| Putin gives green light to sale of S-400 missile system to China!

Putin gives green light to sale of S-400 missile system to China ~ WantChinaTimes.

 

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, has given a green light to sell the country’s newest S-400 air defense guided missile system to China, which Russian media claim will give Beijing an edge in the airspace of the Taiwan Strait and over islands in the East China Sea at the center of a dispute with Japan, reports the military news website of Huanqiu.com, the Chinese-language website of China’s Global Times.

Beijing has been interested in acquiring the guided missile system since 2011. Two years ago, Russia talked with several countries interested in buying the system but was forced to suspend negotiations in order to ensure its supply to the Russian military, the general manager of a Russian national defense export company told Russian newspaper Kommersant in January this year. Export sales of the system may not begin until 2016.

Talk of a potential deal with China drew concerns from Russian security officials who worried that it may not only affect the supply of the system to Russia’s own military but also that China could back-engineer the technology to produce its own systems. The system’s manufacturer Almaz-Antei has eased the former concerns by delivering the first batch of the system. Moscow also announced a plan in January to build three new plants for the contractor in order to build more air defense and anti-guided missile systems. An intellectual property rights agreement that China and Russia signed with regard to the arms trade has also come into effect.

Though in what volume China wishes to acquire the S-400 system is unclear, Kommersant’s source said China wants enough systems to equip two to four battalions. The People’s Liberation Army has already obtained an air defense guided missile system and another command system from Russian and deployed them in the defense of Beijing and Shanghai, according to the paper, which estimated that the country would be able to control the airspace over Taiwan and the disputed Diaoyutai islands (Diaoyu to China, Senkaku to Japan).

S-400 Triumph Air Defence Missile System

 

| US to China: “Happy New Year.” China to US: “Give us our money back!”

US to China: “Happy New Year.” China to US: “Give us our money back.” ~  Lily Kuo, Quartz.

When outgoing American ambassador to China Gary Locke wished 700,000 followers on Sina Weibo a happy Chinese New Year (registration required), he received an overwhelming response: Pay back the money you owe us. 

Internet users are fond of reminding Locke that China is America’s largest foreign creditor, reflecting the unease that regular Chinese, as well as some officials and economists, feel about the increasingly inextricable links between the two economies. China now holds a record $1.317 trillion in US government bonds. 

One commenter said, “If America doesn’t pay back the money, this is using money to raise a dog that bites,” seemingly alluding to competition between the two countries. In theme with celebrating the year of the horse, several told the ambassador to ma shang, or immediately, return the money,” ma, being a homonym for the word “horse” in Chinese. Another responded to Locke’s well wishes with: ”Happy New Year. Pay back the money, pay back the money, pay back the money…”

During the US government shutdown last year, Chinese economists questioned how much China should be at the whims of American political gridlock and risk of default. In November, a Chinese central bank official said it was no longer in the country’s interest to build up its foreign reserves, and that China would cut back on its dollar purchases. China has been buying US treasuries as a way to control the value of the yuan, but as officials pledge to intervene less in the currency, that may become less necessary.

But another consideration, according to David Li, a professor at Tsinghu and former adviser to the Chinese central bank, is diplomatic ties. “The only explanation for the Chinese government’s interest in Treasuries is its relationship with the US,” Li wrote in an editorial in October. “China’s holding represents both a “hostage” scenario and a bonding instrument for the two largest economies in the world.”

One blogger said, “If America paid China back earlier, Sino-US relations could improve. Comrade, Locke, why don’t you help nudge them along?” Given that Locke is soon to leave China and will be replaced by US senator Max Baucus, who voiced some strong criticism of China during his confirmation hearings this week, it’s probably a little late for all that.

Humility Pill

| Unprecedented partnership: Russia + China will secure Syrian Chemical Stockpile!

Russia, China to Ensure Security of Syrian Chemical Stockpile ~ RIA Novosti.

MOSCOW, December 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russia and China are in charge of providing security for the Syrian government’s chemical arsenal as it is being taken out of the country, a senior Russian diplomat said on Wednesday.

“We have undertaken ensuring that those chemicals are safely loaded onto Dutch and Norwegian container ships and safely transported while in Syrian waters. In other words, we will convoy these vessels,” Mikhail Ulyanov, head of the foreign ministry’s security and disarmament department, told RIA Novosti.

“We are not going to do this on our own, our Chinese partners will assist us,” he said. “It will be the first time when the military of Russia and China will perform their professional tasks side-by-side in a real-life crisis, not during joint drills.”

The operation to destroy the Syrian government’s arsenal of more than 1,000 metric tons of weapons-grade chemicals is due to take place in two stages. The most dangerous weapons have to be removed from Syria by the end of December and destroyed at sea by April, whereas the rest is slated for destruction by mid-2014.

Russia is among many countries assisting the disarmament effort. Last week, Moscow deployed 75 vehicles in Syria to transport the dangerous cargo.

Russia will also donate up to $2 million to finance the international operation. The money is to be transferred to UN accounts soon.

The United States will provide a navy ship upon which the chemicals will be neutralized in international waters, as well as nearly 3,000 container drums to store the chemicals and GPS trackers to monitor their movement. It will also provide loading, transportation and decontamination equipment.

Denmark and Norway will provide ships and military escorts for transporting the Syrian chemicals at sea and for carrying chemicals to be disposed of at commercial facilities.

Finland has also offered chemical weapon “emergency-response” capabilities, and Italy has provided access to a port for trans-loading the priority chemicals from Danish and Norwegian vessels to the US ship.

One of two cargo ships intended to take part in a Danish-Norwegian mission to transport chemical agents out of Syria (archive photo)

One of two cargo ships intended to take part in a Danish-Norwegian mission to transport chemical agents out of Syria (archive photo)

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| US flyover in China-Japan island row: Will the real provocateur please stand up?

US flyover in China-Japan island row: Will the real provocateur please stand up? ~ Nile Bowie, RT.

Washington’s move to fly nuclear-capable bombers over China’s eastern air defense zone as a forceful endorsement of Japan’s claims over disputed islands is both needlessly confrontational and totally counterproductive.

The territorial dispute over an uninhabited chain of islands in the East China Sea – referred to as the Senkaku Islands by Japan and the Diaoyu Islands by China – has been a highly contentious issue in Sino-Japanese relations for decades, and the issue has resurfaced in recent times as both sides assert their sovereignty over the area.

Mass protests were seen in China targeting Japan’s embassy and Japanese products, shops and restaurants when Tokyo’s far-right former Governor Shintaro Ishihara called on Japan to use public money to buy the islands from private Japanese owners in 2012.

The issue stirs passions in Chinese society because Tokyo’s claims are seen as an extension of the brutal legacy of the Japanese occupation and a direct challenge to strong historical evidence that has legitimized Chinese sovereignty over the area since ancient times.

Moreover, the official stance of the government in Beijing is that Japan’s invalid claims over the islands were facilitated and legitimized by a backdoor-deal between Tokyo and Washington that directly challenges international law and post-World War II international treaties.

The right-wing government of Shinzo Abe in Japan has abandoned the passive approach to the issue taken by previous governments and has played on nationalist sentiments by asserting Tokyo’s firm position over the islands, which are internationally administered by Japan.

Chinese and Korean societies see Abe’s administration as whitewashing Japan’s history as a ruthless occupier and imperial power, and have lodged angry protests over his calls to revise Japan’s 1995 war apology and amend Article 9 of its pacifist constitution, which forbids Japan from having a standing army. China’s recent moves to introduce an air defense zone over the disputed islands have come as a response to months of aggressive Japanese military exercises in the area.

Beijing has denounced the presence of the Japanese navy in the region and Japan’s numerous threats to fire warning shots against Chinese planes that violate Japan’s air defense zone, which defiantly stretches only 130km from China’s mainland and includes the disputed islands. In addition to claims by Taiwan, both China and Japan have strengthened their rights over the islands due to significant oil and mineral resources that have yet to be exploited there.

Let history be the judge

Given legacies of both China and Japan as neighboring civilizations that morphed in modern nation-states, ancient history is sewn into conflicts like the Senkaku-Diaoyu dispute. The earliest historical records of the island being under China’s maritime jurisdiction date back to 1403 in texts prepared by imperial envoys of the Ming Dynasty; during the Qing Dynasty, the islands were placed under the jurisdiction of the local government of Taiwan province. Maps published throughout the 1800s in France, Britain, and the United States all recognize the Diaoyu Islands as a territory of China.

Japan eventually defeated the Qing Dynasty in the late 1800s during its expansionary campaigns in the region and strong-armed China into signing the humiliating Treaty of Shimonoseki that officially ceded Taiwan and surrounding islands, including the Diaoyu, which the Japanese renamed to ‘Senkaku Islands’ in 1900. Following the defeat and surrender of Japan in World War II, international treaties such as the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation legally returned all territories stolen by Japan to pre-revolutionary China.

Beijing accuses US forces in post-war Japan of unilaterally and arbitrarily expanding its jurisdiction to include the Diaoyu Islands shortly after the Chinese revolution in the early 1950s, which were‘returned’ to Japan in the 1970s in the Okinawa Reversion Agreement, a move condemned by China and the US-allied Taiwan authorities. 

Japan has argued since the 1970s that the Diaoyu was not part of the affiliated islands that were ceded to Japan by the Qing Dynasty (despite strong evidence to the contrary), and that the islands were placed under the administration of the United States following World War II and‘returned’ to Japan. The view from Beijing, and especially from within the Xi Jinping administration, is that this case constitutes an illegal occupation of Chinese territory that seriously violates the obligations Japan should undertake according to international law.

Tokyo’s position on the issue really doesn’t hold water considering that 19th-century Japanese government documents available for viewing in Japan’s National Archives suggest that Japan clearly knew and recognized the Diaoyu Islands as Chinese territory.

Washington’s B-52 diplomacy

Beijing’s announcement of an air defense zone over the Diaoyu Islands would naturally be seen as controversial due to the dispute with Japan, and because Washington implicitly backs Tokyo’s claims, the US administration has taken to framing the issue so as to portray China as the hostile actor and principal belligerent.

China has defended its air defense declaration as an extension of its entitlement to uphold its national sovereignty and territorial integrity; Beijing has also pointed out how the US and Japan have established their own zones decades ago, which extend to the frontline borders of other countries in some cases. Beijing’s air defense declaration essentially asserts the right to identify, monitor and possibly take military action against any aircraft that enters the area, and despite the US backing Japan’s right to uphold a similar zone, the White House declared China’s moves “unnecessarily inflammatory.”

Just days after the Chinese government issued its defense declaration, the US military deployed two unarmed (nuclear-capable) B-52 bombers from its airbase in Guam that embarked on a 1500-mile flight into the Chinese air defense umbrella before turning back. The symbolic but forceful display by Washington is essentially the equivalent of the Pentagon giving the middle finger to the Chinese government.

The maneuver was apparently part of a ‘long-planned’ exercise, but the timing and the message sent a clearly hostile and deeply arrogant message to Beijing. China claims that it monitored the US bombers in the zone and took no action, and as Beijing exercises restraint, Tokyo and Washington openly stoke tensions and practice hypocritical double standards.

The United States and Japan both operate vast unilateral air defense zones, and yet Washington has the cheek to childishly reject the legitimate defensive claims of others.

To quote Xinhua columnist Wu Liming’s characterization of US-Japan policy, “Their logic is simple: they can do it while China cannot, which could be described with a Chinese saying, ‘the magistrates are free to burn down houses while the common people are forbidden even to light lamps.’

The message derived from Washington’s actions perfectly illustrates the nature of the so-called ‘Pivot to Asia’, that even though America’s political representatives cannot be relied on to fulfill their long-planned appointments to visit the region, the Pentagon can always be relied on to deliver reminders that the US seeks hegemony in Asia.

The truth is that China and Japan have too much to lose as the second- and third-largest economies in the world to allow this issue to slide into a military confrontation, and cooler heads will likely prevent the latter scenario.

Given the contention around this dispute and the destabilizing effects it could have on the global economy if the situation were to deteriorate into a military conflict, it would be fundamental for the US to instead remain neutral and promote a peaceful compromise and settlement to this issue.

Beijing and Tokyo should both take their claims to the UN to settle this issue indefinitely if a mutual compromise to jointly develop the disputed region cannot be agreed upon.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

P-3C patrol plane of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. (AFP Photo / Japan Pool via JIJI Press Japan out)

P-3C patrol plane of Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force flying over the disputed islets known as the Senkaku islands in Japan and Diaoyu islands in China, in the East China Sea. (AFP Photo / Japan Pool via JIJI Press Japan out)

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| Taiwan: Nets protect President from hurled shoes!

Taiwan: Nets protect president from hurled shoes ~ BBC.

News from Elsewhere……as found by BBC Monitoring

Police officers prepare a net to stop shoes thrown at President Ma Ying-jeou at the Taipei City Hakka Cultural Park on 20 October

So many protesters hurl shoes at Taiwan’s president that police put up protective nets around him when he speaks in public.

Security personnel began using nets at public events attended by Ma Ying-jeou in the face of an increasing number of protests against him, reports the Taipei Times. Shoe-throwing has been a feature several times in recent weeks, it seems. And the paper quotes one Solidarity Union legislator as saying police forked out the equivalent of £17,000 (£10,500) on a huge net which, when raised between two poles, offers Ma a protective shield. Opposition figures branded it a waste of money, and some reports suggested Ma wass uncomfortable with the move because he wants to present himself as close to the people.

However, the presidential office denied he’d ordered police authorities not to use them, with a spokesman saying Ma respects security staff’s judgement, Want China Times reports. The president faces a growing number of critics over Taiwan’s economic performance and a controversial services trade agreement with China. Throwing shoes, an insult most commonly associated with the Arab world, came to wider attention in 2008 when an Iraqi journalist hurled one at former US President George W Bush in protest at his Middle East policies.

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george-bush-failure-vs-success

| Opinion: Did Putin quietly play the Debt Card over Syria?

Did Putin Quietly Play the Debt Card Over Syria? ~ Ron Holland, Editorial, The Daily Bell.

“They are living beyond their means and shifting a part of the weight of their problems to the world economy. They are living like parasites off the global economy and their monopoly of the dollar. If [in America] there is a systemic malfunction, this will affect everyone. Countries like Russia and China hold a significant part of their reserves in American securities. There should be other reserve currencies.” – Vladimir Putin in 2011

While I hate to give such praise to a foreign leader, Putin has undoubtedly run rings around the moribund and bureaucratic incompetence of the Laurel and Hardy-styleObama and Kerry team on Syria. Putin diplomatically has the swiftness and stealth of the South’s Stonewall Jackson and Germany’s Erwin Rommel, probably the two greatest military commanders in world history.

What Really Happened on the Night of Friday, August 30th?

“At one point last week in the charade known as ‘the Syria peace negotiations’, John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, announced solemnly, ‘This is not a game.’ Well, he was wrong there. This certainly is a game: the trouble is that Barack Obama is trying to pretend that it’s chess, while Vladimir Putin plays hard-faced poker.” – Janet Daley

My question is: What motivated the sudden, overnight change of mind by Obama himself seemingly only hours away from a military strike on al Assad and Syria? It appears to have caught his advisors and the military totally by surprise.

Yes, thanks to the Internet Reformation, the administration was not able to manipulate public opinion and the people and Congress were increasingly opposed to the minimal military action, though this has never stopped a Washington attack before. Even the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) efforts came to naught and the US backed down from the attack.

I believe both Russia and China covertly played the Treasury debt card in order to protect their client states, Syria and Iran, from the impending US invasion. An attack would undoubtedly have escalated with troops on the ground, opening the way for a land assault against Iran, the ultimate real target. After all, the gas pipeline for Washington’sSunni client states that even offering to pay for the military action is far less important than taking Iran down.

But Putin Always Wins

“Though fraud in all other actions be odious, yet in matters of war it is laudable and glorious, and he who overcomes his enemies by stratagem is as much to be praised as he who overcomes them by force.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

If you follow Putin’s career it is apparent that he overcomes difficulties often through strategy rather than direct force. I’ll bet he has Machiavelli’s The Prince in his personal library. Russia, China and Putin had a lot to lose if the US had engaged and been drawn into occupying Syria proper.

  • First, Iran would have been open for land invasion, as northern Iraq is under Kurdish control and the Kurds would have welcomed a US ground attack targeting Tabriz and northern Iran, freeing their brother Kurds there and helping to expand and create ultimately a Kurdistan state.

  • Second, this would put the American forces on the border of the former Soviet republics of Azerbaijan and Armenia, thus threatening Russian influence in the area.

  • Third, unlike the United States with hundreds of bases around the world, Russia has only one base outside the old Soviet republics and sphere of influence and this is a naval base in Tartus, Syria. The loss of this base would result in a tremendous decline of prestige and influence in the Arab world, a region where both Russia and China seek to gain influence to counter the American occupation and control of the oil and gas resources there.

My Scenario

“At this point, China owns approximately 1.275 trillion dollars of our debt, and Russia owns approximately 138 billion dollars of our debt.” – Michael Snyder

Remember, national leaders never threaten other nations or leaders directly because all major political leaders and politicians require plausible deniability if things go wrong. They need the ability to deny blame, knowledge and responsibility for a failure but still have the opportunity to get the job done and when helpful take credit for a success or victory. Giving the responsibility for communication or action to a lower level bureaucracy or individual where instructions are verbal or inaccessible takes care of the problem.

Although I have no proof, I believe it is likely that financial intermediaries or lower level central banking contacts dropped the hint to their American counterparts that China and Russia were likely to begin liquidating Treasury obligations should Washington go ahead with it’s planned military adventure against Syria.

This is best explained in Michael Snyder’s September 6 article at The Economic Collapse, “Who Is Going To Buy Our Debt If This War Causes China, Russia And The Rest Of The World To Turn On Us?”

I would suggest that Putin’s apparent last minute Chemical Weapons “deal” was just a face-saving gift for the Obama Administration in order to provide cover and a reasonable excuse for the sudden change of orders to halt the Syria attack. I’ll also bet that this deal had been worked out long before it was offered to Obama. I will discuss more about Putin’s Debt Card at the upcoming High Alert Investment Conference in October (see highalertconference.com).

Putin wins again. He gets the credit for stopping the US; Russia, as usual, never fires a shot and Washington retreats. You’ll know whether I’m right on Putin playing the debt card if on occasion, with very important questions on global affairs and diplomacy, America begins to slowly retreat – as do all empires when they overreach economically and begin to decline militarily.

I’m sure Putin also reads Sun Tzu and his ancient Chinese military treatise, The Art of War, so read the two quotes below and tell me what you think.

“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”

“Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across.”

In closing, a word of advice to Obama and the elites of both the Democrat and Republican parties: You play poker with Vladimir Putin at your peril and that of our nation.

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Hegemony A

| Venezuela say US banned President Nicolas Maduro from flying over Puerto Rico!

Venezuela say US banned President Nicolas Maduro from flying over Puerto Rico ~ Reuters, The Telegraph.

Venezuela said the United States banned President Nicolas Maduro’s jet from flying through U.S. airspace over Puerto Rico en route to a state visit to China.

Venezuela said the United States banned President Nicolas Maduro's jet from flying through U.S. airspace over Puerto Rico en route to a state visit to China.

Venezuela’s left wing president Nicolas Maduro Photo: Reuters

Maduro is due in Beijing this weekend for bilateral talks. China has become a major lender to his government, and Chinese firms are heavily involved in the OPEC nation’s oil industry.

But Foreign Minister Elias Jaua said a flight plan filed by Venezuela that would have routed Maduro’s plane over Puerto Rico had been rejected by U.S. authorities.

“We received the information from the U.S. authorities that they have denied us the overflight through U.S. airspace,” Jaua told reporters. “We denounce it as yet more U.S. aggression against the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela.”

Jaua said Washington had no right to deny airspace to any presidential plane, but that the move would not stop Maduro from visiting China.

“There’s no valid argument to deny this overflight,” he said. The government was studying other routes, he added, “but we reserve the right to take whatever measures we have to if the U.S. government and its aviation authorities don’t rectify this new assault on Venezuela’s sovereignty.”

Maduro has often clashed with Washington since winning an election in April that was triggered by the death from cancer of his mentor, the late socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

In July, Venezuela said it was ending efforts to improve ties with Washington after the Obama administration’s nominee for envoy to the United Nations vowed to oppose what she called a crackdown on civil society in the “repressive” country.

The latest diplomatic spat is reminiscent of this year’s incident when Bolivia said France, Spain, Italy and Portugal denied their airspace to President Evo Morales‘ jet, apparently on suspicion the aircraft might have been carrying fugitive U.S. intelligence agency contractor Edward Snowden out of Russia.

Days after that, Venezuela’s Maduro became the world’s first leader to offer asylum to Snowden, who is wanted by Washington for disclosing details of secret surveillance programs.

Edited by Steve Wilson

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blind3

Humility Pill

| YINON II: China and the US-Saudi-Israeli Plan for the Middle East!

China and the US-Saudi-Israeli Plan for the Middle East ~ Andrew McKillop21st Century Wire.

Middle-East-map2

**THE YINON PLAN LIVES ON**

Named after Israel’s minister of foreign affairs at the time of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and occupation of Beirut, with about 25 000 dead, this divide-and-rule geostrategy plan for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) lives on.

Already victims of this strategy since 2011 – operated by Israel, the US and Saudi Arabia – we have the divided and weakened states of Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria. Egypt and even Tunisia can also possibly be added to the list. Others can be identified as likely short-term target victim countries.

In February 1982 the foreign minister Oded Yinon wrote and published ‘A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties‘, which outlined strategies for Israel to become the major regional power in the Middle East. High up the list of his recommendations was to decapitate and dissolve surrounding Arab states into sub-nations, warring between themselves. Called the peace-in-the-feud or simply divide and rule, this was part of Yinon’s strategy for achieving the long-term Zionist goal of extending the borders of Israel, not saying where but potentially a vast region. His strategy was warmly and publicly supported by leading US policy makers with close ties to Israel, like Richard Perle, by the 1990s.

This regional balkanization plan is centred on the exploitation of ethnic, religious, tribal and national divisions within the Arab world. Yinon noted the regional landscape of the MENA was “carved up” mainly by the US, Britain and France after the defeat and collapse of the Ottoman empire in 1917. The hastily traced and arbitrary borders are not faithful to ethnic, religious, and tribal differences between the different peoples in the region – a problem exactly reproduced in Africa, when decolonization started in the 1950s and 1960s. Yinon went on to argue this makes the Arab world a house of cards ready to be pushed over and broken apart into tiny warring states or “chefferies” based on sectarian, ethnic, national, tribal or other divisions.

Central governments would be decapitated and disappear. Power would be held by the warlord chiefs in the new sub-nations or ‘mini-states’. To be sure, this would certainly remove any real opposition to Israel’s coming regional dominance. Yinon said little or nothing about economic “collateral damage”.

To be sure, US and Saudi strategy in the MENA region is claimed to be entirely different, or in the Saudi case similar concerning the means – decapitating central governments – but different concerning the Saudi goal of creating a huge new Caliphate similar to the Ottoman empire. Under the Ottomans nations did not exist, nor their national frontiers, and local governments were weak or very weak.


Al QAEDA: The new US-NATO conscript army in the MENA region, and beyond.

ISLAMIC INSURGENCY IS WELL KNOWN IN CHINA

China knows plenty about Islamic insurgency and its potential to destroy the nation state. Even in the 1980s and 1990s, some 25 years ago, China had an “Islamic insurgency” threat concentrated in its eastern resource-rich and low population Xinjiang region. Before that, since the early days of the Peoples’ Republic in the 1950s, China has addressed Islamic insurgency with mostly failed policies and strategies but more recently a double strategy of domestic or local repression, but aid and support to Islamic powers thought able to work against djihadi insurgents – outside China – has produced results.

The Chinese strategy runs completely against the drift of Western policy and favours Iran.

A report in ‘Asia Times’, 27 February 2007, said this: “Despite al-Qaeda’s efforts to support Muslim insurgents in China, Beijing has succeeded in limiting (its) popular support….. The latest evidence came when China raided a terrorist facility in the country’s Xinjiang region, near the borders with Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Kirgizstan. According to reports, 18 terrorists were killed and 17 were captured”.

Chinese reporting, even official white papers on defence against terror are notoriously imprecise or simply fabricated. The official line is there is no remaining Islamic insurgency and – if there are isolated incidents – China’s ability to kill or capture militants without social blowback demonstrates the State’s “hearts and minds” policy in Xinjiang, the hearth area for Chinese Muslims, is working.

Chinese official attitudes to Islamic insurgency are mired with veils of propaganda stretching back to the liberation war against anti-communist forces. These featured the Kuomintang which had a large Muslim contingent in its Kuomintang National Revolutionary Army. The Muslim contingent operated against Mao Zedong’s central government forces – and fought the USSR. Its military insurgency against the central government was focused on the provinces of Gansu, Qinghai, Ningxia and Xinjiang and continued for as long as 9 years after Mao took power in Beijing, in 1949.

Adding complexity however, the Muslim armed forces had been especially active against the Soviet Union in the north and west – and by 1959 the Sino-Soviet split was sealed. Armed hostilities by Mao’s PLA against the Red Army of the USSR broke out in several border regions, with PLA forces aided by former Muslim insurgents in some theatres. Outside China, and especially for Arab opinion, Mao was confirmed as a revolutionary nationalist similar to non-aligned Arab leaders of the period, like Colonel Husni al-Zaim of Syria and Colonel Nasser of Egypt.

CHINA’S THREAT TO WESTERN STRATEGY IN THE MENA

Especially today, some Western observers feign “surprise” at China’s total hostility towards UN Security Council approval for “surgical war” strikes against Syria. The reasons for this overlap with Russia’s adamant refusal to go along with US, Saudi Arabian, Turkish and French demands for a UNSC rubber stamp to trigger “regime change” in Syria but are not the same. For China the concept of “regime change” with no clear idea – officially – of what comes next is anathema.

As we know, when or if al Assad falls, only chaos can ensue as the country breaks apart, but this nightmare scenario for China is brushed aside by Western politicians as a subject for “later decision”.

China’s successful efforts to keep the global jihad from spreading into its territory is surely and certainly taken as a real challenge by Saudi-backed insurgents in western China. Various reports indicate the al-Qaeda organization trains about 1 000 mostly Xinjiang-origin Uighurs and other Chinese Muslims every year. Located in camps in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kirgizstan and elsewhere, this terror training has continued since at least the mid-1990s, for a total of more than 15 years.

The focus on Xinjiang, formerly called Turkestan is no accident. The region’s Russian influence is still strong, reinforced by Muslim migration from Russia in the 19th century, accelerated by the Russian Civil War and 1917 revolution. During China’s warlord era preceding Mao’s rule, the USSR armed and supported the Muslim separatist East Turkestan Republic which only accepted Mao’s rule when the PRC under the Chinese communists was fully established in 1949. The longstanding East Turkestan jihadi movement (ETIM) is highly active today after being relaunched in the early 2000′s, especially since the Iraq war of 2003. It however mainly acts in “external theatres” such as Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. The Baluchi of Pakistan have long-term rebellious relations with the central government in Islamabad, and are allied with Kurd nationalists in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey.

The US Council on Foreign Relations in a 29 May 2012 briefing on Xinjiang noted that since the Chinese Qing dynasty collapse of 1912, the region has experienced various types of semi-autonomy and on several occasions declared full independence from China. The Council for example notes that in 1944, factions within Xinjiang declared independence with full support from the USSR, but then cites US State Dept. documents claiming that Uighur-related terrorism has “declined considerably” since the end of the 1990s and China “overreacts to and exaggerates” Islamic insurgency in Xinjiang.

Notably, the US has declassified the ETIM Islamic movement – despite its terror attacks – as a terrorist organization. The ETIM was defined as such during the Bush administration years, but is no longer listed as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in the State Dept. FTO list as from January 2012.

China has fully recognized the Islamic insurgency threat, with its potential for drawing in hostile foreign powers seeking to destroy national unity and break the national government. Its concern, shared by Indian strategists and policy makers is to “stop the rot” in the MENA.

1-MENA-REGION-CHINA-SYRIA
THE CHINESE STRATEGY

Unofficially, China regards the US and Saudi strategy in the MENA and Central Asia as “devil’s work” sowing the seeds of long-term insurgency, the collapse of the nation state and with it the economy. The US link with and support to Israel is in no way ignored, notably Israel’s Yinon plan for weakening central governments and dissolving the nation state right across the MENA.

China’s main concern is that Central Asian states will be affected, or infected by radical Islamic jihadi fighters and insurgents drifting in from the West, from the Middle East and North Africa. These will back the existing Islamic insurgent and separatist movement in resource-rich Xinjiang. To keep Central Asian states from fomenting trouble in Xinjiang, China has cultivated close diplomatic ties with its neighbors, notably through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which has a secretariat concerned with counter-insurgency issues.

US analysts however conclude, very hastily, that China “instinctively supports the status quo” and therefore does not have an active international strategy to combat djihadi violence and anarchy outside China. US analysts say, without any logic, that China will respond to and obediently follow initiatives from Washington and other Western powers – as it has starkly not done in the UN Security Council when it concerns the Western powers’ long drawn out attempt to repeat, for Syria, their success in 2011 for getting UNSC approval to the NATO war in Libya!

China was enraged, and regarded it as betrayal when its support for limited action by NATO in Libya – a rare instance of China compromising on nonintervention – turned into an all-out “turkey shoot” to destroy the Gaddafi clan. Libya was handed over to djihadi militants, who subsequently declared war against central government, an accelerating process resulting in Libya, today, having no central government with any real authority. That experience certainly hardened Beijing’s responses on Syria.

Post-Mao China has restored the concept of Chinese cultural continuity, with a blend of Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist strands which had been been weakened but not completely destroyed in the years of ideologically-driven Communism. For the Communists of Mao’s era “history was bunk”, not even a mixed bag but an unqualified evil that must be smashed. The Chinese attitude to radical Islam as embodied in the ideologies of Wahabism and Salafism is the same – they are treated as a denial of world history and its varied cultures, with immediate and real dangers for China. Its counter-insurgency strategy against Islamic radicals is the logical result.

This strategy ensures closer Tehran-Beijing relations, usually described by Western analysts as a “balancing act” between ties to Washington and growing relations with Iran. China and Iran have developed a broad and deep partnership centered on China’s oil needs, to be sure, but also including significant non-energy economic ties, arms sales, defense cooperation, and Asian and MENA geostrategic balancing as a counterweight to the policies and strategies of the United States and its local allies, Saudi Arabia and Israel. Chinese attention now focuses the Washington-Riyadh axis and its confused and dangerous MENA region geostrategy, resulting in a de facto proliferation of Islamic djihadi insurgents and the attack on the basic concept of the nation state across the region. The Chinese view is that Iran’s version of “Peoples’ Islam” is less violent and anarchic, than the Saudi version.

OPPOSING THE WASHINGTON-RIYADH AXIS

Both Chinese and Indian strategists’ perceptions of the US-Saudi strategy in the MENA, and other Muslim-majority regions and countries is that it is dangerous and irresponsible. Why the Western democracies led by the US would support or even tolerate the Saudi geostrategy and ignore Israel’s Yinon Plan – as presently shown in Syria – is treated by them as almost incomprehensible.

China is Tehran’s largest trading partner and customer for oil exports, taking about 20% of Iran’s total oil exports, but China’s co-operation is seen as critical to the Western, Israeli and Arab Gulf State plan to force Iran to stop uranium enrichment and disable the capacity of its nuclear program to produce nuclear weapons. Repeated high-level attempts to “persuade Beijing” to go along with this plan, such as then-US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s 2012 visit to Beijing, however result each time in Chinese hosts politely but firmly saying no. This is not only motivated by oil supply issues.

Flashpoints revealing the Chinese-US divide on Iran crop up in world news, for example the US unilateral decision in January 2012 to impose sanction on Chinese refiner Zhuhai Zenrong for refining Iranian oil and supplying refined products back to Iran. This US action was described by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman as “totally unreasonable”. He went on to say that “China (has) expressed its strong dissatisfaction and adamant opposition”.

At the same time, China’s Xinhua Agency gave prominence to the statement made by Iran’s OPEC delegate Mohamed Ali Khatibi: “If the oil producing nations of the (Arab) Gulf decide to substitute Iran’s oil, then they will be held responsible for what happens”. Chinese analysts explained that China like India was irritated that Iranian oil sanctions opened the way for further de facto dominance of Saudi Arabia in world export supplies of oil, as well as higher prices.

Iran is however only the third-largest supplier of oil to China, after Angola and Saudi Arabia, with Russia its fourth-largest supplier, using EIA data. This makes it necessary for China to run sustainable relations with the Wahabite Kingdom, which are made sustainable by actions like China’s Sinopec in 2012 part-funding the $8.5 billion 400 000 barrels-per-day refinery under construction in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Yanbu.

The Saudi news and propaganda outlet Al Arabiya repeatedly criticises China and India for their purchase of Iranian oil and refusal to fully apply US-inspired sanctions. A typical broadside of February 2013 was titled “Why is China still dealing with Iran?”, and notably cited US analysts operating in Saudi-funded or aided policy institutes, such as Washington’s Institute for Near East Policy as saying: “It’s time we wised up to this dangerous game. From Beijing’s perspective, Iran serves as an important strategic partner and point of leverage against the United States”. US analysts favourable to the Saudi strategy in the MENA – described with approval by President Eisenhower in the 1950s as able to establish a Hollywood style Saudi royal “Islamic Pope” for Muslim lands from Spain to Indonesia – say that Iran is also seen by China as a geopolitical partner able to help China countering US-Saudi and Israeli strategic action in the Middle East.

A 2012 study by US think tank RAND put it bluntly: “Isolated Iran locked in conflict with the United States provides China with a unique opportunity to expand its influence in the Middle East and could pull down the US military in the Gulf.” The RAND study noted that in the past two decades, Chinese engineers have built housing, bridges, dams, tunnels, railroads, pipelines, steelworks and power plants throughout Iran. The Tehran metro system completed between 2000 and 2006 was a major Chinese engineering project.

THE BIG PICTURE

China’s Iran policy and strategy can be called “big picture”. Iranian aid and support to mostly but not exclusively Shia political movements, and insurgents stretches from SE Asia and South Asia, to West and Central Asia, Afghanistan, the Caspian region, and SE Europe to the MENA. It is however focused on the Arabian peninsula and is inevitably opposed to Saudi geostrategy. This is a known flashpoint and is able to literally trigger a third world war. Avoiding this is the big picture – for China.

Li Weijian, the director of the Research Center of Asian and African Studies at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies puts it so: “China’s stance on the Iranian nuclear issue is not subject to Beijing’s demand for Iranian oil imports, but based on judgment of the whole picture.” China is guided in foreign relations by two basic principles, both of them reflecting domestic priorities. First, China wants a stable international environment so it can pursue domestic economic development without external shocks. Second, China is very sensitive to international policies that ‘interfere in or hamper sovereign decisions”, ultimately tracing to its experience in the 19th and 20th centuries at the hands of Western powers, and the USSR, before and after the emergence of the PRC. It adamantly opposes foreign interference in Taiwan, Tibet, and Xinjiang.

This includes radical Islamist or djihadi interference, backed by any foreign power. While China has on occasions suspected Tehran of stirring Islamic insurgency inside its borders it sees the US-Saudi geostrategy of employing djihadists to do their dirty work as a critical danger, and as wanton interference. Indian attitudes although not yet so firm, are evolving in the same general direction. Both are nuclear weapons powers with massive land armies and more than able to defend themselves.

Claims by Western, mostly US analysts that China views Iran as exhibiting “unpredictable behaviour” in response to US-led sanctions and that Iran is “challenging China’s relations with its regional partners” can be dismissed. In particular and concerning oil, China is well aware that Iran will need many years of oil-sector development to return to anything like pre-Islamic revolution output of more than 5 million barrels a day. Unless oil sanctions are lifted, Iran’s oil output will go on declining, further increasing the power of the Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia, and Shia-governed but insurgency threatened Iraq to dictate export prices.

China dismisses the claim that its policies have hampered US and other Western political effort to dissuade Iran from developing nuclear weapons capability.

China’s distaste for toppling almost any central government, even those run by dictatorial strongmen springs from a deep sense of history – marked by insecurity about the uncertain political legitimacy of governments arising from civil war and revolution – like the PRC. At its extreme, this Chinese nightmare extends to fears that if the US-Saudi geostrategy can topple governments in the Middle East almost overnight, what will stop them from working to bring down China’s government one day? Unlike almost all MENA countries minus the oil exporters, China has scored impressive victories in the fight against poverty. Its economy although slowing creates abundant jobs and opportunity.

For China, this is the only way to progress.

HARDENING POLICIES AND POSITIONS

The emerging Chinese anti-Islamist strategy also underlines a menacing reality for the US and other Western powers. China rejects the belief there is still only one superpower in today’s world—the USA. The USA’s weakened economy and uncontrollable national debt, its confused and cowardly drone war, its slavish support to Israeli and Saudi whims do not impress China – or India.

To be sure China’s classic-conventional weapons development programs lag far behind the US. The Chinese military strategy for pushing back US dominance focuses global reach ballistic missiles, tactical nuclear weapons, drones, submarines, and military space and cyberwarfare capabilities.

With the PLA it possesses the biggest land army in the world. No US warmonger, at least saner versions would “take on China”.

China has invested heavily in Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, as well as Iran. It does not want to see its investment effort destroyed by deliberately promoted Islamic anarchy. Also, its Middle Eastern presence will continue due to the fact that while US dependence on oil imports is declining, China overtook the US as the world’s largest oil importer on a daily basis, this year, several years ahead of analysts’ consensus forecasts.

The likely result is that China is now poised and almost certain to strengthen relations with Iran. The intensifying Syrian crisis as well as the dangerously out of control US-Saudi-Israeli djihadi strategy, of fomenting sectarian conflict and destroying the nation state in the MENA, will likely prompt China to soon take major initiatives.

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*ALSO SEE:

THE YINON DOCUMENT: THE ZIONIST AGENDA FOR THE MIDDLE EAST ~ Syria 360°.

 The Zionist Plan for the Middle East

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| BREAKING: Now China sends warships + 1000 marines to Syria!

BREAKING: China Sends Warships & 1000 Marines to Syria, Accuses the U.S. of lying About Syria And Ignoring International Laws. Russia Sends another Amphibous Assault Ship. Turkey Sends More Troops to Syria Border ~ InvestmentWatch.

Report: Russia sends another navy ship towards Syria

MOSCOW – Russia is sending its large landing ship Nikolai Filchenkov towards the Syrian coast, state news agency Interfax quoted a navy source as saying on Friday.

Western naval sources reported Friday that a Chinese landing craft, the Jinggangshan, with a 1,000-strong marine battalion had reached the Red Sea en route for the Mediterranean off Syria.

http://www.debka.com/newsupdate/5640/

China is accusing the U.S. of lying about Syria. They say the U.S. has made a mess of Iraq and Afghanistan. They wrote it was the Rebels that committed the chemical attack and the U.S is ignoring that fact as they want war for political reasons.

 

http://sherriequestioningall.blogspot…

 

Report: China Sends Warships to Coast of Syria

http://www.infowars.com/report-china-sends-warships-to-coast-of-syria/

U.S. Already Has Military Forces Well Within Range For A Syrian Strike

http://www.floatingpath.com/2013/09/04/u-s-already-military-forces-well-within-range-syrian-strike/

Turkey sends more troops to Syria border

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/09/06/322375/turkey-increases-troops-on-syria-border/

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| US sources claim China and Russia got access to Snowden’s computers!

US sources claim China and Russia got access to Snowden’s computers ~ RT.

United States officials believe that classified intelligence taken out of the country by NSA leaker Edward Snowden has been compromised by agencies in Russia and China.

Snowden, a 30-year-old former employee of intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, fled the US for Hong Kong last month and then supplied journalists with classified information pertaining to vast surveillance operations conducted by the American government’s National Security Agency.

Both Russian and US officials have made claims that Snowden is now in Moscow, likely arranging for possible asylum in another country. In the meantime, though, US sources speaking with the Washington Free Beacon say that China and Russia have gained access to “highly classified US intelligence and military information contained on electronic media” held by Snowden.

The exact compromise of the secret data held on Snowden’s laptop computers remains unknown but is the subject of an ongoing damage assessment within NSA and other intelligence agencies,” Bill Gertz of the Free Beacon wrote on Wednesday.

According to Gertz, those officials fear that Snowden may have accessed recently created nuclear war plans that could pose as future embarrassment for the US in the wake of disclosures already attributed to Snowden.

Previously, Snowden supplied The Guardian newspaper with documentation showing how the NSA routinely collects the phone records pertaining to millions of Americans every day. On Thursday this week, The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald and Spencer Ackerman published their latest installment in the NSA leaks, exposing further surveillance under the administration of President Barack Obama that put Internet records directly into the hands of government officials.

Snowden has said that he’s personally reviewed the trove of documents supplied to The Guardian and other outlets, carefully evaluated every single one “to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest.” Glenn Greenwald said that Snowden brought “thousands” of files with him to Hong Kong, “dozens” of which he believes are newsworthy.

What exactly Snowden knows remains a mystery, however, and he reportedly has four laptops in his possession right now that contain classified intelligence.

Earlier this month, the Washington Post cited an anonymous former intelligence official who claimed that Russian authorities were almost certain to seize any computer files Snowden brought into the country.

In a separate article earlier this month, the Post quoted another former senior US intelligence official who predicted that any intelligence compromised by Russia would have seen a similar fate en route from Hong Kong.

I guarantee the Chinese intelligence service got their hands on that right away. If they imaged the hard drives and then returned them to him, well, then the Russians have that stuff now,” the source said.

The Chinese already have everything Snowden had,” a separate source added to the Beacon’s Gertz this week.

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