SitRep: China Trade, South China Sea-One China Defense and Asian Civilizations Dialogue
Four major events in a cluster, one to come this week.
The percipient point of view about China under Chairman Xi (more powerful than Mao, though far less charismatic) is that China will not retreat from its destiny.
Any notion that China would cave to Donald Trump’s demands in the Trade negotiations of the past year (yes it’s been a year with 11 face-to-face meetings of the highest level operatives on both sides, one step below Presidents for each team) is faulty thinking on two levels.
President Xi understands that Trump was setting him up for the Art of the Close. Trump wins by changing, demanding, insisting on winning any deal he makes. The Donald always takes the flesh with the blood. And he sometimes walks away until he gets the bone with the flesh. But those are business deals. Nothing in real estate development is necessary. Running the US economy within the Global interconnected economy is a completely different deal.
Trump is in this to come away a winner by forcing self-containment of China economically. If the deal on the table the Chinese just refused and left there had been accepted by President Xi, the Politburo in Zhongnanhai would have removed Xi from power. The Xi power is unlimited by Time. He’s there for life. But it is a System that leaves the Circuit Breaker of Wisdom and Ideological Foundation in the hands of the Politburo.
The moment came for the deal to be analyzed from a three-sixty spherical point of view. What would be the ramifications within the Chinese domestic situation, between the trade partners of China (USA, EU, Asian) and what would remain of the Supply Chains intrinsic to China’s development?
The demands by the Americans touched the nerve center of CCP power as rulers of PRC. It demanded laws be written (dictated by US in the deal) which would have been the weapons of enforcement triggering penalties for any backsliding by China. These laws would act the way the US dictates to the Yeltsin-Gorbachev administrations acted on the Russian economy and society. Those US advisements crippled the domestic development, led to the wealth rape by oligarchs and set in place the plethora of NGOs that have torn up the educational and scientific sectors of Russia, and they bought time and space for the Liberals to share power and operate as a Fifth Column, largely through the Media that massaged the masses into dreams of European splendor, US freedom and democracy, while drugging with alcohol and hard opiates the nation’s manpower into morbidity and stupor.
The Chinese saw a loss of their society, the second coming of the Opium culture, and corruption reversing all the anti-corruption efforts of the last decade. They studied hard for these last three decades the fall of the USSR. They understand how the ‘take down’ was engineered. The Chinese are great students. They play a strategy game of Go. Far more complex than Chess, mastered by few, but influenced by Time and Concentration. When the Chinese make a move, there are many moves more to come before your stones on the Goban are suddenly surrounded or trapped on the edges. White or Black, the Chinese understand strategy.
The deal on the table was a trap for Xi and the CCP and China as a rising power.
Evaluating the Trade Deal as a poison pill, the Politburo called the Standing Committee and President Xi to begin a long-term plan of life without the USA.
China would de-couple from the International System that was being dismantled by Trump and was being rebuilt as Rule-based Order, the rules all coming from Washington to the whole world to obey. Trump didn’t begin this. He embraced it. This is the Hegemony of Unipolar governance. The ultimate deal Trump could have never dreamed of having a role in. He makes all the Rules and he always wins. This is why he has left the essence of MAGA, but throws the slogans around still. Making America Great Again is nonsense if America is on top and everyone else is a pawn. The ultimate Feudal system, a vertical power structure like his Trump Towers. But this is bigger, grander, more than a skyscraper could ever be. Unipolar Power went deep into Space. Its footprint on Earth is global, land or sea. The base of the Empire is Earth itself, controlled from Washington. Forever.
The Chinese saw that they alone could stop this eventuality.
They left the negotiations to be resumed, but on the table was a rejected plan. It won’t be revived.
The White Paper lays out the history of the last year’s efforts and realities that display Trump’s tactics. All through the negotiations have been ‘missile strikes’ of sanctions and tariffs and legal moves against Huawei and ZTE. Conjoined with those blunt blows have been multiple thrusts of the US military toward separating Taiwan from China, legislation expanding US-Taiwan relations, vast new arms deals that go far beyond past red lines set by Beijing, and a propaganda machine in the world press and media demonizing China as a thieving culture run by human rights violators operating “concentration camps” for millions of Uyghurs, ruthlessly controlling Tibet and threatening naval commerce by building islands in the South China Sea and stealing every other nations gas and oil and all the fish the waters hold. Only good neighbor (from 8000 miles away) Uncle Sam can save the day for the poor folks of Asia.
So regularly, US naval warships slice the 12-mile limit, taunting a response from the PLAN’s vessels or maybe a crash of fishing vessels into the US Navy’s boats. Whatever US Navy can elicit to provide a trigger incident that would once-and-for-all paint Red China black.
This is the context geopolitically of the Trade Negotiations present status.
China now has set the rules that they demand. Trump won’t like them. Navarro and the warhawks and Sinophobes love the idea that China refuses to submit. They can reach into the tool kit of destabilization and begin the final effort to destroy the growth of China, truncate the economy, break the momentum of the BRI and Maritime Silk Road and Polar Silk Road, and make an outcast from the West of the Yellow Peril in Mao attire.
The White Paper comes on a weekend that was preceded by a Chinese military speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. At that event, which deals with mutual military and defense issues of the ASEAN nations and China, one of the State Council members who happens to be the Minister of National Defense of the PRC, General Wei Fenghe, delivered a speech that focused on China’s position in the South China Sea zone.
(Link is to the transcript.) http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1152730.shtml
The Dialogue conference concentrates on International Security Cooperation. General Wei had preceded his speech Saturday with a face-to-face meet up with Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan.
Shanahan’s nomination approval has been held up by the Senate as they try to cope with his conflicts of interest involving Boeing, from whence he comes and for whom he would always favor. (We hear the term “recuse” again for all such conflicts of interest.)
General Wei delivered in person to Shanahan the no-uncertain rules of behavior China insists on for passage of US naval ships in the South China Sea, Taiwan Strait and East China Sea zones China claims. But he offered more contact and communication between militaries to defuse the situation. Shanahan responded by mud throwing as a good Sinophobe is meant to do, charging that China has militarized the South China Sea and is a bad neighbor who steals from other countries.
Then came the General’s speech at Singapore’s conference.
Meanwhile in Beijing the plan of de-coupling has begun. FedEx will be investigated for not shipping some packages of Chinese documents elsewhere in the world. Seems as though FedEx was obeying some CIA or State Dept. ‘suggestions’, but has since apologized to the Chinese for FedEx’s ‘error’ in not shipping the packages. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-investigates-fedex-huawei-cargo-121120258.html
So, there is now, like in the US Treasury and DOJ, a Beijing black list of American corporations and individuals. Tariffs in response to Trump’s tariffs are in place by China. The Trade War is on, engaged to withdraw US from China and by China to de-couple from the US. The task for China is monumental. They would need to find at least $350 billion in new markets. And they need to hold as much of the Supply Chain in China, through China or managed by China in the other nations (like Vietnam, where many Chinese-invested companies already exist).
Simultaneously, the Politburo has clearly signaled that war is the option if Taiwan attempts to separate from the PRC. Regardless of what the US Senate and the US military does within Taiwan, for Taiwan, or with Taiwan and the US alliance of Indo-Pacific nations hastily patched together to be the Pacific NATO, China will fight and take control of Taiwan. That policy is not a bluff. Taiwan will succumb to the PLA if it dares to formally break away. Bold Red Line.
Though China recognizes the USA as an Asia-Pacific nation, it clearly labels the USA as non-Asian, non-neighbor intruding in the Southeast, East and North East Asian waters and lands. It sees the US as military invader. It distinguishes the right of freedom of navigation from the Rule of Hegemony the US insists is its duty to Asia.
China is building a military that will be large enough to cope with 60-70% of the US military assets pivoted toward Beijing. Though China is a nuclear power, it is building a navy that will dwarf the US ship for ship. But its carrier groups will not equal US numbers for decades. The need is not there in any case to match carriers. The Islands in the South China Sea act as flattops should the need arise. What the Chinese do have is anti-ship missile capacity ever since 2010 when DF-21 was demonstrated. One missile ends one carrier. That truly has changed naval warfare potential. Russia has similar capabilities and so does Iran. And one might think that those short-range missiles from Pyongyang have the same target potential. So, cruising around with such big targets afloat for China, Russia and North Korea to so easily take out with one missile seems reckless to most. But the US Navy deeply believes the waters that touch the Asian nations are US property and they are determined to enforce that notion. The Rule of Hegemony is powerful elixir.
Two other events bracket these Chinese efforts of the White Paper and the General’s Speech. Earlier in May was a huge geo-cultural event, The Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations.
Read the press conference transcript and understand how this is the Chinese and President Xi’s way of communicating the philosophical basis for the BRI.
Connecting all the world’s civilizations and cultures is the historic stimulus for development. Some have forgotten this. History books often don’t relate this phenomenon. We know the Silk Road was about trade. We know the Phoenicians sailed the Mediterranean for trade. But we look past the integration processes when civilizations link up. It is often the most subtle of transformations, but deep, lasting bonds get established. Usually, each influences the other.
Hosted in Beijing, it presented like a small World Expo, an Asian exposition of the ancient and current civilizational developments and capabilities. The West has no such event. Mostly because Western Civilization has died. It now is merely transiting the period of decay like a cadaver left at room temperature.
But Asia is young, as young as today, and Asia is ancient, as old as any civilization on Earth. Several Asian Civilizations are continuums from ancient to today. And most have integrated aspects in China. Some have integrated Chinese elements within their nation’s culture. So, the exposition and dialogue was a manifestation of a reality that was already de-coupled from the West. In fact, outside Beijing, at the water’s edge of the landmass, was the prowling non-neighbor instigating for war. After all, what else does a Hegemon have to offer? It’s own civilization is dead and gone. It seeks to build nothing of use to Asia. It demands subservience. It writes the Rules of the game it wants to play. Go is gone. Obey is the play. You don’t even get stones to use. Your bowl is empty. Only the Hegemon makes the moves. All the stones are his.
And what the exposition and dialogue makes aware in the tens of thousands of attendees is the harmony and cooperation of the historical and present civilizations that encompass Asian peoples. Art, religion, inventions, music, horticulture, languages demonstrate the symphonic beauty of mankind, diverse and integrated. Awareness of what is common and what is unique. Most of all, the insight that God and Nature are universal and necessary. Ideology and politics disappear when civilization is the inspiration.
Finally, the coming week, in St. Petersburg President Xi will be the honored guest at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). He brings 30 business deals ready to sign between the trading partners, China-Russia, the Double Helix.
The Chinese delegation will be over one thousand officials and businesspersons. President Xi brings also a list of new responsibilities for Russia to assist China as it de-couples and accelerates the BRI and EAEU Eurasian Integration. This will be followed up at SCO summit meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, June 13-14. http://summit.gov.kg/?lang=en
China has to get things moving economically and militarily. The US has transported 5000 ISIS-AQ fighters to the borderland of Russia and China at Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Soon, whatever number of Uyghurs who may survive the Idlib liquidation by Syrian and Russian operations will be moved to Afghanistan bordering Xinjiang and Pakistan. The US clearly will never cease operational capabilities in Afghanistan so it can rile China, Pakistan, Iran, and Russia from Central and South Asia. These matters must be dealt with by SCO anti-terror operations. The training has been years long, exercises more frequently. It is necessary now to act. Obviously, Russian commanders will set the operational plans. Whose forces will be blended is to be determined. But China has skin in the game and will share the burden of boots on the ground, as well as planes and missiles in the air.
War has come to Asia again. Trade War precipitates Military War. Hybrid War prepares the softening of the internal strengths of the target nations. China, like Russia, is now subject to all three forms of warfare. To avoid calamity, the Chinese are organizing a strategic retreat of de-coupling from the USA/West. Like Mao’s strategic retreat, Chairman Xi leads the moral crusade of patriotic repositioning. His dream of Eurasian Development must happen more swiftly. It cannot be a twenty-five to thirty years, culminating in 2049, the Centennial of the CCP’s establishment of New China, the PRC. The BRI has to connect all of Eurasia with all of Europe and Africa, and parts of Latin America. The goal is the same, the timeline has shortened.
President Xi has to keep his economy growing at 6+%, find new markets, prevent a military clash with the US directly, and hold Taiwan to the One China status, maintain stability in society, counter the Hybrid War and the vile Yellow Peril Sinophobia, and build new trusting relationships with nations fearful of an Asian Hegemon. Who better to advise and assist him than President Putin? He’s been through this wringer and has shown masterful techniques to hold Russia above the madness and capture the minds and some hearts of other peoples in regions around the globe. Russia inspires despite the destructive hybrid war it is facing. Civilization matters, I am sure Putin will tell him. Stick with your values as a civilization and the rest of the world will admire you. Act with full legal authority and with mutual consultation and consent, and you will succeed.
The Saint Petersburg visit will have the public speeches and actions to report, and the very private face-to-face strategizing between Xi and Putin. We will have the tea leaves to read when they are done. But we know where China is heading. Its Plan B is de-coupling. Some of that is from the American side, corporations who are moving out, pressured to go, enticed to come to other low-labor cost economies who want to duck out of the way of the tariff and trade limitations imposed, now, by both sides.
What we are witnessing is more than a Clash of Civilizations. We are seeing the dying of one dominant nation-state that has decayed from its own embrace of Liberalism and corporate capital’s dependence on war and military action with no end. DC corruption has led to the waste of tens of Trillions of Dollars, massive debt and derivative artificial growth, and total disregard of all traditional values that once was inspiration to the world. The USA lost its way and now brutalizes everyone, foe, friend or bystander. Everyone is a threat to this bully. And everyone can be used as a proxy, so the bully, himself, does not have to bleed too much.
The dying USA is taking the corrupted Europeans with it. Like a pandemic, its rot will take down those closest to it. This great tragedy has no precedent. Empires die. Hegemons falter and crash like statues pulled down in revolutions. But a dominant nation, committing all Cardinal Sins, has no future but a miracle. List the symptoms that became the killing vices. Pride, Greed, Impurity, Envy, Gluttony, Anger, Laziness. We see these everyday in our leaders, our institutions, our role models, our managers, our preachers, our exemplars, and doubly tragic, our children. America has becomes a hopeless case. Half of it is gone. In ten more years, it will be in need of hospice care. How much of the rest of the world will it infect before it ceases to influence beyond its own borders?
Whatever happens to the USA, China has opted to go back to basics. If somehow the US leadership snaps out of its mindset, reforms its motivations and sees itself as part of the whole instead of the only important whole, then it will meet China and Russia and Eurasia and the rest of humanity that has joined hands to make a new world on a green planet with blue seas and a philosophy of life instead of an ideology of death.
China shall lead where it can, help who it can, remain true to its values, compete with competitors, enchant its visitors, promote the young from everywhere, assist the elderly wherever they may need assistance, and smile for they have found a path that harms no one. Never in the history of the world has a wealthy nation offered its riches to build up the poor and hungry while still developing a system that elevates all its own hundreds of millions of rural and urban poor to a decent standard of living. China is ahead of its time. While it still can inspire, it has chosen to do so. Some see a connivance behind the endeavor. Others see the civilization behind the nation. It is a rich heterogeneous amalgam of peoples itself. So all people are brothers and sisters and not necessarily comrades. Just family.
Leaving the North American morgue and smelling the fresh Asian air blowing across the Pacific and inter-island seas has changed the outlook in Beijing. “To thine own self be true. This above all.” Shakespeare wrote it large, and China has heeded it.