A meeting of the Group of 77 and China took place on September 15-16 in the Republic of Cuba where frustrations with the existing world system were articulated by the participants. A declaration issued at the conclusion of the summit demanded the restructuring of the existing economic order which continues to be dominated by the capitalist mode of production, exchange and social relations. Founded in 1964, today the organization has 130 member-states from Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean and Latin America. The summit has a rotating chairpersonship shared by all of the geopolitical regional affiliates. The summit occurred during a period of intense hostilities from the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) towards the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.
On Ukraine, it is extremely difficult to get any airing for anti-war opinions. On the mainstream media, it is simply impossible to get a hearing,” Craig Murray said. The human rights campaigner and former diplomat sat with “MintPress News” to discuss forever wars, whistleblowing and a future conflict with China. “There’s a universal media consensus on stoking the proxy war, pouring in billions and billions of dollars, pouring in more and more advanced weapons systems. And anybody on social media who attempts to counter that narrative is marked as disinformation or a Russian state asset,” Murray lamented, noting that even during the Iraq War, there was more space for dissenting opinions.
The United States has articulated a policy that it wishes to continue this war to severely ‘weaken Russia’ – as US defence secretary Lloyd Austin and other high officials have been explicitly stating – and, it is claimed, to place Ukraine in a stronger bargaining position for eventual negotiations (or in a weaker position, if the Russian offensive makes an impact, a strong likelihood that is quietly ignored). The policy of trying to ‘weaken Russia’ through the escalation of the war in Ukraine is the position of the United States and the United Kingdom, and with some variation, their European allies (France, as usual, demurs here and there, but when push comes to shove, lines up with Washington).
The US government has admitted that severe accusations it made against China were just a lot of hot air. The highest-ranking official in the US military has clarified that a Chinese balloon that crossed into US territory in February 2023 was not spying; it was likely blown off course by wind. CBS News published an interview this September with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, who stated, “The intelligence community, their assessment – and it’s a high-confidence assessment – [is] that there was no intelligence collection by that balloon”. Milley conceded that the large rubber object was probably pushed off track by powerful wind.
The United Nations Climate Ambition Summit in New York today brings together what UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the “first movers and doers” of the climate crisis with the goal of speeding up action on climate change by governments, local authorities, business and finance leaders and civil society ahead of November’s COP28 Climate Change Conference. The Climate Ambition Summit’s list of 34 speakers conspicuously left out two of the world’s biggest polluters: the U.S. and China. The summit will be organized with three interrelated acceleration tracks in mind: ambition, credibility and implementation, a press release from the UN said.
China has decided to impose sanctions against the US-based Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin defense technology companies over an alleged arms supply to Taiwan, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said on Friday. “Lockheed Martin Corporation, St. Louis, MO directly participated in the US arms sale to Taiwan announced on August 24 as the principal contractor. Northrop Grumman participated in several US arms sales to Taiwan. In accordance with the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law of the People’s Republic of China, China decides to impose sanctions on these two above-mentioned US defense corporations,” the spokeswoman told a briefing.
Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro took a historic trip to China this September. There, the two nations signed 31 comprehensive agreements and formally “upgraded” their relations to an “all-weather strategic partnership”, one of Beijing’s highest designations. China and Venezuela jointly blasted the “hegemonism” of the Western powers. Beijing formally condemned the illegal sanctions that Washington has imposed on Caracas. Chinese President Xi Jinping emphasized this his government will “firmly support” Venezuela’s “just cause against external interference”. The global political and economic order is changing rapidly.
July 27 marked the 70th anniversary of the 1953 ceasefire to the Korean War. In the three years leading up to the anniversary, South Korean peace movements organized the international Korea Peace Appeal campaign to replace the armistice agreement with a peace treaty to conclude the 70-plus-year Korean War. The anniversary has come and gone, but, instead of peace, the Joe Biden, Yoon Suk Yeol, and Fumio Kishida administrations are stoking tensions in the Korean Peninsula as a smokescreen to build a NATO-level US-Japan-South Korea trilateral alliance against China. South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol has played his supporting role well.
In this fascinating article, first published in Liberation School, environmentalist and author Tina Landis explains the concept of sponge cities: what they are, why they are needed, and China’s leading role in developing them. Tina observes that “the majority of the world’s cities today were built for profit and speculation in mind, with little to no consideration given to negative impacts on either ecology or humanity.” “Vast hardscapes—sidewalks, roads, parking lots, buildings—and gray infrastructure that channels water away as it falls, places these urban centers at odds with biodiversity and the natural cycling of water through the landscape. Green spaces that are created within urban environments are often highly managed areas separate from the rest of the city, filled with non-native ornamental plants and thirsty grasses that require intensive irrigation, synthetic fertilizers, and pesticides, while providing little to no benefit to native species of birds, insects, and others.”
The president of China, Xi Jinping, hosted a welcoming ceremony for the Venezuelan president, Nicolás Maduro, and the Venezuelan delegation accompanying him, held at the entrance of the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The two heads of state announced the elevation of the China-Venezuela relations to an “all-weather strategic partnership,” as reported by the Xinhua news agency. The ceremony, held this Wednesday, September 13, began with a roll of drums, signaling the arrival of Xi Jinping and his wife. They descended the stairs of the People’s Palace and took their seats of honor next to the red carpet. Shortly after, President Maduro arrived in a presidential motorcade.
US President Joe Biden announced a multinational rail and ports deal linking Europe, West Asia, and South Asia on 9 September at a gathering on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi. The deal, known as the India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEC), comes as the White House seeks to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Russia and Iran’s North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC) by pitching Washington as an alternative partner and investor for developing countries. A memorandum of understanding for the deal was signed by the European Union, India, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the US, and other G20 partners.
Western sanctions are backfiring: The European Union is now importing Russian liquified natural gas at record levels, and China has made high-tech breakthroughs despite US export restrictions. Washington’s and Brussels’ economic warfare is, ironically, strengthening the economic sovereignty of Beijing and Moscow while blowing back on Europe. The world is living through a new cold war: Cold War Two. And one of the main ways in which this war has been waged is through economic means. Sanctions are the principal instrument of economic warfare. When they are imposed unilaterally by a country, without the support of the United Nations, they are referred to as “unilateral coercive measures” and are illegal according to international law.
Many of us who write for and read Consortium News are worried about Julian Assange’s personal well-being, especially amid rumors that the British High Court will soon issue a decision to extradite the WikiLeaks publisher to the notorious Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA) to face multiple counts of espionage. Julian deserves unwavering support, at the very least because he alerted the world to crimes being committed by the U.S. government. His bravery has been well-documented, even if the government says that he is a danger to American national security. The U.S. Justice Department has made something of a sport of attacking people on “national security” grounds.
The United States is gunning for war with China. By cozying up to Taiwan and arming it to the teeth, President Joe Biden is undermining the “One China” policy which has been the cornerstone of U.S.-China relations since 1979. The Biden administration is enlisting South Korea and Japan to encircle China. The U.S. military is conducting provocative military maneuvers that exacerbate the conflict in the South China Sea. Biden is escalating tensions with China and intensifying the danger of nuclear war in the Asia-Pacific. And Republican presidential candidates are also fanning the flames of war with China.
In its summit in Johannesburg, South Africa this August, BRICS invited six new members: Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The bloc now represents 37% of global GDP (measured at purchasing power parity, or PPP), as well as 40% of global oil production and roughly 1/3rd of global gas production. The inclusion of top oil producers like Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which have long priced their crude in dollars, is a direct challenge to the US petrodollar system. All of the invited nations have indicated that they will officially join the extended BRICS+ bloc on 1 January 2024.