Tag Archives: China

Crimea: The Geopolitical Jewel Russia Continues to Polish, by Tom Luongo

Crimea is now firmly in the Russian and Chinese orbit. From Tom Luongo at strategic-culture.org:

With all that is happening in the world Crimea has taken a bit of a backseat recently. Yes, the US, EU and Canada just added more sanctions on Russia via the odious Magnitsky legislation but this is inconsequential.

There’s been a flurry of good news coming out of Crimea and the Black Sea recently that bears discussion. Let’s start with the most important. President Vladimir Putin was in Crimea earlier this week to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the peninsula’s reunification with Russia. There he also officially inaugurated two major upgrades to Crimea’s power grid.

Located in Simferopol and Sevastopol, two new power plants will produce 940 megawatts and secure Crimea’s energy needs for now and into the future.

Power has been Crimea’s Achilles’ heel since breaking off from Ukraine in 2014. It received almost 90% of its power from the mainland. In November 2015, the trunk lines into Crimea were sabotaged by Ukrainian nationalist radicals, encouraged by President Petro Poroshenko plunging it into darkness as winter took hold.

Does this sound familiar? A place that defies US edicts geopolitically is first hit with a full trade embargo, sanctions and threatened militarily by proxies before having its electricity shut off?

*Cough* Venezuela *Cough*

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We Are Going To Lose The Coming War With China, by Kurt Schlichter

The US has been unable to subdue the junior varsity: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. It’s a pipe dream to think it can defeat Russia or China, especially on their home territory. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:

We Are Going To Lose The Coming War With China

Nations famously tend to always try to fight the last war, and what America is preparing to do today with the newly assertive China is no exception. The problem is our last war was against primitive religious fanatics in the Middle East and China is an emerging superpower with approaching-peer level conventional capabilities and an actual strategy for contesting the United States in all the potential battlespaces – land, sea, air, space and cyber. America is simply not ready for the Pacific war to come. We’re likely to lose.

In Desert Storm, Saddam Hussein was dumb enough to choose to face a U.S. military that was ready to fight its last war. That last war was the Cold War, where the Americans were prepared to fight a Soviet-equipped conscript army using Soviet tactics. And Saddam, genius that he was, decided to face America and its allies with a Soviet-equipped conscript army using Soviet tactics, except fractionally as effective as the Russians. It went poorly. I know – I was there at the VII Corps main command post as his entire army was annihilated in 100 hours.

Chances are that the Chinese will not choose to fight our strengths. In fact, those chances total approximately 100%.

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Real Reason Trump Wants to Ban Huawei: US Wants to Spy and China Won’t Cooperate, by Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Huawei’s technology is for the most part better than its American counterparts, and unlike its counterparts, it won’t let the US government use its technology to spy. From Mike “Mish” Shedlock at moneymaven.io:

The UK, Germany, India, and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries resisting US pressure to Ban Huawei.

The New York Times reports U.S. Campaign to Ban Huawei Overseas Stumbles as Allies Resist.

Over the past several months, American officials have tried to pressure, scold and, increasingly, threaten other nations that are considering using Huawei in building fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks. Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, has pledged to withhold intelligence from nations that continue to use Chinese telecom equipment. The American ambassador to Germany cautioned Berlin this month that the United States would curtail intelligence sharing if that country used Huawei.

But the campaign has run aground. Britain, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries signaling they are unlikely to back the American effort to entirely ban Huawei from building their 5G networks. While some countries like Britain share the United States’ concerns, they argue that the security risks can be managed by closely scrutinizing the company and its software.

The United States is not ready to admit defeat, but its campaign has suffered from what foreign officials say is a scolding approach and a lack of concrete evidence that Huawei poses a real risk. It has also been hampered by a perception among European and Asian officials that President Trump may not be fully committed to the fight.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly undercut his own Justice Department, which unveiled sweeping criminal indictments against Huawei and its chief financial officer with accusations of fraud, sanctions evasion and obstruction of justice. Mr. Trump has suggested that the charges could be dropped as part of a trade deal with China. The president previously eased penalties on another Chinese telecom firm accused of violating American sanctions, ZTE, after a personal appeal by President Xi Jinping of China.

One senior European telecommunications executive said that no American officials had presented “actual facts” about China’s abuse of Huawei networks.

The UK, Germany, India, and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries resisting US pressure to Ban Huawei.

The New York Times reports U.S. Campaign to Ban Huawei Overseas Stumbles as Allies Resist.

Over the past several months, American officials have tried to pressure, scold and, increasingly, threaten other nations that are considering using Huawei in building fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless networks. Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, has pledged to withhold intelligence from nations that continue to use Chinese telecom equipment. The American ambassador to Germany cautioned Berlin this month that the United States would curtail intelligence sharing if that country used Huawei.

But the campaign has run aground. Britain, Germany, India and the United Arab Emirates are among the countries signaling they are unlikely to back the American effort to entirely ban Huawei from building their 5G networks. While some countries like Britain share the United States’ concerns, they argue that the security risks can be managed by closely scrutinizing the company and its software.

The United States is not ready to admit defeat, but its campaign has suffered from what foreign officials say is a scolding approach and a lack of concrete evidence that Huawei poses a real risk. It has also been hampered by a perception among European and Asian officials that President Trump may not be fully committed to the fight.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly undercut his own Justice Department, which unveiled sweeping criminal indictments against Huawei and its chief financial officer with accusations of fraud, sanctions evasion and obstruction of justice. Mr. Trump has suggested that the charges could be dropped as part of a trade deal with China. The president previously eased penalties on another Chinese telecom firm accused of violating American sanctions, ZTE, after a personal appeal by President Xi Jinping of China.

One senior European telecommunications executive said that no American officials had presented “actual facts” about China’s abuse of Huawei networks.

Recycle Crisis Sweeps Across America After China Halts Plastic Waste Imports, by Tyler Durden

The economics of recycling don’t work out if nobody wants your recyclables. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

The green movement of the 1970s formed the modern American recycling industry, although there is some concern today that it could be collapsing in many parts of the country, The New York Times warned.

“The sooner we accept the economic impracticality of recycling, the sooner we can make serious progress on addressing the plastic pollution problem,” said Jan Dell, an engineer who leads Last Beach Cleanup.

The report cited Philadelphia, Memphis, and Sunrise and Deltona, Florida, as metropolitan areas where the economics of recycling are not feasible anymore.

“We are in a crisis moment in the recycling movement right now,” California state treasurer Fiona Ma told the Times.

The major dilemma, per the Times, is China’s ban on imported plastic waste.

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Empire of Absurdity: Recycled Neocons, Recycled Enemies, by Danny Sjursen

The American empire is crumbling, as have the empires before it. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:

There are times when I wish that the United States would just drop the charade and declare itself a global empire. As a veteran of two imperial wars, a witness to the dark underside of America’s empire-denial, I’ve grown tired of the equivocation and denials from senior policymakers. The U.S. can’t be an empire, we’re told, because – unlike the Brits and Romans – America doesn’t annex territories outright, and our school children don’t color its colonies in red-white-and-blue on cute educational maps.

But this distinction, at root, is rather superficial. Conquest, colonization, and annexation are so 19th century – Washington has moved beyond the overt and engages in the (not-so) subtle modern form of imperialism. America’s empire over the last two decades – under Democrats and Republicans – has used a range of tools: economic, military, political, to topple regimes, instigate coups, and starve “enemy” civilians. Heck, it didn’t even start with 9/11 – bullying foreigners and overturning uncooperative regimes is as American as apple pie.

Still, observing post-9/11, post-Iraq/Afghanistan defeat, Washington play imperialism these days is tragicomically absurd. The emperor has no clothes, folks. Sure, America (for a few more fleeting years) boasts the world’s dominant economy, sure its dotted the globe with a few hundred military bases, and sure it’s military still outspends the next seven competitors combined. Nonetheless, what’s remarkable, what constitutes the real story of 2019, is this: the US empire can’t seem to accomplish anything anymore, can’t seem to bend anybody to its will. It’s almost sad to watch. America, the big-hulking has-been on the block, still struts its stuff, but most of the world simply ignores it.

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Kremlin Vies with China to See Who Controls the Internet Better, by Fred Dunkley

Governments don’t like the free flow of information and opinion on the internet. The more repressive the government, the less it likes the internet. From Fred Dunkley at Safehaven via wolfstreet.com:

In a thinly veiled attempt to gain control of the internet, the Russian State Duma has passed two bills designed to do two things: ostensibly halt the spread of “fake news” and keep people from spreading information that “disrespects” the government. But Russians aren’t having it.

On Sunday, thousands took to the streets across the country to protest the government’s “digital sovereignty bill” that will require all Russian telecoms companies to reroute internet traffic through the state telecom regulator, Roskomnadzor. It means censorship and what protesters are now calling the rise of the “internet iron curtain”.

On March 7, the Russian State Duma—the lower house of parliament—passed the two bills, and now they go up for a second vote later this month. If passed, they will be signed into law by President Putin. In Moscow alone on Sunday, some 15,000 took to the streets, Reuters reports.

Everyone saw it coming. The precursor to all of this was the April 2017 ban on VPNs used to bounce IP addresses around and mask location. That year, Putin signed into law that bill, prohibiting the use of internet proxy services.

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9 Charts Showing Huawei’s Global Dominance, by Tyler Durden

US moves against Huawei couldn’t be because the Chinese company is the world leader in 5G technology. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Regardless of whether Huawei represents a genuine national security threat to the US and its allies, there is another important reason why Washington might want to persecute Huawei: Namely, because US telecoms companies, fearful of ceding even more ground to global market leader, asked them to, as John Tamney explained in an essay published by the American Institute for Economic Research.

Huawei, a wildly highly successful telecom company can’t place its goods on U.S. shelves because it is viewed as a national security threat. The laughable argument offered up by members of the political class to defend the indefensible is that Huawei’s close ties to the Chinese government mean that American use of its phones and equipment imperil us because we could be spied upon. Oh dear…

The real threat here is U.S. telecoms that are close enough to our federal government such that they can convince federal officials to pursue always damaging protectionism. Luckily for U.S. smartphone makers (Apple sells 20% of its iPhones in China), the rules against our best and brightest in China aren’t so stringent.

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