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Insights Secure-2014 Questions On Current Events - INSIGHTS

Sino-U.S relations have evolved from tense standoffs to complex mix of intensifying diplomacy, growing international rivalry and increasing intertwined economies. The US and China are usually neither allies nor enemies. The US government does not regard China as an adversary but as a competitor in some areas and partner in others.

In recent times, especially since the beginning of the decade the rapid rise of China's power have created worries and concerns for US. China is viewed as increasingly assertive or even aggressive in the way it defines its core interests and in its approaches to the East and South China Seas disputes. As its power grows, it is becoming more outspoken about its interest and more prepared to defend them forcefully. It became one of the prominent reason for US to introduce pivot for Asia strategy.

While there are tensions in SIno-US relations, there are also many stabilizing factors. The PRC and US are major trade partners(second largest in the world) and have common interests in the prevention and suppression of terrorism and nuclear proliferation.. The relationship has been described by top leaders and academics as world's most important bilateral relationship of 21st century. Infact China is the greatest beneficiary of the existing international system, which the US architected and helped to create.

Even though differences or strategic trust deficits may persist but with intense economic interaction and diplomatic efforts both of them tries to maintain positive direction in the international relationship.

 

  • Q Comment on recent trends in Sino-U.S. ties

    The relationship between the U.S. and China is vitally important, touching on a wide range of areas including, among others, economic policy, security, foreign relations, and human rights. U.S. interests with China are bound together much more closely now than even a few years ago. These extensive inter-linkages have made it increasingly difficult for either government to take unilateral actions without inviting far-reaching, unintended consequences.

    In recent years, both Beijing and Washington have been putting a lot of efforts to better manage their relationship and steer it onto a more stable terrain. Yet, the world's most important pair of nation-to-
    nation ties is unable to break the undesirable circle of ups and downs. Some of the recent event have put strain in the relationship are disputes of East China and South China Sea, the economic advantage China gains from not floating its currency, human rights violation charges on China, US Asian pivot strategy, which China fears as a strategy to encircle it, Air Defense zone declaration by China, Cyber warfare and Cyber espionage by US, Environmental issue.

    However, despite all these issues, the United States and China have become symbiotically intertwined, China is the second-largest U.S. trading partner and is the second largest holder of U.S. securities and the largest holder of U.S. Treasuries. Both Nation have common interest in combating terrorism, piracy ,Afghanistan , Nuclear proliferation. They should maintain cordial relation which not also beneficial for

    them but for the whole world.

     

    A superpower and emerging power, US and China are on the forefront of any change happening in world’s page. Recent happenings have made the competition more regressive but at the same time cooperation has also find its way.
    The instances like cyber warfare, US media active reporting about human rights abuse of Chinese by their government, its pivot to Asia as defence pact with the Philippines which will strengthen its Asian arrival and support to Japan on China’s Air Identification Zone had helped distrust to grow. At another side China’s governments  favouring indigenous  projects, and its regressive emergence in Asia including support to North Korea have threatened US capture of superiority.
    

    While rivalry is on they have tried for reconciliation of which invitation to China as guest in G8, China move to prohibit some chemicals and weapons export to N Korea ,China attending Nuclear Secular Summit, and also chances of it joining TPP are some major moves by both powers to have amicable relations. Positive steps were China-US Strategic and Economic dialogue and both working on Iran’s’ nuclear program. Both share and interdependent relation in trade China being second largest trade partner of US.

    Both countries relation are full of distrust but they have compartmentalized their interests in order to let the contentious issu grow in their own interest but not to harm the economic interest.

    The nature of China - US relations depends more on their strategies for influence in the countries of Asia-pacific than the bilateral issues. The ties are looked stable on top, but many underlying issues are taking ground.

    Both the nations are competing for increasing influence in ASEAN, which became vital in their long term strategies for hegemony. China has softened its stance on South China Sea islands; offered MSR, maritime Silk Road. US has diluted the sanctions on Mynamar; floated TPP, trans pacific partnership. This competetion is yet to be evolved.

    East China Sea dispute and the ADIZ by China hasn’t attracted a strong response from US, representing US cautious apporach. US pivote to Asia strategy is went to backburner after Kerry gets in. However, US is bound for Japan's defence by treaty. Both nations is taking a cautious apporach and avoided extremes.

    The evolution of US-japan-India access raised suspicion in Chinese and they perceived as a containment strategy by US.

    Other areas that generated minor differneces include, China's support ot Russia over Ukrain crisis, nuclear programme of North Korea, safe passage of Snowden though hongkong, spying by chinese telecom manufactures.

    The rise of China has threatened the dominant position of US in world politics.US in order to retain its position has looked to contain china’s rise by backing states with which china’s relation are negative. This is the base to US pivot to Asia strategy.
    US in order to emphasize its seriousness about its Asia pivot strategy has undertaken a whistle stop tour of Asia, visiting countries with whom china’s relation are hostile. Japan was one of them, where US president in his visit assured Japan of support in case of threat from china. If this statement made US intensions explicit, the deal signed with Philippines, which allowed greater US military presence in the island, was implicit assertion of its goal towards containing china.
    China on the other hand has taken the US head on by going against it in the global platforms like voting against the US backed resolution in UNHRC against Sri Lanka and also recently pledging support for Russia for over Ukraine crisis.
    But despite their political ambitions, both countries have huge stake in each other’s economy .US is vital market for China’s exports and also China is a major investor in US treasury bonds. Therefore both countries while being hostile towards each other has maintained a neutral stand towards each other’s peaceful ambitions.
    words: 217
    time : 17 mins approx
    Please review ..
    A superpower and emerging power ,US and China are on the forefront of any change happening in world’s page. Recent happenings have made the competition more regressive but at the same time cooperation has
    also find its way.

     

    The instances like surveillance by NSA in Chinese government emails, US media active reporting about human rights abuse of Chinese by their government, its pivot to Asia as defence pact with the Philippines which will strengthen its Asian arrival and support to Japan on China’s Air Identification Zone had helped distrust to grow. At another side China’s governments  favouring indigenous  projects, censorship, and its regressive emergence in Asia including support to North Korea have threatened US capture of superiority.
    

     

    While rivalry is on they have tried for reconciliation of which invitation to China as guest in G8, China move to prohibit some chemicals and weapons export to N Korea ,China attending Nuclear Secular Summit, and also chances of it joining TPP are some major moves by both powers to have amicable relations. Positive steps were China-US Strategic and Economic dialogue and both working on Iran’s’ nuclear program. Both share and interdependent relation in trade China being second largest trade partner of US.

    Both countries relation are full of distrust but they have compartmentalized their interests in order to let the contentious issue grow in their own interest but not to harm the economic interest.

    US and China are the world`s two largest economies and have considerable influence on the world politics. China is the largest holder of the US public debt. China has emerged as the second largest economy posing a threat to the US dominance.

    The events in the east and south east Asia have impacted the relations between the two powers. US had criticized the setup of ADIZ by China without prior consultation with the countries in the region.The call for international arbitration by US for the resolution of the south China disputes has raised concerns in China. China has published a report on the human right violations in US including the surveillance on the citizens, gun violence , mistreatment of inmates and homelessness.

    Chinas increased defense expenditure has not been received well by US. The expansion in the defense capability has posed threat to the US bases in close proximity to China. The augment of Chinas cyber capacity has created potential for cyber warfare. China`s support for Sri Lanka in the US backed resolution has impacted the ties. US has been critical of the low value of Yuan being used by China to boost its exports.

    Realizing the growth of China , US aims to foster the ties and strengthen the relations. US has maintained that it seeks the peaceful resolution of disputes , rather than the containment of China.

    Recent trends in US Sino ties have been shaped and calibrated both by geostrategic and economic considerations.China's rise and challenge to US hegemony,esp in East Asia, is being viewed with alarm in The US.Its crucial role in US economy is also considered and taken account of.The recent US foreign policy failures like inability to meet the red line in SYria,its diminished influence during Arab Spring,afghanistan quagmire and the recent snubs in Ukraine and paelstine have emboldened China to assert its global role.

    China is US 2nd largest trading partner.It employs lakhs of americans,esp in its manufacturing industry.In 2011.Us and China stressed on positive,comprehensive and cooperative relationship.There has been increased instances of US China military and official level contacts.Talks are on Bilateral investment treaty and cooperation on green economy.Further,discussions have been held on cyber espionage,north Korea and free trade.

    However,some roadblocks and power tussles ahve inevitably crept into their ties.The unilateral ADIZ declaration by China,its support for North Korean regime,territorial disputes with almost all of its neighbors and hostile relations with major US allies in the region,taiwan and Japan, have exacerbated Sino US mistrust.The recent US president visit to East Asia,essentially to reaffirm its committment to the Asia Pacific pivot announced in 2011,as also to assure its partners of its staying ability and willingness,alongwith its lead in trans pacific partnership (TPP) negotiations has further infused mistrust and latent hostility in Sino-US ties.

    A backdrop:

    The Sino-US relations have grown ever since Nixon-Kissinger secret visit to China in the 1970s. Today, while the US is the largest economy, China is the fastest growing nation and the fact that its growth is fueled by FDI flows from the US and other European countries, make the Sino-US tie of great importance to a large number of human beings on earth today.

    Sino-US ties have certain variables that should be kept in mind:
    a) China's relationship with the two Koreas. Noth Korea's belligerance and threat of US troops coming close to Chinese soil.
    b) China-Japan relations as US has signed a Friendship Treaty with Japan.
    c) China's expansionist attitude, especially in South China sea, as all the trade routes from Middle east or South Asia, to the Western Coasts of the US passes through this region.
    d) China's role at international fora, both global and regional, viz: WTO, IMF, G8, UN, Asean, SCO to name a few.

    In recent years, with the US promoting the Asia pivot doctrine and reiterating its commitment to contain China and at the same time build a peaceful relationship with the World's leader in economic growth, gives the idea of how complex the ties are.

    On one hand, China is accused of devaluing its currency to fuel its exports on the other hand the US is blamed of making the US dollar so very crucial for global trade. As China has already started to talk about an alternate, parallel global trade and economic architecture citing the undemocratic nature of post second world war institutions of global co-operation and development, one may see a synthesis of new global order from the thesis of a unipolar world post cold war to an anti-thesis of expanding China and present day fears of the start of an second cold war.

    <hr/>

    PS:
    About the answer to this question, I think Sourabh had already given a good start.

    In the 21st century era, US and China relations have become complex and multidimensional as well as with lot of interdependencies. They are neither allies nor enemies, rather are competitors in some areas and partners in others.

    Political ties:
    -- China views US' Asia Pivot with suspicion as an attempt by US to contain and encircle China. It assumes the recently concluded defence pact between US and Philippines as a step in this direction.
    --US backing China's neighbours in maritime territorial disputes in East and South China sea has caused tensions between the two.
    --China's aggressiveness points towards its fear for increasing presence of US in its vicinity, especially Asia-Pacific.
    -- To counter China, US repeatedly uses India as a swing state.

    Global issues:
    -- both have difference of opinions on global issues like Syria, Iran, Ukraine.
    --US views China as more inclined towards Russia.
    --US blames China along with India for not cooperating on climate change, greenhouse gases issues.
    However, US acknowledges the need of cooperation required on issues like North Korea, Afganistan, proliferation of nuclear weapons, terrorism, etc.

    Economic relations:
    -- in this multipolar world, the rise of China as one of the pole is increasingly making them as competitors.
    --US blames China for intentionally keeping its currency devalued to increase its exports competitiveness.
    -- proposed Trans-pacific Partnership cautiously excludes China also generates suspicion between the two.

    However, being the world's two largest economies and one of the largest trading partners, both economies share complex interdependencies. In recent times, trade and commerce relations have strengthened and both regard each other as important economic partners.

    Post Open Door Policy of US, US and China have emerged as the two largest powers in the world, be it economic, technological or military. Both of the nations are largest trading partners with trade crossing over $500 bn in 2013. US has increasingly becoming accommodative of China and propose a cordial relationship with China in era of Chinese rise.

    However, there have been certain contentious issues between the two nations.
    * Currency Wars issue, where US increasing said that China is devaluing its currency to get benefit from its huge exports to US.
    * Human Rights violations in China.
    * Cyber Security implications where China has criticized US for Spying and US has put the same allegations on China.
    * Despite denial by US, it is also felt that US is keen to contain China's expansion whereby Chinese claims to many territories would be settled by supporting the countries who are opposite parties to such claims (Pivot to Asia policy).

    Despite all these concerns both the nations can not live in isolation from each other as both nations depends on each other in many areas like manufacturing, technology, security, services and many more economic and strategic benefits involved.

     

    Recent trip by United states President to Tokyo and Manila has brought the ties between US and China to the fore .Though China is not in the itinerary , it is unavoidable in the agenda.
    The development of US Sino ties in the recent past can be reflected from multiple dimensions. Among them ,US attention given to military engagement with countries in the South China sea and its reiteration on the respecting the status quo when it comes to territorial disputes will be keenly watched by Chinese. Furthermore, China’s increasing spending in the military ,cyber and space has exacerbated US concerns .
    From the economic angle, the rising power of China in global, in particularly Asian market is undoubted. China s export led growth ,increasing economic integration with neighboring countries ,especially India, accelerates the US rebalance towards Asia. Trans Pacific Partnership involving ASEAN and US ,excluding China, stands testimony to it. Though commitment to cooperation rhetoric hits the stand more often, suspicions building up on both sides can never be ignored.
    Also ,the Cremian referendum brings a new dimension into picture. China can’t afford to lose or offend or abandon its support to Russia for varying compelling reasons such as internal and external security, leave alone US regarded as common threat. US should also keep in mind that China s one child policy will change the social structure in China ,it would be giving more focus to take care of the ageing population and its domestic concerns. To add further,Countries in this South Asian region will wishfully expect both the countries to avoid hostilities and build confidence so that win win situation is a possible scenario. It can be unequivocally concluded that tensions and rivalry will prevail between two super power and it is not by eliminating these forces but by balancing these forces peace and prosperity would prevail in the entire world.
    America and China are world’s 1st and 2nd largest economies respectively. Also, America and China is world’s Second largest trading partner. They are having huge military power and influence in world political affairs. Thus, their relationship is considered by many strategists as highly critical in 21st century.

    Their relations have been improving and strengthening despite having several issues such as influence in Asia, disputes of East China and South China Sea, Currency issues and human rights violation charges on China. USA is concerned that China is keeping its currency deliberately lower in value to benefit its exporters. Also, China is trying hard to replace Dollar with Yuan as currency of global and regional trade. Global climate change is another issue, as both countries are highest consumer of oil and highest Greenhouse Gas emitters. Cyber warfare and Cyber espionage is another issue of contention.

    But, China is also largest debt provider to US. Both countries have common interests in combating nuclear proliferation and terrorism. Ex – Afghanistan and North Korea. A lot of people are visiting from China to US and vice-versa for studying, business, working and living thus strengthening ties. Media has created an important role in building public perception. Both countries have a desire to maintain stable relations which is beneficial for not only them but to the whole world.

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  • Reply
  • China and U.S relation can be seen in the lieu of redistribution of power in world geopolitics. China is rising and U.S is a bit stagnant or rising slowly. The world is moving towards balance of power. The trend in U.S-Sino relation has been a bit of animosity. Some of the recent event have put strain in the relationship:
    1. Air Defence zone declaration by China, has infuriated U.S and its allies in Pacific.
    2. U.S apparent support against China with respect to disputed Island in South China Sea.
    3. U.S Asian pivot strategy, which China fears as a strategy to encircle it.
    4. Opposition of U.S in global forum, regarding issues like Sri Lanka, Syria etc.
    However despite of a sort of cold war, U.S China trade has been growing leaps and bounds. Both of them are getting more and more interdependent each day. Thus, China-U.S relation may have certain flip flops, but it is not a threat to world peace as was the case during cold war.

     


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    [Aug 08, 2020] All About the Chips- Taiwan is Next Battleground for Trade Fight -

    Aug 08, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Home / Articles / Economy / All About The Chips: Taiwan Is Next Battleground For Trade Fight ECONOMY , WORLD All About The Chips: Taiwan Is Next Battleground For Trade Fight

    Vital tech production could put the island back at the center of intensifying Sino-American relations. Global dependence on Taiwan-made memory chips is risky business. (By Shutterstock/stockwars)

    AUGUST 8, 2020

    |

    12:01 AM

    MARSHALL AUERBACK

    The media likes to dabble in war-game fantasies between the 21st-century great powers China and the U.S., but it's a distraction from the hybrid economic warfare that is underway -- from Trump's tariff hikes to the shores of the advanced economy.

    Here in a nutshell is the problem facing the United States. The country that used to be a world leader in all forms of high tech, especially semiconductor chips, now spends its time redesigning chocolate chips. By contrast, Taiwan, officially a "rogue province of China," but in reality operating as an independent nation of 23 million people, ranked 20th as a world economy (right behind Switzerland), is now a leading global player in the production of semiconductor chips. As such it has emerged as the key supply link to a multiplicity of American and Chinese high-tech companies at a time when the Trump administration is working hard to cut China's access to Taiwan's semiconductors.

    https://lockerdome.com/lad/13045197114175078?pubid=ld-dfp-ad-13045197114175078-0&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theamericanconservative.com&rid=www.theamericanconservative.com&width=838

    For all of China's significant technological advancements, the country still lags in the production of semiconductor chips.

    Memory chips are principally made by Samsung, SK Hynix (South Korea), and Micron (USA). Intel also makes some memory chips for its own use. Memory chips are a big issue for China. Beijing has deployed considerable fiscal resources into producing them and last year set a goal of producing 5 percent of the world's total production by the end of 2020.

    That's ambitious. It's one thing to produce memory chips, another to get a usable "yield," i.e., the percentage of output that actually works. It is a singularly challenging industry in which to attain industrial self-sufficiency.

    Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) is a " fabless chip maker " that produces customized semiconductor chips for use in various types of electronics, such as digital cameras, smartphones, and the new technologically sophisticated "smart" cars. They also produce chips for the military, and for 5G base stations. China's leading telecom equipment manufacturer, Huawei, was a large customer, but the Trump administration has now mandated that all semiconductor chip manufacturers using U.S. equipment, IP, or design software will require a license before shipping to Huawei, which has forced TSMC to stop taking fresh orders from Huawei, as it uses U.S. equipment in its own manufacturing processes, such as LAM research and Applied Materials.

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    The wisdom of so many companies relying on manufacturing facilities located in Taiwan is debatable. Intel and Micron locate fabs around the world, in part to diversify risk (earthquake, weather, politics) and to access skilled labor pools. Intel has long had production facilities in Ireland, Israel, and China itself; it has also purchased Israeli companies for their research and development. But it also has retained significant production facilities still in the United States. Similarly, Micron has fabs in Boise Idaho, Utah, and Manassas, Virginia (right near the CIA and Pentagon.)

    TSMC is important because it is pretty much the only place to get processor chips fabricated, unless you're Intel. In that regard, Intel's recent 2nd quarter earnings announcement that its planned launch of the company's next generation of chips will be delayed by six months is most concerning. News of the production delay (which now pushes the production of the company's latest central processing unit (CPU) -- aka the "brains" of the laptop -- out to early 2023) generated considerable market anxiety, as evidenced by the 17 percent fall in the share price in the wake of the disclosure. From a long-term perspective, however, the more alarming aspect is Intel's decision to consider outsourcing its manufacturing capacity, a sharp break from the company's historic practice.

    Intel has been one of the few leading American high-tech companies that has hitherto largely resisted the panacea of offshoring its production. Much of this is a product of the corporate culture established by former CEO Andy Grove, who had warned that Silicon Valley risked "squandering its competitive edge in innovation by failing to propel strong job growth in the United States," according to a New York Times op-ed by Teresa Tritch written shortly after his death. Tritch explains that:

    in [Grove's] view, those lower Asian costs masked the high price of offshoring as measured by lost jobs and lost expertise

    Mr. Grove contrasted the start-up phase of a business, when uses for new technologies are identified, with the scale-up phase, when technology goes from prototype to mass production. Both are important. But only scale-up is an engine for job growth -- and scale-up, in general, no longer occurs in the United States. "Without scaling," he wrote, "we don't just lose jobs -- we lose our hold on new technologies" and "ultimately damage our capacity to innovate."

    Intel's decision comes at a time when American policymakers are finally beginning to appreciate the adverse economic and strategic consequences of such moves. Were Intel to follow through on its outsourcing threat, it too would further exacerbate America's strategic reliance on Taiwan for customized semiconductor manufacturing, as well as undermining the impact of recent legislative attempts to rebuild the country's semiconductor manufacturing capacity.

    By contrast, economic competition that degenerates into out-and-out war would be a disaster for all sides. As David Arase, resident professor of International Politics at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, recently contended in the Asia Times, "Even an unsuccessful invasion of Taiwan would cause a supply chain disruption." By the same token, actively upgrading diplomatic relations with Taiwan to something akin to the old mutual defense treaty that existed prior to Washington's recognition of Beijing in 1979 as the one sovereign government representing China, would almost certainly provoke a more aggressive response from Beijing.

    U.S. goals should be far more modest: not to underwrite the freedom aspirations of another country (even a vibrant multi-party democracy such as Taiwan) but, rather, to fix a key vulnerability in the global supply chain that currently renders the U.S. so reliant on Taiwan. Even TSMC has implicitly acknowledged its own geographical shortcomings, as it has recently announced plans to build a new $12 billion chip manufacturing facility in Arizona. Consider this a form of political risk insurance.

    A full-scale defense of Taiwan would cost thousands of lives, and potentially entrench the U.S. military in a long-term quagmire; it would also represent a logistical nightmare in terms of supplying such a force over so many thousands of miles (versus an opposing Chinese army a mere 100 miles away .) To say nothing of the risks posed to numerous substantial American multinationals already operating in China.

    A key conceptual problem that our policymakers and business leaders have today is an addiction to 19th-century concepts that are anomalous in the context of a 21st-century economy. David Ricardo's " comparative advantage " -- that "refers to an economy's ability to produce goods and services at a lower opportunity cost than that of trade partners" -- has less relevance at a time when such advantage can be largely created as a byproduct of state policy. Countries such as Taiwan, South Korea, and now China itself, can dominate targeted industries by subsidizing them aggressively. Because of increasing returns to scale, there is a winner-take-all pattern in which, at any given time, one nation tends to dominate a huge global market share of the underlying product -- since the 1970s, Japan, South Korea and China in that order. It also creates huge employment opportunities in high-quality jobs for the countries as they scale up production. This was also a key insight of Andy Grove .

    None of these countries had a natural "comparative advantage" in semiconductor production; they just followed the classic pattern of subsidizing their growth via substantial government support, relentlessly driving down cost inputs to push other marginal manufacturers out of the industry.

    The incessant focus on market share usually comes at a cost of short-term profitability (a no-no for Wall Street, which focuses on quarterly earnings as intently as an audience waiting for the white smoke to emerge from a papal election). However, businesses usually recoup these costs later once they've established dominant market share.

    Semiconductors are a high value-added manufacturing platform industry that has a significant multiplier effect on the domestic economy. It represents an area that should be prioritized by the U.S., not de-emphasized (as Intel's proposed move threatens to do). The road back to manufacturing relevance is a long one, but the perpetuation of the current policy risks exacerbating longstanding pathologies in the U.S. economy, while simultaneously creating new national security vulnerabilities.

    Taiwan is a vibrant multiparty democracy that constitutes a model of economic development. But those virtues could be threatened if we try, shortsightedly, to turn it into a U.S. protectorate to address problems that should be resolved much closer to home.

    Marshall Auerback is a market analyst and contributor to the Independent Media Institute .


    Fazal Majid 18 hours ago

    TSMC's Arizona fab is tiny compared to its 12 Taiwan ones, and more of a sop to the Trump administration than a serious effort to diversify. The jugular vein of the semiconductor industry is within easy reach of China's missile arsenal, and indeed the Chinese military can be said to have been designed specifically for the task of retaking Taiwan.

    Steve Smith Fazal Majid 6 hours ago

    China might not even need to invade. If they blockade Taiwan--air and sea--and threaten to destroy ships and aircraft trying to enter or leave Taiwan, they can stop chip export.

    It's similar to Iran saying, "Either everybody can export oil from the Gulf or no one can." China would say, "Either everyone can import chips from Taiwan or no one can. And China is in a much better position to enforce its will than Iran.

    Tradcon 11 hours ago

    The reaction to Auberback's refutation of comparative advantage would be extreme depending on who was reacting. The field of economics is like a cult, with a lot of groupthink and academic homogeneity. In this way failed consensuses are continued and alternatives, even if they have a good historical track record, are railed against as heterodox and fringe.

    Its amazing how in just two or three decades we forgot about basically all of US economic history and policy history up to that point.

    L RNY 10 hours ago

    I completely agree that a supply chains including those for memory chips in Taiwan must be diversified but it is of paramount importance that Taiwan not be left weakened and vulnerable to mainland China by these shifting supply chains because any weakness in Taiwan will be an invitation for Beijing to exploit...and if Beijing exploits that invitation then they could take that invitation all the way to an invasion which will be a detriment of all other nations in the Pacific. Right now China is focused on Hong Kong, Taiwan and India....with Hong Kong and Taiwan gone the China will push its aggressive hegemony to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, etc.

    I also complete agree that we (the US, Japan and any other asian nation that will join) need a treaty protecting Taiwan's independence from mainland China but the very first thing the US should do prior to such a new treaty is to get other nations to start using the name Taiwan again on their maps, plane flights, UN, etc because as you know Beijing has been doing everything possible to not just get nations and businesses to stop recognizing Taiwan and to even stop using its name in an attempt to erase both the existence of Taiwan and any distinction that Taiwan is separate from mainland China. The recognition of Taiwan and the use of its name must be reinforced everywhere in the world as part of the first step in negotiating a security treaty for Taiwan.

    donthomson1 L RNY 3 hours ago

    The USA has a one China policy and recognises the Chinese Government as the Government of China. It's true that it once recognised the Government of Taiwan as the Government of China. It's a completely new policy you're proposing of splitting China into 2 (or more?) states. That needs war, as it would if China was proposing to break up the USA, and the USA would lose a non-nuclear war.

    The USA could win a nuclear war but would lose a lot of its population. I don't know how seriously we should take the US estimate of 90% within a year by starvation and disease with just an EMP attack. Mexico, Canada and Cuba might accept many US refugees even though they would also suffer damage. Not all of the area of those countries would suffer EMP damage. Other countries might also provide some charity.

    Mexico, Canada and Cuba could be rewarded for their charity by dividing the USA between them. That would be a powerful incentive and remove a country fond of wars of aggression. A USA that poses no threat to anybody could continue to exist and be called Hawaii. donthomson1@hotmail.com

    Fazal Majid 18 hours ago

    TSMC's Arizona fab is tiny compared to its 12 Taiwan ones, and more of a sop to the Trump administration than a serious effort to diversify. The jugular vein of the semiconductor industry is within easy reach of China's missile arsenal, and indeed the Chinese military can be said to have been designed specifically for the task of retaking Taiwan.

    Steve Smith Fazal Majid 6 hours ago

    China might not even need to invade. If they blockade Taiwan--air and sea--and threaten to destroy ships and aircraft trying to enter or leave Taiwan, they can stop chip export.

    It's similar to Iran saying, "Either everybody can export oil from the Gulf or no one can." China would say, "Either everyone can import chips from Taiwan or no one can. And China is in a much better position to enforce its will than Iran.

    Tradcon 11 hours ago

    The reaction to Auberback's refutation of comparative advantage would be extreme depending on who was reacting. The field of economics is like a cult, with a lot of groupthink and academic homogeneity. In this way failed consensuses are continued and alternatives, even if they have a good historical track record, are railed against as heterodox and fringe.

    Its amazing how in just two or three decades we forgot about basically all of US economic history and policy history up to that point.

    L RNY 10 hours ago

    I completely agree that a supply chains including those for memory chips in Taiwan must be diversified but it is of paramount importance that Taiwan not be left weakened and vulnerable to mainland China by these shifting supply chains because any weakness in Taiwan will be an invitation for Beijing to exploit...and if Beijing exploits that invitation then they could take that invitation all the way to an invasion which will be a detriment of all other nations in the Pacific. Right now China is focused on Hong Kong, Taiwan and India....with Hong Kong and Taiwan gone the China will push its aggressive hegemony to Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, etc.

    I also complete agree that we (the US, Japan and any other asian nation that will join) need a treaty protecting Taiwan's independence from mainland China but the very first thing the US should do prior to such a new treaty is to get other nations to start using the name Taiwan again on their maps, plane flights, UN, etc because as you know Beijing has been doing everything possible to not just get nations and businesses to stop recognizing Taiwan and to even stop using its name in an attempt to erase both the existence of Taiwan and any distinction that Taiwan is separate from mainland China. The recognition of Taiwan and the use of its name must be reinforced everywhere in the world as part of the first step in negotiating a security treaty for Taiwan.

    donthomson1 L RNY 3 hours ago

    The USA has a one China policy and recognises the Chinese Government as the Government of China. It's true that it once recognised the Government of Taiwan as the Government of China. It's a completely new policy you're proposing of splitting China into 2 (or more?) states. That needs war, as it would if China was proposing to break up the USA, and the USA would lose a non-nuclear war.

    The USA could win a nuclear war but would lose a lot of its population. I don't know how seriously we should take the US estimate of 90% within a year by starvation and disease with just an EMP attack. Mexico, Canada and Cuba might accept many US refugees even though they would also suffer damage. Not all of the area of those countries would suffer EMP damage. Other countries might also provide some charity.

    Mexico, Canada and Cuba could be rewarded for their charity by dividing the USA between them. That would be a powerful incentive and remove a country fond of wars of aggression. A USA that poses no threat to anybody could continue to exist and be called Hawaii. donthomson1@hotmail.com

    [Aug 05, 2020] US' Goal Was Not to Force Sale of TikTok US, but Ban App, China's ByteDance Says in Internal Letter

    Aug 05, 2020 | www.unz.com

    vot tak , says: August 4, 2020 at 9:40 am GMT

    US' Goal Was Not to Force Sale of TikTok US, but Ban App, China's ByteDance Says in Internal Letter

    https://sputniknews.com/science/202008041080053001-us-goal-was-not-to-force-sale-of-tiktok-us-but-ban-app -- chinas-bytedance/

    The israeli's american colony has literally been reduced to the level of the Jewish mafia organised crime gangsterism.

    "Either give us control of your business or we run you out of town".

    [Aug 04, 2020] Trump Presses Microsoft, TikTok Into A Deal That Neither Wants - Who Profits From It-

    Aug 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Kali , Aug 3 2020 17:57 utc | 1

    The Trump administration is working to dispossess the Chinese company ByteDance by blackmailing it to sell its valuable TikTok business to a U.S. company for a bargain price. This to the benefit of yet unknown people.

    False allegation over the security of TikTok user data were used to threaten the prohibition of the video app in its U.S. market. In the U.S. alone the app is used by more than 80 million people. It plays an important part in the youth culture and music business. Faced with a potential close down of its prime business in one of its most profitable markets ByteDance had no choice but to agree to negotiate about a sale.

    ByteDance declined an offer by two of its U.S. based minority investors to buy the business for $50 billion as that price was far below its presumed value. The White House stepped in to find a new buyer with enough change to pay for a deal. As the largest social media companies - Facebook, Apple, Google and Twitter - are already under congressional investigations for their monopoly positions in U.S. markets none of them could be the potential buyer. Facebook has in fact just launched a rip-off of the TikTok product under the name Reels. It is trying to poach TikTok 'creators' for its own service. Facebook owner Mark Zuckerberg has warned of Chinese competition. He would be the biggest winner should TikTok be thrown out of the U.S. market.

    The White House finally came up with Microsoft as a potential buyer. But Microsoft has historically been unsuccessful in the social media business. It also does other business with China and is reluctant to get involved in a move that could damage that business.

    Despite Microsoft's lack of interest President Trump personally pressed for a shotgun marriage. The Democrats are supporting him in this. But neither ByteDance nor Microsoft really want to make the deal.

    ByteDance would prefer to move the TikTok business into an independent company :

    TikTok could become totally independent from its Chinese owner ByteDance to continue operating overseas, according to a source who has been briefed on the discussions.

    But the source said that despite reports that the video-sharing platform would be taken over by Microsoft, ByteDance founder Zhang Yiming and investors were reluctant to sell to the US company.
    ...
    [I]f it is able to continue operating in the US, the board of ByteDance will agree to a complete spin-off for the overseas version of the app, which operates under the name Douyin in China.

    The new entity would keep the TikTok name, but will have different management and will no longer answer to ByteDance.

    "Except for Zhang Yiming, almost all those in the room favour such a spin-off," the source said. "The mood is kind of: 'the founder will be out and the house will be ours'.

    "But even for Zhang himself, there's really no other option because the app will be killed if you don't let it go."

    The spin-off would cover all markets except China where a ByteDance owned app similar to TikTok is run under the name Douyin. A sale to Microsoft would only include the markets in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. (Note that Britain is the only member of the 5-eyes club missing here.)

    That Microsoft is not really wanting the deal can be gleaned for the convoluted statement it issued yesterday. This is clearly unprecedented language in a public company's communication:

    Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States.

    Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President's concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury .

    Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President.

    The discussions with ByteDance will build upon a notification made by Microsoft and ByteDance to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS).
    ...
    Microsoft may invite other American investors to participate on a minority basis in this purchase.
    ...
    Microsoft appreciates the U.S. Government's and President Trump's personal involvement as it continues to develop strong security protections for the country.

    This ass kissing of Trump is not what Microsoft is used to do. Satva Nadella was clearly pressed into publishing this. Such a statement would usually include language about increasing shareholder value or better user experience. This statement has none of that standard sweet talk.

    The stock market seems to believe that a takeover of TikTok would be profitable for Microsoft :


    bigger

    I have my doubts that Microsoft can successfully run a social network business. This one would be restricted to just four countries and it would likely lose access to the continuing development of the app. Where is the potential growth for such a restricted application?

    And how will China react if Microsoft takes part in the U.S. raid of ByteDance's business? While China is only contributing some 2% to Microsoft's overall revenue the company's biggest R&D center outside of the U.S. is in China . It contributes to its global success:

    "[There has been an] explosion of innovation in China," [Microsoft President Brad] Smith said. "One of the things that we at Microsoft have long appreciated is the enormous ingenuity of the engineering population of China."

    Microsoft's X-Box game station as well as other hardware it sells is at least partially developed and produced in China . Some of Microsoft's Chinese engineers might have there own ideas on how China should retaliate to the attack on a successful Chinese company. The Trump administration sees that danger and it is pressing Microsoft to get rid of all its relations with China:

    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro suggested on Monday that Microsoft could divest its holdings in China if it were to buy TikTok.

    "So the question is, is Microsoft going to be compromised?" Navarro said in an interview with CNN. "Maybe Microsoft could divest its Chinese holdings?"

    Leaving China would surely damage Microsoft's long term business. For a global company that country is a too big potential market to be left at the wayside.

    But the real question about the mafia raid on ByteDance is who is destined to profit from it.

    Today Trump said (vid) that if Microsoft closes the deal a substantial amount should be paid to the Treasury because his administration 'enabled the deal'. He likely didn't consult a lawyer before making that wrongheaded statement.

    But who are the "other American investors" who are invited "to participate on a minority basis in this purchase". Reuters had already reported that 'minority investor' clause. Is the wider Trump family involved in this?

    Why is that term so important for Trump that Microsoft has felt a need to repeat it in what is essentially a public terms letter addressed to Trump?

    Posted by b on August 3, 2020 at 17:47 UTC | Permalink

    I know B says this is about stealing, but maybe this is about sending China a message about how it does business in general. As you should know by now, China disallows many American apps in China. Is this a message to China about how America and maybe American allies will do business with them from now on? First Huawei and now Tik Tok and next who knows what? It looks to me like the message to China is: Follow the Golden Rule, which is not "whoever has the most gold rules" but is instead "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."


    OJs_White_Bronco , Aug 3 2020 18:09 utc | 2

    Hey Kali, China DOES NOT need the US but what you are seeing is a violation of business norms. You say China doesn't allow many apps from entering its market is not the same as the US trying to blackmail a successful Chinese app that have already entered the US market. Since you mentioned Huawei; they own almost the entire 5G technology so either you pay directly or indirectly irregardless if the US bans them or not

    One Too Many , Aug 3 2020 18:50 utc | 10

    Facebook at one time was operating in China. In 2008-2009 terrorists were using Facebook to coordinate attacks in Xinjiang province. When the Chinese government demanded the information Facebook declined to provide citing privacy issues. After that Facebook was banned.

    One Too Many , Aug 3 2020 18:58 utc | 12

    Posted by: Kali | Aug 3 2020 18:52 utc | 11

    "For example Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Google--maybe they want complete control over what their populations hear or says online?"

    If that's the case why is it not illegal in China to have a VPN? How many strawmen are in that diatribe you just posted? I can only knock down one at a time.

    Jackrabbit , Aug 3 2020 19:01 utc | 15

    Is the dispute over Tik-Tok really about protecting American citizens?

    Non-US companies collect a lot of info about US citizens and citizens of other Western countries via internet apps and other means. And much info is available for sale as well.

    Seems more likely that the forced sale is really about protecting the Western establishment and US power-elite. A massive social network is a threat to their control because it could be used to spread anti-US govt messages. Mostly to younger people who are already very cynical (as we can see from the protesting) and thus more willing to accept it as true or reflecting a truth.

    Trump impersonator Sarah Cooper got started on TikTok .

    Although Sarah's comedy is not a threat to the US power-elite, one can easily imagine messaging that would be:


    <> <> <> <> <>

    PS Where's the libertarian mob complaining about government control? Those astro-turfed bullsh*ters are not really interested in issues that they are not paid to be interested in.

    !!

    karlof1 , Aug 3 2020 19:15 utc | 18

    Gee, seems the Chinese have a very different view of it all :

    "As TikTok's global market influence was skyrocketing, the company was suppressed by the US government. Again, this shows how difficult it is for companies from China to go global. ByteDance said in a statement that it is "committed to becoming a global company." But Washington will not easily let the company off just because of its good wishes.

    "The US' decoupling from China starts from killing China's most competitive companies. In the process, Washington ignores rules and is unreasonable. Although suppressing Huawei and TikTok also incurs losses to the US, the suppression can still be implemented in the US. This is because such suppression echoes the sense of crisis instigated by some US elites when facing China's rise.

    "Huawei and ByteDance can only provide limited protection to themselves via legal means. But we should not overestimate the US' sense of justice. The country has shown us too many examples of politics overwhelming everything else....

    "Huawei has advanced equipment, and ByteDance sells services to the world through unique concepts and technologies. The two companies are pioneers worldwide. They have brought a sense of crisis to US elites, which shows that China's top companies have the ability to move to the forefront of the world in technology. It reflects the power of China as an emerging market. As long as such power continues to expand, these top Chinese companies can eventually break through US suppression.

    "By banning Huawei, the US would lag behind in 5G technology. By banning TikTok, the US would harm its own internet diversity and its belief in freedom and democracy. When similar things happen time and again, the US will take steps closer to its decline. The US is a pioneer in global internet and has created Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But in recent years, the US' internet structure has been rigid.

    "Rising stars such as ByteDance continue to emerge in Chinese internet sector, showing huge vitality. China knows its deficiencies, strives to become stronger, and adheres to opening-up to the world. The US, however, is gradually being shrouded in arrogance, seclusion and a negative attitude. Chinese people should not be discouraged by temporary setbacks, or our weaker position in the China-US confrontation. What's important is that China's trend of faster-pace progress has not changed....

    "The COVID-19 pandemic is an important issue, clearly showing us that the US has fallen into a type of systematic chaos. This will severely limit its ability to indefinitely upgrade and exert pressure on China. Many of the US practices, including banning TikTok, show the country's weakening competitiveness. Can't Facebook just come up with a more powerful app and beat TikTok in the market? The problem is Facebook cannot do it. It can only resort to the brute force of US politics."

    As you read, China takes this very differently. It sees the inability of Outlaw US Empire firms to compete and thus seek protection as suggested here :

    "Western countries' social media platforms have long dominated, and only a handful of Chinese firms that have entered the arena in recent years have won popularity. TikTok has seen record-high downloads across the world. Per data from an industry analysis platform Sensor Tower in April, TikTok had been downloaded more than 2 billion times globally .

    "The US' plan to ban TikTok follows the same logic as its crackdown on Chinese tech firm Huawei. The US has been limiting the 5G frontrunner for years, essentially the result of evolving relations between China and the US-led Western world.

    " TikTok and Huawei are not isolated cases. Chinese high-tech firms that expand overseas will encounter different levels of barriers as China develops into a new tech power, giving rise to concerns from countries that feel threatened by Chinese technology .

    "The US will not allow a social media platform that enjoys high popularity among younger generations to be operated by a foreign company, especially when the countdown to its presidential election ticks on. Banning TikTok now is, to some extent, also a move by Trump to control public voices after groups of young American TikTok users reportedly upstaged his first large-scale public rally amid the COVID-19 pandemic by registering for tickets and failing to attend.

    "With the election drawing near, a plunging second-quarter GDP at negative 32.9 percent, and the world's largest number of coronavirus infections, it is likely the Trump administration will continue rolling out new and even harsher measures to antagonize China and attempt to block it economically." [My Emphasis]

    How much revenge and the election play into the drama are unknown, but we know Trump is soft-skinned and very vindictive; Tulsa was a huge embarrassment. Can't compete; erect a tariff wall to protect your weak companies--the Outlaw US Empire demands China "open up" while it closes up instead. As the headline of the first item screamed, "Banning TikTok reflects Washington's cowardice."

    Clueless Joe , Aug 3 2020 19:37 utc | 22

    Gotta love the stupid Western capitalists.
    First, it was "Let's all invest in China, do a lot of business and move all our factories there because we'll make a shit-ton of $$".
    Then, it's "Oh, they're too big and powerful, we need to stop trading and making any kind of business with them".
    As some clever guy said about these short-sighted idiots more than a century ago, they're selling the rope with which to hang them.

    [Aug 02, 2020] TikTok ban demonstrates barbaric act of rogue US: Global Times editorial

    The mafia methods used are often packaged as monopoly powers such copyrights, patents, transformation of public goods into for profit private enterprizes (privatization), takeovers and bankruptcy, private ownership of the highest levels of nearly all governments, and just 6 own 92% of all media.
    Takeover of Tik Toc by Microsoft is just one demonstrating of a wider trend -- the tend toward gangster capitalism. BTW Chinese proposes complete divestment. That spells big trouble for US heavyweights such as Amazon, Google and Facebook.
    "We lie to deceive ourselves, we lie to comfort others, we lie out of pity, we lie out of shame, to encourage, to hide our misery, we lie out of honesty. We lie for freedom."
    Trump blames China every chance he can and the Democrats either agree or offer mealy-mouthed protest.
    Notable quotes:
    "... It comes to light that at least 125 US companies owned or invested in by Chinese entities, including Chinese SOE, received hundreds of millions in PPP loans backed by the US SBS. ..."
    "... This level of capitalust interconnection between elite investors and governments belies all the heated talk of cold war by politicians on both sides as well as useful idiots the world over. ..."
    "... "If this is also national security, then US national security is synonymous with hegemony." ..."
    Aug 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
    vk , Aug 2 2020 15:04 utc | 8

    TikTok ban demonstrates barbaric act of rogue US: Global Times editorial

    China has never banned US high-tech companies from doing business in the country. What the Chinese government demands is that what they do in China should comply with Chinese law. That's all . It was some US companies that refused to comply with Chinese laws. Google used to have a position in the Chinese market. It itself pulled out of China a decade ago, while other companies were accused in the US of kowtowing to China when they tried to design their specific versions for the Chinese market. This leaves no US internet giant currently operating in China.

    TikTok operates in the US in full compliance with US laws and is completely cut off from Douyin, its Chinese equivalent. Users in the Chinese mainland cannot register for TikTok even if they bypass the so-called great firewall . TikTok does not violate any US law but fully cooperates with the US administration.

    The US claim that TikTok threatens its own national security is a purely hypothetical and unwarranted charge - just like the groundless accusation that Huawei gathers intelligence for the Chinese government. This is fundamentally different from China's refusal to allow the original versions of Facebook and Twitter to enter China and require them to operate in accordance with Chinese laws.

    In just three paragraphs, the Global Times killed two myths: that a "great firewall" exists and that China censorship things from the West (i.e. that the Chinese people is "living in the darkness").

    I had a teacher who traveled to China recently. He went to a local bar (100% Mainland Chinese) as soon as he landed. He was having difficulty accessing Google (I think it was either Gmail or Google Drive). He tried, tried, tried but couldn't do it. When the locals there realized he was trying to access Google products, they promptly and calmly told him he should use VPN because Google didn't operate in China. No drama, no fear of a local police officer suddenly coming to the place to arrest them.

    They know what Apple, Google and Facebook are. It's just that China has better local options for the same product.

    --//--

    New cold war will not stop US decline

    Bingo.


    donkeytale , Aug 2 2020 20:25 utc | 45

    Not that globalization is a one way street by any means.

    It comes to light that at least 125 US companies owned or invested in by Chinese entities, including Chinese SOE, received hundreds of millions in PPP loans backed by the US SBS.

    This level of capitalust interconnection between elite investors and governments belies all the heated talk of cold war by politicians on both sides as well as useful idiots the world over.

    Why even favorite Chinese PR flack Pepe Escobar recently characterized the Stupidity Trap aka Thucydides Trap as childish nonsense.

    ptb , Aug 2 2020 20:28 utc | 46

    @karlof1 32

    "If this is also national security, then US national security is synonymous with hegemony."

    That is precisely the problem. Unfortunately, the current US economy has become dependent on advantages arising from unrivaled geopolitical power. Take it away too suddenly, and there would be a painful economic transition to become a normal nation again.

    ... ... ..

    [Aug 02, 2020] Pompeo- Trump taking action on Chinese software firms 'in coming days'

    While concern might be legitimate, Trump administration actions looks more and more like extortion. They really open the door for king US financial companies and accounting firms from China and Russia. The latter also represent "national security" threat.
    Aug 02, 2020 | www.msn.com
    Live: Watch NASA astronauts splash down near Florida in a SpaceX Crew Ground beef recall 2020: JBS Food Canada recalls more than 38,000 pounds of meat The Hill logo Pompeo: Trump taking action on Chinese software firms 'in coming days'

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that President Trump would soon take action against Chinese software companies that the administration believes present a national security risk for Americans.

    Mike Pompeo wearing a suit and tie: Pompeo: Trump taking action on Chinese software firms 'in coming days' © Greg Nash Pompeo: Trump taking action on Chinese software firms 'in coming days'

    "President Trump has said, 'enough,' and we're going to fix it," Pompeo said on Fox News's "Sunday Morning Futures." "And so he will take action in the coming days with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party."

    me marginwidth=

    The comments come on the heels of Trump's announcement on Friday that he was prepared to sign an executive order to ban TikTok, a Chinese-owned short-form video app, from operating in the U.S.

    Pompeo on Sunday asserted that Chinese-owned software companies doing business in America were "feeding data directly" to the government in Beijing and that the practices amounted to "true national security issues." He specifically named TikTok and WeChat, a Chinese-owned messaging and social media app.

    "They are true privacy issues for the American people. And for a long time, a long time, the United States just said, well, goodness, if we're having fun with it, or if a company can make money off of it, we're going to permit that to happen," Pompeo added, noting that officials have been deliberating on a decision for months now.

    TikTok, which has become especially popular among teens in recent years, has gained relentless scrutiny from the Trump administration and members of Congress overs its relationship with ByteDance, a Chinese firm. Lawmakers have voiced concerns that Americans' information is not secure in the hands of TikTok, considering Chinese laws that require disclosures of sensitive data upon request by the government.

    TikTok has strongly pushed back against allegations about its handling of user data in recent days, with the company's CEO releasing a statement rebuking "rumors and misinformation." The company also sent a letter to leaders on the House Judiciary Committee last Wednesday rebutting allegations about its data practices.

    "TikTok is not available in China," the letter said. "We store Americans' user data in the US, with back-up in Singapore, with strict access controls for employees. We have never provided any US user data to the Chinese government, nor would we do so if asked. Any allegations to the contrary are unfounded."

    TikTok has not directly commented on Trump's stated plans to bar the app's use in the U.S. Though TikTok's U.S. general manager, Vanessa Pappas, said in a video on Saturday that the company is "here for the long run." The company has also highlighted the 1,000 people in the U.S. it has hired, noting that it plans on adding another 10,000 employees in the country in the future.

    After Trump's comments on Friday, reports surfaced that Microsoft was in talks to purchase the short-form video app, which boasts roughly 100 million American users.

    Asked about that possibility and whether it would end any opportunity for Chinese surveillance, Pompeo said on Fox News that the administration "will make sure that everything we have done drives us as close to zero risk for the American people."

    Multiple GOP Senators have voiced support of the prospect of a U.S. company purchasing TikTok to avoid an outright ban. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said in a tweet Sunday that a "trusted" U.S. company buying the app would be a "positive and acceptable outcome."

    [Jul 30, 2020] Donald Trump is 'willing to accept more risk' to counter Beijing aggression, says US official - South China Morning Post

    Notable quotes:
    "... Join the Singapore Property Festival - a virtual exhibition organised by the South China Morning Post on August 1 to explore a wide range of affordable luxury residential and commercial real estate assets in Singapore, perfect as relocation and investment options. Get property project highlights and market insights from Info Session webinars and LIVE 1-on-1 chats with property taxation, immigration and investment experts. Register for your FREE PASS now. ..."
    Jul 30, 2020 | www.scmp.com

    Curtis also stuck close to the main theme of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's high-profile China policy speech last week by arguing that the India border clash and sovereign debt financing used for Belt and Road Initiative projects "fits with a larger pattern of PRC aggression in other parts of the world". Pompeo called for "a new grouping of like-minded nations" to counter China.

    Accusing Beijing of "selling cheap armaments and building a base for the 1970s-era submarines that it sold to the Bangladesh Navy in 2016", Curtis also committed to stronger relations with Dhaka.

    "We're committed to Bangladesh's long-term success because US interests in the Indo-Pacific depends on a Bangladesh that is peaceful, secure, prosperous healthy and democratic," Curtis said. "We continue to encourage the Bangladeshi government to renew its commitment to democratic values as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence, next year." Big Tech tangles with US lawmakers in antitrust showdown 30 Jul 2020

    While the India-China border clash, pressing of maritime claims in the South China Sea, and increasing military and economic pressure on Taiwan may have helped to push countries in the region to cooperate more, Washington will not necessarily benefit, said Ali Wyne, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and a non-resident fellow at the Modern War Institute.

    "China's actions in recent months have compelled many of its neighbours to try and bolster their military capabilities on an accelerated timeline and to intensify their security cooperation with one another," Wyne said.

    "For at least two reasons, though, it is unclear that those neighbours would be full participants in a US-led effort to counterbalance China.

    "First, geographical proximity and economic dependence constrain the extent to which they can push back against Beijing's assertiveness without undercutting their own national interests," he said. "Second, many of them are reluctant to make common cause with the United States in view of the transactional diplomacy that it has pursued in recent years." China's foreign minister calls on other nations to resist US and stop a new cold war 29 Jul 2020

    China's embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

    However, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Tuesday called Washington's increasingly hard line against the Chinese government "naked power politics". In a phone call with his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian on Tuesday, Wang said the Trump administration's strategy was to "constantly provoke China's core interests, attack the social system chosen by the Chinese people and slander the ruling party that is closely connected with the Chinese people," according to state news agency Xinhua.

    "These actions have lost the most basic etiquette for state-to-state exchanges and have broken through the most basic bottom line of international norms," he said, warning that "the world will fall into a crisis of division, and the future and destiny of mankind will also be in danger".

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/c3uzkXgW4yY?rel=0&mute=1&playsinline=1&frameborder=0&autoplay=0&embed_config=%7B%22relatedChannels%22%3A%5B%22UC4SUWizzKc1tptprBkWjX2Q%22%5D%2C%22adsConfig%22%3A%7B%22adTagParameters%22%3A%7B%22iu%22%3A%22%2F8134%2Fscmp%2Fweb%2Fchina_policiespolitics%2Farticle%2Finstream1%22%2C%22cust_params%22%3A%7B%22paid%22%3A1%2C%22scnid%22%3A%223095250%22%2C%22sctid%22%3A%22326745%22%2C%22scsid%22%3A%5B%2291%22%2C%224%22%2C%22318198%22%5D%2C%22articletype%22%3A%22DEFAULT%22%7D%7D%2C%22nonPersonalizedAd%22%3Atrue%7D%7D&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.scmp.com&widgetid=2 US House of Representatives sends Uygur Human Rights Policy Act to Trump's desk for approval

    US House of Representatives sends Uygur Human Rights Policy Act to Trump's desk for approval

    Curtis was less sanguine about how much Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and other Central Asian republics were resisting China's influence, citing an emphasis by governments in the region on the economic consequences of strained ties with Beijing by protesting the treatment of Muslim minorities in China's far northwest.

    China's internment of Muslim Uygurs in the Xinjiang region has drawn international condemnation. The UN has estimated that more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps there for political re-education, but Beijing claims they are vocational training centres aimed at countering religious extremism.

    "With regard to the Central Asian countries, I think they're concerned about China's economic influence in their countries, and therefore they very much hedge their comments about the repression of Muslims in Xinjiang province," Curtis said, but added that she expected public condemnation of China in Pakistan and Bangladesh to mount over the issue.

    "There has been reticence, which has been disheartening, but I think as these countries see China trying to trying to increase disinformation campaigns you'll start to see pushback from the South Central Asian countries and more speaking out about the treatment of Muslims in Xinjiang," she said. Join the Singapore Property Festival - a virtual exhibition organised by the South China Morning Post on August 1 to explore a wide range of affordable luxury residential and commercial real estate assets in Singapore, perfect as relocation and investment options. Get property project highlights and market insights from Info Session webinars and LIVE 1-on-1 chats with property taxation, immigration and investment experts. Register for your FREE PASS now.

    [Jul 29, 2020] A Significant Decline Is Coming For The U.S-

    Notable quotes:
    "... The problem for the US is that China is the world's biggest semiconductor market and biggest chip importer on the world ..."
    "... these bans are lose lose situation for both the US and China ..."
    "... I do not think that Pompeo is smelling blood and moving for the jugular, its not such a situation as China is not that vulnerable, it is more likely to be US elite anger due to the US weakening and China gains during the Covid-19 crisis. ..."
    "... Trump strategy of bullying works many times. Supposedly there should be costs for the US in soft power and world opinion, but we are not seeing them. ..."
    "... I guess most of the world is too cowardly and prefers to go with the flow. They will abandon the US only after the US lost anyway. Well, it is not an easy situation. Still, the US reactions are very strong and hateful precisely because things are still not good for it and its decline is continuing, regardless of some tactical victories, where in some cases it is a lose lose situation anyway. ..."
    Jul 29, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    A Significant Decline Is Coming For The U.S. james , Jul 27 2020 18:10 utc | 1

    by Passer by

    In response to several comments in the last open thread (slightly edited).

    Actually there is even some real, and not only relative, decline for the US, for example US life expectancy is dropping. This is a pretty bad sign for a developed country. Same for the UK by the way.

    On the issue of China gaining during the Covid crisis, they gained in raw power, for example gained in GDP relatively to the US. And they gained in debt levels too, relatively, as US debt levels exploded due to the crisis. Now you have V-shaped recovery in China and poor, W-shaped double dip recovery in the US. With far more debt added.

    Of course there is the issue of public relations and soft power. On the one hand the US blamed China for the pandemic, but on the other hand it embarrassed itself due to its poor performance in containing the pandemic, compared to other countries. And the US lost points around the world due to rejecting WHO right in the middle of the pandemic. Europe and developing countries did not like that at all. Don't forget that Covid also weakened the US military, they have problems with it, including on ships and overseas bases, and even broke the biggest US exercise planned in Europe for the last 30 years. And the pandemic in the US is still raging, its not fixed at all and death rates are increasing again.

    Here for example, the futurologists from Pardee Canter that that China gained during the crisis, in raw capabilities. Future research and relative power between countries is their specialty :

    Research Associate Collin Meisel and Pardee Center Director Jonathan Moyer use IFs (International Futures) to explore the long-term impact of COVID-19 in China in this Duck Of Minerva blog post" "Where broad measures of material capabilities are concerned, the picture is clear: COVID-19 is closing the gap in relative capabilities for the U.S. and China and accelerating the U.S.-China transition. Through multiple long-term forecast scenarios using the International Futures tool, Research Associate Collin Meisel and Pardee Center Director Jonathan Moyer explain on the Duck of Minerva blog that China is likely to gain approximately one percent of global power relative to the U.S. by 2030 due to the economic and mortality impacts of COVID-19. This share of global power is similar to the relative capabilities of Turkey today.

    On the issue of the USD, Stephen Roach also says that there will be a significant decline in the medium term. And the argument is pretty logical - if the US share in the global economy is declining (and it will be declining at least up to year 2060), and if the level of US debts is reaching all time high levels, then the USD will decline. I agree with that argument. It is fully logical.

    On the chip/semiconductor issue. David Goldman is skeptical that the US will be able to stop China on this :

    The chip ban gives the world an enormous incentive to circumvent the US
    Basically Huawei still has advanced suppliers, from South Korea and Japan. And some of them are refusing to yield. The problem for the US is that China is the world's biggest semiconductor market and biggest chip importer on the world , which gives enormous initiative for private businesses to circumvent US made equipment in order to export to China. Then also China is stashing large quantities of chips. By 2025, it should be able to replace foreign production with homegrown. So these bans are lose lose situation for both the US and China - yes, this will cause come costs to China up to 2025. But it will also lead to US companies, such as Qualcomm, to lose the Chinese chip market, which is the largest in the world, and there is nothing to replace it.

    These are hundreds of billions of losses for the US due to gradually losing the most lucrative market. Thus, in relative terms, China does not lose from these games, as the US will pay a large price just as China. It is lose-lose situation, but in relative terms the same. US loses just as China loses. And do not forget that China warned that a full US attack on Huawei will lead to Boeing being kicked from the country, which is becoming the biggest aviation market in the world, and will lead to hundreds of billions of losses for that company too, and will probably burry it under Airbus. China needs lots of planes up to 2028, when they will replace them with their own, worth hundreds of billions of dollars. Elevating Airbus over Boeing, which already has big troubles, will be a significant hit for the US aerospace industry.

    So China has cards to play too. On the issue of the US getting some countries to ban Huawei, it is again lose - lose situation - that is both the US and some of its allies will lose due to using more expensive 5G equipment and will lose more time to build their networks. So China loses, and US and some allies lose, but in relative terms things remain the same between them power-wise, as they both lose. Do not forget that Germany said that it will continue to use Huawei equipment, and this is the biggest economy in Europe:

    Germany's three major telecommunications operators Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and Telefonica have been actively promoting 5G in recent years. They implement the "supplier diversification" strategy and use Huawei equipment in their networks among other vendors. Peter Altmaier, German minister of economy, told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on July 11 that Germany would not exclude Huawei from the country's 5G network rollout. "There can only be an exclusion if national security is demonstrably at risk. However, we will strengthen our security measures, regardless of which country the products come from," said Altmaier. "There is no change in Germany's position," a spokesperson of the country's Interior Ministry told local broadcaster ARD on July 16.

    So we can say that probably half of Europe will be using Huawei. Still, as you said, a large part of the world will exclude it. Maybe half of world's GDP. Unfortunately things are not perfect. One bright spot in that is that Huawei is betting on emerging markets, and emerging markets have higher growth rates than western markets - that is, they will matter more in the future.

    I would agree that the US is harming China, but the damage is not large IMO, as these are mostly lose lose situations where relative power stays the same. And with time, there will be significant damages for the US too, such as losing the biggest chip and aviation markets and the empowerment of Boeing competitors such as Airbus.

    So its not too bad in China. Thus, after mentioning all of this, I do not think that Pompeo is smelling blood and moving for the jugular, its not such a situation as China is not that vulnerable, it is more likely to be US elite anger due to the US weakening and China gains during the Covid-19 crisis.

    On Hong Kong China had no options. It was a lose-lose situation. If they allowed everything to stay as it is there would be constant color revolution there and they will be constantly in the media. Maybe it is better to stop this once and for all. They hoped that the Covid crisis will give them cover to do this. It did not work very well.

    Unfortunately it is right that the Trump strategy of bullying works many times. Supposedly there should be costs for the US in soft power and world opinion, but we are not seeing them.

    I guess most of the world is too cowardly and prefers to go with the flow. They will abandon the US only after the US lost anyway. Well, it is not an easy situation. Still, the US reactions are very strong and hateful precisely because things are still not good for it and its decline is continuing, regardless of some tactical victories, where in some cases it is a lose lose situation anyway.

    The data shows a significant decline incoming for the US.

    The Highway Trust Fund (HTF) will be depleted by 2021, the Medicare Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund by the beginning of 2024, the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) trust fund in the 2020s, the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) Multi-Employer fund at some point in the mid-2020s, and the Social Security Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI) trust fund by 2031. We estimate the theoretically combined Social Security OASDI Trust fund will run out of reserves by 2031.

    That is not to mention the big divide in US society, and the ongoing Covid crisis, which is still not fixed in the US. But is largely fixed in China. Do you see the decline now? They have a big, big reason to be worried. A significant decline is coming for the US.

    Posted by b on July 27, 2020 at 17:53 UTC | Permalink

    thanks for highlighting 'passer by's post b... i agree with them for the most part... it reminds me of a game of chess where pieces are being removed from the board.. it is a lose- lose, but ultimately, it is a bigger loss for the usa down the road... for whatever reason the usa can't see that the financial sanctions, bullying and etc, only go so far and others work around this as we see with russia, iran, venezuala and china in particular...

    the one comment i would view differently then passer by is this one - "Unfortunately it is right that the Trump strategy of bullying works many times. Supposedly there should be costs for the US in soft power and world opinion, but we are not seeing them." i think the usa is losing it's position in terms of soft power and world opinion but you won't be reading about it in the western msm.. that is going to come out later after the emergence of a new reality is very clear for all to see... the trump strategy is really more of the same and it is like a medicine that loses it's power over time and becomes ineffective - sort of like antibiotics...


    O , Jul 27 2020 18:34 utc | 7

    In other words the western oligarchs will lose out to the eastern oligarchs in the Great Trade War under the cover of a fake pandemic.

    Or perhaps the global oligarchs in general just want the world to follow more in the Chinese model where the population is more agreeable to total surveillance, social credit scores and even more out right fascistic government/corp model under the cover of a fake pandemic.

    Kadath , Jul 27 2020 18:46 utc | 8

    Re: James #1,

    With respect to "bullying works", in international diplomacy it usually does since weaker powers have more to lose in a direct diplomatic crisis with a larger power. This is not to say that they won't push back, but they will be far more strategic in where they do. In essence, weaker powers have fewer "red lines" but they will still enforce those, while greater powers have more "red lines", because they have more power to squander on fundamentally insignificant issues. However, weaker states will still remember being abused and oppressed, so when the worms turns while they won't be the first to jump ship, they will be more than eager to pile on and extract some juicy retribution once it is clear they will not be singled out. I suspect the Germany will be the bellwether, when (if) Germany breaks from the US on a key aspect on the transatlantic relationship that will be the signal for others to start jumping ship. If Nordstream 2 go through, then there will be a break within 5 years; if Nordstream is killed, then the break might be delayed for 5 years or more but there will still be a break when the US pushes Germany to support the next major US regime change war in the Middle East.

    O , Jul 27 2020 19:10 utc | 16

    The engineered collapse is being called the "Great Reset" by many outlets already. The covid nonsense is just a cover for it. Instead of Saudi Arabian terrorist it is a basically a harmless coronavirus. Just in the days immediately following 911 the "terrorist'' threat was so overhyped that security theater was employed everywhere. Now sanitation theater is the new act in town.

    blum , Jul 27 2020 19:11 utc | 17

    Where does anyone get these numbers about military spend as a % of gdp? Have you listened to Katherine Austin Fitts on Corbett Report?
    Posted by: oglalla | Jul 27 2020 18:27 utc | 4

    If you could dig through the linked Committee for a Responsible Federal Budge links for me. I'd appreicate it a lot. ;)
    http://www.crfb.org/blogs/major-trust-funds-headed-insolvency-within-11-years

    Long time not heard anything from Katherine. You feel I should check both her and Corbert on Gates, I suppose?

    karlof1 , Jul 27 2020 19:24 utc | 19

    Article discussing political fallout from info provided @11.

    Andrei @14--

    Good to see your comment. Lots of anecdotal evidence nationwide about store closures and many vacancies in business centers, particularly within economic engines of NYC and elsewhere along the East Coast. IMO, lots of self-censorship by business media while the reality reported by Shadowstats goes ignored. As for losing the status of #1 economy, that was always going to occur once China or India became a moderately developed economy. It just happened that China is far more efficient politically which allowed it to become #1. And until India improves politically, it will continue to lag behind numerous smaller nations. Too bad there isn't a place where one can bet on the great likelihood that the Outlaw US Empire will outperform all nations in the production of Bullshit and Lies.

    Jackrabbit , Jul 27 2020 20:48 utc | 29

    I also disagree with the comparison between USA and China gdp and other statistics.

    China is not simply competing against USA but against the Empire: 5 eyes, NATO, Euro poodles, Israel and the Gulf States and others like Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, India.

    Anyone that is minimizing the conflict and the advantages of one side vs another is doing a disservice.

    Cold War I lasted 40 years.

    !!

    Mark2 , Jul 27 2020 21:13 utc | 39

    CitizenX @ 26
    Agree with your tone and content.
    Particularly the third from last paragraph. I think people are missing by choice the growing ground-swell of public opinion US wide as this blog shows, a multi-faceted detereation of US political morals and legality.
    Combined with a world wide growing awareness of how deranged American leaders now are.
    Haterd consumes itself as dose greed.
    My ear to the ground tells me, the protests at present are growing some in full sight some not.
    This is not buseness as usual. Then return to normal. The mood now is -- -- - let's settle this thing once and for all, let's get the job done.
    So my personal opinion ? we will see a US regime chainge faster than a lot here predict. Much faster.

    jadan , Jul 27 2020 21:50 utc | 54

    Passer by is correct, no doubt, thanks to incompetent leadership in the US, but this economic horse race doesn't matter.

    What matters above all is that nations should hold it together, "it" being sustainable, survivable support systems capable of providing for mass populations.We have failed that test here in our encounter with this pandemic. We have failed to develop a sustainable financial system. We have failed to meet any sort of environmental goals. We don't even have environmental goals! Our electoral system doesn't work, either, proof being the election of this idiot atavistic rich boy. If anyone thinks the election of Trump reflects the will of the majority of Americans, they are part of the problem.

    China is in deep trouble. The CCP's greatest challenge is simply to hold "it" together. The Party has to perform economic miracles or the country will collapse. Those groups not satisfied with life in the PRC have no outlet for their voices to be heard. They cannot protest. They are under the strict control of an increasingly sophisticated but tiny elitist clique that is only 6.5% of the total population. This clique will not relinquish power and permit more democratic expression. On the contrary, more and more suppression of dissidence of any sort will happen. The social scoring system is an especially insidious program of social control. China's collectivism has turned the country into an ant hill. It is extremely productive, but people are not ants.

    Passer by is looking at the world through a keyhole.

    O , Jul 27 2020 22:23 utc | 68

    Nightmare' conditions at Chinese factories where Hasbro and Disney toys are made


    Investigators found there were serious violations at the factories which were endangering workers.

    In peak production season, employees were working up to 175 overtime hours per month. Chinese labour law restricts monthly overtime to 36 hours per month, but the report alleged factories would often ask local governments to implement a "comprehensive working hour scheme" to override existing legislation.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/07/nightmare-at-chinese-factories-making-hasbro-and-disney-toys.html

    O , Jul 27 2020 22:28 utc | 69

    One wonders if China will run into the same problems of the US in the not too distant future?

    "The End of Sweatshops? Robotisation and the Making of New Skilled Workers in China"


    Over the past four decades China has undergone a process of massive industrialisation that has allowed the country to achieve remarkable economic growth. Because of its large manufacturing capacity based on a seemingly unlimited supply of cheap migrant labour in light industries, China has come to be known as the 'workshop of the world'. However, since the early 2000s the country's labour market has experienced a remarkable transition from labour surplus to a shortage of labour, which has led to sustained increases in the wages of ordinary workers. In such a context, since 2015 robotisation has become a driving policy for industrial upgrading for manufacturing in China, with the slogan 'replacing human workers with industrial robots' (机器换人) frequently appearing in media reports and official policy documents.

    https://madeinchinajournal.com/2020/05/07/the-end-of-sweatshops-robotisation-and-the-making-of-new-skilled-workers-in-china/


    Jackrabbit , Jul 27 2020 22:39 utc | 72

    karlof1 @Jul27 21:50 #55

    Thank you for clarifying that.

    The early date of "full spectrum dominance" (1996 not 2010) suggests to me that the doctrine was related the "end of history" thinking of that time. USA Deep State believed its own propaganda.

    It also strengthens my case for the proximate cause for the current conflict originating in 2014 when the US Deep State suddenly realized the threat that Russia and China Alliance posed to their plans for global domination.

    Not only had they believed their own propaganda but they had overreached with their attempt to force Russia to capitulate and had been distracted by Israel interests that wanted to use USA for the greater Israel project.

    !!

    karlof1 , Jul 27 2020 22:59 utc | 74
    When I wrote my economic analysis paper on China in 1999, it was quite clear that the 21st Century was going to become the Asian Century as the Outlaw US Empire would be eclipsed by Asia's economic dynamism. 20+ years later, my prediction holds true, and it's even stronger now than then with Russia's resurgence. Both outcomes clearly go against the 500+ years of Western Global Hegemony and goads numerous people. For students of history like myself, what's occurring isn't a surprise thanks to the West's adoption of--or should I write forced indoctrination into--the Neoliberal political-economic philosophy, which is akin to that of Feudalism since it benefits the same class as that of the Feudal Era. China too was once Feudal and suffered a massive Civil War that destroyed much of its structure, a conflict known to the West as The Taiping Rebellion that lasted almost 14 years, from 1850-1864. One might say that was the first half of China's overall effort to overthrow Feudalism and Western Imperialism, as the second half began in 1927 and finally concluded in 1949. That amounts to a large % of years for a newbie nation like the USA; but for a nation like China inhabited by humans for over 1.3 million years and with 4,500 years of recorded history, it's really just another Dynastic Rollover--something inconceivable to non-Asians.

    In reality, China's a conservative nation, culture and society with a several thousand year ethos of Collectivism, although that allowed a significant divergence in social stratification due to the ruling Feudal ways. Those who have read The Good Earth have an excellent grasp on the nature of Chinese Feudalism, which was embodied by the Kuomintang or KMT--as with Feudal lords, KMT leaders were deemed "Gangsters" by US Generals and diplomats during and after WW2. General Marshall wrote in 1947 it was clear to him that the KMT would lose to the CPC, that there was no good reason to throw good money after bad, and it would be best for the USA and the West to accept the fact of a Communist China (all noted by Kolko in his Politics of War ). Contemporary China when compared to China as depicted in 1931 by Pearl Buck is one of the most amazing human achievements of all time, and the conservative Chinese government intends to keep it that way through a series of well thought-out plans. That's the reality. It can be accepted and worked with as numerous nations realize, or it be somehow seen as unacceptable and fought against in what will prove to be a losing effort since all China need do is parry the blows and reflect them back upon its opponent using skills it developed over several thousand years. It would be much easier to join China than fight.

    Hoarsewhisperer , Jul 27 2020 23:00 utc | 75
    It's misleading to assess the National Military Capability of various countries in $US terms. The West's M-IC is privately owned and puts shareholder profit before all else. And the owners of the Western M-IC also own the politicians who facilitate and approve the rip-offs.

    China and Russia's M-IC are owned and controlled by The People via the government and can therefore get $2+ of value for every $1 invested. For example, one can buy some very nifty twin-engine bizjets for less than half the price USG pays for a flying Batmobile (F-35) - a glorified hot-rod with guns.

    VietnamVet , Jul 27 2020 23:40 utc | 83

    There is definitely a decline in the USA. Deaths of despair and from the coronavirus are too great to ignore anymore. 150,000 dead and counting are not nothing. The Western Empire has fallen. The U.S. federal government failed. The Imperialists are quarantined at home.

    The question is if the 19th century North American Empire from Hawaii to Puerto Rico survives. The Elite have bet it all on a vaccine or patentable treatment to give the Pharmaceutical Industry billions of dollars. However, quick cheap paper monoclonal antigen tests would make testing at home before going to work or school practical.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7Sv_pS8MgQ

    This would end viral transmission and the pandemic. No drug jackpot for the 10%. Instead public health is ignored as Americans die. The silence is deafening. The protests in the Pacific Northwest are not about slavery. They are about the 90% of Americans being treated as disposable trash.

    Jackrabbit , Jul 28 2020 0:26 utc | 87

    VietnamVet | Jul 27 2020 23:40 utc | 83

    150,000 dead and counting are not nothing. The Western Empire has fallen.

    No offense VV but I can't help thinking that you (and maybe some others) are talking past the issue.

    To be clear, the issue is this: Will the West's decline play a role in the US/Empire's ability and willingness to confront Russia-China? Or is the oft-heard refrain that US/Empire can not 'win' against China (implying that they shouldn't/won't bother trying!) because of its decline (usually attributed to 'late-state capitalism') just wishful thinking?

    Virtually everyone here has agreed that the West - especially USA - hasn't fought the virus correctly and with vigor. And virtually everyone agrees that there has been a relative decline in USA/West and in some areas an absolute decline.

    IMO what is ignored is that:

    1. from the perspective of the US 'Deep State' or Western power-elite the failure to fight the virus is a net positive if the repercussions are blamed on China (in addition to other 'positives' from their perspective: saving on cost of care to elderly, boosting Big Pharma profits, etc.) -

      In fact, deliberate mistakes and mounting only a token effort (as we've seen) is exactly what we should expect from a craven power-elite that want to further their interests;

    2. the overall decline, while troublesome - especially to the ordinary blokes who get the short end of that decline - is not yet significant enough to prevent USA/Empire from countering the Russia-China 'upstarts' aggressively.

    I likened the hopefulness of the anti-Empire crowd about Western decline to their hopefulness they previously expressed regarding Turkey. "Erdogan is turning east!" proved to be wrong.

    !!

    Richard Steven Hack , Jul 28 2020 0:37 utc | 89

    Posted by: Andrei Martyanov | Jul 27 2020 19:01 utc | 14 Within last 10 years China built surface fleet which in terms of hulls (and "freshness") rivals that of the US. US economy would have it bottom falling off if it tried to accomplish a similar task.

    Nice to see you here again. Yes, I mentioned the relative navy building in the previous open thread. China's navy will exceed US capability by 2050 and be on parity by 2030-2040 according to reports I've read. That's just ten years to twenty years from now.

    Result: US gets kicked out of the South China Sea and has to share the Pacific, Indian Ocean (as will India with gnashing of teeth) and even the Med with China. China will undoubtedly project naval power all the way to the Med in support of BRI in the Middle East.

    Richard Steven Hack , Jul 28 2020 1:12 utc | 92

    Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 27 2020 20:43 utc | 27 There is decline, and while it has been mostly relative it is also accelerating - but that hasn't significantly constrained USA/Empire's response to the upstarts.

    I agree. US military power isn't going away in ten years or twenty. China may achieve parity at some point (and can do serious damage now). But that doesn't obviate the fact that, short of nuclear war, the US is still in a position to throw its weight around and will continue to do so until forced back by a (hopefully conventional) military defeat of serious proportions, i.e., not just "give up and go home". And economic woes won't change that as long as the taxpayer can be fleeced - and they will be, for at least a few more decades.

    jadan , Jul 28 2020 1:30 utc | 95

    @ 62 A.L. "Would it be a surprise to you than there are many many protests in China at the grass root level everyday?"

    There are indeed protests all the time, which is the fire under the local Party leaders that keeps them dancing. Usually the protests are against local corruption or mismanagement and are not serious. People can get what they want this way. Each year at the general Party gathering, however, special note is taken of "mass incidents", that is, protests on a larger scale, and overtly political events such as those in the Uighur province of Xinjiang and in Hong Kong. Any protest that challenges the control of the Party is not permitted. The current protests in the US could not happen in China because they challenge political orthodoxy. The Chinese don't just roll over on command for the CCP to scratch their bellies and the Party knows just how volatile the political situation could be if mishandled. China is developing into the ultimate surveillance state. There are lots of Chinese like that little guy that stood down the tank at Tienanmen in 1989. Eventually that guy is going to say: "There is some shit I will not eat!" The Party knows this.

    Seer , Jul 28 2020 1:40 utc | 96

    Several years ago (close to 10) I noted that the US would be bringing back US companies from China, that it would actually subsidize their relocation. It's only logical. I saw China as becoming hostile to US corporations: in light of how things are going today it's the US govt becoming hostile toward US companies in China. Make huge profits and then get free money to return back to the US: and be welcomed as victorious troops arriving back from some glorious war.

    It's Musical Chairs. As the music plays more and more chairs are being removed. Capitalism has been the most efficient economic system in which to trigger an economic collapse. WTF did people think would happen with basing economic systems on the impossible, basing on perpetual growth on a finite planet. All of this was readily foreseeable using SIMPLE MATH.

    Economies of scale in reverse...

    Cyril , Jul 28 2020 1:43 utc | 98

    @jadan | Jul 27 2020 21:50 utc | 54

    China is in deep trouble. The CCP's greatest challenge is simply to hold "it" together. The Party has to perform economic miracles or the country will collapse.

    How do you square your dire prediction of China's collapse with the Edelman trust barometer of 2019 (warning: PDF file), where China scores 88 on the trust index and the US scores 60?

    Daniel , Jul 28 2020 1:51 utc | 101

    The COVID-19 pandemic revealed that all the "leading" western countries are unable to handle even a relatively moderate public health crisis. The neoliberal economic model considers any aspect of society that isn't generating a profit as ideologically unsound and targets these areas for "reform" (i.e. privatization).

    Sometimes this is done outright, as when a public utility or service is sold to a private, for-profit operator (e.g. British Rail in the UK). But when the government thinks the public will resist and push back it is done by stealth, usually by starving the targeted service/organization of funds and then farming out parts of it to for-profit companies in the name of "efficiency", "innovation", "resilience" or some other neoliberal doublespeak concept (they all mean only one thing of course: PROFIT). This is currently happening to the US Postal Service.

    Every public healthcare system in the so-called "advanced" nations encompassed by the EU/NATO and Five Spies has been underfunded and subjected to stealth privatization for decades. Furthermore, people in neoliberal societies exist to serve as fodder and raw material for "the economy" (i.e. the plutocrat or oligarch class) and there is no mechanism to deal with emergencies that can't be milked for a profit. Hence, the half arsed, incompetent, making-it up-as-they-go-along response to COVID-19 that simply writes off older and sick people as expendable.

    Neoliberalism began as a US/UK project, that's why poverty, crime, inadequate health care and social services etc. and governmental and societal dysfunction generally is more advanced there than in, say, Canada and Germany.

    So, yes, the US is in decline, maybe even collapsing, but that doesn't mean the imperial lackey countries are immune to the forces tearing apart the United States. They are just proceeding down that road at a slower pace. If the US falls, the west falls...globalization takes no prisoners.

    I live in Canada where sometimes people get a bit smug about how great everything is here compared to the US. In British Columbia, for example, opiate overdose deaths are at a record high and have killed many many more people than COVID-19 since the pandemic began. Housing in cities like Vancouver is increasingly unaffordable, there aren't enough jobs that pay a living wage, permanent homeless camps exist in city parks, there are entire blocks where people who live in their vehicles park etc.etc.

    The reality is that it's the west that is in decline, not only the United States.

    O , Jul 28 2020 1:51 utc | 102

    China is developing into the ultimate surveillance state.
    Posted by: jadan | Jul 28 2020 1:30 utc | 95

    But don't you see, dear jadan, it is for the good of the people, if only the rest of the world could see the benevolence of Big Brother we would all be much happier at least that is what the thought police has told me to think. One government, one heart, one mind. Long Live the PRC revolution./s

    Schmoe , Jul 28 2020 2:04 utc | 105

    Amidst all of the nonsense in the discussion section of the following link, I believe there are some germane comments from individuals that work in the semiconductor space that touch on some of the challenges China's chip industry faces. link

    This article notes the substantial challenges TSMC and Samsung would face it they tried to build a cutting edge chip facility without US cooperation: can-tsmc-and-samsung-build-a-production-line-for-huawei-without-us-equipment

    I hope their hiring of 3,000 experienced chip engineers accelerates their learning curve. Developing a chip industry on a moment's notice, let alone competing with Samsung and TSMC, is no small chore.

    One item not mentioned in the above article is whether China could build many consumer components based on domestic 14nm (or larger) technology. Given China used to spend more importing chips than oil, I assume that even less advanced chips used for TVs, etc. as opposed to cellphones, would be very helpful for China's consumer electronics manufacturing.

    They are also making some strides in the flash memory and CPU space, but production quantities are still very low.

    Peter AU1 , Jul 28 2020 2:54 utc | 108

    Lose lose China loses less?

    Health, education, infrastructure, research and development. The backbone of prosperity. These will all continue no matter trade war or cold war but barring hot war. There must be a doubling time for this - something like an R0. Cold war and sanctions will only serve to increase R&D

    US mistakes, hubris ect move in the opposite direction, mistakes multiplying mistakes.

    ptb , Jul 28 2020 2:55 utc | 109

    @Schmoe 105
    thanks, interesting. Here is a complementary tho less detailed article on some of the same topics I ran across recently: China Speeds Up Advanced Chip Development [semiconductorengineering.com]

    One important point, clearly visible in the tables in the seekingalpha article linked by Schmoe, is that the ultra-small 14nm/7nm stuff is for specialized (but strategically important) applications. Most consumer electronics, industry, and everything else is 40-60nm and up, although of course smaller has benefits to older applications in improve power (i.e. mobile applications and servers) and cost (higher density/wafer)


    Peter AU1 , Jul 28 2020 3:20 utc | 113

    ptb

    US as an one excuse for its current hostilities against China is 'intellectual property' theft. Makes me think of ninja Chinese sneaking around removing peoples brains.
    But back to semiconductors. One of China's biggest imports is chips, mostly made by machines using US tech. Many industries are highly specialized and it often makes sense from small community level to national and global level to by a product from those that specialist in that product.
    China has been content to buy chips, but that will now change due to necessity. Yankistan can now expect to get its brains hacked, but I am also reminded of the Scientists in the Manhattan Project being the ones to pass on much information to the Soviet Union.
    Yankistan will be leaking like a sieve. I guess that's why both oz and the poms are beefing up their secret police laws. Wont be long before we are getting shot trying to run through checkpoint charlie to the free east.

    gepay , Jul 28 2020 3:46 utc | 114

    It is clear that the US is in decline. It is clear the US military is bloated and overpriced but it can still turn most countries into rubble (even without using nuclear weapons) and has done a few recently. Mostly the US uses its reserve currency status and control of financial networks to punish countries that do not go along with its program. Can you say sanctions. but as Hemingway said about bankruptcy - it happens slowly and then all at once - is probably how it will continue to go. It is even losing its technological advantage. Boeing used to be the leader and made reliable planes. Now they sometimes fall out of the air. Things like high speed railways used to be the kind of thing the US did well. Now California can't get one built. China has built thousands of miles of them. Russia built a 19 kilometer bridge to Crimea in 2 years after 2 years of planning. It appears to be competently built on time and on budget. Do you really think this could happen in the USA now? In the 70s the US was the leader in environmental actions. I wonder if the present day Congress could even pass bills comparable to the Clean Air ACT or the Clean water bill. US national politics are a mean joke. Our choice this year for President - two 70+ old white men with mental issues. Our health system is overpriced. Medical bills are one of the main reasons for personal bankruptcies. As others mentioned the US life expectancy is falling. As Dmitri Orlov who watched the Soviet Empire fail said - Empire hollowed out the Soviet Union till it failed, I see it doing the same thing in the US.

    John A Lee , Jul 28 2020 4:04 utc | 115

    The current 'adjustment' in the USD & living standards is just what the doctor ordered to allow elites to roll out "tech wave 2" - there is precious little gain to be had from further staffing & wages cuts to the average shit-kicker, so now the bourgeoisie, medicos, architects, academics, writers plus all the rest of the tertiary educated types who blew hundreds of thousands on an education guaranteed to keep them employed, are about to be tossed on the scrap heap.

    We already know from previous stunts such as 911 & the 2008 'global financial meltdown' that those most disadvantaged by this entirely predictable destruction of lives will be easily diverted into time-wasting and pointless arguments about the real cause of the mess.

    This will allow the elites to use that diversion to funnel all federal funds into subsidising the capital costs of the retooling, as both parties have begun to with the despicable CARES Act, supported by the mad christian right in the senate, as well as the so-called socialists in the Congress squad.

    All the Cares Act does is inject capital into big corporations, boosting their stock price & leaving citizens to lose most of their unemployment benefit. Citizens get evicted from their homes. This time it will be tenants as well as home owners.

    Both of those factions of elite enablers are going to create a great deal of noise and crass finger pointing. The squad will jump up and down about this being a deliberate attack on citizens by the elite while senate fundies will claim that this 'retooling' is the result of unreasonable pay & working conditions demands by the communist unions.

    What should be a universal expression of disgust will be reduced to just another culture war.

    Neither will ever admit that it is far too late to be worrying about cause, it is time to concern themselves with effect, because to do so would create focus back on where the money was going at time when it is important to be saying "everyone is hurting, including the elites". Fools.

    Eventually when the deed has been done assorted scummy senators & creepy congress people will announce "It is time to move on" That will be a signal that treasury tanks are dry, the elites have gotten everything which wasn't nailed down so now the citizens can roll clawing & scratching in the mud.

    I have no doubt that will be the direction of discussion here as well, it is much easier to sit at a keyboard digging out obscure 'facts' that 'prove' one point of view or another, than it is to leave the keyboard behind and put work into resisting the elites and in doing so forcing a change that is more citizen friendly.

    Peter AU1 , Jul 28 2020 4:31 utc | 116

    gepay

    With the return of Russia to the geo-political arena, US can no longer destroy counties at will through conventional weapons nor color revolutions and AQ freedom fighters.
    Trump decided to go nuclear, so Russia placed its nuclear umbrella over it allies.
    US can no longer destroy countries at will. It can attack a country and risk ensuring its own destruction.
    So back to hybrid war and proxie war ... but now the field is narrowed down to five-eyes and in the case of China - India.
    So to keep Russia out, yankistan has to rely on conventional war and hybrid war, though we are looking at a country where the lunatics are in charge of the asylum so anything could happen.

    Antonym , Jul 28 2020 5:29 utc | 119

    5G, who wants this?

    The MNCs producing it, the MSS, NSA and GCHQ, the IoT idiots and all authoritarians on the globe. Consumers are happy with 3G: many don't even have 4G reception - give that to them.

    With IoT more unemployment, more electricity and Internet dependency, more chance of hacks or natural disruptions (solar flares), more 1984.

    More is not always better at all.

    aquadraht , Jul 28 2020 5:36 utc | 121

    Just read an "opinion piece" demonstrated how remote from reality are not only people like Pompeo from a"liberal" commentator:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/pompeos-surreal-speech-on-china/ar-BB17bk0t

    The Chinese Communist Party wants a tributary international system where smaller countries are deferential to larger powers, instead of a rules-based international order where small countries enjoy equal rights.

    HAHAHA!

    Antonym , Jul 28 2020 5:40 utc | 123

    The US/UK declining won't bother most billionaires with those passports: they just buy any other. Stuck are the millions of others.

    Equally "China" ascending brings joy for all billionaires around the globe holding stock depending on Chinese near monopolies, including Anglo-es.

    Some middle class Chinese are beginning to see that dying "rich" is is very limited goal, as zero can be taken to the Here After and the price for this Now is too high. Money is not everything. Welcome to this select club, Chinese brothers and sisters. Sure, a bit is good to live but amassing is a waste of precious time and attention.

    William Gruff , Jul 28 2020 16:19 utc | 160

    The US lacks the capacity to erect an "economic wall" that can stop China's development. Trump's "trade war" was an attempt to do just that, and America got steamrolled.

    To be sure, the US can attempt even more irrational and desperate acts such as trying to seize assets owned by Chinese people and organizations in the US, but that would be America shooting itself in the head rather than just the foot.

    The US simply does not posses the ability to "take the wind out of China's sails" . That is not something that is within America's power to accomplish without going kinetic by, for instance, trying to enforce a naval blockade of China's maritime transport routes. At this point there are no economic measures America can take that will not do vastly more damage to America than to China. Both trade war and bio attack were the best options America had, and America has suffered grievously from those efforts with relatively minimal impact on China. China's economy remains fundamentally strong while America's economy is devastated.

    As for disrupting China's international development efforts, America has been trying its hardest for years now with the only impact being minor delays in China's plans. The only way to truly disrupt China's international development efforts would be to offer a better deal, but America no longer has anything to offer that is better. The only option left to America to delay the BRI for longer would be a kinetic one, and the door is closing on that.

    juliania , Jul 28 2020 16:23 utc | 161

    jack rabbit @ 81,

    Your item 1. reads:

    from the perspective of the US 'Deep State' or Western power-elite the failure to fight the virus is a net positive if the repercussions are blamed on China (in addition to other 'positives' from their perspective: saving on cost of care to elderly, boosting Big Pharma profits, etc.) -

    It will not be possible to blame China, simply because no one believes the US press any longer, and there is no convincing the woman or man on the street that US handling of the virus has been in any way competent. We may not understand its virulence, and we perhaps don't understand yet how to cope with it, but the example of China has been clear from the earliest moments, and that speaks louder than any false rhetoric can claim.

    We know what we have been experiencing in comparison with others who acted with celerity, and that basically was what was needed. The US chose to go it alone, at its peril. It stuck by a set of rules it had made for itself in these last years - rules which have not benefited the people at large. It all comes down to that.

    foolisholdman , Jul 28 2020 16:38 utc | 165

    O | Jul 27 2020 21:33 utc | 49

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Chinese_labour_unrest

    Care to comment on that.

    I would not quote a Zionist dominated source like Wikipedia on anything politically sensitive and the article you refer to is in any case 10 years out of date. However if you read it it refers to two foreign-owned firms, and it mentions that there are (In 2010)plans to double wages in the next ten years which has happened. The article also states"

    Strikes are not new in China. Chinese authorities have long tolerated limited, local protests by workers unhappy over wages or other issues.[40] The Pearl River Delta alone has up to 10,000 labor disputes each year. In the spring of 2008, a local union official described strikes as "as natural as arguments between a husband and wife".[41] The Chinese government sought balance on the issue; while it has recently repeated calls for increased domestic consumption through wage increases and regulations, it is also aware that labour unrest could cause political instability.[42][43]

    In response to the string of employee suicides at Foxconn, Guangdong CPC chief Wang Yang called on companies to improve their treatment of workers. Wang said that "economic growth should be people-oriented".[44] As the strikes intensified, Wang went further by calling for more effective negotiations mechanisms, particularly the reform of existing trade unions. At the same time, authorities began shutting down some websites reporting on the labour incidents, and have restricted reporting, particularly on strikes occurring at domestic-owned factories.[46][47] Guangdong province also announced plans to "professionalize union staff" by taking union representatives off of company payroll to ensure their independence from management influence.

    Which indicates to me that the suicides alerted the government to the fact that these firms were making the lives of their workers miserable and took steps to improve the control of them. They obviously realized that the Union officials had been bought by the management. I wonder how the British government or the USG would have reacted? What I am certain about is that the MSM would have been much less enthusiastic about reporting it.
    uncle tungsten , Jul 29 2020 2:13 utc | 197

    karlof1 #86

    IMO, taking a good look at Brazil's situation provides close to a mirror image for those within the Outlaw US Empire having trouble seeing clearly. Too often we forget to look South at the great sewer and its misery US Imperialism's created. It may be getting defeated in Eurasia, but it's winning in Latin America.

    That sewer of misery was running full flush during Susan Rice's rise through the ranks.

    National Security Adviser to Obummer 2013 - 2017,
    US Ambassador to the UN 2009 - 2013
    Do read the rest:

    And well beyond South America.

    Now she is close to seizing the prize of VP to Biden. She is a iron war horse of formidable capacity and mendacity given her past roles. She has few redeeming features. She will conform exactly to the dictats of the permanent state and she will easily step right over Joe Biden as he either falls or is taken down at the most opportune time.

    What drole sense of humour thought of this - the hapless Trump squeezed between two black American presidents. Seems like something the Clintons dreamed up.

    Antonym , Jul 29 2020 5:07 utc | 198

    David Dayen's New Book Exposes the Dirty Hands of Wall Street Driving Monopoly Power in U.S. https://wallstreetonparade.com/2020/07/david-dayens-new-book-exposes-the-dirty-hands-of-wall-street-driving-monopoly-power-in-u-s/

    New York Times Rewrites the Timeline of the Fed's Wall Street Bailouts, Giving Banks a Free Pass
    https://wallstreetonparade.com/2020/07/new-york-times-rewrites-the-timeline-of-the-feds-wall-street-bailouts-giving-banks-a-free-pass/

    kiwiklown , Jul 29 2020 5:39 utc | 200

    Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 28 2020 22:30 utc | 191

    "It was asked upthread if the US citizenry would trade its no-longer existing Superpower status for decent living standards.... There're only two forces keeping the American people from attaining freedom from the above fundamental fear and having lifelong security: The Duopoly and its Donor Class, the Rentier Class of Feudalistic Parasites that are the enemy of virtually all humanity."

    The US citizenry will choose decent living standards in a heartbeat, but the present arrangement for eating off the labour of deplorables is just too profitable for the Duopoly & Donor Class to be permitted to change for a couple decades more.

    Perhaps they will move on when there is no more meat on the American corpse, or when they have built up a sufficiently large group of useful idiots in China to begin eating off the backs of deplorables with Chinese characteristics.

    Anything is possible, with the right amount of moolah, even overcoming Confucian morals. Joshua Wong comes to mind, who not only does idiotic, but actually looks idiotic.

    class="posted">

    [Jul 26, 2020] China reaction to Mike Pompeo's 'new Iron Curtain speech'

    Notable quotes:
    "... Attempting to neutralise a global competitor is the main goal of Americans. Neutralising China's rapid, dynamic development is the essence of the American strategy ..."
    Jul 26, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    karlof1 , Jul 26 2020 17:41 utc | 17

    Recap from today's Global Times where the argument is to continue to stay the course and counterpunch in the typical martial arts fashion, as this op/ed from today's Global Times says :

    "Chinese analysts said Sunday the key for China to handle the US offensive is to focus on its own development and insist on continued reform and opening-up to meet the increasing needs of Chinese people for better lives. In the upcoming three months, before the November US presidential election, the China-US relationship is in extreme danger as the Trump administration is likely to launch more aggressions to force China to retaliate, they said."

    Stay the course; Trump's shit is just an election ploy. However,

    "The US' posturing is serving to distract from domestic pressure over President Trump's failure in handling the pandemic when Trump is seeking reelection this year, Chinese observers said. However, the Trump administration's China stance still reflects bipartisan consensus among US elites, so China should not expect significant change in US policy toward China even if there is a power transition in November, which means China should prepare itself for a long fight."

    Don't stray from the Long Game. An international conference was held that I'll try to get a link for. Here's GT's summation:

    "According to the Xinhua News Agency on Saturday, international scholars said at a virtual meeting on the international campaign against a new cold war on China on Saturday that 'aggressive statements and actions by the US government toward China poses a threat to world peace and a potential new cold war on China goes against the interests of humanity.'

    "The meeting gathered experts from a number of countries including the US, China, Britain, India, Russia and Canada.

    "Experts attending the meeting issued a statement calling upon the US to step back from this threat of a cold war and also from other dangerous threats to world peace it is engaged in.

    "The reason why international scholars are criticizing the US rather than China is that they can see how restrained China remains and the sincerity of China to settle the tension by dialogue, even though the US is getting unreasonably aggressive, said Chinese experts.

    "Washington has made a huge mistake as it has chosen the wrong target - China - to be 'the common enemy or common fear' to reshape its declining leadership among the West. Right now, the common enemy of humanity is COVID-19, and this is why its new cold war declaration received almost no positive responses from other major powers and even raised concern, said Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, on Sunday."

    Today's Global Times lead editorial asked most of the questions everyone else's asking:

    "People are asking: How far will the current China-US confrontation keep going? Will a new cold war take shape? Will there be military conflicts and will the possible clashes evolve into large-scale military confrontation between the two?

    "Perhaps everyone believes that China does not want a new cold war, let alone a hot war. But the above-mentioned questions have become disturbing suspense because no one knows how wild the ambitions the US ruling team has now, and whether American and international societies are capable of restraining their ambitions."

    IMO, the editor's conclusions are quite correct:

    "The world must start to act and do whatever it can to stop Washington's hysteria in its relations with China.

    "Right now, it is no longer a matter of whether China-US ties are in freefall, but whether the line of defense on world peace is being broken through by Washington. The world must not be hijacked by a group of political madmen. The tragedies in 1910s and 1930s must not be repeated again ."

    Trump is elevated to the same plane as Hitler and Mussolini, and the Outlaw US Empire is now the equivalent of Nazi Germany and the Fascist drive to rule the world--a well illustrated trend that's been ongoing since 1991 that only those blinded by propaganda aren't capable of seeing. I think it absolutely correct for China to focus its rhetoric on the Outlaw US Empire's utter failure to control COVID, which prompts some probing questions made from the first article:

    "Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Sunday that there is wide consensus among the international community that the COVID-19 pandemic is the most urgent challenge that the world should deal with. Whether on domestic epidemic control or international cooperation, the US has done almost nothing right compared to China's efforts to assist others and its successful control measures for domestic outbreaks .

    "In response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's 'new Iron Curtain speech' at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library on Thursday declaring a new cold war against China, Shen said, ' We can also ask 'is Pompeo an ally of coronavirus?' Because he wants to confuse the world to target the wrong enemy amid the tough fight against the pandemic, so that the virus can kill more people, especially US people, since his country is in the worst situation .'

    Shen said, 'In 2018, US Vice President Mike Pence already made a speech which the media saw as a new 'Iron Curtain speech,' and in 2020, Pompeo made a similar speech again, which means their cold war idea is not popular and brings no positive responses from its allies, so they need to try time and again. Of course, they will fail again.'" [My Emphasis]

    Wow! The suggestion that Trump, Pompeo, Pence, and company want to "kill more people, especially US people" seems to be proven via their behavior which some of us barflies recognize and have discussed. Now that notion is out in the public, internationally. You don't need Concentration Camps and ovens when the work can be done via the dysfunctional structure of your economy and doing nothing about the situation.

    Shen provides the clincher, what Gruff, myself, and others have said here:

    "'So if we want to win this competition that was forced by the US, we must focus on our own development and not get distracted. The US is not afraid of a cold war with us, it is afraid of our development .'" [My Emphasis]

    My synopsis of both articles omitted some additional info, so do please click the links to read them fully.

    karlof1 , Jul 26 2020 18:02 utc | 19

    Sputnik offers this analysis of the China/Outlaw US Empire issue , where I found this bit quite apt from "Alexey Biryukov, senior adviser at the Centre for International Information Security, Science and Technology Policy (CIIS) MGIMO-University":

    "'The US is fighting with a country that is developing very rapidly, gaining power, increasing its competitiveness in areas where previously there was undeniably US leadership. Attempting to neutralise a global competitor is the main goal of Americans. Neutralising China's rapid, dynamic development is the essence of the American strategy . Meanwhile, China is interested in developing friendly relations with all countries. Recently, it presented the idea of building a community of common destiny for humanity. That's what Sino-American relations should be built around . It would seem that the pandemic should have brought people together around the idea of building a prosperous world for all, not just someone. But the Americans didn't understand that: they started looking for the guilty ones. This is the favourite strategy of Anglo-Saxons, Americans including, to look for the guilty . As a result, they found their main competitor – China'". [My Emphasis]

    That is the "guilty ones" that aren't within the Outlaw US Empire. Many more opinions are provided in the article, but they all revolve around the one theme of Trump's actions being motivated by the election and his morbidly poor attempts to corral COVID.

    [Jul 26, 2020] French limits on Huawei 5G equipment amount to de facto ban by 2028

    Jul 26, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    ET AL July 23, 2020 at 4:41 am

    Euractiv+Neuters: French limits on Huawei 5G equipment amount to de facto ban by 2028
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/french-limits-on-huawei-5g-equipment-amount-to-de-facto-ban-by-2028/

    French authorities have told telecoms operators planning to buy Huawei 5G equipment that they won't be able to renew licences for the gear once they expire, effectively phasing the Chinese firm out of mobile networks, three sources close to the matter said.
    ####

    Quelle surprise that they fall in to line too. No doubt €µ will say something different to Beijing that France values 'friendly ties' with China, but the die is cast. It must be tempting for Beijing to kill two birds with one stone by pulling the plug on UK NPPs as France's EDF is also the project lead. The anti-China crowd want it out of any European NPPs likewise. We'll see

    MARK CHAPMAN July 23, 2020 at 7:44 am

    What a triumph for the global bully. Well, as I have said before – marry in haste, repent at leisure. European countries which commit to an inferior network just for the privilege of having Uncle Sam spy on their every move instead of the Chinese will have many years to ponder their gutlessness. The USA knows now that is in a fight to the finish, and will want to consolidate as much of the globe as possible under its solid control. But those who are in thrall will regularly be reminded who is the boss, with forced concessions to American objectives, so let's have no more of this 'sovereignty' pap. If you're in, you're ALL in.

    It will mess up Huawei's plans and give the iPhone a new lease on life, but it will also sharpen the division between East and West in terms of networks and smartphones. iPhones will be bigger in the west as Huawei fades from competition, but iPhones should all but vanish from the shelves in Asia, which was the growth market, especially China. Loyal American ally Japan might become a bit of an outlier in its own region. Washington will have a much harder time spying on China as the demand for American electronics dries up. What goes around comes around, and the search will be on for neutral companies from whom you can buy a cheap smartphone to use while you're going from one side to the other, which can draw on the networks of both. America has been successful to a significant degree in excluding a competitor who makes a superior product – which, by the bye, goes completely against the blabber America spouts about a level playing field and trade based on merit – but I am confident it will not go unanswered by China and American products in China will suffer as a consequence.

    [Jul 26, 2020] Watch- China Answers Houston Closure With Raid On US Consulate In Chengdu

    Closing consulates is far from the best foreign policy and fat Pompeo known it. It just starts the unnecessary and counter productive spiral of retaliation and Chinese have more leverage over the USA as more the USA diplomatic personnel woks in China than the china diplomatic personnel in the USA. They were always burned in Russia and now they stepped on the same rake again.
    Jul 26, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    Musum , 8 hours ago

    One good turn deserves another.

    Maybe fat Pompeo knows he's on his way out and desperate to make a lasting mark on the geopolitical stage on behalf of the West Point mafia and his brothers-in-arm at the Jweish mafia.

    QABubba , 8 hours ago

    Quit stealing Russian consulates, Chinese consulates, etc.

    It serves no purpose.

    Haboob , 7 hours ago

    Closing diplomacy with nations as USA shrinks on the world stage shows America's juvenile behavior.

    Salisarsims , 7 hours ago

    We are a young twenty something nation what do you expect but drama.

    Haboob , 7 hours ago

    It is funny how the young and arrogant always think they are right and have manifest destiny over the old and wise. The young never listen to the old and as the story goes they are defeated everytime. China is older than America, older than the west, they understand this world we are living in far more than we do.

    me or you , 9 hours ago

    He is right!

    The world has witnessed the US is not more than a banana Republic with a banana healthcare system

    To Hell In A Handbasket , 9 hours ago

    I love seeing how gullible the USSA dunces are susceptible to hating an imaginary enemy. Go on dunces wave the star spangled banner, and place the hand over the heart, you non-critical thinking imbeciles. I told you fools years ago we are going to invoke the Yellow Peril 2.0, and now we are living it. China bad, is just as stupid as Russia bad, while the state stenographers at the MSM netowrks do all in their power to hide our rotten behaviour.

    Who falls for this ****? The poorly educated, and the inherently stupid.

    To Hell In A Handbasket , 8 hours ago

    No, it's called nationalism or self preservation.

    What are the citizens of the US suppose to do,

    You are wrong on so many levels, but ultimately the Chinese have beaten us at our own rigged game. When I was riling against unfettered free-markets, and the movement of capital, that allowed the west for centuries to move into undeveloped foreign markets and gain a stranglehold, I was called a communist, and a protectionist.

    While the USSA money printing b@stards was roaming around the planet like imperialists, and their companies was not only raping the planet, but gouging foreign markets, the average USSA dunce was brainwashed into believing USSA companies were the best.

    Now these same market and economic rules we the west have set for the last several hundred years no longer work for us, we want to change the rules. Again, my point is "where was you on this position 5-10-20-30 years ago?" I've always seen this outcome, because logic said so. To reject our own status quo, and return to mercantilism, makes us look like the biggest hypocrites ever.

    [Jul 24, 2020] Huawei and the closure of Houston consulate

    Jul 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    O , Jul 24 2020 19:30 utc | 17

    The Issue:

    "Much of the focus of the Trump administration's trade dispute with China has centered on the size of the U.S. bilateral trade deficit. Most economists agree that this focus is misdirected, and that the existence or size of bilateral trade deficits should not generally be a matter of concern or a target of public policy. Instead, there is bipartisan agreement regarding a different problem at the core of trade issues with China: China's persistent misappropriation of foreign technology. Forced technology transfer occurs when foreign multinational companies have to provide strategically significant technology to an indigenous entity they do not control in order to gain access to the massive Chinese market."
    https://econofact.org/what-is-the-problem-of-forced-technology-transfer-in-china


    The western oligarchs want the Chinese oligarchs to be more fair, in particular Huawei to transfer their tech the other way in order to play in western markets.


    "The global business community would generally prefer that business with Huawei could just go on as usual. Huawei and its affiliates are the acclaimed leaders in 5G technology, and the rest of the commercial world wants to have access to that technology, and also to be able to interoperate with it. In other words, to the extent that western companies agree with the US administration the risks, they have decided that the rewards outweigh those risks and are willing to accept them -- as most recently evidenced by the news yesterday relating to how many US components are finding their way into Chinese handsets."
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/huawei-changes-its-patent-story/


    Furthermore, Houston is one the main cities where total 5g tech is being implemented first along with L.A and Chicago.


    Houston's a player in the race for 5G dominance
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/techburger/article/Houston-s-a-player-in-the-race-for-5G-dominance-14484221.php


    O , Jul 24 2020 19:38 utc | 18

    Forced Tech Transfers Are on the Rise in China, European Firms Say
    The practice has become more widespread despite official assurances from Beijing it would be stopped

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/forced-tech-transfers-are-on-the-rise-in-china-european-firms-say-11558344240

    Is the US right to cry foul about forced technology transfer to do business in China – and what is Beijing's position?
    Foreign companies' concerns about having to share their tech secrets are among the matters being discussed in ongoing US-China trade talks
    Beijing's draft foreign investment law could legislate against the practice, but businesses are sceptical about enforcement

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/2181528/us-right-cry-foul-about-forced-technology-transfer-do-business

    This is about trade and tech not lame inconsequential quarantine rules.

    [Jul 19, 2020] The Tech Cold War Between The US And China Will Cost $3.5 Trillion In Just The Next Five Years -

    Jul 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    How much would a Tech Cold War Cost?

    That's the question DB's new tech strategist Apjit Walia asks in a new research report, in which he looks at the interplay between the Post Covid Tech Rally and the Tech Cold War, which have emerged as two of the most salient aspects of the current market dynamic. And with tensions between US and China continuing to rise and spread to other parts of the world, the strategist conducts a top-down analysis of the impact on the Global Information & Communications Technology sector from a full-blown cold war.

    The report finds that the ensuing demand disruption, supply chain upheaval and resultant "Tech Wall" that would delineate the world into rivaling tech standards could cost the sector more than $3.5 Trillion over the next five years .

    But before getting into the details, we update on the current state of the DB Tech Cold War Index. As Walia writes, a nuanced observation of the tariff and geopolitical issues between the US and China over the past few year suggest they are primarily a smaller strategy that is part of a larger Global Tech Cold War. To reduce the noise from the subjective geopolitical commentaries, DB created a systematic measure using machine learning to quantify the intensity of the cold war at any given point of time. It quantitatively analyzes and tracks the sentiment of the Tech Cold War globally. Not surprisingly, the DB Tech Cold War Index has been trending higher since 2016 with peaks coinciding with tit-for-tat measures by US and China on technology IP protection and counter measures. It made an all-time high in April 2020 with the Covid crisis fueling tensions and has spiraled higher since then. The political headlines are matching the sentiment among the populace. Recurrent surveys from April to June show that post Covid tempers remain at elevated levels with 41%+ of Americans and 35%+ of Chinese stating they will not buy each other's products. An election year in the US further complicates this geopolitical dynamic.

    me title=

    https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.396.0_en.html#goog_733289027

    Cold War Impact on Global ICT Sector

    US and China have been engaging in an increasing capacity since the 1970s and the level of integration between the two global tech regimes is unprecedented. The integration is a complex demand and labyrinthine supply chain network that has taken 40 years to develop. DB uses a top down approach to ascertain the level of revenues and supply chain links across the global ICT industries to China. To analyze and quantify this complex co-dependent Tech relationship between the two countries is a challenging task, the bank surveyed Tech managements, CTOs, Industry associations and supply chain experts globally. The estimate on the total impact is by no means a solid target but a reference point that should provide context if the cold war escalates significantly and decoupling picks up momentum. The bank's strategist quantifies the downside impact on the sector from a material escalation of the tech cold war, categorized under the following three broad categories:

    DB looks at a range of downside scenarios including one of a full-fledged tech cold war and estimate the total impact on the ICT sector from the three factors over a 5-year period to be around $3.5 trillion. And while the bank thinks that 5-8 years is an appropriate time period some supply chain experts believe the time to relocate the cluster of supply chain networks could take as long as 10 years.

    Domestic Chinese demand

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    Globally, China has about 13% of revenues of the ICT sector amounting to around $730 Billion per annum. However, a significant part of this is demand from the Chinese tech sector that is re-exported after some value-add, assembly and packaging ("re-export demand") - this constitutes supply chain risk . To analyze domestic end demand from China that could be at risk if tensions escalate leading to IP restrictions, product bans and export-restrictions, DB looks at the underlying ICT industry groups and their varied re-export mixes from China. The range varies widely with Telecom services sectors that have minimal revenue exposure all the way to software services that have pure domestic Chinese consumption (low or no re-export). For majority of the ICT sector, the range falls between 25%-75% in re-export mix (semiconductors, electronic components, computer hardware, computer peripherals, electronic equipment sectors). The weighted average of the re-export demand mix for the whole ICT sector comes to 45%. Stripping that out of the total ICT revenues, one gets 55% in current organic Chinese end-demand or $400 Billion in revenues. In the worst case scenario of a full-fledged tech cold war, the ICT sector would stand to lose these revenues.

    Supply Chain Risk

    A transition out of Mainland China could take 5-8 years to achieve successfully. Lack of infrastructure, clustered networks and skilled labor in other countries versus China are major obstacles. Vietnam, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines are the primary targets for this transition but most of them would need significant infrastructure upgrades to catch up with the Chinese supply chain cluster strength.

    In most categories, exports outstrip imports, except for electronic components, where imports are 3x of exports. Electronic components, such as semiconductors are imported and used as inputs in consumer goods and communication equipment and exported out of China. While Electronic component manufacturers have the risk of end demand from China declining – e.g. semis used in communication equipment, majority of the supply chain costs would fall on the final goods manufacturers who use China as a manufacturing base. When they shift the supply chain outside, component manufacturers would simply shift the destination of where they ship components.

    The supply chain risk of the ICT sector is estimated to be the built-up book value that is exposed to China that would require relocation in the event of disengagement. Although book value provides a decent lower bound measure for the capital
    deployed in hard assets, it does not fully account for the economic value of the supply chain network, which may be quite costly to rebuild. To arrive at an estimate of the book value that is exposed to supply chain facilities in China, DB analyzed the revenues and Export/Import ratio of various categories of Tech goods. The book value of the ICT sector tied to China comes to approximately $500 billion.

    The average cost of rebuilding the supply chain will be approximately 1.5 to 2x of the book value based on feedback from Tech managements and supply chain experts. Using a sustainable capex rate, it would take 5-8 years to relocate the supply chains. The cost of a transition over a five year period would come to around $1 Trillion.

    Tech Wall Risk

    On top of the demand disruption and supply chain upheaval, it would be unavoidable for Tech companies to operate efficiently in a large part of the "Non Aligned" world without complying with the two rivaling global standards that would come up as the cold war heats up. The Tech Wall would entail rival internet platforms, satellite communication networks, telecom infrastructure regimes, CPU architectures, operating systems, IOT networks and payment systems with very little inter-operability or interaction. It would mean having to deploy two different communication and networking standards across several geographies to ensure inter-operability. In this new world order, these non-aligned countries would require companies to have dual standard compliance to operate there.

    A divergence in standards could increase costs in multiple ways. Increased R&D, design, product development and related costs for manufacturers. Increased costs of compliance to different IP, networking, data privacy/localization regimes for corporates. Loss of interoperability of devices across geographies for consumer. For example, a high-end smartphone networking gear makes up ~10%-15% of the bill of materials. If phones had to support dual standards that cost could increase by ~30-70% and can add close to $100 for the end consumer. For lower end handsets costs would be high enough that manufacturers would probably choose to cater to a single standard based on geography. Corporations' compliance to different data localization, privacy rules as well as supporting multiple networking standards would increase costs by 2-3%.

    The Tech Wall's impact on ICT sector could range between 2-3% in incremental costs (capex, labor) or $100-$150 Billion per year. After some time, these costs would get absorbed as economies of scale kick in, but that would take about 5 years to average out.

    Second and third order effects:

    There are also going to be cross effects and second order effects.

    In summary, while DB estimates the potential impact of a full blown tech cold war at $3.5 Trillion over a five year period, the actual outcome will obviously be path dependent on how both countries approach the economic and geopolitical trade-offs.

    ICT Sector Correlations to Tech Cold War

    The following chart shows ICT industry group's revenues to China, this includes sales of goods that are re-exported out of China after assembly for end consumption elsewhere.

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    DB measured sensitivities of these industry groups to escalations between US and China. Using the DB Tech Cold War Index, the bank identified 15 major periods of sustained escalation in news intensity. These are periods where the geopolitical tech dispute news flow picks up from low initial levels and continues to grow in intensity until it reaches a peak, often coinciding with major news events or steps on either side. DB then computed the correlations of these global ICT industry stock returns with the DB Tech Cold War index over these episodes.

    As the chart shows, the market is quite efficient. Industries in the right bottom quadrant are the ones with the higher revenue exposure to China and have the most sensitivity or negative stock price correlation to rising tensions. The hardware industries which predominantly have both revenue and supply chain dependence on China respond sharply to escalations. Industries with lower revenue exposure to China display defensive characteristics during rising tensions, and fall in the top left quadrant. Software and service display defensive characteristics as they have very limited revenue exposure to China. Telecom service providers have limited revenue exposure and their returns appear to be uncorrelated to escalation events.

    The one surprising exception to this trend is the Semiconductor sector, standing out in the top right hand quadrant. Contrary to consensus opinion, the analysis shows that semiconductor stocks are reacting positively to rising cold war tensions despite the sector being the biggest point of contention in the conflict and high sales exposure to the Chinese market.

    This could be driven by several factors. One of the explanations is inventory build that occurs when tensions rise and companies over order as they are concerned about supply chains clogging up . These orders could be viewed by the market as incremental demand.

    Another factor could be the market considering the sector as defensive given its long term secular potential and the structural growth becoming less sensitive to business cycles. With digitization ramping up globally in the post Covid tech ramp, this structural dynamic of the sector starts to become self-reinforcing.

    Anticipated policy support from governments given the centrality of the sector to nation states in geopolitical tech relevance is also touted as a driving factor in multiples. Clearly, Semis are key to retaining tech supremacy and form the backbone of any AI or Software enhancements to institutions and countries.

    However, there remains one tail case scenario and that is in the event of disengagement and escalation of the cold war, Semiconductors will see significant market share and supply chain disruption that will be too big to be offset by government policy support and central bank liquidity. This scenario does not seem to have been factored in the current market.

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    [Jul 18, 2020] Pompeo deeply disappointed in EU court decision to ditch trans-Atlantic data transfer deal

    Notable quotes:
    "... The ruling effectively ends the privileged access companies in the United States had to personal data from Europe and puts the country on a similar footing to other nations outside the bloc, meaning data transfers are likely to face closer scrutiny. ..."
    "... The so-called Privacy Shield was set up in 2016 by Washington and Brussels to protect personal data when it is sent to the United States for commercial use after a previous agreement known as Safe Harbour was ruled invalid in 2015. ..."
    Jul 17, 2020 | news.yahoo.com

    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States was "deeply disappointed" in a ruling on Thursday by Europe's highest court that a trans-Atlantic data transfer deal is invalid because of concerns about U.S. surveillance.

    Pompeo said in a statement that the United States would review the consequences and implications of the decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union that could disrupt thousands of companies that rely on the agreement.

    "We are deeply disappointed that the Court of Justice of the European Union ... has invalidated the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework," Pompeo said.

    "The United States will continue to work closely with the EU to find a mechanism to enable the essential unimpeded commercial transfer of data from the EU to the United States," he added.

    The ruling effectively ends the privileged access companies in the United States had to personal data from Europe and puts the country on a similar footing to other nations outside the bloc, meaning data transfers are likely to face closer scrutiny.

    The so-called Privacy Shield was set up in 2016 by Washington and Brussels to protect personal data when it is sent to the United States for commercial use after a previous agreement known as Safe Harbour was ruled invalid in 2015.

    More than 5,000 companies have signed up to it but the Privacy Shield was challenged in a long-running dispute between Facebook and Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems, who has campaigned about the risk of U.S. intelligence agencies accessing data on Europeans.

    (Reporting by Daphne Psaledakis; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

    [Jul 16, 2020] China own silicon

    Jul 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    A. L. , Jul 15 2020 20:23 utc | 26

    @19

    That is correct. Backdoors were baked into every piece of equipment and random number generator the US and friends are able to influence. Hardware and software.

    Read up on how cisco networking equipments were/are intercepted enroute for 'extra' attention by US Intel depending on where they're going to. With full assistance from cisco. Other manufacturer also play the same game.

    This was the genesis of Huawei, to cut reliance on US network gear and it is also why China is doing its own silicon. Huawei with the Kirin which is an ARM based processor and also x86 via the AMD JV and VIA/Cyrix.

    Fabs aside the Kirin can cut it with the best and the x86 are about 2-6 years behind but rapidly improving depending on who you ask.

    Their achilles heel is the Fabs where China is about 2-3 generations behind. Today Huawei is relying on Taiwanese Fabs to produce its cutting edge chips to Huawei's design.

    However, these are just a function of investment in research and time, China is well past the tipping point for self reliance and they'll get to parity and beyond soon enough. So the west's game is already lost.

    Reading between the lines, when China is cut out of the west's networks who then could the 5 peeping Tom's look at? Yup, the serfs, and that's the game plan all along.

    [Jul 13, 2020] Washington has essentially forgotten how to negotiate on mutually-respectful terms, and favours maneuvering its 'partners' into relationships in which the USA has an overwhelmingly dominant position, and then announcing it is 'leveling the playing field'. Which means putting its thumb on the scale.

    Jul 13, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    MARK CHAPMAN July 7, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Again, probably not an urgent problem unless some existing Chinese aircraft in service are on their last legs and urgently must be replaced. In which case they could go with Airbus if the situation could not wait. China has options. Boeing does not.

    The west loves to portray the Chinese as totally without ethics, and if you have a product they can't make for themselves, they will buy it from you only until they have figured out how to make it themselves, and then fuck you, Jack. I don't see any reason to believe the Chinese value alliances less than the west does, or are any more incapable of grasping the value of a give-and-take trade policy. The west – especially the United States – favours establishing a monopoly on markets and then using your inability to get the product anywhere else as leverage to force concessions you don't want to make; is that ethical? China must surely see the advantages of a mutually-respectful relationship with Russia, considering that country not only safeguards a significant length of its border from western probing, but supplies most of its energy. There remain many unexplored avenues for technical, engineering and technological cooperation. At the same time, Russia is not in a subordinate position where it has to endure being taken advantage of.

    Trade is hard work, and any partner will maneuver for advantage, because everyone in commerce likes market share and money. But Washington has essentially forgotten how to negotiate on mutually-respectful terms, and favours maneuvering its 'partners' into relationships in which the USA has an overwhelmingly dominant position, and then announcing it is 'leveling the playing field'. Which means putting its thumb on the scale.


    [Jul 13, 2020] Looks like the Iran economic cooperation train left for China and Washington now threaten it from the platform

    The New York Times claims that the agreement would entail an economic and military partnership
    Notable quotes:
    "... one day the cost of obeying will be greater than the cost of saying "Go fuck yourself". ..."
    Jul 13, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    ET AL July 13, 2020 at 8:45 am

    Antiwar.com : US Warns Iran and China Against Major Investment and Security Deal
    https://news.antiwar.com/2020/07/12/us-warns-iran-and-china-against-major-investment-and-security-deal/

    State Dept vows to impose costs on both nations

    ####

    Must. Pass. Foreign. Relations. Policy. Past. USDoS. First. Well that is unforgiveable for the Masters of the Universe(TM). No-one knows exactly what's in it except that it is substantial. Still, the USDoS is having a public aneurism tells us that they care a lot.

    MARK CHAPMAN July 13, 2020 at 10:49 am

    Every time you "impose costs" on another country, you make more enemies and inspire more end-around plays which take you as an economic player out of that loop. And by and by what you do is of no great consequence, and your ability – your LEGAL ability, I should interject – to 'impose costs' is gone.

    Sooner or later America's allies are going to refuse to recognize its extraterritorial sanctions, which it has no legal right to impose; it gets away with it by threatening costs in trade with the USA, which is a huge economy and is something under its control.

    But that practice causes other countries to gradually insulate themselves against exposure, and one day the cost of obeying will be greater than the cost of saying "Go fuck yourself".

    ... ... ...

    [Jul 08, 2020] US is destroying itself and world through erratic moves- Global Times editorial - Global Times

    Notable quotes:
    "... The US is too indulged in using geopolitical means to cope with challenges and pursuing its own interests. Following the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, Russia hoped to integrate into the Western world, but the US pulled geopolitical levers and imposed the most intense strategic pressure on Russia. As NATO expanded eastward, it not only incorporated all countries of the Warsaw Pact and the Baltic states, but also extended its hand to the Commonwealth of Independent States, such as Georgia and Ukraine, eventually prompting Russia to have no other options but to take countermeasures. ..."
    "... The world has to pay for Washington's ambition to strengthen its hegemony. What the US advocates is not simply decoupling from China, but urging the Western world and more countries to side with the US amid its clashes with China, and to contain China. China is the largest trading partner of more than 100 countries, and has a market almost as big as that of the US. The US not only stabbed China, but the current global cooperative system as well. ..."
    "... Unfortunately, those geopolitical maniacs in the US are ending the "good old days" since the end of the Cold War. We are likely to enter a new era with more hatred and the menace of war. Major countries would become more nervous, and the prosperity of small countries would become fragile. The US political elite behind such changes are bound to be shamed by history. ..."
    Jul 08, 2020 | www.globaltimes.cn

    Washington has almost destroyed the cooperation-centered major-power relations and is pushing the world back to confrontation between major powers.

    The global geopolitical struggle has apparently become an irreversible trend. This will have a profound influence on the nature of international relations, fundamentally disturb globalization, and lead to undesirable consequences.

    The US is too indulged in using geopolitical means to cope with challenges and pursuing its own interests. Following the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, Russia hoped to integrate into the Western world, but the US pulled geopolitical levers and imposed the most intense strategic pressure on Russia. As NATO expanded eastward, it not only incorporated all countries of the Warsaw Pact and the Baltic states, but also extended its hand to the Commonwealth of Independent States, such as Georgia and Ukraine, eventually prompting Russia to have no other options but to take countermeasures.

    Now, the US is using its extreme geopolitical tools on China. It is making the ideological conflict with China more extreme, because it is the cheapest means to mobilize its allies against China. It supports all countries that have territorial disputes with China, incites them to adopt a hard-line approach toward China, and smears China's foreign cooperation to overthrow the world order. It aims to worsen China's external environment, and make people in other countries less willing to cooperate with China.

    The world has to pay for Washington's ambition to strengthen its hegemony. What the US advocates is not simply decoupling from China, but urging the Western world and more countries to side with the US amid its clashes with China, and to contain China. China is the largest trading partner of more than 100 countries, and has a market almost as big as that of the US. The US not only stabbed China, but the current global cooperative system as well.

    The world will suffer long-lasting costs. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is just the first wave. In the face of the raging pandemic, the US has blocked international cooperation. It has only two perspectives on the anti-virus fight - one from the upcoming presidential elections, and the other from international geopolitics. Its lack of a scientific perspective has become the biggest obstacle to international cooperation.

    It is not hard to imagine that if China and the US, together with all major powers, join hands and coordinate strategies, the COVID-19 pandemic could have been much less severe than it is now, and the global economy could resume in a more orderly manner.

    The US policy that favors major-power confrontation will surely drag down global economic growth, which will force countries to consume their own resources. Coupled with the destructive impact of the pandemic, global economic prosperity after the Cold War is, perhaps, coming to an end. The world will lose huge employment. The global economy will become politicized, and the concept of national security would play a leading role in irrelevant sectors such as the economy.

    An arms race and intimidation will return to international relations. Age-old contradictions will be reinforced in the loss of a world order. Favorable opinions toward each other's society will be reduced. The passion for studying and traveling abroad will cool down. The lives of many people will change.

    Unfortunately, those geopolitical maniacs in the US are ending the "good old days" since the end of the Cold War. We are likely to enter a new era with more hatred and the menace of war. Major countries would become more nervous, and the prosperity of small countries would become fragile. The US political elite behind such changes are bound to be shamed by history.

    [Jul 03, 2020] The world s economy is in contraction. Although capital, what actual capital exists, will have to try and do something productive, it is confronted by this fact, that everything is facing contraction.

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... I agree that globalism is/will be heading into the dumpers, but I see no chance that US-based manufacturing is going to make any significant come-back. ..."
    "... What market will there be for US-manufactured goods? US "consumers" are heavily in debt and facing continued downward pressures on income. ..."
    "... There will certainly be, especially given the eye-opener of COVID-19, a big push to have medical (which includes associated tech) production capacities reinvigorated in the US. ..."
    "... More "disposable" income goes toward medical expenditures. Less money goes toward creating export items; wealth creation only occurs through a positive increase in balance of trade. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, death, the US will likely continue, for the mid-term, to export weaponry; but, don't expect enough growth here to mean much (margins will drop as competition increases, so figure downward pressure on net export $$). ..."
    "... the planet cannot comply with our economic model's dependency on perpetual growth: there can NOT be perpetual growth on a finite planet. US manufacturing requires, as it always has, export markets; requires ever-increasing exports: this is really true for all others. Higher standards of living in the US (and add in increasing medical costs which factor into cost of goods sold) means that the price of US-manufactured goods will be less affordable to peoples outside of the US. ..."
    "... I'll also note that the notion of there being a cycle, a parabolic curve, in civilizations is well noted/documented in Sir John Glubb's The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival (you can find electronic bootlegged copies on the Internet)- HIGHLY recommended reading! ..."
    "... All of this is pretty much reflected in Wall Street companies ramp-ups in stock-buy-backs. That's money that's NOT put in R&D or expansion. I'm pretty sure that the brains in all of this KNOW what the situation is: growth is never coming back. ..."
    "... Make no mistake, what we're facing is NOT another recession or depression, it's not part of what we think as a downturn in the "business cycle," as though we'll "pull out of it," it's basically an end to the super-cycle ..."
    "... We are at the peak (slightly past peak, but not far enough to realize it yet) and there is no returning. Per-capita income and energy consumption have peaked. There's not enough resources and not enough new demand (younger people, people that have wealth) to keep the perpetual growth machine going. ..."
    Jul 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Seer , Jul 3 2020 10:34 utc | 125

    NemesisCalling @ 28

    I agree that globalism is/will be heading into the dumpers, but I see no chance that US-based manufacturing is going to make any significant come-back.

    The world's economy is in contraction. Although capital, what actual capital exists, will have to try and do something "productive," it is confronted by this fact, that everything is facing contraction. During times of contraction it's a game of acquisition rather than expanding capacity: the sum total is STILL contraction; and the contraction WILL be a reduction in excess, excess manufacturing and labor.

    What market will there be for US-manufactured goods? US "consumers" are heavily in debt and facing continued downward pressures on income. China is self-sufficient (enough) other than energy (which can be acquired outside of US markets). Most every other country is in a position of declining wealth (per capita income levels peaked and in decline). And manufacturing continues to increase its automation (less workers means less consumers).

    There will certainly be, especially given the eye-opener of COVID-19, a big push to have medical (which includes associated tech) production capacities reinvigorated in the US. One has to look at this in The Big Picture of what it means, and that's that the US population is aging (and in poor health).

    More "disposable" income goes toward medical expenditures. Less money goes toward creating export items; wealth creation only occurs through a positive increase in balance of trade. And on the opposite end of the spectrum, death, the US will likely continue, for the mid-term, to export weaponry; but, don't expect enough growth here to mean much (margins will drop as competition increases, so figure downward pressure on net export $$).

    Lastly, and it's the reason why global trade is being knocked down, is that the planet cannot comply with our economic model's dependency on perpetual growth: there can NOT be perpetual growth on a finite planet. US manufacturing requires, as it always has, export markets; requires ever-increasing exports: this is really true for all others. Higher standards of living in the US (and add in increasing medical costs which factor into cost of goods sold) means that the price of US-manufactured goods will be less affordable to peoples outside of the US.

    And here too is the fact that other countries' populations are also aging. Years ago I dove into the demographics angle/assessment to find out that ALL countries ramp and age and that you can see countries' energy consumption rise and their their net trade balance swing negative- there's a direct correlation: go to the CIA's Factbook and look at demographics and energy and the graphs tell the story.

    I'll also note that the notion of there being a cycle, a parabolic curve, in civilizations is well noted/documented in Sir John Glubb's The Fate of Empires and Search for Survival (you can find electronic bootlegged copies on the Internet)- HIGHLY recommended reading!

    All of this is pretty much reflected in Wall Street companies ramp-ups in stock-buy-backs. That's money that's NOT put in R&D or expansion. I'm pretty sure that the brains in all of this KNOW what the situation is: growth is never coming back.

    MANY years ago I stated that we will one day face "economies of scale in reverse." We NEVER considered that growth couldn't continue forever. There was never a though about what would happen with the reverse "of economies of scale."

    Make no mistake, what we're facing is NOT another recession or depression, it's not part of what we think as a downturn in the "business cycle," as though we'll "pull out of it," it's basically an end to the super-cycle.

    We will never be able to replicate the state of things as they are. We are at the peak (slightly past peak, but not far enough to realize it yet) and there is no returning. Per-capita income and energy consumption have peaked. There's not enough resources and not enough new demand (younger people, people that have wealth) to keep the perpetual growth machine going.

    [Jun 02, 2020] It's true that the EU is just a province of the USA with delusions of grandeur

    Jun 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    vk , Jun 2 2020 0:32 utc | 126

    It's true that the EU is just a province of the USA with delusions of grandeur:

    EU economic actions reflect state interventions they decry

    ... ... ...

    [May 29, 2020] The Great Disentanglement

    May 29, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

    ... ... ...

    China's economic shutdown at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic disrupted many global supply chains, prompting a number of countries and corporations to accelerate their strategy of reducing their dependency on China for components.

    ...the trade war between Washington and Beijing had contributed to the U.S. fashion industry and tech firms like Apple rethinking their own supply chains. Japan, heavily dependent on Chinese trade, is using $2 billion in economic stimulus funds to subsidize the move of Japanese firms out of China.

    The Trump administration is thus swimming with the current in its effort to isolate China. It has imposed sanctions because of China's violations of Uyghur human rights. It has levied penalties against China for its cooperation with Iranian firms. And it has threatened to add another set of tariffs on top of the existing ones for China's handling of the coronavirus.

    Its latest initiative has been to tighten the screws on the Chinese technology firm, Huawei. Last week, the administration announced sanctions against any firms using U.S.-made equipment that supply the Chinese tech giant. The chief victim of these new restrictions will be the Taiwanese firm TSMC, which supplies 90 percent of Huawei's smartphone chips.

    In other words, the Trump administration is committed not only to severing U.S. economic connections with China. It wants to put as much pressure on other countries as well to disentangle themselves from Chinese manufacturing. Taiwan, of course, has no particular love for Mainland China. It battles Beijing on a daily basis to get international recognition -- from other countries and from global organizations like the World Health Organization.

    But the Taiwanese economy is also heavily dependent on its cross-strait neighbor. As Eleanor Albert points out :

    China is Taiwan's largest trading partner, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the island's total trade, and trade between the two reached $150.5 billion in 2018 (up from $35 billion in 1999). China and Taiwan have also agreed to allow banks, insurers, and other financial service providers to work in both markets.

    And it probably won't be Huawei but Taiwan that suffers from the U.S. move. As Michael Reilly notes , "Huawei's size in the global market means its Taiwanese suppliers cannot easily find an alternative customer of comparable standing to replace it." China, meanwhile, will either find another source of chips outside the U.S. sphere, or it will do what the United States has been threatening to do: bring production of critical components back closer to home.

    Another key player in the containment of China is India. Trump's friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a right-wing Hindu nationalist, is more than simply an ideological affection. Trump sealed a $3 billion in military sales deal with India in February, with a trade deal still on the horizon.

    Modi, in turn, is hoping to be the biggest beneficiary of the falling out between Washington and Beijing. "The government in April reached out to more than 1,000 companies in the U.S. and through overseas missions to offer incentives for manufacturers seeking to move out of China," reports Bloomberg . "India is prioritizing medical equipment suppliers, food processing units, textiles, leather, and auto part makers among more than 550 products covered in the discussions."

    Vietnam is another regional competitor that the United States is supporting in its containment strategy. With only a couple hundred reported coronavirus cases and zero deaths, Vietnam is poised to emerge from the current crisis virtually unscathed. With low labor costs and an authoritarian government that can enforce deals, it is already a favored alternative for corporations looking for alternatives to China. But wildcat strikes have been happening in greater numbers in the country, and the Vietnamese government recently approved the country's first independent trade union.

    Yet with a more technologically sophisticated infrastructure, China will continue to look more attractive to investors than India or Vietnam.

    ... ... ...

    Trump administration is, frankly, at a huge disadvantage when it tries to pressure companies to relocate their operations. Writes Manisha Mirchandani:

    The global technology and consumer electronics sectors are especially reliant on China's infrastructure and specialized labor pool, neither of which will be easy to replicate. The Chinese government is already mobilizing resources to convince producers of China's unique merits as a manufacturing location. Zhengzhou, within Henan Province, has appointed officials to support Apple's partner Foxconn in mitigating the disruptions caused by the coronavirus, while the Ministry of Finance is increasing credit support to the manufacturing sector. Further, the Chinese government is likely to channel stimulus efforts to develop the country's high-tech manufacturing infrastructure, moving away from its low-value manufacturing base and accelerating its vision for a technology-driven services economy.

    The Trump administration is playing the short game, trying to use tariffs and anti-Chinese sentiment to hobble a rising power. China, on the other hand, is playing the long game, translating its trade surpluses into structural advantages in a fast-evolving global economy.

    Will the Conflict Turn Hot?

    Despite the economic ravages of the pandemic, the Pentagon continues to demand the lion's share of the U.S. budget. It wants another $705 billion for 2021, after increasing its budget by 20 percent between 2016 and 2020.

    This appalling waste of government resources has already caused long-term damage to the economic competitiveness of the United States. But it's all the money the Pentagon is spending on "deterring China" that might prove more devastating in the short term.

    John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus , where this article originally appeared.

    [May 29, 2020] The USA effectively controls world semiconductor industry and this fact will hurt Huaway at least in a short run

    May 29, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    The administration also took off the gloves with China over U.S. listings by mainland companies that fail to follow U.S. securities laws. This came after the Commerce Department finally moved to limit access by Huawei Technologies to high-end silicon chips made with U.S. lithography machines. The trade war with China is heating up, but a conflict was inevitable and particularly when it comes to technology.

    At the bleeding edge of 7 and 5 nanometer feature size, American tech still rules the world of semiconductors. In 2018, Qualcomm confirmed its next-generation Snapdragon SoC would be built at 7 nm. Huawei has already officially announced its first 7nm chip -- the Kirin 980. But now Huawei is effectively shut out of the best in class of custom-made chips, giving Samsung and Apple a built-in advantage in handsets and network equipment.

    It was no secret that Washington allowed Huawei to use loopholes in last year's blacklist rules to continue to buy U.S. sourced chips. Now the door is closed, however, as the major Taiwan foundries led by TSMC will be forced to stop custom production for Huawei, which is basically out of business in about 90 days when its inventory of chips runs out. But even as Huawei spirals down, the White House is declaring financial war on dozens of other listed Chinese firms.

    President Donald Trump said in an interview with Fox Business News that forcing Chinese companies to follow U.S. accounting norms would likely push them to list in non-U.S. exchanges. Chinese companies that list their shares in the U.S. have long refused to allow American regulators to inspect their accounting audits, citing direction from their government -- a practice that market authorities here have been unwilling or unable to stop.

    The attack by the Trump Administration on shoddy financial disclosure at Chinese firms is long overdue, but comes at a time when the political evolution in China is turning decidedly authoritarian in nature and against any pretense of market-oriented development. The rising power of state companies in China parallels the accumulation of power in the hands of Xi Jinping, who is increasingly seen as a threat to western-oriented business leaders. The trade tensions with Washington provide a perfect foil to crack down on popular unrest in Hong Kong and discipline wayward oligarchs.

    The latest moves by Beijing to take full control in Hong Kong are part of the more general retrenchment visible in China. "[P]rivate entrepreneurs are increasingly nervous about their future," writes Henny Sender in the Financial Times . "In many cases, these entrepreneurs have U.S. passports or green cards and both children and property in America. To be paid in U.S. dollars outside China for their companies must look more tempting by the day." A torrent of western oriented Chinese business leaders is exiting before the door is shut completely.

    The fact is that China's position in U.S. trade has retreated as nations like Mexico and Vietnam have gained. Mexico is now America's largest trading partner and Vietnam has risen to 11th, reports Qian Wang of Bloomberg News . Meanwhile, China has dropped from 21 percent of U.S. trade in 2018 to just 18 percent last year. A big part of the shift is due to the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade pact, which is expected to accelerate a return of production to North America. Sourcing for everything from autos to semiconductors is expected to rotate away from China in coming years.

    China abandoned its decades-old practice of setting a target for annual economic growth , claiming that it was prioritizing goals such as stabilizing employment, alleviating poverty and preventing risks in 2020. Many observers accept the official communist party line that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic made it almost impossible to fix an expansion rate this year, but in fact the lasting effects of the 2008 financial crisis and the aggressive policies of President Trump have rocked China back on its heels.

    As China becomes increasingly focused inward and with an eye on public security, the economic situation is likely to deteriorate further. While many observers viewed China's "Belt & Road" initiative as a sign of confidence and strength, in fact it was Beijing's attempt to deal with an economic realignment that followed the 2008 crisis. The arrival of President Trump on the scene further weakened China's already unstable mercantilist economic model, where non-existent internal demand was supposed to make up for falling global trade flows. Or at least this was the plan until COVID-19.

    "Before the Covid-19 outbreak, many economists were expecting China to set a GDP growth target of 6% to 6.5% to reflect the gradual slowdown in the pace of expansion over the past few years," reports Caixin Global . "Growth slid to 6.1% in 2019 from 6.7% in 2018. But the devastation caused by the coronavirus epidemic -- which saw the economy contract 6.8% year-on-year in the first quarter -- has thrown those forecasts out of the window."

    Out of the window indeed. Instead of presiding over a glorious expansion of the Chinese sphere of influence in Asia, Xi Jinping is instead left to fight a defensive action economically and financially. The prospective end of the special status of Hong Kong is unlikely to have any economic benefits and may actually cause China's problems with massive internal debt and economic malaise to intensify. Beijing's proposed security law would reduce Hong Kong's separate legal status and likely bring an end to the separate currency and business environment.


    M Orban 20 hours ago

    I honestly don't know if this article is or is not correct... But I wonder...
    AmConMag publishes a major anti-China article on most days now. What is happening? What is the mechanics of this... "phenomenon"?
    chris chuba M Orban 12 hours ago
    For any of their flaws AmConMag was a sweet spot.

    A place where where Americans opposed to U.S. hegemony because it's harm on everyone without being overwhelmed by the Neocon acolytes where can we go, anyone ever try to get a word in on foxnews ?

    If you try to reach out to twitter on Tom Cotton or Mike Waltz dismisses you as a 'Chinese govt / Iranian / Russian bot'

    You know what, God will judge us and we will all be equal in he eyes of Him
    Why should I be afraid. Why should I be silent. And thank you TAC for the opportunity to post.

    M Orban chris chuba 6 hours ago
    I too came here for interesting commentary, - and even better comments... five years ago or so?
    I found the original articles mostly okay, often too verbose, meandering for my taste but the different point of view made them worthwhile. The readers' comments, now that is priceless. That brings the real value. That's where we learn. That's where I learn, anyway. :)
    It never occurred to me to message to any politician, I think my voice would be lost in the cacophony.
    The target of my curiosity is that when all these articles start to point in one direction (like belligerence toward China) how does it happen? Is there a chain of command? It seems coordinated.
    MPC M Orban 2 hours ago • edited
    It's possible to be anti-neocon, for their being too ideological, and not pacifist. That is basically my position.

    I agree with most here on Russia and Iran. They are not threats, and in specific cases should be partners instead. Agree on American imperialism being foolish and often evil. I believe in a multipolar world as a practical matter. I don't take a soft view of China however. I believe they do intend to replace nefarious American hegemony with their own relevant, but equally nefarious, flavor of hegemony. There are few countries in the world with such a pathological distrust of their own people. I truly believe that country is a threat that needs to be checked at least for a couple of decades by the rest of the world.

    As to the editorial direction, I think it is merely capitalism. China's perception in the world is extremely bad lately. I would fully expect the always somewhat Russophile environment here to seize the moment to say 'see! Russia is not a true threat! It's China!' RT itself soon after Trump's election I recall posted an article complaining about total disregard for Chinese election meddling.

    Barry_II M Orban 7 hours ago
    You can see when the people holding the leash give a tug on the collar. And it's clear that the GOP is feeling the need for a warlike political environment.

    The most blatant presstitution example, of course, was the National Review, going from 'Never Trump' to full time servicing.

    M Orban Barry_II 6 hours ago
    In case of AmConMag, who is holding the leash?

    [May 28, 2020] By arresting Meng, Trump administration just driving a hedge between inside the "Capitalist International"

    May 28, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    vk , May 27 2020 20:28 utc | 17

    @ Posted by: james | May 27 2020 18:51 utc | 8

    Of all the options in the Western arsenal against China, arresting Huawei's heir apparent on blatantly forged charges is easily one of the worst.

    Chinese or not Chinese, fact is Meng is a member of the bourgeoisie. She is one of them. It doesn't matter if Huawei only became big and prosperous thanks to the CCP: bourgeoisie is bourgeoisie, and having a strong one within communist China's belly is essential for the long term success of capitalism in its war against communism.

    By arresting Meng, the capitalists (i.e. Americans) are just driving a hedge between inside the "Capitalist International". The Chinese capitalist class - who was certainly very interested in ganging up with their western counterparts to, in the long term, topple the CCP - is now completely at the mercy of the CCP, as the CCP is now the only guarantor of their own class status.

    The correct strategy would be for the Western bourgeoisie to woo the Chinese bourgeoisie with as many tax breaks, green cards and other kinds of flattery, so that, withing the course of some generations, the Chinese bourgeoisie become fully liberal (westernized). It would then make the infamous "middle class insurgence" theory feasible.

    But (and there's always a "but" in the real world), it seems that capitalism itself is in crisis. It seems that, all of a sudden, the pot became too small to make every alpha male happy. The international bourgeoisie is now devouring its children (the petite-bourgeoisie, the "small business owners") and is beginning to devour itself.


    A.L. , May 27 2020 20:48 utc | 20

    @Kadath 15

    Meng is a high profile scalp but won't change anything. it'll just up the ante in this game of chicken.

    in regards to HK's special trading rights, it's horseshit really. HK hasn't made anything anyone needed for decades. the biggest use of this special relationship (cough cough) is to move mainland product through Hong Kong to skirt quota and tariff restrictions. as an inhabitant I won't be sorry to see it go. it hasn't and doesn't benefit the people here anyway.

    as to it's status as a financial hub, do you really think the bankers will leave if there are money to be made? c'mon who are we kidding here. actually, if it means driving away a few expat bankers who does nothing except creating glass ceilings and hanging out in various golf and aristocratic clubs in hk, I'm all for it too.

    as to visa free travel, again it's a non issue as well. I remember before the 1997 handover having to get visas to go pretty much anywhere with my HK British passport it was an utterly useless 3nd class citizen passport. so nothing changes. ironically all of the visa free agreement came after the handover with no thanks to the Brits.

    if USA start freezing assets of individuals and businesses it'll be a sloppily slope for Trumpville. For one freezing individuals assets won't hurt China on the whole one iota, second, China can play that game too. US businesses and assets can all be nationalised.

    I'm still waiting for China to cancel all Boeing and GE orders because they're defense suppliers of USA, just as USA is claiming huawei to be as the reason for sanctions.

    so yeah it'll get worse.

    A.L. , May 27 2020 21:06 utc | 23
    @vk 17

    "The Chinese capitalist class - who was certainly very interested in ganging up with their western counterparts to, in the long term, topple the CCP - is now completely at the mercy of the CCP, as the CCP is now the only guarantor of their own class status."

    I think you nailed it on the head there. it's not just capitalists, a lot of party officials shipped their families to the 5 eye countries thinking it's their plan B (often with obscene, questionable wealth and under fake identities as dual citizenship is not allowed in China). now it's becoming clear to them they're now in the pocket of uncle Sam, their loved ones to be sacrificed and used against them in any moment.

    Kadath , May 27 2020 21:15 utc | 25
    Re: 20 A.L.

    I agree, stripping HK of its' special trading agreement isn't going to hurt China in any meaningful way and I don't think the financial elite of HK are going to flee from China over this. However, the way in which the US is doing this is an insult to the Chinese (not just the government, but the Chinese people themselves). The US claiming to have the right to adjudicate over the domestic policies of other countries is not just an insult but also an implied threat. In international politics claiming that you have a right of approval over another nation's internal policies is in effect a claim of superior authority over that country than that country's own government and it logically brings up all sorts of questions about what happens if they refuse to accept your claim, do you impose sanctions or go to war over it?

    The bigger threats are coming over Taiwan and Tibet, the US suggesting that it might pass legislation recognizing them as independent countries means that the US feels it has the right to unilaterally impose new boarders on countries - that only happens if you win a war, so the US feels it is at war with China and that it has already won or is so certain to win that it can announce what it wants the new boarders to look like. That is crazy. What's next, will the US do what they did with Venezuela and declare some random oligarch the new Chinese President then sign agreements with him and insist that they are real legal documents (that might very well be the plan for the leader of the HK protests Joshua Wong).

    The US was stupid or crazy or both to try this path with Venezuela to try this with China means war.

    james , May 27 2020 21:19 utc | 26
    @ 25 kadath... isn't this what the usa is doing with the huawei case in canada? they are essentially saying - our rules 'trump' all of yours... this is how exceptional nations work ya know... either that or the bullying tactics are wearing thin with me...
    Anonymous , May 27 2020 21:29 utc | 28
    Since the subject of Meng Wanzhou's court case came up, I thought I'd post more detail.

    "Meng's lawyers argued that the fact Canada does not have economic sanctions against Iran meant her alleged actions would not have been considered a crime in Canada because no bank would have suffered a loss in an identical set of circumstances.

    But the judge said Meng's lawyers were trying to make the scope of her analysis too narrow.

    "Canada's law of fraud looks beyond international boundaries to encompass all the relevant details that make up the factual matrix, including foreign laws that may give meaning to some of the facts," Holmes said.
    ____

    OK, so that's settled but there is a lot more to come:

    "The judge still has to hold hearings to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant extradition, and Meng has also claimed that her rights were violated at the time of her arrest.

    Holmes pointed out that Canada's minister of justice will also have a chance to weigh in on whether a decision to commit Meng for extradition would be contrary to Canadian values.

    The ministry confirmed in a statement that extradition proceedings will go ahead "as expeditiously as possible."

    Links:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/meng-wanzhou-extradition-decision-1.5585737

    https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2020/05/27/huaweis-meng-wanzhou-faces-court-decision-that-could-set-her-free.html

    https://www.bccourts.ca/jdb-txt/sc/20/07/2020BCSC0785.htm

    Kadath , May 27 2020 21:36 utc | 29
    Re:26 James,

    The extraterritoriality the US is claiming over everything related to international finance and sanctions (not just Iran, but also Cuba, Russia, roughly 1/3 of the world is under some form of US sanctions) is a constant crime which kills thousands of people per year. But what the US has been doing over the past few years, changing boarders unilaterally without evening going to war is a step towards pure insanity. The US "declares" that the "Golan heights" belong to Israel, the US hates the current President of Venezuela so they declare some random guy the new President and bully other countries into pretending his is as well. Ultimately, this is a sign of growing weakness, when the US wanted to change the government of Iraq they invaded (and failed), when they wanted to breakup Syria they bankrolled a bunch of mercenaries (and failed again). Now the US isn't even confident enough to invade Venezuela and impose a new government, so instead they play make-believe with Guaido. Despite this, Venezula isn't strong enough to punish the US for its' delusions but if the US insists on playing make-believe with China they will learn some very painful lessons because China is strong enough to push back.

    bevin , May 28 2020 0:46 utc | 41
    The Meng case has always been part of the Trump campaign to put pressure on China. The Judge's ruling today is quite ludicrous but wholly consistent with Canada's historic tradition of carrying out instructions from the Imperial capital, whether that be in London or Washington.
    It is sad to see a national ruling class prostituting itself and sadder still when it does so out of fear rather than for profit.
    It is all about China, which is in an invulnerable position thanks to Washington having spent the last twenty years forcing Russia and Iran into Beijing's arms. Having given up diplomacy in order to concentrate on gangster bullying tactics the US has ended up, the way all declining empires do, with no friends except those countries so weak that they still crave the Emperor's favour.

    https://peoplesdispatch.org/2020/05/26/why-irans-fuel-tankers-for-venezuela-are-sending-shudders-through-washington/

    dh , May 28 2020 1:24 utc | 43
    @41 "....it does so out of fear rather than for profit."

    Basic economic survival surely. Canada is in no position to upset the current administration in Washington....much as many Canadians would like to.

    [May 27, 2020] An important ruling in the Canada-US extradition case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou will be announced shortly

    May 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    jayc , May 27 2020 17:38 utc | 2

    An important ruling in the Canada-US extradition case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou will be announced shortly. A Canadian court will rule if the case has suitable "double-criminality" - i.e. an act illegal in both countries - and Men will either be free or one step closer to being delivered to the Americans. While it is claimed the arrest was political in nature due to an off-the-cuff comment by Trump, the politicized nature of the charge and extradition request goes back ten years as revealed in the New York Times in December 2018 (How A National Security Investigation of Huawei Set Off an International Incident Dec 14, 2018):


    "The details of the criminal charges against Ms. Meng, filed under seal, remain murky. But court filings in Canada and interviews with people familiar with the Huawei investigation show that the events leading to her arrest were set in motion years ago.

    How a National Security Investigation of Huawei Set Off an International Incident - The New York Times 2018-12-15, 4*50 PM
    They grew out of an Obama administration national security investigation into Chinese companies -- including Huawei -- that act as extensions of the country's government, according to the people familiar with the investigation. The focus only recently shifted to whether Huawei, and specifically Ms. Meng, deceived HSBC and other banks to get them to keep facilitating business in Iran. Former federal prosecutors said pursuing Ms. Meng, 46, for alleged bank fraud proved to be a better line of attack than trying to build a case on national security grounds...

    Counterintelligence agents and federal prosecutors began exploring possible cases against Huawei's leadership in 2010, according to a former federal law enforcement official. The effort was led by United States attorney's offices in places where Huawei has facilities, including Massachusetts, Alabama, California, New York and Texas."

    In other words, the Americans had decided to use its courts against Huawei many years before any charges directed at Meng came to pass. They were literally in search of a crime.

    Some of the uglier features of the Canadian political establishment and media have been pounding the drums for expanded hostilities directed at China, in concert with other Five Eyes partners.


    james , May 27 2020 18:51 utc | 8

    cbc article on it here - Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou loses major court battle as B.C. judge rules extradition bid should proceed
    Kadath , May 27 2020 20:15 utc | 15
    Well now that it's 95% sure that Meng will be extradited to the US by the Canadian poodle courts, we should now consider how China will respond as the full court press against China has really heated up in the past month. If Meng is extradited to the US, she'll almost certainly be kept in a high security prison, as I can't imagine the US allowing her to remain free on bail during the trial and then given a 10-15yr prison sentence which will be used as a bargaining chip in the US-China trade war. US intelligence agencies will constantly interrogate/torture/bribe her in efforts to get her to flip against the Chinese government or provide them some intelligence. Given her high status I think China may want to consider the following options

    1. Arrest some more Canadian "diplomats" (i.e. spies) and perhaps even up the ante by arresting a US spy.
    2. Pull an Assange and have Meng flee to the Chinese Consulate in Vancouver, I've seen the Consulate and it is much roomier than the Ecuadorian embassy that Julian was stuck in. This would ensure her protection and bypass the corrupt Courts, making it purely a question of diplomacy between states (not that Canada has good diplomacy skills, but if China was also holding a bunch of Canadian spies it would make sense to make this problem go away).

    6 months ago, I think the Chinese would have allowed her to be extradited to the US and then fought it out in backdown diplomacy with the US. But will all of the crazy things the US has done in the past 2 months I think China has had enough and will start pushing back. Heck, in the past 48 hours a congressman put forth a motion to declare Tibet an independent country illegally occupied by China and the Whitehouse is threatening to strip Hong Kong of special trading rights.

    vk , May 27 2020 20:28 utc | 17
    @ Posted by: james | May 27 2020 18:51 utc | 8

    Of all the options in the Western arsenal against China, arresting Huawei's heir apparent on blatantly forged charges is easily one of the worst.

    Chinese or not Chinese, fact is Meng is a member of the bourgeoisie. She is one of them. It doesn't matter if Huawei only became big and prosperous thanks to the CCP: bourgeoisie is bourgeoisie, and having a strong one within communist China's belly is essential for the long term success of capitalism in its war against communism.

    By arresting Meng, the capitalists (i.e. Americans) are just driving a hedge between inside the "Capitalist International". The Chinese capitalist class - who was certainly very interested in ganging up with their western counterparts to, in the long term, topple the CCP - is now completely at the mercy of the CCP, as the CCP is now the only guarantor of their own class status.

    The correct strategy would be for the Western bourgeoisie to woo the Chinese bourgeoisie with as many tax breaks, green cards and other kinds of flattery, so that, withing the course of some generations, the Chinese bourgeoisie become fully liberal (westernized). It would then make the infamous "middle class insurgence" theory feasible.

    But (and there's always a "but" in the real world), it seems that capitalism itself is in crisis. It seems that, all of a sudden, the pot became too small to make every alpha male happy. The international bourgeoisie is now devouring its children (the petite-bourgeoisie, the "small business owners") and is beginning to devour itself.

    [May 26, 2020] Huawei Warns of 'Terrible Price' If U.S.-China Tensions Escalate - Bloomberg

    Notable quotes:
    "... Bloomberg News ..."
    "... Guo was far less vocal than colleague Richard Yu, who runs the consumer division responsible for smartphones. The outspoken executive said the restrictions that ostensibly aim to allay U.S. cybersecurity concerns are really designed to safeguard American dominance of global tech. ..."
    "... "The so-called cybersecurity reasons are merely an excuse," Yu, head of the Chinese tech giant's consumer electronics unit, wrote in a post to his account on messaging app WeChat earlier on Monday. "The key is the threat to the technology hegemony of the U.S." posed by Huawei, he added. ..."
    May 26, 2020 | www.bloomberg.com

    ‎May‎ ‎17‎, ‎2020‎ ‎10‎:‎25‎ ‎PM Updated on ‎May‎ ‎18‎, ‎2020‎ ‎6‎:‎00‎ ‎AM 2:44

    ... ... ...

    China's largest technology company said it will be "significantly affected" by a Commerce Department decree barring any chipmaker using American equipment from supplying Huawei without U.S. government approval. That means companies like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and its rivals will have to cut off the Chinese company unless they get waivers -- effectively severing Huawei's access to cutting-edge silicon it needs for smartphones and networking gear.

    ... ... ...

    "Our business will significantly be impacted," Guo said at a company briefing with analysts in Shenzhen. "Given the changes in the industry over the past year, it dawned on us more clearly that fragmented standards and supply chains benefit no one. If further fragmentation were to take place, the whole industry would pay a terrible price," he added.

    Huawei is still assessing the potential fallout of the latest restrictions and couldn't predict the impact on revenue for now, Guo said. On Monday, a swathe of Huawei's suppliers from TSMC to AAC Technologies Holdings Inc. plunged in Asian trading.

    QuickTake: How Huawei Landed at the Center of Global Tech Tussle

    Guo was far less vocal than colleague Richard Yu, who runs the consumer division responsible for smartphones. The outspoken executive said the restrictions that ostensibly aim to allay U.S. cybersecurity concerns are really designed to safeguard American dominance of global tech.

    "The so-called cybersecurity reasons are merely an excuse," Yu, head of the Chinese tech giant's consumer electronics unit, wrote in a post to his account on messaging app WeChat earlier on Monday. "The key is the threat to the technology hegemony of the U.S." posed by Huawei, he added.

    Yu also posted a link to a Chinese article circulating on social media with part of its headline asking: "Why Does America Want to Kill Huawei?"

    The U.S. is leveraging its own technological strengths to crush companies outside its own borders, spokesman Joe Kelly told analysts, reading from a prepared statement. "This will only serve to undermine the trust international companies place in U.S. technology and supply chains," Kelly said. "Ultimately, this will harm U.S. interests."

    Read more: Global Chipmaking Kingpin Gets Dragged into U.S.-China Trade War

    -- With assistance by Colum Murphy, Yuan Gao, and Debby Wu

    ( Updates with more details from the Huawei briefing with analysts )

    [May 24, 2020] Trump's 'Uncreative Destruction' of the U.S.-China Relationship - FPIF by John Feffer

    May 20, 2020 | fpif.org

    Trump's economic war on China comes in the shadow of an even deadlier military escalation. And it may not stop after November, no matter who wins the election.

    Economists like to think of the wreckage caused by stock market downturns, widespread bankruptcies, and corporate downsizing as "creative destruction." As it destroys the old and the dysfunctional, the capitalist system continually spurs innovation, much as a forest fire prepares the ground for new growth.

    Or so the representatives of the dismal science argue.

    Donald Trump, who is neither economist nor scientist, has his own version of creative destruction. He is determined to destroy the Affordable Care Act and replace it with his own health insurance alternative. He has torn up the Iran nuclear deal in favor of negotiating something brand new with Tehran. He has withdrawn from the Paris climate accord and argues that the United States is reducing carbon emissions in its own superior manner.

    The problem, of course, is that Trump is very good at destruction but, despite his previous job as a real estate mogul, exceedingly bad at construction. Indeed, there's abundant evidence that he never intended to replace what he is destroying with anything at all. Trump has never offered any viable alternative to Obamacare or any new negotiating framework with Iran. And prior to the recent economic downturn, U.S. carbon emissions were increasing after several years of decline.

    Perhaps the most dangerous example of Trump's uncreative destruction is his approach to China.

    Previously, Trump said that he simply wanted to level the playing field by placing trade with China on a fairer and more reciprocal basis, strengthening the regime of intellectual property rights, and stopping Beijing from manipulating its currency.

    He was willing to go to great lengths to accomplish this goal. The tariffs that Trump imposed on Chinese products precipitated a trade war that jeopardized the livelihoods of millions of American farmers and workers. The initial trade deal that the United States and China signed in January, even though many of the U.S. tariffs remain in place, was supposed to be the grand alternative to the old and dysfunctional trade relationship.

    But here again, Trump is not telling the truth. He and his team have a very different set of objectives. As with so many other elements of his domestic and foreign policy, Trump wants to tear apart the current system -- in this case, the network of economic ties between the United States and China -- and replace it with absolutely nothing at all.

    Oh sure, Trump believes that U.S. manufacturers can step up to take the place of Chinese suppliers. More recently, as the administration "turbocharges" its efforts to isolate China in response to its purported pandemic mistakes , it has talked of creating an Economic Prosperity Network of trusted allies like South Korea, Australia, India, and Vietnam. But this is all whistling in the dark, because the administration doesn't really understand the consequences -- for the world economy, for the U.S. economy -- of tearing apart the global supply chain in this way.

    Just how poorly Trump understands all this is reflected in his statement last week that "we could cut off the whole relationship" with China and "save $500 billion." This from the president who erroneously believes that China is paying the United States "billions and billions of dollars of tariffs a month." What else do you expect from a man who received a BS in economics from Wharton?

    Unlike many of the administration's other policies, however, its hardline approach to China has some bipartisan support. Engagement with China has virtually disappeared as a policy option in the Democratic Party. Joe Biden, the Democrats' presumptive presidential candidate, has attempted to present himself as the tougher alternative when it comes to China, a misguided effort to fend off charges of his bedding down with Beijing.

    Finger to the wind, Biden is crafting policies in response not just to Trump but to public opinion. In 2017, 44 percent of Americans had a favorable view of China, compared to 47 percent who held an unfavorable opinion of the country, according to Pew. In this year's survey , only 26 percent looked at China positively versus 66 percent who viewed it negatively. The latter category includes 62 percent of Democrats.

    Writing for the Atlantic Council, Michael Greenwald sums up the new conventional wisdom of the centrists:

    The United States can no longer remain content with the notion of a Chinese economic threat arising in the distant future. The advent of COVID-19 has made it more apparent than any other time including the US-China trade war that now is the moment for the United States, European Union, and other like-minded countries to diversify supply chains away from China.

    That's what makes Trump's uncreative destruction vis a vis China so dangerous. It may not stop after November, no matter who wins the election.

    The Great Disentanglement

    China's economic shutdown at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic disrupted many global supply chains, prompting a number of countries and corporations to accelerate their strategy of reducing their dependency on China for components.

    Rising labor costs in China, concerns over human rights abuses there, but especially the trade war between Washington and Beijing had contributed to the U.S. fashion industry and tech firms like Apple rethinking their own supply chains. Japan, heavily dependent on Chinese trade, is using $2 billion in economic stimulus funds to subsidize the move of Japanese firms out of China.

    The Trump administration is thus swimming with the current in its effort to isolate China. It has imposed sanctions because of China's violations of Uyghur human rights. It has levied penalties against China for its cooperation with Iranian firms. And it has threatened to add another set of tariffs on top of the existing ones for China's handling of the coronavirus.

    Its latest initiative has been to tighten the screws on the Chinese technology firm, Huawei. Last week, the administration announced sanctions against any firms using U.S.-made equipment that supply the Chinese tech giant. The chief victim of these new restrictions will be the Taiwanese firm TSMC, which supplies 90 percent of Huawei's smartphone chips.

    In other words, the Trump administration is committed not only to severing U.S. economic connections with China. It wants to put as much pressure on other countries as well to disentangle themselves from Chinese manufacturing. Taiwan, of course, has no particular love for Mainland China. It battles Beijing on a daily basis to get international recognition -- from other countries and from global organizations like the World Health Organization.

    But the Taiwanese economy is also heavily dependent on its cross-strait neighbor. As Eleanor Albert points out :

    China is Taiwa n's largest trading partner, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the island's total trade, and trade between the two reached $150.5 billion in 2018 (up from $35 billion in 1999). China and Taiwan have also agreed to allow banks, insurers, and other financial service providers to work in both market s.

    And it probably won't be Huawei but Taiwan that suffers from the U.S. move. As Michael Reilly notes , "Huawei's size in the global market means its Taiwanese suppliers cannot easily find an alternative customer of comparable standing to replace it." China, meanwhile, will either find another source of chips outside the U.S. sphere, or it will do what the United States has been threatening to do: bring production of critical components back closer to home.

    Another key player in the containment of China is India. Trump's friendship with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a right-wing Hindu nationalist, is more than simply an ideological affection. Trump sealed a $3 billion in military sales deal with India in February, with a trade deal still on the horizon.

    Modi, in turn, is hoping to be the biggest beneficiary of the falling out between Washington and Beijing. "The government in April reached out to more than 1,000 companies in the U.S. and through overseas missions to offer incentives for manufacturers seeking to move out of China," reports Bloomberg . "India is prioritizing medical equipment suppliers, food processing units, textiles, leather, and auto part makers among more than 550 products covered in the discussions."

    Vietnam is another regional competitor that the United States is supporting in its containment strategy. With only a couple hundred reported coronavirus cases and zero deaths, Vietnam is poised to emerge from the current crisis virtually unscathed. With low labor costs and an authoritarian government that can enforce deals, it is already a favored alternative for corporations looking for alternatives to China. But wildcat strikes have been happening in greater numbers in the country, and the Vietnamese government recently approved the country's first independent trade union.

    Yet with a more technologically sophisticated infrastructure, China will continue to look more attractive to investors than India or Vietnam.

    Don't Count Out China

    If your image of the Chinese economy is stuck in the 1980s -- cheap toys and mass-produced baubles -- then you probably think that severing economic ties with the country is no big deal. America can produce its own plastic junk, right?

    But China is no longer hurrying to catch up to the West. In some ways, the West is already in China's rearview mirror.

    Huawei is well-known for the part it's playing in the rollout of 5G networks worldwide. China is not only ahead of the curve in upgrading to 5G domestically, it is busy manufacturing all the new tech that will run on these high-speed networks, like virtual reality and augmented reality and AI-driven devices.

    Perhaps more to the point, China is not simply part of the global supply chain. It is using these new technologies to revolutionize the global supply chain.

    For instance, it's using 3-D modeling to shorten product development. It has long integrated drones into its distribution networks. "Chinese supply chain companies are incorporating groundbreaking technologies like cloud-based systems, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) and using them to redesign supply chain operations," writes Adina-Laura Achim.

    And don't discount the role of a well-financed, centralized, authoritarian government. The Trump administration is, frankly, at a huge disadvantage when it tries to pressure companies to relocate their operations. Writes Manisha Mirchandani:

    The global technology and consumer electronics sectors are especially reliant on China's infrastructure and specialized labor pool, neither of which will be easy to replicate. The Chinese government is already mobilizing resources to convince producers of China's unique merits as a manufacturing location. Zhengzhou, within Henan Province, has appointed officials to support Apple's partner Foxconn in mitigating the disruptions caused by the coronavirus, while the Ministry of Finance is increasing credit support to the manufacturing sector. Further, the Chinese government is likely to channel stimulus efforts to develop the country's high-tech manufacturing infrastructure, moving away from its low-value manufacturing base and accelerating its vision for a technology-driven services economy.

    The Trump administration is playing the short game, trying to use tariffs and anti-Chinese sentiment to hobble a rising power. China, on the other hand, is playing the long game, translating its trade surpluses into structural advantages in a fast-evolving global economy.

    Will the Conflict Turn Hot?

    Despite the economic ravages of the pandemic, the Pentagon continues to demand the lion's share of the U.S. budget. It wants another $705 billion for 2021, after increasing its budget by 20 percent between 2016 and 2020.

    This appalling waste of government resources has already caused long-term damage to the economic competitiveness of the United States. But it's all the money the Pentagon is spending on "deterring China" that might prove more devastating in the short term.

    The U.S. Navy announced this month that it was sending its entire forward-deployed sub fleet on "contingency response operations" as a warning to China. Last month, the U.S. Navy Expeditionary Strike Group sailed into the South China Sea to support Malaysia's oil exploration in an area that China claims. Aside from the reality that oil exploration makes no economic sense at a time of record low oil prices, the United States should be helping the countries bordering the South China Sea come to a fair resolution of their disputes, not throwing more armaments at the problem.

    There's also heightened risk of confrontation in the Taiwan Strait, the East China Sea, and even in outer space . A huge portion of the Pentagon's budget goes toward preparing for war with China -- and, frankly, provoking war as well.

    What does this all have to do with the Great Disentanglement?

    The close economic ties between the United States and China have always represented a significant constraint on military confrontation. Surely the two countries would not risk grievous economic harm by coming to blows. Economic cooperation also provides multiple channels for resolving conflicts and communicating discontent. The United States and Soviet Union never had that kind of buffer.

    If the Great Disentanglement goes forward, however, then the two countries have less to lose economically in a military confrontation. Trading partners, of course, sometimes go to war with one another. But as the data demonstrates , more trade generally translates into less war.

    There are lots and lots of problems in the U.S.-China economic relationship. But they pale in comparison to World War III. Share this:

    John Feffer is the director of Foreign Policy In Focus.

    Issues: Labor, Trade, & Finance , War & Peace

    Regions: Asia & Pacific , China , India , North America , United States , Vietnam

    Tags: 5G , Donald Trump , global supply chain , globalization , great disentanglement , huawei , Joe Biden , tariffs , trade war , U.S. military spending

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    [May 23, 2020] China is still in great danger: it is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

    May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    vk , May 22 2020 21:02 utc | 27

    China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48). It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

    So, yes, the West still has a realistic chance of destroying China and inaugurating a new cycle of capitalist prosperity.

    What happens with the "decoupling"/"Pivot to Asia" is that, in the West, there's a scatological theory [go to 10th paragraph] - of Keynesian origin - that socialism can only play "catch up" with capitalism, but never surpass it when a "toyotist phase" of technological innovation comes (this is obviously based on the USSR's case). This theory states that, if there's innovation in socialism, it is residual and by accident, and that only in capitalism is significant technological advancement possible. From this, they posit that, if China is blocked out of Western IP, it will soon "go back to its place" - which is probably to Brazil or India level.

    If China will be able to get out of the "Toyotist Trap" that destroyed the USSR, only time will tell. Regardless, decoupling is clearly not working, and China is not showing any signs so far of slowing down. Hence Trump is now embracing a more direct approach.

    As for the USA, I've put my big picture opinion about it some days ago, so I won't repeat myself. Here, it suffices to say that, yes, I believe the USA can continue to survive as an empire - even if, worst case scenario, in a "byzantine" form. To its favor, it has: 1) the third largest world population 2) huge territory, with excellent proportion of high-quality arable land (35%), that basically guarantees food security indefinitely (for comparison, the USSR only had 10% of arable land, and of worse quality) 3) two coasts, to the two main Oceans (Pacific and Atlantic), plus a direct exit to the Arctic (Alaska and, de facto, Greenland and Canada) 4) excellent, very defensive territory, protected by both oceans (sea-to-sea), bordered only by two very feeble neighbors (Mexico and Canada) that can be easily absorbed if the situation asks to 4) still the financial superpower 5) still a robust "real" economy - specially if compared to the micro-nations of Western Europe and East-Asia 6) a big fucking Navy, which gives it thalassocratic power.

    I don't see the USA losing its territorial integrity anytime soon. There are separatist movements in places like Texas and, more recently, the Western Coast. Most of them exist only for fiscal reasons and are not taken seriously by anyone else. The Star-and-Stripes is still a very strong ideal to the average American, and nobody takes the idea of territory loss for real. If that happens, though, it would change my equation on the survival of the American Empire completely.

    As for Hong Kong. I watched a video by the chief of the PLA last year (unfortunately, I watched it on Twitter and don't have the link with me anymore). He was very clear: Hong Kong does not present an existential threat to China. The greatest existential threat to China are, by far, Xinjiang and Tibet, followed by Taiwan and the South China Sea. Hong Kong is a distant fourth place.

    Those liberal clowns were never close.


    Jen , May 22 2020 21:55 utc | 32

    VK @ 28:

    One problem with your scenario is that the US navy may be over-extended in parts of the world where all the enemy has to do is to cut off supply lines to battleship groups and then those ships would be completely helpless. US warships in the Persian Gulf with the Strait of Hormuz sealed off by Iran come to mind.

    Incidents involving US naval ship collisions with slow-moving oil tankers in SE Asian waters and some other parts of of the the world, resulting in the loss of sailors, hardly instill the notion that the US is a mighty thalassocratic force.

    It's my understanding also that Russia, China and maybe some other countries have invested hugely in long-range missiles capable of hitting US coastal cities and areas where the bulk of the US population lives.

    And if long-range missiles don't put paid to the notion that projecting power through sending naval warships all over the planet works, maybe the fact that many of these ships are sitting ducks for COVID-19 infection clusters might, where the US public is concerned.

    vk , May 22 2020 22:16 utc | 33
    @ Posted by: Jen | May 22 2020 21:55 utc | 33

    I agree the new anti-ship missile technology may have changed the rules of naval warfare.

    However, it's important to highlight that, contrary to the US Army, the USN has a stellar record. It fought wonderfully against the Japanese Empire in 1941-1945, and successfully converted both the Pacific and the Atlantic into "American lakes" for the next 75 years. All the Americans have nowadays it owes its Navy.

    But you may be right. Maybe the USN is also susceptible to degeneration.

    Richard Steven Hack , May 22 2020 23:51 utc | 38
    Posted by: vk | May 22 2020 21:02 utc | 28

    Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48). It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

    Based on what I've read, China is on a fast track to develop technology on their own. In addition, technology development is world-wide these days. What China can not develop itself - quickly enough, time is the only real problem - it can buy with its economic power.

    "if China is blocked out of Western IP, it will soon "go back to its place" - which is probably to Brazil or India level."

    Ah, but that's where hackers come in. China can *not* be blocked out of Western IP. First, as I said, China can *buy* it. Unless there is a general prohibition across the entire Western world, and by extension sanctions against any other nation from selling to China - which is an unenforceable policy, as Iran has shown - China can buy what it doesn't have and then reverse-engineer it. Russia will sell it if no one else will.

    Second, China can continue to simply acquire technology through industrial espionage. Every country and every industry engages in this sort of thing. Ever watch the movie "Duplicity"? That shit actually happens. I read about industrial espionage years ago and it's only gotten fancier since the old days of paper files. I would be happy to breach any US or EU industrial sector and sell what I find to the Chinese, the Malaysians or anyone else interested. It's called "leveling the playing field" and that is advantageous for everyone. If the US industrial sector employees can't keep up, that's their problem. No one is guaranteed a job for life - and shouldn't be.

    "1) the third largest world population"

    Which is mostly engaged in unproductive activities like finance, law, etc. I've read that if you visit the main US universities teaching science and technology, who are the students? Chinese. Indians. Not Americans. Americans only want to "make money" in law and finance, not "make things."

    "2) huge territory, with excellent proportion of high-quality arable land (35%), that basically guarantees food security indefinitely"

    In military terms, given current military technology, territory doesn't matter. China has enough nuclear missiles to destroy the 50 Major Metropolitan Areas in this country. Losing 100-200 millions citizens kinda puts a damper on US productivity. Losing the same number in China merely means more for the rest.

    "3) two coasts, to the two main Oceans (Pacific and Atlantic)"

    Which submarines can make irrelevant. Good for economic matters - *if* your economy can continue competing. China has one coast - but its Belt and Road Initiative gives it economic clout on the back-end and the front-end. I don't see the US successfully countering that Initiative.

    "4) excellent, very defensive territory, protected by both oceans (sea-to-sea)"

    Which only means the US can't be "invaded". That's WWI and WWII thinking the US is mired in. Today, you destroy an opponent's military and, if necessary, his civilian population, or at least its ability to "project" force against you. You don't "invade" unless it's some weak Third World country. And if the US can't "project" its power via its navy or air force, having a lot of territory doesn't mean much. This is where Russia is right now. Very defensible but limited in force projection (but getting better fast.) The problem for the US is China and Russia are developing military technology that can prevent US force projection around *their* borders.

    "bordered only by two very feeble neighbors (Mexico and Canada) that can be easily absorbed if the situation asks"

    LOL I can just see the US "absorbing" Mexico. Canada, maybe - they're allies anyway. Mexico, not so much. You want a "quagmire", send the US troops to take on the Mexican drug gangs. They aren't Pancho Villa.

    "4) still the financial superpower"

    Uhm, what part of "Depression" did you miss? And even if that doesn't happen now, continued financial success is unlikely. Like pandemics, shit happens in economics and monetary policy.

    "a big fucking Navy, which gives it thalassocratic power."

    That can be sunk in a heartbeat and is virtually a colossal money pit with limited strategic value given current military technology which both China and Russia are as advanced as the US is, if not more so. Plus China is developing its own navy quickly. I read somewhere a description of one Chinese naval shipyard. There were several advanced destroyers being developed. Then the article noted that China has several more large shipyards. That Chinese long coast comes in handy for that sort of thing.

    China Now Has More Warships Than the U.S.
    But sometimes quantity doesn't trump quality. [My note: But sometimes it does.]
    https://tinyurl.com/y7numhef

    That's just the first article I found, from a crappy source. There are better analyses, of course.

    "I don't see the USA losing its territorial integrity anytime soon. There are separatist movements in places like Texas and, more recently, the Western Coast. Most of them exist only for fiscal reasons and are not taken seriously by anyone else."

    I'd agree with that. I hear this "California secession" crap periodically and never believe it. However, for state politicians, the notion of being "President" of your own country versus a "Governor" probably is tempting to these morons. State populations are frequently idiots as well, as the current lockdown response is demonstrating. All in all, though, if there are perceived external military threats, that is likely to make the states prefer to remain under US central control.

    [May 23, 2020] HK is protected against US tarrifs imposed on China goods. China exports a good chunk of goods through HK. If Trump were really serious he would remove HK's protected status.

    May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Kay Fabe , May 23 2020 0:09 utc | 42

    "Britain had to agree to the pact because it had lost the capability to defend the colony.".."

    That was the excuse. I believe HK was offered to China in return for Deng to open up and turn China capitalist. Deng was not the one who
    demanded HK return. Britain initiated the discussions. Deng gladly accepted although he insisted on maintaining their authoritarian form of undemocratic government and left HK's fate ambiguous so Britain could get support from their people and the HK elite. The party elites were happy to be able to join the Western Elites in accumulating an unequal share of the wealth. The Soviet elites led by the US Globalist puppet Gorbachev chose the same path although they chose Fake Democracy and rule of the oligarchs as in the US rather than party control of China

    HK is protected against US tarrifs imposed on China goods. China exports a good chunk of goods through HK. If Trump were really serious he would remove HK's protected status.

    vk , May 23 2020 0:30 utc | 47

    @ Posted by: Kay Fabe | May 23 2020 0:09 utc | 42

    The timing doesn't add up. China opened up in 1972 (the famous Nixon-Mao handshake), while the UK's agreement to give HK back was from 1984 - well into the Thatcher Era.

    The most likely reason for the UK to decide to obey the lease deal was of military nature: the valuable land necessary to defend HK was the flatland adjacent to the city proper, where potable water comes from. It already part of the Mainland, thus rendering the defense of HK virtually impossible without an outright invasion of the Mainland itself.

    Margaret Thatcher probably didn't want to obey the treaty (99-year lease), as a good neoliberal she was, but her military advisors probably warned her of the practical difficulties, and, since it was a 99-year lease anyway, she must've agreed to simply allow the treaty to be followed.

    It is important to highlight that, in 1984, there were a lot of reasons the capitalist world should be optimist about China becoming capitalist. After all, it really got off the Soviet sphere after 1972, and Deng's reforms were - from the point of view of a vulgar (bourgeois) economist - indeed a clear path to a capitalist restoration. It didn't cross Thatcher's mind that China could stand its ground and remain socialist - at least not in 1984. If you read the sources of the time, you will easily see the Western elites treated China's return to capitalism as a given.

    [May 23, 2020] China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3

    Highly recommended!
    May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    vk , May 22 2020 21:02 utc | 28

    China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48).

    It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

    So, yes, the West still has a realistic chance of destroying China and inaugurating a new cycle of capitalist prosperity.

    What happens with the "decoupling"/"Pivot to Asia" is that, in the West, there's a scatological theory [go to 10th paragraph] - of Keynesian origin - that socialism can only play "catch up" with capitalism, but never surpass it when a "toyotist phase" of technological innovation comes (this is obviously based on the USSR's case). This theory states that, if there's innovation in socialism, it is residual and by accident, and that only in capitalism is significant technological advancement possible. From this, they posit that, if China is blocked out of Western IP, it will soon "go back to its place" - which is probably to Brazil or India level.

    If China will be able to get out of the "Toyotist Trap" that destroyed the USSR, only time will tell. Regardless, decoupling is clearly not working, and China is not showing any signs so far of slowing down. Hence Trump is now embracing a more direct approach.

    As for the USA, I've put my big picture opinion about it some days ago, so I won't repeat myself. Here, it suffices to say that, yes, I believe the USA can continue to survive as an empire - even if, worst case scenario, in a "byzantine" form. To its favor, it has: 1) the third largest world population 2) huge territory, with excellent proportion of high-quality arable land (35%), that basically guarantees food security indefinitely (for comparison, the USSR only had 10% of arable land, and of worse quality) 3) two coasts, to the two main Oceans (Pacific and Atlantic), plus a direct exit to the Arctic (Alaska and, de facto, Greenland and Canada) 4) excellent, very defensive territory, protected by both oceans (sea-to-sea), bordered only by two very feeble neighbors (Mexico and Canada) that can be easily absorbed if the situation asks to 4) still the financial superpower 5) still a robust "real" economy - specially if compared to the micro-nations of Western Europe and East-Asia 6) a big fucking Navy, which gives it thalassocratic power.

    I don't see the USA losing its territorial integrity anytime soon. There are separatist movements in places like Texas and, more recently, the Western Coast. Most of them exist only for fiscal reasons and are not taken seriously by anyone else. The Star-and-Stripes is still a very strong ideal to the average American, and nobody takes the idea of territory loss for real. If that happens, though, it would change my equation on the survival of the American Empire completely.

    As for Hong Kong. I watched a video by the chief of the PLA last year (unfortunately, I watched it on Twitter and don't have the link with me anymore). He was very clear: Hong Kong does not present an existential threat to China. The greatest existential threat to China are, by far, Xinjiang and Tibet, followed by Taiwan and the South China Sea. Hong Kong is a distant fourth place.

    Those liberal clowns were never close.

    [May 22, 2020] They Saw This Day Coming - Huawei Forges Alliances With Rival Chipmakers As Washington's Crackdown Intensifies

    May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

    "They Saw This Day Coming" - Huawei Forges Alliances With Rival Chipmakers As Washington's Crackdown Intensifies by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 18:05 The US Commerce Department's latest move to block companies from selling products to Huawei that were created with American technology, equipment or software has undoubtedly hurt the Chinese telecoms giant. But it won't be nearly enough to take it down.

    Since Washington launched its campaign against Huawei two years ago (when the trade tensions between the US and China started to heat up, as President Trump started slapping more tariffs on foreign goods) the company has been strengthening ties with contract chipmakers in Taiwan and elsewhere, while ramping up its own microchip-technology arm, known as HiSilicon Technologies.

    On Friday, Nikkei reported that Huawei had initiated conversations with other mobile chipmakers to try and figure out where it might source certain essential components for its handsets (remember, Huawei is the second-largest cellphone maker by sales volume) and other products.

    Of course, the crackdown cuts both ways, as several American companies relied heavily on Huawei's business (they can still apply for licenses to continue selling to Huawei...so long as Commerce approves).

    As we reported earlier this week , it's not just American chipmakers that are distancing themselves from Huawei: some Taiwan-based chipmakers are also dropping the telecoms giant for fear of being targeted by Treasury sanctions, including TSMC, the world's largest contract chipmaker.

    Now, Huawei is reportedly in talks with MediaTek, the world's second-largest contract chip producer.

    Huawei Technologies is seeking help from rival mobile-chip makers to withstand a U.S. clampdown aimed at crippling the Chinese company, sources familiar with the matter told the Nikkei Asian Review.

    Huawei is in talks with MediaTek, the world's second-largest mobile chip developer after Qualcomm of the U.S., and UNISOC, China's second-largest mobile chip designer after Huawei's HiSilicon Technologies unit, to buy more chips as alternatives to keep its consumer electronics business afloat, the sources said.

    To work with a contract chipmaker, Huawei would still need to design its own chips. Over the past two years, Huawei has expanded its team of engineers working on chip design to more than 10,000, Nikkei said.

    To be sure, MediaTek already makes low- and medium-end chips for Huawei, evidence that the company, which was founded by a veteran of China's PLA, and purportedly maintains strong links to the Chinese military, has been bracing for the other shoe to drop. MediaTek, meanwhile, is still trying to figure out if it can meet Huawei's latest bid.

    "Huawei has foreseen this day coming. It started to allocate more mid- to low-end mobile chip projects to MediaTek last year amid its de-Americanization efforts," one of the sources said. "Huawei has also become one of the key clients for the Taiwanese mobile chip developer's mid-end 5G mobile chip for this year."

    MediaTek is evaluating whether it has sufficient human resources to fully support Huawei's aggressive bid, as the Chinese company is asking for volume 300% above its usual procurement in the past few years, another source familiar with the talks said.

    The situation has also created an opportunity for small Chinese chipmakers (working, we imagine, mostly with technology stolen from American and Taiwanese companies) to expand.

    Huawei also seeks to deepen its collaboration with UNISOC, a Beijing-backed mobile chip developer that relies mostly on smaller device makers as customers and mainly supports entry-level products and devices for emerging markets. Previously, Huawei used only very few UNISOC chips for its low-end smartphone and tablet offerings, sources said.

    "The new procurement deals would be a great boost to help UNISOC further upgrade its chip design capability," said a chip industry executive. "In the past, UNISOC was struggling quite a bit, because it could not really secure big contracts with global leading smartphone makers as these top smartphone makers could find better offerings elsewhere. This time could be an opportunity that it could really seek to match the international standard."

    UNISOC last year accelerated its 5G chip development to catch up with Qualcomm and MediaTek, Nikkei has reported. More recently, the company received 4.5 billion yuan ($630 million) from China's national integrated circuit fund, the so-called Big Fund.

    UNISOC is preparing to list on the Shanghai STAR tech board, the Chinese version of Nasdaq, later this year. Qualcomm has needed a license from the U.S. Department of Commerce to supply Huawei since mid-May of 2019.

    Huawei has already expanded production of in-house mobile processors for its smartphone business to 75%, up from 69% in 2018 and 45% in 2016, according to to data from GF Securities cited by Nikkei. Huawei shipped 240 million smartphones in 2019. And with China now throwing caution to the wind and cracking down on Hong Kong, we wouldn't be surprised to see more Huawei drama in the headlines next week, with serious market repercussions for the US semiconductor industry.

    [May 21, 2020] Pompeo Lays Out the Case For Cold War II With China by Matthew Petti

    That will be an interesting chess party. The USA moved way to many plants to Chine to get out of this conflict without major losses
    Notable quotes:
    "... Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed China as “hostile to free nations,” portraying Beijing as fundamentally opposed to the United States, on Wednesday. ..."
    "... But the Secretary of State pointed to deeper issues in the relationship, claiming that “the nature of the regime is not new.” “For several decades, we thought the regime would become more like us through trade, scientific exchanges, diplomatic outreach, letting them in the [World Trade Organization] as a developing nation,” he said. “That didn’t happen.” ..."
    May 20, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    'The regime is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations.'

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed China as “hostile to free nations,” portraying Beijing as fundamentally opposed to the United States, on Wednesday.

    Tensions between the United States and China have reached a fever pitch during the coronavirus pandemic. Pompeo’s speech at a Wednesday morning press conference laid out a vision of a global clash between two fundamentally different societies.

    “China’s been ruled by a brutal, authoritarian regime, a communist regime since 1949,” he said. “We greatly underestimated the degree to which Beijing is ideologically and politically hostile to free nations. The whole world is waking up to that fact.”

    He added that a focus on the coronavirus pandemic “risks missing the bigger picture of the challenge that’s presented by the Chinese Communist Party.”

    The pandemic has accelerated U.S.-China tensions.

    Last week, a Chinese Communist Party news threatened sanctions against U.S. lawmakers for attempting to sue the Chinese government for the pandemic, and U.S. law enforcement accused Chinese hackers of cyberattacks against U.S. researchers.

    But the Secretary of State pointed to deeper issues in the relationship, claiming that “the nature of the regime is not new.” “For several decades, we thought the regime would become more like us through trade, scientific exchanges, diplomatic outreach, letting them in the [World Trade Organization] as a developing nation,” he said. “That didn’t happen.”

    Pompeo accused the World Health Organization’s director-general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus of “unusually close ties to Beijing” that “started long before this current pandemic.”

    The Trump administration has accused China of covering up information about the novel coronavirus—even implying that the virus emerged from a lab accident in Wuhan, China—and pointed the finger at the World Health Organization for aiding China’s coverup.

    The Secretary of State slammed the public health group for excluding Taiwan in his Wednesday speech, touching on a sensitive topic for Beijing.

    Taiwan, an island that was once ruled by China, has ruled itself since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1950. Beijing considers the island a breakaway Chinese province that must be reunited with the mainland, while Taiwan’s ruling Pan-Green Alliance leans towards independence.

    “The democratic process in Taiwan has matured into a model for the world,” Pompeo said, congratulating President Tsai Ing-wen on her re-election. “Despite great pressure from the outside, Taiwan has demonstrated the wisdom of giving people a voice and a choice.”

    But he shied away from changing U..S. policy towards Taiwan..

    Pompeo said that work that “comports with the history of the agreements between the United States and China is the right solution to maximize the stability there in the straits.”

    The United States acknowledged the Chinese position that “there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China” as part of a 1979 joint communique with Beijing, and does not officially recognize Taiwan as a state, but maintains close informal ties with the Taiwanese government and opposes attempts to change the island’s government by force.

    “The President talked about how we’re going to respond [to China], how he’s beginning to think about responding to the calamity that has befallen the world as a result of the actions of the Chinese Communist Party,” Pompeo said. “I don’t want to get ahead of him in terms of talking about how the administration will respond to that, but you can already begin to see the outlines of it.”

    Matthew Petti is a national security reporter at the National Interest. Follow him on Twitter: @matthew_petti. This article initially stated that the United States “recognized that ‘there is but one China and Taiwan is a part of China’ in a 1979 joint communique.” The communique actually states that the United States “acknowledges” this as the Chinese position. The article has been updated to more correctly reflect the communique. Image: Reuters.

    [May 20, 2020] Washington wants to prevent Russia and China supplanting US interests but The China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world and involves huge interests of the two countries, as well as the rest of the world. Therefore, it is not something Trump can cut off emotionally

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Chinese will not start a shooting war and the US has no guts for one. Its industry has been hollowed out not just by outsourcing but by corruption as well. The campaign of demonization against China is very obvious, how far it is working I have no way of telling. Among the 5-eyes probably quite well, in the rest of the World rather less well, I would imagine. Notably, the British economy has been hollowed out in exactly the same manner as the US's. Canada's, Australia's, NewZealand's? Could they, would they support a war? ..."
    "... Right now, China is leading the vaccine race and has developed an antibody treatment for Covid-19 that should be ready this year. ..."
    "... Interesting article by Escobar. If one cares to notice, this anti-China cold war is a neocon based aggression. The primary movers of it are mostly neocons or the sorts who follow the neocon lead. ..."
    "... "Again! Trump is talking nonsense." Trump seems to be losing his mind right now. Even he has such crazy ideas of cutting ties with China, US politicians, businessmen and Americans would not allow him to do so, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times. ..."
    "... Jin Canrong, the associate dean of Renmin University of China's School of International Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that Trump made very irresponsible and emotional remarks in the interview. ..."
    "... "For Trump, fantasy is power; bluffing is power, so he might use the future of his country to gamble with China. Although China always believes cooperation is the only right choice for the two countries to solve the problems together, if the US unilaterally and irrationally chooses all-out confrontation, China also needs to be prepared." ..."
    May 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

    peter mcloughlin , says: Show Comment May 19, 2020 at 6:02 pm GMT

    Washington wants to prevent Russia and China supplanting US interests. Moscow and Beijing pursue what they see as their own legitimate interests. What we face is not a "hybrid" war or "New Cold War" but a world war.
    https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
    foolisholdman , says: Show Comment May 19, 2020 at 8:09 pm GMT
    @peter mcloughlin

    What we face is not a "hybrid" war or "New Cold War" but a world war.

    Honestly, I don't see it. My reasoning is simple, maybe too simple. The Chinese will not start a shooting war and the US has no guts for one. Its industry has been hollowed out not just by outsourcing but by corruption as well. The campaign of demonization against China is very obvious, how far it is working I have no way of telling. Among the 5-eyes probably quite well, in the rest of the World rather less well, I would imagine. Notably, the British economy has been hollowed out in exactly the same manner as the US's. Canada's, Australia's, NewZealand's? Could they, would they support a war?

    The other reason I think a shooting war is less likely than might appear, is that the the MIC is doing so well with the current cold war; that it would seem stupid to allow the massive disruption and uncertainty that a shooting war would cause to interrupt the torrent of cash being shoveled its way at the moment.

    d dan , says: Show Comment May 19, 2020 at 8:34 pm GMT
    "Hard landing" vs "Well and alive". Who wins?

    source: comment #313 by Godfree Roberts
    https://www.unz.com/article/objections-to-an-independent-investigation-of-china/

    [Hide MORE]
    1990. China's economy has come to a halt. The Economist
    1996. China's economy will face a hard landing. The Economist
    1998. China's economy's dangerous period of sluggish growth. The Economist
    1999. Likelihood of a hard landing for the Chinese economy. Bank of Canada
    2000. China currency move nails hard landing risk coffin. Chicago Tribune
    2001. A hard landing in China. Wilbanks, Smith & Thomas
    2002. China Seeks a Soft Economic Landing. Westchester University
    2003. Banking crisis imperils China. New York Times
    2004. The great fall of China? The Economist
    2005. The Risk of a Hard Landing in China. Nouriel Roubini
    2006. Can China Achieve a Soft Landing? International Economy
    2007. Can China avoid a hard landing? TIME
    2008. Hard Landing In China? Forbes
    2009. China's hard landing. China must find a way to recover. Fortune
    2010: Hard landing coming in China. Nouriel Roubini
    2011: Chinese Hard Landing Closer Than You Think. Business Insider
    2012: Economic News from China: Hard Landing. American Interest
    2013: A Hard Landing In China. Zero Hedge
    2014. A hard landing in China. CNBC
    2015. Congratulations, You Got Yourself A Chinese Hard Landing. Forbes
    2016. Hard landing looms for China. The Economist
    2017. Is China's Economy Going To Crash? National Interest
    2018. China's Coming Financial Meltdown. The Daily Reckoning.
    2019 China's Economic Slowdown: How worried should we be? BBC
    2020. Coronavirus Could End China's Decades-Long Economic Growth Streak. NY Times

    =========

    source: b
    https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/05/this-illusion-is-alive-and-well.html#more

    Godfree Roberts , says: Website Show Comment May 19, 2020 at 11:26 pm GMT
    Chinese strategists like Liu He publicly acknowledge that epidemics can catalyze geopolitical changes.

    Right now, China is leading the vaccine race and has developed an antibody treatment for Covid-19 that should be ready this year.

    If development is successful and if it donates the cure to the world as Xi promised and if WHO's investigation shows China is not the source of the virus, and if China's economy is firing on all cylinders in November, it's game over: 3-0 China.

    I put the odds of that conjunction at 2:1.

    FB , says: Website Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 4:28 am GMT
    @d dan LOLOLOL

    You gotta love these headline fails I mean how is it even possible to be so spectacularly WRONG about everything time after time after time ?

    Folks if you want to know why the US is screwed, it's because the same kind of geniuses that write these headlines are in charge of EVERYTHING

    One day these people will be studied by psychologists dealing with MASSIVE DELUSION

    anon [161] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 4:39 am GMT
    @Godfree Roberts Do you have any odds on Trump v. Biden?
    vot tak , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 4:54 am GMT
    Interesting article by Escobar. If one cares to notice, this anti-China cold war is a neocon based aggression. The primary movers of it are mostly neocons or the sorts who follow the neocon lead. China is one country the zionazi-gays have not been able to dominate. Coupled with China's economic rise and appeal to developing countries, these zionazi oligarchs are going apeshit trying to bring China down. In addition to other articles referenced in the article, see also this Global Time report:

    Chinese ridicule Trump's China 'cut-off' threat

    https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1188437.shtml

    "Americans will suffer

    [MORE]
    "Again! Trump is talking nonsense." Trump seems to be losing his mind right now. Even he has such crazy ideas of cutting ties with China, US politicians, businessmen and Americans would not allow him to do so, Xin Qiang, deputy director of the Center for US Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times.

    He noted that Trump is bluffing and acting tough toward China to win more support. Fox News, which has been regarded as Trump's defender and is notorious for a lack of professionalism, is also making eye-catching news to draw attention.

    Jin Canrong, the associate dean of Renmin University of China's School of International Studies in Beijing, told the Global Times on Thursday that Trump made very irresponsible and emotional remarks in the interview.

    "The China-US relationship is the most important bilateral relationship in the world and involves huge interests of the two countries, as well as the rest of the world. Therefore, it is not something he can cut off emotionally," Jin said.

    "If the US unilaterally cuts off ties, the American people will pay a heavier price than us, because China's domestic market is huge and 75-80 percent of Chinese manufacturers are supplying China's market, and the 2 to 5 percent that supply the US can also be absorbed by the domestic market," he noted.

    China has nothing to be afraid of as "in the past, we didn't solve the Taiwan question because we wanted to maintain the China-US relationship, and if the US unilaterally cuts it off, we can just reunify Taiwan immediately since the Chinese mainland has an overwhelming advantage to solve this long-standing problem."

    "Trump is like a giant baby on the brink of a meltdown as he faces tremendous pressure due to massive failures that caused such a high death toll," Shen Yi, an expert from Fudan University, told the Global Times. "It's like someone who wants to show his guts when he passes by a cemetery in midnight. He needs to shout to give himself the courage," he said.

    Shen also noted that the American companies and industries would suffer the most severe consequences, because the supply chain has been integrated with China.

    "The Chinese public would only take such bluffing as a joke," Shen said, adding that there has been no US president in the history who has made such a ridiculous statement against China, not even during the Cold War.

    Yuan Zheng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said he could not even remember any US leader who took a similar action. "His flip-flop rhetoric is unprecedented, but we need to take a look at whether Trump will take real action," he said, noting that there is no need to pay attention to claims that are unrealistic and meaningless.

    "For Trump, fantasy is power; bluffing is power, so he might use the future of his country to gamble with China. Although China always believes cooperation is the only right choice for the two countries to solve the problems together, if the US unilaterally and irrationally chooses all-out confrontation, China also needs to be prepared."

    Change that Matters , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 5:11 am GMT
    @Godfree Roberts China's economy won't be firing on all cylinders by November, but the important parts of it will be. The manufacturers I talk to have weathered the worst of it, and their order books for Q4 are more or less back to what they were in January (or at least healthy enough to prevent soft skill losses). Many are upbeat about the future. (Not all of them will survive, and the ones that die probably should have done so years ago.)

    Compare this to the rest of Asia (Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Cambodia, Myanmar, and others): they are a mess. Bangladesh put all its eggs in the huge volume low quality basket and will now pay a fatal price. Pakistan was dead before corona, and is now in a manufacturing death spiral. India has the capacity to succeed, but is hamstrung by a caste-based barbarism that has jettisoned all pretense of decency by throwing migrant workers in the informal economy to their deaths. This will not be forgotten and I predict years of trouble. The others only have a manufacturing sector because the Chinese moved their factories there. Vietnam has some chance, and should be a big winner as China moves out of low- to middle-end manufacturing.

    Countries in South America have lost their opportunity. China passed them by years ago. It's a tragedy, but they really have themselves to blame for it. And Africa, the last frontier, is already dominated by China (15 years ago I'd bump into Chinese businessmen who'd ship a 40-foot container of – 'insert any product you can think of' – to some back of beyond place in Africa and refuse to come home until everything was sold). They've moved up the ladder since then. Ethiopia, the fastest-growing economy on the continent, is essentially an industrial zone for Chinese manufacturing.

    Australia has become a mine/farm for China. New Zealand and Canada likewise, and a nice place to send your teenagers to get educated and perhaps for retirement.

    The EU, led by Germany, will be back on track soon. The winners here should be the former USSR countries, with low labor costs and strong soft skills. With EU companies wanting to bring the supply chain closer to home, this is their moment. If they screw it up, they will spend another 30 years wondering what went wrong. I hope they won't, but if you spend any time working with these people you know they often fail at the final hurdle (as though on purpose – the psychology of self-destruction is their Achilles heel).

    It's China's game to lose. And quite frankly, at this point, I don't see how. This has been in the making since the late 70s. Perhaps earlier. I admire them for their intelligence, their work ethic, their organizational capacity, their can-do spirit, and – yes – their creativity (if you think China is Japan in the 60s, you need to spend some serious time with younger Chinese in China).

    The Chinese problem is, of course, its culture of responsibility avoidance. But even with this issue, they are on track for a knockout victory. Most people in the West have no idea what going on, which is exactly how You Know Who likes it.

    I have no intention of letting my tribe be overrun by Chinese. But I have enough experience to know they're smarter than my tribe, and it would be a wise thing to start thinking more strategically and tactically about how to carve out a space in a new world most people are unable to imagine (which is less than 10 years away).

    Weston Waroda , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 5:19 am GMT
    @Godfree Roberts

    The center of gravity of global economic power keeps moving, inexorably, toward Asia.

    it's game over

    While the U.S. spent recent decades policing the world in pointless wars, China was about the business of building an infrastructure in which all roads lead to Beijing, railroad cars and boatloads of wealth. Just keep it coming, folks. Those roads and railroads and shipping are linking nothing less than Eurasia, Sir Halford's World Island. It took this coronavirus to show the imperial subjects that the Empire is naked and that China had already surpassed it economically several years ago. It seems like it really is game over. I'm sad in a way, but I would rather have a normal country than a hegemon; that is, if normalcy is still a possibility.

    Bronze Age Persecutor , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 5:35 am GMT
    What about the biggest hybrid war going on since centuries ago: jews (including crypto-jews, hybrids and minions) versus everybody else?
    The chinese had the full cooperation of diaspora jews (and their sayanim network) and israelis. Specially the Chabad Lubavich.
    Miro23 , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 6:09 am GMT
    From the referenced Global Times article, the US attack on Huawei (with its 5G leadership + NSA proof encryption ) is at the heart of the story:

    Based on Global Times sources, if the US further pinches Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei by blocking companies such as TSMC from providing chips to the company, China will carry out countermeasures, such as including certain US companies into its list of "unreliable entities," imposing restrictions on or investigating US companies such as Qualcomm, Cisco and Apple, and suspending purchases of Boeing aircraft.

    The US would lose this fight. Apple for example manufactures in China with only a small percentage of the sales price staying in China. If Apple manufacturing is shut down then Apple is the big loser. They're already trying to move manufacturing to India but that's not going to work.

    We must be clear that coping with US suppression will be the key focus of China's national strategy. We should enhance cooperation with most countries. The US is expected to contain China's international frontlines, and we must knock out this US plot and make China-US rivalry a process of US self-isolation.

    China has plenty of alternative markets. US corporations mostly only sell to the US using (now very sophisticated) Chinese manufacturing. Take this away, and Apple for example, have no alternative supplier for the volumes, quality, sub-contractor network and export infrastructure required.

    General Qiao dismisses the possibility that Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India and other Asian nations may replace China's cheap workforce: "Think about which of these countries has more skilled workers than China. What quantity of medium and high level human resources was produced in China in these past 30 years? Which country is educating over 100 million students at secondary and university levels? The energy of all these people is still far from being liberated for China's economic development."

    True.

    This will imply a concerted offensive, trying to enforce embargoes and trying to block regional markets to Chinese companies. Lawfare will be the norm. Even freezing Chinese assets in the US is not a far-fetched proposition anymore.

    If the US steals the $ trillions China has invested in US treasuries, then the US dollar also forfeits its claim to be the world reserve currency (safe place to hold international trade balances).

    Still, scores of nations are being asked, bluntly, by the hegemon to position themselves once again in a "you're with us or against us" global war on terror imperative.

    9/11 was fakery pumped up by the MSM to target Iraq/Iran and Covid-19 is more of the same – this time targeting China. European states are getting tired of this game. For example they were all dragged into supporting the Venezuela CIA coup that fizzled, and are now trying to disentangle from it.

    General Qiao counsels, "Don't think that only territorial sovereignty is linked to the fundamental interests of a nation. Other kinds of sovereignty – economic, financial, defense, food, resources, biological and cultural sovereignty – are all linked to the interests and survival of nations and are components of national sovereignty."

    If the US public look carefully at General Qiao's list they will realize that they have already lost more than 50% of these sovereignties.

    Anon [392] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 6:10 am GMT
    " General Qiao dismisses the possibility .. India and other Asian nations may replace China's c: "Think about which of these countries has more skilled "

    Everyday US. news are amplifying the bipartisan chorus against China . India is begging for favors from USA while serenading USA with reinforcing American position.

    India is stealing land from Nepal and Indian media thinks that ultranationalist of Nepal are to blame for questioning Indian stance .

    China is under a real threat of concerted attacks by the US 's opportunistic vassals. There will be a seismic change affecting the alliances and the future .
    Can China persuade Nepal Bangladesh Pakistan Sri Lanka Afghanistan Iran and Myanmar to work together and persuade them move out of India's hegemony ?.

    Natt , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 6:42 am GMT
    Nice fluff piece. China is fucked. Demographically, economically and militarily.
    Carlos22 , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 7:06 am GMT
    They are probably looking past Trump as they think he may not get back in.

    Nov is just a few months away.

    The question is what will the democrats do?

    Not that I particularly want that of course.

    carlusjr , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 7:48 am GMT
    It's always astounding to read a geopolitical analysis by a journalist who completely ignores the climate pollution crisis with it's impending effects overhanging every strategy any state may envision to dominate the planet. It's as if the writer lives in an imaginary world devoid of nature, along with his supposed expert sources and well placed powerful state movers and shakers. This is delusional. China's cheap forced labor, making more crap for the planet's shrinking population of affluent consumers, competing with other countries with equally desperate workers. Countries competing to build the most dangerous bio-weapons in their unsafe, leaky level 4 labs. All the while the atmosphere is being polluted to the point of melting all the ice on the planet, the air is being degraded to the point of being disgusting to see and carcinogenic to breath, the fresh water supply is being depleted and polluted, the oceans degraded into radioactive chemical cesspools (soon to be a brown sludge inhabited by only bacteria, viruses and fungus), the land ceded with thousands of chemicals that have no purpose other than to kill. The existential threshold is within a few years. The geopolitical strategy of the US and China can be summarized as a strategy to kill all sentient life on the planet in order to have a some sort of imaginary strategic dominance. It is mass psychosis.
    Biff , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 7:58 am GMT
    @anon

    Do you have any odds on Trump v. Biden?

    I've got 2 to 1 odds the voting machines will be electing Biden. They got this far didn't they?

    paranoid goy , says: Website Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 8:13 am GMT
    @foolisholdman Old man, don't be foolish, they all hate us human scum, and will gladly go to war, are at war. Remember how, in Catch 22, the opposing sides eventually saved a crap load of money by geting Milo de Milo to bomb their own airfields using his supply planes? Its already happening, us plebs are just in the way. In the end, the Protocols calls for one government ruling what's left of mankind "with an iron staff." I cannot tell you (yet) what Zion's hold on Beijing is, but be assured, "bring on the war" is the swill of Zion being lapped up by little globalist piggies trying to get to the trough.
    People think 'hybrid warfare" is some kind of technological term. Zion chooses its words very carefully, and your first defence is your dictionary. The USAGE of words change with time, the MEANING is constant. Now let's go find them hybrids, before Bill Gates can create enough microcephalics to man his man/machine interfaced battle 'droids armed with depleted uranium bullets and virally-delivered vaccines.
    paranoid goy , says: Website Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 8:28 am GMT
    @carlusjr Pollution sure is an important issue, one of the most important of our time, yes. The subject matter at hand though, is mostly military, with economics as a condiment to explain the sour taste. China might be the one manufacturing plastic turds, but it is the so-called western media that is teaching your children the dire need to own the latest version of plastic poop. China would not bother with plastic poop, but you voted for people who decided China makes the best poo at the lowest cost and highest profit. Don't blame China for taking advantage of YOUR leadership's desire to disown YOU and hand your habitat over to those who "know how to make a profit" from your suffering, while dangling a piece of plastic poop in front of you, calling it ambition, and deplatforming you if you refuse their offer of improved turdiness.
    But yah, now we know you hate pollution. Soon we will close down all the factories, and ban all cars, and only those on "official business" will be alowed on aeroplanes, and then you can breathe freely, as you stand in line, so the Special Agents can see if you have the Bill Gates vaccine licence to visit the plastic poop and soylent green depository that we used to call a supermarket.
    Buzz Mohawk , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 9:04 am GMT

    A toxic racism-meets-anti-communism matrix is responsible for the predominant anti-Chinese sentiment across the US, encompassing at least 66% of the whole population.

    No it isn't.

    A hint of what is responsible is this from the same article:

    "They have state of the art technology, but not the methods and production capacity. So they have to rely on Chinese production."

    Our jobs, our industry, our hard-earned intellectual property, and our money have all gone to China. Our own leaders of industry and government are to blame for our predicament, but our anger at China is the result.

    Funny this from the Chinese General Qiao:

    "as a producing country, we still cannot satisfy our manufacturing industry with our own resources and rely on our own markets to consume our products."

    No kidding, General. Your country built itself up by selling to us! We made you into our own rival. Thanks are in order, but instead you plot to weaken us.

    Tor597 , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 9:10 am GMT
    Just wanted to point out the excellent concept of cultural sovereignty as something that is akin to territorial sovereignty.

    Both are needed, but cultural sovereignty is ever more important to inoculate your citizens against globe homo.

    Half-Jap , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 9:14 am GMT
    @Godfree Roberts Sounds like a man who has no understanding of the science regarding the matter, but so doesn't most of the world. Vaccine? Anti-body treatment? Does anybody know what they are and how they work (or doesn't) or mean? From those tests to those invasive ventilators, it shows me how people can easily be herded towards slaughter, for their safety, ofc, because "science." And just over a mild cold no less.
    So much for China's brilliance; they are as dumb or brainwashed by 'accepted science' as the next moronic authority figure.
    But exploiting the situation, that's something else that should be appreciated.
    anon [232] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 9:17 am GMT
    @Godfree Roberts

    China is leading

    Godfree, we will bury you and your beloved CCP.

    Wood Stove , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 9:42 am GMT
    @carlusjr Ok Karen
    Adûnâi , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 9:45 am GMT

    This will be China's contribution to ensuring vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries." The Global South is paying attention.

    Do the underdeveloped (hate the PC term "developing") countries even want a vaccine? They have too many people anyway, any moderate dying will be an advantage to their societies. And another point is that the anti-vaxxer movement there might be on the rise, just as it is in America – remember how the Philippines government was watching a conspiracy video about evil Bill Gates? I have talked to anti-vaxxer people in my Ukrainian university!

    "Containment" will go into overdrive. A neat example is Admiral Philip Davidson – head of the Indo-Pacific Command – asking for $20 billion for a "robust military cordon" from California to Japan and down the Pacific Rim, complete with "highly survivable, precision-strike networks" along the Pacific Rim and "forward-based, rotational joint forces" to counteract the "renewed threat we face from great power competition."

    My prediction is the US goes into a civil war > the liberals start losing > the liberals invite the Chinese into California > the Chinese exterminate all Americans and get a large Lebensraum in the East.

    Anon [397] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 9:50 am GMT
    a Korea War pictorial. Nice.
    It's long long ago since China made the last movie about Korea War. Too long ago that they are in black and white.
    Recently someone is preparing for a new movie: The Chosin Lake.
    I really hope it will be well made. I love war movies, especially the ones on historical big wars.
    Just Passing Through , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 10:13 am GMT
    @Natt I think you are mistaken and are describing America.
    Just Passing Through , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 10:28 am GMT
    @Buzz Mohawk I think the Western globalists though that China would be subservient to them and not get any funny ideas, this virus is just a cover for antipathy that was building up for years, similar to how the poor Jews being persecuted in Germany was used by propagandists to whip up Germany sentiment, because of German economic prowess.

    Western thinking is dominated by this balance of power mentality, the same mentality such caused it to enter into two fratricidal wars not too long ago.

    One can only hope this is good news for us, but I fear the globalists will just use this time to move manufacturing to other Third World countries instead of bringing it back home.

    I agree that it was a huge mistake transferring our IP to China, they would simply have not got to this point if we hadn't. This is also why the Chinese are not taking any chances in their BRI, and are using Chinese labour instead of doing the more sustainable thing and training up local workers, that would mean a destruction of their market! Sadly this will continue, on top of the terrible policy of mass Third World immigration, we let Chinese into out top companies and research facilities, some of whom no doubt pass this information back home.

    https://time.com/5596066/emory-fires-chinese-researchers/

    In terms of realpolitik, I think it is very smart that China is using its diaspora as a fifth column.

    padre , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 10:36 am GMT
    @Natt Do you know, how many times in their short history of about roughly 5000 years were Chinese doomed ?
    Really No Shit , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 10:50 am GMT
    So the Global South is going to be "grateful" to China for coming up with vaccination after innudating it with the Chinese virus in the first place Pepe, lay of the Mezcal because is clouding your opaque thinking!
    John Hagan , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 11:07 am GMT
    Let me make this clear. America is self-destructing. A malignant narcissist in charge and a man who cannot construct a sentence is an alternative. A stock market devoid of reality and a 1 percent devoid of conscience. Any remote consideration of the other 99 percent is soley based on profit. Any civilization that cannot reverse itself is doomed. China maybe a shortterm factor yet not a factor in the longer considerations.
    Avery , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 11:10 am GMT
    @foolisholdman {Honestly, I don't see it.}

    Agree.

    { .. and the US has no guts for one. Its industry has been hollowed out not just by outsourcing but by corruption as well.}

    Even in the 50s when US industry was not hollowed out ( ran supreme) and China had no nukes, US was unable to defeat China in a ground war in Korea. Of course there was talk in US of using nukes against China (Gen. MacArthur), but cooler heads prevailed, arguing that, that would trigger USSR to use nukes too, resulting in world wide nuclear conflagration.

    Now China has nukes, and delivery systems, and US cannot possible defeat China conventionally, so US will huff-and-puff, try to damage China financially, or steal its holdings in US*, but nothing will come out of it.

    Sad that US screwed itself over the years so badly that it is in this predicament now.

    _____________________________
    * There has been semi-serious talk in US of just taking $ hundreds of billions of Chinese holdings in US as payment for ' damages' China has supposedly caused US by Covid-19.

    Big Daddy , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 11:28 am GMT
    All this big nation state fluff stinks today as it did when the first two Western ones, England and France had a 100 Years War and it has stunk throughout history.

    We humans are born naked, helpless, and totally ignorant. We also have an evil streak in us; vide Adam and Eve. And as Shakespeare stated we must consign ourselves to a willing death each eve or we die. We are so haughty yet the first thing we must do upon wakening from our nightly death is evacuate waste.

    We have never respected Nature. Now we spray aluminum and plastic microns in the upper atmosphere which we all breathe as they fall and have virtually destroyed the ozone layer and the biosphere. We live in 1984 right now!

    True libertarianism which is no aggression against person or property and backed up by cheap, Natural Law arbitration courts works. It is that or sayonara humans.

    Realist , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 11:42 am GMT
    @Natt

    Nice fluff piece. China is fucked. Demographically, economically and militarily.

    Is that you Trump?

    You're new around these here parts aren't you boy?

    Parfois1 , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 11:45 am GMT
    @foolisholdman

    My reasoning is simple, maybe too simple. The Chinese will not start a shooting war and the US has no guts for one.

    You may be right about the Chinese (their government looks after 1,3 billion people) and that the US has no guts. But what is the "US"? If you mean the (mostly Jewish) ruling cabal and their goyim political clowns and puppets, you have no reason to be so sanguine about the "no guts". It's not their guts that will be on the line, for they will be quite happy so sacrifice millions of the plebes for the greater good of Israel and rebooting the "economy". War devastations (and pandemics) are the greatest source for immiserating and culling the masses and channeling wealth to the banksters.

    Facing the demise of the Jewish-led hegemony through its PNAC's "full-spectrum dominance" – and what that could do to the SHITIS (shit-state of Israel) – it is reasonable (in their twisted minds) to step to the brink and beyond. Besides, the most recent great wars (the greatest carnages in the world's history) were not intended to end the way the warhawks wanted (neither Hitler not Chamberlain wished the destruction of country or empire) but the power dynamics unleashed by geopolitical gamesmanship suppresses reason.

    JohnPlywood , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 11:49 am GMT
    @paranoid goy Non-CO2 pollution is a non-issue. It was far worse in the USA and China 50 years ago (air and water), and in Europe/East coast USA over 200 years ago. Wildlife populations are also rebounding. Every time I hear some retard complaining about pollution on the internet, I want to reach through the monitor and pepper spray them.
    bigduke6 , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 11:52 am GMT

    A toxic racism

    You're a "toxic racist" cries the yellow supremacist as he shills for Beijing

    GeeBee , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 12:05 pm GMT
    @Natt In other news, the USA's Ministry of Plenty has announced that the weekly chocolate ration is to be increased from 70 gms to 40 gms
    ld , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 12:19 pm GMT
    @d dan The American Dream is Live and well.

    If they keep saying it like a mantra maybe it will come true.

    Trust the media.

    ld , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 12:25 pm GMT
    @anon They say that Biden is Israel's pick so it will likey be Biden.
    His senility will make him easier to control than Trump.
    Desert Fox , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 12:37 pm GMT
    The zionists are in control of China and the ZUS and Russia and Europe and India and everywhere in central and South America, and the fact is the zionist control was proven by every country that forced their people into the forced lockdown, using this scam of a coronavirus as an excuse.

    These wars are a deversion, as the zionist install their global prison.

    AWM , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 1:16 pm GMT
    "When will the Communist "clenched fist" attack America?"

    Stanislav Lunev: "As soon as they can't steal from you anymore."

    Guess what folks, the "Combloc Flu" was the first strike.

    450.org , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 1:31 pm GMT

    General Qiao dismisses the possibility that Vietnam, the Philippines, Bangladesh, India and other Asian nations may replace China's cheap workforce: "Think about which of these countries has more skilled workers than China. What quantity of medium and high level human resources was produced in China in these past 30 years? Which country is educating over 100 million students at secondary and university levels? The energy of all these people is still far from being liberated for China's economic development."

    Once again, I must caveat this with the proclamation I was not and I am not an advocate for Obama's TPP. The reason I'm not an advocate is for environmental purposes. I believe growth is killing the living planet and soon enough will extinct humans as well as many, most even, other species on the planet. The TPP did nothing to address growth and instead enabled it further by enhancing global trade versus diminishing it.

    That being said, the TPP was a strategy to contain China's growing influence. It was intended to put global trade eggs in many baskets and not just in the basket labeled China. What does Trump do? He puts all the trade eggs in China's basket under the aegis/rubric of repatriating manufacturing to America. He put a knife in TPP and killed it but he never brought manufacturing back to America. Now America is truly good and fucked. Over a barrel. No options. Can you believe this moron and the cabal that's using him as a foil? Like I said before, if Trump didn't exist, the CCP would have to invent him because more than any other power player, be it Russia or Saudi Arabia or Israel, Trump has been extremely beneficial to China. Under Trump's watch, China is now the most powerful country in the world. Because of Trump, China is now the leader of the world. America, finally, has been knocked from its perch just as England was over 100 years prior. Once knocked from the perch, there is no regaining the status you once enjoyed. I suspect that within five years the dollar will no longer be the world's currency. When that happens, it's lights out for America FOR REAL. All this banter is whistling past the graveyard. What's done is done.

    https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/06/21/commentary/japan-commentary/chinas-the-reason-why-u-s-needs-the-tpp/#.XsUuMS-z17M

    House Democrats who've been interfering with President Barack Obama's ability to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership are missing something very important: The trade deal isn't primarily significant because of the economy. It matters because it's part of the broader American geostrategic goal of containing China -- which pointedly hasn't been invited to join the TPP.

    In the new cool war, China's rising economic influence is giving it greater geopolitical power in Asia. The TPP is, above all, an effort to push back on China's powerful trade relationships to reduce its political clout. By weakening Obama's ability to pursue it, congressional Democrats had been unintentionally weakening the U.S. side in the cool war.

    In all this, China is using its close economic relationship with its neighbors as leverage to build its geopolitical position. Its ultimate goal is to displace the U.S. as the regional hegemon. President Xi Jinping's slogan of the "Chinese dream" requires nothing less.

    The TPP aims to reduce some of China's geopolitical resurgence by damping down the extent of China's regional trade dominance. China itself has a proposed regional trade alliance, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, that would include 16 members and exclude the U.S. Australia, Japan and South Korea are all involved in negotiations to become members. The TPP is a direct, competitive counterpart to the RCEP.

    Fyi, the following cartoon is per China Daily , a publication owned and run by the CCP. It's favorable to Trump. It's clear by virtue of Trump's cozy relationship with Putin and Xi that Trump is a communist in capitalist clothing. He is a communist trojan horse in the oval office. But he's even more than that. He has many hats. He's a tool, a self-promoting front man, for any tyrant or tyranny that expands his brand masquerading as a man of the people. As if. He's a man, albeit an insane moron, of the extractive elite and the extractive elite are transnational and transcultural. The extractive elite are a nation and culture unto themselves and the rest of us are their slaves on this global plantation.

    Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 1:34 pm GMT
    @Weston Waroda Once reserved currency status of dollar is over n done with, there would be zero need for the huge military budget. That is the silver lining of this whole thing. The wars might finally stop. But living standards will take a hit from the devaluation of the dollar. But but, Jobs would return through that weakened dollar as off shoring jobs would no longer make sense. And just maybe, our political class might finally focus on domestic issues and improve the country after 4 decades of stagnation.
    Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 1:38 pm GMT
    @Miro23 Apple follows every single law in China. Apple makes a lot of money in China, but also pays alot of taxes. I highly doubt it would be a target of retaliation. But other companies are fair game. Just something I noticed.
    450.org , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 1:47 pm GMT
    @carlusjr Spot on. Humans are drowning in their own filth. There's an adage, "don't shit where you eat." Humans invented the saying but apparently don't abide by it and in fact zealously defy it. Here we are. It will be one pandemic after another from now until human is no more. Rapid pace, like automatic weapon fire. The center cannot hold and is not holding. Civilization is going down. Will the Samson Option be utilized? Man's last act? Destroy the planet entirely if he can't have it entirely? My bet is this is how it will go down. All you have to do is extrapolate the curve.
    Sick of Orcs , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 1:51 pm GMT
    As long as America's Most Important Ally™ is safe
    Cowboy , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 1:54 pm GMT
    Another bubblegum pop song from Lil Peepee and the chinks
    Just Passing Through , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 1:59 pm GMT
    @bigduke6 It is quite obvious why they are doing, they are using Europeans' own liberal ideology against them. In today's Western world, nothing is worse than being a "racist" (except maybe, just maybe a paedophile necrophiliac, but even that is a close one) as such they will use these terms to beat down Europeans. Erdogan recently likened Greece to "Nazis", due to their brave defiance to Third World invaders.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/erdogan-compares-greek-border-crackdown-to-nazi-atrocities

    As if they genuinely give a shit about Nazis, a particularly European obsession due to decades of brainwashing by the Jewish media elite. Even if one believes the textbooks in relation to Nazi atrocities, the fact is that such things are normal for history. No other people's beat themselves down over bad stuff they've done, hell, the Mongolians have erected a big statue of Genghis Khan, one of the greatest mass murderers in history!

    Hegar , says: Show Comment May 20, 2020 at 2:07 pm GMT
    Extremely misleading headline. Since the Asia Times story is actually about economic and political sovereignity – always a big issue for China ever since the Eight Powers carved up the nation in the past: Germany, Japan, Russia, Britain, France, Italy, Austria-Hungary, and the U.S.

    It doesn't speak about warfare against the U.S. It speaks about meeting a threat from the U.S. It does speak of taking Taiwan, though by avoiding outright warfare. This is not something we should desire, but it is not war against the U.S., as the misleading headline is intended to make people believe.

    As usual most of the rubes will only read the headline and look at the pictures, maybe skim through the text a bit, before typing out an angry post based on whether they like or dislike whatever nation is mentioned. Much like cruzbots and Bush lovers use Breitbart comments to screech against Iran and praise Israel. No facts needed.

    [May 20, 2020] China Updates its 'Art of (Hybrid) War'

    Notable quotes:
    "... An example, referring to Covid-19, is the capacity to produce ventilators: "Out of over 1,400 pieces necessary for a ventilator, over 1,100 must be produced in China, including final assembly. That's the US problem today. They have state of the art technology, but not the methods and production capacity. So they have to rely on Chinese production." ..."
    "... The gold standard expression has come in a no-holds barred Global Times editorial : "We must be clear that coping with US suppression will be the key focus of China's national strategy. We should enhance cooperation with most countries. The US is expected to contain China's international front lines, and we must knock out this US plot and make China-US rivalry a process of US self-isolation." ..."
    "... An inevitable corollary is that the all-out offensive to cripple Huawei will be counterpunched in kind, targeting Apple, Qualcom, Cisco and Boeing, even including "investigations or suspensions of their right to do business in China." ..."
    "... So, for all practical purposes, Beijing has now publicly unveiled its strategy to counteract U.S. President Donald Trump's "We could cut off the whole relationship" kind of assertions. ..."
    "... The politicians controlling US foreign policy are leading us straight into the 19th century, with their updated gunboat diplomacy ..."
    May 20, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

    Dancing with Wolves

    The bulk of his argument concentrates on the shortcomings of U.S. manufacturing: "How can the US today want to wage war against the biggest manufacturing power in the world while its own industry is hollowed out?"

    An example, referring to Covid-19, is the capacity to produce ventilators: "Out of over 1,400 pieces necessary for a ventilator, over 1,100 must be produced in China, including final assembly. That's the US problem today. They have state of the art technology, but not the methods and production capacity. So they have to rely on Chinese production."

    ... ... ...

    Gloves Are Off

    Now compare General Qiao's analysis with the by-now-obvious geopolitical and geo-economic fact that Beijing will respond tit for tat to any hybrid war tactics deployed by the United States government. The gloves are definitely off.

    The gold standard expression has come in a no-holds barred Global Times editorial : "We must be clear that coping with US suppression will be the key focus of China's national strategy. We should enhance cooperation with most countries. The US is expected to contain China's international front lines, and we must knock out this US plot and make China-US rivalry a process of US self-isolation."

    An inevitable corollary is that the all-out offensive to cripple Huawei will be counterpunched in kind, targeting Apple, Qualcom, Cisco and Boeing, even including "investigations or suspensions of their right to do business in China."

    So, for all practical purposes, Beijing has now publicly unveiled its strategy to counteract U.S. President Donald Trump's "We could cut off the whole relationship" kind of assertions.

    A toxic racism-meets-anti-communism matrix is responsible for the predominant anti-Chinese sentiment across the U.S., encompassing at least 66 percent of the whole population. Trump instinctively seized it – and repackaged it as his re-election campaign theme, fully approved by Steve Bannon.

    The strategic objective is to go after China across the full spectrum. The tactical objective is to forge an anti-China front across the West: another instance of encirclement, hybrid war-style, focused on economic war.

    This will imply a concerted offensive, trying to enforce embargoes and trying to block regional markets to Chinese companies. Lawfare will be the norm. Even freezing Chinese assets in the U.S. is not a far-fetched proposition anymore.

    Every possible Silk Road branch-out – on the energy front, ports, the Health Silk Road, digital interconnection – will be strategically targeted. Those who were dreaming that Covid-19 could be the ideal pretext for a new Yalta – uniting Trump, Xi and Putin – may rest in peace.

    "Containment" will go into overdrive. A neat example is Admiral Philip Davidson – head of the Indo-Pacific Command – asking for $20 billion for a "robust military cordon" from California to Japan and down the Pacific Rim, complete with "highly survivable, precision-strike networks" along the Pacific Rim and "forward-based, rotational joint forces" to counteract the "renewed threat we face from great power competition."

    Davidson argues that, "without a valid and convincing conventional deterrent, China and Russia will be emboldened to take action in the region to supplant U.S. interests."

    ... ... ...

    From the point of view of large swathes of the Global South, the current, extremely dangerous incandescence, or New Cold War, is mostly interpreted as the progressive ending of the Western coalition's hegemony over the whole planet.

    Still, scores of nations are being asked, bluntly, by the hegemon to position themselves once again in a "you're with us or against us" global war on terror imperative.

    ... ... ...

    For the first time in 35 years, Beijing will be forced to relinquish its economic growth targets. This also means that the objective of doubling GDP and per capita income by 2020 compared with 2010 will also be postponed.

    What we should expect is absolute emphasis on domestic spending – and social stability – over a struggle to become a global leader, even if that's not totally overlooked.

    ... ... ...

    Internally, Beijing will boost support for state-owned enterprises that are strong in innovation and risk-taking. China always defies predictions by Western "experts." For instance, exports rose 3.5 percent in April, when the experts were forecasting a decline of 15.7 percent. The trade surplus was $45.3 billion, when experts were forecasting only $6.3 billion.

    Beijing seems to identify clearly the extending gap between a West, especially the U.S., that's plunging into de facto New Great Depression territory with a China that's about to rekindle economic growth


    Zhu , May 20, 2020 at 00:34

    "A toxic mixture of racism and anti-communism" sounds about right. The Chinese government is not submissive and the "Chinks" are getting too prosperous. That's bound to infuriate both elite and grass-roots Americans.

    Drew Hunkins , May 20, 2020 at 00:34

    "For the first time in 35 years, Beijing will be forced to relinquish its economic growth targets. This also means that the objective of doubling GDP and per capita income by 2020 compared with 2010 will also be postponed. "

    Good, good, just wonderful. This will really endear the United States to the Chinese people.

    All that the Chinese govt did for its people over the last 30 years is totally eliminate poverty, that's all. Gotta love how our Western mass media won't shut their mouths about this small achievement.

    Drew Hunkins , May 20, 2020 at 00:15

    "Those who were dreaming that Covid-19 could be the ideal pretext for a new Yalta – uniting Trump, Xi and Putin – may rest in peace."

    Rest in peace, no doubt. Washington is all about unilateralism, period. This is the crux of the issue, the rapacious capitalist-imperialists who infest Wall St, the military contractors and corporate mass media want nothing to do with a multi-polar world. This could lead to putting the far east on a dangerous path with U.S. warships provocatively traversing the area.

    gcw , May 19, 2020 at 21:08

    The politicians controlling US foreign policy are leading us straight into the 19th century, with their updated gunboat diplomacy . Never a thought to the impending disaster of climate change and unparalleled social and environmental chaos, they dream instead of yet another Cold War (Yellow-Peril 2.0), all the time sustaining a gargantuan military establishment which is draining the life-blood from American society. The Covid-19 virus is just a warning to us: we have about 5% of the world's population, yet lead the pack in deaths from the virus. If this monumental display of incompetence doesn't wake us up, what will?

    [May 20, 2020] The best argument I have read from the anti China camp has been that if China succeeds, US dollar will be kaput, living standard in the USA will tanked

    May 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

    ,

    Ann Nonny Mouse , says: Show Comment May 6, 2020 at 9:33 pm GMT
    @utu ... He produces evidence, evidence in response to highly-coordinated anti-China propaganda, the mountains of belligerent lies that are all that remain today of the failed state the USA. Those lies plus its military killing millions all over the world, incessantly destroying or attempting to destroy states simply for being independent.

    Enormous thanks to Godfree Roberts.

    Realist , says: Show Comment May 6, 2020 at 10:49 pm GMT
    @Astuteobservor II

    The best argument I have read from the anti China camp has been that if China succeeds, US dollar will be kaput, living standard in the USA will tanked to shit levels compare to right now.

    Why would China succeeding reduce our living standard?

    Realist , says: Show Comment May 6, 2020 at 11:07 pm GMT
    @Ron Unz

    Well, American propaganda is certainly vastly superior to the Chinese variety

    American propaganda is certainly more effective but that is because of the stupidity of most Americans.

    Yes the video is accurate and that means the Chinese know us well much better than we know them.

    Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment May 6, 2020 at 11:13 pm GMT
    @Realist If China succeeds, that means dollar as reserve currency is kaput. Without the reserved currency status, dollar will devalue by 50% or more. Living standard auto lowers by 50% or more.

    [May 18, 2020] A new way to make America great

    May 18, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    JC , May 17 2020 20:31 utc | 28

    Just a thought: what if people like Gordon Guthrie Chang, Jennifer Zeng, Peter Navarro or even Maria Bartiromo suggest to the two dude Trump and Pompeo sending FBI, CIA agents or even national guard to American's rural areas, small isolate farming communities in Pennsylvania, Oregon ripping off every Huawei and ZTE hardwares 2G, 3G, 4G and maybe 5G if any, cell towers and replaced it with Ericsson and Nokia. Would it make America great again ?

    [May 17, 2020] TSMC a Taiwan chip's foundry not permitted to sell any chips to Huawei

    May 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    JC , May 17 2020 18:03 utc | 16

    Almost every freaking day Trump and Pompeo bashing China including Huawei.. Not a day of peace without china bashing.

    Days earlier ZeroHedge, SCMP and other media reported freaking Trump and Pompeo... no companies inside or outside USA can sell American software or technology items or chips made with USA properties or machines to Huawei.

    Meaning TSMC a Taiwan chip's foundry not permitted to sell any chips to Huawei, TSMC has been the world's dedicated semiconductor foundry. "curtailing its chip supply, an escalation of its campaign against the Chinese company that may also hurt Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co."

    "China has the most fab projects in the world.... 30 facilities planned, including 10/7nm processes, but trade war and economic factors could slow progress...... SMIC 's move would put it on par with some of its foreign rivals. In addition, SMIC has obtained $10 billion in funding to develop 10nm and 7nm. Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) is a publicly held semiconductor foundry company, and the largest in China.

    "Wuhan Hongxin Semiconductor Manufacturing (HSMC), a logic IC foundry founded in late 2017, is gearing up for 14nm and 7nm process manufacturing eyeing to be China's most advanced contract chipmaker.....Shang-yi Chiang, the former executive VP and co-chief operating officer overseeing R&D for Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), will join a Wuhan-headquartered foundry in China. "<

    [May 17, 2020] India can serve as the USA ally in US-china trade war

    May 17, 2020 | astutenews.com

    BRICS Is Broken

    Gone are the "good 'ole days" of BRICS bonhomie when the Alt-Media Community used to sing the praises of this nascent trade bloc and portray it as a game-changing development in International Relations. Although promising on paper, BRICS was always destined to be disappointing due to the irreparable differences between India and China that were either downplayed or outright ignored by this organization's loudest advocates. The author has been consistently warning for over the past four years that " India Is Now An American Ally " after it clinched the Logistics Exchange Memorandum Of Agreement (LEMOA) with the US to allow the latter to use its military infrastructure on a case-by-case "logistical" bases. Since then, India has fully submitted to the Pentagon's "Indo-Pacific" strategy of empowering the South Asian state as a "counterweight" China, with even Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov loudly warning his country's strategic partner of the pitfalls of this scenario as recently as early January of this year while speaking at a conference in their country.

    Modi's Military Madness

    Alas, whether due to long-lasting ignorance of the situation, unchecked professional incompetence, and/or shadowy motives that can only be speculated upon, the majority of the Alt-Media Community still refuses to recognize these facts, though the latest developments pertaining to Indian-Chinese relations might finally cause them to reconsider their inexplicable stance of always "covering up" for New Delhi. India has recently clashed with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Indian-Occupied Kashmir 's Ladakh region and close to the Donglang Plateau (described as "Doklam" by India and thus widely reported upon with this name in the Western Mainstream Media and among the members of the Alt-Media Community sympathetic to New Delhi) near Sikkim where they had their infamous three-month-long standoff in summer 2017 (which threatened to repeat itself in 2018). So tense has the situation become in Ladakh that China reportedly flew several helicopters near the scene while India flew a few fighter jets, significantly upping the ante.

    India's Attempt To "Poach" Chinese-Based Companies

    The backdrop against which these clashes are transpiring is India's aggressive attempt to "poach" foreign companies from the People's Republic, which the author analyzed last month in his piece about how " India's Selective Embrace Of Economic Nationalism Has Anti-Chinese Motivations ". Of relevance, India has also set aside land twice the size of Luxembourg for such companies to exploit in the event that they decide to re-offshore from the East Asian state to the South Asian one.

    This perfectly dovetails with Trump's " trade war " plans to encourage foreign companies to leave his country's rival and either return home or set up shop in a friendly pro-American country instead. Of note, India is also vehemently opposed to China's Belt & Road Initiative ( BRI ) behind the US on the basis that its flagship project of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor ( CPEC ) traverses through territory that New Delhi claims as its own per its maximalist approach to the Kashmir Conflict . Obviously, the US couldn't have found a better ally than India to thwart China's economic plans.

    The US Might Rule The WHO Via Its Indian Proxy

    On the soft power front, India is slated to assume leadership of the World Health Assembly (WHA, the governing body of the World Health Organization, WHO) from Japan later this month, and it's already being widely speculated in Indian media that the country might be seriously considering taking the US' side in respect to investigating the WHO for its alleged pro-Chinese bias . Not only that, but India might even be receptive towards Taiwan's request to participate in the organization's meetings, the scenario of which has already concerned China so much that its embassy in New Delhi felt compelled to remind the Indian leadership that doing so would violate the One China principle. From the American perspective, this is an unprecedented opportunity for Washington to exercise proxy leadership of the WHO through its "junior partner" of India, which could add a speciously convincing degree of credibility to its anti-Chinese claims in an attempt to win back the many hearts and minds that it's lost to its rival throughout the course of World War C .

    The Indo-American Hybrid War On China

    Taken together, India is indisputably intensifying its American-backed Hybrid War against China as a sign of fealty to its new ally, especially considering that it's only officially been the US' " comprehensive global strategic partner " since Trump's landmark visit to the country a few months back in February and thus feels like it has something to prove. Both countries share the grand strategic goal of "containing" China, to which end they're working hand-in-glove with one another to carry out this concerted campaign against the People's Republic.

    Building off of the idiom, the American hand is unquestionably controlling the Indian glove after Trump cracked the whip on Modi by forcing him to export hydroxychloroquine to the US last month, which asserted his country's dominance as India's neo-imperial master. Whether across the military, economic, or soft power domains, the US-Indian alliance is doing its utmost to create serious difficulties for China. With India now suspecting China of building an island off of its coast, ties will likely continue to worsen to the US' benefit.


    By Andrew Korybko

    Source: One World

    [May 15, 2020] China Ready To Target Apple, Qualcomm, Cisco and Boeing in Retaliation Against US' Huawei Ban - Slashdot

    May 15, 2020 | apple.slashdot.org

    An anonymous reader shares a report: China is ready to take a series of countermeasures against a US plan to block shipments of semiconductors to Chinese telecom firm Huawei , including putting US companies on an "unreliable entity list," launching investigations and imposing restrictions on US companies such as Apple and suspending the purchase of Boeing airplanes, a source close to the Chinese government told the Global Times. The Trump administration on Friday moved to block shipments of semiconductors to Huawei from global chipmakers. The US Commerce Department said it was amending an export rule and the Entity List to "strategically target Huawei's acquisition of semiconductors that are the direct product of certain US software and technology," according to a statement on its website. "China will take forceful countermeasures to protect its own legitimate rights," if the US moves forward with the plan to bar essential suppliers of chips, including Taiwan-based TSMC, from selling chips to the Chinese tech giant, the source told the Global Times in an exclusive interview.


    Brain-Fu ( 1274756 ) , Friday May 15, 2020 @02:58PM ( #60064610 ) Homepage Journal

    All chips have backdoors. ( Score: 5 , Insightful)

    Every hardware vendor has clear and strong incentives to bake backdoors into their hardware. The only difference is to whom they are loyal.

    sehlat ( 180760 ) , Friday May 15, 2020 @02:20PM ( #60064454 )
    Universal Rule of Economic Warfare ( Score: 1 )

    Both sides lose ... BIG.

    bodog ( 231448 ) writes:
    Re: ( Score: 1 )

    BIGLY. tftfy.

    UnknowingFool ( 672806 ) , Friday May 15, 2020 @02:45PM ( #60064558 )
    Re:Universal Rule of Economic Warfare ( Score: 3 )

    Well people on both sides lose. The leaders on both sides do not lose as much. Concisely Put.

    Alain Williams ( 2972 ) writes: < addw@phcomp.co.uk > on Friday May 15, 2020 @02:31PM ( #60064502 ) Homepage
    Is anyone surprised ? ( Score: 5 , Interesting)

    China will also put a lot of money into making things that it has, up to now, obtained from the USA. It might take a few years, but China's government set up (ie one party always in power) means that it does not have to do things to an electoral cycle.

    [May 14, 2020] The USA fake democracy vs inverted totalitarism with Chinese characteristics

    Notable quotes:
    "... Sad but true. We are all given our illusions. In US its the illusion of democracy which is a fake democracy cloaking our totalitarian reality. In China they give the people the illusion of moving towards socialism, a fake socialism to be sure, never mind all the billionaire party members (and they don't have universal health care either, its insurance based) .The people have long accepted the reality of totalitarianism so they are one step ahead. ..."
    May 14, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Pft , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 6:41 am GMT

    Sad but true. We are all given our illusions. In US its the illusion of democracy which is a fake democracy cloaking our totalitarian reality. In China they give the people the illusion of moving towards socialism, a fake socialism to be sure, never mind all the billionaire party members (and they don't have universal health care either, its insurance based) .The people have long accepted the reality of totalitarianism so they are one step ahead.

    Since China doesn't have another party to blame they must blame external enemies like the US and we happily play along with tarrifs paid for by us dumb sheep who cry out in satisfaction "take that". Lol

    A fake Cold War works for us too. Trump says we are in a race for 5G and AI/Robotics with China. We must win or all is lost to China. Social credit scores, digital ID and digital currency along with Total Information Awareness and Full Spectrum Dominance over the herd.

    Health effects of 5G will be blamed on CoVID. Fake Science is a great tool. Scientists never lie, they can be trusted, just like Priests . They are the Priests of the New Technocratic World Order. Global Warming and COVID- We must believe. They say Vaccines and 5G are good for you, just like DDT and Tobacco were said to be Good by Scientists of another time. We must believe. Have Faith and you will earn social credit bonus points.

    Reality is Fake Wrestling. Kayfabe all the way baby. Who is the face and who is the heel? We are free to choose. So who says we don't have freedom?

    [May 14, 2020] If we discard xenophobia, China is not natural ally of the USA

    But it was natural target of offshoring manufacturing during neoliberal globalization frenzy. Now the USA needs to pay the price for the betryal of its elite.
    Notable quotes:
    "... China is not a natural ally of the US. It was helped for decades as a counterweight to the USSR and that policy continued after the Cold War ended because the Western elite reaped vast profits from the entry of a billion Chinese into the world labour markets. We have created a monster of arrogance and economic dynamism that refuses to take measures against novel coronaviruses springing out of their peculiar eating and aphrodisiac medicine habits. ..."
    May 14, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Sean , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 6:22 am GMT

    The USA is under no obligation whatsoever to be friendly to Russia, and especially not to China which rather owes America for everything and has repaid it in death. Capital and technology has flowed to China from America for decades. In return they sent profit to Wall St, Wuhan made Fentanyl the death of choice for whites desperate as a result of the policies that made China did so well out of, and now they send us a deadly epidemic.

    RussiaGateRussiaGateRussiaGateChinaDidItChinaDidItChinaDidItIranIsEvilIranIsEvil

    China is not a natural ally of the US. It was helped for decades as a counterweight to the USSR and that policy continued after the Cold War ended because the Western elite reaped vast profits from the entry of a billion Chinese into the world labour markets. We have created a monster of arrogance and economic dynamism that refuses to take measures against novel coronaviruses springing out of their peculiar eating and aphrodisiac medicine habits.

    It was coffee made from beans taken from civet faeces that led to the SARS-CoV bat/ civet recombination virus and the 2002 Sars outbreak, during which China lied about what was happening as they subsequently admitted. The SARS-CoV 2 receptor-binding domain from pangolins ( world's most trafficked animal, is in demand by Chinese as a male enhancer) and it recombined with a bat virus was hundreds of times more effective a pathogen in humans than the one from bat–civet recombination of eighteen years ago.

    But that is not what the Chinese said. Researchers in Wuhan on December 31st told the world about the Wuhan disease having been identifies as a coronavirus but said, 'It's not highly transmissible'. As late as the the 24th of January, Doctor Fauci w gave a briefing for senators in which he said there was very little danger to the US from the Wuhan disease. Later that day he repeated that opinion at a press conference.

    So China said it was not infectious between people and there was nothing much to worry about. When Trump began to restrict travel into the US from China on the 31st January there was uproar about this supposed further evidence of his xenophobia,.

    [May 14, 2020] How Beijing will respond to the anti-China fervor sweeping the US by Sam Bresnick & Lucas Tcheyan

    May 13, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

    President Trump has used his executive power to take a hatchet to 40 years of America's China policy. His administration has called for a "whole-of-government" approach to counter Beijing's unfair economic practices, initiated a damaging trade war, banned Chinese telecommunication equipment from domestic networks, and implemented stringent regulations to vet Chinese investments in sensitive industries.

    In a novel development, the administration has begun coaxing individual states to aid the federal government in its anti-China fervor. Speaking to the National Governors Association in early February, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that "competition with China is not just a federal issue It's happening in your states with consequences for our foreign policy, for the citizens that reside in your states, and indeed, for each of you."

    The administration's enlisting of states in the broader U.S.-China competition has significant economic implications for subnational actors. Increasingly hawkish incumbents, as well as congressional candidates, could provoke economic pushback from Beijing. Many of these officials have bought into the Republican Party's strategy of carrying out an " anti-China assault " on the campaign trail, scapegoating Beijing for the coronavirus outbreak in the United States instead of acknowledging the Trump administration's central role in the country's failure to prepare itself properly.

    While Washington is correct to scrutinize Chinese investments in sensitive technologies and pursue reciprocal trade and economic relations, politically motivated, opportunistic anti-China rhetoric could threaten individual states' cooperation with China, one of the few remaining productive aspects of the bilateral relationship. Indeed, as Hu Xijin, editor of Chinese tabloid Global Times, tweeted , "Beijing is already preparing to take necessary punishment measures against some members of the US Congress, the state of Missouri, and relevant individuals and entities."

    China-skeptic sentiment in the U.S. government and on the campaign trail is not a new phenomenon , but the coronavirus pandemic and resultant economic crisis have afforded many politicians the cover to push hawkish policies. Some of their proposals would benefit the United States, including reducing U.S. reliance on Chinese-made pharmaceutical products , a motion broadly backed by both Republicans and Democrats. But many of their arguments are politically motivated and risk further inflaming U.S.-China tensions and painting Beijing as an enemy, à la the Soviet Union during the Cold War, rather than a competitor.

    Senator Tom Cotton made waves last month by arguing that U.S. universities should not accept Chinese STEM students given the chance they might return home and use their training to drive China's scientific advances. Senators Josh Hawley and Marco Rubio have also joined the fray, advocating that the United States reduce its reliance on China and punish the country for failing to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The attorneys general of Missouri and Mississippi have filed lawsuits seeking damages from Beijing for the coronavirus.

    Incumbents, however, are not the only ones wagering their political futures on China. Senate candidates in Tennessee , Arizona , and Alabama , among other states, have adopted overtly hawkish stances toward Beijing, blaming China for the pandemic, painting their opponents as soft on the country, and using the China threat to push anti-immigration policies .

    Amid Washington's anti-China turn, preserving cooperation at the state level will be critical to maintaining any semblance of productive bilateral ties going forward. As Los Angeles Deputy Mayor of International Affairs Nina Hachigian said at a Brookings panel last year, "cities and states can take advantage of the trade, investment, students, climate change cooperation, culture, and tourism China offers without really having to balance the broader national security, geopolitical, and human rights questions."

    It is no coincidence that three of the past four U.S. Ambassadors to Beijing previously served as governors of states with deep links to China: Terry Branstad (Iowa), Gary Locke (Washington), and John Huntsman (Utah).

    The aforementioned politicians may be fighting to relocate supply chains outside of mainland China and decouple vast sections of the two countries' economies, but their rhetoric may also lead Beijing to move Chinese-owned businesses out of the United States or cut imports from the country. Despite bilateral tensions, there is clear evidence that Chinese investments in the United States can be beneficial. In the midst of the trade war, a Chinese takeover of a failing paper mill in Maine helped revitalize a local community. In Tennessee, Chinese investments in automotive parts , mattresses , and porcelain manufacturing have benefited the state's economy. There is a real risk that Chinese companies, seeing both politicians' and the American public's growing distaste for China, could simply up and leave.

    A more likely outcome of the growing antagonism, however, is for Beijing to engage in economic coercion , which it uses to try to force nations, companies, and officials into doing its bidding and punish those who do not. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has developed a wide-ranging and flexible toolkit of coercive measures that it has used strategically throughout the world.

    When South Korea agreed to host the United States' Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system, Beijing did not impose tariffs on Seoul despite its displeasure. China instead restricted flights to South Korea, drummed up nationalist sentiment among the Chinese public to boycott South Korean goods, and even shut down China-based outlets of Lotte Group, the Korean company on whose land THAAD was installed.

    China took a similar approach with the Philippines following a 2012 dispute over claims in the South China Sea. In order to cause significant economic pain, Beijing tightened quality controls on agriculture exports from Manila while stemming the flow of Chinese tourists to the Philippines. And most recently, Beijing threatened and then followed through on a boycott of Australian beef after Canberra called for an independent investigation into the origins of the coronavirus.

    Beijing coerces not only countries but also private companies for perceived transgressions. Marriott, Delta Airlines, and Zara all faced the prospect of losing business in China after listing Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Tibet as sovereign nations. Last fall, Beijing suspended broadcasts of NBA games after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.

    If public sentiment across the United States continues to turn against China, Beijing may begin adapting its methods of economic coercion to retaliate against states and politicians it perceives as hostile to its interests.

    Indeed, China is clearly paying attention to U.S. domestic politics and state officials' views of China. A think tank in Beijing recently ranked all 50 governors on their attitudes toward China, information the CCP values as it attempts to mold the views of officials outside of Washington. As Dan Blumenthal has noted , Beijing "split[s] Americans into 'friends of China' who might lobby on their behalf and others who refuse to do so [and] will not be granted access to China's massive market."

    In recent years, Beijing has provided glimpses of what economic coercion in the United States might look like. During the initial stages of the trade war, China's retaliatory tariffs disproportionally targeted Red states critical to Trump's 2016 election victory. Furthermore, China identified key officials able to influence U.S. policy, such as then-Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and levied tariffs that threatened jobs in and exports from their states in a bid to pressure the politicians to split with Trump.

    These actions are possible harbingers of economic pressures to come. Beijing may be tempted to pressure local officials to influence policy from the bottom up. As the aforementioned think tank report explicitly notes , Beijing believes that "State-level officials 'enjoy a certain degree of diplomatic independence,'" and that "Governors can ignore orders from the White House."

    Recent downturns in public opinion in both countries, the result of several years of increasing competition, and an emerging view that the other views the pandemic as a strategic opportunity, could even see Beijing move beyond tariffs and drum up anti-U.S. sentiment. It could even encourage citizens to boycott American products, the political and economic effects of which could be devastating.

    While the United States imports more from China than it exports, China-bound exports supported around one million U.S. jobs in 2018. According to the U.S.-China Business Council, 42 states counted China among their top five export destinations in 2019. Chinese FDI, which peaked at $46.5 billion in 2016, dropped to just over $3 billion in 2019 -- a decline of over 90 percent. Industries ranging from energy, agriculture, and manufacturing could be negatively affected by an exodus of Chinese investment, a freeze on new Chinese FDI into the United States, or increased tariffs on or bans of imports.

    Given the astronomically high unemployment rate and ballooning federal and state debt levels, U.S. states are in no position to lose more investments or export-supporting jobs. Senator McConnell's recent call for states to file bankruptcy highlights their increasingly gloomy economic prospects, and already over 25 percent of state revenues have disappeared due to the coronavirus.

    The United States certainly needs to diversify its supply chains so as not to depend so much on China. Washington has already rolled out several measures to better screen Chinese investments in the country and limit sensitive technology exports. The increasingly prevalent and politically expedient one-size-fits-all anti-China position espoused by many state-level politicians, however, could endanger China-state ties, the locus of the two countries' economic relationship, and threaten China-owned U.S.-based companies that pose no national security threats and provide hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    Written by
    Sam Bresnick
    Lucas Tcheyan

    [May 13, 2020] The Chinese Mindset in a Hybrid War With the US by Xiaoran Tong

    While some observationare valid, the main drawback is that the guy does not understand the term "neoliberalism"
    May 13, 2020 | original.antiwar.com
    I recently came across a Facebook comment from a Hongkonger, arguing that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is nothing communist given China's prosperous private sector after 1979's reform . He then linked a video to mock the western electoral democracy that put Trump and Hitler into the office, leading to the conclusion that the West has no credential to criticize the one-party system of China for the lack of democracy. His comment represents the contemporary Chinese sentiment and is quite understandable given the ongoing color revolution in Hong Kong 2019 , which is still lukewarm to this day, and the unrelenting blame of COVID19 on China . Although the hybrid war waged on China is unjust, the current Chinese mindset does not help to diffuse but only fuels the conflict even further.

    The Facebook comment was right about CPP not being Communist that seeks total control of the economy by the state. Yet, China is state capitalism, an oligarchy, or crony capitalism. China is a plutocracy by the marriage between the party leadership (the state), and the monopolizing mega-corporations (the money) like Huawei, Ali, the four state-owned commercial banks , and Sinopec Group .

    It is far from a free-market where the only way to win a competition is to provide excellent products, where the state has no role in deciding the winner and no ability to finance itself by forcing the circulation of central-banknotes. China does have a private sector – the semi-free-market, the good part of our bad plutocracy. Still, even that part is weathering after supreme leader Xi took power, and most Chinese do no realize that we are marching back into a more planned, more communism, more Mao Zedong like system, slowly but surely. In China, life is artificially expensive under the tightening state control that imposes layers upon layers of covert taxation, to the point of causing hesitation to have more children .

    However, the west, in general, is fundamentally the same, albeit having a façade electoral democracy where no crucial issues (i.e., war and peace, monetary policy, and downsizing the government) are allowed into a debate.

    The real private sector (not the likes of Google and Lockheed Martin) is also dying. The states interfere with the market relentlessly, in the name of safety, welfare, and stimulating the economy, which achieved the opposite (i.e., the 1929 great depression, 2000 dot com bubble, and 2008 housing bubble). The Federal Reserve finances the government spending via debt, encourages malinvestment by atrocious QE packages , which all translate into taxing away people's purchasing power by creating tons of money out of thin air.

    We see the same unholy marriage between the state and the money like big techs, big pharma, and, most disgustingly, the Military-Industrial Complex. People are either covertly forced, or duped into funding the nonsense by paying tax, no matter which party they elect.

    Therefore, the Chinese are right about the West not in the position of a critic, but for the wrong reason. We either fail to realize or willfully deny that we are living under a harsh plutocracy. Instead, we are distracted by the never losing fake debate about which system elects the better government, since the "one-party system" is most attacked by western pro-democracy voices.

    Strangely though, both systems have seemingly good intentions, either emphasizing a person's moral conduct and experience in low-tier office (the Chinese internal nomination), or the people's direct control of the government (the West electoral democracy). Strangely, both unanimously favor the use of "government power" the "right way."

    Yet, power always corrupts its user by attracting the money, no matter how well-disciplined, how experienced he/she was. A system that operates on coercive power always finds its way to circumvent any laws and regulations meant to promote meritocracy. Both have tried to fight cronyism rigorously with new agencies and new legislation, but in the end, cronyism always prevails, for both. For the most part of history, the essence of the Chinese system is not much different from the West, since they are all plutocracies that conned the people into helplessly relying on more power to solve problems caused by power until it collapses.

    In a 1979 Chinese opera broadcasted nationwide, the protagonist, a low tier official, finds himself risking his political career to enforce the law on the aristocrats who made the law; intoxicated, he yelled in desperation "谁做管官的官," which literally is " Quis custodiet ipsos custodes " in Chinese; in the end, he left his career behind – adding no more to the bloated, self-conflicting bureaucracy, to preserve his integrity. Maybe this was a coincidence, 1979 was the year the Chinese leadership decided to let the government govern less – kudos to them.

    The year 1979, and the economic boom that followed, is one of the most common counter-arguments from a Chinese when you criticize the draconian practices of CCP. Admittedly, there are times the state power is not insane. In 1979 Deng Xiaoping at least gave up some government mandate to allow the private sector to grow , resulting in the exploitative system we see today, nonetheless a society much more productive than Mao Zedong's total state dominance. Some state heads refrained from moving the government "muscle" too much, such as Jimmy Carter's resistance to wars and money supply that reduced overspending and inflation since the Vietnam War. In these "less bad, more sensible" eras, it is easier for people's entrepreneurial spirit and creativity to overcome the innate irresponsibility of centralized capital management. As a result, we saw significant progress like the Chinese miracle, and the upswing during the Reagan presidency (even if he turned up wars, debt, and the Fed's money machine again). Sadly, the leaderships are eager to claim credits, creating the impression that it is the right administration resulting in progress and recovery when it is the lack of governing that allows the people to make sensible decisions on their own, achieving faster growth.

    If we Chinese and the American attack each other's electoral system, it is like the two worst kids in the class picking on each other over their looks rather than their poor study and bullying of other kids, which only makes them both worse. In the real world, we leave the unhinged growth of government power – the real enemy of all people, Chinese and American alike, unattended.

    Like that Hongkonger, most Chinese learned to mock Trump's personal, and naively conclude that the democracy that put him (and Hilter) in the office is a joke. Some more informed Chinese mock the media's clownish, unfair treatment of Trump, and naively conclude that the freedom of the press is a joke. However, a bombastic president, the democracy, and the media are not the problems; neither are the aggressive sino-phobic policies of which Trump pretends to be in charge. The actual problem is the monstrous government, married with big money, capable of waging costly war, funding wasteful programs that drain the middle class to enrich a selected few, no matter who is in the office. It can either be the well-spoken Obama loved by the media, who started seven wars and won the Nobel peace prize, or the bombastic, scandalous New Yorker hated by the press, who nonetheless continued these wars. People coerced into funding this abusive machine themselves are part of, with their hard-earned tax dollars, is the problem. Yet, you do not see the Chinese majority mocking this miserable setup and come to realize that we are under the same situation!

    For us, the Chinese, the real issue is not the superficial corruption that the supreme leader XI fiercely fought, nor the insanity, the incompetence, and the betrayal of the oath of some party members. It is our innate reliance on authorities and the love of collective glory, a part of our culture passing down through generations over more than 2400 years, being the problem. We can never break the dynastic cycle if we do not see the path to the self-destruction of unhinged state power, such as Mao's era . If we are still yearning for a "just leader" to solve issues like retirement, education, and medication, still admiring exhaustive achievements such as the Belt and Road, the South China Sea, and Taiwan, we then have learned nothing from the downfall of thirteen dynasties and countless hegemonies throughout the history of China. The collective conscious of the Chinese have so far failed to realize the force driving the rise and fall of a dynasty is not the moral and intellect of the leaders, but the people's economic freedom relatively untouched or infringed at times, by a mixture of chance, sanity, and imperialism vainglory. The blind reliance on leaders and the love of collective grandiosity is only compounded when the Americans fail to take back their power from the government, who is warring with China and covertly overtaxing them. The collective enlightenment of the Chinese population is nearly impossible, since the tyrants in Beijing have no shortage of strawman to throw at the people and say "that is the problem, blame the belligerent Trump and the jealous Americans", and the Communist Dynasty will always enjoy the " mandate of heaven ".

    Even with a sheep's mindset, the Chinese economy will overtake the US, despite the slow death of its most productive private sector. The sheer momentum of the slight right turn to liberty 40 years ago is good enough for China, since the Americans do not restore their free-market and liberty that had made them an exceptionally productive civilization for a long time. But then what? We Chinese are just molecules burnt to fuel the blinding flash of a new empire not far from its fourteenth dynastic downfall, just like the Achaemenids, the Romans, the Umayyads, the Ottomans, Napoleon's France, the British, and the Americans before us.

    Xiaoran Tong has a Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the Michigan State University (MSU). He is originally from Kunming, Yunan, China and arrived in the US in 2014 to pursue his Ph.D. at MSU. He is Interested in the history of America and its similarities with ancient and contemporary China.

    [May 12, 2020] A Tsunami Of Anger Chinese Officials Call For Renegotiation Of Phase One Trade Deal

    May 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
    Amid the ongoing diplomatic spat between Washington DC and Beijing, which now also includes the deployment of B-1B bombers and warships in the South China Sea , late on Monday (local time) China's Global Times reported , citing sources close to the Chinese government, that some "hawkish" officials in China are calling for a renegotiation the the "phase one" trade deal with Washington as well as a "tit-for-tat approach on spiraling trade issues after US' malicious attacks on China ignited a tsunami of anger among Chinese trade insiders."

    The calls to renegotiate the current version of the deal - which has yet to be actively implemented - emerge amid dissatisfaction because "China has made compromise for the deal to press ahead."

    While in the past, these same trade negotiators "believed that it would be worthwhile to make certain compromise to reach a partial truce in the 22-month trade war and ease escalating tensions", given what the Global Times called "President Donald Trump's hyping an anti-China conspiracy that aims to cover up his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic", advisors close to the trade talks have suggested Chinese officials rekindling the possibility of invalidating the trade pact and negotiating a new one to tilt the scales more to the Chinese side, sources close the matter told the Global Times.

    A former Chinese trade official told the Global Times on condition of anonymity on Monday that China could complete such procedures based on force majeure provisions in the pact.

    "It's in fact in China's interests to terminate the current phase one deal. It is beneficial to us. The US now cannot afford to restart the trade war with China if everything goes back to the starting point," another trade advisor to the Chinese government told the Global Times, pointing to the staggering US economy and the coming of the US presidential election this year.

    "After signing the phase one deal, the US intensifies crackdown in other areas such as technology, politics and the military against China. So if we don't retreat on trade issues, the US could be trapped," the former official noted.

    Some could disagree, and counter that Trump can certainly restart the trade war especially since it suits his pre-election agenda - after all, now that the fate of the market is entirely in the hands of the Fed which has gone full MMT, Trump is no longer afraid by the market's response to a renewed trade war. In fact, with over 60% of the US population seeking to distance US from China, it would appear that Trump's best bet to winning independent votes is precisely to keep hammering China.

    Confirming this, Trump said on Friday that he was "very torn" about whether to end the China-US phase one deal, Fox News reported, with some observers interpreting his words as equating to a threat from the US to re-launch a trade war against China.

    Then again, over the weekend, the SCMP reported that US source familiar with recent discussions stated US officials acknowledged China was largely delivering its pledges on structural issues such as opening market access and improving IP protection but they have yet to agree in some details including IP action plan and easing equity caps for foreign investors. Furthermore, the source stated fallout from the virus meant agreement on purchasing US goods has become much more important and that many believe China needs to increase pace on purchases.

    Meanwhile, Gao Lingyun, an expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences who advises the government on trade issues, told the Global Times on Monday that China has "well documented" Washington's usual threats after previous rounds of confrontation. That means if the trade war restarts, "China knows how to respond, and it is able to retaliate quickly and inflict serious harm on the US economy," Gao said.

    Still, as the Global Times concludes, analysts noted that terminating the phase one trade deal would be China's "last option" and one that China would only resort to under extremely hostile conditions.

    [May 11, 2020] Note on US-China decoupling: it will be tough because the train had left the station and Chinese acted first

    Notable quotes:
    "... What does a developing country like China, still mired in socio-economic inequality, technological dependence, political corruption and environmental degradation do? Concentrate on its own hinterland while bidding its time? Confront the hegemon head-on which would lead to military conflict? Or control its responses while cultivating partnerships with ALL peace-loving countries, whether rich or poor, First World or Third World, Western or non-Western? ..."
    May 08, 2020 | www.unz.com
    antibeast , says: Show Comment May 9, 2020 at 5:46 pm GMT
    Unlike Escobar, Roberts, et al, I am much more sanguine about the prospects of China's rise which has threatened the indispensable nation of Yankistan because China was not supposed to rise above its assigned role as the cheap cog of the globalist economy serving the Capitalist Oligarchy of the NWO. By dint of hard work, sly cunning and shrew tactics, China outgrew its role by becoming the hub of the international economy via its New Silk Road and the BRI.

    What does a developing country like China, still mired in socio-economic inequality, technological dependence, political corruption and environmental degradation do? Concentrate on its own hinterland while bidding its time? Confront the hegemon head-on which would lead to military conflict? Or control its responses while cultivating partnerships with ALL peace-loving countries, whether rich or poor, First World or Third World, Western or non-Western?

    The rapid decoupling of China's economy away from the USA started with the GFC 2008 but has since accelerated with Obama's "Pivot to Asia" and Trump's trade war with China. Exports to the USA account for less than 3% of China's GDP today with 60% of those exports being either US or foreign goods manufactured in China. So the real figure is 1% of China's GDP consists of Chinese goods exported to the US market, consisting mostly of industrial commodities or consumer products.

    As China has already charted its own independent path of building trading/investment partnerships with Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, the USA has become threatened by China's successful decoupling from its export dependence on the US market as proven by its hostile reaction to Xi's BRI and China's New Silk Road. In addition, the US was caught off-guard by the sudden rise of Chinese tech firms such as Huawei which is the world's number one vendor of telecommunications equipment with undisputed world leadership in 5G technology.

    Shocked to find its manhood as no longer exceptional, Uncle Sam feels the need to show off to the world: "Me Gringo! Big Dick!"

    [May 10, 2020] Watch Is China Merely a Competitor of the U.S., or an Adversary or Even an Enemy

    May 10, 2020 | theintercept.com

    China has become, over the past two decades, the planet’s second-most powerful nation after the United States. Booming economic growth has lifted millions of its citizens out of poverty and catapulted it to the world’s second-largest economy, while increased military spending has made it the second-largest military power (though its military spending, and nuclear stockpile, are still a small fraction of the U.S.’s).

    That growth — in both economic and military power — has led U.S. officials to conclude that they must do more to counteract what they regard as China’s growing influence. President Obama, early in his administration, memorably vowed an “Asia pivot,” whereby the U.S. would devote fewer resources and less attention to the Middle East and more toward China’s growing power in its own region.

    That led to some moderate escalation in adversarial relations between the two countries — including the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP) and other regional skirmishes — but nothing approaching direct military confrontation. President Trump, since taking office, has largely heaped praise on the Chinese government and its leader President Xi Jinping, siding with Xi over democracy protests in Hong Kong and even Beijing’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

    But this pandemic has seriously escalated tensions between the two countries given the increasingly hostile rhetoric emanating from various sectors of the west, making it more urgent than ever to grapple with the complex relations between the two countries and how China ought to be perceived.

    The question is far more complex than the usual efforts to create a new U.S. Enemy because numerous power centres in the U.S. and the west generally — particularly its oligarchs, Wall Street, and international capital — are not remotely hostile to Beijing but, quite the contrary, are both fond of it and dependent upon it. That’s why — unlike with other U.S. enemies such as Saddam Hussein, Fidel Castro, the Iranian government or Nicolas Maduro — one finds very powerful actors, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg to the consulting giant McKinsey to Trump himself, defending Chinese officials and urging better relations with them.

    That, in turn, reflects a critical reality about U.S./China relations that defies standard foreign policy frameworks: while hawkish, pro-war political elements in both parties speak of China as an adversary that must be confronted or even punished, the interests of powerful western financial actors — the Davos crowd — are inextricably linked with China, using Chinese markets and abusive Chinese labor practices to maximize their profit margins and, in the process, stripping away labor protections, liveable wages and jobs from industrial towns in the U.S. and throughout the west.

    That is why standard left-wing anti-imperialism or right-wing isolationism is an insufficient and overly simplified response to thinking about China: policy choices regarding Beijing have immense impact on workers and the economic well-being of citizens throughout the west.

    Today’s new episode of SYSTEM UPDATE is devoted to sorting through the complexities of this relationship and how to think about China. I’m joined by two guests with radically different views on these questions: the long-time Singeporean diplomat who served as President of the U.N. Security Council, Kishore Mahbubani, whose just-released compelling book “Has China Won?” argues that the U.S. should view China as a friendly competitor and not as a threat to its interests; and Matt Stoller, who has worked on issues of economic authoritarianism and the U.S. working class in multiple positions in Congress and in various think tanks, culminating in his 2019 book “Goliath,” and who argues that China is a threat to the economic well-being of the U.S. working class and to civil liberties in the west.

    The show, which I believe provides excellent insight into how to think about these questions, debuts this afternoon at 2:oo pm ET on the Intercept’s YouTube channel or can be viewed on the player below at 2:30 p.m. As always, a transcript of the program will be added shortly thereafter.

    Update: May 7, 1:54 p.m. EDT

    The debut time for this episode has been moved by 30 minutes; it will not debut on the Intercept’s YouTube channel at 2:30 pm ET.

    [May 10, 2020] Trump and decoupling from China

    Highly recommended!
    May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
    I have been watching China's gradual rise in the world's GDP– as well as GDP-per-capita– charts and a concomitant fall in the United States' position in these charts, for nearly 20 years now. The United States' decline is still relative rather than absolute. In absolute terms, its GDP is still "Number 1!" But the decline was accelerated from 2003 on, when successive US presidents decided to pour massive amounts of government revenues into large-scale and always disastrous military adventures all around the world. As of last November, Brown University's "Costs of War" project tallied the U.S. budgetary costs of these wars, FY2001-2020, to be $6.4 trillion. These were funds that could have been invested, instead, in repair and upgrading of vital infrastructure here at home– including vital health infrastructure. But no. Instead, the money was shoveled into the pockets of the large military contractors who then used a portion of it on expensive lobbying operations designed to ensure that the sow of military spending continued feeding her offspring (them.)

    When Donald Trump became president, in 2017, one of his early instincts was to pull back from the foreign wars. (This was about his only sound instinct.) The military-industrial complex then proved able to slow-walk a lot of the military-retraction moves he wanted to make One of the other abiding themes of Trump's presidency has been his desire to "decouple" the U.S. economy from the tight integration it had developed at many levels with the economy of China, as part of broader push to halt or slow the rise of China's power in the global system. At the economic level, we have seen the "tariff wars" and the campaign against Huawei. At the military level, we have seen a slight escalation in the kinds of "demonstration operations" the U.S. Navy has been mounting in the South China Sea. Mobilizing against "Chinese influence" also seems to come naturally to a president who shows no hesitation in denigrating anyone– even US citizens and politicians– who happens not to be of pale-complected European-style hue.

    With the eruption of Covid-19 in U.S. communities nationwide, Pres. Trump's pre-existing proclivity to demonize and denigrate anything Chinese has escalated considerably– spurred on, it seems, by his evident desire to find an external scapegoat to blame for the terrible situation Covid-19 has inflicted on Americans and to detract voters' attention from the grave responsibility he and his administration bear for their plight.

    He and his economic advisors clearly realize that, with the supply chains of major US industries still inextricably tied up with companies located in China and with China still holding $1.1 trillion-worth of U.S. government debt, he can't just cut the cord and decouple from China overnight. Yesterday, his Treasury Secretary and the US Trade Representative held a phone call with China's Vice Premier Liu He, the intent of which was to reassure both sides that a trade deal concluded four months ago would still be adhered to.

    But today, less than 12 hours after the reassuring joint statement released after the phone call, Trump told Fox News that he was "very torn" about the trade deal, and had "not decided" whether to maintain it. This, as he launches frequent verbal tirades against China for having "caused" the coronavirus crisis. US GDP is highly inflated by counting financial moves on Wall Street (extracting money from suckers and moving money from one hand to another) as productive activity. China's purchasing power parity already exceeds the US and I suspect its actual GDP does as well. Only US financialization is able to mask the lack of actual productivity in the US economy.

    likbez , May 9 2020 17:12 utc | 10

    I am somewhat skeptical about China chances in this race. That will be much tougher environment for China from now on. And other major technological powers such as Germany, Korea and Japan are still allied with the USA.

    The major problem for China is two social systems in one box: state capitalism part controlled by completely corrupt Communist Party (which completely abandoned the communist doctrine and became essentially a religious cult ) + no less corrupt neoliberalism part created with the help of the West.

    The level of corruption inherent in the current setup (first adopted in Soviet NEP -- New Economic Policy) is tremendous, as the party has absolute political power and controls the major economic and financial areas while the entrepreneurs try to bribe state officials to get the leverage and/or enrich themselves at the state expense or bypass the bureaucratic limitations/inefficiencies imposed by the state, or offload some costs. So mafia style relationship between party officials and entrepreneurs is not an aberration, it is a norm. And periodic "purges" of corrupt Party officials do not solve the problem. Ecological problems in China are just one side effect of this.

    The fact that a Chinese scientist from a biolab got 12 years jail sentence is pretty telling. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00051-2

    Add to this the certain pre-existing tendencies within Chinese society to put greed above everything else, the tendency clearly visible in some emigrants and to which Yen devoted one post recently. Riots in some Asians countries against Chinese diaspora are often at least partially caused by this diaspora behavior, not only by xenophobia. Note that several African countries with Chinese investments now intent to sue China for damages from COVID-19. This is not accidental.

    Technologically the USA and its G7 satellites are still in the lead although outsourcing manufacturing to China helped Chinese tremendously to narrow the gap. For example, Intel CPUs still dominate both desktops and servers. All major operating systems (with the exception of some flavors of Linux) are all USA developed.

    I do not see the possibility for China to quickly narrow this gap as the technology transfer might now be controlled in the same way it the USA controlled the trade with the USSR via COCOM ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coordinating_Committee_for_Multilateral_Export_Controls )

    Looks how easily the USA managed to kick Huawei in the butt and essentially deprive it of the major market.

    vk , May 9 2020 17:48 utc | 12
    @ Posted by: likbez | May 9 2020 17:12 utc | 10

    You rise important points, but I respectfully disagree with all of them.

    1) I don't think China is a "State capitalism" country. The term "State capitalism" was first coined by Lenin for a very specific situation the USSR was in. Yes, the similarities are striking - and Deng Xiaoping's reforms were clearly inspired by Lenin's NEP - but it is important to state that the CCP actively avoided the term and built upon the concept both theoretically and in practice. Besides, we don't need to read Lenin's works critically, an not take him as the second coming of Jesus: when he used the term "State capitalism", he used it in a clearly desperate moment of the USSR, almost by improvisation. Lenin's last years were definitely desperate times.

    Besides, the NEP didn't culminate with the capitalist restoration of the USSR. On the contrary: it collapsed in 1926 (after another bad harvest) and gave way to the rise of Stalin and the radical faction of the CPSU. The Five-year plans were born (1928), and agriculture would be fully collectivized by the end of the 1930s (a process which catapulted Molotov to the second most powerful man in the USSR during the period). By the end of WWII, the USSR had a fully collectivized economy.

    2) The corruption hypothesis is an attractive one - specially for the liberal middle classes of the post-war and for the Trotskyists - but it doesn't stand the empirical test. The USA was an extremely corrupt nation from its foundation to pre-war, and it never stopped it from growing and reaching prosperity. The Roman Empire and Republic were so corrupt that it was considered normal. There's no evidence the PRC is historically exceptionally corrupt. However, I can see why the CCP is worried about corruption, as it is a flank through which the West can sabotage it from within.

    3) The COCOM tactic will be much harder to apply against China than against the USSR. For starters, the USSR lost circa 35% of its GDP in WWII. This gave it a delay from which it never recovered. Second, the USSR fought against capitalism when capitalism was at its apex. Third, the USSR collectivized and closed its economy too early, not taking into account that it still lived in a capitalist world.

    China doesn't have that now. It is fighting against capitalism in a phase where it is weakened. It is open and intimately integrated economically with its capitalist enemies. It closed or is about to close the technological gap in many strategic sectors during a stage where the capitalists have low retaliation capacity. It found time to close at least the GDP gap. It found time to recover fully from its civil war and the Japanese Invasion of the Northeast.

    Germany, South Korea and Japan are not technologically more advanced than the USA. This is a myth. Plus, they are too small. They may serve as very useful - even essential - pawns for the USA-side, but I don't see any of the three ever achieving Pax .

    [May 09, 2020] Huawei's HiSilicon becomes first mainland Chinese chip company to enter top 10 in global sales, says IC Insights South China

    Notable quotes:
    "... Over 90 per cent of Huawei phones in China now use HiSilicon processors, according to CINNO ..."
    May 09, 2020 | www.scmp.com

    HiSilicon , Huawei Technologies ' in-house semiconductor and integrated circuit design company, has surpassed US chip giant Qualcomm in terms of smartphone processor shipments in China for the first time amid coronavirus-linked disruptions that have hit most major players, according to a report.

    In the first quarter of 2020, HiSilicon shipped 22.21 million smartphone processors, according to Chinese research firm CINNO's latest monthly report on China's semiconductor industry. Although HiSilicon's shipments only increased slightly from the 22.17 million units it shipped in the first quarter of last year, it was the only major company that did not see a year-on-year decline in the quarter, CINNO said in a summary of the report posted on its official WeChat account.

    As a result, the Huawei subsidiary's market share surged to 43.9 per cent, from 36.5 per cent during the same period last year, and beat Qualcomm for the first time to become China's top smartphone processor supplier. HiSilicon's steady performance comes at a time when the Chinese smartphone industry is being battered by delayed product launches and dampened consumer sentiment linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Smartphone shipments in the country slumped by 34.7 per cent – more than a third – to 47.7 million units in the first quarter of 2020, according to a report released earlier this month by the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology.

    CINNO's report showed that there was a similar plunge in processor shipments, with overall smartphone processor shipments in the country dropping by 44.5 per cent in the first three months of 2020, compared to the same period last year. Huawei makes end-run around US trade ban by turning to its own chips 2 Mar 2020

    US-based Qualcomm, the long-time market leader, fell to second place in the latest quarter with a year-on-year decline in its market share from 37.8 per cent to 32.8 per cent. Taiwan's Mediatek maintained its third-place position, but also saw its market share slide year-on-year from 14 per cent to 13.1 percent

    . Table showing the market share of smartphone processor supplies according to CINNO Research. Source: CINNO Research / WeChat

    Table showing the market share of smartphone processor supplies according to CINNO Research. Source: CINNO Research / WeChat

    Huawei, HiSilicon's parent company, is at the centre of a high-profile US-China tech war. The Trump administration added the company to its Entity List last year, citing the risk that Huawei could give Beijing access to sensitive data from telecommunications networks. The trade blacklist effectively bars Huawei from buying US products and services. In response, the Chinese company, which has denied the allegations, is ramping up its own capabilities to produce more American component-free network gear, including through HiSilicon.

    Huawei is also reportedly shifting production of HiSilicon-designed chips away from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) and towards Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) as Washington readies new rules which would require foreign companies using US chipmaking equipment to obtain a license before supplying chips to Huawei – a move that would directly affect TSMC.

    Over 90 per cent of Huawei phones in China now use HiSilicon processors, according to CINNO. However, Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said in an interview with Yahoo Finance last year that the company would continue using chips from US vendors such as Intel and Qualcomm as long as it is still allowed by US regulators.

    [May 08, 2020] Post-pandemic animosity by US - Global Times

    May 08, 2020 | www.globaltimes.cn

    In the face of the upcoming presidential elections, Republicans launched a new China Task Force committee in US Congress on Thursday to attract attention despite its futile efforts to pass the buck amid the pandemic. But this not-so-surprising move only shows how hysterical and desperate Republicans have become as criticism of the government's mishandling of the domestic coronavirus outbreak increases, experts said.

    Following a series of anti-China moves the Trump administration has made when its epidemic prevention spiraled out of control with more than 1.2 million infections - the world's largest number - to date, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced on Thursday a proposal to set up a new "China Task Force" which will develop legislative policies to curtail Chinese influence. The committee currently consists of 15 Republicans with no Democrats joining.

    McCarthy said the pandemic made it apparent "for a national strategy to deal with China." The task force will hold meetings and briefings on China-related issues, which include China's influence inside the US, presence on American campuses and control over important supply chains, the Washington Post reported.

    A search for the members in the China Task Force revealed their antagonism toward China. One of them is Rep. Elise Stefanik, who in late April asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the attorney general to bring China to the International Court of Justice for the handling of COVID-19, according to a report by The Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

    Analysts said setting up the new China committee is the Republicans' new tactic to fuel anti-China sentiment, but this won't help stop power from shifting from the West to East, which was happening before the pandemic. The pandemic is very likely to speed up this process.

    Democrats not joining the committee does not mean they are more China-friendly, but they don't want Republicans to shift the focus of President Donald Trump's failure to handle the pandemic. Since last year, both parties passed several bills regarding China's Xinjiang and Hong Kong, interfering in China's internal affairs, Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China in Beijing, told the Global Times on Friday.

    Diao noted the Democrats in the Congress won't endorse the legislation but will support other anti-China measures that the new committee aims to push forward.

    "The pandemic will very likely further weaken the US and strengthen China," he said.

    A man covering his face walks in Manhattan, New York on April 6 amid the serious outbreak of COVID-19 in the US. Photo: AFP

    Treating China as equals

    In the past months, certain American politicians, including Pompeo, kept passing the buck, making groundless accusations that China was responsible for the outbreak, and hyped conspiracy theories by calling it the "China virus" to claim the virus originated from a Wuhan lab. At Friday's media briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying joked that the press conference was almost all about refuting Pompeo's lies.

    The extreme atmosphere has made many people in the US worry for a return of the McCarthy era, where free speech in the country was curtailed. A former US Ambassador to China pointed out in a CNN interview the US is now similar to Germany in the 1930s.

    Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Friday the task force will fuel the existing unfriendly atmosphere toward China at the local level in the country.

    Trump administration's China policy focuses on conflicts, and the task force could further aggravate tensions, he said.

    Former US Ambassador to China Max Baucus said in an interview with CNN that "The [Trump] administration's rhetoric is so strong against China. It's over the top. We're entering a kind of an era which is similar to Joe McCarthy back when he was red-baiting the State Department, attacking communism."

    "A little bit like Hitler in the 30s. A lot of people knew what was going on was wrong. They knew it was wrong, but they didn't stand up and say anything about it. They felt intimidated," he said.

    Analysts warned that China needs to stay alert as the US is trying to create a new McCarthy era of international repression on China.

    But, on the other hand, we should be aware that most countries won't follow the US, Li said.

    "It's difficult for the US to mobilize the world against China. People know how selfish and self-centered the US is. So only a few of its allies will join," he told the Global Times.

    The US interception of other countries' anti-virus medical supplies and pointing a finger at the WHO when international cooperation is urgently needed occupied world headlines.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese government had provided over 150 countries and international organizations with supplies, hosted over 120 video conferences with health experts from more than 160 members of the international community, and dispatched 19 medical groups to 17 countries, according to the Zhang Ming, Chinese Ambassador to the European Union, at a Coronavirus Global Response pledging event on Monday.

    Li told the Global Times that most countries, including its traditional allies, such as Germany and France, have different demands from the US. So they won't join this wave.

    As early as February 1, the European Union had dispatched tons of medical supplies to assist China. And in March when the continent was hit hard, China immediately provided more than 2 million protective masks and sent medical groups. Positive reactions were constantly heard in Europe on China.

    Meanwhile, it has been reported that China faces a rising wave of hostility led by the US amid the pandemic. The discrimination against Chinese people is growing in some parts of the world.

    Li said "The rising hostility shows some Western countries are not accustomed to a rising China. It's a challenge for them to learn to see China on an equal footing, which adds to their anxiety."

    He added that they need to learn to respect differences and deal with other countries equally.

    Analysts noted that China should step up efforts to enhance its own capabilities in high-tech, military and other fields. It should also conduct far-reaching international cooperation and uphold multilateralism to share its benefits with other countries, rather than being distracted by the anti-China wave.

    Cooperation amid competition

    The task force on China is not the first one in the West. On April 24, several UK Conservative MPs launched a "China Research Group" to promote "factual debate" in dealing with the "rapidly changing nature of the relationship" between China and the UK. The group would attempt to look "beyond" the coronavirus pandemic to "examine China's long-term economic and diplomatic aims," BBC reported.

    Kevin Hollinrake, an MP and a member of the group, told the Global Times that the group will make some inquiries on specific policy areas. The group will look at, for example, how the Chinese political system and business work.

    It will look at certain work streams and develop fact-based reports based on those work streams. "They may be reported back to parliament or published in the public domain," Hollinrake said.

    Although the group was set up at a time when the virus was rampant in the UK, "the pandemic itself is not the underlying issue," Hollinrake noted.

    The China Research Group is likely to "lobby for a less cooperative approach to China, and for the UK to align more with the US on China policy," Tim Summers, senior consulting fellow on the Asia-Pacific program at Chatham House, told the Global Times.

    However, Chris Wood, the British Consul General in Shanghai, told the Global Times that "We will see continued discussions and collaboration. There is no global challenge that can be solved without China's participation. We recognize that we very much want to work with China on these big global issues, and that will continue."

    In the post-coronavirus era, China and Europe might continue to seek cooperation amid competition, analysts said, pointing out that Europe's anxieties are, to a large extent, provoked by the US.

    In the early stages of the pandemic, despite old disputes, cooperation was the mainstream in China-Europe interactions. But things have changed since the US became the new epicenter, Sun Keqin, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

    Sun told the Global Times that to reduce the negative influence from the US on European countries, China needs to make efforts to let its voice heard in international public opinion and seek cooperation opportunities. What the US is advocating is nothing but rumors and conspiracy, and China must smash these lies with sound and reasonable evidence and awaken European countries, Sun said.

    [May 07, 2020] The real question how you gonna relocate the markets for in-USA industries?

    May 07, 2020 | smoothiex12.blogspot.com

    [May 07, 2020] So, is it correct that the DNC had some kind of Obama-era "chi-merica" project to further their globalist, neolib project -- as it became obvious that the US was never going to be able to pull off the unipolar Empire -- into the new century with a sort of US/China alliance, with a substantial US aligned fifth-column (if that's the right phrase) working in China to further the project?

    May 07, 2020 | smoothiex12.blogspot.com

    Casey19 hours ago So, is it correct that the DNC had some kind of Obama-era "chi-merica" project to further their globalist, neolib project -- as it became obvious that the US was never going to be able to pull off the unipolar Empire -- into the new century with a sort of US/China alliance, with a substantial US aligned fifth-column (if that's the right phrase) working in China to further the project? Then Trump came in a screwed that all up, trying to pretend to be friendly to Russia, which the DNC promptly scuttled. And now the net result is Russia and China growing relations, which is a very real nightmare for the US, the absolute worst possible outcome for the globalists? Probably I have this all ass-backwards. Also, really, how long would it take to relocate important industries to the US? Wouldn't that need to be a multi-generational project because you can;t turn baristas into machinists over night? Also, what prevents the US from taking over Venezuela right now, militarily, instead of those apparently poorly organized attempts to infiltrate with mercenaries, as was recently revealed?

    [May 05, 2020] I don't think the bankster parasites will sit on their hands and let the Trump idiots blow up their entire system. I think there would be a palace coup d'etat first.

    May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Trailer Trash , May 4 2020 20:55 utc | 33

    If Uncle Sam defaults on his debts, that would be the biggest own goal ever. The whole financial system is based on US Treasury bonds, and a default would send their value to zero. The US Social Security Trust Fund is still worth almost three trillion dollars, most of it in US Treasury bonds. Default means Goodbye Social Security Pensions, or at least a huge "haircut".

    I think Pompous Ass is bluffing. One reason is that Wall Street parasites have been salivating over the Social Security trust fund for decades, and GW Bush was working on a plan to give it to them. I don't think the bankster parasites will sit on their hands and let the Trump idiots blow up their entire system. I think there would be a palace coup d'etat first.

    [May 04, 2020] 'Turbocharging' exodus: US beats trade war drums to remove supply chains out of China

    May 04, 2020 | www.rt.com

    The US wants to сut industrial and supply dependence on China amid rising tensions between the two powers. However, not everyone is eager to pack their bags and leave the lucrative Chinese market in the midst of the previous row. The Trump administration has long been pushing American firms to get back to US soil, especially when trade tensions were flaring between the two biggest global economies. Now the US has revived the trade war rhetoric again. Read more Asian markets plunge amid escalating US-China tensions

    "We've been working on [reducing the reliance of our supply chains in China] over the last few years but we are now turbo-charging that initiative," Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the US State Department Keith Krach told Reuters.

    Krach as well as other officials told the agency that some critical and essential manufacturing should be moved from the country, and the government may take steps on it soon. Apart from the US' seemingly favorite options of tariffs and sanctions, the plans may include tax incentives and potential reshoring subsidies as well as closer relations with Taiwan – a move which has always angered Beijing.

    Washington is also mulling the creation of what one of the officials called 'Economic Prosperity Network' which would include companies and groups from some "trusted partners." The network is set to share the same standards "on everything from digital business, energy and infrastructure to research, trade, education and commerce."

    China's vital role in global supply chains was felt sharply amid the coronavirus pandemic as many international giants – from tech to car industries – are reliant on the country. The pandemic has forced some US companies to seriously consider at least partial relocation and changing supply chain strategy, according to one of the latest polls conducted by the American Chamber of Commerce in China and its sister organization in Shanghai. However, the majority of firms said that the outbreak does push them to turn their backs on China.

    Nevertheless, one of the "China hawks" told Reuters that the virus created "a perfect storm" as it "crystallised all the worries that people have had about doing business with China" and the damages from Covid-19 have eclipsed possible profits.

    Also on rt.com 'No mass exodus': Most US firms don't want to wind down operations in China over pandemic

    When the trade war showed no signs of abating last year and the US and China were still hitting each other with tariffs, another AmCham poll showed that the punitive measures were hurting US businesses operating in China. While over forty percent of the 250 respondents were "considering or have relocated" production facilities outside China, some 35 percent of companies said they would rather source within China and target the domestic market. Fewer than six percent wanted to move or already shifted their factory operations to the US.

    Set aside the enormous relocation costs – which the White House has recently pledged to cover should an American company decide to ditch China – there is still another massive hurdle in this plan. China is still the world's top producer of rare earth metals – the group of elements vital for production of multiple devices, from cell phones to some advanced military gear. Should all the production be moved from China, it could ban exports of these materials. Last year Chinese media said the option was already being mulled by Beijing, and it could consider the drastic measure again if trade war tensions further escalate.

    For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section

    [May 02, 2020] The USA makes an expected move in trade war with china: complites access of china companies to US produced chips

    May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

    et Al April 28, 2020 at 2:17 am

    Euractiv mit Neuters: US imposes new rules on exports to China to keep them from its military
    https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/us-imposes-new-rules-on-exports-to-china-to-keep-them-from-its-military/

    The new rules will require licenses for US companies to sell certain items to companies in China that support the military, even if the products are for civilian use. They also do away with a civilian exception that allows certain US technology to be exported without a license.

    They come as relations between the United States and China have deteriorated amid the new coronavirus outbreak
    ####

    It's far too late and will be significantly damaging to US companies. No doubt Washington still expects Beijing to buy Boeing airliners. If Beijing were to pull that plug, then it would take out Arbus, P&W, GE, CFM all the suppliers, MRO ventures and collapse the whole western airline supply chain. It would obviously kill any Chinese or Russian airline program that has any western content . I doubt Beijing will go that far so they'll be looking at actions, not words.

    t-Rump and co need to show something sym-bollox to the American electorate that yet again they are being 'tough on China' during this erection year but it requires China to play along. It simply might not. It is reported that China is currently purchasing large quantities of American LNG to fulfill 'Phase one' of t-Rump's Deal of the Century with China.

    Maybe that is the obvious counter, threatening to pull the whole DoC, starting with dumping LNG purchases as a direct warning. t-Rump's Administration has pushed itself into a smaller and smaller box, all of its own making. As I've always said and I still believe to be true, the biggest threat to t-Rump's re-erection is t-Rump himself.

    Like Like

    Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 9:22 am
    Paradoxically, the more Trump's belligerence and 'gut-based' trade policies damage international trade, the more convinced his supporters become that only Trump can handle increasingly-complicated trade relationships. This probably stems from his going into a meeting under difficult conditions, emerging to fire off a miracle tweet, "China will now buy massive quantities of our agricultural products", and ducking out the back without elaboration. This leads to a misplaced belief that Trump can perform miracles, as much of a jerk as he can be, because his loyalists rarely pay attention long enough for the rebuttal which always comes, laying out his serial exaggerations. Remember when U.S. Steel was building three new steel plants, on the strength of Trump's hard-ass negotiations in the Canada-Mexico-USA Free Trade deal? Lighthizer's hard-ass negotiations, actually. Anyway, yeah; totally made it up. He doesn't see anything wrong with making optimistic projections which have no basis in fact.

    Mind you, it would be a bit of a downer to have to explain again to Biden what 'oil' is, every single time the subject comes up. But I wouldn't be too worried about that.

    LNG is pretty cheap right now, like all energy products. I see China behaving much like Russia; once it strikes an international bargain, it will stick to it until the terms play out. But Trump might find a different China when he tries to strike the next agreement.

    Like Like

    et Al April 29, 2020 at 3:43 am
    China can also take similar measures, sic (I read that) Alibaba and other gigantic Chinese companies that rely on server farms are switching over to Chinese made chippery and not buying foreign. Simply in lost sales for the foreseeable future is gigantic.

    Like Like

    Mark Chapman April 29, 2020 at 9:54 am
    I imagine you are too young to remember Victor Kiam (he died in 2001) former president of the Remington Razor Company. He had a popular line of commercials in the late 80's in which he would say "I liked it so much, I bought the company".

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/3NlMTkfI8Sc?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

    The Chinese must have heard him, because they took his method to heart; Alibaba doesn't just buy Chinese-made chips, they bought the company. Right after the United States started up its we-have-to-keep-priceless-American-technological-secrets-out-of-the-hands-of-the-thieving-Chinks policies. Suit yourself, Sam.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-csky-m-a-alibaba-idUSKBN1HR0VY

    Shanghai-based Semiconductor Manufacturing International, a $5.4 Billion company and one of the largest such companies in China, pulled its listing from the NYSE.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/24/major-chinese-chipmaker-delisting-from-the-nyse-but-says-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-trade-war.html

    In 2018, Skyworks Solutions had 83% of its business in China. Apple had 20%, but 20% of Apple's revenue is a shitload of money. I had to laugh at the line, "Investors are increasingly concerned over the prospect of rising global protectionism." 'Global protectionism' pretty much covers The Donald's act.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/04/chipmakers-may-have-the-most-to-lose-in-a-trade-war-with-china.html

    [May 01, 2020] Assuming that the US did indeed seed the virus in Wuhan, then we might speculate that the seeding was timed to coincide with the flu season in China and with mass preparations for Chinese New Year.

    May 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Jen , Apr 29 2020 23:21 utc | 69

    Jackrabbit @ 21, 53:

    Justin GLyn @ 65 is correct: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern instituted a Stage 4 lockdown in her country in mid-to-late March with the aim of eliminating the virus from Kiwi shores. That goal is no longer feasible but the country has begun relaxing its lockdown to Stage 3 in an effort to revive its economy.

    The US failure to anticipate blowback can be understood in one way: assuming that the US did indeed seed the virus in Wuhan, then we might speculate that the seeding was timed to coincide with the flu season in China and with mass preparations for Chinese New Year. The thinking was that the virus would spread through public transportation networks throughout the country and Beijing would have a full-time job on its hands just dealing with massive viral outbreaks all over the country, and fail to deal with them even adequately, leading to mass riots and eventually widespread resistance to Beijing, and maybe even the eventual disintegration of the CCP and its overthrow. US and other expatriates would be trapped in the country, and foreign embassies and consulates might even be torched, prompting a US-led coalition to invade parts of the country (like the south and the southeast) and take over in a start to the balkanisation of the country cunningly disguised as foreign help to keep order.

    The US certainly did not anticipate that Chinese people trusted enough in Beijing to be willing to carry out whatever orders Beijing issued; the US assumption seems to be that everywhere around the planet, people yearn to be just as individualistic and suspicious of Big Government as Americans are, and that what they think of their local councils and regional governments is the same as what they think of their national governments.

    The reality is that in many countries, whatever people think of their local councils and regional (state, provincial) governments may not be true of what they think of their national governments, because the functions of the three tiers of government in their countries may not overlap to the extent that they might do in the Anglocentric world.

    Neither did the US anticipate that Chinese society could be advanced in its own way technologically with various functions such as public health, public transport and others integrated enough that the Chinese could respond to a rapidly spreading crisis in the way they did. That is in part because US society and values are based on competition, mutual suspicion and top-down orders among other things, rather than co-operation, collective behaviour and willingness to consider solutions based on ideas from divergent yet integrated sources.


    Vasco da Gama , Apr 29 2020 23:47 utc | 75

    Very good comment! Jen@69

    That is a very plausible working hypothesis, and I mean it working, the main assumption is still to be proven but it explains many other observations of fact. But I will append a variable in the main assumption: we could even replace the initiative's agent with some non-state actor, ie Big Pharma. I am unable to "decide" between these possibilities. Are the Imperial forces conflicting to the extent implied? Are we yet at the point that a non-state actor is bold enough for such an action? I really don't want to stretch a perfectly good hypothesis but am I?

    David KNZ , Apr 30 2020 1:39 utc | 90
    ===> Jen @ 69 Good Post; astute observations

    I was in China at the time when this unfolded and note the following: 1: The Chinese cultural mindset is totally different from the Western one, and the gap much greater than most Westerners realise. Look at the videos of the 75th Anniversary of Modern China for a few clues 2: As the worlds largest atheist nation, death is considered final, rituals notwithstanding So they are motivated to survive..( and focus on delicious food to this end) 3: They talk. Incessantly. It is no accident that WeChat has grown exponentially.. What happens in one part of China is pretty quickly spread to other parts And on the Flipside, there are surveillance cameras everywhere

    So when this unfolded, Mid Spring festival when the cities were emptied, the memory of the SARS epidemic sprang to forefront of the official mind. Xi JingPing appeared on most TV Channels, making it clear that he was taking responsibility for the government response. And implicitly, that if he failed, he would be gone, in keeping with the long tradition of Chinese leadership.

    At this point we decided to bail, being prime targets to host the virus. Avoided getting quarantined in HongKong by 4 hours, and quarantine in Manus Island, Aus by one phone call.

    There were 6 temperature checks and 4 police checks on route to HongKong Airport; arriving in New Zealand expecting some major medical checks. None. Just 2 nurses at a deck asking if we felt OK - handed a pamphlet and sent on our way. I did try to follow up but given official discouragement. So NZ was asleep at the wheel for weeks, and just plain lucky. However, once NZ woke up, the response was excellent; PM Jacinda Adern's speech was masterful and the response excellent. We had only two CoVid cases yesterday, as we move into level 3.

    There are big problems in economic recovery here, but the alternative scenarios would have been far worse. And theres got to be a reason why various luxury private jets are turning up unannounced and often unmarked at the airports here :-)

    Jackrabbit , Apr 30 2020 6:11 utc | 113
    Jen @Apr29 23:21
    karlof1 @Apr30 0:34

    Each of your explanations are compelling in their own way.

    A few things that your explanations left out (this is not meant to be a comprehensive list):


    IMO any theory of deliberate release should consider these points.

    Bolton's was asked to leave the administration because he was involved in pushing development of a virus which accidentally escaped the lab -OR- willingly left to give Trump/Deep State a scapegoat in case it became known that the use of the virus was deliberate? In either case, the virus was already "in the wild" ...

    ... which would explain why no medical professional resigned in Feb/March. It was never going to be possible to contain the virus in the West.

    This would also explain why virus discussion were classified.

    Trump did a trade deal with China that he knew they would have trouble to satisfy the terms of. The ARAMACO IPO - which had been delayed several times - came just about 6 weeks before the new virus was identified. And it was done despite the Houthi attack on ARAMACO facilities two months before (investors should've been very wary of the continuing war at the super high valuation).

    <> <> <> <> <>

    PS I do know that New Zealand had a lock-down but they did that as soon as they found 'community spread' and their vigilance has allowed them to start lifting the lock-down after only a short period.

    !!

    [Apr 30, 2020] No Weapon Left Behind The American Hybrid War on China by Pepe Escobar

    Feb 21, 2020 | www.strategic-culture.org

    Branding BRI as a "pandemic"

    As the usual suspects fret over the "stability" of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the Xi Jinping administration, the fact is the Beijing leadership has had to deal with an accumulation of extremely severe issues: a swine-flu epidemic killing half the stock; the Trump-concocted trade war; Huawei accused of racketeering and about to be prevented from buying U.S. made chips; bird flu; coronavirus virtually shutting down half of China.

    Add to it the incessant United States government Hybrid War propaganda barrage, trespassed by acute Sinophobia; everyone from sociopathic "officials" to self-titled councilors are either advising corporate businesses to divert global supply chains out of China or concocting outright calls for regime change – with every possible demonization in between.

    There are no holds barred in the all-out offensive to kick the Chinese government while it's down.

    A Pentagon cipher at the Munich Security Conference once again declares China as the greatest threat , economically and militarily, to the U.S. – and by extension the West, forcing a wobbly EU already subordinated to NATO to be subservient to Washington on this remixed Cold War 2.0.

    The whole U.S. corporate media complex repeats to exhaustion that Beijing is "lying" and losing control. Descending to sub-gutter, racist levels, hacks even accuse BRI itself of being a pandemic , with China "impossible to quarantine".

    All that is quite rich, to say the least, oozing from lavishly rewarded slaves of an unscrupulous, monopolistic, extractive, destructive, depraved, lawless oligarchy which uses debt offensively to boost their unlimited wealth and power while the lowly U.S. and global masses use debt defensively to barely survive. As Thomas Piketty has conclusively shown, inequality always relies on ideology.

    We're deep into a vicious intel war. From the point of view of Chinese intelligence, the current toxic cocktail simply cannot be attributed to just a random series of coincidences. Beijing has serial motives to piece this extraordinary chain of events as part of a coordinated Hybrid War, Full Spectrum Dominance attack on China.

    Enter the Dragon Killer working hypothesis: a bio-weapon attack capable of causing immense economic damage but protected by plausible deniability. The only possible move by the "indispensable nation" on the New Great Game chessboard, considering that the U.S. cannot win a conventional war on China, and cannot win a nuclear war on China.

    A biological warfare weapon?

    On the surface, coronavirus is a dream bio-weapon for those fixated on wreaking havoc across China and praying for regime change.

    Yet it's complicated. This report is a decent effort trying to track the origins of coronavirus. Now compare it with the insights by Dr. Francis Boyle, international law professor at the University of Illinois and author, among others, of Biowarfare and Terrorism . He's the man who drafted the U.S. Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 signed into law by George H. W. Bush.

    Dr. Boyle is convinced coronavirus is an

    "offensive biological warfare weapon" that leaped out of the Wuhan BSL-4 laboratory, although he's "not saying it was done deliberately."

    Dr. Boyle adds, "all these BSL-4 labs by United States, Europe, Russia, China, Israel are all there to research, develop, test biological warfare agents. There's really no legitimate scientific reason to have BSL-4 labs." His own research led to a whopping $100 billion, by 2015, spent by the United States government on bio-warfare research: "We have well over 13,000 alleged life science scientists testing biological weapons here in the United States. Actually this goes back and it even precedes 9/11."

    Dr. Boyle directly accuses "the Chinese government under Xi and his comrades" of a cover up "from the get-go. The first reported case was December 1, so they'd been sitting on this until they couldn't anymore. And everything they're telling you is a lie. It's propaganda."

    The World Health Organization (WHO), for Dr. Boyle, is also on it: "They've approved many of these BSL-4 labs ( ) Can't trust anything the WHO says because they're all bought and paid for by Big Pharma and they work in cahoots with the CDC, which is the United States government, they work in cahoots with Fort Detrick ." Fort Detrick, now a cutting-edge bio-warfare lab, previously was a notorious CIA den of mind control "experiments".

    Relying on decades of research in bio-warfare, the U.S. Deep State is totally familiar with all bio-weapon overtones. From Dresden, Hiroshima and Nagasaki to Korea, Vietnam and Fallujah, the historical record shows the United States government does not blink when it comes to unleashing weapons of mass destruction on innocent civilians.

    For its part, the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) has spent a fortune researching bats, coronaviruses and gene-editing bio-weapons. Now, conveniently – as if this was a form of divine intervention – DARPA's "strategic allies" have been chosen to develop a genetic vaccine.

    The 1996 neocon Bible, the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), unambiguously stated, "advanced forms of biological warfare that can "target" specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool."

    There's no question coronavirus, so far, has been a Heaven-sent politically useful tool, reaching, with minimum investment, the desired targets of maximized U.S. global power – even if fleetingly, enhanced by a non-stop propaganda offensive – and China relatively isolated with its economy semi paralyzed.

    Yet perspective is in order. The CDC estimated that up to 42.9 million people got sick during the 2018-2019 flu season in the U.S. No less than 647,000 people were hospitalized. And 61,200 died.

    This report details the Chinese "people's war" against coronavirus.

    It's up to Chinese virologists to decode its arguably synthetic origin. How China reacts, depending on the findings, will have earth-shattering consequences – literally.

    Setting the stage for the Raging Twenties

    After managing to reroute trade supply chains across Eurasia to its own advantage and hollow out the Heartland, American – and subordinated Western – elites are now staring into a void. And the void is staring back. A "West" ruled by the U.S. is now faced with irrelevance. BRI is in the process of reversing at least two centuries of Western dominance.

    There's no way the West and especially the "system leader" U.S. will allow it. It all started with dirty ops stirring trouble across the periphery of Eurasia – from Ukraine to Syria to Myanmar.

    Now it's when the going really gets tough. The targeted assassination of Maj. Gen. Soleimani plus coronavirus – the Wuhan flu – have really set up the stage for the Raging Twenties. The designation of choice should actually be WARS – Wuhan Acute Respiratory Syndrome. That would instantly give the game away as a War against Humanity – irrespective of where it came from.

    [Apr 29, 2020] The USA has huge geographic advantages over China

    Apr 29, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Brian O'Brien , says: Website Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 2:48 pm GMT

    The USA has huge geographic advantages over China. We are separated from the world by the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and bordered by two nations we are at peace with and who are no threat to us. Our Founding Fathers recognized our geographic advantages from the start and sought policies that took advantage of this. Today, our geographic situation is even more secure than it was for much of our history.

    China is bordered on all sides by rivals–Russia to the north, India to the south, Japan and Taiwan boxing it in to the east, and Islamic states to the west. It has a long and complex border it needs to defend from rivals and a relatively small coastline that offers complications due to the many nations it shares seaways with. The USA has none of these disadvantages.

    America's current disadvantages and decline stem from policies that have been put in place over the 20th century by elites who replaced the traditional American policies that made us the richest and freest nation on Earth with globalist policies that use America's advantages in ways that harm the average American and people all around the world. These elites usurped our financial system, government, media and academia and have been trading away our wealth and freedom for wars and economic imperialism in pursuit of non-American globalist goals.

    Reversing American decline and increasing the prosperity and freedom of the average American is a simple matter in regards to policy:

    1. Return to the American System of economics as advocated by Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, etc., as opposed to the English System of "free trade" that our elites adopted after WWII. That means ending our current "free trade" policy and replacing it with high tariffs on imports to protect American industry from overseas competition. Increase tariffs and end the income tax. That was our trade policy before 1913 and what made us the richest economy on Earth with the world's highest standard of living.

    2. End our current foreign policy of interventionism abroad and replace it with neutrality in foreign affairs and non-interventionism abroad as advocated by George Washington. End all foreign wars, shut down American military bases overseas and bring the troops home. End all entangling alliances like NATO and instead refocus the American military on defending the North American continent only. We can do this easily with a strong Navy and Air Force based at home and a small Army made up mostly of reservists. This would bring us greater national security and enormous savings. "Isolationism" is a slur used by warmongers to brainwash Americans into dying in overseas wars fought for foreign interests. That word should be recognized as such. If China wants rocks in the South China Sea or Russia has border conflicts with Ukraine or Israel has conflicts with its neighbors, that really is none of our business and not something Americans should die over. That's their business not ours.

    3. End mass immigration. America is the third most populous country on Earth after China and India. We don't need more people. Immigration has lowered wages in the USA, increased costs for such things as housing and education, increased pollution, increased traffic and sprawl, etc. Immigration benefits the rich who want cheap labor and harms American citizens, not to mention fills our country with people who have loyalties to other parts of the world, not to our nation. End immigration and our standard of living will rise and the American way of life will be preserved.

    4. Kill the Federal Reserve and replace it with a U.S. Monetary Council with members appointed by Congress. This U.S. Monetary Council should be based on American principles and the U.S. Constitution with transparency and accountability to the electorate, tasked to regulate the American money supply to benefit American commerce and the needs of the people, unlike our current system that benefits a small clique of usurers, speculators and corporate insiders that the Fed serves today.

    These are simple policies that worked in the past. The difficulty is in enacting them due to the current political climate and the monopoly the globalists have over our financial system, media and academia. They have an army of think tank propagandists and lobbyists working relentlessly to keep the current policies of "free trade," mass immigration, foreign interventionism, overseas wars, and their destructive Federal Reserve in place.

    The globalists are highly organized and have infinite monetary resources. The only way to overcome them is through organization and action.

    More on the financial power and solutions here:

    http://thetyrannyofthefederalreserve.blogspot.com/

    Anonymous [125] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment April 29, 2020 at 4:09 pm GMT

    But America's own societal information system is vastly more skilled and experienced in shaping reality to meet the needs of business and government leaders, and this very success does tremendous damage to our country.

    This is a very important insight. A hypertrophied media machine in the service of the "elite" makes them dumber, greedier and less competent with time while the fortress they've built turns into a house of cards. We need a reset – badly.

    [Apr 24, 2020] The USA is entering its Byzantine Empire phase

    Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

    anonymous [589] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment April 23, 2020 at 8:52 pm GMT

    YOU are completely MISreading the events so yo miss the target by 90% NO it wasnt the Russians . neither the Chinese..

    IT was the FREEtraders NEOcons from Wallstreet and CFR, that transfer all american manufacturing overseas (china) deabsing the dollar into fiat money, banktupted the USA traesury The USA is entering its Byzanntyne Empire pahse a Spartan roque millitary nation while inploding intrenally the Angloamerican zionists already ecided toi amke China de first world power

    [Apr 24, 2020] Sometime before the 20th century closed, there was a term coined: the "Princelings". These were the extravagantly wealthy offspring of many of the leadership of the CCP, and grandchildren of the men who endured the "Long March".

    Apr 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

    anachronism , says: Show Comment April 23, 2020 at 8:20 pm GMT

    @Anonymous How should I describe it? The Chinese Communist Party has formed a plutarchy and an oligopoly "with Chinese characteristics".

    Sometime before the 20th century closed, there was a term coined: the "Princelings". These were the extravagantly wealthy offspring of many of the leadership of the CCP, and grandchildren of the men who endured the "Long March".

    "Genocide" is a term that is broadly applied to what is more accurately described as "ethnic cleansing". The Hans have taken over Tibet and Xin Jiang, and have oppressed the locals in a ruthless manner, that is comparable to what the Jews have done to Palestinians.

    Systematically, the Chinese are converting the indigenous populations of poorer countries into indentured servants. These countries are so indebted to their Chinese "benefactors" that they have no hope for redemption, unless the Chinese are prepared to forgive the loans. So far, the Chinese have not been disposed to do so.

    The effect and the consequence of these developments are close enough to warrant the comparison.

    [Apr 10, 2020] Global Times blasts Outlaw US Empire COVID response:

    Apr 10, 2020 | www.globaltimes.cn
    Global Times blasts Outlaw US Empire COVID response :

    "The vicious virus, the polarization of US politics and deepening international divergences have plunged humanity into unprecedented uncertainties. A jumbled, irresponsible and impulsive US greatly enhanced the risks the world is facing.

    "What's worse, the US did not engage in any reflection, and the inability of its government was only attributed to partisanship. The anti-China element in its public opinion has been brewing with the instigation of the administration and some politicians. This has greatly crumbled the US' self-correction ability.

    "The harm on humanity caused by a virus, no matter how frightening it is, only remains at the physical level. But the US destruction at the political level is amplifying this crisis that endangers global governance. Even if the pandemic is put under control, humanity has to face the turbulence post-pandemic. Such dual uncertainties have gone beyond the imagination of people even with their decades of living experience."

    IMO and contrary to the editorial's conclusion, "populist politics" had nothing to do with Trump's beyond mediocre response; rather, it's all been ideological beginning with the utter lack of preparation.

    Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 9 2020 17:22 utc | 108

    [Mar 27, 2020] Senior officials in the Trump administration agreed to new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to China's Huawei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said, as the White House ramps up criticism of China over coronavirus.

    Mar 27, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Likklemore , Mar 26 2020 21:56 utc | 66

    Is the troop deployment along the Canadian border is to stop anyone interfering in the coming chaos?

    Posted by: Ian2 | Mar 26 2020 20:34 utc | 36

    You have a point there --the coming chaos after the COVID-19 Health crisis.

    Wondering if Trudeau knows about the fences that were erected this morning?

    Maybe I missed Trump's tweet on his declaration of War.

    - He has imposed more sanctions on Iranians.
    - Indicted Maduro of Venezuela on narco trafficking, sponsor of terrorism; placed a $15 million bounty on his head --straight from the Panama playbook.

    and this beauty - continues his trade war on China because -----

    Exclusive: U.S. prepares crackdown on Huawei's global chip supply - sources

    (Reuters) - Senior officials in the Trump administration agreed to new measures to restrict the global supply of chips to China's Huawei Technologies, sources familiar with the matter said, as the White House ramps up criticism of China over coronavirus.

    The move comes as ties between Washington and Beijing grow more strained, with both sides trading barbs over who is to blame for the spread of the disease and an escalating tit-for-tat over the expulsion of journalists from both countries.

    Under the proposed rule change, foreign companies that use U.S. chipmaking equipment would be required to obtain a U.S. license before supplying certain chips to Huawei. The Chinese telecoms company was blacklisted last year, limiting the company's suppliers.[.]
    "This is going to have a far more negative impact on U.S. companies than it will on Huawei, because Huawei will develop their own supply chain," trade lawyer Doug Jacobson said. "Ultimately, Huawei will find alternatives."[.]

    Huawei has been doing just that - finding alternatives. Trade wars have been proven to end badly. They end up going hot.

    [Mar 19, 2020] Much of the US elite is sinecured in the media, foreign policy, and national security state establishments

    Mar 19, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Anonymous [252] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment March 18, 2020 at 6:53 pm GMT

    @Sean

    Here was me thinking the Western elites wanted to continue making money on Chinese growth.

    Much of the US elite is sinecured in the media, foreign policy, and national security state establishments, whose status depends on the relative power and prestige of the US state. The relative power and prestige of the US state is jeopardized by the continued growth of China.

    If you follow US coverage of China in the US, you'll find that this US elite is generally critical of China, although style and presentation vary. The liberal "China watchers" among the US elite in the media and foreign policy establishment tend to focus on human rights, democracy promotion, and liberalism as vectors to attack the Chinese state. They tend to be polished and more subtle rather than explicitly hostile.

    The US elite in the national security establishment tend to be more overt about military containment and or confrontation with China, and on developing an anti-China coalition in the Pacific.

    [Mar 09, 2020] COVID-19 burst the asset price bubble. In a new low, Pompeo passes buck to Beijing

    Mar 09, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    CitizenX , Mar 9 2020 2:58 utc | 57

    "Perhaps this will finally burst the out-of-control asset price bubble and drop-kick the Outlaw US Empire's economy into the sewer as the much lower price will rapidly slow the recycling of what remains of the petrodollar. Looks like Trump's reelection push just fell into a massive sinkhole as the economy will tank."

    Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2020 1:29 utc | 49
    ....

    Call me crazy- but this Virus provides great cover as to why the economy plummets, the Murikan sheeple will eat it up. Prepare for the double media blitz on the virus AND the economy tanking as its result.

    Don't worry...just continue to go shopping and take those selfies.


    vk , Mar 9 2020 3:37 utc | 60

    Pompeo accuses China of giving "imperfect data" on COVID-19, blame it for US failure in containing the virus:

    In new low, Pompeo passes buck to Beijing

    It will be hard for the American people to swallow that one. From day 1 I've read a lot of "articles" and "papers" from know-it-all Western doctors and researchers from commenters here in this blog, all of them claiming to have very precise and definitive data on what was happening. A lot of bombastic conclusions I've read here (including one that claimed R0 was through the roof - it's funny how the R0 is being played down after it begun to infect the West; suddenly, it's all just a stronger cold...).

    And that's just here, in MoA's comment section. Imagine what was being published in the Western MSM. I wouldn't be surprised there was a lot of rednecks popping their beers celebrating the fall of China already.

    --//--

    China to back global virus fight with production boost

    Since China allegedly had a lot of idle industrial capacity - that is, if we take the Western MSM theories seriously (including the fabled "ghost towns" stories) - then boosting production wouldn't be a problem to China.

    Disclaimer: it's normal for any kind of economy - socialist or capitalist - to have a certain percentage of idle capacity. That's necessary in order to insure the economy against unexpected oscillations in demand and to give space of maneuvre for future technological progress. Indeed, that was one of the USSR's mistakes with its economy: they instinctly thought unemployment should be zero, and waste should also be zero, so they planned in a way all the factories always sought to operate at 100% capacity. That became a problem when better machines and better methods were invented, since the factory manager wouldn't want to stop production so that his factory would fall behind the other factories in the five-year plan's goals. So, yes, China indeed has idle capacity - but it is mainly proposital, not a failure of its socialist planning.

    --//--

    ... ... ...

    vk , Mar 9 2020 3:56 utc | 61
    This is important. The only reason I didn't comment about it is I hadn't the data:

    Follow the money: Understanding China's battle against COVID-19

    By the latest count, in addition to yuan loans worth 113 billion U.S. dollars granted by financial institutions and more than 70 billion U.S. dollars paid out by insurance companies, the Chinese government has allocated about 13 billion U.S. dollars to counter fallout from the outbreak.

    The numbers could look abstract. However, breaking the data down reveals how the money is being carefully targeted. The government is allocating the money based on a thorough evaluation of the system's strengths.

    ...

    Local governments are equipped with more local knowledge that allows them to surgically support key manufacturers or producers that are struggling.

    Together, they have borne the bulk of the financial responsibility with an allocation of equivalently more than nine billion U.S. dollars. It is carefully targeted, divided into hundreds of thousands of individual grants that are tailor-made by and for each county, town, city and business.

    This is the mark of a socialist system.

    The affected capitalist countries will simply use monetary devices (so the private sector can offset the losses) and burn their own reserves with non-profitable palliatives such as masks, tests, other quarantine infrastructure etc.

    Pft , Mar 9 2020 4:44 utc | 64
    Sounds like US socialism. Basically corporate socialism. Loans are just dollars created out of thin air, same as in US. Insurance payouts come from premiums, nothing socialist about that, pure capitalism. Government hand outs to provinces, cities, state owned corporations,well all of these are run by the party elite, its called pork. US handed out a lot of pork during the last financial crisis. None of it trickled down to the little people. I doubt it does in China either.

    All crisis are opportunities for the elite to get richer. Those Biolake firms in Wuhan will make out like bandits. Chinese firms will double the price of API's sold to India and US. China will knock out the small farmer in the wake of concurrent chicken and swine flu so the big enterprises take over, a mimicry of the US practice over the last century. China tech firms will double up on surveillance apps, censoring tools, surveillance and toughen up social credit restrictions. 5G will allow China to experiment with nanobots to monitor citizens health from afar (thanks to Harvards Dr Leiber).

    Oh yes, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a technocratic capitalists dream. Thats why the West has never imposed sanctions on China since welcoming them to the global elites club. Sanctions are reserved for those with true socialism, especially those who preach equality and god forbid, democracy.

    uncle tungsten , Mar 9 2020 8:35 utc | 83

    CitizenX #57

    Call me crazy- but this Virus provides great cover as to why the economy plummets, the Murikan sheeple will eat it up. Prepare for the double media blitz on the virus AND the economy tanking as its result.


    Don't forget the Russians.. They have to be to blame. See they just kept the price of oil low so now the rest of the world gets gas cheaper than the USA. The USA motorist now has to bail out the dopey frackers and shale oil ponzis.

    Global envy will eat murica. Maybe they will just pull out all their troops and go home. ;)

    [Mar 06, 2020] Over eighty percent of the medicines used in the United States are manufactured in China

    Mar 06, 2020 | www.unz.com

    Anon 2 , says: Show Comment February 25, 2020 at 5:39 am GMT

    As far as I know, no one here has mentioned that because of the globalization drive by Clinton, Bush, and Obama, 85% of the medicines used in the United States are manufactured in China. Even U.S. troops depend on medicines from China! China could bring the entire health system in the U.S. to a stop in a matter of months. This is what our inept elites have done to America – they gave away the shop. People are beginning to realize that manufacturing our own medicines is a matter of national security but it'll take years to bring the factories back to the U.S. So much for globalization.

    Rod Dreher's blog IMHO is the best source for quick info on the coronavirus because he is in touch with American M.D.'s who are married to women from China who in turn are in contact with relatives at home and the Chinese media. Of course, Rod himself can be hysterical at times but, apparently, that's what it takes to have a successful blog. The M.D.'s are reporting that the U.S. is already beginning to run out of certain medications, and recommend stocking up on the basic necessities, i.e., recommend assuming the mental framework of the survivalists – have plenty of canned goods, etc and refill your prescriptions ASAP. This is what many people here seem to forget – the coronavirus's indirect effects due to having no access to medications may be much worse than the direct pathogenic effects.

    [Feb 29, 2020] A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

    Highly recommended!
    Notable quotes:
    "... the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior. ..."
    "... The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not. ..."
    Feb 29, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

    likbez , February 29, 2020 7:38 pm

    A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvILLCbOFo4

    I think this would be very informative for anybody seriously interested in the USA foreign policy. Listening to him is so sad to realize that instead of person of his caliber we have Pompous Pompeo, who forever is frozen on the level of a tank repair mechanical engineer, as the Secretary of State.

    Published on Feb 24, 2020

    In the United States and other democracies, political and economic systems still work in theory, but not in practice. Meanwhile, the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior.

    The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not.

    Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

    Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net ) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America's Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat's Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

    Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School.

    He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.

    He is the author of several books including the most recent

    Interesting times: China, America, and the shifting balance of prestige (2013)

    [Feb 20, 2020] China denounces US lies at the Munich Security Conference by Peter Symonds

    Feb 19, 2020 | www.wsws.org

    In unusually blunt statements, top Chinese officials hit back during last weekend's Munich Security Conference at Washington's confrontational stance toward Beijing on a range of issues, including the Chinese tech giant Huawei and China's response to the coronavirus.

    Trump administration officials, supported to the hilt by top Democrats, took a particularly aggressive attitude at the conference, warning European powers that intelligence sharing could end if Huawei equipment were used in building 5G telecommunications networks.

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo branded "Huawei and other Chinese state-backed tech companies" as "Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence." In his speech, US Defence Secretary Mark Esper accused Beijing of carrying out a "nefarious strategy" through Huawei.

    In a bid to intensify its pressure on its European allies, the US last week announced new charges of racketeering and theft of trade secrets against Huawei. These follow the arrest of the company's chief financial officer, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada last year after the US filed charges of fraud and sanctions evasion, and sought her extradition.

    Esper made clear that the US attack on China was across the board. He declared that under President Xi Jinping's rule, "the Chinese Communist Party is heading even faster and further in the wrong direction -- more internal repression, more predatory economic practices, more heavy-handedness, and most concerning for me, a more aggressive military posture."

    Asked about the speeches by Pompeo and Esper, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi did not mince words, branding the US allegations as "lies." He said their remarks were part of "a common scenario" everywhere they went. "I don't want to waste our time responding to each and every thing they've said. The thing I want to say is that all these accusations against China are lies and not based on facts."

    Wang pointed to the driving force behind the confrontation -- the US drive to ensure its continued global domination by every available means. "The root cause of all these problems and issues is that the US does not want to see the rapid development and rejuvenation of China, still less would they want to accept the success of a socialist country, but that is not fair, China has the right to develop."

    China, with its burgeoning markets, stock exchanges, billionaires and deep social divide, is not a socialist country. In fact, Huawei, as Wang said in countering US criticism, is a privately-owned company: the world's largest telecommunications equipment provider with nearly 200,000 employees.

    Wang described the US attack on Huawei as "immoral" and asked: "Why can't America accept that other countries' companies can also display their talent in the economy, in technology? Perhaps deep down, it doesn't hope to see other countries develop." He accused the US of resorting to rumours to defame Huawei and declared there was no credible evidence that the company has a so-called back door that harms US security.

    The US accusations against China and Huawei are utterly hypocritical. The revelations by the whistleblower Edward Snowden demonstrated that the US routinely spies electronically on the world's population, including governments and government leaders, allies and rivals alike, as well as its own citizens.

    The US intelligence establishment has long relied on electronic "back doors" provided by American tech corporations to gather intelligence. The use of Huawei equipment not only threatens the economic position of US companies, but could undermine US spying operations.

    China's forthright push back against heavy US criticism in Munich stems firstly from the relentless campaign by Washington, not only in propaganda, but through trade war measures and a huge military build-up in Asia against Beijing. Secondly, the Chinese regime is seeking support from the European powers. Wang's comments gained traction in Munich amid deepening conflicts between the US and its erstwhile European allies.

    Britain has given the go-ahead for the inclusion of Huawei components in non-core aspects of its 5G rollout, while Germany and France have signaled they will do the same. The European decisions are largely driven by technical and economic factors, as Huawei is a leader in 5G technology and produces at a lower cost.

    Washington's threats to end intelligence-sharing arrangements with the European powers could end up affecting US spying operations as much as those of its European rivals. The New York Times

    The US has sought to exploit the coronavirus outbreak in China to add to the barrage of criticism against Beijing. Trump's economic adviser Larry Kudlow last week complained about the lack of Chinese transparency over the disease. He declared that Washington was disappointed that American health experts had not been allowed into China, and questioned Chinese statistics.

    A considerable portion of Wang's speech to the Munich Security Conference was devoted to defending China's handling of the outbreak. He said the coronavirus largely had been confined to the city of Wuhan and Hubei Province, and the number of cases outside China was a small percentage of the total. Wang said this was the outcome of the rapid development of a test for the virus, the dispatch of 20,000 health workers to the area and the building of new health facilities.

    Wang said: "In the spirit of openness and transparency, we promptly notified the world about the outbreak and shared the genetic sequence of the virus. We have been working closely with WHO [World Health Organisation], invited international experts to join our ranks, and provided assistance and facilitation to foreign nationals in China."

    In comments to Reuters, the Chinese foreign minister effectively criticised the harsh travel restrictions imposed by the US on any foreign nationals coming from China. "Some countries have stepped up measures, including quarantine measures, which are reasonable and understandable, but for some countries they have overreacted which has triggered unnecessary panic," he said.

    If Washington expected European support on the issue, its hopes were dashed. Conference chairman Wolfgang Ischinger praised China's response to the epidemic and declared it was "not getting a very fair deal I think China deserves a little bit of compassion and cooperation, and encouragement rather than only criticism."

    China's reaction to the US criticisms in Munich underscores again the sharpening geo-political rivalries and break-up of longstanding alliances being fueled by worsening global economic conditions. Far from responding to the lack of support from Europe against China by moderating its confrontation, the US will intensify its provocative campaign, not just against Beijing, but any threat to its global position, including from its European allies.

    [Feb 14, 2020] US Warms Up Its Own Old Spy Stories To Bash Putative Chinese Espionage

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    That such cynicism was wholly justified became evident when Edward Snowden revealed the NSA machinations. Soon thereafter Juniper Networks, a provider of large backbone equipment, was found to have at least two NSA backdoors in its operation system. Other 'western' telecommunication equipment companies were similarly manipulated :

    Even neutral countries firms are not off-limits to NSA manipulations. A former Crypto AG employee confirmed that high-level US officials approached neutral European countries and argued that their cooperation was essential to the Cold War struggle against the Soviets. The NSA allegedly received support from cryptographic companies Crypto AG and Gretag AG in Switzerland, Transvertex in Sweden, Nokia in Finland, and even newly-privatized firms in post-Communist Hungary. In 1970, according to a secret German BND intelligence paper, supplied to the author, the Germans planned to "fuse" the operations of three cryptographic firms-Crypto AG, Grattner AG (another Swiss cipher firm), and Ericsson of Sweden.

    So why was the allegedly secret CIA history of an already known story leaked right now? And why was it also leaked to a German TV station?

    Sanho Tree points to the likely reason:

    If you want to understand why the US intelligence community is so freaked out about Huawei, it's because they've been playing the same game for decades.

    The WaPo story itself also makes that connection :

    There are also echoes of Crypto in the suspicions swirling around modern companies with alleged links to foreign governments, including the Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky , a texting app tied to the United Arab Emirates and the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei .

    The warmed up Crypto AG story is a subtle smear piece against Huawei and Kapersky.

    The U.S. wants to convince European countries to not buy Huawei products for their 5G networks. It wants to remind them that telecommunication products can be manipulated. It wants to instill fear that China would use Huawei to spy on foreign countries just like the U.S. used Crypto AG.

    This is also the reason for this recent misleading Reuters headline which the story itself debunked:

    Germany has proof that Huawei worked with Chinese intelligence: Handelsblatt

    "At the end of 2019, intelligence was passed to us by the U.S., according to which Huawei is proven to have been cooperating with China's security authorities," the newspaper quoted a confidential foreign ministry document as saying.

    'U.S. intelligence' that is handed over to manipulate someone is of course not 'proof' for anything.

    The U.S. is pressing its allies on a very high level:

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared the Chinese Communist Party "the central threat of our times" on Thursday, even as he sought to talk up the prospects of a United States trade deal with Britain, which rebuffed American pressure to ban a Chinese company from future telecommunications infrastructure.

    The scathing criticism of the Chinese government was the strongest language Mr. Pompeo has used as the Trump administration seeks to convince American allies of the risks posed by using equipment from Huawei, a Chinese technology giant.

    A week after Pompeo's panic message Trump took to the phone to convince Boris Johnson who was not impressed :

    Donald Trump's previously close relationship with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks close to collapse, following new revelations that the president slammed down the phone on him.

    Trump's behaviour during last week's call was described by officials as „apoplectic," and Johnson has now reportedly shelved plans for an imminent visit to Washington.
    ...
    The call, which one source described to the Financial Times as „very difficult," came after Johnson defied Trump and allowed Chinese telecoms company Huawei the rights to develop the UK's 5G network.

    Trump's fury was triggered by Johnson backing Huawei despite multiple threats by Trump and his allies that the United States would withdraw security co-operation with the UK if the deal went ahead.

    Trump's threats reportedly „irritated" the UK government, with Johnson frustrated at the president's failure to suggest any alternatives to the deal.

    Huawei products are pretty good, relatively cheap and readily available. They are just as buggy as the products of other equipment providers. The real reason why the U.S. does not want anyone to buy Huawei products is that it is the one large network company the U.S. can not convince to provide it with backdoors.

    European countries do not fear China or even Chinese spying. They know that the U.S. is doing similar on a much larger scale. Europeans do not see China as a threat and they do not want to get involved in the escalating U.S.-China spat:

    "Whose side should your country take in a conflict between the US and China?"

    Source - bigger

    The U.S. just indicted four Chinese military officers for the 2017 hacking of Equifax during which millions of addresses and financial data were stolen. The former CIA Director General Michael Hayden had defended such pilfering as "honorable espionage" and Equifax had made it laughably easy to get into its systems :

    [J]ust five days after Equifax went public with its breach -- KrebsOnSecurity broke the news that the administrative account for a separate Equifax dispute resolution portal catering to consumers in Argentina was wide open, protected by perhaps the most easy-to-guess password combination ever: "admin/admin."

    To indict foreign military officers for spying when they simply pilfered barely protected servers is seen as offensive. What will the U.S. do when China does likewise?

    Every nation spies. It is one of the oldest trades in this world. That the U.S. is making such a fuss about putative Chinese spying when it itself is the biggest sinner is unbecoming.

    Posted by b on February 11, 2020 at 18:52 UTC | Permalink

    [Feb 14, 2020] Why the USA is fighting Huawei without offering any super alternative

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    james , Feb 11 2020 20:13 utc | 13

    thanks b...no shortage of hypocrisy in all this...

    regarding @ 4 mike r which @8 ian2 linked properly to, i enjoyed the last paragraph which i think sums it up well.. here it is..

    "I continue to believe that the United States cannot effectively restrict the spread of a technology under Chinese leadership without offering a superior product of its own. The fact that the United States has attempted to suppress Huawei's market leadership in the absence of any American competitor in this field is one of the oddest occurrences in the history of US foreign policy. If the US were to announce something like a Manhattan Project for 5G broadband and solicit the cooperation of its European and Asian allies, it probably would get an enthusiastic response. As matters stand, America's efforts to stop Huawei have become an embarrassment."


    Petri Krohn , Feb 11 2020 20:38 utc | 16

    The reason European customers trust Huawei is because Huawei uses open-source software or at least makes their code available for inspection by customers.

    Closed-source software cannot provide secrecy or security. This was vividly demonstrated last month when NSA revealed a critical vulnerability in Windows 10 that rendered any cryptographic security worthless.

    Critical Windows 10 vulnerability used to Rickroll the NSA and Github

    Rashid's simulated attack exploits CVE-2020-0601, the critical vulnerability that Microsoft patched on Tuesday after receiving a private tipoff from the NSA. As Ars reported, the flaw can completely break certificate validation for websites, software updates, VPNs, and other security-critical computer uses. It affects Windows 10 systems, including server versions Windows Server 2016 and Windows Server 2019. Other versions of Windows are unaffected.

    The flaw involves the way the new versions of Windows check the validity of certificates that use elliptic-curve cryptography. While the vulnerable Windows versions check three ECC parameters, they fail to verify a fourth, crucial one, which is known as a base point generator and is often represented in algorithms as 'G.' This failure is a result of Microsoft's implementation of ECC rather than any flaw or weakness in the ECC algorithms themselves.

    The attacker examines the specific ECC algorithm used to generate the root-certificate public key and proceeds to craft a private key that copies all of the certificate parameters for that algorithm except for the point generator. Because vulnerable Windows versions fail to check that parameter, they accept the private key as valid. With that, the attacker has spoofed a Windows-trusted root certificate that can be used to mint any individual certificate used for authentication of websites, software, and other sensitive properties.

    I do not believe this vulnerability was a bug. It is more likely a backdoor intentionally left in the code for NSA to utilize. Whatever the case, NSA must have known about it for years. Why did they reveal it now? Most likely someone else had discovered the back door and may have been about to publish it.

    (I commented on these same issues on Sputnik a few weeks ago.)

    Piotr Berman , Feb 11 2020 23:04 utc | 25
    The other possible US objection is that Huawei will only let their customers spy, not third countries.

    Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Feb 11 2020 21:57 utc | 24

    It reminds me a joke about Emperor Napoleon arriving in a town. The population, the notables and the mayor are greeting him, and the Emperor says "No gun salute, hm?". Mayor replies "Sire, we have twenty reasons. Fist, we have canons", "Enough", replied Napoleon.

    Isn't the "other possible US objection" exactly "Enough"? Of course, USA is not a mere "third country", USA is the rule maker of rule based international order.

    [Feb 14, 2020] Last year I was so mad at USA bulling Huawei and ZTE, decided to buy a Huawei Honor View V20 PCT-L29 Smartphone.

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    JC , Feb 13 2020 0:11 utc | 90

    Last year I was so mad at USA bulling Huawei and ZTE, decided to buy a Huawei Honor View V20 PCT-L29 Smartphone. Global version on T-Mobile network . Still fumbling at the setting. This smartphone installed GPS and BeiDou (BDS). I never used Google searches but instead DuckDuckGo long ago

    [Feb 14, 2020] I'm amazed that Chief Poodle Boris did not obediently obey His Master's Voice.

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    Ash Naz , Feb 12 2020 0:20 utc | 32

    I'm amazed that Chief Poodle Boris did not obediently obey His Master's Voice.

    What is going on?

    I could understand if this was DNC/CIA-MI6 passing orders down the line (a la Skripal) to upset Trump but the US Intel Community has no interest in such a snub from the UK Govt.

    Obviously this isn't the UK Govt asserting their independence from US instruction because such a thing has never happened in my lifetime.

    Wierd.

    Anyway, too bad I won't be able to read the thread on my phone tomorrow as Bruce has just broken the thread with his million-character link. :-(


    Piotr Berman , Feb 12 2020 3:11 utc | 33

    I'm amazed that Chief Poodle Boris did not obediently obey His Master's Voice.

    What is going on?

    Posted by: Ash Naz | Feb 12 2020 0:20 utc | 39

    However I cringe and the obedient vassals, and Boris who may well be the Chief Poodle, given that exceedingly cute Justin is from another breed, Newtrumplander. But even poodles have privacy concerns, you know? What you web surf, what you buy, whom do you send gifts and WHAT gifts (dominatrix set?). However you trust NSA to use all that info solely for good causes, well, you know, not everyone is an exhibitionist...

    Laguerre , Feb 12 2020 9:23 utc | 49
    I'm amazed that Chief Poodle Boris did not obediently obey His Master's Voice.

    Posted by: Ash Naz | Feb 12 2020 0:20 utc | 32

    The reason is said to be that they've already bought and installed a lot of the Huawei equipment, and the new decision is just a fake, to justify the position.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/28/huawei-security-boris-johnson

    Ash Naz , Feb 12 2020 13:17 utc | 52

    @Laguerre:

    The reason is said to be that they've already bought and installed a lot of the Huawei equipment, and the new decision is just a fake, to justify the position.

    The financial angle makes sense, but what is the price of disobedience?

    @Piotr Berman:

    But even poodles have privacy concerns

    The preventing blackmail angle makes sense too

    And how useful to be able to use blackmail to get allies to jump when ordered? It's often said that Washington has no real friends, just obedient vassals.

    Jon_in_AU , Feb 12 2020 14:50 utc | 54

    Ash Naz|Feb 12 2020 0:20 utc|32 & Posted by: Laguerre|Feb 12 2020 9:23 utc|47

    It would appear to me that the UK, by allowing Huawei (limited) access to their market, are achieving several advantageous outcomes.

    1) They are preventing potential for a duopoly of Eriksson & Nokia on the hardware by allowing a third player into the market.
    2) By only allowing a maximum of 35% of the market share, they prevent Huawei from quickly out-competing the others on price and capturing a monopoly.
    3) They are only allowing access to the network comm's market, and not the core of the system, which may or may not protect against unwanted data capture and intrusion (by exactly whom remains the question - as per the article above).
    4) It allows the four main network providers (especially EE, owned by BT) and the accompanying state surveillance apparatus the ability to familiarise themselves with Huawei tech/code/vulnerabilities which may be invaluable going forward. On this point alone, the USA (and Australia, among others) are doing themselves a great disservice by missing out on a learning experience from arguably the world leader in this technology.

    As md|Feb 12 2020 8:29 utc|44 alluded to, they are claiming to allow clintele access to all code (and the freedom to modify it as desired). So denying them access to a particular market only hinders the technical understanding of the technology and its implementation, leaving such states behind.

    The USA (and its' vassal client states) once again shoot themselves in the foot in a vain attempt to create and re-create the archetypal "boogeyman" for the populace to wring their hands over and keep them up at night. Fools.

    Ps. Thank you B for another illuminating read.

    [Feb 14, 2020] Trump and US has a horrible hand to play regarding Huawei. It's desperation time!

    Feb 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    daffyDuct , Feb 12 2020 3:51 utc | 35


    Trump and US has a horrible hand to play regarding Huawei. It's desperation time!

    Mike Pence tries to link UK/US trade deal with Trump Huawei ban.

    https://www.politicshome.com/news/world/united-states/donald-trump/news/109751/mike-pence-hints-us-uk-trade-deal-risk-because


    Among Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, looks like Nokia's way behind.

    https://www.itnews.com.au/news/fearing-huawei-curbs-deutsche-telekom-tells-nokia-to-shape-up-537710

    U.S. to review new curbs on Huawei, China in Feb. meeting: sources (The Commerce Dept is keeping their potential "rules" vague to buy time)

    https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-usa-huawei-tech-meeting/u-s-to-review-new-curbs-on-huawei-china-in-feb-meeting-sources-idUKKBN1ZZ01H?rpc=401&

    Pentagon Cites Supply Chain Sustainability For Opposing Huawei Sanctions

    https://wccftech.com/pentagon-huawe-sanctions-supply-chain/


    Barr scoffs at White House's anti-Huawei 5G approach
    https://www.axios.com/barr-scoffs-at-white-houses-anti-huawei-5g-proposal-e3afb2c2-7f21-4609-a02e-ae3753f514f5.html

    To counter Huawei, U.S. could take 'controlling stake' in Ericsson, Nokia: attorney general

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-espionage/to-counter-huawei-u-s-could-take-controlling-stake-in-ericsson-nokia-attorney-general-idUSKBN2001DL

    (Jan 2018) Scoop: Trump team considers nationalizing 5G network
    https://www.axios.com/trump-team-debates-nationalizing-5g-network-f1e92a49-60f2-4e3e-acd4-f3eb03d910ff.html

    I enjoy David Goldman (Spengler) article at Asia Times. He accurately notes the vast lead Huawei/China has and then provides "but we can do something" bromides. What do mean "we", kimosabe?


    daffyDuct , Feb 12 2020 3:55 utc | 36

    Per a quote from Newt Gingrich's book ""Trump vs. China: Facing America's Greatest Threat", quoted recently by David Goldman. Gingrich didn't say who was the greatest threat, Trump or China.

    "It is not China's fault that in 2017, 89% of Baltimore eighth graders couldn't pass their math exam

    "It is not China's fault that too few Americans in K-12 and in college study math and science to fill the graduate schools with future American scientists

    "It is not China's fault that, faced with a dramatic increase in Chinese graduate students in science, the government has not been able to revive programs like the 1958 National Defense Education Act

    "It is not China's fault the way our defense bureaucracy functions serves to create exactly the 'military-industrial complex' that President Dwight Eisenhower warned about

    "It is not China's fault that NASA has been so bureaucratic and its funding so erratic that there is every reason to believe that China is catching up rapidly and may outpace us. This is because of us not because of them

    "It is not China's fault that the old, bureaucratic, entrenched American telecommunications companies failed to develop a global strategy for 5G over the 11 years that the Chinese company Huawei has been working to become a world leader "

    farm ecologist , Feb 12 2020 3:59 utc | 37
    I feel less uncomfortable about the possibility of being spied on by the Chinese than I do about the probability of being spied on by the US.
    ak74 , Feb 12 2020 6:09 utc | 42
    Here is another Orwellian irony that has been forgotten down the MemoryHole.

    Way back in 2014, Edward Snowden revealed that the Americans (and the NSA in particular) were spying on Huawei dating back to at least 2007.

    This American spying occurred before the current national security hysterics about Huawei, indeed, before most people in the USA had even heard of the company itself.

    As this article states,

    "In the final analysis, the NSA spying campaign against Huawei has two fundamental purposes. First, Huawei (unlike the American telecommunications companies) does not allow the NSA free access to its infrastructure to conduct spying on its products' users. Accordingly, as part of its mission of spying on the entire world's population, the NSA hacked into Huawei's systems in order to gather information traveling through its infrastructure.

    Second, the spying campaign against Huawei is part of broader efforts to protect the profits and interests of American telecommunications companies at the expense of Huawei. This is the purpose of the NSA's particular interest in Huawei's executives and their 'leadership plans and intentions.'"

    Edward Snowden exposes NSA spying against Chinese telecom firm Huawei
    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/03/24/huaw-m24.html?view=print

    md , Feb 12 2020 8:29 utc | 46
    The other possible US objection is that Huawei will only let their customers spy, not third countries.
    Posted by: Paul Cockshott | Feb 11 2020 21:57 utc | 20

    So it seems. In the words of Ren Zhengfei 'When we transfer the tech, they can modify code on top of my tech, once that's through, it's not only shielded from me, it's shielded from everyone else in the world US 5G will be their own thing, there's no security concern, the only concern will be the U.S. keeping American companies (which bought it) in check.'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUUwK3DxGlA&feature=youtu.be

    [Feb 03, 2020] Numerical illiteracy of the modern world

    The Western MSM is relentlessly trying to sell this coronavirus epidemic as a China failure
    Feb 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
    Jeff Harrison , Feb 2 2020 17:24 utc | 9
    This corona virus panic is interesting. RT has an interesting piece that points out that corona virus has been officially recognized in some 8,000 odd people and 200 odd people have died from it, we need a sense of perspective. World wide seasonal flu, kills between 350,000 and 600,000 people each year. Tuberculosis kills over 1,000,000 people each year. Malaria kills a similar number. AIDS killed over 500,000 last year. And we're panicking about 200 or so?

    TJ , Feb 2 2020 19:11 utc | 23

    Just had an email from a company I deal with in China, the relevant passages-

    2. The company has been following instructions from the Chinese government to postpone the Spring Festival holiday to Feb. 9th, 2020 if not any further postpone. But, we believe most of our services should be provided as usual since then.

    5. We also would like your attention that there's yet no evidence or cases to support the transmission of the novel coronavirus through packages or imported goods. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the US, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. The National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China advises that coronavirus is spread most often by respiratory droplets from one person to another, regular packages from Wuhan can be received as usual. Reference links are attached as the footnote below for your references.[1]
    6. The Company will take proactive measures like ultraviolet light to ensure a safe and healthy environment of its warehouse. Disinfection work will be conducted before each delivery.

    [Jan 21, 2020] How a Hidden Parliamentary Session Revealed Trump's True Motives in Iraq by Whitney Webb

    Notable quotes:
    "... The Americans are the ones who destroyed the country and wreaked havoc on it. They have refused to finish building the electrical system and infrastructure projects. They have bargained for the reconstruction of Iraq in exchange for Iraq giving up 50% of oil imports. So, I refused and decided to go to China and concluded an important and strategic agreement with it. Today, Trump is trying to cancel this important agreement. ..."
    "... After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened [that there would be] massive demonstrations to topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, whereby a third party [presumed to be mercenaries or U.S. soldiers] would target both the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from atop the highest buildings and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement." ..."
    "... It could also explain why President Trump is so concerned about China's growing foothold in Iraq, since it risks causing not only the end of the U.S. military hegemony in the country but could also lead to major trouble for the petrodollar system and the U.S.' position as a global financial power. Trump's policy aimed at stopping China and Iraq's growing ties is clearly having the opposite effect, showing that this administration's "gangster diplomacy" only serves to make the alternatives offered by countries like China and Russia all the more attractive. ..."
    Jan 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

    ... ... ...

    After the feed was cut, MPs who were present wrote down Abdul-Mahdi's remarks, which were then given to the Arabic news outlet Ida'at . Per that transcript , Abdul-Mahdi stated that:

    The Americans are the ones who destroyed the country and wreaked havoc on it. They have refused to finish building the electrical system and infrastructure projects. They have bargained for the reconstruction of Iraq in exchange for Iraq giving up 50% of oil imports. So, I refused and decided to go to China and concluded an important and strategic agreement with it. Today, Trump is trying to cancel this important agreement. "

    Abdul-Mahdi continued his remarks, noting that pressure from the Trump administration over his negotiations and subsequent dealings with China grew substantially over time, even resulting in death threats to himself and his defense minister:

    After my return from China, Trump called me and asked me to cancel the agreement, so I also refused, and he threatened [that there would be] massive demonstrations to topple me. Indeed, the demonstrations started and then Trump called, threatening to escalate in the event of non-cooperation and responding to his wishes, whereby a third party [presumed to be mercenaries or U.S. soldiers] would target both the demonstrators and security forces and kill them from atop the highest buildings and the US embassy in an attempt to pressure me and submit to his wishes and cancel the China agreement."

    "I did not respond and submitted my resignation and the Americans still insist to this day on canceling the China agreement. When the defense minister said that those killing the demonstrators was a third party, Trump called me immediately and physically threatened myself and the defense minister in the event that there was more talk about this third party."

    Very few English language outlets reported on Abdul-Mahdi's comments. Tom Luongo, a Florida-based Independent Analyst and publisher of The Gold Goats 'n Guns Newsletter, told MintPress that the likely reasons for the "surprising" media silence over Abdul-Mahdi's claims were because "It never really made it out into official channels " due to the cutting of the video feed during Iraq's Parliamentary session and due to the fact that "it's very inconvenient and the media -- since Trump is doing what they want him to do, be belligerent with Iran, protected Israel's interests there."

    "They aren't going to contradict him on that if he's playing ball," Luongo added, before continuing that the media would nonetheless "hold onto it for future reference .If this comes out for real, they'll use it against him later if he tries to leave Iraq." "Everything in Washington is used as leverage," he added.

    Given the lack of media coverage and the cutting of the video feed of Abdul-Mahdi's full remarks, it is worth pointing out that the narrative he laid out in his censored speech not only fits with the timeline of recent events he discusses but also the tactics known to have been employed behind closed doors by the Trump administration, particularly after Mike Pompeo left the CIA to become Secretary of State.

    For instance, Abdul-Mahdi's delegation to China ended on September 24, with the protests against his government that Trump reportedly threatened to start on October 1. Reports of a "third side" firing on Iraqi protesters were picked up by major media outlets at the time, such as in this BBC report which stated:

    Reports say the security forces opened fire, but another account says unknown gunmen were responsible .a source in Karbala told the BBC that one of the dead was a guard at a nearby Shia shrine who happened to be passing by. The source also said the origin of the gunfire was unknown and it had targeted both the protesters and security forces . (emphasis added)"

    U.S.-backed protests in other countries, such as in Ukraine in 2014, also saw evidence of a " third side " shooting both protesters and security forces alike.

    After six weeks of intense protests , Abdul-Mahdi submitted his resignation on November 29, just a few days after Iraq's Foreign Minister praised the new deals, including the "oil for reconstruction" deal, that had been signed with China. Abdul-Mahdi has since stayed on as Prime Minister in a caretaker role until Parliament decides on his replacement.

    Abdul-Mahdi's claims of the covert pressure by the Trump administration are buttressed by the use of similar tactics against Ecuador, where, in July 2018, a U.S. delegation at the United Nations threatened the nation with punitive trade measures and the withdrawal of military aid if Ecuador moved forward with the introduction of a UN resolution to "protect, promote and support breastfeeding."

    The New York Times reported at the time that the U.S. delegation was seeking to promote the interests of infant formula manufacturers. If the U.S. delegation is willing to use such pressure on nations for promoting breastfeeding over infant formula, it goes without saying that such behind-closed-doors pressure would be significantly more intense if a much more lucrative resource, e.g. oil, were involved.

    Regarding Abdul-Mahdi's claims, Luongo told MintPress that it is also worth considering that it could have been anyone in the Trump administration making threats to Abdul-Mahdi, not necessarily Trump himself. "What I won't say directly is that I don't know it was Trump at the other end of the phone calls. Mahdi, it is to his best advantage politically to blame everything on Trump. It could have been Mike Pompeo or Gina Haspel talking to Abdul-Mahdi It could have been anyone, it most likely would be someone with plausible deniability .This [Mahdi's claims] sounds credible I firmly believe Trump is capable of making these threats but I don't think Trump would make those threats directly like that, but it would absolutely be consistent with U.S. policy."

    Luongo also argued that the current tensions between U.S. and Iraqi leadership preceded the oil deal between Iraq and China by several weeks, "All of this starts with Prime Minister Mahdi starting the process of opening up the Iraq-Syria border crossing and that was announced in August. Then, the Israeli air attacks happened in September to try and stop that from happening, attacks on PMU forces on the border crossing along with the ammo dump attacks near Baghdad This drew the Iraqis' ire Mahdi then tried to close the air space over Iraq, but how much of that he can enforce is a big question."

    As to why it would be to Mahdi's advantage to blame Trump, Luongo stated that Mahdi "can make edicts all day long, but, in reality, how much can he actually restrain the U.S. or the Israelis from doing anything? Except for shame, diplomatic shame To me, it [Mahdi's claims] seems perfectly credible because, during all of this, Trump is probably or someone else is shaking him [Mahdi] down for the reconstruction of the oil fields [in Iraq] Trump has explicitly stated "we want the oil."'

    As Luongo noted, Trump's interest in the U.S. obtaining a significant share of Iraqi oil revenue is hardly a secret. Just last March, Trump asked Abdul-Mahdi "How about the oil?" at the end of a meeting at the White House, prompting Abdul-Mahdi to ask "What do you mean?" To which Trump responded "Well, we did a lot, we did a lot over there, we spent trillions over there, and a lot of people have been talking about the oil," which was widely interpreted as Trump asking for part of Iraq's oil revenue in exchange for the steep costs of the U.S.' continuing its now unwelcome military presence in Iraq.

    With Abdul-Mahdi having rejected Trump's "oil for reconstruction" proposal in favor of China's, it seems likely that the Trump administration would default to so-called "gangster diplomacy" tactics to pressure Iraq's government into accepting Trump's deal, especially given the fact that China's deal was a much better offer. While Trump demanded half of Iraq's oil revenue in exchange for completing reconstruction projects (according to Abdul-Mahdi), the deal that was signed between Iraq and China would see around 20 percen t of Iraq's oil revenue go to China in exchange for reconstruction. Aside from the potential loss in Iraq's oil revenue, there are many reasons for the Trump administration to feel threatened by China's recent dealings in Iraq.

    The Iraq-China oil deal – a prelude to something more?

    When Abdul-Mahdi's delegation traveled to Beijing last September, the "oil for reconstruction" deal was only one of eight total agreements that were established. These agreements cover a range of areas, including financial, commercial, security, reconstruction, communication, culture, education and foreign affairs in addition to oil. Yet, the oil deal is by far the most significant.

    Per the agreement, Chinese firms will work on various reconstruction projects in exchange for roughly 20 percent of Iraq's oil exports, approximately 100,00 barrels per day, for a period of 20 years. According to Al-Monitor , Abdul-Mahdi had the following to say about the deal: "We agreed [with Beijing] to set up a joint investment fund, which the oil money will finance," adding that the agreement prohibits China from monopolizing projects inside Iraq, forcing Bejing to work in cooperation with international firms.

    The agreement is similar to one negotiated between Iraq and China in 2015 when Abdul-Mahdi was serving as Iraq's oil minister. That year, Iraq joined China's Belt and Road Initiative in a deal that also involved exchanging oil for investment, development and construction projects and saw China awarded several projects as a result. In a notable similarity to recent events, that deal was put on hold due to "political and security tensions" caused by unrest and the surge of ISIS in Iraq, that is until Abdul-Mahdi saw Iraq rejoin the initiative again late last year through the agreements his government signed with China last September.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping, center left, meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi, center right, in Beijing, Sept. 23, 2019. Lintao Zhang | AP

    Notably, after recent tensions between the U.S. and Iraq over the assassination of Soleimani and the U.S.' subsequent refusal to remove its troops from Iraq despite parliament's demands, Iraq quietly announced that it would dramatically increase its oil exports to China to triple the amount established in the deal signed in September. Given Abdul-Mahdi's recent claims about the true forces behind Iraq's recent protests and Trump's threats against him being directly related to his dealings with China, the move appears to be a not-so-veiled signal from Abdul-Mahdi to Washington that he plans to deepen Iraq's partnership with China, at least for as long as he remains in his caretaker role.

    Iraq's decision to dramatically increase its oil exports to China came just one day after the U.S. government threatened to cut off Iraq's access to its central bank account, currently held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, an account that currently holds $35 billion in Iraqi oil revenue. The account was set up after the U.S. invaded and began occupying Iraq in 2003 and Iraq currently removes between $1-2 billion per month to cover essential government expenses. Losing access to its oil revenue stored in that account would lead to the " collapse " of Iraq's government, according to Iraqi government officials who spoke to AFP .

    Though Trump publicly promised to rebuke Iraq for the expulsion of U.S. troops via sanctions, the threat to cut off Iraq's access to its account at the NY Federal Reserve Bank was delivered privately and directly to the Prime Minister, adding further credibility to Abdul-Mahdi's claims that Trump's most aggressive attempts at pressuring Iraq's government are made in private and directed towards the country's Prime Minister.

    Though Trump's push this time was about preventing the expulsion of U.S. troops from Iraq, his reasons for doing so may also be related to concerns about China's growing foothold in the region. Indeed, while Trump has now lost his desired share of Iraqi oil revenue (50 percent) to China's counteroffer of 20 percent, the removal of U.S. troops from Iraq may see American troops replaced with their Chinese counterparts as well, according to Tom Luongo.

    "All of this is about the U.S. maintaining the fiction that it needs to stay in Iraq So, China moving in there is the moment where they get their toe hold for the Belt and Road [Initiative]," Luongo argued. "That helps to strengthen the economic relationship between Iraq, Iran and China and obviating the need for the Americans to stay there. At some point, China will have assets on the ground that they are going to want to defend militarily in the event of any major crisis. This brings us to the next thing we know, that Mahdi and the Chinese ambassador discussed that very thing in the wake of the Soleimani killing."

    Indeed, according to news reports, Zhang Yao -- China's ambassador to Iraq -- " conveyed Beijing's readiness to provide military assistance" should Iraq's government request it soon after Soleimani's assassination. Yao made the offer a day after Iraq's parliament voted to expel American troops from the country. Though it is currently unknown how Abdul-Mahdi responded to the offer, the timing likely caused no shortage of concern among the Trump administration about its rapidly waning influence in Iraq. "You can see what's coming here," Luongo told MintPress of the recent Chinese offer to Iraq, "China, Russia and Iran are trying to cleave Iraq away from the United States and the U.S. is feeling very threatened by this."

    Russia is also playing a role in the current scenario as Iraq initiated talks with Moscow regarding the possible purchase of one of its air defense systems last September, the same month that Iraq signed eight deals, including the oil deal with China. Then, in the wake of Soleimani's death, Russia again offered the air defense systems to Iraq to allow them to better defend their air space. In the past, the U.S. has threatened allied countries with sanctions and other measures if they purchase Russian air defense systems as opposed to those manufactured by U.S. companies.

    The U.S.' efforts to curb China's growing influence and presence in Iraq amid these new strategic partnerships and agreements are limited, however, as the U.S. is increasingly relying on China as part of its Iran policy, specifically in its goal of reducing Iranian oil export to zero. China remains Iran's main crude oil and condensate importer, even after it reduced its imports of Iranian oil significantly following U.S. pressure last year. Yet, the U.S. is now attempting to pressure China to stop buying Iranian oil completely or face sanctions while also attempting to privately sabotage the China-Iraq oil deal. It is highly unlikely China will concede to the U.S. on both, if any, of those fronts, meaning the U.S. may be forced to choose which policy front (Iran "containment" vs. Iraq's oil dealings with China) it values more in the coming weeks and months.

    Furthermore, the recent signing of the "phase one" trade deal with China revealed another potential facet of the U.S.' increasingly complicated relationship with Iraq's oil sector given that the trade deal involves selling U.S. oil and gas to China at very low cost , suggesting that the Trump administration may also see the Iraq-China oil deal result in Iraq emerging as a potential competitor for the U.S. in selling cheap oil to China, the world's top oil importer.

    The Petrodollar and the Phantom of the Petroyuan

    In his televised statements last week following Iran's military response to the U.S. assassination of General Soleimani, Trump insisted that the U.S.' Middle East policy is no longer being directed by America's vast oil requirements. He stated specifically that:

    Over the last three years, under my leadership, our economy is stronger than ever before and America has achieved energy independence. These historic accomplishments changed our strategic priorities. These are accomplishments that nobody thought were possible. And options in the Middle East became available. We are now the number-one producer of oil and natural gas anywhere in the world. We are independent, and we do not need Middle East oil . (emphasis added)"

    Yet, given the centrality of the recent Iraq-China oil deal in guiding some of the Trump administration's recent Middle East policy moves, this appears not to be the case. The distinction may lie in the fact that, while the U.S. may now be less dependent on oil imports from the Middle East, it still very much needs to continue to dominate how oil is traded and sold on international markets in order to maintain its status as both a global military and financial superpower.

    Indeed, even if the U.S. is importing less Middle Eastern oil, the petrodollar system -- first forged in the 1970s -- requires that the U.S. maintains enough control over the global oil trade so that the world's largest oil exporters, Iraq among them, continue to sell their oil in dollars. Were Iraq to sell oil in another currency, or trade oil for services, as it plans to do with China per the recently inked deal, a significant portion of Iraqi oil would cease to generate a demand for dollars, violating the key tenet of the petrodollar system.

    Chinese representatives speak to defense personnel during a weapons expo organized by the Iraqi defense ministry in Baghdad, March, 2017. Karim Kadim | AP

    As Kei Pritsker and Cale Holmes noted in an article last year for MintPress :

    The takeaway from the petrodollar phenomenon is that as long as countries need oil, they will need the dollar. As long as countries demand dollars, the U.S. can continue to go into massive amounts of debt to fund its network of global military bases, Wall Street bailouts, nuclear missiles, and tax cuts for the rich."

    Thus, the use of the petrodollar has created a system whereby U.S. control of oil sales of the largest oil exporters is necessary, not just to buttress the dollar, but also to support its global military presence. Therefore, it is unsurprising that the issue of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq and the issue of Iraq's push for oil independence against U.S. wishes have become intertwined. Notably, one of the architects of the petrodollar system and the man who infamously described U.S. soldiers as "dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy", former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, has been advising Trump and informing his China policy since 2016.

    This take was also expressed by economist Michael Hudson, who recently noted that U.S. access to oil, dollarization and U.S. military strategy are intricately interwoven and that Trump's recent Iraq policy is intended "to escalate America's presence in Iraq to keep control of the region's oil reserves," and, as Hudson says, "to back Saudi Arabia's Wahabi troops (ISIS, Al Qaeda in Iraq, Al Nusra and other divisions of what are actually America's foreign legion) to support U.S. control of Near Eastern oil as a buttress of the U.S. dollar."

    Hudson further asserts that it was Qassem Soleimani's efforts to promote Iraq's oil independence at the expense of U.S. imperial ambitions that served one of the key motives behind his assassination.

    America opposed General Suleimani above all because he was fighting against ISIS and other U.S.-backed terrorists in their attempt to break up Syria and replace Assad's regime with a set of U.S.-compliant local leaders – the old British "divide and conquer" ploy. On occasion, Suleimani had cooperated with U.S. troops in fighting ISIS groups that got "out of line" meaning the U.S. party line. But every indication is that he was in Iraq to work with that government seeking to regain control of the oil fields that President Trump has bragged so loudly about grabbing. (emphasis added)"

    Hudson adds that " U.S. neocons feared Suleimani's plan to help Iraq assert control of its oil and withstand the terrorist attacks supported by U.S. and Saudi's on Iraq. That is what made his assassination an immediate drive."

    While other factors -- such as pressure from U.S. allies such as Israel -- also played a factor in the decision to kill Soleimani, the decision to assassinate him on Iraqi soil just hours before he was set to meet with Abdul-Mahdi in a diplomatic role suggests that the underlying tensions caused by Iraq's push for oil independence and its oil deal with China did play a factor in the timing of his assassination. It also served as a threat to Abdul-Mahdi, who has claimed that the U.S. threatened to kill both him and his defense minister just weeks prior over tensions directly related to the push for independence of Iraq's oil sector from the U.S.

    It appears that the ever-present role of the petrodollar in guiding U.S. policy in the Middle East remains unchanged. The petrodollar has long been a driving factor behind the U.S.' policy towards Iraq specifically, as one of the key triggers for the 2003 invasion of Iraq was Saddam Hussein's decision to sell Iraqi oil in Euros opposed to dollars beginning in the year 2000. Just weeks before the invasion began, Hussein boasted that Iraq's Euro-based oil revenue account was earning a higher interest rate than it would have been if it had continued to sell its oil in dollars, an apparent signal to other oil exporters that the petrodollar system was only really benefiting the United States at their own expense.

    Beyond current efforts to stave off Iraq's oil independence and keep its oil trade aligned with the U.S., the fact that the U.S. is now seeking to limit China's ever-growing role in Iraq's oil sector is also directly related to China's publicly known efforts to create its own direct competitor to the petrodollar, the petroyuan.

    Since 2017, China has made its plans for the petroyuan -- a direct competitor to the petrodollar -- no secret, particularly after China eclipsed the U.S. as the world's largest importer of oil.

    As CNBC noted at the time:

    The new strategy is to enlist the energy markets' help: Beijing may introduce a new way to price oil in coming months -- but unlike the contracts based on the U.S. dollar that currently dominate global markets, this benchmark would use China's own currency. If there's widespread adoption, as the Chinese hope, then that will mark a step toward challenging the greenback's status as the world's most powerful currency .The plan is to price oil in yuan using a gold-backed futures contract in Shanghai, but the road will be long and arduous."

    If the U.S. continues on its current path and pushes Iraq further into the arms of China and other U.S. rival states, it goes without saying that Iraq -- now a part of China's Belt and Road Initiative -- may soon favor a petroyuan system over a petrodollar system, particularly as the current U.S. administration threatens to hold Iraq's central bank account hostage for pursuing policies Washington finds unfavorable.

    It could also explain why President Trump is so concerned about China's growing foothold in Iraq, since it risks causing not only the end of the U.S. military hegemony in the country but could also lead to major trouble for the petrodollar system and the U.S.' position as a global financial power. Trump's policy aimed at stopping China and Iraq's growing ties is clearly having the opposite effect, showing that this administration's "gangster diplomacy" only serves to make the alternatives offered by countries like China and Russia all the more attractive.

    anonymous [331] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 5:54 am GMT

    One can see how all these recent wars and military actions have a financial motive at their core. Yet the mass of gullible Americans actually believe the reasons given, to "spread democracy" and other wonderful things. Only a small number can see things for what they really are. It's very frustrating to deal with the stupidity of the average person on a daily basis.

    This is not Trump's policy, it is American policy and the variation is in how he implements it. Any other person would have fallen in line with it as well. US policy has it's own inner momentum that can't change course. The US depends upon continuation of the dollar as the world's reserve currency. Were that to be lost the US likely would descend into chaos without end. When the USSR came apart it was eventually able to downsize into the Russian state. We don't have that here; there is no core ethnicity with it's own territory left anymore, it's just a jumble. For the US it's a matter of survival.

    John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment January 18, 2020 at 3:04 pm GMT
    Yes, but we also have this

    It is reported this morning (CNN) that Trump bragged about the killing to a crowd at a big fundraising dinner.

    Just sick, official state murder for campaign donations.

    That's what America is reduced to.

    [Jan 21, 2020] Trump Is Pulling the Wool Over Voters' Eyes About What Is in the China Deal

    Return to quote-based trade means total bankruptcy of neoliberalism ideology and practice. Another nail in the coffin so to speak.
    Jan 21, 2020 | www.anti-empire.com

    The Chinese, for now, are not contradicting the Trump administration on the promise of Chinese mega-purchases, because when Trump is more amicable their interests align. If an empty promise that wasn't even made means the trade war de-escalation goes on, that is fine with them. They would like to calm the markets as much as Trump would, and in this way they have added leverage on Trump. Should they change their minds they can always explode the fiction later on and injure Trump, perhaps strategically right around October.


    Now that the dust has settled on the US-China trade deal and analysts have had some time to pore over its 90+ pages, various chapters and (non-binding) terms that comprise the body of the agreement, one high-level observation noted by Rabobank, is that the agreement foresees the total amount of goods exports from the US to China to reach above $ 290BN by end-2021.

    The implication of this is that the chart for US exports to China should basically look like this for the next two years:

    As Rabobank's senior economist Bjorn Giesbergen writes, t here are probably very few economists that would deem such a trajectory feasible (except for the perpetually cheerful economics team at Goldman , of course), seeing that it took the US more than 15 years to raise exports from around USD16bn in 2000 to USD 130bn in 2017.

    Moreover, the Chinese purchases of goods are beneficial to US companies, but at the cost of other countries, and the agreement is only for two years. If China will buy more aircraft from the US, that could be to the detriment of the EU.

    According to the document "the parties project that the trajectory of increases will continue in calendar years 2020 through 2025." But "to project" does not sound as firm as "shall ensure." So, as the Rabo economist asks, "are we going to see a repetition of the 2019 turmoil caused by the phase 1 trade negotiations after those two years? Or is this supposed to be solved in the phase 2 deal that is very unlikely to be made? What's more, while the remaining tariffs provide leverage for US trade negotiators, they are still a tax on US importers and US consumers of Chinese goods."

    But before we even get there, going back to the chart shown above, Bloomberg today points out something we have pointed out in the past, namely that China's $200 billion, two-year spending spree negotiated with the Trump administration appears increasingly difficult to deliver, and now a $50 billion "hole" appears to have opened up : that is the amount of U.S. exports annually left out and many American businesses still uncertain about just what the expectations are.

    Some background: while Trump officials stressed the reforms aimed at curbing intellectual-property theft and currency manipulation that China has agreed to in the "phase one" trade deal signed Wednesday, the Chinese pledge to buy more American exports has become an emblem of the deal to critics and supporters alike.

    The administration has said those new exports in manufactured goods, energy, farm shipments and services will come over two years on top of the $130 billion in goods and $57.6 billion in services that the U.S. sent to China in 2017 -- the year before the trade war started and exports were hit by Beijing's retaliatory measures to President Donald Trump's tariffs.

    And while Goldman said it is certainly feasible that China can ramp up its purchases of US goods , going so far as providing a matrix "scenario" of what such purchases could look like

    that now appears virtually impossible, because as Bloomberg notes, the list of goods categories in the agreement covers a narrower group of exports to China that added up to $78.8 billion in 2017, or $51.6 billion less than the overall goods exports to the Asian nation that year. The goods trade commitment makes up $162.1 billion of the $200 billion total, with $37.9 billion to come from a boost in services trade such as travel and insurance.

    Here, the math gets even more ridiculous:

    The target for the first year that the deal takes effect is to add $63.9 billion in manufactured goods, agriculture and energy exports. According to Bloomberg economist Maeva Cousin's analysis, that would be an increase of 81% over the 2017 baseline. In year two, the agreement calls for $98.2 billion surge in Chinese imports, which would require a 125% increase over 2017.

    Importantly for China, the deal requires those purchases to be "made at market prices based on commercial considerations," a caveat which spooked commodities traders, and led to a sharp drop in ags in the day following the deal's announcement.

    Can China pull this off? Yes, if Beijing tears up existing trade deals and supply chains and imposes explicit procurement targets and demands on China's local business. As Bloomberg notes, "critics argue that such pre-ordained demand amounts to a slide into the sort of government-managed trade that U.S. presidents abandoned decades ago" and the very sort of act of central planning that U.S. officials have , paradoxically, spent years trying to convince China to walk away from.

    This may also explain why a key part of the trade deal will remain secret: the purchase plan is based on what the administration insists is a specific – if classified – annex of Chinese commitments. "The 20-page public version of that annex lists hundreds of products and services from nuclear reactors to aircraft, printed circuits, pig iron, soybeans, crude oil and computer services but no figures for purchases."

    Going back to the critics, it is this convoluted mechanism that has them arguing that China's stated targets will likely never be met: "This is ambitious and it will create some stresses within the supply system," said Craig Allen, the president of the U.S.-China Business Council.

    That's not all: as Allen said, among the outstanding questions was whether China would lift its retaliatory duties on American products as the US keeps its tariffs on some $360 billion in imports from China as Trump seeks to maintain leverage for the second phase of negotiations.

    Allen also made clear the overall purchase schedule left many U.S. companies uncomfortable even as they saw benefits in other parts of the deal. "The vast majority of our members are looking for no more than a level playing field in China," Allen said. "We are not looking for quotas or special treatment."

    As a result, for many manufacturers what is actually changing -- and what China has committed to instead of given a "best efforts" promise to achieve -- remains unclear.

    Major exporters such as Boeing Co., whose CEO Dave Calhoun attended Wednesday's signing ceremony, have stayed mum about what exactly the deal will mean for their business with China. In an attempt to "clarify", Trump tweeted that the deal includes a Chinese commitment to buy $16 billion to $20 billion in Boeing planes. It was unclear if he meant 737 MAX planes which nobody in the world will ever voluntarily fly inside again.

    Finally, prompting the latest round of cronyism allegations, Trump's new China pact also includes plans for exports of American iron and steel , "a potential gain for an industry close to the president that has benefited from his tariffs and complained about Chinese production and overcapacity for years." As Bloomberg adds, the text of the agreement lists iron and steel products ranging from pig iron to stainless steel wire and railway tracks, but steel industry sources said they had been caught by surprise and not been given any additional details on China's purchase commitments.

    It is unclear why Beijing would need US product s: after all, in its scramble to erect ghost cities and hit a goalseeked GDP print, China produces more than 50% of the world's steel, drawning criticism from around the world – if not Greta Thunberg – for the massive coal-derived pollution that comes from flooding global markets with cheap steel.

    [Jan 19, 2020] Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy The National Interest

    Jan 19, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

    September 18, 2012 Topic: Domestic Politics Elections Global Governance Region: United States Foreign Policy Is Domestic Policy

    The hubris that the external behavior of the United States has no impact on the domestic condition of the country can no longer be indulged.

    by Nikolas K. Gvosdev ,

    [Jan 19, 2020] Has US overplayed its tech advantage

    Jan 19, 2020 | www.asiatimes.com

    This partly explains why the US is taking its battle on 5G technology with the Chinese so seriously. As a faltering global leader, the Americans do not take it kindly when China tries to snatch a lunch right from under their nose. As such, the US-China trade war goes beyond economics and ideology. It is about global domination across every conceivable technology that consumers and governments worldwide are addicted to these days.

    Metaphorically, technology is the new opium that rakes in money, power and control. Take a look at the way consumers across the world are utilizing technologies. From smartphones to mobile apps, from cloud-computing to cybersecurity, trillions of dollars are being spent by consumers and their governments. The Americans were laughing their way to the bank until the Chinese came along and upset their game.

    As greed has no boundary or limit, every challenger or opposition to the consumption of this "new opium" means a loss in revenue, power and control for the US and its preferred allies. Sharing the spoils with others is looking like an inconceivable option for them at this stage.

    To call the tension between the US and China a trade war undermines this greater reality. From unilateral sanctions to outright destruction of economies, it is starting to look as if the US is using technology to regain global domination at all costs.

    [Jan 19, 2020] The US-China "Trade Deal" by Paul Craig Roberts

    Notable quotes:
    "... Trump is covering his retraction by calling it a trade deal. China's part of the deal is to agree to purchase the US goods that it already intended to purchase. ..."
    Jan 18, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info

    The first thing to understand is that it is not a trade deal. It is Trump backing off his tariffs when he discovered that the tarrifs fall on US goods and American consumers, not on China. Trump is covering his retraction by calling it a trade deal. China's part of the deal is to agree to purchase the US goods that it already intended to purchase.

    The purpose of tariffs is to protect domestic producers from foreign competition by raising the price of imported goods. What Trump, his administration, and the financial press did not understand is that at least half of the US trade deficit with China is the offshored goods produced in China by such corporations as Apple, Nike, and Levi. The offshored production of US global corporations counts as imports when they are brought into the US to be sold to Americans. Thus, the cost of the tariffs were falling on US corporations and US consumers.

    Tariffs are not an effective way to bring offshored US manufacturing home. If Trump or any US government wants to bring US manufacturing back to the US from its offshored locations, the way to achieve this result is to change the way the US taxes corporations. The rule would be: If a US corporation produces in the US with US labor for US markets, the firm's profits are taxed at a low rate. If the corporation produces products for the US market abroad with foreign labor, the tax rate will be high enough to more than wipe out the labor cost savings.

    As I have emphasized for years, the offshoring of US manufacturing has inflicted massive external costs on the United States. Middle class jobs have been lost, careers ended, living standards of former US manufacturing workers and families have dropped. The tax base of cities and states has shrunk, causing cutbacks in public services and undermining municipal and state pension funds. You can add to this list. These costs are the true cost of the increased profits from the lower foreign labor and compliance costs. A relatively few executives and shareholders benefitted at the expense of a vast number of Americans.

    This is the problem that needs to be addressed and corrected.

    Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts' latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West , How America Was Lost , and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order . Donate and support Dr, Roberts Work.

    [Jan 18, 2020] The US China Phase 1 Deal Interpeted: Break Thing, Claim to Fix Thing, Repeat

    Highly recommended!
    Jan 18, 2020 | econbrowser.com

    ...if nothing had happened in the US-China trade war. Well, me might have gotten to where we are supposed to be with the deal

    ..a honest question. In terms of the environment and global climate, is it a good thing that farmers will be producing more monoculture grains, dairy, beef and pork for export?

    [Jan 18, 2020] The US-China Nothing Burger Trade Deal by Barkley Rosser

    Jan 18, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

    There has been much hype about the signing of Phase One (and probably only) US-China trade deal. However based on a front page story in today's Washington Post, there is not much there. The US did not raise tariffs as planned, but tarifsf still remain on two thirds of the sectors that had them, although some were halved. But numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts. In these and other sectors there is not much reduction of uncertainty regarding US-China trade, so not likely much increase in investment.

    The main items in it besides no worsening of tariffs, China has made promises not to pressure US firms to turn over technology and also to increase imports from the US by $200 billion over the next two years, especially in energy and agriculture. So maybe US soybean farmers will no longer need the bailouts of billions of $ Trump has been providing to them. However, such promises have been made in the past.

    As it is, I am watching commentators on Bloomberg, and about the most any of them are willing to say is that this "puts a floor" on the "deterioration" of US-China trade relations. That is far from some dramatic breakthrough, and most of the tariffs put on as part of the US-China trade war remain in place.

    Barkley Rosser


    spencer , January 16, 2020 3:49 pm

    This looks like it may be a way to make it a status quo or back burner issue until after the election.

    Of course Trump will always be able to blow it up if he decides that would be to his advantage.

    Bert Schlitz , January 16, 2020 4:53 pm

    I don't see how they "buy" 200 billion worth of goods. The Chinese economy is slowing and that is why purchases were flattening by 2014.

    Its noise and circuses.

    pgl , January 16, 2020 5:48 pm

    Bert – I agree. Menzie Chinn over at Econbrowser has a lot of details on this noise and circus. Check it out!

    [Jan 18, 2020] Numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts by Barkley Rosser

    Jan 18, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

    There has been much hype about the signing of Phase One (and probably only) US-China trade deal. However based on a front page story in today's Washington Post, there is not much there. The US did not raise tariffs as planned, but tarifsf still remain on two thirds of the sectors that had them, although some were halved. But numerous US sectors see no change at all and are now viewing the situation as not likely to improve, with them suffering losses of business likely to return. Among those are chemicals, apparel retailers, and auto parts. In these and other sectors there is not much reduction of uncertainty regarding US-China trade, so not likely much increase in investment.

    The main items in it besides no worsening of tariffs, China has made promises not to pressure US firms to turn over technology and also to increase imports from the US by $200 billion over the next two years, especially in energy and agriculture. So maybe US soybean farmers will no longer need the bailouts of billions of $ Trump has been providing to them. However, such promises have been made in the past.

    As it is, I am watching commentators on Bloomberg, and about the most any of them are willing to say is that this "puts a floor" on the "deterioration" of US-China trade relations. That is far from some dramatic breakthrough, and most of the tariffs put on as part of the US-China trade war remain in place.


    spencer , January 16, 2020 3:49 pm

    This looks like it may be a way to make it a status quo or back burner issue until after the election.

    Of course Trump will always be able to blow it up if he decides that would be to his advantage.

    Bert Schlitz , January 16, 2020 4:53 pm

    I don't see how they "buy" 200 billion worth of goods. The Chinese economy is slowing and that is why purchases were flattening by 2014.

    Its noise and circuses.

    pgl , January 16, 2020 5:48 pm

    Bert – I agree. Menzie Chinn over at Econbrowser has a lot of details on this noise and circus. Check it out!

    [Jan 16, 2020] Battle of the Ages to stop Eurasian integration by Pepe Escobar

    Jan 16, 2020 | www.asiatimes.com

    Battle of the Ages to stop Eurasian integration

    Coming decade could see the US take on Russia, China and Iran over the New Silk Road connection

    The Raging Twenties started with a bang with the targeted assassination of Iran's General Qasem Soleimani.

    Yet a bigger bang awaits us throughout the decade: the myriad declinations of the New Great Game in Eurasia, which pits the US against Russia, China and Iran, the three major nodes of Eurasia integration.

    Every game-changing act in geopolitics and geoeconomics in the coming decade will have to be analyzed in connection to this epic clash.

    The Deep State and crucial sectors of the US ruling class are absolutely terrified that China is already outpacing the "indispensable nation" economically and that Russia has outpaced it militarily . The Pentagon officially designates the three Eurasian nodes as "threats."

    Hybrid War techniques – carrying inbuilt 24/7 demonization – will proliferate with the aim of containing China's "threat," Russian "aggression" and Iran's "sponsorship of terrorism." The myth of the "free market" will continue to drown under the imposition of a barrage of illegal sanctions, euphemistically defined as new trade "rules."

    Yet that will be hardly enough to derail the Russia-China strategic partnership. To unlock the deeper meaning of this partnership, we need to understand that Beijing defines it as rolling towards a "new era." That implies strategic long-term planning – with the key date being 2049, the centennial of New China.

    The horizon for the multiple projects of the Belt and Road Initiative – as in the China-driven New Silk Roads – is indeed the 2040s, when Beijing expects to have fully woven a new, multipolar paradigm of sovereign nations/partners across Eurasia and beyond, all connected by an interlocking maze of belts and roads.

    The Russian project – Greater Eurasia – somewhat mirrors Belt & Road and will be integrated with it. Belt & Road, the Eurasia Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank are all converging towards the same vision.

    Realpolitik

    So this "new era", as defined by the Chinese, relies heavily on close Russia-China coordination, in every sector. Made in China 2025 is encompassing a series of techno/scientific breakthroughs. At the same time, Russia has established itself as an unparalleled technological resource for weapons and systems that the Chinese still cannot match.

    At the latest BRICS summit in Brasilia, President Xi Jinping told Vladimir Putin that "the current international situation with rising instability and uncertainty urge China and Russia to establish closer strategic coordination." Putin's response: "Under the current situation, the two sides should continue to maintain close strategic communication."

    Russia is showing China how the West respects realpolitik power in any form, and Beijing is finally starting to use theirs. The result is that after five centuries of Western domination – which, incidentally, led to the decline of the Ancient Silk Roads – the Heartland is back, with a bang, asserting its preeminence.

    On a personal note, my travels these past two years, from West Asia to Central Asia, and my conversations these past two months with analysts in Nur-Sultan, Moscow and Italy, have allowed me to get deeper into the intricacies of what sharp minds define as the Double Helix. We are all aware of the immense challenges ahead – while barely managing to track the stunning re-emergence of the Heartland in real-time.

    In soft power terms, the sterling role of Russian diplomacy will become even more paramount – backed up by a Ministry of Defense led by Sergei Shoigu, a Tuvan from Siberia, and an intel arm that is capable of constructive dialogue with everybody: India/Pakistan, North/South Korea, Iran/Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan.

    This apparatus does smooth (complex) geopolitical issues over in a manner that still eludes Beijing.

    In parallel, virtually the whole Asia-Pacific – from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean – now takes into full consideration Russia-China as a counter-force to US naval and financial overreach.

    Stakes in Southwest Asia

    The targeted assassination of Soleimani, for all its long-term fallout, is just one move in the Southwest Asia chessboard. What's ultimately at stake is a macro geoeconomic prize: a land bridge from the Persian Gulf to the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Last summer, an Iran-Iraq-Syria trilateral established that "the goal of negotiations is to activate the Iranian-Iraqi-Syria load and transport corridor as part of a wider plan for reviving the Silk Road."

    There could not be a more strategic connectivity corridor, capable of simultaneously interlinking with the International North-South Transportation Corridor; the Iran-Central Asia-China connection all the way to the Pacific; and projecting Latakia towards the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.

    What's on the horizon is, in fact, a sub-sect of Belt & Road in Southwest Asia. Iran is a key node of Belt & Road; China will be heavily involved in the rebuilding of Syria; and Beijing-Baghdad signed multiple deals and set up an Iraqi-Chinese Reconstruction Fund (income from 300,000 barrels of oil a day in exchange for Chinese credit for Chinese companies rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure).

    A quick look at the map reveals the "secret" of the US refusing to pack up and leave Iraq, as demanded by the Iraqi Parliament and Prime Minister: to prevent the emergence of this corridor by any means necessary. Especially when we see that all the roads that China is building across Central Asia – I navigated many of them in November and December – ultimately link China with Iran.

    The final objective: to unite Shanghai to the Eastern Mediterranean – overland, across the Heartland.

    As much as Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea is an essential node of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and part of China's multi-pronged "escape from Malacca" strategy, India also courted Iran to match Gwadar via the port of Chabahar in the Gulf of Oman.

    So as much as Beijing wants to connect the Arabian Sea with Xinjiang, via the economic corridor, India wants to connect with Afghanistan and Central Asia via Iran.

    Yet India's investments in Chabahar may come to nothing, with New Delhi still mulling whether to become an active part of the US "Indo-Pacific" strategy, which would imply dropping Tehran.

    The Russia-China-Iran joint naval exercise in late December, starting exactly from Chabahar, was a timely wake-up for New Delhi. India simply cannot afford to ignore Iran and end up losing its key connectivity node, Chabahar.

    The immutable fact: everyone needs and wants Iran connectivity. For obvious reasons, since the Persian empire, this is the privileged hub for all Central Asian trade routes.

    On top of it, Iran for China is a matter of national security. China is heavily invested in Iran's energy industry. All bilateral trade will be settled in yuan or in a basket of currencies bypassing the US dollar.

    US neocons, meanwhile, still dream of what the Cheney regime was aiming at in the past decade: regime change in Iran leading to the US dominating the Caspian Sea as a springboard to Central Asia, only one step away from Xinjiang and weaponization of anti-China sentiment. It could be seen as a New Silk Road in reverse to disrupt the Chinese vision.

    Battle of the Ages

    A new book, The Impact of China's Belt and Road Initiativ e , by Jeremy Garlick of the University of Economics in Prague, carries the merit of admitting that, "making sense" of Belt & Road "is extremely difficult."

    This is an extremely serious attempt to theorize Belt & Road's immense complexity – especially considering China's flexible, syncretic approach to policymaking, quite bewildering for Westerners. To reach his goal, Garlick gets into Tang Shiping's social evolution paradigm, delves into neo-Gramscian hegemony, and dissects the concept of "offensive mercantilism" – all that as part of an effort in "complex eclecticism."

    The contrast with the pedestrian Belt & Road demonization narrative emanating from US "analysts" is glaring. The book tackles in detail the multifaceted nature of Belt & Road's trans-regionalism as an evolving, organic process.

    Imperial policymakers won't bother to understand how and why Belt & Road is setting a new global paradigm. The NATO summit in London last month offered a few pointers. NATO uncritically adopted three US priorities: even more aggressive policy towards Russia; containment of China (including military surveillance); and militarization of space – a spin-off from the 2002 Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine.

    So NATO will be drawn into the "Indo-Pacific" strategy – which means containment of China. And as NATO is the EU's weaponized arm, that implies the US interfering on how Europe does business with China – at every level.

    Retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2001 to 2005, cuts to the chase: "America exists today to make war. How else do we interpret 19 straight years of war and no end in sight? It's part of who we are. It's part of what the American Empire is. We are going to lie, cheat and steal, as Pompeo is doing right now, as Trump is doing right now, as Esper is doing right now and a host of other members of my political party, the Republicans, are doing right now. We are going to lie, cheat and steal to do whatever it is we have to do to continue this war complex. That's the truth of it. And that's the agony of it."

    Moscow, Beijing and Tehran are fully aware of the stakes. Diplomats and analysts are working on the trend, for the trio, to evolve a concerted effort to protect one another from all forms of hybrid war – sanctions included – launched against each of them.

    For the US, this is indeed an existential battle – against the whole Eurasia integration process, the New Silk Roads, the Russia-China strategic partnership, those Russian hypersonic weapons mixed with supple diplomacy, the profound disgust and revolt against US policies all across the Global South, the nearly inevitable collapse of the US dollar. What's certain is that the Empire won't go quietly into the night. We should all be ready for the battle of the ages.

    [Jan 16, 2020] A Trade Deal Meant to Heal Rifts Could Actually Make Them Worse

    Jan 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

    vk , Jan 16 2020 18:16 utc | 9

    An extremely rare candid and somewhat precise piece of journalism by the NYT (albeit telling the story from the point of view of the Americans/capitalists):

    A Trade Deal Meant to Heal Rifts Could Actually Make Them Worse

    Here's an interesting paragraph:

    What it does not do is tackle the root causes of the trade war. The deal leaves untouched Beijing's subsidies for homegrown industries and its firm control over crucial levers of its hard-charging economy . The deal also keeps in place most of Mr. Trump's tariffs on $360 billion worth of Chinese goods, a much heavier tax than Americans pay for products from practically anywhere else.

    Solving those issues could take years.

    Interesting to see what the Americans consider to be China's "root causes of the trade war". And we still have people who believe the war against China is not a war between capitalism and socialism, but between "freedom and tyranny". Pure middle class liberal dellusion of grandeur.

    --//--

    In the last open thread, in my first comment, I highlighted how fast the Western MSM gave up the idea the Labour Party should have its first female leader in order to prop up their guy, Keir Starmer (literally the only male still in the dispute right now). The reason, of course, is that his main rival - Rebecca Long-Bailey - is Corbyn's successor and, as such, has Momentum's (and, probably, of the unions) support.

    Well, this didn't stop the typical Western hypocrisy from working. Yesterday, a wave of accusations of Bernie Sanders happened (again).

    I have been stating here for some time now that the function of the middle class is to serve as the battering ram of the capitalists. They are the class tasked with fabricating the narratives and "theories" which all the society should believe and never question. They are what that 007 villain (Spectre) called "visionaires", or what the far-rightists in America call "the experts".

    If that's true, then postmodernism is their ideological weapon of choice nowadays.

    karlof1 , Jan 16 2020 18:37 utc | 10

    doesn't matter in which order they're read, but Escobar's latest intersects with Alastair Crooke's to provide Big Picture perspective.

    Towards his conclusion, Escobar cites retired US Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's chief of staff from 2001 to 2005:

    "We are going to lie, cheat and steal to do whatever it is we have to do to continue this war complex. That's the truth of it. And that's the agony of it."

    But nowhere in the citation does Wilkerson say that any of this effort's being done to defend the USA, whereas its beyond clear that Iran, China and Russia are all working to protect their nations and people. Rather, it appears as if "the profound disgust and revolt against US policies all across the Global South" is finally being adopted by a majority of the USA's polity as it becomes clear that all the lying, cheating and stealing is being done at the expense of the 99% for the 1%'s benefit.

    As Crooke alludes, wagging the dog a la Clinton might save Trump from being convicted and removed by the Senate, but such a move will likely cost him the election, although much depends on how those controlling the D-Party behave in the face of Sanders winning the nomination via the primaries prior to the Convention.

    [Jan 16, 2020] US-China Phase One Deal Signed What Is Inside and What to Expect Next

    Trust was destroyed, but it looks like China folded...
    Jan 16, 2020 | sputniknews.com

    Under the text of the Phase One deal - which was released later in the day by the Office of the US Trade Representative - both sides agree that they can formally complain to each other if either feels the other side is not holding up its end of the bargain.

    China Accepts Deal to Buy $200Bln in US Goods

    First and foremost, the document obliges Beijing to purchase at least $200 billion worth of US goods over the next two years.

    "During the two-year period from January 1, 2020, through December 31, 2021, China shall ensure that purchases and imports into China from the United States of the manufactured goods, agricultural goods, energy products, and services identified in Annex 6.1 exceed the corresponding 2017 baseline amount by no less than $200 billion", the text of the agreement reads.

    The agreement said China will ensure that it buys $32.9 billion worth of US manufactured goods this year and $44.8 billion in 2021; $12.5 billion in US agricultural goods this year and $19.5 billion in 2021; $18.5 billion in US energy products this year and $33.9 billion in 2021; and $12.8 billion in US services this year and $25.1 billion in 2021.

    US, China Agree to Protect Patents, Fight Abuse of Trade Secrets

    The United States and China agreed to protect patents, particularly in pharmaceuticals, and ban counterfeit products and the misappropriation of trade secrets.

    "China shall permit pharmaceutical patent applicants to rely on supplemental data to satisfy relevant requirements for patentability, including sufficiency of disclosure and inventive step, during patent examination proceedings, patent review proceedings, and judicial proceedings", the text of the deal said. "The United States affirms that existing US measures afford treatment equivalent to that provided for in this Article".

    Beijing and Washington also resolved to strengthen cooperation and coordination in combating piracy, including counterfeiting on e-commerce platforms, in the agreement.

    On the protection of trade secrets, the United States said China will treat as "urgent" the use, or attempted use, of claimed trade secret information and provide its judicial authorities the authority to order a preliminary injunction based on case facts and circumstances. Washington pledged to do the same for China.

    China to Boost US Energy Imports by $52 Bln

    China also agreed to increase purchases of US energy products by $52 billion in the next two years.

    The US energy products will be part of the total $200 billion worth of US goods that China will import through 2021, according to the agreement.

    "For the category of energy products no less than $18.5 billion above the corresponding 2017 baseline amount is purchased and imported into China from the United States in calendar year 2020, and no less than $33.9 billion above the corresponding 2017 baseline amount is purchased and imported into China from the United States in calendar year 2021", the text of the deal said.

    The agreement listed the US energy products that China will be buying as: crude oil, liquefied natural gas, refined petroleum and coal.

    China is the world's largest buyer of oil and the United States is the largest producer of the commodity.

    Oil prices, which hit five-week lows earlier on Wednesday, pared their losses after the energy deal was announced by the US and Chinese governments.

    Avoiding Currency Manipulations

    Under the Phase One deal China agrees to not engage in currency manipulation for the purpose of achieving trade advantages over the United States.

    "The Parties shall refrain from competitive devaluations and not target exchange rates for competitive purposes, including through large-scale, persistent, one-sided intervention in exchange markets," the agreement states.

    The United States and China will communicate regularly and consult on foreign exchange markets, activities and policies as well as consult with each other regarding the International Monetary Fund's assessment of the exchange rate of each country, the agreement states.

    The agreement states that the United States and China should achieve and maintain a market-determined exchange rate regime.

    The agreement comes after two years of wrangling and numerous halts in discussions, during which both sides piled hundreds of billions of dollars of tit-for-tat tariffs on each other.

    Despite the signing of the accord, the Trump administration will maintain tariffs on $360 billion of Chinese goods in an attempt to hold Beijing accountable to the deal, US officials said. The Chinese government has also said it will decide later on the tariffs it has imposed on US imports, which last stood at $185 billion in value.

    The US-China trade war sparked in January 2019, when the Trump administration announced duties on Chinese-made solar panels and washing machines. The Trump administration has since placed tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese products.

    'Phase Two' Will End US-China Trade War?

    US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin commented earlier on Wednesday on the agreement and said that certain technology and cybersecurity issues would be resolved in the next chapter of the deal to end the trade dispute.

    "I think a very significant amount of the technology issues are in Phase One. There are other certain areas of services away from financial services that will be in Phase Two. There are certain additional cybersecurity issues that will be in Phase Two [...] There still more issues to deal with and we'll address those", Mnuchin said, cited by CNBC.

    Although the timing and details of Phase Two remain vague, Mnuchin ruled out Huawei being included, claiming that the Chinese tech giant is part of "the national security dialogue".

    Trump claimed during a news conference on Wednesday that he does not foresee a Phase Three trade agreement with China, expecting to conclude the trade negotiations with Phase Two.

    Buick Verano is assembled at General Motors' Orion Assembly plant in Orion Township © AP Photo / Carlos Osorio Fed Study Finds Trump's Trade Wars Backfired, Leading to Lost Jobs and Price Hikes Trump pointed out that his administration will begin Phase Two trade negotiations with China "shortly", without elaborating a timeline. US Vice President Mike Pence told Fox Business later in the day that the talks on the second phase were already underway.

    "We've already begun discussions on a Phase 2 deal", Pence said, cited by Fox Business.

    Trump said earlier that inking of the second phase of the deal may have to wait until after the 2020 presidential election to allow time to negotiate a better agreement.

    Phase One and Phase Two could reportedly ease trade tensions between the two major economic powers but it would unlikely settle the dispute, The Washington Post reported.

    According to the media outlet, the Trump administration is developing new export control regulations aimed at limiting flows of sophisticated technology to China, while US officials embarked on closely scrutinizing potential Chinese investments in the United States. Media reports of alleged new economic and technology levies against Beijing sparked speculation among analysts that Phase Three should not be excluded.

    [Dec 25, 2019] US Must Pursue Targeted Decoupling From China's Economy, Says Former US Ambassador

    Dec 25, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

    Despite the latest Sino-American phase one deal to ease tensions over trade, one former top US official is now calling for a decoupling between both economies, reported the South China Morning Post (SCMP).

    Former US ambassador to India Ashley Tellis explains in a new book titled Strategic Asia 2020: US-China Competition for Global Influence -- that the world's two largest economies have entered a new period of sustained competition.

    Tellis said Washington had developed a view that "China is today and will be for the foreseeable future the principal challenger to the US."

    "The US quest for a partnership with China was fated to fail once China's growth in economic capabilities was gradually matched by its rising military power," he said.

    Tellis said Washington must resume its ability to support the liberal international order established by the US more than a half-century ago, and "provide the global public goods that bestow legitimacy upon its primacy and strengthen its power-projection capabilities to protect its allies and friends."

    He said this approach would require more strategic cooperation with allies such as Australia, Japan, and South Korea.

    "The US should use coordinated action with allies to confront China's trade malpractices should pursue targeted decoupling of the US and Chinese economies, mainly in order to protect its defense capabilities rather than seeking a comprehensive rupture."

    The latest phase one deal between both countries is a temporary trade truce -- likely to be broken as a strategic rivalry encompasses trade, technology, investment, currency, and geopolitical concerns will continue to strain relations in the early 2020s.

    A much greater decoupling could be dead ahead and likely to intensify over time, as it's already occurring in the technology sector.

    Tellis said President Trump labeling China as a strategic competitor was one of "the most important changes in US-China relations."

    The decoupling has already started as Washington races to safeguard the country's cutting-edge technologies, including 5G, automation, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicle, hypersonics, and robotics, from getting into the hands of Chinese firms.

    A perfect example of this is blacklisting Huawei and other Chinese technology firms from buying US semiconductor components.

    Liu Weidong, a US affairs specialist from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told SCMP that increased protectionism among Washington lawmakers suggests the decoupling trend between both countries is far from over.

    The broader shift at play is that decoupling will result in de-globalization , economic and financial fragmentation, and disruption of complex supply chains.

    [Dec 21, 2019] Xi says phase-one China-U.S. trade deal benefits both sides, world - Xinhua English.news.cn

    Dec 21, 2019 | www.xinhuanet.com

    javascript:void(0)

    BEIJING, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- The phase-one economic and trade deal between China and the United States benefits both sides and the whole world, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday.

    In a phone conversation with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, Xi noted that the two countries have reached the phase-one agreement on the basis of the principle of equality and mutual respect.

    Against the backdrop of an extremely complicated international environment, the agreement benefits China, the United States, as well as peace and prosperity of the whole world, Xi said.

    For his part, Trump said that the phase-one economic and trade agreement reached between China and the United States is good for the two countries and the whole world.

    Noting that both countries' markets and the world have responded very positively to the agreement, Trump said that the United States is willing to maintain close communication with China and strive for the signing and implementation of the agreement at an early date.

    Xi stressed that the economic and trade cooperation between China and the United States has made significant contributions to the stability and development of China-U.S. relations and the advancement of the world economy.

    Modern economy and modern technologies have integrated the world as a whole, thus making the interests of China and the United States more intertwined with each other, Xi said, adding that the two sides will experience some differences in cooperation.

    As long as both sides keep holding the mainstream of China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation featuring mutual benefits and win-win outcomes, and always respect each other's national dignity, sovereignty and core interests, they will overcome difficulties on the way of progress, and push forward their economic and trade relations under the new historical conditions, so as to benefit the two countries and peoples, Xi said.

    China expresses serious concerns over the U.S. side's recent negative words and actions on issues related to China's Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, Xi said.

    He noted that the U.S. behaviors have interfered in China's internal affairs and harmed China's interests, which is detrimental to the mutual trust and bilateral cooperation.

    China hopes that the United States will seriously implement the important consensuses reached by the two leaders over various meetings and phone conversations, pay high attention and attach great importance to China's concerns, and prevent bilateral relations and important agendas from being disturbed, Xi said.

    Trump said he is looking forward to maintaining regular communication with Xi by various means, adding he is confident that both countries can properly handle differences, and U.S.-China relations can maintain smooth development.

    Xi said he is willing to maintain contacts with Trump by various means, exchange views over bilateral relations and international affairs, and jointly promote China-U.S. relations on the basis of coordination, cooperation and stability.

    The two heads of state also exchanged views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula. Xi stressed that it is imperative to stick to the general direction of a political settlement, saying all parties should meet each other halfway, and maintain dialogue and momentum for the mitigation of the situation, which is in the common interests of all.

    [Dec 17, 2019] A Great Deal Of Nonsense by Michael Every

    If true this china capitulation. Or some shrewd tactical maneuver, as the next year it is China who hold trump cards -- it can derail Trump re-election with ease.
    I have my doubts about Trump being the Grand Dealmaker he calls himself. Looking at seven bankruptcies as a proof of that ... mythical skill I don't find much. I recall Trump suing the Deutsche Bank after the bank wanted a credit back. His lawyers in court referred to the bank crisis, called the Deutsche Bank as a bank responsible for that and said that thus they don't deserve repayment. that was Chutzpah in the First Degree, For very obvious reasons Trump lost that case and did pay back.
    When Trunmp recently went on searching lawyers to work and sue for him he didn't find any. A big corp lawyer anonymously briefly explained why: "Doesn't pay. Doesn't listen.'
    Dec 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

    Submitted by Michael Every of Rabobank

    A US-China trade deal was announced to chaotic fanfare late Friday Asian time – and we are sceptical. First, we still don't have details other than that December tariffs were postponed by both sides, the 15% US tariffs imposed on 1 September are to be reduced to 7.5% as a sign of goodwill, and the 25% tariffs on USD250bn stay in place . Second, we aren't going to get a signing ceremony between the US and Chinese leaders, which does not send an encouraging signal. And third, what we see is close to the terms we previously criticized for being unrealistic in reports such as 'A Great Deal of Nonsense" and "LOL-A-PLAZA".

    The US Trade Representative (USTR) says the final text of the phase one agreement is still being finalised, and he will sign it early next year for a likely incept date of end-January 2020. The areas covered include: Intellectual Property (IP); Technology Transfer; Agriculture; Financial Services; Currency; Expanding Trade; and Dispute Resolution. Each of these promises much and yet potentially delivers little.

    China has pledged to address issues of geographical indications, trademarks, and enforcement against pirated and counterfeit goods. That's just after a Chinese court ruled that Japanese retailer Muji doesn't own its own name in China and a local rival started years afterwards does. Enforcement matters, not promises: more on that in a moment.

    China has agreed to end forcing or pressuring foreign companies to transfer their tech as a condition for obtaining market access or administrative approvals. Again, enforcement is all that matters here. China also " commits to refrain from directing or supporting outbound investments aimed at acquiring foreign technology pursuant to industrial plans that create distortion. " That is China's reason for outbound investment! For example, Sweden's Defence Research Agency just released a detailed survey of Chinese corporate acquisitions in their country showing at least half are correlated with the "Made in China 20205" plan.

    China will " support a dramatic expansion of US food, agriculture and seafood product exports " , with the USTR stating the target is to jump to USD40bn in 2020, a USD16bn increase over the pre-trade war level of USD24bn, and to aim for USD50bn. Part of that reflects China's decimated pork herd, so is hardly a concession. Yet it is hard to conceive of how the total figure can be achieved without China using the US to displace agri imports from other nations, e.g., Argentinean and Brazilian soy, and perhaps Aussie and Kiwi farm goods. That also increases China's economic exposure to the US at a time of rising geopolitical tensions between the two (see news of the US' secret expulsion of two Chinese diplomats), and US' farmers exposure to China in kind. For its part, the Chinese press are not mentioning these US hard targets, and are talking about WTO trading terms, which bodes poorly.

    The financial services chapter pledges China to an opening up already underway as it searches for new sources of USD inflows, so again is not a concession. Interestingly, it also says US ratings agencies will get access – which will be fun given the evident credit stresses emerging in China just as US banks will be trying to sell China as an investment destination. .

    On currency the US is requiring "high-standard commitments" to refrain from competitive devaluations and targeting of exchange rates. Everyone knows the CNY is not freely-traded – but also that China is doing its best to prop it up, not to try to push it lower. The key message is CNY is not going to be allowed to do what it ought to be doing, i.e., weakening, as China is pledging new fiscal stimulus in 2020 that will decrease its external surplus. That runs counter to market forces, and smacks of a kind of Plaza Accord. Of course, as long as this US-China agreement holds that might be sustainable due to the promised higher capital inflows...

    Eexcept the expanding trade chapter implies the opposite. The USTR says China is pledging to boost its 2020 imports of US goods and services by USD100bn over the level in 2017, and by USD100bn again in 2021, for a total increase of USD200bn . Given 2017 was pre-trade war and US exports to China dropped off a cliff in 2019, this means around a 110% y/y increase in purchases in 2020 – and agri is only a portion of that. The problems should be obvious. How can a slowing Chinese economy (imports are down y/y from most sources), see this kind of increase without substituting US for world exports or local goods? How can a China with a USD liquidity shortage serious enough to be driving said lowered import bill, and '1USD-in/1USD-out' de facto capital controls, cope with the net reduction on the trade side? As of November, the 12-month rolling Chinese global trade surplus with the US it was USD330bn and globally was USD440bn. We are talking about reducing that US figure by 2/3 and the global total by 1/2!

    Which brings us to the last chapter: Dispute Resolution. Getting China to comply is far harder than getting it to sign. The USTR notes the agreement " establishes strong procedures for addressing disputes related to the agreement and allows each party to take proportionate responsive actions that it deems appropriate ." In other words, each side can unilaterally do what they want when they want! So much for the unilateral US control of the process.

    So how to see this in summary? The reduction in tariffs from 15% to 7.5% is a positive, albeit far less than the Wall Street Journal had promised. (NB, the USTR took the extraordinary step of publicly chastising the WSJ journalists who wrote that story – regular readers may recall I have also called them out more than once in the past.) Indeed, if China really has agreed to all that is stated here then further incremental tariff rollbacks can be seen – though the USTR has said the 25% tariffs will stay as collateral for a phase two deal that nobody really expects to happen. Yet the terms of this phase one still seem to be A Great Deal of Nonsense. How can China stop buying foreign tech? How can it buy as much US stuff as pledged? How can it do so and not undermine the WTO? How can it do so and not weaken CNY? And how can it do so with a strong CNY without increasing its USD debts, its strategic reliance on the USD, and to US goods? In short, if China does as the USTR claims, the US is a huge winner here (and there are lots of losers); if China does not comply with what look an impossible import targets, then the US can frame China as the bad guy and the tariffs can go back up again. Arguably, the question is not if that will happen, but when.

    [Dec 14, 2019] A Partial Trade Deal With China Mitigates One More Trump-Economy Risk

    Dec 14, 2019 | nymag.com

    The most important thing about the "phase one" trade agreement announced Friday by U.S. and Chinese officials is what won't happen: The two countries won't impose additional tariffs on Sunday that would have further escalated the trade war.

    There will also be a bit of de-escalation. In September, Trump imposed 15 percent tariffs on $110 billion worth of Chinese consumer goods, such as clothing; those tariffs will be cut in half, to 7.5 percent. But the largest piece of Trump's China tariffs -- a 25 percent tariff on $250 billion in goods mostly sold to businesses rather than consumers -- will stay unchanged, for now.

    [Dec 14, 2019] Looks like some limited trade deal was achived, but both sides are wary of each other now

    Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    karlof1 , Dec 13 2019 18:50 utc | 85

    Awaited confirmation by China about the Trade Deal before writing about it. This article is what I waited to be published: "Phase one trade deal a step forward, a new beginning," yes, an optimistic tone, although tempered in the text:

    "Rome was not built in a day. Trade protectionism has expanded in some places of the world, affecting some people's thinking. It is not easy for China and the US to agree on the text of the deal. But how to define this deal and whether it can keep its positive effects on the global market and even accumulate more positive energy will depend on further efforts from China and the US , as the global market has been disturbed by the trade war.

    " We must see that the first phase of the trade agreement is a win-win outcome which will deliver tangible benefits to the world . The response from investors around the world is most real because they would not use their own money just to make a grand gesture. However, some people in both China and the US may hype that their own country suffers loss from this deal. This is a natural counter-stream of public opinion, but does not represent the mainstream attitude on either side." [My Emphasis]

    Gee, "benefits for the whole world," not just China and Outlaw US Empire? What forced the Empire to compromise:

    "The US-China trade war happens at a time when the US' strategic thinking on China has changed. This requires Washington to find a strategic impetus to end the trade war. So what would be such a strategic impetus?

    "We believe as long as the US side is realistic, it is possible that such a strategic impetus can be formed and gradually expanded. The trade war is not an effective way to resolve the strategic competition between China and the US. It can neither scare China nor effectively weaken China, but will cause a gradual rise in the cost of the US economy" . [My Emphasis]

    IMO, China's assessment's correct. The financialized economy of the Evil Outlaw US Empire has drained it of the resilience it once enjoyed and that China's economy has obtained. Plus, as I wrote several months ago, China's employing geoeconomic levers which the Empire can no longer deploy and is thus stuck with using the only remaining tool it has--its waning geopolitical levers.

    [Dec 14, 2019] China's employing geoeconomic levers which the Empire can no longer deploy and is thus stuck with using the only remaining tool it has--its waning geopolitical levers.

    Dec 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    karlof1 , Dec 13 2019 18:50 utc | 85

    Awaited confirmation by China about the Trade Deal before writing about it. This article is what I waited to be published: "Phase one trade deal a step forward, a new beginning," yes, an optimistic tone, although tempered in the text:

    "Rome was not built in a day. Trade protectionism has expanded in some places of the world, affecting some people's thinking. It is not easy for China and the US to agree on the text of the deal. But how to define this deal and whether it can keep its positive effects on the global market and even accumulate more positive energy will depend on further efforts from China and the US , as the global market has been disturbed by the trade war.

    " We must see that the first phase of the trade agreement is a win-win outcome which will deliver tangible benefits to the world . The response from investors around the world is most real because they would not use their own money just to make a grand gesture. However, some people in both China and the US may hype that their own country suffers loss from this deal. This is a natural counter-stream of public opinion, but does not represent the mainstream attitude on either side." [My Emphasis]

    Gee, "benefits for the whole world," not just China and Outlaw US Empire? What forced the Empire to compromise:

    "The US-China trade war happens at a time when the US' strategic thinking on China has changed. This requires Washington to find a strategic impetus to end the trade war. So what would be such a strategic impetus?

    "We believe as long as the US side is realistic, it is possible that such a strategic impetus can be formed and gradually expanded. The trade war is not an effective way to resolve the strategic competition between China and the US. It can neither scare China nor effectively weaken China, but will cause a gradual rise in the cost of the US economy" . [My Emphasis]

    IMO, China's assessment's correct. The financialized economy of the Evil Outlaw US Empire has drained it of the resilience it once enjoyed and that China's economy has obtained. Plus, as I wrote several months ago, China's employing geoeconomic levers which the Empire can no longer deploy and is thus stuck with using the only remaining tool it has--its waning geopolitical levers.

    [Dec 09, 2019] Beijing has ordered all government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years

    Dec 09, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

    psychohistorian , Dec 9 2019 6:11 utc | 70

    Below is a link from ZH about the tech front in the civilization war between the empire West/US and China

    China Retaliates For Huawei: Beijing Orders All Government Offices And Public Companies To Replace Foreign PCs And Software

    The take away quotes
    "
    ...... the FT reports that Beijing has ordered all government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years.
    ..........
    The take home message here is that US PC and software giants are about to lose billions in sale to Chinese customers, a move that will infuriate Trump who will, correctly, see such attempts to isolate the Chinese PC market from US vendors.
    "

    This is going to be difficult for China but they have a domestic OS, the Kylin OS, that is Unix/Linux based, so much Open Source software is available to replace the Microsoft/Apple software they currently use until they develop their own.

    This speaks to Trump saying he can wait for a trade deal until after the (s)election but it seems obvious that his negotiating position is going to get weaker by the day.

    -------------------------------

    Another aspect of the tech war that is financial also is that I am reading the China is on the cusp of releasing a digital fiat RMD currency. This will have serious disintermediation effects on the BIS, City of London Corp and others doing currency exchange if any can do such on their phones. I am reading about digital currencies needing a blockchain underpinning but if the US dollar can exist without one currently then what are the show stoppers except the private finance dead weight in the middle?

    [Dec 04, 2019] One year pause in the US-China trade war is probably in the cards due to Trump re-election concerns. But only one year...

    Notable quotes:
    "... When you factor in reelection worries, Trump needs to find a mutually agreeable solution to at least pause the trade war. Such a move will surely revive economic growth hurt by sanctions and ensure the smoothest possible path toward a second term. People vote with their wallets, and Trump gets that. ..."
    "... Nothing could be worse for Xi than the markets concluding that China is in a recession with one of its prime economic centers now in open revolt. Just as quickly as China was dubbed the next rising superpower, her economic and political obituary could be written. ..."
    "... Here is where a so-called Phase One trade deal could help patch up the relationship and give both sides the short-term domestic boost their leaderships are looking for. ..."
    "... But there are reasons to worry. A recent report in Axios claims that China is quite angry over Trump's decision to sign the Hong Kong bill, and as a result talks between the two nations have "stalled." Still, both sides have ample reasons to get a trade deal done. However, if Trump does indeed get reelected and China feels stable domestically once again, the pull of history -- specifically, which nation will dominate geopolitics in the 21st century -- may be too strong to resist. ..."
    Dec 04, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

    Consider America's position. President Trump surely has incentives to push for what I would call a strategic pause in his quest to contain a rising China through tough trade moves. At the moment, staring down a possible vote on articles of impeachment and a Senate trial, rising trade tensions, which could reignite fears of a recession, are the last thing the president needs. When you factor in reelection worries, Trump needs to find a mutually agreeable solution to at least pause the trade war. Such a move will surely revive economic growth hurt by sanctions and ensure the smoothest possible path toward a second term. People vote with their wallets, and Trump gets that.

    Chinese president Xi Jinping, meanwhile, has similar concerns. China's 6 percent economic growth, something Washington can only dream of, is likely a number that exists only on paper, for Beijing is known to cook their books. With growth more than likely just barely in positive territory, thanks in large part to U.S. trade tariffs, and the challenges in Hong Kong not looking as if they will subside anytime soon, Xi needs to deliver what he can claim is a victory that also revives economic growth, at least for the time being. This will help stabilize China domestically, plus give Xi time to allow Hong Kong's protests to burn out while not having to worry about economic troubles at the same time.

    Nothing could be worse for Xi than the markets concluding that China is in a recession with one of its prime economic centers now in open revolt. Just as quickly as China was dubbed the next rising superpower, her economic and political obituary could be written.

    Here is where a so-called Phase One trade deal could help patch up the relationship and give both sides the short-term domestic boost their leaderships are looking for. A potential deal could involve China rolling back tariffs on all U.S. goods, agreeing to a large purchase of American agricultural goods, and providing basic protections on all U.S. intellectual property involving high-technology goods (think 5G, computers, and robotics). In turn, America would roll back all tariffs -- something China wants very badly -- including, and most importantly, agreeing not to launch the scheduled new round of massive tariffs on December 15, which are viewed as potentially the most damaging to date. While such an interim deal is far from perfect -- China hawks will surely go ballistic, calling the deal nothing more than appeasement or select your other favorite neocon smear -- Xi and Trump are pragmatic enough to see that a deal is in both sides' interests.

    But there are reasons to worry. A recent report in Axios claims that China is quite angry over Trump's decision to sign the Hong Kong bill, and as a result talks between the two nations have "stalled." Still, both sides have ample reasons to get a trade deal done. However, if Trump does indeed get reelected and China feels stable domestically once again, the pull of history -- specifically, which nation will dominate geopolitics in the 21st century -- may be too strong to resist.

    Harry J. Kazianis is a senior director at the Center for the National Interest and the executive editor of The National Interest magazine.

    [Dec 04, 2019] GUILFOYLE: Hong Kong Is Critical To US Effort To Secure A Trade Deal With China

    Dec 04, 2019 | dailycaller.com

    By offering Hong Kong official tools of support, President Trump has broadened the trade dispute...

    Throughout negotiations, the Chinese have been reluctant to get a deal over the line, walking away from agreed upon terms several times. By supporting Hong Kong, President Trump is showing the Chinese Communist Party that he will not sit idly by while they jerk trade negotiations around.

    [Dec 03, 2019] China was once very dependent on US chips for its phones by Mike Shedlock

    Dec 03, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

    Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

    China was once very dependent on US chips for its phones. The latest Chinese phones have no US parts.

    The Wall Street Journal reports Huawei Manages to Make Smartphones Without American Chips .

    American tech companies are getting the go-ahead to resume business with Chinese smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co., but it may be too late: It is now building smartphones without U.S. chips.

    Huawei's latest phone, which it unveiled in September -- the Mate 30 with a curved display and wide-angle cameras that competes with Apple Inc.'s iPhone 11 -- contained no U.S. parts, according to an analysis by UBS and Fomalhaut Techno Solutions, a Japanese technology lab that took the device apart to inspect its insides.

    In May, the Trump administration banned U.S. shipments to Huawei as trade tensions with Beijing escalated. That move stopped companies like Qualcomm Inc. and Intel Corp. from exporting chips to the company, though some shipments of parts resumed over the summer after companies determined they weren't affected by the ban.

    Meanwhile, Huawei has made significant strides in shedding its dependence on parts from U.S. companies. (At issue are chips from U.S.-based companies, not those necessarily made in America; many U.S. chip companies make their semiconductors abroad.)

    Huawei long relied on suppliers like Qorvo Inc., the North Carolina maker of chips that are used to connect smartphones with cell towers, and Skyworks Solutions Inc., a Woburn, Mass.-based company that makes similar chips. It also used parts from Broadcom Inc., the San Jose-based maker of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi chips, and Cirrus Logic Inc., an Austin, Texas-based company that makes chips for producing sound.

    Yet Another Trump Trade Win

    "When Huawei came out with this high-end phone -- and this is its flagship -- with no U.S. content, that made a pretty big statement," said Christopher Rolland, a semiconductor analyst at Susquehanna International Group.

    Huawei executives told Rolland that the company was moving away from American parts, but it was still surprising how quickly it happened.

    This was likely going to happen anyway, but Trump escalated the speed at which it happened.

    Trade Deal?

    me title=

    Standard Assumption for 17 Months

    Assuming there is a deal, the standard assumption for 17 months, Trump will announce two key elements.

    Greatest Deal in History
    1. China will resume buying the same amount of soybeans as before.
    2. China will resume buying the same amount of chips as before.

    ​The longer this takes the more wins there will be.

    With that in mind, please recall Another Trump Tariff Success Story: Vietnam .

    And despite the fact that Trump's China Tariffs Made Matters Made the Global Manufacturing Recession Worse and has killed US farmers, It's important to remember, Trump is collecting "huge tariffs".

    So please brush aside this recession warning: Freight Volumes Negative YoY for 11th Straight Month .


    myne , 1 minute ago link

    The trade war is the first act in the much larger game of hegemony.

    Both sides are disentangling.

    Apple finished their Indian plant.

    Huawei went ex-US (but almost certainly not US IP)

    Europe is already muttering about human rights in Hong Kong and Xiangjang.

    We're nearly ready for act 2. That's when Europe joins in on squeezing trade, and the rest of the democratic world and a few others is bullied and bribed to follow.

    greatdisconformity , 1 minute ago link

    That was the game from day one.

    Soon there will be no US parts in anything made in China.

    Because there are no industries left here who can make them.

    They have all died, or been bought and relocated.

    Take away software and vapid entertainment programming, and the US has *** for consumer technology.

    ***.

    Noob678 , 14 minutes ago link

    Do you know why Russia still sells rocket engines to US after being hit US sanctions? Don't tell me they need US dollar.

    Do you know that China is facing US embargo under the pretext of national security from 1949 until now and things allowed to export to China mostly agriculture produce, gas and oil? This is the reason they develop their own technologies which the media told me stolen from the US even that the US doesn't have like 5G, quantum satellite, hypersonic weapons just to name a few.

    Do you know where soybeans in US came from?

    Omega_Man , 12 minutes ago link

    russia needs to stop selling those engines to merica and cut them out of space... what a dumb move... russia always trying to be friends with evil merica

    schroedingersrat , 11 minutes ago link

    Its because not everyone is as psychopathic as the US

    victorher , 16 minutes ago link

    Plainly, China will never buy the same amount of soybeans or chips than before as Russia will never accumulate US dollars in its Reserve. They have discovered than US is not a reliable partner.

    davelis , 1 hour ago link

    Those that think that China is only about ripping off US technology are going to be surprised. Sure that was once China's main method as it was for the early USA to rip off British textile secrets. Trump trying to take down China's biggest technology company has been a real wake up call for them. Now, they will own all of the content and will dominate in Asian markets, the middle east, etc. They already did it in solar panels and much else. They have a plan. They build infrastructure, we let it ours decay. They invest in education, we leave out students in debt up to their eyeballs and then give them Starbucks jobs. They have high speed trains everywhere, we have Amtrak. They are looking outward, we are looking inward. America first, rah rah. This will end badly - for the USA.

    L00K0UTB3L0W , 55 minutes ago link

    only bc ppl in the usa are pushing it that way

    no average american benefits from international trade unless the product is unattainable state side. if we can grow it, we should. if we can make it, we should. excess can be sold outside the nation but since everything has been weaponized, we are the ones caught in the middle who suffer.

    tariffs are good and we should use them to protect our industries. the problem is that our industry was destroyed before implementing tarrifs.. that part doesn't make sense and all of our major corporations have sold out anyways, further screwing john q public because lets be real, companies are out for profit and shareholder return, not protecting employees and consumers. so they could care less where its being made / sold as long as they see their bottom line increase, no worries.

    The Palmetto Cynic , 52 minutes ago link

    And if the US doing all of that internally was a good idea, someone would be building the manufacturing capacity as I type this....but they ain't.

    L00K0UTB3L0W , 34 minutes ago link

    problem is big business doesn't want to pay it. it has always been that way. when the money system was put in place, business owners didn't like the idea of increased competition (less slaves and more company owners) and therefore they were given the ability to claim you for tax purposes, hence why anytime you take a job they want your SS#. investment in the past happened because of things that were to come in the future. the future in america from her current vantage is trans/post humanism with the idea of automation, human/machine integration and that leaves little room or interest in building $100m slave factories for working class people to grind away in

    L00K0UTB3L0W , 41 minutes ago link

    chips have been made consistently in Malaysia, Taiwan and Korea for the better part of almost 25 years, not real sure how any of what you said is relative to current events. just syncrhonicity and morons like you saying dumb ****.

    I am Groot , 1 hour ago link

    Wow, the article is really insulting to the Chinese. Like building a smart phone for them was like landing on the moon or something. They steal everything from everyone anyways, so who cares what they build.......

    beemasters , 1 hour ago link

    Now the only NSA backdoor to Huawei is completely shut.

    fezline , 1 hour ago link

    This is why they are trying to ban Chinese hardware... not because they fear they are spying on us but because their govt mandated backdoors aren't installed on Chinese hardware. The US govt wants to ban their use because they can't spy on them... That is the real reason.

    porco rosso , 1 hour ago link

    US is losing the technology race against China. In the first phase China copied the tech, now it is on par, and in five to ten years the murican chip manufacturers are out of business.

    The point is this: the muricans are lazy bastards, most of the brain power is imported. They lived too long off the dollar reserve currency status, soon enough nobody will interested in that toilet paper anymore.

    Asoka_The_Great , 1 hour ago link

    Two years ago, Donald *** Trumptard on behalf of his handler, the US War State/Dark State/Deep State , launched a world wide war against the Chinky company, Huawei, in order, to kill it.

    But that failed spectacularly. Not only is Huawei not dead, but its revenue actually grown 24% in 2019.

    Now, its smart phones, and 5G cell tower equipments are totally free of US components.

    WHY IS THE US DARK STATE SO TERRIFIED OF HUAWEI'S 5G WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY?

    The US Dark State/War State/Deep State, that is the NSA/CIA/Pentagon/MIC/MSM . . . etc has forced every western tech companies to install backdoors and malwares on their equipments, except Huawei. They have tried to force Huawei to install those NSA backdoors and malwares, in 2014, but the company categorically refused.

    "The real issue is that nothing has changed since a 2014 report from The Register that Huawei categorically refuses to install NSA backdoors into their hardware to allow unfettered intelligence access to the data that crosses their networks.

    All our emails, text messages, phone calls, internet searches, web browsing, library records, . . . etc, are recorded and stored by NSA/CIA's vast servers farms.

    Now, Huawei is not only the leading 5G wireless provider, but it is the only one, so far. The other companies like Nokia and Ericsson are far behind.

    5G is going to completely replace 4G and 3G. It is about 200 times faster than 4GLTE, in download speed.

    What this means is that if the world adopts the Huawei equipments and standards, it will threaten to UNDO the US Dark State's vast global surveillance network.

    This is what terrifies the US Dark State. Their vast Global Surveillance Network is the basis of its power, and tools to enslave mankind.

    There is a very good reason, why the American Founding Fathers , enacted every measures, to protect our rights and privacy, so that we will not be controlled and enslaved by the tyranny of totalitarian government, which is already upon us, in the form of US Dark State/War State .

    The US Dark State/Deep State/War State does not represent America. It is Un-American. It is not the American Republic founded by our Founding Fathers, and enshrined in the US Constitution.

    Anonymous IX , 1 hour ago link

    Maybe so, Asoka. I think the Rothschild Clan plays both sides. They are in China. Some purport the family carrying that lineage is named Li.

    The U.S. is slowly but surely being isolated for The Great Fall...when we lose world currency status. The Banking Cartel will evidently make huge money and gain enormous power once the U.S. collapses. China already has the massive surveillance state, lack of privacy, institutionalized social scoring, and workers' living cubes located on factory premises...so the Rothshilds are in love. Sigh. So much control!! So much degradation!!! They're in love!!!

    Asoka_The_Great , 50 minutes ago link

    "I think the Rothschild Clan plays both sides. They are in China. Some purport the family carrying that lineage is named Li."

    They are trying hard to infiltrate China. But the Chinese banks and financial service firms are State Owned . They are hard penetrate. That is why they are using Donald *** Trump to launch the Mother of All Great Trade War , to force the Chinese to open up their financial sector for infiltration and plundering.

    Plus, Chinese and westerner looks distinctively different. And so, they are trying the inter-marriage trick with the rich and powerful Chinese families.

    [Dec 02, 2019] Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple AI

    Notable quotes:
    "... Seeing Like a State ..."
    "... More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai. ..."
    Dec 02, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

    The theory behind this is one of strength reinforcing strength – the strengths of ubiquitous data gathering and analysis reinforcing the strengths of authoritarian repression to create an unstoppable juggernaut of nearly perfectly efficient oppression. Yet there is another story to be told – of weakness reinforcing weakness. Authoritarian states were always particularly prone to the deficiencies identified in James Scott's Seeing Like a State – the desire to make citizens and their doings legible to the state, by standardizing and categorizing them, and reorganizing collective life in simplified ways, for example by remaking cities so that they were not organic structures that emerged from the doings of their citizens, but instead grand chessboards with ordered squares and boulevards, reducing all complexities to a square of planed wood . The grand state bureaucracies that were built to carry out these operations were responsible for multitudes of horrors, but also for the crumbling of the Stalinist state into a Brezhnevian desuetude, where everyone pretended to be carrying on as normal because everyone else was carrying on too. The deficiencies of state action, and its need to reduce the world into something simpler that it could comprehend and act upon created a kind of feedback loop, in which imperfections of vision and action repeatedly reinforced each other.

    So what might a similar analysis say about the marriage of authoritarianism and machine learning? Something like the following, I think. There are two notable problems with machine learning. One – that while it can do many extraordinary things, it is not nearly as universally effective as the mythology suggests. The other is that it can serve as a magnifier for already existing biases in the data. The patterns that it identifies may be the product of the problematic data that goes in, which is (to the extent that it is accurate) often the product of biased social processes. When this data is then used to make decisions that may plausibly reinforce those processes (by singling e.g. particular groups that are regarded as problematic out for particular police attention, leading them to be more liable to be arrested and so on), the bias may feed upon itself.

    This is a substantial problem in democratic societies, but it is a problem where there are at least some counteracting tendencies. The great advantage of democracy is its openness to contrary opinions and divergent perspectives . This opens up democracy to a specific set of destabilizing attacks but it also means that there are countervailing tendencies to self-reinforcing biases. When there are groups that are victimized by such biases, they may mobilize against it (although they will find it harder to mobilize against algorithms than overt discrimination). When there are obvious inefficiencies or social, political or economic problems that result from biases, then there will be ways for people to point out these inefficiencies or problems.

    These correction tendencies will be weaker in authoritarian societies; in extreme versions of authoritarianism, they may barely even exist. Groups that are discriminated against will have no obvious recourse. Major mistakes may go uncorrected: they may be nearly invisible to a state whose data is polluted both by the means employed to observe and classify it, and the policies implemented on the basis of this data. A plausible feedback loop would see bias leading to error leading to further bias, and no ready ways to correct it. This of course, will be likely to be reinforced by the ordinary politics of authoritarianism, and the typical reluctance to correct leaders, even when their policies are leading to disaster. The flawed ideology of the leader (We must all study Comrade Xi thought to discover the truth!) and of the algorithm (machine learning is magic!) may reinforce each other in highly unfortunate ways.

    In short, there is a very plausible set of mechanisms under which machine learning and related techniques may turn out to be a disaster for authoritarianism, reinforcing its weaknesses rather than its strengths, by increasing its tendency to bad decision making, and reducing further the possibility of negative feedback that could help correct against errors. This disaster would unfold in two ways. The first will involve enormous human costs: self-reinforcing bias will likely increase discrimination against out-groups, of the sort that we are seeing against the Uighur today. The second will involve more ordinary self-ramifying errors, that may lead to widespread planning disasters, which will differ from those described in Scott's account of High Modernism in that they are not as immediately visible, but that may also be more pernicious, and more damaging to the political health and viability of the regime for just that reason.

    So in short, this conjecture would suggest that the conjunction of AI and authoritarianism (has someone coined the term 'aithoritarianism' yet? I'd really prefer not to take the blame), will have more or less the opposite effects of what people expect. It will not be Singapore writ large, and perhaps more brutal. Instead, it will be both more radically monstrous and more radically unstable.

    Like all monotheoretic accounts, you should treat this post with some skepticism – political reality is always more complex and muddier than any abstraction. There are surely other effects (another, particularly interesting one for big countries such as China, is to relax the assumption that the state is a monolith, and to think about the intersection between machine learning and warring bureaucratic factions within the center, and between the center and periphery).Yet I think that it is plausible that it at least maps one significant set of causal relationships, that may push (in combination with, or against, other structural forces) towards very different outcomes than the conventional wisdom imagines. Comments, elaborations, qualifications and disagreements welcome.


    Ben 11.25.19 at 6:32 pm (no link)

    This seems to equivocate between two meanings of bias. Bias might mean a flaw that leads to empirically incorrect judgements and so to bad decisions, and it's true that that type of bias could destabilize an authoritarian state. But what we usually worry about with machine learning is that the system will find very real, but deeply unjust, patterns in the data, and reinforce those pattern. If there's a particular ethnic group that really does produce a disproportionate number of dissidents, and an algorithm leads to even-more-excessive repression of that group -- I'm not sure why an authoritarian state would see a stability threat in that tendency.

    More generally, I think AI gets far too much of the billing in authoritarian apocalypse forecasts. Cheap, ubiquitous cameras, microphones, and location trackers are the real issue. If the state can track everyone's movements and conversations, then it can build a better Stasi even with crude, simple ai.

    faustusnotes 11.26.19 at 1:00 am (no link)
    I'd just like to point out (re: the tweet in the original post) that the "Uighur face-matching AI" idea is bullshit invented by scaremongers, with no basis in fact and traceable to a shoddy reddit thread. The Chinese government is not using facial recognition to identify Uighur, and the facial recognition fears about the Chinese government are vastly overstated.

    Australia's border control facial recognition software is far more advanced than China's, as is the UK's, and facial recognition is actually pretty common in democracies. See e.g. the iPhone.

    The main areas in which China uses facial recognition are in verifying ID for some high cost functions (like buying high speed rail tickets), and it's quite easy to avoid these functions by joining a queue and paying a human. The real intrusiveness of the Chinese security state is in its constant bag searches and very human-centric abuses of power in everyday life in connection with "security". Whether you get stopped and searched depends a lot on very arbitrary and error prone judgments by bored security staff at railway stations, in public squares, and on buses, not some evil intrusive state technology.

    Conversely, the UK is a world leader in installing and using CCTV cameras, and has been for a long time. Furthermore, these CCTV cameras are a huge boon to law-abiding citizens, since they act as both excellent forms of crime prevention (I have had this experience myself) and for finding serious criminals. The people responsible for the death of those 39 Vietnamese labourers in the ice truck were caught because of CCTV; so was the guy who murdered that woman on the street in Melbourne a few years ago.

    Finally to address another point that's already been raised (sadly): China no longer harvests organs, and the 2019 report that says it does is a sham. The social credit system is also largely a myth, and nobody from China even seems to know wtf it is.

    If you're going to talk about how state's work, and the relative merits of autocratic vs. democratic states and their interaction with technology, it's a really good idea to get the basic facts right first.

    Nathanael 11.26.19 at 6:10 am (no link)
    I'll add that John Quiggin's point that Xi has already lost control of the provinces is correct -- but it DOES threaten his position as dictator. Once the provincial governors know they can act with impunity, it is absolutely standard for the next step to be getting rid of that annoying guy who is pretending to be dictator. It may take a few years but Xi now has dozens of powerful insiders who know that he's a weakling. They'll bide their time but when he crosses too many of them they'll take him out. And if China doesn't shut down coal, he's going to look like a weakling internationally too, in a couple of years. This will create a new group of ambitious insiders with a different reason to take him out.

    Xi broke the "technocratic consensus" which was present after Deng, of central committee members who strove for competence and fact-based decision-making. That was a surprisingly effective type of junta government which led to lots of thinkpieces about whether authoritarian China would beat the democratic west. But it succumbed to the succession problem, like all authoritarian systems; Xi made himself Premier-for-life and the country is now exhibiting all the usual failures of authoritarian countries.

    Hidari 11.26.19 at 9:08 am (no link)
    @11 Yes it's strange that allegations of Chinese use of facial recognition software is gaining so much traction at a time when the Trump regime is deliberately ratcheting up tensions with China to pursue nakedly imperial goals, when the objective facts of Israeli use of similar software, which the Israelis boast about ( https://www.nbcnews.com/news/all/why-did-microsoft-fund-israeli-firm-surveils-west-bank-palestinians-n1072116 ) doesn't cause so much interest, at a time when the Trump regime has simple decreed that the Israeli invasion/colonisation of Palestine is 'legal under international law'.

    One of life's little mysteries I guess.

    If we must talk about China could we at least bring it back to areas where we are responsible and where, therefore, we can do something about it?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/feb/01/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-to-build-training-camp-in-chinas-xinjiang

    [Nov 28, 2019] Futures Tumble After Trump Signs Bill Backing Hong Kong Protesters, Defying China

    So in due course the trade war was replaced by the full scale cold war.
    Notable quotes:
    "... Needless to say, no differences will be "settled amicably" and now China will have no choice but to retaliate, aggressively straining relations with the US, and further complicating Trump's effort to wind down his nearly two-year old trade war with Beijing. ..."
    "... The legislation, S. 1838, which was passed virtually unanimously in both chambers, requires annual reviews of Hong Kong's special trade status under American law and will allow Washington to suspend said status in case the city does not retain a sufficient degree of autonomy under the "one country, two systems" framework. The bill also sanctions any officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses or undermining the city's autonomy. ..."
    "... The House cleared the bill 417-1 on Nov. 20 after the Senate passed it without opposition, veto-proof majorities that left Trump with little choice but to acquiesce, or else suffer bruising fallout from his own party. the GOP. ..."
    "... In accordance with the law, the Commerce Department will have 180 days to produce a report examining whether the Chinese government has tried use Hong Kong's special trading status to import advanced "dual use" technologies in violation of US export control laws. Dual use technologies are those that can have commercial and military applications. ..."
    "... The new law directs the US secretary of state to "clearly inform the government of the People's Republic of China that the use of media outlets to spread disinformation or to intimidate and threaten its perceived enemies in Hong Kong or in other countries is unacceptable." ..."
    "... The state department should take any such activity "into consideration when granting visas for travel and work in the United States to journalists from the People's Republic of China who are affiliated with any such media organizations", the law says. ..."
    "... Yes I think getting the western financial institutions out of HK is the plan. I'm sure they appreciate the US doing this for them, but of course they could never admit that. ..."
    Nov 27, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

    Less than an hour after Trump once again paraded with yet another all-time high in the S&P...

    ... and on day 510 of the trade war, it appears the president was confident enough that a collapse in trade talks won't drag stocks too far lower, and moments after futures reopened at 6pm, the White House said that Trump had signed the Hong Kong bill backing pro-democracy protesters, defying China and making sure that every trader's Thanksgiving holiday was just ruined.

    In a late Wednesday statement from the White House, Trump said that:

    I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.

    Needless to say, no differences will be "settled amicably" and now China will have no choice but to retaliate, aggressively straining relations with the US, and further complicating Trump's effort to wind down his nearly two-year old trade war with Beijing.

    Trump's signing of the bill comes during a period of unprecedented unrest in Hong Kong, where anti-government protests sparked by a now-shelved extradition bill proposal have ballooned into broader calls for democratic reform and police accountability.

    "The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong," the White House said in a statement. "Certain provisions of the act would interfere with the exercise of the president's constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States."

    The legislation, S. 1838, which was passed virtually unanimously in both chambers, requires annual reviews of Hong Kong's special trade status under American law and will allow Washington to suspend said status in case the city does not retain a sufficient degree of autonomy under the "one country, two systems" framework. The bill also sanctions any officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses or undermining the city's autonomy.

    The House cleared the bill 417-1 on Nov. 20 after the Senate passed it without opposition, veto-proof majorities that left Trump with little choice but to acquiesce, or else suffer bruising fallout from his own party. the GOP.

    Trump also signed into law the PROTECT Hong Kong act, which will prohibit the sale of US-made munitions such as tear gas and rubber bullets to the city's authorities.

    While many members of Congress in both parties have voiced strong support for protesters demanding more autonomy for the city, Trump had stayed largely silent, even as the demonstrations have been met by rising police violence.

    Until now.

    The bill's author, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, said that with the legislation's enactment, the US now had "new and meaningful tools to deter further influence and interference from Beijing into Hong Kong's internal affairs."

    In accordance with the law, the Commerce Department will have 180 days to produce a report examining whether the Chinese government has tried use Hong Kong's special trading status to import advanced "dual use" technologies in violation of US export control laws. Dual use technologies are those that can have commercial and military applications.

    One other less discussed but notable provision of the Hong Kong Human Rights Act targets media outlets affiliated with China's government. The new law directs the US secretary of state to "clearly inform the government of the People's Republic of China that the use of media outlets to spread disinformation or to intimidate and threaten its perceived enemies in Hong Kong or in other countries is unacceptable."

    The state department should take any such activity "into consideration when granting visas for travel and work in the United States to journalists from the People's Republic of China who are affiliated with any such media organizations", the law says.

    * * *

    In the days leading up to Trump's signature, China's foreign ministry had urged Trump to prevent the legislation from becoming law, warning the Americans not to underestimate China's determination to defend its "sovereignty, security and development interests."

    "If the U.S. insists on going down this wrong path, China will take strong countermeasures, " said China's foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang at a briefing Thursday in Beijing. On Monday, China's Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned the U.S. ambassador, Terry Branstad to express "strong opposition" to what the country's government considers American interference in the protests, including the legislation, according to statement. The new U.S. law comes just as Washington and Beijing showed signs of working toward "phase-one" of deal to ease the trade war. Trump would like the agreement finished in order to ease economic uncertainty for h