Posts Tagged ‘China’

Last Days of the Western Enlightenment

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

march-of-tyranny.jpg
Taken from a conspiracy site on reddit, the post was wrong, predicting 8 years of Clinton, the sentiment in the cartoon, greatly influenced by Crumb’s visual style, is a widely held fear on the part of civil libertarians

From: https://www.reddit.com/r/conspiracy/comments/4w2mde/prediction_of_whats_coming_in_the_next_8_years/

I have been reading The Age of Wonder By Richard Holmes, a scholar of the Romantic Movement in late 18th and early 19th Century England. I am struck by the optimism and hopefulness for the future of humanity expressed in the views of the scientific tinkerers and poets of the age. It was a time when a gentleman, or talented craftsman, and some women, could participate the exploration of the physical, intellectual, and poetic realms in a relatively democratic and free spirited manner. The old authority of the King, Church, and Gentry was being pulled down in so many realms, with the American and French Revolutions presenting political dramatic change. Even though in England the old regime was not destroyed, this was largely due, in my view, to the fact that England had undergone its own revolution and liberalization in the previous century. But there was a strong movement in England to expand the franchise and there were those who avidly supported the actions of the French and the Americans. A strong abolitionist movement to took hold in Great Britain which led to the forward thinking abolition of the slave trade, the development of industrial capitalism and the liberation of the middle classes from dependency on the gentry and patronage of royalty as independent centers of wealth emerged.

french-revolution-vs-english-liberty.png

Political cartoon by James Gillray (1757-1815)
From: http://web.utk.edu/~gerard/romanticpolitics/revolution.html Romantic Politics.

These ideals of liberty, and the Rights of Man come out of the period known as the Enlightenment. This period in which a more optimistic view of humanity arose, in which man became the measure of meaning and the ability of the intellect became predominant in finding a more just and affluent life for humanity came to the fore. Life, Liberty and Fraternity or the Pursuit of Happiness, became watchwords and represented the very real expectations of the mass of European humanity, as they spread and colonized across the planet. Not always seen as the bringers of light, often the bringers of oppression to the indigenous peoples to whom the Europeans purported to spread their enlightenment, but propelled by the newly released powers of the mechanical ingeniousness of the likes of James Watt, and the mechanisms of trade and capital concentration developed by adventurous capitalists, the imperial European age was impressed upon the world.

willam-penn-negotiates-with-indigenous-americans.jpg

Painting by Benjamin West
William Penn’s Treaty with the Indians when he founded the Province of Pennsylvania in North America, 1771
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.
From: http://statemuseumpa.org/penn-treaty/creating/ and http://pluralism.org/encounter/historical-perspectives/first-encounters-native-americans-and-christians/

The industrial revolution and the enlightenment philosophy putting the desires of the individual in the forefront, combined with the Romantic ideals of the solitary genius extracting the secrets of life from a sometimes recalcitrant nature, provided a powerful force propelling the western Europeans into a predominance world wide that had been only preambled by the earlier European conquest of the Americas. Old civilizations in Asia, China, the Ottomans, and the Moguls in India, fabulously wealthy nations, run as empires in an older autocratic tradition were assailed and swept away under the force of the newly empowered Europeans of the relatively small nations of the Netherlands, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Portugal.

the_east_offering_its_riches_to_britannia_-_roma_spiridone_1778_-_bl_foster_245.jpg

The East offering its riches to Britannia, painted by Roma Spiridone for the boardroom of the British East Asia Company 1778.

What we are seeing now is in the post modern period, a designation that will probably be replaced by some other historical reference as we get further away from the Twentieth Century by something more appropriate, after all what will Modernism mean to someone a century from now? But I digress, in a era in which the benefits of the Western Expansion has become assimilated and digested by the traditional centers of wealth and power, China, India and the Middle East, we are now beginning to see the emergence of the Oriental repossession of their traditional dominance. The Obama pivot to Asia and Trump’s fear mongering denigration of American infrastructure when compared to the marvels being constructed in Asia, are reflections of an awareness of this reality. Thus we come to the end of the era of the western Enlightenment, and are entering into uncharted waters. Are we entering a period in which the individualism of the last two to three centuries will be subordinated under a technocratic autocracy with a new imperial examination system to sift out the deserving elite aids to the autocrats? Certainly trends in economic imbalance seem to be headed that way. What with the massive focus on education as if that were the solution, indicates an end to the quality and fraternity inherent in the Enlightenment approach. Now we have the dictatorship of meritocracy as the gateway to enter the garden of earthly delights. Woe unto you who don’t achieve the holy grail of high grade point averages or are not inheritors of great wealth. For you there will be the universal basic income, and meaningless lives at the bottom of the new pyramid of wealth and power. But again I diverge, the oriental nations are not by nature autocratic, but because of the necessity to create hierarchies of meaning that can sift through the mass of humanity, and the algorithms created by the power of computer technology, there will be a rather extreme and undemocratic process of winnowing unless there is a wise emperor like Vespasian who rejected the labor saving machines of the clever Greek engineers, saying, to paraphrase What will my people do to earn their bread if I take away their ability to earn a living?

textile-laborers-lowel-mass-19th-century.gif

Textile Laborers in Lowell, Mass. early Nineteenth Century.
From: http://www.saltofamerica.com/contents/displayArticle.aspx?13_525 Opinions: American Technology and Human Welfare Part 2, Technology is Democracy 1800-1850
by Hugo Meier

Whether there is an alternative that is egalitarian, in which some pastoral or urban ideal can be implemented, whether in a form of cooperative industrial democracy as postulated by the IWW, the COOP movement or idealists in the sense of Owens, is to be seen. Certainly the pro-fascist protectionism and corporate nationalism proposed by the Trump group is predicated on a trade and probable war with China which is not going to be beneficial in the long run. Think of it this way, China is the international sleepy giant that the USA was before World War II. If they directed their industrial might to war industries, it might be impossible for the US to create an adequate embargo to prevent the oil and iron from reaching China unless the US can convince Russia to refuse access to its vast natural resources. I don’t think Putin is that stupid.

china-military.jpg

Missiles are displayed in a parade to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing in this October 1, 2009 file photo. REUTERS/Jason Lee/Files

From: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-defence-idUSBRE88F0GM20120916

Iran Deal, US Mid-East Policy, Energy & Climate Change

Sunday, November 24th, 2013


http://crudeoilpeak.info/us-peak

Recent US Oil production projections (Tight oil is Shale Oil)

The USA enjoys a temporary energy independence with regards to the use of fossil fuels, soon to be greatly aided by the new fuel standards in automobiles which more than anything else will cut dependence on foreign oil. This gives the Obama administration some wiggle room regarding how it acts in the Middle East. Persian Gulf oil is no longer so predominant, in fact as Nial Ferguson states in his book Colossus, it was really countering Soviet influence in the Middle East that drove US policy since the end of World War 2, not over dependence on Middle Eastern Oil. In the 1950’s the US was largely energy self sufficient.


www.eia.gov

Crude Oil Imports by thousands of barrels

The intervention in places like Iran in 1953 was driven more by British concerns and a desire to block suspected Soviet penetration than any real need to protect oil assets. The US recognition of Israel by Truman was cautioned against by the State Department (Ferguson 109), which surely pissed off oil interests in Saudi Arabia, but since oil from the Middle East was such an insignificant portion of US usage, protecting it wasn’t a priority based in need. What was a concern was that the Soviet Union recognized Israel immediately and there was a strong socialist tendency in early Israel who had a strong anti-British bias among the faction who had fought to free Israel from British rule (Fromkin 6-8).

blogs.shell.com

Future oil import shift in selected nations

The US recently in Syria faced off with the Russians, who have a naval refueling station in Syria and interests in preserving the Assad regime, but instead of confrontation there was compromise and the Syrians gave up their chemical weapons in a face saving deal for the Obama administration which had found itself in a tight position with Obama’s line in the sand statements regarding use of chemical weapons. This shows how far the world has come since the cold war and offers an opportunity for the US to disengage from the Middle East. With NATO lapping up on the very borders of the Russian Homeland, they realize that room to move as once was the case in the days of the Soviet Empire has been much constrained. Therefore the US has even less reason to defend the Middle East from Russian incursion. This policy of Russian containment goes back to the old British nineteenth century concerns over Ottoman weakness and the protection of British concerns in Egypt and the ‘golden goose’ in its Indian colony. There is little reason for the US to be invested there other than treaty commitments to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and its NATO allies Turkey and Greece.

Middle East

With the recent snubbing of the US by the Saudi’s over it’s refusal of a UN Security Council position, the support of the Coup in Egypt over US opposition, and the secret arrangements between Israel, the Saudi’s and now the military regime in Egypt, there is little incentive for the US to hold back on negotiations with Iran. What may emerge is a realignment of forces with the US becoming friendly again with Iran. Securing the Persian Gulf by treaty with the Iranians will allow the US to focus on east Asia and the Chinese perceived threat. With a little real politic perhaps the Saudi’s and Israel might be able to resolve the Palestinian problem. But that is doubtful since the Saudi’s do not want a democratic secular Palestine, they would prefer using the Palestinians as a chess piece in their own game of negotiating between regional forces. But since the Chinese, Japanese, India and Europeans have more dependence on Middle Eastern Oil than the US, it would behoove them to step up and take a more active role in protecting the regional sea lanes than the USA which then can pull back to a more traditional role of preserving hemispheric hegemony and trade routes to East Asia and Europe. The US has only been engaged world wide since it replaced the British naval influence as protector of the sea lanes after the end of World War 2. This realignment should not be seen as American weakness but a return to a more balanced position for the US regarding its place in the world. Having overextended ourselves for so long militarily, for some seventy years, it is about time focus is placed on reducing military footprint and working on domestic infrastructure. This may not please the military industrial complex but retooling for civilian purposes has been delayed long enough.


http://crudeoilpeak.info/us-peak

The temporary bump in US oil production

This temporary position of an increase in domestic production must be seen for what it is, temporary, what is needed long term is a reduction on dependence on oil and fossil fuel. Earnest development of solar, wind and other alternative energy sources must continue and not be suppressed by a temporary dip in oil prices. Any savings in cutting back on military commitments must be balanced with an increased commitment to energy alternatives and a sharp decrease in the use of fossil fuels in automobiles in particular, whether this means an increased use of mass transit or not depends more on technology than policy as the US does not have the population density in most areas to justify expensive mass transit systems (See my Bus vs Rail in Los Angeles post for some info). World Oil reserves are diminishing and that is a further reason why countries like Iran want to move into nuclear power, although nuclear has security, disposal and environmental problems that the recent Fukushima disaster indicates. Conservation is probably still the best means of controlling energy dependency. As the chart below shows the largest use of energy is in powering, heating and lighting buildings. Switching to solar, and more energy efficiency in appliances, insulation and lighting can make a big difference along with auto mileage efficiency, more efficient transmission lines etc.


www.northernplains.org

US Energy consumption by sector

The world is running out of readily accessible oil which is probably what will keep the planet from excessive climate change more than any technical fix that is derived from conferences like the world energy summit going on in Warsaw. Countries will simply be forced by economic and resource pressure since there does not seem to be the political will to deal with the situation.


http://www.energy-visions.com/tradition.html

Projection of World Energy sources by next century.

Note that coal is a major source of energy in predictions, taking up most of the slack as other fossil fuels diminish. Natural gas, promoted as being clean, does not seem to have a long run ahead. Coal being a very dirty energy source will have to have very strong regulation and environmental pollution controls, especially in countries like the USA and China where use is expected to be high. Otherwise there will be continuous problems with global CO2 emissions.


Getty Images

“Smog: China has access to vast swathes of coal, which is cheaper for it to use than other fossil fuels. Pictured, Wuda Coal Field, in Wu Hai, Inner Mongolia, China, where coal is mined, then trucked nearby to the power stations and factories in the region” (Collis, Return of King Coal)

This is a big deal and it will be increasing as coal use driven largely by China will overtake oil as the predominant fuel during this decade.

‘China’s demand for coal will almost single-handedly propel the growth of coal as the dominant global fuel,’ said William Durbin, president of global markets at Woodmac. ‘Unlike alternatives, it is plentiful and affordable.’

China - already the top consumer - will drive two-thirds of the growth in global coal use this decade. Half of China’s power generation capacity to be built between 2012 and 2020 will be coal-fired, said Woodmac.

China has no alternative to coal, with its domestic gas output limited, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports more costly than coal, Durbin said.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2458631/Coal-surpass-oil-key-fuel-global-economy-2020-despite-government-efforts-reduce-carbon-emissions.html#ixzz2lbaiEAFR

With the Climate conference ended in Warsaw with the emissions standards kicked down the road to Paris 2015, and an emerging nations bloc opposed to world wide standards being imposed on developing nations led by China and India the US came out as being almost looking good according to Greenpeace blogger Kyle Ash.

http://greenpeaceblogs.org/2013/11/23/warsaw-climate-talks-so-bad-us-looked-good/


http://www.paulchefurka.ca/WEAP2/Energy_Intensity_GDP_2050.html

Chinese Energy source predictions

According to the Guardian article “Warsaw climate talks set 2015 target for plans to curb emissions” by Fiona Harvey on the agreement reached in Warsaw most of the work remains to be done.

At the insistence of a small group of developing countries, they will take the form of “contributions” rather than the stronger “commitments” that most other countries wanted.

These were the self-styled “like-minded developing countries”, a group that comprises several oil-rich nations, including Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Bolivia and Malaysia. Several have large coal deposits and are heavily dependent on fossil fuels, such as China and India, and some countries with strong links to some of the others, including Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Thailand.

The “like-minded developing countries” group takes the view that the strict separation of nations into “developed” and “developing”, which was set at the first international climate talks in 1992, and enshrined in the 1997 Kyoto protocol – in which developed countries were obliged to cut emissions but developing countries had no obligations – must remain as the bedrock of any future agreement. They argue that the “historical responsibilities” for climate change lie with the first nations to industrialize.

But all countries admitted that most of the preparation work for Paris still remains to be done. Politically, the battle between the like-minded group – which is separate from, but claims to lie within, the broader G77 group of the majority of developing nations – and the US and the EU will be key. For both sides, gaining support from the rest of the unaligned developing nations – some of which are highly vulnerable to climate change and are desperate for a deal, but others who are courting economic investment from China – will be crucial.

The fragile truce reached after the marathon talks in Warsaw may not even last as long as the delegates’ flights home.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/24/warsaw-climate-talks-greenhouse-gas-emissions


http://www.nbcnews.com/id/34115253

“Poland has long relied on coal for its energy, using mostly antiquated equipment like this extractor at the Adamow” (NBC News).

Certainly it was strange that a country that is sponsoring a climate control conference at the same time sponsors a coal industry conference, indicating that Poland is not serious about climate emissions control eliciting the protests by environmentalists that it did.

In summation the US has an opportunity to draw down in the Middle East and let regional players who have a stronger vested interest step up, perhaps under UN guidance. The US is primarily concerned with the Chinese and east Asian issues and will focus in that direction in the immediate future. Chinese and Indian energy use, especially dependence on coal will make climate change a continued issue as their blocking of reforms in Warsaw and energy use predictions indicate. This will have dire consequences for states like the Philippines and Indonesia who are likely to be heavily impacted by ocean levels rising. Unless the Chinese, India and others take a stronger stance on pollution and the US and the EU expend more on promoting environmentally sustainable energy technology, the problems will simply get worse. Conservation at home, the tapping of short term shale oil and natural gas supplies will give the USA a breather in which to transition to renewable energy especially if serious energy conservation measures are put in place. With a low population and abundant resources the US should be in a good position to be a climate change leader if it’s policy makers can get away from a focus on international militarization to one of domestic energy independence.

Works Cited

Collis, Helen. “The Return of King Coal as the World’s Dominant Fuel.” Daily Mail. 14 Oct. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

Ferguson, Niall. Colossus The Rise and Fall of the American Empire. London: Penguin Books. 2004. Print

Fromkin, David. “The Strategy of Terrorism.” Foreign Affairs July 1975. Rpt. The U.S. vs. al Qaeda A History of the War on Terror. Ed. Gideon Rose and Johnathan Tepperman. New York: Council on Foreign Relations. 2011. Print.

Harvey, Fiona. “Warsaw climate talks set 2015 target for plans to curb emissions.” Guardian. 24 Nov. 2013. Web. 24 Nov. 2013.

And Now You Can Awaken - US Shifts Focus To East Asia

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Recent days have been particularly interesting as the domestic scene has been full of bombs going off and Ricin being delivered in the mail, shades of the period after 9/11 when the Bush administration was pushing for passage of the Patriot Act and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Talk about over kill.

Obama’s administration likes a more discrete war mongering. Drone strikes, and smaller scale bombings, picking on smaller foes, like North Korea, and dancing around the bigger potential bug bears such as Iran and ultimately the biggest contender China.

The gradual build up of forces in Asia has a handy trigger in the North Korean faux conflict. As anyone should understand North Korea is a proxy for US and Chinese interests, with Japan playing a secondary role as America’s backup, they are even planning to re-militarize as part of the overall new containment strategy being pursued by the Obama administration. The shift in Focus from the Middle East, note Obama’s total unwillingness to get into the Syrian debacle, and his tentative support of Israel, as the main focus is moved to East Asia. Beefing up existing alliances, bids to take Myanmar from the Chinese orbit into the Western alliance, movement of troops into Northern Australia for easier access to the Gulf of Malacca choke point for oil imports to China, backing up Japanese aggression in the South China Sea to intimidate the Chinese and possibly provoke a premature reaction, are all part of the international chess game of big power ploys to retain or gain access to vital resources around the world.

China has expanded into the global South in a big way and has become the main contender for African loyalties. But the largest investments by far are in the United States and Australia. Australia having become economically dependent on continued Chinese economic growth as a resource supplier, hardly more than a third world country, and the USA dependent on Chinese production of cheap consumer goods in its scramble to become the world’s largest dumping ground for cheap consumables, presumably to keep the increasingly dispossessed American lower classes able to afford the necessities of life in a Faustian bargain, Americans trade good paying jobs for low paying service positions in exchange Americans get low cost consumer goods at Walmart and the proliferating Dollar Stores.

It is interesting that both of the sites I have linked too have vested interests that are governmental as VOA clearly is, or Heritage Foundation with its association with Neocon policies as the IRC report indicates.

The ratcheting up of East Asian tensions over the last few years, with China increasingly asserting itself in the region as a creditable alternative to the US as the hegemonic power, it remains to be seen if a renewed Sino-Russian alliance can counter the weight of the USA and Japan with India as a potential additional asset in the gambits to control resources and spheres of influence.

Still by far the largest overseas deployments are in Afghanistan, Japan and Germany, with larger numbers in cold war formations surrounding Russia than China at this point in time. Russia with a large nuclear force is still deemed the most dangerous of the forces potentially confronting the US.

China and Russia seem to be working in a loose alliance to contain the USA and its allies, with supporting Iran against western bombing and maintenance of Syria. The Russians seem to be wobbling in their support of the Syrian regime, they have an ally that is a bird in the hand with Assad, as opposed to the opposition which is currently a bird in the bush and potentially trouble if Al Qada gains a base there. The Russians already have trouble with Chechnya and Dagestan’s Islamic resistance. China faces Islamic resistance in Xinjiang, Buddhists in Tibet and a restless domestic population seeking greater freedoms, less pollution, greater food safety and increased wages to name a few. Russia has its own domestic problems, including a growing fascist tendency.

http://www.rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/heritage_foundation

http://www.voanews.com/content/brics-summit-south-africa/1629306.html

http://rt.com/news/china-us-military-pacific-219/

http://www.heritage.org/research/projects/china-global-investment-tracker-interactive-map

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_deployments

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NF07Ad01.html

http://www.mei.edu/content/chinas-evolving-stance-syria

http://www.usak.org.tr/EN/myazdir.asp?id=2129

http://eng.globalaffairs.ru/number/Russian-Muslims-and-Foreign-Policy-15687

http://www.cacianalyst.org/?q=node/5627/print

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/hard-love-and-empty-promises-china%E2%80%99s-domestic-counterinsurgency-in-xinjiang

http://rt.com/politics/reform-chubais-forecasts-protests-484/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/15/us-russia-summit-chubais-idUSTRE68E58W20100915

Japanese Hyperinflation, Chinese Banking Continuity, Obama’s Mid-East Disengagement, & New Balance Of Power

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Japan has a new Bank of Japan president who is attempting to a achieve 2% inflation rate to end the decades long deflation rates. There are those who think that Japanese quantitative easing will result in hyperinflation. Negative interest rate, is what the investment broker Takeshi Fujimaki, interviewed on NNK, recommends, charging investors to use banks and pulling money back out of private hands into the economy. He is afraid that within three years there will be hyperinflation.

http://blogs.wsj.com/japanrealtime/2013/03/05/forget-deflation-one-trader-sounds-hyper-inflation-alarm/

“History suggests that the long-term monetisation of public debt by central banks is a formula for hyperinflation…The world’s third-largest economy may be setting the stage for a global inflationary spiral, perhaps beyond anything previously experienced. As Japan seeks to deal with the longer-term consequences of its current policy, it could easily slide down the slippery slope that leads to hyperinflation. Troublingly, the rest of the industrialised world is at risk of going down with it. - Scott Minerd, ft.com

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/502b369e-8c85-11e2-8ee0-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2OPwXxNRh

Last night on the McLaughlin Group McLaughlin himself joined the voices calling Japanese economic liberalization a recipe for hyperinflation.

In related news, China has returned their Peoples Bank of China governor to continue in is post running the bank and providing continuity in Chinese economic policies.

Zhou Xiaochuan is the longest tenured Central Bank chief in China. He is architect of liberalization of interest rates for the PBOC and has been given a new term as governor of the Peoples Bank of China.

“Zhou, who took the helm of the PBOC in 2002, was reappointed on Saturday. He has led the drive to liberalize interest rates and abolish the yuan’s peg to the U.S. dollar, a step along the path to turning it into a global currency.” -from Reuters.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/17/us-china-pboc-idUSBRE92G0GN20130317

Meanwhile in Europe the crisis in Cyprus may lead to an economic unraveling of the EU if punishing investors as a means of insuring that the German led bankers get their money’s worth as they bail out Cyprus.

“Cyprus crisis: ‘This is the darkest week in our history since the 1974 invasion’

Cyprus is on its knees, with its banks on the verge of closing doors for good and locals and expatriates alike wondering if the island can be saved. Even if a deal with Europe’s bankers can be agreed, it will come at an inordinately heavy price” the Guardian.

“Cypriots are torn between fury and fear. On Saturday, despite signs that the country’s politicians were edging closer to brokering a deal with rescuers at the European Union and International Monetary Fund, it was panic that had taken over as people stormed supermarkets, jammed streets with cars and piled every conceivable product into trolleys. “It may be the very last time I can use this,” said one man waving a credit card outside Athienitis, a mega-store in Nicosia. “We might not have banks next week.”" Guardian.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/23/cyprus-crisis-russians-euro-europe-eu

Obama’s trip to Israel, a bit of sleight of hand, while he makes words to reassure the Israeli’s, he has installed in his new Secretary’s of State and Defense two men who may be able to implement American disengagement from being so entangled in the Mid East as US Oil dependency on the region is reduced.

“Wishful thinking or not, Obama has already made new political appointments to his cabinet - starting with John Kerry as Secretary of State and Chuck Hagel as Secretary of Defense - that will allow him to downsize the US military and its involvement in the Middle East.

Paradoxically, Obama has moved Washington the closest it has ever been to Israel (perhaps) in order to begin decoupling US strategic doctrine from Israel’s. The two have become overly entangled during his predecessor’s terms in office culminating in a mindset that led to the war and occupation of Iraq, a mindset Obama vowed to end.” - Marwan Bishara for Al Jazeera.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/03/201332312484627995.html

“As America imports less energy from the region and China imports more, it risks becoming the “new U.S.” in the Middle East.” -Damien Ma for the Atlantic.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/07/dependence-on-middle-eastern-oil-now-its-chinas-problem-too/259947/

“Although many believe that the US-Israel alliance is the foundation of America’s Middle East policy, it was dependence on imported oil that motivated the US to establish a dominant military presence in the region after 1945. Indeed, until the Six Day War of June 1967, the US was not a major supplier of military hardware to Israel. America’s military presence was intended, above all, to preserve the Arab status quo, and hence the flow of energy from the Arabian/Persian Gulf, for the benefit of the US, its allies, and the entire global economy.” Yuriko Koike for Al Jazeera

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2013/03/2013320122153784433.html

“It thus follows that China’s global quest for energy security needs to be de-politicized. Western politicians need to recognize that their rhetoric in relation to China’s efforts to secure energy supplies overseas has done nothing but intensify fears that they might seek to deny China access to the oil it needs for development. Meanwhile, China needs to reconsider its stance of distrusting global oil markets and recognize that its reliance on aggressive acquisitions of overseas oil fields and equity oil production has been of little help in strengthening its energy security.” ZhongXiang Zhang

http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/weekly/2013-02/01/content_16193681.htm

“China appears to be pursuing a multidimensional strategy that incorporates soft power that complements its broad military modernization and force projection efforts to secure its energy needs and also to limit U.S. access and ability to disrupt Chinese energy supplies during a crisis. This approach is sufficiently indirect to afford China room to maneuver without openly confronting the U.S. While nascent, it may also improve China’s strategic position to counter U.S. regional hegemony and naval supremacy in both the Middle East and within the Asia-Pacific region, from the source of its energy supplies, through its long and vulnerable sea lines of communications (SLOCs), to home ports in China.

The strategy has three components. The first is deepening economic ties, which evolve into soft power relationships deeper than that of the U.S. into key states, especially those needed by the U.S. for basing. China is already the Middle East’s next best oil customer after the U.S. and has taken a generally status quo attitude towards regime change. Trade between China and Gulf Cooperation Council nations already exceeds $80 billion per year, and this trade could easily lead to greater bilateral exchange, including weapons sales. By contrast, the United States supported popular democratic transitions during the Arab Spring and has expressed the desire to wean itself off Middle Eastern oil. These trends could significantly influence, if not alter, the geostrategic landscape of the Middle East in the 21st century. They could further reinforce the perceived need within the Gulf states to distance themselves from the U.S. and to develop even stronger bonds with China.” from Lt. Col. Eduardo Abisellan report.

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/up-front/posts/2012/07/17-china-soft-power-abisellan

So with all these quotes, I make my point that the US administration is working to disengage from the Middle East and to reenforce the American ability to control the sea lanes particularly the Gulf of Malacca which is a choke point for Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, and Korean access to Middle Eastern oil. This may be a major reason why the USA is disengaging in Afghanistan, has little taste for getting involved in Iran, and especially in Syria. The USA is looking to Turkey, Israel and India to provide some kind of security buffer for the region. with perhaps EU backing. France has already stepped up its involvement in Africa, holding a line, perhaps to block China, perhaps merely to counter the influence of Islamic fundamentalism. But as things emerge, world balances of power are shifting. Will the Chinese be able to offer an olive branch that the US takes seriously or is this simply stalling for time?

“Amid sound and fury, Turkey-Israel alliance endures
ANKARA - Relations between Turkey and Israel have a long and dramatic history, but over time the two countries have transcended their differences and grown closer in light of a mutual interest in promoting a democratic Middle East and, according to experts, Turkey’s outspoken stance this time around will be no different”

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/domestic/10705597.asp

« Interview with Ali BALCI on Turkish scholarship and Ergenekon case
A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH DR. CATHERINE MACMILLAN »
The Quote of the Week: Turkey-Israel-India entente?

February 14, 2010 by Changing Turkey

Excerpt from Sushil J Aaron (2009) “Straddling Faultlines: India’s Foreign Policy Toward The Great Middle East,” Working Papers id:1970, esocialsciences.com.

“Interestingly, the India-Israel relationship has compelling similarities with that of the Turkey-Israel relationship. As stated, India’s defense establishment is expected to sustain the relationship irrespective of the preferences of the political establishment. Likewise, Gokhan Bacik states that, “In Turkey, the basic reason for rapprochement with Israel was the role of the central military and civil bureaucracy.””

http://changingturkey.com/2010/02/14/the-quote-of-the-week-excerpt-from-sushil-j-aaron-2009-straddling-faultlines-indias-foreign-policy-toward-the-great-middle-east/

“The emerging Israeli-Turkish-Indian connection is hardly unexpected. In many ways, it marks the logical evolution of a pair of strategic relationships that have charted remarkably similar trajectories for the better part of the past decade.

Common origins. The new relationships are the product of the end of the Cold War, which prompted foreign policy reorientations in all three countries.”

http://www.meforum.org/504/israel-india-and-turkey-triple-entente

Enough for today.

Enough Fooling Around, World Politics Again

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Its 4 am, I can’t sleep. Got personal stuff on the brain. But I want to discuss politics, at least in this domain I am not totally ignorant.
I noticed the latest ad from Stratfor, they are pushing subscriptions for their analysis of world affairs as a way to be the smartest guy at the party. Quite a come down from their lofty policy analysis claims. I have read some of their reports, something any well read history, international affairs, or geography major could come up with. They are written for the average idiot who knows nothing of the world except what they see on CNN. I am not impressed.

Syria has become the new center of the cold war. China and Russia are realigning and forming an uneasy alliance to keep the smaller countries around them at bay. That is pretty obvious in the stand they have taken to hold the line in Syria, supporting secular power, and traditional allies, come hell or high water. The west, led by the US are now in an alliance with the Sunni Arab powers of the Arabian Peninsula, Turkey and Israel against Iran in particular but the forming alliance of Russia and China in general. The loss of Libya as a friendly country to the Russians, their aspirations to become the leaders of a new post Soviet Russian sphere of influence, and the rising economic and military might of China, which still needs to some extent the protective shield of the Russian nuclear might to pursue its policy of economic infiltration of the world. As the dominant economic powerhouse, the Chinese have spread to South America, and Africa in particular looking for resources and partners in markets where they can come to offer a serious alternative to the old western European and American hegemony that has existed for the last century or so.

India interestingly is leaning towards the US and Israel as their allies having mostly let go of their old alliance with the Russians. Something that was mostly done I think after independence as a snub to the British who had fought against Russian attempts to reach the Indian Ocean in the 19th century in that region of the world, the so called “Great Game”. Now India sees China as its greatest threat after Pakistan. But the potential if there was a Chinese, Russian and Indian alliance is to create the greatest powerhouse in the world with Russian resources, Chinese organization and Indian ingenuity. Certainly China and India are two of the worlds traditional centers of civilization and power which was usurped by the west in the 18th and 19th centuries. A drop in the historical bucket. It seems that a great realignment of power is about to occur, the USA is rightly focusing on Asia, although the absurd placement of a few troops in northern Australia is mere symbolism. The best they can hope for is to keep Singapore and Indonesia in line and give a little reassurance to the Australian elite who are fearful of the dominance of China as their main consumer of raw materials. Its more a racist reaction than a rational way to think. They are no more historically likely to remain a white island in a yellow sea, than they are of remaining true to the Commonwealth, a rapidly less and less relevant entity as Great Britain becomes little more that a shopping destination for wealthy Chinese and Saudi’s making the grand tour of the quaint world of the old European powers.

The USA in its relatively isolated position in North America has still the greatest physical land in the world with abundant agricultural land and energy resources in primarily coal, but also the great transportation system that the Missouri-Mississippi-Ohio rivers complex offers along with the Great Lakes as a means of moving bulk commodities from one part of the world to another at relatively cheap rates. American Corn is king. If climate change undercuts the ability for this breadbasket to continue to be a cornucopia then American dominance with wither on the vine. This is serious and is not discussed outside of circles of policy wonks. Having recently taken a course in physical geography where the emphasis was on the ongoing environmental transformation being brought on by the green house effect of industrial pollution, this is not something to be poo-pooed away as environmentalist hyperbole. The weather is something to be taken seriously as are earthquakes, tsunami’s and volcanic activity. One good eruption can lower the worlds temperature a couple of degrees for a year or more from the dust thrown up into the atmosphere, as an example.

With China and India developing as fast as they can, the earth will soon be stripped of raw metals and there will have to be an immense recycling industry to reclaim what has been combined into finished goods, or an intense extraction of the oceans floor starting with the continental shelves. China is well aware of the value of the South China Sea and wants to stake its claim to it as the surface minerals are rapidly depleted. At this rate how much longer can we expect current alliances to hold? In my mind what will happen is a further development of the tendencies I have described with places like India swinging back and forth. Poor little Syria will be ripped apart by these political tectonic plates and there is little to do about it but send in aid for the suffering civilians. This is not about democracy, it is about power realignments in the world system. We should not lose sight of that in the desire to mitigate the suffering of the people directly on the ground.

Egypt Elections, Euro Problems, Bradley Manning Trial, China Economy

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

I am interested in the Egyptian elections. The Muslim Brotherhood got 25% of the electoral vote. Approximately 43% turned out of 50 million eligible voters. They are in a run off now with Shafiq, the technocrat from the old regime. It is now up to the Brotherhood to create a coalition with the liberals to win the elections. This means some kind of accommodation with the USA and Israel. That is the behind the scenes factor that is left unstated. Shibley Telhami speaking on CSPAN says that the Egyptian public is concerned about the American policy regarding Israel and Palestine and although they had high hopes for Obama in 2009, they are now disillusioned with him and consider him to be a typical pro-Israel American president.

This from Financial Times

May 27, 2012 8:40 pm
Egyptian liberals have chance to be kingmakers
By Borzou Daragahi and Heba Saleh in Cairo
Egypt’s secular revolutionaries lost out in last week’s presidential elections but find themselves in the novel position of kingmakers as the country heads toward a run-off pitting an avowed Islamist against a member of the former regime.
With neither of the two first-round winners able to muster more than a quarter of the vote, the 50 per cent of electors who supported other candidates, as well as the majority of registered voters who stayed home, have assumed greater importance in the run-off on June 16-17.

Supporters of losing candidates Hamdeen Sabahi, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh and Amr Moussa are regrouping after losing out to the organisational might of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi and the law-and-order candidacy of Ahmed Shafiq, a minister in the Mubarak era, in the first round of the presidential vote.
Mr Sabbahi and Mr Aboul Fotouh, who came third and fourth respectively, have challenged the election results, alleging fraud.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/406dc596-a80b-11e1-8fbb-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1w6lyw89N

—————————————————

Bradley Manning court marshal

From the Guardian

Bradley Manning defence team says US military is withholding key evidence
Military’s delay in searching through files and handing them over is denying Manning a fair trial, defence attorney argues

Ed Pilkington in New York

guardian.co.uk, Sunday 27 May 2012 13.47 EDT

Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of being behind the biggest leak of state secrets in US history, is being denied a fair trial because the army is withholding from him crucial information that might prove his innocence or reduce his sentence, his defence team is arguing.

With Manning’s court-martial approaching in September, his legal team has released details of what they claim is a shocking lack of diligence on the part of the military prosecutors in affording him his basic constitutional rights.

The stakes are high, with Manning facing possible life imprisonment for a raft of charges that include “aiding the enemy”.

Manning’s main civilian lawyer, David Coombs, has filed a motion with the military court in Fort Meade, Maryland, that sets out a catalogue of delays and inconsistencies in the army’s handling of the case.

In particular, he claims the government has failed to disclose key evidence that could help Manning defend himself against the charges.

Almost two years after Manning was arrested, the military has not yet completed a search even of its own files to see if there is any material beneficial to the defence – as it is legally obliged to do.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/27/bradley-manning-military-withholding-evidence

——————————————————

Euro-crisis continues to destabilize world economy. As Greece goes so goes Spain? The Euro may be reduced to the surplus states unless the EU develops a transfer system like the one that exists in the United States.

From Live Trading News

May 27, 2012 — Updated May 28, 2012 00:23 HKT
EuroCrisis: Run on Banks Expected in Europe

Keep your money in your pockets this week as we expect to see a substantial run on Banks in Europe. The inability of politicians to address in any real way the troubles created in Europe is approaching the end game according to Economist Shayne Heffernan.

The Euro STOXX volatility index has shot up more than 100 percent since mid-March when concern Spain might not be able to meet the disastrous austerity targets, Greece failed to form a Government and the political circus continued.

Next we will see investors, corporations and institutions take the prudent step of cutting exposure to Europe, pulling out funds at a record rate and bringing Europe’s banks to the brink of collapse.

With more than $1.2 trillion in Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Irish debt, Europe’s lenders now face a serious deposit flight risk and rising defaults elsewhere in the Euro Markets.

If Greece return to the drachma, its currency probably would suffer an immediate devaluation of as much as 75 percent against the euro, spurring widespread defaults on foreign loans.

The Euro itself is valued at only 80 should there be a continued pattern of default.

Banks in Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, and Spain saw a decline of €81 billion ($103 billion), or 3.2 percent, in household and corporate deposits in the 15 months through March, according to the European Central Bank. On March 30, Greece had €160 billion of bank deposits, down almost €75 billion from the peak in 2009, central bank data show. Lenders in Germany and France saw an increase in deposits of €217 billion, or 6.3 percent, in the same period.

The rate of funds leaving Europe is accelerating as Merkel pushes on with the austerity measures that benefit Germany at the expense of other nations in Europe.

As the EuroCrisis continues, several possible outcomes have emerged according to Economist Shayne Heffernan.

1. Europe finds the money for a real bail out of Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal, for now this seems unlikely.

2. Greece leads the mass exit of the Euro and will be followed by Spain, Italy, Portugal and possibly others, this is now a real possibility and would allow for these countries to devalue their own currency and manage an exit from recession.

3. The Euro gets devalued, either by the Banks or by the ECB, a real value on the Euro post Greek default is around 80c according to estimates from LTN www.livetradingnews.com Asia’s leading economic research house.

Regardless of which outcome results from the muddled mess the Euro Politicians created the only real interest the rest of the world has is the deleveraging of Euro Banks.

Based on estimations from Shayne Heffernan the maximum result of Europeans selling off their assets is an 8% fall in the US markets that would be short lived.

Former Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos warned Greece may run out of money by the end of June if international bailout funds are cut off following next month’s election, a newspaper reported Sunday.

“From late June onwards, the ability of the government to fund its obligations fully depends on the approval of the subsequent installments of loans from the EFSF and the IMF,” To Vima newspaper quoted Papademos as saying in a leaked memo.

“The available funds in the Greek government will be reduced gradually from about 3.8 billion euros on May 11 to about 700 million euros on June 18 and from June 20 will enter negative territory at the level of around one billion euros.”

Center-left To Vima said Papademos made the warning in a memo to President Carolos Papoulias dated May 11 that was then circulated to party leaders as they tried to form a coalition after an inconclusive May 6 vote.

Greece in 2010 committed itself to a reform program in return for hundreds of billions of euros (dollars) in bailout funds from the European Union bailout fund EFSF and the International Monetary Fund.

http://www.livetradingnews.com/eurocrisis-run-on-banks-expected-in-europe-74605.htm#.T8KkxbAeNX0

———————————————————

That’s about all I have to say except to keep an eye on China.

From the Economist

China in your hand
May 25th 2012, 13:10 by The Economist online

A brief guide to why China grows so fast

OUTSIDE China, people tend to assume that the country’s impressive economic growth is due to exports. As the chart below, drawn from our special report on China’s economy, shows, this notion has always been exaggerated and is now plain false. China grows thanks to high levels of investment—far higher than those seen in previous Asian miracles such as South Korea and Japan. The corollary of this is low levels of private consumption. Some argue that this must lead to imbalances that one day will send China’s economy off a cliff. We disagree.

http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2012/05/daily-chart-16

Gates Claims America Cutting Back On Defense, Not Likely

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

I went to the ‘Move On’ rally in Los Angeles. It was pretty lame, only a couple of thousand people showed up, mostly older white union workers. It was nice to be in a crowd where I was not the oldest one there. I was the average age. The Move on union demographic is mid 50’s Anglo and if that is the case across the country, then we are in trouble if we want a revolution. This is the Celebrex generation, and we will have to take our meds before we manage to get out on the street. On the other hand we are soon to be the retired generation and as everybody knows, the old fogies vote. Perhaps we will have our summer of love in our 60’s.

The world transforming, people are taking risks in countries with mad dictators willing to machinegun unarmed civilians. Unarmed civilians with sticks and stones are taking on tanks and helicopter gunships and winning. That is almost unbelievable. The military must have felt guilty and given up after token battles. I can’t imagine American soldiers, trained killers, giving up so easily if ordered to kill citizens. After all they kill civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq almost as a matter of course. But will Americans find out? Not Waco compound armed to the teeth militant Americans, but every - day in the street protesting Americans armed at best with sticks and bricks, up against Americas finest.

America is the heart of the beast. If America gives up then that is it, it’s over. The USA is going to downsize the military, budget considerations. What a joke, they give the banks hundreds of billions, insure the housing industry and the auto industry with billions more, and give insurance companies tens of billions of additional funds, all together perhaps a trillion dollars or more has been spent propping up industries that have a dubious requirement to survive. We are told it would have been worse if the government had not stepped in. If they have a big war to fight, unless they can’t print enough cash to keep it going, they will come up with the military required to do the job. That after all is what America is all about, providing military cover for international capital.

If the USA no longer can provide that function, like the British before them, the nation will implode and perhaps begin to provide for the people who are its citizens instead of the corporate types who lobby Congress and fill their coffers with the funds required to stay in office. Let the Chinese or the Russians be the big man on campus for a change. Or better yet, let’s develop an international system that does not depend on any one big player. Perhaps then war by committee will be harder to fight.

=============================================

From CNN

Wisconsin budget battle touches all 50 states

By the CNN Wire StaffFebruary 26, 2011 11:03 p.m. EST

Civil rights activist Van Jones speaks at a Washington, D.C., rally in support of Wisconsin public union workers.

(CNN) — A coalition spearheaded by liberal advocacy group Moveon.org held rallies across the country Saturday in support of public employees and others outraged at the Wisconsin budget-cutting bill they consider an attack on unions.

MoveOn.org and other liberal and labor groups held noon events at all 50 state capitals.

“Save the dream, we are reunited,” a group shouted in Washington, D.C.

The focal point of the protests was the Wisconsin Capitol, where a light snow and cold temperatures failed Saturday to deter about 70,000 who drummed, chanted and marched.

“Hey, hey, ho, ho, Governor Walker has got to go,” chanted the group rallying in Madison.

There were no incidents during the protest, said Joel DeSpain, spokesman for the Madison Police Department

The Wisconsin Assembly has passed a Republican bill that would strip most state workers of the bulk of their collective-bargaining rights.

Among other things, the measure would require workers — with the exception of police and firefighters — to cover more of their health care premiums and pension contributions. Collective bargaining would be limited to wages, though any pay increases beyond the inflation rate would be subject to voter approval.

In Olympia, Washington, two raucous competing rallies over the union fight in Wisconsin drew more than 2,000 people, according to CNN Seattle affiliate KIRO.

More than a half dozen union members decried the bill, while a smaller protest of Tea Party members and conservative groups was held on the Washington Capitol steps. Many of those demonstrators filled petitions to “Stand with Walker.”

Saturday’s marchers in Wisconsin got a boost from Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, who said Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Ohio Governor John Kasich, who also wants to cut collective bargaining rights, “aren’t just asking workers to tighten their belts, they’re demanding they give up their uniquely American rights as workers.”

http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/02/26/wisconsin.budget.bill/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn

=================================================

From Third Age.com

Robert Gates Warns Army of New Era, Tighter Budgets

February 26, 2011 6:13 PM

By Laura Phillips.’

Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned cadets during a farewell speech at the U.S. military academy that the Army will have to adjust to light, nimble warfare and tighter budgets.

Gates told the West Point students that future battles are likely to center around naval and air engagements rather than land, making it difficult to justify a large budget.

“The strategic rationale for swift-moving expeditionary forces, be they Army or Marines, airborne infantry or special operations, is self-evident,” Gates said, noting the need for continued counterterrorism and rapid response missions.

“The Army … must confront the reality that the most plausible, high-end scenarios for the U.S. military are primarily naval and air engagements — whether in Asia, the Persian Gulf or elsewhere,” he continued, noting that this would be even more likely when the country lightens its presence in Afghanistan.

When the U.S. does pull troops from Afghanistan, Gates said he is concerned about retaining the talented and battle-tested young officers that return. He urged the Army to help find ways to promote them into meaningful careers.

http://www.thirdage.com/news/robert-gates-warns-army-new-era-tighter-budgets_2-26-2011

=================================================

From RT

Russia’s military spending

25 February, 2011, 12:49

Russia has revealed details of its ambitious plan to upgrade its army over the next ten years, planning to spend US$650 billion on the project.

­The unveiled large-scale plans of the Russian defense ministry propose the spending of vast sums of money up to 2020.

First and foremost, Russian defense will focus on the development of strategic nuclear weapons, construction of over 100 military vessels for Russian Navy, including construction of four originally French-made Mistral-class amphibious assault ships, and the introduction into the Air Force of over 1,000 helicopters and 600 military planes, including fifth generation PAK-FA fighter.

Most of the military hardware will be equipped with next-generation weaponry.

For the first time ever, Russia is planning to buy military equipment from NATO-member countries – two Mistral helicopter carriers will be bought in France (with two more licensed to be built in Russia), as well as samples of armored vehicles from Italy and elements of personal combat systems also from France.

Moscow’s plans to modernize Russian strategic nuclear forces do not contravene the newly-signed New START nuclear arms reduction treaty with the US, which aims at the reduction of up to a third of the strategic nuclear weapons in both Russia and the US.

President Dmitry Medvedev came out and said that he really wants the Russian military to be a source of innovation, and upgrading military forces is what all the spending is based upon.

http://rt.com/news/military-budget-russia-2020/

===================================================

From China Daily

China Daily, February 16, 2011

Analysts warned that instability may increase in the Asia-Pacific region if the US Congress approves the nation’s increased defense budget.

The defense budget for the 2012 fiscal year, which President Barack Obama sent to Congress on Monday, will rise to a new record despite a significant reduction in overall federal spending.

It is set to increase by $4.2 billion from the level the Obama administration requested for the 2011 fiscal year, which was never approved by Congress, leaving expenditure at 2010 levels under a temporary spending bill.

It remains uncertain whether the latest budget request will get approval, as opinion remains divided on the issue on Capitol Hill.

If approved, increased spending on military deployment in the Asia-Pacific region, which the US has been paying increasing attention to, may cause more instability in the region, said analysts.

“This will also increase the pressure on China as it is surrounded by US deployments,” said Li Qinggong, deputy secretary-general of the China Council for National Security Policy Studies.

The base budget - excluding the part for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan - for the 2012 fiscal year beginning Oct 1, reaches $553.1 billion, according to a defense budget blueprint released by the Pentagon.

Growth areas include cyber security, space-based weapons and nuclear security. It also includes $9.7 billion for Lockheed’s F-35 fighter.

In addition to the base defense budget, the Obama administration is also requesting $117.8 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is $41.5 billion below the request made for the 2011 fiscal year.

The latest war funding reflects the planned withdrawal of troops from Iraq by the end of this year and a modest decline in funding for operations in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon.

The Obama administration plans to withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of 2011 and will start to pull out from Afghanistan in July 2011.

Li noted that with increased attention paid to the Asia-Pacific region, some of the increased US military spending will likely go toward supporting its allies and holding joint military exercises with them.

One week before the Pentagon’s budget report was announced, Washington witnessed a heated discussion among security experts and defense officials about China’s military development, especially in naval and space programs.

Some analysts have said China is an important factor related to the yearly increase in the US defense budget.

China’s defense policy is not aimed at any country, Vice-Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai said at a news conference in January.

The policy will always remain defensive in nature, Cui said, adding that there is no reason for any other country to worry about China’s defense policy, he added.

Abraham Denmark, the Asia-Pacific regional security expert with the Center for a New American Security and former country director for China affairs in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, said that it is legitimate for China, a major economic power, to enhance its military capabilities.

“The major question for American strategists is how China will use its new-found power, economically, militarily and politically,” he said.

Though many defense experts acknowledge that it will take China many years to catch up with US in military development, since the Pentagon is facing possible budget cuts as the administration is trying to reduce the huge federal deficit, these public discussions prior to Congress decision may help the Defense Department get more funding this year, Zheng Wang, senior fellow with the United States Institute of Peace, told China Daily.

However, Li noted it is still unclear whether this spending plan will ultimately be approved by the Congress where opinion remains divided about the scale of the budget cuts and increases.

Some Republican lawmakers are already calling for deeper cuts given the US budget deficit and nearly $15 trillion national debt; others want to add to the defense budget.

http://www.china.org.cn/world/2011-02/16/content_21930536.htm

Resource Grab Threatens World Stability

Sunday, October 10th, 2010

India and China are growing world powers with China out in the lead at this time. China has rapidly expanded its access to world resources, taking advantage of the NATO military shield. Now that there is no cold war, there are many mini wars going on mostly over trade and access to resources. The world is not as dangerous as it may have been when the US and the Soviet Union were threatening to blow one another up. But the world keeps arming with the USA by far out in the lead.

We live in an age of almost instant communications. Yet there are secret agencies, and not so secret strategic policy planners in most countries determined to play out wars of conquest, now more than ever over the balance of trade and the access to resources, production facilities and markets. The USA has taken the key role of financial and military arbitrage. China has taken on the role of production facility for the world. India is becoming the High tech research back office, Japan and Germany are still the high tech producers.

But there is a major problem. The worlds resources are limited and it is questionable what standard of living will be achieved before oil in particular runs out. The USA and Europe are there so to speak and the rest of the world is clawing its way up the capitalist ladder to get to the material standards of a 1950’s Hollywood movie view of prosperity.

This is not the 1950’s and we are just about at peak oil. The big countries leaders are like a group of sharks swimming around the carcass of a dead milk cow that is now beginning to stink. Meanwhile the players continue to scheme and dream as if nothing is happening.

We the people of the world must demand an end to this dangerous military-economic game. It will not end as long as nation states are out there looking out for numero uno. We need a true United Nations and for that to word there has to be massive disarmament and some form of international socialism. We may be on the way there but the nation states are still playing hard and for keeps. Someone has to step up and stop the nonsense. The time has come to take care of the people of the world first and stop spending so much on plans to blow one another up.

This from Al Jazeera

China and Turkey eye trade boost
Two of the world’s fastest growing economies aim to triple bilateral trade to $50bn within five years.
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2010 16:02 GMT

China and Turkey intend to raise their trade to $50bn by 2015 from an expected $17bn this year [EPA]

Turkey was the last stop on Wen’s European tour, which took him to Greece, Belgium and Brussels.

Turkey’s ties with China have been strained at times, notably over Beijing’s approach to unrest in Xinjiang, home to China’s Muslim Turkish minority Uighurs.

The two leaders did not, however, address one of the few areas of tension in bilateral ties.

Wen’s tour of Europe was also overshadowed by a dispute with the European Union and the US over the level of the yuan.

In the Greek capital Athens, he pledged investment and support to debt-stricken Greece and announced the creation of a $5bn fund to help finance the purchase of Chinese ships by Greek shipping companies.

In Brussels, Wen fended off European pressure to raise the value of the yuan before sealing business deals worth $3.15bn in Rome.

One of the agreements would open the way for the joint construction of 4,500km of railway in Turkey, Erdogan said, adding that efforts would now focus on finding the necessary finance for the project.

Chinese companies are already involved in the construction of railroads for two high-speed train links, he added.

Turkey and China are also involved in projects to build oil pipelines from Iran.

Turkish newspapers reported last week that Chinese warplanes took part in a military training exercise at an airbase in central Turkey, in what appeared to be the first such drill involving Beijing and a Nato member country.

“To the best of our knowledge, US-made F-16s were not involved in the exercise,” Lieutenant Colonel Tamara Parker, a defence department spokeswoman, said on Friday.

For more
http://english.aljazeera.net/business/2010/10/2010101011238154634.html

Indian concerns over China.
http://tvnz.co.nz/world-news/india-warns-china-expansion-3765378

India Predicted Dominant Economy in 100 years.
http://seekingalpha.com/article/229265-india-will-be-1-even-sooner-than-i-thought

Economists on India Vs. China
http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_34/b3948421.htm
http://www.economist.com/node/16846256

China in Australia, Going For World Resources
From Seeking Alpha

“China has no hidden agenda in its quest for natural resources. It recognizes that the world’s natural resources are finite, and it recognizes its own strengths and weaknesses. China also recognizes that the best use of the capital it accumulated and the technologies it got in exchange for exporting cheap labor is the acquiring control of as much of the world’s natural resources as possible.”

For more of this article
http://seekingalpha.com/article/135731-china-and-india-vie-for-the-world-s-natural-resources-part-1-china-in-australia

India tries to play catch up with China in World Resource scramble. Bloomberg

“March 17 (Bloomberg) — India, with $254 billion of foreign-exchange reserves, may create a sovereign wealth fund to help state companies compete for overseas energy assets with China, a government official said.
China, with $2.4 trillion of reserves and a $300 billion sovereign fund, has outpaced India in the global quest for resources to feed the world’s fastest-growing major economies. Chinese companies spent a record $32 billion last year buying oil, coal and metals assets abroad, while a $2.1 billion investment by ONGC was India’s sole energy acquisition.”

For more of this article
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a.pCS_mI.5mU&pos=5

US Vs. China in Global resource scramble. From Combined Arms Center Blog.

“This past August Iraq and China signed a $3 billion contract to develop a large Iraqi oil field, the first major commercial oil contract Iraq has made with a foreign company since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. How ironic is that? The U.S. invades and occupies Iraq and then, after most of the blood has been mopped up, the Chinese arrive to partner with the Iraqis.

These two powerful nations are making their presence known over the entire globe but they are doing it in dramatically different ways. In the quest to acquire precious natural resources, primarily oil, the world watches as the Chinese appear before nations with contracts in hand while the U.S. appears before certain selected nations with bullets and bombs in hand. That is certainly a unique example of contrasting methods of persuasion.

This difference in strategies was stated in similar terms when, writing in The Nation 11/17/09, Robert Dreyfuss quotes a high Chinese official who said, “When America talks about strategy, it implies military, security, confrontation. In China, we have a much broader view of the idea of ’strategy.’ We mean something that is long-term and systematic.” He could not have portrayed the situation any better.”

For more of this article
http://usacac.army.mil/blog/blogs/fight/archive/2009/12/07/china-vs-u-s-economic-power-vs-military-might-which-will-prevail-by-michael-payne.aspx

Russia tries to strengthen its role in India Defense as counter to China.
http://www.china-daily.org/Mil-News/Experts-suggest-that-the-transfer-of-Russian-Oscar-II-submarine-to-India-against-China/

US develops closer ties to India, China concerned.
http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/%5Cpapers35%5Cpaper3430.html


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