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ASIA Australia China Intelwars

Australia’s Self-Inflicted Economic Woes Continue

April 15, 2021 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Australia had until recently been enjoying economic growth alongside the rise of China. This all changed when Canberra began following Washington’s lead, antagonising China, and in what would snowball into a costly, self-inflicted economic crisis. 

Today, Australia not only faces mounting barriers to trade erected by China in response to Australia’s systematic antagonism, but now is seeing what had been temporary trade disputes transform slowly into a Beijing strategy to permanently eliminate dependency on Australian imports. 

Once set into place, the ability for Australia to return to previous levels of lucrative trade with China will be unlikely. 

Australia’s Self-Inflicted Economic Ruination 

In 2018, Australia buckled under US pressure to ban Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from nationwide 5G infrastructure contracts citing still unfounded “national security concerns.”

The BBC in an article titled, “Huawei and ZTE handed 5G network ban in Australia,” would claim: 

“…the Australian government said national security regulations that were typically applied to telecoms firms would be extended to equipment suppliers.

Companies that were “likely to be subject to extrajudicial directions from a foreign government” could present a security risk, it said.

Even the BBC and the Australian government were clear to use the word, “could present,” versus the demonstrated security risk US-made hardware poses as revealed by the Western media itself in articles like MIT Technology Review’s, “NSA’s Own Hardware Backdoors May Still Be a “Problem from Hell”,” which would note: 

In 2011, General Michael Hayden, who had earlier been director of both the National Security Agency and the Central Intelligence Agency, described the idea of computer hardware with hidden “backdoors” planted by an enemy as “the problem from hell.” This month, news reports based on leaked documents said that the NSA itself has used that tactic, working with U.S. companies to insert secret backdoors into chips and other hardware to aid its surveillance efforts.

Quite clearly then, the threat of compromised hardware is not the real reason this ban has been leveled against Chinese companies since similar bans have not been used to target US-made hardware. Instead, the most likely motivation fits in with Washington’s wider strategy of encircling and containing China, including the blunting of its economic rise as a whole, and the sabotage of individual Chinese companies poised to overtake their Western rivals. 

More recently, Australia followed suit in a US-led propaganda campaign to shift the blame for the global COVID-19 crisis on China. 

A Reuters article titled, “Africa’s miners and winemakers toast China’s row with Australia,” would not only note China’s moves to permanently resolve this growing dispute with Australia by simply finding more dependable and amicable trading partners, but also attempted to explain how this trade row recently escalated when Canberra, “led calls for an inquiry into the origins of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan.” 

Of course, this was a politically-motivated inquiry meant to insinuate China was responsible for the spread of COVID-19, and by implication, also responsible for the resulting global crisis. 

Logically, even if China had been responsible for COVID-19’s spread throughout its own territory, failing to detect, isolate, and contain its spread, it is difficult to understand how China is also responsible for it spreading in Australia or the US. 

What prevented the Australian or US governments from detecting, isolating, and containing the spread of the virus within their own borders, and how exactly would China be to blame for the fact that they didn’t? Here reveals the propaganda value of this inquiry and precisely why China responded through additional tariffs against Australian imports. 

The trade war is hurting Australia in ways it will not be able to overcome without quickly reconciling with Beijing. 

The amount of iron ore exported to China from Australia cannot simply be diverted elsewhere. Which nation possesses the same sized industrial base and demand for such ore? The answer is; no one. 

Worse still are “economic solutions” Australia is exploring to make up for its declining economic health. 

Australian state media, ABC, in an article titled, “Australia to produce its own guided missiles as part of billion-dollar defence manufacturing plan,” would claim: 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will unveil the plan later today but is warning the “changing global environment” highlights the need to create the sovereign capability.

The article also noted: 

The Department of Defence will choose a “strategic industry partner” which will be contracted to operate the manufacturing facility.

Potential partners include Raytheon Australia, Lockheed Martin Australia, Konsberg and BAE Systems Australia.

Thus, there really is no “sovereign capability” being developed, since the weapons will be made by the Australian subsidiaries of US and Western European-based arms manufacturers, using Australian tax dollars, and creating a minimum number of jobs in the process all while using technology with little to no practical application outside the realm of arms manufacturing. 

The missiles, once completed, will most likely be pointed at China by Australia, or sold to nations in the region who will likewise point them at China. 

The propaganda campaign fueling Australia’s growing antagonism toward China and creating the climate of fear among the Australian public to justify expenditures on weapons often stems from policy think tanks like the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). 

That ASPI is funded by the very same arms manufactures mentioned above, Raytheon and Lockheed, directly profiting from the growing crisis, should be no surprise.  

If the trade row wasn’t bad enough, special interests driving Australian foreign policy doubling down on “solutions” that will only expand the row (and also a wider conflict) signals to Beijing that Australia wasn’t, isn’t and likely well into the future won’t be a reliable partner. 

China Moving on Without Australia? 

Conversely, China has plenty of alternatives to choose from and has been cultivating them for years out of a desire to hedge against economic uncertainties. But it was a strategy that has clearly served Beijing well in the face of the sort of political uncertainties Australia’s antagonism now represents. 

The same Reuters article discussing Australia’s China-COVID-19 inquiry would also note: 

In the mining sector though, China has spent the past decade ramping up projects in Africa to safeguard the flow of raw materials to the manufacturing juggernaut.

Those investments are now paying off and African producer countries are pocketing the royalties as exports to the world’s second biggest economy get a boost at Australia’s expense.

The article covers a wide range of ores, minerals and other goods China is seeking to diversify away from dependence on Australia for, and toward partners in Africa. 

The article describes how in just a few years, momentum is already starting to swing in favour of African exporters at Australia’s expense. Once the process is complete, it will be very difficult for Australia’s government to repair both the political damage it has created and convince Beijing to forego its new partners in favour of a return to Australian trade, now proven to be politically unreliable. 

Like the US itself whom Australia follows the lead of, Australia finds itself needlessly rendering itself irrelevant because of a fundamental inability to accept an emerging global balance of power, correcting the unwarranted concentration of power and wealth in the hands of Western nations at the expense of the rest of the world. 

Australia’s inability to find a constructive role to play among the nations of the Indo-Pacific region and recognize China’s rise as a regional and global power, insisting instead to partner with Washington in a campaign to reassert Western primacy over the region, is not “going to be” Australia’s downfall, it already is Australia’s downfall. 

How far Australia falls, and if it arrives at depths it can never fully return from, is up to Canberra.

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.    

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China Courts cyberespionage Espionage FBI Intelwars microsoft zero day

The FBI Is Now Securing Networks Without Their Owners’ Permission

In January, we learned about a Chinese espionage campaign that exploited four zero-days in Microsoft Exchange. One of the characteristics of the campaign, in the later days when the Chinese probably realized that the vulnerabilities would soon be fixed, was to install a web shell in compromised networks that would give them subsequent remote access. Even if the vulnerabilities were patched, the shell would remain until the network operators removed it.

Now, months later, many of those shells are still in place. And they’re being used by criminal hackers as well.

On Tuesday, the FBI announced that it successfully received a court order to remove “hundreds” of these web shells from networks in the US.

This is nothing short of extraordinary, and I can think of no real-world parallel. It’s kind of like if a criminal organization infiltrated a door-lock company and surreptitiously added a master passkey feature, and then customers bought and installed those locks. And then if the FBI got a court order to fix all the locks to remove the master passkey capability. And it’s kind of not like that. In any case, it’s not what we normally think of when we think of a warrant. The links above have details, but I would like a legal scholar to weigh in on the implications of this.

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CANADA China Coronavirus COVID-19 global takeover government is slavery Headline News Hoax Immunity Intelwars Iran leave the system liars North Korea Obey Orwellian measures plandemic politicians are parasites scamdemic SLAVERY submit The Matrix totalitarian control tyranny variants voting is consent wake up

We Are Now Entering Full-Blown Tyranny In The Western World

This article was originally published by Micahel Snyder at The End of the American Dream. 

If we accept what they are doing to us now, they are just going to keep pushing the envelope.  Over the past 12 months, authorities throughout the western world have used the pandemic as an excuse to impose Orwellian measures that we never would have accepted during normal times.

They are promising us that these measures are just “temporary”, but the pandemic has already been with us for a year and there are no signs that it is going away any time soon.  If those governing us are willing to go to such ridiculous extremes during a relatively minor pandemic, what are they going to be willing to do once things start getting really crazy?

Watching the events that have unfolded at a church in Edmonton in recent days has been a breaking point for me emotionally.

Last Wednesday, the RCMP received global attention when it put up a three-layer fence around GraceLife Church in an attempt to keep people out.

I don’t know why they decided that one fence would not be sufficient.  Apparently having Christians gather together is so dangerous that three fences were needed.

Needless to say, this draconian move made a lot of headlines, and on Sunday approximately 400 Christians gathered to protest at the church.  Most of them were just singing hymns or reading the Bible, but when a few of them started tearing down one of the fences, 200 heavily-armed riot police moved in.

I would expect to see this sort of a scene in communist China, North Korea or Iran.

This sort of thing was never supposed to happen in Canada.

Out of 4.4 million people living in Alberta, there have only been 2,013 deaths, and about half of those were among people 80 years of age or older.

If it isn’t safe to go to church, why are hordes of Canadians allowed to circulate through retail establishments every single day of the week?

If churches should be shut down, you would think that Wal-Mart, Costco and Canadian Tire should be shut down too.

But they aren’t shut down.

All over the western world, we are being promised that life will finally go back to “normal” once the pandemic is over, and they are telling us that the vaccines will end the pandemic.

But that isn’t happening.  Cases are on the rise again, and thousands are still getting sick even though they have been “fully vaccinated”.

And now Pfizer and Moderna are publicly admitting that their vaccines only provide about six months of immunity

According to new research from Pfizer and Moderna, it looks like COVID-19 immunity will last at least six months in fully vaccinated people, though studies are ongoing. In a statement released by Pfizer-BioNTech on Thursday, immunity against the coronavirus is confirmed to last at least half a year for people who have been fully vaccinated with the Pfizer shot.

Most people that are getting shots think that they now have some sort of permanent immunity, but that isn’t even close to accurate.

Meanwhile, variants continue to emerge around the globe that the current vaccines won’t be effective against at all.

I know that a lot of you don’t want to hear this, but the pandemic is with us to stay.

And that means that the Orwellian measures that are being put in place are with us to stay too.

Over in the UK, one recent survey found that a majority of the British population is actually in favor of a permanent vaccine passport system

Another disturbing survey has revealed that a majority of British people are willing to accept vaccine passports in order to engage in basic day to day activities, and that they are willing to go along with the digital ID card system PERMANENTLY.

The London Independent poll, conducted by pollster Savanta ComRes, highlighted the findings, with 56 per cent saying that it would be acceptable to have to prove vaccination or negative COVID status in order to enter a shop.

Fewer than a third, 32 per cent, said that this would be unacceptable, according to the survey.

What in the world has happened to the British?

Here in the U.S., researchers are developing an implantable sensor that can tell if you are sick or not.  If you do not know about this yet, I would highly recommend watching this 60 Minutes report.

In Australia, the Orwellian measures that they have instituted during this pandemic have regularly made headlines all over the globe, and now they are considering doing something that is completely insane.

I had a hard time believing this when I first read it.  According to an Australian news source, the government is actually considering requiring people to provide “100 points of identification” before they are allowed to access social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram…

The Morrison Government will consider a radical measure to prevent online bullying and trolling, but experts say the proposal would involve serious risks for social media users.

The government is considering forcing users of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — as well as online dating platforms like Tinder — to upload 100 points of identification in order to use them.

The recommendation, which has been raised before, is one of 88 recommendations from a parliamentary committee report looking at family, domestic and sexual violence.

This is the direction that our world is headed.

For a long time we enjoyed an Internet that was relatively free and open, but now that era has ended.

Now tyrants all over the globe are seeing that the Internet can be used as a tool of control, and that should deeply alarm all of us.

Over the past 12 months, the pandemic has been used as justification to advance tyranny by leaps and bounds.

If this is what has happened during a relatively minor pandemic, what is going to take place once a true global emergency comes along?

We should all consider that very carefully, because we are moving into very dark times, and government tyranny is only going to get worse.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter, and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post We Are Now Entering Full-Blown Tyranny In The Western World first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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ASIA China Intelwars propaganda

West’s Propaganda War vs. China Continues

April 10, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The West continues a malicious propaganda war against China, but China is pushing back.   

In the latest row, the BBC’s John Sudworth fled mainland China to Taiwan as Xinjiang locals began organizing legal action against his campaign of slander aimed at justifying economic sanctions and boycotts – ruining the lives of the very people the West claims it cares about. 

A look at John Sudworth’s work for the BBC reveals a transparent propaganda campaign based on disinformation spread by US government-founded “foundations” based in Washington DC with admissions throughout BBC articles that none of their claims can ultimately be proven. 

References:

RT – Beijing accuses BBC of spreading fake news and blasts reporter for ‘running’ from China as Xinjiang citizens plot legal action:
https://www.rt.com/news/519704-china-bbc-reporter-sudworth-xinjiang/
BBC – BBC China correspondent John Sudworth moves to Taiwan after threats:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-56586655
BBC – China’s ‘tainted’ cotton:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/extra/nz0g306v8c/china-tainted-cotton
Adrian Zenz – Coercive Labor in Xinjiang: Labor Transfer and the Mobilization of Ethnic Minorities to Pick Cotton (PDF):
http://newlinesinstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/20201214-PB-China-Cotton-NISAP-2.pdf
The Grayzone – Reuters, BBC, and Bellingcat participated in covert UK Foreign Office-funded programs to “weaken Russia,” leaked docs reveal:
https://thegrayzone.com/2021/02/20/reuters-bbc-uk-foreign-office-russian-media/

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here, Odysee here, and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

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ASIA Australia China Intelwars

What is Australia’s Problem with China?

April 8, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Australia continues to double down on its growing trade and political row with China. 

It is costing the Australian economy significantly, and backing it into a strategic corner only greater belligerence toward China and subordination to US regional ambitions will remain as options.

I explain in this video the deadend this represents as a foreign policy, and the foreign special interests encouraging Australia’s current government to move the nation in this direction.

References: 


Nikkei Asia – China determined to build iron ore hub in Africa as Australia goes Quad: 

https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Markets/Commodities/China-determined-to-build-iron-ore-hub-in-Africa-as-Australia-goes-Quad

Reuters – Africa’s miners and winemakers toast China’s row with Australia: 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-africa-china-trade-idUSKBN2AA0SO

ABC Australia – Australia to produce its own guided missiles as part of billion-dollar defence manufacturing plan: 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-03-31/government-weapons-facility-guided-missiles-made-in-australia/100039990

Australian Strategic Policy Institute – Funding: 

https://www.aspi.org.au/about-aspi/funding

Australian Strategic Policy Institute – Funding (PDF):

https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ad-aspi/2021-03/ASPI%20by%20the%20numbers%2019-20.pdf?7zWjlTgji6uCH5SOC14LFLjAcsyOckue=

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here, Odysee here, and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 
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BOYCOTT China Genocide Intelwars Jen psaki Olympics Warns

China warns US against boycotting Winter Olympics in Beijing. Jen Psaki says there’s no talk of that.

China warned Wednesday of a “robust” response from the communist nation if the U.S. dares to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there were no discussions about doing such a thing — while acknowledging China’s ongoing genocide of the Uyghurs.

What are the details?

The Associated Press noted Wednesday that “human rights groups are protesting China’s hosting of the games” and “have urged a boycott or other measures to call attention to accusations of Chinese abuses against Uyghurs, Tibetans and residents of Hong Kong.”

According to The Daily Wire, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday that “part of those Olympics and our thinking will involve close consultations with partners and allies around the world,” in an apparent suggestion that a boycott could be on the table.

In reaction, a representative for the Chinese Communist Party’s Foreign Ministry warned the Biden administration of a “robust Chinese response” at the prospect of boycotting the Beijing Games, the AP reported.

“The politicization of sports will damage the spirit of the Olympic Charter and the interests of athletes from all countries,” the spokesperson said. “The international community including the U.S. Olympic Committee will not accept it.”

Psaki was asked during a news conference about the situation, and she assured the American people that the Biden administration has “not discussed and are not discussing any joint boycott with allies and partners” regarding the Olympics in Beijing.

In a follow-up, a reporter told Psaki, “Understanding what you said, the U.S. position, however, is that China has committed genocide.”

“Yes,” the press secretary replied.

The reporter then asked, “Doesn’t that demand some sort of response or action from the U.S., and what will the U.S. need to see before it fully participates in the Olympics?”

Psaki reiterated that the administration is working with allies “about a range of concerns we have with China’s behavior and their actions, including the genocide of Uyghur Muslims.”

What was the reaction?

Some conservatives reacted with fury over the White House response.

Newsmax reporter Benny Johnson tweeted a video of the exchange with the message, “Biden encouraged the MLB to move the All Star Game out of Atlanta without hesitation but has no problem with the U.S. participating in the Olympics in Beijing. So is it the position of the Biden Administration that the Georgia Voting Law is worse than Genocide?”

Anything else?

Also on Wednesday, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, both of the Trump administration, called on the U.S. to boycott what they called the “Genocide Olympics” in China, The Washington Examiner reported.

The Winter Olympics are slated to start in February 2022.

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China Christians Churches communism detention facilities Intelwars Persecution Renounce faith torture

Report: China detaining Christians in windowless ‘transformation’ facilities, using ‘brainwashing’ to get them to renounce their faith

Chinese officials are detaining Christians in windowless “transformation” facilities and using “brainwashing” to get them to renounce their faith,
Radio Free Asia reported.

What are the details?

RFA said it spoke to a member of a Christian house church who asked to be identified by a pseudonym — and “Li Yuese” told the outlet he was held for nearly 10 months in a facility run by the Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department after a 2018 raid on his church.

Li called the facility “mobile,” said it “could just set up in some basement somewhere,” and that “it was staffed by people from several different government departments,” RFA noted.

He added that “they mainly target Christians who are members of house churches,” the outlet reported.

More from RFA:

The Chinese Communist Party, which embraces atheism, exercises tight controls over any form of religious practice among its citizens.

State security police and religious affairs bureau officials frequently raid unofficial “house churches” that aren’t members of the CCP-backed Three-Self Patriotic Association, although member churches have also been targeted at times.

The CCP under Xi Jinping regards Christianity as a dangerous foreign import, with party documents warning against the “infiltration of Western hostile forces” in the form of religion.

Li said most of his fellow inmates had been released on bail during criminal detention for taking part in church-related activities — but most hadn’t done anything that would result in criminal prosecution, so police sent them to the “transformation” facilities instead, the outlet reported.

“They were using brainwashing methods on those of us who were on bail from the detention center,” he told RFA, adding that “you have to accept the statement they prepare for you” and “if you refuse, you will be seen as having a bad attitude and they will keep you in detention and keep on beating you.”

Li added to the outlet that “there were no windows, no ventilation, and no time allowed outside” and that he was given just two meals a day.

Inmates who refused to “admit their mistakes” were held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods, RFA said.

“There is no time limit for the brainwashing process,” Li added to the outlet. “I don’t know the longest time anyone has been held there, but I was detained for eight or nine months.”

He also said since “you can’t see the sun,” all “concept of time” is lost, RFA reported.

Li also told the outlet that suicidal thoughts and self-harm were commonplace.

“I couldn’t sleep; after you’ve been in there a week, death starts to look better than staying there,” he recalled to RFA. “I bashed myself against the wall to self-harm.”

Li noted to the outlet one instance when he was “groggy and was trying to open my eyes, but I couldn’t. Four or five of them grabbed me by the arms and legs and pinned me to the ground. They they injected me with some drug, and brought me back to consciousness.”

He said that upon his release he was suffering from edema and had gained over 20 pounds, RFA reported.

Even state-run churches haven’t escaped the heavy hand of China’s communist authorities, as TheBlaze reported last year that officials allegedly ordered such congregations to praise Chinese President Xi Jinping’s handling of the coronavirus before being permitted to reopen.


Xi’s China Church Crackdown Worse Than Under Mao

youtu.be

Anything else?

Beyond the plight of churches in China, a story emerged in February about Chinese women who alleged they were inside the country’s concentration camps and claimed that “extremely sadistic” guards carried out gang rapes and brutal beatings.

In addition, the Associated Press last June reported that the Chinese government is “taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uyghurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population.” The investigation discovered “widespread and systematic” efforts to reduce the minority population, including state-mandated pregnancy checks of minority women, forced use of intrauterine devices, sterilization, and abortion.

President Joe Biden said of Xi Jinping during a February town hall that “the idea that I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in [the] western mountains of China… he gets it … Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”

Biden added at the town hall, “If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home. So the central — well, vastly overstated — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”

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New Yorker Uses Cartoons to Boost “Uyghur Genocide” Myth

April 3, 2021 (Brian Berletic – LD) – The New Yorker is the latest Western media front to use cartoons in place of where real evidence should be presented – to boost Washington’s propaganda war and accusations against Beijing it is carrying out “genocide” against the population of Xinjiang. 



I expose the lack of evidence behind this myth, why it was necessary to use cartoons to sell it, and the compromised Washington-based or funded fronts that aided in the creation of this latest propaganda piece from the New Yorker. 


References: 


New Yorker – Inside Xinjiang’s Secret Detention Camps (360/VR) | Reeducated:

https://youtu.be/FGUyo5dxke8

New Yorker – “Reeducated”: 

https://www.newyorker.com/news/video-dept/reeducated-film-xinjiang-prisoners-china-virtual-reality

New Yorker – Inside Xinjiang’s Prison State 

https://www.newyorker.com/news/a-reporter-at-large/china-xinjiang-prison-state-uighur-detention-camps-prisoner-testimony

LD – Amnesty International Admits Syrian “Saydnaya” Report Fabricated Entirely in UK:

https://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/02/amnesty-international-admits-syrian.html

Amnesty International – Saydnaya Prison: Human Slaughterhouse (2017): 

https://youtu.be/8rcLJz5qnjY

Eyebeam – Support (the sponsors of New Yorker’s video): 

https://www.eyebeam.org/support/

Living Otherwise – Ben Mauk on Xinjiang, Kazakhstan, China & Violence (interview):

https://livingotherwise.com/2021/01/18/ben-mauk-on-xinjiang-kazakhstan-china-violence/

China File – Where Did the One Million Figure for Detentions in Xinjiang’s Camps Come From?: 

https://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/features/where-did-one-million-figure-detentions-xinjiangs-camps-come

Twitter – Adrian Zenz’s profile: 

https://twitter.com/adrianzenz

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – Overview: 

https://victimsofcommunism.org/about/

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – Leadership: 

https://victimsofcommunism.org/about/leadership/

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – 2019 Annual Report (PDF):

https://victimsofcommunism.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/VOC-2019-Annual-Report.pdf

Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation – Trustee, Paula J. Dobriansky: 

https://victimsofcommunism.org/leader/hon-paula-dobriansky-phd/

Radio Free Asia – About RFA: 

https://www.rfa.org/about/

United State Agency for Global Media – Oversight: 

https://www.usagm.gov/who-we-are/oversight/congressional-committees/

Australian Strategic Policy Institute – Nathan Ruser:

https://www.aspi.org.au/bio/nathan-ruser

ASPI – 2019-2020 Annual Report (PDF): 

https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/ad-aspi/2021-03/ASPI%20by%20the%20numbers%2019-20.pdf?7zWjlTgji6uCH5SOC14LFLjAcsyOckue=

Xinjiang Victims Database: 

https://shahit.biz/eng/

Xinjiang Victims Database – “Primary Evidence Report” (PDF):

https://shahit.biz/primrep.php

US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – Xinjiang/East Turkestan (2020):

https://www.ned.org/region/asia/xinjiang-east-turkestan-china-2020/

World Uyghur Congress – About: 

https://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/introducing-the-world-uyghur-congress/

Associated Press – AP Exclusive: Uighurs fighting in Syria take aim at China:

https://apnews.com/article/79d6a427b26f4eeab226571956dd256e

Brian Berletic, formally known under the pen name “Tony Cartalucci” is a geopolitical researcher, writer, and video producer (YouTube here and BitChute here) based in Bangkok, Thailand. He is a regular contributor to New Eastern Outlook and more recently, 21st Century Wire. You can support his work via Patreon here. 

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ASIA China Intelwars US

Washington’s Obsession with China Expands

March 25, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Mid-March saw a series of events helping to measure with exactitude US foreign policy regarding China – a commitment to and a doubling down on a decades-long encirclement and containment policy that has – so far – failed to return on Washington’s immense investments in it. 

The first indicator was the new US administration of President Joe Biden continuing without even the slightest deviation Trump-era policy regarding the targeting and banning of Chinese companies. 

German state media – Deutsche Welle – in an article titled, “US designates Huawei, four other Chinese tech firms national security threats,” would note: 

The US has labeled five Chinese tech companies, including Huawei, as national security risks. President Joe Biden may be continuing his predcessor’s hardline stance against China’s growing technological dominance.

Evidence justifying US claims of Chinese companies presenting a national security risk to the US has never been produced – and it is clear that these claims are meant to justify what is otherwise merely America’s inability to compete with rising Chinese companies. Because, in addition to banning Chinese companies from doing business in the US – the US has sought to pressure nations around the globe to similarly deny market access to China. 

This is an ongoing bid to secure US market shares through threats and intimation rather than through innovation and competitive business strategies.  

Why two apparently “opposite” political candidates like Trump and Biden have indistinguishable foreign policies is easy to explain when considering these policies are generated and promoted by unelected corporate interests who influence US foreign policy regardless of who sits in either the White House or Congress. These are the very interests who see their market shares and the associated power and influence that comes from them under threat by rising Chinese competitors. 

Another indicator was US Secretary of State Anthony Bliken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin’s “tour” of the Indo-Pacific, including stops in South Korea and Japan. 

Foreign Policy magazine in an article titled, “Blinken and Austin in Japan to Bolster Asian Allies,” would claim: 

The Biden administration wants to prod Japan more on defense and resolve tensions between Tokyo and Seoul.

The article would cite an op-ed by Blinken and Austin in the Washington Post claiming: 

“Our combined power makes us stronger when we must push back against China’s aggression and threats,” Blinken and Austin wrote in a joint Washington Post op-ed, citing human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Tibet, and China’s pushback on freedoms in Taiwan and Hong Kong. “If we don’t act decisively and lead, Beijing will.”

The deeply flawed notion that the US should “lead” in Asia rather than China – a nation actually residing in the region – is at the root of US-Chinese tensions – tensions driven entirely by Washington’s unreasonable pursuit of unwarranted influence in – even primacy over the Indo-Pacific Region. 

Foreign Policy would also note: 

…there is growing concern about how to nudge a politically wary Japan to boost its missile defenses, while hardening the U.S. presence that’s increasingly vulnerable to improving Chinese missiles.

And that: 

Japan already has Aegis-class destroyers equipped with SM-3 missiles offshore, which the United States helped develop, and is a co-producer in the F-35 program. But last June, Tokyo canceled delivery of the U.S. Aegis Ashore missile system, a shore-based missile-defense system, pushing instead to develop a domestically produced solution. That’s another area where the Pentagon may press the Japanese.

SM-3 missiles used on Aegis-class destroyers as well as with Aegis Ashore systems are manufactured by Raytheon – an arms manufacturer Lloyd Austin sat on the board of directors of until being brought in as Biden’s Secretary of Defense. 

In essence, a former Raytheon director will be selling missiles for Raytheon in his official capacity as Secretary of Defense – and based on the supposed threat of China – the largest economy and most populous nation in the region – “leading” rather than the US. 

To paper over the corruption at the very core of US foreign policy – the US pursues a propaganda war against China – citing manufactured and patently false claims of “repression” and “abuse” everywhere from Hong Kong and Taiwan to Xinjiang and Tibet. 

A 2019 US State Department strategy paper titles, “A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision,” would repeat these false claims, stating: 

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) practices repression at home and abroad. Beijing is intolerant of dissent, aggressively controls media and civil society, and brutally suppresses ethnic and religious minorities. Such practices, which Beijing exports to other countries through its political and economic influence, undermine the conditions that have promoted stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific for decades.

It is difficult to understand what “stability” and “prosperity” the US is referring to. 

It is amid China’s rise that the region enjoys unprecedented levels of both as well as accelerated development through projects built in cooperation with China – and all in stark contrast to the decades of war triggered by US interventions on the Korean Peninsula and all across Southeast Asia as part of its Vietnam War and adjacent military operations. 

These were conflicts that have left the region permanently scarred and in several instances – such as the residual impact of chemical weapons used in Vietnam or unexploded ordnance dropped by the US over nations like Laos – are still disfiguring and killing people to this day. 

Underneath this thin and peeling layer of US propaganda lies the truth of waning American primacy around the globe and the fundamental lack of interest by Washington and Wall Street to adjust US foreign policy toward a cooperative and constructive role among the nations of the world rather than unobtainable aspirations to dominate over all other nations. 

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.  

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Bill Maher says China is dominating the world while US is wasting time in a ‘never-ending woke competition’

Late-night talk show host Bill Maher says that America is falling behind in the world because its people are far too focused on a “never-ending woke competition.”

What are the details?

During HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher” on Friday, the comedian argued that China is winning the race to dominate the world stage while the United States is busy focusing on who can be more woke.

“[Y]ou’re not going to win the battle for the 21st century if you are a silly people and Americans are a silly people,” Maher said, taking a cue from “Lawrence of Arabia,” a 1962 British film.

“That’s the classic phrase from ‘Lawrence of Arabia when Lawrence tells his Bedouin allies that as long as they stay a bunch of squabbling tribes, they will remain a silly people. Well, we’re the silly people now,” he continued. “You know who doesn’t care that there’s a stereotype of a Chinese man in a Dr. Seuss book? China. All 1.4 billion of them could give a crouching tiger flying f***.”

“In two generations, China has built 500 entire cities from scratch, moved the majority of their huge population from poverty to the middle class, and mostly cornered the market in 5G and pharmaceuticals,” he said. “Oh, and they bought Africa. Their New Silk Road initiative is the biggest infrastructure project in history, indebting not just that continent, but large parts of Asia, Europe, and the Middle East to the people who built their roads, bridges, and ports.”

“If anything, they are not a silly people,” he later added. “They are as serious as a prison fight.”

Maher explained that China is pulling far ahead of the United States on the world stage, and America continues to chase its tail because “half the country’s having a never-ending woke competition deciding whether Mr. Potato Head has a d**k while others believe in conspiracy theories.”

He said that the United States simply can’t unite — a problem that will cause a ripple effect for generations to come.

“We see a problem and we ignore it, lie about it, fight about it, endlessly litigate it, sunset clause it, kick it down the road, and then write a bill where a half-assed solution doesn’t kick in for 10 years,” Maher said. “China sees a problem and they fix it. They build a dam — we debate what to rename it.”

Pointing to how China immediately handled the COVID-19 crisis — when the severity of the crippling pandemic was brought to light, anyway — Maher added, “When COVID hit Wuhan, the city built a quarantine center with 4,000 rooms in 10 days, and they barely had to use it because they quickly arrested the spread of the disease. They were back to throwing raves in swimming pools while we were stuck at home surfing the dark web for black market Charmin [toilet paper].”

“We’re not losing to China — we lost,” he added.

He also pointed to education as another sector in which the United States is failing.

“There is a progressive trend now to sacrifice merit for equity, colleges are chucking the SAT and ACT test and in New York Mayor de Blasio announced merit would no longer decide who gets into the schools for advanced learners, but rather a lottery system,” he added. “You think China’s doing that? Letting political correctness get in the way of nurturing their best and brightest? You think Chinese colleges are offering courses in the philosophy of ‘Star Trek,’ the sociology of ‘Seinfeld,’ and Surviving the Coming Zombie Apocalypse? Those are real, and so is China and they are eating our lunch. And believe me in an hour, though, they’ll be hungry again.”

Content warning: rough language


New Rule: Losing to China | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)

www.youtube.com

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Angelo Giuliano: "National Security Law is the best thing that happened to Hong Kong!"

March 11, 2021 (Jingjing Li – YouTube) – [Jingjing Yi chats] with Angelo who is a Swiss Italian that had been living in both Hong Kong and Chinese mainland for a long time. 

He witnessed the whole social unrest, and he has been very vocal exposing violent protestors’ behaviors during the social unrest in Hong Kong. Some people even exposed his little son’s photo and identity to threaten him to be silent. But he never stopped. He shared with [Jingjing] what he witnessed, what he thinks about the social changes in Hong Kong, and the National Security Law.

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More on the Chinese Zero-Day Microsoft Exchange Hack

Nick Weaver has an excellent post on the Microsoft Exchange hack:

The investigative journalist Brian Krebs has produced a handy timeline of events and a few things stand out from the chronology. The attacker was first detected by one group on Jan. 5 and another on Jan. 6, and Microsoft acknowledged the problem immediately. During this time the attacker appeared to be relatively subtle, exploiting particular targets (although we generally lack insight into who was targeted). Microsoft determined on Feb. 18 that it would patch these vulnerabilities on the March 9th “Patch Tuesday” release of fixes.

Somehow, the threat actor either knew that the exploits would soon become worthless or simply guessed that they would. So, in late February, the attacker changed strategy. Instead of simply exploiting targeted Exchange servers, the attackers stepped up their pace considerably by targeting tens of thousands of servers to install the web shell, an exploit that allows attackers to have remote access to a system. Microsoft then released the patch with very little warning on Mar. 2, at which point the attacker simply sought to compromise almost every vulnerable Exchange server on the Internet. The result? Virtually every vulnerable mail server received the web shell as a backdoor for further exploitation, making the patch effectively useless against the Chinese attackers; almost all of the vulnerable systems were exploited before they were patched.

This is a rational strategy for any actor who doesn’t care about consequences. When a zero-day is confidential and undiscovered, the attacker tries to be careful, only using it on attackers of sufficient value. But if the attacker knows or has reason to believe their vulnerabilities may be patched, they will increase the pace of exploits and, once a patch is released, there is no reason to not try to exploit everything possible.

We know that Microsoft shares advance information about updates with some organizations. I have long believed that they give the NSA a few weeks’ notice to do basically what the Chinese did: use the exploit widely, because you don’t have to worry about losing the capability.

Estimates on the number of affected networks continues to rise. At least 30,000 in the US, and 100,000 worldwide. More?

And the vulnerabilities:

The Chinese actors were not using a single vulnerability but actually a sequence of four “zero-day” exploits. The first allowed an unauthorized user to basically tell the server “let me in, I’m the server” by tricking the server into contacting itself. After the unauthorized user gained entry, the hacker could use the second vulnerability, which used a malformed voicemail that, when interpreted by the server, allowed them to execute arbitrary commands. Two further vulnerabilities allow the attacker to write new files, which is a common primitive that attackers use to increase their access: An attacker uses a vulnerability to write a file and then uses the arbitrary command execution vulnerability to execute that file.

Using this access, the attackers could read anybody’s email or indeed take over the mail server completely. Critically, they would almost always do more, introducing a “web shell,” a program that would enable further remote exploitation even if the vulnerabilities are patched.

The details of that web shell matter. If it was sophisticated, it implies that the Chinese hackers were planning on installing it from the beginning of the operation. If it’s kind of slapdash, it implies a last-minute addition when they realized their exploit window was closing.

Now comes the criminal attacks. Any unpatched network is still vulnerable, and we know from history that lots of networks will remain vulnerable for a long time. Expect the ransomware gangs to weaponize this attack within days.

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Let’s Compare The U.S. Military To The Russian Military And The Chinese Military…

A couple decades ago, the U.S. military was an unparalleled fighting machine.  Both Russia and China seemed hopelessly behind, and nobody dared to challenge America’s military superiority.  Everyone else was battling for second place in the pecking order, and they knew it.  But since that time, Russia and China have engaged in extremely aggressive modernization programs, while the U.S. military has chosen to focus on becoming more “diverse” and “inclusive”.  As a result, the balance of power has changed dramatically.

In this article, I would like to focus on a few examples that demonstrate the shift that has taken place.

For instance, the Russians are extremely excited about their new ultra-quiet Borei-class submarines that can rain death and destruction down upon their enemies from thousands of miles away

Each of the submarine’s sixteen R-30 Bulava (“Mace”) missiles typically carries six 150-kiloton nuclear warheads designed to split apart to hit separate targets. This means one Borei can rain seventy-two nuclear warheads ten times more destructive than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima on cities and military bases over 5,800 miles away.

The Borei is the most advanced SSBN in the Russian Navy, and is designed to replace its seven Soviet-era Delta-class SSBNs.

In China, scientists have been feverishly working to develop fearsome biologically-enhanced “super soldiers” that could potentially be far superior to standard western soldiers in a future war…

U.S. intelligence shows that China has conducted “human testing” on members of the People’s Liberation Army in hope of developing soldiers with “biologically enhanced capabilities,” the top U.S. intelligence official said Friday.

John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, included the explosive claim in a long Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he made the case that China poses the pre-eminent national security threat to the U.S.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden says that the U.S. military is “making good progress” on feminist issues.  Some of the current priorities include “creating maternity flight suits” and loosening hairstyle requirements…

You know, some of — some of it is relatively straightforward work where we’re making good progress designing body armor that fits women properly; tailoring combat uniforms for women; creating maternity flight suits; updating — updating requirements for their hairstyles.

Of course any of the old-timers that dare to object to the new “woke military” are being purged, and so soon their won’t be any dissenting voices standing in the way of the social justice reforms that the Biden administration wishes to implement.

Over in Russia, “diversity” is not a military priority.  Instead, they are getting ready to introduce the new Sarmat intercontinental nuclear missiles into service.  These new missiles can travel at speeds of up to 15,000 mph, and a single missile has enough firepower to “wipe out Texas”

RUSSIA is poised to test an “unstoppable” 15,000 mph nuclear missile it boasts can beat any defense and wipe out Texas.

The RS-28 Sarmat doomsday rocket is now primed to replace the much-feared R-36 – once dubbed the “Satan” nuke by Nato.

The Kremlin brags it has a range of around 6,200 miles, can carry 16 warheads and is able to dodge any missile defense system.

At the same time, the Chinese are rapidly developing highly advanced missile delivery systems that look just like “standard international shipping containers”

This missile would be a land-attack variant of an advanced anti-ship missile that would be deployed in launchers appearing to be standard international shipping containers from the outside. Such containers are being used all around the world for moving millions of tons of goods, and are often placed on the deck of large freighters.

The YJ-18C is China’s version of the Club-K cruise missile built by Russia that also uses a launcher disguised as a shipping container. Israel also is working on a container-launched missile called the Lora. Rick Fisher, a China military affairs expert, said he is not surprised China is copying the Russian Club container-launched missile. “It fits with China’s penchant for seeking asymmetric advantages against its enemies,” he said.

Of course the U.S. military is modernizing as well.

In fact, it has been reported that U.S. strategic nuclear forces are no longer using 8-inch floppy disks from the 1970s…

In 2014, “60 Minutes” made famous the 8-inch floppy disks used by one antiquated Air Force computer system that, in a crisis, could receive an order from the president to launch nuclear missiles from silos across the United States.

But no more. At long last, that system, the Strategic Automated Command and Control System or SACCS, has dumped the floppy disk, moving to a “highly secure solid state digital storage solution” this past June, said Lt. Col. Jason Rossi, commander of the Air Force’s 595th Strategic Communications Squadron.

That is exciting news.

What is next?  Will they finally get rid of all of their old rotary phones?

Meanwhile, President Biden is making it exceedingly clear that the U.S. military will have a culture of “inclusiveness” from this point forward…

That’s why we moved so quickly to overturn the discriminary — discriminatory ban on transgender service, and why General Austin’s first memo was a directive to take sexual assault in the military seriously.

Every single person, no matter their gender identity, sexual orientation, race, or religious background, deserves to feel safe in the ranks and to have their contributions valued.

I could go on and on with more examples, but I think that most of you get the point.

The U.S. military is being transformed into an institution of social change, and at the same time Russia and China are tightly focused on trying to figure out how to fight and win World War III.

When it comes time to fight a real war, do you think that we will actually win?

Just because the U.S. military was overwhelmingly dominant at one time, that does not mean that it is still that way today or that it will be that way in the future.

One of the only things that is constant about our world is change, and right now the U.S. military is definitely changing in the wrong direction.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing the books you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on FacebookTwitter and Parler, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post Let’s Compare The U.S. Military To The Russian Military And The Chinese Military… first appeared on End Of The American Dream.

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FedEx pilots ask CEO to cease layovers in Hong Kong over ‘egregious,’ ‘harmful,’ and ‘wholly unacceptable’ COVID quarantine conditions

In a Friday letter, Joseph G. DePete, the president of the Air Line Pilots Association, asked the CEO of FedEx Corp. to halt pilot layovers in Hong Kong due to the unsafe and onerous quarantine procedures imposed upon pilots there. The Hong Kong International Airport is believed to be the busiest airport in the world for shipping traffic.

According to the letter, pilots who test positive are required to quarantine in government-mandated hospitals, which results in asymptomatic patients being crammed in with “hundreds of patients” in “cubicle-style rooms and communal bathrooms” at the AsiaWorld-Expo center. Additionally, the letter claims that pilots who even may potentially have been exposed to COVID are required to “remain in a government quarantine facility or camp for up to 14 days.”

The letter claimed that conditions in these facilities are “wholly unacceptable” and “harmful” and asked, “Until these egregious layover conditions are resolved and a safe layover environment is restored, I respectfully reinforce the FedEx MEC’s call for the suspension of pilot layovers in Hong Kong.”

Copies of the letter were also sent to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg and chairpersons of the relevant congressional committees, including Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.).

After deliberately covering up the extent of the spread of the coronavirus in its early stages and disappearing numerous whistleblowers who spoke out about the government’s failure to protect its own citizens and the world at large, the Chinese government has, in an incredible display of chutzpah, attempted to convey the impression to the world that it has done a better job of halting the spread of the virus within its borders than Western governments.

The Chinese government, which has increased its control over Hong Kong dramatically in recent years, has released laughably implausible statistics regarding the spread of the coronavirus within its borders as part of an obvious propaganda campaign to humiliate the United States and other Western governments. In an attempt to distract from their own failures, officials have likewise attempted to demonstrate that their protocols are more strict than Western nations by imposing humiliating measures on foreign travelers, such as mandatory anal swabs.

The pilots for FedEx, it seems, have had enough. In the letter, DePete said, “In July, the ALPA FedEx Master Executive Council (MEC) passed a resolution calling for a suspension of the company’s operations in Hong Kong due to unacceptable conditions for ALPA members. For several months, layovers were discontinued. However, layovers were resumed in December, and we have again seen hospitalized and quarantined pilots. In January, the FedEx MEC passed another resolution calling for the cessation of layovers. Until these egregious layover conditions are resolved and a safe layover environment is restored, I respectfully reinforce the FedEx MEC’s call for the suspension of pilot layovers in Hong Kong.”

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France Joins America’s South China Sea Adventurism

March 6, 2021 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – France has recently sent one of its nuclear attack submarines over 10,000 kilometers to the South China Sea for a “patrol.” It is the latest indicator of how strained the underlying credibility is of US foreign policy regarding the South China Sea and its growing conflict with Beijing. 

While Washington frames its involvement in the region as “championing” for claimants in the South China Sea, it is recruiting allies further and further flung from its actual waters and appears to merely be using the confrontation to undermine Beijing, not support other nations in the region. 

France24 in an article titled, “France wades into the South China Sea with a nuclear attack submarine,” would claim: 

The week in France kicked off with a Twitter thread by Defence Minister Florence Parly revealing that French nuclear attack submarine SNA Emeraude was among two navy ships that recently conducted a patrol through the South China Sea.

“This extraordinary patrol has just completed a passage in the South China Sea. A striking proof of our French Navy’s capacity to deploy far away and for a long time together with our Australian, American and Japanese strategic partners,” she tweeted along with a picture of the two vessels at sea.

The mention of Australia, America and Japan is clearly a reference to American efforts to create a united front against China in the Indo-Pacific region. The omission of India, one of the supposed “Quad Alliance” members, should not go unnoticed. Even though it is mentioned elsewhere in the article, it is done as an afterthought.  

France is the second European nation to sign up for Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy, following the UK which has pledged to send a carrier strike group to the region later this year. 

The UK Defence Journal in an article titled, “British Carrier Strike Group heading to Pacific this year,” would note that the UK’s latest aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, would also become involved in the South China Sea dispute along with what the journal reported as: 

NATO’s most sophisticated destroyers — the Royal Navy’s Type 45s HMS Diamond and HMS Defender and US Navy Arleigh Burke-class USS The Sullivans as well as frigates HMS Northumberland and HMS Kent from the UK.  

It wouldn’t take much imagination to predict the reactions in the West if China, Russia and Iran created a “strike group” and sailed it thousands of miles around the globe to menace the shores of Western nations, yet the provocative and revealing nature of Washington’s policies and the participation of nations in its Indo-Pacific strategy being drawn from further and further away from the actual region is treated as entirely normal, even necessary by the Western media. 

The inclusion of the French and British in Washington’s Indo-Pacific strategy is necessary because the actual nations in the region, specifically in Southeast Asia, have little interest in provoking China or turning relatively common maritime disputes into a regional or international crisis. 

The US, by attempting to do just that, is actually endangering peace, prosperity and stability in the region, despite posing as the underwriter of all three and on behalf of the very nations refusing to join its provocative naval exercises. Nations in the actual region refuse to join US military activities there specifically because they are seen as counterproductive and a needless, even dangerous escalation. 

Creating Conflict, Not Resolving It 

The US, Australia, France and the UK have contributed to the most destructive conflicts of the 21st century including the 2001 invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, the 2011-onward wars in Libya, Syria and Yemen, and numerous regime change campaigns around the globe. 

France in particular also has its military deployed across the continent of Africa, including in several of its former colonies. 

The notion that France, alongside its other partners in carrying out military aggression worldwide, is becoming involved in the Indo-Pacific to confront aggression and expansionism rather than to participate in it itself, is dubious at best. 

The France24 article would also note that: 

In this increasingly tense maritime geopolitical context, France wants to restate that it has its own interests to look out for in the region. In 2019, the French defence ministry released a policy report, “France and Security in the Indo-Pacific” recalling that around 1.5 million French nationals live between Djibouti in the Horn of Africa and the overseas territory of French Polynesia. This means that Paris views its Indo-Pacific zone as stretching from the Gulf of Aden to beyond Australia.

In other words, Paris’ mission to the Indo-Pacific is a continuation of its colonial injustices in the region in past centuries, pursuing everything and openly for itself and its own sense of hegemony, that it, London and Washington are accusing Beijing of. 

The West’s failing fortunes across Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia will not benefit from their collective economies and armed forces being stretched further still to confront an Asian nation in Asia, and one that is poised to surpass them all economically and militarily in short order. 

For Beijing’s part, it has successfully reached this point through careful and patient planning, strategy and diplomacy. It will be very unlikely that Beijing will find itself drawn into a conflict with the West and will instead continue building ties within the region, particularly with Southeast Asia, creating its own regional order, and one built on economic cooperation rather than military confrontation, a process already well under way and why Washington feels the need to recruit Western European nations for its “Indo-Pacific” strategy in the first place. 

Joseph Thomas is chief editor of Thailand-based geopolitical journal, The New Atlas and contributor to the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  

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Four Microsoft Exchange Zero-Days Exploited by China

Microsoft has issued an emergency Microsoft Exchange patch to fix four zero-day vulnerabilities currently being exploited by China.

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Chinese Hackers Stole an NSA Windows Exploit in 2014

Check Point has evidence that (probably government affiliated) Chinese hackers stole and cloned an NSA Windows hacking tool years before (probably government affiliated) Russian hackers stole and then published the same tool. Here’s the timeline:

The timeline basically seems to be, according to Check Point:

  • 2013: NSA’s Equation Group developed a set of exploits including one called EpMe that elevates one’s privileges on a vulnerable Windows system to system-administrator level, granting full control. This allows someone with a foothold on a machine to commandeer the whole box.
  • 2014-2015: China’s hacking team code-named APT31, aka Zirconium, developed Jian by, one way or another, cloning EpMe.
  • Early 2017: The Equation Group’s tools were teased and then leaked online by a team calling itself the Shadow Brokers. Around that time, Microsoft cancelled its February Patch Tuesday, identified the vulnerability exploited by EpMe (CVE-2017-0005), and fixed it in a bumper March update. Interestingly enough, Lockheed Martin was credited as alerting Microsoft to the flaw, suggesting it was perhaps used against an American target.
  • Mid 2017: Microsoft quietly fixed the vulnerability exploited by the leaked EpMo exploit.

Lots of news articles about this.

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China mandates anal swab COVID-19 tests for all foreign arrivals after US slams exam as ‘undignified’

China has decided to require international travelers entering the country to undergo anal swab procedures to test for COVID-19, a method the communist nation insists is more accurate than other on-the-spot mechanisms for detecting the disease.

The Times out of the UK reported Wednesday that China has now made the tests “compulsory,” in a move the newspaper says deepened “a row with other countries over a practice many have described as humiliating.”

What are the details?

According to the New York Post, the Times claims that “as part of the new travel requirement, there will be testing hubs in Beijing and Shanghai airports.” The Sun reported that “the procedure involved inserting a cotton swab about three to five centimeters into the anus and gently rotating it.”

Beijing insists that anal swabs are more accurate than nasal or throat swab tests.

Li Tongzeng, a Chinese respiratory and infectious disease expert, explained to the media last month that the anal swabbing can “avoid missing infections as virus traces are detectable for a longer time than the more common COVID tests used in the mouth and nose.”

As TheBlaze previously reported, Li insisted at the time “that the tests were only necessary for certain populations, such as those under quarantine orders.”

But the news of the widespread mandate comes after the United States and Japan issued separate complaints to China after diplomats from both nations were forced to provide fecal samples via the invasive method.

American diplomats cry foul

Last week, the U.S. State Department protested to China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs after American diplomats cried foul over being subjected to anal swab tests, which “Washington has slammed as ‘undignified,’ according to The Sun.

The Chinese Communist Party has denied that it subjected American diplomats to rectal probing, but then Japan complained this week that the anal swabs were conducted on their diplomats upon entry to China.

Katsunobu Kato, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said during a news conference, “Some Japanese reported to our embassy in China that they received anal swab tests, which caused a great psychological pain.”

However, Chinese physician Lu Hongzhou suggested on state-run media that foreigners do have an alternative to the swab test upon arrival in the country: providing a stool sample.

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National Security Risks of Late-Stage Capitalism

Early in 2020, cyberspace attackers apparently working for the Russian government compromised a piece of widely used network management software made by a company called SolarWinds. The hack gave the attackers access to the computer networks of some 18,000 of SolarWinds’s customers, including US government agencies such as the Homeland Security Department and State Department, American nuclear research labs, government contractors, IT companies and nongovernmental agencies around the world.

It was a huge attack, with major implications for US national security. The Senate Intelligence Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing on the breach on Tuesday. Who is at fault?

The US government deserves considerable blame, of course, for its inadequate cyberdefense. But to see the problem only as a technical shortcoming is to miss the bigger picture. The modern market economy, which aggressively rewards corporations for short-term profits and aggressive cost-cutting, is also part of the problem: Its incentive structure all but ensures that successful tech companies will end up selling insecure products and services.

Like all for-profit corporations, SolarWinds aims to increase shareholder value by minimizing costs and maximizing profit. The company is owned in large part by Silver Lake and Thoma Bravo, private-equity firms known for extreme cost-cutting.

SolarWinds certainly seems to have underspent on security. The company outsourced much of its software engineering to cheaper programmers overseas, even though that typically increases the risk of security vulnerabilities. For a while, in 2019, the update server’s password for SolarWinds’s network management software was reported to be “solarwinds123.” Russian hackers were able to breach SolarWinds’s own email system and lurk there for months. Chinese hackers appear to have exploited a separate vulnerability in the company’s products to break into US government computers. A cybersecurity adviser for the company said that he quit after his recommendations to strengthen security were ignored.

There is no good reason to underspend on security other than to save money — especially when your clients include government agencies around the world and when the technology experts that you pay to advise you are telling you to do more.

As the economics writer Matt Stoller has suggested, cybersecurity is a natural area for a technology company to cut costs because its customers won’t notice unless they are hacked ­– and if they are, they will have already paid for the product. In other words, the risk of a cyberattack can be transferred to the customers. Doesn’t this strategy jeopardize the possibility of long-term, repeat customers? Sure, there’s a danger there –­ but investors are so focused on short-term gains that they’re too often willing to take that risk.

The market loves to reward corporations for risk-taking when those risks are largely borne by other parties, like taxpayers. This is known as “privatizing profits and socializing losses.” Standard examples include companies that are deemed “too big to fail,” which means that society as a whole pays for their bad luck or poor business decisions. When national security is compromised by high-flying technology companies that fob off cybersecurity risks onto their customers, something similar is at work.

Similar misaligned incentives affect your everyday cybersecurity, too. Your smartphone is vulnerable to something called SIM-swap fraud because phone companies want to make it easy for you to frequently get a new phone — and they know that the cost of fraud is largely borne by customers. Data brokers and credit bureaus that collect, use, and sell your personal data don’t spend a lot of money securing it because it’s your problem if someone hacks them and steals it. Social media companies too easily let hate speech and misinformation flourish on their platforms because it’s expensive and complicated to remove it, and they don’t suffer the immediate costs ­– indeed, they tend to profit from user engagement regardless of its nature.

There are two problems to solve. The first is information asymmetry: buyers can’t adequately judge the security of software products or company practices. The second is a perverse incentive structure: the market encourages companies to make decisions in their private interest, even if that imperils the broader interests of society. Together these two problems result in companies that save money by taking on greater risk and then pass off that risk to the rest of us, as individuals and as a nation.

The only way to force companies to provide safety and security features for customers and users is with government intervention. Companies need to pay the true costs of their insecurities, through a combination of laws, regulations, and legal liability. Governments routinely legislate safety — pollution standards, automobile seat belts, lead-free gasoline, food service regulations. We need to do the same with cybersecurity: the federal government should set minimum security standards for software and software development.

In today’s underregulated markets, it’s just too easy for software companies like SolarWinds to save money by skimping on security and to hope for the best. That’s a rational decision in today’s free-market world, and the only way to change that is to change the economic incentives.

This essay previously appeared in the New York Times.

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China China concentration camps college students Donald Trump Intelwars Joe Biden reaction University of florida watch

College students shocked at Biden appearing to excuse China’s human rights abuses as cultural ‘norms’

Campus Reform recently paid a visit to the University of Florida to quiz students on remarks President Joe Biden made about China’s human rights abuses — and specifically to see if they believed Biden uttered the words or a former president.

What are the details?

The outlet’s interviewer read students the quote Biden uttered at a town hall last week concerning Chinese President Xi Jinping — but she didn’t tell them Biden said it.

Here’s the quote: “And so the idea that I’m not going to speak out against what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in [the] western mountains of China…he gets it … Culturally there are different norms that each country and their leaders are expected to follow.”

Most students interviewed believed former President Donald Trump uttered the quote — and none thought Biden did.

To say they were shocked is an understatement.

“It was surprising for me to hear that that came from Biden,” one student said. “It doesn’t seem like the type of thing that he would believe in.”

“I’m disappointed that a sitting U.S. president would say that,” another student reacted.

“I voted for him,” another student said, adding that Biden is “not … representing my views.”

Anything else?

Around the time Biden seemed to excuse China’s cultural “norms,” a story emerged about Chinese women who alleged they were inside the country’s concentration camps and claimed that “extremely sadistic” guards carried out gang rapes and brutal beatings.

In June, the Associated Press reported that the Chinese government is “taking draconian measures to slash birth rates among Uyghurs and other minorities as part of a sweeping campaign to curb its Muslim population.” The investigation discovered “widespread and systematic” efforts to reduce the minority population, including state-mandated pregnancy checks of minority women, forced use of intrauterine devices, sterilization, and abortion.

Biden added at the town hall, “If you know anything about Chinese history, it has always been, the time when China has been victimized by the outer world is when they haven’t been unified at home. So the central — well, vastly overstated — the central principle of Xi Jinping is that there must be a united, tightly controlled China. And he uses his rationale for the things he does based on that.”


Students shocked to hear that Biden called Uyghur genocide a cultural ‘norm’

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US says China forcibly tested American diplomats with anal swabs for COVID-19 detection

The U.S. State Department says that China forced American diplomats to take invasive anal swab tests to detect COVID-19 infection, according to various reports Thursday.

China has reportedly been using anal swabbing tests to determine the coronavirus status.

What are the details?

According to the Insider, a state department representative said that the United States complained to China after it learned that staffers were subjected to the anal swab.

“The State Department never agreed to this kind of testing and protested directly to the Minister of Foreign Affairs when we learned that some staff were subject to it,” the representative said.

The representative added that China also said the tests were given to American diplomats “in error” and that the diplomats were supposed to be exempt from the test.

During a Thursday press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said, “I have checked with my colleagues. As far as I know, China has never required U.S. diplomatic staff in the country to take anal swab tests.”

According to a related report from Vice, it was not immediately clear how many diplomatic employees or members of their families were made to take the tests.

Insider reported that the test involves inserting a cotton-tipped swab one to two inches into the rectum and rotating it.

In a statement, the State Department said that it is committed to preserving the “dignity” of American diplomats.

What else?

According to a Thursday report from the BBC, Li Tongzeng — a respiratory and infectious diseases expert in Beijing — said that anal swabbing can “avoid missing infections as virus traces are detectable for a longer time than the more common COVID tests used in the mouth and nose.

At the time, Li insisted that the tests were only necessary for certain populations, such as those under quarantine orders.

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ASIA China Intelwars

The Significance of China Surpassing US as EU’s Top Trade Partner

February 25, 2021 (Brian Berletic – NEO) – Over the course of last year, China surpassed the United States as the European Union’s top trade partner. It was significant news and noted as such across Chinese media. 

But in the West, this news was somewhat muted. 

One of the few articles featuring this news comes from Politico titled, “China topples US as EU’s top trade partner over 2020,” and notes that: 

In 2020, exports of EU goods to China increased by 2.2 percent and imports went up 5.6 percent, while EU trade with the rest of the world dramatically dropped (down 9.4 percent in term of exports, and down 11.6 percent in terms imports compared with 2019). The pandemic severely hit transatlantic trade, with exports of European goods to the U.S. falling by 8.2 percent year-on-year. Imports fell 13.2 percent.

As a result, the U.S. is no longer the bloc’s top commercial partner and has been replaced by China. EU exports to China in 2020 amounted to €202.5 billion while imports reached €383.5 billion.

Not only had China surpassed the US as the EU’s top trading partner, it did so with a net surplus with Europe. 

While the article attempts to blame the COVID-19 crisis for the development – and while the US and China may, over the course of the next few years, exchange places as the EU’s top trade partner, China’s growing trade with Europe and the fact that it is on par with, and at times surpassing that of the United States – is just one of many metrics indicating the inevitability of China’s rise as the world’s largest and most powerful economy. 

America’s “Solution” to a Non-Problem 

Washington and Wall Street’s answer to China’s growing economic clout has been a multifaceted strategy of encirclement and  containment involving an ongoing trade war, sanctions, propaganda, and political subversion both within China in places like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet, as well as along China’s peripheries especially in Southeast Asia where the US is backing protests seeking to oust Beijing-friendly governments and replace them with Western-leaning client regimes. Thailand and now Myanmar both face such protests. 

The US also appears significantly invested in building up its military capabilities versus China and is attempting to place those capabilities as close to China as possible – with thousands of US troops already stationed in Japan and South Korea and a frequent US military presence both in the South China Sea and in the Strait of Taiwan. 

All of this is predicated on what US policy papers themselves admit is Washington’s desire to maintain and expand American “primacy” in the Indo-Pacific region. Iterations of this objective and the prerequisite of encircling and containing China have been expressed since as early as the Vietnam War in the leaked “Pentagon Papers.” 

The declassified “US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific,” posted in the US White House’s “Trump archives” would begin by listing as its primary strategic challenge: 

How to maintain US strategic primacy in the Indo-Pacific region and promote a liberal economic order while preventing China from establishing new, illiberal spheres of influence…

Never once is it explained by US policymakers, or asked by the Western media, why the US believes China – a nation with many times the population of the US, with access to abundant resources, and with a massive, well-developed industrial and technological foundation – should not naturally ascend as the world’s largest and most powerful economy. 

A nation with more people, as many or more resources, and well-developed infrastructure will inevitably have a larger economy. 

Policy attempting to stop this from happening requires the use of force, the artificial inhibition of China’s economy, and the necessity for confrontation and hostility across every imaginable sphere of interaction between China, the US, and the nations of the world Washington seeks to isolate China from. 

It is a dangerous and irrational policy attempting to “solve” something that in reality is not a genuine problem. It is also a policy that is demonstratably not working. 

Blowback 

Attempts to pressure allies and adversaries alike to cut off Chinese companies from their respective markets has not been effective – especially considering the EU itself trading more with China in 2020 than with the US.

Attempts to deny Chinese companies like telecommunication giant Huawei and commercial aircraft manufacturer COMAC access to international markets has been achieved with limited success. Attempts to block companies around the world from selling components to Huawei and COMAC has also seen a limited impact. 

The short-term impact of these policies has indeed set Chinese companies back. But companies like Huawei and COMAC are not only continuing forward, they are creating more resilient business-models and logistical chains (including an increased emphasis on self-sufficiency and vertical integration) that will in the long-term not only make these companies impervious to Washington’s economic warfare – but allow them to surpass their Western counterparts nonetheless.

China’s domestic markets alone are – as described by Chinese President Xi Jinping – “a sea, not a pond.” “Storms can overturn a pond, but never a sea.”

Companies like Huawei and COMAC can continue developing and growing within China in the short-term – and because of the US’ style of economic warfare – Beijing can easily justify blocking US corporations from accessing these domestic markets. 

A company like COMAC, building commercial aircraft just for China’s massive domestic airline industry alone – would enable it to scale up to a size where it could eventually compete globally with the West’s current duopoly of Boeing and Airbus. 

And throughout this entire process, the US and the nations it convinces to join its campaign of encirclement and containment of China – will receive nothing from the rise of companies like Huawei and COMAC where, previously, Western companies had profited from selling components to both companies. 

China will inevitably surpass the United States economically. In many ways it already has. Current US policy is not going to prevent this from happening and only succeeds in guaranteeing that as China rises, no enterprise in the US will be allowed to rise with it. 

When the day comes that the US finds itself looking at a world where China – not the US – is the largest most powerful economy and thus the most powerful nation on Earth – the US will still need to find amongst the shattered remnants of its unipolar “international order” a constructive role within this new multipolar world.

Brian Berletic is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”.   

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On Chinese-Owned Technology Platforms

I am a co-author on a report published by the Hoover Institution: “Chinese Technology Platforms Operating in the United States.” From a blog post:

The report suggests a comprehensive framework for understanding and assessing the risks posed by Chinese technology platforms in the United States and developing tailored responses. It starts from the common view of the signatories — one reflected in numerous publicly available threat assessments — that China’s power is growing, that a large part of that power is in the digital sphere, and that China can and will wield that power in ways that adversely affect our national security. However, the specific threats and risks posed by different Chinese technologies vary, and effective policies must start with a targeted understanding of the nature of risks and an assessment of the impact US measures will have on national security and competitiveness. The goal of the paper is not to specifically quantify the risk of any particular technology, but rather to analyze the various threats, put them into context, and offer a framework for assessing proposed responses in ways that the signatories hope can aid those doing the risk analysis in individual cases.

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China communist party Hong Kong Intelwars Leaders Love Loyalty oath

Hong Kong leaders must pledge loyalty to — and show ‘love’ for — China’s communist party to stay in office

Hong Kong leaders must pledge loyalty to — and demonstrate “love” for — China’s communist party in order to stay in office, Reuters reported.

What are the details?

Community-level district councils must pledge the oath of allegiance to Hong Kong’s mini-constitution, according to a bill the Chinese-ruled city is announcing this week, the outlet said.

Secretary for Mainland and Constitutional Affairs Erick Tsang Kwok-wai said politicians viewed as insincere would be barred from office, Reuters reported.

“You cannot say that you are patriotic, but you do not love the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, or you do not respect it — this does not make sense,” Tsang said, according to the outlet. “Patriotism is holistic love.”

The district councils are the only fully democratic institution in Hong Kong, the outlet noted, adding that the city’s Legislative Council is “stacked with pro-Beijing figures, while its chief executive is not directly elected.”

More from Reuters:

Any district councillor suspended from office after failing the loyalty test would be sent to court for formal disqualification, and banned from contesting elections for five years.

The bill potentially paves the way for the mass disqualification of pro-democracy politicians who took almost ninety percent of 452 district council seats in Hong Kong in the 2019 elections, humiliating the pro-Beijing camp.

While district councils decide little beyond community-level issues, such as garbage collection and bus stops, Beijing and Hong Kong authorities are determined that all public institutions in the city must be run by people loyal to Beijing.

Xia Baolong, director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China’s State Council, on Monday said Hong Kong can only be ruled by “patriots,” the outlet reported. As for who qualifies as “patriots,” Baolong told Reuters they include those who love China, its constitution, and the Communist Party. But anti-China “troublemakers” do not qualify as “patriots,” he added to the outlet.

Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday endorsed Beijing’s stance, the outlet said, and added that the loyalty oath is necessary to halt hatred of China and sustain the “one country, two systems” of government model.

Henry Wong, a pro-democracy councillor, told Reuters he’s still deciding whether to take the oath: “This is just an act to legalize their brutal force in destroying democracy voices.”

Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong have been battling against communist China’s takeover since last year. Three of them were sentenced to serve jail time in December for involvement in demonstrations.

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