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EU and China sign a Mandate of Trade Heaven

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times) by special agreement with the author) Sparks did fly in Brussels, but in the end the European Union and China managed to come up with an important joint statement at their summit this week, signed by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and head of the European Council, Donald Tusk. In theory, there’s agreement on three quite sensitive fronts:

Pentagon Obsession: China, China, China

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Strategic Culture) by special agreement with the author) Chinese nuclear bombers. Chinese hypersonic missiles. Chinese carrier killer missiles. Chinese cyberattacks. Chinese anti-satellite weaponry. Chinese militarization of the South China Sea. Chinese Huawei spying. So many Chinese “malign intentions”. And we’re not even talking about Russia. Few people around the world are aware that the Pentagon for the moment is led by a mere “acting” Defense

The EU bows to ‘systemic rival’ China

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Consortium News) by special agreement with the author) Let’s start with the essential background for the meeting in Paris on Tuesday between Chinese President Xi Jinping and three EU heavyweights – French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President of the European Commission (EC) Jean-Claude Juncker. As imperfect as these figures may be, economic growth for the past 10 years after the 2008

Pepe Escobar: Empire of Chaos in Hybrid War Overdrive

The Trump administration’s foreign policy may be easily deconstructed as a crossover between The Sopranos and late-night comedy, writes Pepe Escobar. by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Consortium News ) by special agreement with the author) Is this the Age of Anxiety? The Age of Stupidity? The Age of Hybrid War? Or all of the above? As right populism learns to use algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and media convergence, the Empire

All roads lead to Rome for Xi

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times ) by special agreement with the author) All (silk) roads do lead to Rome, as this Saturday Chinese President Xi Jinping and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will sign a memorandum to adhere to the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Afterward, Xi becomes a magnanimous version of The Sicilian, visiting the port of Palermo, with Beijing intent on investing

Why Nazarbayev’s legacy will remain intact

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times ) by special agreement with the author) The exit of Kazakhstan’s strongman after 28 years at the helm won’t end its pivotal regional role At first, it sounded like a geopolitical bombshell: Kazakhstan president Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, in power since 1991, dramatically announced his resignation. In a “special” address, significantly delivered in both Kazakh and Russian, Nazarbayev said: “As the founder of

EU dilemma: how to deal with China

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times ) by special agreement with the author) Facing China’s irresistible rise all across the chessboard, and under relentless US pressure, the not exactly democratic EU leadership is on a backbreaking exercise to position itself between a geopolitical/geoeconomic rock and a hard place. The 28-member EU holds a crucial meeting next week in Brussels where it may adopt a 10-point action plan detailing,

Marco Polo is back in China – again

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times ) by special agreement with the author) All roads seem to lead to Rome as Italy expresses its love for China’s Belt and Road Initiative President Xi Jinping is due to arrive in Italy for an official visit on March 22. The top theme of discussion will be the New Silk Road, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). A day earlier,

One country, two sessions, multiple tweaks

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Contrary to Western doom and gloom interpretations, China’s two sessions now taking place in Beijing offer a fascinating mix of realpolitik and soft power. Every year, the two sessions involve the National People’s Congress (NPC) – the legislative body – and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) – the political advisory body – laying down the Chinese equivalent of

Eric Hobsbawm, the joy of history and all that jazz

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) We all lose by not having Eric Hobsbawm absorb the geopolitical dementia of the early 21st century to later refine it in sharp, crisp historical analysis. A new, exhaustive biography, ‘Eric Hobsbawm: A Life in History,’ by his former student and Regius Professor of History Emeritus at Cambridge, Richard Evans – out now in the UK and in

Kashmir, Korea, Venezuela, Iran: hot, cold, hybrid war

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Turning and turning in a widening gyre, the geopolitics of the young  21st century resembles a psychedelic mandala conceived by Yama, the Lord of Death. Kim Jong Un, chairman of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, fresh from a 70-hour train journey, meets in prosperous, communist Hanoi with fellow Nobel Peace Prize contender Donald Trump under the

Russian President warns West that deploying missile launchers in Europe could ignite ‘tit for tat’ response

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) President Putin’s state of the nation address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow this week was an extraordinary affair. While heavily focused on domestic social and economic development, Putin noted, predictably, the US decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty and clearly outlined the red lines in regard to possible consequences of the move. It

US elites remain incapable of understanding China

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) A new report on US policy toward China launched by the Asia Society in New York is another example of how supposedly bipartisan US intellectual elites, instead of offering impartial advice, do little more than parrot Washington’s talking points, failing to admit they know nothing of substance about the existential “threats” posed by Russia and China.

Iran looks East amid US trials and tribulations

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) On the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution, this past Friday, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei made an effort to express Iran’s geopolitical stance in simple terms: ‘We have good relations with all nations in the world, we don’t want to break relations with any European nation’, and an explanation of the slogan ‘Death to America’. The

Get over it: Asia rules

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with the Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Get over it: Asia rules New book helps explain why the 21st Century will be the Asian Century The greatest merit of Parag Khanna’s new book, The Future is Asian, is to accessibly tell the story of a historical inevitability – with the extra bonus of an Asian point of view. This is not only a

Venezuela: Let’s Cut to the Chase

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Strategic Culture Foundation by special agreement with the author) Cold War 2.0 has hit South America with a bang – pitting the US and expected minions against the four key pillars of in-progress Eurasia integration: Russia, China, Iran and Turkey. It’s the oil, stupid. But there’s way more than meets the (oily) eye. Caracas has committed the ultimate cardinal sin in the eyes of Exceptionalistan;

Bolsonaro scandal puts Brazil on edge as farmers eye Amazon forests

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Bolsonaro scandal puts Brazil on edge as farmers eye Amazon forests A specter haunts the Brazilian elites. His name is Lula – the former president and for the past nine months one of the world’s most notorious political prisoners, given his enormous popularity and the controversy over his conviction and jailing. Brazil, until recently a leader

Insights on the Iran deal, BRICS and Venezuela

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author) An exclusive interview with former Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim on how BRICS came into being, how the nuclear deal was done with Tehran and how the South dealt with Chavez Brazil is once again in the eye of a political hurricane, after President Jair Bolsonaro’s appearance at Davos and explosive revelations directly linking his clan

Talk of Western intervention in the Black Sea is pure fantasy

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times by special agreement with the author) Crimea is essential to Russia strategically and economically, but speculation over Ankara helping to boost the US presence in the Black Sea is far-fetched given Turkey’s energy deals with Moscow. A power struggle over the Black Sea between Russia and the US plus NATO has the potential to develop as a seminal plot of the 21st

A two part Pepe Escobar report on the China, Pakistan and the new Great Game

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with The Asia Times – here and here – by special agreement with the author) The new Great Game on the Roof of the World On top of the graceful Baltit Fort, overlooking the Hunza Valley’s Shangri-La-style splendor, it’s impossible not to feel dizzy at the view: an overwhelming collision of millennia of geology and centuries of history. We are at the heart of Gilgit-Baltistan, in

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