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BRI Forum Beijing: How Western “Reports” Smear China

In poorer countries, people defend BRI

Andre Vltchek

Laos’ new High Speed Rail track.

The second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is about to open in Beijing. It will take place from 25th to 27th April, 2019. The Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to deliver the keynote address.

It is expected to be an event of tremendous proportions and importance: leaders from 37 countries will participate, including Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and President Duterte of the Philippines. Beijing will host 5,000 guests from 150 countries, as well as 90 international organizations.

The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has already been reshaping the world, fundamentally. Previously at the mercy of the Western imperialist powers, their armies, propaganda apparatuses and brutal financial institutions; Africa, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia have suddenly discovered that they have alternatives and choices. For various parts of the world, decades and centuries of stagnation and humiliation under colonialist and post-colonialist regimes have begun to come to an end. Entire nations have been freeing themselves, realizing their great hidden potential.

All this because of BRI; because of China as well as its close ally, Russia.

Entire huge railroad projects in East Africa as well as in the once devastated Laos (devastated by the insanely brutal Western carpet-bombing campaigns, which are still called a “Secret War”) are now connecting continents. Along the railway lines, schools are growing, and so are medical facilities, community learning centers and cultural institutions.

The BRI is not only about the economy, not only about infrastructure and development, it also about the well-being of the people, about the culture, health and knowledge. It is aiming at connecting people of different races, life philosophies, and beliefs.

And the rulers in the West are horrified. Nothing outrages them more than the prospect of losing absolute control over the world. For them, it is not (and never was) about improving the lives of hundreds of millions of impoverished people. They had centuries of absolute power over the planet, and all they did was to enrich themselves, murdering and robbing in all corners of the globe. For them, it is about ‘winning or losing’, about maintaining its colonies and ‘client’ states; by all means, even by the most brutal ones.

For China, (through BRI), it is all about spreading wealth everywhere. The firm belief in Beijing was and is: If the world is doing well, China will prosper, too.

*

And so, in Washington and London, and in so many other centers of Western might, thousands of ‘professionals’ are now employed and busy smearing China and its most ambitious international (and internationalist) projects. Smearing and spreading nihilism is an extremely well-paid job, and for as long as China is rising and the West declining, it appears to be a permanent one. There will be no deficit when it comes to funding all those anti-Chinese ‘academic reports’, fake analyses and articles. The more of them, the better; the more ridiculous they get, the better remunerated they are.

Take this one, for instance: “Grading China’s Belt and Road”.

With all those footnotes and ‘references’, it looks professional and academic. It can impress millions of China-phobes and China-bashers in Europe and North America. Suffering from complexes of superiority and “Yellow-Peril mentality”, they are searching for, and then welcoming all vicious attacks against Beijing and its initiatives.

Look closer, and it is ‘reports’ like this that are clearly nothing more than thinly disguised propaganda work ordered by those who are aiming at discrediting China and its internationalist efforts.

In its Executive Summary, the report states:

Since its launch in 2013, what China calls “One Belt, One Road” has emerged as the corner- stone of Beijing’s economic statecraft. Under the umbrella of the Belt and Road, Beijing seeks to promote a more connected world brought together by a web of Chinese-funded physical and digital infrastructure. The infrastructure needs in Asia and beyond are significant, but the Belt and Road is more than just an economic initiative; it is a central tool for advancing China’s geo-political ambitions. Through the economic activities bundled under the Belt and Road, Beijing is pursuing a vision of the 21st century defined by great power spheres of influence, state-directed economic interactions, and creeping authoritarianism.

As Beijing prepares to host the second Belt and Road Forum in late April 2019, countries that once welcomed Chinese investment have become increasingly vocal about the downsides. This report is intended to serve as a resource for governments, corporations, journalists, and civil society groups now re-evaluating the costs and benefits of Belt and Road projects…

In brief, it is propaganda; anti-Chinese propaganda, anti-Communist (or call it “anti-central-planning” propaganda).

It is also a tool for all those who are ready to criticize China, defining its marvelous efforts as a ‘debt trap’, among various other derogatory terms.

A leading academic at the University of the Philippines (U.P.), Roland G. Simbulan, agreed to analyze the origin of the CNAS report for this essay:

The April 2019 Report “Grading China’s Belt and Road” by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seems to be one of the latest findings and studies of American conservative think tanks which are in fact aimed at discrediting China’s economic thrusts through China-financed infrastructure, land and sea transport, investments, etc. These are China’s answer to the U.S.’ global military build-up and encirclement of its fast rising rival superpower. China is trying to avoid the mistakes of the Western powers including the U.S. and the

former USSR by not engaging in a tit for tat arms race. Instead, it is answering back with its Belt Road Initiative as well as other economic and market initiatives aimed at reinforcing China’s strengths while avoiding a direct attack on where the U.S. is strongest and has more advantage: the U.S. global military forces.

It is obvious from the backgrounds of the CNAS fellows who are authors of the report that they are all connected with the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. National Security Council. The American Enterprise Institute is a quasi-U.S. federal government think tank composed of recycled officials of the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Department of State. It is also obvious that they have consolidated the economic and political reports of all the U.S. intelligence community which are coordinated by the U.S. National Security Adviser.

And obviously, CNAS is not hiding where it stands, ideologically. It quotes such right-wing warriors as the French President, Emmanuel Macron, the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, the Minister of Energy in the defunct and discredited Ecuadorian government, Carlos Perez, and other unsavory figures.

Roland G. Simbulan continues:

While the CNAS Report may indeed have identified some of China’s vulnerabilities in the management of its China-funded projects which can easily merit criticism, i.e., sovereignty eroding, non-transparent, unsustainable financial burdens, locally disengaged, geopolitically risky, environmentally unsustainable, and corruption-prone), let us remember that China’s BRI was only launched in 2013. The U.S. and its Western Allies, including the multilateral institutions that they have created to assure U.S. neoliberal control of national economies since 1945 have engaged in practicing these “challenges” and dangers that it accuses China of initiating through BRI projects “for China’s geopolitical ambitions.”

These may be valid as in the case of the 10 case studies identified by the CNAS Report. But it is too soon to make conclusions in such a short time from 2013-2018. For these are also practices that have long been inflicted by the U.S. Empire and its allies since the end of World War 2 to assure economic, political and military hegemony. Unintentionally, the seven (7) challenges or dangers of China’s BRI identified by the CNAS are really challenges that are continually being inflicted by the U.S. Empire and its Western allies on weaker and smaller countries. Precisely, many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America are turning towards alternative international institutions such as ALBA in Latin America and BRI BECAUSE of the onslaught that they have long experienced with the PAX AMERICANA i.e. the U.S. and its allies.

Can the CNAS show that their sponsors and patrons are doing better, or can do better? The best way for the U.S. to counter the Belt Road Initiative (BRI) is to show AND prove that they can offer a better deal with developing countries in need of assistance for their infrastructure and development projects.

*

Mr. Sidqy LP Suyitno, an Indonesian high government official and former State Finance and Monetary Analysis Director of the Ministry of National Development Planning, is also puzzled by some of the wording in the report. When asked about the BRI project to build the bullet train from the Indonesian capital Jakarta to its city of Bandung, he contradicted the report:

Geopolitically Risky? It seems NOT to be. It seems more like making bilateral relations with Japan uncomfortable. The Japanese have been enjoying the benefits when it comes to relations with Indonesia, ever since Suharto’s dictatorship: the automotive industry is more like an oligopoly for Japanese cars in Indonesia. And what do we get back? We still don’t have our own car industry, our national car or our own national motorcycles production. Even though we have a very large “captive market”; in 2018, 1.1 million cars & 6.5 million motorcycles were sold in Indonesia.”

Apparently, what he is referring to, is that while Japanese car industry flooded Indonesia with its cars and badly polluting scooters, there were no benefits to the state or to the people of Indonesia. I can go much further and point out that according to my investigation, Japanese car industry corrupted the government officials in most of the Southeast Asian countries, “convincing them” not to build public transportation, instead choking both cities and the countryside with outdated models of private motor vehicles, consequently bankrupting citizens in the process.

In brief: Japan has managed to ruin Southeast Asian cities, preventing them from developing public transportation. And now should it be trusted in such places like Indonesia to develop a high-speed rail system? Indonesia, Laos and Thailand do not think they should trust Japan too much. They trust China much more. And the same goes for the Philippines. Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, when re-elected last year, stopped several high-profile projects with China, but now, it seems, has been discovering an appetite for cooperation with Beijing.

But the report speaks (using unacademic language, suddenly) about how China poached the high speed train project from the Japanese.

Professor Mira Lubis, from Tanjungpura University in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia, stated for this essay, her hope that BRI could improve life and environment on her devastated island:

“From what I know about BRI, I believe that its efforts would be mutually beneficial for both Indonesia and PRC. In Southeast Asia, the focus of BRI will be what could be described as the Maritime Silk Road. Indonesia is an archipelago with over 17,000 islands. Since 2014, our government is aiming at transforming Indonesia into what it calls the ‘Global Maritime Axis’. It means, developing ports and shipping lanes among other vital projects. This would be in synergy with BRI; BRI could strengthen Indonesia as a maritime power.

My island, Borneo, is ecologically damaged. I hope that it could directly benefit from the cooperation with China and its BRI. China is at the forefront of the struggle for ecological civilization, and I believe in its wisdom. I’m optimistic that BRI might help tobring sustainable development to Borneo.”

*

The CNAS report is ‘all over the place’, selectively attacking BRI and China for its involvement in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and South Pacific (Oceania).

In his essay “China’s road to a win-win ahead of BRI forum” published by the Asia Times, renowned Brazilian analyst Pepe Escobar wrote:

Relentless reports that the New Silk Roads, or the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), are a perfidious neo-imperial debt trap set up by Yellow Peril 2.0 are vastly exaggerated.

Beijing clinched a proverbial showering of BRI deals with 17 Arab nations, including Egypt, Lebanon and Oman. Not by accident, the forum this year was called Build the Belt and Road, Share Development and Prosperity. Up to 2018, 21 Arab nations had signed BRI memoranda of understanding.

These nations are not only BRI partners, but 12 of them also went for strategic partnerships with China…”

Little wonder why!

New terminal at Nairobi Airport, one of China’s BRI projects in Africa

Say China or BRI in Africa, just pronounce those names, and most of the people will show great enthusiasm. Every, even the Western surveys, clearly indicate that all over the continent, people harbor extremely positive feelings forwards China.

In Kenya (where I used to live), I repeatedly heard those who were working on countless Chinese projects, repeat:

This is the first time we are treated by the foreigners like human beings.”

People in Europe and North America love to adopt ‘politically correct speech’, but words somehow do not translate into deeds. Chinese workers may sometimes be rough, but they treat Africans like brothers and sisters. They also try to compensate them as if they would be their own.

But the CNAS report only criticizes China’s involvement in Africa, while African voices are rarely allowed to penetrate the uniform and dogmatic Western mainstream media.

An influential Ugandan analyst and opposition figure, Arthur Tewungwa, wrote for this essay:

The basic assumption of Africans is that they are stupid and ignorant of history, politics, and the global financial arrangement of the world. The scaremongering of Chinese global domination does not really wash on a continent that is still under a sustained attack from the very forces that led us into slavery, colonialism and its manifestation, neo-colonialism. Using the Ugandan opposition’s criticisms of the government’s (a staunch ally of the US and its regional sheriff) misuse and theft of Chinese aid while ignoring the fact that the same has been going on for the last 30 years with IMF and World Bank funds which the opposition has been criticizing, confirms that assumption.

Ugandans don’t view China as a dangerous hegemon; they are still too busy trying to extract themselves from the current relationship with hegemon that has had its boot on the country’s neck for the last 300 years. The opposition criticism was aimed at the conduct of America’s principal, not the misrepresented intentions of China. The IMF and World Bank have not covered themselves in glory in Africa and ignoring that fact just plays more into China’s hands.

*

In the South Pacific (Oceania) where I also spent several years of my life (writing a book about the plight of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia), CNAS dishonestly criticizes the BRI project in Vanuatu.

Let me be brutally frank here: The West has almost ruined the entire Oceania by its unbridled consumption, by neo-colonialist policies; from the Solomon Islands to the Marshall Islands. Global warming has caused the near disappearance of such wonderful countries like Kiribati, Marshall Island and Tuvalu.

What has the West done to save them? Nothing! Just dumping junk food on Samoa and Tonga, on the Federated States of Micronesia, or on the Marshall Islands (RMI).

China has patiently and full-heartedly been trying to help: by planting mangroves, building anti-tsunami walls, elevating government offices, schools and medical posts up on stilts. It has built stadiums in order to improve the health of the desperately obese local population (on some islands, around 90% of the population are suffering from diabetes).

And what has the West done, after observing the great success of China? It went to Taiwan, and as the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the RMI, Tony de Brum explained to me, began ‘encouraging Taipei’ to bribe local governments, so they would recognize Taiwan as an independent country; something that even the West has not done. As a result, predictably, Beijing was forced to break diplomatic relations and to withdrow its help. The result: Taiwan has done nothing for Oceania. Only the ordinary people in South Pacific have become the victims.

Those South Pacific countries that ‘stayed with China’ are doing incomparably better. Why don’t we hear about all this, from the West-sponsored reports? Why do we only read dirt, as well as nihilist speculation? Why not facts? Why not the truth, that it is the West that is destroying the world, and has been for decades and centuries?

*

BRI is not perfect, yet, but on the global scale, it is the best that humanity has right now. And it has been improving, month after month.

Ugandans had 300 years of horrors of ‘Western democracy’ and ‘freedom’. Latin Americans have been beaten into submission for over 500 years.

In Washington, London and Paris, they love to say: “we are all the same”. Such ‘logic’ washes out their crimes. It means: “everyone is as greedy and brutal as we are”. But no, we are not the same! Cultures are different, on all corners of the globe. Some countries are expansionist, aggressive and obsessed with self-righteousness as well as complexes of superiority. Some are not. China is not. It never was. It never will be. If attacked or antagonized, it defends itself; and if threatened in the future, it will defend itself again. But it does not build its wealth on plunder, and on the corpses of the others, as the West has been doing for long centuries.

BRI is the exact contrast to the Western colonialism and imperialism. I say it not because I am defending some theory on these pages, but because I have seen the Chinese ‘New Silk Road’ in action, in places where I have lived and worked: Asia, the Middle East, Oceania, Latin America and Africa. In places where almost no one dares or cares to go: except for those few tough and ‘insane’ individuals like myself, and for the Chinese internationalists! I know such places intimately. Places where local people are almost never given an opportunity to speak; they never appear on the pages of the Western mass media, or on television screens, or in reports such as the one published by CNAS.

Until recently, their voices and lives mattered nothing. Now they do. They matter a lot.

These people exist; these people are alive; they want to breath, to live and to dream. I swear they do. And for them, especially for them, now exists the BRI!

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

Filed under: China, Economics, latest

by

Andre Vltchek is a philosopher, novelist, filmmaker and investigative journalist. He has covered wars and conflicts in dozens of countries. Three of his latest books are Revolutionary Optimism, Western Nihilism, a revolutionary novel “Aurora” and a bestselling work of political non-fiction: “Exposing Lies Of The Empire”. View his other books here. Watch Rwanda Gambit, his groundbreaking documentary about Rwanda and DRCongo and his film/dialogue with Noam Chomsky “On Western Terrorism”. Vltchek presently resides in East Asia and the Middle East, and continues to work around the world. He can be reached through his website and his Twitter.

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Badger Down
Reader
Badger Down

“My island, Borneo, is ecologically damaged.”
That’s a very sweet and gentle way of putting it. Japan has hacked down the rainforest. It’s cheaper to do that than to harvest the forests of Japan sustainably. Piracy.

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

Technocracy News:

Listen carefully to the video below. Steve Bannon pointedly reveals that the rise of China to be an existential threat to America is thanks to Wall Street and Western mega-corporation, which I have been saying for years.

This is a continuation of a long trend that the West is being destroyed from within its own ranks. Professor Antony C. Sutton first exposed this nefarious collusion with his masterpiece books like Wall Street and the Rise of Hitler, Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution, The Best Enemy Money Can Buy, National Suicide, Trilaterals Over Washington, etc.

https://www.technocracy.news/revealed-china-is-funded-and-backed-by-wall-street-and-western-corporations/

Don’t watch the video if you don’t want to, but, please, read Antony Sutton.

BigB
Reader
BigB

A two minute search would confirm or deny what I have said below. BRI – brought to you in conjunction with the IMF.

https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2019/04/24/sp042519-belt-and-road-initiative-two-key-channels-to-achieving-financial-connectivity
https://www.imf.org/en/News/Seminars/Conferences/2018/03/27/BJ-BRI

So the idea that this is a discreet, organic, solely Eastern capital venture is not credible. If you are not aware of what surplus capital displacement does to the colonised local economy, or are not aware of the international dynamics of capital accumulation – Rosa Luxemberg nailed it over a hundred years ago.

More recently, surplus capital creates its own market – via Harvey’s spatiotemporal fix – by lending the money up front for capital investment – typically large infrastructure led. As there is no real way of repaying this investment – especially not in an entropic Bear market – it leads to further restructuring of the local economy – aka debt dependency and neo-colonial credit imperialism. This is the debt-junky “the first loan is free” displacement cycles that surplus capital goes through for centuries. It is a well understood and copiously studied mechanism. So, if you think that Chinese capital is different – not so much so with IMF, WTO, and WB credentials it ain’t.

It is a well understood dynamic that can’t just be ignored because the M$M have picked up on “debt-trap diplomacy” as a smear. It has been going on for hundreds of years before the M$M found a name for it. They didn’t seem to mind that it is a core tool of Empire. They are just a bit pissed off that their surplus capital investment created a rival, who can do it bigger and better than we can.

And ‘fintech’ is financial technology to expedite the process. International capital accumulation intends to colonise the entire globe – including nature and identity. Please don’t endorse it. Resistance and rejection is what is required, not the slow absorption of humanity.

falcemartello
Reader

Thats what I call intillectual honesty and total valid arguments and totally concur with everything u r saying. The The article is making is valid.
PUNTO UNO: infrastructure development is needed . The locals benefit from it.
Punto DUE: local culture and is enhanced and allowed to move forward hence the debt trap is there
the sino model is far more beneficial and progressive than the western colonial system.
as I stated in my previous point the sino model does invest on the people.
Conclusione; I am no fan of OBOR BIR cuase in the end it is colonial and as u noted it is another form of
Imperial dictum be it better than western colonial system it is still anti human.
Vltchek like Escobar use the famous Hegellian dialectic black and white and un fortunately
the west is full of this BS.
I might add using the arguments of capital displacement theory furthers my argument
that is where the real problem is.
Globalisation and modern day Trostkyist of which globalist are is where the real problem lie
Gramscian quote. Trotskyist are the whore of the fascist hence we should all take a bit of
Gramsci and Vico philosophy (Vico the godfather of sovereign state theory) and move
forward towards a total paradigm shift.

Samuel Kilei
Reader
Samuel Kilei

The picture above is not of the Nairobi Airport but rather the Nairobi Central Railway terminus.The author should correct that.

davemass
Reader
davemass

Some good, some bad- China understandably does not tell governments how to work.
Unfortunately, here in Thailand, a 5-year-old junta is allowed to snuggle up to the BRI with nobody able to return a modicum of democracy to the majority of Thai people.
The top 1 per cent of Thais own 65+ per cent, of the wealth, while the poor go nowhere. BRI will not change that.

白矛
Reader
British Justice
Reader
British Justice

How would you expect China to gain the West’s respect with offering vocational training to radicalised types?

Using Western standards, Chinese officials will gain the highest honours on the world stage when China use depleted uranium and bomb Xinjiang back to the stone age.

The Chinese can even walk like Gods in international conferences if they buy the depleted uranium and other bombs from the US.

Peter Valbonne
Reader
Peter Valbonne

Bombing Xinjiang with over 20 million population, in which 40% are Han Chonese? You must be mad.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

The respect of the US is only earned by the threat any foreign power poses to their hegemony, and that what you are implying.

Narrative
Reader
Narrative

Investment figures in perspective:

China invested over $90 billion in Belt & Road nations between 2013 and 2018.

That’s peanuts .. a paltry amount compared to the expenditure by the US on bombs and bombs making industry and logistics to pile up bombs across the globe. The Pentagon’s budget is well above $600 billion a year.

The US military spending of more than $600 billion a year (and now exceeding $700 billion) makes you wonder Why does the US consider everything-that-is-not-under-their-control is a threat?

mark
Reader
mark

True, but the current US military budget is $1,134 billion.
The official figure of $718 billion does not include:-
The cost of producing and maintaining WMD. This is shunted off on to the budget of the Dept. of Energy (including the $2 trillion for new WWD authorised by Obongo just after he picked up his Nobel Peace Prize.)
The cost of the GWOT in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Niger and assorted other wars ($7 trillion and counting), not included in the military budget.
The cost of healthcare for the hundreds of thousands (around 600,000 plus) wounded and disabled troops.
The cost of military pensions (for around 20 million.)
The cost of military recruiting.
The cost of all the mercenaries, those splendid chaps at Blackwater and elsewhere on $200,000 plus a year.
The cost of all the CIA orchestrated and bankrolled terror groups like Al Qaida and ISIS.
The cost of the paramilitary activities of the CIA, with its own private armies and air force.
Of course, there are many other costs as well.
The secret Black Budget of $50 billion plus a year.
The interest on the borrowed money to pay for all this.
Or the $21 trillion that has officially “gone missing” from the military budget.

But naturally, $1,134 billion isn’t nearly enough, allowing for all the graft and corruption and budget padding. So the CIA/ Cocaine Import Agency recycles the profits from the cocaine and heroin trades it has been controlling for the past 50-60 years, and counterfeits its own currency to pay for all the little extras you don’t want to seek appropriations for from Congress, the particularly smelly little wars, assassinations and terror groups. The chaps in Congress are none too fastidious, but even some of them have limits.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Do your figures take into account the unaccountable trillions the Pentagon has received?

falcemartello
Reader

Actions speak louder than words. More to the point , person or a nation or an empire will always be judged by their deeds be it from the past or the present. One thing is definite in what we the sheeple are experiencing and seeing from our plutocratic and oligarchical class. Gaslighting blame shifting and moral and ethical superiority of their well established order. Look around the vile threats coming from our political class. Old Slavic saying threats are all sign of weakness. Yes indeed how dystopian the times have become . All we get is platitudes and empty rhetoric from our legacy media are academics and our politicians. No context in any discussion just empty sermons in an empty church.
Welcome to the post modern post truth Mussolinian world order. How irrelevant the second word war has become.
China is investing in people and nations while we in the west have acquired perfidious Albion’s attitude to the rest of the world.

samwoole
Reader
samwoole

The paper claimed that “it is the West that is destroying the world, and has been for decades and
centuries”. I believe this claim is realistically false. Taking a look at China only, instead of being destroyed by the West, she was helped by the West since the 1980s. Without the help from the West, nobody will see a China being able to launch what-have-you the BRI.
The second claim : “But it (China) does not build its wealth on plunder, and on the corpses of
the others, as the West has been doing for long centuries”. Again it is false. China is building its wealth on the corpses of the people of Tibet and Xinjiang; China is plundering the resources of Africa; China is plundering the fish resources of the whole world; China is plundering the South China Sea fish and carbon resources which belong to others.

mark
Reader
mark

Garbage. Chinese investment is “plundering”, not like those wonderful pure-as-the-driven-snow IMF loans. The West outsourced their production to China to make huge profits from cheap labour. They had zero interest in “helping” China. Tibet and Xinjiang have been part of China for hundreds of years. We are now getting the ludicrous holohoax type smears to try to derail BRI with the West’s foreign legion of Islamist cut throats. China trades with Africa for their mutual benefit and with mutual respect. This compares very favourably with the West’s 500 year rampage of genocidal slaughter, barbarism, slavery and crude exploitation across the planet. America recognised the South China Sea as belonging to China until 1949, when their puppet Chiang Kai Shek was ousted by Mao. Then mysteriously the S. China Sea suddenly belonged to other countries.

Western barbarism (past and present) is being replaced by Chinese civilisation.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Is that woole as in what has been pulled over your eyes?

白矛
Reader

Do your homework on this before spouting western MSM bullcrap propaganda : https://21stcenturywire.com/2018/12/14/the-truth-behind-chinas-uyghur-problem/ – (As for Tibet – I’ll just say.. CIA.. )

Robbobbobin
Reader
Robbobbobin

China has very definitely embraced its own form of capitalism with its the “socialist market economy”, possibly with some underpinning from classic Marxist(-Leninist) theory which posits the emergence of a well developed rentier based bourgeousie as a necessary precondition, as part of the historical materialistic dialectic, for the emergence of socialism and thence communism.

The last attempt at that ended up with Russian state-capitalism, Stalin and his ism.

While there is no doubt that the assorted carpet baggers, liars, thieves, shysters, hucksters, charlatans, spivs, criminals, lumpen untermenschen and their allies, who gained control of the United States during and shortly after its formation and whose devoted descendants now run its empire in their forbears’ mould, lie compulsively about anything and everything 24/7 as part of their innate modus operandi, and are now able to express, openly, hostility and agression towards any nation, institution, person, belief or thing that threatens even the slightest encroachment on any part of their ill-gotten material or immaterial loot, seeking to destabilize and destroy all comers they perceive as a danger to that satanic dogpile (such as China or Señor Maduro), it remains an open question whether or not China is just another state-capitalist boondoggle, pulling on its stomping boots while the world awaits the answer, or whether it is the first precursor of a genuinely Marxist, Communist utopia, forged out of the historically objective processes of dialectical materialism (whatever that might look like).

My current opinion is that anyone who even just plays with capitalism is more than likely to end up with gorgeously succulent fingers. Pass the sweet and sour sauce, please.

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

This is an appalling, emotive, one-sided analysis of the situation. Go back to the turn of the century when China began to seriously ‘invade’ Urumqui….

21st Century Wire should be ashamed to carry this – or does it resonate with a international socialist agenda (another useful idiot for the ‘globalists’?)

Uighers are ‘different’? Particularly ferocious? Doing things other races or cultures don’t? Would this be a racist comment? Or are they different, as in the Iraqis who ‘threw babies from incubators’ or Libyans who ‘took Viagra and went on a rape spree?

All the atrocities mentioned have been carried out or facilitated by all the mercenaries over there including American and British.

peasant43
Reader
peasant43

Poverty is not socialism. To be rich is glorious.

~Deng Xiaoping

p0000t
Reader

China has a massive ecological problem to solve but it is doing something about it. The West need to know more about what China is doing and setting an example.

Neoconic
Reader
Neoconic

“They had centuries of absolute power over the planet, and all they did was to enrich themselves, murdering and robbing in all corners of the globe. For them, it is about ‘winning or losing’, about maintaining its colonies and ‘client’ states; by all means, even by the most brutal ones.”

You mean, they were not ‘spreading democracy’ as Murdoch’s press tells us?

Narrative
Reader
Narrative

The US is colonising the planet at a faster pace than ever before by the use of political prowess, economical advantages, and military force.

We now know the ideology behind the attempts to dominate every inch of the planet is based on hyper-racism, barbarism, greed and outright terrorism.

What they call exceptionalism is a myth fuelled by propaganda and built in a big part on widespread spying and full spectrum surveillance.

There is no give-and-take with the exceptionalists. There is more hope of a fairer deal with the Chinese!

hauptmanngurski
Reader

Pompeo confirmed their despicable attitude when on the 15th April 2019 in Texas he spoke of lieing, cheating, and stealing.

Here’s a short excerpt of that speech with the relevant detail being at about 4:50+, but it’s not the only version of that speech where he tells us of the true American mentality.

Now dig this: Former Australian PM Turnbull said in NY that Trump must get America into 5G because 5 eyes countries need to have a vendor in their midst. Turnbull’s anti-China attitude could well emerge as the reason why he was kicked out about 8 months ago.

Multipolar world
Reader
Multipolar world

How would a prime minister who belongs to the political left and widely considered as a ‘”progressive” think about China?

1) Kevin Rudd tells in 2009 advises allies to prepare for war with China

2) Kevin Rudd announced he is ready to send Australian special forces to fight inside Pakistan

3) Kevin Rudd declares in talks with the US Secretary of State that his plans for Asia-Pacific is to blunt China’s rise as much as possible. He wanted to ensure ‘an Asia without the United States’ could not happen.

“Mrs Clinton has since publicly praised Mr Rudd for his advice on China and credited him for the US decision this year [2010] to join the East Asia Summit.”

https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/wikileaks-kevin-rudd-tells-allies-to-prepare-to-use-force-against-china.83469/

If this is how a ‘progressive’ ‘leftist’ high government official plans things behind the scenes, what can we expect from the ardent conservative war-mongers?

Bootlyboob
Reader
Bootlyboob

That could have just have been Rudd’s attempt to suck up to the big boys. He wouldn’t be the first politician to whore himself out to further his own interests and quest for power. From memory, Rudd was seen at the time as being too cozy with China and public sentiment towards China was positive. Oh, how our nice little think tanks and MSM have changed that over the years.

BigB
Reader
BigB

This is cynical manipulation of the public consciousness, at its very worst. Criticise China and you are a Western imperialist? There is no East and West to this insanity. Thinking like this will kill us all.

But it is completely impersonal, and not a debatable POV at all. The brute, unalterable, facts of existence is that we have passed the limits of growth and ersatz prosperity. It is not a matter for conjecture, the Laws of Thermodynamics are the limiting factor. Combined with exponentially increasing debts (China is borrowing 23% GDP pa – which smacks of Ponzification [Source: Dr Tim Morgan]). I can make the dynamics more complicated: but the more we try to expand …the quicker we precipitate a financial or ecological crash. A financial crash we can come back from: a metabolic rift of the life support systems – not so much.

In other words: BRI is bringing death and alienation to impoverished communities …in the form of a materialist way of life they would be better off without. And might survive, without things they do not need, and prosperity they could return to locally without the globalisation of financialised materialism.

In no meaningless way: it is globalised materialism that has deliberately immiserated and impoverished the Global South. SAPs that did nothing but enforce dehumanisation. And now this very style of life is going to save them. Fuck off, Andre. Seriously, fuck off.

Couched in pseudo-humanitarian rhetoric, you might think so. But China has an exponential need to expand. All it is doing is colonising new markets, alienating new people, and repressing the consciousness of millions. Not out of humanist concern: but to maintain levels of prosperity in the Chinese home markets. To uphold the ‘Mandate of Heaven’ for the Chinese by trade and credit imperialism. This is the most cynical piece of crypto-capitalist bullshit I have ever read. After the ‘Ecological Civilisation’ wearing Gucci and Prada; and the cynical manipulation of Julian’s degradation to leverage a personally indulgent pseudo-construct of West v East …that takes some doing.

International World Capitalism is systemically omnicidal and sociopathological globally. I’m sure the crypto-capitalist sea lions will be along soon to disagree and bellow “Bravo, Andre!”. But his shows only a serious deficit in critical abilities and lack of research. Allied with a concomitant humanity bypass.

We can actually measure where we are on the net energy cliff. Which is in the 15-10 range for EROI for all fuels. If you don’t know what that is, I’ve posted references enough times. Put simply, the world economy is an energy economy – not a financial one. GDP = total fuels consumption on a near enough 1:1 ratio. Money is oil. As the quality of energy (not the quantity) declines: societies will suffer a net loss of available energy. Net energy (exergy) decline means a loss of complexity and living standards globally. One way around this is debt-funding and NIRPs – but all this does is hasten the point where collapse becomes inevitable. Ditto: investing in increasing levels of complexity (BRI) becomes counterproductive and an increased energy sink. This is how systems collapse. BRI, set within a global net of expansionist complexity, all but ensures the demise of the world economy. With no way for it to recover (ZIRP may give a temporary boost; but is actually a catalysed version of NIRP cannibalisation).

And the net energy cliff is exponential – not a gradualist decline. And 15-10 is the start of the inflexion point. Pushing expansionism will exponentially increase the rate of decline. Energy is money; but money is not energy. Debt funding is a fools paradise that conceals the rate of decline – but cannot stop it. More expansion: exponentially faster rate of decline.

I’m not sure why people can’t get this? Least of all, Andre. Humanity needs to move away from globalisation toward re-localisation and human scale communities (networked mini-republics). We need to move away from oil to renewables. Only not in the way the current greenwashing of capitalism is cynically manipulating – using the children to nihilate their own future. Which amounts to crass and perverted child abuse – and yes, Jeremy Corbyn …that includes you.

We simply cannot sustain the current levels of energy expenditure for very much longer. Or resource consumption. Or waste and pollution production. We need to degrow the world economy, make food sovereignty and energy sovereignty a priority, and distribute what energy we do use egalitarianly (not totalitarianly) – within a framework of global energy justice. None of this can be capitalised. The growth vectors and material profligacy of global capitalism is what is killing the planet. Indulging these fantasies as humanitarian is the very worst kind of crypto-capitalist cynicism. Shame on you Andre. Shame on you.

Ken Kenn
Reader
Ken Kenn

The West’s version:

Give a man a fishing rod and he’ll sell it to buy our burgers.

There’s a reason why a lot of these countries are ‘underdeveloped ‘ and it is said in the article.

Western Imperialism has had its day and it’s China and others time for a place in the Sun.

Would you like these countries not to develop?

From what I hear China and Germany are world leaders (by a long way ) in renewable energies.

The argument that the world has developed too much and a halt must be called to all production
is not the answer.

Technologies will develop as these nations develop.

Meanwhile Trump and other wise men and women do nothing.

By the way as medical facilities emerge populations tend to decrease as the underdeveloped nations
people live longer as they no longer need children as an insurance policy for when the old get older in
countries with no form of Welfare State.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Ken

You might not have noticed: but capitalism called a halt to production in 2008. Most of the production since then has been the cosmetic effects of credit adventurism. The by-product of NIRPs is in cannibalising what is left of production. Globally, capitalism has delinked financialisation from labour – abandoning humanity. Recently, capitalism signalled that credit stimulus and NIRPs were permanent – even though that will cannibalise all remaining production. Or lead to collapse – whichever comes first.

China built its way out of recession, using as much cement in three years as America used in the whole of last century. Surely that is obviously unsustainable. Now they are firefighting the finance bubbles they created with credit stimulus too. Not a long term model for success.

The renewable situation is that they are subsidising fossil fuel consumption – not replacing it. Large scale hydro has environmental impacts and problems of its own – not least offgassing methane and CO2. They are still using 60% coal to meet there energy needs and they are the largest importer of oil – heading toward 13.8 million bpd by 2030. None of this is sustainable, not if you want to get into the nitty gritty of the real return on energy invested in renewables.

Germany is no different. They have two separate and incompatible energy systems. Die Energiewende – which they love to talk about …and the lignite and Russian gas generation – which they do not. Lignite – which is the worst sort of coal – turned out to be cheaper. The whole thing is a global fraud – making the air dirtier.

None of any of this has anything to do with my opinion. Production will cease soon enough anyway, through the overproduction of capital cannibalising the productive facilities. China cannot build its way out of recession indefinitely. Something has to give. One of their tech growth areas is in AI – which entails making us redundant …again. Capitalism has turned on humanity, so why should we support it? The techno-fix contains the possibility of making us permanently redundant. What is capitalism without consumers? None of this seems to be thought through, all the time we are locked into the dialectical materialism of cancerous growthism. Using energy and resource assets that future generations could use. It’s time to face the music and stop being so self-delusionally solipsistic about me, me, me. There are other people, what gives us the right to foreclose their future?

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

Read the article and was just about to fetch the sick bucket……….

Excellent analysis by BigB – brave too, because it’s not going to be popular.

I lived in North West China – I SAW what the Han Chinese did to Urumqui and the Uighars (and are still doing).

Don’t worry about there not being enough energy for everyone – just like the French Revolution when they realised there was only enough wheat for half the population – they just killed off the other half.

Andre Vtchek has become a parody of himself – has he been cloned?

Wazdo
Reader
Wazdo

Nothing and no one is ever good enough for you Big B are they? Nothing. There is no progress at all unless it is your progress along your strictly held lines and any deviation is seen as heresy. The desire to take small steps down an alternative road to neoliberalism you seem to treat as savage barbarism.

Jeremy Corbyn, according to you, is now a child abuser. Forget the Hitler loving anti Semite, Stalinist, Communist Spy, Mad Conspiracy Theorist of the right wing press: according to you he is now a child killer.

I wonder what this mild mannered, principled Englishman did to you to make you hate him so much?

On to Chinese debt. Debt, as I’m sure you know, is created (the money) out of thin air. Most of the Chinese debt is owed to publicly owned banks which means it can be forgiven should the need arise. PRC holds a massive amount of US debt, in order to balance the books they can sell it. Russia went from a debt of 85%(?) to GDP to less than 18% in 10 years: it can be done.

No the world isn’t perfect but why should that mean that we and the BRI should not try to make it better?

Jen
Reader
Jen

What Wazdo says:

“… Russia went from a debt of 85%(?) to GDP to less than 18% in 10 years: it can be done …”

What Big B says:

“… Russia devalued its currency – twice – to reach those levels …wiping billions off savings and pensions …”

What Russia did:

Russia dumped 84% of its American debt. What that means

Russia has rapidly sold off the vast majority of its stash of American debt.

Between March and May, Russia’s holdings of US Treasury bonds plummeted by $81 billion, representing 84% of its total US debt holdings.

The sudden debt dump may have contributed to a short-term spike in Treasury rates that spooked the market. 10-year Treasury yields topped 3% in April for the first time since 2014.

It also sparked a guessing game about Moscow’s motivations. Maybe Russia just wanted to diversify its portfolio, as the central bank stated …”

https://money.cnn.com/2018/07/30/investing/russia-us-debt-treasury/index.html

If Russia’s holdings of US Treasury debt were in US dollars in the first place, and US economic sanctions and other forms of economic warfare against Russia were already in place, then Russia did not have much to lose by selling US Treasury bonds to reduce its public debt.

The devaluation of Russian currency was due to the fall in investor confidence in the Russian economy after Saudi Arabia flooded the global oil supply with its own supplies to crash down oil prices (at US behest apparently) and the US sanctioned Russia after Crimea returned to the Russian Federation. The Russian response was to reduce its debt by selling off US Treasury bonds.

It can be done.

lystbak
Reader
lystbak

The sell off of US Dollar assets had nothing to do with the reduction in Russian government debt as this took place from 1999 to the year 2007 where after it has slightly increased. Russia’s Foreign Exchange Reserves have only been converted to other currencies and gold.

As Russia runs a huge surplus on its trade balance and current account its reserves are growing while the foreign debt is being reduced.

All in all a quite enviable situation.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Russia is unique globally. As a young economy, with a large unpopulated internal landmass; neo-self-sufficient in resources – including agri-resources; low debt-to-GDP; and moving away from the Dutch Disease that plagued the FSU – it alone is immune to the world dynamic I am describing. They could shut up and develop internally – as a spatiotemporal fix [Harvey] …like China did to escape the GFC. But this is the exception that proves the rule.

Why do you think Michael Hudson’s motto is “Debts that can’t be paid, won’t be paid”? He doesn’t include entropy as an accelerant, but his analysis is sound. See his recent four part history of debt. And Steve Keen has specifically singled out China as unusually susceptible to overaccumulation of debt – leading to a ‘Minsky Moment’ when the debt inertia I am describing causes a crisis. See, for instance his little book on cane we avoid the next crisis. Answer: No.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2019/04/the-delphic-oracle-was-their-davos-a-four-part-interview-with-michael-hudson-about-his-forthcoming-book-the-collapse-of-antiquity-part-1.html

And a crisis in China is a world crisis: because they are driving the world economy. See, for instance – David Harvey in his anti-capitalist chronicles. Because China built its way out of the GFC, it is carrying all its post-Deng debt levels. It matters little whether they are private or sovereign. Contagion will hit Australia, Oceania, South America and ripple out from there.

The key dynamic is described by Hudson to Jimmy Dore (reproduced in his interview, mentioned above):

[…] the most important dynamic to understand is that debts grow more rapidly than the economy at large. The rate of interest is higher than the rate of growth. It may not be higher than the profit rate, but it’s higher than the rate of growth. So every society that has interest-bearing debt is going to end up deeper and deeper in debt. At a certain point the creditors are paid at the expense of production and investment — and soon enough they foreclose.

[… “And then?”] …Then you have debt deflation. That is the norm. Austerity. It is not an anomaly, but the essence.

All I am doing is drawing in standard heterodox economics and supplementing with biophysical energy economics – which will act as an unseen exponential accelerant to debt deflation. Those debts can’t be paid and won’t be paid. The dynamics of debt accumulation and entropy are against us. There is little point pretending they are not. Solutions will abound as soon as we get out of the negentropic progress and prosperity imaginal. They might not be optimal though. But that rather depends on how much energy and resources we commit to entropic White Elephants, in a global economy that is going nowhere – at an exponentially increasing rate.

BigB
Reader
BigB

On Corbyn: did he collect money for the White Helmets? Did he support the charity regime change Jo Cox Foundation – which has some very dubious backers? Did he pledge 2% of GNE to NATO in the Manifesto? Then he has to take some responsibility for what NATO, their salafist proxies, and the White Helmets do. Which has been well chronicled, and should not even be a point of contention.

If you have not read Cory Morningstar’s six part expose of the manufacturing of Greta Thurnberg: you really should. And if you think a “Green Industrial Revolution” is a real thing, and not a capitalist ploy to end secular stagnation by privatising nature, well, there’s not much I can do about that.

http://www.theartofannihilation.com/the-manufacturing-of-greta-thunberg-for-consent-the-political-economy-of-the-non-profit-industrial-complex/

Russia devalued its currency – twice – to reach those levels …wiping billions off savings and pensions.

All debts are unrepayable in a falling entropic market – sovereign or private. Credit is asset inflationary, and debt exponentially increases ahead of the rate to repay. If you think that China is going to cancel the fortunes of the CPU nomenklatura and apparatchiks – you can probably think again.

So, we are stuck in a deflationary debt spiral. And debt-finance makes that intangible – for now. Like I said: we can actually measure where we are on the net energy curve – just above sliding into oblivion. So debt and entropy work together as accelerants. As the marginal cost of energy (the energy cost of energy) rises – there is less and less excess energy left to meet societal needs – Including servicing debt. As the debts increase exponentially, they must either be serviced or rolled over – adding more debt in the form of compounded interest. Debts become unserviceable, and society suffers. Less and less will be left for essential services – or even food. Essentially, the more we try to expand – the worse it gets. And the cosmetic effect of debt will be exposed sooner or later. If it leaves any time for positive mitigation, I guess we will have to take that risk – so people can live in the prosperity and progress imaginal for a while longer.

BRI will not make things better, it will kill us. And if you take more than a cursory look at the amount of alienation and degradation we have caused in the Petroleum Interval – why would anyone want it to continue?

As soon as people stop this desiring-dream imaginal: where resources, growthism, depletion, pollution, and wastes are negentropic and infinitely expandable – the sooner we can come up with real world solutions to our Human Impact crisis. Real solutions that lift the debt, relentless accumulation, dehumanisation, and resource curses from humanity. We need all that energy that will be squandered on BRI to make the future harmonious for generations to come. It is part of the sickness and conceit of modernism that we can have the future now – and our successor generations be damned.

If we use all the readily accessible and easily recoverable resource assets in the next few decades – how is humanity going to survive? Oil is too valuable to burn: it is needed for myriad other uses. Our lifestyle is morally reprehensible and selfish to the core. Very few people actually consider the damage we are collectively doing. Even less are prepared to admit just what a change of lifestyle we must make to prosper inter-generationally into the future. We could live so much more cheaply, and happily if more people did. It is that simple. Capitalism is killing us. I for one am not going to celebrate that fact.

The Church is at it again
Reader
The Church is at it again

“BRI Forum Shanghai: How Western “Reports” Smear China”

Smearing China?
Talk about sabotage and white-anting.

Next to bombing countries they don’t like, ‘internal sabotage’ efforts are what the West is good at.

ADVOCATES OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ARE AT THE FOREFRONT OF THIS SABOTAGE AS CHURCHES TEACH CHINESE IN CHINA AND OVERSEAS THAT THE CHINESE GOVERNING PARTY IS SATAN.

This translates into using Chinese nationals to undermine global developments led by China.

mark
Reader
mark

In just a few decades, China has built infrastructure that western imperialist powers never bothered to do in 500 years of brutal exploitation, colonial arrogance, systematic slaughter, butchery, genocide, murder and mayhem and slavery.
China builds things.
America bombs things (when its Zionist masters tell it to.)
Most people prefer building things to bombing things.
The Exceptional And Indispensable People never seem able to understand that.

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

China’s rise has been funded by your “western imperialists” beginning way before Kissinger’s visits. Don’t feed the ‘dialectic’.

白矛
Reader

Excuse me? Funded? Don’t you mean raped and pillaged? Quite literally.East India Company, opium wars.. etc etc..

BigB
Reader
BigB

The whole BRIC (the ‘S’ was added later) and the other EMEs (emerging market economies) was a cynical capitalist marketing ploy to extend globalisation …which was stalling in the West as countries were hollowed out, depoliticised, and de-sovereigntised. And how successful a ploy it has been!

It was the brainchild of one man – Baron Jim O’Neil – of Goldman $uchs. He invested >$800bn – most of which was QE1 money – seeking the highest return. The BRICS model is an extension of the Bretton Woods neoliberal institutions – the WTO, IMF, and WB. The BRICS parallel institutions are sub-imperial and all dollar denominated for loans. Each country was specifically chosen to integrate the local regional trade region within FTAs, RTAs, customs unions, etc. Brazil and South Africa are basket case economies – under IMF restructuring themselves.

India is a Hindutva fascist country, deeply embroiled with Western neoliberalism. That leaves Russia and China – which even a cursory look at BRICS joint declarations swear an oath of allegiance to the IMF, WTO, and WB every time they meet, And to the Rules Based Global Order. And to ‘Global Governance’ …which really should be a giveaway as to what they are about – a one world order for global neoliberal capital. OK, it is a revisionist allegiance – they want a greater say – which some people seem to be fooled into believing is an alternative.

When Powell increased the Fed’s rates last year – this precipitated capital flight from the EMEs. Which caused the collapse of Argentina, and contagion in Turkey, Italy, Spain, etc. So there is no East and West for global capital.

Andre is way off. Way, way off. There is no ‘Eastern’ alternative – there is only global capital – and its effects are inimical toward all life. China has been buying into the corporatocracy to secure its supply chains. Some of these ventures are with American capital …in the same firm. Andre’s research is non-existent …and whether he realises it or not – he is promoting globalism. Globalism that will destroy humanity – and render the planet unliveable before too much longer.

Oh, and de-dollarisation – what a load of bollocks. China’s plan – over a thirty or so year timescale – is to replace the $$$$ with a basket of currencies – including the Yuan – and promote the SDR. Which will put the fucking globalists in singlepoint charge of world finance. By which point, I hope to be dead …because that would mean the foreclosure of humanity forever.

I could live with all of this, but I do despair a little at having to celebrate the end of humanity. I used to love Andre’s articles. He was my eyes and ears on the world for many a year. Now he has retreated into this West bad/East good oversimplification I find him increasingly hard to stomach. Some people seem to think he is providing insightful analysis. In fact, he is an unwitting globalist …and some people are OK with this. 🙁

白矛
Reader

Sure ‘the bank’ still has a finger in the Russia and China pie.. but their influence (the banks) is nowhere near as significant as it was.. and ultimately there’s still no arguing with this fact: ‘FUKUS’ is still trying to colonise by way of bombing and insurgent proxy armies.. China and Russia are not.

BigB
Reader
BigB

China builds things they do not need: then borrows increasing amounts of money to keep its ‘triple bubble machine’ inflated. Not directly comparable with bombing things …but in the grand scheme of things: lunacy just the same.

mark
Reader
mark

When America has atoned for the scores of millions it has slaughtered, butchered, starved and immiserated, it can get on its high horse and give pious lectures about human rights to China.
But not before then.

Paul
Reader
Paul

The BBC broadcast a series of programmes some months ago following the road step by step ‘documenting’ the hostility to it and explaining that although it sounded great and OK looked good and Sure it was a lot of money to put in other people’s infrastructure, it was really the prime example of China stretching its muscles over the world. If we weren’t very careful China would dominate the world. The programmes were stuffed with ‘experts’ and other voices of doom. It was presented with full BBC fake acedemic musings. The script was straight out of Washington, not even the FCO which tells us something!

Grafter
Reader
Grafter

Yes Paul no surprises there then. The corrupt BBC and the present incumbents of something we call a “government” in this so called “United Kingdom” need a lesson in unbiased reporting and more exposure of their criminal masters in the USA. China and Russia are now at the forefront of spreading prosperity and freedom of choice for those countries who wish to avoid the highly contagious American disease. Here we need to get rid of our so called “special relationship” with the Americans and we should start by removing T.May and her little gang of Tory sock puppets.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Bravo to the countries in the BRI Initiative, and Bravo to China for its role. And Bravo to Andre V for his fearless journalism. There will have been no power in the history of man to surpass in scale, the mean spiritedness, amorality, greed, malice, malevolence and destructiveness of the American Empire. The species is in desperate need of the heartwarming developments exposed in this article.

BigB
Reader
BigB

“Fearless journalism” – or cynically propagandising omnicide? You know, George – I find it really sad that we are well into the 21st century …and yet we seem to have no clue as to what is ‘fearless’ and what is ‘omnicidal’. The past is a very poor indicator of where we are now. In the past, the increasing effects of entropy on our profligate materialist lifestyles was negligible. But entropy is exponential, not linear. And we have reached the inflexion point. Standards of materialised, fictionalised living will decrease exponentially. Putting energy and resources into complexity squanders them. As does the militarisation of entropy, to maintain the historic share, and exponentially increase profligacy. It had to come to an end. It did in 2008. Nearly all the recovery has been a cosmetic Global Death Protocol abstraction. Do we feel richer or more fulfilled?

So what is so heartwarming about using dwindling resources at an exponentially expansive rate – to make ourselves unhappier and ultimately threaten all life on earth? Or imposing materialised alienation on previously uncolonised populations – exposing them to the same dialectical materialism that is killing the planet. I don’t get it. I really don’t get it.

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

Big B
It is always necessary to ask – compared to what? The world has had thousands of years of Chinese exposure, and mostly to the world’s benefit. It simply is non-aggressive outside its borders, or borders prior to attrition caused by the likes of the English. You can always perceive the impact of American stink tanks on this topic who have posters bring up the troublesome unexterminated Uighurs, as if they themselves had not exterminated 90% of Native Americans, Hawaiians, South American tribes… fill in the blanks.

China simply is trying to improve the lot of its people and if that entails global competition with the deadly infestation that is modern America, so be it. Criticizing the USUK (pronounced you suck) is not good for your prospects in the West, while China can be slagged off, fact-free, with impunity.

The Americans were accurately portrayed in Strangelove and Buck Turgidsons abound. They now even attain high office. I take your points about the futility of modern consumerism, it’s accelerating rate and it’s likely eventual catastrophes.

Our success has been fuelled by ambition, curiosity, competitiveness and aggression. It is hard wired and as you imply, there may be no way out, the oft-written about inescapable human tragedy.

For the time being, the theoretical issues about how to deal with the tragi-comic human hand we have been dealt are not seen as relevant to the large populations suffering from malnutrition, and disease. China has its eye in the ball in my opinion. Lots to admire and surely you agree that at the very least, it constitutes an important counterbalance to the Anglo-Zio-American force. This is the greatest threat to peace on the planet, and acknowledged as such in survey after survey.

As a species, our greatest threats if we do not self-destruct, will be climate change and as always the unanticipated. Of course these do not exist according to the American leadership. They know it all.

So as more and more war-weary, invasion-ravaged, people are attracted to the Eastern way of doing things, and more are revolted by the egregious hypocrisy of all American policies, and their contempt for treaties, cooperation, democracy, and brotherhood, the world has some hope. If only it could revoke memberships, excommunicate the apostates, and cull the pernicious ideas of the West. Despeciation may be required, revertant gene cassettes?

BigB
Reader
BigB

George

On the basis of our conversation is not really going to change anything, I’m inclined to agree with …particularly on the seeming inescapability of the human tragedy (got to leave a bit of wiggle room).

No one has asked the question: why are the global poor poor, suffering from malnutrition and disease? It is deliberate pauperisation, due to the inherent dynamics of capitalist accumulation.

Forget American bombs and Chinese trade and diplomacy comparisons for a second. They are distorting the subtle, but profoundly impoverishing dynamics of accumulation.

Suppose we meet up for a beer – a virtual transatlantic beer. We shoot the breeze for a few hours, then we decide to round off the evening with a meal – got to be Chinese, right? But you forgot your wallet. I’m a nice guy, we get along, I don’t want you to miss out – so I lend you a hundred bucks (it is a very swanky restaurant!). I’m not one to impose, but its the done thing – so I charge you a mere ten bucks in interest. Where do you get the extra ten – let alone the hundred? I don’t want you to go short, you have got to get home – so I lend you the ten, plus another ninety – plus ten percent – now you owe me $231.

To move away from analogy, toward the real world – because I am the creditor – I can print the money for a few cents (twenty cents for two hundred bucks) …but you have to give me real goods or services worth $231 in return. And that is it. No malice intended, I was only trying to help you out – but you are in debt to me for all you are worth, over time and successive restructuring loans.

Compound interest and interest bearing debt are weapons of mass destruction. In the real world the dynamics are exacerbated by fraud and corruption too – but the rich get rich, and the poor get poorer – by accumulation by dispossession …as David Harvey calls it. It’s worse in countries with resources – they call it the ‘resource curse’.

So forget the superficial comparisons of America and China – and the dynamics of capital accumulation are the same globally. And capital is global, not local – that was the whole point of deregulation and Structural Adjustment Plans that neoliberally opened the globe up to the borderless flows of international finance. Under the IMF and WTO that China is allegiant to. That finance system is itself hierarchical, ranked into core, semi-periphery, and periphery. The Global South should have some of the richest countries in the world, particularly in Africa, but they do not. Their real wealth flows as a tributary system to someone else’s surplus capital. It really does not matter where it came from, the dynamics are the same.

This has been going on for millennia, the dynamics are well known to be ruinous. That is why they had debt amnesties in the Bronze Age (see link to Michael Hudson above) – otherwise, it ruins civilisations. We’ve done that a bit, cancelling some of Nigeria’s compounded interest, for instance …but it just starts building on the unrepayed principle (actually paid many times over, in real terms). Pretty soon, you would wish that you never met for that beer, or let me pay for the meal. But now that is too late.

That is the way of the world my friend. Couching it in humanitarian words, as Andre does changes nothing. Instead of concern for the poor, what is actually happening is impoverishment. Intentional impoverishment. Want to borrow another hundred!

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

Wow, Malthus, Charles Galton Darwin and Julian Huxley all rolled into one – there is one word for the work you do and that is ‘evil’…….

George Cornell
Reader
George Cornell

I am reminded of the famous interview by Russian telly of a Hungarian commentator. What is the status of Soviet-Hungarian relations, the latter was asked. “Good” he replied. “Could you expand on that”? he was asked. “Not good” was the answer.

Could you expand on your comment? I have no idea what you are talking about and is it your custom to debate in a fact free manner by fast forwarding to try and assign some kind of guilt by delusional association?

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

Live in a cosy home Big B?
Got some savings?
Got the internet?
Food in the cupboard?
A flat screen television?
Regular holidays and trips overseas?
An affordable health system?
Public transport?
Hundreds of millions haven’t.
Granted, development is destructive, but social justice is a human right.
We can only hope that the Chinese will temper growth with sanity.

Bootlyboob
Reader
Bootlyboob

Wish I could go Vegan but my wife is Chinese. They do like their meat.

BigB
Reader
BigB

As an accident of geography, yes I have some of those things. And as an accident of geography, the majority haven’t. But at least I realise that trying to grow the world economy to my paltry standard of living, which makes me one of the global super-rich – is not feasible. I am proposing I/we lower our standard of living to make it more globally equitable for everyone. Simply put, we cannot expand any further. We could move toward global energy justice by redistribution and relocalisation. If we try to bring everyone up to a Western standard of living – we all risk dying.

Why do intelligent people cling to the myth of infinite growth? It should be obvious by now it cannot happen. I shouldn’t really have to invoke EROI or entropy – its just so bleedin’ obvious. It is a kind of techno-White Mans Burden to assume that our lifestyle is superior …and we owe it to the rest of the world as an imperial conceit. Well, I have read enough to satisfy myself that not all the world wants a financialised material lifestyle. Many indigenous folk that were moved aside or murdered for progress only wanted what they had. And when you realise that capitalism nihilates humanity – splitting our personalities for profit – why would anyone defend it?

Capitalism is killing us, and still we vote for Christmas, eh?

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

Done my bit Big B.
Built my own house from straw and recycled material.
Went Vegan ten years ago.
Never been to a foreign country.
Worked part time.
Survived on a low income.
Write and perform protest music.
Joined an anarchist group.
Taught my kids to live the same way.
Would the smug middle class choose to live this way?
FAT CHANCE.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Respect, FD, respect…

Done my bit too. Though I’m not really comfortable listing it …but what the heck…

I’ve been involved in many a nature and rewilding project, worked for the RSPB as a caretaker for an island reserve, planted a LOT of trees (around 1,000 a day over a ten year period), been involved in eco-building since the early eighties. As an oak-frame carpenter, I’ve been involved in numerous self-build schemes – from design to completion. Never got round to building my own though. I was active as a green anarchist over much of this time – briefly switched allegiance to ecosocialism when I thought Corbyn was a credible alternative …regretted it and met up with some green anarchists the other week. Current status: undecided. Lifelong meditator who has spent a fair amount of time in retreat from the profligate imaginary world. Still looking for answers. As Rosa Luxemburg said “the best thing we can do is shout very loudly about what is going on”. What is going on is the current greenwashing of capitalism – to extend the age of oil and the progress and prosperity imaginal. If humanity gets drawn into that imaginary future scenario – it is not going to end well for us. We need more radical solutions, even if they are not optimal. The capitalist future imaginary and desiring-dream production is unconscionable …if only people were fully engaged with life today, they would realise that. Respect to you for leading the way.

Badger Down
Reader
Badger Down

“planted a LOT of trees (around 1,000 a day over a ten year period),”
I’d like to know how that’s possible, BigB. That would 100 trees an hour for a ten-hour working day.

BigB
Reader
BigB

Root plugs and a plugging tool – a bit like apple corer crossed with a spade …only the ‘apple corer’ bit is bigger – about 2″ in diameter. Push it in the ground, twist out, drop in a root trained plug …on you go. Not even a minute. On good ground, you can do more than that. On very poor ground, it knocks you back a bit.

Planting whips in soft ground is almost as fast. The trees are only tiny – 1-3 years old …less than a foot tall – mostly less than six inches. If you are using tree guards – you’ve got someone coming along behind you.

Hard to believe now, but I was insanely fit back in the eighties. We didn’t stop until we were done. Now all I have is the memory and an arthritic shoulder from hitting too many stones!

Fair dinkum
Reader
Fair dinkum

Peace be with you Big B

Mikalina
Reader
Mikalina

Hmmmm, your not getting your dose of cool aid, are you? Perhaps your water isn’t fluoridated like ours….