Thursday 29th of February 2024

improving the wealth of chinese citizens remains a key priority.......

The New Silk Roads, or BRI, as well as the integration efforts of BRICS+, the SCO and the EAEU will be on the forefront of Chinese policy.

Liu He studied economics at Renmin University in China and got a Master’s from Harvard. Since 2018, he’s one of China’s Vice Premiers – along with Han Zheng, Sun Chunlan, and Hu Chunhua. He’s a Director of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission and heads the China Financial Stability and Development Committee. Anyone around the world who wants to know what will drive China’s economy in the Year of the Rabbit must pay attention to Liu He.

 

BY PEPE ESCOBAR

 

Davos 2023 has come and gone: an extended exercise in Demented Dystopia with peaks of paroxysm. At least a measure of reality was offered by Liu He’s address. A limited but competent analysis of what he said is infinitely more useful than torrents of barely disguised Sinophobic “research” vomited by U.S. Think Tankland.

Liu He pointed to some key numbers for the Chinese economy in 2022. Overall 3% growth may not be groundbreaking; but what matters is value-added for high-tech manufacturing and equipment manufacturing going up by 7.4% and 5.6% respectively. What this means is that Chinese industrial capacity continues to move up the value chain.

Trade, predictably, reigns supreme: the total value of imports and exports reached the equivalent of $6,215 trillion in 2022; that’s an increase of 7.7% over 2021.

Liu He also made it clear that improving the wealth of Chinese citizens remains a key priority, as enounced in the 2022 Party Congress: the number of middle class Chinese, by 2035, should jump from the current 400 million to an astonishing 900 million.

Liu He pointedly explained that everything about Chinese reforms revolves around the notion of establishing “a socialist market economy”. This translates as “let the market play a decisive role in resources allocation, let the government play a better role.” That has absolutely nothing to do with Beijing privileging a planned economy. As Liu He detailed, “we will deepen SOE [State-Owned Enterprises] reform, support the private sector, and promote fair competition, anti-monopoly and entrepreneurship.”

China is reaching the next level, economically: that translates as building, as fast as possible, an innovation-driven commercial base. Specific targets include finance, tech, and greater productivity in industry, as in applying more robotics.

On the fin-tech front, a resurgent Hong Kong is bound to play an extremely important role starting by 2024 – most of it in consequence of several Wealth Management Connect mechanisms.

Enter, or re-enter the key role of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area – one the key development nodes of 21st century China.

What is known as the Greater Bay Area’s Wealth Management Connect is a set up that allows wealthy investors from the nine mainland cities that compose the area to invest in yuan-denominated financial products issued by banks in Hong Kong and Macao – and vice-versa. What this means in practice is opening up mainland China’s financial markets even further.

So expect a new Hong Kong boom by 2025. All those dejected by the collective West’s morass, start making plans.

Dual circulation hits Eurasia

As expected, Liu He also referred to the key Beijing strategy for this decade: “A new development paradigm with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international circulations reinforcing each other.”

The dual-circulation strategy reflects the Beijing leadership’s emphasis on simultaneously boosting China’s self-reliance and its vast export market footprint. Virtually every government policy is about dual circulation. When Liu He talks about “spurring of China’s domestic demand” he’s sending a direct message to global exporters – Eastern and Western – focusing on this ever-growing, gigantic mass of Chinese middle class consumers.

On the geopolitical and geoeconomic Big Picture, Liu He was diplomatically circumspect. He just let it filter that “we believe that an equitable international economic order must be preserved by all.”

Translation: the New Silk Roads, or BRI, as well as the integration efforts of BRICS+, the SCO and the EAEU will be on the forefront of Chinese policy.

And that brings us to what should become one of the key stories of the Year of the Rabbit: the renewed drive along the New Silk Roads.

Few better than the Chinese, historically, understand that from Samarkand to Venice, from Bukhara to Guangzhou, from Palmyra to Alexandria, from the Karakoram to the Hindu Kush, from deserts that used to engulf caravans to gardens of secluded harems, a formidable pull of economic, political, cultural and religious factors not only linked the extremities of Eurasia – from the Mediterranean to China – but determine and will continue to determine its centuries-old history.

The Ancient Silk Roads were not only about silk but also spices, porcelain, precious tones, fur, gold, tea, glass, slaves, concubines, war, knowledge, plagues – and that’s how they turned into the symbol of Eurasia-wide “people to people exchanges”, as Xi Jinping and the Beijing leadership extol it today.

These processes involve archeology, economics, history, musicology, compared mythology; so, keeping up with the past, the New Silk Roads also mean all manner of exchanges between East and West. The perpetual history of non-stop trade, in this case, is only the material base, a pretext.

Before silk there was lapis lazuli, copper, incense. Even if China may have only opened itself to the outside world on the 2nd century B.C. – because of silk – Chinese tradition, in the oldest Chinese novel, The Chronicle of the Son of Heaven Mu, tells the tale of Emperor Mu visiting the Queen of Sheba already in the 10th century B.C.

The exchanges between Europe and China may have started only in the 1stcentury B.C. The men who actually traversed the Eurasian immensities were actually few. It’s only in the year 98 that the Chinese ambassadorship of Gan Ying departs for Da Qin – that is, Rome. He never arrived.

In the year 166, the Antoninus Pius ambassadorship, allegedly sent by the Emperor himself, finally hits China; but in fact that’s just an adventurous merchant. For 13 centuries there was a huge exploratory void.

Despite the prodigious advances of Islam and the omnipresence of Muslim merchants since the 7th century, it’s only in the 13th century – at the time of the last Crusades and the Mongol conquest – that Europeans picked up again the road towards the East. And then, on the 15th century, the Ming emperors succeeding the Mongols totally closed China to the outside world.

It’s only due to a certain extent to the Jesuits in the 16th century that a meeting finally happened – 17 centuries too late: Europe finally started to acquire some knowledge of China, even as it dreamed about it over and over again, since chic Roman patricians were enveloped in transparent silk robes.

It’s only around 1600 that Europeans seem to have become aware that Northern China and Southern China are on the same continent. So we may conclude that China really became known in the West only after the “discovery” of the Americas.

Two worlds ignored each other for so long – and still, all along the watchtowers in the middle of the steppes, trade kept moving from one side of Eurasia to another.

Now it’s time for another historical push – even as a discombobulated Europe is kept hostage by a cabal of imperial Straussian neo-cons and neoliberal-cons. Duisburg, in the Rhur valley, the world’s largest inland port, after all remains the key Iron Silk Road hub across BRI, linked by endless railways to Chongqing in China. Wake up, Young German: your future is in the East.

 

READ MORE:

 https://strategic-culture.org/news/2023/01/24/can-you-smell-what-year-rabbit-is-cooking/

 

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exorbitant privilege......

 

By Guest author Tim Beal

 

It is not just pride which motivates the US elite’s fear of China and of multipolarity. Their ‘exorbitant privilege’ rests on power conferred by hegemony. The struggle of Australia, and countries around the world, to reclaim sovereignty in resistance to that power will be difficult because so much hinges on it.

Mike Gilligan incisively and authoritatively eviscerates Australia’s subservience to the US in relation to China, its ceding of sovereignty, and the consequences thereof. However he treats much too lightly what’s in it for America when he writes, ‘America’s territory is not threatened by China. Its pride is. America is picking a fight to preserve its global domination as it sees it’.

Pride there certainly is, and arrogance and hubris. The American empire is the greatest the world has ever seen and its reach and power is enormous.

However there are deeper currents within the river of world events. For American hegemony the struggle is existential, and without hegemony the United States will be much diminished and poorer; it will have to live within its means rather than drawing sustenance from its empire.

Hegemonic power has various dimensions – political, military, ideational, economic and financial. The US is being challenged, indeed is faltering, in each of these in various ways and to differing degrees.

The Ukraine war, which was the result of the extension of hegemony through NATO expansion aimed at the depowering of Russia, has exacerbated difficulties and revealed shortcomings in this multi-dimensional power structure.

Whilst the media has constantly boasted of the isolation of Russia that, in fact, has not happened but the limitations of US influence have become apparent – The West Is With Ukraine. The Rest, Not So Much.

The proxy war in Ukraine against Russia has exposed significant military problems for the US. As Alex Vershinin pointed out in a seminal article, the Ukraine conflict sees the return of industrial warfare, demanding huge amounts of arms and ammunition. Because of offshoring of production to China and other places beyond the inner imperial space facilitated by globalisation and driven by financialisaton the Collective Westhas become hollowed out and cannot produce the quantities needed even to prosecute a limited proxy war. Hence the shortages of materiel and munitions, and the transfers from NATO national armouries and beyond, and from US bases in Israel and South Korea.

In some ways the ideational dimension has held up best. The mainstream media is replete with war propaganda with very little access allowed to informed comment – hence the importance of oases of dissenting realism such as Pearls and Irritations. Putin has been transformed from a foreign leader reluctantly accepted, as exemplified by him being Time Magazine’s Person of the Year in 2007, to today’s cartoonish embodiment of all things evil. This portrayal is widely embraced in the West, but not so much beyond, another indicator of America’s waning power.

These dimensions – political, military, ideational – are primarily instruments of power. The economic and financial are that, but they are also where the advantages of power are harvested.

At the beginning of 2022 Biden was boasting that sanctions would bring Russia to its knees. A year later it is clear that although Russia has been hurt, its resilience has also been strengthened. In Russia Putin is very popular (81% in December 2022, much more than any Western leader) and daily life goes on with minor irritations but optimism. Europe suffers most and the rise in energy prices caused by cutting it off from Russian supplies is making energy-intensive industry unsustainable resulting in relocation, some as in the case of BASF to China, but also to the US itself where energy is cheaper. This process has been facilitated by the Inflation Reduction Act which gives subsidies to companies relocating from Europe. European leaders may fume, but they are impotent. And so the harvesting proceeds.

The US controls much of the world’s financial superstructure such as banking and insurance, and the capstone is the dominant position of the US dollar as the currency of trade and reserve.

There are those who argue that dollar hegemony is a burden which the US should shed. Tilford and Kundnaniwriting in Foreign Affairs dismiss Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s complaint that dollar hegemony ‘gave the United States an “exorbitant privilege” to borrow cheaply from the rest of the world and live beyond its means.’ Not so, they respond:

The dollar’s dominance stems from the demand for it around the world. Foreign capital flows into the United States because it is a safe place to put money … and they cause the United States to run a large current account deficit. In other words, the United States is not so much living beyond its means as accommodating the world’s excess capital.

Some might suggest that the US is a safe haven precisely because it makes so much of the rest of the world unsafe through invasions, sanctions and, in the case of Afghanistan and Russia in the last year, of seizing foreign holdings.

It may come as no surprise that Tilford and Kundnani are very much in a minority and that the prevailing opinion, amongst friends and adversaries alike, is that dollar hegemony accords the United States huge benefit. Examples range from former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to President Putin, and in between people as varied as French academic Emmanuel Todd, Credit Suisse economist Zoltan Pozsar, Arab journalist Janna Kadri, North American academics James K. GalbraithRadhika Desai and Michael Hudson, Belgian businessman Gilbert Doctorow, and a host of others, including many contributors to Pearls and Irritations. Naturally the analyses, perceptions, and hopes vary but the consensus is that dollar hegemony, and its demise, dedollarisation, are crucial issues.

Gilligan is right about the US using Australia as a pawn against China. But it is not just pride which motivates the US elite’s fear of China and of multipolarity. Their ‘exorbitant privilege’ rests on power and the struggle of Australia, and countries around the world, to reclaim sovereignty in resistance to that power will be difficult because so much hinges on it. Exorbitant privilege is not relinquished lightly.

 

READ MORE:

https://johnmenadue.com/pride-power-and-exorbitant-privilege-theres-more-to-us-decline-than-loss-of-face/

 

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SEE ALSO (PUBLISHED 2009): 

the heartland explained...

 

 

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wrong premise......

China could be at war with the United States two years from now, a top Air Force general predicted in a bombastic and unusual memo to troops under his command, asserting a significantly shorter timeline before potential conflict than any other senior U.S. defense official to date.

 

WRONG: THE UNITED STATES COULD BE AT WAR WITH CHINA, IF THE AMERICAN EMPIRE CHOOSES TO....

 

Gen. Michael A. Minihan [NINIBRAINS], who as head of Air Mobility Command oversees the service’s fleet of transport and refueling aircraft, warned personnel to speed their preparations for a potential conflict, citing Chinese President Xi Jinping’s aspirations and the possibility that Americans will not be paying attention until it is too late.

“I hope I am wrong,” Minihan wrote. “My gut tells me we will fight in 2025. Xi secured his third term and set his war council in October 2022. Taiwan’s presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a reason. United States’ presidential elections are in 2024 and will offer Xi a distracted America. Xi’s team, reason, and opportunity are all aligned for 2025.”

 

Minihan then directs airmen who are qualified to use a weapon to “fire a clip into a 7-meter target with the full understanding that unrepentant lethality matters most” sometime in February. [NO GUILT?]

“Aim for the head,” he said.

Minihan’s memo encourages the thousands of troops under his command to prepare for war in several other regards. All personnel reporting to him should “consider their personal affairs” and be more aggressive about training, he instructs.

“Run deliberately, not recklessly,” he writes. “If you are comfortable in your approach to training, then you are not taking enough risk.”

The memo, first reported Friday by NBC News, is dated Feb. 1 — which is still days away — and was distributed to Minihan’s subordinate commanders. An Air Force spokeswoman, Maj. Hope Cronin, verified its authenticity, writing in a statement shared with media after the memo began circulating on social media that Minihan’s order “builds on last year’s foundational efforts by Air Mobility Command to ready the Air Mobility Forces for future conflict, should deterrence fail.”

A Pentagon spokesman, Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder, said Friday that the U.S. national defense strategy makes clear “that China is the pacing challenge of the Department of Defense” and that U.S. officials are working with allies and partners to “preserve a peaceful, free and open Indo-Pacific.”

READ MORE:

https://www.stripes.com/theaters/us/2023-01-27/us-air-force-memo-war-china-8913860.html

 

 

 

WHEN THE USA HAS PEOPLE OF THE CALIBRE OF Gen. Michael A. Minihan [NINIBRAINS], ONE SHOULD WORRY ABOUT THE SANITY OF THE EMPIRE — WHICH WE KNOW WAS NEVER SANE, BUT STILL.... PEOPLE LIKE Gen. Michael A. Minihan [NINIBRAINS] ARE IDIOTS AT THE END OF THEIR TENURE (GENERALS USUALLY ARE) WHO WANT TO BE REMEMBERED FOR HAVING STARTED WORLD WAR 4... ... 6/// WHATEVER NUMBER YOU CAN THINK OF.

 

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SEE ALSO (PUBLISHED 2009): 

the heartland explained...

 

 

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opt for the garden.....

BY 

 

The USA has been at war almost constantly since World War II. Why? We’re told it’s some kind of crusade to “keep the world safe for democracy.” Today the world is closer to global thermonuclear war than ever. Are you feeling safe and democratic yet?

The US, of course, is not a democracy. It’s an oligarchy. But it ought to try real democracy. At least that’s the contention of retired science professor Moti Nissani, author of the new free online book Eight Billion Cheers for Direct Democracy: Direct Democracy is Humanity’s Last Best and Only Hope. He’ll be on tonight’s live Truth Jihad Radio broadcast, which also features Peter Bahlawanian the producer of director/writer/editor Mariam Avetisyan’s The Desire to Live, talking abou t the ethnic cleansing of Artsakh, Armenia. Listen live 8 to 10 pm Eastern on Revolution.Radio, Studio A.

Check out the stories E. Michael Jones and I will cover on tomorrow’s False Flag Weekly News, and watch the show (posted around 1 pm Eastern Saturdays) HERE.

And finally, with nuclear hellfire approaching, maybe it’s time to opt for the garden? Check out today’s khutbah “The Fire and the Garden”....

 

 

READ MORE:

https://www.unz.com/kbarrett/are-we-safe-for-democracy-yet/

 

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