The Coming War on China

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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri May 15, 2020 8:06 pm

It's been funny to see the media talking up a "new cold war with China" when they've been sleepwalking through it for decades. China has been threatening to nuke LA and Seattle since the fuckin' 90's, this is nothing new. Highly recommend "Year of the Rat," a short, thorough investigations of China's corruption of the Clinton administration that closes on a much bigger tour of the corporate treason ecosystem, implicating the CEOs of most major defense contractors. Nothing, of course, happened.

The extent to which China has infiltrated and compromised US politicians, down even to the municipal level, is insane. I completely understand why anyone reading this would refuse to take me seriously or view this as some McCarthy thing, but it's also important to remember that Eugene was right about a great deal and we really did have tons of Communists inside US gov at the time. Still do, too.

Anyways, the wild thing about history is that both ideology and espionage ultimately amount to very little. It's economics and supply chains that really shape the upheavals of history. What follows is from Zeihan's newsletter -- I don't endorse it but it's an interesting rundown that cover the broad parameters of China's reckoning, and I can't pass along my better sources here.

A Failure of Leadership, Part III: The Beginning of the End of China
By Peter Zeihan on May 15, 2020

The Chinese are intentionally torching their diplomatic relationships with the wider world. The question is why?

The short version is that China’s spasming belligerency is a sign not of confidence and strength, but instead insecurity and weakness. It is an exceedingly appropriate response to the pickle the Chinese find themselves in.

Some of these problems arose because of coronavirus, of course. Chinese trade has collapsed from both the supply and demand sides. In the first quarter of 2020 China experienced its first recession since the reinvention of the Chinese economy under Deng Xiaoping in 1979. Blame for this recession can be fully (and accurately) laid at the feet of China’s coronavirus epidemic. But in Q2 China’s recession is certain to continue because the virus’ spread worldwide means China’s export-led economy doesn’t have anyone to export to.

Nor are China’s recent economic problems limited to coronavirus. One of the first things someone living in a rapidly industrializing economy does once their standard of living increases is purchase a car, but car purchases in China started turning negative nearly two years before coronavirus reared its head.

Why the collapse even in what “should” be happening with the economy? It really comes down to China’s financial model. In the United States (and to a lesser degree, in most of the advanced world) money is an economic good. Something that has value in and of itself, and so it should be applied with a degree of forethought for how efficiently it can be mobilized. This is why banks require collateral and/or business plans before they’ll fund loans.

That’s totally not how it works in China. In China, money – capital, to be more technical – is considered a political good, and it only has value if it can be used to achieve political goals. Common concepts in the advanced world such as rates of return or profit margins simply don’t exist in China, especially for the state owned enterprises (of which there are many) and other favored corporate giants that act as pillars of the economy. Does this generate growth? Sure. Explosive growth? Absolutely. Provide anyone with a bottomless supply of zero (or even subzero) percent loans and of course they’ll be able to employ scads of people and produce tsunamis of products and wash away any and all competition.

This is why China’s economy didn’t slow despite sky-high commodity prices in the 2000s – bottomless lending means Chinese businesses are not price sensitive. This is why Chinese exporters were able to out-compete firms the world over in manufactured goods – bottomless lending enabled them to subsidize their sales. This is why Chinese firms have been able to take over entire industries such as cement and steel fabrication – bottomless lending means the Chinese don’t care about the costs of the inputs or the market conditions for the outputs. This is why the One Belt One Road program has been so far reaching – bottomless lending means the Chinese produce without regard for market, and so don’t get tweaky about dumping product globally, even in locales no one has ever felt the need to build road or rail links to. (I mean, come on, a rail line through a bunch of poor, nearly-marketless post-Soviet ‘Stans’ to dust-poor, absolutely-marketless Afghanistan? Seriously, what does the winner get?)

Investment decisions not driven by the concept of returns tend to add up. Conservatively, corporate debt in China is about 150% of GDP. That doesn’t count federal government debt, or provincial government debt, or local government debt. Nor does it involve the bond market, or non-standard borrowing such as LendingTree-like person-to-person programs, or shadow financing designed to evade even China’s hyper-lax financial regulatory authorities. It doesn’t even include US dollar-denominated debt that cropped up in those rare moments when Beijing took a few baby steps to address the debt issue and so firms sought funds from outside of China. With that sort of attitude towards capital, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that China’s stock markets are in essence gambling dens utterly disconnected from issues of supply and labor and markets and logistics and cashflow (and legality). Simply put, in China, debt levels simply are not perceived as an issue.

Until suddenly, catastrophically, they are.

As every country or sector or firm that has followed a similar growth-over-productivity model has discovered, throwing more and more money into the system generates less and less activity. China has undoubtedly past that point where the model generates reasonable outcomes. China’s economy roughly quadrupled in size since 2000, but its debt load has increased by a factor of twenty-four. Since the 2007-2009 financial crisis China has added something like 100% of GDP of new debt, for increasingly middling results.

But more important than high debt levels is that eventually, inevitably, economic reality forces a correction. If this correction happens soon enough, it only takes down a small sliver of the system (think Enron’s death). If the inefficiencies are allowed to fester and expand, they might take down a whole sector (think America’s dot.com bust in 2000). If the distortions get too large, they can spread to other sectors and trigger a broader recession (think America’s 2007 subprime-initiated financial crisis). If they become systemic they can bring down not only the economy, but the political system (think Indonesia’s 1998 government collapse).

It is worse than it sounds. The CCP has long presented the Chinese citizenry with a strict social contract: the CCP enjoys an absolute political monopoly in exchange for providing steadily increasing standards of living. That means no elections. That means no unsanctioned protests. That means never establishing an independent legal or court system which might challenge CCP whim. It means firmly and permanently defining “China’s” interests as those of the CCP.

It makes the system firm, but so very, very brittle. And it means that the CCP fears – reasonably and accurately – that when the piper arrives it will mean the fall of the Party. Knowing full well both that the model is unsustainable and that China’s incarnation of the model is already past the use-by date, the CCP has chosen not to reform the Chinese economy for fear of being consumed by its own population.

The only short-term patch is to quadruple down on the long-term debt-debt-debt strategy that the CCP already knows no longer works, a strategy it has already followed more aggressively and for longer than any country previous, both in absolute and relative terms. The top tier of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – and most certainly Xi himself – realize that means China’s inevitable “correction” will be far worse than anything that has happened in any recessionary period anywhere in the world in the past several decades.

And of course that’s not all. China faces plenty of other of issues that range from the strategically hobbling to the truly system-killing.

1. China suffers from both poor soils and a drought-and-floodprone climatic geography. Its farmers can only keep China fed by applying five times the inputs of the global norm. This only works with, you guessed it, bottomless financing. So when China’s financial model inevitably fails, the country won’t simply suffer a subprime-style collapse in ever subsector simultaneously, it will face famine.

2. The archipelagic nature of the East Asian geography fences China off from the wider world, making economic access to it impossible without the very specific American-maintained global security environment of the past few decades.

3. China’s navy is largely designed around capturing a very specific bit of this First Island Chain, the island of Formosa (aka the country of Taiwan, aka the “rebellious Chinese province”). Problem is, China’s cruise-missile-heavy, short-range navy is utterly incapable of protecting China’s global supply chains, making China’s export-led economic model questionable at best.

4. Nor is home consumption an option. Pushing four decades of the One Child Policy means China has not only gutted its population growth and made the transition to a consumption-led economy technically impossible, but has now gone so far to bring the entire concept of “China” into question in the long-term.

Honestly, this – all of this – only scratches the surface. For the long and the short of just how weak and, to be blunt, doomed China is, I refer you my new book, Disunited Nations. Chapters 2 through 4 break down what makes for successful powers, global and otherwise…and how China fails on a historically unprecedented scale on each and every measure.

But on with the story of the day:

These are the broader strategic and economic dislocations and fractures embedded in the Chinese system. That explains the “why” as to why the Chinese leadership is terrified of their future. But what about the “why now?” Why has Xi chosen this moment to institute a political lockdown? After all, none of these problems are new.

There are two explanations. First, exports in specific:

The One Child Policy means that China can never be a true consumption-led system, but China is hardly the only country facing that particular problem. The bulk of the world – ranging from Canada to Germany to Brazil to Japan to Korea to Iran to Italy – have experienced catastrophic baby busts at various times during the past half century. In nearly all cases, populations are no longer young, with many not even being middle-aged. For most of the developed world, mass retirement and complete consumption collapses aren’t simply inevitable, they’ll arrive within the next 48 months.

And that was before coronavirus gutted consumption on a global scale, presenting every export-oriented system with an existential crisis. Which means China, a country whose political functioning and social stability is predicated upon export-led growth, needs to find a new reason for the population to support the CCP’s very existence.

The second explanation for the “why now?” is the status of Chinese trade in general:

Remember way back when to the glossy time before coronavirus when the world was all tense about the Americans and Chinese launching off into a knock-down, drag-out trade war?

Back on January 15 everyone decided to take a breather. The Chinese committed to a rough doubling of imports of American products, plus efforts to tamp down rampant intellectual property theft and counterfeiting, in exchange for a mix of tariff suspensions and reductions. Announced with much fanfare, this “Phase I” deal was supposed to set the stage for a subsequent, far larger “Phase II” deal in which the Americans planned to convince the Chinese to fundamentally rework their regulatory, finance, legal and subsidy structures.

These are all things the Chinese never had any intention of carrying out. All the concessions the Americans imagined are wound up in China’s debt-binge model. Granting them would unleash such massive economic, financial and political instability that the survival of the CCP itself would be called into question.

Any deal between any American administration and Beijing is only possible if the American administration first forces the issue. Pre-Trump, the last American administration to so force the issue was the W Bush administration at the height of the EP3 spy plane incident in mid-2001. Despite his faults, Donald Trump deserves credit for being the first president in the years since to expend political capital to compel the Chinese to the table.

But there’s more to a deal than its negotiation. There is also enforcement. In the utter absence of rule of law, enforcement requires even, unrelenting pressure akin to what the Americans did to the Soviets with Cold War era nuclear disarmament policy. No US administration has ever had the sort of bandwidth required to police a trade deal with a large, non-market economy. There are simply too many constantly moving pieces. The current American administration is particularly ill-suited to the task. The Trump administration’s tendency to tweet out a big announcement and then move on to the next shiny object means the Chinese discarded their “commitments” with confidence on the day they were made.

Which means the Sino-American trade relationship was always going to collapse, and the United States and China were always going to fall into acrimony. Coronavirus did the world a favor (or disfavor based upon where you stand) in delaying the degradation. In February and March the Chinese were under COVID’s heel and it was perfectly reasonable to give Beijing extra time. In April it was the Americans’ turn to be distracted.

Now, four months later, with the Americans emerging from their first coronavirus wave and edging back towards something that might at least rhyme with a shadow of normal, the bilateral relationship is coming back into focus – and it is obvious the Chinese deliberately and systematically lied to Trump. Such deception was pretty much baked in from the get-go. In part it is because the CCP has never been what I’d call an honest negotiating partner. In part it is because the CCP honestly doesn’t think the Chinese system can be reformed, particularly on issues such as rule of law. In part it is because the CCP honestly doesn’t think it could survive what the Americans want it to attempt. But in the current environment it all ends at the same place: I think we can all recall an example or three of how Trump responds when he feels personally aggrieved.

Which brings us to perhaps China’s most immediate problem. Nothing about the Chinese system – its political unity, its relative immunity from foreign threats, its ability import energy from a continent away, its ability to tap global markets to supply it with raw materials and markets to dump its products in, its ability to access the world beyond the First Island Chain – is possible without the global Order. And the global Order is not possible without America. No other country – no other coalition of countries – has the naval power to guarantee commercial shipments on the high seas. No commercial shipments, no trade. No trade, no export-led economies. No export-led economies…no China.

It isn’t so much that the Americans have always had the ability to destroy China in a day (although they have), but instead that it is only the Americans that could create the economic and strategic environment that has enabled China to survive as long as it has. Whether or not the proximate cause for the Chinese collapse is homegrown or imported from Washington is largely irrelevant to the uncaring winds of history, the point is that Xi believes the day is almost here.

Global consumption patterns have turned. China’s trade relations have turned. America’s politics have turned. And now, with the American-Chinese breach galloping into full view, Xi feels he has little choice but to prepare for the day everyone in the top ranks of the CCP always knew was coming: The day that China’s entire economic structure and strategic position crumbles. A full political lockdown is the only possible survival mechanism. So the “solution” is as dramatic as it is impactful:

Spawn so much international outcry that China experiences a nationalist reaction against everyone who is angry at China. Convince the Chinese population that nationalism is a suitable substitute for economic growth and security. And then use that nationalism to combat the inevitable domestic political firestorm when China doesn’t simply tank, but implodes.


A lot I could comment on here but I'd rather just drink right now, a long week. I do want to add a snippet I posted in the Coronathread 20 years ago in February, though -- an insight into the nature of China's regime and indeed, their national character.

This is from a conversation with Peter Piot, a gloriously out-sized man who made a credible case for why Ghebreyesus had to appease China's demands: it's the only fucking way to deal with them.

He praises the role of the World Health Organization, which he says is nimbler under Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian and its first African director. Dr Tedros has been criticised for going easy on China, which suppressed information in the early stages of the outbreak. “The dilemma is he could have his five minutes of fame by bashing China. But what happens afterwards? You need to work with them,” he says, scooping up some juicy borlotti beans.

“It’s a fine line. I learnt this the hard way,” he says, referring to 2002 when UNAids, the organisation he ran from 1995 to 2008, issued the so-called “Titanic Peril” report, which argued that China had many more cases of HIV than it was admitting. “It’s the only time that my then boss, Kofi Annan, called me on a Sunday afternoon. He said, ‘Peter, you’re a brave man, but nobody has ever won against the People’s Republic of China.’”

Piot gritted his teeth and publicly apologised. Still, he remembers a meeting a few years later with Wen Jiabao, then premier, in the Hall of the Purple Light in Zhongnanhai, the communist party’s inner sanctum.

“Wen asked me, ‘What’s the situation, what should we do?’ And I thought, you have 10 seconds to think. Am I going to be diplomatic or am I going to say the truth? He must have seen it. He said, ‘Forget who I am. Forget that we’re the Communist party. Tell me what you think and I’ll see what I can do.’ Piot advised Beijing to be more open about the problem and to work with people who were vulnerable, including drug addicts and sex workers, rather than jailing them. China’s policy changed decisively after that encounter.


So when they can take credit for it being their sole decision, they'll make the right decision. DOD is making a deliberate bid to deny them that option.
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby Joe Hillshoist » Fri May 15, 2020 10:08 pm

The extent to which China has infiltrated every government it deals with, possibly every one on earth is considerable. Certainly in Australia, they have nearly infiltrated us as completely as the USA gov has.

No McCarthyism about it. I like Communism, within reason, the best responses on earth to this virus seem to have come from a Communist government in an otherwise "democratic" state. The Chinese gov is predominantly authoritarian IMO tho, communism comes after that.
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Fri May 15, 2020 11:21 pm

Joe Hillshoist » Fri May 15, 2020 9:08 pm wrote:The extent to which China has infiltrated every government it deals with, possibly every one on earth is considerable. Certainly in Australia, they have nearly infiltrated us as completely as the USA gov has.

No McCarthyism about it. I like Communism, within reason, the best responses on earth to this virus seem to have come from a Communist government in an otherwise "democratic" state. The Chinese gov is predominantly authoritarian IMO tho, communism comes after that.


Or, maybe none of that shit matters at all. Maybe every ideology runs aground on the rocky shore of the real world. Maybe that's why the world's biggest "Communist" superpower and the world's biggest "Capitalist" superpower converged on the same model of surveillance, extraction and lies. Maybe that's why China's "social credit" system looks so remarkably like America's "credit score."

Maybe the practice of power is all that matters to power, in practice.
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby Joe Hillshoist » Sat May 16, 2020 6:32 am

I mean Kerala in India.

None of the "major states."
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby JackRiddler » Sat May 16, 2020 10:04 am

Wombaticus Rex » Fri May 15, 2020 7:06 pm wrote:Eugene was right about a great deal and we really did have tons of Communists inside US gov at the time.


What a good thing it would have been. But alas, 'twas not really so, not by the time (Joe) McCarthy became the yahoo standard-bearer. His prominence as a witchhunter came late in the game, and ended up providing a kind of getaway device for the real architects of the postwar anti-communist purges. They received the option of being able to put his name on the political outrages they had initiated, and many of them could affect to be appalled by the excess fanaticism he and somehow only he and his circle came to represent.

By then, in the earliest 50s, we were four to six years into purge mode. OSS and Army had laid off the Frankfurt Schoolers. Instead of exile communists, the new agencies hired exile fascists to help with the Grand Area planning and building the institutions of the Cold War. Trumanism initiated Red Scare II. The hunts were raging within all the institutions. Schools and states were demanding loyalty oaths and everyone, especially newspapers, were firing suspected fellow travelers. The NatSec money was just starting to sweeten its new intellectual production plants at the universities.

The producers and Stars of Hollywood were marched in front of the Nixon tribunal, just in time for the Age of Television. The Mann Act was deployed to decapitate the CP, despite all the patriotic duty it had rendered to the state and its war effort. Taft-Hartley became the law of the land and the trade unions turned into New Deal Stakhanovites run by mobsters, and CIA stooges.

And oh lord!, o terrors, when the Russians showed they knew physics too! The Soviet Bomb! How was this possible? And then, the very next year -- Henry Luce lost China! Alert, Alert! Such a moment demanded the invention of a Julius and an Ethel, and so they were invented out of an inconsequential spy and his innocent wife. And such a moment needed a Roy Cohn to fry them, and so he invented himself.

This was already the scene for the superfluous overkill-on-the-overkill provided by your Senator Joseph McCarthy, with Cohn as his whispering spirit, in the early 1950s. (Eugene McCarthy was no doubt right about one or two things, but he's definitely not the one you meant. It's okay, I've done the exact same switcheroo at times.)

So where were all those commies, by then, besides camping out under the bed? Maybe you think those who ceased to express sympathies with communism or leftist ideas and conformed to the new zeitgeist -- or even testified -- were still commies? Once a commie, always a commie, right? Once "went to a meeting that the FBI mind associated with something-something-commie," always a commie, right?

(My god, it still hasn't changed, only been flipped and reshuffled and unmoored from any remnant of reality -- Flynn and Stein, who don't even know each other, are still getting shit for happening to have landed separate invites to a fancy Moscow dinner gala for a TV network, once upon a long-ago moon.)

Just out of curiousity, what about the fascists inside the US government? How many tons do you measure those in, at the time? What was their relative weight, their ratio to your commies?

Still do, too.


Land sakes! Commies in our government, still? Better give us examples of who or what kind of a who you would mean by that. We need to search and expunge!

Anyways, the wild thing about history is that both ideology and espionage ultimately amount to very little. It's economics and supply chains that really shape the upheavals of history.


False binary. Economics is ideology, and vice-versa, but it's a lot more the first than your strict neomaterialism seems to allow. And if you think about the historic arc covered by your comment -- from the 1950s of Mao Triumphant to the Huawei-wow-zing China of 2020, it's hard to think of a case wherein ideology could have been any more important, or in which economics and ultimately supply chains followed from an ideological understanding of the world. Or do you think we'd be looking at the same situation if the mainland had remained under the rule of a good Christian KMT, encouraging high birth rates and running an underdeveloped Mega-Bangladesh/Congo in total hock to New York and London, still making trinkets not at one-fifth but one-twentieth the wages? Not that I know for sure what would have happened, but this would have been one of the higher probability scenarios, don't you think?

What is valued? Who gets to valuate it, by which force, at what time?

(Hope later to get to the other parts that are interesting, and not just because it's you trying to be nonchalantly provocative in your editorial intro. Which is appreciated, of course. We don't want just always the tasty copy-paste. No, I mean it: thank you.)

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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby Wombaticus Rex » Sat May 16, 2020 3:39 pm

JackRiddler » Sat May 16, 2020 9:04 am wrote:So where were all those commies, by then, besides camping out under the bed?

.


In the State Dept and in the Universities, mostly. Wasn't much space for them in the unions after the Italians and Jews muscled in.
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby SonicG » Sat May 16, 2020 10:16 pm

Thanks for that article Rex - very interesting. I don't disagree this part, but I wonder if or how much this will change post-CV:
Which brings us to perhaps China’s most immediate problem. Nothing about the Chinese system – its political unity, its relative immunity from foreign threats, its ability import energy from a continent away, its ability to tap global markets to supply it with raw materials and markets to dump its products in, its ability to access the world beyond the First Island Chain – is possible without the global Order. And the global Order is not possible without America. No other country – no other coalition of countries – has the naval power to guarantee commercial shipments on the high seas. No commercial shipments, no trade. No trade, no export-led economies. No export-led economies…no China.


The extent and global effects of the crashing of the US economy will certainly have endless spinoff effects that we can't begin to predict, so I don't think we can look at the post-CV "Global Order", which will probably be a disorder, as being dependent on the US. If there is a second wave, especially due to premature reopening etc., the US will suffer incredibly, forcing countries to look more and more for alternate arrangements with countries that have, at least supposedly, basically eliminated the virus within their own borders...
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby dada » Sun May 17, 2020 12:51 am

... the global Order is not possible without America. No other country – no other coalition of countries – has the naval power to guarantee commercial shipments on the high seas. No commercial shipments, no trade. No trade, no export-led economies. No export-led economies…no China.


I thought that part painted a humorous picture. Like the US Navy is sailing the high seas just to police the shipping lanes. Hard at work protecting walmart cargo from Captain Jack Sparrow and the pirates, I guess.

But I get where the guy is coming from. How could I not. His point of view is obvious, it isn't like he's trying to hide it.

I'm not really sure what happens when China collapses, it seems to me that no one has quite thought it through. So the political elite fall from power. There are still tradesmen, merchants, scientists, scholars. Businessmen, mothers. Soldiers, cops, bandit kings of the streets. Electrical engineers, IT guys and gals, pop stars, movie stars, and all the people it takes to make them. And so on and on. Revolution comes and goes. Before long there's a new political elite. These things tend toward equilibrium, society restabilizes, flaws and all.

So, business opportunities. What else is new. And America gets a leg up in the coming resource wars, I guess. You know how WR says there's already war between China and the U.S. That's how I feel when I read about the coming resource wars. Of course they've already started.

What war isn't a resource war? But I get it, we're talking about dwindling resources now. Not resource wars for expanding empires, but resource wars just to maintain them.
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby Monk » Sun May 17, 2020 1:28 am

The coming war on China is driven by the need to keep the petrodollar propped up while maintaining a "grand chessboard" strategy. Both are weakening.
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby SonicG » Sun May 17, 2020 9:53 pm

Chinese ambassador to Israel died in the middle of the night from a heart attack...
hmmmm

Chinese ambassador to Israel found dead at Herzliya residence
Foreign Ministry confirms death of 57-year-old Du Wei; may have died of cardiac arrest; police at scene; death comes at delicate time for Israel-China relations

Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that the Chinese ambassador to Israel, Du Wei, 57, was found dead at his official residence in the coastal town of Herzliya.

The Foreign Ministry said police were on the scene.
According to the Ynet news site, aides tried to wake Du and found him in his bed, not breathing. The initial assessment was that he had suffered cardiac arrest during the night.

...

The ambassador’s death comes just two days after he condemned comments by visiting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who denounced Chinese investments in Israel and accused China of hiding information about the coronavirus outbreak.

State Department officials said a main topic of discussion during Pompeo’s visit was Washington’s concerns over Israel’s trade relationship with China, citing its lack of transparency and problematic trade practices.

On Friday the Chinese Embassy assailed the US administration, saying the accusations were “absurd” and that it hoped its “Jewish friends” in Israel would not only succeed in defeating the virus but also the “political virus” — an apparent reference to accusations leveled at Beijing by Pompeo.

The statement also said that “Jewish friends know… well” that historically, “pandemic is accompanied by conspiracies and the dark mentality of seeking scapegoats.”

Senior security officials in both countries have sounded alarm bells over Chinese involvement in infrastructure projects, warning they are a security risk and could jeopardize ties with the US.

The embassy in its statement said Pompeo has long claimed there are security risks in cooperation with China, “without producing any concrete evidence.”

It said Israeli-Chinese cooperation was “win-win in nature,” and it claimed the assertions of a Chinese “buy up” of Israel was ridiculous, as “China’s investment in Israel only accounts for 0.4 percent of China’s investment across the world and 3% of the foreign investment flown into Israel.”

In October, under pressure from the US, Israel’s security cabinet announced the formation of a new advisory panel to review foreign investments in the country.
https://www.timesofisrael.com/chinese-a ... residence/

Moon of Alabama looks at the timeline:
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/05/c ... l#comments

Not much chatter this morning although this wild theory is being dropped around twitter:
Pompeo requested the firing of the State Dept IG because he was digging into rumors Kushner setup a meeting between Pompeo and a questionable individual in Israel. The meeting revolved around activities to be carried out against the Chinese Ambassador there. Now Du Wei is dead?

Apparently the IG was looking into Pompeo using staff for personal errands, so maybe they did just fire him for that, given the slushbowl of graft that is the US exec. branch now, but it will be interesting to see what comes of it although that "Whistleblower Shitshow Part 1" back in January probably has everyone tired of the term...

Backing away from that theory but still looking forward to "punishing" China though...
Pompeo backs away from theory he and Trump were pushing that coronavirus originated in Wuhan lab
...
In his interview with Breitbart, Pompeo emphasized that knowing where the outbreak began is "key" for scientists working on developing a vaccine, and blamed China for "attempting ... to undermine the central understandings of transparency that every country has a responsibility to deliver."
Pompeo also reiterated that the US intends to punish China for the global pandemic, but noted that "the precise mechanisms that we will choose -- I want to make sure that (Trump) gets the chance to get fully briefed and make those decisions."
https://edition.cnn.com/2020/05/17/poli ... index.html
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby SonicG » Sun May 17, 2020 10:08 pm

More Pompie:
Pompeo warns China not to interfere with U.S. journalists in Hong Kong

What he's saying: "It has recently come to my attention that the Chinese government has threatened to interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong," Pompeo said.

"These journalists are members of a free press, not propaganda cadres, and their valuable reporting informs Chinese citizens and the world.
"Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory."

Background: On March 17, China announced it was canceling the press credentials of most U.S. journalists from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post — effectively expelling over a dozen U.S. journalists. The move came after the U.S. effectively expelled about 60 Chinese state media workers several weeks earlier.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said the expelled journalists would not be permitted to work in Hong Kong — an unprecedented restriction on the freedom of U.S. journalists to operate in the former British colony, which has previously operated with a high degree of autonomy from the mainland.

https://www.axios.com/pompeo-china-us-j ... ad72a.html
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby SonicG » Wed May 20, 2020 9:49 pm

Fat Boy is really talking tough on Twitter:

Spokesman speaks stupidly on behalf of China, trying desperately to deflect the pain and carnage that their country spread throughout the world. Its disinformation and propaganda attack on the United States and Europe is a disgrace...It all comes from the top. They could have easily stopped the plague, but they didn’t!
...
Some wacko in China just released a statement blaming everybody other than China for the Virus which has now killed hundreds of thousands of people. Please explain to this dope that it was the “incompetence of China”, and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing!


And the running dogs of the US Oligarchy chime in:

Meanwhile, top American senators continued to press the administration that rules of engagement with China needs to change post-coronavirus.

“As we know, they unleashed this virus on America and the world with their classic communist cover-up, deception, continued propaganda campaign, costing now over 90,000 American lives, 35 million Americans losing their jobs so far,” Senator Martha McSally said during a Congressional hearing.

“We don’t know who patient zero is, they destroyed samples, they silenced doctors, they kicked out journalists, they impacted international travel to seed this and their reckless behaviour continues to be the root of all this,” she said.

https://www.thehindu.com/news/internati ... 629067.ece


From Vice and rather simplistic, but this money shot should be kept in mind:

So what about a military conflict?
Experts agree that an all-out military conflict between the two powers is unlikely, but increasingly tense flash points such as Taiwan and the South China Sea provide the potential for the sides to accidentally fall into a military conflict that neither side really wants.

But if a military conflict did break out, most in America would assume, given the $1 trillion dollars spent on the military each year by the government, that the U.S. would win such a battle.

But that’s not necessarily the case, according to a new book called “The Kill Chain: Defending America in the Future of High-Tech Warfare,” written by Christian Brose, a former staff director of the Senate Armed Services Committee and a close adviser to late senator John McCain (R-Ariz.).

In the book, Brose highlights just how poorly the U.S. military compares with its Chinese counterpart due to more advanced weaponry such as hypersonic missiles and communication technologies, and a more agile presence in the region.

“Over the past decade, in U.S. war games against China, the United States has a nearly perfect record: We have lost almost every single time.”
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/7kp9 ... d-backfire
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby Iamwhomiam » Wed May 20, 2020 10:32 pm

Jack, Rex, I believe the purge began earlier, in '42, with the adoption of the Pledge of Allegiance.
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby PufPuf93 » Thu May 21, 2020 1:41 am

Wombaticus Rex » Sat May 16, 2020 12:39 pm wrote:
JackRiddler » Sat May 16, 2020 9:04 am wrote:So where were all those commies, by then, besides camping out under the bed?

.


Rex, Where you type, "In the State Dept and in the Universities, mostly. Wasn't much space for them in the unions after the Italians and Jews muscled in.

The extent to which China has infiltrated and compromised US politicians, down even to the municipal level, is insane. I completely understand why anyone reading this would refuse to take me seriously or view this as some McCarthy thing, but it's also important to remember that Eugene was right about a great deal and we really did have tons of Communists inside US gov at the time." don't you mean Joe rather than Eugene McCarthy as the great anti-communist? Eugene Debs was the Socialist candidate for POTUS 5 times and a strong figure in labor unions.

War with China has crept along for at least the last 20 years. Be a good idea to be leery of Chinese competence and resolved but our leaders are idiots.
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Re: The Coming War on China

Postby JackRiddler » Thu May 21, 2020 9:45 am

PufPuf93 » Thu May 21, 2020 12:41 am wrote:Don't you mean Joe rather than Eugene McCarthy as the great anti-communist? Eugene Debs was the Socialist candidate for POTUS 5 times and a strong figure in labor unions.


Eugene Debs - committed Christian, founder of trade unions and the Socialist party, presidential candidate, peace activist, political prisoner. Go right now and read his Dayton, Ohio speech, for which he was imprisoned.

Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-WI) - opportunistic anti-communist fire-breather who skyrocketed to prominence and a rapid fall as the head of his own witchhunter subcommittee in the early 1950s, allowing the staging of his political downfall as a cathartic televised spectacle (the McCarthy Army hearings) that created the false impression that the US had suffered but stepped back from "McCarthyism" when in fact the anti-communist purges and early Cold War transformations of state and society were institutionally pursued, went wild right after the war, and continued into the 1960s.

Sen. Eugene McCarthy (D-MN) - challenged LBJ as the antiwar candidate in 1968 primary. Came in close second in NH, after which LBJ, probably disgusted with what he himself had wrought, resigned. This would never happen today. After that, RFK entered, won most of the primaries over McCarthy, and was assassinated the night he seemed to clinch the primary process in California. McCarthy was also shut out at the subsequent 1968 Chicago convention, where the then-machine men, Daley and Meany, backed pro-war VP Hubert Humphrey as the man best suited to lose to Nixon.

War with China has crept along for at least the last 20 years. Be a good idea to be leery of Chinese competence and resolved but our leaders are idiots.


Be a good idea not to exaggerate them into the global Yellow Peril, see them and the world as it is. China's economic rise was and is inevitable but limited by the same factors operating globally; as the US hegemony declines, there will never again be a single-nation superpower or one-country global empire. The US cannot change that or force outcomes on China, nor would the attempt be anything other than disastrous and inimical to reform, which isn't really what the US policy makers want.

Best to find an accommodation among the powers generally that avoids war, ends the arms race and the arms trade and the insane misallocations of priorities and destructive consequences of these horrible, stupid industries, and puts the resources into solving real problems, of which human civilization has more than enough. To "belt and road" the response shouldn't be to sabotage and treat it like a bigger threat to the world than American bombs, but to suggest collaboration on a global high-speed railway and rail goods transport system linking the hemispheres via the Bering Strait. (Yeah, LaRouche was good for an idea after all.)

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