Category Archives: China

RCEP: Asia-Pacific nations sign world’s biggest trade pact

While the USA is embroiled in a meaningless fight between Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Asia has had enough and is deciding to go on its own way. This is the future people and it does not include North America or Europe. 

Source

http://www.aljazeera.com

15 Nov 2020

The China-backed RCEP deal excludes the US and will account for 30 percent of the world’s economy and population.

ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific leaders pose for a group photo during the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit in Bangkok on November 4, 2019 [Manan Vatsyayana/ AFP]
ASEAN and other Asia-Pacific leaders pose for a group photo during the 3rd Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Summit in Bangkok on November 4, 2019 [Manan Vatsyayana/ AFP]

China and 14 other countries have agreed to form the world’s largest free-trade bloc, encompassing nearly a third of all economic activity, in a deal many in Asia are hoping will help hasten a recovery from the shocks of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, was signed virtually on Sunday on the sidelines of the annual summit of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

In the online ceremony, leaders of RCEP countries took turns standing behind their trade ministers who, one by one, signed copies of the agreement, which they then showed triumphantly to the cameras.

“RCEP will soon be ratified by signatory countries and take effect, contributing to the post-COVID pandemic economic recovery,” said Nguyen Xuan Phuc, prime minister of Vietnam, which hosted the ceremony as ASEAN chair.

RECP will take already low tariffs on trade between member countries still lower, over time. It will account for 30 percent of the global economy, 30 percent of the global population and reach 2.2 billion consumers, according to Vietnam.

RCEP  “will help reduce or remove tariffs on industrial and agricultural products and set out rules for data transmission,” said Luong Hoang Thai, head of the Multilateral Trade Policy Department at Vietnam’s Ministry of Industry and Trade.

In addition to the 10 ASEAN nations, the accord includes China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, but not the United States. Officials said the accord leaves the door open for India, which dropped out due to fierce domestic opposition to its market-opening requirements, to rejoin the bloc.

“After eight years of negotiating with blood, sweat and tears, we have finally come to the moment where we will seal the RCEP Agreement,” Malaysia’s Trade Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali, said in a statement ahead of the ceremony.

The deal sends a signal that RCEP countries have chosen “to open our markets instead of resorting to protectionist measures during this difficult time,” he said.

The accord is a coup for China, by far the biggest market in the region with more than 1.3 billion people, allowing Beijing to cast itself as a “champion of globalisation and multilateral cooperation” and giving it greater influence over rules governing regional trade, Gareth Leather, senior Asian economist for Capital Economics, said in a report.

The US is absent from RCEP and the 11-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal that US President Donald Trump pulled out of shortly after taking office. This leaves the world’s biggest economy out of two trade groups that span the fastest-growing region on earth.

Now that Trump’s opponent Joe Biden has been declared president-elect, the region is watching to see how US policy on trade and other issues will evolve.

Analysts are skeptical Biden will push hard to rejoin the trans-Pacific trade pact or to roll back many of the US trade sanctions imposed on China by the Trump administration given the widespread frustration with Beijing’s trade and human rights records and accusations of spying and technology theft.

Ahead of Sunday’s RCEP “special summit” meeting, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he would firmly convey his government’s support for “broadening a free and fair economic zone, including a possibility of India’s future return to the deal and hope to gain support from the other countries”.

The RCEP agreement is loose enough to stretch to fit the disparate needs of member countries as diverse as Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam and Australia. Unlike the European Union, it does not establish unified standards on labour and the environment or commit countries to open services and other vulnerable areas of their economies.

But it does set rules for trade that will facilitate investment and other business within the region, Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Centre, said in a report for the Asia Society, an organisation that promotes US-Asia understanding.

“RCEP, therefore, is a much-needed platform for the Indo-Pacific’s post-COVID recovery,” he wrote.

The pact will take effect once enough participating countries ratify the agreement domestically within the next two years.

ASEAN members include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam.

SOURCE : NEWS AGENCIES

G77, China call for immediate lifting of sanctions against Iran

Source

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Representatives of the Group of 77 at the United Nations and China participate in a meeting in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in 2014.

The Group of 77 (G77) and China have highlighted the negative effects of unilateral sanctions on the Iranian nation’s prosperity, calling for the lifting of the inhumane measures as soon as possible.

In a declaration issued on Thursday, the foreign ministers of the coalition of 134 developing countries plus China expressed their objection to the anti-Iran sanctions.

The statement followed the 44th annual meeting of the group, which was held via virtual platform.

“The Ministers reaffirmed their rejection of the unilateral economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic of Iran, which have a negative impact on the development and prosperity of the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and in this regard called for an immediate lifting of those sanctions,” the declaration read.

Iran has been under a series of illegal sanctions imposed by the US since 2018, when President Donald Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The US unleashed the so-called maximum pressure campaign and targeted the Iranian nation with the “toughest ever” restrictive measures.

In recent months, Washington has been tightening its oppressive sanctions against the Islamic Republic, defying warnings from Tehran and international human rights organizations that the restrictions are severely hampering the Iranian health sector’s fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

Elsewhere in their statement, the G77 and Chinese foreign ministers hailed the JCPOA as an example of “a successful multilateral action for resolving outstanding global issues.”

“The Ministers reaffirmed the importance of supporting and strengthening multilateralism, and, in this regard, recognized that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the other parties is a concrete case of a successful multilateral action for resolving outstanding global issues, stressed that such model sets a real example for further accelerating the achievement of sustainable development including by strengthening international cooperation, through enhanced means of implementation,” they said.

The ministers further exchanged views on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the recent developments in the world and the particular challenges faced by developing countries in the economic, social and environmental areas.

They also stressed that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions remains the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

CHINA MAKES CHICKENS OUT OF CANADA AND AUSTRALIA

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Why Canada must release Meng Wanzhou

· CHINA MAKES CHICKENS OUT OF CANADA AND AUSTRALIA

“For the superior man, waiting ten years to take revenge is not too long.” So goes a famous Chinese saying.The opening anecdote in the accompanying story (below) perfectly illustrates the maxim. While the junzi (Confucian “gentleman,” or superior person) is infinitely patient, he also ensures that depraved criminality does NOT go punished.So it will be with the scurrilous kidnapping of Meng Wanzhou. The atrocity has been seared into the braincells of all Chinese. Unless they repent and make profuse amends, the chief culprits will be punished by the Chinese nation in due course.These will include PC “Woke” Trudeau, Porkface Pompeo and probably their godfather, Donald Trump. Beijing’s steeliness throughout the two-year-old affair is a hint of things to come.In a parallel case, the vengeance isn’t waiting a decade, but has already arrived.

On the receiving end is Australia’s Scott Moronson regime. With awe-inspiring enthusiasm, it became the pack-leading attack dog in the Trump regime’s drive to demonize China and the Chinese.Three Chinese hammer blows have already descended on the Not-So-Lucky Country: boycott of critical exports of coal, cotton and iron ore. Other strikes about to descend are withdrawal of Chinese tourists and students.

Big China bullying two small Anglo nations? Hardly. Here’s where another Chinese saying comes in: “Kill the chicken to scare the monkeys.”In their eagerness to please their Uncle, Sam, Canadian and Australian authorities treated Chinese like sub-humans. They are simply being reminded, in ways they would understand, that it’s not wise to do so. They’re the chickens. Other would-be US allies-in-depravity are the monkeys.From the piece below, which brilliantly exposes the Meng case as the farce it is:“The outcome of this judicial kidnapping will determine US and Canadian China policy for decades to come: whether a rapprochement is possible in the future, or whether relations will spiral into a cycle of acrimony, vengeance, and ultimately catastrophe.“What is on trial, of course, is not Meng, or Huawei, but the judicial system of Canada and the conscience, good sense, and ethics of its ruling class: whether it will uphold or undermine international notions of justice.“If the Canadian judiciary and its ruling classes fail this test, Canada risks being driven, metaphorically, into the sea by a determined Chinese leadership. The global community that upholds international justice could only concur.”

“For the superior man, waiting ten years to take revenge is not too long.” So goes a famous Chinese saying.The opening anecdote in the accompanying story (below) perfectly illustrates the maxim. While the junzi (Confucian “gentleman,” or superior person) is infinitely patient, he also ensures that depraved criminality does NOT go punished.So it will be with the scurrilous kidnapping of Meng Wanzhou.

The atrocity has been seared into the braincells of all Chinese. Unless they repent and make profuse amends, the chief culprits will be punished by the Chinese nation in due course.These will include PC “Woke” Trudeau, Porkface Pompeo and probably their godfather, Donald Trump. Beijing’s steeliness throughout the two-year-old affair is a hint of things to come.In a parallel case, the vengeance isn’t waiting a decade, but has already arrived. On the receiving end is Australia’s Scott Moronson regime. With awe-inspiring enthusiasm, it became the pack-leading attack dog in the Trump regime’s drive to demonize China and the Chinese.Three Chinese hammer blows have already descended on the Not-So-Lucky Country: boycott of critical exports of coal, cotton and iron ore. Other strikes about to descend are withdrawal of Chinese tourists and students.Big China bullying two small Anglo nations? Hardly. Here’s where another Chinese saying comes in: “Kill the chicken to scare the monkeys.”In their eagerness to please their Uncle, Sam, Canadian and Australian authorities treated Chinese like sub-humans. They are simply being reminded, in ways they would understand, that it’s not wise to do so. They’re the chickens. Other would-be US allies-in-depravity are the monkeys.From the piece below, which brilliantly exposes the Meng case as the farce it is:“The outcome of this judicial kidnapping will determine US and Canadian China policy for decades to come: whether a rapprochement is possible in the future, or whether relations will spiral into a cycle of acrimony, vengeance, and ultimately catastrophe.“What is on trial, of course, is not Meng, or Huawei, but the judicial system of Canada and the conscience, good sense, and ethics of its ruling class: whether it will uphold or undermine international notions of justice.“If the Canadian judiciary and its ruling classes fail this test, Canada risks being driven, metaphorically, into the sea by a determined Chinese leadership. The global community that upholds international justice could only concur.”

Why Canada must release Meng Wanzhou

Why Canada must release Meng Wanzhou

Why Canada must release Meng Wanzhou

Like ‘kidnappings’ of the past, the arrest of Huawei’s CFO could bode ill for the ‘abductor’
asiatimes.com
Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou leaves the British Columbia Supreme Court on May 27, 2020. Photo: AFP / Don MacKinnon

Few things are as dangerous as a poorly thought-out kidnapping. Kidnappings are serious business, often with unintended consequences. History is replete with dimwitted criminals who engaged in them on a whim, only to discover adverse outcomes far beyond their imagining. One dramatic example happened 90 years ago this week.

On October 24, a mother with young children is kidnapped. She is the cherished wife of an important man whom the kidnapper’s gang is in competition with. The plan is that by abducting her, the kidnapper will create unbearable psychological pressure on her husband, force him to capitulate, or at least damage his resolve.

The woman is first humiliated, then tortured, then killed. But the leader does not capitulate, break, or weaken. Instead, over the next 19 years, he wages war without quarter on his enemies and eventually drives them into the sea. Decades later, he will write this poem for her:

The lonely goddess in the moon spreads her ample sleeves
To dance for these faithful souls in the endless sky.
Of a sudden comes word of the tiger’s defeat on earth,
And they break into tears of torrential rain
.

The poet, of course, was Mao Zedong. The kidnapped woman was the beloved wife of Chairman Mao, Yang Kaihui, the mother of his three children. In the winter of 1930, the Kuomintang kidnapped her and her son, in order to demoralize Mao and put pressure on him to capitulate. She was executed in Changsha, on November 14, in front of her children, at the ripe age of 29.

Though utterly helpless while she was being held hostage, Mao never forgave the kidnappers for their depravity, cowardice, and misogyny – victimizing women and children as weapons in a war – and he ground his enemies into the dust, and then built a state where such atrocities could never occur or go unpunished again.

The state-directed, extraterritorial kidnapping of Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is widely seen as a similar act of infamy, misogyny and thuggery, by a similar class of disreputable individuals.

“Lawless, reasonless, ruthless … vicious” is the official diplomatic pronouncement of the Chinese government. It is certainly a violation of international law. How this will play out ultimately, and what retribution will be meted out, remains to be seen, but retribution there will surely be for this “extremely vicious” act.

George Koo has pointed out the “rotten underpinnings of the case” in a previous Asia Times article. Most people understand that Meng is not guilty of anything other than being the daughter of Ren Zhengfei, the founder of Huawei.

Huawei, as a global technological powerhouse, represents Chinese power and Chinese technical prowess, which the United States is hell-bent on destroying. Meng has been kidnapped as a pawn, as a hostage to exert pressure on Huawei and the Chinese government, and to curb China’s development.

In a maneuver reminiscent of medieval or colonial warfare, the US has explicitly offered to release her if China capitulates on a trade deal – making clear that she is being held hostage. This constitutes a violation of the UN Convention on Hostages.

The outcome of this judicial kidnapping will determine US and Canadian China policy for decades to come: whether a rapprochement is possible in the future, or whether relations will spiral into a cycle of acrimony, vengeance, and ultimately catastrophe.

What is on trial, of course, is not Meng, or Huawei, but the judicial system of Canada and the conscience, good sense, and ethics of its ruling class: whether it will uphold or undermine international notions of justice.

If the Canadian judiciary and its ruling classes fail this test, Canada risks being driven, metaphorically, into the sea by a determined Chinese leadership. The global community that upholds international justice could only concur.

Key facts about the Meng Wanzhou case

The Canadian government arrested Meng on December 1, 2018, as she was transiting Vancouver on a flight to Mexico. The arrest was made on the demand of the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The initial charge was “fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud to circumvent US sanctions on Iran.”

Of course, the US government knew quickly that these allegations could not constitute an extraditable charge. Ottawa does not subscribe to US sanctions against Iran – it actively encourages trade with Iran – and therefore business dealings with that country could hardly be a crime in Canada.

In fact, the unilateral US sanctions are a violation of international law.  Furthermore, like most jurisdictions in the world, Canada has a requirement of “double criminality”: unless the alleged crime is a crime in both jurisdictions, you cannot extradite.

So an alternative case had to be constructed. The case that was concocted alleged that because Meng had lied to a bank, she must be extradited for fraud. Of course, the bank was British (HSBC), the “crime” happened in Hong Kong, the accused was a Chinese national, and the arrest was in Canada. Hence she must be extradited to the US for “fraud.”

As a setup for a lame joke this would not pass, and as a legal argument it is beyond farce.  The US court claimed standing to charge her because transactions with HSBC had, or would have, transited US servers in New York for a few milliseconds.

Here are some key things to remember about this case:

  1. Even if the allegations of so-called “fraud” were true, without the political pressures, such an issue would largely be a private matter between HSBC and Meng.
  2. None of the transactions between HSBC and Meng occurred in the US. The funds only transited through the US system because of the way of the global banking system is set up for dollar clearance – this was the pretextual technicality used for jurisdiction and charging. (The funds could equally have been set up to transit through an alternative system, bypassing US servers and risk.)
  3. No non-US person has ever been charged for “causing” a non-US bank to violate US sanctions in the past. In similar cases, it’s usually a small fine to a corporation.
  4. It has been shown that the US attempted the abduction of Meng in six European and Latin American countries, all of which rejected US demands. The US decided on Meng’s momentary transit through Canada because it considered Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government to be the most pliable and sycophantic to its cause.
  5. US President Donald Trump has made statements that Meng could be used as a bargaining chip in the US-China trade deal, showing the clearly political nature of the arrest. Confidential Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) documents also note that the arrest was “highly political.” It’s widely suspected that the law-breaking John Bolton was the instigator behind the action.
  6. HSBC was already under prosecution by the US government for prior unrelated violations; rather than doing due diligence in their loan or clearance processes or the law, it decided to collaborate with the US government to entrap Huawei and Meng.
  7. The arrest itself involved massive abuses of process: irregularities in detention, notification, search, seizure, constituting themselves violations of international law and bilateral agreements.
  8. The court case has also been full of abuses, including the hiding of key exculpatory documents by the prosecution; and denial of access to key documents to the defense (on the basis of national security and “damage to China-Canada relations”).
  9. The Trudeau government is going on with charade that it is a hapless damsel obliged to follow US strong-arm demands. But Section 23 of the Canadian Extradition Act gives the government the authority to terminate this case at any time. Extradition is made on the discretion of the government, and by refusing to act, the Trudeau administration is abdicating its responsibilities to the Canadian people and the cause of justice.

The fraudulent charge of fraud

Meng Wanzhou’s lawyer has argued, “It is a fiction that the US has any interest in policing interactions between a private bank and a private citizen halfway around the world.… It’s all about sanctions.”

Jurisprudence upholds this: For a fraud charge against Meng to stick, it would have to show 1) deliberate misrepresentation/deception to HSBC as well as 2) harm or risk of harm to HSBC. In other words, Meng’s lies would have put HSBC at risk for fines and penalties for sanctions busting.

Note, however, that the bank could not have been held liable, if it could be shown that they had been “deceived” into breaching US sanctions by Meng as alleged. If Meng had “lied” to the bank, no harm could have occurred to the bank. The bank would have needed to act deliberately to face any risk of liability.

On the other hand, documents, slides and e-mails released later actually show that HSBC had been informed of the relationship between Skycom and Huawei before Meng’s testimony as well as during the meeting, so the allegation of deception doesn’t hold up.  (Slides 6 and 16 used in Meng’s presentation to HSBC were omitted to make it seem as if she had deceived the bank, but in full context, show there was no deception.)

The conclusion is simple: There was either no lie, or no harm. Regardless, there was no fraud.

In other words, the Canadian government had no case.

Double criminality and Justice Holmes

Heather Holmes, associate chief justice of the British Columbia Supreme Court, presided over Meng’s interrogation. Like the fascist KMT warlord who kidnapped and tortured Yang Kaihui, she interrogated Meng Wanzhou and her lawyer in sibilant tones. Tell me about “double criminality,” she entreated gently, as if their arguments would be weighed in her judgment.

Meng’s lawyer, Richard Peck, answered with common sense: Because Canada doesn’t have sanctions against Iran, there would be no liability to the bank, hence no risk to the bank, hence no criminal “fraud.”

It also couldn’t constitute fraud in the US, since if what the government argued was true – that Meng had misrepresented facts to the bank – HSBC would not be liable because the bank would be an “innocent victim,” hence not liable for any sanctions.

“All risk is driven by sanctions risk in the US,” Peck stated.

Astonishingly, Justice Holmes ruled against Meng, claiming that one should not look for correspondence or equivalence between the statutes to determine “double criminality” in fraud. Instead, she claimed that one had to transpose the context and the coherence of the statues of the demanding country to render a decision.

Even though Canada didn’t have sanctions against Iran (thus no illegality or risk of harm, and hence no fraud), she stated that she still had to interpret the demand for extradition by “transposing the environment” that led the US to make the demand. In other words, Canada had no sanctions on Iran, but she had to imagine “the environment” – in other words, “as if Canada had sanctions on Iran” – to render the decision.

In so doing, she was able to smuggle in illegal US sanctions by installing a legal back door – into a country that had lifted sanctions.

In other words, the illegal “environment” of US sanctions overruled the clear, plain letter of Canadian law. Neither was any consideration given to the odious political “environment” driving the abduction.

Why did the good judge see fit to make a mockery of Canada’s own laws and sovereignty, and subjugate Canada to US extraterritoriality? Why did she contort herself to support the blatant illegality of US sanctions? Does she realize she has set her country barreling down the wrong lane of history?

It’s not known if Justice Holmes asked for the clerk to bring her a basin of maple syrup to wash her hands after she passed judgment. But it would have been understandable for such a corrupt, consequential, and deeply catastrophic judgment.

But why is US going after Huawei?

China has been designated the official enemy (“revisionist power”) of the US, because it poses a threat to US dominance. As such, the US is engaged in “multi-domain” hybrid warfare against China to attack and bring China down.

The domains of warfare that involve the US assaults against Huawei are the domains of: tech war, trade war, economic war, lawfare, and cyberwar. Huawei is one of the key pillars of China’s technological and economic strength. It is the world’s largest and most advanced telecom corporation, and in 5G (fifth-generation telecom technology) it owns one-fifth of the base patents in the field.

Huawei is also building the digital infrastructure to accompany the Belt and Road Initiative (the “digital silk road”). This not only allows China’s economy to grow, but also prevents the effects of military blockade at the South China Sea. Its hardware makes it harder for US surveillance to tap.

These are the key reasons why it is being attacked and taken down. Aside from kidnappings, the US has been waging this warfare by trying to prevent other countries from signing deals for Huawei 5G infrastructure. It is alleging that Huawei would render these networks insecure: Huawei would spy on them for the Chinese government, or even open them for Chinese cyberwarfare.

Actually, the truth is exactly the inverse. A worldwide Huawei system could create problems for the US global panopticon upon which US “unipolar” dominance relies on: its ability to eavesdrop on individuals, corporations, the leaders of countries, as well as military communications. With non-Huawei routers, due to the subservience and mandated cooperation of US companies, cyberspace as a domain of warfare is always guaranteed to be permeable and amenable to US surveillance and attack.

In other words, the US taps routers globally to spy on individuals, companies, governments, and nations: “Routers, switches, and servers made by Cisco are boobytrapped with surveillance equipment that intercepts traffic handled by those devices and copies it to the NSA’s network.”

Regarding specific allegations of Huawei’s “spying,” Huawei has been completely transparent and has handed over its source code to relevant Intelligence agencies for detailed analysis, year upon year. No spying or intentional backdoors have been found: For example, German Intelligence found no spying, and no potential for spying, and British Intelligence also found none.

On the other hand, the US National Security Agency, in a program called Shotgiant, spied extensively on Huawei to look for links between Huawei and the People’s Liberation Army, evidence of back doors and spying, and vulnerabilities that they could exploit. This extraordinary spying (revealed by WikiLeaks) showed no evidence of back doors, spying or connections with the PLA.

The Shotgiant disclosures showed that US allegations were projection: NSA actions “actually mirror what the US has been accusing Huawei of potentially doing.” The NSA did, however, steal Huawei’s proprietary source code at the time, and had plans to spy on other countries by using this information and had sought to compromise security in general. Of course, these kinds of unethical exploits create dangers for everyone.

Theft and exploits notwithstanding, using Huawei hardware could still make it harder for the US to surveil networks – Huawei has declared it refuses to plant back doors.

Guo Ping, the chairman of Huawei, was quoted in The Verge: “If the NSA wants to modify routers or switches in order to eavesdrop, a Chinese company will be unlikely to cooperate.” Guo argues that his company “hampers US efforts to spy on whomever it wants,” reiterating its position that “Huawei has not and will never plant back doors.”

Wired magazine has also confirmed that Huawei is an obstacle to NSA surveillance: Telecom-equipment makers who sell products to carriers in the US “are required by law to build into their hardware ways for authorities to access the networks for lawful purposes.”

The only allegations of “Huawei vulnerabilities” with any backing evidence shown to date have been in a Bloomberg “gotcha” article, which claimed that in 2009 and 2011 some telnet connections in Huawei equipment for Vodaphone in Italy were insecure. Vodaphone, however, refuted these allegations.

The hardware (Baseboard Management Controller) that Bloomberg alleges is “insecure” cannot access any data in any normal configuration Furthermore, built-in Telnet access CLI connections are unexceptional, and did not pose meaningful risk.

Since then further allegations have been made by the US government (leaked to the Wall Street Journal), but always without proof. These allegations may be recycled and refuted old allegations, or they may just be pure invention, which why they cannot issue the proof.
Of course, Huawei refutes these allegations and always demands proof. The proof is never forthcoming, because there is none.

Here is a solution that allows everyone to step back from the brink. Back off on the unsubstantiated, unverifiable “back-door spying” canards. Stop the spying and harassment of Huawei, and stop the projection. Stop the interference with its global contracts: let each country evaluate them on their own merits. Stop the fraudulent prosecutions that recycle settled matters.

Above all, stop taking hostages: This is a violation of international law. Canada must release Meng Wanzhou, immediately. And it must find ways to repair relations and find ways cooperate anew with China. The benefits of success will be tangible and immense. The consequences of failure, immeasurable.

Asia Times Financial is now live. Linking accurate news, insightful analysis and local knowledge with the ATF China Bond 50 Index, the world’s first benchmark cross sector Chinese Bond Indices. Read ATF now. 

China’s parliament approves Hong Kong national security bill

Source

http://www.aljazeera.com

May 28, 2020

National People’s Congress votes 2,878 to 1 in favour of decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.

China's parliament approves Hong Kong national security bill
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang cast their votes on the national security legislation for Hong Kong [Carlos Garcia Rawlins/ Reuters]
 

China’s parliament has approved a decision to move forward with national security legislation for Hong Kong that critics fear could undermine the city’s autonomy.

The National People’s Congress on Thursday voted 2,878 to 1 in favour of the decision to empower its standing committee to draft the legislation, with six abstentions.

The legislators gathered in the Great Hall of the People burst into sustained applause when the vote tally was projected onto screens.

China says the legislation will be aimed at tackling secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in the city but the plan, unveiled in Beijing last week, triggered the first big protests in Hong Kong for months.

The security law will alter the territory’s mini-constitution, or Basic Law, to require its government to enforce measures to be decided later by Chinese leaders. The plans have prompted widespread condemnation and strained China’s relations with the United States and Britain.

Al Jazeera’s Katrina Yu, reporting from Beijing, said the Chinese move “is taking place without any consultation, any debate with Hong Kong’s leaders or its government”.

“China is taking advantage of a legal loophole that completely bypasses Hong Kong’s legislative process.”

Details of the law are expected to be drawn up in coming weeks, and Chinese authorities and the Beijing-backed government in Hong Kong say there is no threat to the city’s autonomy and the new security law will be tightly focused.

But the US on Wednesday revoked its special status for Hong Kong, alleging the city was no longer autonomous from Beijing, paving the way for future sanctions and the removal of trading privileges in the financial hub.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, riot police were out in force as its legislators debated another piece of legislation, a bill that would criminalise disrespect of China’s national anthem.

Dozens of protesters gathered in a shopping mall to chant slogans but there was no repeat of disturbances the previous day when police made 360 arrests as thousands took to the streets in anger over the anthem bill and the national security legislation proposed by China.

Last year, the city was rocked for months by often violent pro-democracy demonstrations over an unsuccessful bid to introduce an extradition law to China.

The national security legislation is the latest issue to fuel fears in Hong Kong that Beijing is imposing its authority and eroding the high degree of autonomy the former British colony has enjoyed under a “one country, two systems” formula since it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

Al Jazeera’s Adrian Brown, reporting from Hong Kong, said: “There is deep resentment towards this law in Hong Kong. And I think the protests that we saw on Wednesday are going to continue, if not intensify, even though protesters know Beijing is not going to reverse course.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer qualified for special treatment under US law, potentially dealing a crushing blow to its status as a major financial hub.

The proposed security law was “only the latest in a series of actions” undermining Hong Kong freedoms, he told Congress.

“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” he said.

The security law could see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in the city.

Relations between the two superpowers have been tense over China’s claims in the South China Sea and trade. The coronavirus pandemic has also become an issue of acrimony.

“Already, international business is facing the pressure of increased tension between the US and China, but the enactment of China’s security law for Hong Kong could take the tension to a whole new level,” said Tara Joseph, president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.

“This is show time for Hong Kong,” Joseph said in a commentary in the South China Morning Post.

US President Donald Trump has promised action over Hong Kong, with an announcement at the end of the week. More than 1,300 US companies have offices in the city, providing about 100,000 jobs.

China said it would take necessary countermeasures to any foreign interference into what it insists are its internal affairs.

SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES

EU admitted “American-led system” nears its end

European Union looks towards Asia to preserve its interests in the 21st century

EU admitted “American-led system” nears its end

“This comes as the U.S. is approaching 2 million cases of coronavirus and over 100,000 deaths. Earlier this month, the unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 14.7% with the Federal Reserve estimating it could reach a high of 25%. Pre-coronavirus data found that 29.9% of Americans live close to poverty while 5.3% of the population live in deep poverty and 11.1% of American households, were food insecure, meaning they had difficulty providing enough food for all people within the house.”

duran.com

European Union foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell told a gathering of German ambassadors on Monday that “analysts have long talked about the end of an American-led system and the arrival of an Asian century. This is now happening in front of our eyes.” He said that the coronavirus pandemic could be the catalyst to shift power from West to East and that “pressure to choose sides is growing”  for the EU, before adding that the 27-nation bloc “should follow our own interests and values and avoid being instrumentalised by one or the other.”

Borrell said “we only have a chance if we deal with China with collective discipline,” noting that an upcoming EU-China summit this autumn could be an opportunity to do so. “We need a more robust strategy for China, which also requires better relations with the rest of democratic Asia.”

As China, India, Japan, Indonesia and Russia will become some of the world’s biggest economies by 2030, according to Standard Chartered Plc, the 21st century is known as the “Asian Century.”  So, the EU has a serious decision to make on whether to continue its hostile approach towards Russia if it wishes to have more straight forward trade access to Asia. Putin has made incentives for colonists to populate the Far East of Russia to boost its small population of under seven million people who live close to China to fully and better engage in the “Asian Century.”

European trade with Asia could be done through the Russian Far East port of Vladivostok and the Trans-Siberian transportation routes, and this would also bypass China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Macron last year made a Facebook post where he said “progress on many political and economic issues is evident, for we’re trying to develop Franco-Russian relations. I’m convinced that, in this multilateral restructuring, we must develop a security and trust architecture between the European Union and Russia.” With Macron emphasizing a European-Russian rapprochement, he then expanded on General de Gaulle’s famous quote that Europe stretches “from Lisbon to the Urals,” by saying that Europe reaches Vladivostok which is near the Chinese and North Korean border.

According to experts China’s foreign investment in the advanced development zone accounts for about 59.1% of all foreign investments in the region. The Russian Far East has a huge investment potential, especially with materials, natural resources, fisheries, and tourism, and China aims to take advantage of the mostly underdeveloped region. The region is not only resource rich, but is strategically located as it borders China, Mongolia and North Korea, and has a maritime border with Japan.

With France’s recognition of Vladivostok and Borrell now acknowledging that the power centers of the world are shifting to the East, the EU has little choice but to make a rapprochement with Russia and end its sanctions regime. In addition, it would be in the EU’s interests not to engage in anti-China actions on behalf of the U.S.

China’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic has meant that it has not only recovered and restarted its economy, but that it engages in large-scale soft power projections by delivering tons upon tons of medical aid to every region in the world and has sent doctors and nurses to the most affected countries. This comes as the U.S. is approaching 2 million cases of coronavirus and over 100,000 deaths. Earlier this month, the unemployment rate in the U.S. reached 14.7% with the Federal Reserve estimating it could reach a high of 25%. Pre-coronavirus data found that 29.9% of Americans live close to poverty while 5.3% of the population live in deep poverty and 11.1% of American households, were food insecure, meaning they had difficulty providing enough food for all people within the house. Despite the growing social and domestic problems in the U.S., it is unlikely that Washington will give up its global hegemony so easily.

But Borrell seems to have little confidence that the U.S. will maintain its global leadership and is now eyeing China and the East as the EU’s new main trading partner. Effectively, as the Anglo World attempts to maintain the Atlanticist dominance, the EU is recognizing that its future lies with Eurasia.

Do You Consent To The New Cold War?

medium.com

Caitlin Johnstone

May 23, 2020

The world’s worst Putin puppet is escalating tensions with Russia even further, with the Trump administration looking at withdrawal from more nuclear treaties in the near future.

In addition to planning on withdrawing from the Open Skies Treaty and knocking back Moscow’s attempts to renew the soon-to-expire New START Treaty, Trump is also contemplating breaking the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban treaty by conducting the first US nuclear test explosion since 1992, reportedly as an attempt to bring China to the table for joining New START.

Moon of Alabama has already published a solid breakdown of all this, outlining the absence of evidence for the Trump administration’s justifications of its treaty withdrawals and explaining why China has nothing whatsoever to gain by signing on to a trilateral New START Treaty. I have nothing to add to this, other than to ask a simple question.

The question I want to ask is, do you consent to this?

Do you consent to steadily mounting cold war escalations against not one but two nuclear-armed nations?

Do you consent to having a bunch of unseen military personnel rolling the dice every day on the gamble that we won’t wipe ourselves off the face of this earth in the confusion and chaos of rising hostilities due to miscommunication or technical malfunction, as nearly happened many times during the last cold war?

Do you consent to a slow-motion third world war where an oligarch-led alliance of powerful nations works tirelessly to absorb new nations into its imperial blob by any means necessary?

Do you consent to a world where weapons of armageddon are brandished about by imbeciles with inadequacy issues?

Do you consent to a world ruled by people who are so sociopathic that they are willing to inflict endless mass military slaughter and risk a nuclear holocaust just to have more control over the world population?

Do you consent to a world where we risk literally everything because a few overeducated, under-mothered think-tankers were able to market an idea called “unipolarity” at key points of interest after the fall of the Soviet Union?

Do you consent to a world where powerful governments team up like a bunch of bitchy mean girls against weaker nations that aren’t in their clique?

Do you consent to governments spending lives, resources, and treasure on bloodbaths around the globe and treating terrestrial life itself like some trivial plaything instead of ensuring the thriving of their own populations?

Does this seem like health to you?

Does this seem like sanity to you?

Is any of this something you want? Something you consent to?

Of course not. These questions are all redundant. Nobody with a healthy mind and a clear picture of what’s going on would consent to this madness, no matter what nation they live in.

This whole insane model was rolled out without your consent. You were never asked if you consented because the answer would have been no.

Nobody gives their conscious and informed consent to this. The new cold war is as consensual as sex after a Rohypnol-spiked drink, and the illusion of consent is just as nefariously and artificially manufactured. People are roofied into sedation by mass media propaganda and endless diversion from reality, and then power has its way with us.

If people were actually given informed consent about what is done in their name, none of this would be happening. Weapons of war would have been destroyed long ago and we’d all be working together in healthy collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem to ensure a healthy, happy world for our children and our grandchildren.

There is no reason we cannot have such a world. We are the many, they are the few. They manufacture our consent because they absolutely require that consent. A population which will not be propagandized is a population which cannot be ruled.

All we have to do is inform each other about what’s really going on. Then informed consent can exist. And be withdrawn.

_______________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics onTwitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

US, China Have Unsafe Encounters in South China Sea

Pentagon blames Chinese behavior, but US ships keep confronting them

God damned Americans, what are you doing in Chinese waters, on the other side of the world? Go home and fix your deteriorating country ye eejits!

news.antiwar.com
May 21, 2020

SOUTH CHINA SEA (Jul. 05, 2010) - A service member assign… | Flickr
Go home Yankees, go fix your country!

Mounting US tensions with China are mostly playing out diplomatically. The South China Sea is the one area where military confrontation is a risk. Pentagon officials have suggested there were nine such incidents in recent months.

The incidents are common. A US warship or two approaches Chinese claimed territory in the South China Sea, and China responds. The US gets mad at China’s response, saying it is “unsafe” to react to their provocations.

The US doesn’t like the way China reacts, but they won’t just not engage in such provocations. If anything, the Pentagon has a growing number of missions in the South China Sea challenging China and provoking a response.

The Pentagon tends to overstate what was “unsafe” labeling any reaction to their operations as such. A military confrontation, however, cannot be ruled out, and the more encounters happen, the higher that risk becomes.

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com. 

America is Drowning in Problems: Washington is Picking Another Fight With China

The blame China game is really an effort to cover-up the failure of Western governments to deal with a crisis.

The United States and its vassals knew about the virus outbreak in China two months prior to its outbreak in the West and did nothing. Through either inaction or intent, the US, Canada, and Europe imported the virus.

Throughout America, state, local, and federal government  epitomize  failure. Trillions of dollars have been poured into weapons systems that cannot be used without destroying the United States along with the rest of the world, while dams fail, bridges collapse, communities deteriorate, and homelessness grows. The government in Washington spends time, effort, and money manufacturing enemies to justify the budget of the military/security complex, while  jobs and the US economy are offshored, the environment is degraded, and health care needs go unaddressed.   The US rivals third world countries in terms of the percentage of its population that has no savings, no access to health care, and no prospects for advancement in life. 

Source

Washington is picking yet another fight with China. On top of the trade war we now have the coronavirus war.  China is accused of being responsible for the virus by withholding information about it.  Some in Washington want to make China pay for the cost of the virus by reneging on US debt held by China in the form of US Treasuries.

What information about coronavirus is China supposed to have withheld? 

That China was doing coronavirus research?  How could this information have been withheld when the US State Department knew about it, the N.I.H. was funding it, and US scientists were complaining about the danger?

That coronavirus was ravaging Wuhan?  How was this information withheld when it was in the media every day?

The United States and its vassals knew about the virus outbreak in China two months prior to its outbreak in the West and did nothing. Through either inaction or intent, the US, Canada, and Europe imported the virus. 

The governments refused to stop flights in and out of China and to prevent cruise ships from welcoming passengers from infected areas. Governments did not want to interfere with profits, which came before public health.  Absolutely nothing was done.  No efforts were made to stockpile protective masks and gear, or to protect nursing homes, or to segregate hospital facilities, or to think outside the box about treatments.  The Swedish government was so unprepared that it did not even try to do anything and just let the virus run its course with devastating effects on the elderly.  [Note: There is much disinformation about Sweden from those who believe the virus is a plot to impose police state controls, such as claims that Sweden has kept the economy open without paying for it in a higher death rate and is gaining “herd immunity” against Covid-19.  These claims are contradicted by news reports.  For example: see this and this.]

In an attempt, more or less successful, to reduce the infection rate so that health facilities were not over-burdened, every other country imposed social distancing rules, bans against crowd events, and workplace closures.  As little was known about the disease and the Chinese mortality rate was believed to be vastly understated, there was no responsible alternative to the so-called “lockdowns.”  It remains to be seen whether the concern for profits has produced a premature reopening that will result in a second wave of rapid infection rates. Many suspect that Big Pharma and Bill Gates want to keep the infection spreading in order to panic us into being vaccinated with an inadequately tested vaccine.

The blame China game is really an effort to cover-up the failure of Western governments to deal with a crisis.

The failure of governments to deal with crisis is ubiquitous.  Just think Katrina, the hurricane that devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.  If you don’t remember or are too young to have experienced the 2005 hurricane via TV, read Douglas Brinkley’s The Great Deluge (see this).

Everyone knew that the levies protecting New Orleans and surrounding areas were unable to withstand a storm of Katrina’s intensity.  The city was a bowl waiting to fill up with the water that wiped out 80% of New Orleans and 150 miles of Gulf Coast communities.   Evacuation orders came too late.  There were no steps taken to evacuate those without cars and resources. The sick and elderly were left in place.  The few steps that were taken to assemble buses, boats, and first responders located the scanty resources in areas that flooded.  The New Orleans Police Department went AWOL. Some joined in the looting. FEMA was a total failure.  President George W. Bush and Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff were not focused on the unfolding tragedy but on their creation of a terrortist hoax that was used to justify 20 years of US bombing and invasions of Middle Eastern and North African countries. As Bush had deployed Louisiana’s National Guard to Iraq, the Louisiana governor had to borrow guardsmen from other states.

The US Coast Guard, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries personnel, and private individuals formed the force of first responders. People from Louisiana and from other states showed up on their own time, their own money, and with their own boats and began organizing rescues.  There were many heroic and generous people involved in the rescue. As most of the rescuers were white southerners and most of the rescued were black, it put the lie to the propagandistic picture of the white southern racist. For example, Sara Roberts and her husband Buisson, a descendant of Confederate General P.G.T.Beauregard, organized the Cajun Navy.  Sara enlisted clients of her accounting firm who came up with 35 boats and crews to man them.  One of her clients, Ronny Lovett, paid his construction crews triple wages for their rescue time and spent $200,000 of his money equipping the boats with food, water, medical supplies, chain saws, life jackets, spotlights, ropes and whatever else could contribute to successful rescues. It was individual citizens, not the governments in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Washington that rescued many thousands of people who otherwise would have perished. 

From its founding day, New Orleans was a man-made disaster waiting to happen.  Dredging, canals, watercourse alterations, pipelines and a variety of other environmental damaging mistakes had over the years destroyed the wetlands that protected the city and Gulf Coast. In order to serve private profit, failure was built into the system. The Great Deluge is an external cost of a political and economic system that puts private profits first.

We are undergoing it again at this moment as areas of Michigan are inundated from floods caused by dam failures. One of the dams, the Edenville Dam was a long known public safety hazard . Boyce Hydro, the owner of the dam, repeatedly failed despite the intervention of regulators to address the known risk.  Not only was Boyce Hydro negligent, but also were the government authorities that permitted the known risk to persist unaddressed.  The lost of life and property from the flooding is an external cost imposed on third parties by Boyce Hydro whose agenda was limited to its profits.

It is as difficult to understand the liberal and progressive belief in government as it is to understand the libertarian belief in the efficacy of the invisible hand that allegedly causes private greed to serve the public’s interest.  Humans are a built-in failure machine.  Their time perspective is short term.  They are always surprised by the unintended consequences of their own thoughtless actions and inactions.

Throughout America, state, local, and federal government  epitomize  failure. Trillions of dollars have been poured into weapons systems that cannot be used without destroying the United States along with the rest of the world, while dams fail, bridges collapse, communities deteriorate, and homelessness grows. The government in Washington spends time, effort, and money manufacturing enemies to justify the budget of the military/security complex, while  jobs and the US economy are offshored, the environment is degraded, and health care needs go unaddressed.   The US rivals third world countries in terms of the percentage of its population that has no savings, no access to health care, and no prospects for advancement in life.   

But we can blow up the world several times over and make mindless interventions in the natural environment that multiply the destructive power of storms, heavy rains, and other natural phenomena.

Another election approaches and yet again there is no acknowledgement of the real problems our country faces or any interest in discussing what to do about them. America and the Western World in general are simply going to drown in their unaddressed problems just as New Orleans drowned in Hurricane Katrina.

*

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Dr. Paul Craig Roberts writes on his blog site, PCR Institute for Political Economy, where this article was originally published. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Hate China

View at Medium.com

Hate China

Caitlin Johnstone
May 22, 2020

It is China’s fault that humans get sick, and that novel viruses sometimes occur.

It is China’s fault that millions of Americans are being thrown off their employer-provided health insurance.

It is China’s fault that your government is unrolling increasingly authoritarian measures during this pandemic instead of ensuring financial security through economic hardship.

It is China’s fault that manufacturing jobs were shipped overseas. Those jobs and money will definitely come back if you just hate China enough.

It is China’s fault that people are scared and confused. It is China’s fault that capitalism isn’t rescuing us.

It is China’s fault that you are hurting. It is China’s fault that life is hard for you.

It is China’s fault that things never seem to get better in your country, no matter who you vote for.

It is China’s fault that it now takes two parents working overtime to feed a family while the wealthy get wealthier and wealthier.

It is China’s fault that everything feels so uncertain now, and that we’ve all got a growing feeling that something’s about to give.

It is China’s fault that you are overworked and undercompensated, and it is China’s fault that you suspect anyone else could possibly be responsible for this besides China.

It is China’s fault that you feel insecure, unloved, inadequate and unworthy. It is China’s fault that you have been betrayed, abused, attacked and abandoned by those who were supposed to love you.

It is China’s fault that early childhood is inherently traumatic, and that this leaves us all living and acting from unconscious pain.

It is China’s fault that we reject love from others because we have not yet learned to love ourselves.

It is China’s fault that we are hurtling through space on a spinning rock in a universe that we do not understand, and that our recently evolved brains have not yet made peace with this reality.

It is China’s fault that our inability to directly experience one another’s inner worlds leaves us with a perpetual background feeling of loneliness and alienation.

It is China’s fault that life is short and full of suffering. It is China’s fault that nothing is certain and meaning is an illusion.

China single-handedly invented the existence of illness.

China single-handedly invented economic hardship.

China single-handedly invented all hardship.

China is the cause of all your suffering.

Not those in your own nation who appear to be responsible.

China.

China did this.

Not your kind and beneficent leaders.

Your kind and beneficent leaders would never hurt you.

Your kind and beneficent leaders love you.

Your kind and beneficent leaders are your friend.

Trust your kind and beneficent leaders.

Hate China.

Hate China with all your might.

Hating China will solve all your problems.

You just keep hating while we roll out the economic sanctions.

Keep hating while we unleash the proxy conflicts.

Keep hating while we deploy the war ships.

Keep hating and trust the movements of our missiles.

Above all keep hating while we tell you what to think.

Hate China and trust your kind and beneficent leaders.

Hate China.

Trust us.

Obey.

____________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for my website, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics onTwitter, checking out my podcast on either YoutubesoundcloudApple podcasts or Spotify, following me on Steemit, throwing some money into my hat on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

Understanding the sinister agenda being forced upon us