Tuesday 24th of May 2022

US to foment fresh trouble around the South China Sea...

demondemon

As part of its strategy to develop a global coalition against China in and around the Indo-Pacific, the US has been, for past many years, paying very close attention to what can be called ‘territorial flashpoints’ surrounding China – Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang – to demonise and delegitimise China as a global power.

 

Tapping into existing internal/regional tensions with a view to creating a space for Washington to play its role as an external balancer, or a dominant ally of states fearing a “dominant” China, is a key part of the US Indo-Pacific strategy. Its most recent manifestation is a 47 page paper published in January 2022 by the US State Department.

 

“Limits in the Seas” shows how the US is likely to foment fresh trouble around the South China Sea to achieve its dominant role. At the same time, the fact that the US continues to publish policy papers that focus solely on military related problems and does not have a real, feasible economic programme to offer to the Indo-Pacific states means that the US, unlike China, has a very little chance of creating a relationship that offers mutual interdependence rather than a one-way offer of “protection” against China – a policy unlikely to last beyond few years.

Even though the Biden administration campaigned on the basis of being “different” to the Trump administration in all aspects of politics, including foreign policy, China – and the Indo-Pacific – is one key issue where the Biden administration is faithfully following in the footsteps of its predecessor. In this context, the 47 page policy paper broadly reflects what Mike Pompeo called in his July 2020 visit to Laos the US resolve to not “allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire.” Stamping the US as the only guarantee against the Southeast Asian states’ sovereignty, Mike said that “America stands with our Southeast Asian allies and partners in protecting their sovereign rights to offshore resources, consistent with their rights and obligations under international law.”

The latest State Department policy builds on the role Mike Pompeo dreamt of. Detailing the “unlawful claims” of China, the paper concludes,

“The PRC’s claims to sovereignty over maritime features that do not meet the international law definition of an “island” and fall entirely beyond a lawful territorial sea are inconsistent with international law and not recognized by the United States and other States.”

The US State Department, acting as a self-appointed judge of South China Sea, gives a verdict that extends China’s “unlawful” claims to other areas as well, including Beijing’s “asserted intention to establish baselines around other “island groups” in the South China”, China’s “claim to maritime zones “based on Nanhai Zhudao”, China’s claim to “historic rights in the South China Sea.”

The “judgment” comes not only at a time when the US is increasingly engaged in an ideological competition with Beijing, but its persistent efforts to advertise Beijing as a threat to the US-led international order have failed to garner the support it hoped it will receive from across the world. As it stands, even in as sensitive regions as Taiwan, the fear of Chinese aggression is on the decline, even though the Biden administration has been trying to convince Taiwanese of an immediate “Chinese invasion.”

As a recent poll published by Taiwan’s Commonwealth Magazine shows, about 64 per cent of Taiwanese believe that a war with China will not breakout across the Taiwan Strait within a year. This figure is 15.4 per cent higher than in last years’ survey, indicating that all US warnings of a “Chinese invasion” have completely failed to change public opinion against China.

It was only in December 2021 when the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, warmed of “terrible consequences” if China invades Taiwan. Referring to an earlier statement by Taiwan defence minister that China could invade Taiwan by 2025, Blinken said that the US was/is “resolutely committed” to protecting Taiwan.

Despite the warnings, the trend indicated in the survey actually shows that the US-Taiwan propaganda about Chinese invasion is falling on deaf ears, as more and more people join a huge lot of people that does not actually see a Chinese invasion at all.

But while the US needs to support Taiwan against China for geo-political reasons, it remains that the US, by projecting an imminent “Chinese invasion”, immensely benefits economically. The US sells billions of dollars in weaponry to Taiwan. Facts speak for themselves:

In 2021, the Biden administration approved a US$750 million deal to sell high-tech munition kits to Taiwan with a view to what the US called bringing stability in the region by sending a signal to China of America’s commitment to Taiwan’s security. In October 2020, the Trump administration confirmed the sale of different weapon systems – sensors, missiles and artillery – to Taiwan that have a total value of US$1.8 billion. In 2010, the US approved a US$6.4-billion arms sale to Taiwan which included assets such as PAC-3 surface- to-air missiles and upgrades to Taiwan’s F-16 fighter fleet. Prior to this, the George W Bush administration offered to sell Taiwan roughly $18 billion of equipment in 2001, including diesel electric submarines.

So, the US rhetoric to “contain” China boils down, in many ways, to economics i.e., US sales of weapon systems to all “territorial flashpoints” that involve China. Wittingly or unwittingly, the US policy will fail to allow for a long-term US entrenchment in the Indo-Pacific, for the fast changing public opinion vis-à-vis China shows that the US and its allies in Taiwan will no longer be able to profit from it. While China does want to reunify Taiwan, an unreal US/Taiwan government’ insistence on an actual invasion could very well backfire, further changing the public opinion vis-à-vis both China and the US/its Taiwanese allies.

This possibility extends not just to Taiwan, but to a host of other Indo-Pacific states that the US thinks are facing a threat from China. In reality, what China has done, despite tensions in the South China Sea, is integrate the region economically via the world’s largest trade pact, the Regional Economic Comprehensive Partnership. Seeing the potential of integration and economic interdependence, the space for military conflict will continue to shrink, resulting in fewer and fewer openings for the US to insert itself in the region and exploit for geo-political and economic benefits.

 

 

Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

Read more:

https://journal-neo.org/2022/01/20/the-biden-administration-heats-up-the-south-china-sea/

 

 

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a xi parable...

A collective West “led” by unspeakable mediocrities looks at the Russia-China strategic partnership as if it was something like a double-headed Anti-Christ. Xi, for his part, seems not to be impressed.

The virtual, special address by President Xi Jinping to the World Economic Forum’s 2022 Davos Agenda exhibits all the elements of a riddle inside an enigma.

At first, it certainly could be interpreted as a simultaneous message to the Empire of Chaos and global public opinion.

Much more than prescribing “effective doses against unilateralism, decoupling and ideological antagonism” – not so subtle allusions to the usual suspects – Xi most of all positioned China as the indispensable driver of Globalization 2.0.

The address was simultaneous to the announcement of China’s GDP growth at 8.1% in 2021 and commodity trading reaching new highs: the center of global manufacturing is the world’s biggest exporter for the 8th consecutive year.

The implementation of the word’s largest free-trade zone, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) across Asia-Pacific, will just solidify the trend.

Trade with the myriad partner nations of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) increased by 23.6% – and that essentially means increased Global South trade. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China increased by 20.2% in dollar terms: once again, as in 2020, China was the top FDI destination on the planet.

The whole trade/commerce landscape should even improve in 2022 when the China-EU Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) is fully ratified. France, currently presiding the EU Council, is manifestly in favor.

Compounding the trends, China’s GDP per capita has reached $12,551, crucially above the notorious “middle income trap”; above the global average GDP per capita; and now entering “high-income country” territory, as defined by the World Bank.

Xi’s key message, when it comes to addressing “Davos Man” – the trademark WEF audience – was unmistakable: China is and will continue to remain the safest of havens for global Capital. The Masters of the Universe – from BlackRock down – duly nodded their approval.

But then, there are “countercurrents”. And that ominous, imminent global economy crisis.

 

Take me to the river

Now we enter the deeper enigma of how interpenetrated Xi’s vision and the Davos agenda may, or may not, be.

Xi’s main theme is multilateralism. And that’s the context in which he introduced his rich “countercurrents” metaphor. Xi de facto held the collective West as “countercurrents” in the river of History – incapable of stopping its inexorable flow to the sea.

Yet these “countercurrents”, as Xi defines them, are not merely trying to stop the flow of economic globalization. He leaves it subtly implied they are trying to stop the flow of Globalization 2.0 as led by China: a very strong economy working in tandem with an arguably successful “zero Covid” policy.

He didn’t even have to refer to the West. He just needed to suggest that China forged its own way to tackle the current challenges. And the Chinese way beats the West’s.

The global economy is being confronted, across the board, by manpower shortages – from harvest workers to truck drivers to supermarket cashiers. Costs for everything from raw materials to container shipping went through the roof. Supply chains are horribly over-extended and in many cases broken.

The hegemonic narrative blames exclusively the proverbial Covid-19 variants for the very real possibility of causing the mother of all supply chain breakdowns that may hit most of the planet in 2022.

In contrast, variants of guerrilla analysis sustain that the global economy is being deliberately being driven over the cliff. The supply chain breakdown is being facilitated by the multi-restriction “war on Covid” – which directly subverts production, trade and services.

Global Capital would never allow a comprehensive public debate about the toxic role of the financial system – which has been kept under artificial respiration since 2008, with central banks unleashing storms of helicopter money, inflating real state markets, stocks, precious metal prices. In real life, what’s nearly inevitable next in the horizon is the bursting of a massive stock and real estate bubble all across the West.

A de facto collapse of the global economy would provide the ultimate “opportunity” (Klaus Schwab’s terminology) for the WEF’s Great Reset – which remains the real Davos Agenda. But according to the hegemonic gospel, that would happen because of Covid – not because of the implosion of the financial casino.

For nearly two years, we have been living through the progressive enshrinement of techno-feudalism – one of the overarching themes of my latest book, Raging Twenties.

In lightning speed, the techno-feudalism virus metastasized into an even more lethal, wilderness of mirrors variant, with cancel culture enforced by Big Tech all across the spectrum and science routinely debased as fake news across social media.

The average citizen remains discombobulated to the point of lobotomy. Giorgio Agamben defined the whole process as a new totalitarianism.

 

What does Capital really want?

It’s open to debate to what extent Xi actually endorses the ultimate “opportunity” offered by Covid-19: a Great Reset that essentially refers to the replacement of a dwindling manufacturing base by automation, in tandem with a reset of the financial system.

The concomitant wishful thinking envisages a global economy that will “move closer to a cleaner capitalist model”, as embodied, for instance, in the delightfully benign Council for Inclusive Capitalism in partnership with the Catholic Church.

It was up to William Engdahl to ask the crucial question: Will the Federal Reserve Crash Global Financial Markets As a Means to Implementing Their “Great Reset”?

Xi using Davos as a convenient P.R. platform does not necessarily mean China subscribes to the Davos Agenda. Davos, after all, has nothing to do with multilateralism.

Last December, the WEF actually postponed Davos 2022 from January to early summer. It remains to be seen whether this may have something to do with the advent of Cyber Polygon, a cyber pandemic gamed by the WEF in July 2021.

 

Herr Schwab himself defined it as “a comprehensive cyber-attack [that] could bring a complete halt to the power supply, transportation, hospital services, our society as a whole. The Covid-19 crisis would be seen in this respect as a small disturbance in comparison to a major cyber-attack.”

So our current – global – predicament may be just a “small disturbance” compared to what comes next. And has already been gamed.

No one, from Zeus to Shiva, knows what comes next – apart from NATO expanding to outer space. Yet it’s very telling that the distinct possibility of a global economic crash – while Xi promotes Globalization 2.0 led by China – is happening simultaneously to

NATO provoking Russia into war and the US demonizing China to Kingdom Come.

A collective West “led” by unspeakable mediocrities looks at the Russia-China strategic partnership as if it was something like a double-headed Anti-Christ. Xi, for his part, seems not to be impressed: watching the river flow, like a Taoist Bob Dylan, he has just dismissed these mere “countercurrents” with a wave of his hand.

 

Read more:

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/mr-xi-plays-davos-man/

 

orginal link: Strategic Culture Foundation

 

 

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the shell games...

 

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irresponsible SMH...

 

By Paul Keating

 

Australia’s foreign and defence ministers are giving respectability to Britain’s lunge for old-time glory.

Remarks by the British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss that China could engage in military aggression in the Pacific, encouraged by Russia’s contingent moves against Ukraine, are nothing short of demented.

Not simply irrational, demented.

And this piece of nonsense by Truss commanded the front pages of The Sydney
Morning Herald in a piece written by the press gallery’s most  celebrated beat-up merchant, Peter Hartcher.

Truss said such a move by China  ‘could not be ruled out’.

And on those fleeting words, Hartcher pounced, carrying the notion to the readership of the Herald — and the Melbourne Age — that China and Russia are working in concert, justifying the headline, that ‘China could follow Russia into war’.

The irresponsibility of the story and Hartcher’s writing of it is breathtaking.

But it is a measure of how far the Herald has sunk in accommodating
Hartcher’s extreme and unworldly positions — especially as they relate to China.

The underlying story is the government’s desperate promotion of Britain as a
strategic partner of Australia in a policy of containment of China.

The reality is Britain does not add up to a row of beans when it comes to East
Asia. Britain took its main battle fleet out of East Asia in 1904 and finally
packed it in with its ‘East of Suez’ policy in the 1970s. And it has never been
back.

Britain suffers delusions of grandeur and relevance deprivation.
But there they were at Admiralty House kidding the rest of us that their
‘co-operation’ added up to some viable policy.

Australia’s great Foreign ‘non minister’, Marise Payne, supported by the increasingly strident Defence Minister Peter Dutton, standing beside the British Foreign Secretary looking wistfully for Britain’s lost worlds of the 19th and 20th centuries. Really.

Truss would do us all a favour by hightailing it back to her collapsing, disreputable government, leaving Australia to find its own way in Asia.

Xi Jinping told the audience at Davos this week that ‘major economies should
see the world as one community’.

Hardly the sort of sentiment that sits contemporaneously with someone about to spring an aggressive military action. A point perhaps way too subtle for the Herald.

 

Read more:

https://johnmenadue.com/herald-indulges-uk-foreign-secretarys-demented-remarks-on-china/

 

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GusNote: Liz Truss is also responsible for this :

Surprise!!!!...

 

Note: most of the Western media plays as if UKRAINE was united... IT's NOT.  The report from Ukraine on the ABC (coming from the BBC, I guess?) was a disgrace of one-way traffic as if 100 % Ukrainians were on the same side. WE KNOW THEY ARE NOT. Watch Surprise!!!! again. Not only this, Ukraine only survives form hand out of cash and weapons from the USA to support its ultra-right wing fascist Nazis... The West is beyond news. Here is the Gus cartoon again:

 

fury...fury...

 

 

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common sense...

 

 

Kay-Achim Schönbach, a Vice-Admiral in the German Navy, has resigned after backlash over comments he made on Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Crimea Peninsula. 

The comments that led to Schönbach's resignation came on a trip to India. Speaking at the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Schönbach spoke about Russian President Vladimir Putin.

 

He believes that "What he really wants is respect," and added, "My God, giving someone respect is low cost, even no cost. ... It is easy to give him the respect he really demands — and probably also deserves."

 

Schönbach's next comments, pertaining to Ukrainian-Russian relations, created a diplomatic incident. 

 

"The Crimea Peninsula is gone: It will never come back — this is a fact," said Schönbach. 

 

"Does Russia really wants a small tiny strip of Ukraine soil? Or integrate in the country, no this is nonsense..Putin is probably puting pressure, cz he knows he can do it & it splits the EU..but what he really wants is high level respect", says German Navy Chief in Delhi https://t.co/qDeqQp408X pic.twitter.com/MICZ0O7U78

— Sidhant Sibal (@sidhant) January 21, 2022

 

The statement is in sharp contrast to the stance taken by the European Union and the United States and their allies. Their official stance is Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimea Peninsula was unacceptable and must be reversed.

 

Read more:

 

https://sputniknews.com/20220122/german-naval-chief-reportedly-resigns-after-backlash-over-remarks-on-putin-crimean-peninsula-1092455983.html

 

 

Vice-Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach has common sense and understanding of history... ALL THE OTHERS IN EUROPE AND THE USA ARE FOOLS. Dangerous fools...

 

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the anti-china racket...

The use by China critics of a tennis player’s broken relationship with a senior party official to paint the regime in Beijing as evil is absurd.

 

China bashing has just got a lot easier. Now you do not have to go all the way to Xinjiang or Tibet to find atrocity stories. All you need do is invent stories about high officials in Beijing sexually assaulting their tennis partners.

Over the years Beijing has been accused of everything from inventing water torture to organising the Vietnam War. (Meanwhile real atrocities such as the 1966-71 Cultural Revolution are largely ignored – too difficult to understand.) But there has been little to compare with the distortions needed to create the Peng Shuai affair, making it look as if the Chinese tennis champion had denounced a senior party official for assaulting her sexually – a denunciation she was then supposedly forced to retract.

Peng is a tennis player who, in her own words on the widely used Chinese messaging app Weibo, began an affair 10 years ago with a tennis-playing senior party official, Zhang Kaoli. He abruptly halted the affair after three years when he was promoted to the Politburo Standing Committee.

Four years later, Zhang invites Peng to his house to have dinner with his wife. He takes her aside and says he wants to resume the relationship. She says she is confused, and not just because of the presence of his wife (who, it turns out, has no objection). Peng is still angry about the way he treated her four years earlier. But eventually that evening she gives in. In her own words, addressed to Zhang and taken from the translated Weibo post: “Taking into consideration the affection I had for you seven years ago, I agreed… yes, we had sex. Romantic attraction is such a complicated thing to explain it clearly. From that day on, I renewed my love for you.”

Again, in her own words: “Throughout my time with you after that, purely based on our interactions, you were a very good person, and you treated me well… We talked about things from modern history to ancient times. You talked to me about the knowledge of all things, from economics to philosophy, an endless number of topics. Together, we played chess, sang songs, played table tennis and billiards. And when we played tennis, we could always play to the point of bliss. Our personalities were so harmonious that it seemed as if everything fit together perfectly.”

Does any of this sound like gross sexual intimidation? And how could it possibly be faked, as the critics claim?

Recently, however, the relationship began to go south. Some time in December, after a fierce argument, Zhang, now vice-premier, cut off all contact. She then decided to post her Weibo message, which the messaging app soon deleted.

Somehow, all this is supposed to prove the Chinese regime is evil. But Peng herself admits to having had a genuinely friendly, consensual relationship with the politician 40 years older than herself. As for Weibo deleting the post, do Western messaging apps allow these kinds of messages to remain on display?

But that does not stop the agitation in the West’s anti-China media. The New York Times ran a condemnatory half-page article plus an editorial pointing out the inherent evil of all communist regimes. According to a writer in Britain’s The Spectator magazine: “The chances are that Peng Shuai has been put under house arrest since her explosive statement, with every means of independent communication taken away from her.”

Even The Sydney Morning Herald with its daily diet of domestic scandals was shocked. And the Women’s Tennis Association announced it was suspending all of its tournaments in China.

Peng, we were told, “has been seen only sporadically in public since she levelled an accusation of sexual assault against a senior party official”. Sexual assault? Peng has written that she wants some quiet time to get her life back in place. But that is supposed to be a deliberate move by the regime to silence her. When she came out to sign tennis balls, this too was a regime plot.

Have the anti-China media finally gone bananas? Did they actually read the Weibo story? It is a moving description of a woman’s feelings after a much older man has broken their long-standing relationship – a deep cry for public understanding and sympathy after having been, in her own translated words, dumped.

By all means accuse Zhang over the crude and rude way he twice broke the 10-year affair. But that hardly adds up to something more evil than what often occurs in the corridors of power in Australia or the US, where politicians use their positions to take advantage of female staff.

The laboured efforts to convince us that Peng has since been silenced are equally unconvincing. Caught at an airport by a Singapore TV news outlet, she showed genuine surprise and annoyance about the fuss being made over her Weibo remarks and asked to be left in peace. But even this impromptu appearance, and her obviously genuine remarks (in Chinese), were forced or faked, the critics insist.

There has to be a limit to which people are allowed to distort for political purposes a woman’s deep and poetically described grief over the way a much older man twice won and then discarded her affections. The Peng Shuai affair goes well beyond that limit.

 

Read more:

https://johnmenadue.com/the-peng-shuai-affair-the-wests-reaction-should-be-laughed-out-of-court/

 

Meanwhile, women in Kanbra.......

 

 

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