Tag Archives: China

World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy, by Wayne Madsen

“Mind your own business” used to be a classic American admonition. Now the US minds everyone else’s business, while most everyone else tries to mind their own. From Wayne Madsen at strategic-culture.org:

While vaudevillian comedy-like shouting matches broke out in the West Wing of the White House between President Donald Trump and his senior advisers and between the White House press secretary and various presidential aides, world leaders gathered in Beijing to discuss the creation of modern-day land and maritime «silk roads» to improve the economic conditions of nations around the world. Nothing more could have illustrated the massive divide between the concerns of many of the nations of the world and those of the United States, which is rapidly descending into second-rate power status, along with its NATO allies Britain, France, and Germany.

While Mr. Trump was threatening to fire his senior White House staff, reprising his one-time role in his reality television show «The Apprentice», China’s President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and presidents and prime ministers from around the world sat down to discuss the creation of new international and intercontinental highways, railways, and maritime routes under China’s proposed Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

Even countries that are cool on the Chinese initiative, including India and Japan, sent representatives to the summit that carried a bit more clout than the pathetic representation of the United States, Matt Pottinger, a little-known special assistant to Trump and the senior director for East Asia of National Security Council. In fact, the only reason Trump sent anyone to represent the United States at the Beijing gathering was because of a special request made by President Xi during his recent meeting with Trump at the president’s private Mar-a-Lago Club resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

South Korea, which saw relations with China sour over America’s placement of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea, sent a delegation to Beijing after a phone call between South Korea’s new liberal president, Moon Jae-in, and President Xi. Moon responded to the phone call by sending a delegation led by his Democratic Party’s veteran legislator to Beijing.

To continue reading: World Leaders Gather in Beijing While the US Sinks into Irrelevancy

 

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Scandal At China’s Grand Silk Road Summit As India Skips, Warns Of “Unsustainable Debt”, by Tyler Durden

There are going to be bumps in the road, especially a road as grand as China’s envisioned New Silk Road. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

It was supposed to be China’s day of celebrating massive infrastructure spending for the sake of spending (read ghost towns, only now outside China’s borders) as Xi Jinping pledged $124 billion on Sunday for his new Silk Road plan to forge “a path of peace, inclusiveness and free trade” while calling for the abandonment of old models based on rivalry and diplomatic power games. However, it did not go quite as smoothly as expected.

A celebration years in the making, Xi hosted dozens of world leaders – including a piano-playing Vladimir Putin – on Sunday for the country’s biggest diplomatic showcase of the year, touting his vision of a new “Silk Road” that opens trade routes across the globe. Xi used the summit to “bolster China’s global leadership ambitions” as U.S. President Donald Trump promotes “America First” and questions existing global free trade deals.

After scoring 2 hat tricks in Sochi, Putin returns to Moscow where he places 1st in annual Van Cliburn competition

11:19 AM – 14 May 2017

In total, leaders from 29 countries attended the forum, including some of China’s close allies and partners such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, Turkey’s quasi-dictator Tayyip Erdogan, as well as the heads of the United Nations, and the CapEx leeches from the IMF and World Bank.

“We should build an open platform of cooperation and uphold and grow an open world economy,” China’s president Xi told the opening of the two-day gathering in Beijing.

 

Major Developments Strongly Suggest the End of Unipolar World Order, by Federico Pieraccini

Events suggest that the US government may be losing its grip on some of its Asian vassals. From Federico Pieraccini at strategic-culture.com:

With Moon Jae-In’s victory in South Korea, the period of tension on the Korean Peninsula is likely to end. With the rise to power of the new president, South Korea can expect a sharp decline in hostilities with North Korea as well as a resumption of dialogue with China.

An expected and highly anticipated victory was confirmed in South Korea on May 9, with candidate Moon winning South Korea’s presidential race over his rivals Hong Joon-pyo (Liberty Korea Party) and Ahn Cheol-soo (People’s Party). After the resignation and arrest of former President Park Geun-hye over an immense corruption scandal, public opinion turned away from her party in favour of the main opposition representative, a center-left lawyer specializing in humanitarian issues.

Moon spent several years in the opposition party advocating for greater cooperation in the region and dialogue with Pyongyang as well as with Beijing, representing quite a contrast to Guen-Hye’s pro-Americanism. Along the lines of Duterte in the Philippines, Moon intends to resume dialogue with all partners in order not to limit his options in the international arena. Such an approach reflects the essence of the multipolar world order: cooperation and dialogue with all partners in order to achieve a win-win outcome.

Looking at the situation in the region, the victory of a politician who seems to have every intention of negotiating an agreement rather than supporting military escalation seems to provide for a hopeful future for China and her neighbors. The level of cooperation and trade between South Korea and China is fundamental to the economy of both countries, so a return to the negotiating table over the issues surrounding the deployment of THAAD are a hopeful sign that the business communities of China and South Korea value deeply.

Duterte Strategy

The United States is again faced with a Filipino-like scenario. Historically, South Korea and the Philippines have always been two fundamental US allies, more concerned with Washington’s interests than their own national political agendas. Over the last few decades, both countries have been governed by politicians careful not to upset the sensibilities of US policy makers. South Korea and the Philippines are at the heart of the political strategy Obama called the Asian Pivot, more explicitly, a policy aimed at containing China and its expansion as a regional hegemon in Asia.

To continue reading: Major Developments Strongly Suggest the End of Unipolar World Order

Making Sense of the “Super Fuse” Scare, by the Saker

Here’s is an entirely different, and better informed, perspective than the one yesterday from Paul Craig Roberts on the chances of great power nuclear war. From the Saker at unz.com:

For weeks now I have been getting panicked emails with readers asking me whether the USA had developed a special technology called “super fuses” which would make it possible for the USA to successfully pull-off a (preemptive) disarming first strike against Russia. Super-fuses were also mentioned in combination with an alleged lack by Russia of a functioning space-based infrared early warning system giving the Russians less time to react to a possible US nuclear attack.

While there is a factual basis to all this, the original report already mislead the reader with a shocking title “How US nuclear force modernization is undermining strategic stability: The burst-height compensating super-fuze” and by offering several unsubstantiated conclusions. Furthermore, this original report was further discussed by many observers who simply lack the expertise to understand what the facts mentioned in the report really mean. Then the various sources started quoting each other and eventually this resulted in a completely baseless “super fuse scare”. Let’s try to make some sense of all this.

Understanding nuclear strikes and their targets

To understand what really has taken place I need to first define a couple of crucial terms:

  • Hard-target kill capability: this refers to the capability of a missile to destroy a strongly protected target such as a underground missile silo or a deeply buried command post.
  • Soft-target kill capability: the capability to destroy lightly or unprotected targets.
  • Counterforce strike: this refers to a strike aimed at the enemy’s military capabilities.
  • Countervalue strike: this refers to a strike on non-military assets such as cities.

Since strategic nuclear missile silos and command posts are well protected and deeply buried, only hard-target kill (HTK) capable missiles can execute a counterforce strike. Soft-target kill (STK) capable systems are therefore usually seen as being the ultimate retaliatory capability to hit the enemies cities. The crucial notion here is that HTK capability is not a function of explosive power, but of accuracy. Yes, in theory, a hugely powerful weapon can compensate to some degree for a lack of accuracy, but in reality both the USA and the USSR/Russia have long understood that the real key to HTK is accuracy.

To continue reading: Making Sense of the “Super Fuse” Scare

Are You Ready to Die? by Paul Craig Roberts

A provocative question and a provocative article, from Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

In George Orwell’s 1949 dystopian novel, 1984, information that no longer is consistent with Big Brother’s explanations is chucked down the Memory Hole. In the real American dystopia in which we currently live, the information is never reported at all.

On April 26—16 days ago—Lt. Gen. Viktor Poznihir, Deputy Chief of the Main Operations Directorate of the Russian Armed Forces, stated at the Moscow International Security Conference that the Operations Command of the Russian General Staff has concluded that Washington is preparing a nuclear first strike on Russia.

See:

https://www.rt.com/news/386276-us-missile-shield-russia-strike/ 

http://www.fort-russ.com/2017/04/us-forces-preparing-sudden-nuclear.html 

https://www.times-gazette.com/ap%20general%20news/2016/10/12/russia-china-to-mull-joint-response-to-us-missile-shield  

http://themillenniumreport.com/2017/04/us-forces-preparing-sudden-nuclear-strike-on-russia-moscow-security-conference/ 

The Times-Gazett in Ashland, Ohio, was the only US print media that a Google search could turn up that reported this most alarming of all announcements. A Google search turned up no reports on US TV, and none on Canadian, Australian, European, or any other media except RT and Internet sites.

I have been unable to find any report that any US Senator or Representative or any European, Canadian, or Australian politician has raised a voice of concern.

No one in Washington got on the telephone to tell Putin that this was all a mistake, that the US was not preparing a nuclear first strike on Russia, or ask Putin how this serious situation could be defused.

Americans do not even know about it, except for my readers.

I would have expected at least that the CIA would have planted the story in the Washington Post, the New York Times, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR that General Poznihir was expressing his personal opinion, nothing to be taken seriously. But apparently Americans and their European vassals are not to even know that such an accussation was made.

As I reported some time ago and more recently in my column about North Korea, the Chinese leadership has also concluded that the US intends a nuclear first strike against China.

Alone either Russia or China can destroy the US. If they act together, the destruction of the US would be redundant. What is the intelligence, if any, and morality, clearly none, of the US leadership that recklessly and irresponsibly invites Russia and China to preempt Washington’s attack on them with an attack on the US?

To continue reading: Are You Ready to Die?

 

These Nuclear Breakthroughs Are Endangering the World, by Conn Hallinan

The US is upgrading its nuclear arsenal, perhaps enough to tempt American policymakers to launch a war against Russia and China. That would, undoubtedly, go perfectly according to plan. From Conn Hallinan at antiwar.com:

How a growing technology gap between the U.S. and its nuclear-armed rivals could lead to the unraveling of arms control agreements – and even nuclear war

At a time of growing tensions between nuclear powers – Russia and NATO in Europe, and the US, North Korea, and China in Asia – Washington has quietly upgraded its nuclear weapons arsenal to create, according to three leading American scientists, “exactly what one would expect to see, if a nuclear-armed state were planning to have the capacity to fight and win a nuclear war by disarming enemies with a surprise first strike.”

Writing in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, Hans Kristensen, director of the Nuclear Information Project of the Federation of American Scientists, Matthew McKinzie of the National Resources Defense Council, and physicist and ballistic missile expert Theodore Postol conclude that “Under the veil of an otherwise-legitimate warhead life-extension program,” the US military has vastly expanded the “killing power” of its warheads such that it can “now destroy all of Russia’s ICBM silos.”

The upgrade – part of the Obama administration’s $1 trillion modernization of America’s nuclear forces – allows Washington to destroy Russia’s land-based nuclear weapons, while still retaining 80 percent of US warheads in reserve. If Russia chose to retaliate, it would be reduced to ash.

A Failure of Imagination

Any discussion of nuclear war encounters several major problems.

First, it’s difficult to imagine or to grasp what it would mean in real life. We’ve only had one conflict involving nuclear weapons – the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 – and the memory of those events has faded over the years. In any case, the two bombs that flattened those Japanese cities bear little resemblance to the killing power of modern nuclear weapons.

The Hiroshima bomb exploded with a force of 15 kilotons, or kt. The Nagasaki bomb was slightly more powerful, at about 18 kt. Between them, they killed over 215,000 people. In contrast, the most common nuclear weapon in the US arsenal today, the W76, has an explosive power of 100 kt. The next most common, the W88, packs a 475-kt punch.

Another problem is that most of the public thinks nuclear war is impossible because both sides would be destroyed. This is the idea behind the policy of Mutually Assured Destruction, aptly named “MAD.”

To continue reading: These Nuclear Breakthroughs Are Endangering the World

Sauron Rules in Washington, by Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts makes the case that an insane band of US planners actually think the US could win a nuclear war. From Roberts at paulcraigroberts.com:

“The problem is that the world has listened to Americans for far too bloody long.”  — Dr. Julian Osborne, from the 2000 film version of Nevil Shute’s 1957 book, On the Beach

A reader asked why neoconservatives push toward nuclear war when there can be no winners. If all die, what is the point?

The answer is that the neoconservatives believe that the US can win at minimum and perhaps zero damage.

Their insane plan is as follows: Washington will ring Russia and China with anti-ballistic missile bases in order to provide a shield against a retaliatory strike from Russia and China. Moreover, these US anti-ABM bases also can deploy nuclear attack missiles unknown to Russia and China, thus reducing the warning time to five minutes, leaving Washington’s victims little or no time in which to make a decision.

The neoconservatives think that Washington’s first strike will so badly damage the Russian and Chinese retaliatory capabilities that both governments will surrender rather than launch a response. The Russian and Chinese leaderships would conclude that their diminished forces leave little chance that many of their ICBMs will be able to get past Washington’s ABM shield, leaving the US largely intact. A feeble retaliation by Russia and China would simply invite a second wave US nuclear attack that would obliterate Russian and Chinese cities, killing millions and leaving both countries in ruins.

In short, the American warmongers are betting that the Russian and Chinese leaderships would submit rather than risk total destruction.

There is no question that neoconservatives are sufficiently evil to launch a preemptive nuclear attack, but possibly the plan aims to put Russia and China into a situation in which their leaders conclude that the deck is stacked against them and, therefore, they must accept Washington’s hegemony.

To continue reading: Sauron Rules in Washington