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Here Comes China

Just yesterday, two old US warships sailed through the Taiwan Straits. These ships, 35 and 37 years old, were apparently on routine transit. I cannot imagine what could be routine about sailing two warships through the Taiwan Straits, but China said as long as they behaved themselves, follow the rules of innocent passage, keep low profile and pose no harm, turn off weapons and fire-control radar system, and bring no actual threat to China’s security, the PLA would just follow and monitor.   Of course, there is nothing ‘innocent’ about this, but simply more aggression and belligerence.

Then China fired volleys across Taiwan and across the straits demonstrating that no foreign ship can survive that passage under a missile barrage from the mainland.

This puts the Taiwan Straits as a waterway in context:  The Taiwan Strait transits half of the world’s container ships and 90% of larger container ships. It is the primary route for ships carrying goods from Asian factory hubs (mainland China, Japan, South Korea, and more) to the west and for ships carrying most of the energy Japan needs from the Persian Gulf.  In an abundance of caution, Chinese warships stayed at least 24 nautical miles away from Taiwan’s coast during recent military drills despite warnings from Beijing that they could come well within Taipei’s territorial waters.  This may convince you that the Taiwan Straits is a waterway as important as the Persian Gulf.  China will not let it fall in anyone else’s hands and they are a dead serious country.  To my count, there now has been three warnings to the US that China will go to war.  One quite stark, from the Chinese Ambassador to the US, one by China’s Foreign Minister and one by a Chinese Ambassador in Europe.

 

In another development, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will soon name an ambassador-at-large who will engage with other Arctic nations, and Indigenous groups and other stakeholders, the US government said on Friday, as “the US has long been committed to protecting our national security and economic interests in the region,” according to a statement on the website of the US Department of State.

Global Times reports that this decision came after Russia has been stepping up its presence near the North Pole with submarines and warplanes while China has been building Arctic research stations. Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned Friday about Russia’s military buildup in the Arctic and China’s increasing interest in the Far North, hyping the threats posed by the two countries.

Both China and Russia are busy in the Arctic with peaceful activities.  https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202208/1274066.shtml

It is not only the Arctic, it is also space and the moon.  A question to the Chinese Spox this morning:

Bloomberg: Do you have any comment on the upcoming NASA launch and also some accusations in a recent Pentagon report that warns of China’s hegemonic ambitions in space? Secondly, I’d like to ask what is the Chinese government’s position on the US’s success in getting countries to sign up for the Artemis Accords, which is the Washington-based initiative to create rules for activity on the moon, but also elsewhere in space. Finally, I would like to ask what, if any, progress has been made on the China-Russia initiative to support the international lunar research station, if you have any updates on that?

Zhao Lijian: Your questions are essentially about outer space cooperation. I would like to refer you to the competent authorities for these specific questions. What I can say is that the outer space is not a wrestling ground, but an important field for win-win cooperation. The exploration and peaceful uses of outer space is humanity’s common endeavor and should benefit all. China is committed to the peaceful uses of outer space, security of outer space and extensive cooperation with all countries. China also welcomes progress by more countries in this area. We are ready to continue to work with other countries, advance the peaceful uses of outer space, better promote economic development and social progress of all countries, and make greater contribution to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

In the meantime, the Artemis 1 mission moon rocket launch has been scrubbed with fuel leaks and a crack.  Who wants to go to the moon with NASA?  Not me!

The US and collective west are running like little noisy lapdogs to try and polish up and regain a luster of lost dominance.  Mr Lavrov stated:

He said India, Russia and a number of non-aligned countries are now centers of economic growth and political influence, and will become the pillars of the new world order.  The more such reliable, large and responsible pillars we have, the more stable the world order will be. We want this world order to be democratic and fair, as envisaged in the United Nations Charter’s principle of sovereign equality of states. The West has been hampering the implementation of this principle, trying to slow down the objective historic process and preserve its dominance in international affairs.”

Mr. Putin stated:  the dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.  Let’s keep our eyes on the caravan.

A few items from Dongsheng News:

  • Chancellor Wang Yi announces that China will support African Union (AU) entry into G2o and cancel interest-free loan debts of 17 countries on the continent – President Xi is expected to attend the next G20 summit in Bali (Indonesia) in person, where the AU – which has called for entry to the G20 since its creation (1999) – has been invited; Wang thanked African support for the One China policy and reaffirmed military, economic, food, and anti-pandemic aid to Africa.

This loan forgiveness is strikingly present in Michael Hudson’s work – a loan that cannot be paid, will not be paid and debt-forgiveness is part of our history as humans.

  • Argentina’s state-owned oil company YPF signs a deal with China’s Tianqi Lithium for lithium exploration and processing in the South American country – The partnership may include technology transfers to Argentina, which has the world’s second-largest reserves and aims to advance the industrialization of the metal; China’s Gotion High Tech will also build two lithium processing plants with Argentina’s state-owned JEMSE, while the US plans investments to compete with China in the region.

We will have to see how this puzzles into the lithium consortium by Mexico, Bolivia and others.  There will be cooperation as China and now India support Argentina´s inclusion in BRICS.

  • Russia became the third largest user of yuan with 4% of global payments in July (1.42% in June), behind the UK (6.4%) and Hong Kong (73.8%) – Sino-Russian trade made in dollars has fallen from 90% (2015) to below 50% (2020); facing rising tensions with the US and increasing trade ties, China and Russia realized 24% of their bilateral trade in rubles and yuan in 2021.

President Putin and President Xi will take the spotlight at the next G20 meeting in September, with no time given to the little lapdogs.  How can we even expect at this time with what we have observed over the past number of years, that the US and collective west can do anything positive for the world?  They seemingly exist to create trouble.  This is an issue of staring into the abyss of hyprocracy and then the abyss stares back at you.

Godfree Roberts reports that China is finally at the test phase of their new thorium-fueled molten salt nuclear reactor

What I observe from China, is that their strategy for energy for the next number of years rests on variety and extreme innovation.  They are using any type of energy generation that is suitable for the area – wind where there is wind – solar where the solar pattern is suitable – nuclear where that is called for and the pattern is one of testing what kind of generation is a good fit.  We all know that in the next say 50 years or so, we will move away from the utilization of what is still called fossil fuels, and our energy profile as a species will change remarkably.  Yet, we are not out of the oil phase yet, and in Xinjian 1.7 billion tonnes of new oil in Xinjiang was discovered, enough for two years of domestic demand. The Tarim Basin has abundant oil and gas at a depth of 6,000 to 10,000m, accounting for 83% and 64% of China’s resources, respectively.   China will not say no to that find, and will exploit it.

From the Institute of New Economic Thinking, we get the picture of Indigenous Innovation and Global Competition. China’s successful technological development model stands in stark contrast to the corporate financialization model in the United States and the collective west.

Building shareholder value (west) vs building the world (multipolarity) is not an excessive statement.

Jeffrey Sachs wrote a scathing article on The west’s false narrative about Russia and China.  The actions and open threats of even military action and an overthrow in the Solomon Islands by the US and the Australian authorities is a picture book illustration of open bullying of a smaller country.  The story here is that China offered the Solomons loans and assistance after a spate of lawlessness that their local forces could not deal with.  The Solomons have had a long-standing agreement with Australia for help, but Australia stood back and did not get there in time.  The President called on China, who provided help, and China and Solomon’s signed a security agreement clearly for domestic purposes with a Belt and Road type development plan for the Islands.  The Solomons form part of the second island chain around China, a cold war and WW2 US defense concept.  Of course, the Chinese support did not suit the hegemon.  In contrast to the Chinese assistance, the Solomons were offered roadways (suitable for aircraft to land during war).  The mystery of the Solomon Islands becomes clearer if one understands this small map and remembers that Guadalcanal is the biggest island in the Solomons.  For this reason, I question whether the initial lawlessness and the lackluster and non-existence support by Australia was not a failed color revolution.

This is also happening in Chinese airspace:

The most important event in the life of China will happen in November and that is the 20th National Congress of the CPC.  Chinese President Xi Jinping looks all set to get endorsement for a rare third term


As always, much of the material above has been gleaned from Godfree Robert’s very good Here Comes China newsletter and if you want to follow the developments, it is a dirt cheap newsletter.  You can get it here and the first few may be free: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe

2 Comments

  • Salty Dawg

    I never realized that the Taiwan Straits were such a well used shipping corridor. No wonder China sees it as a strategic issue.

    Regarding the Thorium Salt Nuclear Reactor – great to see they are making such strides in the alternative energy production sphere. The west is investing big time in fusion reactor development but they don’t seem to get there. Like they produced 1 second of power a few years ago and more recently 5 seconds. And of course they haven’t solved the problem of no net gain where it takes more power to generate the plasma than is produced in the reaction. Mmmm …

    Take a look at the Russian new nuclear fuel cycle being developed where most of the waste products are reused in the process. “In the current closed fuel cycle – in which reprocessed uranium (RepU) and plutonium are only used once – can at best use about 21% of used light water reactor fuel, with the remaining 79% – mostly uranium-238 – going into storage. The new nuclear fuel cycle could use a further 77%, with only 2% of used fuel then requiring disposal as waste.” See this article for more details: https://world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Russia-proposes-new-closed-fuel-cycle

    China and Russia are both actively working at building nuclear reprocessing facilities to deal with the nuclear waste problem. They are also both working on fusion as a possible, but, unlike the west, they don’t put all their eggs in one basket and aren’t just profit motivated, but more in a true multi-polar way.