Tag Archives: Xi Jinping

How the U.S. Benefits from ‘Wolf Warrior Diplomacy’, by Doug Bandow

Just because much of the world hates the US government doesn’t mean they necessarily love China’s. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:

As Washington seeks allies amid rising tensions, Beijing discovers the downside of its international image.

With the U.S. and the People’s Republic of China potentially headed into a new cold war that would hurt both countries, American policymakers should remember the importance of gaining friends and allies around the world. And not just governments, but peoples too.

That wasn’t too hard against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Washington made mistakes internationally, but the USSR was dull, gray, threatening, backward, isolated, oppressive, and hostile to what so many people around the world desired: freedom in all its forms, modern commerce and culture, and hope for the future. The regime effectively imprisoned its entire population. Moscow’s most economically successful satellite regime, East Germany, literally walled in its people.

The PRC is threatening and oppressive, but its opening to the West, abandonment of Maoism, acceptance of personal autonomy, and embrace of economic freedom make it radically different than the USSR. China is connected to the world, flush with current culture, and full of economic opportunity. It is a technological leader and place of hope for people just a few decades away from immiserating poverty. Beijing no longer bars its people from traveling, other than those deemed to be politically unreliable.

Which, of course, highlights the fact that the PRC is retrogressing on the freedom front. Unfortunately, President and General Secretary Xi Jinping appears to see himself as the second coming of Mao Zedong and has been moving his country back toward the Chinese Communist Party’s totalitarian past. Doing so is creating plenty of enemies at home—popular dissatisfaction occasionally bursts forth on social media, as it did early in the COVID-19 pandemic after doctors were silenced for expressing their concerns. And Xi will not rule forever. He, like Mao, could be followed by a liberalizer, who would quickly dismantle Xi’s brutal edifice.

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There are Three Things China Still Fears About America. The Dollar is One of Them, by Mark Dittii

An insider who knows something about China speculates about the future of Chinese-American relations. From Mark Dittii at themarket.ch:

The Honorable Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and President of the Asia Society Policy Institute, warns of a progressive decoupling of China from the United States in fields such as trade, direct investment, technology and financial markets.

Few Western observers know China better than The Honorable Kevin Rudd. As a young diplomat, the Australian, who speaks fluent Mandarin, was stationed in Beijing in the 1980s. As Australia’s Prime Minister and then Foreign Minister from 2007 to 2012, he led his country through the delicate tension between its most important alliance partner (the USA) and its largest trading partner (China).

Today Mr. Rudd is President of the Asia Society Policy Institute in New York. In an in-depth conversation via Zoom, he explains why a fundamental competition has begun between the two great powers. He would not rule out a hot war: «We know from history that it is easy to start a conflict, but it is bloody hard to end it», he warns.

Mr. Rudd, the conflict between the U.S. and China has escalated significantly over the past three years. To what extent has that escalation been driven by the presence of two strongmen, i.e. Donald Trump and Xi Jinping?

The strategic competition between the two countries is the product of both structural and leadership factors. The structural factors are pretty plain, and that is the continuing change in the balance of power in military, economic, and technological terms. This has an impact on China’s perception of its ability to be more assertive in the region and the world against America. The second dynamic is Xi Jinping’s leadership style, which is more assertive and aggressive than any of his post-Mao predecessors, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao. The third factor is Donald Trump, who obsesses about particular parts of the economy, namely trade and to a lesser degree technology.

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Two Paradigms Clash: Offers for U.S.-China-Russia Partnership That Won WWII or Hellish Plunge Into WWIII, by Matthew Ehret

We can live together or die together, those are the choices. From Matthew Ehret at strategic-culture.org:

The Pentagon’s new military report on China released on September 1st has demonstrated that the outdated and deadly Cold War mentality which has wrought such destruction upon the world since the end of WWII has not only become more deeply embedded into the psyche of dominant foreign policy officials in the Pentagon, it demonstrated that the current American establishment is totally unfit to survive in today’s nuclear age. In our nuclear age, Hobbesian laws of the jungle will only result in mass extermination. If we are to survive beyond the coming decade, it is high time that a higher moral paradigm befitting of human dignity becomes hegemonic.

If one wishes to play the role of Alice and join the tea party which these Pentagon Mad Hatters are hosting, one would be expected to believe that the belligerent aggressor in the Pacific theater is not the America which has spread its military tentacles around China’s backyard since Obama’s Asia Pivot that was announced in 2012, but rather China itself. The authors of the Pentagon report assert that it is China who is interested in expansionism, overthrowing the “rule of law”, conquering the weak of the Pacific and overtaking the US as a globally hegemonic power, both militarily and with their Belt and Road Initiative, which the Washington Consensus has labelled a debt trap.

More recently, Pompeo has sent Undersecretary of State Keith Krach to Taiwan to belligerently organize bilateral free trade deals and several military deals worth $7 billion which the current basket-case leadership of Taiwan is all too happy to oblige.

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War for Hong Kong? by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.

China is trying to draw a line in the sand on Hong Kong, and the US should think long and hard about crossing it. From Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr. at lewrockwell.com:

President Trump faces trouble, and he is handling it in a dangerous way. Our economy is reeling, as the Fed pours out billions of dollars in a futile effort to avert disaster. We know to our cost that politicians, faced with crisis at home, provoke war “to busy giddy minds with foreign quarrels.”

Unfortunately, this is just what Trump is doing. According to a CNN news report on Friday, May 28, “President Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on Beijing Friday, naming misdeeds that range from espionage to the violation of Hong Kong’s freedoms, and announced a slew of retaliatory measures that will plunge US-China relations deeper into crisis.

‘They’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before,’ Trump said of China, as he decried the way Beijing has ‘raided our factories’ and ‘gutted’ American industry, casting Beijing as a central foil he will run against in the remaining months of his re-election campaign.

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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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President Xi Makes NBA All-Star Team, from The Babylon Bee

U.S.—The NBA has found itself at odds with its lucrative Chinese market, and the league is doing its best to appease the Chinese government. In a move intended to patch things up with China, the NBA announced that President Xi Jinping has made the All-Star team this year.

The president will tower under the competition at an intimidating 5’11”. Especially threatening to the opposing team will be the president’s ability to imprison or execute any player who dunks on him. He is also expected to execute players on his own team who speak out against him or suggest he’s unfit for the basketball team.

Oppressed Chinese citizens will be forced to form a human pyramid that the president can climb up in order to dunk on the baskets. He is expected to play all the positions and be named the MVP.

NBA executives aren’t sure if this is going to appease China entirely, but they’re hoping it’s a good start. Should this fail, they say they’ll resort to their backup plan of groveling and singing China’s praises forevermore.

Beware Awakening China, by Eric S. Margolis

In a relatively short time China has reinstated itself as a super power, and the US is going to have to live with it. From Eric Margolis at lewrockwell.com:

“China is a sleeping giant.  Let her sleep, for when she wakes she will move the world.”  Napoleon

France’s future emperor never saw China, but he was wise enough to understand its immense latent strength and future importance.  Two centuries after making this prediction, China has proved the Corsican correct.

Last week, China feted the 70th anniversary of the Communist takeover of the mainland.  It was a gala demonstration of the nation’s military and social power.  I recall watching the 60th anniversary celebration in Hong Kong and wondering at how amazingly far China had come since I first went there in the early 1980’s.

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Hope for a Breakthrough in Korea, by Ray McGovern

An agreement with North Korea may be pushed over the finish line by Russia and China. From Ray McGovern at consortiumnews.com:

Donald Trump will ultimately have to remind his national security adviser and secretary of state who is president if there’s to be progress on North Korea, says Ray McGovern.

There is hope for some real progress in U.S.-North Korean relations after Sunday morning’s unscheduled meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, largely because Russia and China seem more determined than ever to facilitate forward movement.

Sitting down before the talks began, Kim underlined the importance of the meeting.“I hope it can be the foundation for better things that people will not be expecting,” he said. “Our great relationship will provide the magical power with which to overcome hardships and obstacles in the tasks that need to be done from now on.”

Trump was equally positive speaking of Kim:

“We’ve developed a very good relationship and we understand each other very well. I do believe he understands me, and I think I maybe understand him, and sometimes that can lead to very good things.”

Trump said the two sides would designate teams, with the U.S. team headed by special envoy Stephen Biegun under the auspices of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to start work in the next two to three weeks. “They’ll start a process, and we’ll see what happens,” he said.

New Impetus

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who met individually with President Trump at the G20 in Osaka, have been singing from the same sheet of Korea music — particularly in the wake of Xi’s visit to North Korea on June 20-21. Putin’s remarks are the most illuminating.

In an interview with The Financial Times, Putin pointed to “the tragedies of Libya and Iraq” — meaning, of course, what happened to each of them as they lacked a nuclear deterrent. Applying that lesson to North Korea, Putin said,

“What we should be talking about is not how to make North Korea disarm, but how to ensure the unconditional security of North Korea and how to make any country, including North Korea, feel safe and protected by international law. …”

“We should think about guarantees, which we should use as the basis for talks with North Korea. We must take into account the dangers arising from … the presence of nuclear weapons,” he said, adding that if a way can be found to satisfy North Korea’s understandable determination to protect its security, “the situation may take a turn nobody can imagine today.”

“Whether we recognize North Korea as a nuclear power or not, the number of nuclear charges it has will not decrease. We must proceed from modern realities …” And those realities include fundamental, immediate security concerns for both Russia and China. Putin put it this way:

”[W]e have a common border, even if a short one, with North Korea, therefore, this problem has a direct bearing on us. The United States is located across the ocean … while we are right here, in this region, and the North Korean nuclear range is not far away from our border. This why this concerns us directly, and we never stop thinking about it.”

Xi’s ‘Reasonable Expectations’

Last week in Pyongyang, Chinese President Xi Jinping saidChina is waiting for a desired response in stalled nuclear talks with the United States.

“North Korea would like to remain patient, but it hopes the relevant party will meet halfway with North Korea to explore resolution plans that accommodate each other’s reasonable concerns,” he said.

A commentary in China’s official Xinhua news agency said China could play a unique role in breaking the cycle of mistrust between North Korea and the U.S, but that both sides “need to have reasonable expectations and refrain from imposing unilateral and unrealistic demands.”

Putin at FT interview. (Kremlin photo)

There is little doubt that the Russians and Chinese have been comparing notes on what they see as a potentially explosive (literally) problem in their respective backyards, the more so inasmuch as the two countries have become allies in all but name.

On a three-day visit to Moscow in early June, President Xi spoke of his “deep personal friendship” with Putin, with whom he has “met nearly 30 times in the past six years.” For his part, Putin claimed “Russian-Chinese relations have reached an unprecedented level. It is a global partnership and strategic cooperation.”

A Fundamental Strategic Change

Whether they are “best friends” or not, the claim of unprecedented strategic cooperation happens to be true — and is the most fundamental change in the world strategic equation in decades. Given the fear they share that things could get out of hand in Korea with the mercurial Trump and his hawkish advisers calling the shots, it is a safe bet that Putin and Xi have been coordinating closely on North Korea.

The next step could be stepped-up efforts to persuade Trump that China and Russia can somehow guarantee continued nuclear restraint on Pyongyang’s part, in return for U.S. agreement to move step by step — rather than full bore — toward at least partial North Korean denuclearization — and perhaps some relaxation in U.S. economic sanctions. Xi and Putin may have broached that kind of deal to Trump in Osaka.

There is also a salutary sign that President Trump has learned more about the effects of a military conflict with North Korea, and that he has come to realize that Pyongyang already has not only a nuclear, but also a formidable conventional deterrent: massed artillery.

“There are 35 million people in Seoul, 25 miles away,” Trump said on Sunday. “All accessible by what they already have in the mountains. There’s nothing like that anywhere in terms of danger.”

Obstacles Still Formidable

Trump and Kim meet Sunday before Trump became first US president to step on North Korean territory. (White House photo)

Trump will have to remind his national security adviser, John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, that he is the president and that he intends to take a firmer grip on reins regarding Korean policy. Given their maladroit performance on both Iran and Venezuela, it would, at first blush, seem easy to jettison the two super-hawks.

But this would mean running afoul of the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academe-Think-Tank (MICIMATT) complex, in which the corporate-controlled media play thesine-qua-nonrole today.

In a harbinger of things to come, The Washington Post’s initial report on the outcome of the Trump-Kim talks contained two distortions: “Trump … misrepresented what had been achieved, claiming that North Korea had ceased ballistic missile tests and was continuing to send back remains of U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War.”

The Trump administration could reasonably call that “fake news.” True, North Korea tested short-range ballistic missiles last spring, but Kim’s promise to Trump was to stop testing strategicnot tactical missiles, and North Korea has adhered to that promise. As for the return of the remains of U.S. servicemen: True, such remains that remain are no longer being sent back to the U.S., but it was the U.S. that put a stop to that after the summit in Hanoi failed.

We can surely expect more disingenuous “reporting” of that kind.

Whether Trump can stand up to the MICIMATT on Korea remains to be seen. There is a huge amount of arms-maker-arms-dealer profiteering going on in the Far East, as long as tensions there can be stoked and kept at a sufficiently high level.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His first portfolio at CIA was referent-analyst for Soviet policy toward China, Korea, Vietnam, and Japan. In retirement he co-founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

The Unipolar Moment is Over, by Pepe Escobar

The US cannot match Russia and China’s power and influence in Eurasia, which means the US can no longer be the global hegemon. From Pepe Escobar at strategic-culture.org:

The Russia-China strategic partnership, consolidated last week in Russia, has thrown U.S. elites into Supreme Paranoia mode, which is holding the whole world hostage.

Something extraordinary began with a short walk in St. Petersburg last Friday.

After a stroll, they took a boat on the Neva River, visited the legendary Aurora cruiser, and dropped in to examine the Renaissance masterpieces at the Hermitage. Cool, calm, collected, all the while it felt like they were mapping the ins and outs of a new, emerging, multipolar world.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was the guest of honor of Russian President Vladimir Putin. It was Xi’s eighth trip to Russia since 2013, when he announced the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

First they met in Moscow, signing multiple deals. The most important is a bombshell: a commitment to develop bilateral trade and cross-border payments using the ruble and the yuan, bypassing the U.S. dollar.

Then Xi visited the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), Russia’s premier business gathering, absolutely essential for anyone to understand the hyper-complex mechanisms inherent in the construction of Eurasian integration. I addressed some of SPIEF’s foremost discussions and round tables here.

In Moscow, Putin and Xi signed two joint statements – whose key concepts, crucially, are “comprehensive partnership”, “strategic interaction” and “global strategic stability.”

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Interpreting President Putin’s Speech At The 2019 BRI Forum, by Andrew Korybko

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jingping’s approach to international relations certainly seems to be winning the Russians and Chinese more friends than the US approach. From Andrew Korybko at orientalreview.org:

President Putin left nothing to doubt when he proudly proclaimed that Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union regional integration organization that it leads are strategically merging with China and its Belt & Road Initiative, with this process having unprecedentedly far-reaching strategic consequences for the supercontinent and 21st-century geopolitics as a whole.

This year’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) Forum is a monumental event bringing together several dozen heads of state and providing a platform for the international community to better understand this world-changing vision. President Putin gave an important speech during this event that can be summarized as his proud proclamation that Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAU) regional integration organization that it leads are strategically merging with China and its BRI. There’s no doubt that this process will have unprecedentedly far-reaching strategic consequences for the supercontinent and 21st-century geopolitics as a whole, which is why his entire address deserves to be analyzed in full. What therefore follows is the transcript of his speech interspersed with brief interpretations of the text in order to help the reader appreciate just how significant of an event this was and what his words might mean for the future of Russian grand strategy:

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