Friday 14th of June 2024

the US has just announced new sanctions against beijing and hong kong-based banks and companies....

Beijing is set to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin, who hailed the "unprecedented" level of ties between the two countries ahead of his state visit.
More than two years into his invasion of Ukraine, China has emerged as a vital ally. It has refused to condemn the war and continues to trade with a heavily sanctioned Russia, much to the ire of the US and the European Union.

 


However, it appears Mr Putin wants more. But is China willing to pay the price?
A balancing act
It is perhaps not surprising the Russian leader has chosen China as his first foreign trip since he was sworn in for a fifth presidential term last week. The two-day state visit comes as their relationship reached its "highest level ever", he told Chinese state media. He spoke of his interest in Chinese martial arts and philosophy, and said some of his family are learning Mandarin.
"In the face of a difficult international situation, our relations are still strengthening," he said.

But while Mr Putin brags about their friendship, Mr Xi might have reason to worry. 

The US has just announced a raft of new sanctions against Beijing and Hong Kong-based banks and companies that work with Moscow, allegedly helping to evade existing restrictions.

Because, while China is not selling arms to Russia, Washington and Brussels believe it is exporting tech and components essential for war. During his recent trip to Beijing, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the BBC that China was "helping fuel the biggest threat" to European security since the Cold War. 

For them, this has become a red line. But China insists its stance on Ukraine is neutral - and the exports, which have commercial uses outside of war, are not breaking the rules.

Nevertheless, the allegations followed Mr Xi on his trip to France last week, distracting from what was supposed to be a charm offensive.

The Sino-sceptics and China hawks are also getting louder, urging Mr Xi to exert more pressure on his Russian counterpart, as the EU mulls tariffs of its own.

And the fact is China's sluggish economy can ill afford this pressure from trading partners. Weak demand at home means it needs those markets abroad. 

All of this leaves Mr Xi in an awkward situation. 

Finding the limits 

Days before Russia invaded Ukraine, the two leaders announced a "no-limits" partnership to deepen co-operation. This made sense for the comrades in arms in their ideological struggle against the West. 

Beijing still sees Moscow as key to reshaping a US-led world order. Trade between them is flourishing. Cheap Russian energy, including steady gas shipments via the Power of Siberia pipeline, have been a benefit for China.

Yet, as the war has dragged on, the alliance has not seemed so "limitless". For one, the term has almost disappeared from state media, a BBC analysis has found.

Beijing is downplaying the limitless nature of its strategic partnership with Moscow, says Zhao Tong, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment.

"While China supports the goal of undermining Western influence, it does not agree with some of Russia's tactics, including the threat of using nuclear weapons. China is acutely aware of the reputational costs of appearing to offer unconditional support to Russia and is continuously refining its strategies to enhance its perceived legitimacy on the global stage."

On his recent visit to Europe, Mr Xi said the country is "neither the creator of the crisis, not a party to it or a participant". This is also what China keeps telling its own citizens. 

'Ukrainians are still bleeding in trenches'

But the avowed neutrality doesn't mean sympathy for Ukraine is easily visible on China's highly-censored media. 

Chinese state media still justifies Russia's invasion, calling it swift retaliation by Moscow against US-backed Nato expansion. 

When Chinese artist Xu Weixin saw the first thunderous explosions hit the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on TV in 2022, he felt compelled to document it.

"I don't have a weapon, but I have my pen," he told the BBC from his studio in the US. His first drawing, a portrait of the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, was a hit on social media.

"I've been painting every day since the war began. I didn't stop even for one day. When I got Covid, when I travelled abroad, I still drew every day."

While his art has not been censored in China, the reactions it drew surprised him. 

"It's quite different to my previous experience," he said. "When I painted about coal miners, all the comments I got were positive. Even my paintings of the cultural revolution received praise. I hardly got any criticism."

But this time, he says, he saw a backlash. "It's fine, I just blocked them," he says. "Some of my friends unfriended me because they hold different views. But what I can do? I believe I'm doing a right thing. I want to be a role model for my daughter." 

It's a sign of hope for Ukrainians like Vita Golod, who want to influence Chinese opinion. She was in Kyiv when the war broke out and decided to use her fluency in Mandarin to translate Ukrainian news into Chinese so she could share it on social media.

"We wanted to let people know the truth about this war, because we knew at the time there were no Ukrainian media agencies or outlets in China," she told the BBC on a visit to Beijing. She is now the chairwoman of the Ukrainian Association of Sinologists.

"It was tough emotionally to be honest, and it took a lot of time," she says. A team of about 100 people translated official news, President Zelensky's speeches, and the stories of ordinary Ukrainians caught in the war zone, she added. 

She says she is hoping to arrange a visit to Ukraine for Chinese scholars so they can see the destruction for themselves, and eventually help exert pressure on Russia. She realises this is an ambitious goal, but wants to try. Her brother is on the front line and her parents are still living in their hometown near Bucha.

"People in Ukraine are still suffering, they are still hiding in shelters, still bleeding in trenches. Ukraine needs sanctions on Russia, not beautiful words."

So far, her work has not been censored, which implies some tolerance by the Chinese government.

Xi, the peace keeper 

There are other voices coming from Beijing which suggests cracks may be emerging in how far some of the Chinese public, at least, are prepared to back this limitless relationship. 

Feng Yujun, director at the Centre for Russian and Central Asian Studies at Fudan University, recently wrote in the The Economist that Russia was sure to lose in Ukraine.

It's a bold opinion in China. 

But then, Mr Xi has also suggested he could be a peace keeper.

Last March, just days after his state visit to Moscow, he phoned the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and stressed that China has "always stood on the side of peace". China also published a 12-point peace plan which argues against the use of nuclear weapons.

Yet when Presidents Putin and Xi meet this week, neither will likely signal any significant shift in policy.

But with the West growing more impatient with their alliance and Mr Xi's hopes of playing peace keeper so far unsuccessful, he will be calculating the risk of continuing to stand "shoulder to shoulder" with an international pariah who he once called both a comrade and his "dear friend".

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-69013520

 

SEE ALSO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrPiSm2AZ54

Ukraine Collapsing, Russia-China Alliance Tightens, NATO in Decline | Richard D. Wolff

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7okuN2qJU8

Biden's tariffs on China expose US hypocrisy on 'free trade' & tech subsidies

 

 

 

 

the price of gas......

Russia’s energy revenue saw a massive increase in the first four months of the year, mainly due to rising oil prices, the Finance Ministry has revealed.

Proceeds from oil and gas exports jumped by 82.2% in January-April, compared to the same period of 2023, reaching over 4.2 trillion rubles ($45.3 billion), the ministry said in a press release.

In January, one barrel of Russia’s flagship Urals blend of crude cost an average of $60 per barrel, but prices then gained steadily, reaching $84 in April. In May, Russian crude traded at around $74 per barrel.

In addition, a change in legislation resulted in Russian oil firms paying an additional mineral extraction tax (MET) in February for the fourth quarter of 2023, resulting in extra revenue to the budget, the ministry noted.

MET varies depending on oil prices, and accounts for the majority of government revenue from oil and gas sales.

The increase comes despite a barrage of sanctions imposed on Russia by the US, the EU and their allies since Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in 2022.

The restrictions included an embargo on seaborne Russian oil, along with a $60-per-barrel price cap on other types of crude.

In response, Russia has rerouted most of its oil exports to Asia – particularly India and China, which have snapped up Russian crude due to the discounts arising from sanctions and price caps.

READ MORE: Russian gas giant posts first loss since 1990s

In 2023 Russia became the largest supplier of oil to China, accounting for 19% of Beijing’s oil imports (2.1 million barrels per day). Moscow has also become India’s top oil exporter.

https://www.rt.com/business/597497-russia-energy-revenues-soar/

 

MEANWHILE, THOUGH NO REASON HAS BEEN GIVEN FOR THE ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT, ONE CAN SMELL THE AMERICAN HAND FROM THE GARBAGE:

Slovak PM Robert Fico: Noted critic of Western approach to Ukraine conflictThe shots targeting the premier were also aimed at Russian-Slovak relations, a Moscow lawmaker has said

 

Robert Fico’s third term as prime minister of Slovakia has put him squarely at odds with both the European Union and NATO on the matter of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. RT takes a look at the Slovak leader’s stance, and why it has drawn the ire of Brussels.

The Slovak prime minister was shot on Wednesday, during a visit to the town of Handlova, and was rushed to the hospital for surgery in serious condition. His attacker has been arrested but his identity and motives have not yet been revealed.

“This is not only a shot at Fico and Slovakia, but also at Russian-Slovak relations,” Russian lawmaker Konstantin Zatulin said in reaction to the news.

“Fico knew very well that the majority of Slovaks, at least half, sympathize with Russia, despite the campaign of deception that rules the roost in Europe,” Zatulin added, noting that the Slovak PM had been “subjected to endless extortion and threats” from the EU over his political positions that ran counter to those of Brussels.

Fico led the government in Bratislava twice before, from 2006 to 2010 and from 2012 to 2018. He returned to office last October, having campaigned on stopping weapons deliveries to Ukraine and arguing that “people in Slovakia have bigger problems” than the war.

https://www.rt.com/news/597654-robert-fico-slovakia-ukraine-russia/

 

 

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pirates of america....

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMMAd6bWymY

INTEL Roundtable w/ Johnson & McGovern: Weekly Wrap Up

 

 

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hegemonitis....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=32uZmnrxtcg

Hegemonitis: Why The West Has Become So Dumb | Professor Glenn Diesen

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hV-tElHcazM

The West has decided to sort things out on the battlefield! Russia is ready! Lavrov. Ukraine

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdOoUWz9t5w

CNN directly recognized Russia’s successes on the Ukrainian front!

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz7A4VOlRKQ

Putin's speech following the Russian-Chinese negotiations

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG8J8LF8v0w&t=371s

The West sets conditions for Russia! Did they fall from the oak tree or what?! Putin

 

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PUTIN’S ONLY REAL FEAR: NATO IMBECILES

BY Phil Butler

 

Poland’s Foreign Minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, said, “Russian President Vladimir Putin should fear a war with NATO.” In a chest-thumping address before the Sejm, the lower house of his country’s parliament, the former debating club champion predicted Russia’s imminent defeat should Putin dare attack.

This is how we know NATO would not stand a chance. When former Washington think tank “generals” who are not soldiers predict victory, it usually means a strategic situation is desperate. Sikorski, whose genius is revealed in the scores of photos with him and Donald Rumsfeld, Hillary Clinton, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and others, will be first on a plane for Tahiti if war does break out. The potential fallout of such a conflict is so severe that he and other members of the infamous Bilderberg Group will all jet to remote islands where the impact will be minimal. Let me explain.

Let’s pretend that Poland’s 500 dilapidated tanks were to toe the front line along with however many of Germany’s 200-something rusty Leopards at the onset of WW3. With a few tens of thousands of US, French, reluctant Italians, and Romanians, and the stalwart Brits thrown in during the first days, the East of Poland and Romania would quickly resemble Dresden, Germany, at the end of WW2. NATO’s biggest problem is putting American and UK boots on the ground on a front that would be over 2500 miles long. You see, it’s not only the Russians who have a problem with long borders to defend. Russia has about 13,000 tanks and 4,500 aircraft, despite what Bloomberg experts may tell you.

The problem with Western propaganda is that the propagandists end up believing their own lies. The rationale for decades has been that the U.S.S.R. or later Russia, has not attacked because of NATO. If memory serves me, it has never been to Russia on the offensive. Still, the fear is stoked for the obvious reasons. Money for guns and missiles that may or may not work. In Ukraine, I am told, all the amazing German tanks sent to help Zelensky are burned-out hulks now, and the air defence systems are virtually worthless against hordes of drones. Just because Mr. Putin has not called up another 2,000,000 reservists or made a killer thrust through Belarus into Northeastern Ukraine does not mean he cannot. The problem with Sikorski and those like him is that the rest of NATO (however unfit) IS NOT THERE! The Russians and Belarusians are.

The Germans have not defeated France and other wishy-washy nations, the best Western armies have not assembled 100 divisions for a new Operation Barbarossa, and even if the West had, Russia would still never lose. The best NATO could ever hope for would be a draw. And the world at the end of hostilities, in this no-win, would be some dystopian nightmare. As for Poland and Romania, even Turkey and other frontline nations? 6,000 nuclear warheads launched at as many targets would ensure Russia loses no more than NATO. This is what Radoslaw Sikorski doesn’t seem to get. If Russia decided to invade NATO countries, then the decision to go nuclear (if need be) would have already been made.

Russia is not afraid of Poland or NATO. Vladimir Putin and his countrymen stand nothing to gain from all-out war. This is why the Russians will never attack in force. This is why Ukraine has not already been decimated. The holding action the Russian military has been in since Kherson was taken has been to preserve Russian lives, and the lives of civilians in Ukraine. Russians consider the Ukrainians as brothers and sisters. Only America’s NATO push and re-indoctrination of the people in Ukraine are the main causes of this conflict. Western media does not tell citizens in Iowa, USA or Manchester, England, that Russia’s military operation is a defensive one. All anyone reads, sees, or hears are broadcasts and subliminal messages painting Russians and Putin as barbarians.

Watch any Netflix series long enough, and some bad old Russians will pop up sooner or later. Ditto for Amazon Prime, cable, network TV, and every newspaper in the United States. Imagine the magnitude! As far as I can recall, the only times Russia has gone military have been when the United States tried to give them “their own vietnam,” as deceased Russia hater Zbigniew Brzezinski coined the Afghanistan affair.

The only thing Vladimir Putin fears about Poland or NATO is that imbeciles like Radoslaw Sikorski may finally stir their people to do the unthinkable. Putin fears, as I do, the false bravado and lies from the mouths of Bilderberg creeps.

 

https://www.theinteldrop.org/2024/05/18/putins-only-real-fear-nato-imbeciles/

 

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MAKE A DEAL PRONTO BEFORE THE SHIT HITS THE FAN:

 

 

NO NATO IN "UKRAINE" (WHAT'S LEFT OF IT)

THE DONBASS REPUBLICS ARE NOW BACK IN THE RUSSIAN FOLD — AS THEY USED TO BE PRIOR 1922. THE RUSSIANS WON'T ABANDON THESE AGAIN.

THESE WILL ALSO INCLUDE ODESSA, KHERSON AND KHARKIV.....

CRIMEA IS RUSSIAN — AS IT USED TO BE PRIOR 1954

TRANSNISTRIA WILL BE PART OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION.

A MEMORANDUM OF NON-AGGRESSION BETWEEN RUSSIA AND THE USA.

 

EASY.

 

THE WEST KNOWS IT.

 

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the energy business...

THIS VIDEO IS AT LEAST TWO YEARS OLD, BEFORE CARLSON GOT THE BOOT FROM THE NEWS CORP MEDIA FOR TELLING THE TRUTH.... BUT IT'S WORTH REVISITING....

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXm0mnX4zM4

Tucker Carlson : You Won't Believe What Happened!

 

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self-sanctioning....

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9g0pPPfaQtw

“Sanctions On Russia Have FAILED!” & Only Hurt Europe Says Hungary’s Foreign Minister

 

 

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