By Amarynth for the Saker Blog
The world rotated one more time since the last report on China.
So, what do we know?
China is rock-solid behind Russia in all of Russia’s objectives, and in some instances, up ahead.
It almost seems as if an agreement was, if not stated, then understood. Russia will do the shootin’ for now, and China will keep the economic boat afloat. We see consistent commenting such as China is a consistent stabilizing force in a changing world
Overall NATO is feeling the pressure and ‘resetting’ and trying to clone itself as Aukus in the east while trying to strengthen itself in the west. We have Stoltenberg announcing: “What we see now is a new reality, a new normal for European security. Therefore, we have now asked our military commanders to provide options for what we call a reset, a more longer-term adaptation of NATO.”. In this speech, he announced that plans are being worked up to transform NATO into a major force capable of taking on an invading army and states that NATO deepens partnerships in Asia in response to a rising “security challenge” from China.
Yet, in the east, the Quad is one less, given India’s refusal to follow the U.S. regarding Russia.
Japan has been asked to join Aukus as a Japan, US, Australia, UK alliance intending to project a strong regional balance of power against China, Russia (and maybe India then?) in Asia. This Aukus will then have synergy,, they say, with Japanese technologies in areas such as hypersonic weapons and electronic warfare. Somehow I don’t see Japan as a suitable switch out for India, but then again, we’re dealing with desperate last gyrations of a world hegemon here, trying to project that it still has many friends.
A quick look at India. These days, if you see a country being threatened, you know already that they have started decoupling from so-called western democracy and Blinken has just threatened India yet again. He says the US is “monitoring rise in rights abuses in India” So, suddenly the US cares about human rights abuses in India. This bellicose rhetoric is not effective and way beyond its sell-by date.
It is clear that Russia is decoupling from Europe, and this started before sanctions. But did you know that China is decoupling from Britain, Canada, and the US? This is a brand-new trend. China’s top offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd. is preparing to exit its operations in Britain, Canada, and the United States, because of concerns in Beijing that assets could become subject to Western sanctions. As it seeks to leave the West, CNOOC is looking to acquire new assets in Latin America and Africa, and also wants to prioritize the development of large, new prospects in Brazil, Guyana, and Uganda.
Apparently trying to deal with those three countries has become painful and CNOOC is seeking to sell “marginal and hard to manage” assets. Quoted are red tape and high operating costs in the western climes.
In the Asia region, we also saw the ease with which Imran Khan was relieved of his post as Prime Minister. I don’t believe this is the end of this story, because the citizens of Pakistan are truly unhappy. https://www.rt.com/news/553734-us-involved-imran-khan-departure/
So if you were thinking that while the Ukraine war is hot, the Pacific is cool, that would be a mis judgement.
The new cry going out is if we’ve censored all the Russian voices, how can we allow the Chinese voices to carry water for Russia. We have to cancel them too! (These people deserve to go and live underground in bunkers!)
Taiwan keeps the war propaganda at a fever pitch by releasing a China Invasion Survival Guide.
Taiwan’s All-out Defense Mobilization unit has released a guide for citizens in the event of a war with Beijing, complete with comic strips and tips for survival, locating bomb shelters, and preparing food and first aid provisions. The guide has been planned for some time, and comes as local officials look to extend military service beyond the current 4 months. https://t.me/rtnews/23455
Nancy Pelosi was planning to visit Taiwan. China made its displeasure known widely and loudly. And Pelosi immediately contracted Covid and had to suspend her trip.
From the Australian side, the propaganda is flowing strong. Here is a very fine video with Brian Berletic and Robbie Barwick, explaining exactly what happened with the contretemps in the Solomon Islands, as well as the overall trajectory and the speed thereof, of Australia’s belligerence against China. This video contains some interesting statements and supporting data. Seemingly, if Australia interacts with Island Nations like the Solomon’s the idea is to build infrastructure suitable for war, so, building a port must be suitable for US aircraft carriers, and building a road must be suitable for landing US airplanes. If China interacts with these very same Island Nations, the idea is to build infrastructure that can benefit their population and this is now clear among all.
Is it over? No, not by a long shot. Aussie minister pays ‘unprecedented coercive visit’ to Solomon Islands over China security pact. https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202204/1259266.shtml
I’ve come to enjoy China’s spokespeople. They are sharp and do not miss a trick. Acerbic and incisive commentary is the order of the day. This is a good example, and please note the tone of the Western journos .. If you have never spent time on one of these, it is an education. The western journos try and beat the spox to death with repeated questions loaded with innuendo. https://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/202204/t20220411_10666750.html
It is quite clear that China is not leaving the issue of Biolabs behind. They have just about daily coverage in various media about it.
SEOUL, April 12 (Xinhua) — U.S. military biological facilities in South Korea are serious threats to local residents’ safety, said a South Korean expert, as the U.S. Forces Korea (USFK) continues with a scandalous program involving experiments with living toxic samples. #GLOBALink
China will never forget epithets like “China Virus” and “Wuhan Flu”. Take a good look at this image titled Poison Disseminator.
China had to evacuate +- 2,000 Chinese citizens from the Ukraine. From media, it was a successful evacuation. They have also repeatedly made their stance clear on the Ukraine.
The main focus is humanitarian. China released a five-point position statement supported by a six-point humanitarian plan
The position statement is:
- First, we persevere in promoting peace talks in the right direction. We hold that dialogue and negotiation are the only way out, oppose adding fuel to the fire and intensifying confrontation, call for achieving a ceasefire and ending the conflict, and support Russia and Ukraine in carrying out direct dialogue.
- Second, we persevere in upholding the basic norms governing international relations. We advocate respect for the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, and oppose putting small and medium-sized countries on the front line of geopolitical games.
- Third, we persevere in preventing the resurgence of the Cold War mentality. We do not agree with the “friend-or-foe” camp confrontation, firmly promote international solidarity, advocate the vision of common, cooperative, comprehensive and sustainable security, and respect and accommodate the legitimate and reasonable concerns of all parties.
- Fourth, we persevere in upholding the legitimate rights and interests of all countries. We oppose unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law and call for safeguarding the international industrial and supply chains to avoid harming normal economic and trade exchanges and people’s lives.
- Fifth, we persevere in consolidating peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. We firmly uphold the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness in our neighborhood diplomacy, guard against the introduction of bloc confrontation into the region by the United States through the “Indo-Pacific strategy”, accelerate the promotion of regional integration and cooperation, and guard the hard-won development momentum in the region.
Wang Ji describes the six-point humanitarian plan:
While China is doing its best to create a level playing field and do real humanitarian work, they are not hiding the fact that they hold the US/NATO fully responsible for what they see as an action that was forced onto Russia.
Inside China, it is all about economic miracles. Taking a huge bow now in their theater of urgent needs is seeds: Chinese Seeds, Chinese developed, and Chinese local seeds. The seed companies of the west are unwelcome with the IP registration of their seeds and China will hold its ownership over its seeds.
The Shanghai lockdown provided endless China-bashing opportunities for western commentators. Tucker Carlson jumped on this horse and did his part for the anti-China campaign with a litany of complaints, a bunch of pixellated videos that are propaganda material, never having spoken to anyone actually living in Shanghai, without an idea of China’s principled management of Covid and without understanding the levels of the lockdown – complete political projection of US so-called values. As we have seen so many times from the USA’ians, trying to fight his political battles on the back of the Chinese (or anyone else, for that matter). He also perceivably has no idea that the Chinese lockdown supports the people with food and medicines, and it is not like the west. So, he looks at this with western eyes and truly, he has no clue. It is exactly the same that the world complains about .. it is: “We are right and exceptional and we know better.” Because China makes its own rules, Carlson calls it wrong. He is totally committed to the idea of US manifest destiny and his way is the right way. Carlson is anti a war with Russia for political purposes but show him China as a possible war partner, and he blooms with bloodlust.
It is truly better to listen to those that are actually living there and can actually speak the language. It is so that people believe the MSM when that very same MSM says something that they like and rail against that very same MSM when they say something that they don’t like.
David Fishman tweets: So it’s CRAZY that we have to do this, it’s also incredibly fascinating from a supply chain/logistics/economics perspective. We are in the process of re-inventing the food distribution network in Shanghai. It’s all based on the newly prevalent concept of Group-Buying.
If you really want to know how people live through a 14 day lockdown, a 14 day lighter lockdown if no Covid presents itself, a closed and open-loop system, and then thereafter no lock down. I would recommend that you click on this tweet and read all the parts:
So it's CRAZY that we have to do this, it's also incredibly fascinating from a supply chain/logistics/economics perspective.
We are in the process of re-inventing the food distribution network in Shanghai.
It's all based on the newly prevalent concept of Group-Buying. Nerdy🧵
— David Fishman (@pretentiouswhat) April 7, 2022
Let’s hear from someone who is actually right there:
LIVE update on the situation in Shanghai, China https://t.co/kR1RUsHLL8
— Andy Boreham 安柏然 (@AndyBxxx) April 11, 2022
And Jeff Brown weighed in as well. Special explanation to address the many concerns global citizens have about China’s “Zero-Covid” policy, with Shanghai now in the headlines.
And so there are to my knowledge hundreds of people reporting that they get their food delivered, they take part in group buying, they mostly get what they want but sometimes not and we see things like this:
Very touched by this. My wife failed for the nth time to buy milk via group buying during the Shanghai lockdown and was lamenting about it on WeChat.
5 minutes later a neighbor put this on our doorstep, refusing anything in exchange.
THAT is the China I know. pic.twitter.com/Z9rJDwOWyo
— Arnaud Bertrand (@RnaudBertrand) April 13, 2022
The lesson here is that if you want to know what is happening in China, listen to the people in China. Now, they are not brutally suppressed and silenced. Online media is bigger than ever. What is frowned upon and can get you into hot water, is if you are rude and rude to others. State your case, don’t be rude and you will be fine with social media communication. (Somewhat like the concept of Saving Face).
No, China is not killing 25 million people in Shanghai.
There are thousands of made-up and anti-China video clips breathlessly being passed around by the usual suspects. I saw one that purports that the Chinese are breaking down their 5G towers. It was a clip from the umbrella riots in Hong Kong where the rioters were breaking down public infrastructure.
Is everything perfect? Of course not. Are their people struggling? Of course. Was there food distribution problems initially? Of course. Is it easy? Of course not. Are most people content with the decision to do a phased lock-in of a city of 25 million people? Most of the ones that I’ve regularly followed are, if not content, they understand the reason and trust the Chinese Zero-Covid policy. Westerners need to start understanding that the Chinese people are part of their government and that they actually believe the government does what is best for the people and they have evidence and proof of this, because they are part of a very inclusive system.
Cyrus Janssen is a regular commentator on China. He does not like the Shanghai lockdown. This is his thread, and take a look at what the Chinese actually answered.
I'm very worried about Shanghai and the future of #China….what's happened in the past few weeks has changed the future of China. Some of you will agree with my analysis and some of you won't, but here is a thread 🧵 on the #COVID19 situation in #Shanghai:
— Cyrus Janssen (@thecyrusjanssen) April 13, 2022
The conversation in China is different from the conversation in the west. Their current concern is future management of Covid. They have concerns that their Zero-Covid strategy needs to be adjusted. They are in the process of refining its strategy. They do not have concerns about their strategy, because they have the numbers.
The last report that I have is as of Saturday. The Shanghai port STILL operating smoothly, with berthing efficiency better than 2021. The average waiting time for ships in Port is under 24 hours, and all the production units at the port maintain normal 24-hour operations, except in extreme weather. In 2021, the Port moved 47 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs), ranking first globally. Throughput of international containers exceeded 6 million TEUs for the first time.
Trade between Russia and China skyrocketed. Paul from the Sirius report states it as follows: “Western experts fail to grasp that the Global South is around 87% of the world’s population, is in its ascendancy and has a myriad of vertical growth markets now in play and is embracing the multipolar world. West meanwhile is in terminal decline.”
China and Russia trade in Q1 rose 28% to $38.2bn equivalent.
In 2021, trade turnover between Russia and China hit a record high of $146.88 billion, having surged 35.8%. In December, the Russian and Chinese presidents agreed on creating infrastructure to service trade operations between the two nations without third parties.
The ASEAN surpassed the EU to become China’s largest trading partner. China’s imports and exports with ASEAN jumped 8.4% yoy to 1.35tn yuan in Q1 accounting for 14.4% of the country’s foreign trade volume.
Beijing’s economic and trade cooperation with other countries including Russia and Ukraine remains normal.
Beijing has refused to join sanctions against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine, saying cooperation between China and Russia “has no limits.” The two countries have been switching from the US dollar and the euro to local currencies in trade to avoid possible sanctions.
It’s all digital currency for the years ahead for China. Make a strong distinction in your mind between CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency), Cryptocurrencies and China’s digital currency. They are not all the same.
Russia is increasing its holdings in Yuan. This is explained as underscoring the falling credibility of the US dollar, as the US has been weaponizing the dollar as a financial weapon instead of a trusted international payment currency. This via Xu Wenhong, a research fellow at the Institute of Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
From the Here Comes China newsletter by Godfree Roberts, we see this:
Cainiao, Alibaba’s logistics arm, rolled out a digital end-to-end e-commerce logistics service that includes pickup, warehousing, supply chain, customs clearance, and last-mile delivery. You may think this is for China internally and it might well be so, but China has now something like 3,000 warehouses across the world, supporting the products that the belt and road transport, to get to the last-mile delivery.
Earlier I referred to the Quad as well as to the fact that China is doing its own selective decoupling. The Power of Siberia 2 gas pipeline, which runs through Mongolia, is specifically aimed at reducing any Chinese dependence on Quad Members.
To conclude before we get to a lighter note, the west has no competitive edge any longer in trade, very little in war if we look at it as of today (they can still wipe us all out and turn us into glass), and have no honor left. They are not serious people and cannot be allowed to try and run our planet any longer, exclusively to their own benefit.
From Godfree’s newsletter about one of China’s minorities that I had actually never heard of. The Naxi, one of China’s 55 ethnic minorities, have long been popular with anthropologists, but its folk music is routinely overlooked. A new album hopes to change that. It might not be your style, but something different and away from war is always welcome.
Many of the data points here are courtesy of Godfree Roberts’ extensive weekly newsletter: Here Comes China. You can get it here: https://www.herecomeschina.com/#subscribe