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

Turkey, ‘Axis of Gold’ and the End of US Dollar Hegemony

 

Introduction

With a ‘Hard Brexit’ looking more likely and Trump’s inauguration this week, 2017 is well and truly under way.

What we expect the year to hold is probably not even half of what it really will. But from what we know, the upcoming French and German elections, referendums, geopolitical crises, steps towards reverse globalisation and a third of global government debt yielding negative interest rates, governments are already prompting central banks and investors to turn to the one asset that has survived millennia of financial and monetary crises.

One that is highly liquid and convertible into other currencies – gold. Continue reading

Paramount Gets China Infusion: $1 Billion, 3-Year Slate Co-Financing Deal With Shanghai Film Group & Huahua Media

 

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has made its most significant long-term alliance in China since Viacom chief Shari Redstone nixed a 49% stake sale to Dalian Wanda for $4.9 billion last year. The studio has closed deals with Shanghai Film Group Corp and Beijing-based Huahua Media for those companies to fund 25% or more of the studio’s entire film slate for the next three years, with an option for a fourth. Continue reading

Jack Ma: America has wasted its wealth

 

Jack Ma, one of China’s most successful and richest entrepreneurs, has responded to America’s growing globalization backlash, arguing that the superpower has benefited immensely from the process – but that it has largely squandered its wealth.

“American international companies made millions and millions of dollars from globalization,” Ma – the founder of Alibaba, the world’s largest online retailer – told participants on the second day of Davos. “The past 30 years, companies like IBM, Cisco and Microsoft made tons of money.”

The question is: where did that money go? It was wasted, Ma explained. 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

IMF Boosts Growth Forecast for US, Cites Trump Impact

Please see the source for the video.

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — The International Monetary Fund on Monday raised its forecast for the U.S. economy over the next two years, saying President-elect Donald Trump’s policies should boost economic growth, particularly in 2018. But officials warned that if Trump’s protectionist trade proposals set off a trade war, that could be “quite destructive” for the global economy.

The IMF also increased 2017 growth projections for a number of other countries including China, Germany, Japan and Britain, but warned that the global economy faced a number of downside risks from rising protectionism to a jump in interest rates. 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