China’s ambassador to the UN, Zhang Jun, told a UN Security Council meeting on the war in Ukraine Thursday that NATO’s eastward expansion since the end of the Cold War has “sowed the seeds of conflict.” Zhang’s comments came as Beijing commemorates the anniversary of the US bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade on May 7, 1999, during the NATO air campaign in Yugoslavia. “NATO’s repeated eastward expansion after the Cold War has not only failed to make Europe any safer, but also sowed the seeds of conflict,” Zhang said. “Contrary to its claim to be an organization defensive in nature, NATO has wantonly launched wars against sovereign countries, causing colossal casualties and humanitarian disasters.”
On August 31, Joe Biden accepted the inevitable and announced the final departure of all open military personnel from Afghanistan. Perhaps, the most important part of the speech had to do with the future, and here Biden was unequivocal: “And here is the critical thing to understand: The world is changing. We’re engaged in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia. ….We have to shore up American competitiveness to meet these new challenges and the competition for the 21st century.” A major motivation for getting out of Afghanistan is to give the US a freer hand to bring down China and Russia. And this is not to be a peaceful “Pivot.” The US has surrounded both countries with military bases, and the Pivot to Asia pioneered by Obama/Hillary/Biden sees 60% of America’s naval forces ending up in China’s neighborhood.
Last month in Honolulu, Hawaii, Microensian President David Panuelo held high-level defense talks with US Navy Adm. John C. Aquilino, commander of US Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) about “the United States’ broader defense and force posture in the Pacific,” among other topics. “The FSM and the United States collaborated on plans for more frequent and permanent US Armed Forces presence, and have agreed to cooperate on how that presence will be built up both temporarily and permanently within the FSM, with the purpose of serving the mutual security interests of both nations,” a news release by the Micronesian government noted. The release gave no further details about where the base would be located or what type of facility it would be. Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation after the summit, Panuelo said that while the small country of 58,000 people maintains diplomatic relations with China, he didn’t foresee the new US base as harming that relationship.
Hillary Clinton famously said, “’I don’t want my grandchildren to live in a world dominated by the Chinese.” During his tenure, President Obama launched his “Pivot to Asia,” moving 60% of US naval power to bases surrounding China, developing the Trans Pacific Partnership treaty specifically to economically isolate China, making Air-Sea Battle the official US doctrine explicitly to contain China militarily, and announcing boldly that his aim was to contain China’s economic rise. Not surprisingly, China reacted with alarm. The Cold War was long over, China’s economic rise was a peaceful one, it had no aggressive intentions towards the US or anyone, and prior to Obama’s “Pivot to Asia,” relations had been stable and tension low, China argued. Such arguments from China, however, were dismissed by US leaders.
A new international peace movement is being launched that opposes the new US military doctrine that is preparing this country for “major power conflict” with China. The doctrine of “major power conflict” will become a self-fulfilling prophecy unless the American people act to put the brakes on a doctrine/policy that is escalating global tensions, accelerating a new nuclear arms race, and eliminating accepted international arms treaties. While the Pentagon pivots toward preparations for major power conflict in Asia the non-stop demonization of China by the government and mainstream media has replaced an informed debate about the dangerous implications of the new US doctrine/policy
In late May, Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom floated the idea of creating a new international platform—D10, or Democracy 10 alliance. The D10 is to comprise the Group of Seven (G7) states and three others; it will be discussed formally at the G7 meeting in June. The proposed members of the alliance are the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S.), along with Australia, India and South Korea. The purpose of this alliance is not entirely for mutual benefit. The agenda, Boris Johnson suggests, is to attack China. Many of the states in the D10 have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of them (notably the U.K. and the U.S.) have started to blame China—rather than their own incompetence and the evisceration of their public health systems—for the high death toll.
To reverse the Pentagon’s reckless drive towards potentially catastrophic confrontation, people in this country need to be aware of the true nature of relations between the United States and China. In fact, it is the United States that is engaged in a comprehensive push to encircle and isolate China using military, economic and political aggression. The result of this atmosphere of non-stop hostility has been a marked increase in instances of discrimination and racist violence towards Chinese-Americans and other Asian communities within the United States. The war hawks want you to believe that China is bullying and threatening the United States. Don’t fall for it — the truth is just the opposite. Now more than ever the world needs international cooperation and dialogue, not “great power competition” leading to potentially devastating conflict.
The Trump administration is determined to “put China in its place,” a white supremacist mindset that will inevitably lead to monumental errors of judgment. The new bipartisan, ruling class consensus that more aggressive measures were needed to contain China was captured in the now-infamous “pivot to Asia” announced by Barack Obama in 2011. Today the growing ruling class consensus that has given new life to Trump’s anti-China campaign is reflected in the positions that say economic integration with China did not result in any transformation of China into a “regular” capitalist nation. And with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) introduced by Chinese President Xi Jinping, China is an existential threat that can only be countered by military means.
By Ankit Panda for The Diplomat. Two days ago, in Moscow, the foreign ministers of India, Russia, and China released a joint communique outlining areas of trilateral agreement between the three countries. As I discussed in The Diplomat, the three countries have met annually since 2002 to discuss issues of regional and global importance. While the trilateral hasn’t addressed the issue in the past, this year, the three foreign ministers included the South China Sea disputes in their joint communique. Specifically, the portion of the communique on the maritime disputes there said the following: Russia, India and China are committed to maintaining a legal order for the seas and oceans based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the UN Convention on the Law of Sea (UNCLOS). All related disputes should be addressed through negotiations and agreements between the parties concerned. I
By Buddy Bell for Portside - The U.S. has Beijing surrounded by 200 bases lining the East China Sea, it has already caused the beginning of an arms race. For the first time in many years, China is increasing its military budget at the same time the U.S. continues to spend more than China and the next 11 highest-spending countries. Not only is the U.S. depriving its own people of money that could be used to fund scientific research, healthcare, education, or to return to the people's pockets; it is backing China into a corner where it feels it must do the same. Furthermore, the bases are situated in such a way that the U.S. would have the ability to block sea lanes, which is a hidden message to China that their highly export-driven economy could face the prospect of a serious pinch at a moment's notice.
By Staff at AlJazeera. Tokyo, Japan - Tens of thousands of protesters have rallied outside Japan's parliament to oppose legislation that could see troops in the officially pacifist nation engage in combat for the first time since World War II. In one of the summer's biggest protests ahead of the new laws anticipated passage next month, protesters on Sunday chanted "No to war legislation!" ''Scrap the bills now!" and "Abe, quit!" Organisers said about 120,000 people took part in the rally in the government district of Tokyo, filling the street outside the front gate of the parliament, or Diet. Similar demonstrations were held across nation. The law would expand Japan's military role under a reinterpretation of the country's war-renouncing constitution.
By Bruce Gagnon, Organizing Notes - As we were preparing to leave Gangjeong village we looked into the sky as a formation of Navy Blue Angel war planes came screaming over the village. For the next 15 or so minutes they went back and forth directly over Gangjeong doing various stunts. One of the stunts brought the planes very low in an ear splitting maneuver. The Navy was sending a message to Gangjeong village. The message was loud and clear. "We own you now. Your village will become a war base. There is nothing you can do. We will project power against China from Jeju Island. You'd better get used to the idea." This is the way the US military empire thinks and the way they treat people who stand in their way. Just before we went on the air for the radio interview we learned that the Navy is planning to demand that Gangjeong villagers pay $20 million (USD) in fines for disruption of construction operations on the base now nearing completion.
By Yves Smith for Naked Capitalism -The coverage of the TPP in the media was schizophrenic, on the one hand describing it as part of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” (as in an effort to contain China’s growing hegemony), meaning it was clearly a political enterprise, an “everybody but China” deal, and on the other hand, saying that the reason Americans should support it was those miniscule trade benefits. And of course, there was nary a mention of the cost in terms of national sovereignity. What is intriguing and heartening about the Economist verdict isn’t merely that the TPP is dead. It’s that it’s so dead that for it to be revived, it would have to be in radically different form, with a much smaller group of countries. And if I read the Economist piece correctly, the “founding four” does not include Japan, which joined the negotiations late. Japan’s famously powerful farmers are not likely to sign up for a deal that encroaches on the island nation’s beef and rice lobbies. And it’s hard to see how anyone would take a Pacific political or economic pact all that seriously that did not have China or Japan as members.
By BAYAN USA. WASHINGTON, DC-- As ongoing US-China military tensions over the South China Sea escalate, international human rights advocates are gathering in Washington DC to examine violations to Philippine sovereignty and territorial integrity as a result of escalating US military presence. An International Peoples’ Tribunal (IPT) on the Philippines, scheduled for July 16-18 at the Catholic University of America, will tackle the human rights situation in the Philippines as well as the impact of US military presence which is increasing by way of the newly-signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).