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Thread: Tillerson's saber-rattling with China

  1. #1

    Default Tillerson's saber-rattling with China

    I'm so glad we don't have to worry about Hillary starting WWIII. And the Deep State wants to remove Trump because he's such a peace-lover.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...atens-war.html


    After Tillerson’s Talk About South China Sea, Beijing Threatens ‘War’

    Trump’s secretary of State nominee signals radical change in Washington’s policy toward Beijing—and the reaction is immediate. But how far will either side go?

    GORDON G. CHANG

    01.16.17 9:00 PM ET

    Beijing on Friday—the 13th no less—threatened the United States with “large-scale war.”

    “Prepare for a military clash” said the Global Times in an editorial.

    Beijing was hitting back hard against remarks made by Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of State, in his confirmation hearing. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands is also not going to be allowed,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday.


    The nominee also said China’s militarizing the islands is “akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea.”

    Observers gasped at Tillerson’s words, which signaled a radical change in American policy toward China. Yet his general approach toward Beijing, despite all the criticism he has attracted in the last few days, is the correct one for these times.

    China has been island building—cementing over coral—all over the South China Sea, but especially in the Spratly and Paracel chains. Beijing began a new phase of reclamation in early 2014 in the Spratlys, in the southern portion of that body of water, creating more than 3,200 acres on and around seven reefs, rocks, and shoals. Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, famously called the built-up features China’s “great wall of sand.”


    Those features, along with Beijing’s nearby possessions, give the Chinese navy and air force the ability to control that body of water.

    Chinese leader Xi Jinping, standing next to President Barack Obama in the Rose Garden in September 2015, said there was no intention to militarize the new features.

    Despite Xi’s statement, Beijing almost immediately began to fortify the islands. James Fanell, who recently retired as director of Intelligence and Information Operations for the U.S. Pacific fleet, told The Daily Beast he expects a further buildup of military assets on the features, including “forward deployment of both fighter and bomber aircraft to at least one of the three new naval air stations, to be shortly followed by port calls to these deep water harbors by Chinese naval combatants and even submarines.”

    The People’s Liberation Army was going to do this anyway, Fanell notes, and the military will probably accelerate fortification, using Tillerson’s testimony and other statements from Trump transition officials as a pretext. Fanell argues Beijing views these words, in and of themselves, as a “threat to China’s sovereignty.”

    “Blue national soil” is the term Beijing uses these days. And there is a lot of that. China’s official maps contain nine dashes enclosing about 85 percent of the South China Sea, claiming all the features within the boundary. Moreover, state media, including the official Xinhua News Agency, take the position that the waters inside are also territorial, in other words, internal and sovereign.

    The United States and other nations disagree, contending that almost all of the South China Sea is part of the global commons. So did an arbitration panel in The Hague, which on July 12 issued a ruling inconsistent with virtually all of China’s positions.

    The decision in Philippines v. China interpretingthe United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea not only invalidated the nine-dash-line claim but also held that China’s land-building activities were violations of its obligations.

    Up to now, no nation has been willing to take steps to enforce the ruling beyond mild rhetorical condemnations of Beijing. Tillerson promised the Trump administration will act.

    And perhaps not a moment too soon, because China is not only disregarding its treaty obligations, thereby eroding the international system, it is also trying to dismember its neighbors.


    The most significant aggressive act in recent years is Beijing’s seizure of Scarborough Shoal. In early 2012, both Chinese and Philippine vessels swarmed the feature, only 124 nautical miles from the main Philippine island of Luzon. Scarborough—just rocks above the waterline—is strategic because it guards the mouths to Manila and Subic Bays.


    Washington arranged for both sides to withdraw their craft, but only Manila complied, leaving China in control of the reef.

    To avoid confrontation, the Obama administration did nothing to enforce the deal it had just brokered. As Arthur Waldron, the great China historian of the University of Pennsylvania, told me Sunday, “This path of least resistance is very dangerous.”

    What the White House did by doing nothing about Scarborough was empower the most belligerent elements in the Chinese political system by showing everybody else in Beijing that aggression in fact worked.

    And Waldron is right. The Chinese leadership, emboldened by success at Scarborough, immediately applied pressure on Tokyo to hand over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, continually sending its vessels and aircraft into Japanese territorial waters. Moreover, it appears China soon stepped up efforts to take over Second Thomas Shoal, another South China Sea feature, from the Philippines.

    “Xi Jinping cannot quickly back down from Trump’s very public threats” Anders Corr of Corr Analytics told The Daily Beast on Saturday. Although Corr, a leading China watcher, correctly sees Beijing’s war talk after the Tillerson testimony as “public bluster,” many are nonetheless concerned about eventual conflict between the U.S. and China.

    And because of that, some think the United States should cede the South China Sea to Beijing. Yet history suggests that would be a mistake. “Whenever peace—conceived as the avoidance of war—has been the primary objective of a power or a group of powers, the international system has been at the mercy of the most ruthless member of the international community,” wrote Henry Kissinger, drawing lessons from Europe at the time of the Congress of Vienna in the second decade of the 19th century. “Whenever the international order has acknowledged that certain principles could not be compromised even for the sake of peace, stability based on an equilibrium of forces was at least conceivable.”

    For decades, Washington has tried to manage China’s rise, many times trying to avoid confrontation in the hope that Beijing leaders would one day see fit to “enmesh” their regime in the international system’s rules, treaties, and conventions.

    Tillerson on Wednesday essentially said the Trump administration will give up on that effort. Instead of being at Beijing’s mercy, the new team, he signaled, will uphold principles, in China’s peripheral waters and elsewhere.

    So on Wednesday you heard the junking of more than four decades of America’s China policy—and the enunciation of a startling new approach that may sound provocative but which is in fact designed to keep the peace.



  2. #2

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    Trumpf's administration is shaping up to be is just as militaristic and in need of wars for profit and Empire as any others - it is only their choice of targets that seem to be slightly different.

    Trumpf has also signaled an economic war with China...but I wonder how that one will play out with China owning more than six Trillion dollars of US debt!...and being the supplier of almost all we buy.

    In a military battle in the high seas [by blockading Chinese access to their island bases or some such], we have the stronger forces, but they have enough forces to destroy many of our ships [read aircraft carriers], and start a nuclear war that would end the World.

    Anyone who thinks the nuclear codes to launch a nuclear war are safe in Trumpf's hands is as insane as he is a fascist clown. I didn't feel comfortable with them in the hands of earlier Presidents, but even less so by several orders of magnitude with this emotionally/intellectually unstable person.
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  3. #3

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    For decades, Washington has tried to manage China’s rise, many times trying to avoid confrontation in the hope that Beijing leaders would one day see fit to “enmesh” their regime in the international system’s rules, treaties, and conventions.
    This is very enlightening. The CIA controlled establishment, has always had capitalist Russia as its target and and communist China as a most favored nation.

    I continue to wonder how much we are watching managed dialectics in play.
    "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false." --William J. Casey, D.C.I

    "We will lead every revolution against us." --Theodore Herzl

  4. #4

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    Let's not forget that Obama had already announced a major policy shift with his pivot to Asia.

    Besides that it was Trump's foreign affairs guru (and Rockefeller man) Henry Kissinger and co's idea that the US had to repair bridges with Russia specifically in order to drive a wedge between the ever developing Sino-Russian friendship, because if those two powers remained locked in a military as well as an economic alliance, they would represent the greatest threat to the US/NATO neoliberal order --- bar none.

    Thus a divide and conquer strategy was hatched in the shadows.

    Ergo, I don't see Tillerson's choice as Sec of State and the decision to mend the relationship with Russia at all surprising, anymore than I find his China sabre rattling at all surprising.

    It seems quite evident to me that the Trump presidency signals a factional realignment amongst the US elite. Going out are the neocons/neo-liberals because they overcommitted on their ideological zealotry and thus lost the support of the pragmatic US elite - who I imagine must've been developing ulcers watching these nutters destroy the US from the inside. Coming in are the Kissinger/Rockefeller faction who eventually saw the danger to America's hegemony and moved accordingly to put Hilary out of our misery, and place Trump in power.

    But I rather suspect they may have moved too late, because I don't think Putin or Russia will be pressured or bought to disrupt their closer ties to China.

    It might be wishful thinking on my part, but I believe the days of the US as a sole superpower are rapidly waning. And if that proves to be true, the US elite only have themselves to blame, because history has repeatedly taught us that great power, used arrogantly and for narrow, selfish ends always corrupts itself.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Let's not forget that Obama had already announced a major policy shift with his pivot to Asia.

    Besides that it was Trump's foreign affairs guru (and Rockefeller man) Henry Kissinger and co's idea that the US had to repair bridges with Russia specifically in order to drive a wedge between the ever developing Sino-Russian friendship, because if those two powers remained locked in a military as well as an economic alliance, they would represent the greatest threat to the US/NATO neoliberal order --- bar none.

    Thus a divide and conquer strategy was hatched in the shadows.

    Ergo, I don't see Tillerson's choice as Sec of State and the decision to mend the relationship with Russia at all surprising, anymore than I find his China sabre rattling at all surprising.

    It seems quite evident to me that the Trump presidency signals a factional realignment amongst the US elite. Going out are the neocons/neo-liberals because they overcommitted on their ideological zealotry and thus lost the support of the pragmatic US elite - who I imagine must've been developing ulcers watching these nutters destroy the US from the inside. Coming in are the Kissinger/Rockefeller faction who eventually saw the danger to America's hegemony and moved accordingly to put Hilary out of our misery, and place Trump in power.

    But I rather suspect they may have moved too late, because I don't think Putin or Russia will be pressured or bought to disrupt their closer ties to China.

    It might be wishful thinking on my part, but I believe the days of the US as a sole superpower are rapidly waning. And if that proves to be true, the US elite only have themselves to blame, because history has repeatedly taught us that great power, used arrogantly and for narrow, selfish ends always corrupts itself.
    This is more or less what I see. Also don't forget Obama's TPP which specifically excluded China. Now dead in the water any way as Trump isn't supporting these sort of trade blocks just bilateral trade. Hilary thoroughly endorsed it until late in the day when she realised that it was electoral poison. Too late.[/quote]
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by David Guyatt; 01-18-2017 at 11:58 AM.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magda Hassan View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Let's not forget that Obama had already announced a major policy shift with his pivot to Asia.

    Besides that it was Trump's foreign affairs guru (and Rockefeller man) Henry Kissinger and co's idea that the US had to repair bridges with Russia specifically in order to drive a wedge between the ever developing Sino-Russian friendship, because if those two powers remained locked in a military as well as an economic alliance, they would represent the greatest threat to the US/NATO neoliberal order --- bar none.

    Thus a divide and conquer strategy was hatched in the shadows.

    Ergo, I don't see Tillerson's choice as Sec of State and the decision to mend the relationship with Russia at all surprising, anymore than I find his China sabre rattling at all surprising.

    It seems quite evident to me that the Trump presidency signals a factional realignment amongst the US elite. Going out are the neocons/neo-liberals because they overcommitted on their ideological zealotry and thus lost the support of the pragmatic US elite - who I imagine must've been developing ulcers watching these nutters destroy the US from the inside. Coming in are the Kissinger/Rockefeller faction who eventually saw the danger to America's hegemony and moved accordingly to put Hilary out of our misery, and place Trump in power.

    But I rather suspect they may have moved too late, because I don't think Putin or Russia will be pressured or bought to disrupt their closer ties to China.

    It might be wishful thinking on my part, but I believe the days of the US as a sole superpower are rapidly waning. And if that proves to be true, the US elite only have themselves to blame, because history has repeatedly taught us that great power, used arrogantly and for narrow, selfish ends always corrupts itself.
    This is more or less what I see. Also don't forget Obama's TPP which specifically excluded China. Now dead in the water any way as Trump isn't supporting these sort of trade blocks just bilateral trade. Hilary thoroughly endorsed it until late in the day when she realised that it was electoral poison. Too late.
    Indeed. TPP was an unmitigated and toxic disaster in any case, as was the TTIP. Fingers crossed, this vampire has been staked to death.

    Below is what scares the US the most - a land route from China to the world - especially Europe - which voids the might of the US navy to impose a blockade of the oceans.

    Silk Road route back in business as China train rolls into London

    After 16 days and 7,456 miles, the locomotive’s arrival heralds the dawn of a new commercial era


    The East Wind freight train prepares for its journey at Yiwu station in Zhejiang province of China. Photograph: VCG/Getty Images
    Tracy McVeigh

    Saturday 14 January 2017 20.45 GMT Last modified on Tuesday 17 January 2017 12.47 GMT


    When the East Wind train rumbles into east London this week, it will be full of socks, bags and wallets for London’s tourist souvenir shops, as well as the dust and grime accumulated through eight countries and 7,456 miles.


    The train – made up of 34 wagons – will be the first to make the 16-day journey from Yiwu in east China to Britain, reviving the ancient trading Silk Road route and shunting in a new era of UK-China relations.


    Due to arrive on Wednesday, the train will have passed through China, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before crossing under the Channel and arriving in the east end of London at Barking rail freight terminal.


    Faster than a ship, cheaper than a plane, the East Wind won’t be quite the same train that left Yiwu on 2 January. Differing rail gauges in countries along the route mean a single locomotive and set of wagons cannot travel the whole route. But the journey still marks a new departure in the 21st-century global economy. The new train, which will start to run weekly while demand is tested, is part of China’s One Belt, One Road policy – designed to open up the old Silk Road routes and bring new trade opportunities, said Prof Magnus Marsden, an anthropologist at Sussex University’s School of Global Studies, who has been studying the trading patterns in Yiwu. China Railway has already begun rail services to 14 European cities, including Madrid and Hamburg. As a result, Yiwu’s markets are now loaded with hams, cheese and wine from Spain and German beer is available on every corner.


    “It’s a new economic geography,” he said. “This is the first train to the UK, but very much part of a new type of commercial route. The commodities are small. It’s not the big corporates who will be using this train, so it’s very much in the tradition of the Silk Road, giving opportunities for those who are in fact the inheritors of those ancient traders today.” Yiwu is a gigantic bazaar, he said, where traders from all over the world congregate. The goods brought to Britain by the East Wind are not as exotic as the peacocks and gemstones that were once transported along the Silk Road, which ran through Europe and Eurasia’s historical dynasties and empires. The trading route, thought to have been established in around 200BC, brought the west textiles, exotic foods, paper making – and probably the Black Death.


    Everything from chairs to illicit drugs were sent back the other way. On one occasion China threatened Queen Victoria that it would stop exporting her favourite rhubarb to England if she didn’t do something about the British opium trade. “Yiwu made its name internationally as a city in which traders could buy affordable commodities in bulk,” said Marsden. “The city’s early trade was mostly with markets in Asia, Africa, Latin America and eastern Europe. From the sprawling container markets of the former Soviet Union to the bazaars of the Middle East, commodities purchased in Yiwu have both made and unmade people’s lives. These products have contributed to the demise of local industries, yet have also had a hand in the resurrection of great trading cities that had fallen into decline, the Black Sea port of Odessa in Ukraine, or Sulaymaniyah in Iraq being such examples.”


    Eurasia is an idea whose time has come around again


    Today Yiwu’s streets are among the most cosmopolitan in the world, full of traders from Colombia, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Pakistan, India, Syria, Angola and Ukraine, and could now be attracting a few from the UK as well.


    In Barking there is great excitement over the arrival of the East Wind, the name of which references the Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, who famously said: “The east wind will prevail over the west wind.”


    “The new service has a very quick transit time,” operations director, Mike White, told the Railway Gazette. “We believe this is going to change the way a lot of forwarders and shippers view their imports and exports for China.”
    Source
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  7. #7

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    Rex Tillerson supports TPP, by the way.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...aised-tpp.html

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Riddle View Post
    Rex Tillerson supports TPP, by the way.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...aised-tpp.html
    I don't believe anyone here is advocating for him, Tracy.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Riddle View Post
    Rex Tillerson supports TPP, by the way.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...aised-tpp.html
    I don't believe anyone here is advocating for him, Tracy.
    Just responding to what you and Magda wrote about trade deals in the comments above.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Riddle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by David Guyatt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Riddle View Post
    Rex Tillerson supports TPP, by the way.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/article...aised-tpp.html
    I don't believe anyone here is advocating for him, Tracy.
    Just responding to what you and Magda wrote about trade deals in the comments above.
    Many of us on the forum oppose the TTP/TTIP type deals irrespective of who is pushing them. They are designed to favour US transnational corporations by diluting the domestic laws of those nations who bind themselves under such treaties.

    I suspect that Theresa May will agree a deal like this sooner or later, once the Brexit negotiations are settled. I'll detest her for it.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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