Obama’s unprecedented crusade to discredit his successor has strategic consequences

Poison pills and landmines that sabotage the incoming Trump administration left by the exiting Obama administration will continue until the very last second. Yet, there have been already many laid that will keep sprouting up for at least the next four years, depending on Trump having a second term.

 

President Barack Obama. / Pete Souza / White House

 

The outgoing U.S. Barack Obama Administration and its supporters embarked on a campaign to traduce and challenge the incoming Administration of President Donald J. Trump in the hope that it would find it difficult to govern effectively.

This may be unprecedented in U.S. history, and could, to the degree that it succeeds, have an impact on U.S. strategic capabilities, actions, and alliances going forward.

No departing U.S. president had gone to such lengths to use the pulpit of the Presidency to discredit an incoming President or presidential candidate as the lengths to which went Obama with Trump. The result was, even by January 2017 — before Mr. Trump was sworn into office — to deliberately inflict damage on the strategic credibility and influence of the United States of America going forward. Continue reading

China praises Obama as ‘most pacifist’ U.S. president, hails ‘failure’ of Asia Pivot

“China genuinely appreciates President Barack Obama’s wimpiness.” / AFP / Getty Images

 

China’s state media has not obsessed about President Barack Obama’s “legacy” to the degree America’s 44th president has.

It has not however missed the opportunity to celebrate the “failure” of his celebrated “Asia Pivot” strategy while finding other positive things to say about the exiting leader. Continue reading

Is Vietnam tilting toward China?

First the Philippines, then Malaysia, now Vietnam… As predicted, Asia will tilt away from the United States and come under the umbrella protectorate of China, and form a new Asian bloc.

Who wants to go to war with China when you have an unstable United States under Barack Obama who may or may not have your back? Who wants to go to war with China with a bi-polar United States that changes its position with every new President? Who wants to go to war with China when the United States is further decimating its own already-troubled military?

These are the perspectives these Asian nations have. If you can’t beat them (China), join them.

 

When he traveled to China for a state visit in October 2016, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was grandly received by Beijing.

Nguyen Phu Trong, General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), was treated much in the same manner during his official trip to China last week.

Yet, while Mr Trong’s visit was aimed at developing stronger ties with China, it does not mean that the communist leadership in Hanoi is pursuing a Duterte-like pivot to Beijing. Continue reading

Trump Takes On The Deep State

This is an article that merits a lot of attention. It explains what Donald Trump is really up against: A renegade “Deep State” that does what it wants, regardless of who is President, and can outlast many presidencies.

For archiving purposes, the article will remain in full here.

 

The tweet heard ’round the intelligence world.

 

 

  • Donald Trump engages in war of words with outgoing CIA head
  • Trump policies on trade, foreign policy depart from longstanding norms
  • Past events point to policymaking powers beyond elected officials
  • Russian relations a major sticking point between Trump, much of gov’t
  • Aggressive stance towards China could result in enormous market volatility

Last Sunday, US president-elect Donald Trump launched one of his now-trademark series of broadsides against the CIA, claiming that the latest series of leaks concerning his alleged misuse of a Moscow hotel suite previously occupied by president Barack Obama was a “complete fraud”.

Trump then compared the US intelligence regime to Nazi Germany in a tweet that called the leak, which alleged various colourful activities involving prostitutes, “fake news […] one last shot at me”. Continue reading

Taiwan simulates China attacks as tension rises

Taiwan holds military exercises simulating an attack by China as relations with Beijing deteriorate (AFP Photo/SAM YEH)

 

Taipei (AFP) – Taiwan began two days of military drills Tuesday simulating an attack by China as the government sought to reassure the public in the face of deteriorating relations with Beijing.

The island’s armed forces gathered in central Taiwan for annual drills that saw troops practise combat skills with tanks, attack helicopters and artillery.

“The military has active measures to deal with the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea so the public can rest assured. We will enhance training 365 days a year,” defence spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Continue reading

China to develop prototype super, super computer in 2017

China plans to develop a prototype exascale computer by the end of the year, state media said Tuesday, as it seeks to win a global race to be the first to build a machine capable of a billion, billion calculations per second.

If successful, the achievement would cement its place as a leading power in the world of supercomputing.

The Asian giant built the world’s fastest supercomputer, the Sunway TaihuLight machine, in June last year, which was twice as fast as the previous number one. Continue reading

China’s Xi Jinping Speech Seen as Move to Fill Global Leadership Role

China’s President Xi at the World Economic Forum, in Davos. He portrayed further globalization as a historical trend and outlined China’s contributions that had benefited the rest of the world. PHOTO: LAURENT GILLIERON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

 

DAVOS, Switzerland—Chinese President Xi Jinping’s strong defense of globalization at a speech at the World Economic Forum was depicted here as an effort to fill a vacuum being created by the U.S. stepping back from a global leadership role.

Mr. Xi was seen as reacting to growing concerns that the incoming U.S. administration of Donald Trump would shift the world’s largest economy toward protectionism. Continue reading

China will ‘take off the gloves’ if Trump continues on Taiwan, state media warns

Taiwan military march during the National Day celebrations. Photo: AP

 

Beijing: China will “take off the gloves” and take strong action if US President-elect Donald Trump continues to provoke Beijing over Taiwan once he assumes office, two leading state-run newspapers said on Monday.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Friday, Trump said the “One China” policy was up for negotiation. China’s foreign ministry, in response, said “One China” was the foundation of China-US ties and was non-negotiable.

Trump broke with decades of precedent last month by taking a congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, angering Beijing, which sees Taiwan as part of China.

“If Trump is determined to use this gambit in taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves,” the English-language China Daily said. Continue reading

Gertz: U.S. Must Go on the ‘Offensive’ During the Information Age

 

Washington Free Beacon senior editor Bill Gertz discussed his new book, iWar: War and Peace in the Information Age, on Friday with Rush Limbaugh on his radio show.

“As somebody who knows about cyber wars and cyber security, how do you, Bill Gertz …? How do you process this stuff? How do you react to it?” Limbaugh asked. “Because you know whether some of this stuff is true, legitimate or not. So how do you deal with it yourself?”

Gertz responded by calling developments in the cyber domain an “amazing phenomenon” and discussed how cyber will dominate the current “information age” society, where people are under assault from all quarters. Continue reading

Mattis: ISIS ‘couldn’t last 2 minutes in fight with our troops’

Defense secretary nominee Gen. Jim “Mad Dog” Mattis believes ISIS is “al-Qaida on steroids” and must be defeated in head-to-head “battles of annihilation” that leave “no survivors” on the enemy side, according to a recent discussion he participated in with a conservative think tank.

Mattis made the eye-opening remarks in a little-noticed interview with Stanford University’s Hoover Institution in Palo Alto, Calif., where he is a visiting fellow. Continue reading

China’s veteran generals fading out in massive PLA reshuffle

Changes to come ahead of 19th National Congress as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power

China’s military is stepping up the pace of a massive reshuffle among its leadership ahead of a Communist Party congress later this year as President Xi Jinping consolidates his power within the armed forces, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Nearly 50 senior officers are due to leave their positions as part of the shake-up, including 18 full-ranking generals, two independent sources told the South China Morning Post. Continue reading

Chinese state media tells Donald Trump’s team to ‘prepare for military clash’

Remember a few things about China and what it has previously said:

  1. In Febuary of 2010, China warned there will be hand-to-hand combat with the United States within 10 years.
  2. It doesn’t care about Taiwan. Preparations for war with Taiwan are actually preparations for war with America:
    1. “The central committee believes, as long as we resolve the United States problem at one blow, our domestic problems will all be readily solved. Therefore, our military battle preparation appears to aim at Taiwan, but in fact is aimed at the United States, and the preparation is far beyond the scope of attacking aircraft carriers or satellites.” – Chi Haotian, Minster of Defense and vice-chairman of China’s Central Military Commission
  3. China’s main goal: The extermination of America.

The CCP has mastered the art of provocation while creating the perception it’s the victim.

 

Rex Tillerson during the confirmation hearing [Getty]

Follows Rex Tillerson’s South China Sea comments during confirmation hearing

The US should “prepare for a military clash”, a state run Chinese tabloid newspaper has warned.

Less than 24 hours after US Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson appeared to call for a blockade of South China Sea islands, a strongly-worded English editorial in the Global Times accused the former Exxon Mobil chief executive of “rabble-rousing”.

He “had better bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories”, the paper, which is known for writing hawkish editorials, said. However, despite being state run, it does not necessarily reflect government policy. Continue reading

World War 3? Russia and China TEAM UP and agree to BLAST Donald Trump’s missile system

Putin and Jinping team up to blast Trump’s missile system

 

TENSIONS of global conflict have escalated after Russia and China agreed to team up to blast Trump’s lethal missile system in South Korea if he launches an attack, according to reports.

According to the Chinese state-controlled news agency Xinhua, Chinese and Russian officials agreed to safeguard their security interests by preparing a series of “countermeasures” against the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in South Korea which was originally launched to counter Kim Jong-un’s growing nuclear arsenal.

After the security meeting between Chinese and Russian officials in China, Xinhua published a statement which said the countermeasures will be prepared to achieve “strategic balance in the region.” Continue reading

One China, three foreign policy faces

China has a changing attitude to the thornier diplomatic and security crises now afflicting the Asian continent. Depending on the amount of national interest at play and the power it can reasonably project in the relevant geopolitical chessboards, Beijing can put on the face of peace facilitator in Syria, peace broker in Afghanistan and would-be boss in the Western Pacific.

While the main driver for the Chinese diplomacy in the Middle East is the protection of economic interests, the assertion of national sovereignty, combined with the aspiration to become the driving force in East Asia, mostly explains China’s moves in the East and South China seas. The rationale for Beijing’s posturing in Central Asia is instead more nuanced. The region is in fact a crossroads for many stakeholders; here China is committed to safeguarding precious economic assets and, at the same time, exerting some form of power.

In an osmotic way, all of these three approaches are conditioned by China’s interaction with the other great powers – the United States and Russia. Continue reading

Taiwan scrambles fighter jets as China carrier enters strait

China’s Liaoning aircraft carrier with accompanying fleet conducts a drill in an area of the South China Sea. /Reuters

 

Taiwan’s military was on placed on high alert as a group of Chinese ships, led by the Liaoning aircraft carrier, transited the Taiwan Strait on Jan. 11.

According to Taiwan’s Defense Ministry, Beijing’s Soviet-built aircraft carrier, returning from exercises in the South China Sea, had not entered Taiwan’s territorial waters but did enter its air defense identification zone in the southwest.

Taiwan sent its aircraft and ships to “surveil and control” the passage of the Chinese ships north through the body of water separating Taiwan and China, Taiwan defense ministry spokesman Chen Chung-chi said. Continue reading