Archive for September, 2019


September 27, 2019

Fox News on September 9, 2019 published an article by Harry J. Kazianis, the director of Korean Studies at the Center for the National Interest (USA). Below are excerpts from that article:

The Trump administration, despite constant criticism at home and overseas, has made the right decision in taking on China. And yet, very few pundits and so-called experts understand Trump’s strategy, the stakes involved and how America will implement it.

I can sum up Trump’s China strategy in one word: containment. And considering it brought down Soviet communism for good, Beijing should be shaking in its boots.

…China is a much more cunning and sinister opponent [than the Soviet Union]. An oppressor at home and a bully abroad, Beijing, now at the height of its economic power with a GDP worth more than $12 trillion and a military budget as high as $250 billion, possesses a one-two punch that the old Soviet Union could only dream of possessing. Beijing threatens America’s economic livelihood through mercantilist policies while also building weapons systems designed to attack and destroy our aircraft carriers, cyber infrastructure and more.

The good news is that Trump is clearly borrowing the playbook [of Ronald Reagan]…

You shouldn’t be surprised. If you consider how Reagan took on the Soviets and compare it to Trump’s approach on China, the similarities are shocking.

Consider the times in which both men inherited the great power challenge in front of them and how both responded. First, just like Reagan, Trump inherited a crumbling U.S. military that was in desperate need of rebuilding thanks to progressive policies that damaged its ability to deter our enemies. Both Trump and Reagan passed large defense budgets focused on taking on their principal rivals, making key investments that were sorely needed to not only stay ahead of the threat curve, but ensure military dominance. And just like Reagan, Trump seeks to ensure that if a conflict were to break out, America would have the tools to fight — and to win.

We also can’t forget the way each man uniquely communicates the dangers posed by the threats of their era — with great impact, done in a way that America’s foes can’t easily rebut.

…Trump’s use of Twitter to constantly convey the state of trade negotiations, to call out China’s president — both positively and negatively — or to convey his anger at Beijing is, just like Reagan, using his own unique style of communication to box his opponent in and force it to respond to something it can hardly refute. Unless Chinese President Xi Jinping gets on Twitter to rebut Trump — technically he cannot as Twitter is not allowed in China — China has no effective means to respond.

Next, both Reagan and Trump realized that the core foundation of any nation is economic strength, with both doing all they could to ensure that America’s financial foundation is as strong and as vibrant as ever.

…[but]Reagan and Trump diverge — and for good reason. Soviet Russia was not tied into the global economy like Communist China. With Beijing stealing trillions of dollars in U.S. intellectual property, closing off markets and providing illegal subsidies to domestic industries to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, Trump confronts an economic juggernaut that Reagan did not.

Thankfully, the administration has made leveling the playing field its mission, slapping hundreds of billions of dollars of potential tariffs on Chinese goods unless Beijing not only abides by its obligations under international law but also stops taking advantage of America’s open markets and consumers. Trump is determined to ensure that no more factories or blue-collar jobs leave for China, a practice that essentially transfers economic wealth to our top geopolitical foe.

…in the case of China, nothing could be worse than a rogue state with an economy someday larger than America’s that has the military prowess to defeat Washington both economically and militarily.

America must continue to ensure China’s vision for the 21st century, with a totalitarian Beijing atop the global pecking order, does not come to pass.

Comment: Containment was a doubtful strategy of the West during the Cold War as long as it was not offensive. The Reagan administration starting in 1981 changed containment to economic warfare against the Soviet Union. The American response to the unfair economic practice of China mainly since 2001 is a form of economic warfare. It would however be more exact to describe it as decoupling. That is decoupling the American economy from the Chinese and based on the USMCA Treaty develop the economy of the Western Hemisphere as a framework. Already today Canada and Mexico are larger US partners in trade than China.


September 26, 2019

On September 22, 2019, Washington Times published a commentary by Dennis Lennox, a public affairs consultant, on the growing interest in China concerning the Indo Pacific. Excerpts below:

…China eyes Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, [and] even American Samoa is faced with challenges.

In addition to the long-ignored U.S. territories, there are three island-republics — the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau — that have relied upon the grace and favor of the United States since the postwar years. The relationship between these freely associated states and Washington is governed through an instrument called the Compact of Free Association.

Together, the territories and island-republics are geographically situated between Hawaii and the Philippines…in a vast swath of the Indo-Pacific informally called the American Lake. The nickname reflects what was an exclusive U.S. sphere of influence. Until the rise of China, the only other power exercising postwar clout here was Australia, which is also struggling to confront Chinese influence.

Despite its so-called Pivot to Asia, the Obama administration did little to assert itself on these islands.

Not only do American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas have elected governors, legislatures and even delegates to Congress, but each also has a Republican Party that sends a full delegation to the national convention.

Beijing’s targets in the Indo-Pacific and closer to home in the Caribbean and Latin America generally share the same characteristics: Poor when compared to the GDP of the 50 states, underdeveloped and generally forgotten. All sorts of basic infrastructure and other improvements are built or promised. Think hospitals, schools, highways, ports and airports. Some are freebies; others involve loans that will never be repaid. Moreover, as independent countries they have full voting privileges at the United Nations. This in and of itself is worth every yuan.

The Solomon Islands…ended diplomatic recognition of Taiwan after China promised $500 million in funding.

In addition to tariffs against China the president has also dispatched senior administration officials, including cabinet secretaries, and military leaders to the territories and elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific. Mr. Trump even hosted a historic White House summit with heads of state from the island-republics.

Washington must up its game. It should start with a revival of the Monroe Doctrine. There also needs to be a re-examining of the relationship with the islands and their individual political status or lack thereof. This should include statehood.

Ryan Zinke, President Trump’s former Interior secretary, visited each territory within the administration’s first year. Not only was that a remarkable feat given the significant travel distances, but it could be a new record since it took eight years for his predecessor in the Obama administration to do the same. Just recently, Assistant Secretary of Interior Doug Domenech flew halfway across the world to pay homage to island leaders and …[provide] $9 million for “improvements” in Palau.

The islands should be the bailiwick of a standalone agency with cabinet rank. The natural choice to head such an agency is former two-term Republican Gov. Eddie Calvo of Guam.

Not only does the institutionalized benign neglect only cement the second-class status of the territories, but it pushes the island-republics closer to China.

Then there is the question of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.

They should be given the option of becoming either territories or joining Guam and the Northern Marianas to form the 51st state.

Beyond equal citizenship and political equality, the overarching need for a revived Monroe Doctrine in the Indo-Pacific, Caribbean and Latin America cannot be said enough. Without it, China will supplant the United States.

Comment: Recent events in the Pacific is a further sign for the need of increased American concern. Taiwan recently lost another ally in the Pacific after the island nation of Kiribati decided to switch diplomatic recognition to Beijing. The decision came a few days after Tiwan severed diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands. Taipei is now left with only 15 allies around the world.

In a comment the Taiwanese foreign minister blamed Kiribati President Taneti Mamau and some members of the ruling party for entertaining “highly unrealistic expectations regarding China”, saying that since Mamau took office in 2016, he and those members had frequent exchanges with Beijing.

He further stated that Beijing had taken advantage of fisheries and other commercial investments to establish a presence and extend its influence in Kiribati. Seven diplomatic allies, including Kiribati, have switched allegiance to Beijing during the last three years. Taiwan has warned that Beijing’s influence in the strategically important Solomon Islands would have a “serious impact” on the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy.

After the Kiribati decision the American Institute in Taipei said that countries that establish closer ties to China primarily hope or expect that such a step will stimulate economic growth and infrastructure development often find themselves worse off in the long run.

President Tsai of Taiwan said that China has attempted to tell people in Taiwan that we cannot buy fighter jets [from the US], nor can we support Hong Kong’s [anti-government movement]. Beijing has since Tsai was elected president in 2016 increased its pressure on Taipei, stepping up military drills and lobbying its diplomatic allies to switch allegiance. A meeting between US Vice-President Mike Pence and Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare was cancelled after Washington said it was “disappointed” by the Solomons’ decision to change diplomatic recognition to Beijing.

The new developments mentioned above are signs that the revival of the Monroe Doctrine is urgently needed.


September 25, 2019

Fox News on September 24, 2019 in an article commented on Donald Trumps 2019 UN speech. Excerpts below:

President Trump [delivered] his most robust defense yet of his nationalist philosophy.

“Today, I have a message for those open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just, your policies are cruel and evil,” he said, accusing them of promoting human smuggling and the “erasure of national borders.”

He delivered the broadside as part of a message promoting border security, in the U.S. and around the world.

“Wise leaders always put the good of their own people and their country first. The future does not belong to globalists, the future belongs to patriots,” he said earlier in the speech. “The future belongs to sovereign and independent nations who protect their citizens, respect their neighbors and honor the differences that make each country special and unique.”

He advised member states, “If you want freedom, take pride in your country. If you want democracy, hold on to your sovereignty. If you want peace, love your nation.”

Trump…said that he wants to avoid “endless wars” but also promised to defend America militarily, if needed.

He used that message to pivot to Iran, urging the Islamic regime to put its people first and to abandon its quest for nuclear weapons and support of terror in the region. He told delegates that the U.S. does not seek conflict with other nations but that “I will never fail to defend America’s interests.”

He accused Iran’s leaders of “fueling the tragic wars in both Syria and Yemen,” and of “squandering their nation’s wealth in a fanatical quest for nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.”
“We must never allow this to happen,” he said.

He was given a boost on his hardline stance with Iran on [September 23] when Britain, France and Germany joined the U.S. in blaming Iran for attacks earlier this month on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia.

“All nations have a duty to act, no responsible government should subsidize Iran’s bloodlust,” he said, promising to tighten sanctions if Iran continued its aggression.

On September 24, he also used the speech to address the ongoing trade war with China, saying that at the heart of his vision is “an ambitious campaign to reform international trade.”

“For decades, the international trading system has been easily exploited by nations acting in very bad faith,” he said. “As jobs were outsourced, a small handful grew wealthy at the expense of the middle class.”

In his criticism of other leaders, he also appeared to take a swipe at former U.S. leaders who let China gain international dominance.

“Globalism exerted a religious pull over past leaders, causing them to ignore their own national interests, but as far as America is concerned, those days are over,” he said.

Comment: Another important part of the speech was devoted to the Western Hemisphere. Trump said:

…we are working closely with our friends in the region, including Mexico, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Panama, to uphold the integrity of borders and ensure safety and prosperity for our people. I would like to thank President Lopez Obrador of Mexico for the great cooperation we are receiving, and for right now putting 27,000 troops on our Southern Border. Mexico is showing us great respect, and I respect them in return.

For all of the countries of the Western Hemisphere, our goal is to help people invest in the bright futures of their own nation. Our region is full of such incredible promise, dreams waiting to be built, and national destinies for all. And they are waiting also to be pursued. Throughout the hemisphere there are millions of hard-working, patriotic young people, eager to build, innovate and achieve.

The Western Hemisphere, in the view of Världsinbördeskriget, has a promising future. As part of the decoupling of US economy from that of China America’s largest trade partners are now Canada and Mexico. A strong economy in all countries of the two American continents could be an alternative to China. Remaining socialist countries like Cuba and Venezuela will have a bright future if they choose free enterprise instead of socialism.


September 9, 2019

Spalding’s new book ”Stealth War” will be punlished in October 2019. It reveals the shocking success China has had infiltrating American institutions and compromising America’s national security.

Media often suggest that Russia poses the greatest threat to America’s national security, but the real danger lies farther east – in China. While the United States slept China has waged a six-front war on America’s economy, military, diplomacy, technology, education, and infrastructure–and they’re winning. It’s almost too late to undo the shocking, though nearly invisible, victories of the Chinese.

In his book, retired Air Force Brigadier General Robert Spalding reveals China’s motives and secret attacks on the West. Chronicling how our leaders have failed to protect us over recent decades, he provides shocking evidence of some of China’s most brilliant ploys, including:

Offering enormous sums to American experts who create investment funds that funnel technology to China.

Signing a thirty-year agreement with the US that allows China to share peaceful nuclear technology, ensuring that they have access to American nuclear know-how.

Placing Confucius Institutes in universities across the United States that serve to monitor and control Chinese students on campus and spread communist narratives to unsuspecting American students.

Spalding’s concern isn’t merely that America could lose its position on the world stage. More urgently, the Chinese Communist Party has a fundamental loathing of the legal protections America grants its people and seeks to create a world without those rights.

Despite all the damage done so far, Spalding shows how it’s still possible for the U.S. and the rest of the free world to combat–and win–China’s stealth war.

”Stealth War” is a must read for all who care about the security of the United States and the rest of the West.


September 7, 2019

Ret. USAF Brigadier General Robert Spalding in a June 2019 interview on radio warned that the geopolitical China threat to the United States had not been adressed strategically. Spalding has served at the White House as the Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the National Security Council, Washington D.C.:

China wages economic warfare against the U.S, said Spalding. It supports — and enriches itself off of — America’s competitors in Asia and the Middle East.

To approach this effectively the United States must work with its allies. In the Middle East with the Saudis and other Arab states and in Asia with mainly Japan and South Korea.

Spalding further said that in each of these regions, the partners there have to step up. America must reinvest in the country and grow the economy.

The focus has to be on deterrence and the growth of economy. Don’t spend all your money on weapons and focus on growing your economy. Military capacity cannot be separated from economic capacity, the brigadier general continued.

The United States must build and rebuild in the field of infrastructure and things that are actually growing the economy. If you don’t have a strong economy, it doesn’t matter, because you’re not going to be able to pay for the things you need to secure yourself.

When China entered the WTO, America closed 78,000 factories. 5.4 million people were put out of work. We closed ship-building facilities. We closed so much of our manufacturing capability that today we’re heavily reliant on the Chinese to provide the things we need to fight.

Spalding also said that the Chinese have managed to buy global ports and buying most of the global shipping — control the logistics. So think about that $800 billion defense budget we spend, and then all the money we’re spending to move and ship personnel and supplies all over the world, and you realize that the Chinese are making enormous sums out of what we do on a day-to-day basis. This is what they’ve built.

Spalding further highlighted China’s procurement of influence via financial relationship with America’s academia, businesses, entertainment and news media companies, non-profits and think tanks, and politicians.

The Chinese have studied the United States and the competition we had with the Soviet Union. They realized that if we ever became focused on their activities, then that would be tough for them because they relied on our openness in order to go after us. So they were essentially slowly eroding our personal freedoms through their economic and financial interaction with the country.

A large part of America’s elites have essentially aligned themselves — corporate interests, academia, politics, law firms, think tanks — with the Chinese Communist Party. The party knew that if it could go on to pursue that they could continue to slowly erode our competitive edge.

In essence, they want us to spend as much money as we can on defense, because that is not the area where they want to compete with us, Spalding warned. “They want us to bankrupt ourselves. That’s the goal.

President Donald Trump had in Spalding’s view reversed the status quo of America’s approach towards China set by his presidential predecessors. In 2017, the president basically said, ‘Enough is enough.’

They use the profits they make off the dealings with America to help the Iranians, to help the North Koreans, to help the Russians, both in a technological sense and economic sense,” concluded Spalding. He described Trump’s “decoupling” of America from dependence on Chinese exports and logistic as a means to reinforce America’s global positioning. China is aiding and abetting the countries that we try to put sanctions on. Whether or not they’re directly involved in the Iranians placing mines on tankers in the Persian Gulf, they’re complicit in that they’re enabling the Iranians to have the resources that enable them to do these things.


September 6, 2019

The South China Morning Post on November 30, 2018, published an article on a book by Stewart Paterson (”China, Trade and Power”) in which the decoupling of US and Chinese economies is described as ”inevitable”. For excerpts see below:

…the US should pursue an Anglophonic alliance to soften the blow, the author said…

The speed and extent of the decoupling will depend on negotiations between the world’s two superpowers, but it is already under way, with the shifting of US companies’ supply chains out of China and into other, cheaper Asian manufacturing hubs.

Stewart Paterson, a partner at fund management company Tiburon Partners…said that.. future trading blocs could be based on ideology and could be similar in structure to the Five Eyes security grouping, an intelligence alliance consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand the UK and US, formed after the Second World War.

“I think an element of decoupling is inevitable,” Paterson said at the book’s launch in Hong Kong. “What is fairly certain is that the [Chinese Communist Party] is not prepared to give up control of the commanding heights of the Chinese economy. When you read [US Trade Representative Robert] Lighthizer’s criticisms of China, going back a decade at least, he would take a view that I would share, that a trade economy like this produces unfair outcomes,” he said.

Decoupling would involve disentangling complex supply chains established over many years. Most of these were set up after China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in 2001 and opened the floodgates for Western companies to establish low-cost manufacturing bases there.

Research from US-based firm Rhodium Group shows that US companies invested US$256.49 billion in China between 1990 and 2017.

Over the same period, Chinese companies invested US$139.81 billion in the US. However, this was largely through acquiring US firms.
Thanks in part to foreign investment, China subsequently became the “world’s factory”, but in recent years has lost some of its competitive advantage to emerging neighbours such as Vietnam and Malaysia.

There are also signs that other Western economies are starting to question their relationship with China. New Zealand has become the latest nation to freeze Chinese tech giant Huawei out of its plans to roll out a 5G internet network. This follows a decision by the Australian government to bar Huawei from bidding for similar work in Australia.

Paterson’s book argues that China’s rise has come at the expense of Western economies and societies and was facilitated by the governments of the time, notably the Clinton administration in the US.

Paterson said that the only two winners from China’s accession were “the [Chinese Communist Party] and the 1 per cent [wealthiest] in the West”. The US’ “naive” pursuit of low inflation at the same time led to lower wages and poorer societies, “stimulating the Chinese economy by taking on greater levels of debt” while “China got everything it wanted”.

“The Chinese have been surprised by it and wrong-footed by it, but America needs to do some relationship building around the world to ensure they’re not isolated. The good news for the US at this juncture is that China’s Belt and Road Initiative has alienated a lot of people. The Europeans have similar complaints to the US in terms of [intellectual property] theft, lack of market access and lack of reciprocity. It should be possible to build a global alliance to support this.”

“Whether or not a recession is avoidable in any circumstances, I don’t know. It might well not be,” Paterson said. “My point would be if the choice is between a continuation of the status quo or a recession but by standing up to China liberalism survives, I would go for that option.”

Comment: President Trump may be engaged in an endless trade war with China, according to Republican Senator Marco Rubio. The rivalry between the United States and China is intensifying. Another problem is China’s human rights abuses. A crackdown by the Chinese regime on Hongkong could further complicate the relations.

A vital question now is if the two largest economies in the world should decouple.

Robert Spalding, a retired Air Force general who helped craft the Trump administration’s official National Security Strategy, has noted that if the US cuts off China it will cause the regime in that country to stagnate. CCP will then loose the favor of the population.

President Trump is using tariffs and demands for American companies to leave China to gain leverage in the trade negotiations. Senator Rubio thinks the United States needs “to be more protective of” numerous industries that are targets for Chinese espionage

China’s intellectual property theft is catastrophic when it deals with industries that are critical to American and Western future for example rare earth minerals, telecommunications, quantum computing, and in other fields.