. And “this ensures the party will never change.” So it’s the CPC or bust.

Marxism: definitely remains as one of the fundamental guiding principles. Xi stressed, “We owe the success of our party and socialism with Chinese characteristics to Marxism and how China has managed to adapt it.”

Risks: that was the speech’s recurrent theme. Risks will keep interfering with those crucial “two centenary goals”. Number one goal was reached last year, at the CPC’s 100th anniversary, when China reached the status of a “moderately prosperous society” in all respects (xiaokang, in Chinese). Number two goal should be reached at the centenary of the People’s Republic of China in 2049: to “build a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious.”

Development: the focus will be on “high-quality development”, including resilience of supply chains and the “dual circulation” economic strategy: expansion of domestic demand in parallel to foreign investment (mostly centered on BRI projects). That will be China’s top priority. So in theory any reforms will privilege a combination of “socialist market economy” and high-level opening, mixing the creation of more domestic demand with supply-side structural reform. Translation: “Dual-circulation” on steroids.

“Whole-process democracy”: that was the other new concept introduced by Xi. Translates as “democracy that works”, as in rejuvenating the Chinese nation under – what else – the CPC’s absolute leadership: “We need to ensure that people can exercise their powers through the People’s Congress system.”

Socialist culture: Xi said it’s absolutely essential “to influence young people”. The CPC must exercise ideological control and make sure the media fosters a generation of young people “who are influenced by traditional culture, patriotism and socialism”, thus benefitting “social stability”. The “China story” must go everywhere, presenting a China that is “credible and respectable”. That certainly applies to Chinese diplomacy, even the “Wolf Warriors”.

“Sinicise religion”: Beijing will continue its drive to “Sinicise religion”, as in “proactively” adapting “religion and the socialist society”. This campaign was introduced in 2015, meaning for instance that Islam and Christianity must be under CPC control and in line with Chinese culture.

The Taiwan pledge

Now we reach the themes that completely obsess the decaying Hegemon: the connection between China’s national interests and how they affect the civilization-state’s role in international relations.

National security: “National security is the foundation of national rejuvenation, and social stability is a prerequisite of national strength.”

The military: the PLA’s equipment, technology and strategic capability will be strengthened. It goes without saying that means total CPC control over the military.

“One country, two systems”: It has proven to be “the best institutional mechanism for Hong Kong and Macau and must be adhered to in the long term”. Both “enjoy high autonomy” and are “administered by patriots.” Xi promised to better integrate both into national strategies.

Taiwan reunification: Xi made a pledge to complete the reunification of China. Translation: return Taiwan to the motherland. That was met with a torrent of applause, leading to the key message, addressed simultaneously to the Chinese nation and “foreign interference” forces: “We will not renounce the use of force and will take all necessary measures to stop all separatist movements.” The bottom line: “The resolution of the Taiwan issue is a matter for the Chinese people themselves, to be decided by the Chinese people.”

It’s also quite telling that Xi did not even mention Xinjiang by name: only by implication, when he stressed that China must strengthen the unity of all ethnic groups. Xinjiang for Xi and the leadership mean industrialization of the Far West and a crucial node in BRI: not the object of an imperial demonization campaign. They know that the CIA destabilization tactics used in Tibet for decades did not work in Xinjiang.

Shelter from the storm

Now let’s unpack some of the variables affecting the very tough years ahead for the CPC.

When Xi mentioned “fierce storms ahead”, that’s what he thinks about 24/7: Xi is convinced the USSR collapsed because the Hegemon did everything to undermine it. He won’t allow a similar process to derail China.

In the short term, the “storm” may refer to the latest round of the no holds barred American war on Chinese technology – not to mention free trade: cutting China off from buying or manufacturing chips and components for supercomputers.

It’s fair to consider Beijing keeps the focus long-term, betting that most of the world, especially the Global South, will move away from the U.S. high tech supply chain and prefer the Chinese market. As the Chinese increasingly become self sufficient, U.S. tech firms will end up losing world markets, economies of scale, and competitiveness.

Xi also did not mention the U.S. by name. Everyone in the leadership – especially the new Politburo – is aware of how Washington wants to

“decouple” from China in every possible way and will continue to provocatively deploy every possible strand of hybrid war.

Xi did not enter into details during his speech, but it’s clear the driving force going forward will be technological innovation linked to a global vision. That’s where BRI comes in, again – as the privileged field of application for these tech breakthroughs.

Only this way we can understand how Zhu Guangyao, a former vice minister of finance, may be sure that per capita GDP in China in 2035 would at least double the numbers in 2019 and reach $20,000.

The challenge for Xi and the new Politburo right away is to fix China’s structural economic imbalance. And pumping up debt-financed “investment” all over again won’t work.

So bets can be made that Xi’s third term – to be confirmed later this week – will have to concentrate on rigorous planning and monitoring of implementation, much more than during his previous bold, ambitious, abrasive but sometimes disconnected years. The Politburo will have to pay way more attention to technical considerations. Xi will have to delegate more serious policymaking autonomy to a bunch of competent technocrats.

Otherwise, we will be back to that startling observation by then Premier Wen Jiabao in 2007: China’s economy is “unstable, unbalanced, uncoordinated and ultimately unsustainable”. That’s exactly where the Hegemon wants it to be.

As it stands, things are far from gloomy. The National Development and Reform Commission states that compared to the rest of the world, China’s consumer inflation is only “marginal”; the job market is steady; and international payments are stable.

Xi’s work report and pledges may also be seen as turning the usual Anglo-American geopolitical suspects – Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman, Brzezinski – upside down.

The China-Russia strategic partnership has no time to lose with global hegemonic games; what drives them is that sooner rather than later they will be ruling the Heartland – the world island – and beyond, with allies from the Rimland, and from Africa to Latin America, all participating in a new form of globalization. Certainly with Chinese characteristics; but most of all, pan-Eurasian characteristics. The final countdown is already on.

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This article was originally published on Strategic Culture Foundation.

Pepe Escobar, born in Brazil, is a correspondent and editor-at-large at Asia Times and columnist for Consortium News and Strategic Culture. Since the mid-1980s he’s lived and worked as a foreign correspondent in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Singapore, Bangkok. He has extensively covered Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia to China, Iran, Iraq and the wider Middle East. Pepe is the author of Globalistan – How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War; Red Zone Blues: A Snapshot of Baghdad during the Surge. He was contributing editor to The Empire and The Crescent and Tutto in Vendita in Italy. His last two books are Empire of Chaos and 2030. Pepe is also associated with the Paris-based European Academy of Geopolitics. When not on the road he lives between Paris and Bangkok.

He is a regular contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity

The original source of this article is Global Research

Copyright © Pepe Escobar, Global Research, 2022

Europe in 2022 (according to the Russian embassy in Paris)

October 15, 2022

Vladimir Putin’s comments at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit

October 13, 2022

Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit

Vladimir Putin attended the 6th summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA). The meeting is taking place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.

Following the summit, the participants adopted the Astana Statement on Transforming the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the Statement by CICA Heads of State on Cooperation to Ensure ICT Security. The package of approved documents includes the CICA Action Plan to Implement the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, as well as the summit’s decisions in granting the status of a CICA member state to Kuwait, on CICA presidency issues in 2022–2024 and on holding regular meetings of the Council of Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers. The CICA Fund Regulations have also been approved.

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Speech by the President of Russia at the 6th CICA summit

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President [of Kazakhstan] Kassym-Jomart Tokayev,

Colleagues,

Over the past 30 years, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia has been discussing vital aspects of strengthening security and stability in the vast Asian region.

Today we have met against the backdrop of serious changes in global politics and economy. The world is becoming truly multipolar, and Asia, where new centres of power are growing, is playing a major, if not the key role in this.

Asian countries are drivers of global economic growth. Integration associations, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Eurasian Economic Union, are working dynamically and effectively here.

Russia is actively contributing to these processes. We are committed to the development and prosperity of Asia, to creating an open trade and investment cooperation space and broadening and deepening cooperation ties in various economic sectors towards this end.

I would like to remind you that Russia was a founding country of the CICA Business Council, which has held many successful conferences and seminars on the entire range of economic issues over the past years.

We are working hard together with other Asian counties to create a system of equal and indivisible security based on the universally recognised principles of international law and the UN Charter.

Our Conference and other regional associations are dealing with many pressing issues, notably the increased volatility of global prices of energy, food, fertilisers, raw materials and other essential goods, which is affecting the quality of life in industrialised and developing countries. Moreover, this is creating a real threat of hunger and large-scale social upheavals, especially in the poorest countries.

For its part, Russia is doing its best to supply crucial products to the countries that need them. We call for lifting the artificial and illegal obstacles, which are hindering the revitalisation of the normal operation of global supply chains, in order to be able to address pressing tasks in the field of food security.

Like many of our Asian partners, we believe that it is necessary to start a revision of the operating principles of the global financial system, which for decades allowed the self-proclaimed “golden billion,” which has been using capital and technology flows to its sole advantage, to largely live at others’ expense.

As a priority measure, we believe it is necessary to more actively use national currencies in mutual settlements. These measures would definitely help strengthen the financial sovereignty of our states, develop domestic capital markets and deepen regional economic integration.

It is extremely important to take further action, in cooperation with other regional forums and organisations, to resolve any crises and conflicts occurring in Asia, strengthen cooperation between our states on countering terrorism, expose and neutralise extremist groups, block their financial sources, fight drug trafficking and prevent the propaganda of radical ideas.

Unfortunately, Afghanistan remains one of the biggest security challenges for our region, as my colleagues have already said today.

After more than 20 years of US and NATO military presence and their failing policy, that country turned out to be unable to independently deal with the terrorist threat, as indicated by the endless series of violent terrorist attacks, including the blast outside the Russian Embassy in Kabul on September 5.

To normalise the situation in Afghanistan, naturally, we have to work together to help it with economic recovery. But first of all, we strongly insist on compensating for the damage caused to the Afghan people during the years of occupation and unblocking the unlawfully frozen Afghan funds.

In the context of a settlement in Afghanistan, it would be helpful to use the resources of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and its regional anti-terrorist body.

We also invite all Asian countries to engage in closer cooperation with the International Counter-Terrorist Data Bank, established at Russia’s initiative.

I would like to point out that Russia and China have drafted a joint statement for this summit on cooperation in ICT security. We hope that the joint statement will be approved.

Finally, I would like to mention the importance of strengthening multilateral cooperation between the participating countries on social, cultural and humanitarian issues and in promoting the inter-civilisational dialogue and contacts between peoples.

In particular, volunteer movements are among those that require support. The acute stage of the Covid-19 pandemic that we have passed demonstrated the helpful role of volunteer and youth groups in supporting the population. Russia has accumulated extensive and useful experience in these matters and we are ready to share it with interested countries.

Overall, I would like to note with satisfaction that our joint work within this Conference on Mutual Interaction and Confidence Building is making progress. Russia will further develop multi-dimensional cooperation with all represented parties.

We support the initiatives of the Kazakh presidency.

Thank you.

The Fed’s Austerity Program to Reduce Wages

June 21, 2022

By Michael Hudson and posted with the author’s permission

Preface:

The Federal Reserve Board’s ostensible policy aim is to manage the money supply and bank credit in a way that maintains price stability. That usually means fighting inflation, which is blamed entirely on “too much employment,” euphemized as “too much money.”[1] In Congress’s more progressive days, the Fed was charged with a second objective: to promote full employment. The problem is that full employment is supposed to be inflationary – and the way to fight inflation is to reduce employment, which is viewed simplistically as being determined by the supply of credit.

So in practice, one of the Fed’s two directives has to give. And hardly by surprise, the “full employment” aim is thrown overboard – if indeed it ever was taken seriously by the Fed’s managers. In the Carter Administration (1777-80) leading up to the great price inflation of 1980, Fed Chairman Paul Volcker expressed his economic philosophy in a note card that he kept in his pocket, to whip out and demonstrate where his priority lay. The card charted the weekly wage of the average U.S. construction worker.

Chairman Volcker wanted wages to go down, blaming the inflation on too much employment – meaning too full. He pushed the U.S. bank rate to an unprecedented 20 percent – the highest normal rate since Babylonian times back in the first millennium BC. This did indeed crash the economy, and with it employment and prosperity. Volcker called this “harsh monetary medicine,” as if the crash of financial markets and economic growth showed that his “cure” for inflation was working.

Apart from employment and wage levels, another victim of Volcker’s interest-rate hike was the Democratic Party’s fortunes in the 1980 presidential election. They lost the White House for twelve years. The party thus is taking great courage – or simply being ignorant – by entering on this autumn’s midterm election by emulating Mr. Volcker’s attempt to drive down wage levels by financial tightening, which already has crashed the stock market by 20 percent.

President Biden has thoroughly backed up Republican-appointed Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in endorsing a financial crash in hope that it will roll back U.S. wage levels. That is the policy of the Democratic Party’s donor class and hence political constituency.

……………

To Wall Street and its neoliberal policy backers … the solution to any price inflation is to reduce wages and public social spending. The orthodox way to do this is to push the economy into recession in order to reduce hiring. Rising unemployment will oblige labor to compete for jobs that pay less and less as the economy slows.

This class-war doctrine is the prime directive of neoliberal economics. It is a feature of the tunnel vision of corporate managers and the One Percent. The Federal Reserve and IMF are are the operating arms for impoverishing the masses. Along with Janet Yellen at the Treasury, public discussion of today’s U.S. inflation is framed in a way that avoids blaming the 8.2 percent rise in consumer prices on the Biden Administration’s New Cold War sanctions on Russian oil, gas and agriculture, or on oil companies and other sectors using these sanctions as an excuse to charge monopoly prices as if America has not continued to buy Russian diesel oil, as if fracking has not picked up and as if corn is not being turned into biofuel. There has been no disruption in supply. We are simply dealing with monopoly rent by the oil companies using the anti-Russian sanctions as an excuse that an oil shortage will soon develop for the United States and indeed for the entire world economy.

Covid’s shutdown of the U.S. and foreign economies and foreign trade also is not acknowledged as disrupting supply lines and raising shipping costs and hence import prices. The entire blame for inflation is placed on wage earners, and the response is to make them the victims of the coming austerity, as if their wages are responsible for bidding up oil prices, food prices and other prices resulting from the crisis. The reality is that they are too debt-strapped to be spendthrifts.

The Fed’s Junk Economics of What Bank Credit Is Spent On

The pretense behind the Fed’s recent increase in its discount rate by 0.75 percent on June 15 (to a paltry range of 1.50% to 1.75%) is that raising interest rates will cure inflation by deterring borrowing to spend on the basic needs that make up the Consumer Price Index and its related GDP deflator. But banks do not finance much consumption, except for credit card debt, which in the United States is now less than student loans and automobile loans.

Banks lend almost entirely to buy real estate, stocks and bonds, not goods and services. Some 80 percent of bank loans are real estate mortgages, and most of the remainder are loans collateralized by stocks and bonds. So raising interest rates will not lead wage-earners to borrow less to buy consumer goods. The main price effect of less bank credit and higher interest rates is on asset prices – deterring borrowing to buy homes, and arbitragers and corporate raiders from buying stocks and bonds. So the main price effect of less bank credit and higher interest rates is to reduce stock and bond prices and demand for home mortgages.

Rolling Back Middle-Class Home Ownership

The most immediate effect of the Federal Reserve’s credit tightening will be to reduce America’s home-ownership rate. This rate has been falling since 2008, from nearly 68 percent to just 61 percent today. The decline got underway with President Obama’s eviction of nearly ten million victims of junk mortgages, mainly black and Hispanic debtors. That was the Democratic Party’s alternative to writing down fraudulent mortgage loans to realistic market prices, and reducing their carrying charges to bring them in line with market rental values. The indebted victims of this massive bank fraud were made to suffer, so that Obama’s Wall Street sponsors could keep their predatory gains and indeed, receive massive bailouts. The costs of their fraud fell on bank customers, not on the banks and their stockholders and bondholders.

The effect of discouraging new home buyers by raising interest rates is to lower home ownership – the badge of being middle-class. The Fed’s policy of raising interest rates will greatly increase the interest charges that prospective new home buyers will have to pay, pricing the carrying charge out of reach for many families. The United States is turning into a landlord economy.

As the United States has become more debt-ridden, more than 50 percent of the value of U.S. real estate already is held by mortgage bankers. That means that homeowners are left with only a minority share in the value of their homes; most is owed to their banks. The remaining homeowners’ equity – what they own net of their mortgage debt – has fallen even faster than home ownership rates have declined.

Real estate is being transferred from “poor” hands to those of wealthy landlord corporations. Private capital companies – the funds of the One Percent – are going to pick up the pieces from the coming wave of foreclosures to turn homes into rental properties. Higher interest rates will not affect their cost of buying this housing, because they buy for all cash to make profits (actually, real estate rents) as landlords. Within another decade the nation’s home ownership rate may fall toward 50 percent (and homeowners’ equity even lower), turning the United States into a landlord economy instead of the promised middle-class home ownership economy.

The Coming Economic Austerity (Indeed, Debt-Burdened Depression) 

While home ownership rates have plunged for the population at large, the Fed’s “Quantitative Easing” has increased its subsidy of Wall Street’s financial securities from $800 billion to $9 trillion – of which the largest gain has been in packaged home mortgages. This has kept housing prices from falling and becoming more affordable for home buyers. But the Fed’s support of asset prices has saved many insolvent banks – the very largest ones – from going under. Sheila Bair of the FDIC singled out Citigroup, along with Countrywide, Bank of America and the other usual suspects. The working population is not considered to be too big to fail. Its political weight is small by comparison to that of Wall Street banks and other FIRE-sector beneficiaries.

Lowering the discount rate to only about 0.1 percent enabled the banking system to make a bonanza of gains by making mortgage loans at around 3.50 percent. The banks kept credit-card rates high – and made even more money on penalty fees for late payment than they “earned” on interest charges (in the range of 18 percent). And despite the stock market’s plunge of over 20 percent from nearly 36,000 to under 30,000 on June 17, America’s wealthiest One Percent, and indeed the top 10 Percent, have vastly increased their wealth in stocks, while the bond market has had the largest boom in history. But most Americans have not benefitted from this runup in asset prices, because most stocks and bonds are owned by only the wealthiest layer of the population. The Fed is all in favor of asset-price inflation. But For most American families, corporations and government at all levels, the financial boom since 2008 has entailed a growing debt burden. Many families face insolvency as Federal Reserve policy aims to create unemployment. Now that the Covid moratorium on the evictions of renters behind in their payments is expiring, the ranks of the homeless are rising.

The Biden Administration is trying to blame today’s inflation and related distortions on Putin, even using the term “Putin inflation.” The mainstream media follow suit in not explaining to their audience that Western sanctions blocking Russian energy and food exports will cause a food and energy crisis for many countries this summer and autumn. And indeed, beyond: Biden’s military and State Department officers warn that the fight against Russia is just the first step in their war against China’s non-neoliberal economy, and may last twenty years.

That portends a long depression. But as Madeline Albright would say, they think that the price is “worth it.” As seen by the Biden regime, the New Cold War is a fight between the “democratic” United States, with its privatized economic planning in the hands of the financial class, and “autocratic” China and Russia, where banking and money creation are treated as a public utility to finance tangible economic growth instead of serving the financialization of the economy.

There is no evidence that America’s neoliberal-neoconservative New Cold War can restore the nation’s former industrial and related economic power. The economy cannot recover as long as today’s debt overhead is left in place. Debt service, housing costs, privatized medical care, student debt and a decaying infrastructure have made the U.S. economy uncompetitive. There is no way to restore its economic viability without fundamental changes in economic policy. But there is little “reality economics” at hand to provide an alternative to the class war inherent in neoliberalism’s belief that the economy and living standards can prosper by purely financial means, by debt leveraging and corporate monopoly rent extraction while the United States has made its domestic manufacturing uncompetitive – seemingly irreversibly. To reduce their labor costs, U.S. corporations moved manufacturing offshore, thereby depriving the American work force of high value-added, high productivity jobs.

The Rentier Class Has Sought to Make America’s Neoliberal Privatization and Financialization Irreversible

It has succeeded to such a degree that there is no party or economic constituency promoting the policies needed for an industrial recovery. Yet the Democratic Party leadership, subjecting the economy to an IMF-style austerity plan, will make this November’s midterm elections unique. For the past half century, the Fed’s role has been to provide easy money for the economy, to give the ruling party at least the illusion of trickle-down prosperity to deter voters from electing the opposition party. But this time the Biden Administration is running on a program of financial austerity.

The Party’s identity politics address almost every identity except that of wage-earners and debtors. Advocating lower wages, more expensive financial charges for home mortgages and credit-card loans, and broken promises for student-debt writedowns does not look like a platform that can attract many voters, especially as the administration pours money into Ukraine. Republicans such as Tucker Carlson are appealing to the “deplorables” majority that the Democrats have left behind.

Addendum: Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism reminds me that: “Paul Volcker made it explicit that the Fed is in the business of crushing labor. As reported by William Greider in Secrets of the Temple, when Volcker was driving interest rates to the moon, he kept a note card in his pocket. It was a record of weekly average construction wages. Volcker wanted them to go down as proof his harsh medicine was working.”

M.K. Bhadrakumar, “West at inflection point in Ukraine war,” Indian Punchline, June 19, 2022

“Fundamentally, the Western economies are facing a systemic crisis. The complacency that the reserve-currency-based US economy is impervious to ballooning debt; that the petrodollar system compels the entire world to purchase dollars to finance their needs; that the flood of cheap Chinese consumer goods and cheap energy from Russia and Gulf States would keep inflation at bay; that interest rate hikes will cure structural inflation; and, above all, that the consequences of taking a trade-war hammer to a complex network system in the world economy can be managed — these notions stand exposed.”

الغرب الكاذب يفضح نفسه في أوكرانيا

يونيو 21, 2022

صحيفة الوطن السورية-

تحسين الحلبي:

يستشهد العقيد المتقاعد من الجيش الأميركي دوغلاس ماك غريغور، وقد كان مستشاراً لوزير الدفاع الأميركي في إدارة دونالد ترامب وقد ألف خمسة كتب عن الحروب والسياسة الدولية، في تحليل نشره بعنوان «وصلت الأكاذيب إلى البيت» في 17 حزيران الجاري بعبارة للفيلسوف اليوناني ديوجين يقول فيها: «الأكاذيب هي عملة السياسة»، ويعلق ماك غريغور أن «إيجاد رجل صادق في واشنطن أصبح اليوم مستحيلا» ويتابع «فالصحافة الغربية قامت بكل ما في وسعها من أجل تصوير الجيش الأوكراني بقوة أكبر مما لديه، وكانت إدارة الحكم في واشنطن تقدم الأكاذيب طوال شهور للرأي العام الأميركي عن أسباب الحرب، وها هي وسائل الإعلام الأميركية والبريطانية والغربية الأخرى تحضر خطابها الإعلامي لعرض انهيار القدرة العسكرية الأوكرانية، بعد أن كان ذلك مطلوبا قبل فترة طويلة».

ويكشف ماك غريغور أن «الإعلام الغربي كان يعرف الحقيقة ولكنه تبنى ما تريده واشنطن من حربها ضد روسيا بوساطة الوكيل الأوكراني، رغم أن كييف خسرت الحرب أمام روسيا ولن يكون بمقدور كل المساعدات العسكرية الأميركية والأوروبية ولا التدخل الأميركي العسكري المباشر تغيير هذه النتيجة».

يستخلص ماك غريغور أن «المشكلة أمام الغرب لم تعد تنحصر بموضوع أراضي وسكان أوكرانيا الشرقية التي تسيطر عليها موسكو الآن، بل إن موسكو ستضمن السيطرة التامة على خيرسون وزابورجيا وكل الدونباس وعلى المدينتين الروسيتين تاريخياً خاركوف وأوديسا اللتين يتحدث سكانهما بلغة روسية وأصبحت المشكلة تتعلق بكيفية إيقاف كييف للقتال».

في النهاية يقر ماك غريغور أن الدول الأوروبية التي اصطفت مع واشنطن دفعت ثمناً اقتصادياً باهظاً بسبب مشاركتها في دعم أوكرانيا، ثم انتقلت هذه الأضرار الاقتصادية إلى البيت الأميركي إضافة إلى نفقات الدعم الأميركي التي بلغت 60 مليار دولار بمعدل 18 ملياراً شهرياً من واشنطن وحدها، ويستذكر غريغور سلسلة الهزائم والخسائر الأميركية في العقدين الماضيين بسبب نفقات حروب واشنطن في أفغانستان والعراق وليبيا وسورية، والتي ما تزال تراكماتها السلبية مستمرة تضرب مكانة ونفوذ واشنطن واقتصادها وبخاصة بعد خسائر جائحة كورونا في السنوات الماضية.

يستنتج غريغور أن الحزب الديمقراطي سيتلقى خسارة في الانتخابات النصفية للكونغرس التي ستجري في تشرين الثاني المقبل بسبب الأزمات التي ولدها للولايات المتحدة في سياسته الخارجية المهزومة وفي نتائجها السلبية الفادحة على الاقتصاد الأميركي مثلما دفع الرئيس الأميركي هيربرت هوفر فاتورة «الركود الكبير» في الاقتصاد الذي ضرب الولايات المتحدة عام 1929 وزعزع أركانها، فدفع ثمنه هوفر في انتخابات عام 1932 هو وحزبه الجمهوري.

إن ماك غريغور عارض التدخل العسكري الأميركي في كوسوفو في تسعينيات القرن الماضي، وكذلك أجرى مقابلة مع القناة الروسية آر- تي بالانكليزية عام 2014 ليعرب عن معارضته لأي تدخل عسكري ضد روسيا بعد استعادتها لشبه جزيرة القرم والدونباس من أوكرانيا وأعرب علناً عن رأيه بحق روسيا ضم الدونباس والقرم لأنهما روسيتان.

في السياق ذاته، يرى المستشاران في مجلس الأمن القومي الأميركي بين 2005- 2009 ستيفين هادلي وتشارلس كوبخان في حوار مع مدير مجلس العلاقات الخارجية الأميركي ريتشارد هاس في 31 أيار الماضي أن موسكو تمكنت من فرض نقاط قوة ميدانية عسكرية وسكانية داخل أوكرانيا على طريق تحقيق أهدافها وستستند لها في زيادة توسعها وسيطرتها بسرعة لكي لا يطول زمن هذه الحرب، كما يرى الاثنان أن خيارات الجيش الأوكراني بدأت تضيق كثيراً ولم يقدم الدعم الأميركي والأوروبي المباشر بالسلاح، نفعاً كثيراً في توسيع هامش مناورته في الدفاع والتحرك الميداني.

نخلص للقول إن جبهة موسكو وحلفاءها ما زالوا يثبتون تماسكاً ووحدة في الموقف في حين أن الدول الأوروبية ودول الأطلسي تفتقر لهذا العامل المهم والإستراتيجي بعد أربعة أشهر على الحرب الأميركية على روسيا وتدفع ثمنه اقتصاداً ومكانة دولية وعسكرية.

Economic Rent and Exploitation: Michael Hudson, Shepheard Walwyn

June 18, 2022

Michael Hudson, Shepheard Walwyn recording May 23, 2022
Part one:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDo7HykYN9k

Part two here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-xWgLertkg

Jonathan Brown
Michael, welcome to the podcast.

Michael Hudson
It’s good to be here. I’m looking forward to it.

Jonathan Brown
Michael, I think you have one the most extraordinary upbringings and journeys into economics. And I just wanted to give our listeners just some sense of how you got from being the godson of Leon Trotsky all the way to what I consider to be probably the most important economist in the world today.

Michael Hudson 00:23
There’s no direct causality there that could have been anticipated. I never studied economics in college, because I went to school at the University of Chicago. We know that there were some students at the university who were at that business school. They were such strange people that we never even thought of going near them, because there was something otherworldly about them, something abstract.

My degree was in German language and history of culture, because the head of the History of Culture Department was Matthijs Jolles, a German professor and translator of von Clausewitz, On War. And in at the time, my intention was to become a musician. And I had to learn German in order to read the works of Heinrich Schenker. In music theory, my teachers were German. And for the History of Culture, most of the books that I was reading were, were all in German. And the German professors were also heads of the Comparative Literature Department and other departments. That meant that I could take all the courses cafeteria style at the university that I wanted.

I had to go to work when I graduated. I went to work for a while for direct mail advertising for the American Technical Society, a publisher a block away from the university, and then went to work for Free Press that was headed by Jerry Kaplan, a Trotskyist follower of Max Shachtman. And he wanted to send me to New York to help set up Free Press there.

Soon after I came to New York, Trotsky’s widow died. And Max Shachtman was the executor of her estate. He thought I should go into publishing by myself. And I had already had the copyrights for George Lukacs, the Hungarian Marxist and I thought tried to get funding for a publishing company with Trotsky’s works and other works. I’ve been writing a history of music and art theory. And needless to say, I didn’t get any funding because nobody was at all interested in publishing the works of Trotsky. I even tried to get Dwight Eisenhower the write the introduction to his military papers, wouldn’t work.

I was urged to meet Terence McCarthy, the father of a girlfriend of one of my schoolmates, Gavin MacFadyen. He was the first English-language translator of the first history of economic thought that was written: Karl Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value (Mehrwert), reviewing the value theory of classical economics. Terence said that he would help guide me in economic thinking if I’d get a PhD in economics and go to work on Wall Street to see how the world works. But I had to read all of the bibliography in Marx’s Theories of Surplus Value. So I had to begin buying the books, and ended up working as a sideline with one of the reprinters, Augustus Kelly, who was reprinting many of the classical economists. He was a socialist. There were other dealers in New York: Samuel Ambaras, Sydney Millman. I began buying all of the 19th-century classical economic books that I could, sinse that was the only way that I could get copies.

I took graduate classes in the evening while working at a bank for three years, the Savings Banks Trust Company. It was a commercial bank, but was acting as a central bank for the savings banks that in America finance mortgages. All their savings are reinvested in mortgages. So for three years my job was to track the real estate market, the mortgage market, interest rates, the funding of mortgages, the growth of assets by the savings banks, all growing at compound interest. All the growth in savings in the New York savings banks in the early 1960s was simply the accrual of dividends. So you’d have a step function at dividend time every quarter, going up exponentially. There was hardly any new savings inflow. It’s as if you’ve just left a given amount of savings in 1945, and let the amount rise exponentially. All this increase in savings was recycled into the real estate market.

The New York banks wanted to extend their market so they couldn’t just keep bidding up New York housing prices. They won the right to lend out of state, especially the Florida. So my job was basically seeing that real estate prices were whatever a bank would lend. At that time, banks would not lend you a mortgage if the debt service exceeded 25% of your income. And you had to put up usually 30% of the purchase price as a down payment, but possibly 10%. So housing was affordable. You could buy a really nice house for you know, $20 or $30,000. Now, it costs $400,000 to buy just a one room apartment in a condominium.

I bought a house for $1 down – it was $45,000 total. I took out a mortgage from Chase for half the price, and the other half was a purchase-money mortgage. So it was easy. Anybody coul get a house in New York at that time. Housing was readily affordable.

After I finished my PhD courses, I changed jobs. My real interest at the time was international finance and the balance of payments. So I went to work at Chase Manhattan as their balance of payments economist. This was at a time when the balance of payments and even balance-sheet analysis was not taught in schools. It was very specialised. I realised that what I was taught, especially in monetary theory, had nothing at all to do with what I was learning in practice.

In monetary theory, for instance, that was the era of Milton Friedman in the 60s and 70s. He thought that when you create more money, it increases consumer prices. Well, I thought that obviously was not how things worked. When banks create money, they don’t lend for people for spending. About 80% of bank loans in America, as in England, are mortgage loans. They lend against property already in place. They also lend for corporate mergers and acquisitions, and by the 1980s for corporate takeovers.

The effect of this lending is to increase asset prices, not consumer prices. You could say that money creation actually lowers consumer prices, because 80% is to increase housing prices. Banks seek to increase their loan market by lending more and more against every kind of real estate, whether it’s residential or commercial property. They keep increasing the proportion of debt to overall real estate price. So by 2008 you could buy property with no money down at all, and take 100% mortgage, sometimes even 102 or 103% so that you would have enough money to pay the closing fees. The government did not limit the amount of money that a bank could lend against income. The proportion of income devoted to mortgage service that was federally guaranteed increased to 43%. Well, that’s a lot more than 25%. That’s 18% of personal income more in 2008 than in the 1960s – simply to pay mortgage interest in order to get a house. So I realised that this was deflationary. The more money you have to spend on mortgage interest to buy a house as land and real estate is financialized, the less you have left to spend on goods and services. This was one of the big problems that was slowing the economy down.

Well, it was obvious to me that rent was being paid out as interest. Rent is for paying interest. If I talked with various developers about buying buildings, they said, “Well, we try to buy our buildings without any money at all. The banks will lend us the money to buy a building, and they calculate how much is your rental income going to be? That rental income will carry how much of a bank loan at a given interest charge, and lend the money to buy it.” That is how real estate rent was financialized.

Democratization of real estate on credit means turns rental income into interest, not taxes
This meant that the role that had been played in the 19th century by landlords is now played by banks. In the 19th century, the problem was absentee landlords, the heirs of the warlords who conquered England or other European countries in the Middle Ages. You had hereditary rent. Well, now our rent has been democratised. But it’s been democratised on credit, because obviously, the only way that a wage earner can afford to buy is is on credit. For an investor you can buy whole buildings on credit.

Finance has transformed real estate into a financial vehicle. So that that’s what rent is for paying interest means. There’s a symbiotic sector, Finance, Insurance and Real Estate – the FIRE sector. It’s the key to today’s financialised economy. Most real estate tax in America is at the local level, because after the income tax was introduced, commercial real estate was made tax exempt by the pretence that buildings depreciate in value, as if they don’t in fact rise in price. The pretence is that they wear out, even though landlords normally pay about 10% of the rental income for repairs and upgrades to keep the building from wearing out.

Today in New York, and I’m sure in London too, the older a building is, the better it’s built. Real-estate developers have crapified building codes so that the newer the building, the more shoddily it’s built. They call shoddy buildings “luxury” real estate, meaning is built with really not very thick walls. I think the junkiest building in New York is Trump Tower, which is sort of the model of shadiness which they call luxury. It’s very high-priced.

The academic economics curriculum finds unproductive credit to embarrassing to acknowledge
While I saw the importance of finance and real estate, none of that was discussed in the university’s economics courses at all. The pretense is that money is created by banks lending to investors who build factories and employ labour to produce more. All credit is assumed to be productive, and taken on to finance productive investment in the form of tangible capital formation. Well, that that was the hope in the 19th century, and actually was the reality in Germany and in Central Europe, where you had banking becoming industrialised. But after World War I, you had a snap back to the Anglo-Dutch-American kind of banking, which was really just the Merchant banking. It was bank lending against assets already in place.

Classical economics as a reform program to free economies from economic rent and rentier income

I realised that the statistics that I worked on showed the opposite of what I was taught. I had to go through the motions of the PhD orals. and avoided conflict by writing my dissertation on the history of economic thought, because anything that I would have written about the modern economy would have driven the professors nutty. Needless to say, none of the academic professors I had ever actually worked in the real world. It was all very theoretical. So that basically how I came to realise that the 19th century fight for 100 years – we can call it the long 19th century, from the French Revolution, up to World War I, and from the French Physiocrats, to Adam Smith, Ricardo and Malthus, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Simon Patton and Thorstein Veblen – was the value and price theory of classical economics to quantify economic rent as unearned income.

The purpose of value and price theory was to define the excess of market price over actual cost value. The difference was economic rent. The essence of classical economics was a reform campaign – that of industrial capitalism. It was a radical campaign, because the basic cost-cutting dynamic of industrial capitalism was radical. It realised that in order to make Britain, France or Germany, or any country competitive with others, you had to get rid of the landlord class and its demands for economic rent. You also had to get rid of monopolies and their economic rent. You had to get rid of all payments of income that were not necessary for production to take place. The aim was to bring prices in line with the actual cost value of production, to free economies from this rake-off to unproductive investment, unproductive labour and economic rent – land rent, monopoly rent and financial interest charges. Those were the three basic categories of rent on which classical political economy focused.

To translate classical rent theory into practice, you needed a political reform, You had to get rid of the landlord class’s political power to block reform. It wasn’t enough simply to say that economic rent was not a necessary cost of production, not part of real value. The landlord class would simply say, “Well, what are you going to do about it?”

The proponents of industrial capitalism saw that the constitution of England, France and America required giving governments the power to pass laws to free economies from economic rent. in order to do that, they needed democratic reform of the political system. In England they needed to empower the House of Commons over the House of Lords. That effort led to a constitutional crisis in 1909 and 1910, when the House of Commons, Parliament, passed a land tax. That was rejected, as I’m sure you know, by the House of Lords. The crisis was resolved by saying the Lords could never again reject a Revenue Act passed by the House of Commons. That political reform was part and parcel with classi9cal economic theory defining rent as an unnecessary cost of production.

But where did this leave the interests of labor – the majority of the population? As a broad social reform, classical economics began to falter by 1848. You had revolutions in almost every European country. These revolutions were not fully democratic in the sense of they weren’t really for wage labour, which was the bulk of society. They were bourgeois revolutions, including land reform. They were all for getting rid of the landed aristocracy and the special privileges that the aristocracy held. But they were not very interested in helping consumers, and labour’s working conditions, shortening the workweek, shortening the workday and promoting safety. There was nothing really about public health, or public social infrastructure spending. So things began to falter by 1848.

But they still made progress through the balance of the 19th century. By the time World War I broke out in 1914, it looked like the world was moving towards socialism. Almost everybody in the 19th century, across the political spectrum, whatever you were advocating was called socialism.

Socialism and strong government as the program of post-rentier industrial capitalism
At the broadest level, socialism meant collecting economic rent and getting rid of the landlords and the aristocracy, either by taxing away rent or nationalizing land and natural monopolies, in hope that that by itself would create a viable industrial economy. you had libertarian socialism, Marxist socialism, anarchist socialism, industrial socialism and Christian socialism. Almost every reformer wanted that as a label. The question is, what kind of socialism were are you going to have?

That was what the aftermath of World War I was fought about. The fight was largely shaped by the Russian Revolution, which unfortunately went tragically wrong under Stalin and gave socialism and communism a bad name. But it still had a good name in England after World War II. And also in America in the 1930s, as a result of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal that saved capitalism by investing in public infrastructure.

I can give you an example of where pro-capitalist theory was in the 1890s. In the United States. The industrial interests in America faced a problem once the Civil War ended in 1865. They wanted to create an industrial society – ideally, a fair society with rising living standards. How do you do that without training people to administer such an economy? You need to train people in a university. You have to teach them how economies worked. But the main universities in America were religious colleges, founded to train the clergy. Yale, Harvard, Princeton and most taught British free-trade theory, which trivialized economic theory.

So the business interests and the government saw the need to teach reality-based economics. They saw that there was little hope in trying to reform the existing universities. Their economics departments – called moral philosophy – were unreformable. So it was necessary to create new universities. All through America, each state was given a land grant to enable it to create a new university and teach reality economics. They also would teach economic history and how the world actually works. Most of all, they would teach protectionist trade theory and how to create a society and economy that is more efficient than other economies?

Well, the first business school in America was the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Its first economics professor was Simon Patton, a protectionist. And he explained that if you’re going to make industrial products at prices that outcompete those of England, you need public infrastructure spending. You need as much of the cost of living as possible to not to be paid by the employers to factor into the price of their products, but to be paid by the government.

Patten cited public roads and canals to lower the cost of doing business. He also noted that every time you build a road or railroad, you’re going to raise the land value along these routes – and lower land prices for areas replaced by the now-more-accessible producers. You can simply self-finance the cost of these by taxing the rent.

You also need public education, and that should be free so that you don’t have like today, to earn enough money to pay an enormous student debt – and receive a high salary to afford to pay that. If the government would provide free education, you wouldn’t have to pay workers enough to pay this student debt, so they wouldn’t need such high wages simply to break even.
Today 18% of America’s national income is from medical insurance. If you have a public health system and socialized medicine, as England had after World War II and as Bernie Sanders advocates today, then you wouldn’t have to pay workers a high enough salary to afford this enormous medical expense. England realised this already in the 1870s and ‘80s, when Benjamin Disraeli campaigned as a conservative for health.

So the movement towards public infrastructure towards government spending was led by the industrialists. It was they themselves who wanted strong government. The common denominator of politics from Adam Smith through all of the 19th century was to free economies from the unnecessary economic rent, to free them from unearned income, from the free lunch. To do that, you have to have a government strong enough to take on the vested interests – first the landlord class in the House of Lords, and then the financial class behind it.

Jonathan Brown 26:00
Well, just to clarify that, Michael, I think what you’re, what you’re saying is, I know in some of your writing you talk about the view of government or the public sector was it was a fourth means of production. So you got land, labour, capital and the public sector.

Michael Hudson 26:16
That was the term that Simon Patten used. Government infrastructure is a fourth means of production. But what makes it different from profits and wages is that if you’re a wage earner, you want to make as high a wage as possible. If you’re a capitalist, you want to make as high a profit as possible. But the job of public investment is not to make an income, not to do what was done under Thatcher and Tony Blair, not to treat public utilities, education and health as profit making opportunities. Instead, Patten said, you should measure their productivity by how much they lower the cost of doing business and the cost of living for the economy at large.

Jonathan Brown 27:03
And what that allows a country to do, so if you’re good at it, is to get together and ask how to educate our people, lower the cost of transportation so we’ve got we’ve got a mobile workforce, all those things. We can then start to compete against other nations who are ahead of us, who may have more expensive means of production, and we can maintain that advantage. We’re not stuck in a lower level of the economy where we’re basically working for someone else. We’re able to develop ourselves as a nation. And I guess the benefit of us doing it collectively is that we can minimise the cost, then use a natural monopoly power in government hands to provide efficient services across the board. Is that right?

Michael Hudson 27:46
Yes, but they went further. Protectionists in America said the way to minimise costs – and it may seem an oxymoron to you – the way you minimise costs is to have high-wage labour. You raise the wages of labour, or more specifically, you want to raise the living standards, because highly paid labour, highly educated labour, well fed labour, well rested labour is more productive than pauper labour. So they said explicitly, America’s going to be a high wage economy. We’re not like Europe. Our higher wages are going to provide high enough living standards to provide high labour productivity. And our higher labour productivity, shorter working day, better working conditions, healthy working conditions, public health, well educated labor will undersell that of countries that don’t have an active public sector.

Jonathan Brown 28:45
and Henry Ford being the poster boy for that approach, of doubling his employees’ salaries and so on.

Michael Hudson 28:53
Yes.

Jonathan Brown 28:54
Amazing.

<h4>The fight against classical economics and its concept of rent as unearned income</h4>
Michael Hudson 28:55
Needless to say, the fight for the kind of democracy that will free economies from economic rent was not easy. By the late 1880s, and especially the 1890s, you had the rentiers fighting back. In America the fight was led by John Bates Clark. There was a movement, which today is called neoliberalism, to deny the entire thrust of classical economics. Clarke said that there is no such thing is unearned income. That meant that economic rent does not exist. Whatever a businessman makes, he is said to earn. Whatever a landlord makes, he earns – so there was no unearned income.

This came to a head around 1890 the Journal of Ethics. Clark wrote the first essay, and it was refuted by Simon Patton. There was a fight against the concept of economic rent by academic economics, especially in New York City at Columbia University, where Clark ended up, This is really the dividing line: You recognise that much of the economy is unearned income and you want to get rid of it. To do that, you have to pass laws that will tax away the unearned income, or better yet, you put land and other natural resources and natural monopolies in the public domain where the public sector directly sets prices. That was what Teddy Roosevelt did with his trust busting.

Jonathan Brown 31:13
Michael, I just want to say reading your work is something of a revelation. I’ve got a degree in economics for what it’s worth. And I would say the only valuable thing that I found from a getting a degree in economics is that I know, resolutely when an economist is talking bullshit. How do you know that? It’s when his lips move.

Michael Hudson 31:32
If it’s an economist, they’re talking bullshit – let me make it easy, right!

Jonathan Brown 31:36
And then the thing is, that reading your work, for example, going back to Thorstein Veblen, his work, which only made it into the mainstream when I was getting a degree in the 90s, was conspicuous consumption. It had nothing to do with absentee landlords or, and the profound importance of that, and then I’m looking in J is for Junk Economics, and you talk about the free lunch, and how Milton Friedman said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch.

When you look at your work, you prove that actually there is, and that he’s having it! And you say, “Most business ventures seek such free lunches not entailing actual work or real production costs, and to deter public regulation or higher taxation of rent-seeking recipients of free lunches. They have embraced Milton Friedman’s claim that there’s no such thing as a free lunch”.

And you talk about: “Even more aggressively rent extractors accused governments of taxing their income to subsidise freeloaders, pinning the label of free lunches on public welfare recipients, job programs, beneficiaries of higher minimum wage, when the actual antidote to free lunches is to make governments strong enough to tax economic rent, and keep the potential rent extracting opportunities and natural monopolies in the public domain.”

Michael Hudson 32:51
Veblen was indeed was the last great classical economist. He coined the term neoclassical economics. I think that’s an unfortunate term. When I went to school in my 20s, I thought neoclassical meant ‘Oh, it’s a new version of classical economics’. It’s not that at all. What Veblen meant was there used to be the old classical economics of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill and Marx, all about economic rent and exploitation. “Neo” means there’s a new body of completely different, post-classical economics aiming to make classical economics obsolete. That is the new mainstream economics of today, trying to make itself “classical.” So Veblen he should have used the terms post-classical or anti-classical economics.

Jonathan Brown 33:44
Or even pseudo classical?

Michael Hudson 33:49
It’s antithetical, because the root of classical value and price theory was to isolate and define economic rents statistically. To deny economic rent is to deny the whole point of classical value and price theory. That is where economics became untracked.

Unfortunately, it became untracked largely by Henry George, who rejected classical economics and very quickly followed J.B. Clark and accepted his mushy value and price theory. Removing all elements the cost of production from value theory, analysing prices simply in terms of consumer demand and what people want, and not analysing what determines land and other asset prices, loses focus.

George became very popular as a journalist. He wrote wonderful journalism to expose the railroads in California as landlords, and he wrote a wonderful book on the Irish land question. But when he tried to talk about the whole economy, he didn’t want any competition. He said, in effect, “Economics begins and ends with me. Forget everything, Adam Smith and classical economics.” He’s sort of an early Margaret Thatcher. There’s no such thing as society or the economy. Only “tax the landlords.”

Jonathan Brown 35:35
What are you doing? You’re destroying my view of Henry George! He’s an early Margaret Thatcher? How, how could that possibly be?

Michael Hudson 35:47
Well, in two ways. The first way is that in the 19th century, in order to tax the land rent, you had to take on the most powerful vested interests of all: the real estate interests and the financial interests. But Henry George was a libertarian. He was for small government. He broke with the socialists, because he warned that socialism had a potential for authoritarianism. Well, we know that he was right in that warning, because we saw what happened in Stalinist Russia. But obviously, what you want is a government that is strong and democratic, and with enough authority to tax and regulate the vested interests. (That term is Veblen’s, by the way.) That was the ideal in America, but it needed a strong enough government so that Teddy Roosevelt could come in and be able to bust the trusts.

The government was strong enough in 1913-14 to impose an American income tax that fell just on 1% of the population, almost entirely on economic rent, on land rent, mineral rent on monopoly rent of the big corporations. If you’re a libertarian, your government is too small to take on these vested interests. And you’ll never win. You’ll end up like the Social Democrats or like today’s Labour Party under Mr. Starmer, not able to be very efficient. So that was George’s first problem.

The second problem was when he said that all you have to do is tax the land and everything else will take care of itself. Well, as you know, he was nominated as a celebrity candidate by the socialist and labour groups in New York City in 1876 to run for mayor. They gave him their programme – safe housing, workers housing, safe working conditions, food laws that protect people from poison, like you don’t want to use chromium for cake frosting to make it yellow.
Well, George threw out the whole labour programme and said that there’s only one thing that mattered: If you tax the land rent, the cakes will take care of themselves, worker safety conditions will take care of themselves. You don’t need socialism; just tax land rent.

Well, the word “panacea” came into popular use in the English language at that time, because George didn’t see the economy as a whole. That was a tragedy. He was great as a journalist describing rent and the machinations of the railroads. But once he tried to talk about the economy, without really describing how it worked as a system, saying there really isn’t any economic system, it’s just about land rent. That separated him from the other reformers.

By the 1890s you had many of reformers in America, who had been inspired by George’s journalism in the 70s and early 80s, including attacks on the oil monopoly and the Rockefellers. They asked what happened to George? Well, he became a sectarian. He formed his own party and said, we’re only going to talk about land rent. This diverted attention away from how the overall economy works. And if you don’t understand how the economy is all about providing a free lunch in one way or another, not only to landlords but to the financial sector primarily, then you’re really not going to address the interests of most of the population.

So his sectarian party shrank. Still, in the first decade of the 20th century you had followers of Henry George and socialists going around the country debating each other. They had great debates, they spelled out the whole problem. I wanted to reprint all these debates somewhere, what both the socialists and the Georgists said: “One thing we can agree on is that society is going to get go either your way or our way. We’re talking about how is the future of the political system and the economic relations and taxes that follow from this system. How are they going to evolve?”

The socialists focused on labour’s working conditions, because these were getting worse and worse. In America the fight for labour unionisation got quite violent, and corrupt. The abuse of consumers, the growth of monopolies, all these were growing problems. The socialists focused on these problems – and decided to leave the discussion of rent to followers of George. I think that was very unfortunate, because George had pried the discussion of economic rent away from the classical value theory and its political dimension, which was socialist.

I find little interest in today’s socialist movement or the socialist movement 50 years ago about land rent. They are more concerned about international issues, about war, about almost everything except land rent. And today I find the greatest interest in rent theory as a guide to a tax system in the context of an overall economic system to be in China. So that’s really where the debate over how to keep the price of housing down by keeping the financial sector from trying to capitalise the land rent into a bank loan.

That’s a big fight in China today. It should have been also in Russia. Fred Harrison, in the early 1990s, brought a group of people including me over to Russia. We made two trips to the Duma and did everything we could to explain that Russia could have a great advantage to rebuild its industry into a productive economy. The first thing that it should have done was to keep housing prices down. It could have given everybody their houses, free and clear, without any debt. Of course, some places would be more valuable than others, but Russia would have had the lowest-priced economy in the world. In America, the rent can take up to 43% of a home buyer’s income.

Well, there was pushback from the Russians. They had no rent in a socialist economy. Ted Gwartney, an American real estate appraiser, walked down the streets of St. Petersburg with the local mayor, I think on a fall or winter days. He pointed out that one side of the street was very sunny. The other street was in the shade. That’s how the sun is in the northern latitudes in the winter. Most people were walking on the sunny side of the street. That means that if you’re going to have a store, whether it’s a bakery, a food store or a restaurant, the store on the sunny side of the street is going to be able to attract more customers. Their site has more economic rent than the dark side of the street. Same thing with buildings near a subway. They will be worth more than sites far away from transportation.

The mayor said understood the point, and asked how to actually make a land value tax so to collect this rent? Ted explained that St. Petersburg’s layout was much like that of Boston, where a land map was easy to make. It showed that there was a peak centre of values near the subway, with rents tapering off further away. He suggested to apply Boston as a scale model to St. Petersburg. Just plug in a few prices, and you have a land-valuation map.

Russia could have been a low-cost economy. It could have kept the oil and gas, Yukos, GazProm, nickel and platinum resources all in the public domain to finance investment in re-industrialization, to become independent of the West. But as we all know, Ted and the people that Fred Harrison bought were completely overwhelmed by the billions of dollars that U.S. diplomats spent on promoting kleptocracy and shock therapy in Russia. Its officials and insiders worked for themselves, not Russia.

And it wasn’t only Russia that missed opportunities. I brought Ted Gwartney and his mathematical model-maker to Latvia, where I was Economic Research Director of the Riga Graduate School of Law. I was asked by the leading political party of Latvia, the Centre Party – basically the party of Russian speakers, with 1/3 of the population and votes – to draw up a model for how Latvia could restructure its post-Soviet economy and industry. Ted met with the tax authorities and housing authorities and explained how to use land rent as the tax base. They were amazed and said, “This is great. We can hire a separate appraiser for every single building. This will create a lot of employment”. No he said. He had been the appraiser for Greenwich, Connecticut, the state’s wealthiest city. He said, “We can do a whole city in about one week.” They couldn’t believe this in Latvia.

Around the time of his visit there was a meeting in Boston of the Eastern Economics Association. It was largely created by John Kenneth Galbraith to go off the economic mainstream. I think the Schalkenbach Foundation had a session on political critics of Henry George, so there were a lot of Georgists. Other people who came to the Eastern Economic Association meeting were socialists, including Alan Freeman who was the assistant to Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London.

When everybody was having lunch after the economic meetings, I brought Alan over to sit down with Ted Gwartney. Ted explained what he did, and Alan said, “Oh, I’ve never heard of this! I’ve got to come and meet you some more.’ So he came to New York and we went up to visit Ted in Connecticut. He explained how to make a land value map. Alan said, “You should win the Nobel Prize for this! This is amazing! There’s nothing like this in England.”

Ted explained that there are about 20,000 appraisers in America that do what he did. There are abundant statistics. Every city has a map of land and building appraisals: here’s the value of the building, here’s the value of the land. So smoothing out a land value map is pretty easy to do. Alan could hardly believe it.

Well, I went back to London shortly and met with Alan. It turned out that political pressures in England, especially from the Labour Party, led London to hire Weatheralls, a real estate company, do appraisals. So we never got to do our version of a real estate appraisal of London to calculate land rent.

But this is what all of the theories of the Physiocrats, Adam Smith, Ricardo, John Stuart Mill, Marx, Veblen, Alfred Marshall, all of them were focusing on. Yet this idea is so alien that from London to St. Petersburg, they don’t have any idea of how the simple concept can be done. The economics profession is in denial. It’s followed the idea that there’s no such thing as unearned income, everybody gets what they make.

The National Income and Product Accounts treat rent as a product, not a subtrahend
A byproduct of this value-free doctrine is how countries calculate their national income and product accounts. And if you look at the GDP accounts for the United States (and I’ve published a number of articles on my website and in major economic journals), rent is counted as part of GDP.

This is easiest to see in real estate and finance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics sends its employees around to ask homeowners what the rental income of their home would be if they had to rent it. If you were a landlord and rented yourself how much rent would that be? This appears in the NIPA statistics as “homeowners imputed rent.” That’s 8% of GDP. But it is not really income, because it is not actually paid. Nobody gets it. But value-free designers of GDP want to describe all of the income that landlords make as contributing to GDP. They say that landlords provide a productive service, they provide housing to people who need it, and they provide commercial properties to businesses that need it. Well, that’s not exactly how John Stuart Mill put it. He said that rent is what landlords make ‘in their sleep’. So how can you rationalize how productive landlords are?

Another element of American GDP is financial services. I called up the Commerce Department where they make the NIPA statistics and asked what happens when credit card companies increase their interest charges. And where do penalty charges for late payments appear? Credit card companies in America make billions of dollars in interest a year and even more billions in fees, late fees and penalties. Most of the income that credit card companies make are actually on these fees and penalties. So where does that appear in that GDP? I was told, in “financial services.’ So the “service” of calculating how far the debtors must pay for falling behind in their payments. They typical charge 29%. That’s all counted as a contribution to GDP. But in reality it is a subtrahend, leaving less to spend on real “product.”

This raises the question of just what income and product actually mean. Well, this brings us back to what classical economics is all about. The “product” should be measured by what its actual necessary cost of production is. But there’s a lot of income over and above this necessary cost of production. Namely, economic rent, that’s unearned income. But the income and product accounts don’t say how much is “earned” and how much is “unearned” land rent, monopoly rent, natural resource rent, interest and financial charges.

A classical economic accounting format would show how much of the prices for what our society produces is actually necessary, and how much is a subtrahend. Classical economists treat the land rent that you pay, interest charges and monopoly prices as a rake-off. So not all of your income is income equals “product,” because only a portion of that income represents a real product.

In America, the head of Goldman Sachs a few years ago said Goldman Sachs partners – a financial management firm – make more money than almost anyone else in America, because they’re the most productive. If you make a lot of money, by definition, you make it by being productive. That’s the false identity.

Jonathan Brown 55:25
That’s really the John Bates Clark idea that if you make the money, you’ve earned it. And it’s not just because you control the gate. You’re the gatekeeper, to stop people and make them pay the toll. You’re the troll under the bridge, taking people’s money as they cross, which is essentially what financial economics is about.

Michael Hudson 55:48
Right. I have spoken with a number of political advisors, many of whom were followers of Henry George. They’ve described to me how political all of this definition of the economy is. A number of friends of mine have been trying to show how much of what the United Nations calculates as income and product is actually economic rent. Steve Keen, Dirk Bezemer and Jacob Assa are in this group. There are a number of others who do it. We publish in places like the Review of Keynesian Economics, Journal of Economic Issues and other not-mainstream journals. A lot of this was taught where I was a professor for decades, at the University of Missouri in Kansas City.

Our graduates had problems getting jobs, because in order to get an appointment at a university, you have to publish articles in prestige journals. The University of Chicago, the Milton Friedman boys, the Chicago Boys control the editorial boards of all these prestige magazines, just like they control the Nobel Economics Prize Committee. The prize basically is given to Chicago Boys every year for not explaining how the economy works.

A precondition for what you call an economist, especially a Nobel Prize winning economist, is not to understand how the economy works. Because if you understand that, you’re going to threaten the vested interests that are getting the free lunch. You have to say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, everybody earns whatever they can get. Robbers and criminals like that idea. “Yeah, we stole it fair and square!”

Crime pays, and rent seeking also pays.

You can get much more money quicker by extractive means – by rent extraction – than you can by investing in plant and equipment and developing products and marketing them and making a profit over time, and spending on research and development. That’s why in today’s United States, 92% of corporate revenue, called earnings, (although not all of it is earned – that’s a euphemism) is spent on stock buybacks and dividend payouts, not on new capital investment.

So the way that the economy works today is no longer industrial capitalism; it is finance capitalism. Instead of Industrial Engineering, making society produce more with all of the environmental protection cost included, you have financial engineering, making wealth by increasing stock-market prices. Wealth is not achieved by earning it. You don’t save up your earnings and get wealthy. I think half of Americans are unable to raise $400 In an emergency. They have no savings at all.

For most people it’s very hard to save up money, especially if they have student debt, credit-card debt, medical debt and mortgage debt. After paying this, there’s really no income left to be saved. So you have the 1% of society, the rentier portion that had to pay income tax back in 1914, getting huge amounts of income and the rest of the society getting less and less. The result is economic polarisation. The dynamics of society are financial and basically rely on rent seeking that has been financialized.

I’ll give you another example of the GDP. One of the problems that makes GDP statistics meaningless is depreciation, the idea that buildings depreciate. When Ronald Reagan came in, the real estate interests and their banks basically took over the government. Henry George and the Libertarians oppose central planning by elected democratic governments, and that leaves central planning to Wall Street’s financial interests. Every economy is planned, and if you don’t have a government strong enough to do the planning, then the planning is done by the financial sector and the real estate sector, and they were given free rein under Ronald Reagan.

Under Reagan’s 1981 tax “reform” you could pretend that if you buy a big commercial building, you can write off 1/7 of the entire costs every single year as tax deductible income. At the end of seven years, you change your ownership from one name to another name, and you start all over again. The same building can be re depreciated again and again and again.

Donald Trump wrote in his autobiography, he loves depreciation, because he said thanks to the pretence of depreciation, his buildings are all going up in value, but he gets to pretend they’re falling, and deduct all of that fictitious over-depreciation from his taxable income. It’s actually economic rent. But if you look at the national income statistics, you can’t find economic rent in them at all. I was able to piece it together by adding up what goes into economic rent: Real estate taxes are part of economic rent, and also interest payments, because interest is paid out of economic rent. But fictitious depreciation tax loopholes also should be there.

But nowhere in the national income statistics is a report of how much income real estate owners actually claim as depreciation. They haven’t done that because if they showed this, people would think, ‘Wait a minute, this is a giveaway. This is utterly unrealistic.” So they only put in a figure for how much they [think] buildings are actually depreciating over a period of decades. So you have a fictitious national income accounting format that makes it impossible to calculate what land rent is – and that was the major focus of classical economics.

How are you going to get a statistical system that actually reflects this? Well, one associate of mine, Jacob Assa, has written a few books on this criticising economic rent. He worked in the United Nations here in New York until quite recently. But as I said, our graduates can’t publish in the University of Chicago economic journals whose party line is that ‘there’s no such thing as economic rent’, just like there’s no such thing as society is beyond “the market.”

I wanted to publish statistics on this and in 1994 the Henry George School in New York asked me to calculate what rent was and the land value. I found out that the value of land, the market price of land in the United States was twice what the government reported.

The government pretends that real estate prices rise mainly because buildings keep growing in value, even though they’re supposed to depreciate. They pretend that buildings grow in value by taking the original cost of the building, and multiplying it by the Construction Price Index. Whatever is left is reported as land value. Well, in 1994 the Federal Reserve reported that the land value of all of the commercially owned real estate in the United States was negative $4 billion. This is crazy.

The statistics are drawn up by a methodology that the real estate interests lobbied for. When I calculated this, the Georgists in America got furious. They said that I was showing that land value and rents were much higher than they thought. They worried that this might lead people to want to tax real estate. Lowell Harriss of Schalkenbach explained that Georgists today represent mainly real estate developers, and that their major audience was local mayors, whose biggest campaign funders are the real estate interest.

These Georgists called themselves “two raters,” wanting to keep overall real estate taxes unchanged (“revenue-neutral”) but shift the tax from commercial landlords onto homeowners by taxing land, not buildings – e.g., electric utilities, office buildings and other capital-intensive structures.

By representing the developers, Georgists proposed to save society by having the developers build up those slums, build up those vacant lots. Like George, they said that there was no need to worry about ecology or any problem except cutting property taxes for large real estate owners. You don’t need to worry about workers conditions or anything else. Let’s just give an economic incentive (i.e., a tax cut) to help contractors build up those vacant lots.

I was told if I published a new explanation of my statistics showing that most rent was paid out as interest, I could never have any relations with Schalkenbach and the Henry George school again. So I published them in a Harper’s Magazine cover story and have lived happily ever after.

Jonathan Brown 1:06:13
And was that “The New Road to Serfdom”?

Michael Hudson 1:06:22
Yes. I chose that title because the purpose of industrial capitalism was to free economies from the legacy of feudalism. And the legacy of feudalism was the landlord-warrior class collecting hereditary rent and the predatory banks that were not making loans for industry. None of the industrialists got their money to invest in banks. The inventors of the steam engine couldn’t get loans except by mortgaging their houses. Banks don’t lend money to create capital, only for the right to foreclose on it.

Jonathan Brown 1:07:02
This is all included in your in your latest book that just came out, The Destiny of Civilization: Finance Capitalism, Industrial capitalism, or Socialism, which I gather was a series of lectures to a Chinese University. Is that correct?

Michael Hudson 1:07:16
Yes. There were 160,000 viewers for the first lecture, and there’s a huge interest in this in China, because they realise that higher housing prices make them poorer and more highly indebted, not richer. What is pushing up housing prices in China is the amount of credit that banks will lend against the property.

A land tax would keep housing prices down, because the rent could not be available, to be capitalized into a bank loan. As China gets more productive and more prosperous, people obviously are going to be able to afford housing, which is how most people define their status. If a site gets more valuable because of public investment in transportation, or schools or parks nearby, that’s going to make it more valuable. But if you tax this rental income, then you’re going to keep the housing price down.

I think Fred Harrison and Don Riley wrote a book Taken for a Ride where they show that the money that London spent on extending the Jubilee Line increased real estate prices by twice as much as the line cost. London could have simply collected the land’s increase in rental value that this public investment created and made it self-financing.

Instead it was a giveaway.

They ended up taxing labour and business, and the effect was to increase Britain’s cost of living and hence the cost of production, which is why Britain is de-industrialising. It’s been de-industrialising because despite the attempts through 1909 and 1911, to free itself from landlordism, the bankers have taken the place of the landlords. They are the class today that the landlords were in the 19th century. So we’re back on the revival of what really was feudalism – a rake-off by a hereditary privileged class.

America’s monetary imperialism coming to an end with de-dollarization
Jonathan Brown 1:09:47

I’m wondering where we go next. I want to get into the conversations that you started with the 1972 first edition of Super Imperialism. I know we had a third edition fairly recently, with your prescience of the predictions in analyzing the situation for America, and how the balance of payments deficit was a result of U.S. expenditure by the military. Getting into the current manifestation of the de-dollarization challenge that seems to be accelerating through the Ukraine and Russia crisis, I wonder what background we need to give the listeners just to tell them about how that system works.

Michael Hudson 1:10:39
One of the things that most people don’t understand is money, largely because of the academic discussion confusing matters. Until 1971, countries running a balance of payments deficit would have to settle it either in gold or by selling off their industry to investors in the payments-surplus countries. Well, beginning with the war in Korea in 1950-1951, the U.S. balance of payments moved into deficit. The entire U.S. balance of payments deficit from the Korean War to the 1970s was a result of its foreign military spending.

By the time the Vietnam war was ending, the Americans had to sell its gold every month. Vietnam had been a French colony, so the banks there were French. As America spent more dollars in Southeast Asia, these dollars were sent from local French bank branches to their head offices in Paris. The Paris bank would turn over these dollars to the central bank for francs, and the central bank, under General de Gaulle, would cash in these dollars for gold.

Germany was doing the same thing, using its export proceeds that were paid in dollars to buy gold. So America’s gold stock was steadily going down, until finally it had to withdraw from the London Gold pool and stop making the dollar gold convertible. Back in 1950 when the Korean War began, the American Treasury had 75% of the world’s monetary gold. It had used this monetary power to control diplomacy in other countries. The basis of America’s political power was its gold stock.

Once they left the gold-exchange standard there was hand wringing. How was the United States going to dominate the world if it didn’t have gold anymore, if the military spending abroad had made it run out of gold? My Super Imperialism pointed out that henceforth when foreign central banks got more dollars, what were they going to use them for? Well, there’s only one thing that central banks at that time did: That was to buy government securities. So the central banks of France, Germany and other payment-surplus countries had little option except to buy U.S. Treasury bills and bonds. Some of these were special non-marketable bonds that they couldn’t sell, but they were stores of value.

So the money that America was spending abroad was simply recycled to the United States. It didn’t mean that America had to devalue the dollar through running a balance-of-payments deficit, like today’s Global South countries do, or do as England had to do with its’ stop-go policies, always raising interest rates to borrow when its deficits threatened to force the pound sterling to depreciate.

Jonathan Brown 1:13:57
Michael, this insight was that was that when you were working at Chase Manhattan, and you were advising the State Department on what to do with the fact that they were having these balance of payments problem, because of military spending?

Michael Hudson 1:14:07
My job at Chase was to analyse basically the balance of payments of Third World countries and then of the oil industry. I had to develop an accounting format to find how much does the oil industry actually makes in the rest of the world. I had to calculate natural-resource rent, and how large it was. I did that from 1964 till October 1967. Then I had to quit to finish my dissertation to get the PhD. And then I developed the system of balance-of-payments analysis that actually was the way it had been calculated before GDP analysis.

I went to work for Arthur Andersen and spent a year calculating the whole U.S. balance of payments. That’s where I found that it was all military in character, and I began to write in popular magazines like Ramparts, warning that America’s foreign wars were forcing it to run out of gold. That was the price that America was paying for its military spending abroad.

I realised as soon as it went off gold in 1971 that America now had a cost-free means of military spending. Suppose you were to go to the grocery store and just pay in IOUs. You could just keep spending If you could convince the owner, the grocer to use the IOU to pay the farmers and the dairy people for their products. What if everybody else used these IOUs as money? You would continue to get your groceries for free.

That’s how the United States economy works under the dollar standard, at least until the present. This is what led China, Russia, Iran and other countries to say that they don’t want to keep giving America a free ride. These dollarized IOUs are being used to surround them of military bases, to overthrow them and to threaten to bomb them if we don’t do what American diplomats tell them to do.

That led already a few years ago to pressure to de-dollarize the world economy and make it multipolar, not simply an extension of the U.S. military, U.S. investors, mining and oil companies. The post-dollar aim was for other countries to keep their economic surplus among themselves to promote their own economic growth, instead of imposing IMF dictated austerity programmes to impose austerity so that they can pay foreign dollarized bondholders.

Just about everybody thought that it would take many years for China, Russia, Iran, India, Indonesia and other countries to get their act together and create an alternative. But this year the Biden administration itself destroyed America’s free ride for the dollar. First the United States grabbed Venezuela’s foreign exchange, then Biden grabbed all of the foreign exchange of Afghanistan, just confiscated it. And then a month ago he confiscated $300 billion of Russia’s foreign exchange reserves. He said, in effect, that we are the leading democracy in the world, and global democracy means that America’s military gets to appoint foreign presidents.

And so we don’t like the person you’ve voted in as president for Venezuela. We’re going to hire this little nitwit that we bought out, Juan Guaido, and appoint him president. To force you to accept this, we’re going to take away all of your gold reserves held in the Bank of England, and we’re going to give it to Mr. Guaido as our nominee for the bastion of democracy, to do what a democratic regime is supposed to do: hiring terrorist groups to kill all land reformers and labour leaders, to finance a neo-Nazi takeover like we did in Chile under Pinochet, and just like we’ve done in democratic Ukraine with our funding of neo-Nazis to fight against the Russians there.

This confiscation of foreign reserves and foreign money held in U.S. banks shocked the rest of the world. Nobody had believed that countries would actually grab other countries’ financial savings. If you go back to the wars in the 19th century, the Crimean War and others, countries would continue to pay their foreign debts.

All this was ended by President Biden rejecting the international rule of law. He said that “We have a ‘rules-based’ order, in which we can make up the rules. Number one, we are exempt from the rules. Only you have to follow them. Number two, the rules or whatever we say.” China, Russia and India would have taken years by themselves to denominate their trade in their own currencies. Biden’s money grab has impelled them to create a new economic order independently of the United States and Europe, whose euro and sterling are satellite currencies of the United States.

Jonathan Brown 1:19:54
So Michael, this is a crazy situation that we’ve got. Even If you have deposits in a bank, the deposits don’t really belong to you, but they used to be respected.

Michael Hudson 1:20:07
Well they belong to you, but they can be stolen.

Jonathan Brown 1:20:09
Yeah, but then they don’t belong to me, do they? They’re kind of mine, but not. Likewise, if I annoy the wrong person, I could have my car impounded, because I’ve just annoyed the local politician, which is essentially what’s happened to a Russian oligarch. Now, whether or not the oligarch deserved that $500 million yacht, obviously, they didn’t, but it was technically theirs. So what Americans are doing is showing that if you piss them off, they will take all your resources, which has happened in other countries, right? We’ve stolen it.

The British did that, right? We appropriated resources and stole resources from other nations. If you want the best example of that, you can just go into the very beautiful British Museum and see all the artefacts that we’ve appropriated, one of which was a Rosetta Stone, which I know you write about.

So we’ve got this situation now that the Americans have declared the most profound economic war on Russia, threatening China that we can do the same. China’s got trillions of U.S. dollars. And one of the things that I don’t quite understand, looking at your philosophy and Super Imperialism, was in demonstrating that the Americans can have a free lunch by getting people to buy U.S. Treasury bonds. How is it that the U.S. dollar has gone up against all currencies pretty much other than the rouble since declaring war in Ukraine?

Michael Hudson 1:21:43
Europe has committed economic suicide, United States offered its leaders a lot of money in their offshore accounts, and made sure that their kids got free education in the United States. But in return, they would have to represent the United States, not Germany, France or other countries. The Americans have been meddling in European politics for years. European politicians do not represent their own countries. They represent the American State Department and American diplomacy. And they were told to lock their countries into the U.S. economy.
For instance, European businesses had a hope that Americans really hated. The Europeans hoped that after 1991, now that communism was over, they could invest in Russia to make money. They could sell exports to Russia and make mutual gains from each other. But the Americans wanted to make all the money off Russia for themselves, mainly by using the kleptocrats they backed to sell the natural resources that they grabbed to U.S. investors. The Harvard Boys wanted to make sure that rent-yielding natural resources were given the kleptocrats – who could only make their money in hard currency by selling shares abroad in the assets they grabbed, keeping their payments in England or the United States.

So they’ve asked Europe not to buy Russian gas, but to spend seven times as much buying American liquefied natural gas, and spend $5 billion to build the ports to accept this gas – while going without gas for about three or four years…let their pipes freeze… stop making fertiliser… Don’t feed your land, we’ll take it on the chin for America. Your standard of living is going to have to drop by 20%, but it’s all for American democracy. And the European heads said that’s fine.

America said that you Europeans are bothering them by trying to stop global warming. That’s a direct attack on a major arm of U.S. diplomacy, the oil industry. American companies control almost all the world’s oil trade. It’s the highest rent-yielding sector in the world. And it’s income-tax free. It’s politically powerful, and as long as America can control the oil trade, it can talk to Latin American countries or African countries and say if they elect a leader that U.S. officials don’t like, it can impose sanctions and stop exporting oil to them to freeze them out. They won’t get fertilizer, so the U.S. can starve you out. It can put a sanction on their food trade. 

Agriculture is Americans biggest trade surplus.

Jonathan Brown 1:25:14
That’s what they’re doing with the conflict in Ukraine to Russia, and also China as well. Are there other major sources of grain, wheat and rice?

Michael Hudson 1:25:26
Yes. But President Biden has blamed Putin for creating a world food shortage and threatening to cause a famine, because Ukraine can’t export its grain. Ukraine, at American direction, has put mines all over the Black Sea. So the Black Sea’s ports have mines around them. If a ship hits them, it’ll blow a hole in the hull and will sink.
As a result, if you’re a shipping company and want to transport grain, you have to get insurance, because if you don’t have insurance, then you’re in danger of going bust if your ship goes under. But no insurance company will insure it until the Ukrainians remove the mines that they put. You need minesweepers for that. Needless to say, Russia doesn’t want American minesweepers in, because they may very well attack as there’s a war on.

So you have the United States blocking Ukrainian grain exports, which was a huge export. You’ve had the American dollar area, the NATO countries, refusing to import food from Russia, which is the world’s largest agricultural exporter. This is creating a crisis for Global South countries, for Latin America and Africa.

Meanwhile, global warming is causing droughts that are reducing the harvest. The Green Party in Germany has a pro-war policy that is making global warming rise faster. By supporting military warfare against Russia, and U.S. military adventurism in general, they are becoming major lobbyists for the air polluters. The largest air polluter is the American military. The Green Party in Germany advocates fighting Russia more, providing it with more arms, and thus supporting the military that is now the largest new contributor to global warming. In effect, this means that Europe is willing to say, ‘Okay, we are willing to have the sea levels rise another 10 feet, as long as we can help America dominate Russia’.

Europe even is letting America keep the Trump tariffs on its exports, in place, so it can’t export more for America. It looks like Europe will have to de-industrialize, maybe we’ll go back to the 19th century and become a country of farmers. That basically is the situation that its subservience is imposing.

Jonathan Brown 1:28:49
I’d like to come back to the just what China and Russia can do, given their reserves. They understand they’ve got… they’ve got lots of reserves of gold, and also large grain stores, China having the most as I understand it, but can you help me understand why all these nations around the world have U.S. dollar reserves in some form or other, most of it in bonds? Why is the dollar still increasing at this moment in time?

Michael Hudson 1:29:28
Because the Euro was going down. The Japanese Yen is going down. The Yen is the worst performing currency, because they’ve held their interest rates very low. Their aim is for banks to make money by borrowing low at low rates and lending to foreign countries at a higher rate. Europe is also keeping its interest rates low. The American Federal Reserve is raising the interest rate, and that is money from low interest rate countries. Capital from Europe and Japan is flowing to America.

Currency values are primarily set by relative interest rates and capital flows. They’re not set by the cost of production for imports and exports. They are not caused by trade, unless there’s a radical breakdown of trade. All these zigzags that you see are short-term capital movements. America tells other countries to keep their interest rates low, so that money will flow from their banks and financial to the United States to buy American securities that yield higher returns. As long as the Euro is a satellite currency to the dollar, it’s going to continue to go down. So the both the euro and the British Sterling are now moving towards $1 per pound and $1 per euro.

Jonathan Brown 1:28:49
That’s a short-term measure. The long-term measure is that countries have to start selling the bonds that they’ve got in U.S. currency. So long term, it has to come down. Is that right?

Michael Hudson 1:29:28
Yes. They’re going to hold each other’s currencies. Especially now that Russia is denominating its exports, in roubles instead of dollars. The American banks have lost the trade financing of the world oil trade, certainly Russian oil and agricultural trade. Instead of holding dollars, countries will hold rouble reserves to stabilise their currencies via the rouble, China is holding rouble reserves, and Russia is holding Chinese yuan reserves.

The balance will be held more in gold and some kind of assets without a liability attached to them. I think the logical direction in which this is moving is that the non-dollar countries will create their own version of the International Monetary Fund, their own World Bank, their own trade organization. So there will be one set of trade and financial and development organisations and military organisations in the U.S. and Europe, in NATO, that is, in the white countries, and another set of relations and the non-white countries that are actually developing while America and Europe shrink.

Jonathan Brown 1:33:06
So what’s your idea of how much gold China actually holds, because there’s the published numbers [which] are really extraordinarily small aren’t they for an economy that’s so big.

Michael Hudson 1:33:18
I don’t know. Governments can hold gold not only through their own treasury, but through some subordinate agency. I no longer go into the financial statistics like I used to, because it takes a whole year to do a balance sheet that is comprehensive. All I know is that they saw how America simply grabbed Russia’s dollar holdings, and they don’t want the same thing done to them. President Biden has said China is America’s number one long-term enemy, and he wants to destroy the Russian economy first and then attack China after prying them apart.

Obviously, China is reading the newspapers and wants to avoid that fate.

Jonathan Brown 1:34:16
The other thing that I find utterly remarkable, for example, is that Biden in his speech said that he wants to get rid of Putin. I think if it was a U.S. Defence Secretary or Secretary of State saying that he wants to arm Taiwan……. If I ran China and I said I want to arm Mexico, or if anyone in South America wants any weapons then my doors open to you, I would expect the Americans to be very upset with that because I’m breaching the Monroe Doctrine. Can you help me understand, having been in the corridors of power, whether Chase Manhattan or the contacts you’ve got, how can …. how can politicians be so delusional to think they can say stuff like that without having a negative consequence?

Michael Hudson 1:35:18
Well you know who’s really upset by that? The Taiwanese! They say, Oh, they want to make Taiwan into another Ukraine, to fight to the last Taiwanese, just like the Ukrainians have been used. They see two choices before them. If they do arm and get weapons that can hit China, then China is likely to bomb them. On the other hand, I’ve met Taiwanese officials for 40 years, and many have said that their long-term hope is to be reintegrated. They want to be investors in China, but they want to merger under terms where they can be sort of like Hong Kong, able to have a merger that will make them prosperous too.

So Taiwan’s choice is between following the Americans and becoming the Ukraine of the Pacific, or joining with China. Given the fact that China is growing and America is shrinking, what are they going to choose? Well, I would imagine that you will see a strong, peaceful integrationist movement with China. But China remembers that Chiang Kai Shek massacred the communists in 1927.

Jonathan Brown 1:36:47
So what are we looking at then, who is in charge, President Biden or other people?

Michael Hudson 1:36:56
President Biden is a front man. They’re all the front men for the faceless people in the State Department, the neocons who are controlling things. Biden has always been right-wing, just a corrupt party politician. He does what he’s paid to do. He’s unimaginative. He’s brought in some real Russia haters – people who have a visceral hatred of Russia because of their family background under the tsars or under Stalin. Blinken said that his family was Jewish and lost under the tsars, and maybe under Stalin. He wants to kill Russians because he’s so angry at what they did to his ancestors. That is the neocon mentality in a nutshell. It’s a crazy mentality.

The Federal Reserve and the Treasury officials say they were not consulted in the political moves that Biden and Blinken and the neocons are making. There is the kind of single-minded tunnel vision at work. They really are Russia haters and China haters. There is a lot of racism you’re seeing in New York, where it’s very dangerous for Asian women to take a subway. Almost every week, the lead news item is yet another Asian woman attacked or pushed in front of a subway. There’s a there’s a new race hatred in America. And they are treating Russians as the Ukrainians do, as if Slavic speaking people are a separate race.

Jonathan Brown 1:38:49
Extraordinary. So Super Imperialism came out, as I understand it, and was used by the State Department to figure out how to continue running their economics …

Michael Hudson 1:39:04
At first U.S. officials thought that going off gold was going to be a disaster. Herman Khan told me, “You’ve shown that we’ve run rings around the British Empire.” He hired me for the Hudson Institute, which is a national security institute, and brought me to the State Department for meetings and to Army War colleges and Air Force war colleges to talk about it. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that the main people who wanted to learn how imperialism works were the imperialists themselves. I had thought that the anti-imperialists were going to be my main audience, but the imperialists really needed to know what was new.

Jonathan Brown 1:39:50
They took your book, Super Imperialism and they read it as a love letter, right.

Michael Hudson 1:39:56
Not a love letter. They saw it as a “how to do it” book. I was a technician.

Jonathan Brown 1:40:04
Right. And working for Herman Kahn, he’s a powerful guy that people don’t talk about so much anymore, but he was, he was extraordinarily influential at the time, right?

Michael Hudson 1:40:14
Yes, he had a great sense of humour. He was a great speaker. He was absolutely brilliant. He wrote a book on thermonuclear war, saying that even if there were to be a war, somebody would be left to survive. That made him one of the models for Dr. Strangelove in the movies. I would sit and hear Herman talk about military strategy, and was awed by how he thought it all through. He was a brilliant military tactician. He would bring me and sit down with generals, and they would explain things. I don’t have a good military sense, or any military training at all. He wrote that, personally, he wanted to be right under the first hydrogen bomb. He didn’t want to live in the post-nuclear world. But there would be some survivors somewhere. That made him notorious. He was so reviled for even having brought up discussion of the topic that needed to be discussed, that he wanted to have ideas that people liked. And that was the corporate environment study. That was what I was pretty much in charge of. I was the economist, he was the military. We had the same salary there.

We would go around the world disagreeing with each other. It would be like a show. He’d talk about the world being a cup half full. I talked about the cup being half-empty, as he put it. I talked about the debt overhead, and how debt was growing and would ultimately stifle the economy. He talked about how productivity would be sufficient to pay debt, although productivity doesn’t necessarily give you the money to pay the debt. Productivity does not grows exponentially, but tapers off. As debt grows, any rate of interest is a doubling time. And it doubles quicker than the economy can double.

Jonathan Brown 1:42:24
And this is really coming back to one of your initial questions from Terrence McCarthy, which was to focus on productivity, wasn’t it?

Michael Hudson 1:42:33
Yes. And the idea was focusing on productivity, you realise that it all comes down to labour ultimately. How do you make labour more productive? How do you make industry more productive? You get rid of what is unproductive – and the unproductive overhead is rent. So how much corporate spending is just plain overhead? How much is unnecessary for corporate industry to take place? That line of questioning brings you back into the classical economics.
Marx is really the last great classical economist who pushed it all to its logical end. His contribution was to explain that just as the landlord exploits by taking rent, the industrial capitalist exploits labour by charging more for the products of labour than it costs to hire labour to produce.

However, unlike the rentier, unlike the landlord, the capitalist uses this economic surplus value to expand production, to build yet more factories, to employ yet more labour. This is an expanding society, whereas the rent paid to landlords is a kind of exploitation that is pure overhead and shrinks industrial capitalism. That’s why Marx said that the political aim of industrial capitalism was to free society from the landlords, predatory bankers and monopolists. That’s why the Communist Manifesto‘s program begins with collecting rent for the public sector. You can tax the land as a transition to socialising it. That was the Communist Manifesto’s classical economics.

Jonathan Brown 1:44:26
You have these views, and yet you were still a valued member of the team at the Hudson Institute.

Michael Hudson 1:44:33
Yes, because I was explaining how the world worked. Herman and I disagreed so much, we were genuine friends. I liked him, and we couldn’t believe that the other would actually believe something so different. But we said okay, if the arguments that we’re having is the “big argument,” it’s going to determine where the economy is going. Either he’s right or I’m right.
This is like the debates between Henry George’s followers and the socialists in the early 1900s. It was going to be one world or another.

What is the key to analysing the economy? Is it to focus on rent and finance, or on technological potential? My point is that technological potential can be smothered by so much overhead paid to the rentier class via the FIRE sector – finance, insurance and real estate – that there’s no money left to invest, no income left for wage earners to spend on buying the goods and services that they produce.

Jonathan Brown 1:45:48
And yet the technology sector in my opinion is actually the new monopolist. Instead of having a competition, in that sense they’re the new landowners. So Google is a spectrum landowner. If I want to host these videos, then I’ve got to negotiate or accept the terms of the landowner YouTube. I’m posting them there, but I won’t be making any money on it. Because I’m one of the serfs on YouTube.

Michael Hudson 1:46:16
This is the problem that China is dealing with in its own way. What do you do when Jack Ma and other IT specialists end up as billionaires? Well, China did not have an anti-monopoly group. It let 100 flowers bloom and let billionaires develop, but would then have them transfer their money to the government in one way or another. They haven’t done this in the way that Western economies do, by an anti-monopoly tax, but by a political consensus way.

In countries like Russia, I’m trying to get them to formalise this into formally calculating the magnitude of economic trends. You want innovation to take place, you want people to make the fortune, but at a certain point they can’t somehow make so big a fortune that it ends up crashing the economy.

Jonathan Brown 1:47:37
But looking at your writing from the Byzantine times and the ancient Near East, is the importance of the leader of that particular economy or society to make sure that no one got so rich that they could overthrow the leader? Which is really what you’ve got with someone like Zuckerberg, the power that he was able to wield in the election, whether you agree with him or not, was extraordinary. And likewise, if you look at the fight that’s currently going on with Elon Musk and Twitter, is to recognise that actually we want, we want our people to own these resources that we pretend are private, but actually have tremendous social power.

Michael Hudson 1:48:24
Yes, they financialized politics in America, by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling. Anyone can contribute as much as they want, if you’re a corporation. The rentier interests give to pro-rentier politicians to act as their puppets. The money goes for advertising airtime on television and the media to overwhelm all the people who normally would want to minimise the rentier class. So essentially, you’ve financialized politics in America much more than has occurred in Europe. But in Europe, it’s the right wingers who basically control the press, commercial television and media. So if the media are controlled by the right wing with their own agenda, they frame the economic issues from the vantage point of the rentier class instead of from the vantage point of how an economy actually develops and grows wealthier in a fair manner.

Jonathan Brown 1:49:48
I know we need to need to wrap up. Just thinking about the scenarios for Russia and China currently. Everybody who is part of the original white economies of Europe, realises that if they don’t side with America, they get overthrown. But also right now they have a short-term challenge that the Americans are going to let them starve because they’re stopping wheat exports coming through the European ports. But then you’ve also got Russia with resources, you’ve got China with grain resources.

So there is a potential that when people start to starve, and you look at the challenges in Sri Lanka, with politicians being murdered and people running out of food, there’s a chance for China to step in and say, we can send you grain exports. And by lucky coincidence, because of the all the lock downs that China’s got right now, a lot of the world’s boats and ships are currently waiting outside ports in China.

Michael Hudson 1:50:54
[Missing part here] Computer chips are part of the problem. And that’s probably going to make them friendlier with Taiwan. Taiwan has the computer chips.

Jonathan Brown 1:51:03
And by your assessment, because Taiwan do not want to be another Ukraine, American actions are likely to accelerate the reintegration.

Michael Hudson 1:51:12
There’s a bell shaped curve, I haven’t met with the Taiwanese in quite a few years so I don’t know, up to date what the dynamic is. But just by logic, you can see the international environment in which they’re operating. You wonder how they are going to calculate the plusses and minuses of the U.S. versus China? What economy do they want to attach themselves to so that they can get richer fastest?

Jonathan Brown 1:51:46
And also stay safe and not get involved in unnecessary wars. When you look at the tragedy in Ukraine, all these people dying when you’ve got such a strong opponent in Russia, how can you go to war with them for any period of time?

Michael Hudson 1:52:07
Well, that’s what the world is divided into. The U.S. and European society is built on war. It’s the only foreign policy they have, because they don’t have an economic power anymore. They’ve de-industrialised and the rest of the world that is trying to industrialise and trying to feed itself. China, Russia, India, the Global South are the anti-war part of the world. So the world is dividing into two parts: a rentier part supporting finance capitalism [that] is trying to impose it on other countries, to financialize China and Russia to make them put a Margaret Thatcher or Boris Yeltsin in charge of China. While they try to put their own candidates in charge, a la General Pinochet, the rest of the world is trying to defend itself against this terrorism.

So the Western world that calls itself democracy is the terrorist military world. The nations that it calls authoritarian are any authority strong enough to control and tax the financial interests – that is, any government strong enough to regulate finance and real estate. Such an economy is by definition authoritarian as opposed to a democracy, where Wall Street and the financial centres are the democratically elected central planners. So what’s at issue is who’s going to plan society: the financial sector, or the people as in China and other countries.

Jonathan Brown 1:53:41
I think that says it. From a Western lens it’s a different type of democracy.

Michael Hudson 1:53:48
Yes. But democracy really means an economy run to benefit the great bulk of the population, who happen to be wage earners? Or is it going to be for the 1%? Is the economy run for on behalf of the 99% and the 1%? Well, the 99% need a strong government to run it in their own interests and cope with the counter-revolutionary policies, the neo-feudal rentier policies of the 1%.

Jonathan Brown 1:54:22
Okay, so knowing China, then your take on its zero-COVID policy that the authorities are implementing in some parts of the country?

Michael Hudson 1:54:32
The more I read about long COVID here, the worse it seems. I’m 83 years old, so my wife and I have not gone to a restaurant since 2020. We haven’t even gone to our friends’ houses for dinner. We’re isolating ourselves. China has isolated itself at great cost, but it saved the population not only from having COVID itself, but from having long COVID. There are now a million Americans with long COVID. They also say that long COVID lowers your, your IQ by 10%.

It’s almost as dangerous is inheriting a trust fund when it comes to impairing your IQ. It’s debilitating.

My webmaster in Australia and his family have COVID. So I’m very sympathetic with what China’s doing, even though it means that I can’t go there, because I’d have to be isolated in a hotel room for two weeks just to give a few days’ meeting – and then be isolated again when I come back. So China is making a huge effort not to sicken its population with COVID. And now of course, since the Russians have began to publish all their findings of the US bio-warfare labs in Ukraine that were designed to spread a COVID like diseases by migrating birds and bats and manmade aircraft over Russia.

Now, they’ve reopened the question ‘was COVID a US bio-warfare from the very beginning’? And the Chinese are looking at it and saying ‘was it engineered’? If the Americans are trying to engineer COVID to affect mainly Slavic population and their DNA signatures, could they have been doing the same thing against Asians? So all of this is suddenly opened up. The World Health Organisation has refused to divulge any of the USA biowarfare efforts, and the U.S. has stonewalled all efforts to find out about the bio-warfare. This is isolating America and Europe.

If American Europe is left with its current foreign policy, biowarfare and atomic bombs, NATO will be shunned by the civilised world. As Rosa Luxemburg said a century ago, the choice is between socialism or barbarism. NATO, Europe and America represent the new barbarism. The alternative is socialism. That is how the world seemed to be developing in Europe and America until World War I untracked everything. The rest of the world now has a chance to get back on track. I don’t know what’s going to happen in the West.

Jonathan Brown 1:57:47
Michael, as always, you always get more into your stuff than I expected. Are there any things that you’d like to say to our listeners, before we finish up,

Michael Hudson 1:57:56
I’ve probably said too much. And I hope you can edit out anything that’s embarrassing.

Jonathan Brown 1:58:01
I may get thrown off YouTube for publishing some of your comments. So you may have to go back and review a few of them. But as always, Michael, thanks so much your time what we’ll do is we’ll send a link to everybody for the website and also for the new book, as well which I think and those series of lectures when I was researching for this conversation were the single best economic lectures I’ve ever listened to – truly extraordinary levels of insight and real economics rather than theoretical or textbook stuff. So as always from ShepherdWalwyn, thanks so much for your time and for your contribution.

Michael Hudson 1:58:41
Well, if you transcribe it all in will be worth it. \

Jonathan Brown 1:58:45
That’s, that’s our promise 100%. So thanks very much.

Michael Hudson 2:00:05
Thanks a lot.

The Future to the Back

June 02, 2022

Source

By Batiushka

‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’.

Words recorded by Matthew in his Gospel, chapter 24, verse 7, April 33

‘It is Russia that is now at the forefront of the clash of civilisations’.

Boris Mezhuyev, Professor of Russian Philosophy at the VIII Russian Philosophical Congress in Moscow, 26 May 2022

We were promised the future. That of globalism. This was one in which the whole world would become ever more prosperous, though nobody would become as prosperous as the already prosperous elite of the Western world. So those living off a dollar a day would live off two dollars a day and those living off 10,000 dollars a day would live off 20,000 dollars a day. Sounds fair? And all this in a world where all would have the chance, if they wished, to dress like Americans, watch Hollywood films, eat at MacDonalds and drink coffee at Starbucks, that is, to live in a unipolar world, the only pole being the USA. And this world would by 2100 have reached its maximum population of perhaps 11 billion, up from today’s nearly 8 billion.

Then came some annoying people who pointed out that not everyone can live like that, even 8 billion of us, let alone 11 billion, in a world of finite resources and a warming climate (regardless of whether that warming was manmade or not).

And then there came covid (regardless of whether that was manmade or not) and some people of all races died from it. And then came some very annoying people who pointed out that if there is one pestilence, there can be another and another, far, far worse, like the American/Kansas flu of 1918-1920. Unlike covid, this killed perhaps 60 million, ten times more than covid, on a planet with a population less than a quarter of today’s, so was 40 times more lethal. And so, they concluded, anything people do is infinitely fragile, here today, gone tomorrow, and all our much-vaunted vast technology is useless against a mere tiny microbe. The balloon of arrogance was rather punctured.

And then, after pestilence, there came war in the Ukraine and the increasing realisation that actually the future that we were being promised, or rather, that was being imposed on us, was not one that we wanted. There had been just too many injustices down the centuries, not least inside Europe and caused by Europe outside Europe. Such were the ‘World Wars’, that is, the European Wars which Europe exported worldwide. What sort of future can you build, if it is built on the bones of the hundreds of millions of victims of genocide and injustice down the ages? And then came some even more annoying people who pointed out that not everyone wants to live according to that unipolar model. We do not want to be the slaves of Antichrist. And as we do not want that, then to defend Russia is actually to defend the world.

And so the future that had been proposed to us has gone to the back of our minds.

And so now we have to think about the future that we do want, in the front of our minds.

First of all, we know what we do not want. In the words of Sergei Lavrov in his interview with RT Arabic in Moscow on 26 May 2022:

‘Instead of delivering on their obligations under the UN Charter and honouring, as is written in this charter, the sovereign equality of states and abstaining from interfering in their domestic affairs, the West churns out ultimatums every day, issuing them through their ambassadors or envoys….blatantly blackmailing ….The reaction of Arab countries and almost all other countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America that we are seeing shows that these countries do not want to disregard their national dignity, running errands, in a servile manner, for their senior colleagues. This situation is yet another example of colonial thinking….It is wrong and regrettable, and flies in the face of the historical process, which objectively shows that a multipolar world is now taking shape’.

What does this mean, politically, economically and socially?

Firstly, politically we think that in the future every country, people, culture and religion should be respected. That does not mean that we will agree with each other, that there are no differences, it means that we accept the differences of others in freedom, but that we in no way feel obliged to follow other ways. In other words, our relations should be those of good neighbours, live and let live is what we do. We are not superior and narcissistic busybodies who carry out Blairite ‘humanitarian interventions’ in the sovereign rights of others, arrogantly trying to enforce our domination on the deluded pretext of do-gooding. Because we respect ourselves, so we respect others.

Secondly, economically we think that trade between different countries is normal, following the law of supply and demand, but that in the future all trade should be sustainable. Free trade very often becomes the law of the jungle. Free trade has to be regulated, to avoid exploitation, profiteering and the impoverishment of those countries which have fewer resources and advantages. Justice must reign in all international trading relations.

Thirdly, socially, we think that social justice for all in every country is essential. We realise that if you gave a million dollars each to twenty individuals, very quickly you would find that one had ten million dollars and that others had nothing. People are different. It is therefore part of the role of the State to provide some kind of safety net for the weak, without demotivating them from work, and also making sure that those who become rich do not abuse their wealth in order to obtain tyrannical power and commit injustices like gangsters. Money should be a tool to do good. Sadly, often it is not. We no longer want to live in a world in which there are massive gaps between rich and poor. The word ‘oligarch’ has been associated with Russia, only not the Russia we knew, but with the westernised and corrupt Russia of Yeltsin, which is now disintegrating. There will always be richer and poorer, yes, there will always be such. But why should there be multimillionaires, billionaires and even centibillionaires? There is something wrong with such a world, when at the same time there are so many desperately poor.

This is not an ideology, this is not an ism, it is a balance. If you press down on one end of a seesaw without a counterweight on the other end, there is no balance, no possible play. When the world is out of balance, disasters, especially wars, come. This is what has happened in the Ukraine. Retrieve the balance and all will work better. This is what the phrase ‘a multipolar world’ means, a balanced world.

So, the unipolar future to the back. And forward to the multipolar future.

Neom: MBS’ personal dystopia

June 1, 2022 

Source: The Wall Street Journal

By Al Mayadeen English 

“I drive everybody like a slave…When they drop down dead, I celebrate. That’s how I do my projects” – Neom CEO, Nadhmi al-Nasr.

Nadhmi A-Nasr, the Neom project’s CEO, who was handpicked by Mohammad bin Salman (Bloomberg)

“If you don’t tell me who’s responsible, I’m going to take a gun from under my desk and shoot you.”

This is how Neom’s Chief Executive Nadhmi Al-Nasr conducted an emergency meeting, asking his communications team why they didn’t warn him that some companies may cut their ties with the project following complaints against Saudi Arabia’s human rights records.

Most of the people involved with the meeting later left the project, forming a small sample of an exodus of foreign staff from Neom, who are leaving the project due to the abuse they suffer.

Neom is the most ambitious project sought out by the country’s Crown Prince and de facto ruler, Mohammad bin Salman (MBS). According to WSJ, the project is “a group of futuristic technology-driven communities with its own laws across an area the size of Massachusetts that the 36-year-old leader hopes will one day feature flying cars, robot dinosaurs and a giant artificial moon.”

However, what bin Salman thinks is his utopia is proving to be closer to a dystopia, where employees and executives are made to feel that they’re worthless because they are not able to meet the unrealistic expectations and demands being imposed on them by the project’s CEO. Some even left $500,000 a year jobs in Neom rather than work under Nasr, according to former employees.

In a resignation letter, one chief executive who resigned in the summer of 2020 at a planned mountain resort at Neom said that Nasr’s leadership was “consistently inclusive of disparagement and inappropriately dismissive and demeaning outburst.”

“When they drop down dead, I celebrate”

Current and former employees say that the staff turnover has slowed the $500 billion project down, as Neom has only now begun breaking ground after more than “five years of planning and multiple master plans.”

Moreover, there is a certain culture of fear among some of the executives delivering the projects, brought on by the jailing of Saudi businessmen and royals on trumped-up corruption charges as part of bin Salman’s power grab. MBS also makes unrealistic demands for Neom, and often changes his mind, which further slows down the work pace.

“Nadhmi takes his cue from his boss and everyone else at Neom takes their cue from Nadhmi,” said Anthony Harris, former director of innovation in Neom’s education team, who said that as part of the project.

“You are made to feel like you’re absolutely worthless, notwithstanding the large amount of money they are paying.”

In one meeting, Mr. Nasr told one executive to “walk into the desert to die, so he could urinate on his grave,” WSJ reported.

Neom’s CEO also said in a recording “I drive everybody like a slave…When they drop down dead, I celebrate. That’s how I do my projects.”

A satellite photo shows palaces near Neom (AP)

Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun

One senior Saudi official said that bin Salman and the royal court know Nasr’s management style, and are also aware of the high employee turnover at Neom, but apparently, they are under the impression that this style works.

After the Covid pandemic hit and lockdowns began in 2020, the CEO told employees stuck abroad that they were replaceable if they didn’t come back to Saudi Arabia. Some never made it back.

Furthermore, employees were criticized at a town-hall meeting with Neom staff that took place in the summer of 2020 for allowing Neom to fall behind schedule. Staff were also ordered to tattle on employees’ slowing progress.

Nasr, during a conference in Las Vegas in 2019 (Bloomberg)

One running joke in the project involved executives sharing images of a book they joked Nasr must have read “Victory Secrets of Attila the Hun”, the successful business management book inspired by the exploits of the feared 5th-century leader.

Sexual misconduct

Neom, according to WSJ, aims to create a more liberal society than the rest of Saudi Arabia, following MBS’ Vision 2030. However, current and former employees are saying that sexual harassment was frequent.

One female expatriate left Neom after complaining of inappropriate behavior by her boss, a Western executive who is close to Nasr and remains in his position.

Another British-American former employee told Nasr in an e-mail that she believed she was fired by her boss because she refused to continue a sexual relationship with him. Human resources haven’t taken any action against the said boss.

“Misogyny, racism and abusive behaviors aren’t just tolerated by leadership, these abhorrent behaviors are in fact consistently demonstrated by leadership,” Andrew Wirth, the former chief executive of Neom’s mountain resort, said in a written statement.

Interestingly, instead of attempting to tackle these issues, Neom has opted to create a paranoid ambiance within its perimeters by installing cameras where employees live. Former IT employee who was part of the monitoring with the camp Joseph Wright revealed that the cameras watch “everything you do,” frightening the many residents.

Empire of Bioweapon Lies

May 13, 2022

Pepe Escobar

An ongoing U.S. bioweapons program in Ukraine was one of the Top Three reasons that led to the launch of Operation Z, Pepe Escobar writes.

What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow / Out of this stony rubbish? Son of man, / You cannot say, or guess, for you know only / A heap of broken images, where the sun beats, / And the dead tree gives no shelter, the cricket no relief, / And the dry stone no sound of water. Only / There is shadow under this red rock, / (Come in under the shadow of this red rock), / And I will show you something different from either / Your shadow at morning striding behind you / Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you; / I will show you fear in a handful of dust.

T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land: I. The Burial of the Dead, 1922

This glimpse of “fear in a handful of dust” already ranks as one the prime breakthroughs of the young 21st century, presented this week by Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical, and Biological Protection Force Igor Kirillov.

The provisional results of evidence being collected about the work of U.S. bioweapons in Ukraine are simply astonishing. These are the main takeaways.

  1. U.S. bioweapon ideologues comprise the leadership of the Democratic Party. By linking with non-governmental biotechnology organizations, using the investment funds of the Clintons, Rockefellers, Soros and Biden, they profited from additional campaign financing – all duly concealed. In parallel, they assembled the legislative basis for financing the bioweapons program directly from the federal budget.
  2. COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, as well as Merck and Gilead – of Donald “known unknowns” fame, and affiliated with the Pentagon – were directly involved.
  3. U.S. specialists tested new drugs in the Ukraine biolabs in circumvention of international safety standards. According to Kirillov, acting this way “Western companies seriously reduce the costs of research programs and gain significant competitive advantages.”
  4. According to Kirillov, “along with U.S. pharmaceutical companies and Pentagon contractors, Ukrainian government agencies are involved in military biotechnology activities, whose main tasks are to conceal illegal activities, conduct field and clinical trials and provide the necessary biomaterial.”
  5. The Pentagon, Kirillov pointed out, expanded its research potential not only in terms of producing biological weapons, but also gathering information on antibiotic resistance and the presence of antibodies to certain diseases among the population in specific regions. The testing ground in Ukraine was practically outside the control of the so-called “international community”.

These findings, amply documented, suggest a vast “legitimized” bioweapon racket reaching the highest levels of the American body politic. There’s no doubt the Russians plan to thoroughly unmask it for the benefit of world public opinion, starting with a War Crimes Tribunal to be set up this summer, most probably in Donetsk.

An ongoing U.S. bioweapons program in Ukraine was one of the Top Three reasons that led to the launch of Operation Z, side by side with preventing an imminent NATO-managed blitzkrieg against Donbass and Kiev’s desire to re-start a nuclear weapons program. These are Top Three red lines for Russia.

The strength of the collected evidence may directly correlate with what was largely interpreted as a carefully measured Victory Day speech by President Putin. The Kremlin does not bluff. It will certainly privilege the meticulous presentation of – bioweapon – facts on the ground over grandstanding rhetoric.

The return of Nord Stream 2

Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Dmitry Polyaniskiy announced Russia’s demand for an open meeting of the UN Security Council to present further evidence related to U.S. biolabs in Ukraine. Even if the meeting would be vetoed by the U.S., the evidence will be entered by Russia on the UN records.

These developments provide an extra indication there’s absolutely no space left for diplomacy between Russia and the U.S./collective West, as Polyaniskiy himself suggested when commenting the possible accession of Ukraine to the EU: “The situation has changed after Mr. Borrell’s statement that ‘this war should be won on the battleground’ and after the fact that the European Union is the leader in deliveries of arms [to Ukraine].”

It gets worse. The next chapter is Finland’s drive to join NATO.

The Americans gamble that Finland – and Sweden – joining NATO will totally discredit Putin’s Operation Z as having accomplished next to nothing strategically: after all, in the near future, potential U.S. hypersonic missiles stationed in Finland and Sweden will be very close to Saint Petersburg and Moscow.

Meanwhile, Russian unmasking of the bioweapon racket will drive a toxic section of American political elites to turbo-charge their warmongering. It’s all following a carefully calculated script.

First, these bioweapon-supervising “elites” ordered the massive Kiev shelling of Donbas in early February. That forced the Kremlin’s hand, pushing it to launch Operation Z.

We should always remember that the ultimate goal in the U.S. plan of training Ukrainians for war since 2014 was to alienate Germany from Russia – as Germany de facto controls Euroland economically.

Imperial control of the oceans allows the Empire to strangle Germany at will into subservience by cutting them off from Russian energy – as the British did to Germany in WWII when Britannia ruled the waves. The Wehrmacht could not supply their mechanized army with fuel. Now, in theory, Germany and the EU will have to look to the seas – and total U.S. dependency – for their natural resources.

The remote-controlled Kiev regime dominated by SBU fanatics and Azov neo-Nazis is making it even harder – by shutting off all natural gas from Russia through Ukraine into Europe, reducing the flow by more than one third.

That translates as U.S.-enforced blackmail to force the EU to increase the Ukro-weaponizing against Russia. The practical consequences for Germany and the EU will be dire – in terms of shut down industries and cost of home heating and electrical power.

Russia, meanwhile, will rely on a bolstered Pipelineistan maze to China and East Asia as well as high-speed rail to transport all its natural resources.

Blowback against the Americans though is not off limits. Stranger things have happened. If gas transit to Europe via Ukraine is totally cut off, there are no alternatives. And that – assuming there are working IQs in Berlin – would open the way for a renegotiation on the future of Nord Stream 2.

As the head of the Energy Development Center Kirill Melnikov notes, “the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline is practically idle and one of the Nord Stream 2 lines is also ready for operation though the German regulator has not issued permission for its launch yet.”

That prompted Melnikov to a priceless comment: “If purchases remain the same, Germany will probably need to urgently allow the launch of one of the Nord Stream 2 lines in order to replace the Ukrainian transit route.”

No one ever lost money betting on the astonishing stupidity permeating EUrocrat decision levels. Even facing economic suicide, the EU is desperate to “abandon” Russian oil. Yet a full ban is impossible, because of energy-deprived Eastern Europe.

Every impartial energy analyst knows replacing Russian oil is D.O.A., for a number of reasons: the OPEC+ deal; the ghastly divide between Washington and Riyadh; the never-ending JCPOA renegotiation, where the Americans behave like headless chickens; and the crucial fact – beyond the understanding of EUrocrats – that European oil refineries are designed to use oil from the Urals.

So just when we thought we could enjoy the summer by watching Europe commit hara-kiri, it’s time to stock up on those Aperol Spritz. Get ready for a new hit series, season 1: Inside the American bioweapon racket.

The risks, challenges, and crisis of the Ukraine war.

April 21, 2022

Source

By Zamir Awan

The last few decades have witnessed several wars, like the Iraq war, Libya war, Yemen war, Syria war, the Afghan war, etc. But all of such wars were designed by the US and executed along with NATO/ US allies. The US-style of wars, was first building a narrative, using media as propaganda, and then, involving the UN and international community, or convincing the rest of the world for its war acts. As a result, the US achieved its objectives without getting blamed for wars, aggressions, invasions, etc. Although millions were killed, millions were injured, many serious with lifetime disabilities, millions of houses were destroyed making millions of people homeless, forcing millions of people to live in refugee camps or take asylum in other countries and spend the rest of their lives in misery. Infrastructure was damaged, the economy was destroyed, social systems were damaged totally, changed regime installed puppets and dictated them to serve American interests, etc.

All wars are equally bad and harmful to humankind. Either the victims are Muslims, Christians, Jews, or any other religion. Whether, the victims are black, yellow, or white, are equally precious. Irrespective of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, or social status, all lives deserve equal treatment and respect. The UN charter guarantees the protection of all humankind equally.

But Ukraine war is very special and bears different consequences:-

  • The Russia-Ukraine conflict has not only created a worldwide political, diplomatic, economic, food, and energy crisis but has also exposed the double standards of the world powers towards the principles of international politics and global governance.
  • It is expected the conflict to be a long-drawn-out affair. This is reinforced by the fact that despite the inclination of the Russian leadership or military to end the war at an early stage, on the ground trends in the shape of military armament and around 50,000 non-state actors in Ukraine offer a very alarming specter.
  • The war is not a choice but perhaps a strategic compulsion that Moscow felt for several reasons like challenges ranging from the global world order to the expansion of NATO and also concerns regarding the political leadership of Ukraine and its policies.
  • It is an ideational conflict that shows the level of violence and degree of pain and cost that could be inflicted on Russia by the US-led western alliance. The war seems to be a grave miscalculation on Russia’s part because the ability of the western world to cause pain in an enduring fashion across several domains beyond the kinetic tactical or operational battlefield of Ukraine will make it very difficult for Moscow to sustain and achieve its objectives.
  • China views this conflict with a lot of concern because it offers more challenges than opportunities. A weakened Russia is not in the Chinese interest. Moreover, the revival and rearmament of NATO also indirectly do not augur well for Beijing in terms of future prospects. Another aspect is that although China wants to sustain its global economic growth but not at the cost of disturbing its trade relations with the west.
  • It is highlighted the buildup of the Quad, the Indo-Pacific strategy, and the recent rise of QUAD 2.0. If all these are added up most of these things are aimed at containing China and disrupting its global rise. This conflict has perhaps reminded Washington that they cannot afford to only concentrate the major share of their hard power only on Asia-Pacific and need to maintain their security commitment towards the west and Europe as well.
  • In the regional context, India was seen in flux because its military forces are heavily dependent on Russia for meeting its technological and operational needs but it is facing a very difficult challenge due to its growing diplomatic and economic ties with the US. As such Delhi will find it rather difficult to balance these contrasting challenges.
  • The Muslim world was urged to introspect because they have been accused of over 20 years of terrorism but this reality dawning in eastern Europe allows them to look at how other civilizations and value systems call upon non-state actors and militant organizations when they are challenged and how they are presented in the Western-dominated media.
  • In terms of identity, it poses a simultaneous challenge in terms of race, religion, and nationalism. The western alliance sees this as the frustration of the Russian orthodox Christianity facing the challenge of the western world order which is characterized by the Protestants and Catholics.
  • The societal aspect should be seen in the context of globalization and the perpetual process of the interconnectedness of the different civilizations, societies, peoples, cultures, and economies. This is perhaps the biggest challenge globalization has received in terms of a counter-globalization movement.
  • The economic aspect is not just playing out in the sanctions regime but also the trade and currency wars, and the grave concern that Beijing has because to sustain its economic expansion and global influence it is heavily dependent on Western Europe and America for maintaining its export market which is worth over $600 billion. The increasing energy prices pose a huge challenge for the developing world and the governments, especially immediately after the COVID crisis.
  • In the political domain, it is the greatest test of the current world order and a complex contest between the ideational powers, revivalist powers, and states that want to be identified based on nationalism. It is an ideational challenge to the status quo world order by a frustrated and provoked Russia which wants to be respected for its economic, political and strategic revival.
  • In terms of the security domain, the conflict has led to the revival and rearmament of NATO, which does not augur well for China and Russia. It also has reduced Russian energy leverage and soft power on Western Europe and revived sub-conventional warfare as a means of great power contest in the east European theater.
  • Russia is angered by the eastward expansion of NATO and has challenged the Western-led world order. He also said that Western sanctions could affect Pakistan’s ability to benefit from improving ties with Moscow, in terms of meeting its energy needs.
  • Ukraine conflict has created a worldwide economic, energy, and food crisis that has affected all the countries including Pakistan.
  • The conflict represents a Russian challenge to the US exceptionalism which the Western world is contesting by supporting the Ukraine government through militants which presents the world an opportunity to recover from its excessive focus on the Muslim world.
  • The Western powers cannot have one set of rules for themselves and another for other countries in terms of security and prosperity and Russia is no longer willing to access this contradictory Western approach.
  • Ukraine War is an ideational conflict for the US which should not merely be seen in a geopolitical context while Russia, through this military operation, wants to show the world that it is back on the world stage.
  • This conflict offers more challenges than opportunities for Beijing and although the Western powers view China as standing on the Russian side a weakened Russia is not in Chinese interests.
  • India faced a complex dilemma of maintaining its very close defense cooperation with Russia and simultaneously building deep and long-term strategic and diplomatic ties with the United States.
  • Muslim societies should start thinking of alternative arrangements, such as a monetary union and common market, to address their concerns during international crises.
  • The world banking system and global energy supply chain have badly suffered due to this conflict. He said that more than one trillion dollars have been stuck in the global banking system due to the war.

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

Ukraine Is Not A Victim–It is Part of NWO Agenda

Come on, people. What would America do if Russia or China was attempting to build military bases on our Canadian and Mexican borders? What do you think would happen?

 March 12, 2022

By  Jonas E. Alexis, Assistant Editor

By Chuck Baldwin

As a political analyst and more importantly as a spiritually-minded student of the Scriptures, I am absolutely convinced of this: When the major establishments all pounce on one subject, collectively decide who is a victim and who is a villain and beat the same drum every day over and over in total unison, the narrative that is being presented is one hundred percent upside down.

And right now the power establishments have decided to bewitch us with an anti-Russia, pro-Ukraine agenda. But as with all establishment propaganda, the narrative is a big, fat lie.

I begin with Ron Paul’s excellent commentary:

When the Bush Administration announced in 2008 that Ukraine and Georgia would be eligible for NATO membership, I knew it was a terrible idea. Nearly two decades after the end of both the Warsaw Pact and the Cold War, expanding NATO made no sense. NATO itself made no sense.

Explaining my “no” vote on a bill to endorse the expansion, I said at the time:

NATO is an organization whose purpose ended with the end of its Warsaw Pact adversary… This current round of NATO expansion is a political reward to governments in Georgia and Ukraine that came to power as a result of US-supported revolutions, the so-called Orange Revolution and Rose Revolution.

Providing US military guarantees to Ukraine and Georgia can only further strain our military. This NATO expansion may well involve the US military in conflicts unrelated to our national interest…

Unfortunately, as we have seen this past week, my fears have come true. One does not need to approve of Russia’s military actions to analyze its stated motivation: NATO membership for Ukraine was a red line it was not willing to see crossed. As we find ourselves at risk of a terrible escalation, we should remind ourselves that it didn’t have to happen this way. There was no advantage to the United States to expand and threaten to expand NATO to Russia’s doorstep. There is no way to argue that we are any safer for it.

NATO went off the rails long before 2008, however. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed on April 4, 1949 and by the start of the Korean War just over a year later, NATO was very much involved in the military operation of the war in Asia, not Europe!

NATO’s purpose was stated to “guarantee the safety and freedom of its members by political and military means.” It is a job not well done!

I believe as strongly today as I did back in my 2008 House Floor speech that, “NATO should be disbanded, not expanded.” In the meantime, expansion should be off the table.

Hear, hear, Dr. Paul.

I also encourage you to read this terrific column by Attorney John Whitehead entitled Perpetual Tyranny: Endless Wars Are The Enemy Of Freedom.

In this column Whitehead wrote,

As long as America’s politicians continue to involve us in wars that bankrupt the nation, jeopardize our servicemen and women, increase the chances of terrorism and blowback domestically, and push the nation that much closer to eventual collapse, “we the people” will find ourselves in a perpetual state of tyranny.

It’s time for the U.S. government to stop policing the globe.

This latest crisis—America’s part in the showdown between Russia and the Ukraine—has conveniently followed on the heels of a long line of other crises, manufactured or otherwise, which have occurred like clockwork in order to keep Americans distracted, deluded, amused, and insulated from the government’s steady encroachments on our freedoms.

And so it continues in its Orwellian fashion.

Two years after COVID-19 shifted the world into a state of global authoritarianism, just as the people’s tolerance for heavy-handed mandates seems to have finally worn thin, we are being prepped for the next distraction and the next drain on our economy.

Yet policing the globe and waging endless wars abroad isn’t making America—or the rest of the world—any safer, it’s certainly not making America great again, and it’s undeniably digging the U.S. deeper into debt.

War has become a huge money-making venture, and the U.S. government, with its vast military empire, is one of its best buyers and sellers.

What most Americans—brainwashed into believing that patriotism means supporting the war machine—fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with propping up a military industrial complex that continues to dominate, dictate and shape almost every aspect of our lives.

Consider: We are a military culture engaged in continuous warfare. We have been a nation at war for most of our existence. We are a nation that makes a living from killing through defense contracts, weapons manufacturing and endless wars.

The United States is the number one consumer, exporter and perpetrator of violence and violent weapons in the world. Seriously, America spends more money on war than the combined military budgets of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Saudi Arabia, India, Germany, Italy and Brazil. America polices the globe, with 800 military bases and troops stationed in 160 countries. Moreover, the war hawks have turned the American homeland into a quasi-battlefield with military gear, weapons and tactics. In turn, domestic police forces have become roving extensions of the military—a standing army.

The American Empire—with its endless wars waged by U.S. military servicepeople who have been reduced to little more than guns for hire: outsourced, stretched too thin, and deployed to far-flung places to police the globe—is approaching a breaking point.

Come on, people. What would America do if Russia or China was attempting to build military bases on our Canadian and Mexican borders? What do you think would happen?

Plus, the leader of Ukraine is anything but a hero. He gladly participated in allowing the banks of Ukraine to be used as money launderers for rich businessmen and politicians and for influence peddling in U.S. politics.

Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy (a Zionist Jew) is also accused of barbaric—even genocidal—treatment of the people living in the two breakaway provinces of Donetsk and Lugansk—which have a Natural right under God to separate from Ukraine and who appealed to Russia for protection. (Tell me, did Iraq and Afghanistan invite America to send our military to their countries before we invaded them?) Is it any wonder that Ukraine is looking to Israel for military assistance? After all, Israel is extremely proficient at ethnic cleansing and genocide.

Let’s also not forget that Ukraine is home to over a dozen U.S. biolabs that are sponsored and financed by the Pentagon. In other words, those labs are there for potential military operations. Again, what do you think America would do if Russia had built a dozen military biolabs just across our borders in Canada and Mexico?

Ukraine is NOT a victim. It has been up to its proverbial neck in global (especially anti-Russian) subterfuge, theft, acts of inhumanity and war crimes for years. Ukraine is no friend of freedom or the United States. But it is a friend to corrupt politicians and businessmen.

Whatever is really going on in Ukraine has nothing to do with the narrative being propounded by the major establishments.

1) Let me ask you something: If the United States felt justified in launching preemptive invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan—including long-term occupations—a half a world away from our borders against small backwards nations that posed zero threat to America, how is Russia not justified in launching a preemptive campaign to protect itself from a serious formidable military expansion at its border—especially when its protection is sought from legitimate independent states? (Remember, America was once a breakaway country.) Please read Dr. Paul’s commentary referenced above about why the real villain in this situation is NATO, not Russia. Again, what would we do if we were in Russia’s shoes?

If Russia really wanted to conquer Ukraine, it could easily do so. Ukraine is totally incapable of successfully resisting the Russian military, if Russia truly desired military conquest (which it doesn’t). Russian leader Vladimir Putin told the world exactly why his actions were being taken, what his actions in Ukraine were designed and not designed to do—including NOT occupying Ukraine—and how they would be conducted. I think you should read what he said.

2) Were the U.S. biolabs an important objective? I understand that the labs may have been destroyed early in the operation. If so, that is a VERY GOOD thing.

3) Now that the American people have made it known that they have had it with the phony Covid narrative and the fear factor is totally gone, are the totalitarian elite now using the threat of global war to again consume people’s hearts with fear? As Whitehead said, “Endless wars are the enemy of freedom.” (I’ve been saying that for years.) Fear is also a tool to enslave us. Early in the Covid charade, I brought a message to this regard.

4) Is this a diversion to take our attention away from the National Vaccine Pass (and other attempts by our own central government to trample our liberties) that is being rolled out, supported by both Democrats and Republicans?

5) Is this another manipulation of world affairs from within the backrooms of the CFR and Bilderbergs for the purpose of achieving their overall objective of global governance?

Of course, Scofield futurists are all over the place screaming about “end times prophecy.” What Balderdash! One would think that Christians would start using their brains a little bit and stop listening to these phony prophecy sensationalists who make bank (and fools out of themselves) with false prophecies about the end of the world.

Whatever the real story in Ukraine is, I can tell you this: It is NOT what the major establishments are telling us. And Ukraine is NOT a victim.

Dr. Chuck Baldwin is an American politician and has been involved in at least 12 full-length documentary films. He was the presidential nominee of the Constitution Party for the 2008 U.S. presidential election and had previously been its nominee for U.S. vice president in 2004. He is also a pastor of Liberty Fellowship in Kalispell, Montana.

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LETTER TO MP ON EMERGENCIES ACT

 

Eva Bartlett

Thank you Spencer Latu for writing this letter.

Friends, please consider sharing widely, & if Canadian sending the letter to your respective MP:

LETTER TO MP ON EMERGENCIES ACT

Please copy/paste the following letter, or add your own flair, and email it to your local parliamentary representative regarding the vote on the Emergencies Act in Parliament. Since we are in a minority government, emailing NDP MPs has a huge impact.

You can add any subject line. You can find the contact information of your representative here: https://www.ourcommons.ca/Members/en/search

Letter-writing works, so please share widely and with your friends!

Dear [MP],

I write to you as a concerned citizen from your riding, asking you to represent me and many others in Parliament and to oppose Justin Trudeau’s federal invocation of the Emergencies Act, RSC 1985, c 22 (4th Supp) (“Emergencies Act”). This measure comes in response to demonstrations in Ottawa and across the country regarding COVID-19 restrictions, including vaccine mandates. I urge you to instead approach this situation by listening to the demands of countless Canadians and removing the restrictions provincially. Many provinces have begun doing so. I also urge you to vote against the Emergencies Act.

On February 15, 2022, the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (“CCLA”), a nonpartisan organization dedicated to the defense of civil liberties and constitutional rights, wrote: “The federal government has not met the threshold necessary to invoke the Emergencies Act. This law creates a high and clear standard for good reason: the Act allows government to bypass ordinary democratic processes. This standard has not been met.” They noted that implementing the Act at this time “threatens our democracy and our civil liberties.”

Please defend our democracy and civil liberties. Canadian banks have begun freezing assets of those who have donated to the aforementioned demonstrations and their personal information is being shared. The Emergencies Act will legalize a further invasion of privacy, which is a dangerous slippery slope. Trudeau has also suspended Parliament, violating the law requiring uninterrupted debate concerning the implementation of a new emergency power.

You have the opportunity to represent Canadians in Parliament and defend us against a severe overreach of power. I urge you to vote against the Emergencies Act and to represent your constituents.

Sincerely,

[Name]

2 thoughts on “LETTER TO MP ON EMERGENCIES ACT”

Melody Poor

Dear Eva:I am an American citizen; thus, I am not eligible to write letters to Canadian Parliamentary members – although, I applaud your effort. Enclosed is a long 5-hour U.S. Senator Ron Johnson’s hearing, providing the forum for many very honest and distinguished doctors speaking the truth of Covid-19 being a VERY TREATABLE disease with almost 100% survival rate if patients are treated early with the correct & inexpensive drugs; unfortunately, the U.S. NIH & FDA, politicians & gov’t agencies are totally corrupt and are being paid off by Big Pharma which are GREEDY and wanting to make big money on jabbing people, discouraging doctors to treat Covid-19 patients, allowing patients to DIE…. So Evil. I hope you will be able to listen the entire hearing:

“COVID-19: A Second Opinion”Senator Ron Johnson —— January 24, 2022 

https://rumble.com/vt62y6-covid-19-a-second-opinion.html

Melody p.s. Thank GOD for Canadian Ramble which provides the platform to host this very IMPORTANT video – this TRUTH-telling video wouldn’t have survived the U.S. evil Youtube censorship …..$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

‘Freedom convoy’ protests spread across Canada

13 Feb 2022

Net Source: Agencies

By Al Mayadeen

Canadian officials express shock that the protests are getting out of hand.

The illegal occupation of Canada… by Canadians. (The Canadian Press)

“Amazingly, this isn’t just Ottawa. It’s the nation’s capital,” Catherine McKenna, a former cabinet minister, tweeted. “But no one – not the city, the province or the federal government can seem to get their act together to end this illegal occupation. It’s appalling … Just get your act together. Now.” 

Though some anti-vax protesters on the US-Canadian border drove some of the vehicles blocking the trade route away on Saturday, demonstrations in the capital, Ottawa, and beyond only seemed to increase. 

While the Ottawa police released a statement, calling what is happening in the capital an ‘illegal occupation,’ other public and official figures expressing disappointment and demanding ‘respect for the monuments.’ 

Read more: France sets up checkpoints against ‘freedom convoy’ protestors, conducts arrests

Saturday evening, police arrested their first protestor who was blocking the Ambassador Bridge which links Detroit to Ontario. 

In a meeting between Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and special advisors, Trudeau affirmed that the corridor will not and could not stay closed for long, putting ‘all options’ on the table. 

Over the past weekends, protestors have increased to thousands, and have created a ripple effect. Similar protests in France, New Zealand and the Netherlands – and possibly soon in the United States – have been ongoing. 

Federal and provincial leaders and officials said they cannot order police what to do to contain the protests.

Read more: US urges Canada to use “federal powers”, end “freedom convoy” protests

Jim Watson, an Ottawa mayor, declared a state of emergency last week. Hundreds of trucks parked in front of the parliament buildings with portable toilets set up just outside Trudeau’s office, where his motorcade usually is.

Canadian police on Saturday said they’re waiting for “reinforcements” before completely deterring the demonstrators, calling the demonstrations an ‘illegal occupation.’

“Demonstrators exhibited aggressive behavior towards law enforcement, including refusing to follow directions, overwhelming officers and otherwise subverting enforcement efforts,” police said, according to CBC.

Before the police moved forward, Daniel Koss, one of the protestors, said that the demonstrations were successful in shedding light on their demands, which are to lift COVID-19 mandates, expressing ‘happiness’ that the protests were peaceful and remained so. 

“It’s a win-win,” Koss said. “The pandemic is rolling down right now, they can remove the mandates, all the mandates, and everyone’s happy. The government does the right thing, and the protesters are all happy.”

A day before, a Canadian judge ruled that the blockade end, in addition to a premier issuing that a breach in the state of emergency declared will result in fines up to $100,000, and up to 1 year in jail for anyone blocking roads, bridges, walkways and more. 

“The illegal blockades are impacting trade, supply chains & manufacturing. They’re hurting Canadian families, workers & businesses. Glad to see the Windsor Police & its policing partners commenced enforcement at and near the Ambassador Bridge,” federal innovation minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a tweet Saturday. “These blockades must stop.”

About 25% of Canadian-US trade is carried through the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest border crossing between the two nations. Auto plants between both sides were forced to shut down and halt car production. 

“We want the right to choose,” Stephanie Ravensbergen, a protestor, said. “We want the right to be able to do what everybody else can do.”

Vladimir Putin held talks with President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron at the Kremlin.

February 08, 2022

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, Emmanuel,

It is a pleasure to see you.

Last time we met was two years ago and, of course, there is a backlog of issues that we can and should discuss in a direct format.

Still, over these years, our contacts have never been interrupted, and we remain in touch at all times. Moreover, despite the pandemic, bilateral trade is up. During the pandemic, it fell by 15 percent, but over 11 months of 2021 it grew by over 70 percent to reach pre-pandemic levels and, I think, even slightly exceeded them.

Our colleagues are working quite successfully in the political sphere, including the foreign ministries and a 2+2 meeting between our respective defence ministers and foreign ministers.

Relations in the humanitarian sphere are on the rise as well. We have held events that cover region-to-region cooperation. More than 150 events have been held, and this helps create a supportive environment for promoting relations between our two countries.

Here is what I would like to point out specifically: of course, I understand that we share concerns about security developments in Europe, and I want to thank you for the fact that France invariably and strongly participates in the development of fundamental decisions in this area.

This has been the case with our relations in recent years. It is symbolic that we are meeting today because a fundamental document, the agreement on special relations between Russia and France, was signed 30 years ago today.

Notably, throughout these years, as I have mentioned, France has taken a very active part in addressing fundamental European security issues. Your predecessors did the same. France engaged in addressing the crisis that broke out after Georgia attacked South Ossetia, and in developing the Minsk agreements, and then organising the Normandy format. I appreciate the amount of effort invested by the current leadership of France and personally the President of France in resolving the crisis around the need to ensure equal security in Europe for an extended historical perspective, and in overcoming the challenges that are related to resolving the domestic crisis in southeastern Ukraine.

We discussed these matters over the telephone in great depth. I am aware that you have your own thoughts on this matter, and I am pleased to have the opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss these things.

Welcome, Emmanuel.

President of France Emmanuel Macron (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President, thank you very much, Vladimir.

Indeed, today is the 30th anniversary of resuming diplomatic relations, and I would like to reiterate that bilateral relations have made it possible to focus on many issues.

We have many hopes in the cultural, academic and scientific spheres. We hope to continue the Trianon Dialogue together and advance the economic agenda.

The critical situation in Europe is our shared concern, and our continent – you pointed this out – is in a critical situation, so we all need to act with great responsibility.

Together we laid the foundation for an open, straight, and full-fledged dialogue in 2019. Since then, there have been several exchanges of views in St Petersburg, Bregançon and other venues, and I believe this dialogue remains as relevant as ever.

We need this dialogue, because it is the only thing that, I think, can ensure genuine stability and security for the European continent. In this context, we have had several telephone conversations in recent weeks, as you mentioned. Despite the crisis, I had a chance to exchange views with President Zelensky about Ukraine, as well as to coordinate views with many Europeans and Allies, including the British, Americans and Canadians.

I think today’s conversation can pave the way to de-escalation, which is where we should be heading. We are aware of the military-political situation and the Ukraine issue. You noted its importance, including the Normandy format, security issues in Belarus and the entire region, as well as important collective security issues, which we will cover later.

I am glad we have this opportunity to discuss these issues in depth, so that we can collectively begin to develop a practical response for Russia and the whole of Europe. A useful and practical response would be one that helps avoid war and build stability, transparency and trust for all.

Thank you very much for your warm welcome and for your time.

<…>


News conference following Russian-French talks

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the Kremlin and to host the President of the French Republic, Mr Emmanuel Macron in Russia.

It appears symbolic that our meeting is taking place on February 7 (it looks like it will end on February 8, Moscow time), the day when a fundamental treaty between Russia and France was signed 30 years ago. That vital document provided a reliable foundation for the development of bilateral cooperation based on partnership and mutual respect for decades to come. Our talks with President Macron today were held in a business-like atmosphere and were substantive and meaningful.

It is clear to us that Mr President has come to Russia primarily to discuss the current issues of European and global security, for which our countries bear special responsibility as permanent members of the UN Security Council. In addition to this, France is holding the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the talks, we continued to exchange views on the proposals regarding long-term legally binding security guarantees, which Russia has made to the United States and NATO. I would like to remind everyone that these proposals include three key points: NATO’s non-expansion, non-deployment of offensive weapon systems near the Russian border, and the return of the bloc’s European capabilities and infrastructure to the 1997 level, when the NATO-Russia Founding Act was signed.

Regrettably, the replies from the USA and NATO, which we received on January 26, disregard these concerns of fundamental importance to us. Moreover, our Western partners once again said that all states have a right to freely choose their security arrangements and to enter into any military blocs and alliances. Well, we never questioned this principle. On the other hand, it is also obvious that these blocs and alliances have no obligation to admit any country that wishes to join them.

This open-door policy, which we have discussed with many of our partners, including with President Macron today, is very liberal. We believe that only the United States and possibly several other NATO members are benefitting from this interpretation of the fundamental principle of equal and indivisible security, which has been set down in many European documents and includes, as we all know, a pledge not to strengthen one’s security at the expense of the security of other states.

The reference to the open-door policy, which I have mentioned, is questionable as well. I would like to repeat (I have said this on numerous occasions, including in this very room during a recent news conference following Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban’s visit) that according to Article 10 of the 1949 North Atlantic Treaty, the member states may, by unanimous agreement, invite any other European state in a position to contribute to European security to accede to that treaty. But this does not mean that the bloc is obligated to admit any country, as I have said as well. All right.

However, I would like to point out that they continue trying to placate Russia with deliberations that NATO is a peaceful and purely defensive alliance. People in many countries, namely Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have learned the truth of this statement the hard way, and this is also true about the large-scale military operation against Belgrade waged without a UN Security Council sanction, which is definitely not an operation that could be waged by a peaceful organisation.

In addition, we cannot overlook the fact that the 2019 NATO Military Strategy openly describes Russia as the main security threat and an adversary. NATO has designated Russia an adversary. Moreover, while advancing its military infrastructure very close to our border, NATO and its member states believe that they have a right to teach us where and how we can deploy our armed forces. They consider it acceptable to demand that we do not hold planned drills and exercises and present the movement of our troops on our own – I repeat, our own – territory as a threat of a Russian invasion, in this case the invasion of Ukraine. They claim that the Baltic states and our other neighbours feel threatened as well. In any case, this presumption is being used to pursue an unfriendly policy towards Russia.

As for the NATO member-countries themselves, they continue to pump Ukraine with modern weapons to this accompaniment, allocating substantial financial resources to modernise the Ukrainian army, and sending military specialists and instructors to Ukraine.

Mr President and I have certainly spoken about this. As you can see, it took us a rather long time: the discussion went on for nearly six hours.

For our part, we have made a point of drawing Mr President’s attention to the reluctance of the current Kiev authorities to meet their commitments under the Minsk Package of Measures and the Normandy format agreements, including those reached at the summits in Paris and Berlin.

In my opinion, it is clear to everyone that the current authorities in Kiev have set a course for dismantling the Minsk accords. There are no shifts on such fundamental issues as constitutional reform, amnesty, local elections, and the legal aspects of a special status for Donbass. The well-known Steinmeier Formula – well-known to specialists, at any rate – when we have approved certain amendments to the Minsk accords and made definite concessions, is yet to be included in Ukrainian legislation. But even these items presented by the current President of the Federal Republic of Germany – at that time, he was the German foreign minister – are not being implemented. Kiev is still disregarding all opportunities for a peaceful restoration of the country’s territorial integrity via direct dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk.

I have directed Mr President’s attention to the widespread and systematic violations of human rights in Ukraine. Dissenting media are closed in the country and political opponents are exposed to reprisals. Incidentally, when Mr Poroshenko was the President of Ukraine, I told him that Russia was ready to grant him political asylum, if he faced problems in the future. He was highly ironic in this regard at the time, but today I would like to reiterate my offer. Despite our serious differences regarding this matter, I mean the settlement in Donbass, as well as the fact that, to my mind, he has made a lot of mistakes in this area, his persecution as a state criminal is also, in my view, an exorbitant ‘bid for success’ on the part of today’s leaders. Russia is ready to grant asylum to Mr Poroshenko and persons like him.

What worries me most of all is that they are adopting legislation that discriminates against Russian speakers, who have been denied the right to be recognised as a core nation in what is, properly speaking, their homeland, and the right to speak their native language, which is quite odd because this is in no way reflected in the approaches adopted by the European countries.

We hope that Mr President intends – at any rate, he said so earlier today – to discuss what we have discussed today as regards European security and stability guarantees at his meeting with the Kiev leaders tomorrow.

We also touched upon other topical international and regional matters.

While reviewing the situation around Nagorno Karabakh, we noted the positive role of the Russian peacekeepers who are ensuring compliance with the ceasefire regime and helping the region return to peaceful life. We reaffirmed the great significance of efforts by the OSCE Minsk Group’s co-chairs in addressing topical humanitarian and socioeconomic matters in the region, among other things. The President of France informed us of the results of his recent videoconference meeting with President of the European Council Charles Michel, the President of Azerbaijan and the Prime Minister of Armenia.

We reviewed the situation around the Iranian nuclear programme and efforts to resume the full-fledged implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, adopted in 2015 and approved by UN Security Council Resolution 2231. We agree that it is necessary to continue diplomatic efforts and to assist in the coordination of compromise solutions in the interests of preserving this highly important document. We agreed that our positions are very similar here or, as the diplomats say, they match.

Naturally, we did not overlook topical matters of bilateral relations, primarily those regarding economic interaction. Despite the complicated situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and volatility on the global markets, we underscored and noted that mutual trade grew by 71 percent in 11 months of 2021. French investment in Russia exceeds $23 billion. Over 600 French companies are operating successfully on the Russian market.

Overall, we agreed to continue our mutually beneficial cooperation in politics, trade and the economy, as well as in other spheres, including cultural and humanitarian ties.

To conclude, I would like to thank Mr President for his efforts and the efforts of France to resolve a highly acute matter linked with our relations with NATO in general, matters linked with maintaining security, creating a situation of stability and mutual trust on the European continent and, of course, resolving the crisis in southeastern Ukraine.

We have already met in Paris, and I know that, despite numerous problems facing any state leader, especially the leader of a major European state, Mr President deemed it necessary to come to Russia and to exchange opinions on how we should act in the future. I believe that, although it is still too early to talk about some of his ideas and proposals, it is possible to make them the foundation of our future joint steps.

Let us see what Mr President’s meeting will achieve in Kiev. We agreed that we will speak on the telephone after his trip to the capital of Ukraine and exchange opinions on this matter.

Thank you.

President of France Emmanuel Macron (retranslated): Thank you very much, Mr President. Thank you, Vladimir.

Thank you for this opportunity to come here at this complicated moment when the pandemic has not ended yet. Indeed, we are now marking the 30th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations, of this bilateral agreement you mentioned.

I will not discuss relations between our two countries in greater detail at present because we now realise that the situation is serious, and all of us should find a way, a peaceful path, a path towards stability in Europe. We still have the opportunity and the time to do this. The historical and strategic dialogue that we have developed over the past years can help accomplish this. We have decided to meet in precisely this context in Moscow today.

We held very substantial, to-the-point talks. We focused on current areas of tension and on options for de-escalation, to facilitate stability and security on our continent.

Mr President, you recalled history, NATO, the Ukrainian issue, and you mentioned the most diverse matters.

We can see that you have a very strong position, which does not always coincide with the European and Western position. It is necessary to underscore this. We have different views, and we need to understand and accept this. We discussed this in great detail. I believe in Europe and European unity, and this is a fundamental matter.

Indeed, NATO’s open-doors policy was heeded, and this is very important. These matters have existential significance for Sweden and Finland, for example, and it would be difficult to tell them all of a sudden that NATO is modifying its position.

However, we also heeded your statement that traumas had been inflicted over the past 30 years, and that it is necessary to build new mechanisms that would facilitate stability in the region. However, it is impossible to build these new provisions without revising fundamental principles or by limiting fundamental European rights that are currently not mentioned as part of the disagreements that we are discussing. I believe that this is a fundamental aspect.

Having said all this, we, nevertheless, tried to find points where our positions coincided, so as to make headway on them in the near future. Firstly, it is necessary to work very quickly to avoid any escalation. Tensions continue to rise today, and this exacerbates the risk of destabilisation. This is not in anyone’s interests.

Neither Russia, nor the Europeans need chaos and instability at a time when the nations and the continent have suffered so much from the pandemic. Everyone wants recovery and peace. This is why we need to come to an agreement on practical stabilisation and de-escalation measures.

We have discussed this together. This should be reaffirmed within the next few days or weeks. The result will depend on the talks and consultations with the United States, NATO and the Europeans, as well as on the outcome of my meeting with President Zelensky tomorrow.

I would like to point out that President Vladimir Putin has said that he is ready to act in accordance with this logic so that these initiatives are balanced, including when it comes to the issue of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

In other words, the next few days will be decisive. The intense discussions, which we have already begun, will contribute to this.

What should be very clear from our conversation is that reliable de-escalation calls for making headway on fundamental matters. We had a lengthy discussion on these matters. We must jointly show the will to work on security guarantees and to build a new security and stability order in Europe. It must be based on the foundation we have created together as sovereign states.

This is the principle of existence for all states. I am referring to Russia, France and the other states that are also parties to these treaties. Therefore, this is the fundamental principle of European security. We have approved them by signing the Paris Charter and the subsequent OSCE declarations. It should be said that these rights have been questioned and violated. I am not talking about border violations but about the principle of territorial integrity and violations of international law, of human rights and basic freedoms.

Whatever the historical interpretations of various crises and incidents may be, to maintain the security of our continent as we have said many times, we must not repeat the past mistakes.

We talked for several hours today. But we also talked about this in the past, several years ago. I understand that opinions can differ and that there can be misunderstandings and even traumatic elements. I know that many EU countries did not have the same experience in the 20th century as France did. We must not forget this experience, which has not faded away over the past 30 years. However, we cannot accept the collective risk of another confrontation between spheres of influence in Europe, another period of instability and unrest. This is creating new grievances and new threats. Starting a conflict is easy but ending it and building a lasting peace is difficult.

Therefore, I do not believe that we must choose between new rules and the absence of rules. This is optimism based on will, as I see it. Russia is committed to sovereignty and rights, but I believe that we can create security and stability in Europe by reaffirming our achievements within the framework of the OSCE. At the same time, we must also find new solutions, which should probably be more innovative.

As for our ability to offer concrete security guarantees, we raised this issue directly during our conversation, respecting the interests of all our European brothers and ensuring their stability and security, as well as with due regard for the security guarantees proposed by Russia, our neighbour and friend.

I have told President Putin that I was concerned about the draft Constitution of Belarus, which is lacking two fundamental principles that were sealed in 1994. I am also concerned about the statement on nuclear weapons made by Alexander Lukashenko in December. I would like to say that President Putin has put my mind at rest regarding this.

I am indeed concerned about these matters, because they are increasing destabilisation. We should work together on practical security guarantees for the EU member states and for the regional countries, namely Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus and Russia. This is the goal we must pursue.

In the course of our conversation, we coordinated several proposals. I would like to note that there are points of contact between the positions of France, Russia, NATO and the United States. We will continue practical talks with all our partners to create these new guarantees of peace and security.

Russia has long asked for certain security guarantees, such as restrictions on military deployment and presence of conventional weapons, the transparency of missile defence and on intermediate- and shorter-range missiles. These Russian proposals correspond to the requirements of European states, the EU states. I am sure that a response can only be collective.

We are Europeans, but we are also allies of the United States. We have already demonstrated that we can work together, including within the framework of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Both of us have pointed out that this format can help us make headway on these matters, in particular, on the issues of peace and security, and can help us coordinate common decisions.

The third element on which we have managed to find converging positions, which President Putin has mentioned in his statement, as I have said, is the Ukrainian conflict. I am going to Kiev tomorrow to meet with President Zelensky. Of course, we are doing this jointly with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, with whom we coordinated our positions several days ago. I will see him tomorrow. We continue working within the framework of the Normandy format to ensure full compliance with the Minsk agreements and to achieve a complete settlement of the conflict in Donbass.

Serious agreements regarding the ceasefire regime were reached during the recent advisers’ meeting of the Normandy format countries, and now we must move forward in terms of practical steps to ensure a clear and full implementation of these agreements. We have made progress on several technical issues during the talks.

I would like to welcome President Zelensky’s efforts, the specific obligations that he assumed in this format, in particular, to scrap the legislation that was not in line with the Minsk agreements, and President Putin mentioned this. So, this law was withdrawn at President Zelensky’s initiative. We were also given clarification about draft laws proposed in Russia, but we were reassured that this would not happen if they were not in line with the Minsk agreements.

So, this conflict is at the centre of the tension that we are experiencing today, and Russia and the European Union definitely need to resolve it in order to move forward in our relations.

We also mentioned a number of other matters, in particular, the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Here, I have the pleasure to say that eight prisoners were released this morning. The French crisis response centre provided an aircraft to transport them. Last Friday, President Aliyev, Prime Minister Pashinyan and I had a videoconference meeting, where we discussed missing persons, refugees, and a number of other matters that also affect stability.

During the talks with President Putin, we both expressed coinciding views on a number of matters. I would like to welcome the role that members of your military played on the border during the difficult period in Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Both France and Russia also play an appropriate role within the scope of the existing Minsk Group agreements.

We also mentioned the Iranian crisis, and the recent US and EU initiatives. Our positions on this score are also similar. I would rather not talk about it at length, I just want to emphasise that today, at a time that has serious implications for our countries’ collective security and peace, we were able to discuss various aspects and understand the differences in interpretation, the divergence of views, but we also found a similarity of positions. This enables us to move forward. I think we both agree there can be no rational and long-term solution without a political and diplomatic settlement.

In the coming days and weeks, there will be opportunities for additional consultations and contacts with all our European partners, with our allies, as well as with Ukraine and other countries in the region.

We will have the opportunity in the next few days to once again speak by telephone and discuss Ukraine and our collective security. We would like to build a framework of trust that would allow us to move forward. We are determined to maintain stability and peace and to restart the mechanisms of trust in Europe. This is our collective responsibility.

I would like to say that France is reaffirming its commitment to move in this direction.

Thank you.

Question (retranslated): Good afternoon, President Macron, President Putin.

I have a question for both of you.

President Macron, you have seen disappointing results from Russia over the past five years. You have come to Moscow at a time when Russian mercenaries in Mali have put in question our presence there. Does your presence here have any meaning?

President Putin, a simple question for you: do you intend to invade Ukraine?

As for Mali, can you say that your government is not connected in any way with the mercenaries in Mali?

Vladimir Putin: First of all, regarding Mali. President Macron raised this issue many times, we discussed it with him, and President Macron is aware of our position on this matter. The Russian government, the Russian state have nothing to do with the companies that are working in Mali. As far as we know, the Malian leadership has no complaints about the commercial activities of these companies.

Following the logic that may be applied to NATO, the current member states and potential members, if Mali has opted to work with our companies, it has the right to do so. However, I would like to point out – I will talk about this with President Macron after this news conference – I would like to point out that the Russian state has nothing to do with this. It concerns the commercial interests of our companies, which coordinate their activities with the local authorities.

We will take a closer look at this, but we have nothing to do with it. This is the first point.

The second, regarding the situation in Ukraine and the issues we have discussed, the issues of concern to us. I spoke about this right here several days ago, during the news conference after talks with the Prime Minister of Hungary. I would like to say this once again. We are categorically opposed to NATO’s eastward expansion through the admission of new members because we see this as an overall threat of NATO’s continued expansion towards our border. It is not us moving towards NATO but NATO moving towards us. Therefore, saying that Russia is behaving aggressively is at odds with logic. Have we approached anyone’s border? No, it is NATO’s infrastructure that has come close to us. This is my first point.

The second, why is Ukraine’s potential admission into NATO dangerous? The problem does exist. For example, European countries, including France, believe that Crimea is part of Ukraine, but we think that it is part of the Russian Federation. And what happens if attempts are made to change this situation by military means? Bear in mind that Ukraine’s doctrines declare Russia an adversary and state the possibility of regaining Crimea, even using military force.

Just imagine what could happen if Ukraine were a NATO member. Article 5 has not been cancelled. On the contrary, Mr Biden, the President of the United States, has said recently that Article 5 is a sacred obligation and will be honoured. This is fraught with a military confrontation between Russia and NATO. I asked during the above-mentioned news conference, “What are we supposed to do? Fight against the NATO bloc?” But this question has a second part: “Do you want to fight against Russia?” Ask your readers, your audiences and the users of online resources, “Do you want France to fight against Russia?” Because this is how it will be.

Our concerns also have to do with common European security.

As for Donbass, Ukrainian leaders first say that they will implement the Minsk agreements and then they denounce them and say they will never do this because “this would destroy the Ukrainian state.” I have only just mentioned this. Well, will they, or won’t they? This is the question.

They speak of security guarantees from us. But who will guarantee our security? The Ukrainian authorities have already made two attempts to settle the problem of Donbass militarily. When they failed again, the Minsk agreements were coordinated and endorsed by a resolution of the UN Security Council.

So, will they comply with the agreements or not? Or will they make some other attempt? What should we think? After all, they have tried twice, and who can guarantee that they will not try a third time? These questions require a thorough consideration by all of us.

I am deeply grateful to Mr President for discussing these matters in Moscow today. I believe that these security matters concern not only Russia but also Europe and the world as a whole.

Look, our proposals include not only NATO’s expansion, which we oppose, but also a second point: the non-deployment of offensive systems near our borders. If everyone wants peace, tranquillity, well-being and confidence, what is bad about not deploying offensive weapons near our borders? Can anyone tell me what is bad about this?

If NATO is a peaceful organisation, what is bad about returning its infrastructure to the level of 1997, when the NATO-Russia Act was signed? This would create conditions for building up confidence and security. Is this bad?

We can let the open-door pledge be, even though the issue remains on the agenda. It is a key priority for us, and I have explained why. We talked about this for six hours.

Tomorrow, President Macron will fly to Kiev. We have agreed that he will at least put forth his action plan regarding this. I am deeply grateful to him for giving so much attention to this and that he is trying to find a solution to this matter of great importance to all of us.

Emmanuel Macron: To get back to your question, I think that it is first of all France’s responsibility to have the strongest possible relationship with Russia. We are two great European nations and great world powers. We are two permanent members of the UN Security Council.

Bilateral relations are of great importance for us, firstly, to have them develop, and to have common decisions on acute international issues. We are trying to do so on the Iranian issue and attempting to find a point of contact on Libya and other matters. We do have disagreements but we still find compromise. This is obvious to me.

Secondly, I think that President Putin and I agree that Russia is a European country. Those who can see Europe should be able to work with Russia and find ways to build the future in Europe and with Europeans. Is it easy? No, but Europe was also created through difficult initiatives that had immediate effects. So, yes, we do have difficulties but we must not give up.

Finally, this is France’s mission, it is its role. During these six months we are presiding in the European Union. Our role is to make the voice of the European Union heard and take into account a variety of complex circumstances in communication with such neighbours as Russia, which plays a decisive role in our security, and listen to all Europeans as well. I have been doing this over the past days. Being here I am trying to be the person who can make a contribution to finding this proper way.

I have a simple conviction. Do we increase our collective capability for making peace without our contacts with Russia? No, we do not. Who do we leave this role for? For others.

We do have disagreements. We realise that. Sometimes we fail to move forward and it is the result of such disagreements. However, we are trying to find compromises. I consider it to be my responsibility. Our task is to make sure that these compromises protect the interests of our partners and allies. This is why in the coming days and weeks we must start this difficult work, find new decisions in order to protect these guarantees while still protecting our basic principles and our neighbourly relations, because our geography will not change. This is why we carry on.

To be continued.

Joint Statement of the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China on the International Relations Entering a New Era and the Global Sustainable Development

February 04, 2022

Source

At the invitation of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping, President of the Russian Federation Vladimir V. Putin visited China on 4 February 2022. The Heads of State held talks in Beijing and took part in the opening ceremony of the XXIV Olympic Winter Games.

The Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China, hereinafter referred to as the sides, state as follows.

Today, the world is going through momentous changes, and humanity is entering a new era of rapid development and profound transformation. It sees the development of such processes and phenomena as multipolarity, economic globalization, the advent of information society, cultural diversity, transformation of the global governance architecture and world order; there is increasing interrelation and interdependence between the States; a trend has emerged towards redistribution of power in the world; and the international community is showing a growing demand for the leadership aiming at peaceful and gradual development. At the same time, as the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection continues, the international and regional security situation is complicating and the number of global challenges and threats is growing from day to day. Some actors representing but the minority on the international scale continue to advocate unilateral approaches to addressing international issues and resort to force; they interfere in the internal affairs of other states, infringing their legitimate rights and interests, and incite contradictions, differences and confrontation, thus hampering the development and progress of mankind, against the opposition from the international community.

The sides call on all States to pursue well-being for all and, with these ends, to build dialogue and mutual trust, strengthen mutual understanding, champion such universal human values as peace, development, equality, justice, democracy and freedom, respect the rights of peoples to independently determine the development paths of their countries and the sovereignty and the security and development interests of States, to protect the United Nations-driven international architecture and the international law-based world order, seek genuine multipolarity with the United Nations and its Security Council playing a central and coordinating role, promote more democratic international relations, and ensure peace, stability and sustainable development across the world.

I

The sides share the understanding that democracy is a universal human value, rather than a privilege of a limited number of States, and that its promotion and protection is a common responsibility of the entire world community.

The sides believe that democracy is a means of citizens’ participation in the government of their country with the view to improving the well-being of population and implementing the principle of popular government. Democracy is exercised in all spheres of public life as part of a nation-wide process and reflects the interests of all the people, its will, guarantees its rights, meets its needs and protects its interests. There is no one-size-fits-all template to guide countries in establishing democracy. A nation can choose such forms and methods of implementing democracy that would best suit its particular state, based on its social and political system, its historical background, traditions and unique cultural characteristics. It is only up to the people of the country to decide whether their State is a democratic one.

The sides note that Russia and China as world powers with rich cultural and historical heritage have long-standing traditions of democracy, which rely on thousand-years of experience of development, broad popular support and consideration of the needs and interests of citizens. Russia and China guarantee their people the right to take part through various means and in various forms in the administration of the State and public life in accordance with the law. The people of both countries are certain of the way they have chosen and respect the democratic systems and traditions of other States.

The sides note that democratic principles are implemented at the global level, as well as in administration of State. Certain States’ attempts to impose their own ”democratic standards“ on other countries, to monopolize the right to assess the level of compliance with democratic criteria, to draw dividing lines based on the grounds of ideology, including by establishing exclusive blocs and alliances of convenience, prove to be nothing but flouting of democracy and go against the spirit and true values of democracy. Such attempts at hegemony pose serious threats to global and regional peace and stability and undermine the stability of the world order.

The sides believe that the advocacy of democracy and human rights must not be used to put pressure on other countries. They oppose the abuse of democratic values and interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states under the pretext of protecting democracy and human rights, and any attempts to incite divisions and confrontation in the world. The sides call on the international community to respect cultural and civilizational diversity and the rights of peoples of different countries to self-determination. They stand ready to work together with all the interested partners to promote genuine democracy.

The sides note that the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set noble goals in the area of universal human rights, set forth fundamental principles, which all the States must comply with and observe in deeds. At the same time, as every nation has its own unique national features, history, culture, social system and level of social and economic development, universal nature of human rights should be seen through the prism of the real situation in every particular country, and human rights should be protected in accordance with the specific situation in each country and the needs of its population. Promotion and protection of human rights is a shared responsibility of the international community. The states should equally prioritize all categories of human rights and promote them in a systemic manner. The international human rights cooperation should be carried out as a dialogue between the equals involving all countries. All States must have equal access to the right to development. Interaction and cooperation on human rights matters should be based on the principle of equality of all countries and mutual respect for the sake of strengthening the international human rights architecture.

II

The sides believe that peace, development and cooperation lie at the core of the modern international system. Development is a key driver in ensuring the prosperity of the nations. The ongoing pandemic of the new coronavirus infection poses a serious challenge to the fulfilment of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is vital to enhance partnership relations for the sake of global development and make sure that the new stage of global development is defined by balance, harmony and inclusiveness.

The sides are seeking to advance their work to link the development plans for the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative with a view to intensifying practical cooperation between the EAEU and China in various areas and promoting greater interconnectedness between the Asia Pacific and Eurasian regions. The sides reaffirm their focus on building the Greater Eurasian Partnership in parallel and in coordination with the Belt and Road construction to foster the development of regional associations as well as bilateral and multilateral integration processes for the benefit of the peoples on the Eurasian continent.

The sides agreed to continue consistently intensifying practical cooperation for the sustainable development of the Arctic.

The sides will strengthen cooperation within multilateral mechanisms, including the United Nations, and encourage the international community to prioritize development issues in the global macro-policy coordination. They call on the developed countries to implement in good faith their formal commitments on development assistance, provide more resources to developing countries, address the uneven development of States, work to offset such imbalances within States, and advance global and international development cooperation. The Russian side confirms its readiness to continue working on the China-proposed Global Development Initiative, including participation in the activities of the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative under the UN auspices. In order to accelerate the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the sides call on the international community to take practical steps in key areas of cooperation such as poverty reduction, food security, vaccines and epidemics control, financing for development, climate change, sustainable development, including green development, industrialization, digital economy, and infrastructure connectivity.

The sides call on the international community to create open, equal, fair and non-discriminatory conditions for scientific and technological development, to step up practical implementation of scientific and technological advances in order to identify new drivers of economic growth.

The sides call upon all countries to strengthen cooperation in sustainable transport, actively build contacts and share knowledge in the construction of transport facilities, including smart transport and sustainable transport, development and use of Arctic routes, as well as to develop other areas to support global post-epidemic recovery.

The sides are taking serious action and making an important contribution to the fight against climate change. Jointly celebrating the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, they reaffirm their commitment to this Convention as well as to the goals, principles and provisions of the Paris Agreement, including the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The sides work together to ensure the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, remain committed to fulfilling the obligations they have undertaken and expect that developed countries will actually ensure the annual provision of $100 billion of climate finance to developing states. The sides oppose setting up new barriers in international trade under the pretext of fighting climate change.

The sides strongly support the development of international cooperation and exchanges in the field of biological diversity, actively participating in the relevant global governance process, and intend to jointly promote the harmonious development of humankind and nature as well as green transformation to ensure sustainable global development.

The Heads of State positively assess the effective interaction between Russia and China in the bilateral and multilateral formats focusing on the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, protection of life and health of the population of the two countries and the peoples of the world. They will further increase cooperation in the development and manufacture of vaccines against the new coronavirus infection, as well as medical drugs for its treatment, and enhance collaboration in public health and modern medicine. The sides plan to strengthen coordination on epidemiological measures to ensure strong protection of health, safety and order in contacts between citizens of the two countries. The sides have commended the work of the competent authorities and regions of the two countries on implementing quarantine measures in the border areas and ensuring the stable operation of the border crossing points, and intend to consider establishing a joint mechanism for epidemic control and prevention in the border areas to jointly plan anti-epidemic measures to be taken at the border checkpoints, share information, build infrastructure and improve the efficiency of customs clearance of goods.

The sides emphasize that ascertaining the origin of the new coronavirus infection is a matter of science. Research on this topic must be based on global knowledge, and that requires cooperation among scientists from all over the world. The sides oppose politicization of this issue. The Russian side welcomes the work carried out jointly by China and WHO to identify the source of the new coronavirus infection and supports the China – WHO joint report on the matter. The sides call on the global community to jointly promote a serious scientific approach to the study of the coronavirus origin.

The Russian side supports a successful hosting by the Chinese side of the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2022.

The sides highly appreciate the level of bilateral cooperation in sports and the Olympic movement and express their readiness to contribute to its further progressive development.

III

The sides are gravely concerned about serious international security challenges and believe that the fates of all nations are interconnected. No State can or should ensure its own security separately from the security of the rest of the world and at the expense of the security of other States. The international community should actively engage in global governance to ensure universal, comprehensive, indivisible and lasting security.

The sides reaffirm their strong mutual support for the protection of their core interests, state sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose interference by external forces in their internal affairs.

The Russian side reaffirms its support for the One-China principle, confirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan.

Russia and China stand against attempts by external forces to undermine security and stability in their common adjacent regions, intend to counter interference by outside forces in the internal affairs of sovereign countries under any pretext, oppose colour revolutions, and will increase cooperation in the aforementioned areas.

The sides condemn terrorism in all its manifestations, promote the idea of creating a single global anti-terrorism front, with the United Nations playing a central role, advocate stronger political coordination and constructive engagement in multilateral counterterrorism efforts. The sides oppose politicization of the issues of combating terrorism and their use as instruments of policy of double standards, condemn the practice of interference in the internal affairs of other States for geopolitical purposes through the use of terrorist and extremist groups as well as under the guise of combating international terrorism and extremism.

The sides believe that certain States, military and political alliances and coalitions seek to obtain, directly or indirectly, unilateral military advantages to the detriment of the security of others, including by employing unfair competition practices, intensify geopolitical rivalry, fuel antagonism and confrontation, and seriously undermine the international security order and global strategic stability. The sides oppose further enlargement of NATO and call on the North Atlantic Alliance to abandon its ideologized cold war approaches, to respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical backgrounds, and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other States. The sides stand against the formation of closed bloc structures and opposing camps in the Asia-Pacific region and remain highly vigilant about the negative impact of the United States’ Indo-Pacific strategy on peace and stability in the region. Russia and China have made consistent efforts to build an equitable, open and inclusive security system in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) that is not directed against third countries and that promotes peace, stability and prosperity.

The sides welcome the Joint Statement of the Leaders of the Five Nuclear-Weapons States on Preventing Nuclear War and Avoiding Arms Races and believe that all nuclear-weapons States should abandon the cold war mentality and zero-sum games, reduce the role of nuclear weapons in their national security policies, withdraw nuclear weapons deployed abroad, eliminate the unrestricted development of global anti-ballistic missile defense (ABM) system, and take effective steps to reduce the risks of nuclear wars and any armed conflicts between countries with military nuclear capabilities.

The sides reaffirm that the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the cornerstone of the international disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation system, an important part of the post-war international security system, and plays an indispensable role in world peace and development. The international community should promote the balanced implementation of the three pillars of the Treaty and work together to protect the credibility, effectiveness and the universal nature of the instrument.

The sides are seriously concerned about the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom (AUKUS), which provides for deeper cooperation between its members in areas involving strategic stability, in particular their decision to initiate cooperation in the field of nuclear-powered submarines. Russia and China believe that such actions are contrary to the objectives of security and sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region, increase the danger of an arms race in the region, and pose serious risks of nuclear proliferation. The sides strongly condemn such moves and call on AUKUS participants to fulfil their nuclear and missile non-proliferation commitments in good faith and to work together to safeguard peace, stability, and development in the region.

Japan’s plans to release nuclear contaminated water from the destroyed Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean and the potential environmental impact of such actions are of deep concern to the sides. The sides emphasize that the disposal of nuclear contaminated water should be handled with responsibility and carried out in a proper manner based on arrangements between the Japanese side and neighbouring States, other interested parties, and relevant international agencies while ensuring transparency, scientific reasoning, and in accordance with international law.

The sides believe that the U.S. withdrawal from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, the acceleration of research and the development of intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles and the desire to deploy them in the Asia-Pacific and European regions, as well as their transfer to the allies, entail an increase in tension and distrust, increase risks to international and regional security, lead to the weakening of international non-proliferation and arms control system, undermining global strategic stability. The sided call on the United States to respond positively to the Russian initiative and abandon its plans to deploy intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. The sides will continue to maintain contacts and strengthen coordination on this issue.

The Chinese side is sympathetic to and supports the proposals put forward by the Russian Federation to create long-term legally binding security guarantees in Europe.

The sides note that the denunciation by the United States of a number of important international arms control agreements has an extremely negative impact on international and regional security and stability. The sides express concern over the advancement of U.S. plans to develop global missile defence and deploy its elements in various regions of the world, combined with capacity building of high-precision non-nuclear weapons for disarming strikes and other strategic objectives. The sides stress the importance of the peaceful uses of outer space, strongly support the central role of the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space in promoting international cooperation, maintaining and developing international space law and regulation in the field of space activities. Russia and China will continue to increase cooperation on such matters of mutual interest as the long-term sustainability of space activities and the development and use of space resources. The sides oppose attempts by some States to turn outer space into an arena of armed confrontation and reiterate their intention to make all necessary efforts to prevent the weaponization of space and an arms race in outer space. They will counteract activities aimed at achieving military superiority in space and using it for combat operations. The sides affirm the need for the early launch of negotiations to conclude a legally binding multilateral instrument based on the Russian-Chinese draft treaty on the prevention of placement of weapons in outer space and the use or threat of force against space objects that would provide fundamental and reliable guarantees against an arms race and the weaponization of outer space.

Russia and China emphasize that appropriate transparency and confidence-building measures, including an international initiative/political commitment not to be the first to place weapons in space, can also contribute to the goal of preventing an arms race in outer space, but such measures should complement and not substitute the effective legally binding regime governing space activities.

The sides reaffirm their belief that the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC) is an essential pillar of international peace and security. Russia and China underscore their determination to preserve the credibility and effectiveness of the Convention.

The sides affirm the need to fully respect and further strengthen the BWC, including by institutionalizing it, strengthening its mechanisms, and adopting a legally binding Protocol to the Convention with an effective verification mechanism, as well as through regular consultation and cooperation in addressing any issues related to the implementation of the Convention.

The sides emphasize that domestic and foreign bioweapons activities by the United States and its allies raise serious concerns and questions for the international community regarding their compliance with the BWC. The sides share the view that such activities pose a serious threat to the national security of the Russian Federation and China and are detrimental to the security of the respective regions. The sides call on the U.S. and its allies to act in an open, transparent, and responsible manner by properly reporting on their military biological activities conducted overseas and on their national territory, and by supporting the resumption of negotiations on a legally binding BWC Protocol with an effective verification mechanism.

The sides, reaffirming their commitment to the goal of a world free of chemical weapons, call upon all parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention to work together to uphold its credibility and effectiveness. Russia and China are deeply concerned about the politicization of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and call on all of its members to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and protect the tradition of consensual decision-making. Russia and China insist that the United States, as the sole State Party to the Convention that has not yet completed the process of eliminating chemical weapons, accelerate the elimination of its stockpiles of chemical weapons. The sides emphasize the importance of balancing the non-proliferation obligations of states with the interests of legitimate international cooperation in the use of advanced technology and related materials and equipment for peaceful purposes. The sides note the resolution entitled ”Promoting international Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security“ adopted at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on the initiative of China and co‑sponsored by Russia, and look forward to its consistent implementation in accordance with the goals set forth therein.

The sides attach great importance to the issues of governance in the field of artificial intelligence. The sides are ready to strengthen dialogue and contacts on artificial intelligence.

The sides reiterate their readiness to deepen cooperation in the field of international information security and to contribute to building an open, secure, sustainable and accessible ICT environment. The sides emphasize that the principles of the non-use of force, respect for national sovereignty and fundamental human rights and freedoms, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States, as enshrined in the UN Charter, are applicable to the information space. Russia and China reaffirm the key role of the UN in responding to threats to international information security and express their support for the Organization in developing new norms of conduct of states in this area.

The sides welcome the implementation of the global negotiation process on international information security within a single mechanism and support in this context the work of the UN Open-ended Working Group on security of and in the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) 2021–2025 (OEWG) and express their willingness to speak with one voice within it. The sides consider it necessary to consolidate the efforts of the international community to develop new norms of responsible behaviour of States, including legal ones, as well as a universal international legal instrument regulating the activities of States in the field of ICT. The sides believe that the Global Initiative on Data Security, proposed by the Chinese side and supported, in principle, by the Russian side, provides a basis for the Working Group to discuss and elaborate responses to data security threats and other threats to international information security.

The sides reiterate their support of United Nations General Assembly resolutions 74/247 and 75/282, support the work of the relevant Ad Hoc Committee of Governmental Experts, facilitate the negotiations within the United Nations for the elaboration of an international convention on countering the use of ICTs for criminal purposes. The sides encourage constructive participation of all sides in the negotiations in order to agree as soon as possible on a credible, universal, and comprehensive convention and provide it to the United Nations General Assembly at its 78th session in strict compliance with resolution 75/282. For these purposes, Russia and China have presented a joint draft convention as a basis for negotiations.

The sides support the internationalization of Internet governance, advocate equal rights to its governance, believe that any attempts to limit their sovereign right to regulate national segments of the Internet and ensure their security are unacceptable, are interested in greater participation of the International Telecommunication Union in addressing these issues.

The sides intend to deepen bilateral cooperation in international information security on the basis of the relevant 2015 intergovernmental agreement. To this end, the sides have agreed to adopt in the near future a plan for cooperation between Russia and China in this area.

IV

The sides underline that Russia and China, as world powers and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, intend to firmly adhere to moral principles and accept their responsibility, strongly advocate the international system with the central coordinating role of the United Nations in international affairs, defend the world order based on international law, including the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, advance multipolarity and promote the democratization of international relations, together create an even more prospering, stable, and just world, jointly build international relations of a new type.

The Russian side notes the significance of the concept of constructing a ”community of common destiny for mankind“ proposed by the Chinese side to ensure greater solidarity of the international community and consolidation of efforts in responding to common challenges. The Chinese side notes the significance of the efforts taken by the Russian side to establish a just multipolar system of international relations.

The sides intend to strongly uphold the outcomes of the Second World War and the existing post-war world order, defend the authority of the United Nations and justice in international relations, resist attempts to deny, distort, and falsify the history of the Second World War.

In order to prevent the recurrence of the tragedy of the world war, the sides will strongly condemn actions aimed at denying the responsibility for atrocities of Nazi aggressors, militarist invaders, and their accomplices, besmirch and tarnish the honour of the victorious countries.

The sides call for the establishment of a new kind of relationships between world powers on the basis of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation. They reaffirm that the new inter-State relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ”forbidden“ areas of cooperation, strengthening of bilateral strategic cooperation is neither aimed against third countries nor affected by the changing international environment and circumstantial changes in third countries.

The sides reiterate the need for consolidation, not division of the international community, the need for cooperation, not confrontation. The sides oppose the return of international relations to the state of confrontation between major powers, when the weak fall prey to the strong. The sides intend to resist attempts to substitute universally recognized formats and mechanisms that are consistent with international law for rules elaborated in private by certain nations or blocs of nations, and are against addressing international problems indirectly and without consensus, oppose power politics, bullying, unilateral sanctions, and extraterritorial application of jurisdiction, as well as the abuse of export control policies, and support trade facilitation in line with the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The sides reaffirmed their intention to strengthen foreign policy coordination, pursue true multilateralism, strengthen cooperation on multilateral platforms, defend common interests, support the international and regional balance of power, and improve global governance.

The sides support and defend the multilateral trade system based on the central role of the World Trade Organization (WTO), take an active part in the WTO reform, opposing unilateral approaches and protectionism. The sides are ready to strengthen dialogue between partners and coordinate positions on trade and economic issues of common concern, contribute to ensuring the sustainable and stable operation of global and regional value chains, promote a more open, inclusive, transparent, non-discriminatory system of international trade and economic rules.

The sides support the G20 format as an important forum for discussing international economic cooperation issues and anti-crisis response measures, jointly promote the invigorated spirit of solidarity and cooperation within the G20, support the leading role of the association in such areas as the international fight against epidemics, world economic recovery, inclusive sustainable development, improving the global economic governance system in a fair and rational manner to collectively address global challenges.

The sides support the deepened strategic partnership within BRICS, promote the expanded cooperation in three main areas: politics and security, economy and finance, and humanitarian exchanges. In particular, Russia and China intend to encourage interaction in the fields of public health, digital economy, science, innovation and technology, including artificial intelligence technologies, as well as the increased coordination between BRICS countries on international platforms. The sides strive to further strengthen the BRICS Plus/Outreach format as an effective mechanism of dialogue with regional integration associations and organizations of developing countries and States with emerging markets.

The Russian side will fully support the Chinese side chairing the association in 2022, and assist in the fruitful holding of the XIV BRICS summit.

Russia and China aim to comprehensively strengthen the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and further enhance its role in shaping a polycentric world order based on the universally recognized principles of international law, multilateralism, equal, joint, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security.

They consider it important to consistently implement the agreements on improved mechanisms to counter challenges and threats to the security of SCO member states and, in the context of addressing this task, advocate expanded functionality of the SCO Regional Anti-Terrorist Structure.

The sides will contribute to imparting a new quality and dynamics to the economic interaction between the SCO member States in the fields of trade, manufacturing, transport, energy, finance, investment, agriculture, customs, telecommunications, innovation and other areas of mutual interest, including through the use of advanced, resource-saving, energy efficient and ”green“ technologies.

The sides note the fruitful interaction within the SCO under the 2009 Agreement between the Governments of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization member States on cooperation in the field of international information security, as well as within the specialized Group of Experts. In this context, they welcome the adoption of the SCO Joint Action Plan on Ensuring International Information Security for 2022–2023 by the Council of Heads of State of SCO Member States on September 17, 2021 in Dushanbe.

Russia and China proceed from the ever-increasing importance of cultural and humanitarian cooperation for the progressive development of the SCO. In order to strengthen mutual understanding between the people of the SCO member States, they will continue to effectively foster interaction in such areas as cultural ties, education, science and technology, healthcare, environmental protection, tourism, people-to-people contacts, sports.

Russia and China will continue to work to strengthen the role of APEC as the leading platform for multilateral dialogue on economic issues in the Asia-Pacific region. The sides intend to step up coordinated action to successfully implement the ”Putrajaya guidelines for the development of APEC until 2040“ with a focus on creating a free, open, fair, non-discriminatory, transparent and predictable trade and investment environment in the region. Particular emphasis will be placed on the fight against the novel coronavirus infection pandemic and economic recovery, digitalization of a wide range of different spheres of life, economic growth in remote territories and the establishment of interaction between APEC and other regional multilateral associations with a similar agenda.

The sides intend to develop cooperation within the ”Russia-India-China“ format, as well as to strengthen interaction on such venues as the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum on Security, Meeting of Defense Ministers of the ASEAN Member States and Dialogue Partners. Russia and China support ASEAN’s central role in developing cooperation in East Asia, continue to increase coordination on deepened cooperation with ASEAN, and jointly promote cooperation in the areas of public health, sustainable development, combating terrorism and countering transnational crime. The sides intend to continue to work in the interest of a strengthened role of ASEAN as a key element of the regional architecture.

Melissa Marlein, an Ontario PSW of 2 decades fired for refusing the experimental Covid jab

 

Eva Bartlett

 Eva Bartlett is an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where she lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). She documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals. In 2017, she was short-listed for the prestigious Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism. 

On January 20, 2022, I spoke with Windsor, Ontario, Personal Support Worker, Melissa Marlein, who was recently fired from her work of nearly 20 years. She is among an estimated 10,000 health care workers likewise fired for refusing to be subject to the unethical & dangerous medical experiment that are the Covid jabs.

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Address by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the 2022 World Economic Forum Virtual Session

January 17, 2022

Forge Ahead with Confidence and Fortitude to Jointly Create a Better Post-COVID World

Special Address by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People’s Republic of China

At the 2022 World Economic Forum Virtual Session

17 January 2022

Professor Klaus Schwab,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Greetings to you all! It is my pleasure to attend this virtual session of the World Economic Forum.

In two weeks’ time, China will celebrate the advent of spring in the lunar new year, the Year of the Tiger. In Chinese culture, tiger symbolizes bravery and strength, as the Chinese people often refer to spirited dragon and dynamic tiger, or soaring dragon and leaping tiger. To meet the severe challenges facing humanity, we must “add wings to the tiger” and act with the courage and strength of the tiger to overcome all obstacles on our way forward. We must do everything necessary to clear the shadow of the pandemic and boost economic and social recovery and development, so that the sunshine of hope may light up the future of humanity.

The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. These changes, not limited to a particular moment, event, country or region, represent the profound and sweeping changes of our times. As changes of the times combine with the once-in-a-century pandemic, the world finds itself in a new period of turbulence and transformation. How to beat the pandemic and how to build the post-COVID world? These are major issues of common concern to people around the world. They are also major, urgent questions we must give answers to.

China Xinhua News

As a Chinese saying goes, “The momentum of the world either flourishes or declines; the state of the world either progresses or regresses.” The world is always developing through the movement of contradictions; without contradiction, nothing would exist. The history of humanity is a history of achieving growth by meeting various tests and of developing by overcoming various crises. We need to move forward by following the logic of historical progress, and develop by riding the tide of development of our times.

Notwithstanding all vicissitudes, humanity will move on. We need to learn from comparing long history cycles, and see the change in things through the subtle and minute. We need to foster new opportunities amidst crises, open up new horizons on a shifting landscape, and pool great strength to go through difficulties and challenges.

First, we need to embrace cooperation and jointly defeat the pandemic. Confronted by the once-in-a-century pandemic, which will affect the future of humanity, the international community has fought a tenacious battle. Facts have shown once again that amidst the raging torrents of a global crisis, countries are not riding separately in some 190 small boats, but are rather all in a giant ship on which our shared destiny hinges. Small boats may not survive a storm, but a giant ship is strong enough to brave a storm. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, major progress has been made in the global fight against the pandemic. That said, the pandemic is proving a protracted one, resurging with more variants and spreading faster than before. It poses a serious threat to people’s safety and health, and exerts a profound impact on the global economy.

Strong confidence and cooperation represent the only right way to defeat the pandemic. Holding each other back or shifting blame would only cause needless delay in response and distract us from the overall objective. Countries need to strengthen international cooperation against COVID-19, carry out active cooperation on research and development of medicines, jointly build multiple lines of defense against the coronavirus, and speed up efforts to build a global community of health for all. Of particular importance is to fully leverage vaccines as a powerful weapon, ensure their equitable distribution, quicken vaccination and close the global immunization gap, so as to truly safeguard people’s lives, health and livelihoods.

China is a country that delivers on its promises. China has already sent over two billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations. Still, China will provide another one billion doses to African countries, including 600 million doses as donation, and will also donate 150 million doses to ASEAN countries.

China Xinhua News

Economic globalization is the trend of the times. Though countercurrents are sure to exist in a river, none could stop it from flowing to the sea. Driving forces bolster the river’s momentum, and resistance may yet enhance its flow. Despite the countercurrents and dangerous shoals along the way, economic globalization has never and will not veer off course. Countries around the world should uphold true multilateralism. We should remove barriers, not erect walls. We should open up, not close off. We should seek integration, not decoupling. This is the way to build an open world economy. We should guide reforms of the global governance system with the principle of fairness and justice, and uphold the multilateral trading system with the World Trade Organization at its center. We should make generally acceptable and effective rules for artificial intelligence and digital economy on the basis of full consultation, and create an open, just and non-discriminatory environment for scientific and technological innovation. This is the way to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all, and to fully unleash the vitality of the world economy.

A common understanding among us is that to turn the world economy from crisis to recovery, it is imperative to strengthen macro-policy coordination. Major economies should see the world as one community, think in a more systematic way, increase policy transparency and information sharing, and coordinate the objectives, intensity and pace of fiscal and monetary policies, so as to prevent the world economy from plummeting again. Major developed countries should adopt responsible economic policies, manage policy spillovers, and avoid severe impacts on developing countries. International economic and financial institutions should play their constructive role to pool global consensus, enhance policy synergy and prevent systemic risks.

Third, we need to bridge the development divide and revitalize global development. The process of global development is suffering from severe disruption, entailing more outstanding problems like a widening North-South gap, divergent recovery trajectories, development fault-lines and a technological divide. The Human Development Index has declined for the first time in 30 years. The world’s poor population has increased by more than 100 million. Nearly 800 million people live in hunger. Difficulties are mounting in food security, education, employment, medicine, health and other areas important to people’s livelihoods. Some developing countries have fallen back into poverty and instability due to the pandemic. Many in developed countries are also living through a hard time.

No matter what difficulties may come our way, we must adhere to a people-centered philosophy of development, place development and livelihoods front and center in global macro-policies, realize the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build greater synergy among existing mechanisms of development cooperation to promote balanced development worldwide. We need to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, promote international cooperation on climate change in the context of development, and implement the outcomes of COP26 to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Developed economies should take the lead in honoring their emissions reduction responsibilities, deliver on their commitment of financial and technological support, and create the necessary conditions for developing countries to address climate change and achieve sustainable development.

Last year, I put forward a Global Development Initiative at the UN General Assembly to draw international attention to the pressing challenges faced by developing countries. The Initiative is a public good open to the whole world, which aims to form synergy with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and boost common development across the world. China stands ready to work with all partners to jointly translate the Initiative into concrete actions and make sure that no country is left behind in this process.

China Xinhua News

Fourth, we need to discard Cold War mentality and seek peaceful coexistence and win-win outcomes. Our world today is far from being tranquil; rhetorics that stoke hatred and prejudice abound. Acts of containment, suppression or confrontation arising thereof do all harm, not the least good, to world peace and security. History has proved time and again that confrontation does not solve problems; it only invites catastrophic consequences. Protectionism and unilateralism can protect no one; they ultimately hurt the interests of others as well as one’s own. Even worse are the practices of hegemony and bullying, which run counter to the tide of history. Naturally, countries have divergences and disagreements between them. Yet a zero-sum approach that enlarges one’s own gain at the expense of others will not help. Acts of single-mindedly building “exclusive yards with high walls” or “parallel systems”, of enthusiastically putting together exclusive small circles or blocs that polarize the world, of overstretching the concept of national security to hold back economic and technological advances of other countries, and of fanning ideological antagonism and politicizing or weaponizing economic, scientific and technological issues, will gravely undercut international efforts to tackle common challenges.

The right way forward for humanity is peaceful development and win-win cooperation. Different countries and civilizations may prosper together on the basis of respect for each other, and seek common ground and win-win outcomes by setting aside differences.

We should follow the trend of history, work for a stable international order, advocate common values of humanity, and build a community with a shared future for mankind. We should choose dialogue over confrontation, inclusiveness over exclusion, and stand against all forms of unilateralism, protectionism, hegemony or power politics.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Last year, the Communist Party of China (CPC) celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. Through a century of tenacious struggle, the CPC has rallied and led the Chinese people in accomplishing remarkable achievements in the advancement of the nation and betterment of people’s lives. We have realized a moderately prosperous society in all respects and won the battle against poverty, both according to plan, and found a historic solution to ending absolute poverty. Now, China is marching on a new journey of building a modern socialist country in all respects.

— China will stay committed to pursuing high-quality development. The Chinese economy enjoys a good momentum overall. Last year, our GDP grew by around eight percent, achieving the dual target of fairly high growth and relatively low inflation. Shifts in the domestic and international economic environment have brought tremendous pressure, but the fundamentals of the Chinese economy, characterized by strong resilience, enormous potential and long-term sustainability, remain unchanged. We have every confidence in the future of China’s economy.

“The wealth of a country is measured by the abundance of its people.” Thanks to considerable economic growth, the Chinese people are living much better lives. Nonetheless, we are soberly aware that to meet people’s aspiration for an even better life, we still have much hard work to do in the long run. China has made it clear that we strive for more visible and substantive progress in the well-rounded development of individuals and the common prosperity of the entire population. We are working hard on all fronts to deliver this goal. The common prosperity we desire is not egalitarianism. To use an analogy, we will first make the pie bigger, and then divide it properly through reasonable institutional arrangements. As a rising tide lifts all boats, everyone will get a fair share from development, and development gains will benefit all our people in a more substantial and equitable way.

— China will stay committed to reform and opening-up. For China, reform and opening-up is always a work in process. Whatever change in the international landscape, China will always hold high the banner of reform and opening-up. China will continue to let the market play a decisive role in resource allocation, and see to it that the government better plays its role. We will be steadfast in consolidating and developing the public sector, just as we are steadfast in encouraging, supporting and guiding the development of the non-public sector. We will build a unified, open, competitive and orderly market system, where all businesses enjoy equal status before the law and have equal opportunities in the marketplace. All types of capital are welcome to operate in China in compliance with laws and regulations, and play a positive role for the development of the country. China will continue to expand high-standard opening-up, steadily advance institutional opening-up that covers rules, management and standards, deliver national treatment for foreign businesses, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. With the entry into force of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP) on 1 January this year, China will faithfully fulfill its obligations and deepen economic and trade ties with other RCEP parties. China will also continue to work for the joining of the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA), with a view to further integrating into the regional and global economy and achieving mutual benefit and win-win results.

— China will stay committed to promoting ecological conservation. As I have said many times, we should never grow the economy at the cost of resource depletion and environmental degradation, which is like draining a pond to get fish; nor should we sacrifice growth to protect the environment, which is like climbing a tree to catch fish. Guided by our philosophy that clean waters and green mountains are just as valuable as gold and silver, China has carried out holistic conservation and systematic governance of its mountains, rivers, forests, farmlands, lakes, grasslands and deserts. We do everything we can to conserve the ecological system, intensify pollution prevention and control, and improve the living and working environment for our people. China is now putting in place the world’s largest national parks system. Last year, we successfully hosted COP15 to the Convention on Biological Diversity, contributing China’s share to a clean and beautiful world.

Achieving carbon peak and carbon neutrality are the intrinsic requirements of China’s own high-quality development and a solemn pledge to the international community. China will honor its word and keep working toward its goal. We have unveiled an Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030, to be followed by implementation plans for specific sectors such as energy, industry and construction. China now has the world’s biggest carbon market and biggest clean power generation system: the installed capacity of renewable energy has exceeded one billion kilowatts, and the construction of wind and photovoltaic power stations with a total installed capacity of 100 million kilowatts is well under way. Carbon peak and carbon neutrality cannot be realized overnight. Through solid and steady steps, China will pursue an orderly phase-down of traditional energy in the course of finding reliable substitution in new energy. This approach, which combines phasing out the old and bringing in the new, will ensure steady economic and social development. China will also actively engage in international cooperation on climate and jointly work for a complete transition to a greener economy and society.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

Davos is known as a heaven for winter sports. The Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will open soon. We are confident that China will present a streamlined, safe and splendid Games to the world. The official motto for Beijing 2022 is “Together for a Shared Future”. Indeed, let us join hands with full confidence, and work together for a shared future.

Thank you.

What’s causing the inflation crisis? Economist Michael Hudson explains

January 05, 2022

Benjamin Norton from Moderate Rebels interviews Dr. Michael Hudson.  The interview is more wide-ranging than the title suggests but, with razor-sharp intellect, Dr. Hudson breaks open the reason for today’s inflationary cycles.  Dr. Hudson again looks at the roots of de-dollarization, the new financial system, China’s purported slow-down, and common prosperity policy being implemented now.

The China Distraction and U.S. Destabilization

December 30, 2021

by Joaquin Flores

Source

Today’s war is a class war of the super elites, and this can be fought and won by the great masses of people against their own oligarchs.

The American deep state is playing upon the public’s distaste of China towards its own ends, and just as with the present global mystery illness, they will blame China for a social credit system which in reality was made in the USA. We can deconstruct the anatomy of this scam through the handling of Covid and biological warfare in general.

This same deep state is trying to springboard or otherwise utilize the incessantly bad behaviour of its own rapacious oligarchy, who it must serve, an oligarchy trapped in a system of capital accumulation at all and any costs, even collective suicide, into some sort of controlled paradigm collapse. The incentive to destroy society is just too great compared to the costs of keeping it together. The super elites themselves, like some super virus, can always just vacate the premises and find some other host to infect. This is a pandemic of speculation, usury, and greed.

An interesting twist which Senator Rand Paul exposed in public hearings on the senate floor, was that the novel Corona virus was produced at Dr. Anthony Fauci’s discretion. This was a project of the U.S. corporate state, of a corrupted U.S. intelligence agency, we conclude from Senator Paul’s findings.

This much is also so well known by now, that it’s reached the level of common knowledge. But we say it again now not to preach about it, but to connect it to a broader problem with social credit and China.

Digging further, we see it was all based upon long-standing plans to upwards distribute wealth and strip away constitutional rights from citizens, further concentrate socio-economic power, and destroy medium and small businesses. By any definition of the term, this is open class warfare being waged by the ruling class against all other classes.

And so this same ruling class has used the politics of normalized class war to divide and conquer the citizenry along race and gender lines, using new-left tropes, to shift focus away from real economic issues over to abstract identity issues. A portion of the intelligentsia and student/youth are weaponised into a faux ‘progressive’ militancy against ‘Trumpism’, Antifa and BLM and the non-profit industrial complex all connected to Democracy Action and Sorosian wonderworks.

The non-event which was January 6th is used as some sort of newfangled Oklahoma City bombing which only emboldens the parasitic proclivities of the prosecution and investigation power fetishists, which American authoritarianism has allowed to fester in its crevices. Well, a non-event except for the unjustified killing of Ashli Babbitt by Capitol Police. Four officers who died, actually died ‘by suicide’ within a week of the event. What did they know? Why were they ‘suicided’?

Meanwhile the real opponents of Trump are those behind the entire Great Reset and class war of ‘some against all’ underway right now in the U.S.

And that this is already a burgeoning civil war and inter-elite conflict is also openly known.

On December 20th, CNN ran video under the heading, “How close is the U.S. to Civil War? Closer than you think, study says”.

The accuracy or motivations of the study itself are neither here nor there, we can develop a superior metric and method probably at random, because the situation is obvious. The real point of interest is that America’s flagship fake news outlet is openly pushing the story. What could the reason for it be?

What was said is of particular interest:

Host: “The rigid refusal of lawmakers of compromise underscore the disturbing findings of one study on democracy in the U.S. According to a Washington Post editorial, data from the Center for Systemic Peace finds that the U.S. no longer qualifies as a democracy. After the Trump administration years, it’s somewhere between a democracy and an autocratic state.

Barbara Walter is a professor of International Relation at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California at San Diego, she joins me now, I’m delighted. When we look at the research it’s frankly frightening, and you conclude that the U.S. is closer to civil war than any of us would like to Believe. How close?”

Barbara Walter: “Well I’ve been studying civil wars for the last thirty years across the globe, and in fact the last four years I’ve been on a task force run by the CIA that tries to predict where outside the U.S. a civil war, political violence, and instability is likely to break out. And we actually know now that the two best predictors of whether violence is likely to happen are whether a country is an Anocracy, and that’s a fancy term for partial democracy, and whether ethnic entrepreneurs have emerged in a country that are using racial, religious, or ethnic divisions to try to gain political power. And the amazing thing about the United States is that both of these factors currently exist, and they have emerged at a surprisingly fast rate.”

Naturally CNN twists words and reason, and makes implications at odds with the real dynamic now working. The ‘Trump administration years’ is thrown in to make us think the erosion of constitutional rights was his doing. It was the opposite: it was those opposed to Trump that eroded the republic.

It was the collusion of the Great Reset technocracy, the collusion of the IMF, the WEF and domestic players in the Transition Integrity Project (which we have written so much about), big media, big tech, big pharma, the too big to fail, that subverted a populist movement and their rightful electoral outcome.

They openly bragged about it and showed the receipts. It is not a conspiracy theory, but something already openly confessed.

In truth, a better study from Princeton concluded in 2014 that the U.S. was no longer a Democracy.

A new study from Princeton spells bad news for American democracy—namely, that it no longer exists.

Asking “[w]ho really rules?” researchers Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page argues that over the past few decades America’s political system has slowly transformed from a democracy into an oligarchy, where wealthy elites wield most power.

Using data drawn from over 1,800 different policy initiatives from 1981 to 2002, the two conclude that rich, well-connected individuals on the political scene now steer the direction of the country, regardless of or even against the will of the majority of voters.

Of course Barbara Walter is either a liar or an idiot, probably a bit of both, because there is no correlation between a democracy index and stability. Well, there is a connection: once the U.S. targets a country or region for destabilization, they begin to point out features of its society that are less than the progressive idealist dream of a utopian democracy. An easy task and a useful trick, given that we are in reality and not a dream. Then they go on to lay a trade embargo and other punitive measures, thereby exacerbating the tensions within that society, tensions which all societies in reality actually have.

The intelligence agencies foster ‘gangs’, counter-gangs, and political violence in the targeted states, to create failed states. They do this across Africa. They did it in Yugoslavia, in Ukraine, etc.

The idea that democracy and stability are directly related works against the truth exposed in the fact of the general tendency of elites in struggling countries to tilt towards dictatorship, in order to bring stability to the instabilities which democratic institutions are subject to, once broader economic issues come to bear. The optimal situation of course are strong democratic institutions which are both justified by, and in turn support, economic prosperity.

Likewise, the U.S. tilts towards dictatorship not as the result of ‘ethnic entrepreneurs’, whatever that means, nor should their appearance (just now?) give us any pause. Rather, the developing system of internal passports, digital ID’s, Covid pass, forced vaccination and imprisonment under the pretext of ‘pandemic’, these are what ought to, and do, give us cause for great concern.

Which brings us back to China.

The pretext of the virus was certainly used in China towards its own ‘national security’ ends in the digital age. Russia has done the same. Neither country, however, has promoted vaccines which are experimental, opting instead to use this U.S. manufactured crisis towards its own security advantage. All while not using it to experiment upon the population with untested gene therapies.

But China will do China, and a country so far away and so far out of reach of the will and moral authority of American citizens to be concerned about, is hardly the proper focus of American citizen concerns.

The biggest problem that Americans face is certainly its own deep state and super elite, who seem to have a penchant for bizarre rituals, child abuse, elective warfare, and the fetishization of power dynamics observed under late capitalism.

The focus on China’s social credit system has a positive effect on western movements against the system insofar as westerners view the developments in Chinese society as negative.

But the blame placed on Chinese society has worked against understanding social credit. While the Chinese social credit system may utilize some of the same technologies as in the U.S., it is different in context, history, and meaning. Most understandable is that China’s social credit system preferences traditional and socially conservative values, whereas the emergent one in the U.S. imposes bourgeois-libertine values.

While Americans transform their justified fears over social credit, alongside the decline of meaningful work and living standards, into anti-China rhetoric, the focus on China serves as a distraction from what is entirely a domestic and technology-driven phenomenon.

If the lesson drawn is that ‘we must not become like Chinese society’, it is missing the mark. China sits in a markedly different position, where its automated industrial production techniques surpass those of the U.S. in many cases, while its large rural population lives in pre-industrial conditions.

China’s social credit system was initially aimed at big firms: imagine something like a ‘better business bureau’ and consumer reporting that actually had teeth. China’s system did not place profitability as the only determining factor for credit worthiness, and given its scale and anonymity, required a numerated system. Imagine if Pfizer, for example, had reduced access to capital because of its criminal activity. That’s exactly the sort of thing that has come about in the Chinese system, one of the few countries that is prone to execute a billionaire oligarch on occasion.

Chinese billionaire businessman, Liu Han was executed after being found guilty of murder and running a mafia-style criminal gang. Credit BBC, February 10, 2015

When China’s system was moved forward, its aim was to develop a non-monetary credit system for rural inhabitants who are still living in pre-industrial conditions. It’s also a massive country, really a civilizational sphere in its own right, with many regions and varying, even conflicting, credit and legal policies.

It is very difficult to implement the modern system of monetary credit when people live on barter, and their psychological motivations relate to not just pre-industrial but pre-modern and onymous social standing.

Bear in mind that China moved through three industrial revolutions within the span of about eighty years, whereas the 1st Industrial Revolution in the U.S. began around 1750.

Big tech mirrors aspects of China’s social credit system, and there is no doubt that social credit is ‘growing’ in the U.S. if we compare it to the Chinese system. But that’s precisely where we will get it wrong.

In our work on Oriental Despotism and Hydraulic societies, we demonstrated the present push by western elites is to prepare for a transition away from a money-regulated (i.e. labor driven) society. This leads to their need for a social credit system that matches the post-labor age of the 4th Industrial Revolution.

There are certainly Chinese people unhappy with the Chinese social credit system. The broader point is that that is their issue to solve. It’s a pattern for other countries’ elites to blame its internal woes on the U.S. Whatever truth value those claims have are muddied with the convenience it gives, relieving those political elites of their own responsibilities to govern fairly and justly.

Likewise, the focus on the ‘China virus’ disguises the fact that it was probably created on Dr. Fauci’s watch, coordinating with Bill Gates and other oligarchs invested in the vaccine mandate scheme.

Social credit works the same. It’s far too convenient to misplace both blame and understanding of social credit onto China. Chinese elites, the CCP, the PLA, all have absolutely nothing to do with the growth of social credit on American soil.

Social credit in the U.S. has distinctly American characteristics, based in new-left tropes, backed by American companies and none of the Chinese.

In the U.S., social instability has come about through the logic and process of its own machinations, the socio-economic disparity. The growth of authoritarianism in the U.S. and the implementation of social credit is, if anything, a mitigating force meant to manage the other crises of its own making.

What elites do love to do, however, is blame other countries for their own-goals. When empires collapse, they often like to engage in ‘great resets’, often total wars. Today’s war is a class war of the super elites, and this can be fought and won by the great masses of people against their own oligarchs. Introducing China as a responsible party for either the mystery virus or social credit, however, will only serve to embolden our own oligarchy in a great distraction from their own crimes and programs.

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