Newsletter: Power Dynamics Changing In World Order

Solidarity without Borders G-20 Hamburg by Reuters

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Popular Resistance. The G-20 summit highlighted a transition in geopolitical power that has been developing for years. The process has escalated in recent months since President Trump took office, but its roots go much deeper than Trump. The United States is losing power, a multi-polar world is taking shape and people power is on the rise. The G-20 bordered on being a G-19, with the US a loner on key issues of climate change, trade and migration. These are some of the biggest issues on the planet. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been saying lately “We as Europeans have to take our fate into our own hands.” This is an indication they no longer see the US as the leader or even a reliable partner on some issues. In a summation of the G-20, Politico writes: “Hamburg will also go down as a further mile marker in Europe’s slow emancipation from the U.S.”

Putin And Trump Stage Manage Win-Win Meeting

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By Pepe Escobar for Asia Times. From the start, the “positive chemistry” in the Mother of All Sit-Downs was a given. The format – with only the four principals, Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and two translators – prevented any leaks. What was originally scheduled for 35 minutes went on for 2 hours and 16 minutes, and not even an impromptu appearance by First Lady Melania Trump – they were late for the Elbphilharmonie pomp and circumstance – managed to stop the flow. They needed to deliver. They needed headlines. They got plenty. Including a possible first step at real cooperation; a ceasefire deal in southwestern Syria. Yet the real headline is that diplomacy beats demonization. Still, from the toxic, overwhelmingly Russophobic Beltway point of view, that dystopia masquerading as a summit – the actual G-20 – was a mere backdrop.

Putin, Xi Message To Trump: US Unipolar World Is Over

Flickr/ erokism

By Finian Cunningham for Information Clearing House – July 07, 2017 “Information Clearing House” – The US’ strategy has been to isolate Russia internationally. Evidently, it is Washington that is becoming more isolated on the global stage. This week in the run-up to the G20 summit in Germany, the reverse in fortunes could not be more glaring. While North Korea was openly defying Washington with a breakthrough ballistic missile test, and US President Donald Trump was embroiled in his usual juvenile tweeting antics, Russia and China’s leaders were proudly consolidating their strategic alliance for a new multipolar global order. Western media won’t acknowledge as much, but the meeting this week in Moscow between Putin and Xi Jinping was of historical importance. We are witnessing a global transition in power. And for the common good. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping bond through an apparent deep sense of mutual respect and wisdom about the political challenges facing today’s world. The two leaders have met on more than 20 occasions over the past four years. President Xi referred to Russia as China’s foremost ally and said that in a topsy-turvy world the friendship between the two was a source of countervailing stability.

Democracy Protests Continue In Hong Kong

Protesters carry a large image of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo as they march during the annual pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong, Saturday, July 1, 2017 AP

By Sarah Karacs for Independent – Storm clouds loomed over Hong Kong as tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters took to the streets, giving way to a downpour as the day wore on that deterred many from joining the throngs of dissent. With last year’s protest at 110,000, as estimated by organisers Civil Rights Fronts, this year saw a reported 60,000 take to the streets, on a day that coincided with the end of the contentious three-day visit of China’s state leader Xi Jinping. Police calculate the number as being significantly lower, at a paltry 14,500. The protest, which saw participants of all ages march through the bustling streets of a city campaigning for universal suffrage and against the degradation of civil liberties, comes as Hong Kong marks its 20th anniversary since it was returned to China from British colonial rule. It has also coincided with the inauguration of new chief executive Carrie Lam, who is seen by detractors as a puppet to Beijing. The news that Nobel prize winner and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is terminally ill and has only recently been granted medical parole has been another source of discontent. The bad weather, and – according to organisers – anxiety around safety in an increasingly fraught political climate, meant turnout here on Saturday was much lower than the hundreds of thousands in previous years.

Time For Peace Negotiations In Korea, Not Escalation

Thaad Protest in South Korea

By staff for Center for Peace and Disarmament at People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy. The state of affairs on the Korean Peninsula is more volatile than ever, now that President Park has been impeached and new government is to be constituted through an early presidential election in South Korea. The Trump administration, in the meantime, is fueling the escalating tension even further with messages that it will not rule out a preemptive strike on North Korea, and that it will redeploy strategic nuclear warheads to South Korea if necessary. The situation is further destabilized by the Trump administration’s decision to send an aircraft carrier to waters near the Korean Peninsula. The latest military stance and strategy of Washington, however, completely overlooks the desire of Koreans for peace. The Kim Jong-un government in Pyongyang meanwhile has warned of another upcoming nuclear test it intends to conduct, poised as it is to show off its growing nuclear capabilities. An existing crisis is already escalating in Northeast Asia over the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system that the South Korean and U.S. governments have decided to deploy in South Korea. All these acts of military bravado, taking hostage the lives and peace of Koreans, must cease now. It is time for policymakers to be responsible and return to dialogue and negotiations and stop fueling the growing tensions.

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

Jonny White/flickr/CC

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

AFP 2017/ HOW HWEE YOUNG

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.