A New Era for the China-Russia-U.S. Triangle

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Nearly a half-century ago, President Richard Nixon’s secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, established a successful U.S. strategy for dealing with America’s two most dangerous rivals. He sought closer ties to both the Soviet Union, with its more than 7,000 nuclear weapons, and Communist China, with the world’s largest population.

Kissinger’s approach was sometimes called “triangulation.” But distilled down to its essence, the phrase meant ensuring that China and Russia were not friendlier to each other than each was to the United States

Given that the Soviet Union was much stronger than China at the time, Kissinger especially courted Beijing. Continue reading

China Launching More Sophisticated Cyber Attacks and Plans to Persist, Report Says

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The offices of PricewaterhouseCoopers in St. Helier, Jersey, U.K., on April 12, 2017. That month, China-based hackers attacked PwC through its IT service providers. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

 

China doesn’t plan to cease conducting commercial espionage that benefits the central government, even as the U.S. is rolling out new, proactive cyber strategies to counter threats from Beijing, a new report by an Australian think tank says.

Furthermore, China’s hacking capabilities have gotten more sophisticated, with the intention of making the hacking harder to detect, according to a new report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Continue reading

A New Move Toward a European Army

 

Also, the Catholic child abuse scandal hits Germany.

European Commission President Jean Claude Junker gave his annual state of the union address on Wednesday. “If Europe were to unite all the political, economic and military might of its nations, its role in the world could be strengthened,” he said.

“Whenever Europe speaks as one we can impose our positions on others,” he continued. Continue reading

China’s Command Innovation

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Image: Visual Capitalist

 

Hardly a day passes without some sort of China news in the financial headlines. There’s a good reason, too. China is the global economy’s 600-pound gorilla, second in size only to the US. Yes, it was largely a copycat business economy up until the early 2000s, but Chinese entrepreneurs have really taken charge in the last 10 years. Fueled by the profits from huge consumer demand, they are expanding not only in China but globally. This story is largely ignored in the US and in much of Europe. We hear about a few projects here and there, but we don’t understand the extent.

China is on its way to becoming the largest economy in the world, which because of its population, it should be (possibly with the exception of India, if they ever get their act together). Short-term events and arguments sometimes obscure this longer-term reality. China’s transition from rural poverty to export powerhouse to consumer goliath may be the most consequential economic event in centuries. Possibly ever—I can’t think of a historical example to rival it. Historians might argue the British Empire or even the US from 1800–2000, but that took centuries. China has done it in a little over 30 years. Continue reading

Signs Point to a Global Slowdown

Signs Point to a Global Slowdown

 

As gold has struggled through 2018, (down over 10% from $1,363/oz. on January 25 to $1,215/oz. today), my forecast for a strong year-end for gold has remained unchanged.

This forecast is based on a better-late-than-never realization by the Fed that they are overtightening into fundamental economic weakness, followed quickly by a full-reversal flip to easing in the form of pauses on rate hikes in September and December.

Those pauses will be an admission the Fed sees no way out of its multiple rounds of QE and extended zero interest rate policy from 2008 to 2013 without causing a new recession. Once that occurs, inflation is just a matter of time. Gold will respond accordingly. Continue reading

US Preparing To Bomb Iran’s Nuclear Capabilities As Soon As Next Month: Report

When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.

Mark 13:7

 

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As the White House convenes a policy meeting on Iran Thursday involving senior Pentagon officials and cabinet advisers under national security adviser John Bolton, and after a week of intense saber-rattling by President Donald Trump and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani, a new bombshell report by Australia’s ABC says the White House is drawing up plans to strike Iran’s alleged nuclear facilities as early as next month.

Senior figures in the Australia’s Turnbull government have told the ABC they believe the US is prepared to bomb Iran’s nuclear capability. The bombing could be as early as next month. —ABC report Continue reading

Struggle for Influence in the Western Pacific (I)

BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) – The US-led RIMPAC 2018, the world’s largest naval maneuver, began yesterday with German soldiers participating. According to the US Navy, the naval exercise will also include operations in the Western Pacific. The region of the Southwest Pacific islands will thus come into focus, which – even though largely ignored by the European public – has been gaining significant global influence. On the one hand, the influence of Western countries has shrunk recently, while that of their strategic rivals, such as Russia and China, has significantly grown. Some Pacific island nations have since then been seeking to pursue a foreign policy independent from the West. On the other hand, the Southwest Pacific has become even more important also for Australia and the Unites States: as the political economic backyard for Australia and “gateway to the Indo-Pacific” for the U.S.A. Germany is also attempting to increase its activities in the region.

Continue reading

War Games in the Pacific

WASHINGTON/BERLIN (Own report) – German soldiers will soon participate in maneuvers in the Pacific and will be on hand as observers on patrols in the South China Sea, according to announcements by the US Navy and the French Minister of Defense, Florence Parly. At a top-level conference in Singapore last weekend, Parly declared that Paris will dispatch warships to the South China Sea in the next few days and will also navigate through the territorial waters of Islands China claims as its territory. According to Parly, German military observers will embark on these ships. At the same time, German soldiers are preparing their participation in the US led RIMPAC 2018 maneuver, taking place mainly near Hawaii. RIMPAC is the world’s largest international maritime exercise. During RIMPAC 2016 German soldiers trained in “liberating” an island, which, according to the scenario, was held by the “Draco” militia. “Draco” is the Latin term for “dragon” – a symbol for China.

Continue reading

Facebook shared user data with Chinese firm despite warnings by US intelligence

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The online social media company Facebook shares data about its users with a Chinese telecommunications company that has been flagged in United States government reports as a threat to security. The New York Times revealed on Tuesday that Facebook has been routinely giving access to the private data of its users to four Chinese companies since at least 2010. The paper said that the data-sharing agreement with Lenovo, Oppo, TCL, and Huawei Technologies, has its roots in 2007. That was the year when Facebook began an effort to entice cell phone hardware and software manufacturers to include Facebook-friendly apps and features in their products. As part of the agreement, Facebook gave cell phone manufacturers access to its users’ private data, including “religious and political leanings, work and education history and relationship status”, said the Times. Continue reading

Australia launches spy agency review amid China concerns

Australian spy agencies will undergo their largest review in decades, officials announced Wednesday, as Canberra seeks to strengthen intelligence powers amid heightened concerns about terrorism and foreign political interference.

A former head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) will spearhead the wide-ranging enquiry, which will look at how national and domestic intelligence agencies share information, their resources and the laws that underpin their work. Continue reading

Mattis Announces Name Change for U.S. Pacific Command

Adm. Harry Harris, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and CNO Adm. John Richardson (L-R) attend a change of command ceremony / Getty Images

 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced Wednesday that the Pentagon was renaming U.S. Pacific Command to Indo-Pacific Command in order to better reflect regional priorities.

Mattis made the announcement at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam on Wednesday during a change-of-command ceremony for the U.S. military’s oldest and largest geographic unified combatant command. Continue reading

Chinese influence in New Zealand threatens intelligence-sharing, says Canadian report

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The report, entitled China and the Age of Strategic Rivalry, was authored by experts at the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). It contains a summary of views expressed by participants at an academic outreach workshop that was organized in Canada by the CSIS. In a section focusing on Chinese “interference in democratic systems”, the report suggests that, despite its small size, New Zealand is “valuable to China […] as a soft underbelly through which to access Five Eyes intelligence”. In recent years, claims the report, Beijing has adopted “an aggressive strategy” that has sought to co-opt political and economic elites in New Zealand as a means of influencing political decision making in the country. As part of that process, China seeks to gain advantages in trade and business negotiations, suppress negative views of China, facilitate espionage and control the views of the Chinese expatriate community in New Zealand, according to the report. Ultimately, Beijing seeks to “extricate New Zealand from […] its traditional [military and intelligence] partners]” as a means of asserting its regional and —eventually— global influence, the report concludes. Continue reading

What will India’s role be in the SCO?

Next month the heads of state of India and Pakistan will attend, for the first time as full members, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, being held in Qingdao, China. Pakistan was already engaged with SCO member states through the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Joining the SCO will reinforce Pakistan’s position and integration into the region.

However, regarding India, there are few clarifications needed. What will India’s role be in the SCO? How well can India integrate into the SCO? What are the expectations? Continue reading

China Plans Network of Indian Ocean Bases: Security Analyst

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The Maldives is moving closer to China and Beijing may be interested in taking over the old British air base on Gan in the south of that archipelago

China has plans to establish a network of naval and air bases in the Indian Ocean, according to an article by David Brewster posted on the website of the Lowy Institute, the Australian think-tank, on May 15.

Brewster, who is with the National Security College at the Australian National University in Canberra, argues that Beijing’s aim is to support China’s growing strategic imperatives in the region. Continue reading

China Rapidly Building Advanced Arms for Use Against U.S.

China Holds Military Parade To Commemorate End Of World War II In Asia

China Holds Military Parade To Commemorate End Of World War II In Asia (Getty Images)

 

Space weapons, drones using artificial intelligence priority in Beijing military buildup

China is rapidly building space weapons and other advanced arms infused with artificial intelligence capabilities as part of Beijing’s bid for military dominance, according to a congressionally sponsored study.

Anti-satellite missiles and orbiting killer satellites, swarms of attack drones, hypersonic missiles, maneuvering warheads, lasers, and high-speed rail guns are key systems China is fielding in the coming years in a bid to leap ahead of the U.S. military supremacy. Continue reading