Category: Kings of the East

Rumors Of Wars: China, India, North Korea, South Korea, Israel And Turkey All Move Toward War

June 16, 2020 by Michael Snyder

As if we didn’t have enough already going on in 2020, now we are facing the possibility that several regional wars may erupt.  China and India had both been pouring troops into a disputed border region, and now there has been an incident where they were actually killing each other.  On the Korean peninsula, North Korea just blew up “a joint liaison office” that it had used for talks with the South Korean government.  And in the Middle East, Turkey is warning of grave consequences if Israel goes ahead with a plan to annex portions of Judea and Samaria.  If a major regional war erupts at even one of these flashpoints, it will be another devastating blow for a global economy that is already imploding, and there is a very strong probability that the U.S. and other major western powers could be drawn into the conflict.

Right now, most Americans are focused on our internal problems, and so they are paying very little attention to the growing crisis on the border between China and India.

Both nations had sent substantial contingents of troops to an area of the border that has long been disputed, and a meeting that was supposed to defuse tensions actually resulted in soldiers killing one another

Chinese state media described the incident Monday night in the Galwan River valley where both countries have deployed troops in recent weeks as “the most serious clash between Chinese and Indian soldiers so far,” confirming casualties but offering no further details about them. Indian government sources speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Times of India that 20 Indian army personnel had died in the fighting.

American intelligence believes 35 Chinese troops died, including one senior officer, a source familiar with that assessment tells U.S. News. The incident took place during a meeting in the mountainous region between the two sides – both of which had agreed to disarm – to determine how the two militaries would safely withdraw their presences from the region.

This is the very first time in decades that Chinese and Indian troops have killed each other, and apparently very little shooting was involved

The meeting grew tense and resulted in a physical confrontation between the troops. According to the assessment, all of the casualties were from the use of batons and knives and from falls from the steep topography, the source says.

That sounds like a scene from an overly gory Hollywood war movie, but reportedly this actually happened.

Hopefully the leaders of the two nations will be able to cool tensions for a while, but the Chinese have a very long history of very bitter border disputes with their neighbors, and without a doubt China will continue to make attempts to exercise sovereignty over this area.

Meanwhile, tensions on the Korean peninsula have risen to a level that we haven’t seen in many, many years.  On Tuesday, North Korea actually blew up a building that had been used for negotiations with South Korea

North Korea has blown up a joint liaison office used for talks between itself and South Korea, the latest sign that ties between the two longtime adversaries are rapidly deteriorating.

North Korean state media reported that the four-story building, which is located in the town of Kaesong just north of the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, was “completely destroyed by a “terrific explosion” at 2:50 p.m. local time.

That is certainly one way to make a statement.

And this comes just days after Kim Jong Un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, had issued a very ominous warning

In a cryptic statement late Saturday, Kim Yo Jong vowed her country would “soon take a next action” against South Korea — a move she suggested would be carried out by the country’s military.

“By exercising my power authorized by the Supreme Leader, our Party and the state, I gave an instruction to the arms of the department in charge of the affairs with enemy to decisively carry out the next action,” Kim said in the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

All of a sudden, North Korea’s approach to relations with South Korea has dramatically shifted, and that shift has coincided with Kim Yo Jong taking a much more prominent role in national affairs.

I believe that there is much more going on in North Korea than we are being told, and Kim Yo Jong appears to favor a much more militant approach than what we have become accustomed to in recent years.

Over in the Middle East, the Times of Israel is reporting that the IDF is gearing up for a “state of war” as Israel prepares to annex portions of Judea and Samaria…

Just over two weeks before a possible Israeli annexation of some as-yet unspecified portion of the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces is preparing for a wide range of scenarios for potential regional fallout — up to and including a large-scale wave of terror attacks — while still not being told exactly what the government has in mind.

The military is gearing up for possible massive unrest, Channel 12 reported Sunday evening, including what it is calling a potential “state of war” characterized by a Second Intifada-style onslaught of suicide bombing attacks.

This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again made it clear that he does not intend to alter his plans, and that means that the process of annexation could start as soon as the beginning of July.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an entire article about how this could potentially spark a major war in the region, and Arab leaders continue to make it clear that there will be “consequences” if Israel goes through with this…

Israel’s plan to extend its sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, and parts of Judea and Samaria, will “destroy all hopes” for lasting peace in the Middle East, Turkey’s top diplomat said on Wednesday.

“If the occupying power [Israel] crosses the red line, we [Muslim countries] must show that this will have consequences,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a special meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Executive Committee, according to Turkey’s Anadolu Agency.

We shall see what happens.

I think that Netanyahu is convinced that Donald Trump is probably going to lose in November, and so that means that he probably believes that he only has a window of a few months in which he could annex portions of Judea and Samaria with U.S. support.

It appears that Netanyahu is absolutely determined to move forward, and it also appears that Israel’s Arab neighbors are prepared to respond very forcefully.

In just a few weeks, missiles could start flying back and forth, and the entire Middle East could erupt in flames.

This is such a critical time, and let us pray for peace.

But without a doubt we are living during a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and it certainly isn’t going to take much to unleash a major conflict.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10662

Congress Urges Trump Admin to Rein in China’s Growing Nuclear Arsenal

Adam Kredo – JUNE 15, 2020 2:35 PM

A delegation of 40 Republican lawmakers is urging the Trump administration to constrain China’s nuclear weapons program and significantly overhaul America’s own arsenal of aging nuclear arms, according to a letter sent Monday to President Donald Trump.

China is on pace to triple its stockpile of nuclear arms, including missiles capable of reaching America, GOP House lawmakers warned in a letter sent Monday to the White House and reported by the Washington Free Beacon for the first time. Beijing’s proliferation efforts warrant increased U.S. readiness and lethality in the Indo-Pacific region, they said.

“The Chinese regime has put its aggressive nuclear ambitions on full display,” necessitating an immediate intervention by the Trump administration, the lawmakers wrote in a letter spearheaded by Rep. Liz Cheney (R., Wyo.).

GOP hawks in Congress want to bolster recent efforts by the Trump administration to include China in the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (known as New START), an arms control pact that restricts the number of nuclear missiles the United States and Russia can deploy. As China looks to expand its program past these caps—with a particular emphasis on countering U.S. capabilities—the Trump administration can no longer ignore the imminent threat this poses, according to the lawmakers.

In a move likely to rankle the arms control community, the GOP delegation is calling on the Trump administration to significantly expand the United States’ nuclear arms program to counter China. This would include the construction of advanced missile and missile-defense capabilities, as well as a complete overhaul of the U.S. nuclear triad—land-based nuclear missiles, nuclear-armed submarines, and nuclear-capable aircraft bombers.

“Powered by the state-mandated fusion of its defense and civilian sectors, China, after many years of proclaiming its minimum nuclear deterrent, has developed its own nuclear triad to directly rival America,” the lawmakers wrote.

In addition to modernizing its arsenal, China is “developing capabilities to evade U.S. missile defenses,” a threat that necessitates Beijing’s inclusion in the New START treaty.

China is already seeking to expand its nuclear arsenal to more than 1,000 warheads, triple its current stockpile. The Communist regime will at least double its weapons cache in the next decade, in what Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley recently described as “the most rapid expansion and diversification of its nuclear arsenal” in history.

The White House must also renew efforts to bring China to the negotiating table, including discussions that reach beyond the New START treaty, the lawmakers said.

It is unclear, however, how much leverage the United States has over China. As negotiations with Russia over the New START treaty languish, the Trump administration has threatened to let the agreement lapse next year if China is not included in the talks. Opponents of this approach argue that the United States has little power to bring China to the negotiating table and risks allowing the most significant arms control treaty in history to collapse.

Republican lawmakers are backing the Trump administration’s stance and hope to show the White House that these efforts will be supported by allies in Congress.

Trump’s “directive to bring China to the table has only grown in urgency since the spread of the coronavirus pandemic,” the lawmakers wrote. “We must compel the CCP to be transparent about both this devastating virus and its nuclear capabilities and ambitions.”

In addition to Cheney, the letter is backed by prominent Republican China hawks, including Reps. Jim Banks (Ind.), Mike Gallagher (Wis.), Doug Lamborn (Colo.), and Lee Zeldin (N.Y.), among many others.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10658

China is setting the stage for the next major war

By Robert Arvay

Before the ink was dry on the treaty that ended World War 1, planning began for the Second World War.  That is not far from the truth.  The 1920s and ’30s saw Japan, Germany, and Italy seeking to expand their military forces, including in the case of Japan and Germany, in violation of treaties.

Japan transitioned from a nascent democracy to a brutal military dictatorship, while Hitler began laying the groundwork for his rise to power.  Mussolini of Italy had plans to establish a sort of second Roman Empire and sent his army to Ethiopia to begin it.

The history of that era, the 1920s and ’30s, is a convoluted interplay of events that seemed almost orchestrated to lead to war.  Large wars do not begin spontaneously.  Long before the first shot is fired, years of preparation have taken place.

Today, the prelude to the next major war is underway.  While the events are different, the parallels are striking.

China’s dictator, Xi Jinping, has over-extended himself.  Squandering his nation’s wealth on weapons, and on ideological policies, his communist system has created an unsustainable economy.  The communist bureaucrats and the Chinese army must be fed and supplied.  Their need for lebensraum is increasing and will prove insatiable.

As the United States begins to counter the Chinese strategic moves, Xi finds himself pressured into what for him personally will be a no-win situation.  On the one side, he is faced with the United States, which now belatedly recognizes that China is an implacable enemy.  On the other side, inside China, the parasitic officialdom and the career military officers will not accept retreat.  They can’t.  Their lives depend on fending off the wrath of their exploited people.

History shows clearly what dictators do when faced with such desperate circumstances.  They deflect attention and then attack an external rival in hopes of unifying their populace and appealing to their patriotism for support.  It is what dictator Leopoldo Galtieri, of Argentina, did in 1982, when his power structure began to unravel.  He attacked the British-ruled Falkland Islands.  For a short time, his plan worked, as Argentinians applauded him, but losing that war cost Galtieri his power.

The Falkland Islands War was small and almost spontaneous.  Such has not been the case with China’s rise to power.  The decades-long buildup has been methodical, and the inevitable war will be massive.

Is war really inevitable?  History warns us that it well may be, unless wise and determined statesmanship can prevent it.

Surely, behind the scenes, President Trump is lining up allies, both domestic and foreign, to secure commitments in the struggle against China.  In front of the scenes, before cameras, and on the news pages, Trump is making it clear, both to the Chinese and to everyone else, that he is, as he says, “disappointed” in China’s duplicitous and aggressive behaviors.  We might add reckless and overconfident to those adjectives.

In the U.S., the move is to sever the American economy from dependence on Chinese suppliers and manufacturers.  In this regard, the foolishness of past presidents has been exposed by the Chinese virus, and that would be true even were the Chinese to be found completely innocent of having unleashed that deadly disease.  In fact, the Chinese are guilty at the least of having multiplied the adverse effects of the disease.  That, in itself, constitutes an act of war.

The nuclear bomb that destroyed Hiroshima in 1945 killed 80,000 people in one moment.  The Chinese virus has killed 100,000 Americans.  If China had killed that many Americans with a nuclear bomb, what would we do?  In effect, China has nuked us.  How could we not respond?

While isolating China from the world economy is necessary, it also forces China’s hand, just as in 1941, the isolation of Japan from its war materiel forced Japan to either cease its aggressions or bomb Pearl Harbor.  Japan chose war.

China is also, no doubt, rallying support from such nations as Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and to some extent Russia.  At the moment they choose, China’s leaders can be expected to strangle Hong Kong into submission and then to openly attack Taiwan, which China knows will be the tripwire for all-out war.  That war will devastate one or both major belligerents, the U.S. and China.

Hang on to your helmets.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10652

China moving military ships near Taiwanese coast may spark US confrontation

By Mark Moore

May 26, 2020 | 1:04pm

The Chinese Communist Party is readying two new aircraft carriers for deployment off the coast of Taiwan that could lead to a military confrontation with the US ships in the region, as the relationship between the two global powers has become strained by trade issues and the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

The ships Liaoning and Shandong, part of the People’s Liberation Army navy, are conducting military readiness drills in the Yellow Sea but are expected to move into the South China Sea to Pratas Island for invasion mock battles, CCP-controlled Global Times reported.

Noting Chinese President Xi Jinping’s assertions of territorial control over most of the waterway and lack of respect for the sovereignty of countries in the region, like Taiwan, the “risk of a military confrontation in the South China Sea involving the United States and China could rise significantly in the next eighteen months,” the Council on Foreign Relations said in a report issued last week.

The think tank said the US has a “strong interest” in stopping China from taking control over the South China Sea to keep the waterway open for navigation and secure international supply chains.

“The United States is also at risk of being drawn into a military conflict with China in this region as a result of U.S. defense treaty obligations to at least one of the claimants to the contested territory, the Philippines,” the council said.

President Trump, who has accused Beijing of misleading the world on the coronavirus pandemic, has been sparring with Xi over China’s trade policies, which he said are stacked against US corporations.

“We could cut off the whole relationship” with China, Trump told “Fox Business” earlier this month.

Those comments led to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi accusing the US of pushing the two countries to the “brink of a new Cold War.”

“China has no intention to change, still less replace, the United States,” Wang said. “It’s time for the United States to give up its wishful thinking of changing China and stopping 1.4 billion people in their historic march toward modernization.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10613

India: Standing up to China in the Post-Coronavirus World

by Vijeta Uniyal
May 19, 2020 at 4:00 am

In true Orwellian fashion, top Chinese diplomats are still demanding that foreign governments rewrite the history of the coronavirus outbreak.

  • While India had shown restraint, Communist China has shown little. The Chinese air force has continued its incursions into Taiwanese air space. China has also tightened its grip on artificial islands it created in the South China Sea by setting up fictitious local governments on them. These weaponized islands… trample on the sovereignty of many of its maritime neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.
  • The United States and rest of the Western world would do well to see the pandemic as a wake-up call and decouple their crucial and strategic sectors from dependence on China in any way. As US General Jack Keane has repeatedly warned the US, China a not a friend; “it is a predator economically, geopolitically and militarily.”
  • The world is looking to India and its Asian Pacific allies, in a strong alliance with the West, to take a stand and face China’s increasing military, geopolitical and economic intimidation.
  •  As coronavirus leaves behind a trail of human suffering and economic devastation, nations across the world have begun asking critical questions about the global pandemic. Countries are enquiring into Communist China’s handling of the pandemic, which first appeared late last year in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

As early as January 14, China had used the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency, to spread disinformation about the human-to-human transmissibility of Covid-19, a remark that led US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien later to call the WHO a “tool of Chinese propaganda.”

While U.S. President Donald J. Trump faced mostly undeserved, politicized criticism for questioning China’s culpability in the spread of the worldwide pandemic and his calls for an international probe into it, more and more capitals across the Western world are making similar demands.

On March 20, The Washington Post attacked President Trump for even mentioning China in context of the pandemic. “Trump has no qualms about calling coronavirus the ‘Chinese Virus.’ That’s a dangerous attitude, experts say.”

As late as the end of March, CNN was still claiming that President Trump was targeting China for “political reasons… using entrenched stereotypes and fear of the other to cast off any blame that might fall on him from this crisis.”

On May 1, however, the New York Post reported that “[m]ore US allies and other countries are joining the Trump administration’s call for an investigation into China, the World Health Organization and the origins of the deadly coronavirus pandemic.”

In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia has taken lead in asking for an international investigation into Beijing’s culpability in the spread of the pandemic. “Now, it would seem entirely reasonable and sensible that the world would want to have an independent assessment of how this all occurred, so we can learn the lessons and prevent it from happening again,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on April 29. Australia’s demand was supported by New Zealand.

By way of response, China’s Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, threatened a boycott of Australian goods if Prime Minister Morrison’s government continued to insist on an independent investigation into the outbreak.

In Europe, Sweden took a similar stance, asking the European Union to start a probe into “the origin and spread” of the coronavirus. “When the global situation of Covid-19 is under control, it is both reasonable and important that an international, independent investigation be conducted to gain knowledge about the origin and spread of the coronavirus,” Sweden’s health minister Lena Hallengren told the nation’s parliament in a written statement on April 20.

Under threats of cutting Europe’s medical supplies, China forced the EU to water down a report exposing Beijing’s global disinformation campaign. “The European Union toned down part of a report about Chinese state-backed disinformation because it feared Beijing would retaliate by withholding medical supplies,” the Hong Kong-based newspaper South China Morning Post, citing diplomatic sources, disclosed on April 25.

China, which first covered up the outbreak of the contagion in city of Wuhan, is now running a global disinformation and intimidation campaign, trying to blame the United States or Italy for the coronavirus. So far, apparently too many countries are now aware of China’s intentions. As Mathias Döpfner, CEO of Germany’s largest publishing house, Axel Springer, argued recently in Die Welt:

“Economic relations with China might seem harmless to many Europeans today, but they could soon lead to political dependence and ultimately to the end of a free and liberal Europe… Should we make a pact with an authoritarian regime or should we work to strengthen a community of free, constitutionally governed market economies with liberal societies?… If current European and, above all, German policy on China continues, this will lead to a gradual decoupling from America and a step-by-step infiltration and subjugation by China. Economic dependence will only be the first step. Political influence will follow.”

At the moment, it is unclear if China’s charm offensive, if one could call it that, is working.

Most recently, on May 4, Sharri Markson reported on a leaked 15-page research document, obtained by Australia’s Saturday Telegraph, written by the “Five Eyes” — the intelligence services of the US, the UK, Canada Australia and New Zealand.

“It states that to the ‘endangerment of other countries’ the Chinese government covered-up news of the virus by silencing or “disappearing” doctors who spoke out, destroying evidence of it in laboratories and refusing to provide live samples to international scientists who were working on a vaccine.”

In true Orwellian fashion, top Chinese diplomats are still demanding that foreign governments rewrite the history of the coronavirus outbreak. Under President Xi Jinping’s instructions, Chinese diplomats are running a global campaign of intimidation to divert world’s attention from Beijing’s culpability in the spread of the coronavirus. Dubbed “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy, referring to a popular Chinese movie series of the same name, the strategy aims at silencing and intimidate Western governments, critical media outlets, and think tanks. The good news is that the world is finally getting a good look at the true face of China.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi telephoned his Indian counterpart, S. Jaishankar, on March 24, and suggested that India not use “China virus” to describe the Covid-19 contagion

“It’s not acceptable and detrimental to international cooperation to label the virus and stigmatise China,” Beijing’s envoy to New Delhi, Sun Weidong, said following the call.

Apparently unwilling to risk creating a problem, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has so far refrained from confronting China for its handling of the outbreak. To India’s credit, it did play a constructive role in combatting the global pandemic. India came to the aid of its allies by shipping large consignments of the drug hydroxychloroquine and other medical supplies to 55 countries, including the U.S., Britain, France and Israel.

While India had shown restraint, Communist China has shown little. The Chinese air force has continued its incursions into Taiwanese air space. China has also tightened its grip on artificial islands it created in the South China Sea by setting up fictitious local governments on them. These weaponized islands, fielding military facilities such as naval ports and military airfields, trample on the sovereignty of many of its maritime neighbors, including the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan.

The United States and rest of the Western world would do well to see the pandemic as a wake-up call and decouple their crucial and strategic sectors from dependence on China in any way. As US General Jack Keane has repeatedly warned the US, China a not a friend; “it is a predator economically, geopolitically and militarily.”

Beijing has used its status as world’s biggest manufacturer, intellectual property thief, and debt-trap lender to force governments across the world into silence over its culpability for the deadly and devastating pandemic.

In the coming post-coronavirus world order, India is well placed to challenge China’s stranglehold over global and regional supply chains. Prime Minister Modi’s “Make in India” initiative, originally envisaged to create jobs in manufacturing sector, could also position the country as an alternative destination for rerouting global supply chain needs, especially in critical sectors such pharmaceuticals, industrial manufacturing, telecommunications and information technology.

To take advantage of a post-coronavirus realignment, India would do well to upgrade its infrastructure and seriously cut its bureaucratic red tape.

Modi came to power in 2014 on promises of streamlining the bureaucracy to foster a free economy. Since he took office, India has eased the government’s red tape and opened up the country to foreign companies and investment. During his tenure, the country advanced 79 places on the global “Ease of Doing Business” survey released by the World Bank annually, from 142nd to 63rd place. The country still trails China, which, until its pandemic, ranked 31. India, however, plans to invest $1.39 trillion on a series of critical infrastructure projects, including roads, railways, digital connectivity and power sectors.

The world is eagerly looking to India and its Asia-Pacific allies, in a strong alliance with the West, to take a stand, face China’s increasing military, geopolitical and economic intimidation, and take up its historic mantle of leadership.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10591

US increases military pressure on China as tensions rise over pandemic

By Barbara Starr and Ryan Browne, CNN

Updated 3:23 AM ET, Fri May 15, 2020

(CNN)The US is upping military pressure on China amid increased tensions over the South China Sea and accusing Beijing of seeking to leverage the coronavirus pandemic to extend its sphere of influence in the region.

Over the last few weeks US Navy ships and Air Force B-1 bombers have undertaken missions aimed at sending a very public message that the US military intends to maintain a presence in the region and reassure allies.

It’s also a top priority for the Pentagon to get the virus-stricken aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt back out to sea in the region by as soon as the end of the month.

The moves come as the US is increasing the pressure diplomatically with President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo publicly attacking Beijing for failing to stem the virus’s spread and not being transparent during the early stages of the outbreak which originated in the country.

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The Pentagon accused China of exploiting the pandemic to gain military and economic advantages by expanding the areas in which it operates.

“The People’s Republic of China is attempting to use the regional focus on Covid to assertively advance its own interests,” US Navy Capt. Michael Kafka, a spokesperson for the US military’s Indo-Pacific Command told CNN in a statement on Wednesday.

Pentagon says pandemic hasn’t hurt its capabilities

And the Pentagon made clear the coronavirus outbreak has not hurt its ability to respond to Chinese actions.

“We have the capability and capacity to provide long range fires anywhere, anytime and can bring overwhelming firepower–even during the pandemic,” said Gen. Timothy Ray, commander of the Air Force Global Strike command which oversees the bomber force in the area.

On Wednesday the Navy Pacific Fleet took the unusual step of announcing that all of its submarines in the region were at sea conducting operations “in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific region amidst the pandemic caused by the coronavirus.”

While the US military recently ended its “continual bomber presence” on the Pacific island of Guam for the first time since 2004, the US Air Force has continued to dispatch bombers to the region.

In recent weeks the US flew B-1 bombers from bases in the US to the region on three separate occasions, including an operation over the South China Sea and a deployment of four B-1 bombers and 200 personnel from Dyess Air Force Base in Texas to Guam.

Late last month the US Navy also challenged Chinese claims to the waters surrounding the Spratly and Paracel islands in the South China Sea, contested islands that the US has long said China is using to house weapons and military facilities.

Those challenges drew a sharp rebuke from Beijing who urged the US to focus on its coronavirus response and to cease such military operations.

“China urges the United States to focus on its own business with pandemic prevention and control, make more contributions to the global fight against the Covid-19, and immediately stop military operations that are detrimental to regional security, peace and stability,” Senior Col. Li Huamin, spokesperson for the People’s Liberation Army Southern Theater Command, said in a statement.

Nobody is suggesting the US is headed towards conflict with China but Defense Secretary Mark Esper has continued to make blunting Beijing a priority.

“We are concerned by increasing, opportunistic activity by the People’s Republic of China to coerce its neighbors and press its unlawful maritime claims in the South China Sea, while the region and the world is focused on addressing the Covid-19 pandemic,” Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Eastburn, told CNN.

China has long criticized what it calls provocations by the US and its military efforts in the South China Sea that commenced several years ago when China made disputed territorial claims.

South China Sea crucial strategically

The South China Sea is considered a crucial strategic location, being home to some of the busiest shipping routes in the world as well as potential natural resource deposits such as oil and gas. Parts of the sea are contested by multiple claimants, including China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan. China has constructed outposts on man-made islands in the disputed area, installing military facilities and missiles there as part of a bid to exert control over the strategic waterways according to US officials.

“We continue to execute a global Freedom of Navigation operations program in which US Navy ships safely and professionally challenge excessive maritime claims, including those in the South China Sea. We also conduct routine transits through the Taiwan Strait to further demonstrate that the United States will fly, sail, and operate anywhere that international law allows,” Kafka said.

On Wednesday a US Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS McCampbell, transited the Taiwan Strait.

“The ship’s transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the US commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” Lt. Anthony Junco, a spokesperson for the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet told CNN.

The US routinely sails through the Taiwan Strait but the Chinese military views the strategic waterway separating China from Taiwan as a priority area and often shadows US vessels that sail through the area.

China routinely protests US Navy activities in the region, and often dispatches ships or aircraft to shadow the US vessels. Following the US freedom of navigation operation that challenged Chinese claims to the Paracel Islands late last month, Chinese officials said the US was engaging in “provocative acts,” that “could easily trigger an unexpected incident.”

The US also says China has attempted to intimidate other nations in the region.

In mid-April China deployed a survey vessel, the Haiyang Dizhi 8 alongside as many as 10 Coast Guard and maritime militia ships, as part of an apparent show of force in an area claimed by Malaysia and Beijing, according to two defense officials.

The move was an apparent attempt to intimidate a Malaysian state-owned oil company that had deployed a Panamanian flagged drilling vessel, the West Capella, to survey for oil in the area.

Utilizing a survey ship-led flotilla to harass South China Sea claimants “is a time tested” Chinese strategy, one official said, adding that China had used similar tactics against Vietnam.

The US responded earlier this month by twice sailing warships near the drill ship, a show of force intended to signal to Beijing that the US Navy can challenge any Chinese attempts to seize resources in the area.

“We are committed to a rules-based order in the South China Sea and we will continue to champion freedom of the seas and the rule of law,” Adm. John Aquilino, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet, said in a statement after one of the “presence operations” near the drilling vessel.

“The Chinese Communist Party must end its pattern of bullying Southeast Asians out of offshore oil, gas, and fisheries. Millions of people in the region depend on those resources for their livelihood,” he added.

China also appears to be using its military to send a message that it is capable of operating at longer distances for greater periods of to challenge its neighbors and the US. The US says China’s only operational aircraft carrier entered the South China Sea last week along with several other warships.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10585

Gog and Magog will Start with a War between America and China’ warns Rabbi

By David Sidman May 4, 2020 , 1:33 pm

O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him Ezekiel 38:2 (The Israel Bible™)

In a recent interview, Rabbi Daniel Asor warned that “the United States and China will go to war against each other.” He explains this war was predicted by the secret tzaddik (saint) Rabbi Yehuda Lefkovitch. Rabbi Lefkovitch predicted that the third World War will start between China and America over 20 years ago before the tensions were at the level that they are today. According to Rabbi Lefkovitch, this war will be the Biblical war of Gog and Magog.

“Russia will join China in the war” Rabbi Asor added. At the same time, he points to Rabbi Levi Sa’adia Nachamani who predicted 20 years ago that Iran will wage a war against Israel and will receive military assistance from North Korea.

Rabbi Asor warns that “there will be a lot of incitement blaming Israel for all of the world’s problems.” The reason is because the Arab league will also wage a propaganda war against Israel” he explains and at a certain point they’ll gather the world against Israel as written in Zechariah.

when all the nations of the earth gather against her. In that day, I will make Yerushalayim a stone for all the peoples to lift; all who lift it shall injure themselves. (Zechariah 12:3)

Once the war between America and China is waged, martial law will be enforced which will shut down the highways, sea ports and air travel throughout the USA he explains. “This is why it’s so important for Jewish Americans to leave and come to Israel” he stressed.

Rabbi Asor, the head rabbi of the Yanar Institute in Jerusalem explains that this war will pave the path for the inevitable takeover of the New World Order that is headquartered in the Vatican. He also claims that “in the Vatican, they worship Lucifer.”

Rabbi Asor also says that the Vatican believes that the son of Lucifer will come to redeem humanity. He adds that although Israel’s main battle will be with the Muslims and that Moshicah (Messiah) Ben Yosef will handle it. “But the ultimate war will be against the New World Order which is headquartered in the Vatican. That will be handled by Moshiach (Messiah) Ben David” he explains.

According to Rabbi Asor, the New World Order will implement a divide and conquer strategy whereby they cause the Christians and Muslims to fight against each other over the land of Israel. Each side will want the holy land for themselves. At that point, the Cabal will blame the two religions for crimes against humanity. But ultimately, “they will blame Judaism because it’s the religion that both Christianity and Islam branched off from.”

At this point, according to the rabbi, the New World Order will try to conquer Israel and make Jerusalem its capital. “They will control the world from Jerusalem for nine months. They will duplicate the Vatican on Mount Zion. This way they will be able to control Christianity as they will occupy the room of the last supper as well as King David’s Tomb” he warns.

However Rabbi Asor also delivers a comforting message telling everyone not to fear as this is all part of God’s plan and that the safest place to be at this time is in Israel even though it will be “the eye of the storm.”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10569

China Is Preparing to Start a War with America

By William L. Gensert

Sometime in June 2001, while browsing the Wall Street Journal, I stumbled upon an item on an inside page all the way at the bottom.  It was no more than 75 words in a box.  It covered a CIA security announcement concerning an increase in internet and cell phone traffic among suspected terrorists from suspect areas in the Arab world.  I canceled a Fourth of July trip downtown because of it. 

I assumed that if an attack was coming, it would be on America’s premium self-celebratory holiday, the Fourth of July. 

When nothing happened, I took off my tinfoil hat, ascribing my worries to my suspicion of Islam — suspicions I had carefully curated from prior events such as the first World Trade Center attack, the Cole, the embassy bombings, and the killing of Americans soldiers in the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut.

It has become accepted knowledge that America’s intelligence agencies missed 9/11 warning signs — but that’s not entirely true.  Signs were seen, but they impelled no action.  We were so convinced that the fall of the Soviet Union as the end of history precluded any need for urgency.  Yet, even if there had been, no one, at that point, knew how to react.

I don’t think I need to remind everyone of what happened on 09/11/2001.

I share this vignette as a means of showing that there are always signs.  We, for whatever reason, miss them, or we ignore them for political purposes, or we refuse to believe them because they contradict the core tenets of our belief system.

I believe that China’s actions today may be telegraphing an intent we are choosing to ignore.  They show all the signs of a nation preparing to attack America.  China seeks a bespoke world run by China with “Chinese characteristics” — a dream that under Trump was drifting away.

China appears to be laying the groundwork for a “justified” attack on the United States, perhaps in the South China Sea or perhaps elsewhere.  It will be a military attack, not an act of terrorism, and the excuse will be America’s deliberate transmission of COVID-19 in Wuhan. 

When the Chinese became accusatory, it’s telling that they didn’t blame the CIA, always the usual suspect.  No, they blamed it on American soldiers. 

American military deliberately infecting China is an act of war worthy of a military response.  

In October, the 2019 World Military Games were held in Wuhan.  Chinese media triumphantly trumpeted the Americans winning just eight medals, while China won 239.  It was then that we supposedly infected Wuhan citizens with the “American virus.”

China is now defenestrating foreign media, sending home reporters from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post at just the opportune moment.  No nation wants journalists around when it is planning a sneak attack.

And with its economy ravaged by Trump’s trade war and the virus shutdown, and now back at full production, while America’s economy is in total shutdown and in the grip of an active pandemic, there will never be a better time to attack.

Here in America, the Democrats along with corporate media eagerly buy China’s lies surrounding the nascence of the worldwide pandemic, the propaganda blaming America, the stories of Chinese benevolence, and the efficiency of Chinese methods in getting control of the virus at home.  They are actively supporting China’s version of the truth.  China has every reason to believe they will continue to do so.  

When or if China attacks, the left (the Dems, Antifa, and BLM) will flood the streets with anti-war protesters designed to stop America from responding to China’s attacks.  After all, don’t we deserve it?  We elected Trump, didn’t we?

China claims there are no new infections when there is ample evidence that that claim is a lie.  But the Chinese know that by the time people understand, it will be too late.  They will have struck, and any new cases will be used to bolster their casus belli.  Those Chinese who perish in the interim of silence will have died for the fatherland.

Conservative media have been neither as naïve nor as malicious as their mainstream brethren, often writing that China’s behavior, with the denials and accusations, is merely a clumsy and foolish attempt to convince the world.

I don’t see it this way.  I think China is doing this to convince its own citizens more than anyone else.  The Chinese communists can survive the world’s condemnations, especially if they defeat America, but they live and die by controlling their own population.  When they attack an American naval ship in the South China Sea, they won’t need to worry about the support of their own nation because they will have convinced the people that America started the war and a peaceful and beneficent China was reluctantly, and only as a last resort, defending itself.

China is facing a demographic time bomb and has ten years to rewrite the facts on the ground.  It is facing a quandary of epic proportions.  It won’t be long before it has the oldest population on the planet.  Those people will be old before they are rich.

China’s business model is existentially flawed.  It has extraordinary debt that is multiples of its GDP, having grown exponentially through government funding of empty cities, military buildup, high-speed rail to nowhere, a Belt and Road initiative that’s becoming obvious to partner countries as a means of colonialist extortion, and various other nonproductive government lending to CCP members.  Its vaunted reserves will soon disappear. 

China is also a nation, thanks to the “one child” initiative, that has hundreds of millions of young men with no prospect of marriage.  Hundreds of millions of “incel” men make for either an angry and expendable fighting force or a bane upon society.

China is on the clock.  Today, it is formidable, with a sophisticated and capable military.  The Chinese may be able to win a confrontation, even a war, with the United States.  Under Obama’s policy of surrender, China had a chance of overtaking us economically while growing its military until its primacy was a fait accompli.  But Trump killed that dream with his trade war, exposing the inherent weaknesses of the Chinese economy.  And should the aftermath of the pandemic play out without interference, China’s position in the world will be irreparably damaged.

What does China have to lose? 

Time is not on China’s side.  Unless the Chinese destroy us on the field of battle soon, the clock will run out, and the dream of the coming “Chinese century” will be just that: a dream.

Everything they are doing points to them preparing to do so.

For China, there will never be a better time to start a war with America.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10559

Researchers release report claiming China’s outbreak may have started in September

By ‘It’s like catching an incipient supernova in the act.’, The Western Journal
Published April 19, 2020 at 5:33pm

A new study estimates that the first human cases of COVID-19 in China may have occurred as early as September.

China has admitted that the disease was present in Wuhan, the capital of its Hubei Province, in December, although for weeks into January it denied that human-to-human transmission had already taken place.

Some reports have said that, according to internal Chinese documents not shared with the West, cases of the virus existed as early as November.

But now, according to the U.K. Daily Star, a University of Cambridge geneticist and his research team are arguing even that timetable could be off by as much as two months.

All viruses mutate.  Cambridge geneticist Peter Forster has been tracking the subtle mutations of the novel coronavirus, hoping to find — based on the DNA of the virus in those who were infected in December — how far back the trail of mutations will lead him.

“The virus may have mutated into its final ‘human-efficient’ form months ago, but stayed inside a bat or other animal or even human for several months without infecting other individuals,” Forster said, according to the Daily Star.

“Then, it started infecting and spreading among humans between September 13 and December 7,” he said.

“The viral network we have detailed is a snapshot of the early stages of an epidemic, before the evolutionary paths of COVID-19 become obscured by vast numbers of mutations. It’s like catching an incipient supernova in the act,” he said according to a report on the University of Cambridge’s website.

Forster’s work uses what’s known as phylogenetic network, which maps the global movement of any living thing through the mutation of its genes.

Such a network can “reconstruct infection paths where they are unknown and pose a public health risk,” the study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said.

The study found that “the first virus genome that was sampled on 24 December 2019 already is distant from the root type according to the bat coronavirus outgroup rooting,” it said.

“What we reconstruct in the network is the first significant spread among humans,” Forster said.

He estimates that by the time the virus reached humans, it had already gone through hundreds of mutations, which leads him to believe that the virus was prevalent in animals for years before it infected humans.

Forster said that based on his research, the virus might not have originated in Wuhan.

“If I am pressed for an answer, I would say the original spread started more likely in southern China than in Wuhan,” Forster said.

“But proof can only come from analyzing more bats, possibly other potential host animals, and preserved tissue samples in Chinese hospitals stored between September and December. This kind of research project would help us understand how the transmission happened, and help us prevent similar instances in the future,” he said.

 The study was a unique use of the research tools that can trace mutations, Forster said.

“There are too many rapid mutations to neatly trace a COVID-19 family tree. We used a mathematical network algorithm to visualize all the plausible trees simultaneously,” he said.

“These techniques are mostly known for mapping the movements of prehistoric human populations through DNA. We think this is one of the first times they have been used to trace the infection routes of a coronavirus like COVID-19,” he said.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10552

Photo Surfaces of W.H.O. Chief Meeting Chinese Officials with Shiva: Hindu ‘God of Destruction’

By Adam Eliyahu Berkowitz April 16, 2020 , 11:53 am

“This is what he said: ‘The fourth beast [means]—there will be a fourth kingdom upon the earth which will be different from all the kingdoms; it will devour the whole earth, tread it down, and crush it.” Daniel 7:23 (The Israel Bible™)

A photo posted to Twitter over one year ago by the head of the World Health Organization appears benign at first glance but a closer look reveals that the image depicts a meeting between the WHO and a Chinese organization focused on the domination of global markets. Even more disturbing is that the meeting is being overseen by the statue of the Hindu goddess known as Shiva the Destroyer.

A photo has resurfaced showing a high-level meeting between World Health Organization Officials and Chinese health officials. The photo was posted in January 2019 on the twitter feed of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who has served as the  Director-General of the World Health Organization since 2017. Inexplicably, prominently displayed at the head of the table is a statue of the Hindu goddess, Shiva, also known as “Shiva the Destroyer.”

WHO & #China have enjoyed a long & productive partnership. WHO is proud to have supported the overseas training of more than 2000 Chinese #HealthWorkers. Grateful for China’s commitment to strengthening health systems in other countries through its Belt and Road Initiative. pic.twitter.com/IigqsDsEOI

— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 16, 2019

The tweet states that the occasion was to celebrate the WHO’s participation in China’s Belt and Road Initiative by supporting the “overseas training more than 2,000 Chinese health workers.” This is even more inexplicable than the presence of the statue of a Hindu deity at the meeting since The  Belt and Road Initiative has nothing to do with health work. It is, in fact, a global development strategy adopted by the Chinese government in 2013 involving infrastructure development and investments in nearly 70 countries and international organizations in Asia, Europe, and Africa. Formerly named One Belt One Road (OBOR), the name was changed in 2016 when the Chinese government considered the emphasis on the word “one” was prone to misinterpretation. However, “One Belt One Road” is still used in Chinese-language media. 

The stated objectives are “to construct a unified large market and make full use of both international and domestic markets, through cultural exchange and integration, to enhance mutual understanding and trust of member nations, ending up in an innovative pattern with capital inflows, talent pool, and technology database.” Critics see it as a push for Chinese dominance in global affairs with a China-centered trading network.

President Trump has been quietly working to oppose the OBOR with a program titled the Free and Open Indo-Pacific strategy (FOIP). The European Union supports the OBOR despite the objections of several member nations.

Shiva is one of the principal deities of Hinduism and is known as “The Destroyer” within the Trimurti, the Hindu trinity that includes Brahma and Vishnu. In Hinduism, Shiva represents a duality of being both a benefactor and a malignant destroyer. 

Devdutt Pattanaik, an Indian mythologist, wrote an article in Economic Times explaining how Shiva fits into modern corporate society.

“Organizations are built by people who have the desire to achieve something,” Pattanaik wrote.”This desire makes them Brahma, the creator of the organization, but when their desire ceases and they let go of the organization and they become Shiva, the destroyer.

Hinduism is not one of the five religions recognized by the Chinese government so it is not known why the statue of a Hindu deity would be displayed at the meeting.

Perhaps even more disturbing is the large statue of Shiva the Destroyer prominently displayed at the entrance he European Organization for Nuclear Research, known as CERN, in Switzerland. CERN operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. Physicist Fritjof Capra explains its enigmatic presence at the laboratory by saying, “For the modern physicists, then, Shiva’s dance is the dance of subatomic matter.”

In 2012, CERN was granted official observer status at the UN. 

It is interesting to note that nuclear research has been associated with Shiva since its inception. J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as “the father of the atomic bomb” for his work on the bombs dropped on Japan at the end of WWII recited a quote referring to Shiva from the Hindu text, the Baghavid-Gita, at the first atom bomb test in 1945.

“I am become death, the destroyer of worlds,” Oppenheimer said. 

It is believed that he was noting that like the Hindu deity Shiva, a nuclear weapon has inherent duality beneficial as well as horrifically destructive:

The image becomes even more disturbing when considering the past of its twitter host, Tedros Adhanom. Tedros’s candidacy for the WHO director-general was opposed vigorously by several Ethiopian parties, due to his career in the Tigray People’s Liberation Front,  the most powerful of the armed liberation movements in Ethiopia with decidedly Marxist ideologies and an abysmal record of human rights violations. TPLF sees self-determination as the launching pad for the ultimate socialist revolution. The TPLF provided millions of dollars in financial support for Tedros’s candidacy in WHO.

In addition, when running Ethiopia’s health ministry, he was known to discourage journalists from reporting about suspected cholera cases in the country while deliberately preventing life-saving actions. His ministry was accused of misappropriating over $7 million in funds appropriated for these epidemics.

Tedros has identified universal health coverage as his top priority at WHO. In 2017, Tedros chose President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, a leader with a horrifying record of human rights abuse, to serve as a WHO Goodwill Ambassador. Observers said Tedros was returning a campaign favor.

The WHO under his leadership has been heavily criticized for its reaction to the spread of the coronavirus. Tedros was criticized by some government officials and experts and was perceived to have acted slowly in his efforts to stem the epidemic, and as having a too-close relationship with the government of China where the pandemic originated. Tedros praised China for its containment measures, describing them as a “new standard for outbreak control”, a position which was criticized in light of China’s efforts to suppress information.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=10546