POMPEO’S DILEMMA: US IS RUNNING OUT OF AIRCRAFT CARRIERS AND TARGETS TO UP PRESSURE AGAINST CHINA

The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan cruising around somewhere near China

Source

02.08.2020

As South Front reported last week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dedicated a major address to insulting and threatening China. However, his extravagant rhetoric and threats to further increase US pressure on the Asian giant have a major flaw. The deployment of US military assets to menace China’s frontier zones are already at historically high levels, leaving very little room for additional pressure short of an amphibious landing or missile strike.

As reported by the South China Morning Post last week, US military aviation flights around its maritime borders in July were the highest on record. According to the Beijing-based South China Sea Strategic Situation Probing Initiative (SCSPI), during the week ending 25 July US air force E-8C surveillance planes were spotted closer than 100 nautical miles to the southeast coast of Guangdong province on four separate occasions.

“At the moment the US military is sending three to five reconnaissance aircraft each day to the South China Sea,” SCSPI said. “In the first half of 2020 – with much higher frequency, closer distance and more variety of missions – the US aerial reconnaissance in the South China Sea has entered a new phase.”

US planes have ventured “unusually close” to Chinese airspace several times since April. The closest flight to date was in May when a US navy P-8A Poseidon – designed for anti-submarine warfare – almost reached the 12 nautical mile limit near Hainan Island, on China’s southernmost tip.

SCSPI said its statistics showed flights by US planes approaching up to 50 to 60 nautical miles off the mainland were “frequent”. A record of 50 sorties – flying from US land bases located in the vicinity of the South China Sea – was set in the first three weeks of July, coinciding with separate Chinese and US military exercises in the area.

On peak days, SCSPI said it had counted as many as eight US aircraft, including the aircraft types P-8A EP-3E, RC-135W and KC-135. One such peak occurred on July 3, as aircraft carriers USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz, along with their respective strike groups, entered the region.

The two aircraft carrier strike groups conducted drills in the area on two separate occasions, commencing on July 4 and July 17. In between the exercises, the US State Department issued a statement describing China’s claim to the disputed waterway as “unlawful” and adding that Washington supported the other Southeast Asian claimants.

The resource-rich South China Sea is one of the world’s busiest waterways, with around a third of international shipping passing through it. China claims most of the area while Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia all have overlapping claims.

The range of US military planes involved in the South China Sea missions was an indication of their purpose, according to SCSPI director Hu Bo. These included anti-submarine patrol, communication signal collection, and radar frequency detection, among others.

With the People’s Liberation Army also exercising in the Paracel Islands earlier this month, the US intelligence aircraft were probably collecting data on the PLA electronics, Hu said, adding. “The increasing US military operations have become the largest risk and potential source of conflicts.”

These operations have led to a number of incidents, and occasionally crises, in the past. The most serious occurred in April 2001 when a US navy EP-3E Aries II flew to within 59 nautical miles of Hainan Island and collided with an intercepting PLA navy J-8II fighter.

The Chinese pilot died and the US plane was forced to land on Hainan, giving then-president George W. Bush the first diplomatic crisis of his tenure.

In 2014, 2015 and 2017, the Pentagon repeatedly accused Chinese fighters of nearly causing accidents by making “unsafe” interception manoeuvres with US spy planes near the Chinese coast in the South China Sea, East China Sea and the Yellow Sea.

Hong Kong-based military commentator Song Zhongping said the PLA could be expected to send fighters out to intercept and expel US aircraft on every close reconnaissance mission.

“The PLA has developed a standard operating protocol on these US planes approaching Chinese airspace. With more frequent US provocations, the PLA will have more frequent interceptions too,” he said.

“It poses a challenge to pilots’ skills and training, but the PLA has also become quite proficient to avoid possible accidents or collisions.” LINK

The record number of military flights was accompanied by a large spike in navy deployments as well, with three aircraft carriers cruising around the South China Sea during June and July. Prior to the extended excursions of the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz mentioned above, the USS Theodore Roosevelt had wound up its latest trouble-plagued deployment to the north-western Pacific, much of which was spent at Guam as the crew desperately tried to contain an outbreak of the Coronavirus, with a short patrol towards China’s maritime border zone.

While the US’ increasingly hostile and hysterical tone against China has done nothing to alter the latter’s implacable resolve to pursue and defend their maritime claims and vital national interests, the US its placing its allies and partners in the region in an increasingly difficult position, South Korea in particular but also Japan and others, as they try to maintain amicable relations with China whilst hosting substantial US military forces whose distant commanders seem determined to pick a fight with China.

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موسكو طهران وبكين… نموذج اقتصادي متكامل

د. حسن مرهج

من الواضح أنّ السياسية الصينية في المنطقة تسير وفق مسارين:

الأول – تسعى الصين إلى الالتفاف على العقوبات الأميركية وبناء تحالفات استراتيجية مع دول عديدة تناهض السياسات الأميركية في المنطقة، في محاولة لإنشاء منظومة سياسية وعسكرية واقتصادية، توازي شبكة العلاقات الأميركية قوة وتنظيماً وتأثيراً في سياسات المنطقة.

الثاني – هناك رغبة صينية واضحة لوضع حدّ للتحكم الأميركي في السياسات الدولية والإقليمية، ولا سبيل لوضع آلية تُقيد السياسات الأميركية، إلا بتحالفات مع دول قوية في المنطقة، وعلى رأس تلك الدول الجمهورية الإسلامية الإيرانية.

انطلاقاّ من هذين المسارين، ترى الصين أنّ إيران واحدة من أهمّ الدول لربط آسيا بأوروبا من خلال مبادرة الحزام والطريق، التي تمثل المحرك الأساس للسياسة الخارجية الصينية منذ أعلنها الرئيس الصيني شي جين بينغ في العام 2013، ولاعب أساسي في الحفاظ على استقرار منطقة الخليج العربي التي تعدّ الشريان الرئيس لوصول النفط إلى الصين.

وعليه، بات واضحاً أنّ أحد أهمّ أوجه العلاقة الصينية الإيرانية، تعزيز المصالح الاقتصادية والاستراتيجية، بُغية تقويض الأهداف الأميركية في المنطقة، إذ يبدو واضحاً أنّ الصين وإيران تعملان منذ مدّة على شراكة استراتيجية لمدة 25 عاماً، والواضح أيضاً أنّ الشراكة ستسمّى شراكة استراتيجية شاملة بين الصين وإيران.

وبما أنّ علاقات إيران مع الصين جادّة وتشكّل أساس التعاون الاقتصادي والاستراتيجي بين البلدين في شكل وثيقة مدتها 25 عاماً، فمن الطبيعي أن تهتمّ الدول الغربية بهذه العلاقات، وبشكل أساسي فإنّ السياسة الأنجلو ساكسونية للأميركيين والبريطانيين هي التركيز على الضغط على إيران من أجل إبعادها عن الصين وروسيا، لكن فشلت هذه السياسة، وفشلت معها السياسة الأميركية لاستعمار إيران، وما يؤكد هذا الأمر أنّ الصين ستُشارك في “بناء البنية التحتية الأساسية لإيران” كجزء من مبادرة “حزام واحد وطريق واحد”؛ هذا المشروع الذي يُعدّ مشروعاً للتكامل الاقتصادي بين البلدين.

فقد أدركت الصين وإيران وضمناً روسيا، أنّ الاتحاد والتعاون هما الوسيلة الوحيدة لتعزيز التبادل على المستويات كافة، وبات ضرورة لمحاربة المشكلات الداهمة التي يمثلها تنامي النفوذ الأميركي في الشؤون الداخلية للدول، حيث أن النفوذ الأميركي أجبر طهران وبكين وموسكو على تحييد الخلافات الثانوية، وتبني استراتيجية موحدة من أجل المصلحة المشتركة للدفاع عن مصالحهم في المنطقة.

والواضح أن أحداث مثل الحرب على سورية، والأزمة في ليبيا، والإطاحة بالنظام الديمقراطي في أوكرانيا، والعقوبات على إيران، والضغط المباشر على بكين في بحر الصين الجنوبي، كلها عوامل سرّعت في التكامل بين الصين وإيران وروسيا.

في جانب آخر مُتعلق بعمق العلاقة الإيرانية الصينية، نجد أنّ جوهر هذه العلاقة يرتكز على الاقتصاد، في المقابل ومن خلال تحليل القوة الاقتصادية نجد أن المنظمات العابرة للحدود مثل منظمة التجارة العالمية وصندوق النقد الدولي والبنك الدولي، تضمن دور واشنطن كزعيم اقتصادي، والركائز التي تدعم مركزية الولايات المتحدة في الاقتصاد العالمي يُمكن أن تُعزى إلى السياسة النقدية للبنك الاحتياطي الفيدرالي ووظيفة الدولار كعملة احتياط عالمية، خاصة مجلس الاحتياطي الاتحادي لديه قدرة غير محدودة لطباعة النقود ولتمويل القوة الاقتصادية للقطاعين الخاص والعام، وكذلك لدفع الفاتورة الواجبة للحروب المكلفة جداّ، وضمن ذلك فإنّ الدولار الأميركي يلعب دوراً رئيسياً كعملة احتياطية عالمية، وكذلك يستخدم كعملة للتجارة، وهذا يُحتم على كلّ بنك مركزي امتلاك احتياطيات بالعملة الأميركية، وتكريس أهمية واشنطن في النظام الاقتصادي العالمي. من هنا فإنّ إدخال اليوان الصيني والتومان الإيراني في التعاملات التجارية بين بكين وطهران، ومن الممكن أن تتسع مروحة هذه التعاملات بالعملات المحلية للبلدين، لتشمل دولاً عديدة ترغب بالابتعاد عن مخاطر التعامل بالدولار الأميركي، كلّ ذلك وسائل وأجراس إنذار الاستراتيجيين الأميركيين حول خطر تآكل مكانة العملة الأميركية.

في المحصلة، فإنّ الصين وإيران وضمناً روسيا بحاجة لإيجاد نظام اقتصادي بديل، لتأمين الجوانب الحيوية للاقتصاد المحلي، فقد لقد لعب انهيار سوق الأسهم في الصين، وانخفاض قيمة الروبل في روسيا، والعقوبات غير القانونية المفروضة على إيران، دوراً عميقاً في تثبيت أهداف موسكو وطهران وبكين، لإيجاد نقاط التلاقي بين البلدان الثلاثة، ولتشكيل منظومة اقتصادية قادرة على ضعضعة الهيمنة الأميركية على العالم.

The heart of the matter in the South China Sea

The heart of the matter in the South China Sea

July 30, 2020

by Pepe Escobar for The Saker Blog and originally posted at Asia Times

When the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups recently engaged in “operations” in the South China Sea, it did not escape to many a cynic that the US Pacific Fleet was doing its best to turn the infantile Thucydides Trap theory into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The pro forma official spin, via Rear Adm. Jim Kirk, commander of the Nimitz, is that the ops were conducted to “reinforce our commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific, a rules-based international order, and to our allies and partners”.

Nobody pays attention to these clichés, because the real message was delivered by a CIA operative posing as diplomat, Secretary of State Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo: “The PRC has no legal grounds to unilaterally impose its will on the region”, in a reference to the Nine-Dash Line. For the State Dept., Beijing deploys nothing but “gangster tactics” in the South China Sea.

Once again, nobody paid attention, because the actual facts on the sea are stark. Anything that moves in the South China Sea – China’s crucial maritime trade artery – is at the mercy of the PLA, which decides if and when to deploy their deadly DF-21D and DF-26 “carrier killer” missiles. There’s absolutely no way the US Pacific Fleet can win a shooting war in the South China Sea.

Electronically jammed

A crucial Chinese report, unavailable and not referred to by Western media, and translated by Hong Kong-based analyst Thomas Wing Polin, is essential to understand the context.

The report refers to US Growler electronic warplanes rendered totally out of control by electronic jamming devices positioned on islands and reefs in the South China Sea.

According to the report, “after the accident, the United States negotiated with China, demanding that China dismantle the electronic equipment immediately, but it was rejected. These electronic devices are an important part of China’s maritime defense and are not offensive weapons. Therefore, the US military’s request for dismantling is unreasonable.”

It gets better: “On the same day, former commander Scott Swift of the US Pacific Fleet finally acknowledged that the US military had lost the best time to control the South China Sea. He believes that China has deployed a large number of Hongqi 9 air defense missiles, H-6K bombers, and electronic jamming systems on islands and reefs. The defense can be said to be solid. If US fighter jets rush into the South China Sea, they are likely to encounter their ‘Waterloo.’”

The bottom line is that the systems – including electronic jamming – deployed by the PLA on islands and reefs in the South China Sea, covering more than half of the total surface, are considered by Beijing to be part of the national defense system.

I have previously detailed what Admiral Philip Davidson, when he was still a nominee to lead the US Pacific Command (PACOM), told the US Senate. Here are his Top Three conclusions:

1) “China is pursuing advanced capabilities (e.g., hypersonic missiles) which the United States has no current defense against. As China pursues these advanced weapons systems, US forces across the Indo-Pacific will be placed increasingly at risk.”

2) “China is undermining the rules-based international order.”

3) “China is now capable of controlling the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war with the United States.”

Implied in all of the above is the “secret” of the Indo-Pacific strategy: at best a containment exercise, as China continues to solidify the Maritime Silk Road linking the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean.

Remember the nusantao

The South China Sea is and will continue to be one of the prime geopolitical flashpoints of the young 21st century, where a great deal of the East-West balance of power will be played.

I have addressed this elsewhere in the past in some detail, but a short historical background is once again absolutely essential to understand the current juncture as the South China Sea increasingly looks and feels like a Chinese lake.

Let’s start in 1890, when Alfred Mahan, then president of the US Naval College, wrote the seminal The Influence of Sea Power Upon History, 1660-1783. Mahan’s central thesis is that the US should go global in search of new markets, and protect these new trade routes through a network of naval bases.

That is the embryo of the US Empire of Bases – which remains in effect.

It was Western – American and European – colonialism that came up with most land borders and maritime borders of states bordering the South China Sea: Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam.

We are talking about borders between different colonial possessions – and that implied intractable problems from the start, subsequently inherited by post-colonial nations.

Historically, it had always been a completely different story. The best anthropological studies (Bill Solheim’s, for instance) define the semi-nomadic communities who really traveled and traded across the South China Sea from time immemorial as the Nusantao – an Austronesian compound word for “south island” and “people”.

The Nusantao were not a defined ethnic group. They were a maritime internet. Over centuries, they had many key hubs, from the coastline between central Vietnam and Hong Kong all the way to the Mekong Delta. They were not attached to any “state”. The Western notion of “borders” did not even exist. In the mid-1990s, I had the privilege to encounter some of their descendants in Indonesia and Vietnam.

So it was only by the late 19th century that the Westphalian system managed to freeze the South China Sea inside an immovable framework.

Which brings us to the crucial point of why China is so sensitive about its borders; because they are directly linked to the “century of humiliation” – when internal Chinese corruption and weakness allowed Western “barbarians” to take possession of Chinese land.

A Japanese lake

The Nine Dash Line is an immensely complex problem. It was invented by the eminent Chinese geographer Bai Meichu, a fierce nationalist, in 1936, initially as part of a “Chinese National Humiliation Map” in the form of a “U-shaped line” gobbling up the South China Sea all the way down to James Shoal, which is 1,500 km south of China but only over 100 km off Borneo.

The Nine Dash Line, from the beginning, was promoted by the Chinese government – remember, at the time not yet Communist – as the letter of the law in terms of “historic” Chinese claims over islands in the South China Sea.

One year later, Japan invaded China. Japan had occupied Taiwan way back in 1895. Japan occupied the Philippines in 1942. That meant virtually the entire coastline of the South China Sea being controlled by a single empire for the fist time in history. The South China Sea had become a Japanese lake.

Well, that lasted only until 1945. The Japanese did occupy Woody Island in the Paracels and Itu Aba (today Taiping) in the Spratlys. After the end of WWII and the US nuclear-bombing Japan, the Philippines became independent in 1946 and the Spratlys immediately were declared Filipino territory.

In 1947, all the islands in the South China Sea got Chinese names.

And in December 1947 all the islands were placed under the control of Hainan (itself an island in southern China.) New maps duly followed, but now with Chinese names for the islands (or reefs, or shoals). But there was a huge problem: no one explained the meaning of those dashes (which were originally eleven.)

In June 1947 the Republic of China claimed everything within the line – while proclaiming itself open to negotiate definitive maritime borders with other nations later on. But, for the moment, there were no borders.

And that set the scene for the immensely complicated “strategic ambiguity” of the South China Sea that still lingers on – and allows the State Dept. to accuse Beijing of “gangster tactics”. The culmination of a millennia-old transition from the “maritime internet” of semi-nomadic peoples to the Westphalian system spelled nothing but trouble.

Time for COC

So what about the US notion of “freedom of navigation”?

In imperial terms, “freedom of navigation”, from the West Coast of the US to Asia – through the Pacific, the South China Sea, the Malacca Strait and the Indian Ocean – is strictly an issue of military strategy.

The US Navy simply cannot imagine dealing with maritime exclusion zones – or having to demand an “authorization” every time they need to cross them. In this case the Empire of Bases would lose “access” to its own bases.

This is compounded with trademark Pentagon paranoia, gaming a situation where a “hostile power” – namely China – decides to block global trade. The premise in itself is ludicrous, because the South China Sea is the premier, vital maritime artery for China’s globalized economy.

So there’s no rational justification for a Freedom of Navigation (FON) program. For all practical purposes, these aircraft carriers like the Ronald Reagan and the Nimitz showboating on and off in the South China Sea amount to 21st century gunboat diplomacy. And Beijing is not impressed.

As far as the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is concerned, what matters now is to come up with a Code of Conduct (COC) to solve all maritime conflicts between Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and China.

Next year, ASEAN and China celebrate 30 years of strong bilateral relations. There’s a strong possibility they will be upgraded to “comprehensive strategic partner” status.

Because of Covid-19, all players had to postpone negotiations on the second reading of the single draft of COC. Beijing wanted these to be face to face – because the document is ultra-sensitive and for the moment, secret. Yet they finally agreed to negotiate online – via detailed texts.

It will be a hard slog, because as ASEAN made it clear in a virtual summit in late June, everything has to be in accordance with international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS).

If they can all agree on a COC by the end of 2020, a final agreement could be approved by ASEAN in mid-2021. Historic does not even begin to describe it – because this negotiation has been going on for no less than two decades.

Not to mention that a COC invalidates any US pretension to secure “freedom of navigation” in an area where navigation is already free.

Yet “freedom” was never the issue. In imperial terminology, “freedom” means that China must obey and keep the South China Sea open to the US Navy. Well, that’s possible, but you gotta behave. That’ll be the day when the US Navy is “denied” the South China Sea. You don’t need to be Mahan to know that’ll mean the imperial end of ruling the seven seas.

Diplomacy is reciprocal

July 25, 2020

Diplomacy is reciprocal

Chris Faure for the Saker Blog

The US suddenly ordered China to end operations from its embassy in Houston, Texas (remember when they did the same to Russia). However, diplomacy is reciprocal and the Chinese so far refrained from a further provocative reaction. They are implementing a fair tit for tat measure, closing the US Consulate in Chengdu, keeping options open for further retaliation. They could have fanned the flames and closed the US Consulate in Hong Kong, or even a bigger one in Beijing, but kept to a fair reciprocal closure – so far.

More about the Consulate spat https://www.moonofalabama.org/

China responded to Mr Pompeo’s highly advertised ‘very important’ speech this week in short, not giving Pompeo that attention that he so craves. The Chinese stance is that Mike Pompeo maliciously attacked the Communist Party of China (CPC) and China’s socialist system, and he made remarks that ignored the facts, were full of ideological bias and turned black into white, which showed his Cold War mentality. From the Chinese Foreign Ministry: “Some US politicians have deliberately stirred up ideological disputes, talked about changing China, denied China-US relations, and provoked China’s relationships with other countries. Their purpose is to suppress China’s development and divert the public’s attention from their own country. These tricks cannot fool the Americans and international community.”

The US have stopped all basic diplomatic standards in a grab for their self-delusional rules-based international order. Just recently, Pompeo announced that they will not respect or accept any of the agreements in the South China Sea. He must be thinking that all of the ASEAN countries like him enough to drop their raft of regional negotiated agreements.

Despite Chinese accusations that the US opens their diplomatic pouches, which is in flagrant violation of all Vienna Conventions on Diplomatic and Consular relations, the most important is the following which shows that China is still keeping to fair diplomatic and pragmatic standard:

“It must be emphasized that China has no intentions to change the US in terms of its social system, and the US cannot change China either.”

https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/2511_665403/t1800221.shtml

Having followed the Russian reactions on these types of actions by the US toward Russia, we have become accustomed to the frustratingly pragmatic and clinically diplomatic methods of dealing with western bullying. The Chinese are different and they enthusiastically take part in the war of words that is reaching cold war status if one adds in the trade war announced by Mr Trump +- two years ago and which he thought would be ‘easy to win’. What we see now as reaction to the US provocation to China in the US social sphere, many ordinary Americans are deeply into the ‘crush China’ rhetoric which attempts to blame China for all of the US ills.

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/202007241079970310-us-heading-towards-quagmire-in-the-south-china-sea-by-inciting-tensions-with-beijing-activist-warns/

While it remains unclear if this can be written off completely to electioneering and election rhetoric, what does clarify is that the harm done is not easily fixed, no matter the reason. It is however quite breathtaking how far Pompeo will push this, hoping for retaliation which he can then use to prove himself and the current US administration right. It is beyond a level of comprehension that Pompeo and Co could really think that they will make war against China.

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202007/24/WS5f1a5b8da31083481725be24.html

In this time of ‘rhetorical cold war of words’, Godfree Roberts who regularly writes on China for the Unz Review started a new weekly newsletter, Here Comes China, Skulduggery, Good News, Offbeat Opinions, chock-a-block full of what is happening in China.

Godfree has offered the first four newsletters free to Saker readers. From economics, to space, to China-Iran Trade and Military Partnership, to the cleanup and recovering of the Yangtze river, a Hong Kong section, the media war on Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and an in-depth look at Human rights in China, this newsletter stands unique in its scope and its presentation of Western opinions and Eastern opinions.

Godfree’s new book on China is just about ready for release. The book is called:

Why China leads the world: Democracy at the bottom, Data in the middle, Talent at the top.
A preview: https://www.herecomeschina.com/why-china-leads-the-world-the-book/

I also want to draw the readers’ attention to a two part essay written on Mao, Mao Reconsidered, and published in greanvillepost.com. Part 1Part 2

China Sitrep – 5 selected topics from the Here Comes China newsletter:

Trump Empowers CIA to Launch Cyberattacks

The secret authorization, known as a presidential finding, gives the spy agency more freedom in both the kinds of operations it conducts and who it targets–including Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, which are mentioned directly in the document. The finding allows the CIA to more easily authorize its own covert cyber operations, rather than requiring the agency to get approval from the White House. The “very aggressive” finding “gave the agency very specific authorities to really take the fight offensively to a handful of adversarial countries,” said a former U.S. government official. The Central Intelligence Agency has conducted a series of covert cyber operations against Iran and other targets since winning a secret victory in 2018 when President Trump signed what amounts to a sweeping authorization for such activities. [MORE]

Belt and Road Finds New Life in Pakistan

China and Pakistan have signed deals for two hydro-power generation projects costing $3.9 billion in the disputed Kashmir region, and another to revamp the South Asian nation’s colonial-era railways for $7.2 billion — the most expensive Chinese project yet in Pakistan. The Chinese financing has helped rid Pakistan of an electricity deficit that left exporters unable to meet orders and major cities without electricity for much of the day. [MORE]

T.P. Wilkinson: The Yemen

The West encourages dissolution of state entities that could engage in normal relations with China or any other potential competitors. The Yemen is one of those long-term victims of British imperialism. When Britain nominally withdrew from Egypt, Nasser promoted his new government’s participation in his movement for Arab unity, opposed by British clients in Riyadh (the Saud family’s Wahhabi gangsters). The Saud family would like to have annexed the Yemen but could not without war against Egypt-against which the tiny mob had no chance. So David Stirling led a counter-insurgency funded by the British and Saudis to drive Egypt out of the Yemen and leave the country as a quasi-protectorate of Britain/US. Attempts to change that have been fought for decades but until a decade ago the client regime was well protected. Clearly chaos is profitable for the empire which between Somalia and Yemen prevent any stability in opposition to its interests. Not only do Somalia and Yemen lie close to the Suez route they also form part of the ancient East African trading basin that links Asia with Africa. As part of the overall strategy of Denial, this policy is aided by the designs of the mob in Riyad which lacks the population to occupy territories it would like to annex.

Xinjiang

This section from Here Comes China is an in-depth analysis. I suggest you read it in the newsletter itself. Main points:

Islam is neither the Uyghurs’ native religion nor their only one but, in its Wahhabi form, has caused problems around the world, for which we can thank to two fervent Christians, Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski,[2] who considered a united Eurasia, “The only possible challenge to American hegemony.” In 1979, months before the Soviet entry into Afghanistan, Brzezinski drafted and Carter signed a top-secret Presidential Order authorizing the CIA to train fundamentalist Muslims to wage Jihad against the Soviet Communist infidels and all unbelievers of conservative Sunni Islam and the Mujahideen terror war against Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan became the largest covert action in CIA history.[2] Brzezinski’s ‘Arc of Crisis’ strategy inflamed Muslims in Central Asia to destabilize the USSR during its economic crisis and, when Le Nouvel Observateur later asked if he had any regrets, Brzezinski snapped, “What is most important to the history of the world? Some stirred-up Muslims or the liberation of Central Europe?”

Twenty years later, in 1999, the CIA’s Islam strategist, Graham E. Fuller, announced, “The policy of guiding the evolution of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously well in Afghanistan against the Russians. The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter the Chinese influence in Central Asia.”[3]

Today, NED money supports the World Uyghur Congress (WUC) which calls China’s Xinjiang Province ‘East Turkistan’ and China’s administration of Xinjiang as ‘Chinese occupation of East Turkistan,’ runs articles like, “Op-ed: A Profile of Rebiya Kadeer, Fearless Uyghur Independence Activist,” and admits that Kadeer seeks Uyghur independence from China.

Faced with an armed insurrection, most states impose martial law or a state of emergency, as Britain did in Malaya from 1945 to 1957 and the US did with the Patriot Act, but China decided–despite popular outrage–to write off its losses and play the long game and founded The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO),[1] a political, economic, and security alliance, with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, who stopped funneling money and providing corridors for Uyghur terrorists to move into and out of China. The SCO has since expanded to include India and Pakistan and Iran has begun the accession process, making it world’s largest security pact in both area and population and the only one whose membership includes four nuclear powers.

Forming the SCO was easier than assuaging public outrage. An unheard-of lawsuit by victims’ relatives accused the government of reverse discrimination so they stepped up security and published their objectives:

  1. restore law and order
  2. prevent terrorists from inflicting more violence
  3. use ‘high-intensity regulation’
  4. contain the spread of terrorism beyond Xinjiang
  5. purge extremists and separatists from society.

Neighborhood community centres–labelled ‘concentration camps’ in the western press–educate rural Uyghurs about the perils of religious extremism and train them for urban jobs.
In 2013 President Xi toured Eurasia and proposed the Belt and Road Initiative for three billion people, designed to create the biggest market in the world with unparalleled development potential, and built a gas pipeline to China from Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan which, like China’s other western pipelines, power lines, and rail and road networks, runs through the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Beijing then moved jobs to Xinjiang and opened vocational schools to train rural youth in literacy and job skills and swore to protect its neighbors from terrorism in exchange for their pledge to reciprocate. To create jobs in the province Xi directed investment from forty-five of China’s top companies and eighty Fortune 500 manufacturers to Urumqi. Corporate investment increased from $10 billion in 2015 to $15 billion in 2017 and infrastructure investments of $70 billion in both 2017 and 2018 lifted the annual goods shipments past 100 million tons with a goal of hourly departures to fifteen European capitals. Half a million Uyghurs have relocated from remote villages to cities and, as a result, 600,000 Uighurs were lifted out of poverty in 2016, 312,000 in 2017 and 400,000 in 2018. The last poor Uyghurs will join the cash economy in mid-2020.

The PBOC, China’s central bank, is partnering with ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing to test the use of its sovereign digital currency, AKA Central Bank Digital Currency, CBDC. The regulator is working with Didi to apply digital currency electronic payment (DCEP) to the ride-hailing app, which currently serves a total of over 550 million users and is often described as China’s Uber. According to Didi, “the government seeks to support the development of the real economy sectors with innovative financial services.” Didi has more than 30 million daily ride-sharing orders and its bike-sharing daily orders reached 10 million. Meituan and Bilibilibili are also cooperating with banks in the digital yuan project. Meituan’s service platform has over 240 million consumers and five million local merchants, and Bilibilibili is China’s largest video-sharing website.

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US Armed Forces Continue To Test China’s Patience, Prowling Around Disputed Maritime Borders

Source

US Armed Forces Continue To Test China’s Patience, Prowling Around Disputed Maritime Borders

The Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs unit has announced that two B-1B Lancer bombers assigned to the 37th Bomb Squadron have been deployed to Andersen Air Force Base on Guam, along with approximately 170 support personnel, as part of a Bomber Task Force deployment.

According to the statement, the move is instended to demonstrate the US Indo-Pacific Command’s continuing commitment to allies and partners in the region.

The Stripes reported that before arriving on Guam, the bombers conducted intercept training over the Sea of Japan with F-15J fighter jets belonging to the Japanese Air Self-Defence Force. LINK

B-1s were last deployed to Guam in May when they flew in from Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. The duration of the current deployment has not been announced.

US Armed Forces Continue To Test China’s Patience, Prowling Around Disputed Maritime Borders

Against the backdrop of worsening relations between the US and China, the nuclear Ronald Reagan and Nimitz aircraft carrier groups as well as other US Navy vessels have been conducting exercises in and around the South China Sea over the last few weeks. The exercises and manoeuvres have also involved a strategic long range bomber B-52H Stratofortress. LINK

Earlier this week, the US officially rejected Chinese claims to a number of territories in the South China Sea.

The South China Morning Post reports that China’s Ambassador to the Philippines has urged Southeast Asian countries to be on guard against US attempts to “sabotage” the region’s stability by inserting itself into the South China Sea disputes.

He urged Southeast Asian nations to “properly resolve disputes” with China and “prevent them from being capitalised on by the US to sabotage stability in the Asia-Pacific region”.

The comments followed a shift in Washington’s posture on China’s claims in the area reflected in an op-ed in which his American counterpart, Sung Kim, declared Washington’s support for Manila in the “West Philippines Sea”.

This is the term Manila uses to refer to the portion of the South China Sea it claims as part of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), and includes areas claimed by Beijing. The use of the term by a US state department official is rare and has been interpreted as being deliberately provocative in Beijing. LINK

Last week, one of the US Navy’s MQ-4C Triton high altitude long endurance (HALE) reconnaissance drones was spotted entering the South China Sea on Wednesday – the latest addition to an increasingly long list of US spy planes plying the waterway in recent months. LINK

In addition to flight operations by the US Navy carrier USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan and other US military aircraft, the destroyer USS Ralph Johnson carried out a still-more-provocative act on July 14, a so-called “freedom of navigation operation” inside the waters surrounding the Spratly Islands, which are claimed by China as part of its territory, in a deliberate attempt to repudiate and challenge Chinese claims. Chinese media outlet stated in response to the latest manoeuvres:

“These incidents, taking place thousands of miles away from the US and on China’s doorstep, have again proven that the US is the real pusher of militarization in the South China Sea, and China is forced to take countermeasures to safeguard its national sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Global Times wrote, citing an unnamed Chinese military expert.

“If US military provocations in the South China Sea persist, China could be left with no choice but to conduct more drills and deploy more warships and warplanes in the South China Sea, to the extent of setting up a possible air defence identification zone (ADIZ).”

Sputnik reports that while the two US Navy carrier strike groups drilled in the South China Sea last week, Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) jets practiced anti-ship attacks nearby.

The US aircraft carriers have been carrying out drills in waters near China for several weeks, including in the Philippine Sea and South China Sea. Last week, the Chinese military decided to stage their own drills, holding live-fire exercises in which PLAAF jets rehearsed how they would carry out strikes against enemy warships in the region.

The drills involved JH-7A and J-16B naval strike aircraft, which practiced firing anti-ship missiles, the Global Times reported. The military exercises were held on 15 and 16 July. LINK

MORE ON THE TOPIC:

Is America Up for a Naval War With China?

Is America Up for a Naval War with China? | RealClearPolitics

July 18, 2020

Patrick BUCHANAN

Is the U.S., preoccupied with a pandemic and a depression that medical crisis created, prepared for a collision with China over Beijing’s claims to the rocks, reefs and resources of the South China Sea?

For that is what Mike Pompeo appeared to threaten this week.

“The world will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” thundered the secretary of state.

“America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources … and (we) reject any push to impose ‘might makes right’ in the South China Sea.”

Thus did Pompeo put Beijing on notice that the U.S. does not recognize its claim to 90% of the South China Sea or to any exclusive Chinese right to its fishing grounds or oil and gas resources.

Rather, in a policy shift, the U.S. now recognizes the rival claims of Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines.

To signal the seriousness of Pompeo’s stand, the U.S. sent the USS Ronald Reagan and USS Nimitz carrier battle groups through the South China Sea. And, this week, the guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson sailed close by the Spratly Islands.

But what do Mike Pompeo’s tough words truly mean?

While we have recognized the claims of the other littoral states of the South China Sea, does Pompeo mean America will use its naval power to defend their claims should China use force against the vessels of those five nations?

Does it mean that if Manila, our lone treaty ally in these disputes, uses force to reclaim what we see as its lawful rights in the South China Sea, the U.S. Navy will fight the Chinese navy to validate Manila’s claims?

Has Pompeo drawn a red line, which Beijing has been told not to cross at risk of war with the United States?

If so, does anyone in Washington think the Chinese are going to give up their claims to the entire South China Sea or retreat from reasserting those claims because the U.S. now rejects them?

Consider what happened to the people of Hong Kong when they thought they had the world’s democracies at their back.

For a year, they marched and protested for greater political freedom with some believing they might win independence.

But when Beijing had had enough, it trashed the Basic Law under which Hong Kong had been ceded back to China and began a crackdown.

The democracies protested and imposed economic sanctions. But the bottom line is that Hong Kong’s people not only failed to enlarge the sphere of freedom they had, but also they are losing much of what they had.

The Americans, seeing Hong Kong being absorbed into China, are now canceling the special economic privileges we had accorded the city, as the British offer millions of visas to Hong Kong’s dissidents who fear what Beijing has in store for them.

In June, Pompeo also charged Beijing with human rights atrocities in Xinjiang: “The world received disturbing reports today that the Chinese Communist Party is using forced sterilization, forced abortion, and coercive family planning against Uyghurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, as part of a continuing campaign of repression.”

These reports, said Pompeo, “are sadly consistent with decades of CCP practices that demonstrate an utter disregard for the sanctity of human life and basic human dignity.”

China has rejected U.S. protests of its treatment of Uighurs and Kazakhs and of its handling of Hong Kong as interference in its internal affairs and none of America’s business.

As for the South China Sea, China dismissively replied, the U.S. seems to be “throwing its weight around in every sea of the world.”

These American warnings, and Beijing’s response, call to mind the darker days of the Cold War.

So, again, the question: Is America prepared for a naval clash in the South China Sea if Beijing continues to occupy and fortify islets and reefs she claims as her own? Are we prepared for a Cold War II — with China?

While China lacks the strategic arsenal the USSR had in the latter years of the Cold War, economically, technologically and industrially, China is a far greater power than Soviet Russia ever was. And China’s population is four times as large.

Can we, should we, begin to assemble a system of alliances similar to what we had during the Cold War — with NATO in Europe and Asian security pacts with Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia and New Zealand? Should we adopt a policy of containment of Communist China, which, says Pompeo, is an expansionist and “imperialist” power?

Should we start issuing war guarantees to China’s neighbors? Should we start putting down red lines China will not be allowed to cross?

Before we plunged into our half dozen Middle East wars, we didn’t think through where those would end. Have we considered where all our belated bellicosity toward Beijing must invariably lead, and how this all ends?

creators.comThe views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

The Future for China

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The Future for China

July 15, 2020

by Eric Zuesse for the Saker Blog

On July 14th, the two conjoined gangster-regimes, U.S. & UK, simultaneously started, with deadly seriousness, their aggressive economic war against China.

Business Insider headlined “US Navy warship challenges China in South China Sea as US blasts Beijing’s ‘unlawful’ claims and ‘gangster tactics’” and reported that,

After the US Department of State declared Beijing’s maritime claims in the South China Sea and efforts to assert dominance to be unlawful, the US Navy destroyer USS Ralph Johnson further challenged China with a sail-by operation.

The Navy released a couple of photos on Tuesday of the destroyer sailing near the contested Spratly Islands, and a Navy spokesman confirmed that the ship conducted a freedom-of-navigation operation in the area.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ralph Johnson (DDG 114) steams near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Ralph Johnson is deployed conducting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts for a free and open Indo-Pacific. U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Anthony Collier

On the same day, Russia’s RT headlined “George Galloway: UK ban on Huawei is national self-harm. China’s riposte could devastate the ailing British economy”, and he reported that

Having alienated the remaining 27 members of the European Union and set Anglo-Russian relations back a century, Boris Johnson has just declared an economic war on China. … The proximate reason – that allowing Huawei into Britain’s 5G roll-out is a “security risk” – is patently false. If that were true for 5G, it would be true of 3 and 4G. If it were true then the company would have to be banished now, not in 2027 (by when, incidentally, 5G will be so last year).

There is not a shred, not a scintilla, not a jot or tittle, of evidence that Huawei has ever done anything wrong during its highly successful penetration of the British market, from which Britain has economically benefited mightily.

And if Chinese investment in 5G is not wanted – indeed, is being ejected – what of China’s powerful stake in Britain’s energy sector? What happens if China pulls the plugs on its nuclear power stations? Do all our lights go out? Has anyone thought this Chinese Kick-Away through? … BoJo’s decision to throw the Huawei 5G deal on the scrapheap shows UK poodle still obeys its US master

In this triple whammy of sanctions, gunboats and settlement, the brassy note of Jingoism plays ‘Rule Britannia’, but no one seems to have noticed that China is a vastly richer and more powerful adversary than it was when we extorted Hong Kong from them in punishment for their attempt to halt the flood of British opium into China which caused the addiction of 90 million Chinese people.

The economic sanctions imposed on China in the Huawei affair will be returned several-fold by Beijing.

Galloway might be correct, that China will be able to survive UK’s attempts to stifle China’s rise as a global economic competitor to the UK-U.S. empire, but if the U.S. is allowed to block China’s shipments through the South China Sea, then the war against China has already been won. It’s much more serious.

China has internationally been losing each one of the major rounds in its territorial disputes regarding its territorial claims in the South China Sea. It’s as if the U.S. were losing territorial claims in the Caribbean, except that the South China Sea is far more geostrategically important to China than the Caribbean is to the United States. So, China’s losses here are geostrategic ones. Those are disputes versus the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia, and the U.S. regime has played a decisive role in each case on the basis of its bilateral treaties, such as the 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty, which enables the Philippines to call upon U.S. military backing in case the Philippines needs muscle in order to assert a territorial claim against another country, such as, say, China, which is the giant in their neighborhood.

U.S. President Harry S. Truman strongly disagreed with his predecessor, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s, opposition to imperialism, and he went for it almost as soon as he became the U.S. President. Actually, he became President at FDR’s death on 12 April 1945, and then, less than four months later, on 26 July 1945, committed himself to the Military-Industrial Complex’s dream of establishing an all-encompassing U.S. global empire. He made that decision, on 26 July 1945, which subsequently created the coups, military invasions, importations of thousands of Nazi officials into The West, to help America’s fight against the Soviet Union, and construction of the CIA’a program to control what international ‘news’ would be off-limits to report in the U.S., and in its vassal-nations.

Elliott Roosevelt, FDR’s son who accompanied his father during crucial international meetings, felt that Truman was a traitor to his father’s anti-imperialistic legacy. FDR, according to his son, Elliott, also wasn’t too fond of Churchill, who agreed with Truman because Churchill had always been a champion of British imperialism and he needed U.S. acceptance of that.

Elliott wrote:

——

https://www.mtholyoke.edu/

Roosevelt and Churchill Discuss Colonial Questions, August 10, 1941, excerpt from Elliott Roosevelt, As He Saw It (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946).”

Father [FDR] started it.

“Of course,” he remarked, with a sly sort of assurance, “of course, after the war, one of the preconditions of any lasting peace will have to be the greatest possible freedom of trade.”

He paused. The P.M.’s [Churchill’s] head was lowered; he was watching Father steadily, from under one eyebrow.

“No artificial barriers,” Father pursued. “As few favored economic agreements as possible. Opportunities for expansion. Markets open for healthy competition.” His eye wandered innocently around the room.

Churchill shifted in his armchair. “The British Empire trade agreements,” he began heavily, “are — ”

Father broke in. “Yes. Those Empire trade agreements are a case in point. It’s because of them that the people of India and Africa, of all the colonial Near East and Far East, are still as backward as they are.”

Churchill’s neck reddened and he crouched forward. “Mr. President, England does not propose for a moment to lose its favored position among the British Do-minions. The trade that has made England great shall continue, and under conditions prescribed by England’s ministers.”

You see,” said Father slowly, “it is along in here somewhere that there is likely to be some disagreement between you, Winston, and me.

I am firmly of the belief that if we are to arrive at a stable peace it must involve the development of backward countries. Backward peoples. How can this be done? It can’t be done, obviously, by eighteenth-century methods. Now — ”

Who’s talking eighteenth-century methods?”

Whichever of your ministers recommends a policy which takes wealth in raw materials out of a colonial country, but which returns nothing to the people of that country in consideration. Twentieth-century methods involve bringing industry to these colonies. Twentieth-century methods include increasing the wealth of a people by increasing their standard of living, by educating them, by bringing them sanitation — by making sure that they get a return for the raw wealth of their community.”

Around the room, all of us were leaning forward attentively. [Harry] Hopkins [a major FDR adviser] was grinning. Commander [C. R.] Thompson, Churchill’s aide, was looking glum and alarmed. The P.M. himself was beginning to look apoplectic.

“You mentioned India,” he growled.

“Yes. I can’t believe that we can fight a war against fascist slavery, and at the same time not work to free people all over the world from a backward colonial policy”

What about the Philippines?”

I’m glad you mentioned them. They get their independence, you know, in 1946. And they’ve gotten modern sanitation, modern education; their rate of illiteracy has gone steadily down

There can be no tampering with the Empire’s economic agreements.”

They’re artificial …”

They’re the foundation of our greatness.”

The peace,” said Father firmly, “cannot include any continued despotism. The structure of the peace demands and will get equality of peoples. Equality of peoples involves the utmost freedom of competitive trade. …”

It was after two in the morning when finally the British party said their good nights. I helped Father into his cabin, and sat down to smoke a last cigarette with him.

Father grunted. “A real old Tory, isn’t he? A real old Tory, of the old school.”

“I thought for a minute he was [you were] going to bust, Pop.”

“Oh,” he smiled, “I’ll be able to work with him. Don’t worry about that. We’ll get along famously.”

“So long as you keep off the subject of India.”

“Mmm, I don’t know. I think we’ll even talk some more about India, before we’re through. And Burma. And Java. And Indo-China. And Indonesia. And all the African colonies. And Egypt and Palestine. We’ll talk about ’em all.”

http://east_west_dialogue.

At the Casablanca Conference

A similar kind of discussion occurred between Roosevelt and Churchill at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. The following is Elliott’s description of his father’s talk with him one evening during that meeting:

His thoughts turned to the problem of the colonies and the colonial markets, the problem which he felt was at the core of all chance for future peace. ‘The thing is,’ he remarked thoughtfully, replacing a smoked cigarette in his holder with a fresh one, ‘the colonial system means war. Exploit the resources of an India, a Burma, a Java; take all the wealth out of those countries, but never put anything back into them, things like education, decent standards of living, minimum health requirements — all you’re doing is storing up the kind of trouble that leads to war. All you’re doing is negating the value of any kind of organizational structure for peace before it begins.

‘The look that Churchill gets on his face when you mention India!

India should be made a commonwealth at once. After a certain number of years — five perhaps, or ten — she should be able to choose whether she wants to remain in the Empire or have complete independence.

As a commonwealth, she would be entitled to a modern form of government, an adequate health and educational standard. But how can she have these things, when Britain is taking all the wealth of her national resources away from her, every year? Every year the Indian people have one thing to look forward to, like death and taxes. Sure as shooting, they have a famine. The season of the famine, they call it.’

He paused for a moment, thinking.

‘I must tell Churchill what I found out about his British Gambia today,’ he said, with a note of determination.

‘At Bathurst?’ I prompted.

This morning,’ he said, and now there was real feeling in his voice, ‘at about eight-thirty, we drove through Bathurst to the airfield. The natives were just getting to work. In rags … glum-looking. … They told us the natives would look happier around noontime, when the sun should have burned off the dew and the chill. I was told the prevailing wages for these men was one and nine. One shilling, ninepence. Less than fifty cents.’

An hour?’ I asked, foolishly.

A {day!} Fifty cents a {day!} Besides which, they’re given a half-cup of rice.’ He shifted uneasily in his big bed. ‘Dirt, disease. Very high mortality rate. I asked. Life expectancy — you’d never guess what it was. Twenty-six years. Those people are treated worse than the livestock. Their cattle live longer!’

He was silent for a moment.

Churchill may have thought I wasn’t serious, last time. He’ll find out, this time.’ He looked at me thoughtfully for a moment. ‘How is it, where you are? How is it in Algeria?’ he asked.

I told him it was the same story. Rich country, rich resources, natives desperately poor, a few white colonials that lived very well, a few native princes that lived very well, otherwise poverty, disease, ignorance. He nodded.

And then he went on to tell of what he thought should be done: France to be restored as a world power, then to be entrusted with her former colonies, as a trustee. As trustee, she was to report each year on the progress of her stewardship, how the literacy rate was improving, how the death rate declining, how disease being stamped out, how. …

Wait a minute,’ I interrupted. ‘Who’s she going to report all this to?’

The organization of the United Nations, when it’s been set up,’ answered Father. It was the first time I’d ever heard of this plan. ‘How else?’ I asked Father. ‘The Big Four — ourselves, Britain, China, the Soviet Union — we’ll be responsible for the peace of the world after. …

‘… It’s already high time for us to be thinking of the future, building for it. … These great powers will have to assume the tasks of bringing education, raising the standards of living, improving the health conditions — of all the backward, depressed colonial areas of the world.

And when they’ve had a chance to reach maturity, they must have the opportunity extended them of independence. After the United Nations as a whole have decided that they are prepared for it.

If this isn’t done, we might as well agree that we’re in for another war.’

https://www.marxists.org/

Elliott’s book as quoted in the 17 September 1946 Look Magazine:

Father remarked,” says Elliott Roosevelt, “on how British and French financiers had dredged riches out of colonies. …” He continued later, “How do they belong to France? Why does Morocco, inhabited by Moroccans, belong to France? By what logic and custom and historical rule?”

——

Obviously, Winston Churchill’s dream came true when FDR died on 12 April 1945 and became replaced by Truman.

Among those statements by FDR, the one specifically regarding the Philippines has particular relevance today. The 1951 U.S.-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty violated what FDR had said to Churchill, “I’m glad you mentioned them. They get their independence, you know, in 1946.” That U.S. commitment, “freedom,” to the Philippine nation, had already been made. He promised to Churchill that it would be fulfilled, and that therefore Churchill would not be able to say that America is an imperialist power as England is. It was a basic commitment from him. Furthermore, FDR said:

No artificial barriers,” Father pursued. “As few favored economic agreements as possible. Opportunities for expansion. Markets open for healthy competition.” His eye wandered innocently around the room.

Churchill shifted in his armchair. “The British Empire trade agreements,” he began heavily, “are — ”

Father broke in. “Yes. Those Empire trade agreements are a case in point. It’s because of them that the people of India and Africa, of all the colonial Near East and Far East, are still as backward as they are.”

And: “‘The peace,’ said Father firmly, ‘cannot include any continued despotism. The structure of the peace demands and will get equality of peoples.’”

He linked bilateral, and also multilateral, trade treaties, to the creation of both World Wars. The United States, after his death, has used them in exactly the same way — building toward a WW III. Truman was the death of FDR’s plan. For example, Barack Obama’s proposed TTIP international-trade treaty for the Pacific was specifically designed against China, so as to isolate and diminish China in international trade — precisely the sorts of things that FDR had condemned in his statements to Churchill. Obama was an anti-FDR, pro-Truman, Democrat, who repeatedly emphasized, “The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation.” Every other nation is “dispensable.” Hitler had agreed with Obama’s view, except that in Hitler’s mind, Germany was the only indispensable nation.

In a sense, Hitler posthumously won WW II. His ideology, imperialistic fascism certainly did.

The Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, condemns U.S. imperialism and repels any dependency of his country upon the U.S. military. He explains “I have nothing against America. They’re perfectly alright. Trump is my friend. But my foreign policy has shifted from the pro-Western one. I am now working on alliance with China, and I hope to start a good working relationship with Russia. Why? Because the Western world, the EU, and everything – it’s all this double talk.”

CONSEQUENTLY:

The path forward for China will be increasingly for China to serve as a defender of the independence of the nations in its area (such as the Philippines), so that they won’t need to accept the U.S. regime’s offers of military assistance. Either this, or else China itself will cede control of its own neighborhood over to a distant enemy-nation, the ceaselessly grasping U.S. regime, and might as well just quit altogether, and become an American pawn itself.

Either all of the nations in that area will thrive together, or else the U.S.-UK alliance will succeed at crushing and swallowing-up them all.

This means that in the conflicts that China has with its nearby nations, China must grant those nations’ interests as being also China’s interests. China must accept its obligation to defend their interests in order to become enabled to assert its own. Only if this is done will those nearby nations ally with China against the U.S. Empire, not just militarily, but also in regard to commerce and trade. For China not to take on this obligation would be unacceptable, not only for China, but for the entire world. Regardless of what China wants, China has this obligation, now, to protect its region, against America’s billionaires, and their military, and their corporations.

However, the U.S. regime’s unmistakable threat now to block China’s freight-traffic through the South China Sea will succeed if China becomes the first side to attack and tries to down any U.S. forces there. Even if the U.S. strikes without warning and with no clear excuse, China will need to hold back for a while, before retaliating. The U.S. has arrayed an awesome striking force in that area. China will have to wait until the U.S. attacks it first, in any event, but now is the time for China to negotiate with its neighbors. Otherwise China will have almost the whole world against it, if China provides the bad optics of having been the first to strike.

During this time, therefore, China needs to be negotiating with each of the other regional players in order to persuade each one that only a unified facing-down against the U.S. in that region can even possibly salvage the independence of each one of them from now on. Russia may also need to be brought into the arrangement as a protector of China, just in case the U.S. turns out to be uncompromising in its intention to take over the entire world. Either Russia will soon enter this new World War that the UK-U.S. regimes are already waging, or else Russia will be forced to enter it only after Russia’s major allies will already have been swallowed-up by the U.S. The safer choice for Russia is consequently to enter the war sooner, as a guarantor for their side, their allies, the independent nations, than to enter it after those nations have already been defeated and swallowed-up.

—————

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

US Calls China the New East India Company at Sea

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July 14, 2020

US China flags

A senior US official on Tuesday likened China’s state enterprises to Britain’s colonizing East India Company as Washington takes a tougher stance against Beijing in the dispute-rife South China Sea.

A day after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo branded most of Beijing’s claims in the sea illegal, his top aide for East Asia denounced a proliferation of rigs, survey ships and fishing boats sent by Chinese state-run companies.

Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell said that oil major CNOOC and other firms were serving as “battering rams” to intimidate other nations.

“In all our societies, citizens deserve to know the differences between commercial enterprises and instruments of foreign state power,” Stilwell said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“These state enterprises are modern-day equivalents of the East India Company,” he said.

The British East India Company seized control of most of the Indian subcontinent in the guise of trading in tea, cotton, spices and other goods before Britain formally took charge in the mid-19th century.

The reference is especially loaded due to the East India Company’s role in smuggling opium into China, culminating in Britain’s 1843 colonization of Hong Kong — the start of what Beijing calls a century of humiliation.

China has recently triggered international outrage by clamping down on freedoms promised to Hong Kong before Britain handed back the financial hub in 1997.

In the latest rift between the United States and China, Pompeo on Monday sided with the Philippines, Vietnam and other Southeast Asian nations in rejecting China’s vast claims in the South China Sea.

The United States had previously said that China’s claims were unlawful but had taken no explicit position on individual disputes in the resource-rich and strategic sea.

Stilwell renewed US concerns on China’s long-running talks with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on a South China Sea code of conduct, whose target date of next year has been pushed back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Beijing may have backed off its arbitrary 2021 deadline for concluding the talks, but its hegemonic goals remain,” Stilwell said.

While the United States has no claims in the sea, he warned that US interests were “clearly at stake” in the code of conduct.

“A code of conduct that in any way legitimates Beijing’s reclamation, militarization or unlawful maritime claims would be severely damaging, and unacceptable for many nations,” he said.

Source: AFP

Kazakhstan may hold the secret for Greater Eurasia

Source

July 06, 2020

Kazakhstan may hold the secret for Greater Eurasia

Submitted by Pepe Escobar – source Asia Times

The no holds barred US-China strategic competition may be leading us to the complete fragmentation of the current “world-system” – as Wallerstein defined it.

Yet compared to the South China Sea, the Korean peninsula, the Taiwan Straits, India-China’s Himalayan border, and selected latitudes of the Greater Middle East, Central Asia shines as a portrait of stability.

That’s quite intriguing, when we consider that the chessboard reveals the interests of top global players intersecting right in the heart of Eurasia.

And that brings us to a key question: How could Kazakhstan, the 9th largest country in the world, manage to remain neutral in the current, incandescent geopolitical juncture? What are the lineaments of what could be described as the Kazakh paradox?

These questions were somewhat answered by the office of First President Nursultan Nazarbayev. I had discussed some of them with analysts when I was in Kazakhstan late last year. Nazarbayev could not answer them directly because he has just recently recovered from Covid-19 and is currently in self-isolation.

It all harks back to what was Kazakhstan really like when the USSR dissolved in 1991. The Kazakhs inherited a quite complex ethno-demographic structure, with the Russian-speaking population concentrated in the north; unresolved territorial issues with China; and geographical proximity to extremely unstable Afghanistan, then in a lull before the all-out warlord conflagration of the early 1990s which created the conditions for the emergence of the Taliban.

To make it even harder, Kazakhstan was landlocked.

All of the above might have led to Kazakhstan either dispatched to political limbo or mired in a perpetual Balkan scenario.

Have soft power, will travel

Enter Nazarbayev as a fine political strategist. From the beginning, he saw Kazakhstan as a key player, not a pawn, in the Grand Chessboard in Eurasia.

A good example was setting up the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building measures in Asia (CICA) in 1992, based on the principle of “indivisibility of Asian security”, later proposed to the whole of Eurasia.

Nazarbayev also made the crucial decision to abandon what was at the time the fourth nuclear missile potential on the planet – and a major trump card in international relations. Every major player in the arc from the Middle East to Central Asia knew that selected Islamic nations were extremely interested in Kazakhstan’s nuclear arsenal.

Nazarbayev bet on soft power instead of nuclear power. Unlike the DPRK, for instance, he privileged Kazakhstan’s integration in the global economy in favorable terms instead of relying on nuclear power to establish national security. He was certainly paving the way for Kazakhstan to be regarded as a trustworthy, get down to business neutral player and a mediator in international relations.

The trust and goodwill towards Kazakhstan is something I have seen for myself in my pan-Eurasia travels and in conversations with analysts from Turkey and Lebanon to Russia and India.

The best current example is Astana, currently Nur-sultan, becoming the HQ of that complex work in progress: the Syrian peace process, coordinated by Iran, Turkey and Russia – following the crucial, successful Kazakh mediation to solve the Moscow-Ankara standoff after the downing of a Sukhoi Su-24M near the Syria-Turkish border in November 2015.

And on the turbulent matter of Ukraine post-Maidan in 2014, Kazakhstan simultaneously kept good relations with Kiev and the West and its strategic partnership with Russia.

As I discussed late last year, Nur-sultan is now actively taking the role of the new Geneva: the capital of diplomacy for the 21st century.

The secret of this Kazakh paradox is the capacity of delicately balancing relations with the three main players – Russia, China and the US – as well as leading regional powers. Nazarbayev’s office boldly argues that can be even translated to Nur-sultan placed as the ideal venue for US-China negotiations: “We are tightly embedded in the US-China-Russia triangle and have built trusting relationships with each of them.”

In the heart of Eurasia

And that brings us to why Kazakhstan – and Nazarbayev personally – are so much involved in promoting their special concept of Greater Eurasia – which overlaps with the Russian vision, discussed in extensive detail at the Valdai Club.

Nazarbayev managed to set a paradigm in which none of the big players feel compelled to exercize a monopoly on Kazak maneuvering. That inevitably led Kazakhstan to expand its foreign policy reach.

Strategically, Kazakhstan is smack in the geographical heart of Eurasia, with huge borders with Russia and China, as well as Iran in the Caspian Sea. Its territory is no less than a top strategic bridge uniting the whole of Eurasia.

The Kazakh approach goes way beyond connectivity (trade and transport), two key planks of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), to get closer to the converging vision of BRI and the Russian-led Eurasia Economic Union (EAEU): a single, integrated Eurasian space.

Nazarbayev sees the integration of the Central Asian “stans” with Russia and with Turkic-speaking countries, including of course Turkey, as the foundation for his concept of Greater Eurasia.

The inevitable corollary is that the Atlanticist order – as well as the Anglo-American predominance in international relations – is waning, and certainly does not suit Asia and Eurasia. A consensus is forming across many key latitudes that the driving force for the reboot of the global economy post-Covid-19 – and even a new paradigm – will come from Asia.

In parallel, Nazarbayev’s office make a crucial point: “A purely Asian or Eastern answer is unlikely to suit the collective West, which is also in search of optimal models of the world’s structure. The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative clearly showed that Western countries are not psychologically ready to see China as a leader.”

Nur-sultan nonetheless remains convinced that the only possible solution would be exactly a new paradigm in international relations. Nazarbayev argues that the keys to solve the current turmoil are not located in Moscow, Beijing or Washington, but in a strategic transit node, like Kazakhstan, where the interests of all global players intersect.

Thus the push for Kazakhstan – one of the key crossroads between Europe and Asia, alongside Turkey and Iran – to become the optimal mediator allowing Greater Eurasia to flourish in practice. That is the uplifting option: otherwise, we seem condemned to live through another Cold War.

Central Downtown Nur-Sultan: in center Bayterek tower

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