Donald Trump’s Turn Towards China Curtails Navy Patrols In South China Sea

The USS Chancellorsville in the Luzon Strait, which links the Philippine Sea to the South China Sea, in March last year. Recently, three requests by the US Navy to sail near disputed islands in the South China Sea were rejected.PHOTO: NYTIMES

By Staff of Straits Times – WASHINGTON • More than 100 days into the Donald Trump presidency, no US Navy ship has gone within 12 nautical miles of any of the disputed islands in the South China Sea, Pentagon officials said. A request by the United States Pacific Command six weeks ago for a warship to sail within 12 nautical miles of Scarborough Shoal, a reef claimed by China and the Philippines, was turned down. The decision not to challenge China’s territorial claims shows a remarkable deference towards Beijing from an administration that is increasingly turning towards Chinese President Xi Jinping for help amid the escalating crisis in the Korean peninsula. It remained unclear whether it was Defence Secretary James Mattis, General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, or one of their deputies who turned down the request and two others by the Navy in February. Defence officials said the White House was not involved. Mr Robert Daly, director of the Kissinger Institute on China and the US at the Wilson Centre, said: “All of the language, combined with the fact that the Republican foreign policy establishment had been critical of (Barack) Obama for not carrying out enough Fonops (freedom of navigation operations), means there was a wide expectation that Trump would put down a marker early. And that hasn’t happened.”

China, India To Reach Climate Goals Years Early, As U.S. Likely To Fall Far Short

India’s renewable energy burst has put it eight years ahead of its 2030 goal, and China’s emissions from energy use appear to have peaked more than a decade early, a new report says. Credit: San Panthaky/AFP/Getty Images

By Marianne Lavelle for Inside Climate News – Slowing coal use in China and India has put the world’s two most populous countries on track to beat their carbon emission goals under the Paris climate agreement, according to a new analysis. Greenhouse gas emissions from both countries are growing more slowly than they predicted just a year ago, and the difference is substantial—roughly 2 to 3 billion tons annually by the year 2030. That would be enough to more than offset the relatively poor performance expected from the United States as President Donald Trump rolls back controls and puts the U.S. on track to miss its Paris pledge. The forecasts were issued by Climate Action Tracker, a consortium of three international research organizations, as negotiators from around the world met in Bonn, Germany, to carry out the global climate treaty’s work. “Five years ago, the idea of either China or India stopping—or even slowing—coal use was considered an insurmountable hurdle, as coal-fired power plants were thought by many to be necessary to satisfy the energy demands of these countries,” said Bill Hare, CEO of Climate Analytics, one of the research consortium members.

The Coming War With China

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By Staff for Bullfrog FIlms. A nuclear war between the United States and China is not only imaginable but a current ‘contingency’, says the Pentagon. Filmed over two years across five potential flashpoints in Asia and the Pacific, THE COMING WAR ON CHINA reveals the build-up to war on more than 400 US military bases that encircle China in a ‘perfect noose’. Using rare archive and remarkable interviews with witnesses, Pilger’s film discloses America’s secret history in the region – the destruction wrought by the equivalent of one Hiroshima every day for 12 years, and the top secret ‘Project 4.1′ that made guinea pigs of the population of the Marshall Islands. In key interviews from Pentagon war planners to members of China’s confident new political class, who rarely feature in Western reports, Pilger’s film challenges the notion and propaganda of China as a new ‘enemy’.

Trump Trade Pact Pushing Natural Gas To China

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By Audrey Fox for Friends of the Earth – WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Trump administration announced today it has reached an agreement to promote natural gas exports and to lower food safety standards related to Chinese cooked chicken and similar products. In response Friends of the Earth Senior Political Strategist Ben Schreiber issued the following statement: It’s no surprise that Donald Trump is yet again sacrificing American’s health for fossil fuel profits. Increasing natural gas exports means more fracking that will poison our water and add fuel to our ever-worsening climate crisis. Trump continues to push the dirty fossil fuels of the past as the rest of the world moves towards clean renewable energy.

Why Washington Is Terrified Of Russia, China

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By Pepe Escobar for Sputnik News – Enveloped in layers of subtle sophistication, there’s no way to know the deeper terms Beijing and Moscow have agreed upon behind those innumerable Putin-Xi Jinping high-level meetings. Diplomats, off the record, occasionally let it slip there may have been a coded message delivered to NATO to the effect that if one of the strategic members is seriously harassed — be it in Ukraine or in the South China Sea – NATO will have to deal with both. For now, let’s concentrate on two instances of how the partnership works in practice, and why Washington is clueless on how to deal with it. Exhibit A is the imminent visit to Moscow by the Director of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Li Zhanshu, invited by the head of the Presidential Administration in the Kremlin, Anton Vaino. Beijing stressed the talks will revolve around – what else — the Russia-China strategic partnership, “as previously agreed on by the countries’ leaders.” This happens just after China’s First Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli, one of the top seven in the Politburo and one of the drivers of China’s economic policies, was received in Moscow by President Putin.

China Urges Both North Korea And The United States To Avoid War

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By Liu Xin for Global Times – Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump on Monday discussed bilateral ties and the situation on the Korean Peninsula over the phone, promising close contact to allow for the prompt exchange of views on major issues of mutual concern. China strongly opposes actions that violate United Nations Security Council resolutions, Xi said, adding that China hopes the parties concerned will exercise restraint and avoid actions that aggravate tensions on the peninsula, the Xinhua News Agency reported. It was the second phone conversation between the presidents since Xi visited Trump in Florida on April 6. Xi noted that if the parties shoulder their responsibilities and meet each other halfway, they can solve North Korea’s nuclear issue and achieve denuclearization, according to Xinhua. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula are mounting, with South Korean and US media reporting that North Korea is preparing its sixth nuclear test on Tuesday, the 85th anniversary of the founding of its military. North Korea has reportedly evacuated citizens living near the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, where it conducted the fifth nuclear test in September 2016.

Why Washington Is Terrified Of Russia, China

A man sits in front of a mural in Caracas, Venezuela | Photo: Reuters

By Pepe Escobar for Information Clearing House – April 22, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – “Sputnik” – The Russia-China strategic partnership, uniting the Pentagon’s avowed top two “existential” threats to America, does not come with a formal treaty signed with pomp, circumstance – and a military parade. Enveloped in layers of subtle sophistication, there’s no way to know the deeper terms Beijing and Moscow have agreed upon behind those innumerable Putin-Xi Jinping high-level meetings. Diplomats, off the record, occasionally let it slip there may have been a coded message delivered to NATO to the effect that if one of the strategic members is seriously harassed — be it in Ukraine or in the South China Sea – NATO will have to deal with both. For now, let’s concentrate on two instances of how the partnership works in practice, and why Washington is clueless on how to deal with it. Exhibit A is the imminent visit to Moscow by the Director of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Li Zhanshu, invited by the head of the Presidential Administration in the Kremlin, Anton Vaino.

China Warns Against War With North Korea

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By AFP/Reuters. With the US Navy deployed near the Korean Peninsula, and experts speculating that Pyongyang was preparing another nuclear test, Beijing said that the tensions were getting close to the breaking point. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi “One has the feeling that a conflict could break out at any moment,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said after meeting his French colleague Jean-Marc Ayrault on Friday. However, history has shown that the use of force is not a solution, Wang added. “On the Korean Peninsula issue, it is not those who use harsher words or raise bigger fists who would win” he said. “Once the war breaks out, everybody will end up as a loser, and there will be no winners.” “Therefore, we urge all parties to refrain from provocations and threats […] so as to avoid getting the situation there out of hand, and into an irreversible dead end,” he told reporters in Beijing.

Newsletter: Dangerous War In Korea Brewing

South Korean anti-war protest

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. North Korea, which has borders with Russia and China, is in Trump’s cross hairs and a US military attack risks a larger war. The US public is being given partial and inaccurate information and is largely uninformed about the country. The rhetoric from the Trump administration threatening a military attack on North Korea comes at the end of a massive military exercise that included mock nuclear attacks by the United States and a mock assassination of the North Korean leader. The United States claims the exercises are because North Korea is developing nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, but North Korea has offered to stop building such weapons if the United States stops their military exercises that regularly practice attacking their country. President Trump has refused, as did President Obama before him. In fact, both presidents have escalated their military exercises on North Korea. This is a time for a renewed and independent peace movement. The movement must understand the US has a bi-partisan problem of two parties controlled by Wall Street and war.

China Sounds Alarm: Trump Prepares For War Against Korea

US South Korea war games include amphibous landing and nuclear attack on North Korea

By Brian Becker of ANSWER Coalition for Liberation News. Trump’s military action against Syria muted his ruling class critics and he won the praise of the Democratic Party leadership and the mainstream media. Trump is on a roll and the next target is North Korea. The Democratic Party “resistance” to Trump has been replaced by obsequiousness. Congress barely whimpered that Trump didn’t even bother to ask for authorization for new war. The Chinese leadership is obviously stunned. In fact, China is now convinced that a new US military strike in Asia may be imminent unless the DPRK backs down from further expected weapons tests perhaps as early as this coming Saturday – the birthday anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the founding leader of the DPRK. It must be remembered that the DPRK has consistently offered to suspend nuclear weapons tests in return for the United States cancelling its massive, annual military exercises that simulate the destruction of the North. Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration immediately rejected this offer.

Clearing The Fog On US-Korea Relations

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By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Clearing the FOG. Today on Clearing the FOG (Forces of Greed) Radio, we spoke with Tim Shorrock, a journalist who grew up in Japan and South Korea and who’s been writing about US military and economic ties to Japan and Korea for over 30 years, and Hyun Lee, a New York City-based writer and activist who is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea. Mainstream media in the US are complicit in drumming up support for US aggression against North Korea. They fail to place North Korea’s actions in the context of the long history of US hostility and interference in North and South Korea. As both the US and North Korea prepare for war, and a successful sociopolitical movement in South Korea has ousted President Park Geun-hye, there is a critical need for clarity about North and South Korea

China’s Rise, America’s Fall

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By Ron Unz for The Unz Review – The rise of China surely ranks among the most important world developments of the last 100 years. With America still trapped in its fifth year of economic hardship, and the Chinese economy poised to surpass our own before the end of this decade, China looms very large on the horizon. We are living in the early years of what journalists once dubbed “The Pacific Century,” yet there are worrisome signs it may instead become known as “The Chinese Century.” But does the Chinese giant have feet of clay? In a recently published book, Why Nations Fail, economists Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson characterize China’s ruling elites as “extractive”

Newsletter - The Propaganda Of War

No war We say no to war

By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. This weekend marks the sixth anniversary of the disaster at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. An earthquake at sea triggered a large tsunami that overwhelmed the plant and destroyed three of the four reactors on the coast. The cores of two of the reactors melted down and their whereabouts remain unknown. Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds shares photos from his trip last year to the area to document the ongoing radioactive contamination. He writes, “these photos cannot adequately convey the scientific and human impact of the worst industrial cataclysm in the history of the world.” On this anniversary, we face another perilous situation that is brewing. Scientists moved the doomsday clock to 2 and a half minutes from midnight.

China Report On Human Rights Violations In US At Home And Abroad

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By Staff of Tele Sur – The colonial history, enslavement, segregation, racial terrorism and racial inequality in the U.S. remained a serious challenge,” the report noted. On Thursday, China’s State Council Information Office released a human rights report on the U.S., noting that while that country continues to act as “the judge of human rights” it continues to ignore its own “terrible problems.” The report, called “Human Rights Record of the United States in 2016,” cites both international and U.S. academic and NGO sources focussed on that country’s domestic and international human rights record. “Wielding ‘the baton of human rights,’ (the U.S.)

China Proposes N. Korea Halt Nuke Program And US Halt Wargames

We say No to War sign seen at a 2007 anti-war protest. (Photo by Thiago Santos on flickr)

By Jason Ditz for Anti War – Speculation that China is trying to get the US and North Korea to negotiate instead of having these annual escalations of tensions proved true today, with Chinese officials proposing a deal in which the US, North Korea, and South Korea would halt their respective provocative actions. Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed that North Korea would suspend work on both its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, in return for the US and South Korea agreeing to halt their annual wargames, which grow every year, and simulate a joint invasion of North Korea. Wang said the suspension-for-suspension deal would be both a chance to reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula