Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 12-11-2021

“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Pablo Picasso

soe dawn 2021.JPG

This week was a trickle of reminders to simply enjoy life in the moment. Stepped outside for some mundane reason early in the morning. The intense color of an orange dawn wrapped around the horizon. Quickly stepped back into the house for the camera to help remember the feeling of awe.

My neighbor's have switched from raising pigs in pens on grain to pasture raised. They roam the fields with the cattle.

soe pig1.jpg

The mornings have been cold, the low twenty's. When I drove by the pasture yesterday a few of those pigs had found a great place to avoid the morning chill. Those lumps in the hay are pigs, the small dots in the back are the pigs in the previous photo.

soe pig2.JPG

A large covey of quail showed up in the yard today, over 15 birds, including 4 small framed birds. Maybe some of the baby quail from the nest survived. When snow covers their feed I will supplement their diet.

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This article just showed up. May indicate a break between the government of Taiwan and a major business group on the value of aligning with the United States or China.

Taiwan chipmakers hint at decoupling from the US

Taiwan’s chip fabricators signed an agreement on December 3 to create their own semiconductor equipment industry, opening an “option to decouple from the West,” in the view of a prominent US research firm.

The Taiwanese initiative responds to Washington’s extraterritorial sanctions on buyers of US fabricating equipment, imposed by then-president Donald Trump in May 2020. The US asserts the right to block sales of chips produced with US machines or intellectual property.
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Taiwan’s chipmakers, who have massive commitments on the Chinese mainland, fear that US sanctions may stop them from using American equipment to make semiconductors for the US$300 billion Chinese chip market, the world’s largest.

On December 9, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Defense Department wants to stop China’s largest chipmaker, SMIC, from purchasing American machines.

Industry analyst Dan Hutchison of the semiconductor research group VSLI wrote on December 8 that a home-grown chip equipment industry “would make it possible for Taiwan to decouple from the West. Worse, it points to a post-globalization world heading to a dark age of over-supply, fractured R&D resources and low innovation.”

Hutchison called the Taiwanese initiative a “clear post-globalization defensive move to counter the current US administration’s action to shut down China and China’s response to develop its own equipment industry.”

Taiwanese companies are leading China’s state-sponsored drive to build domestic semiconductor manufacturing.

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American military and State Department are poking at Iran, Russia and China as if trying to prompt them into "striking out" or attacking a United States asset or Allie. Then American support for revenge will fall into place and support for a new war will emerge. Current leadership in Taiwan seems to be offering their population and land as a spot to hold a war. It is a beautiful island, gracious people, have experienced wonderful hospitality. The thought of it being destroyed like areas in the Middle East as a pawn in world power games is heartbreaking.

The first article is a succinct history, starting in the late 1800's, of the global events and players which created today's risk of a world war starting in Taiwan. The additional articles are in chronological order regarding military preparedness and the "secret" program started in 2017 to build additional submarines.

Taiwan: U.S. Deployment Area Against Mainland China Since 1945
published Nov 21, 2021 by Werner Rügemer at Strategic Culture Foundation

Under U.S. guidance, the regime of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek was installed in Taiwan beginning in 1945: He had already been supported by the USA in the 1920s, then also by Hitler’s Germany. Taiwan is being instrumentalized against the People’s Republic of China, again intensified since U.S. Presidents Obama and Trump. The current U.S. President Biden is even toying with a possible war with the help of Taiwan.
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It was not until 1971 that the People’s Republic, supported by several dozen developing countries and the Non-Aligned Movement, achieved recognition as China’s representative in the UN (UN Resolution 2758 of October 25, 1971). The United States therefore also transferred diplomatic recognition to the People’s Republic of China.

Taiwan, with its 23 million inhabitants, continued to receive special support from the United States. However, this was scaled back on the military level, at least until the early 2000s. The reason: The largest U.S. corporations were able to shift as much supplier production as possible to the People’s Republic, which was extremely profitable, because the People’s Republic was an absolute low-wage state at the beginning of industrialization. The low-wage economy was often organized with the help of Foxconn: The profits of U.S. corporations and then other Western corporations skyrocketed.

Low-wage organizer Foxconn flees to the USA and the EU

That changed slowly, but permanently. The practices associated with importing Western companies and contracts were transformed in the People’s Republic, unlike other Western-dominated developing countries such as India: labor incomes in the People’s Republic were gradually increased several times decades, and the number of socially insured people is increasing. Chinese minimum wages now exceed the minimum wages of several EU countries (the U.S. anyway), especially when purchasing power is included .

The largest previous organizer of low-wage labor in China, the Taiwanese corporation Foxconn, is therefore gradually saying goodbye to the People’s Republic. Foxconn migrated to the Czech Republic, member state of the European Union, in 2016 with two plants and is taking advantage of the low EU standards and weak trade unions there, also to develop further low-wage sites in the Middle East and Africa from there. At the beginning of 2019, Foxconn set up its first subsidiary in the USA with the support of U.S. President Trump: the state of Wisconsin had declared itself a right-to-work state in 2015. It means: there, trade unions are additionally discriminated against compared to the already weak U.S. federal laws, wages are low in a sparsely populated region, and company start-ups are highly subsidized by central and individual states. Foxconn is now building operations also in Thailand for e-car delivery. The decades-long super-profit source in the People’s Republic of China is drying up.

China launches ‘gray-zone’ warfare to subdue Taiwan Reuters Dec 10, 2020

With Hong Kong and the restive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang under ever-tighter control, Taiwan is the last remaining obstacle to the Communist Party’s monopoly on power. In a major speech early last year, Xi said that Taiwan, which Beijing regards as a Chinese province, “must be, will be” unified with China. He set no deadline but would not rule out the use of force.

There has been a “clear shift” this year in Beijing’s posture, a senior Taiwanese security official responsible for intelligence on China told Reuters. Chinese military and government agencies have switched from decades of “theoretical talk” about taking Taiwan by force to debating and working on plans for possible military action, the official said.
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Interviews with current and former Taiwan government officials, serving and former military officers, conscripts, reservists and U.S. and other foreign military experts point to dire weaknesses. With the exception of some elements of Taiwan’s military, including the air force, special forces and parts of the navy, decades of isolation and underfunding by successive governments have left the military hollowed out. In any Chinese invasion, much of the island’s expensive hardware would be unlikely to survive a barrage of PLA precision missiles and air strikes, current and retired Taiwanese officers say. Crack, resilient ground forces would be crucial to repel beach landings by Chinese troops and counter airborne assaults, they say.

In addition, Taiwanese service members and Western observers say, Taiwan is suffering a serious and worsening decay in the readiness and training of its troops, particularly its army units.

One army conscript told Reuters he had only fired between 30 and 40 rounds with his rifle during training and was never taught how to clear a jammed firearm. “I don’t think I’m capable of fighting in a war,” said Chen, the soldier, speaking on condition his full name not be disclosed. “I don’t think I’m a qualified soldier.”
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“The military has been whittled down,” said Grant Newsham, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel who spent most of last year on the island evaluating its defense capability in a Taiwan government-funded research project. “It is almost as if fighting to defend the country is somebody else’s responsibility,” said Newsham, now a researcher at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies.
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One of Taiwan’s biggest challenges is basic: putting boots on the ground.

Taiwan has been gradually shifting from a conscript military to a volunteer-dominated professional force. By all accounts, the volunteers are well trained. That’s not the case for recent conscripts.

Evidence from internal government reports seen by Reuters and accounts of serving personnel, conscripts and reservists show that this shift has been poorly managed. Taiwan has struggled in recent years to obtain sufficient recruits to field the 188,000-strong professional force the top brass calculate is needed to fight off a Chinese attack. Defense Minister Yen told parliament on Oct. 22 that the military would meet its target to enlist 90% of this force by the end of the year.

Taiwan still has a draft, but the service period for conscripts was slashed in 2013 from one year to four months. This is too short for useful training, and the instruction is often inadequate, six recent conscripts and former officers told Reuters.
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The troubled switch to a full-time force has contributed to a gutting of the reserves, a crucial component of the island’s ability to reinforce full-time units and repulse invading troops. The 2.31 million-strong reserve force only exists on paper, according to Taiwanese and foreign military experts.

“The reserves really are a mess,” said Newsham. “Pretty close to useless.”

US Marine Special Ops Forces Have Been In Taiwan For Over A Year, Report Confirms ZeroHedge Oct 7, 2021

A bombshell Wall Street Journal report has revealed (and confirmed) that an elite contingent of special operations Marines has been deployed to Taiwan for at least the past year - a revelation sure to outrage Beijing amid ongoing charges that the US has effectively abandoned the status quo One China policy.

Citing US officials with knowledge of the program, the report details that "About two dozen members of U.S. special-operations and support troops are conducting training for small units of Taiwan’s ground forces," and that "The U.S. Marines are working with local maritime forces on small-boat training." It's the first such openly confirmed US training deployment in support of local forces since 1979. Taiwan media previously reported it, but this is the first time US officials are providing confirmation.
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Taiwan's defense minister on Wednesday issued a dire warning (though not something entirely new in terms of alarmist statements) which appears geared toward gaining more direct support from Western allies:

"With regards to staging an attack on Taiwan, they currently have the ability. But [China] has to pay the price," Chiu Kuo-cheng, the defense minister, told Taiwanese journalists on Wednesday.

But he said that by 2025, that price will be lower -- and China will be able to mount a "full-scale" invasion.

T-Day: The Battle for Taiwan The Kathmandu Post Nov 8, 2021
(The reuters link - https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/taiwan-china-wargames/ - located on several sites does not reach the original article)

While they can’t predict the future, military planners in China, Taiwan, the United States, Japan and Australia are nonetheless actively gaming out scenarios for how Beijing might try to seize the prized island, and how Taiwan and America, along with its allies, might move to stop it.

China has a range of tactics it might adopt, military experts say. They all carry risk for President Xi Jinping and his ruling Communist Party. They also pose different challenges for Taiwan and for the United States and its allies, principally Japan. Xi’s options include seizing Taiwan’s outlying islands, blockades or all-out invasion. Some Taiwanese military experts say Beijing's next step might be to seize the lightly defended and remote Pratas Islands in the north of the South China Sea. Any of these moves could spin out of control into war between China and America over Taiwan.
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Chinese control of Taiwan would dramatically reinforce the Communist Party’s prestige at home and eliminate the island as a viable model of a democratic alternative to authoritarian Party rule. It would also give China a foothold in the so-called first island chain, the line which runs through the string of islands from the Japanese archipelago to Taiwan, the Philippines and Borneo, which enclose China’s coastal seas.

For Beijing, success would translate into a commanding strategic position in Asia, undermining the security of Japan and South Korea, and allowing China to project power into the Western Pacific.

For the American alliance, a Chinese takeover of Taiwan would be a devastating blow. At a stroke, the United States would lose its status as the pre-eminent power in Asia, according to most US and regional military experts. If America were unwilling or unable to defend Taiwan, its network of allies in the Asia-Pacific – including Tokyo, Seoul and Canberra – would overnight be far more vulnerable to military and economic coercion from China. Some might switch allegiance to Beijing, analysts say. Some might seek nuclear weapons to boost their own security.


T-DAY: The Battle for Taiwan (part II)
Reuters Nov 29, 2021

The Taiwanese project, which officially began in 2017, is formally known as the Indigenous Defense Submarine program. It is codenamed Hai Chang, which means “Sea Prosperity” in Chinese. Shipbuilder CSBC began construction last year and is aiming to deliver the first of the planned eight vessels by 2025, according to government statements. The value of the project is estimated at up to $16 billion, according to the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies.
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Two people in Taiwan with direct knowledge of the program said project leaders devised a low-profile strategy to limit Beijing’s ability to pressure foreign governments and companies not to work with Taipei. The Taiwanese team approached foreign companies directly, rather than first requesting approval from national governments, the two people said. With orders in hand, the foreign companies then applied for export permits from their governments.

Export approvals have now been secured for all the key components, according to the two people and public statements by Taiwan officials. Many of these parts are related to the combat system, the two people said.

Still, fear of reprisal from Beijing has scuttled some transfers. A German company that provided vital equipment suddenly terminated a deal last year, according to the two people.
...Last month, the United States disclosed with little fanfare that it would approve the sale of key technology for the project. The word came in a State Department letter to Congress dated Jan. 5, which was posted in October in the Federal Register, the official publication of U.S. government notices. Washington was prepared to license transfers of technical data and services to Taiwan, Italy and the UK valued at $50 million or more to support Taiwan's submarine project, the letter said.

Beware: China’s taking the gloves off over Taiwan Russia Times Dec 10, 2021

Firstly came the news, deliberately timed to meet with yesterday’s opening of Biden’s summit, that Nicaragua, currently being targeted by the US for regime change, had declared that it had ended ties with Taiwan and opened diplomatic relations with Beijing, with officials traveling immediately for a meeting in Tianjin. The US State Department responded by condemning the Central American nation and encouraging countries to expand their ties with Taiwan.

Then, in addition to that, there were unconfirmed reports claiming China had outright cut Lithuania off from its own supply chain, allegedly barring international companies from exporting to the Baltic state from China. This is in retaliation for the opening of a representative office by Taiwan in Vilnius, after Lithuania’s ruling coalition agreed to support “those fighting for freedom” on the island.

If this is confirmed, then it is clear that China is now “taking the gloves off” when it comes to Taiwan and is backing up its words with serious action. Apart from the action against Lithuania, it is also doing other things such as blacklisting “separatists” and fining companies who support Taiwan’s ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Beijing is increasingly prepared to leverage its “national power” and capabilities in more sophisticated and creative ways in order to force countries to respect its position on the issue, enforce its red lines and hit back, while also upping its diplomatic game.

To do this, China is slowly developing a more intelligent and extra-territorial “sanctions regime”. While not as extensive, far-reaching or brutal as America’s, it does begin to utilize some of the same concepts which Washington employs: that is the capability to force one’s will upon a country outside of its sovereign boundaries, without kinetic action, by leveraging critical dependencies upon it.

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What is on your mind today? (Responses to Covid questions and dialog to be conducted at The Dose diary)

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QMS's picture

used by the US military as a vassal state to challenge the dragon
there may be some push back. I see Nicaragua has terminated
diplomatic ties with Taipei. Seems sensible.
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Thanks for the OT soe!
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and on the lighter side ..
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CHEERS!

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Lookout's picture

We've had a week of beautiful sun rises too. Yours is lovely.

I love seeing pigs on pasture and in woods where they belong. We're playing with the notin of kune kune pigs for our place. They are too small for commercial producers, but do well on grass and are sweet and personable.

There's a big rain on the way today...a squall line that should pass through in a couple of hours with high straight line winds. After which temps fall. When ahead and covered the lettuce. Cabbage, Broccoli, and so on will charge through without cover.

Went to trade day in this balmy weather (65 F this AM). Only one produce vendor and no one about, so went to the grocery for a few items.

US warmongering around the world is disheartening. China has been calling it out.
A reality check: Exporting war under veil of democracy

And here's another calling out US democracy's hypocrisy
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoxY3LPWNCo
Democracy should reflect the will of the people. But what happens when that will is ignored? The U.S. describes itself as a democratic country. Yet, it has rampant gun violence and racial discrimination, widening social inequality, needless overseas wars, and the worst record of COVID-19 deaths globally. In an original two-part series, CGTN takes a hard look at how democracy is slowly eroding in the U.S. and how it may spread throughout the world if not stopped.

Thanks for the OT!

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

studentofearth's picture

@Lookout regarding the status of democracy in the United States.

Kune Kune are an intriguing option to add animals to a farm. Toyed with the idea and chose not to add another animal species to butcher occasionally. Ruminants and poultry are not as personally interactive as pigs.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

zed2's picture

wealth extraction and financialization and how its being done. Nick Shaxson is an expert on whats being done and how. Its a very well organized Looting war thats going on on workers and normal people. The interviewing starts around 20:00. Its organized extortion, it's destroying American families.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN4oJTq3BR8

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zed2's picture

Lots of creative energy and they seem to have risen above the Beijing smear campaign. Several cutting edge chip fabs are located there.

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studentofearth's picture

@zed2 however it is vulnerable to the control of intellectual property owned by American and European countries. (

Chip industry’s virtuous circle made vicious by Biden’s policy Oct 26, 2021 Asia Times
Forcing chip foundries to turn over internal files is a lose-lose proposition

US, Taiwan and China form a virtuous circle

For a while, this was a virtuous arrangement. Apple took its designs to Taiwan and assembled its chipsets into iPhones, iPads and computers in China and sold them worldwide. Nvidia had its chip designs made in Taiwan and also enjoyed worldwide sales.

But then Huawei got too successful and became the world leader in 5G and a major supplier of smartphones. The former Donald Trump administration in the US thought the one way to stop Huawei was to deny it access to TSMC’s foundry services and also to any American-owned semiconductor technology.

Trump’s successor Joe Biden has gone a step further by becoming the Godfather of the worldwide semiconductor industry and make an offer the foundries cannot refuse: Turn over your confidential files to the US Department of Commerce (DOC) or else we will stop you from operating.

The foundries were given 45 days to comply after the September announcement, and it appears that the leaders, TSMC and Samsung, will comply and others will follow suit. Neither Taipei nor Seoul can stand up to Washington and fight this strong-armed unethical outrage.

It appears from the article (linked above Taiwan chipmakers hint at decoupling from the US) published today Taiwan businesses may be working on not being so vulnerable to control by the United States.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

snoopydawg's picture

Horrific news from Tennessee and parts around there with one of the most severe tornado outbreaks in history.

An Amazon warehouse was demolished, a nursing home with mass causalities and a candle factory also destroyed. Why the hell did they make people keep working knowing how bad this would be? 2 people from Amazon were airlifted to hospitals and possibly 50-100 deaths. My heart breaks for those who have seen their lives destroyed knowing that we don’t offer much support for those caught in weather disasters here in the failing states of America. Reports are that the weather channel didn’t report on the historic weather event. I read that it was coming 2 days ago.

Good coverage of the event in this DK diary by eeff.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2021/12/11/672451/Iran-not-accept-anything...

Iran’s lead negotiator says Tehran will not accept anything less than the nuclear agreement it signed with world powers in 2015, stressing that the issue will remain Tehran’s red line at the ongoing talks in Vienna.

“We will definitely agree to nothing less than that agreement and this will certainly be a red line for the Islamic Republic of Iran," Ali Bagheri Kani told Press TV on Saturday.

“We have a basic red line, which is backed up by logic,” he said, adding, “We have an agreement that was finalized by Iran and the P5+1 in 2015. The US withdrew from it a few years later and now it wants to rejoin that deal. So, this agreement is a shared basis between the two sides."

Bagheri Kani, who serves as Iran’s deputy foreign minister, made the remarks amid the ongoing seventh round of talks in Vienna to revive the JCPOA by removing Washington’s anti-Iran sanctions.

The US exited the JCPOA back in 2018 in pursuit of what it called the “maximum pressure” campaign against the Islamic Republic. The Vienna talks aim to undo all the hostile measures adopted by the US since then.

Bagheri Kani added that based on that chain of events, Iran will definitely agree to nothing less than the nuclear deal, officially called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and that “this will certainly be a red line for the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

Obviously negotiating in good faith the US comes up with this.

https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press-releases?ID=D84FAF49-D0B8-4234-AC...

Meeks Issues Statement on Passage of Stop Iranian Drones Act out of Committee

Washington, DC - Today, Representative Gregory W. Meeks, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, issued the following statement regarding the passage of the “Stop Iranian Drones Act” (SIDA), a bipartisan bill to address the growing threat of Iran’s lethal unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) program, out of Committee:

“As we have seen in recent months, Iran and Iran-aligned terrorist and militia groups have been growing increasingly aggressive with their drone attacks in the Middle East – targeting US troops, commercial vessels, partner countries and more. Such activity will not be tolerated by the U.S. Congress and is actively being addressed by the Biden Administration.

Our bill clarifies that existing conventional weapons sanctions against Iran include unmanned combat aerial vehicles and brings U.S. code up to date with the UN’s categories of major conventional arms. By doing so, this legislation will allow us to better respond to the threat posed by Iran and its proxies’ aggressive UAV tactics to the U.S. and our partners. This clarification makes clear to the international community that it is in everyone’s interest to work to stop Iranian UAV procurement and production.”

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studentofearth's picture

@humphrey being used to start a war - That would not be our fault and USA would be the victim of an aggressive bully.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

zed2's picture

Calling themselves China is what makes the PRC go nuts. Lets face it, Taiwan is a separate country and thats just reality, so best to just say it that way.

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studentofearth's picture

@zed2 of 1979.
What is Chinese Taipei? – Taiwan’s International Name Explained

One of the most important issues regarding this representation has been about how Taiwan is named at the international level.

It was in the 1970s that the international community first started recognizing the Chinese authority in Beijing over that in Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. But both countries continued to participate in international events like the Olympics.

Since then, the two countries have come to an agreement. In the Nagoya Resolution, it was stated that Taiwan would be identified and listed as “Chinese Taipei” in the activities hosted by the International Olympic Committee. And since then, the term Chinese Taipei has been used to identify Taiwan in several other international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization.

China is starting to use the legal framework for economic sanctions commonly utiliezed by Western naions, in addition to registering vocal complaints. Lithuania says China has told multinationals to boycott Vilnius over Taiwan row

Lithuania’s vice-minister for foreign affairs Mantas Adomenas said some companies had cancelled contracts with suppliers in the EU country.

“(China) have been sending messages to multinationals that if they use parts and supplies from Lithuania, they will no longer be allowed to sell to the Chinese market or get supplies there,” he told Reuters.

Adomenas said that Chinese authorities were also curtailing exports to Lithuania, including by stopping export credit guarantees for Lithuanian imports from China.

"We will not bend to this pressure," he said. "What we decide to do, by calling Taiwan Taiwan, is up to Lithuania, not Beijing."

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Thursday that China followed international trade rules and again criticised Lithuania for its stance on Taiwan.

“It has created the false impression of Taiwan being separate from China, gravely harmed China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and started an egregious precedent among the international community,” he said.
...
Taiwan has other offices in Europe and the United States but they use the name of the city Taipei, avoiding reference to the island itself, unlike the new representative office in Vilnius.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

Dawn's Meta's picture

Summerised history of Taiwan and the US. These lessons must be repeated until we can make them stick.

I had no idea that we had backed, supported, propped up Chiang Kai Shek for so long and so far back.

Also the substitution of Taiwan for the PRC in the UN in 1971. Sounds like Juan Guaido all over.

I will reread again and hopefully integrate this new knowledge of important history into my overfull brain.

Thank you.
ETA: clarification on Chaing Kai Shek.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

zed2's picture

Why do they make workers work when here is a danger of a tornado? ust like the US during the worst of the COVID epidemic in China and Mexico, We threatned both countries with legal difficulties if they shut down operations to prevent workers from getting covid. Similar problems happened in Amazon facilities here in the US resulting in deaths of workers who were not allowed to take time off and were deprived of basic safety measures.

Amazon likely didn't want to stop work "on principle". Probably the same reasons they were working during the middle of the night, whatever they are. Its been like that since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution when child labor was the norm. It still is the norm in less developed countries. Families need children to work in order to feed themselves. This is why many countries deep-ly resent people in places like the US telling them not to let children work. They say would we rather they starved?

They Amazon managers owners, bluntly wanted to get the maximum use out of their investments in expensive machinery. So they work at night as well as daytime.

"It takes a pillage to raze a child"

The protected childhood that exists in the US is arguably only for rich children and may turn out to be only temporary, a product of the late 20th century and conditions artificially created by world War II and structural changes, now being rescinded that had the effect of closing borders to the free movement of labor. Such restrictions threaten the core principles of free trade. So do "minimum wages". So do government subsidization of schools. If there are no jobs for the undereducated what wiull be the justification for spending so much money on primary education, if it doesnt lead to a job? The poor could not afford to get thw education they would need to get a good job. (It takes a PhD to get a job in the sciences)

This is sarcastic and I dont mean what I just said but others do say that and mean it. People have to be aware of this push to privatize education, water, healthcare, and pretty much everything else, at its root is how much the poors lives are valued economically.Also class has a lot to do with it. The less developed countries dont want to make it any more difficult for their wealthy young people to get jobs by encouraging public education. Some elites even have gone on the record suggesting bizarre schemes to create brain damage in the lower class in order so they would just work and have no aspirations of higher things. This kind of attitude was actually common in the not so distant past.

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zed2's picture

dismal and filled with huge mistakes that we should not have engaged in. Its been a long time since 1949 and now is not the time to be abandoning Taiwan. Taiwan now is for the first time in its history, a vibrant democracy. The PRC has also been becoming worse.

Read "Killing Hope" by William Blum to get a good, perhaps the only complete overview of how many missed opprtunities and huge mistakes in those years.

Our trade deals are all horrible. They are the new colonialism.

When has the US stood for democracy as we are supposed to, precious few times. When have we stood for overthrow of democracy? I lot. Look at Iran for example. There we created the mess that exists there today in its totality. The last democratically elected government there was overthrownj in 1953 for Britich ol companies by the British "intelligence" services and the CIA.

Just like the UK invented the concentration camp. Did you know that? No because our media helped hide British colonial atrocities all around the world again and again for 60 years or more. There has never been an examination of these atrocities, nor of the British Spiders Web of financial criminality, the former British colonies hide something like half of the money in the world. Much of it is dirty money, stolen or money from the drug trade or organized crime. The former UK colonies act like giant laundreies for dirty cash. Us Anlophile politicians act as enablers for their web of deceit to this day.

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studentofearth's picture

@zed2 "Please send us bombs, military dollars and citizens to fight the communists."

Taiwan call to be considered a democratic nation state would have more validity if it respected the government of other nations and their citizens. (from T-DAY: The Battle for Taiwan (part II) quoted in diary)

The Taiwanese team approached foreign companies directly, rather than first requesting approval from national governments, the two people said. With orders in hand, the foreign companies then applied for export permits from their governments.

There is a disturbing cliche used multiple time in my lifetime to justify oversea conflicts. ‘We Must Fight Them Over There So We Don’t Have to Fight Them Over Here’ It appears Twiwan is now one of those locations called "over there"

Taiwan now has support of Unites States government and the CIA.
Taiwan Is a Top Issue for the CIA’s New China Center (Oct 26, 2021 antiwar.com)

Now that the CIA has established a new mission that will exclusively focus on China, CIA Deputy Director David Cohen said that Taiwan will be one of the “number-one issues” for the new spy center.

“There’s a series of number-one issues with China,” Cohen said at an intelligence conference on Sunday. “Taiwan is definitely one of the number one issues with China we are focused on.”

Cohen’s comments came after President Biden said the US has a “commitment” to defend Taiwan in the event of a Chinese invasion. Although US officials were quick to clarify that Biden’s statement was not a change in policy, hawks in Congress are ready to give the president war powers to fight China over Taiwan.

Biden’s comments came against the backdrop of media hysteria over Chinese flights in Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ). The ADIZ concept is not covered by any international laws or treaties, and the Chinese warplanes usually enter the southwest corner of the ADIZ, nowhere near the island of Taiwan. But some Western media outlets falsely portrayed these flights as violations of Taiwan’s airspace.

None of the conflict scenarios in T-Day: The Battle for Taiwan The Kathmandu Post Nov 8, 2021 in the above diary turned out sell for the citizens of Taiwan or the enviornment of island of Formosa. Violent conflict often results in authoritarian governments. Peace can allow democracy to flower.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

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studentofearth's picture

@gjohnsit than I realized. Thanks for the graphic.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

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studentofearth's picture

@humphrey The contrast of Americas words of protecting press freedoms and actual actions towards Assange is exposing the hypocrisy of our government to the world more dramatically than any WikiLeaks document dump.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

zed2's picture

hire them to manufacture chips, often at great risk to their own IP. Sometimes, fabs make a larger number of a chip- than they are supposed to, and sell it in a sort of black market. That and counterfeiting of silicon is a big and growing problem.

What I hope I see someday is the technology to make ones own chips becoming more available and democratized.

Then people or companies may have more hope of protecting their IP. At least from the casual IP counterfeiter.

Link. what looks like a film I already really want to see "Sisters with Transistors"
https://metrograph.com/live-screenings/sisters-with-transistors/

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janis b's picture

I really enjoy the images you post of the environment and animals around you. Your dawn photo is spectacular. I'm glad you took a minute to photograph it for us as well as you.

The last time I saw such a deeply-colourful dawn was in Florida. Here, where I am the dawns are mostly more subtly coloured. Sometimes the light and colour of early morning is bright green and yellow-orange. Once in a while though the evening sky is more dramatically coloured, with pinks and purples. At the moment it is happily raining.

I hope you have many moments of awe.

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studentofearth's picture

@janis b Our environments are quite a contrast. Thanks for stopping by with the kind words.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

lotlizard's picture

https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2021/12/what-it-means-to-be-human/

What the Assange sorry story, and the blown out of all proportions Covid debacle, make me think is that we live in a turning point of history. The information age has grown up faster than we have, than we ever could.

And it’s leaving us behind. The only defense mechanism we have left is a deep notion of what it means to be human, and how that divides us from other living species, or even from machines. And we are failing.

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studentofearth's picture

@lotlizard similar to Assange imprisonment. A philosophical discussion of the concept could be held in The Dose diary.

Glad you had time to contribute.

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Still yourself, deep water can absorb many disturbances with minimal reaction.
--When the opening appears release yourself.

snoopydawg's picture

@lotlizard

You never realized it, and how could you, but you are now among the first specimens of a whole new kind of “human” being. Which historians of the future will be sure is proof of a cross between humans and sheep. Either that or a very serious deterioration of brain power, even if no such thing might show up in an autopsy.

The bottom of the sea is lined with lemmings. Indeed.

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It is not until the tide goes out that you discover who has been swimming naked.

Lithuania is a struggling country, with memories of Stalin atrocities.
I doubt they have enough history of globalism, international trade, and the capitalistic system, to know whether to stick with the EU and all things US, or continue to trade with a "communist' country the US is hell bent to stifle.
SOE, your picture was wonderful!
At the end of the day, with the world on the verge of blowing itself up for a great cause, it always helps to take just a little time to absorb a natural moment of peace, beauty, and wonder, right where you live. I watch critters. Birds, squirrels, raccoons, butterflies, moths, everyday of my life. That is the time I forget the incredibly dire straits the globe is in. Everyone needs a break from worry, from pressure, and from fear.

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zed2's picture

So many people seem to be trapped in old Cold War ways of looking at the world. Our remaining in a cold war mentality is a bad thing, its a weight on our minds, and smothers creativity.

Also, it reminds people that both China and the US are becoming gerontocracies, nations of the old and senile in some ways. Thats baggage that is not helpful to anybody.

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