Syria: What Just Happened

 

What happened right after the second direct US-missiles invasion of Syria, which had occurred on the night of April 13th, could turn out to have momentous implications — far bigger than the attacks themselves.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons headlined on April 14th, in the wake of this US-UK-France invasion of Syria that was allegedly punishing Syria’s Government for allegedly having used chemical weapons in its bombing in the town of Douma on April 7th“OPCW Fact-Finding Mission Continues Deployment to Syria”, and reported that:

The Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) team of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will continue its deployment to the Syrian Arab Republic to establish facts around the allegations of chemical weapons use in Douma. 

The OPCW has been working in close collaboration with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security to assess the situation and ensure the safety of the team.  Continue reading

On The Threshold of War

“The Russian view is simple: the West is ruled by a gang of thugs supported by an infinitely lying and hypocritical media while the general public in the West has been hopelessly zombified.” — The Saker

https://russia-insider.com/en/russia-ready-war-mood-prime-time-tv-grim/ri23019

“The US generals, unlike the US politicians and media and US administration, are risk-averse if the outcome may be catastrophic.” — Gilbert Doctorow

https://russia-insider.com/en/were-not-going-war-not-yet-last-nights-russian-tv-analysis/ri23024

Above are two of the three most intelligent and reliable Russian experts. The third is Professor Stephen Cohen, who worries, as I do, that an arrogant Washington drowning in hubris is provoking Russia to war.

The Saker has concluded that the Russians have concluded that it has been a mistake to put up with Washington’s lies, insults, and orchestrated events and have decided that if the dumbshit Americans attack Syria, Russia is going to take out the US forces involved.

Continue reading

Vietnam Bends the Knee to China

Chinese President Xi Jinping accompanies President Tran Dai Quang of The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam to view a guard of honour during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People on May 11, 2017 in Beijing, China. GETTY IMAGES

 

More proof that in the South China Sea, Beijing is king.

In recent decades, Vietnam has distinguished itself several times as a nation not afraid to stand up to its larger and far more powerful neighbor to the North. From the border conflicts of the 1970s and ’80s to the passage in 2012 of the “Law on the Sea” resolution, Hanoi has demonstrated its willingness to resist Beijing. But last month, in a sign of the shifting power balance between China and the United States, Vietnam yielded to Beijing’s intimidation. Continue reading

Congratulations, Beijing. The South China Sea Is Now Yours.

Chinese sailors march in a massive military parade in Beijing. (GETTY IMAGES)

 

China’s dominance of this strategic sea gate is effectively complete.

As recently as July 2016, it looked as if conflict could erupt between the United States, China, and possibly some smaller Asian nations over Beijing’s belligerent drive to transform the South China Sea into a “Chinese lake.” That month, the already fraught situation became far more volatile when the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague ruled against some of China’s territorial claims in the area, after which China vowed to use “all necessary measures” to safeguard its control of the region.

But now, despite the Trump administration’s decision on May 24 to conduct a naval action in the region, it is clear that China has emerged from this dispute victorious. The South China Sea—the vast, resource-rich region through which a third of global maritime commerce flows—is now the de facto territory of Beijing.

“It is, unfortunately, now game over,” said Mira Rapp-Hooper, a senior fellow at the Washington D.C.-based Center for a New American Security.

This “unfortunate” turn of the tides reveals America’s fading influence, China’s rising power (and increasing shrewdness about how to effectively use that power), and that the smaller Asian states are pragmatic and circumspect about these shifts.

Continue reading

In first under Trump, U.S. warship challenges Beijing’s claims in South China Sea

The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey prepares for a replenishment-at-sea in the South China Sea May 19, 2017. Picture taken May 19, 2017. Kryzentia Weiermann/Courtesy U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

 

A U.S. Navy warship sailed within 12 nautical miles of an artificial island built up by China in the South China Sea, U.S. officials said on Wednesday, the first such challenge to Beijing in the strategic waterway since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS Dewey traveled close to the Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals over which China has territorial disputes with its neighbors.

The so-called freedom of navigation operation, which is sure to anger China, comes as Trump is seeking Beijing’s cooperation to rein in ally North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs. Continue reading

China’s spies gain valuable US defense technology: report

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

US intelligence agencies have determined that China stole secrets relating to the F-35 jet fighter from a US contractor. Photo: Reuters

 

According to the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Chinese cyber espionage is a “major problem” for America

China has gained military benefits in recent years from stealing defense secrets through industrial and cyber espionage carried out by its intelligence services, according to a US congressional report.

“In recent years, Chinese agents have extracted data on some of the most advanced weapons and weapons systems in the US arsenal, such as jet fighters and unmanned submersible vehicles,” states the annual report of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, released on November 16.

“The loss of these and other sensitive defense technologies undermines US military superiority by accelerating China’s military modernization and giving China insight into the capabilities and operation of US weapons and weapons systems,” the report adds. Continue reading

Duterte Aligns Philippines With China, Says U.S. ‘Has Lost’

A new Asian bloc with China as the umbrella protectorate is forming.

Exit Pax Americana.

Enter Pax Asia Pacifica.

 

https://i1.wp.com/s2.freebeacon.com/up/2016/10/philip-1.jpg

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands / REUTERS

 

BEIJING (Reuters)–Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte announced his “separation” from the United States on Thursday, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.

Duterte made his comments in Beijing, where he is visiting with at least 200 business people to pave the way for what he calls a new commercial alliance as relations with longtime ally Washington deteriorate.

“In this venue, your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States,” Duterte told Chinese and Philippine business people, to applause, at a forum in the Great Hall of the People attended by Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli.

“Both in military, not maybe social, but economics also. America has lost.” Continue reading

Russia and China Taunt NATO with Show of Friendship in the South China Sea

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Russia and China are preparing for joint sea naval drills this weekend (Sept. 9-11).

The military exercises between the two countries are somewhat routine – there have been five since 2012.

However, this time will be the first joint exercises between these particular allies conducted in the fiercely disputed South China Sea. Continue reading

Resolution of the Reparations Issue

ATHENS/BERLIN (Own report) – The Prime Minister of Greece, Alexis Tsipras has announced a new initiative to force Germany to pay reparations and compensations to Greece. During a memorial service for the victims of a massacre committed by the German Wehrmacht in the western Greek village of Kommeno, on Tuesday, Tsipras declared that, should the Germany government persist in refusing to pay reparations, Athens will seek “through diplomatic channels – and if necessary at the judicial level – ” to take action against Berlin. In early September, the Greek parliament is scheduled to discuss a recently completed report quantifying the German reparations debt at 269 billion Euros. German government assertions that the reparations issue has been “closed” are unfounded. In fact, payment of the binding 1946 reparations sum, recognized by the London Debt Agreement of February 1953, had been deferred, but not annulled. Only a fraction of it has been paid. As confirmed by Horst Teltschik, former advisor to Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Bonn had sought to evade its reparations obligations by explicitly not qualifying the 2 + 4 Treaty a “Peace Treaty.” It had been feared that, with a peace treaty, suddenly “reparations demands from over 50 countries would land on the table,” Teltschik explained.

Continue reading

China must prepare for ‘people’s war at sea’: Defence minister

BEIJING: China’s defence minister has urged preparations for a “people’s war at sea” to counter offshore security threats and safeguard sovereignty, state media reported on Tuesday.

Chang Wanquan’s comments came several weeks after an international tribunal dismissed the country’s claim to most of the South China Sea, a judgement it angrily rejected.

Chang “called for recognition of the seriousness of the national security situation, especially the threat from the sea”, Xinhua news agency said. Continue reading

$400 million sent to Iran as U.S. prisoners released, raising questions

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration secretly organized an airlift of $400 million worth of cash to Iran that coincided with the January release of four Americans detained in Tehran, according to U.S. and European officials and congressional staff briefed on the operation afterward.

Wooden pallets stacked with euros, Swiss francs and other currencies were flown into Iran on an unmarked cargo plane, according to these officials. The U.S. procured the money from the central banks of the Netherlands and Switzerland, they said. Continue reading

China, Russia to Conduct Join Military Drills in South China Sea

Beijing will also deploy anti-missile defense tests to counter U.S. system in South Korea

The Chinese Defense Ministry announced Thursday that China and Russia will conduct joint naval exercises in the disputed South China Sea in September despite a recent international tribunal ruling that rejected Beijing’s claims to the strategic waterway.

Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Col. Yang Yujun called the drills “routine” at a news conference and vowed they were not directed at any countries. Continue reading

PLA Navy ‘ready’ to counter aggression in South China Sea

Spratly Islands are Chinese territory and construction in disputed waters will continue, Admiral Wu Shengli tells visiting US naval chief

Beijing is ready to counter aggression in the South China Sea, the PLA Navy commander warned on Monday as a new round of military drills were announced in the disputed waters.

Admiral Wu Shengli made the remarks as he met US Chief of Naval Operations John Richardson in Beijing yesterday, in the first high-level meeting between the two militaries since the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague said China’s “nine-dash” line was invalid. Continue reading

China’s Conquest of New Zealand

https://images.thetrumpet.com/57894d96!h.355,id.14504,m.fit,w.640

(iStock.com/Teerawat Pongsiripreeda)

 

The giant panda is eating kiwi for lunch—and nobody seems to be bothered.

We New Zealanders are few in number but have slogged it out over the past century and a half to become the largest dairy exporter on Earth—sending out 95 percent of our product. Our dairy industry is critical to our economy. The livelihood of our country depends, to a great deal, on how well our farms do. Judging by what has been happening of late, that’s not so well at all.

New Zealand—China’s Milkman

Continue reading

South China Sea War: China Threatens Australia to Keep ‘Peace’

China has issued a blunt warning against Australia, asking the nation to keep itself out of the South China Sea dispute.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop commented on China’s decision of slamming The Hague verdict. She said on Wednesday that the Asian nation must respect the UN ruling. “To ignore it would be a serious international transgression,” she added. Bishop also confirmed that Australia will continue patrolling the Sea while enjoying its freedom of navigation exercises. Continue reading