Category Archives: Trade

China Locked in Hybrid War with US, by Pepe Escobar

Is the American government waging a full-spectrum-dominance hybrid war with the US? From Pepe Escobar at consortiumnews.com:

Among the myriad, earth-shattering geopolitical effects of coronavirus, one is already graphically evident. China has re-positioned itself. For the first time since the start of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in 1978, Beijing openly regards the U.S. as a threat, as stated a month ago by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference during the peak of the fight against coronavirus.

Beijing is carefully, incrementally shaping the narrative that, from the beginning of the coronavirus attack, the leadership knew it was under a hybrid war attack.

The terminology of President Xi Jinping is a major clue. He said, on the record, that this was war. And, as a counter-attack, a “people’s war” had to be launched.

Moreover, he described the virus as a demon or devil. Xi is a Confucianist. Unlike some other ancient Chinese thinkers, Confucius was loath to discuss supernatural forces and judgment in the afterlife. However, in a Chinese cultural context, devil means “white devils” or “foreign devils”: guailo in Mandarin, gweilo in Cantonese. This was Xi delivering a powerful statement in code.

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Lift the U.S. Embargo on Cuba, by Jacob G. Hornberger

The US has embargoed Cuba for 60 years without changing its regime or system of government. Makes you wonder about the effectiveness of all those other sanctions the government has imposed. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

The U.S. embargo on Cuba has been in effect for 60 years. It’s time to end it.

The embargo makes it a criminal offense for any American to spend money in Cuba or to do business in Cuba. If an American travels to Cuba and spends money there or does business there, he is subject to criminal prosecution, conviction, fine, and imprisonment by his own government upon his return to the United States.

The purpose of the embargo is regime change. The idea is to squeeze the Cuban people economically with the aim of causing discontent against Cuba’s communist regime. If the discontent gets significant enough, U.S. officials believe, the population will revolt and re-install a pro-U.S. regime into power.

Where is the morality in targeting the civilian population with death and impoverishment with the aim of achieving a political goal? Isn’t that why we condemn terrorism?

I say “re-install” because Cuba had a pro-U.S. dictator in power before the Cuban revolution installed Fidel Castro into power. The country was ruled by a man named Fulgencio Batista, one of the most brutal and corrupt dictators in the world. U.S. officials didn’t care about his tyranny because he was a pro-U.S. dictator — that is, one who could be counted on to do the bidding of the U.S. government.

But the Cuban people, who were suffering under Batista’s regime, revolted against it. Successfully ousting Batista from power, new Cuban dictator Fidel Castro made it clear that he would be no such puppet. In the eyes of U.S. officials, that made him a threat to “national security.”

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This Ain’t No Foolin’ Around, by James Howard Kunstler

The coronavirus threat may be overblown, but there’s no denying its impact on economic activity. From James Howard Kunstler at kunstler.com:

The shadow of Corona virus creeps ever-darker across the scene like a cosmic messenger from Karma Central telling mankind to stop and assess. We’re about to find out what we’ve wrought with the wonders and marvels of globalism. Is there anything you can think of over at the Wal Mart or the Walgreens that isn’t made in China? I mean, everything from a dustpan to a lint brush? I can’t say for sure, because I’m not over in China, but the place is apparently not open for business these days. One must surmise that a lot of activities in the USA may not be open for business much longer, either.

The action in my local supermarket yesterday had an undercurrent of stealth desperation; no overt panic buying, no fighting in the aisles, but an edge of suspense. Personally, I cleaned out an entire product-line of cat food, loaded up on cooking oil, rice, dry beans, and evaporated milk — and I wasn’t the only one checking out with the sixteen-roll bindle of toilet paper. Obviously, many products were still there on the shelves to get (minus that cat food). Is the time perhaps at hand when a lot of stuff won’t be? Just sayin’.

The message is getting out — though not from US authorities yet — that everybody may soon be spending a lot of time home alone. That’s exactly what has happened in China and a region of northern Italy. France banned events with more than 5,000 people (why that number, exactly?). Japan has canceled school for the time being — duration unknown for now.  So a USA lockdown is not merely hypothetical. These, then, are two fundamental conditions the world faces for a while: nobody moves and nothing gets produced.

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Trump Does The Taj, by Eric S. Margolis

Trump visited India and it didn’t go so well. From Eric S. Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

President Donald Trump’s 36-hour whirlwind visit to India this past week was designed to show Americans just how adored abroad their president really is.

Unluckily for Trump, his campaign stop at this behemoth nation of 1.3 or 1.4 billion proved a fiasco.

First came the terrifying Chinese coronavirus that so far has killed less people than the weekly toll on China’s dangerous roads, but the whole world went into a panic.  The US stock market, the underpinning of Trump’s popularity at home, took a crash dive even though the all-knowing president-physician assured Americans that the Wuhan virus was only a cold.

VP Mike Pence, who believes in Adam and Eve and Noah’s Ark, was put in charge of combating the new virus.

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No Weapon Left Behind: The American Hybrid War on China, by Pepe Escobar

The US government is doing everything it can to kick the Chinese while they’re down. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:

The New Silk Roads – or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – were launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013, first in Central Asia (Nur-Sultan) and then Southeast Asia (Jakarta).

One year later, the Chinese economy overtook the U.S. on a PPP basis. Inexorably, year after year since the start of the millennium, the U.S. share of the global economy shrinks while China’s increases.

China is already the key hub of the global economy and the leading trade partner of nearly 130 nations.

While the U.S. economy is hollowed out, and the casino financing of the U.S. government – repo markets and all – reads as a dystopian nightmare, the civilization-state steps ahead in myriad areas of technological research, not least because of Made in China 2025.

China largely beats the U.S. on patent filings and produces at least 8 times as many STEM graduates a year than the U.S., earning the status of top contributor to global science.

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America Hasn’t Always Run Huge Deficits, by Bill Bonner

Once upon a time the US was not a profligate nation. In fact, its citizens saved and invested and didn’t borrow money. From Bill Bonner at bonnerandpartners.com:

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – Round us swirls a blinding dust of accusations… slurs… mad dogs… lost thoughts… and screwball ideas…

“You dog-faced pony soldier,” says a rattled Joe Biden to a student protester.

Senator Romney is a “pompous ass,” says the President of the United States.

The Trump Team’s budget for 2021 came out yesterday. The press said it planned to “slash the safety net.” The Democrats said it was “dead on arrival.” The Wall Street Journal had this comment:

The $4.8 trillion budget for fiscal 2021, released Monday, assumes that economic growth will be stronger than most forecasters project. To hit its targets, the budget excludes tax cuts the administration may propose later and includes spending cuts that are vague, unlikely to advance in Congress, or both.

“A lot of specific policies are meaningful, but the overall numbers are largely phony,” said Marc Goldwein, senior vice president at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a group that favors deficit reduction.

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Independence and its consequences, by Alasdair Macleod

Alasdair Macleod sees Britain’s future post-Brexit as bright, but there’s one huge danger. From Macleod at goldmoney.com:

Britain left the EU on the last day of January and is an independent nation once more. The new Johnson government is confident that Britain will do well outside the EU. Free trade will be embraced, and a no-deal outcome, now dubbed an Australian trade relationship, holds no fears for the British government.

This article summarises the political and economic consequences of this historic moment. The fly in the ointment is there is no sign that Britain’s government understands the importance of sound money, which will be crucial in the event a global economic and financial credit crisis materialises.

Independence and trade negotiations

Having given independence to all its colonies, now it’s Britain’s turn. On 1 February the UK became politically independent and entered an eleven-month transition period while trade terms with the EU and other trading nations are negotiated, with the objective of entering 2021 with freedom to trade without tariffs with as many nations as possible. If Britain succeeds in its initial objectives these trade agreements will include not only the EU but also America, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the other trans-Pacific Partnership nations and a host of sub-Saharan African nations in the Commonwealth. It amounts to about two-thirds of the world measured by nominal GDP, of which only 21% is with the EU.

Additionally, an analyst looking at market substitution must allow for the relative dynamism of economies. Britain’s trade in goods with the EU has been declining, and today represents about 45% of Britain’s exports, having slipped from 55% in 2006. Despite the penalty of WTO terms with nearly all of Britain’s other trading partners, British exports are gaining more traction in trade outside Fortress EU. The future is brighter elsewhere.

Furthermore, the EU’s trade covers physical goods affecting only 8% of Britain’s GDP, with services a separate issue negotiated on a case-by-case basis.[i]] Being predominantly wholesale, most trade in financial services is excluded (though the EU is trying to claim it is not), and those at the retail level are delivered through British-owned subsidiaries based in Luxembourg and Dublin. Attempts to force EU standards on British financial services have a long history of failure, and the most recent suggestion, that the EU will seek to maintain access to British fishing waters in exchange for continued access for financial services to the EU, is an empty bargain.

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