One world under China? Beijing rolls out BRI initiative; U.S. can’t agree on renewing its own infrastructure

Screen shot from CCTV News.

 

The Belt and Road Initiative is the vanguard for Beijing’s reach for global power. It may not work, given all the imponderables of a project on this scale, not to mention conflicting interests with nations along its route. But at least the Chinese are showing the kind of social energy necessary to achieve great things. Do Americans still have that trait?

The state-owned press in China was all aglow about President Xi Jinping’s address to the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. Xinhua proclaimed how “Many overseas experts and scholars have praised” it. Towards the end of his remarks, President Xi brought up his pet project; recreating the ancient Silk Road that once linked Imperial China to Europe through Central Asia and the Middle East. He proclaimed, “Commitment of the Belt and Road Forum is highly compatible with the goal of the G20” and should be seen as part of a “new and inclusive globalization.” The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation had been held in Beijing, May 14-15. It attracted 29 heads of state (including Russian President Vladimir Putin) and representatives of 130 other countries (including the U.S.), plus the leaders of 70 international organizations, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Continue reading

Satellite images reveal massive underground bunker at China’s naval facility in Djibouti

Satellite image shows bunker complex at China’s base in Djibouti. / Stratfor / Twitter

 

Satellite images show that China may be gearing up to use its new military base in Djibouti as far more than just the naval logistics hub Beijing claims it to be, analysts say.

Other than a noticeable lack of docks at the facility, one feature that stood out in the images was a 250,000-square-foot underground bunker complex. Continue reading

CIA analyst: Beijing poses a greater threat than Russia

China's new type of domestically-built destroyer, a 10,000-tonne warship, is seen during its launching ceremony at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China June 28, 2017. Photo: Reuters

China’s new type of domestically-built destroyer, a 10,000-tonne warship, is seen during its launching ceremony at the Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai, China June 28, 2017. Photo: Reuters

 

In an unusually candid talk, agency’s Michael Collins said China’s growing confidence and resolve – fueled by inaction against Chinese hegemony over the past several years – are a worry

A senior CIA analyst has offered a rare public glimpse into American intelligence analysis of China. Michael Collins, deputy assistant director and head of the agency’s East Asia mission center, believes more attention should be focused on China and that recent public angst about Russia is distracting America from the threat posed by China.

“There’s been a lot of talk about Russia as a competitor, a country that sees the liberal international order as something they don’t necessarily subscribe to, that is actively engaged in trying to undermine US influence in various areas around the world, and that has [the] capability to do it,” Collins said at a security forum in Aspen, Colorado. Continue reading

EU To Force Poland, Hungary And Czech Republic To Accept Refugees

One month after the EU’s executive Commission launched legal cases against Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic for “defaulting on their legal obligations” by refusing to comply with the EU’s refugee quotas (i.e., accept migrants), on Wednesday the three Central European nations suffered another blow after Brussels mounted a legal fightback to force them to comply with EU refugee quotas. The top European Union court’s adviser dismissed a challenge brought by Slovakia and Hungary against the obligatory relocation of refugees across the bloc, as it prepared to sign-off legal suits against the holdout countries.

The two states, backed by Poland, wanted the court to annul a 2015 EU scheme to have each member state host a number of refugees to help ease pressure on Greece and Italy, struggling with mass arrivals across the Mediterranean. Supported by Germany, Italy and Brussels, the EU’s “relocation” law has become one of the bloc’s most divisive recent policy initiatives, forced through over the objections of states from eastern and central Europe. Continue reading

Why communist China’s first foreign military base? Location, Location, Location

Chinese People’s Liberation Army-Navy troops march in Djibouti’s independence day parade on June 27.

 

UNITED NATIONS — Nearly six hundred years ago, huge Chinese fleets plied the Indian Ocean sailing as far as Arabia and the East African coast.

The epic seaborne expeditions carried out between 1405 and 1432 under Adm. Cheng Ho and during the glorious Ming Dynasty were larger and far more encompassing than subsequent Portuguese and Dutch voyages almost a century later. China’s Imperial Court sought trade, tribute, and exotic treasures, not formal colonization nor religious conversion. Continue reading

Germany and France Unveil New Plans for a European Military

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron deliver a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 13, 2017, during an annual Franco-German Summit. (PATRICK KOVARIK/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

 

The two nations announce plans for a new fighter jet, a new fighting force in Africa, and a new push for a eurozone superstate.

On July 13, Germany and France held their first joint cabinet meeting since France’s presidential election, and the two leading European countries announced some eye-catching new military projects.

This was the first such meeting since Emmanuel Macron won the presidential election on May 7. Since then, there has been much talk of a new era of Franco-German cooperation. On Thursday, the pressure was on to demonstrate results. Continue reading

Italy Threatens EU With “Nuclear Option”: Give 200,000 Migrants EU Visas, Sending Them North

 

Two weeks after Italy reacted with anger to Austria’s deployment of troops and armored vehicles to the border between the two nations, while reactivating border controls at the Brenner Pass over concerns that Italy will be unable to handle the roughly 85,000 migrants and refugees who have entered the country so far in 2017, the Italian government has threatened to retaliate in way that assures an imminent migrant crisis as well as an escalation of tensions between the two EU nations.

According to The Times, an Italian minister and a senator have threatened to issue temporary EU visas to thousands of migrants in an effort to “resolve” Italy’s escalating migrant and refugee crisis, which would then allow the refugees to travel north. The move, which has been described as a ‘nuclear option,’ would allow the nearly 200,000 migrants currently stranded in Italy, to travel across Europe using a Brussels directive loophole. Continue reading

China sends troops to military base in Djibouti, widening reach across Indian Ocean

Soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army stand on a ship sailing off from a military port in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, on Monday. Photo: Reuters

 

Beijing says facility needed for anti-piracy operations but rivals expected to be alarmed

China has taken a decisive step ­towards establishing a maritime force that can reach across the ­Indian Ocean with its first ­deployment of troops to its ­military facility in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa.

China has presented the ­facility as a support base to run anti-piracy operations in waters along Africa’s east coast as well as peacekeeping and ­humanitarian missions in the region.

But given it sits at the shipping choke point of the Gulf of Aden which opens to the Suez Canal and beyond, China’s ­regional neighbours including Japan, ­India and Vietnam were likely to view the deployment with alarm, mainland experts said.

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Struggle for Influence in Africa

BERLIN (Own report) – Overshadowed by the dispute on free trade and the Paris Climate Agreement, the German government has found acceptance for its Africa policy initiatives at the G20 summit in Hamburg. The G20 states in Hamburg have backed the “Compact with Africa” initiative, Berlin seeks to use for gaining new influence on the African continent. The “Compact” includes measures enabling industrial nations, such as Germany, to set their preferred conditions for investments in individual African countries. The German government has chosen Tunisia, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire as its partners. Whereas Tunisia already serves as a low-wage site for German enterprises, Côte d’Ivoire is still under decisive French influence, something Berlin would like to change with the help of its “Compact for Africa.” In general, “Compact” is intended to help Germany intensify its economic influence in Africa, following all the failed attempts over the past few years. From the perspective of Germany’s establishment, time is running out because China, the rival on the global stage, has already risen to become the most important economic partner for numerous African countries.

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The Militarization of the Baltic Sea

BERLIN (Own report) – Since 1990, the German Navy is more than ever focusing its activities on the power struggle with Russia in the Baltic Sea. It is “conceivable” that “the eastern area of the Baltic Sea could become the venue for conflicts of interests and provocations,” the head of a department in the German Navy Command wrote in an article published in the current edition of MarineForum. This necessitates preparations for “the regular and permanent presence of operational forces” and a resolute military buildup, and Berlin’s announcement to procure five new corvettes is a signal in the right direction. At the same time, large scale maneuvers are regularly being held in the Baltic Sea. The most recent “BALTOPS 2017” exercise was focused around the scenario of naval combat against an enemy advancing “from the North.” Strategic B-52 bombers – among others – we e training so close to the Russian border that Moscow saw itself forced to chase them off with fighter jets. B-52s can be equipped with nuclear arms. Moscow has announced Russian-Chinese naval exercises to be held this month – for the first time in the Baltic Sea.

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Billions for European Wars (II)

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Own report) – With billions in arms programs at the EU and national levels, the EU is seeking to become a globally operating military power. At its summit last week, the EU agreed not only to enhance cooperation among the member armed forces to facilitate their combat deployment – for example in Africa – but to also rapidly establish a “defense fund” planning to reallocate funds from civilian to military use. In a few years, Brussels will already be allocating €1.5 billion annually for both research and development of new military technology. The German government is also increasing its military spending and decided last week to allocate nearly ten billion euros for arms projects, including warships, tanker aircraft, satellites, and optimizing existing weaponry for current wars. In addition, billions are being earmarked for completely new projects. Lucrative for the arms industry, they include the Multi-role Combat Ship MKS 180, and a new fighter jet, capable of competing with the US F-35 and being integrated with guided missiles, drones and other weaponry.

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China’s maritime Strategic Realignment

A simplified view of the PLAN maritime lines of communication between its major naval bases in southern China and its newly established oversees bases. The major island bases in the South China Sea are omitted from this map, but should be considered in gaining an accurate picture of Chinese maritime defense posture.

 

Introduction

China has begun construction of the first Type 075 Landing Helicopter Dock (LHD) at the Shanghai based Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Company. Construction most likely started in January or February of this year, with some satellite imagery and digital photos appearing online of at least one pre-fabricated hull cell. The Type 075 will be the largest amphibious warfare vessel in the Peoples’ Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), with similar displacement and dimensions as the U.S. Navy Wasp Class LHD. The PLA has also made it known through non-official channels that the force plans to expand the current PLA Marine Corps from 20,000 personnel to 100,000. As China completes preparations for its new military base in Djibouti, located in the strategic Horn of Africa, it has also continued its substantial investment in developing the port of Gwadar, Pakistan. Not only will Gwadar become a key logistics hub as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the “One Belt, One Road” trade initiative, but will also be a key naval base in providing security for China’s maritime trade in the region. Continue reading

Leading the Multipolar Revolution: How Russia and China Are Creating a New World Order

The replacement for the American global hegemony is all there. The alternative global infrastructure is built and only a switch needs to be flipped on. The only questions remaining are when and how America will be replaced as a global leader.

 

Leading the Multipolar Revolution: How Russia and China Are Creating a New World Order

 

The last thirty days have shown another kind of world that is engaging in cooperation, dialogue and diplomatic efforts to resolve important issues. The meeting of the members of the Belt and Road Initiative laid the foundations for a physical and electronic connectivity among Eurasian countries, making it the backbone of sustainable and renewable trade development based on mutual cooperation. A few weeks later, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Astana outlined the necessary conditions for the success of the Chinese project, such as securing large areas of the Eurasian block and improving dialogue and trust among member states. The following AIIB (Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank) meeting in ROK will layout the economical necessities to finance and sustain the BRI projects.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) have many common features, and in many ways seem complementary. The SCO is an organization that focuses heavily on economic, political and security issues in the region, while the BRI is a collection of infrastructure projects that incorporates three-fifths of the globe and is driven by Beijing’s economic might. In this context, the Eurasian block continues to develop the following initiatives to support both the BRI and SCO mega-projects. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CTSO) is a Moscow-based organization focusing mainly on the fight against terrorism, while the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a Beijing-based investment bank that is responsible for generating important funding for Beijing’s long-term initiatives along its maritime routes (ports and canals) and overland routes (road, bridges, railways, pipelines, industries, airports). The synergies between these initiatives find yet another point of convergence in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Together, the SCO, BRI, CTSO, AIIB, and EEU provide a compelling indication of the direction in which humanity is headed, which is to say towards integration, cooperation and peaceful development through diplomacy. Continue reading

Soros, Clinton-linked Teneo Donors to McCain Institute

Soros, Clinton-linked Teneo Donors to McCain Institute

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) asks questions at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 7, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

 

An investigation into the funding behind the McCain Institute shows the non profit organization which received unspent campaign funds from the Senator who bears its name has received money from billionaire activist George Soros and Clinton-linked Teneo

(WASHINGTON, DC) Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain in 2012 turned over nearly $9 million in unspent funds from his failed 2008 presidential campaign to a new foundation bearing his name, the McCain Institute for International Leadership.

The institute is intended to serve as a “legacy” for McCain and “is dedicated to advancing human rights, dignity, democracy and freedom.” It is a tax-exempt non-profit foundation with assets valued at $8.1 million and associated with Arizona State University. Continue reading

A Replacement of Population is Taking Place in Europe

A wooden boat carrying migrants waits to be escorted to the Topaz Responder vessel, as members of the Migrant Offshore Aid Station make a rescue at sea on November 21, 2016 in Pozzollo, Italy. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

 

  • People-smugglers bring the migrants to the NGOs’ ships, which then reach Italian seaports. Another legal enquiry has been opened about the mafia’s economic interests in managing the migrants after their arrival.
  • One cannot compare the migrants to the Jews fleeing Nazism. Pope Francis, for example, recently compared the migrants’ centers to Nazi “concentration camps”. Where are the gas chambers, medical “experiments,” crematoria, slave labor, forced marches and firing squads? These comparisons are spread by the media for a precise reason: shutting down the debate.
  • By 2065, it is expected that 14.4 million migrants will arrive. Added to the more than five million immigrants currently in Italy, 37% of the population is expected to be foreigners: more than one out of every three inhabitants.

First, it was the Hungarian route. Then it was the Balkan route. Now Italy is the epicenter of this demographic earthquake, and it has become Europe’s soft underbelly as hundreds of thousands of migrants arrive. Continue reading