Donald Trump cannot reverse America’s long decline. From Dilip Hero at tomdispatch.com:
Two Years Later, Trump Has Failed to Reverse America’s Decline
Make America Great Again? Don’t count on it.
Donald Trump was partly voted into office by Americans who felt that the self-proclaimed greatest power on Earth was actually in decline — and they weren’t wrong. Trump is capable of tweeting many things, but none of those tweets will stop that process of decline, nor will a trade war with a rising China or fierce oil sanctions on Iran.
You could feel this recently, even in the case of the increasingly pressured Iranians. There, with a single pinprick, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei effectively punctured President Trump’s MAGA balloon and reminded many that, however powerful the U.S. still was, people in other countries were beginning to look at America differently at the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century.
Following a meeting in Tehran with visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who brought a message from Trump urging the start of U.S.-Iranian negotiations, Khamenei tweeted, “We have no doubt in [Abe’s] goodwill and seriousness; but regarding what you mentioned from [the] U.S. president, I don’t consider Trump as a person deserving to exchange messages with, and I have no answer for him, nor will I respond to him in the future.” He then added: “We believe that our problems will not be solved by negotiating with the U.S., and no free nation would ever accept negotiations under pressure.”
Posted in Economics, Economy, Eurasian Axis, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Politics, Science, Technology
Tagged China, Russia, Russian weapons
Next generation technology is at the core of the trade war between the US and China. From Jack Rasmus at counterpunch.org:
Photograph Source: PAS China – Public Domain
This past weekend, June 29, 2019 Trump and China president, Xi, met again at the G20 in Japan in the midst of a potential further escalating trade war. But the outcome looks eerily similar to that of the prior G20 meeting in Buenos Aires on December 2, 2018, when Trump and Xi also met.
Once more, the same post-G20 ‘spin is in’: i.e. Trump declares publicly he has such a great relationship with Xi. There’s a great trade deal soon forthcoming between the two countries. US and China trade teams will now begin to thrash out the details on the remaining 10% or so of US-China trade differences. In the interim, once again, Trump announced he will withhold imposing more tariffs (this time on an additional $325 billion of China imports to the US). In other words, coming out of the latest G20 it’s almost an exact déjà vu all over again to the outcome which occurred at last December 2, 2018’s G20 meeting between Trump and Xi in Buenos Aires.
Will it be different this time? Will there by an agreement? Or will Trump once again just be buying time—i.e. until just before the 2020 elections? Until he sees China’s economy softening further and he raises US demands further again? Or maybe Trump and his neocon trade advisers—Lighthizer, Navarro, Bolton who are now driving US trade (and most of US foreign) policy—don’t want to compromise and will accept nothing less than China’s capitulation on the nextgen technology issue that was at the core of the blow up of negotiations in May 2019?
Much of the world is moving away from dollar-based trade. From GEFIRA at gefira.org:
Some say it was Colonel Muammar Qaddafi, who wanted to dethrone the dollar, and so he paid for it with his own life. Others say it was Iraq’s President Saddam Hussein, who wanted to make settlements in a currency other than the US dollar, and he was hanged. Now it is Russia and China, which want to do the same. Just days ago an agreement was signed to this effect.
(i) Russia and China have decided to begin to make mutual settlements increasingly in their respective national currencies, and
(ii) they have decided to bypass the SWIFT system, introducing their own instead.
Moscow has also revealed lately that Russia has stopped using the US dollar and the SWIFT system for settlements in arms trade.
The exchange of goods between Russia and China is significant; Russian weaponry has a lot of clients around the globe. On the other hand both countries, and especially China, have large dollar reserves. And both states are under attack from the West, be it economic sanctions against Moscow, be it American trade war against Beijing.
To administer punishment for such a daring act was a child’s play in the case of Libya and Iraq: the two countries were swiftly dealt with. What can one do with a nuclear superpower on the other hand and Asia’s largest economic tiger on the other?
If Washington has wanted to weaponize Moscow against Beijing or the other way round as it seems it has, then the strategists on the Potomac must swallow a bitter pillow. The hybrid war waged against Russia in Georgia, Ukraine, Moscow, the Baltic States, Poland as well as in Venezuela and Syria rather than weakening the target state have cemented its embrace with the Middle Kingdom. The same effect was brought about by America’s trade war against and other unfriendly acts aimed at Beijing. Rather than subdue the two states, Western politicians pushed them into each other’s arms.
Asia’s three biggest powers move closer together. From Pepe Escobar at asiatimes.com:
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) hug during their meeting before a session of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Photo: AFP / Grigory Sysoev / Sputnik
India under Modi, an essential cog in US strategy, gets cozy with China and Russia
It all started with the Vladimir Putin–Xi Jinping summit in Moscow on June 5. Far from a mere bilateral, this meeting upgraded the Eurasian integration process to another level. The Russian and Chinese presidents discussed everything from the progressive interconnection of the New Silk Roads with the Eurasia Economic Union, especially in and around Central Asia, to their concerted strategy for the Korean Peninsula.
A particular theme stood out: They discussed how the connecting role of Persia in the Ancient Silk Road is about to be replicated by Iran in the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). And that is non-negotiable. Especially after the Russia-China strategic partnership, less than a month before the Moscow summit, offered explicit support for Tehran signaling that regime change simply won’t be accepted, diplomatic sources say.
Putin and Xi solidified the roadmap at the St Petersburg Economic Forum. And the Greater Eurasia interconnection continued to be woven immediately after at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Bishkek, with two essential interlocutors: India, a fellow BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and SCO member, and SCO observer Iran.
Any trade agreement the Chinese sign with Trump be heavily weighted in their favor. From Gordon G. Chang at gatestoneinstitute.org:
- China has violated its WTO promises and all the other trade deals. Now, President Trump is seeking to remedy Beijing’s failure to follow promises — and its continued annual theft of hundreds of billions of dollars of American intellectual property — by inking another pact.
- Moreover, Washington’s determination to end Chinese theft of intellectual property also undermines Xi Jinping’s signature Made in China 2025 initiative to dominate eleven critical technologies by that year.
- In short, there is no chance that Xi will comply with any agreement that is acceptable to the United States.
- A trade agreement now will be seen as an end to the “trade war” and as Trump’s support for Xi. A pact, therefore, would constitute America’s fourth great rescue of Chinese communism.
|A trade deal with President Donald Trump looks as if it is the only thing that can revive the Chinese economy and thereby save Xi’s brand of communism. Will the American president do so? Pictured: President Trump takes part in a welcoming ceremony with President Xi on November 9, 2017 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Thomas Peter-Pool/Getty Images)
Three times — in 1972, 1989, and 1999 — American presidents rescued Chinese communism. Now, Xi Jinping’s China, plagued by problems of his own making, desperately needs a lifeline.
Posted in Business, Currencies, Debt, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Technology, Trade
Tagged China, President Trump, Trade agreements, Xi Jingping
Because nobody trusts the US, the possibility of a catastrophic mistake is higher than it was during the first Cold War. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:
According to news reports, the validity of which cannot be ascertained by the general public, a crazed US government came within 10 minutes of igniting a general conflagration in the Middle East, the consequences of which could have been catastrophic for all.
The moronic warmongers in high office—Bolton, Pompeo, and Pence—and their Israel Lobby masters are determined, and they have not abandoned their campaign for war with Iran. Of course, the liars say that Iran will just accept its punishment for defending its territory and there will be no war. But this is not what Iran says. I believe Iran.
Some of the tiny percentage of people in the Western World who are still capable of thought regret that Trump called off the insane plan. They think the consequences would have been the destruction of the Saudi and Israeli governments—two of the most evil in history—and the cut-off of oil to the US and Europe, with the resulting depression causing the overthrow of the Western warmonger governments. They believe that catastrophic American defeat is the only way peace can be restored to the world.
In other words, it is not clear whether Trump calling off the attack saved us or doomed us. The Israel Lobby and their neoconservative agents have not been taught a lesson. Trump has not fired Bolton and Pompeo for almost igniting a conflagration, and he has not dressed down his moronic vice president. So, it can all happen again.
Both China and the US will need to borrow a lot of money, and the competition for those funds could turn into a war. from Alasdair Macleod at goldmoney.com:
Behind the scenes, the financial war between America and China is escalating dangerously into a war to secure global financial resources.
At a time of growing liquidation of dollar assets by foreigners, the US Treasury’s internal analysis will highlight future government funding problems in the light of a developing US recession. This will result in an overdependency on inflationary financing, threatening to destabilise the dollar’s purchasing power. For these reasons, America needs foreign portfolios to invest in US Treasuries, at a time when China also needs them to help finance her infrastructure plans and future development. We face a battle for these funds, and the outcome will determine all our futures.
When you see a rash, you should look beyond the skin for a cause. It has been like this with Hong Kong over the last few weeks. On the surface we see impressively organised demonstrations to stop the executive from introducing extradition laws to China. We observe that university students and others not much older are running the demonstrations with military precision. The Mainland Chinese should be impressed.
They are unlikely to see it that way. The build-up of riots against Hong Kong’s proposed extradition treaty with the Mainland started months ago, supported and driven by commentary in the Land of the Free. America is now coming out in the open as China’s adversary, no longer just a trading partner worried by the trade imbalances. And Hong Kong is the pressure point.