Welcome to Saturday's Potluck - 4-30-2022
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”
Reading biographies is one of my methods for getting a feel of a culture or time period. It helps create a deeper understanding of historical events and common cultural assumptions. In 2002 in the Beijing hotel gift shop bought The Life of Mencius by Qu Chunli written in a historical novel format. The book changed the way I perceived China. Followed up later by reading the author's book The Life of Confucius.
The American idea of China's need to "save face" to avoid conflict and maintain honor had always been presented as a weakness. The two books presented the idea, by treating an opponent with honor and respect future cooperation is possible and conflicts might be resolved peacefully. Saving face was a diplomatic tool to avoid hardening a position leading to a violent conflict. It appears China may no longer be concerning itself with the honor of United States elite.
Wang Wenbin - spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2:18 min)
China firmly rejects the US and the EU’s groundless interference in China’s internal affairs and unwarranted denigration and smearing against China. We have lodged solemn representation with the two sides and made clear our stern position.
The US purports to maintain the centrality of the UN Charter, but it is clear to anyone that the US doing is quite the opposite. When the UN Security Council refused to authorize the US’ use of force in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria and other places, the US and NATO brushed the UN aside and waged wars on sovereign states in wanton interference.
The US claims to respect human rights, but the war of aggression launched by the US and its allies in countries including Afghanistan and Iraq killed over 300,000 civilians and made over 26 million people refugees. Yet, no one is held accountable for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The US even announced sanctions on the International Criminal Court who would investigate the war crimes of the US military.
The US asserts opposition to economic coercion, but it is also the US that invented “coercive diplomacy” and excels at coercing countries whether they are big or small, faraway or nearby, friend or foe. The embargo and sanctions imposed on Cuba have lasted half a century and the sanctions slapped on Iran have been there for 40 years. When it comes to stabbing its allies such as the EU and Japan in the back, the US has never hesitated, as we have seen repeatedly.
Facts have proven that the US is the biggest spreader of disinformation, culprit of coercive diplomacy and saboteur of world peace and stability. From the US-EU dialogue to the US-UK-Australia trilateral security partnership, the Quad and the Five Eyes Alliance, the US is using democracy, human rights, rules and order as a pretext to cover up its shady activities of creating division, stoking confrontation and reaping benefits at the expense of others. As a result, not only small and weak countries are hurt, US allies including Europe are also paying a heavy price for the US’ selfish acts. It is hoped that the EU can see the truth and stop holding the candle to the devil.
His presentation was a response to a question by a reporter about statement released after the US-EU Dialog on China.
The April 21 and 22 meeting between US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and European External Action Service Secretary-General Stefano Sannino, for the third high-level meeting of the US-EU Dialogue on China, for instance, came as another blow to Beijing's confidence in its benign interaction with the EU. In the statement released after the meeting, the two sides warned China about the "consequences" of any form of support for Russia, accusing Beijing of the "amplification of Russia's disinformation". It also presented a litany of the allegations with which Washington habitually smears China: "economic coercion" against other countries, human rights concerns in Xinjiang, and "rules-based order" in the Indo-Pacific, as well as threatening the "status quo" in the Taiwan Straits.
"(China) has benefited enormously from the rules-based international order over the last several decades. But now they are increasingly seeking to undermine that very system…" Sherman said.
Solomon Islands Fires Back at Australia for Criticising Security Deal With China Sputnick News April 28, 2022
Last week, China and the Solomon Islands signed a framework agreement on security cooperation. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that the construction of a Chinese military base in the Solomon Islands will be a "red line" for Canberra and Washington.
Sogavare said he had learned about Australia's security pact with the United Kingdom and the United States from media.
"Oh, but Mr Speaker, I realise that Australia is a sovereign country which can enter into any treaty it wants to, transparently or not. Which is exactly what they did with AUKUS," Sogavare said in an apparent mocking of Morrison's tone.
He also criticised the "gaps" in a bilateral 2017 Honiara-Canberra security treaty. He said that when Australia sent troops to the Solomon Islands at its request to appease riots last year, they refused to protect Chinese infrastructure and investments. Sogavare said the Australian government's refusal to admit this was "disappointing".
A series of official delegations have visited Solomon Islands since the Security Pact has been signed, including an American Delegation and Vice-Foreign Minister Kentaro Uesugi.
QUAD - Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, is a group of four countries: the United States, Australia, India, and Japan
South Korea emerges as Quad alternative to India Asia Tmes April 26, 2022
As a vibrant democracy with a burgeoning industrial-military complex, South Korea is a key player in the broad US-led effort at preserving a rules-based order in the region. In the coming years, South Korea will likely seek a more prominent role in emerging “Quad Plus” and “G7 Plus” strategic groupings.
Incoming South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol has declared his willingness to “positively review joining” an expanded Quad, just as Korea becomes a regular guest in expanded G7 gatherings.
UK calls for a 'global NATO' Russia Times April 28, 2022
The world order created after the Second World War and the Cold War isn’t working anymore, so the West needs “a global NATO” to pursue geopolitics anew, UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss argued, in a major foreign policy speech on Wednesday. Truss also urged the US-led bloc to send more “heavy weapons, tanks” and airplanes to Ukraine, and said China would face the same treatment as Russia if it doesn’t “play by the rules.”
Pointing to London’s unprecedented effort to embargo Russia, Truss insisted that “economic access is no longer a given. It has to be earned,” and that countries who wish to earn it “must play by the rules. And that includes China.”
Discussions of US sanctions and economic fallout related to Russia-Ukraine conflict.
From the Left Micheal Hudson (19:20)
He does not think the American military was consulted by the Neocons and the State Department in developing the plan. Unfortunately he thinks the current global conflict will take 30 years to fully resolve.
In the newspapers you would think the war is about Ukrainians and NATO fighting Russians. And it's really a war by the United States to use the NATO-Russia is a means of locking in control over its allies and the whole western world. And Janet Yellen's words re-establishing American unipolar power.
Bankers and Wall Street are the central planners of the West. Their central plannning is in favor of the finance, insurance and real estate sectors. And Bankers in charge of China through the Treasury which is run by party officials that are not seeking to make capital gains for wealthy families. But are using finance to build up their industry and infrastructure and make themselves independant of the West so America can never do to China what it did to Russia.
From the Right Byron King, author of Whiskey & Gunpowder (29:47 min)
He believes the sanctions will backfire onto the US economy.
(thanks to Blue Republic for originally sharing this video)
The first major target of US Sanctions by Trump in the China Trade war.
Huawei defeats US chip ban to post record profits Asia Times April 28, 2022.
However, Huawei’s net profits surged from 64.6 billion yuan in 2020 to a record of 113.7 billion yuan ($17.22 billion) in 2021, a remarkable 75.9% jump. The company attributed the gains in profitability to investments in innovation, improvements to operating efficiency and rebalancing of its product lines to focus on more profitable business segments that are not affected by the sanctions.
When Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was taken into custody in Canada at the request of US officials in December 2018, at the same time that the US was endeavoring to persuade Canada to ban Huawei 5G equipment, the Financial Times observed that her arrest risked being interpreted as “the use of American power to pursue political and economic ends rather than straightforward law enforcement.”
The release of Meng last September, with little more than a slap on the wrist, has only reinforced these concerns.
If the chip ban was intended to cripple Huawei’s ability to compete in the 5G infrastructure market, then it can only be viewed only as a failure to date, as the company still takes the top spot in the global rankings according to Dell’Oro Group, with a 28.7% global market share in 2021, nearly equaling the combined market share of Ericsson and Nokia, its closest two competitors.
What is on your mind today?