By Pepe Escobar posted with permission and first posted at Asia Times.
Seven years after being launched by President Xi Jinping, first in Astana and then in Jakarta, the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) increasingly drive the American plutocratic oligarchy completely nuts.
The relentless paranoia about the Chinese “threat” has much to do with the exit ramp offered by Beijing to a Global South permanently indebted to IMF/World Bank exploitation.
In the old order, politico-military elites were routinely bribed in exchange for unfettered corporate access to their nations’ resources, coupled with go-go privatization schemes and outright austerity (“structural adjustment”).
This went on for decades until BRI became the new game in town in terms of infrastructure building – offering an alternative to the imperial footprint.
The Chinese model allows all manner of parallel taxes, sales, rents, leases – and profits. This means extra sources of income for host governments – with an important corollary: freedom from the hardcore neoliberal diktats of IMF/World Bank. This is what is at the heart of the notorious Chinese “win-win”.
Moreover, BRI’s overall strategic focus on infrastructure development not only across Eurasia but also Africa encompasses a major geopolitical game-changer. BRI is positioning vast swathes of the Global South to become completely independent from the Western-imposed debt trap. For scores of nations, this is a matter of national interest. In this sense BRI should be regarded as the ultimate post-colonialist mechanism.
BRI in fact bristles with Sun Tzu simplicity applied to geoeconomics. Never interrupt the enemy when he’s making a mistake – in this case enslaving the Global South via perpetual debt. Then use his own weapons – in this case financial “help” – to destabilize his preeminence.
Hit the road with the Mongols
None of the above, of course, is bound to serenade the paranoid volcano, which will keep spitting out a 24/7 deluge of red alerts deriding BRI as “poorly defined, badly mismanaged and visibly failing”. “Visibly”, of course, only for the exceptionalists.
Predictably, the paranoid volcano feeds on a toxic mix of arrogance and crass ignorance of Chinese history and culture.
Xue Li, director of the Department of International Strategy at the Institute of World Economics and Politics of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has shown how “after the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in 2013, China’s diplomacy has changed from maintaining a low profile to becoming more proactive in global affairs. But the policy of ‘partnership rather than alliance’ has not changed, and it is unlikely to change in the future. The indisputable fact is that the system of alliance diplomacy preferred by Western countries is the choice of a few countries in the world, and most countries choose non-aligned diplomacy. Besides, the vast majority of them are developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.”
Atlanticists are desperate because the “system of alliance diplomacy” is on the wane. The overwhelming majority of the Global South is now being reconfigured as a newly energized Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) – as if Beijing had found a way to revive the Spirit of Bandung in 1955.
Chinese scholars are fond of quoting a 13th century imperial handbook, according to which policy changes should be “beneficial for the people”. If they only benefit corrupt officials, the result is luan (“chaos”). Thus the 21st century Chinese emphasis on pragmatic policy instead of ideology.
Rivaling informed parallels with the Tang and Ming dynasties, it’s actually the Yuan dynasty that offers a fascinating introduction to the inner workings of BRI.
So let’s go for a short trip back to the 13th century, when Genghis Khan’s immense empire was replaced by four khanates.
We had the Khanate of the Great Khan – which turned into the Yuan dynasty – ruling over China, Mongolia, Tibet, Korea and Manchuria.
We had the Ilkhanate, founded by Hulagu (the conqueror of Baghdad) ruling Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, parts of Anatolia and the Caucasus.
We had the Golden Horde ruling the northwestern Eurasian steppe, from eastern Hungary to Siberia, and most of all the Russian principalities.
And we had the Chaghadaid Khanate (named after Genghis Khan’s second son) ruling Central Asia, from eastern Xinjiang to Uzbekistan, until Tamerlane’s rise to power in 1370.
This era saw an enormous acceleration of trade along the Mongol Silk Roads.
All these Mongol-controlled governments privileged local and international commerce. That translated into a boom in markets, taxes, profits – and prestige. The khanates competed to get the best trading minds. They laid out the necessary infrastructure for transcontinental travel (13th century BRI, anyone?) And they opened the way for multiple East-West, trans-civilizational exchanges.
When the Mongols conquered the Song in southern China they even expanded overland Silk Roads trade into Maritime Silk Roads. The Yuan dynasty was now controlling China’s powerful southern ports. So when there was any kind of turbulence overland, trade switched to the seas.
The key axes were through the Indian Ocean, between south China and India, and between India and the Persian Gulf or the Red Sea.
Cargo was traveling overland to Iran, Iraq, Anatolia and Europe; by sea, through Egypt and the Mediterranean, to Europe; and from Aden to east Africa.
A slave trade maritime route between the Golden Horde’s ports on the Black Sea and Egypt – run by Muslim, Italian and Byzantine traders – was also in effect. The Black Sea ports transited luxury merchandise arriving overland from the East. And caravans traveled inland from the Indian coast during dangerous monsoon seasons.
This frantic commercial activity was the proto-BRI, which reached its apex in the 1320s and 1330s all the way to the collapse of the Yuan dynasty in 1368 in parallel to the Black Death in Europe and the Middle East. The key point: all the overland and maritime roads were interlinked. 21st century BRI planners benefit from a long historical memory.
“Nothing will fundamentally change”
Now compare this wealth of trade and cultural interchange with the pedestrian, provincial, anti-BRI and overall anti-China paranoia in the US. What we get is the State Dept. under exiting Mike “We Lie, We Cheat, We Steal” Pompeo issuing a paltry diatribe on the “China challenge”. Or the US Navy recommissioning the First Fleet, probably to be based in Perth, to “have an Indo-Pac footprint” and thus maintain “maritime dominance in an era of great power competition”.
More ominously, here is a summary of the humongous, 4,517-page, $740.5 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) 2021, just approved by the House by 335 to 78 (Trump threatened to veto it).
This is about funding for the Pentagon next year – to be supervised in theory by the new Raytheon General, Lloyd Austin, the last “commanding General” of the US in Iraq who run CENTCOM from 2013 to 2016 and then retired for some juicy revolving door gigs such as the board of Raytheon and crucially, the board of ultra-toxic air, water, soil polluter Nucor.
Austin is a revolving door character who supported the war on Iraq, the destruction of Libya, and supervised the training of Syrian “moderate rebels” – a.k.a. recycled al-Qaeda – who killed countless Syrian civilians.
The NDAA, predictably, is heavy on “tools to deter China”.
That will include:
1. A so-called “Pacific Deterrence Initiative (PDI), code for containment of China in the Indo-Pacific by boosting the Quad.
2. Massive counter-intel operations.
3. An offensive against “debt diplomacy”. That’s nonsense: BRI deals are voluntary, on a win-win basis, and open to renegotiation. Global South nations privilege them because loans are low-interest and long-term.
4. Restructuring global supply chains which lead to the US. Good luck with that. Sanctions on China will remain in place.
5. Across the board pressure forcing nations not to use Huawei 5G.
6. Reinforcing Hong Kong and Taiwan as Trojan Horses to destabilize China.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe has already set the tone: “Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically”. Be afraid, very much afraid of the evil Chinese Communist Party, “the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II”.
There you go: Xi is the new Hitler.
So nothing will fundamentally change after January 2021 – as officially promised by Biden-Harris: it’s gonna be Hybrid War on China all over again, deployed all over the spectrum, as Beijing has perfectly understood.
So what? China’s industrial production will continue to grow while in the US it will continue to decline. There will be more breakthroughs by Chinese scientists such as the photonic quantum computing – which performed 2.6 billion years of computation in 4 minutes. And the 13th century Yuan dynasty spirit will keep inspiring BRI.
Just before reading Pepe’s article I read “China’s Space Progress Both Amazes and Frightens” at New Eastern Outlook. Look at this:
… not China, but NASA signed a memorandum with the US Department of Defense at the end of September, which, according to Dr. T.J. Coles, Director of the Plymouth Peace Research Institute (PIPR) Coles, clearly demonstrates the militarization of the outer space in order to ensure the comprehensive strategic dominance of the United States.
The true aggressive face of the United States in space exploration has been aptly formulated by space war theorist Professor Everett Dolman, who teaches military strategy at the U.S. Air Force Command College: “Who controls low-earth orbit controls near-Earth space. Who controls near-Earth space dominates Terra. Who dominates Terra determines the destiny of humankind.
[end of quote]
Who does Dolman sound like but Mackinder and his Heartland Theory launched into space. Humanity must evolve out of this in the nuclear age or it will not survive. And with the West threatening everyone to prepare for the war that is coming we don’t have much time left.
Pray for intelligent extra-terrestrial aliens!
This whole notion of dominance of any orbit around the earth is sheer delusion. All satellites exist only by the good will of all. There is no way to defend a satellite. Any kind of conflict in space would only result in a massive amount of debris spinning around destroying everything and making space unusable for decades. The US with its leverage of satellite technology would be the biggest loser of all.
Agree, and more over, satellites goes in lower thermosphere with temperature range of 500C up to 2000C in upper thermosphere.
The satellites are further exposed to the Van Allen Belt radiation which can penetrate 10mm lead and sometimes goes through the exosphere and thermosphere down and destroy satellites.
Fooling around with global dominance theories in 2000C and radiation penetration of 10mm lead should be a Hollywood and Donald Duck matter. But, if it makes Pentagon and Mi6 occupied.
In the end, war is un avoidable just as Mao Predicted it.
Lets hope we do not end up our existing as specie.
The Day of The Judgement is unavoidable, war or no war.
The Day of “a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea… [when] the holy city, new Jerusalem, will be coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” and ”the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God”… And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life’… And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire”.
Instead of wringing hands over the fate of the planet or of our species, one should prepare him/herself so that he/she would not be ”blotted out of the book of the living”.
There is enough “God” talk elsewhere – It’s unnecessary & besides it’s all BS. The most evil Political bastards under the sun reside in the USA & they ALL profess to be “religous” & quote the Bible. ! You get the point ?
Unfortunately you do not get the point.
Funny, I think you both are missing something relevant about the book of life.
One doesn’t choose to enter, (or on the other hand, choose to be written out of the book) one is chosen to be entered into it by another person, and rarely do they opt out once written into the book.
Search the book where it is written about the ‘book of life’: ‘Revelation of St. John’, aka ‘Apocalypse of St. John the Theologian’ 3:5.
“So nothing will fundamentally change after January 2021 – as officially promised by Biden-Harris: it’s gonna be Hybrid War on China all over again, deployed all over the spectrum, as Beijing has perfectly understood.”
Biden will never make it into office on January 20th. The real perps of 9/11 will see to it that their boy Trump remains in office indefinitely. I’m certain they will pull a redo of that awful event, this time blamed on Iran, that will enable him to enact near-dictatorial powers under the USA Patriot Act. May Heaven help the crew of the USS Nimitz.
Nah! The 9/11 boys are just fine with Biden. Trump was too damn unpredictable. And the dictatorial powers are coming no matter who’s in charge. The false flags are likewise just a way of life now. I used to be surprised when they rolled them out, but now I just chuckle knowingly while the lying press goes into their usual mock hysterics. Most of the sheeple don’t even notice them anymore. “New normal” indeed!
Trump was very predictable. Sheldon Adelson gave him “thirty pieces of silver” back in 2016 and in return he killed the JCPOA, moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem, and turned a blind eye to Israel’s annexation of the West Bank. Biden wouldn’t have done any of that. Satanyahu is terrified that the next president won’t be a yes-man like Trump. That’s why there will almost certainly be a 9/11 redo before January 20th.
We’ll see soon enough I guess. Absolutely nothing would surprise me anymore! I’m so tired of it I all I often wish they’d just fire up the nukes and get on with it already.
May Heaven help the crew of the USS Nimitz.
My sentiment exactly! this long excruciating lying, false flag filled build up to the nukes is the real cruelty. and now adding Covid makes it truly thorny, painful, miserable.
I was just yesterday taken through a long interrogation about my personal recent life, by a female store-hand who normally tends the restocking of shelves… to get into a supermarket to buy some food
excruciating indeed! it should have have been blown already.
Los verdaderos perpetradores del 11 de Septiembre apoyan a los dos candidatos pero hasta ahora no se han manifestado por alguno de los dos. De pronto están fraguando alguna situación de bandera falsa para definir a cuál de los dos van a apoyar.
The real perpetrators of 9/11 support the two candidates but so far have not come out for either of them. Suddenly they are forging some false flag situation to define which of the two they are going to support.
Dear Chinese friends,
Please stop hoping that a Mulan or a divine wind will scatter your enemies. You are offering the whole political-economic paradigm to the Americans on the plate. Only if you are prepared to defend BRI at the cost of many lives do you stand a chance.
Mr Escobar seems to ignore the fact that one cannot keep inventing and creating while the West is doing its best to ruin China through a thousand cuts. Time for counter-measures and quickly. Optimism is great but no longer enough.
@Anubis64, have you been to a Dollar Store…………..the Gold mine 80 miles north of my house (central Canada), owned by Sinomine…………..China started the ‘death by a thousand cuts’ many years ago, the West has just now noticed it’s bleeding……………..very badly.
btw, several years ago Canada announced, to the world, that it had sold all it’s gold. I found that odd at the time as there are no shortage of gold mines and alluvial gold fields in the country, then I learn this week that the local mine is owned by China, I’m begining to wonwer if that was what was ment by ‘Canada sold all it’s gold’.
It’s possible but I’m waiting for China to arrest Bezos, start destabilising Hawaii etc. Perhaps you’re right and the Chinese are not likely to surrender without a fight. At the same time, they are avoiding conflict at all costs. Perhaps tell us a bit more about Canada’s gold? Lots of rumours floating round, little evidence.
i do not doubt a bit that the Chinese is engaging in a different form of conflict, a form much less crude but more subtle and insidious than Washington is applying to her. After all, the book of Sun Tze and its concept was originally coming from China. The American military teaches it at West Point but I sincerely do not believe they have mastered the spirit of the text.
To master the text, first understand the Dao de Ching, that was the missing part of the puzzle at West Point.
And even then, I don’t think they will understand Sun Tzu. Otherwise they would not have got into the trade war. And also go for the “QUAD”.
The new Pentagon chief norminee doesn’t sound nor look any better although he would likely be more subtle and trickier to spar with. So far he has not revealed his hand. His “strategic patience” is likely a misdirection. He would need to sound more hawkish to gain congressional conformation.😁
Who said that ‘Americans play Monopoly, Russian play chess, but Chinese play Weiqi? Someone retorted that in fact Americans play poker with loaded dice and when their bluff is called they pull the gun and the winner gets all, oblivious that the ‘losers’ have guns too.
This is about how the strategic games are played by Americans.
But the Chinese (and Russians, for that matter) learned from Napoleon: “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.”
One might wonder what China thinks of this new colonial war in “France” — New Caledonia’s natives are revolting (again) just off the Australian east coast. Probably unrelated to general geopolitical churn… (/sarc)
If the natives are smart, for the next vote they should buy some second hand Dominion voting machines and some slightly used heavy duty servers……….”pay no attention to the bullet holes, we are working on a patch for that………………”
I think China would like to buy into the nickel mines. And help bring about a just peace.
China did the same for Indonesia recently.
A few billion will likely solve the crisis.
Not only mines in Canada but Canadian mines held in other countries. https://capforcanada.com/buried-by-media-trudeau-sells-off-all-canadian-gold-sells-gold-industry-to-china/
Dear foolished canuck,
You can easily check an official information in many websites like this: https://www.marketscreener.com/quote/stock/GOLDMINING-INC-7982445/company/ and verify that your homeland (which is their native land…) still completely destroys (forever, in opposition of any idiot forest burner government) foreign soil, land and water all around the globe…
I suspect that in return we received an oversized allotments of SDRs.
Of course, there’s nothing “crypto” there so long term, it was of limited benefit.
You’ve got a point. The Song Dynasty of China was a pacifist dynasty. It used its gunpowder technology – explosives, grenades, rockets, cannons, etc. – defensively against the Mongols. It had to surrender Northern China to the Mongols after the Mongols got hold of some of the technology from traitors.
Later the Southern Song i.e. the rump of the Song ruling south of the Yang Tzi River used the same defensive tactics with more sophisticated gunpowder weapons. The Mongols under Kublai Khan got hold of the technology and used it to conquer the Southern Song and unified the whole of China.
So defensive tactics alone will not deter aggression and derive a satisfactory outcome.
China will somehow have to declaw the eagle.
Have you read ‘The Art of War’?
No. But this is certainly not an pre-condition to express our free speech and our intelligent opinions and intellectual tirades about its content to convince and seduce the audience about our superior knowledge about the subject :-D.
Only if the US can last its thousand cuts strategy. If the US had thought that it could win in a fight with China, it would already started a fight in the SCS or over Taiwan.
But so far neither the US nor the island of Taiwan dared to cross China’s ultimate red line – proclaiming independence and/or recognizing Taiwan as an independent country.
The US is now like the last military superpower, pushing an evermore muscular military while grappling with a fast-collapsing economy.
So technology, trade, science and computerisation are all against the sustainability of the US dollar as a factor of intrenational trading.
Xanadu was built in accordance with feng shui principles, with hills to the north and a river to the south and was designed by Kublai Khan’s Chinese advisor, Liu Bingzhong in AD 1256.
The Chinese have long memories and very good at planing ahead.
Not “technology, trade, science and computerisation” but US profligacy, economic mismanagement and spending on the military like the former USSR whch are against the “sustainability of the US dollar as a factor of international trading”.
China may have “long memories” and “planning ahead”.
But Chinese civilization culture needs to be more inclusive and acceptable of other foreign cultures. It is very hard for foreigners to be accepted into Chinese culture, unlike Western and especially Christian Anglo-Saxon culture. Therefore, not only is it hard for foreigners to assimilate into Chinese culture, but also hard for them to contribute and live their long term in China.
So long as Chinese culture remains illiberal, its soft power will be weak and unable to compete with contemporary Christian American culture.
This will have consequences as America continue to out-attract the best brains to live and work in America including from China.
But it is this very barrier to assimilation to outsiders that has allowed the Chinese and Asians more broadly to preserve their culture. If they had not been “illiberal”, China could very well have ended up like the US today, fragmented along ethnic/racial boundaries.
On the other hand, the Chinese also have a history of assimilating outsiders, though it has been largely forced upon them by foreign conquerors. The Mongols and the Manchus are prime examples of outsiders that have been Sinicised.
The US “fragmentation” was due to society by and large rejecting the tenets of the Bible and the God of their fathers.
China today has estimated 300 million Christians purified by persecution. Still growing exponentially in numbers.
As you pointed out, China sinicised her conquerors. Only then were they accepted. Not the other way round.
Can China liberalize her culture and acceptance/integration of foreigners? That is without compromising on moral standards which in China is increasingly Christian-like.
Are you suggesting that if Americans would just be more faithful in their adherence to Christianity the ethnic strife in American society would disappear? I think the division between the ethnic/racial groups in the US goes deeper than religiosity or any other cultural forces as it works on a more fundamental, primal level. White Americans don’t want to be around blacks, for example, not because blacks are not Christian enough but because blacks are thought to be inherently dumber and more prone to violence.
And yes, China has Sinicised its conquerors but that is what “assimilation” entails and this, ideally, should be the goal in dealing with newcomers in any society. With the salad bowl integration (as opposed to assimilation) in the US where the ethnic/racial groups are mixed together but each one of them retains and perpetuates their own identity and culture what you end up with is a lack of national coherence and a conflict of interests.
The short answer to your first question from my viewpoint is “yes”. If Americans repent of their sins and return to God through Jesus Christ, guided by the Bible, then the civil strife will gradually subside.
As for Chinese culture, China should liberalize such that it be able to integrate without sinicizing foreigners especially foreigners who want to be citizens. Such citizens should undertake to be loyal to China’s constitution as well as to fellow citizens not to Chinese culture which itself is slowly changing.
BRI shows what you can accomplish if you don’t get tied up by whacko environmental impact statements.
Great piece! Reading between the lines, what all this indicates to me is that the war for 21st economic hegemony has already long-since been declared, albeit somewhat surreptitiously by the Chinese, and the that the US, typically tone deaf to Eastern sensibilities, is just now waking up to the fact that they have already lost. Predictably, the western hegemon is now throwing a fit, threatening the world with all of its self-proclaimed 20th century military and technological based superiority. Trouble is, we ain’t living in the 20th century anymore and all that “superiority” is now just barely competitive (at best) with the rest of the world, and very soon to be deficient and then obsolete altogether. But like any bully who finally wakes up and realizes that his power is on the wane, Uncle Sugar’s only option is to keep banging the same old drum for as long as it continues to scare someone. Sad and pathetic, to say the least. Uncle Sugar needs to be put in an old folks home and injected with a good strong dose of his own Covid19 for the good of us all.
I would extend this analysis a bit. It is not simply a matter of “20th century hegemon vs. 21st century upstart”.
It’s industrial civilization vs. post-industrial civilization.
The legacy industrial West has no chance in this competition, and it’s not merely due to the incremental advantages the more efficient PRC system.
The West has naval superiority, but virtually no where to apply it. Any unilateral aggressive action must be carefully chosen so as to not incite a global war versus 6 billion non-Westerners.
Meanwhile, every single day the PRC widens the gap in countless arenas–bilateral relations, technology, domestic conditions, etc.
Western expert analysts are still (mis)educated under a “indust-real” worldview (to borrow from Toffler), which can only process events in terms of linear & logical relationships with limited complexity. So we get these 300-page reports about this or that, which are internally consistent, but totally miss out on crucial relationships that go outside the experts’ lane.
Strike one: Generals, even if retired are not supposed to run the War Department (let’s start crawling our way back to Reality by calling things by their true names).
Strike two: His connection to Raytheon is an obvious conflict of interest.
Strike three: If he failed to subdue little relatively defenseless Iraq and Afghanistan he’s incompetent! And now he’s gonna plan our wars on Russia and China?
You obviously do not understand the ‘new normal’ US style — the “Hunter Biden Theory” is the name of the game.
China needs only to be patient with the situations the US presents as forms of warfare.
The lead is changing hands.
Last week, China hit three marks of technological superiority in three different sectors, all in one week.
1. China has successfully launched its artificial sun nuclear fusion reactor for the first time
2. The Chinese lunar probe Chang’e-5 made a successful docking with the orbital and return module, passing a capsule with samples of lunar soil (regolith).
3. China has created a quantum computer that performs calculations 10 billion times faster than Google’s prototype
Read more specifics about the above news items:
1. The HL-2M Tokamak reactor is the largest and most advanced experimental research device in the field of nuclear fusion in China, and scientists hope that this device can potentially open access to a powerful source of clean energy.
It uses a powerful magnetic field to hold hot plasma, in which the plasma can reach temperatures of more than 150 million degrees Celsius, which is about ten times hotter than The sun’s core.
The reactor, located in the southwest of Sichuan province, whose construction was completed at the end of last year, is often referred to as the “artificial sun” because of the huge amount of heat and energy that it will be able to produce.
“It is natural that the development of thermonuclear energy will be a solution both for the growing strategic energy needs of China and for the future sustainable development of energy and the national economy,” comments the Peoples Daily newspaper.
Chinese scientists have been working on creating a smaller version of the fusion reactor since 2006.
2. the Supercomputer during tests was able to register an average of 43 photons, but this number reached 76. The computing speed of a Chinese computer can be estimated at 100 trillion times higher than that of the fastest existing supercomputer, Xinhua wrote, citing scientists.
“The quantum computing breakthrough is like a threshold. This proves that if a new prototype of a quantum computer exceeds the strongest traditional one in certain tasks, then breakthroughs can occur in many other areas,” said Lu Chaoyang, a Professor at the Chinese University of science and technology.
3. Next, the orbital module and the return capsule will detach from the takeoff module and, if appropriate, will return to Earth. After the orbital module reaches near-earth orbit, the return capsule will separate from it and make a landing.
“Chang’e-5” became the first spacecraft in 44 years to be sent for the lunar soil. It was planned to collect about two kilograms of regolith. The resulting samples will be studied by Chinese specialists both for scientific purposes and for a project to prepare for the construction of a research base on the moon.
China is doing the very hard, the very rare things in science and technology. You can’t say they are “stealing” these accomplishments. The achievements are leaps far beyond US technology, which apparently can’t even produce its own election machines so its fraudulent elections are stolen on foreign machines.
China 2025 was scary for the US. The reality of 2025, 2030 and 2035 will be catastrophic.
My thesis is that technology changes political systems more that political systems change technology. New laws were need to be enacted when the automobile replaced the horse and cart. A licence to drive. When moving pictures replaced the printed word certain new standards were enacted.
When Deng Xiao Ping said “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” It doesn’t matter if you have are left or right, capitalistic or socialist, or “democratic” or “authoritarian” government, what matters is if you deliver good governance for the people.”
Perhaps he was referring to the consideration that advanced and changing technology will do more to determine the good of the people than any political system.
Some will answer that nothing is more attractive than personal power and that is political. I do however see the internet and thousands of ‘blogs’ and alternate ‘sources’ doing more to destroy CNN or the New York Times than any hope they have of clinging to their previous strength. Again technology, science.
So whatever name you give to political systems it will be more akin to variations of the classification of antelopes than any poetic reality.
Dèng Xiǎpíng NEVER said “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.”
That was a slander by “Gang of Four” adherents.
The colours were not “black (or) white” but “black (or) gray”, which I have from his son at Peking University (Bĕi’Dà). There is no “or” in the original quote.
Black and white (hēi and bǎi) do not rhyme in modern standard Chinese when pronounced with received Bĕijing pronounciation (Pekinese). But they do if your speech is influenced bu the dialects along the central and lower Chángjiāng (or “Yángtzĭjiāng(Yang-tzu-kiang) littorals, like Máo Zé’dōng and his Gang of four friends did: “he’ ” and “be’ “.
Dèng would have said “black” and “grey” : “hei’ and “hwei” — which rhyme
Dèng had picked up the saying from a Sìchuanese-speaking friend who rhymed “black” and “yellow”: Ha’ and hwã .
In addition, they did not talk about mice (shūzi )but about catching the rat : “lǎo-háo” .
The latest Chinese prodigy, 24 year old Cao Yuan, discovered superconductivity at room-temperature while researching at the MIT. He had indicated that he wants to return to China.
I hope he is safe.
The previous outstanding prodigy, Dr. Chiang, who developed the US ballistic missile, was allowed to return. He was the ‘father’ of China’s ballistic missiles and space rockets.
Somehow, my guts feel tell me that the US won’t allow him to return to China, safely or mentally intact, that is.
Cao’s very brilliant breakthrough has already jump started research and breakthroughs in new superconductive materials and applications in the US.
If he is allowed to return like the late Dr Chiang, China will leap ahead of the US in superconductive applications.
Anyway, even if Cao is not allowed to return or worse, there are many more like him or better in China.
As per the PISA scores, there are now an estimated 41,000,000 maths prodigies in China – the highest percentage of the population of any country.
There is one other very important breakthrough achieved by China in the past week: China successfully tested a sodramjet engine so revolutionary and powerful that it is able to fly a plane at mach 16.
No date was given for this achievement. But knowing China, that breakthrough was likely made a long time ago before the announcement.
So it figures that China recently flew a space plane into space and flew it back to China after orbiting the earth for two days.
The Chinese press reported that it would take off amd fly into space and then land like a normal aeroplane. The plane could only do this if powered by a sodramjet engine able to reach mach 16
while the west bans 5g china is already testing 6g tech. i guess when all high tech needs 5g we know who is streets ahead in that war
Yeah. And I have a feeling that 7G will be fully quantum, including the cloud to which it would be linked. The 7G would be fully secure and unhackable. And much faster than even 6G.
For all of you who follow Pepe Escobar, as we do, we highly recommend watching/listening to this foundation that explores the current geo-strategic abilities of the US.
There’s an eye-opening detailed map of how the US has captured much of the world using US military bases/important water ports and the like. It’s a super stranglehold. And you’ll better understand why China’s progress remains largely on land territories.
The monologue is in Italian with English subtitles.
Regarding the Belt and Road agenda it is interesting to consider the Yuan as a resonant frame of reference. It’s of considerable interest to reflect on how prosperous China was under the rulership of foreign dynasties. Starting in the 1990s various scholars canvassed ideas of ‘alternative modernities’ with reference to the Ching, or Manchu dynasty. Manchurian rule presented China with a comparatively low cost security regime. This compared favourably to the Ming which was burdened with the very high logistical expenses manning the Northern Wall. This era of foreign rule (the Ching) saw a remarkable population growth throughout the dynasty. The point I want to make here might not be obvious but our Chinese neighbours are not burdened with ontological political conceptions that form answers to the question of ‘who rules?’ Chinese conceptions are relational. There’s such a thing as a ruler/minster relation. It doesn’t necessarily matter who the ruling dynasty is; what matters are the ministers, the Confucianists, the real 1%ers of the country. One can view the recent remarkable rise of Chinese industrial development as taking place under the security umbrella of the US Navy. This worked nicely for some, though not others, until recently. Presently China is building a blue water navy consistent with the tasks of securing the global reach of its international trade. But in other respects China has come to rely, though not obviously so, on Russia. Under the impressively capable leadership of President Putin, Russia has achieved what H. Kissinger, back in the 1970s, viewed as the three essential capabilities supportive of American hegemony. These were high tech military industrial market dominance, energy dominance (through the control of client states as well as large commercial corporations) and agricultural surpluses leading to many countries depending on American food sources. Leadership in food, energy, and weapons enabled America to export security goods to it’s vassals and clients throughout the world. Presently America is in a decline in reference to all three while Russia has assumed a formidable leadership role.
This is not to say that Russian weapons exports are in the same league as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman in terms of dollar denominated market value. But we’re trying to take a more strategic view. Many Asian, African and Latin American countries want to take advantage of these win/win deals the Chinese have on offer. And they no doubt regard these as much preferable to the debt trap scams vended by Western agencies like the IMF/WB and such. So we see the North Atlantic elites reduced to the hysterics of media blitzes and all manner of special forces dirty tricks to throw sand in the gears of various Belt and Road deals. Doing business with China entails security risks. Enter Russia. Russia has missile technology on offer that can sink American ships, including carriers, and shoot down just about anything that flies. Russia can guarantee food and energy supplies (including nuclear). Russia is the up and coming diplomatic power of a new (or not so new) world order. In Asia, Africa, and Latin America they’re on good terms with nearly everybody and are increasingly trusted in inverse proportion to a declining America, increasingly viewed as ‘not agreement capable’.
As Pepe concludes the prospective Biden admin will see more of the same ‘full spectrum’ hybrid war such as we’ve already seen. It can hardly be otherwise. The West is on the back foot; they have nothing to offer aside from the usual debt scams which work well for native political and military elites but that’s about it.. All they can do is add NGO driven media theatrics and contract little bands of terrorists to gum up the works where they can. In all this the fortunes of China are best understood in an inclusive relational manner with attention to China’s allies and what they are able to do acting in concert, however the PR might disguise these things. I think then that the general reference to the Yuan dynasty is apropo . To be sure it’s a bit of a stretch to run a parallel from the the Golden Horde to the Russian Federation but the point is that a security zone and the economic activities that occur within this need not proceed from the same agencies. There’s really allot going on in that innocuous phrase: ‘win/win’, nothing less than an evolving world order. If my hard working reader has gotten this far I thank you for your patience.
“Chinese scholars are fond of quoting a 13th century imperial handbook, according to which policy changes should be “beneficial for the people” ”
It is called evolution,
and instead of going anywhere
it bites you in the ass
time and time again
as does the fabled corona virus
be it in Texas, or China
unless you open your eyes …
I really like when you weave the history with geopolitics when you write about particular region Pepe. This one is enjoyable to read, as usual. It’s not a dry political analysis but it’s a way of looking at the region through history, culture and trade in a concise and informative article.
The US will never peacefully allow powerful “rival” nations to wield influence in a multipolar power arrangement. It will lie, threaten, coerce and use every covert and overt method available to stymie them. Washington does not do peaceful cooperation unless it is calling all the shots (in which case there is nothing peaceful about any “cooperation”).
The supremacist ideology of American exceptionalism runs deep and the US would rather weaponize space and ponder the use of “tactical” nukes than accept that a unipolar world means permanent conflict, instability and, quite possibly, the destruction of life on earth in a nuclear Armageddon. No strong, self-respecting nation will let itself be forever dominated by an exploitative foreign power. The Ivy League and Beltway exceptionalists do not understand this very simple truth.
Sometimes I get the sense the Chinese (and Russian) leadership still hopes that eventually the Americans will come around and meet with them as equal partners. This will never happen.
If the Sino-Russian alliance is serious about checkmating American hegemony, it could begin by setting up a global financial transaction system that bypasses SWIFT and undermines the siege warfare-like criminal sanctions the US Treasury places on countries like Iran, Syria and Venezuela that the empire wants to destroy or subjugate. Such a move would buy them serious street cred with much of the global south and countries under the west’s imperial boot heel.
Another aspect of American dominance that they need to seriously address is the information war. The US is a master of psychological manipulation and social engineering. Its news media and massive entertainment sector (Hollywood, Netflix etc.), brands like Nike, Levi’s and Coca-Cola along with CIA affiliated NGOs gives it global reach. Take Netflix for example. Even a locally produced Russian show on that platform will contain barely disguised liberal globalist propaganda. Almost every show and movie produced on American platforms and by Hollywood studios doubles as a conduit for promoting western social norms and globalist and “human rights” propaganda.
Propaganda delivered via news and entertainment media is very effective at effectively brainwashing people and getting them to believe all kinds of nefarious nonsense. That’s why the Five Eyes spooks are so terrified of WikiLeaks, “disinformation” and ordinary people using the internet to bypass the MSM. Western strategy is to heavily propagandize the youth population in the east and global south because they are the future leaders. Russia and China have a lot of work to do here and it won’t be easy countering US/UK pop culture “cool” and its immense (soft) power.
The fake populist and arch Zionist stooge Donald Trump, his DoS porkman “Mike” Pompeo along with the spook assisted MSM have in recent years successfully tarnished the reputation of China in the western public imagination. Even some astute anti-Russiagaters, e.g. Pat Lang, have bought into this propaganda ruse in a big way. Countering these multifaceted national character assassination campaigns will be very challenging for nations that don’t have the global reach of the western MSM/NGO industrial complex.
But the first major test of Sino-Russian resolve will likely happen when the Biden administration threatens to coup d’état via aerial bombardment, proxy war or other means a “regime” it doesn’t like, as happened in 2011 in Libya. In that instance China and Russia foolishly trusted NATO’s “humanitarian war” claptrap and got seriously played. The Syria regime change operation was checked by the Russian Aerospace Forces but it is still in progress and American troops and jihadi proxies still occupy the country. Keeping countries and territories along the New Silk Road(s) route unstable or coopted will almost certainly be a high priority in the coming years.
The empire is long past its prime, under delusional leadership and fated to eventually implode but it is still a force to be reckoned with. It is weaker (but not weak) and can still cause a lot of damage during its inevitable decline phase, which could become a long and drawn out process. How China and Russia handle the next round of American and NATO ‘full-spectrum’ aggression will show the world how prepared and how serious they are about countering the western imperialists’ globalist agenda.
It is not necessary to react instantly to the slightest provocation, like the Americans do, but it is important for China and Russia to publicly demonstrate that they WILL defend their interests and that overt or covert attacks on allies and peaceful independent countries will not be tolerated.
Well said, PP,
Many here would prefer the delusion of the US as a rational agent. It’s coming and no deals, bribes, compromises and goodwill gestures will appease the enemy. They’d better get ready fast.
Pepe Escobar’s always superiour reporting on the big lines in Global developpements are as always marred by one single blemish. Like here:
“BRI in fact bristles with Sun Tzu simplicity applied to geoeconomics.”
Nothing wrong with the content, but with the spelling of the strategic theorist’s name:
Mr. Sun has a “tzu” attached to his surname as a mark of respect given to thinkers in ancient China (it means “child” when occuring alone, but is only a polite addition when attached to a surname.
However, this is an old anglo-american spelling. The translitteration thet has been current for several decennia now is the mainland Hànyǚ pīnyīn transscription is Sūnzĭ.
(The diachritics above the vowels denote Chinese tones, which are necessary for understanding what is said or written. To often regarded as optional — unfortunately!
That the chinese money system (computerised electronic) will do away with physical cash or dollars in all those countries that BRI covers and use the Chinese cashless apps will spell the slow but inevitable end for the US dollar. The transactions will start small and local but will eventually prevail overall other. Already the ‘SWIFT’ money transferr system is being outclassed by other players in cluding the Chinese which already has the largest volume of trade on the planet.
US weapons are many yet they cannot protect their homeland so if they strike anyone with nucelar weapons that will be returned therefore they cannot attack Russia or China unless suicide and those with money in the US will not allow that.
Now think about the money … presently the US is sanctioning China and China is sanctioning Australia. Can and will the US assist Australia and if so how? Sell Australia 10 x F35 aircraft? Correct the trade inbalance with Australia whereas the US runs a positive balance.
This same senario will play out with most of the US ‘allies’ until they recognize the economic reality that their prosperity is more dependent on China than the US.
Most countries other than the US are well aware of what Deng Xiao Ping is reported to have said: “It doesn’t matter whether a cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.” It doesn’t matter if you have are left or right, capitalistic or socialist, or “democratic” or “authoritarian” government, what matters is if you deliver good governance for the people.”
Tollef Ås … I yearn to know how 子 … tzu … holds the same pronunciation as zĭ.
I say 子 … tzu frequently when speaking about The Great Pyramid (Da Jin Tzu Ta).
Tzu makes sense to me as I have my teeth together when making the sound … T z u and clearly identify the flow of each letter sound. So, especially with the last letter sound of “u” (uh) … how is this same sound made using ĭ in zĭ. I cannot add diacritics easily, so have omitted.
China in recent months seems to be making more solid statements that they find certain situations very objectional…in various scenarios. Would they back up these statements with solid eg miltary presence
and or actions?
China is very slow to anger. This is taken advantage of by for example, countries like Australia.
And China gave lots of warnings like before the Korean War. And like now. China had been giving multiple warnings of war for many years now. And also showing very clearly and repeatedly where her red lines are.
So no one could say that he wasn’t warned when he crosses those red lines, especially iover Taiwan.
What’s the possibility that the CCP Komsomol deposes Xi and “surrenders” now that the DNC is back in power?
Basically the choice is between being beholden to the US variety of big-company capitalism or the Chinese one, with a proportion of surveillance and state control thrown into the equation in the latter case. Personally, I´d take the US Version any day of the year..
So you think that US big-company capitalism doesn’t do surveillance or work as a partner or part of the deep state. Very interesting.
What do you mean when you say Xi is the new Hitler? I would suggest this whole scene has been preplanned by the cartel of Shepherds which have no regard for the Sheep. In my short lifespan I’ve watched fights break out over the stupidest of reasons. The West has been buying Chinese products and labor for All My Life, and now the West want to use this BRI as a Thing an Acadien in Canada has to worry about!? I have “come out frm among Them and I Am Separate from Their objectional reality, pure and simple, and to prove it They put Me in prison. I am not at All concerned about my personal sovereignty. I’ll Die for it before I’d hire any Goof to stand up for my freedom. Just Saying.
Another factor is the strange and growing American contempt for “things”. Blue state people in particular despise the physical materials and processes that actually comprise and power the world. They loathe and are offended by oil and gas, steel, mined minerals, as well as the people and companies that produce and “profit” from them (a dirty word). Unlike Mr. Martyanov, they take zero delight in the sophisticated weapons their industry produces, and have little love for the planes, ships and rail systems that move people and products. All of these represent man-made violations of the natural world, and the sooner the world can move beyond them the better.
What substitutes for this defiled–and, among the decent, unacceptable–world of material things? The economy of insubstantiality and abstraction, of digital this and nominal that, of “products” without a footprint. Finance and its derivatives trading spawn. Digital technology and its social media spawn. Hugely valued companies featuring videos of dancing teenagers or breathless accounts, in text and image, of trips to the grocery store. The famous Seinfeld episode about a new TV show about nothing? Is now joined by an American economy largely about nothing…as in no-things.
Which may offer a supplementary explanation for Americans’ hatred (the elite) and indifference (the public) towards BRI: it’s too much about infrastructure and other manifestations of physical reality that seem so, so, so yesterday. Indeed, if Facebook, Google and other purveyors of Bits and Bytes World had not completed the job of convincing millions that there is no need to leave one’s home, that friend of the Singularity, Mr. COVID, has done it for them. Trade physical goods in foreign locations? Why? Build ports and airports and immense maritime fleets, all designed to move A from B to C? What for? Americans look at BRI and wonder: with all of the cosmos at one’s fingertips, why would anyone do these things? Indeed, why get out of bed, much less go to Kazakhstan?