The US wants to bring China to heel; there’s no way China is going to allow that to happen. From Pepe Escobar at asiatimes.com:
Bayon temple, Angkor World Heritage site in Siem Reap, northern Cambodia. File pic by Bruno Morandi, Robert Harding Heritage / AFP
The ultimate American imperial dream is to engineer a Chinese vassal state
There must be some kind of way outta here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion
I can’t get no relief
Business men, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None were level on the mind
Nobody up at his word
-Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower (immortalized by Jimi Hendrix)
Nothing beats the beguiling, stony smiles at the Bayon temple near Angkor Wat in Cambodia’s Siem Reap to plunge us back into history’s vortex, re-imagining how empires, in their endless pursuit of power, rise and fall, usually because they eventually get the very war they had sought to avoid.
The Bayon was built as a state temple at the end of the 12th century by the undisputed superstar of Khmer empires, Jayavarman VII. Its magical narrative reliefs convey a mix of history and mythology while depicting daily life in Khmer society.
We still don’t know today the identity of the faces shown on the temple’s giant stone carvings. They could be a representation of Brahma, or of Jayavarman himself – a practicing Buddhist. What we do know is that the glorious Khmer empire – incomparable in art and architecture, and even benign in the sense that the mandate for power was based on the king’s relationship with the gods, started to fade after the 15th century, dismembered by war against the Thai and later the Vietnamese.
Posted in banking, Business, Culture, Financial markets, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, Imperialism, Trade, War
Tagged China, Financial warfare, Hong Kong, Hybrid War
HONG KONG—As soon as Bernie Sanders heard about the democratic protesters in Hong Kong, he knew something had to be done. The U.S. senator quickly chartered a flight to Hong Kong in order to throw himself into the fray.
Sanders bravely stood in the middle of the conflict between police and protesters, shouting at the “ungrateful little dissenters” that they don’t know how good they have it under a Communist regime.
“Remember, you could have it a lot worse—you could be in America!” Sanders bellowed as police officers for the totalitarian regime beat protesters in the background. “Hey, you! You on the floor there! You’re not looking very appreciative of living in one of the greatest Communist countries on earth!” Sanders continued his long-winded rant about the need for the government to own the means of production, how great breadlines are, and how bad things are in capitalist America as protesters got dragged away by police to be disappeared.
“Just think—in America, we have to pick between 14 different types of deodorant!” he said, his fingers flopping around like limp sausages.
According to sources, Beto O’Rourke is planning on joining Sanders to inform Chinese citizens how lucky they are that they don’t live in a racist country like America.
No matter how well differences are papered over, trying to merge two philosophically incompatible systems for the long term is impossible. From Patrick Lawrence at consortiumnews.com:
This reckoning with Beijing’s authority was baked into the cake 22 years ago when the Union Jack came down over Government House.
Police and protesters at a Hong Kong airport earlier this week. (YouTube)
It is impossible not to admire the bravery and commitment pro-democracy demonstrators display daily as they clog Hong Kong streets, shut down its airport, and disrupt the territory’s beating heart in Central, the commercial and financial district. But neither can one deny the tragic fate that appears near as Beijing stiffens its resolve and signals the threat of military intervention.
The futility of all action, the necessity of any: Maybe those protestors building barricades and hurling Molotov cocktails at tear-gassing riot police are reading Camus in their off- hours.
There is no question of Chinese President Xi Jinping compromising Beijing’s authority to mollify those now in their third month of protests across Hong Kong. He is too firm a believer in the primacy of the Chinese Communist Party to entertain any such risk. But there is too much at stake for the Chinese president to order mainland troops or police units into the territory short of a decisive challenge to the local administration’s ability to govern. This accounts for Beijing’s restraint over the past 10 weeks.
The best outcome in prospect now — and the chances of this appear slim at the moment — is that Xi will authorize influential political allies in Hong Kong to frame a set of reforms sufficient to isolate demonstrators by eliminating the broad public support they have to date enjoyed. In any other resolution of this crisis, the democracy advocates in the streets stand to lose everything. Even as they number in the hundreds of thousands, they are simply no match against a government intent on centralized control over a nation of 1.4 billion.
The US isn’t having much luck instigating a color revolution in Hong Kong, and like so much of what it does, it will probably end up being counterproductive. From Moon of Alabama at moonofalabama.com:
The current attempt of a U.S. instigated color revolution in Hong Kong is failing:
Protesters wearing all black streamed through the Yuen Long area, even though police refused to grant permission for the march, citing risks of confrontations between demonstrators and local residents.By nightfall, protesters and police were once again facing off in the streets, as they’ve done previously during the summer-long pro-democracy protests in the Chinese territory. Demonstrators threw objects and ducked behind makeshift shields, and police officers shot plumes of tear gas into the air.
In May the chief organizer of the demonstrations met with U.S. leaders:
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Hong Kong pro-democracy leader Martin Lee on Thursday, the State Department said, as Hong Kong activists seek to derail a proposed extradition law pushed by Beijing.“Secretary Pompeo expressed concern about the Hong Kong government’s proposed amendments to the Fugitive Ordinance law, which threaten Hong Kong’s rule of law,” the department said in a statement.
Lee founded the first pro-democracy party in Hong Kong in 1990 and has been a prominent voice calling for civil liberties for the city’s residents.
Lee and other U.S. stooges organized large demonstrations against an extradition bill which would allow the government to send people who committed crimes in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau to those provinces where the crime was committed to receive their punishment. Hong Kong already has similar agreements with foreign countries.
Since then the government of Hong Kong temporarily pulled the bill back. The protest movement immediately diminished. But a core of black-clad students, influenced by the U.S. paid leaders, is trying to keep the struggle up. Throughout the last weeks they broke into the parliament building and ransacked it. They defiled family graves or pro-Chinese politicians, attacked police lines, harassed elderly arrivals (vid) at Hong Kong’s airport and today, during an illegal demonstration, destroyed a car which they falsely believed to have a Chinese mainland owner.
The Hong Kong extradition bill has been suspended indefinitely, but that hasn’t assuaged the concerns or stopped millions of Hong Kong residents from protesting. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
On Sunday, more than 2 million Hong Kongers, more than one-quarter of the city-state’s population, took to the streets in what were the biggest marches in Hong Kong since the dawn of Chinese rule. Even after City Executive Carrie Lam ‘indefinitely’ dropped the hated extradition bill that had catalyzed the protest movement on Saturday, a march planned for Sunday went ahead anyway. It was the biggest march yet, a sign that a popular mandate to oust Lam and secure the release of all of those arrested during the marches – the movement’s two biggest remaining demands – was strong.
Calm returned to the city on Monday, though small bands of students continued to protest, while workers engaged in scattered strikes.
China will wait the Hong Kong situation out. From Simon Black at sovereignman.com:
Sun Tzu, the legendary Chinese general of the 6th century BC Zhou Dynasty, famously wrote in the Art of War:
“When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men’s weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.”
Modern day governments understand this principle very well. And that’s lesson #1 I want to discuss today.
If you’ve turned on a television, seen a newspaper, or casually browsed the Internet today, you probably saw some startling news about more protests erupting in Hong Kong.
I told you about this earlier in the week when I was on the ground there– over a million people took to the streets to demonstrate against a Draconian new law that the Hong Kong government is proposing which aims to make it easier to extradite political dissidents to mainland China.
People in Hong Kong are militant about their freedom, and they’re refusing to bend the knee over this proposed law.
Yet the government is still pressing ahead despite overwhelming opposition. So much for representative democracy.
Other governments around the world have spoken out about it, including even the United States, which issued a statement expressing “grave concern” about the law.
Hong Kong wants to make it easier to extradite people to China. The people of Hong Kong are understandably upset. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
The leader of Hong Kong has pledged to move forward with legislation that will ease extraditions to China despite a massive protest from hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of citizens over the weekend. The legislation is backed by Beijing, according to Bloomberg, and would allow Hong Kong to enter into one-time agreements with places like China and Taiwan to move criminal suspects.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam said that the government “could see people are still concerned about the bill.” Generally, a million people taking to the streets in protest can make that point clear.
Lam has said that the legislation has been amended to protect human rights and called on Hong Kong’s elected Legislative Council to make further changes.
“The society has been closely and intensely discussing the amendment bill for four months. It should be returned to the Legislative Council, which should carry out its constitutional duty. This means after vetting the bill, legislators can amend or approve the bill or whatever. Our stand is still our stand today.”
“There is very little merit to be gained by delaying the bill,” Lam concluded.
Hong Kong arrested 7 people who were parties to the protest on charges of “suspicion of attacking the police”. Lee Kwai-wah, senior superintendent of the city’s Organized Crime and Triad Bureau, said another 12 people were arrested for blocking roads.
Jimmy Sham of the Civil Human Rights Front, the organizer of Sunday’s protest, pushed back on Lam’s comments: “Carrie Lam is provoking us. I don’t understand why a government doesn’t want us to live a comfortable life but to challenge us to see what price we can pay.”