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.
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.
US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has been urged by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Quereshi to step in to defuse escalating tensions between his country and India over the disputed region of Kashmir with the two nuclear powers currently “eyeball to eyeball”.
And, responding to Mr Trump’s remark that he
hoped the two countries could “come together” to work out a solution, Pakistani
Prime Minister Imran Khan likewise urged the President himself to get involved
directly instead. Questioned about the possibility of India and Pakistan
finding a way of settling their differences among themselves, Mr Quereshi told
Newsweek: “I think we’ve come to the conclusion after one year of continuously
trying that it is pointless. “After these actions I do not see any bilateral
movement, the only way this issue can be resolved is through third-party
“President Trump can play a role, he has a lot of influence over them and
the Security Council, which is responsible for peace and security, can play a
“What India has done by this unilateral, illegal action of their’s is they
have threatened the peace and security of the region.
“After these actions I do not see any bilateral movement, the only way this
issue can be resolved is through third-party facilitation.
“President Trump can play a role, he has a lot of influence over them and
the Security Council, which is responsible for peace and security, can play a
Two nuclear-armed states face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball
that’s a very dangerous situation
Shah Mahmood Quereshi
“What India has done by this unilateral, illegal action of their’s is they
have threatened the peace and security of the region.
“Two nuclear-armed states face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball that’s a very
Relations between the two neighbours and traditional rivals have been
deteriorating steadily this year, ever since a terror attack by militants in
the disputed Kashmir region left 44 Indian paramilitary police dead.
In response, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi order an air strike on a
camp run by militant organisation Jaish-e-Mohammed which New Dehli claimed
killed 300 people, although Islamabad denied this.
Days later Pakistan shot down shot down two Indian jets, parading captured
pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman on television before handing him back
to the Indian authorities “as a goodwill gesture”.
More recently, Mr Modi upped the stakes by revoking Article 370, the
section of the Indian constitution which guarantees special status to Kashmir
and neighbouring Jammu, with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan calling
it a “historic blunder”.
Speaking on Monday, Mr Trump said he hoped India and Pakistan could come
together to resolve their differences over Kashmir.
However, Mr Khan said he would like the United States to use its influence
Mr Trump and Mr Khan met on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Mr Trump
met Mr Modi later in the week.
The president reiterated to Mr Khan as they began their meeting with
reporters present that he would be willing to mediate between India and
Pakistan over Kashmir.
Muslim-majority Kashmir has long been a flashpoint between nuclear-armed
India and Pakistan.
Both countries rule parts of Kashmir while claiming it in full. Two of the
three wars they have fought have been over it.
Both India and Pakistan have nuclear
weapons (Image: Daily Express)
Speaking in March after the shooting down of the two jets, Joshua Pollack,
the editor of the Nonproliferation Review and a senior research associate with
the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, told
Express.co.uk: “There has been an entire series of these crises going back to
“Usually, the White House, State Department, and Pentagon scramble to urge
restraint on the parties.
Not this time, as far as anyone can tell; they had to figure out how to
extricate themselves from this mess.
“That may bode poorly for the future, at least if the US doesn’t make a
concerted effort to rebuild its diplomatic position.
“But even before the gutting of American diplomacy under Trump, the US
relationship with Pakistan in particular entered one of its periodic declines.
That’s a serious complication.
“Over the long terms, it’s not clear that there will be any external checks
on the escalation of a crisis. Restraint must come from within.”
Despite their limited economic relations and ongoing differences over the
Uyghur issue, the two countries could grow closer if Western partners fail to
provide the financial boost Turkey needs so badly.
In June, China’s central bank reportedly transferred $1 billion to Turkey as
part of a currency swap agreement that dates back to 2012. While the influx of
cash is the largest Beijing has ever provided to Ankara, the most it can do is
lend a minor short-term boost to the country’s dwindling foreign exchange
reserves. For China to fully sponsor Turkey’s struggling economy, the two
governments would have to overcome key historical policy differences,
especially regarding the Turkic Uyghurs in China’s restless Xinjiang region.
ECONOMIC TIES UNDER ERDOGAN
With few natural resources of its own, Turkey relies on foreign capital
injections and strong ties to international markets for growth. President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan’s electoral success since 2003 has been largely driven by the
record amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) the country has attracted
during his tenure, mostly from Europe. The resultant economic growth boosted
his voter base—many of his diehard fans are attracted to him because he helped
lift them out of poverty.
More recently, however, the economy has been shrinking amid financial
volatility, political uncertainty, rising unemployment (currently 15 percent),
and rampant inflation (17 percent). Erdogan therefore needs more FDI to finance
the growth he relies on politically.
Given the size of Turkey’s economy—just under a trillion dollars—only the
U.S.-headquartered International Monetary Fund would have the funds necessary
to rescue it in case of financial meltdown, as Erdogan is well aware. He also
realizes that Russia cannot afford to play that role on its own. In theory,
China could do so, but this would require the two countries to bridge their
differences on the Uyghur issue.
In June 2018, Erdogan sent Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to seek
economic assistance from Beijing at a time of dire need—the lira was
collapsing, a wider meltdown loomed, and relations with Washington were in
crisis over the Pastor Andrew Brunson affair and related U.S. sanctions. Yet
Cavusoglu returned home with no promise of a Chinese rescue.
This result seemed surprising given that Beijing had been courting Turkey
through its enticing Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), aimed at developing
extensive trade routes to Europe and other locales. In Ankara’s case this meant
providing soft loans for construction of new metro lines and other
infrastructure. These investments are at the core of China’s Turkey policy, and
Ankara has repeatedly expressed its desire to benefit from the BRI. Almost all
Turkish ministries have developed action plans to boost ties with China, and
the BRI has been incorporated in the policy papers of Turkish bureaucracy.
ENTER THE UYGHURS
Despite this momentum, Beijing remains deeply worried about Ankara’s deep
historical ties with the Turkic Uyghur community in Xinjiang. Previously known
as East Turkestan, Xinjiang was a nominal part, and occasionally a vassal
state, of China’s nineteenth-century Qing dynasty. Turkey’s involvement in
Uyghur affairs dates back to that time, when Ottoman sultans instrumentalized
Islam to spread their influence.
For instance, in 1873, Sultan Abdulaziz sent the Uyghurs a shipment of
weapons for use against the Qing in return for recognition of his suzerainty.
At the time, the Qing were once again trying to advance deep into Xinjiang,
laying the foundations of Chinese domination that would become formalized and
deeply entrenched in the next century.
After the Turkic region became firmly integrated into China following the
1949 Communist Revolution, Mao Zedong initiated a crackdown against nationalist
Uyghurs, forcing many to flee in search of political asylum. Turkey, then a
newly minted and committed U.S. ally in the Cold War, gladly welcomed these
ethnic kin. In doing so, it further solidified relations with Washington and
undermined Beijing ahead of the Korean War. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s,
Ankara resettled thousands of Uyghurs with U.S. support. Another wave arrived
in the late 1970s, following post-Mao reforms.
Ankara has maintained strong support for the Uyghurs under Erdogan, who in
2009 called Chinese policies in Xinxiang “a genocide.” Meanwhile, the issue has
emerged as the most serious political challenge to Chinese leader Xi Jinping,
spurring him to respond with a heavy-handed crackdown on the Uyghurs. In
addition to sending hundreds of thousands of them to “reeducation camps,” he
has initiated mass surveillance of their communities via closed-circuit camera
systems and high-tech eavesdropping on smartphones and social media.
More recently, Erdogan has downplayed the issue in the state-dominated
Turkish media, which now carries very few stories about the suffering of the
Uyghurs. This strategy seems aimed at currying favor with Beijing.
Nevertheless, leading Uyghur activists still meet regularly with Turkish
officials, and their community in Turkey remains the center of the global
Uyghur diaspora. No official data is available on their numbers, but tens of
thousands of them are estimated to live in Turkey, and they are well liked by
Turkish foreign policy elites. Aware of these deep ties, Beijing has shied away
from providing the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to definitely ward
off a Turkish economic meltdown.
LITTLE TRADE OR INVESTMENT
Another obstacle to Beijing throwing Ankara an economic lifeline is the fact
that their current trade and financial relations are relatively small. Although
Erdogan has diversified Turkey’s trading partners, none of them, including
China, has emerged as a strong alternative to the country’s traditional markets
in the West. Turkey’s exports to China are a fraction of Europe and America’s,
and its trade deficit is large—in 2018, its imports from China amounted to
$19.4 billion, but its exports were only $2.7 billion. And while the
non-Western share in Turkish trade has increased to nearly 30 percent, the EU
alone still accounted for 42 percent last year, compared to just 6 percent for
Similarly, while Turkey’s investment partners have diversified under
Erdogan, the U.S. and European share of FDI inflows has increased as well. In
2005, the EU was Turkey’s largest investor, accounting for 58 percent of net
FDI inflows; by 2018, the figure had grown to 61 percent. In contrast, Chinese
investment flows remained under 1 percent.
Some recent developments hold the promise of future growth—for instance, a
Chinese state-owned company owns a majority share in Istanbul’s Kumport
container docks, and Chinese companies have reportedly offered to take over
management of Istanbul’s “Third” Bosporus Bridge. Yet Beijing’s overall
financial footprint in Turkey is still quite small compared to the West’s.
A resource-poor nation with an annual energy import bill of about $30
billion, Turkey needs tens of billions of dollars in FDI or heavy annual cash
flows to maintain economic growth and keep Erdogan’s base satisfied. Attracting
such a windfall from China would require Ankara to substantially change its
Uyghur policy—a tall order given historical patterns. Yet Turkish businesses
have had trouble obtaining credit from European and American investors of late,
creating a void that Chinese investors may decide to fill in greater numbers.
If that scenario comes to pass, Beijing’s political muscle over Ankara could
increase considerably, moving Turkey closer to the emerging China-Russia axis
in global politics.
Does China believe that we are on the verge of a major global crisis?
The communist Chinese government has always been very big into planning, and it
appears that they have decided that now is the time to hoard food, gold and
other commodities. Of course in recent days the fact that China is
completely cutting off U.S. agricultural imports has made headlines all over
the globe, but at the same time China is dramatically increasing the amount of
food that it is importing from the rest of the world. The end result is
actually a substantial surge in Chinese imports, and this is starting to show
up in the official numbers. For example, we just learned that Chinese
soybean imports in July were actually up 8 percent compared to last year…
China’s soybean imports in July rose 8% from a year earlier, to their
highest level in almost a year, customs data showed on Thursday, as importers
increased their purchases of Brazilian beans on higher crush margins.
As I discussed the other day, China had already
been drastically reducing soybean imports from the United States even before
this recent announcement that U.S. agricultural imports were being cut off
completely. So American farmers were definitely not benefiting from this
Chinese import boom, and now that China has decided not to buy any of our crops
it is going to be a “devastating blow” for our farmers…
With China officially pulling out of buying U.S. agricultural products,
American farmers are losing one of their biggest customers. It could be a
devastating blow in an already tough year for crops and commodity prices. It
may also dent U.S. gross domestic product and hurt companies like Deere, whose
business is directly tied to farming in the Heartland.
“Sales have already been lower this crop year because of the existing
tariffs. If we went all the way to no China exports whatsoever, that would of
course result in even larger market and price impacts,” said Pat Westhoff,
director of the Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the
University of Missouri. “Cutting China completely out of the market would be a
very big deal.”
Needless to say, China has had to turn to other sources to supply their
needs, and last month we learned that China had decided to substantially
increase wheat and soybean imports from Russia…
China has approved wheat imports from the Russian region of Kurgan, the
Chinese customs office said on Friday, bringing Russia a step closer to its
goal of dramatically increasing grain exports.
It also approved soybean imports from all parts of Russia, the General
Administration of Customs said in a separate statement on its website, having
all but halted U.S. soy imports as the trade dispute between Beijing and
This is yet another sign that Russia and China are drawing closer, and this
is something that we have been anticipating.
Meanwhile, China is also hoarding gold. In fact, July was the eighth
month in a row in which the Chinese increased their reserves…
China bought nearly 10 tons of gold in July, marking the eighth
consecutive month the country increased its reserves, Bloomberg reported
The purchase is another signal from China that it’s gearing up for a
prolonged trade conflict with the US. Gold serves as a historic safe-haven
investment, and its price typically rises when markets and other currencies see
increased volatility or prolonged weakness.
In addition, Bloomberg is reporting
that Chinese commodity purchases of all types were very, very strong in July…
Commodity purchases by China rebounded strongly in July. Imports of soy to
coal and crude oil gained, signaling demand in the world’s biggest buyer
remains solid even as a trade spat with the U.S. escalates.
So why are the Chinese suddenly stocking up on everything?
Well, the truth is that the answer to that question is quite obvious.
The trade war between the United States and China is rapidly escalating, war in
the Middle East could erupt at any time, the global economy has been steadily
slowing down, crops are failing all over the planet, and everywhere we look we
seem to see rising political instability.
In fact, we even see it in China’s own backyard. After weeks of
unprecedented political protests in Hong Kong, it looks like we could be right
on the verge of a brutal crackdown. The following comes from the New York Post…
After eight weeks of huge Hong Kong street protests against Beijing’s rule,
the People’s Republic is massing police and soldiers just across the border.
Message: If the protesters don’t quit, a bloodbath is coming.
Beijing has also started denouncing the protests as the work of American
provocateurs. That’s so the regime can paint its Tiananmen Square-style
crackdown as a battle against “foreign influence,” not a smashing of Chinese
people who decided all on their own that they’d rather be free.
The relative stability that we have been enjoying for the past several years
is ending, and it appears that the months ahead could potentially be quite
Normally I would never suggest that anyone should emulate the Chinese
government, but in this case they appear to be doing the wise thing. Now is
the time to get prepared for
what is coming, because the road ahead promises to be quite
Most people don’t realize it, but U.S. relations with China have already
passed the point of no return. Things are going to become increasingly
tense between our two nations, and that is going to have very serious
implications for all of us.
Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point
of no return? At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how
angry the Chinese are with the United States. Chinese officials are
firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we
have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump
slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports. Sadly, most
Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in
China everyone is talking about these things. And of course the truth is
that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger
toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.
Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about. One of
the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an
expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier
this week. Normally I would never have such language in one of my
articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that
it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying
about us. So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have
decided not to censor this quote at all. The following comes from the New York Times…
“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole
world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang
said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state
broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases
on Chinese social media.
In a follow-up video on a CCTV social media account, Mr.
Kang boasted about how he had taunted the United States.
“If a handful of Americans always stir up troubles, then we are sorry,” he
intoned. “No more do we talk about certain issues. We will also target
you. We will bash you till your faces are covered with mud. We will bash you
till you are left speechless.”
Could you imagine Anderson Cooper saying something similar about China on
And actually Mr. Kang likely has far more viewers than Anderson Cooper does.
Most Americans spend very little time thinking about relations with China,
but over in China they are absolutely furious with us right now, and the
developing situation in Hong Kong is one of the biggest reasons for that
anger. Millions of people have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in recent
weeks, and it appears that the Chinese have decided that enough is
enough. According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are
closely watching “a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”…
The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a
congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.
Weeks of unrest in the Chinese territory have begun to overwhelm Hong Kong’s
police, who have found themselves in violent clashes with protesters. China
warned Monday that the civil disorder had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest
after police deployed tear gas over the weekend.
Could it be possible that Chinese forces could soon storm across the border?
And also on Wednesday, Chen Daoxiang, the commander
of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong — which holds around 6,000 troops — said his forces
were “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the
prosperity of Hong Kong.” His remarks came as China released a new propaganda
video which include armed forces practicing shooting at protestors, after which
he underscored his support for the city’s chief executive for “rigorously
enforcing the law.”
Yes, Hong Kong is now technically part of China. But according to the
agreement that was signed when the British handed over Hong Kong, the city is
supposed to be allowed to govern itself to a large degree until 2047…
After taking over Hong Kong in a war in the 1800s, Britain returned it to
China in 1997 with an important stipulation: The
city would partly govern itself for 50 years before fully falling under
Beijing’s control. So until 2047, the expectation was that the city and the
mainland would operate under the principle known as “one country, two systems.”
So if China ends up sending troops into Hong Kong to end the political
protests, the Trump administration will be extremely upset, and tensions
between our two nations will go up several more notches.
A new development in the trade war is the other reason why the Chinese are
so angry with us right now.
After President Trump hit China with new tariffs on Thursday, China’s
ambassador to the United Nations warned that the Chinese are prepared to
implement “necessary countermeasures”…
China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would
take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and
bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.”
“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will
talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New
York, also signalling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the
countries on dealing with North Korea.
In other words, the Chinese are not going to back down one bit, and they are
going to hit us back hard.
“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference
China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would
“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China
believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight.
But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.”
In the end, it is very true that there “will be no winners” in this trade
war. The Chinese know where our pain points are, and they will not be
afraid to fight dirty.
A rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is a big part of the
scenario that we have been
anticipating. As I discussed yesterday, it is exceedingly unlikely that there
will be a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020
presidential election. And to be honest, it is far more likely that our
conflict with China will escalate well beyond just a “trade war” in the months
The two largest economic superpowers on the entire planet are now locked in
a monumental struggle for dominance, and it is going to result in a tremendous
amount of economic pain for the entire planet.
Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and utterly clueless about what
is going on, and so most of them are still convinced that everything is going
to be just fine.
US strategists call for driving wedge between the traditional rivals
HIROYUKI AKITA, Nikkei
commentator July 29, 2019 15:03
TOKYO — China and Russia are cozying up ever closer as they find a common
enemy in Washington.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia in early June, the two
countries signed a joint statement pledging to deepen their ties, as well
as around 30 economic agreements.
Xi’s Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has criticized the U.S. for
leveling trade and technology sanctions against China and pledged to
cooperate with it to resist U.S. pressure. The two countries are also pushing
back against U.S. objectives regarding North Korea and Iran.
While analysts puzzle over whether the romance between China and Russia has
peaked or will grow still more fervent, it seems clear they need each
other more than ever.
Laboring under U.S. and European sanctions, Russia’s economic growth
is forecast to slow to around 1% this year. That will encourage it to lean
more heavily on China. For Xi, Russia is a useful tool in countering
Washington’s increasingly hard-line policies against China.
But despite their growing closeness, China and Russia must deal with
Russia “is feeling a potential threat” from China, according to an
expert on the Russian military. The difference in the two countries’ power
continues to widen: China’s gross domestic product is roughly eight times
larger than Russia’s and its population is 10 times larger. Russia is
especially nervous about the possibility of Central Asia — much of which
was once part of the Soviet Union and is seen by Russians as their backyard
— falling under China’s sway.
That is already happening economically. In 2018, China became the largest
trading partner of three former Soviet republics: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and
Kyrgyzstan. According to official data released by Kyrgyzstan and
Tajikistan, China is the largest source of foreign direct investment in
the two countries. China has also overtaken Russia as the fourth-largest
investor in Kazakhstan.
Russia tolerates China’s economic advance in Central Asia because its
stands to benefit from infrastructure improvements and regional development
that the flood of Chinese investment will bring. Security, however, is another
matter. Moscow will not want China encroaching on its turf.
In Uzbekistan, in mid-June, cabinet ministers, senior officials and
experts from the U.S., Europe and neighboring countries gathered to
discuss the regional situation. China’s activities loomed large during the
The strategic environment began shifting a few years ago as China began
secretly deploying troops in Tajikistan, according to local experts.
Although the Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied its troops are in the
area, a person familiar with the matter said there are similar
indication in Afghanistan.
China has, up to now, refrained from involving itself in regional security
issues out of consideration for Russia. But its actions in Tajikistan, part of
its effort to keep Islamist militants from entering the Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region, indicate a change in Beijing’s thinking.
In light of Tajikistan’s lax border controls, China may have
sent troops to help it shore up security, one expert said. China is
likely to have received a green light to do so from Moscow. But local
diplomats said Russia is growing concerned about China’s military moves.
Russia’s largest military base outside its borders is in Tajikistan. The
base is scheduled to remain until 2042, under a bilateral agreement. Given
that it has around 8,000 troops at the base, it is unthinkable that the Russian
and Chinese forces will both stay in the country without friction over the
long term, according to one security strategist in Central Asia.
China’s objective is to play a larger security role in Central Asia as
part of its counterterrorism strategy without irritating Russia. That is easier
said than done. Russia also seems anxious about U.S. ambitions in the
Leaders of the five Central Asian countries had planned to hold their second
summit meeting in March. But the conference was canceled due a sudden change
in Kazakhstan’s president. So far, no new meeting has been scheduled.
Whatever the official reason given for calling off the summit, a local
diplomatic source said the real reason was that the participants were worried
about provoking a backlash from Russia.
“Many in Russia still maintain an empire mentality. They consider the
former Soviet Union to be their own sphere of influence,” said Dr. Farkhod
Tolipov, a political scientist who heads Knowledge Caravan, an independent
education and research institution in Tashkent. “Russia wrongly
believes that if the Central Asia region integrates it will
gradually lean toward the United States and eventually enter U.S. sphere,”
If a rift develops between China and Russia, the implications for
global politics would be significant. A weakening of the Sino-Russian
axis would be favorable to the West and Japan. It would also help the
international community increase pressure on North Korea.
At a public-private strategic dialogue between the U.S. and Europe in
the Polish capital, Warsaw, in June, an idea was floated for how to drive
a wedge between China and Russia to give the West an edge in its strategic
competition with Beijing.
It may be impossible for Europe to reconcile with Putin, given Russia’s
annexation of Crimea, according to military strategists in Washington. But they
argue the U.S. should try to ease tensions with Moscow after Putin’s
term of office ends in 2024 to encourage Russia to keep China at arm’s length.
China and Russia share a border of more than 4,000 km. And although they are
unlikely to repeat their military clashes of 1969, it also seems unlikely that
their current love affair will last forever, given their historical
After what President Trump just did, the odds of the U.S. and China being
able to reach a trade agreement this year officially just went from slim to
none. For China, there is no issue more sensitive than the status of
Taiwan. For the Chinese, it is unthinkable for anyone to even suggest
that Taiwan is not a part of China, and the Chinese are prepared to defend
their “one China” policy to the death if necessary. On the other hand,
most Americans are entirely clueless about Taiwan. In fact, if you gave
them a blank map of the world the vast majority of Americans wouldn’t even be
able to find Taiwan thanks to our exceedingly poor system of public
education. So for most Americans, a news story about how President Trump
plans to sell 2 billion dollars worth of arms to Taiwan is completely and
utterly meaningless. But for the Chinese, such news is a deep national insult…
The United States is pursuing the sale of more than $2 billion worth of
tanks and weapons to Taiwan, four people familiar with the negotiations said,
in a move likely to anger China as a trade war between the world’s two biggest
An informal notification of the proposed sale has been sent to the U.S.
Congress, the four sources said on condition of anonymity because they were not
authorized to speak about the possible deal.
This arms sale barely made a blip in the U.S. news cycle, but over in China
they are officially freaking out about this. According to one report, this deal would send
“over 100 tanks and almost 2,000 missiles” to Taiwan…
which is the main weapons dealer to Taiwan, would send over 100 tanks and
almost 2,000 missiles to the island. There was outrage in China, who said they were seriously
concerned after Taiwan’s defence ministry confirmed the sale. The move is
believed to further heighten tensions between Beijing and Washington.
It comes days after Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe said: “If anyone
dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to
fight at all costs.”
You can do quite a bit of damage with 2,000 missiles.
Most Americans may not realize this, but the truth is that U.S.-China
relations just took a really ominous turn for the worse.
And in addition to announcing this arms sale to Taiwan, President Trump also
just threatened China with even more tariffs…
DONALD Trump threatened to hit China with tariffs on “at least” another
$300bn worth of goods today – as a Beijing propaganda campaign painted the US
as evil bullies.
Tensions between the world’s two largest economies have soared sharply since
talks aimed at ending a festering trade war broke down in early May.
But trust me, the announcement of the arms sale to Taiwan was far, far more
insulting to China than the tariff threat was.
China is reportedly putting purchases of U.S. soybeans on hold amid the
growing trade war with the U.S., according to a report from Bloomberg News. As
the world’s largest soybean buyer, China’s move could ramp up the economic
pressure on American farmers.
Also, anti-American rhetoric in China has now reached a fever pitch.
According to CNN, the Chinese just issued an official
alert warning Chinese travelers of “shooting, robbery and theft” in major U.S.
On Tuesday, China’s Culture and Tourism Ministry warned its citizens of the
risks of traveling to the US in an alert, citing frequent recent cases of
“shooting, robbery and theft.”
On the same day, the country’s Foreign Ministry — along with China’s embassy
and consulates in the US — issued a security alert for Chinese citizens,
alleging “repeated harassment” of Chinese nationals in the US by local law
Of course the Chinese are correct when they warn about the violence in our
cities. For example, more than 50 people were shot in the city of Chicago
last weekend alone.
In addition to the travel warnings, Chinese state media is doing all that it
can to put the U.S. in a bad light. In fact, one major Chinese paper just
called the United States the “enemy of the world”…
The new travel advice did not come in isolation.
China’s ruling Communist Party has launched a trade war propaganda campaign,
with recent efforts — delivered via state media — focusing on US “trade
bullying” and “hegemony.” In one noteworthy article, published Tuesday in party
mouthpiece the People’s Daily, the US was labeled the “enemy of the world.”
Does it sound to you like the Chinese are ready to surrender and head back
to the negotiating table?
No, the truth is that they are just getting angrier with every week that
goes by. Most Americans don’t even know that we fought against the
Chinese during the latter stages of the Korean War, but right now over in China
those old battles against “the evil American invaders” are being publicly
President Xi Jinping’s state media has even begun to refer to a very bloody
battle between America and Chinese forces during the Korean War.
The 1952 battle of Triangle Hill – or Shangganling in Chinese – has been
glorified in China for decades as a turning point in the war.
School children are told how the sacrifice of Chinese soldiers eventually
led to the “defeat of the evil American invaders”.
At this point, most Americans may be vaguely aware that some sort of a trade
war is going on, but over in China they are taking this deadly seriously.
And without a doubt, the stage is being set for a full-fledged global showdown
between the two superpowers.
About 55 miles east of Palm Beach,
Florida on Grand Bahama Island, a Hong Kong-based business is spending about $3
billion on a deep-water container facility, the Freeport Container Port.
concern is that the port will become another debt-trap, like the port of
Hambantota in Sri Lanka. There are concerns that Hambantota will eventually
become a Chinese naval base. Will the Pentagon have to contend with Chinese
warships at Freeport?
Chinese military is already in the Caribbean, in Cuba, apparently to collect
signals intelligence from the U.S. Washington splashes plenty of cash around
the Middle East, for instance, but American policymakers need also to be
concerned, urgently, about critical needy locations closer to home.
There’s a “Red Storm Rising” just miles from America’s shores.
“In point of fact, the entire hemisphere is on fire,” said Lou Dobbs on his widely watched Fox Business Network
show on April 4. “China and Russia are engaging us in almost every quarter
in this hemisphere. Russia and China in Venezuela, but China throughout the
hemisphere and throughout the Caribbean.”
Throughout the Caribbean, China’s influence is growing fast. Trade and
investment have made Beijing a power. Chinese motives are not solely
commercial, however, and do not appear benign.
We begin on the island of New Providence, in the Bahamas. The Export-Import
Bank of China in 2011 extended a $2.45 billion construction loan for the Baha Mar
resort, near the capital of Nassau. The project, troubled from the start, is
the largest and most expensive in the Caribbean.
The project’s size is a curiosity, and China’s large commitment to the
Caribbean is, from an economic viewpoint, intriguing. As Evan Ellis of the U.S.
Army War College points out, China, on a per capita basis, has more equity
invested in the Caribbean than in the rest of Latin America. This is noteworthy
in that the Caribbean has, in comparison to the rest of that region, far fewer
natural resources and only a tiny market for Chinese goods. As Ellis toldRoll Call, “It really isn’t about the
market or the materials if you look at the amount that they are
So, what is China’s motivation? Another large Bahamian investment provides a
About 55 miles east of Palm Beach, on Grand Bahama Island, a Hong Kong-based
business is spending about $3 billion on a deep-water container facility, the
Freeport Container Port.
The commercial rationale is that Freeport will be able to take advantage of
traffic from the recently expanded Panama Canal, but the concern is that the
port will become another debt-trap, like Hambantota in Sri Lanka. China in
December 2017 took control of the port Hambantota, by grabbing 70% of the equity and
signing a 99-year lease after that project could not repay high-interest loans
extended by China. China’s takeover was inevitable because Hambantota was
misconceived from the get-go.
There are concerns that Hambantota will eventually become a Chinese naval
base. China’s admirals have long eyed Sri Lanka for its strategic location. In
both September and October 2014, the Sri Lankan government allowed a Chinese submarine to dock at the Chinese-funded
Colombo International Container Terminal. Will the Pentagon have to contend
with Chinese warships at Freeport?
The Chinese military is already in the Caribbean, in Cuba. According to an October
2018 staff report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission,
China maintains physical presences at Soviet-era intelligence
facilities at Lourdes, Bejucal, and Santiago de Cuba, apparently to collect
signals intelligence from the U.S.
Of these locations, Bejucal, south of Havana, is of special concern.
Satellite imagery shows a new radome protecting the radar there, and the
installation could well be China’s. China, after all, has been at Bejucal for
some time. Marco Rubio, the Republican senator from Florida, in 2016 referred publicly to “this Chinese listening station
Ellis, in a podcast with Bonnie Glaser of the Center for Strategic and
International Studies, noted that Beijing views the Caribbean Sea in much the same
way it perceives the South China Sea. This assessment goes a long way toward
explaining China’s otherwise unusual focus on the 13 island states and 17
“dependent territories” — what once were known as
“colonies” — in the region.
That focus also goes some way to understanding the tirade of Haigang Yin,
China’s chargé d’affaires in the Bahamas, last month. Days before U.S. President
Donald Trump’s March 22 meeting with five Caribbean leaders — including the
Bahamas’ — at Mar-a-Lago, Yin accused the U.S. of attempting to “disintegrate
solidarity and cooperation between China and other developing countries.”
Chinese arrogance has now become breathtaking. Despite Beijing’s efforts,
Trump met with the Caribbean leaders. Yet Washington’s intensified engagement
with the region is still inadequate to meet Chinese challenges. As Fox Business
anchor Trish Regan said on her prime-time show on April 5, “Not since the
Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 had we had such an enemy present in our own
Up to now, America has mostly left the Caribbean alone. As is often said,
the Caribbean is “too democratic and not poor enough” to get U.S.
attention. It is, however, correctly called America’s “third border”
and “soft underbelly.”
This underbelly is now being remade with Chinese cash. For instance, five
countries there — Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda,
and the Dominican Republic — have joined Beijing’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative, an
infrastructure plan meant to tie global trade routes to China.
As Beijing pushes the initiative in the region, there are concerns that more
countries will be “debt trapped,” like Sri Lanka. USAID Administrator
Mark Green is right to label Beijing’s loans to Caribbean
borrowers “predatory financing.” American warnings, however, do not
mean much if the U.S. is not offering alternatives, as Margaret Myers of the
Inter-American Dialogue told Roll Call.
After Trump’s Mar-a-Lago meeting with Caribbean leaders, the U.S. promised
to send a delegation to the region. Moreover, the State Department has its own
plan, labeled “Caribbean 2020.” Despite catchy names, American
programs need cash to back them up.
Washington splashes plenty of cash around the Middle East, for instance, but
American policymakers need also to be concerned, urgently, about critical,
needy locations closer to home.
In the latest show of military muscle in the South China Sea, the U.S. has
apparently sailed its USS Wasp amphibious assault ship near a strategic reef
claimed by Beijing and Manila that lies just 230 km (140 miles) from the Philippine
Filipino fishermen near the site known as the Scarborough Shoal initially
spotted what appeared to be the massive U.S. vessel on Tuesday, according to
ABS-CBN News. It said planes were seen landing and taking off from the ship,
some 5 km (3 miles) away from the fishermen’s boat. A video clip shown by the
news network appeared to corroborate their account.
Contacted by The Japan Times, a U.S. military spokeswoman would not confirm
or deny the Wasp’s presence near the collection of outcroppings that barely jut
out above water at high tide, citing “force protection and security.” However,
the spokeswoman did confirm that the Wasp “has been training with Philippine
Navy ships in Subic Bay and in international waters of the South China Sea … for
Scarborough Shoal, which is also claimed by Taiwan, is regarded as a
potential powder keg in the strategic waterway. It was seized by Beijing in
2012 after an extended standoff with Manila. China later effectively blockaded
the lagoon, which is rich in fish stocks, and routinely dispatches scores of
fishing vessels and government-backed “maritime militia” ships to the area to
continue its de facto blockade.
The Wasp was taking part in the annual Balikatan U.S.-Philippine military
training exercise “that focuses on maritime security and amphibious
capabilities, as well as multinational interoperability through military
exchanges,” said U.S. Marine Corps Second Lt. Tori Sharpe, a spokeswoman for
the exercises, adding that the exercises were “unrelated to current events.”
Still, beyond the location of the exercises, the Wasp’s presence alone in
the South China Sea was likely to draw Beijing’s attention since this year’s
Balikatan exercise was the first to incorporate the Wasp paired with the U.S.
Marines Corps’ cutting-edge F-35B Lightning II stealth aircraft. The F-35B is
the short takeoff and vertical landing variant of the aircraft.
“Together they represent an increase in military capability committed to a
free and open Indo-Pacific,” Sharpe said.
China covets Scarborough Shoal for its strategic significance, experts say,
as it would be the crowning jewel in a bid to solidify Beijing’s iron grip over
the South China Sea. They say building at Scarborough would create a large
“strategic triangle” comprising Woody Island in the Paracel Islands to the
northwest and its Spratly islet outposts to the south, giving Beijing the
ability to police an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) in the South China
The impact of such a strategic triangle — which would bring the entire
region under Chinese radar, missile and air coverage — would be tremendous for
both the United States’ and Japan’s strategic planning, some experts say, and
could be a game-changer in regional power relations.
But any decision by China to forcefully take over the collection of
outcroppings for land-reclamation purposes would likely be met with resistance
by the U.S., the Philippines and others.
In an effort to push back against China’s behavior near Scarborough, the
U.S. Navy sent a guided-missile destroyer within 12 nautical miles (22 km) of
the site in January last year as part of its larger “freedom of navigation
operations” (FONOPs) program in the South China Sea and across the globe.
Washington has lambasted Beijing for its moves in the South China Sea,
including the construction of man-made islands, some of which are home to
military-grade airfields and advanced weaponry. The U.S. fears the outposts
could be used to restrict free movement in the waterway — which includes vital
sea lanes through which about $3 trillion in global trade passes each year —
and regularly conducts FONOPs in the area.
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near".
Watchman for Christ