CHINA | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


CHINA

May 10 09:29

Does your combat experience even matter against Chinese and Russian troops?

As China and Russia modernize their militaries and restructure their forces, the U.S. military is wary that its traditional advantages may be negated in a potential war with either, or both, powers.

In the face of a rising China and resurgent Russia, some pundits point to the U.S. military’s surplus of combat experience and large-scale logistical expertise in massing forces as an overwhelming advantage.

But that may not actually help that much against a peer adversary capable of launching cyber attacks the minute mobilization orders are cut, according to retired Army Gen. Jack Keane, a former vice chief of staff for the U.S. Army.

May 10 09:10

Trump Deletes, Then Retweets Tweet Saying "No Need To Rush" China Trade Talks

In what appears to be the third round of revisions to his increasingly disjointed thread of trade-deal related tweets, Trump has now retweeted the deleted tweet saying talks were proceeding in a "congenial" manner and that there was no need to rush.

May 10 09:06

China 'Fully Prepared' for Any US Actions Related to Tariffs

China is totally prepared for any US actions related to trade tariffs and duties, a spokesman for the Chinese Commerce Ministry, Gao Feng said on Thursday.

US President Donald Trump announced on May 5 that Washington would raise tariffs on Friday to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods, while on May 6 he said that the United States had been losing billions of dollars to China on trade, pledging to reverse the situation.

May 09 12:04

Exclusive: Analysts - Images show construction on China's third and largest aircraft carrier

Construction of China’s first full-sized aircraft carrier is well under way, according to satellite images obtained and analysed by a U.S. think tank.

May 09 11:46

Trump Winning? US Trade Gap With China Tumbles To 5-Year Low

Overall exports increased 1% to $212 billion, boosted by a 39% jump in soybean shipments. Imports climbed 1.1% to $262 billion on gains in oil, food, vehicles and pharmaceuticals. The overall merchandise-trade deficit widened 0.7% to $72.4 billion.

However, likely of more interest to President Trump, the trade gap with China shrank to $20.75 billion in March - the lowest since March 2014, offering the administration a chance to claim his tariff war is yielding the desired results just as negotiations reach a critical stage.

May 09 11:42

Economic Might As A Foreign Policy Tool

The news is full of President Trump’s, supposedly confidential, tax filings (from 25+ years ago). The only relevant current news I found was it seems that despite the losses on his tax returns, Trump’s lifestyle didn’t change because the losses were largely suffered on projects where the President was not utilizing his own money. Presumptively, that means that Trump the developer, put together deals in which he had an interest in the partnership, but contributed no actual money. Thus, when the loses from the partnership were apportioned for tax purposes, the future President Trump was able to claim that loss against taxable income that h earned on other projects. The bottom line appears to be that Developer Trump negotiated multiple deals in which he personally benefitted financially whether or not the project was ultimately successful. That no lose proposition appears to be exactly where the president finds himself in the current China trade negotiations.

May 09 11:32

Scott Adams: Social Media Bans on Conservatives, Also a Bunch of Good News

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1126487498329182209

Senator Cornyn & psychedelic mushrooms, “What could go wrong?”
Presidential critics BACKING the President on China trade deal?
Hard to negotiate with Dems perpetually pecking him
Climate change articles completely ignore nuclear power options
Juan Williams on The Five…cognitive blindness?
Mark Schneider web page raising public awareness about Gen IV
https://GenIVnuclear.com
Chemical desalination of sea water…MAJOR breakthrough
Life saving overdose drug, Naloxone, legalized for the public
Availability result 1st Yr: 27% reduction of overdose deaths
Availability result 2nd Yr: 34% reduction of overdose deaths
Social Media banning popular conservatives
Reddit REMOVED top pro-Trump group from searches
Google simultaneously REMOVED them from searches
A new level of censorship coordination

May 09 10:52

Huawei and the Cameron Connection

THE Huawei scandal has been a long time coming. Huawei started selling software to British telecommunications companies in 2000. It has been supplying hardware since 2003. Within years, the US went public with warnings about Huawei’s links with Chinese espionage, so Tony Blair is the first prime minister to blame for not controlling the risks.

Here’s an irony: in May 2010, David Cameron entered No 10 after criticising Tony Blair’s highly personal, centralised and opaque decision-making. Cameron established a National Security Council (NSC) and a National Security Adviser, but the NSC brought more of the government’s decision-making into a secret forum that is dominated by the Prime Minister and his/her favoured appointees.

May 09 10:51

Netanyahu's Visit to China: Opportunities beyond Iran

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to make an official visit to China in early May 2013. This would be the first visit by an Israeli prime minister to China in over six years, and given the rarity of the meetings between the two heads of state and China’s increased influence internationally, the trip is important. This will be an opportunity for Israel to meet China’s new leaders, some of whom are expected to remain in their positions for the next ten years.

May 09 10:50

US and China Compete for the Haifa Port

In July 2018, 180 acres of the Northern port in Haifa were transferred to the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) for a 25-year period of management. This sparked a heated discussion in the Israeli press and the academic world, as well as a special discussion by the Israeli cabinet. It also came up in discussions between US National Security Advisor John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when they met on January 7, 2019.

Ostensibly at issue are the implications of the port’s management by a Chinese company for Israel and its ties with its main strategic ally, the United States. But while the direct implications of the port’s management are of interest to China and the US, these concerns are more related to a Cold War-type struggle.

May 09 10:49

‘China has chosen to retreat’ — the U.S. view as negotiations reach critical juncture

The document released Wednesday outlining a planned increase in tariffs on China makes clear the U.S. fury at a perceived backtracking on key positions.

“In the most recent negotiations, China has chosen to retreat from specific commitments agreed to in earlier rounds,” a Federal Register notice reads. “In light of the lack of progress in discussions with China, the President has directed the Trade Representative to increase the rate of additional duty to 25 percent.”

Those tariff increases, from 10% on roughly $200 billion of Chinese goods, are set to be implemented on Friday.

May 09 10:47

Luongo: 'Economic-Warfare-Man' Strikes Again

It’s getting tiresome watching Donald Trump’s bipolar presidency. It seems he can’t let a day go by without making some massive announcement to raise tariffs, threaten sanctions or overthrow a government.

Every 24 hours is another exercise in chasing the Trump Reality Show around. Every lull in the perpetual news cycle has to be seized upon to create more chaos so he can validate his insanity.

Trump has so many plates spinning there’s no way he’s actually thinking anything through. Take the latest fiasco, Chinese trade talks.

One day “Talks are going well,” the next “We’re raising tariffs to 25%.”

May 09 08:25

The Dangers Beyond the China-U.S. Trade War

May 09 07:03

NSA gets hacked trying to hack China

May 08 11:49

Behind The Recent Crypto Surge? Chinese Banks Are Quietly Running Out Of Dollars

The catalyst has remained unclear - anticipation of an ETF? Growing institutional interest? Short-squeeze? Manipulation? Or, just plain old safe-haven flows as various nations around the world collapse into totalitarianism?

We may have found one, rather large, answer - from China, where, as SCMP reports, authorities have quietly begun 'soft' capital controls on foreign currency withdrawals

Chinese banks have increased their scrutiny of foreign-currency withdrawals and quietly reduced the amount of US dollars people are allowed to withdraw, tightening the country’s capital controls as the nearly year-long US-China trade war bites.

The issue was thrust into the spotlight on Friday when a viral video clip showed a bank cashier unable to answer a furious customer demanding to know why she was not allowed to withdraw US$200 from her dollar-denominated account, even though she was within her quota.

May 08 11:37

China ramps up crude oil imports despite Washington’s clampdown on Iran

Oil imports by China unexpectedly surged in April to a record despite refinery maintenance outages and tepid domestic fuel demand, according to data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs.

Imports amounted to 43.73 million tons of crude or 10.64 million barrels per day (bpd), customs data showed. That compared with 9.26 million bpd in March and was up 11 percent from the April 2018 level, according to Reuters calculations.

“The crude imports exceeded our expectations as both domestic refinery production and margins do not appear to support such high volumes of purchases,” said Wang Zhao, head of crude oil research at Sublime China Information.

May 08 11:34

China to Conduct More Cyber Attacks Against US - Pompeo

The United States should be ready for China conducting more cyber-attacks in the future, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies in London.

"The APT10 Group [Advanced Persistent Threat 10 hacking group] acted on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of State Security to steal intellectual property and sensitive commercial data from Europe, and from Asia, and from the United States. We appreciate the United Kingdom publicly calling out China for that cyber-attack, there will be more, and we must be ever vigilant", Pompeo said.

The statement comes after US-based cybersecurity firm FireEye claimed in March that the APT40 hacking group conducted a cyber espionage operation targeting crucial technologies to bolster China's navy.

May 08 11:28

Breaking Down Pompeo’s Verbal Assault on Russia and China’s Arctic Interests

The US transpolar territory is much smaller than that of Russia, Canada and Denmark. And in fact the US doesn’t really have territories bordering the Arctic Ocean. In this regard, we have to distinguish between territories above the Arctic Circle, which is the imaginary line at the 66th parallel, and those bordering the Arctic Ocean, which defines the Arctic region. From a geographic standpoint, the US is not an Arctic Nation because it does not have territories bordering the Arctic Ocean.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not counting Alaska, I guess.

May 08 10:47

Nuclear War Vs. Belt And Road Initiative: Why China Will Prevail

The global trend in international relations is often difficult to discern. But one can be helped in this task by looking at two events, organized in Washington and Beijing, comparing the different themes, participants, objectives, and broached for discussion. After all, we are talking about the two largest economies in the world, two colossi directing and shaping global culture, behavior and world opinion.

May 08 09:40

Russia-China Alignment Challenges U.S. Hegemony

Markets are reeling from Trump's declaration via Twitter that tariffs will be increased from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. This is happening in the same week in which U.S. Navy destroyers sailed near islands in the South China Sea claimed by China, and as the Pentagon published the 2019 China Military Report. The report says China is building an army capable of global intervention and accuses China of conducting espionage in order to accumulate military knowledge.

Actual Chinese foreign policy, however, is currently focused not on the United States, but westwards towards Central Asia and Europe as part of the One Belt, One Road Initiative (OBOR). China has one offshore military base in Djibouti and the One Belt, One Road Initiative will place another in Pakistan.

May 08 09:29

Scott Adams: China, Iran, NK, Trump Taxes, Socialism, Coffee, and Guns

Comments at: https://twitter.com/ScottAdamsSays/status/1126125111462047745

Gun control proposal: Make it illegal for Democrats to own guns
Why would Dems object? Solves half the problem
Another Proposal: ALL gun owners REQUIRED to join NRA
They promote gun safety, responsible use, important stuff
NRA membership is essentially gun control and safety
Jerry Nadler and Congressional Oversight
Manufacturing crimes and stalking President Trump
People are being manipulated into committing crimes…
…without even realizing they’re committing a crime
NYT legally obtained some…illegally obtained, Presidential tax info
If you understand business and taxes, smart, legal tax stuff
If you understand finance, nothing unusual in his taxes
China is smart, nobody says they aren’t
They’re stalling for time, wearing down the other side

May 08 03:46

Trump’s China Tweet

May 07 11:43

Markets Re-Plunge As Lighthizer Confirms Tariff-Hikes After China Reneges On Promises

While a Chinese delegation is still scheduled to visit Washington as planned this week, with talks to take place Thursday and Friday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters Monday that the Trump administration plans to increase duties on Chinese imports at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, accusing Beijing of backpedaling on commitments it made during negotiations.

U.S. and China had been making substantial progress on a trade deal, but in the past week China has reneged on some of its promises:

“We felt we were on track to get somewhere. Over the course of last week we have seen an erosion of commitments by China,” Lighthizer said, adding that significant issues remain unresolved, including whether tariffs will remain in place.

The result, more than half of the intraday gains have been erased already...

May 07 11:35

Bannon: We're In An Economic War With China. It's Futile To Compromise

Getting tough with China to bring manufacturing jobs back to the United States was the linchpin of President Trump’s electoral march through the Rust Belt during his 2016 victory. Today, the goal of the radical cadre running China — the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) — is to be the global hegemonic power. The president’s threatened tariffs on Sunday demonstrate the severity of this threat. But as Washington and Beijing wrap up months of negotiations on a trade deal this month, whatever emerges won’t be a trade deal. It will be a temporary truce in a years-long economic and strategic war with China.

These are six “understandings” that highlight why it is futile to compromise with this regime.

May 07 11:16

Pompeo says Canadian claim to Northwest Passage is 'illegitimate'

Canada's claim over the Northwest Passage is "illegitimate," U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday in a major speech to the Arctic Council that Canadian experts called both provocative and frequently inaccurate.

Pompeo offered his characterization during a wide-ranging speech in Finland in which he also warned against China's increased Arctic presence, saying it threatens North American security and could be harmful to the environment.

May 07 10:46

Hands off the Arctic: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warns China & Russia away from the north

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned China and Russia to “respect our interests” in the Arctic, or face the consequences.

Frozen and desolate, the Arctic region looks set to be the next frontier for competition between the US, Russia, and China. Speaking at a meeting of the Arctic Council in Finland on Monday, Pompeo launched a broadside against the US’ competitors in the region, particularly China.

“Arctic seaways could become the 21st century Suez and Panama canals,” America’s top diplomat stated.

May 07 10:25

Pentagon Report on China’s Military Expansion: ‘Hypocrisy,’ Says Col. Lawrence Wilkerson

Two U.S. Navy warships sailed near disputed islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Monday. The Navy called this a “freedom of navigation” operation, used to reinforce that the area in question is still governed by international law.

This comes at a time of tense relations between China and the United States: On Monday, the Trump administration announced they would impose additional trade tariffs on Chinese goods, and late last week, the Pentagon released a report that said China is using espionage to try to become a leading global military power.

May 06 12:24

Beijing Says Trade Delegation's Trip To Washington Still Happening Despite Trump Threats

With Chinese stocks down a staggering 6% on Monday during their worst session in three years, Chinese state media scrambled to project an air of calm. Though his comments did little to quiet stormy markets, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters Monday that a trade delegation is still "preparing to travel to the U.S. for trade talks" or what was - according to the US, at least - supposed to be the 'final round' of negotiations. However, he declined to say whether Vice Premier Liu He would join the delegation, Reuters reported.

May 06 11:22

S&P Futures Plummet As China Said To Cancel Washington Trade Trip, All Eyes On S&P 2,890

It's only appropriate that the S&P may be about to suffer its biggest drop of the year one day after hitting a new all time high.

For those who are only now catching up, the reason why futures are tumbling is that just after 12pm ET, Trump tweeted that trade talks - which according to the White House, media leaks and Larry Kudlow would be basically concluded by next week - are instead effectively dead, as the current 10% tariff will spike to 25% on Friday, while an additional $325BN in goods will be subject to new trade tariffs.

Some saw in Trump's tweet a retaliation for Friday's North Korea ballistic missile launch, the first since 2017, and one which would not have happened without the explicit blessing of Beijing.

May 06 10:13

US-China Trade Talks Tensions Escalate As Trump Threatens 25% Tariffs On $200B Goods

Wall Street is expected to take a grim view of president Donald trump’s decision to impose tariffs of 25 percent on Chinese goods starting May 10, an indication that trade talks with China haven't moved forward despite months of administration claims of steady progress.

Trump unexpectedly announced the 25 percent jump in U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on Sunday, and said 25 percent tariffs on $325 billion of Chinese goods will be imposed “shortly.”

May 06 06:47

US warships sail through disputed South China Sea as Trump prompts trade war escalation with Beijing

Two US warships have sailed through the South China Sea, a move that has angered Beijing. The naval maneuver comes a day after Donald Trump threatened China with more tariffs as part of an ongoing trade war.

The US military has confirmed that two of its warships sailed near islands claimed by Beijing in the South China Sea on Monday. China says the waterway is part of its territorial waters, while Washington insists that the sea is open to international transit under the principle of “freedom of navigation.”

The US guided-missile destroyers ‘Preble’ and ‘Chung Hoon’ traveled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands, Reuters reported.

May 06 04:25

China slams US warships operation in South China Sea

China says the entry of vessels in disputed sea is a violation of its sovereignty amid tense ties between two nations.

Two US warships sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Monday, the US military said, in a move condemned by Beijing at a time of tense relations between the world's two biggest economies.

The US guided-missile destroyers Preble and Chung Hoon travelled within 12 nautical miles of Gaven and Johnson Reefs in the Spratly Islands, a US military spokesperson told Reuters news agency.

Commander Clay Doss, a spokesman for the Seventh Fleet, said that the "innocent passage" was "to challenge excessive maritime claims and preserve access to the waterways as governed by international law."
***
"The relevant actions of the US warships violated China's sovereignty and undermined peace, security and good order in the relevant sea areas," ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press briefing.

>>>

Trump's renewed threat for China tariffs spooks markets

May 04 09:05

U.S IN PANIC: China Developing Futuristic Electromagnetic Weaponry

China is developing a series of potentially disruptive technologies, including electromagnetic firearms and directed energy weapons, according to a new report by the US Department of Defense on Thursday.

“China is pursuing a number of advanced military capabilities with disruptive potential such as hypersonic weapons, electromagnetic railguns, directed energy weapons, and counterspace capabilities,” the Defence Department said in its 2019 China Military Power Report to Congress.

The report also recalls that China successfully tested hypersonic vehicles last year.

May 04 08:32

Pentagon: Flattop to join Chinese fleet this year

China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier is likely to enter service this year, marking another advance in Beijing’s ability to project influence well beyond its shores, the Pentagon said Thursday in an updated assessment of Chinese military power.

The report to Congress comes amid increased emphasis by the Pentagon on adjusting to what it sees as an emerging challenge from China not only in naval strength but also in cyber capabilities, space power and missile technologies.

May 04 08:31

Pompeo to Portray China as a Threat in Major Arctic Policy SpeechWill reject China's claim of being a 'near-Arctic state'

One day after the Pentagon issued a new report dramatically hyping China as a grave threat to the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is said to be planning a major anti-China speech during his visit to Finland on Monday.

Monday’s speech is expected to be a major US policy speech on the Arctic, and territorial claims therein. Pompeo is expected to spin China as threatening the entire Arctic, and will reject Chinese claims to be a “near-Arctic state” because of its interest in using the area as a shipping route.

The focus of Pompeo’s attack on China, however, is likely to be totally distinct from the Arctic, and just a continuation of the flurry of vague allegations that the Pentagon started with in its own report, part of a broader US policy to portray China as a major enemy and threat to American dominance worldwide.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder; when Pompeo was a kid in elementary school, did he ever get a gold star on his report card in that little section, "Works well with others"?!?!?

Because right now, with the exceptions of Israel and Saudi Arabia, the man appears to be the most consistently disagreeable guy in DC.

These are threats, engineered to get ever-more money for the Pentagon, and arrived at by some very dubious thought processes, most of which have little to no foundation in facts.

And Secretary Pompeo, there is a question which haunts me, and I think my brother and sister Americans deserve a straight answer here: why is the US government objecting to the "Silk Road" concept, rather than joining it, and enabling American companies to trade with Chinese companies, and vise versa?!?

Trading always trumps war, in my world, at least.

May 04 07:40

China's Mass Surveillance App Hacked; Code Reveals Specific Criteria For Illegal Oppression

Human Rights Watch got their hands on an app used by Chinese authorities in the western Xinjiang region to surveil, track and categorize the entire local population - particularly the 13 million or so Turkic Muslims subject to heightened scrutiny, of which around one million are thought to live in cultural 'reeducation' camps.

By "reverse engineering" the code in the "Integrated Joint Operations Platform" (IJOP) app, HRW was able to identify the exact criteria authorities rely on to 'maintain social order.' Of note, IJOP is "central to a larger ecosystem of social monitoring and control in the region," and similar to systems being deployed throughout the entire country.

The platform targets 36 types of people for data collection, from those who have "collected money or materials for mosques with enthusiasm," to people who stop using smartphones.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Don't think for a second, that the US government, and its "alphabet soup" agencies, are not SALIVATING to get their hands on this, in order to "completely judge and control" all American citizens.

May 04 07:36

Biden Was Wrong: Defense Department Says China Plans To Replace US, Become Top Power

It looks like President Trump was right yet again when he put Joe Biden on blast for being "very naive" about China after the 2020 Democratic frontrunner said the world's second-largest economy "is not competition for us."

"If Biden actually said that, that’s a very dumb statement," Trump said in a Thursday interview with Fox News.

Considering the brewing tit-for-tat antagonisms between the American Navy and People's Liberation Army-Navy in the Strait of Taiwan and the South China Sea, it's hard to believe that any American politician - much less one vying to be the commander-in-chief of the American military - would write China off so easily.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh.) We could be doing so much better, economically, if the emphasis was to "engage" rather than "enrage" countries around the world, China being one of the worst examples of US foreign policy, ever.

And at an extraordinarily delicate time in trade negotiations between the US and China?!?

This is so seriously screwed up, I hardly know where to begin.

May 04 07:08

Pentagon Warns Of Chinese Nuclear Subs Expanding Into Arctic Via "Polar Silk Road"

A new Pentagon report released late this week has voiced deep concern over increased Chinese military presence in the Arctic region, including nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines, which Beijing plans to produce at least five more of by 2020.

The Pentagon assessment explores and analyzes China's potential to erect a “Polar Silk Road” as an extension of President Xi Jinping’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative. This would include likely deployment of security assets, such as submarines acting as nuclear deterrents and military bases in far-flung locations, found the report.

Beijing itself hasn't been secretive about this scenario, given it published an Arctic policy white paper last June, which outlined long term strategic expansion into the globe's northernmost climes, despite China's geography as a non-Arctic state.

Some of the highlights of the Pentagon report are as follows...

* * *

Military expansion under the guise of civilian research

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another pathetic bid for more money to "answer this Chinese challenge"??!?

Sorry, Pentagon; but until you can prove the spending of every CENT you have collected over the last 20 years, and why it has not anticipated this need much sooner, your funds should be rationed, like the allowance of some pimply teenager, always begging mom and dad for more.

This combination of a nearly pathological lack of planning, coupled with hog-wild spending, generally proven to be "sound and fury, signifying nothing", in terms of real-world weaponry capabilities has to stop, and right the heck now.

May 03 12:30

Pig ‘Ebola’ Virus Sends Shock Waves Through Global Food Chain

What started with a few dozen dead pigs in northeastern China is sending shock waves through the global food chain.

Last August, a farm with fewer than 400 hogs on the outskirts of Shenyang was found to harbor African swine fever, the first ever occurrence of the contagious viral disease in the country with half the world’s pigs. Forty-seven head had died, triggering emergency measures including mass culling and a blockade to stop the transportation of livestock. Within days, a government notice proclaimed the outbreak “effectively controlled.”

It was too late. By then, the disease had literally gone viral, dispersed across hundreds of miles in sickened animals, contaminated food, and in dirt and dust on truck tires and clothing. Nine months later, the contagion has spread nationwide, crossed borders to Mongolia, Vietnam and Cambodia, and bolstered meat markets globally.

May 03 11:34

China poised to deploy stealth fighters in South China Sea says US as tensions mount

CHINA will “keep pushing the envelope”, particularly in the South China Sea region, as it prepares to unveil its first stealth fighter before the end of the year, and is also developing long-range bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons, a top US Air Force commander has warned.

May 03 10:39

China and Russia: Whoopin' Uncle Sam at His Own Game

Your Geopolitical Quiz for the Day:

Two countries are embroiled in a ferocious rivalry. One country’s meteoric growth has put it on a path to become the world’s biggest economic superpower while the other country appears to be slipping into irreversible decline. Which country will lead the world into the future?

May 03 10:38

Pentagon Hypes ‘China Threat’ With Eye Towards a Bigger Budget

The US military vastly outspends every other military on the planet, and has capabilities that far outstretch all others, hampered, if at all, by the fact that the US is constantly embroiled in myriad wars around the world.

The news that Russia has fallen out of the top five in military spending, however, makes them an increasingly difficult “threat” to hype up. After all, the US is outspending them at least ten-fold.

China is in second place on the list, and even if they’re far behind the US, that seems to be where the Pentagon is focusing. The idea that China is likely to build its first aircraft carrier this year is presented as an effort to “contest US military superiority” in the region.

All Chinese equipment the Pentagon mentioned in their new report, they only have a small fraction of what the US has. On top of that, the report hypes Chinese hackers, and accuses ethnic Chinese people in general of being willing to “advance China’s interests.”

May 02 10:55

Russia Sends China Replacements for Storm-Damaged S-400 Missiles - Reports

Replacement missiles for the S-400 anti-air missile system sold to China by Russia last year have been sent, according to media reports. Some of the system’s missiles and other equipment were damaged in a storm in the English Channel in December 2017.

The replacement missiles departed from Russia at the beginning of April, The Diplomat reported, citing Russian military diplomatic sources. It's not known how many of the interceptors were damaged and required replacement.

Beijing bought six units of the advanced anti-air interceptor system in 2015 for $3 billion, but the first batch was delivered only in April 2018, following several months of delays caused by a storm in the English Channel in December 2017. The tempest damaged several components of the system, including some of the missiles and auxiliary equipment, causing the ship to turn back, Sputnik reported, citing Russia's defense industry cooperation service.

May 01 12:06

Washington Warns Beijing: 'Paramilitary' Fishing Boats Will Now Be Treated Like Combatants

As the US continues its increasingly daring and extremely provocative "freedom of navigation" operations in the Strait of Taiwan and South China Sea, it's also growing more vocal about challenging China's increasingly expansionary military presence in the Pacific. Over the weekend, the US has warned Beijing that the US military would aggressively respond to provocative acts by China's coast guard and fishing boats in the same way it reacts to the Chinese navy.

May 01 11:01

Washington Warns Beijing: 'Paramilitary' Fishing Boats Will Now Be Treated Like Combatants

As the US continues its increasingly daring and extremely provocative "freedom of navigation" operations in the Strait of Taiwan and South China Sea, it's also growing more vocal about challenging China's increasingly expansionary military presence in the Pacific. Over the weekend, the US has warned Beijing that the US military would aggressively respond to provocative acts by China's coast guard and fishing boats in the same way it reacts to the Chinese navy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, why in the name of heaven, why are you being more brutally verbally aggressive than ever to Chinese leadership, when trade negotiations between China and the US are already on rocky ground?!?

IF there is a logical reason for this, I would certainly like to hear what the rationale is for this statement; otherwise, it appears like sheer madness, from a perspective of logic, reason, and the importance of "face", in Asian cultures.

May 01 10:54

Joint Russia-China Naval Drills Kick Off After 2 US Warships Enter Taiwan Strait

Early this week Chinese media confirmed that Russian warships arrived in Qingdao, a port city in East China's Shandong Province, at the start this week's join China-Russia naval exercises.

The Russian fleet included the Varyag guided missile cruiser, a submarine, two anti-submarine ships, a corvette, a landing ship, a tanker and a rescue vessel, according to China's Global Times.

Early this week Chinese media confirmed that Russian warships arrived in Qingdao, a port city in East China's Shandong Province, at the start this week's join China-Russia naval exercises.

The Russian fleet included the Varyag guided missile cruiser, a submarine, two anti-submarine ships, a corvette, a landing ship, a tanker and a rescue vessel, according to China's Global Times.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please, LORD, let nothing go wrong in any of these exercises, or from the two US carriers now passing off the coast of Taiwan.

As someone celebrating her 70th birthday next week, I have rarely seen a time in American history, where things just seem to be drifting towards a war, and possibly a global war at that.

It's kind of like that archetypal dream, about two trains, running head long , right at each other on the same track, and not being able to stop them.

What do I want of my government?!? That it actually does start indulging in moral, thoughtful, hard-won negotiations with China and Russia; you know, those kinds of actions which deepen confidence and trust?!?

I am absolutely sure that if I spoke Russian, or Cantonese, and could speak to mothers of kids who just got drafted into either country's military (or perhaps enlisted), they would be both very proud of their kids' participation in those armies, but would agree with me, that peace; the rule of law; commerce; and intelligent, thoughtful planning, need to reign in human society.

Otherwise, humankind may just blow itself to kingdom come, and leave a fractured, horrific planet in its wake, incapable of regrowth or rebirth.

Unfortunately, those in the Bowels of Power in DC, do not seem to understand this right now. And the only modalities they seem to believe will work, in a desperate attempt to stabilize the US economy, are to continue to expropriate resources to which they have no moral right, and insure that they are sold only in US dollars.

Their tools right now are are demonisation; destabilization; and wars to insure the "end game" winds up entirely positively for the US government.

But the problem with this attitude, which comes to us from the great Greek storytellers, is hubris; an over-arching pride which makes one believe that you can do anything you want, without any moral, or physical, repercussions happening at all.

Unfortunately, the real world does not ultimately work in this manner; there is a cost, or costs to specific actions and choice, which can be horrendous.

The casualty counts in current US declared, and undeclared wars, is staggering, both for the indigenous people who live there, and our troops.

And the broken lives, and bodies, again, of both the people we are bombing, and our troops, who wind up maimed for life, from these wars, suggest a better, more peace-centric process is desperately needed by the US government, and to work to stay away from wars as its "only solution" to geopolitical and economic challenges.

May 01 09:52

$1 Billion In Iranian Crude Is Stranded At A Chinese Port

It's no secret that Beijing has chafed at American audacity to try and dictate whom Chinese refineries can and can't buy oil from. And in the latest example of just how aggravating the decision to end waivers for Iranian crude imports has been for the world's second-largest economy, Reuters reported that some 20 million barrels of Iranian crude have been languishing at the northeastern port of Dalian for months, but because of the US's decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran back in November, nobody wants to touch the oil.

China filed a formal complaint with the US over its decision to end the waivers, but the US has refused to consider any exceptions to its plans to reimpose full sanctions.

As one analyst told Reuters, no Chinese company will touch the oil unless specifically instructed to do so by the Chinese government.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And one has to wonder; precisely when the Chinese government will give its order to move this oil,and what the ramifications are going to be.

Will the US government interdict the ship, and possibly start World War III with China?!?

Of almost every possible outcome here, this would be one of the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly stupid decisions the Trump administration could make at this point.

Unfortunately, just because something would be the most ham-fistedly, pig-headedly idiotic decision this administration could make, is no guarantee that it will not do so.

Apr 30 14:23

A New Mega Cartel Is Emerging In Oil Markets

china and India—two of the world’s largest oil importers and the biggest demand growth centers globally—are close to setting up an oil buyers’ club to have a say in the pricing and sourcing of crude oil amid OPEC’s cuts and U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, Indian outlet livemint reports, citing three officials with knowledge of the talks.

This is not the first time that the two major oil importers are working to create such an oil club.

India and China have discussed creating an ‘oil buyers’ club’ to be able to negotiate better prices with oil exporting countries and will be looking to import more U.S. crude oil in order to reduce OPEC’s sway, both over the global oil market and over prices, India’s Petroleum Ministry said in June 2018.

Apr 30 12:59

Where the Silk Roads Meet the Mighty Mekong

Spiritual beginnings

It’s tempting to regard the bridge as a post-modern naga. In the inestimable The Enduring Sacred Landscape of the Naga, published by Mekong Press, Lao scholars Mayoury and Pheuiphanh Ngaosrivathana track the literally fantastic world of animated beings in the Mekong basin – totemized reptiles such as the serpent, or ngu, the salt-water crocodile (ngeuak) and supernatural beings such as the naga.

The new naga will take the form of Made in China high-speed trains – for passengers of course, but mostly for cargo – crossing the Mekong back and forth and crucially bypassing the Maritime Silk Road along the South China Sea.

The numbers by the Lao Ministry of Public Works and Transport are impressive – the Kunming-Vientiane high-speed railway, started in 2016 and to be completed in 2021, features 72 tunnels, 170 bridges and will have trains speeding along at 160 km an hour.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem with the US's present administration; instead of making deals and building things up, the US is blowing things up, to regime change nations whose resources the US government wants to expropriate, and make sure that those resources will only be sold in American Currency.

There is a great deal about the Chinese government I really despise, but this ambitious, and almost visionary, long-term building project, really deserves respect.

Apr 30 09:55

The New Yorker Interviews Former Nat’l Security Director on How 5G is “Terrifying”: Cybersecurity, “Previously Unthinkable Surveillance Potential,” and Health Risks

By B.N. Frank

The New Yorker published an article yesterday – “The Terrifying Potential of the 5G Network.”

In 2018, Robert Spalding’s job as senior director for strategic planning at the National Security Council included studying ways to insure that 5G can be made secure from cyberattacks. He seemed more than qualified for the job. In his interview with The New Yorker, he provides intricate details of why we should all be freaking out over 5G regardless of who installs it. His warnings also go beyond cybersecurity risks...

Apr 30 08:36

White House’s Mulvaney says China trade talks will be resolved one way or another within two weeks

The Trump administration’s trade talks with China will be resolved within the next two weeks, White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Tuesday.

The White House has pushed for a deal to revamp its trade relationship with China and address concerns about trade deficits, intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers. While the Trump administration has shown optimism about striking an agreement and ending a potentially devastating trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies, final sticking points have tripped up talks.

Apr 29 12:41

Two US Warships Sail Through Taiwan Strait In Dare To Beijing

With US-China trade talks set to resume this week amid what flashing red headlines, Larry Kudlow and Donald Trump's twitter account remind us every day, if not hour, is a sense of "optimism" about an imminent deal, on Sunday the US navy reminded Beijing to stick to the script (one in which Trump supposedly comes off as a negotiating giant), when it two warships through the hotly contested Taiwan Strait as the Pentagon increases the frequency of movement through the strategic waterway despite vocal and often time angry opposition from China.

While the voyage risks further raising tensions with China - at an especially sensitive time for trade negotiations - it will also be viewed by Taiwan as a sign of support from the Trump administration amid growing friction between Taipei and Beijing.

According to Reuters, the two destroyers were the William P. Lawrence and Stethem.

Apr 29 11:27

China's Xi Jinping Brings In More Than $64 Billion In Belt And Road Deal

Data from Refinitiv shows the total value of projects in the scheme stands at $3.67 trillion, spanning countries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Oceania and South America.

Apr 29 11:25

Russia Ready to Discuss New Nuclear Deal With US, China

One day after reports that President Trump was pushing for a new nuclear arms treaty with Russia and China, the Russian Foreign Ministry has issued a statement confirming that they, too, are willing to negotiate on the matter. China has yet to directly respond.

Yesterday’s report suggested that Trump’s primary goal for any treaty was to place new limits on Russia’s nuclear arsenal. Russia’s Deputy FM Sergei Ryabkov said that Russia wants a joint statement of all three nations repudiating any use of nuclear weapons.

Talk of new nuclear negotiations is a surprise after the US unilaterally withdrew from the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty. Many feared this would usher in an era where disarmament talks just didn’t happen.

Apr 29 11:23

Trump Officials: China Gets No ‘Wind-Down’ Period for Cutting Iran Oil Purchases

In comments that may set up a catastrophic amount of fallout in international trade, officials from the Trump Administration say that China will absolutely not be given any time to “wind-down” their purchases of Iranian oil, nor any extensions beyond May 1.

Apr 29 08:54

Trade-Deal Narrative Shattered: White House Again Threatens To Walk Away From The Table

Though it was entirely ignored by the market, the latest US-China trade-deal headline, which hit late last night, shortly before Robert Lighthizer and Steve Mnuchin were set to leave for Beijing to begin what was supposed to be the 'final' round of talks, offers what has become an increasingly rare dose of pessimism right in the Bloomberg headline: With 'significant issues' still unresolved (despite Larry Kudlow's assurances that he was 'cautiously optimistic' about a deal breakthrough), President Trump is once again threatening to walk away "if he isn't satisfied with how talks are progressing."

Apr 29 08:28

Russia drops out of top 5 global military spenders while US and China up the ante

Russia has dropped out of the top five countries with the largest defense spend for the first time since 2006, according to new international data Monday.

Total world military expenditure rose to $1.8 trillion in 2018, according to new data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), marking an increase of 2.6% from 2017 and the highest total spend since 1988.

Apr 28 09:52

Killing the dollar softly: China lobbies ASEAN on yuan use to expand economic influence

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its East Asian partners consider adding Chinese and Japanese currencies to their $240 billion currency swap safety net, business journal Nikkei Asian Review reported.

It said the 10 members of the association along with China, Japan and South Korea will discuss the proposed change to the so-called Chiang Mai Initiative at a May 2 meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Fiji.

Apr 28 07:52

Trump Officials: China Gets No ‘Wind-Down’ Period for Cutting Iran Oil Purchases

This will cause War. Thanks a lot Trump!

US expects China to stop buying oil by May 1
Jason Ditz Posted on April 26, 2019Categories NewsTags China, Iran, Trump
In comments that may set up a catastrophic amount of fallout in international trade, officials from the Trump Administration say that China will absolutely not be given any time to “wind-down” their purchases of Iranian oil, nor any extensions beyond May 1.

China is by far Iran’s largest customer, and would have by far the hardest time sourcing enough replacement oil on the market. These comments are likely to have an impact on the oil market, pushing prices higher, and more importantly, risking a US ultimatum on China.

Apr 27 12:09

Why Is China Destroying Liquidity?

Apr 27 10:58

China Unveils 'Marine Lizard' Amphibious Assault Drone Amid S China Sea Tensions

The stealthy vessel, named the 'Marine Lizard', has a maximum range of 1,200 km, a maximum speed of up to 50 knots, and can be controlled remotely via satellites, according to its creators.

The first production Marine Lizard amphibious assault drone boat was delivered to the military last week, the Global Times has reported, citing the vessel's developers.

Apr 27 10:55

In Laos, A Chinese-Funded Railway Sparks Hope For Growth — And Fears Of Debt

In Southeast Asia's only landlocked country, the Mekong River is a lifeline. From a slow boat heading up the river in Laos, you'll see fishermen working in their boats, riverside farms where bananas grow, and domesticated buffalo lazing. Occasionally a ferry chugs by. From time to time, steps leading to a riverside village become visible on the banks through the foliage. The wind is swift, and the brown fresh water laps up onto the side of the boat.

Just over 9 miles north of Luang Prabang, a startling aberration appears: five giant concrete pylons rising out of the water.

Red cranes top each of the pylons. A bridge is being built here. On either bank, the row of pylons continues until it almost hits the mountainsides, with scaffolding and other heavy construction equipment scattered below.

Apr 27 10:51

Watch: Chinese University Successfully Launches Hypersonic Rocket

The Shanghai Morning Post notes that Xiamen University is the first university in the world to have developed and flown a hypersonic rocket.

"We call [the design] the double waverider," said Zhu Chengxiang, an assistant professor at the university’s School of Aerospace Engineering and part of the Jia Geng No. 1 team.

Unlike American hypersonic rockets such as Boeing's X-51 Waverider, which rides on a hot layer of gas known as a "shock wave," the Jiageng-1 No.1 rides on two layers of shock waves, one underneath the rocket and the other in the air intake of its ramjet engine.

The Jiageng-1 No.1 has several innovative advantages over Western hypersonic rockets: it can transition from supersonic to hypersonic speeds with ease, and the design produces more lift allowing it to travel further with more efficient fuel consumption.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Meanwhile, in US universities, students cannot decide what gender they are!

Apr 27 09:33

Xi Jinping Says China's Belt And Road Initiative Is Not Saddling Poor Countries With Debt

Apr 26 10:56

Trump Eyes Major Nuclear Deal With Russia, China - Reports

The White House is in intense talks on options for the US president to pursue a deal building on the New START Treaty, which expires in 2021, officials have told CNN.

US President Donald Trump is eying a new potential signature foreign policy achievement: a grand nuclear deal with Russia and China, according to CNN.

"The President has made clear that he thinks that arms control should include Russia and China and should include all the weapons, all the warheads, all the missiles", a senior White House official told CNN.

Donald Trump prides himself on being a great dealmaker. “Deals are my art form. I like making deals, preferably big deals”, he has been known to say. Now the US president is said to be publicly hinting that a deal is on his agenda.

Apr 26 10:42

Putin arrives in Beijing

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in China to take part in the One Belt One Road international forum on April 26-27.

Putin’s working program will begin on Friday. Together with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, he will speak at the opening ceremony of the forum in Beijing's National Convention Center. The Russian leader will also hold a series of meetings, specifically, with the leaders of Azerbaijan, Serbia, Egypt and Cyprus and Myanmar’s foreign minister. Putin’s bilateral talks with Xi Jinping are due to be held too.

The forum’s three working sessions are scheduled for April 27. Putin plans to address one of them.

Apr 26 08:26

China deploys H-6 bomber in Tibet, just 200 kilometers from border with Sikkim

Despite the bitter Doklam standoff with India in the recent past, China is still quietly building up its military presence in Tibet and upgrading many airfields for military use. According to the latest Indian intelligence agencies' report, China has deployed one of its deadliest H-6 bomber in Hoping airfield of Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR).

Apr 26 03:46

China Goes GAGA For Coal Fired Power Plants

Apr 25 13:46

China Holds The Gold And Will Make The Rules

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