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Can China’s Belt-and-Road Initiative save South-East Asia?

Andre Vltchek

A slum and a six-star hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Most of the people in the West or in North Asia usually never think about it, but Southeast Asia is one of the most depressed and depressing parts of the world.

It has been through genocides, wars and atrocious military regimes.

Then, those monstrous income disparities.

According to The Bangkok Post, in 2018:

the 10% poorest Thais had 0% wealth. 50% of the poorest Thais (25 million people) had 1.7% of the country’s wealth while 70% (35mn) controlled 5%.”

In the same year, 1% of the richest Thais controlled 66.9% of the country’s fortune.

Indonesia is not doing much better. In fact, if it were to provide correct, unmassaged statistics, it would easily overtake Thailand as the most unequal country on earth. But Indonesia does not even declare the precise number of people, as I was informed by my colleagues, UN statisticians. It still claims that it has around 270 million inhabitants, while in reality, even ten years ago, there were more than 300 million people living on the archipelago.

Except in Communist Vietnam, super-rich Singapore, and (still) relatively wealthy Malaysia, poor people matter very little. Or more precisely, they do not matter at all. They do not exist. And poor people form the great majority in this part of the world, although you would hardly read it from the pages of official government bulletins.

It is enough to see Jakarta, Manila or Bangkok from the air, to understand that the Southeast Asian megapolises are totally fragmented, so they can serve the elites. Skyscrapers, malls and enormous hotels are surrounded by miserable houses and slums. Terribly inadequate public transportation (corrupt governments have been regurgitating every year, for decades, great numbers of cars and polluting scooters wishfully called ‘motorbikes’, instead of providing decent massive public transit systems) has made Jakarta and periodically Bangkok, some of the most polluted and depressing cities in the world.

Crime is out of control. Thailand has, per capita, according to Interpol, a higher murder rate than the United States. In the Philippines, before President Duterte came to power, cities such as Davao and Manila were suffering from some of the most horrid crime statistics in Asia. Indonesia, again, has escaped scrutiny, simply because of the absolutely amazing ability to hide the truth – most of the crimes committed there, particularly sexual ones, are never reported, and if reported, not registered.

The modern history of this part of the world is perhaps the most brutal on the planet. Brutal, but hushed up. The education system in Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand is geared not to educate the children and young people about the monstrous genocides committed on the territory of Southeast Asia.

To mention just a few ‘occurrences’, the West murdered several million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, during the so-called ‘Vietnam War’ and ‘Secret War’. It carpet-bombed poor Laos and Cambodia, while supporting the most atrocious feudal regimes all over ‘Indochina’. It also displaced millions of peasants. As a result, multitudes died from hunger.

Indonesia perpetrated three genocides, killing millions. First, during the 1965-66 one, triggered by the U.S.A. and its allies, murdered 1 – 3 million intellectuals, artists, teachers, Communists and members of the Chinese minority. The second was the U.S.A, U.K. and Australia-backed occupation of East Timor, which took lives of 30%-40% of the islanders. The third genocide is the on-going, horrendous occupation and plunder of West Papua.

Burma, broke and divided by British colonialism, is yet another story. And so are the monstrous Malaysian massacres, which took place in 1969. And various massacres of the opposition as well as of immigrants, in Thailand. The Thai bombing of Vietnam and Laos, to impress handlers in Washington. And the U.S. massacres in the Philippines, as well as the brutal civil war there, in Mindanao.

The list goes on and on. It is a brutal horror show, the never-ending awfulness of Western neo-colonialism, as well as the sleazy servility of local rulers.

The results are omnipresent: the beaches of entire countries are devastated. Whole enormous islands like Borneo, Papua and Sumatra are finished, scarred and poisoned by local and multi-national corporations. It is smoke and filth, clogged rivers, collapsed cultures, entire civilizations. No mercy, no compassion, no future.

But it is all hushed up. Crimes are denied. Outraged, confused nations are called ‘lands of smiles’, or ‘’friendly and tolerant archipelagos’.

It is insane, but tens of millions of foreign tourists descend on this ruined part of the world, annually. They see nothing. Some like it. They only nurture their complexes of superiority here. They do not want to understand anything. They choose to be blind. Cheap sex, shitty alcohol and beach food, as well as monumental sunburns. They continue the demolition work which has been triggered by their governments.

*

The mood is terrible. In Indonesia, foreigners and even locals get insulted in the middle of the day, just for being ‘different’. Whites are. Chinese are. Indians are. Black people are, with terrible regularity and brutality.

In Thailand, foreigners get killed and raped, for almost no, or very little reason. The terrible occurrences are reported almost weekly by the local and foreign press.

Poor people feel that their beaches, their cities, have been stolen from them. In Indonesia, on the Bali and Lombok islands, everything has actually really been looted from the locals.

Societies have crumpled. The plunder of the resources, of nature, of everything, was already taking place for years and decades, even centuries.

No one knows the way out of this nightmare. Most of Southeast Asia knows nothing else than this subjugation. And it is not even called a nightmare. In Southeast Asia, or in the West which controlled these societies for as long as one can remember, the horror is being glorified.

*

And yet, yet… On the same continent, not far away, an enormous country, governed by the Communist Party, and professing ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’, has been building a totally new society, defining and implementing an ‘ecological civilization’, pulling hundreds of millions of citizens out of poverty, constructing a great scientific base, the fastest trains on earth, massive mass transit systems in each and every city, first rate schools and universities, and stunning concert halls, opera houses and museums.

And all this with only a fraction of the financial resources, calculated on a per capita basis, of those of the West.

China… A country with 6,000 years of history and culture, with about 1.4 billion inhabitants, and with an absolutely, diametrically opposite economic and social system from that which was force-fed, for decades, to the people of Southeast Asia by the West.

A country, which, by 2020, as promised by her President Xi Jinping, will have no one, be it in the cities or in the villages, living in extreme poverty.

China, a country which is growing in order to serve its people. A country which is using capitalist companies in order to fulfill Communist and socialist goals. A country with a centrally planned and greatly successful economy. Where all land belongs to the government, and the entire future – to the people.

Imagine this country, near the decaying colossus of the mainly miserable, oppressed Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia, with mostly failed systems which has forced hundreds of millions of human beings to live in filthy, destitute cities and in the feudal countryside.

And now, China, with its culture based on communalism and internationalism, is extending its hand, and basically saying: “Let us grow together! Let us help our people, let’s struggle side-by-side for a much better world. Let us save, liberate, empower your hundreds of millions of men, women and children; let us protect them from hunger, illnesses, functional illiteracy and the lack of a decent future!”

All this, despite the fact that in Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and elsewhere, Chinese people were often treated like animals, killed and raped in pogroms, and kept away from the governments.

This extension of the hand is called “BRI” – “The Belt and Road Initiative.”

And it is, most likely, the greatest global and internationalist initiative in the history of humankind.

It is the most optimistic, truly socialist, vision for our planet, based on sharing and the genuine commonwealth of nations.

An enormous belt of high-speed railroads, roads, super-fast communication corridors, ports and airports, but also schools and universities, high-quality hospitals for all, of film studios and publishing houses, theatres and museums.

As this essay goes to print, China just inaugurated amazing, 4.300 km long railroad, cutting across Africa, from Tanzania to Angola. This project alone will save dozens of millions of lives. I worked in Africa, for several years. I know.

I have worked in more than 160 countries on this planet. I have seen a lot. But I have never encountered any vision so confident, so positively revolutionary, and at the same time, so kind.

*

The West will fight. It will do everything in its power to prevent the BRI from succeeding.

It will not let Southeast Asia go without a struggle. As it is not letting Central Asia go.

Recently, I analyzed the so-called “Uighur Issue”, in my detailed report compiled in Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan and Indonesia – “March of Uighurs” it is called. The West and its allies are radicalizing, arming and militarizing the Uighur ethnic minority, doing all they can to sabotage the BRI, by attempting to destroy its important center – Urumqi – in Northwest China. This may slow the projects aimed at inter-connecting China, entire Central Asia, Iran, and even Turkey and parts of Russia.

The same has been happening in Southeast Asia. The West has unleashed a tremendous propaganda force; it has employed countless NGO’s, as well as thousands of local ‘academics’ and ‘journalists’, trying to smear all China’s attempts to pull the region out from slumber and above all, from the toxic dependency on Western colonialist powers.

I have been monitoring this occurrence, in among other places, the Philippines, where the administration of President Duterte has moved the country much closer to Beijing, and away from Washington, improving greatly the lives of the great majority of the Filipino people. President Duterte enjoys the support of around 80% of his citizens, but is brutally attacked by Western media and NGO’s. He calls China “the kindest nation on earth”. This can never be forgiven in the West.

The same can be said about Laos, where China is basically revamping everything; pulling this poor and historically ruined country back to its feet, by building a high-speed rail system, modern energy sector, while constructing hospitals, schools, and even brand-new cities. And what did West do in Laos? It fought a ‘Secret War’ here, a side-kick of the Vietnam War, basically carpet-bombing with B-52s, a big part of the countryside, killing hundreds of thousands of people, just ‘preventively’, so they do not become Communists. Washington and Thailand never even apologized for these crimes against humanity.

Now when China is rescuing its neighbor, a fellow Communist nation, the West is blabbing nonsense about the ‘environment’ and ‘debt-trap’. Anyone who bothers to travel to the Plain of Jars or other ruined parts of Laos, will discover minefields left after the carpet-bombings. People are still dying there, and Western companies which produced these monstrous cluster bombs do not even share technical specifications with the de-mining agencies. Great concern about the environment! Here, U.S. bombs are used as village fences.

A similar situation in Cambodia.

And several other nations in the region, including Burma.

*

Nobody is laughing out loud, at those Western NGOs and propaganda outlets, mainly because the West and its servile local regimes have managed to sweep their crimes, genocides and economical plunder, under the carpet.

The downfall, or call it the near collapse of Southeast Asia, is not being defined as a downfall. Far from it.

Nowhere has brainwashing been so intense and so successful, as in this part of the world. The great majority of local people are nowhere near to even beginning to comprehend what had been done to them. People do not know that they are the true victims, or that a different world is actually possible.

The Brits, Dutch, French, Portuguese and Spaniards, have all managed to get away with the plunder and murder, mainly because ‘education’ has been shaped by the local ‘elites’, read: shameless treasonous servants of the Western imperialism. Talk to ‘educated’ (pro-British) Malaysians; read the books of their contemporary writers (almost all funded ‘from abroad’). Then you will understand.

The United States is still admired in Indonesia, a country thoroughly impoverished and ruined by Washington’s greed and geopolitical ambitions.

But Indonesia with a quality of life equal to that of poor Sub-Saharan African countries, is not officially considered to be poor, or deprived, or fascist or even feudal. Nobody seems to be questioning its ridiculously perverted statistics. The Philippines, too, was not defined as poor and destitute, before the arrival of President Duterte, even as millions were fleeing to all corners of the world, attempting to make living often under horrid conditions, in places such as the Gulf.

No one is laughing, because people were stripped off their ability to compare.

The glorification of capitalism and imperialism has been too powerful.

As has the smearing of Communism.

And as has been the professional and consistent attempts to discredit everything Chinese, first by the racist European colonialists, and later by Cold War warriors and propaganda gurus from Washington and London.

*

China led by the Communist Party; socialist China with its own characteristics, is clearly misunderstood. The BRI is also, and absolutely, misunderstood. Not because it is not transparent – transparent it is. But because Western propaganda is, so to speak, constantly and professionally muddying the waters.

Everything about China’s success is turned upside-down. The biggest fear, total horror, of the West and its lackeys in the new type of colonies here, is that China is both Communist, and a tremendously successful nation.

I am not going to argue here whether China is Communist or not, and if it is, to what extent. To me, it clearly is. Both Communist and successful. As well as internationalist. That is why I am decisively on its side, and on the side of BRI.

What is indisputable is that the intentions of the West to discredit both the PRC and BRI have absolutely nothing to do with trying to find solutions to the horrid problems our world in general, and Southeast Asia in particular, are facing.

The West does not want to find solutions. It wants Southeast Asia to remain ignorant, divided and servile.

The intentions of the West are clearly self-serving. Their only goal is to keep control over this resources-rich part of the world. And to prevent China from gaining its rightful position in Asia.

For centuries, the West kept plundering, killing and enslaving Southeast Asian people. That simple. Full stop. The nightmare is continuing, to date. This time, local elites are fully involved, although, frankly, they were always involved, acting shamelessly as go-betweens for the colonialists and the enslaved people.

It is time to try a different approach. An approach which has already saved hundreds of millions of people from misery; by giving them new lives, education, health, culture and dignity. An approach which now puts ecology and the quality of life well above business and economic growth.

The people of Southeast Asia have to be informed about the choices they have.

It will not be easy, as there is no free, no alternative press there. The mass media and ‘education’ are controlled by the elites who, naturally, want to maintain the status quo.

But there are choices. For the first time in many years.

Once the people of Southeast Asia know the truth, colonialism will end. Rapidly, almost immediately.

China and its system are showing great example by their deeds, not just by words. Wherever China comes, new winds are blowing. New societies are beginning to grow. Rationality blossoms. Nihilism disappears.

Soon a new chapter of Asian history will begin. The continent will be united, by belt and by road, by solidarity, determination and a great revolutionary spirit which will lead to the unstoppable renewal of this part of the world.

First published by NEO – New Eastern Outlook

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, Indonesia, latest, Vietnam

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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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Monobazeus
Monobazeus
passerby
passerby

After Ucraine, Libya and Syria the US is kick-starting a color revolution in Hong-Kong. That’s a bad idea if there ever was one. The Chinese are quite capable of holding grudges, and to a people with 3000 years of history it doesn’t matter if you have to wait a decade or a century to get even. A couple of years from now some hapless American pres isn’t going to know what hit him.

But even worse is that we are pushing China – a country with a huge manufacturing base – in the arms of Russia – a country that excels in weapons engineering. That combination of Russian engineering and Chinese manufacturing is going to be a sight to see.

Wilmers31
Wilmers31

They just announced tax cuts and financial assistance for some poor people in HongKong. Maybe the gripe was financial after all.

Why didn’t they protest against the cage dwelling which still exists for very poor people there?

it has employed countless NGO’s, They are a modern curse. Rich people have a hobby or they just think that big money gives them big wisdom. They are also unelected manipulators. Normal people have to make a living – cannot spend time unpaid in NGOs.

One of the problems with the West is that it is so enamoured with war and weaponry. Money is for war, not for people – in their view and as we empoverish it is increasingly difficult to hold against the merchants of death.

Antonym
Antonym

Jumping from the Washington frying pan into the Beijing fire is not clever for Asians as the latter is too close to home to push out after a bad experience. Check with the Koreans, Vietnamese of Philippians.

Also it is not all about cash money people: freedom from ideology cannot be priced.

Bootlyboob
Bootlyboob

What do we need to check with the Vietnamese? Or Koreans? As for the Philippians. I don’t have my bible with me so can’t verify either way.

Wilmers31
Wilmers31

I live in Australia and we have no freedom from the ideology of small government ultimately abolishing government.

Religions must be mollycoddled, public service reduced and reduced, journalists raided and incarcerated because what’s a secret is determined by the rulers. Business must be free including fraudsters. Freedom is for apartment builders, too. Taxes are for weapons and wars, not for people.

Why would you adhere to construction rules? Flammable cladding – no problem. Opal Tower, Mascot Tower in Sydney – no problem. Small government!!!!

Antonym
Antonym

LOL!! This man will get 1st class treatment on his next trip to China: they might make him the first foreign member of the CPC.

Ask Sri Lanka or Pakistan how they are handling their lopsided financial contracts with PR China: think 5% for them and 95% for Beijing https://www.dawn.com/news/1494061

Bootlyboob
Bootlyboob

Thanks for the article. Although it in no way backs up your absurd comments. Perhaps you went to the school for children who can’t read good?

Antonym
Antonym

“China to get 91 pc Gwadar income, minister tells Senate” https://www.dawn.com/news/1372695/china-to-get-91pc-gwadar-income-minister-tells-senate
Check the Pakistani comments below…

Bangladesh played its card better: https://thediplomat.com/2019/07/how-bangladesh-learned-to-love-the-belt-and-road/

Guy
Guy

Although I have some reservations about some of the precepts of socialism , namely all ownership by the state , there is much to be appreciated by the socialistic state which can certainly be described as different from the communist state. That being said ,I still say that Andre ,with his widely visited parts of the planet, has a perspective of being a humanist and that is so very admirable.
Thank you Andre again for your perspective.

Bootlyboob
Bootlyboob

You lost me at socialism being ‘all ownership by the state’.

Eric
Eric

While I would enjoy a break from America: The Empire and a return to America: The Republic, to cast China as the savior of the world is ridiculous hyperbole. They are no less self-interested than any other nation, and as a bonus have a culture that Westerners would find stifling. I do hope that a future Chinese Empire does not cast too big a shadow on my home.

DunGroanin
DunGroanin

Lol – better find all things with made in Chinal labels in your life and make a bonfire of them.

mark
mark

China is a status quo power, concerned with peaceful development and dealing with its domestic problems.
Compare the past and present behaviour of China with western countries.
You don’t need the IQ of a genius to work out which most of the countries in the world would prefer.
Western imperialism, genocide, slavery, rapacious exploitation and racism, or free and fair trade with China for mutual benefit.

Maxine Chiu
Maxine Chiu

Why on earth are you lauding the murderous dictator, Duterte of the Philippines?….You say that crime diminished after he took power….It is insupportable that you choose to ignore his vicious death squads running around the country, randomly murdering its citizens.

Jen
Jen

Why, have you spoken to any actual people who have seen Duterte’s bloodthirsty death squads on the rampage, mowing down civilians at random, or are you just getting your information from the usual mainstream news media outlets that depend solely on Reuters or AFP?

As far as I can tell, President Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao, upheld in 2017 and reaffirmed in 2018 by the Supreme Court in the Philippines. Mindanao is currently battling apparent Islamic State (ISIS) fighters. It may not be mere coincidence that ISIS appeared in the Philippines , and in Duterte’s home state of all places (he’d been mayor of Davao City before becoming President), some time after he became President.

The fact is that Duterte is the first Filipino President to have come from outside the country’s political elites centred in Manila, and is certainly a President the West does not like or will find manipulable.

maxine chiu
maxine chiu

No I haven’t….Neither do I rely on the Right-Wing MSM for my news.

Guy
Guy

Maybe because Duterte is getting rid of the drug pushers in the Philipines in the only way that the drug pushers understand .

maxine chiu
maxine chiu

Something like America’s useless, expensive and vicious drug war maybe?….From my understanding, Duterte’s war primarily hits the poverty stricken population….The savage Pompeo tells us that Duterte and Donald trump are very much alike, probably the only thing he’s ever said that’s true….What does that tell us?

Jen
Jen

Tells me that Andre Vltchek, who has actually visited the Philippines and spoken to people there about Rodrigo Duterte and his character, is still far more credible than Pompeo or you.

mark
mark

When you’re dealing with rabid rats like Filipino drug lords, you get further with a kind word and a gun than you do with just a kind word.

Frank Speaker
Frank Speaker

Vitchek is very naive: Asia and Africa will merely be replacing Western colonialists for Chinese colonialists.

William HBonney

Promote free speech, it might mean you lose the argument, but you have the freedom never to suffer the consequences.

Off Guardian writers will never get the midnight knock, guaranteed.

passerby
passerby

Times have changed, technology has moved on. We do not send dissenters to Siberia; we merely put their ramblings on page two of Google search results.

William HBonney

@off Guardian

Don’t delete anything, let the cards fall as they may.

If you feel free to pontificate about China, feel free, but always be aware, you seem to censor more than WeChat does.

OffG
Admin
OffG

So here’s the deal as we see it.

You’re trolling, predictably, abusing our free speech policy to insult the admins, authors and other commenters, disrupt discussions with (rather low caliber) OT scattergun sneering – all in hopes we will take down some of your spammery so you can then abuse our hospitality even more by screaming ‘censorship!’.

Sadly for you we haven’t obliged, but you’re just sticking to your script and screaming ‘censorship!’ anyway.

You’re not the first to try this play and you sure as sugar won’t be the last.

You can carry on if you like, of course, but you COULD agree to be considerate of other users and this site and stop your disruptions – including your gobsmacking lies about being censored.

Maybe your life would feel less hollow if you gave that a try? 😊

William HBonney

I have never insulted admins, to me you are shining knights, carrying the banner of free speech into a despotic and dishonest world. Unrequited I know.

Free speech will lead you to spaces you don’t want to go. You know that, I’m sure.

William HBonney

I apologise for the ‘wechat’ thing BTW.

vexarb
vexarb

Admin, now I can confess: the Kid’s first few shots went so wide I skipped over all the rest; giving each a down vote to notch on his belt. But sorry,in future not even downvotes.

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

The pure physics of a full moon often pulls & pushes people, even clinically proven sociopaths to do ‘weird’ things, out of character:-

looool, for example, even apologising for their naked stupidity …

Would you Adam & Eve ‘it’ ? Well, Vexarb would 😉

Dr DaDe rules ! in principle, but, because I saw your name and wanted to briefly read the comment, my peripheral vision noticed that which I normally Don’t Read Don’t Answer & Don’t Engage with, actually declaring an apology !? … 🙂

@12.29 today EET, get ready for the full pull & swing of the moon: sit back, watch the comments & enjoy the science & music of slaves to the rhythm, with some grace & balance, friend.

Relax & observe and never ‘drive’ anything too hard, because it is rather like transporting an unsecured load in a truck on snow & ice, without chains …
easy does it, 🙂
in my experience.

BigB
BigB

No is the short answer. Though Andre was clearly getting high on his own supply in an opium den when he wrote this one.

It’s a carefully crafted propaganda piece, I’ll grant. If I dare to mention the ‘environment’ or the ‘debt trap’ – I must be a plutocracy loving imperialist. Well I’m not, and I’m not falling for the semantic trap of being an imagined geographic Western apologist, denigrating the imagined geographic Eastern utopia.

As I always have to state: has anyone actually heard of the economy? It’s global. It’s global on account of the globalisation that has been going on since the 70s. It has been fully global since the late ’90s. It was certainly global by 2007: that’s why the financial crisis was global …on account of the globalised economy resulting from globalisation.

Facetious, I know: but globalisation passed Andre – and quite a few of the regular commenters here – by (reflexive downvotes don’t make the globalised economy any less global. There are no hermetically sealed currencies. Everyone needs dollars to trade (or Euros or Yen). The yuan still has a less than 2% share of the global reserve).

They get these dollars in the Euromarkets: the world’s largest pool of capital creation. It’s a very simple dynamic: if the dollar goes up, the Yuan goes down. If the Yuan goes down: SE Asia gets poorer. It happened before: the so-called ‘Asian Flu’ …caused by a dollar shortage. Check it out with a real economist. I recommend Dr Jack Rasmus. His blog is full of accurate information on how the global economy really works. His books are even better. The global economy is all connected: and that is its weakness and source of systemic fragility. And the dollar and the yuan are joined at the hip.

So, if we do not fall for emotive propaganda – we can see that the global economy is entering yet another crisis phase …caused by capitalism. To which more capitalism cannot be the cure. We have more than enough capital creation to fund several generations of planetary welfare at all levels: only, it is not benefiting anyone. Not even the 0.0001%. Capitalising the future won’t save the future. We need a new strategy for that.

We are entering a global recession phase. Unaccounted for entropy is the underlying cause. There are so many Black Swans it’s hard to name them all. But the US/China phoney trade war just got real. Ironically, as the economic war starts, China is being accused of manipulating its currency – because it stopped manipulating its currency. Investors are pouring money into the dollar as a hedge against the coming recession. Upward pressure on the dollar will put downward pressure on the yuan. If the PBOC stop intervening: SE Asia and the rest of the submerging markets will be the ones to suffer. Blame Trump if you want to exonerate Xi: but it is one hell of a time to be playing currency chicken over a trade deal. Them’s the facts for those who don’t want to play fantasy politics with imagined East/West geographies.

It’s a bit of a dirty trick to try and negate any criticism of one’s suspect POV by weaponising the plight of millions. Their suffering is real and not a pseudo-communist propaganda tool. Anyone who has any real compassion must be staunchly anti-capitalist, anti-globalist, and truly ecological …and truthful about the state of the world. The world and its suffering people will not survive extractivist, expansionist, and dehumanising capitalism. There is no use pretending it will: just because it’s ‘Eastern’. If anyone is gullible enough to believe the globalist, capitalist utopian rebranding ploy …well, pass the opium Andre. Smells like good shit…

vexarb
vexarb

@BigB: “No is the short answer”.

Beg pardon, what was the question?”

vexarb
vexarb

Oh, I see; it was Andre’s title. I bet a short Yes. For reasons of ROI (Return On Investment). The tsunami of capital sloshing around the globe does not yield much return (except to a tiny handful of specialists) because its investment is insanely based on TBL (The Bottom Line — monetary investment idiotically chasing monetary return). Socialist investment is in more substantial things, hence yields a better return to the commonwealth.

With one proviso. If these crushed nations of the Far East wish to follow China’s example and rise again they must never forget Mao’s maxim: “Justice comes from the barrel of a gun”. They must fight the U$ Paper Tiger and the paper money with which its trainer aims ruthlessly to control the world.

BigB
BigB

Hi Vex: good to see you back commenting.

The thing with China, the US/UK, and SE Asia that Andre et al struggle with comprehending is that they are not entirely separate entities. That is what globalisation means. Economic war or no economic war: they are economically and intricately linked by the dollar. The whole global economy is vassal to the dollar. China, Russia, Iran et al have indicated they want that to change. For instance: Russia has dropped some of its dollar reserves and swapped them for yuan. But the yuan is still linked to the dollar. It’s that old the knee bone’s connected to the thigh bone thing of self-organisation.

Everyone has conveniently memory-holed what got China started as an economic powerhouse …it was colonised by surplus dollar capital and US manufacturing was crated up and shipped to specially set up Special Economic Zones. Each American business had Chinese supply partners. 49% of ‘Chinese’ imports into America are from American firms. The biggest importer into China is China: from parts and sub-assemblies roundtripping SE Asia …bound for the USA and European markets. The Asian Tigers developed from our offshored manufacturing capabilities and our surplus capital. They were not home grown economic miracles.

No one knows what was said at Kissinger’s secret trip to China in 1970 (?). But Aleksandr Dugin is probably not far wrong that China was a globalist project. As globalisation grew: SE Asia developed their internal markets – unevenly as Andre makes clear. But they all caught a cold – or the Asian Flu – in ’97. The Fed raised its rates and FDI dollar inflight reversed causing a crisis …for lack of dollars. This should indicate just how intimate the links are between West and East. Andre is just making it up if he wants us to believe that China and SE Asia are a self-contained economic unit. Frankly, its just bullshit. But people believe it because they want to.

But the story doesn’t end there. In 2001, Goldman Sachs picked four emerging market economies (EMEs) …BRIC (the ‘S’ came later in 2011). They were picked specifically by region: not economic potential. They weren’t just picked though. After 2008: their economies were seeded with trillions of $$$$. Goldman Sachs invested >$800bn alone. This was $$$$ capital created as QE1 (the first round of Quantitative Easing). Happy days for investors and compradores. But last year: Jay Powell raised the Fed rates (not as much as ’97) …and the emerging markets became submerging markets.

This is known as the Triffin Paradox: what’s good for the Fed is bad for the global economy. You cannot balance the domestic and global needs with one currency. Does this sound like SE Asia is a economically independent bloc that can just turn its back on the rest of the world. No, it’s utter bollocks.

There’s more. Some 90% of international loans originate ‘offshore’ in the Euromarkets. No Euromarkets: no trade. Guess what the dominant currency is? You got it: the ‘eurodollar’. All trading nations need eurodollars. The masses of headlines devoted to ‘de-dollarisation’ probably outstrips the actual trade that bypasses the dollar completely. Check out what currency that nearly all BRI lending is transacted in. The Yuan? Check out what currency the alternative BRICS institutions lend in. The ruble? BRICS extend the IMF and WB dollarised credit lines. They even refinanced the IMF. The UN, IMF, and WB have all endorsed BRI. Is it sounding like an independent venture yet?

The globalists plan for alternative globalisation goes a bit like this. Each of BRICS integrate their regional trade agreements (Mercosur; EAEU; ASEAN; SAARC) into customs unions, Free Trade and Preferential Trade Agreements. The EAEU already amalgmated with BRI to form the Eurasian ‘supercontinent’. Which is allied with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC …moody Modi is not playing ball. He has a collapsing shadow bank economy of his own to deal with. One he is in the process of starting a war in Kashmir as a diversion from). This South/South globalisation is bringing in Iran, Syria, Egypt, much of Africa (Russia’s ‘pivot to Africa’ went unannounced) and Venezuela; etc.

As of SPIEF this year: China/Russia’s alternative globalisation became the dominant globalisation model …endorsed by the WTO, UN, etc. “China wants globalisation” said Xi: so there is no confusion. This is the Eurasian century.

With the China trade deal ready to go: and the US trade deal ready to fast track – my surmise is that the UK sits at the centre of its ‘spider’s web’ of hot money capital flows. We globalise the North/North with FTAs with the US and EU *and* integrate with the already globalised South/South extended Eurasianism with a China trade deal. Which will be a globalists globalisation of ‘global governance’. Do I need to spell out what this means.

If this was me on crack: it could be easily dismissed. But I got most of my information from globalists. Much of it was Lord Jim O’Neil’s original plan for Goldman Sachs in 2001-03. The BRICS=>BRICS+=>BRICS++ scheme hasn’t gone exactly to plan …but it was a pretty good guess, none the less.

I seem to be relatively isolated in thinking this will be the end of humanity: to be totally colonised by capital. Who actually wants an AI, 5G, fintech financialisation of everything anyway? And its not sustainable, and its not ecological. Those are just blatant lies. Is it really progress and prosperity to raise some in SE Asia out of poverty by playing extend and pretend with Ponzi debt finance? Because that is what is blowing this bubble – debt. We will be raising people up to send them crashing back down into neo-feudal conditions when the oil runs dry. Which it very nearly is. The only reason there is a global oil glut is because the global economy is imploding. Check out the slow motion implosion of Deutsche Bank AG: which is linked to the ‘Big 5’ US banks: which are linked to the EMEs; which are linked to …

Andre’s piece is utterly made up and bears no resemblance at all to any emerging real world recession. Anyone can verify what I am saying: the global economy is imploding. The EMEs are the canaries in the coalmine. China has already had to seize three banks already this year to prevent contagion. Andre is off his tits on opium and people are getting high on his hysterical hopium. Rather than be doped up crypto-capitalist no-hopers: wouldn’t it be better to try and at least envisage a humane post-capitalism? Because if not: its global fascism, the killing of the environment, and the death of the future for one and all. Did I mention the centralised SDR? Or EROI?

DunGroanin
DunGroanin

The creation of BRICS was just a form of Trojan Horse.

The globalists fawning of China was to stop it getting close to Russia upon whos resources they have century long had desires to plunder.

The Russians are well near divested off the dollar hagemony. The Chinese can pull their reserves. The Saudis & other ME client potentates are the only ones still insisting on $$ for their oil and gas.

Yes you are right. The Empire is in a downward spiral.

Good.

vexarb
vexarb

@BigB, I hate to say this but I think your No and my Yes to Andre’s question are equally correct: they are different aspects of the same potential reality which only Time can unfold as a concrete “tatsachlich” result. In plain words, we envisage completely different outcomes based on a slightly different emphasis on certain factors in the same analysis: I accept your analysis of what monetary factors make the world go round; and you accept my and Andre’s analysis of another factor when you say, “wouldn’t it be better to try and at least envisage a humane post-capitalism?”. None of us three are “high on crack” — neither your financial comments which get so many _undeserved_ downvotes nor my and Andre’s emphasis on Socialism as an _actual_ driving force which does not merely “envisage” humane outcomes but forces them into being by increasing the importance of ethical Bottom Lines (which unlike monetary Bottom Lines cannot be quantified but only recognized).

BigB
BigB

Agreed: we all want a positive and ethical outcome …but empathy and capitalism do not mix. To get an altruistic and cooperative socialism: we have to understand how finance really works …not just project how we think it should work.

Capitalism has utterly failed everyone: and severely undermined the worlds resilience and ability to reproduce itself …possibly permanently. Whether we can adapt – along with our co-evolutionary interspecies communities – is a moot point at this moment in time. If we actually want to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps: the answer is not BRI …it’s you and I.

We cannot keep drawing on external material resources if we expect to survive. We have to draw on vestigial, ignored, and as yet untapped spiritual resources from within. The future is within all of us.

Globalism is at the wrong end of the scale for human adaptability, survivability, and prosperity. We will have to learn to be neo-self sufficient in networked local economies …serving community needs – not exponential artificial wants and desires. To do this we need a new value system and a new mindset of altruism and cooperation. We need each other in close neo-familial units …as autonomous communities of mutual aid.

We have to accept that this is not anyones ideology or idealised fantasy utopia. The future will become normative and determinative of who we are. In other words: resource deficits and regenerative culture will impose the style of life we need to adopt to survive. If we choose to prosper: it will be spiritually, not materially.

We simply cannot continue to pretend that we can invent whatever technological lifestyle we choose: and expect the planet to provide it for us. It does not work like that. It never has. It never will.

Whatever is left of planetary resources are absolutely precious. So precious: they cannot be allowed to be commodified. They are not ours. We are not alone. Presumably, we want to carry on and procreate inter-generationally. To do so: we have to manage – and regenerate supposedly sustainable resources – to last …not just until the next round of quarterly shareholder dividends are due. We have to think ethically, pan-temporally, and inter-generationally. Needless to say: whatever solutions or set of solutions we choose …there can be absolutely no imperative to growth or valorisation. Material throughput will have to be as circular and recycling as possible to be truly sustainable.

Capitalism will absolutely not allow any potential of a future. We are condemned to grow exponentially until our civilisational systems or the underlying planetary systems collapse. Continual capitalism at a systemic level will deem whether we are a viable species or not. If we play extend and pretend to the point of collapse: there is no external force to blame. We did it to ourselves.

Capitalism has become moribund since the GFC. Anything productive has become subordinate to ever more speculative and exotic means of expansion. 98% of this speculative activity has nothing whatsoever to do with any commodity exchange. Nothing is produced. Nothing is exchanhed. There is absolutely no benefit whatsoever to humanity. All this speculation (overfinancialisation) has outgrown the productive economy. The two are irreconcilable.

BRI is a form of space-time compression: to speed up the overfinancialisation of everything …including human and natural capital. China is not alone: but it has built up huge unrepayable debts that it permanently has to restructure and service. For which they impelled to exponential growth. AI tends toward redundancy. 5G is inimical to health. What are we rushing headlong into? Do we really want to squander our dwindling resources feeding the insatiable market?

All we need to comprehend about the global market is that it cannot change. This is not ideological: it’s structural. Markets are addicted to central bank intervention (colloquially ‘money printing’); ultra-low interest rates (the ECB and BOJ are already funded by negative yielding bonds); speculative investment; and short term profits (M&As; share buybacks;etc).

Speculative investment outweighs productive investment. Investors are not interested in having money tied up for socially beneficial projects: they seek 10-15% passive low-risk returns. This has lead to the phenomena of shadow banking and speculative and exotic derivative markets in the wake of GFC 1.0. The reason for investing in EMEs is short term high returns. Then the money goes elsewhere. At the first sight of slowdown: money flows back into the dollar …which investors see as a safe investment.

This in itself is enough to precipitate crisis. Which has happened every ten years since major capital controls were deregulated. The solution each time has been massive central bank intervention – essentially free money – to reinflate the assets of the asset owning class. This has led to a death spiral from which capitalism cannot escape. Trying to return to productive lending will cause the markets to stall and implode. Ever more cycles of massive intervention (ultra-low rates; open market interventions – ‘easing’ (QE)). This can NEVER be reversed. NEVER.

Rates can never return to historic 5-6% levels: they can only be lowered …more ‘free’ money into the possessing classes cofers – more cannibalisation of the productive economy – more environmental destruction. There is only one logical outcome: one I hope to avoid …or at least be prepared for.

People have this 19th century mercantilist idea of finance. A bank in the UK is a bank in the UK. Barclays Bank is the most networked of the top 147 TNCs: with assets and investments everywhere. That’s just an example: the whole network of capital flows is inter-linked. This is its weakness and transmission vector. A failure anywhere sends ripples in real time globally. And we want to speed this up?

I can write much, much, more to this. But we believe capitalist utopian visions like Andre’s because we are naive. We do not understand modern finance. My precis is a much more accurate depiction. Capitalism is fated to cannibalise itself with cheap finance. It will not, and indeed cannot, serve any useful purpose to humanity. Any short term returm comes with a massive systemic risk of failure. Failure of the sustainability of the environment being the ultimate failure. Either way: the net result is global impoverishment …perhaps worse. That is where capitalism is heading, at increasing speed. Not to a utopia of global wealth. Only the feeble minded can possibly believe that now. Andre is naive in the extreme. Let not his naivete be ours.

vexarb
vexarb

@BigB: “To get an altruistic and cooperative socialism: we have to understand how finance really works …”

That’s why I upmark your comments which others inexplicably downmark: because you point out China’s indebtedness, China’s globalism and China’s over-reliance on Technological Progress. On the other hand, also from BigB (above):

“We have to draw on vestigial, ignored, and as yet untapped spiritual resources from within. The future is within all of us.”

These spiritual resources are what Andre is emphasizing (with my little upmarks) as factors of the same reality: Empathy, Philanthropy, Socialism, and (my little addition from Mao) Courage to fight the Paper Money Tiger.

We agree on the need to understand finance (which I do not, but I think you do). We agree on the importance of mind as an element of reality on the same level as atoms, time and space. We lay different emphasis on some factors, and only Time will show the real outcome of Andre’s view vs your view of China’s example to the currently downtrodden nations of SE Asia.

PS for a future thread: Where we disagree fundamentally is on Globalism and Technology. I do not think we can can go back to 100% cottage industry, neither can we avoid the power of science:

“When everyone can communicate with everyone else instantaneously, all the Laws of Man will need to be changed”. — Plato, The Laws

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

Globalisation is neo-liberalism writ large. It is presented as almost a force of nature by its proponents, the liberal elites and its apologists. It was always a geopolitical and economic theoretical construction – a project designed to further and consolidate the interests of the western elites, particularly the Anglo-American elites. A revolution from above no less. The latter, notably Anglo-American journalists an politicians insist that it is a mighty although ultimately benign beast which is reconfiguring the post-war settlement insisting that opening markets to free flows of capital, labour and commodities will optimize efficiency and prosperity. Blah, blah, blah. There is no alternative. A Fukuyama pastiche.

Actually the claims made by this novel ideology were never possible and probably never will be. In fact:

1. The world is not flat (contra Friedman of the NYT)
2. The world is not borderless (contra Ohmae)
3. Global Corporations do not rule the world (contra Korten)
4. The US dollar will not remain the reserve currency for very much longer. Why because the world is getting a little impatient with this ‘exorbitant privilege’.

They heyday of globalization was in the 90’s and early 00s but this came to a shuddering stop in 2008. Globalization has inter alia, been used as a battering ram to overcome such ‘outdated’ Westphalian principles such as sovereignty, self-determination, and even democracy. No sovereignty means no democracy. Globalization was an attempt to fit countries into markets, through the free-flow of capital the very opposite of fitting markets into countries which should have been the policies. But the going has now begun to get tough. Nationalism, as John Mearsheimer points out is a very powerful force, and peoples’ and their leaderships around the world are beginning to actively resist the hegemon. This is particularly the case in Europe. This unexpected turn of events is causing the panicky elites to go into a propaganda overdrive in order to prop-up their pet scheme. I would compare this to trying to push water uphill.

Additionally, the fact that the US$ is the global reserve currency isn’t necessarily going to be permanent, as some seem to assume. Gold is coming back into fashion and the anti-hegemonic bloc are buying all they can to enable their own counter-project: de-dollarisation. This ultimately could see the emergence of a new gold standard. Who knows what the future will hold. What we can be sure of, however, is the project of a borderless, stateless, post-sovereign, mono-cultural world – the objectives of globalization – will never come to fruition and the signs of this are manifest.

Guy
Guy

Thank you for your very astute comment . I feel much the same way . It is time to move on, the new world order is passée and will not manifest because it was a pipe dream .

BigB
BigB

Go check out our mate Dugin. The Eurasian century is here. And as of SPIEF 2019: it is the new globalisation (4.0) – the sustainable, sovereigntist, harmoniousness of man and nature version. They’ve already integrated the ‘world island’ and are planning the ‘Eurasian Information Infrastructure’ of AI, 5G, fintech technocracy rising. Trump is the anti-globalist anti-Christ now.

You are a sensible man. Off the top of my head: there was less than $10tn in capital under the Gold Standard. There are hundreds of trillions now: how will we ever return to Gold? We can’t: except by ridding the world of all this excess capital …especially derivatives. Do you think the capitalists will divest hundreds of trillions? No, neither do I. As has been pointed out: America had a large gold reserve in 1929 …which stopped absolutely nothing.

The ‘gold backed yuan’; the gold ‘petroyuan’ (remember that?); ‘de-dollarisation’ …these are internet memes. Whether we like it or not: the dollar and UST’s are the safe hedge with investors. That is where money is flowing. Not into the yuan or ruble. The EMEs are floundering: contra the delusively rosy picture Andre is trying to paint.

The eurodollar dominates international trade. When it is replaced: it will be with the SDR. That is how China plans to internationalise its currency: as part of the SDR basket. Or did they jump through all those neoliberal hoops just to back a dead reserve?

Globalisation continues: the riders just switched to a different horse with different pseudo-green colours. Nothing else has changed. Both VVP and Xi are happy with the dollar: they just want Trump to stop weaponising it. Fat chance: but they probably knew that. BRICS was Goldman Sachs alternative globalisation plan that has now become ‘Globalisation 4.0’ (allied with the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’). Which with CPEC, BRI, and the EAEU integration is very much alive.

According to Glattfelder: a ‘super-entity’ of 147 TNCs control world trade. This old report says that covers 66% of world trade (in 1996). I’ve been following Susan George for decades. I’m quite happy to concur that the TNCs – ‘Shadow Sovereigns’ as she calls them – control world trade. I’m also quite happy to concur with William I Robinson who updated World Systems Theory in light of this …to theorise the TNS (Trans-National Superstate) that controls world trade from ‘offshore’. Then there is Shaxson: who we seem to interpreted rather differently. To me: he makes pretty clear the world is run for the profit of the offshore state. But I’ll look at evidence to the contrary if you supply a link.

https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/221/47208.html

Martin Usher
Martin Usher

I’ve always thought that the most dangerous export the Chinese have on offer isn’t low priced electronics or anything like that, its the fact that a mere lifetime ago the country was prostrate, raped by successive Imperial powers with a structure not unlike the Asian countries mentioned in this article — islands of massive wealth in a sea of anonymous poverty. The country has taken enormous strides since then, not just in modernizing but also becoming a nation among equals. The message is unstated but obvious — “If we can do this so can you”.

Our reaction to this is mixed. I watched a DW (German) documentary about the BRI recently and was disappointed to see it rapidly morph from a development project into a critique of Chinese empire building. The critique included dismal behavior by Chinese tourists at a new Cambodian resort (coming from Germans????), the road through Pakistan being described in terms of “Hannibal crossing the Alps to invade Rome” and so on. The locals interviewed were all complaining about the lack of a piece of the action, they all expect to get rich by just being there (so what’s new?) and so oppose any form of development. But, seriously, this is the way progress happens; its always been like this and while we have to balance progress against its side effects, nothing is free, the idea that you can provide opportunity to ‘quaint’ villages with their ‘traditional’ lifestyles without some kind of disruption is absurd.

The Chinese are pragmatic and hard working people. They are formidable competitors. We need to see them in this light and rise to the occasion. Confronting them in old-fashioned imperialistic terms is a waste of time and resources.

mark
mark

Income per head in China.
1980 – $312.
2018 – $9,749.

All the countries of SE Asia can share in this prosperity if they don’t fall into the trap of acting as US catspaws and spoilers.

Terry Lustig
Terry Lustig

Thank you, Andre. I don’t know about all the grand generalisations that you make about Southeast Asia, which I have been visiting and working in for two decades, though I’m happy to accept that you may move in different circles to me.

However, I do wish to draw your attention to what I observed in XinJiang about a decade ago, namely overt and crude racism directed by Chinese at local people, repressed hostility to Chinese by locals in the rural area, and a very public military presence in urban areas.

We are great admirers of the Chinese civilisation, and its millenia of contribution to human progress. We are pleased to see its economic development and strongly support BRI. This has the potential to benefit Eurasia enormously, and we hope that China will act in Xinjiang with enlightened self-interest.

vexarb
vexarb

@T.Lustig: “racism directed by Chinese at local people” [in XinJiang province].

Are the XinJiang locals not Chinese citizens? Or are they citizens of different ethnicity; like the proverbial, “There was Englishman, an Irishman, a Scotsman and a Jew on a small island in the Far West of Eurasia”.

Meteor
Meteor

“professional and consistent attempts to discredit everything Chinese, first by the racist European colonialists, and later by Cold War warriors and propaganda gurus from Washington and London.”

And now by the Austrlain’s regime.

The slimes in Canberra want to keep threatening Beijing and at the same time want to keep receiving lucrative deals from the Chinese. It’s double-face pernicious British heritage in full display for everyone to witness!

The Chinese deserve much better for their initiatives. But Western ideology consists only of throwing spanners in whatever-is-not-Western works.

davemass
davemass

Pity China sucked up to the Thai junta thugs-
Instead of supporting an uprising against the royals, and the military thugs.
No support for a Thai – Chinese P. M. in 2006 against a coup, (actually 2, his sister in 2014) (both democratically elected), by the Chinese.
Oh, hang on, they don’t have that sort of election in China!
All China is interested in is what the capitalist west is interested in- business.
And they do business with some of the nastiest pieces of work, just as the Yanks do.

john deehan
john deehan

China is far from the perfect society which is proclaimed in this essay. Let’s not forget the millions that died under Moa’s economic policies. Let’s not forget the people that have died in Tibet because of an invasion by China and the exploitation of it’s resources and ethnic displacement policies by encouraging the Han Chinese to live in Tibet. Finally, let’s not the religion persecutions.

Bootlyboob
Bootlyboob

Relevance to above article?

john deehan
john deehan

So the invasion of Tibet, the ethnic cleansing of the indigenous population, the millions of Chinese who died because of a dictator, the persecution of Christians and other religions is not relevant? Suggest you broaden your sources of information about China.

mark
mark

You might take your own advice.
I know missionaries working in China.
They are tolerated by the authorities but viewed with some suspicion, on sound historical grounds.
Christian missionaries were allowed to go about their business freely in China in the 19th century.
The result was the disastrous civil war of the 1860s known as the Taiping Rebellion.
A Chinese convert to Christianity, who was probably insane, declared himself to be the brother of Jesus Christ, and succeeded in gathering a large following around him.
An estimated 20 million died, though no one really knows.
Keep your nose clean, and you will be left alone to follow whatever dogma you wish.
If you take an active part in weird, harmful, anti social, Moonie/ Scientology type cults, like Falun Gong, you may have problems.

John Deehan
John Deehan

I know missionaries in China who have to conform to state regulations otherwise they are closed down or ejected from the country. For example, the Catholic Church in China is only permitted to have either priests or places of worship in designated areas which are acceptable to the state in other words state control and state censorship. Moreover, the notion of keeping “ your nose clean and follow whatever dogma you wish “ precisely underlines the State tolerating no dogma but their own dogma. Furthermore, the introduction of missionaries into China by the West in the late 18th Century had been partly used by the British Empire to use as as an entry to introduce the ordinary Chinese to opium and the creation of the societies of Heaven( nothing to do with either God, Buddha, Allah or even Mao )Now, your description of people’s beliefs can equally be applied to the dogma of atheism, Marxism, Communism or what ever ism that takes your fancy but the greasing of palms in China is as universal as it is in all other workers paradises!

mark
mark

You can believe in whatever gods you like so long as it isn’t a threat to the country and public order.

You see the same history in 16th century Japan. Portuguese Catholic and Dutch Protestant missionaries were given free rein in the country. They recruited native Japanese into their respective dogmas, who were then at each others’ throats, just like contemporary Europe. The Japanese just banned the lot of them and put a stop to this nonsense on public order grounds.

John Deehan
John Deehan

It appears you have very little knowledge of the message of religion, you confuse the teachings of the various religions with the political use of power. Any empire whether it Britain or the Roman Empire has tried to use state religion as a political tool, just as they tried to control peoples by the imposition of their language. For example, the British Empire tried to eradicate Gaelic as the language of the indigenous people. Moreover, atheism was used as the state religion in the USSR and to a lesser degree in the People’s Republic of China!

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

What invasion of Tibet ? you mean the one to get rid of the that CIA Stooge the Dalai Lama and his band of merry Rocky Mountain trained terrorists ?

john deehan
john deehan

You must explain your ” theory” to the hundreds of thousands of Tibetans who lost their lives, loved ones and property by the marauding hordes of Chinese invaders. You won’t have found this information in Mao’s little red book!

Francis Lee
Francis Lee

”China is far from the perfect society which is proclaimed in this essay.”

Yes, I agree but who is perfect exactly? I don’t think Vlatchek argued that China was a ‘perfect society’did he? I must have missed that. Why is it that people put words into other peoples’ mouths when discussing issues of this sort. What Vlatchek did do was make the comparison between China’s development programme which has brought countless millions out of grinding poverty with its hapless neighbours who seem mired in poverty, corruption and hopelessness.

Since the start of far-reaching economic reforms in the late 1970s, growth has fueled a remarkable increase in per-capita income, helping to lift more people out of poverty than anywhere else in the world: China’s per capita income has increased fivefold between 1990 and 2000, from $200 to $1,000.

Yes, development on this scale is bound to be accompanied by disruption and paradigm shifts as the old order gives way to the new. Industrialisation unfortunately has an unavoidable cost. See Frederick Engels famous work written in 1844 ‘The Condition of the Working Class in England” which describes this process.

john deehan
john deehan

Vitchek makes many valid points, however, he tries to paint a picture of society which is striving for a utopia. Unfortunately, he fails to mention the costs of this enterprise. The uprooting of whole communities from the countryside to the dickensian work conditions, the destruction of famlies under the tyrannical one child policy which was ignored by the elites, the persecution of freedom of worship and destruction of the environment. Capitalism in any form whether the Western variety or Chinese variety will result in the destruction of the Earth. Time to think outside the box!

George
George

First off, I think that the article queries whether we are dealing here with “capitalism in any form” – or something else. And that bit about a “society which is striving for a utopia” has always been a favoured method for dismissing ANY attempt at improvement.

John Deehan
John Deehan

It deals with Western imperialism running in tandem with capitalism in comparison to Chinese State capitalism. “ that bit about ‘ society which is striving for a utopia ‘ has always been a favoured method for dismissing ANY attempt at improvement.’ “ Can you show a quote from my post where I actually state this or is it your interpretation of what you think I have written.

George
George

I may have misjudged your intentions. If so I apologise. I assume you are, at least, hugely critical of capitalism. It’s just that the word “utopian” has long been used as a swear word by “conservatives” to denounce alternatives to capitalism. (And I put in the scare quotes there because capitalism, as the most dynamic and unstable force ever seen, is profoundly UNconservative.)

To label socialist or communist ideas, or indeed anything at all, as “utopian” has a pejorative implication – and one which Marx and Engels agreed with, the word “utopian” being taken to indicate idealism – in both senses i.e. pure wishful thinking and also the assumption that thought, by itself, can remake reality. The label “utopian” is, therefore, a sneer. And, as I noted, one that has been used with relish by “conservative” capitalist apologists to imply that ALL socialist aspirations must necessarily fail – because – and here comes the old waffle – if you try to change the “natural base” of human society, then you will always bring about calamity. The only “human” option is therefore taken to be to trust in “tradition” – which, of course really means, “Just leave it all to your superiors to work it all out for you.”

John Deehan
John Deehan

To strive for a better society is to endeavour to create a more just, fair and more perfect society which whether it be Marxists, Socialists or fair minded people want. Naturally, the people who control this world, the transnational financiers, have inserted into societies that the ideology of survival of the fittest is the natural order. You can observe this as you have mentioned when the word socialism is mentioned which indicates the brainwashing techniques of the oligarchs have been largely successful. It is not surprising since they control the majority of the MSM, publishing companies, educational establishments and governments. If you ever read the works of Professors Carol Quigley, Antony C Sutton, Guido Preparata and many other, you can begin to understand what the transnational financiers tactics, strategy and goals are.

eddie
eddie

The one-child policy hasn’t been around for years, and you would be hard-pressed to find closer family bonding as in China.. Many people have more than 3 children.
Where is this Dickensian work environment that doesn’t exist in any other industrial setting? Go ahead with your bad-mouthing a country you know nothing about..
Certainly not a paradise like the country you call home, I’m sure..

John Deehan
John Deehan

The one child policy’s effects are having a causing severe social problems within Chinese society because families in general wanted boys instead of girls. Therefore, there is a severe imbalance in the ratio of boys to girls within Chinese society. If you recall, the U.K. does not have safety nets around working hostels to prevent workers from throwing themselves out of windows to commit suicide because of being to forced to work 12 hours or more per day 6 days per week. If you recall, the UK has health and safety regulations to ensure the safety of workers as indeed much of the EU does under the 48 hour working time directive. U.K. workers can opt out of this it but only under there own volition and so on. It appears your knowledge of Western European working legislation is woefully lacking. Now, vacuous statements “ such as bad- mouthing…” is no substitute for reasoned factual arguments. Moreover, it seems your knowledge of China is scant to say the least as is what your definition of a “ paradise”. Perhaps, if you read more European and Chinese history, you might have a more rounded view about what is actually happening in both China and other industrial settings in Western Europe!

mark
mark

Tibet is an integral part of China, and has been for hundreds of years.
It lost control of the region under the onslaught of western/ Japanese imperialism and the rule of the warlords.
The US sought to destroy China via Tibet (and now Xinjiang) in the same way as it tried to destroy Russia via Ukraine 5 years ago.
It couldn’t care less about grievances, real or imaginary, of Tibetans, Uighurs or Ukrainians, or anybody else.

John Deehan
John Deehan

Let’s see the same argument was used about Eire being an integral part of the British Empire except of course the indigenous population of it didn’t recognise this. In just the same way the Tibetans resisted the invasion of China and has been from that moment it been brutally put down. Moreover, the Han Chinese have been sent( in just the same fashion as The British Empire sent low land Scots and English planters to Eire) to occupy land which didn’t not belong to them. As to your points about the US foreign policy to China at the time I don’t disagree, however, the US from the moment Kissinger went to China in 1971 on the behest of Rockefeller and the other oligarchs who control the US, have invested trillions of dollars in China to the detriment of the working class in the US. They couldn’t not careless about the US either!

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Curiously John you seem to have missed the fact that the Dalai Lama’s wages from 1945 until 1974, were $180,000 per annum from the CIA DIRECT, with money from Taiwan flowing at that point in time and the Lama budget for training of those terrorists in the Rocky Mountains was $5 million per annum…

Dear oh dear John, are you just trolling or plain deliberately selective of your knowledge of history? and one last question, have you ever studied the Logistics for putting One Billion + Three Hundred Million portions of rice on the table, daily: I have, professionally and it is one helluva’ responsibility ! … It might interest you that that is in fact a huge collective responsibility, that requires a huge amount of Himalayan water, that flows from Tibet and yes I’ve been there and my brother speaks Chinese and has lived there for over 35 years and because of ignorance like yours spreading false perceptions or plain lies, we are both considering moving back there …

Oh, & Tibet has ALWAYS had a Tibetan Governor, both before & after the CIA and their Dalai Lama led TERRORISTS, who murdered 500 wholly innocent unarmed Chinese municipal workers, before the Chinese said in 1959 >>> GTFO !
ECHO Echo echo 🙂

John Deehan
John Deehan

It seems you are cherry picking facts. For example, Tibet was an Independent State long before the invasion by China. Moreover, in the 12 th century it was invaded by the Mongols, who considered it a vassal State until the Tibetans revolted in the 14th century. It was considered by the Chinese Empire in the 17th century to be a vassal state, although the Tibetans disputed this. Furthermore, it was invaded by the BritishEmpire in the early part of the 20th century.
From 1911 until 1951 it declared independence, however the People’s Republic of China disagreed and invaded it in 1950. After the invasion the PRC began the suppression of religion, and considering the Dai Lama was and is considered to be the spiritual head of Tibet, had to speak out against the injustices meted out on the Tibetan people which resulted him going into exile, in just the same way Polish Government had to go into exile in 1939.
By 1979 the cultural and religious suppression had reached the point were more than 6,000 monasteries and 600,000 monks and nuns were either killed, imprisoned or fled the country. Examples of this happened in the reign of Henry the VIII in England. As to the Dai Lama excepting money and armaments from the CIA, well the sworn enemy of Communism, The USA plus the other imperialist power the British Empire provided vast sums of money and armaments to the USSR in the great patriotic war. My enemy’s enemy is my friend is the real politik in this situation. Suggest you read more widely!

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

Suggest you learn to speak Chinese & Tibetan and do some proper research, not from your imperialist trolling handbook of pseudo-history… itsa’ full moon, so I guess I must expect loadsa’ loony tunes from guys like you, who don’t even speak the languages involved … on yer’ bike 😉
keep on peddling!

John Deehan
John Deehan

As the arch capitalist said when they can only retort with ad hominem, they have lost the argument!

eddie
eddie

The progress of the country is the first consideration in China. Everything else comes later.

More than half of Chinese are atheist, 23% practice a folk religion, and 18% are Buddhist.. Christians and Muslims combined are less than 5%.

Chairman Mao’s picture is on all monetary bills, the cny..

William HBonney

Any westerner living in the middle kingdom will have difficulty responding to this (why do you think we use the euphemism mk?)

When I used to comment in the Guardian, I’d have frequent and heated discussions with climate warriors who’d insist (from Sussex, undoubtedly) that the predominate country in south east Asia is a world leader in green energy (you’re having a laugh).

You cannot promote free speech and be an apologist ATL. Don’t be naive.

Bootlyboob
Bootlyboob

I wouldn’t have thought anyone was arguing that Singapore was a world leader in renewable energy.

DunGroanin
DunGroanin

Yet again Billy the Kidder , the fastest troll in the west, shoots before even removing the gun from the holster – and blows another hole in ‘his’ foot!

Excellent piece by Vltchek – i’ve been asking for a considered piece on the Shanghai Cooperative Organisation, even though he fails to mention it(?)

Check it here
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai_Cooperation_Organisation

Note especially the year it bloomed – 2001 – wonder what the Anglo Imperialists response was?

William HBonney

Well, since the topic is the middle kingdom, you won’t mind telling us how long you have lived there.

The trouble with reporting there, is that you cannot accurately gauge public opinion. If, Off-Guardian could afford the air fare, then their correspondent would get in on a journalist visa. Fine, then you are accompanied by a ‘minder’. Good luck trying to conduct independent journalism under those circumstances.

One could, of course, enter under a tourist visa, and then you are free to do a vox pop. Get caught, though, and you are in deep shit.

Public opinion is a resource, on the mainland, and it doesn’t belong to anyone but the CCP. You cannot measure it, and God help you if you try an influence it.

George
George

The trouble Billy Boy is that you cannot gauge public opinion here either. Who tells us about “public opinion”? The media i.e. proven liars.

William HBonney

Isn’t that ironic. Wikipedia is blocked, has been for a while.

Jen
Jen

Yet again Billy the Kidder , the fastest troll in the west, shoots before even removing the gun from the holster – and blows another hole in ‘his’ foot! …

That metaphor alone is worth several upticks. Although you forgot the recoil once again hit him in the head and left him concussed.

George
George

“You cannot promote free speech and be an apologist ATL.” Well let’s see…from the internet definition facility:

“apologist: a person who offers an argument in defence of something controversial.”

I don’t see any contradiction between that and promoting free speech. Indeed, being an apologist is predicated on the assumption of free speech. Of course I am assuming that “ATL” means “above the line”. If it means e.g. “accessing totalitarian leverage” then you may have a point.

William HBonney

China is somewhere you’ve read about, isn’t it?

George
George

As have you too Billy Boy – or are you going to tell us you lived there for years, like those disputing alternative theories about 9/11 who claim to be actual pilots / engineers? Hey I’ll bet you were there all the way through the Russian and Chinese revolutions and witnessed first hand the unspeakable horror of all that occurred.

Well – here’s how I see it – and it’s the only way I can see it: I only know the truth about where I live in the UK. Everything else I read about or watch films about. Since I haven’t lived elsewhere I cannot vouch for the truth re: other countries. However, I work in what is laughably called “the care industry” and I have seen it decimated year after year by savage cuts. I have seen other areas around which are affected even more harshly. THAT I know. And when the mainstream media lie and lie and lie about everything I have experienced as well as contradicting themselves then you’ll pardon me if I don’t believe a word they have ever said about ANYTHING!

George
George

Well well well – look at what you have done BB. You got me blowing off on a topic that had nothing at all to do with what I was saying. You could not answer my observation about the word apologist so you just took off on a tangent. Superbly played, my little troll.

SharonM
SharonM

Interesting article, thanks:)
What about the Hong Kong protest videos we’re all seeing today, with american flags and them playing the the Star-Spangled Banner? Unbelievable.

Meteor
Meteor

Never ever, that flag looked more disgusting than in the protests in HK.

mark
mark

Bring back Governor Carlton-Browne, with his plumed pith helmet.

mark
mark

It’s amazing that they have been so (too) tolerant of these thugs.
Can you imagine what would have happened to them if they tried to close down airports in the UK/ US?
Compare them with Madrid’s Fascist Boot Boys clubbing down old people waiting in line to vote in Catalonia.
Or Macron’s Fascist Thugs blinding and maiming the Gilets Jaunes.
If they had tried this on in the United Snakes, they would have been clubbed, tasered, and tossed into Gitmo for a spot of waterboarding. Or just shot if they were black.

William HBonney

They did, Gatwick, with drones, a while back. No one charged. The UK police did seriously screw with someone’s Christmas, though.

William HBonney

You’re a man of the people, aren’t you, Mark?

Tim Jenkins
Tim Jenkins

I’m just waiting for that CIA Stooge, the Dalai Lama, to send in his Terrorist Lamas to Hong Kong, in plain clothes, for a demo. of how to deal with the ‘Serfs’ & Policemen, after some proper Nazi training from their Goebbels handbook of propaganda, from the 1930’s … Fact !

But, those CIA paid Lamas are maybe just a little afraid of following their Dalai darling’s orders this time around, given the info. available now, under the US FOIA … Tibetan family monarchist histories are now well known in China & Hong Kong, so they’ll have to figure out an illegal entry …

And even then, the truth is they know they don’t have the muscle or influence or financial clout that the Triads have … 😉 and funnily enough mark, anybody who thinks the Opium Wars ever ended, is a blithering idiot and neglects to mention the CIA poppy crops from Afghanistan, via Transit Hub Azerbaijan, with Silkway Airlines 747’s shipping Bulgarian & NATO Armaments into Azerbaijan and Opium poppy is the return load, as was so courageously demonstrated by the Bulgarian reporter Dilyana Gaytandzhieva: having found Bulgarian munitions whole & shrapnel by the decapitated bodies of a mother & child in good ole’ Aleppo …

Martin Usher
Martin Usher

It was described as a ‘color revolution’ by an administration official (US) today. The West is probably in there stirring the pot, its a bit like the yellow umbrellas from a couple of years ago.

Jen
Jen

Photograph of US consular official Julie Eadeh meeting with leaders (including well-known activist Joshua Wong) of the protest movement in Hong Kong, taken by a passerby and uploaded to social media where Hong Kong media pounced on it and identified her and doxxed her personal and family details.

mark
mark

Imagine the howls of outrage if the Russian or Chinese ambassadors were holding meetings with the Gilets Jaunes, giving them funding, and arranging training courses for activists.

Or with Brexit and anti-Brexit campaigners in the UK.

Or with the Catalans in Spain.