Category: Kings of the East

In China, Deluded Communist Leader Xi Jinping Is Tearing Down All Churches And Mosques And Commanding The People To Worship Him As A God

The “Control Measures for Religious Groups,” as the 41 new rules are called, deal with everything from the holding of rites and rituals, to the selection of leaders and annual meetings, to the hiring of staff and the handling of funds. All of these must be reported — in advance, no less — to the comrades at the “Religious Affairs” office for their approval. In other words, without the permission of the authorities, you can’t organize a Bible study. And if you do get permission, you’d better hold it in a Party-approved religious venue, at a Party-approved time, with a Party-approved leader and using the new Party-approved Bible, which contains quotations from Confucius and, of course, Xi Jinping.

by Geoffrey Grider February 3, 2020

In China, Buddhist temples are being turned into shrines celebrating Xi Jinping, China’s President For Life. His picture adorns the walls, his recorded voice booms out of the loudspeakers, and it is his “Thought” — not Buddha’s — that the monks are now required to meditate upon.

If it’s because of the preaching of the gospel of the grace of God, then the destruction of religion is a good thing. After all, religion is man’s attempt to understand God, and it is doomed to failure. Preaching of the cross destroys religion, but in the best possible way. But to destroy religion – Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist – and replace it with another religion of man, then that is a bad thing. This is exactly what is happening in China right now, as their deluded leader has decided he is a god.

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 1 Corinthians 1:18,19 (KJB)

All dictators suffer from little god syndrome, come to think of it, so do a lot of Charismatic preachers, but I digress. Adolf Hitler demanded the German people worship him as a god, and they did, right up to the moment when he nearly destroyed the entire country. China is in deep, deep trouble, so deep in fact that it’s starting to look like God’s hand of end times judgment is upon them. We will keep following this story for you and see how bad it’s going to get.

How Deluded China Leader Xi Jinping Destroyed Religion Making Himself A God To The People

FROM THE NY POST: Catholic churches torn down or denuded of their crosses and statues. Images of the Madonna and Child replaced with pictures of “People’s Leader” Xi Jinping. Signs posted outside evangelical churches forbidding anyone under the age of 18 from entering. The Ten Commandments painted over with quotes from Xi.

These are just some of the ways that the Chinese Communist Party is persecuting Christians in China.

But it’s not just Catholics. In China’s Far West, over a million Muslims languish in concentration camps — Beijing cutely calls them “vocational training centers” — while mosques are being torn down, religious signs removed and ancient cemeteries leveled.

Elsewhere in China, Buddhist temples are being turned into shrines celebrating Xi Jinping, China’s President For Life. His picture adorns the walls, his recorded voice booms out of the loudspeakers, and it is his “Thought” — not Buddha’s — that the monks are now required to meditate upon.

Not even the Taoists, China’s ancient folk religion, have escaped this new Cultural Revolution. Temples that have stood for over 1,000 years have been closed and ancient statues smashed, all on the orders of “Religious Affairs” officials.

Perhaps some of those who are concerned about protecting cultural sites in Iran could spare a thought for the daily demolition derby now going on in China. A demolition derby that is about to get worse, a lot worse.

On Feb. 1, 2020, new restrictions on all forms of religious activity came into force.

The “Control Measures for Religious Groups,” as the 41 new rules are called, deal with everything from the holding of rites and rituals, to the selection of leaders and annual meetings, to the hiring of staff and the handling of funds. All of these must be reported — in advance, no less — to the comrades at the “Religious Affairs” office for their approval.

DELUDED DICTATORS WANTED TO BE CALLED A GOD IS NOTHING NEW

In other words, without the permission of the authorities, you can’t organize a Bible study. And if you do get permission, you’d better hold it in a Party-approved religious venue, at a Party-approved time, with a Party-approved leader and using the new Party-approved Bible, which contains quotations from Confucius and, of course, Xi Jinping.

No Communist directive would be complete without a Catch-22 and the “Control Measures” contain a doozy: “Religious groups must also report to the appropriate government authorities any and all other matters that should be reported.”

Translation: We can shut you down at any time for any reason.

The “Control Measures” are part of Xi Jinping’s New Cultural Revolution, one goal of which is to stamp out all religious groups that the Communist Party cannot co-opt and control. “A religious group cannot carry out any activities,” warns the new rules, “without registration with the Civil Affairs office and the approval of the Religious Affairs office of the people’s government.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10380

4 Plagues Are Marching Across Asia Simultaneously: Coronavirus, African Swine Fever, H5N1 Bird Flu And H1N1 Swine Flu

February 2, 2020 by Michael Snyder

The coronavirus outbreak that is raging all over China right now has been making headlines on a daily basis all over the globe, and rightly so.  At this point we don’t know if it will ultimately become a horrifying global pandemic that will affect tens of millions of people, but what we do know is that the virus spreads very easily and the number of cases has been rising at an exponential rate.  Meanwhile, three other plagues have also been marching across Asia, and most people in the western world don’t even realize that this is happening.  What I am about to share with you in this article is quite chilling, and the months ahead will be very dark if these plagues continue to spread.

Long before we ever heard of this new coronavirus, African Swine Fever was devastating pork farms from one end of China to the other.  There is no vaccine for “pig ebola”, there is no cure, and once it hits a farm the only thing that can be done is to kill every single pig so that it won’t spread anywhere else.  But even though draconian measures have been implemented, it has just kept spreading, and at this point “about two-thirds of China’s swine herd has been lost”

Video of people fighting over pork at Chinese meat counters will likely become more common as the fallout from the African swine fever outbreak in China progresses.

Brett Stuart, president of the market research and analysis firm Global AgriTrends, estimates that about two-thirds of China’s swine herd has been lost to the disease and contrary to official government reports of recovery, more pigs are dying every day as ASF continues to spread.

Prior to this crisis, approximately half of all the pigs in the entire world lived in China, and they would usually slaughter about 700 million a year.  But now pork production has absolutely plummeted, and this is driving pork prices in China through the roof

In China itself, pork prices are at an all-time high at just under $300 per hundredweight and the country outbids Japan, which is usually the top bidder. Food inflation is soaring and some Chinese people have been unable to buy pork in six months.

Unfortunately, this insidious disease has also been devastating farms in many other nations all over the planet.  In particular, Cambodia, North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam and the Philippines have been hit particularly hard.

It has been estimated that one out of every four pigs in the entire world has already died, and this crisis is far from over.

Fortunately, African Swine Fever does not affect humans, but this new coronavirus seems perfectly suited to be transmitted from person to person.  Johns Hopkins has put up a map that is continually updated, and according to the latest official numbers there are now 14,637 cases and the death toll has risen to 305.  But by the time you read this article those numbers are likely to be even higher.

Of course many are extremely skeptical that the official numbers coming out of China are accurate, and this is something that I have written about repeatedly.  There have been multiple reports that indicate that China has been falsely categorizing the deaths of many of the victims to keep the death toll down, and it is also suspicious that so many corpses are being taken “directly to the crematorium”

Radio Free Asia (RFA) has tweeted a disturbing video on its Twitter account on Saturday morning detailing how those who died of coronavirus in Wuhan, the outbreak area in China, were loaded up on a bus and taken “directly to the crematorium.”

RFA said (in a translated tweet): “[Latest Situation of Wuhan Fifth Hospital] Some Wuhan citizens entered Wuhan Fifth Hospital on February 1st and found many patients who died of pneumonia. The corpses were packed directly to the crematorium. Paramedics are busy rescuing the dying patient.”

RFA’s video is in line with our report from Friday that said those who died of the deadly virus were hauled off to a crematorium in Wuhan by Chinese authorities.

At this point we don’t know how bad this outbreak will ultimately become, but we do know that the very first death outside of China has now been confirmed

The Philippine Department of Health said a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan was admitted on Jan. 25 after experiencing a fever, cough, and sore throat. He developed severe pneumonia, and in his last few days, “the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise.”

The man’s 38-year-old female companion, also from Wuhan, also tested positive for the virus and remains in hospital isolation in Manila.

Meanwhile, there has been a very alarming resurgence of the H5N1 bird flu in China.

According to the Daily Mail, more than 17,000 chickens have been culled in an effort to keep this new outbreak from spreading further…

China has reportedly seen an outbreak of a ‘highly pathogenic’ strain of H5N1 bird flu which has already killed 4,500 chickens.

The outbreak was initially reported at a farm in Shaoyang city in the southern province of Hunan, south of the epicentre of the Coronavirus in Wuhan.

According to the Reuters report, Chinese authorities have already culled 17,828 poultry in the wake of the outbreak.

Unlike African Swine Fever, humans can become infected by the H5N1 bird flu.

And according to the World Health Organization, the mortality rate for human cases is approximately 60 percent.

So let us hope that this current outbreak remains limited to chickens.

Alarmingly, the H5N1 bird flu has also popped up at a facility in India

Authorities in an eastern Indian state will start culling chickens and destroying eggs from Tuesday to contain a bird flu virus of the H5N1 strain, a government statement said on Monday.

The samples collected from a poultry breeding and research farm of a veterinary college in Odisha state tested positive, the statement said.

We haven’t heard much about the H5N1 bird flu in recent years, but this is an extremely deadly disease, and so we will want to monitor these developments very carefully.

On top of everything else, the H1N1 swine flu is starting to spread once again.  In fact, more than 100,000 people in Taiwan “sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals across the country over the past week” and there have been 13 confirmed deaths

At a time when the world is panicking over a 2019-nCoV coronavirus outbreak, the H1N1 flu virus is actually posing a greater threat in Taiwan, claiming 13 lives in the country in just one week, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

At a weekly meeting Friday, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said 116,705 people sought medical treatment for flu-like symptoms at hospitals across the country over the past week, including 61 more confirmed flu cases.

Not too long ago, the H1N1 swine flu caused mass panic all over the globe, and I personally knew someone that was killed by it.

So the truth is that all of these outbreaks are very concerning.

And never before have we seen so many alarming outbreaks occur simultaneously.  Could it be possible that we have entered a period of time when mass pandemics are going to become “the new normal”?

Hopefully none of these current outbreaks will end up killing millions of people all over the globe.

But we have been warned for a long time about how vulnerable we are, and the experts assure us that it is just a matter of time before a mass pandemic brings death to every corner of the planet.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10377

Cases Of China’s New Mystery Virus Have Quadrupled, Human-To-Human Transmission Confirmed, And It May Soon Arrive Here

January 20, 2020 by Michael Snyder

The mysterious new virus that is starting to spread very rapidly in China has global health officials extremely concerned.  On Wednesday, the World Health Organization will convene an emergency meeting to discuss whether this outbreak should be “declared a global health crisis”, and screeners are being put in place at airports all over the world.  But to a certain extent it may already be too late, because we know that this virus has already spread via airplane to at least three other countries.  And since the early symptoms of this disease are so similar to what one would expect after coming down with a common cold, there could potentially be countless numbers of victims that have not even gone to the hospital because they don’t think that anything is seriously wrong.  

Health officials in China are telling us that this is a “new strain of coronavirus”, and they believe that it probably originated at a seafood market in Wuhan.

When the outbreak first started, they told us that it was not likely that there would be widespread human-to-human transmission.

But then later they were forced to admit that it was likely that human-to-human transmission was happening on a limited basis, and now they have finally been forced to admit that this virus can pass from person to person quite easily.

On January 17th, it was being reported that there were only 48 people that had caught this virus, but over the weekend the number of official cases suddenly tripled

The number of people infected with a new virus in China tripled over the weekend, with the outbreak spreading from Wuhan to other major cities.

There are now more than 200 cases, mostly in Wuhan, though the respiratory illness has also been detected in Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

As I write this article, the latest official count I can find is 222 victims, and that means that the number of cases has actually more than quadrupled since January 17th.

But by the time many of you read this article, that number is likely to be even higher.

An 89-year-old man has become the fourth victim to die from this virus, but many more are currently in critical condition, and it has become quite clear that this bug can be very deadly for humans.

Originally, Chinese officials were hoping to keep this virus mostly confined to Wuhan and the surrounding areas, but now cases have been popping up in other major Chinese cities

Five people in Beijing and 14 in Guangdong have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, CCTV reported Monday evening. A total of seven suspected cases have been found in other parts of the country, including in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces in the southwest and in Shanghai.

Now that this disease has spread so widely, it is going to be much more difficult to get it under control.

At this point, Chinese officials are urging citizens to wear masks to help prevent the virus from spreading, and they are publicly confirming that human-to-human transmission is taking place

Professor Zhong Nanshan, a renowned scientist at China’s National Health Commission, said human-to-human transmission is ‘affirmative’, in a press conference.

‘Currently, it can be said it is affirmative that there is the phenomenon of human-to-human transmission,’ he said, according to state broadcaster CCTV.

One of the things that forced their hand is the fact that 14 different medical workers caught the disease while treating patients.

If this virus did not spread easily between people, that would not have happened.

There is also a tremendous amount of concern about how easily this virus can be transported via airplane.

Prior to Monday, we already knew about incidents where infected people flew from China to Japan and Thailand, and now South Korea has reported their first case

South Korea on Monday reported its first confirmed case of the China coronavirus, fuelling concerns that the pneumonia-like illness could be spreading across Asia.

A 35-year-old woman trying to enter the country from Wuhan, China, where the virus is thought to have originated, tested positive after being screened for symptoms at Incheon International Airport on Sunday.

We still don’t know if this is going to develop into a very serious global crisis or not, but things are definitely looking more ominous than they did just a few days ago.

Early symptoms of the disease include congestion, fever, coughing, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.  But like I said before, many victims could simply assume that they have a common cold.  And before they realize that something really serious is happening to them, they could potentially expose the virus to countless others.

In China, this is truly a disastrous time to have a public health emergency, because Lunar New Year celebrations are coming up.  The Chinese New Year is on January 25th, and it is being reported that “more than 400 million people are expected to travel domestically and internationally” during the coming days.

In other words, the number of people that will be traveling for this holiday is greater than the entire population of the United States.

And in that sort of an environment, diseases can be spread like wildfire.

Here in the United States, it has been announced that airport officials will “begin screening passengers” as they arrive from the city of Wuhan…

Federal health officials said on Friday that they would begin screening passengers arriving at three US airports from Wuhan, China, for signs of infection from a mysterious and potentially deadly new virus.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it would deploy about 100 staff members to San Francisco International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, and John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City to help screen incoming passengers.

That is a good first step, but could it be possible that infected passengers have already arrived?

And since this virus has already spread to other Chinese cities, shouldn’t all passengers arriving from China be screened?

I understand that would be a dramatic step to take, but it has become clear that this virus is quite deadly, and it has also become clear that it can spread from person to person very easily.

Over in Asia, dramatic steps are already being taken.  If you want to get an idea of what is already being done, just watch this very creepy video.

Hopefully this crisis will fade soon, but scientists have warned us that it is just a matter of time before the next great pandemic breaks out, and without a doubt we are highly vulnerable.

In particular, the very young, the very old and those with compromised immune systems would be at the highest risk if this virus started spreading rapidly here in North America.

Let’s hope that it doesn’t come to that.  Global health authorities are going to be doing all that they can to get this virus under control, and other health scares in the past have turned out to be mostly hype.

But if cases of this new virus continue to grow at an exponential rate, the death toll will quickly become quite alarming, and there will be a tremendous amount of panic all over the globe.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10342

After Joint War Games With Russia And China Conclude, Iran Tells The United States That Their Days Of Middle East Dominance Are Over

Rear Admiral in Iran Hossein Khanzadi told reporters Sunday that the four-day exercise in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman—dubbed “Marine Security Belt”—was a signal to U.S. forces operating in the region. “Today, the era of American free action in the region is over,” Khanzadi said, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency. “They must leave the region gradually,” he added.

by Geoffrey Grider January 1, 2020

The commander of Iran’s navy has warned that the U.S. has no business in Middle Eastern waters after his forces held joint naval drills with Russia and China.

Iran is one of those nations that loves to brag about military capabilities they don’t actually possess, to convince themselves of how strong they are when the rest of the world knows it’s all a ruse. At least that’s how it’s always been since the Iranian Revolution took place in 1979. But just yesterday they concluded war games, Operation Marine Security Belt, with Russia and China who are very powerful nations, and who now seem to be in a partnership with Iran.

“And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia.” Daniel 11:2 (KJV)

Iran has gone from being a laughable little nation whose bark is worse than their bite, to becoming a dark and mysterious wildcard that now may be functioning as bait to draw the United States into a large-scale international conflict. And there’s nothing funny about that.

Iran Warns U.S That Days Of Middle East Dominance Are Over

FROM NEWSWEEK: Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi told reporters in Iran Sunday that the four-day exercise in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Oman—dubbed “Marine Security Belt”—was a signal to U.S. forces operating in the region.

“Today, the era of American free action in the region is over,” Khanzadi said, according to the Iranian Tasnim news agency. “They must leave the region gradually,” he added.

The rear admiral said U.S. forces are not needed to ensure security in the area, where American and Iranian forces have been facing off amid high tensions between Washington and Tehran over the collapsed Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear deal.

The joint drills coincided with an attack on American forces in Iraq, suspected to have been launched by an Iranian-backed militia. The rocket attack on an Iraqi military base on Friday killed one American civilian defense contractor and wounded four service members.

In response, the U.S. conducted airstrikes on Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria. Khanzadi said Sunday U.S. forces were not needed in the region.

“Regional countries themselves can ensure security together,” he said. “The presence of Americans only creates insecurity in the region,” he added, according to the state-backed Fars news agency.

The rear admiral suggested that Iran’s “friends” would be reassured by the exercises, while its adversaries should take the drills as a warning. He also said he hoped more regional nations would join future Iranian exercises. “We believe that maritime security definitely needs collective action,” Khanzadi explained.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10291

U.S. Navy may soon have an indestructible ‘aircraft carrier’ right on China’s doorstep

By Jared Harris, The Western Journal
Published December 15, 2019 at 10:23am

China’s dreams of upsetting the United States as the dominant Pacific power could soon face a major stumbling block: an unsinkable “aircraft carrier” well within bombing range of the country’s coastline.

The new U.S. military advantage would come from the Japanese government’s acquisition of Mageshima, a small uninhabited island off the nation’s southern coast.

The announcement of the $146 million purchase was made Monday, according to The Japan Times.

A Japanese official confirmed the island would be developed for U.S. and Japanese military use.

As far back as 2014, the island has been in the eyes of Japanese and American defense officials as an excellent location for landing practice. Its strategic location also means that the airfield would be an integral part of disaster and emergency responses.

Less than 550 miles from the Chinese coast, this would put U.S. airpower uncomfortably close to the communist nation.

Mageshima (circled in red) sits less than 550 miles from the Chinese coast.

In the event of a war with China, this island would prove invaluable in any U.S. air campaign. Due to its proximity to China, it would doubtless be bristling with anti-aircraft guns and missile defense systems if any conflict were to happen.

Mageshima has several advantages over an aircraft carrier that make it a nightmare for the Chinese and a major boon to U.S. forces.

For one, there’s no maintenance needed to keep an island afloat. Apart from keeping equipment and structures functioning, there’s no manpower needed for Mageshima to remain above the waves.

This would free up manpower that could otherwise be spent on the island’s defenses or elsewhere.

Second, there’s no sinking an island.

Short of a direct hit from a nuclear weapon, there’s no amount of torpedoes, bullets or artillery shells that can put Mageshima under the Pacific waves.

This comes as China aggressively expands its own coastal defenses.

Construction of artificial islands along the communist nation’s coast are seen by many as a direct response to the disparity in naval power between China and its rival across the Pacific — the United States.

The islands will likely serve as air bases and missile launching sites.

Fears that these artificial islands would repel a U.S. response in the event of a Chinese campaign against Taiwan are well-founded. Anti-ship missiles based on the islands would shred aircraft carriers and other naval vessels.

Although the U.S. Navy would be able to eliminate many of the weapons, China can replace the missiles much faster than we can replace ships.

An unsinkable island of our own would allow the U.S. to respond with more options, and possibly give us the advantage we need to check Chinese aggression.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10266

Iran, Russia And China To Hold First-Ever Joint War Game Drills In What Leaders Of Those Rogue Nations Say Will “Send A Message To The World”

“The joint wargame between Iran, Russia, and China, which will hopefully be conducted next month, carries the same message to the world, that these three countries have reached a meaningful strategic point in their relations, with regard to their shared and non-shared interests, and by non-shared I mean the respect we have for one another’s national interests,” Khanzadi was quoted as saying. The commander of Iran’s navy, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, said Wednesday that the Islamic Republic will team up with Moscow and Beijing within the next month to hold the mass war drills.

by Geoffrey Grider November 28, 2019

Iran, China, and Russia will hold in the coming weeks their first-ever joint war drills, which leaders say are meant to send a “message to the world” about increased military cooperation between the rogue countries.

Never before have these 3 nations, all of whom figure prominently in end times Bible prophecy, joined forces militarily to hold joint war game exercises together. When the headlines and the scripture begin to align you know you’re getting close. And in a somewhat stunning statement, they said this was to “send a message to the world”. Boy, does it ever.

“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel:” Ezekiel 39:1,2 (KJV)

As we get ready in the closing hours of the Church Age to take off on Flight #777, an unsaved world is preparing to launch headfirst into the time of Jacob’s trouble where hundreds of prophecies concerning that time period are waiting to be released and fulfilled. Iran, Russia and China are getting ready to do what the prophets say they will do, and I am so glad to have a seat in the balcony from which to watch the action. Do you?

Iran, Russia, China to Hold Joint Wargames in ‘Message to the World’

FROM WASHINGTON FREE BEACON: The commander of Iran’s navy, Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, said Wednesday that the Islamic Republic will team up with Moscow and Beijing within the next month to hold the mass war drills.

“When we talk about joint wargames, we are talking about two or more countries with a high level of relations in various political, economic and social fields, which culminate in cooperation in the military sector, with wargames usually being the highest level of such cooperation,” Khanzadi was quoted as saying in remarks to Iran’s state-controlled press.

“A joint wargame between several countries, whether on land, at sea, or in the air, indicates a remarkable expansion of cooperation among them,” the military leader said.

The joint war game drills will be aimed at sending a message to the world, particularly Western nations, like the United States, that have sought to constrain Iran’s expanding military ambitions.

THE BIBLE BELIEVER’S GUIDE TO THE TWO DIFFERENT WARS AS FOUND IN EZEKIEL CHAPTERS 38 AND 39

“The joint wargame between Iran, Russia, and China, which will hopefully be conducted next month, carries the same message to the world, that these three countries have reached a meaningful strategic point in their relations, with regard to their shared and non-shared interests, and by non-shared I mean the respect we have for one another’s national interests,” Khanzadi was quoted as saying.

The Iranian military leader emphasized the importance of performing military drills in the sea, where the Islamic Republic has been particularly troublesome for Western nations. Iranian naval vessels routinely harass American military ships and have played a role in various sabotage efforts aimed at disrupting international shipping lanes.

“The wargame seeks to deliver this message to the world that any kind of security at sea must include the interests of all concerned countries. We do not condone the kind of security that only caters to the benefits of one specific country at a specific time and which disregards the security of others,” Khanzadi said. “Seas, which are used as a platform for conducting global commerce, cannot be exclusively beneficial to certain powers.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10226

The Chinese Are Doing What the Mongols Did Before Them, Only Better

By Emil Avdaliani November 24, 2019

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,353, November 24, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The vast attention paid to China’s Belt and Road Initiative misses the historical precedents on which it is based. Hearkening back to the nomadic understanding of geography of medieval times, the Chinese are following through on what the Mongols, and later Tamerlane, attempted: to unify the Eurasian landmass by establishing trade routes and encouraging commercial activities from the Mediterranean to the Pacific.

Nascent Chinese Eurasianism is slowly taking shape. It is a concept not so much of forceful engagement of Eurasian states by China, as some in the West view it, but rather an economic initiative that aims to gain access to the natural and financial resources of major Eurasian states by providing them with large sums for infrastructure projects.

The Chinese idea obviously requires control over major trade routes to and from Europe (a market of almost 500 million people).

Though invisible on geographic or political maps, trade corridors and control over them have been a major driving force in the development of Eurasia. Conquests and invasions were often motivated by the need to secure financial resources running through major trade routes in Central Asia and from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean.

Western powers have sought access to the huge Chinese market for centuries. Geography has largely precluded this, however, as the Chinese hinterland is closed off by the Himalayas, the Gobi Desert, and the Eurasian steppes. In ancient and medieval times the only land route connecting the Chinese kingdoms to the outer world was through the modern Xinjiang province.

A further limiting factor was that the Chinese were never particularly eager to trade with foreigners (the country had most of what it needed and functioned primarily as an autarkic state). Chinese policies did not reflect any kind of Eurasian vision. The country’s rulers considered neighboring states tributaries, but knew little of far-flung Eurasian lands. No economic necessity propelled them to venture far away.

But today’s nascent Chinese Eurasianism can nevertheless be dated to back to medieval times. It parallels what other Asian powers tried to do centuries ago. Ironically, it was China’s gravest enemy—nomads, among them the Mongols—who had a clear vision of transcontinental trade between China and the Mediterranean world.

Living in the steppe lands of Eurasia, the Mongols saw the great potential of massive Eurasian trade and wanted to serve as a bridgehead between the Mediterranean and Chinese worlds. Their expansion (the conquests of Central Asia, Iran, Syria, and the Russian steppes), often called chaotic, was in fact logical in light of their quest to control major trade routes emanating from the Middle East and Europe to South Asia and China.

For the Mongols, Central Asia was an economic hub from which trade routes emanated in many directions. The modern day Russian steppes were important as well, because it was possible to reach the Black Sea fairly quickly by horse and trade with Eastern Europe.

Conquest was one approach. Another was to stimulate trade across these large swathes of land. The construction of roads, protection of caravans, provision of special financial rights to foreign merchants, and so on were fundamental principles guiding the Mongols.

This concept of Asian “Eurasianism” existed after the Mongols too. Tamerlane, with his capital in Samarkand (in modern Uzbekistan), invaded much of the Middle East, Caucasus, and north India. Before his death he was intent on invading China and thereby connecting two economic powerhouses: China, with its human and natural resources, and the Mediterranean world.

Conquests by the nomads centuries ago were dictated by economic need and facilitated by Eurasian geographic landscapes. The modern-day Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), or Chinese Eurasianism—like its predecessor, nomadic Eurasianism—involves Central Asian, Russian steppe, and Indian-Pakistani geographic corridors. It also entails the construction of roads, their protection, and the overall stimulation of fair trade.

The modern vision of Chinese Eurasianism, therefore, based as it is on economic connectivity, fits into Asian geopolitical thinking of the past.

Previous contenders to connect the whole of Eurasia lacked the necessary resources. The Mongols and later Tamerlane’s state lacked powerful economies of their own. They were simply trading middlemen between China and the Mediterranean world. They also lacked human resources and technological expertise. As a result, the Mongols and other nomadic powers, though masters of half of Eurasia, largely depended on the more experienced Chinese, Iranians, and others to run their empires. This is why those pan-Eurasian concepts, though important milestones in human history, were short-lived.

Modern Chinese “Eurasianism” can be likened to past Asian prototypes, but it is inherently stronger and much more influential over the people of Central Asia, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and South Asia.

The Chinese have what the nomads lacked: a large population, technological prowess, economically productive centers, and strong instruments of soft power. The BRI is therefore likely to be more successful and thorough.

Moreover, unlike their Asian predecessors, who swiftly invaded large territories, the Chinese of today are very patient about their geopolitical goals. Any rush could bring about a coalition of forces that might preclude their initiatives.

Also, because the Chinese are working closely with states to protect Eurasian trade routes, it is unlikely that there will be a swift deterioration of security in any part of the BRI.

The BRI, which clearly outstrips all previous Asian global initiatives, reflects a nomadic understanding of Eurasian geography combined with a Chinese vision of the continent that surpasses military alliance models or closed security provisions among a group of states. The initiative projects Beijing’s notion of economic interconnectedness interwoven with the centrality of China in Eurasia.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10218

Global Collapse Incoming? The Total Breakdown Of Relations With China Could Throw Our Planet Into Utter Turmoil

by Michael Snyder

We just witnessed one of the most monumental events of the entire decade, and yet most Americans still don’t understand what has happened.  In recent months, the global economy and stock markets around the world have been buoyed by the hope that the U.S. and China would soon sign a new trade agreement.  Unfortunately, there is no way that is going to happen now.  On Tuesday, the Senate unanimously passed the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019”, and the House of Representatives passed the same bill by a 417 to 1 vote on Wednesday.  Needless to say, the Chinese are beyond angry that Congress has done this.  In part one of this article, I showed that China is warning the U.S. to “rein in the horse at the edge of the precipice” and that there will be “revenge” if this bill is allowed to become law.  And it looks like this bill will actually become law, because Bloomberg is reporting that President Trump is fully expected to sign it…

President Donald Trump is expected to sign legislation passed by Congress supporting Hong Kong protesters, setting up a confrontation with China that could imperil a long-awaited trade deal between the world’s two largest economies.

Before I go any further, there is something that I want to address.  Earlier today, one of my readers emailed me and accused me of siding with China because I am warning about what will happen if trade negotiations fail.  Of course that is not true at all.  I have been writing about the horrific human rights abuses in China for many years, and they are one of the most tyrannical regimes on the entire planet today.  But our two economies have become deeply intertwined over the past two decades, and there are going to be very serious consequences now that we are rapidly becoming bitter enemies.  Anyone that doesn’t see this is simply not being rational.

As I have detailed repeatedly in recent months, the global economy has already entered a very serious slowdown.  One of the only things that could reverse our economic momentum in the short-term would be a comprehensive trade agreement between the United States and China.  But now that our relationship with China has been destroyed, there isn’t going to be a deal.

Some mainstream news sources are reporting that all of this rancor about Hong Kong could delay a trade deal, but that is just more wishful thinking.

Over in China, they are being much more realistic.  In fact, the editor of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, just said that the Chinese are “prepared for the worst-case scenario“

Few Chinese believe that China and the US can reach a deal soon. Given current poor China policy of the US, people tend to believe the significance of a trade deal, if reached, will be limited. China wants a deal but is prepared for the worst-case scenario, a prolonged trade war.

And he followed that up with another tweet that openly taunted U.S. farmers

So a friendly reminder to American farmers: Don’t rush to buy more land or get bigger tractors. Wait until a China-US trade deal is truly signed and still valid six months after. It’s safer by then.

As the two largest economies on the entire planet decouple from one another, it is going to cause global economic activity as a whole to dramatically slow down.  Corporate revenues will fall, credit markets will start to tighten, and fear will increasingly creep into global financial markets.

I have repeatedly warned that conditions are ideal for our first major crisis since 2008, and this conflict with China could be more than enough to push us over the edge.

And already we are getting more bad economic news day after day.  For example, we just learned that U.S. rail traffic this month is way down compared to last year

Nowhere is the slowdown in the U.S. economy more obvious than in places like Class 8 Heavy Duty Truck orders and rail traffic. We already wrote about how Class 8 orders continued to fall in October and new data the American Association of Railroads (AAR) now shows that last week’s rail traffic and intermodal container usage both plunged.

The AAR reported total carloads for the week ended Nov. 9 came in at 248,905, down 5.1% compared with the same week in 2018. U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 266,364 containers and trailers, down 6.7% compared to 2018, according to Railway Age.

Unless a miracle happens with China, the economic numbers are going to continue to get worse.

Sadly, a miracle seems exceedingly unlikely now.  As I pointed out in part one, the only way that our relationship with China can be fixed is if Congress repeals the bill that it just passed, and there is no way that is going to happen.

And we better hope that our trade war with China doesn’t escalate into a real war at some point.

According to a report that was released earlier this year, we are very ill-prepared to fight any sort of a conventional war with China in the Western Pacific…

The University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre’s new report Averting Crisis, said: ‘China’s growing arsenal of accurate long-range missiles poses a major threat to almost all American, allied and partner bases, airstrips, ports and military installations in the Western Pacific.

‘As these facilities could be rendered useless by precision strikes in the opening hours of a conflict, the PLA missile threat challenges America’s ability to freely operate its forces from forward locations throughout the region.’

In addition, U.S. military officials are deeply concerned by how rapidly China has been upgrading their strategic nuclear arsenal.  For example, they now possess a “submarine-launched missile capable of obliterating San Francisco”

China has tested a new submarine-launched missile capable of obliterating San Francisco, an insider has revealed, in a massive boost to the country’s ‘deterrent’.

The Chinese navy tested its state-of-the-art JL-3 missile in Bohai Bay in the Yellow Sea last month, sources said.

The nuclear-capable missile has a 5,600 mile range, significantly longer than its predecessor the JL-2, which could strike targets 4,350 miles away.

We certainly aren’t at that point yet, but without a doubt the Chinese now consider us to be their primary global enemy.

For the moment, it is just a “cold war” that we are facing, and the Chinese are quite adept at playing global chess.  They have lots of ways that they can hurt us, and most Americans don’t realize this.

But in the end nobody is going to “win” this conflict, and the entire planet is going to suffer.

Collectively, the economies of the United States and China account for approximately 40 percent of the GDP of the entire world.

As we cause chaos for one another, everyone else is going to experience tremendous pain as well.

The stage is set for a global nightmare, and at this point it doesn’t appear that there is a way that we will be able to escape it.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10211

Hong Kong campus protesters fire arrows as anti-government unrest spreads

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong protesters shot arrows and hurled petrol bombs from a barricaded university on Sunday at police who fired tear gas and water cannon in some of the worst violence in the Chinese-ruled city since anti-government unrest erupted five months ago. 

Several protesters took up positions on the rooftops of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, armed with bows and arrows, as unrest spread across the territory’s central Kowloon district. 

Police said a media liaison officer was treated in hospital after being hit by an arrow in the leg and another officer’s visor was struck by a metal ball although he was not hurt. 

Protesters, who were sprayed with the blue liquid from water cannon, stripped off and hosed each other down to wash it off. 

Police fired tear gas to try to break up protests on Nathan Road, a major thoroughfare in Kowloon’s Mong Kok district, which was strewn with loose bricks, and in Yau Ma Tei district, where successive volleys of gas canisters temporarily cleared the streets. Clashes intensified during the night. 

“Rioters continue to launch hard objects and petrol bombs with large catapults at police officers,” police said in a statement. “Police warn that the violent activities in the Hong Kong Polytechnic University have escalated to rioting.” 

Chinese soldiers in a base close to the university were seen monitoring developments with binoculars, some dressed in riot gear with canisters on their chests, Reuters witnesses reported. 

Chinese troops in shorts and T-shirts, some carrying red plastic buckets or brooms, had emerged from their barracks on Saturday in a rare public appearance to help clean up debris. 

The presence of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers on the streets, even to clean up, risks stoking controversy about Hong Kong’s status as an autonomous area. 

Protesters are angry at perceived Communist Party meddling in the territory, whose freedoms were guaranteed when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997. Beijing denies interfering and has blamed foreign influences for the unrest. 

Huge fires had lit up the sky at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Saturday night and into Sunday morning after protesters threw petrol bombs. In the university courtyard, Joris, 23, said students fired arrows to protect themselves. 

“The protesters have been reacting to the police. We haven’t fought back as much as we could. I would be prepared for jail. We are fighting for Hong Kong,” the civil engineer told Reuters. 

The campus is the last of five universities to be occupied by activists, who have used the site as a base to block the Cross Harbour tunnel, which connects Kowloon to Hong Kong island. 

A police truck, deployed to clear the bridge above the tunnel, retreated in reverse after being set ablaze. 

“We are not afraid,” said third-year student Ah Long, who did not give his full name. “If we don’t persist, we will fail.” 

The violence has posed the gravest popular challenge to Chinese President Xi Jinping since he came to power in 2012. Xi has said he is confident Hong Kong’s government can resolve the crisis. 

Chinese troops have appeared on Hong Kong’s streets only once since 1997, to help clear up after a typhoon last year.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10202

China in the Middle East: From Observer to Security Player

By Emil Avdaliani November 10, 2019 

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,339, November 10, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: There is much debate both within and without China over whether or not its economic interests in the region will force it to play a more active security/military role in the Middle East. In fact, recent political and economic trends in the region indicate that a shift in China’s approach to the Middle East along these lines has already started.  

So far, most Chinese cooperation with Middle Eastern countries has focused on energy and economic relations. But things are changing. Recent developments indicate that Beijing is now strengthening its ties to Middle Eastern countries in areas such as defense, culture, and the toning down of mutual criticism.

China has concluded partnership agreements with 15 Middle Eastern countries so far, but several warrant special attention—particularly Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is now China’s largest trading partner in West Asia, and Beijing is Riyadh’s largest trading partner in the world.

This is not an isolated case. China is also the UAE’s largest trading partner. More than 200,000 Chinese nationals reside in the UAE, and the Dubai Port is a vital global shipping and logistics hub for Chinese goods.

Moreover, the UAE and Saudi Arabia recently voiced their intention to introduce Chinese-language studies into their national educational curricula. Notably, both states (as well as others in the Middle East) not only abstained from criticizing China over its alleged persecution of the Uighur population in Xinjiang but even defended it.

In the last decade, as Chinese fears have grown over the safe operation of sea lanes, the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, and the Bab al-Mandeb Strait have come under increased Chinese attention. The gaining of influence in and around geographical choke points for global trade and oil and gas shipment has become pivotal to Beijing’s foreign policy in western Eurasia.

No wonder Egypt features so strongly in China’s investment agenda. Billions of dollars have been invested by Beijing in Egypt. China is helping Egypt build a new administrative capital in the desert outside Cairo as well as a Red Sea port and industrial zone in Ain Sukhna. Egyptian president Sisi has made at least six trips to Beijing since 2014, compared to just two to the country’s traditional security partner, the US.

The growing connections between Middle Eastern states and China are sensitive for the West. The US’s evolving international position has led it to discard some of its responsibilities in Eurasia, which has had the effect of causing small countries to revisit their relationships with the US and consider the rising China.

Another interesting Middle Eastern partner for China is Iran. Tehran wishes to establish relationships with global powers to balance US pressure. Its growing partnership with Moscow fits this paradigm, as does its increasing closeness with Beijing.

Iran could prove much more important to China than other Middle East states. Its growing isolation from the West is likely to continue in the coming years, which will push it to work ever more closely with China. Iran’s strategic location and human resources, as well as its intention to serve as a civilizational center of gravity for neighboring states, could divert American military and economic capabilities away from the South China Sea, which would work in Beijing’s favor.

Iranian troops or their allies are operating in many countries around the Middle East, and the Iranian navy is active in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. All of this dilutes US power across the Eurasian continent. Moreover, Iran’s location can enable China’s Belt and Road Initiative to pervade the region, whether on land or sea (the Caspian and the Persian Gulf).

China publicly rejects any notion of its seeking military or security dominance in the Middle East. Beijing understands that it still lacks the knowledge, networks of contacts, and necessary authority (on a par with Western authority) to proclaim its geopolitical aims in the troublesome region. Despite this, westerners often take it for granted that China is in fact seeking domination in Eurasia. After all, why would the country want to spend billions and station hundreds of soldiers either in the Middle East or elsewhere in Eurasia?

There is a grand debate within China itself on whether Beijing’s economic interests in the Middle East could force it to become a more active security/military player in the region. Though there are hopes that this can be avoided, there are already signs pointing in this direction.

Beijing recently announced its intention to take part in anti-piracy initiatives in the Persian Gulf following incidents with oil tankers. With the US diminishing its presence in Eurasia overall, China will have to address the geopolitical vacuum. Spending billions will not solve every problem, but economic development of the region could forestall tensions for some time.

It is likely that China will have to increase its presence in Western Eurasia. Concrete steps have already been taken: Beijing opened a base in Djibouti and set up military installations on the border with Afghanistan and in Tajikistan.

As China grows its position in the region, it will need partners to manage inter-state conflicts. Russia is a likely choice, but Moscow, like Turkey and Iran, will not be particularly interested in sharing military/security positions in the Middle East that were gained by waging war in Syria and working in concert to constrain the American position.

Overall, it can be argued that Beijing will continue to be extremely careful not to become too involved in the region. As far as China is concerned, Russia and the US can keep responsibility for security in the region. What is crucial for Beijing is multipolarity, and it will pursue that principle assiduously.

But as time goes on, China will find it increasingly difficult to stay above the fray in the Middle East. It will have to become more responsive to rising challenges to its businesses and sea and land trade routes.

This will inevitably lead to greater insecurity between the US and China. Top US officials have already warned about China’s efforts to gain influence in the Middle East, which could undermine defense cooperation between the US and its traditional regional allies in the region. The Middle East is thus transforming into yet another arena of competition between the US and China.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10189