The Hong Kong Drama

For months now the people in Hong Kong have been protesting…..some say for democracy others say it is just for the helluva it and then there are those in the government that say it is just provocateurs that are never happy…..

There for awhile I thought that Trump would veto the bill that condemned China for their responses to the protesters and for their disregard of the democratic process…..

I can say now that I am pleasingly happy with the news that Trump has signed the bill….

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law legislation that could bring diplomatic action and economic sanctions against Hong Kong, brushing off multiple warnings by China against such a move.

“The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong,” the White House said in a statement.

“Certain provisions of the act would interfere with the exercise of the president’s constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States.”

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3039673/donald-trump-signs-hong-kong-human-rights-and-democracy-act

The one question that this situation begs…..is what will happen with the negotiations between China and US on trade?

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–26Nov19

Where have we heard of the “Thought Police” before?

You may have had to read a book to get that answer.

It looks like the Chinese are detaining people before they commit the crime…..

The watch towers, double-locked doors, and video surveillance in the Chinese camps are there “to prevent escapes.” Uighurs and other minorities held inside are scored on how well they speak the dominant Mandarin language and follow strict rules on everything down to bathing and using the toilet, scores that determine if they can leave, the AP reports. “Manner education” is mandatory, but “vocational skills improvement” is offered only after a year in the camps. Voluntary job training is the reason the Chinese government has given for detaining more than a million ethnic minorities, most of them Muslims. But a classified blueprint leaked to the media shows the camps are instead precisely what former detainees have described: Forced ideological and behavioral re-education centers run in secret.

The classified documents lay out the Chinese government’s deliberate strategy to lock up ethnic minorities even before they commit a crime, to rewire their thoughts and the language they speak. The papers also show how Beijing is pioneering a new form of social control using data and artificial intelligence. Drawing on data collected by mass surveillance technology, computers issued the names of tens of thousands of people for interrogation or detention in just one week. Experts say the documents spell out a vast system that targets, surveils, and grades entire ethnicities to forcibly assimilate and subdue them—especially Uighurs, a predominantly Muslim Turkic minority of more than 10 million people with their own language and culture. Click for the full article.

Back in the Dark Ages of our foreign policy (pre-2017) the president would issue a condemnation of such blatant violations of a person’s rights…..but those days are GONE…..I mean Trump will not come out in support in of the democracy protests in Hong Kong and has threatened to veto a bill passed in a bi-partisan move that condemns the Chinese government for the iron fist crack down.

So he will allow the mistreatment of a Muslim minority but will come out for a Christian minority in Iraq…..what a bone head hypocrite.

Nothing more heinous than playing games with people’s lives….and we Americans know how that works.

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Those Killbots

We all know of the outcome of Skynet taking over, right?

The world is moving more and more close to the day when AI is the warfare norm….until then we have our drones….and the Chinese has taken that concept one step further…..

Chinese military contractors have already started to sell dangerous, autonomous killer robots to customers in the Middle East.

For instance, a Chinese company called Ziyan is actively marketing its Blowfish A3 — an autonomous helicopter-like drone armed with a machine gun — to international buyers, according to Defense One. While several countries have been working towards this tech for years, this news means we’re finally, and unfortunately, living in the era of killer robots.

While Ziyan works to sell its autonomous killbots to Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the Chinese government is already entrenched in the killer robot trade.

“As we speak, the Chinese government is already exporting some of its most advanced military aerial drones to the Middle East, as it prepares to export its next-generation stealth UAVs when those come online,” said Defense Secretary Mark Esper, per Defense One. “In addition, Chinese weapons manufacturers are selling drones advertised as capable of full autonomy, including the ability to conduct lethal targeted strikes.”

https://futurism.com/the-byte/china-selling-autonomous-killer-drones

We look for ways to make the battlefield ‘safer’ for our troops by using drones…unfortunately the civilians are NO safer….if anything are in more peril.

Thanx to everyone for their kind attention to IST….your visits are much appreciated..

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

What Of The New “Pacific Theater”?

We here lots of chest thumping these days about the capabilities of the US military…..and in the same vain we here about the expansion of the Chinese influence in the Pacific and the possibility of some sort of confrontation is in the cards without some changes…..

China is working hard to replace the influence of the US in the Pacific…..

China, especially under President Xi Jinping, seeks a return to what it regards as its rightful position, replacing the U.S. as the world’s dominant economic and military power. Previous U.S. administrations have slouched in the direction of understanding the strategic competition that grows from this ambition but did little. The current U.S. administration gets it, as evidenced by the National Defense Strategy’s identification of China as a major peer competitor.

https://www.hudson.org/research/14861-china-wants-to-replace-the-u-s-in-the-pacific

But if the confrontation comes to the forefront how does it look for the US in such a conflict?

The United States Studies Centre (USSC), a research center based at the University of Sydney in Australia, released a study titled, “Averting Crisis: American Strategy, Military Spending and Collective Defence in the Indo-Pacific.” The study makes the argument that the US would not be able to defeat China in a military confrontation in the Indo-Pacific.

The USSC is funded by the Australian government, over the past five years one percent of their budget came from the US government and eight percent came from “US-based foundations, companies or individuals.”

The three researchers whose names are on the study are part of the USSC’s Foreign Policy and Defence program. The program lists its partners as the Australian government, The US defense company Northrop Grumman, the French defense company Thales and the US State Department.

New Study: China Would Beat US Military in Pacific

Does Trump’s trade wars help this situation in any way?

 

Closing Thought–20Aug19

Economics

How many of you, my readers, believe that China is holding our debt?

Let me correct this erroneous thinking….

It is NOT China but Japan that owns the most Treasury notes……that craps on so many talking points.

Japan surpassed China as the largest foreign holder of U.S. Treasury securities in June.

Japan has added about $21 billion since May, making its holdings the largest since October, 2016. Japan now holds $1.12 trillion Treasurys, and China has $1.11 trillion, a $2 billion increase from the month earlier, according to U.S. Treasury department data.

China has been a less aggressive buyer of the U.S. sovereign debt, and market players have speculated that one action it could take in the trade war with the U.S. is to lighten up on its U.S. holdings. But there are no signs that is happening, according to traders.

The U.K. is the third-largest holder with $342.3 billion, up from $323.1 billion a month earlier.

(CNBC)

Be Smart!

Learn Stuff!

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

 

What About China?

OMG!

The news is back and forth….China good….China a bad player….China this…..China That…….

We have a monarch that demonizes China when it suits him….and pretends he likes them when he needs something.

But cut through the BS….is China an enemy?

China has one-fifth of the planet’s population; the world’s second largest economy; a small but significant nuclear arsenal for deterrence; and an increasingly repressive government which combines elements of market economics with single-party totalitarianism, incredibly invasive surveillancemass internment camps; and a newly minted “president for life,” Xi Jinping. Should it also be the recipient of Washington’s antagonism?

https://thehill.com/opinion/international/457098-china-is-a-rival-not-an-enemy

A group of China experts here in the US has written a letter to the White House…..

An open letter from 100 well-known China experts in America, critical of Washington’s adversarial stance towards Beijing, has highlighted – and fuelled – the ongoing debate in the United States over how to deal with China.

The public pushback from moderates was prompted by concern over worsening US-China relations, amid a hardening anti-China line from Trump administration officials and a festering trade war that has spilled over to competition in technology and other arenas.

Their letter was addressed to President Donald Trump and members of Congress, and published in The Washington Post on Wednesday. Headlined “China is not an enemy”, it outlined the authors’ problems with the current US approach to China and laid out their tenets for a better foreign policy.

https://www.straitstimes.com/world/united-states/open-letter-to-trump-china-is-not-an-enemy

Think about it…have you heard from the MSM on this subject?  Probably not.

An article from 5 years ago about China and its role……

The rise of China as America’s chief rival on the international stage has long been a staple of our foreign policy pundits’ alleged wisdom. The Chinese, simply by virtue of their enormous population, have been deemed the inheritors of the earth. China, we are told, has been in the process of overtaking us in terms of virtually every metric imaginable: demographic, economic, and, most important of all, military. There’s just one problem with this Sinocentric view of the future: it’s based on nonsensical assumptions. And the central wrongheaded assumption – that China is a stable unitary country and will always remain so – is being disproved (once again) by the events now unfolding in Hong Kong.

China Is a Paper Tiger

This whole China thing is a mash up of policies that no one understands….especially analysts that must to have the national security at heart.

Time to bring Foreign Policy out of the black hole that Trump and Gang have put it into.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Kashmir–The Saga Goes On

Not that great rock song from Led Zepplin…..but rather that region in the mountains around China, India and Pakistan…..a disputed land….

Let me go on record as I am not an expert on this region so my limited knowledge comes from reports I read….please if anyone wants to correct anything feel free to jump in…..I will not be offended.

India and Pakistan is at odds over the Kashmir region and then China is sitting on the Northern border of the region and have an interest on who does what to whom…..

India’s ongoing crackdown on once-autonomous Kashmir has fueled a lot of criticism from neighboring Pakistan, and unsurprisingly is also being criticized by Pakistan’s closest regional ally, China.

China’s foreign ministry says that it wants to see India play a constructive role in regional peace and stability, and not take unilateral actions. These comments came as India’s FM flew to China to meet his counterpart related to the upcoming UN Security Council matter.

Pakistan has promised to take the issue of India’s crackdown on Kashmir to the UN Security Council, and is counting on China’s support. The Indian government, however, is warning China to stay out of the matter, saying it should not allow any differences of opinion to become disputes.

That’s likely unavoidable, however, as Kashmir is a huge issue to the Pakistanis, and anything that brings India and Pakistan into conflict will also be a huge issue to China. The Chinese government may have less direct interest in whether India respects constitutional autonomy for Kashmir, but that area is right on their border, and they clearly don’t want to see it flare up, either internally in Kashmir, or into a direct India-Pakistan War.

(antiwar.com)

Moving on to India’s crackdown……

Restrictions over the past eight days have been severe enough that a lot of Kashmiris have been all but confined to their homes. Indian forces went to the extent that reporters said the communications blackout meant some Kashmiris didn’t even know what was going on.

Indian forces expected that the Eid al-Adha holiday would lead to large protests in Kashmir, and in trying to prevent such demonstrations, the military imposed even more severe restrictions, including closing the largest mosque in Srinagar.

Muslims, who are the heavy majority of Kashmir, are allowed to go to mosques for the Eid, but only smaller mosques. The expectation seems to be that the largest, most influential mosque would be used to organize big protests.

(antiwar.com)

This is an article that was written recently and ask a good question….not that I agree but a question that needs an answer…..

It has long been called the most dangerous place in the world. Still, few Americans know anything about the place; nor could they point out the troubled region of Kashmir on a map. Yet for 62 years India and Pakistan have contested for control of the province. In fact, a long-running insurgency there has even been punctuated by at least three inter-state wars between the nuclear armed powers. Now, after India recently revoked Kashmir’s “special status” – essentially annexing the disputed (and Muslim-majority) territory – there might just be another war. Tens of thousands have already been killed over the years; how many more will now die is anyone’s guess.

India: The Next Apartheid State?

The PM of Pakistan just back from the schmooze with Trump decided to do some chest thumping of his own…..

Pakistan is prepared to “fight to the end” over Kashmir if necessary, Prime Minister Imran Khan said Wednesday during a speech from the Pakistani-controlled part of the disputed region.

Khan, who was in Kashmir to mark Pakistan’s independence day, accused India of trying to marginalize and radicalize the region’s Muslims. He also called New Delhi’s move to strip Indian-controlled Kashmir of its autonomy a “strategic blunder” by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

All that editorializing aside…..let us look at a real problem….food shortages…..

Residents of Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) were running short of essentials on Tuesday as an unprecedented security lockdown kept people indoors for a ninth day.

India has imposed a near-constant curfew and a communications blackout as it tries to stave off a violent reaction to the government’s decision on August 5 to strip Kashmir of its autonomy.

The reaction to India’s unprecedented move has so far been largely subdued. But anti-India protests and clashes have occurred daily, mostly as soldiers withdraw from the streets at dusk. Though the scale of the lockdown is unprecedented, civil resistance to Indian rule is not uncommon in IHK, and young men have hurled stones and abuse at police and soldiers.

Food running out as IHK under strict lockdown for 9th day

Maybe to help my reader understand….,the UN report on Kashmir would help…

https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/IN/KashmirUpdateReport_8July2019.pdf

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“Lego Ergo Scribo”