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Jason Whitlock: THIS is how Obama, Nike, and China pushed left-wing politics into sports

Remember when rooting for your favorite sports team felt patriotic? It’s no secret that the sports world has become extremely leftist over the past few years and is now even preaching anti-American ideals in many ways.

This week on “The Glenn Beck Podcast,” Glenn spoke with veteran sports journalist Jason Whitlock about where he believes this all started — and Whitlock tied it back to former President Barack Obama, Nike, and China.

Whitlock first talked about how professional football and baseball used to have a healthy rivalry over which was the most patriotic.

“The military fly-overs, the national anthem before the game, and all of that — the NFL tried to make you feel like the most patriotic thing you could do on a Sunday is go to church and watch football. It was a brilliant business strategy that catapulted football to where it’s America’s favorite pastime. … It’s something that I authentically believe in: Sports do teach the values that best exemplify America,” he said.

“Then China and our competitors figured out, if you really want to influence American culture, you have to get into the sports world,” he added.

Whitlock also told Glenn why he believes President Obama and Nike both played significant roles in moving left-wing political rhetoric into the world of sports.

“I’m not some super-harsh Barack Obama critic, but I’m just going to let the facts speak for themselves. Barack Obama intentionally partnered with ESPN because he wanted to speak to that sports audience,” he said.

“It was a process of ‘let’s move left-wing stuff into the sports world,'” he added. “And Nike is a much bigger business, five to six times more lucrative than the NBA. Nike actually runs the NBA. The NBA is a marketing arm of Nike. Nike’s relationship with China is the key to all of this.”

Watch the video clip below, or the full podcast with Jason Whitlock here:

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NOT SO FAST, BIDEN: The Street Doesn’t Buy It

This article was contributed by Future Money Trends. 

Last week’s storming of the Capitol was a turning point in many regards, but what we want to focus on is what it signifies to the global community.

Since the end of WW2, America has represented democracy. Its power and prestige, in terms of its ability to invade other countries in the name of freedom and democracy, hasn’t been challenged much.

There have always been detractors to the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and others, but no Western World leader or emerging nation has ever publicly and formally come out in defiance of the American strategy of policing the world.

We believe that last week’s Capitol Hill incident will greatly damage any future attempts of U.S. diplomacy to pressure countries to embrace “Americanism” since they’ll strike back, saying that America’s democracy is, in itself, broken.

How can the U.S. lecture other countries when it can’t even bring the message of democracy to its own people? We believe this is the ramification of that event, which differs from the riots, looting, and other issues that we saw transpire in 2020 that did not have the same ripple effect.

This is not a political opinion of ours or our way of justifying the riots, but rather an observation of how America’s allies and enemies can use the Capitol Hill incident to their advantage – like China.

BIDEN’S PLAN WON’T FLY: OBSTACLES ON THE WAY

We listened to Joe Biden’s speech and what we heard is this:

  1. Taxes Will Be Higher: You will see a trend of “paying your fair share” becoming more prevalent in the rhetoric, even though most billionaires already pay between 37% and 50% of their earned income to the federal government and their respective states.

Corporate taxes will rise and any tax loopholes will be harder to strategize. We’re pretty sure that in order to rebuild America’s infrastructure in the coming years, the administration will put pressure on high earners to be “responsible” and pay more!

  1. Government-Created Jobs: It’s looking more and more like America is taking a centralized approach to job creation.

Because capitalism and global competitive forces drove corporations to outsource and search for human resources in cheap labor pools in the Far East, China, South America, and Eastern Europe, the American worker has been left in the dust.

They haven’t evolved and adapted to this change, for the most part, so the government will fill that vacuum for millions of people who haven’t been able to figure out how to deliver value in the 21st-century American economy.

Infrastructure jobs will be the norm.

  1. Biden Won’t Sail in Smooth Seas: Not everyone is convinced that the solution to the so-called broken capitalistic system is more government directive. Most who share the opinion that there’s a problem in America believe that the problem is too much government as it is.

It looks like the government doesn’t want to wait for the private sector to figure it out on its own. We expect unemployment levels to shrink, of course, since the government will find jobs for millions of people, but America will look more like China than itself.

Big changes are ahead and we don’t like them, to be honest.

America has turned a page and its new book might be increased centralization.

 

The post NOT SO FAST, BIDEN: The Street Doesn’t Buy It first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Chinese ice cream tests positive for COVID-19

Ice cream in China has been contaminated with COVID-19, according to a new report. During recent routine government testing, three samples from the ice cream manufacturer tested positive for coronavirus.

The tainted ice cream was produced by the Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company, a frozen dessert business located in north China’s Tianjin Municipality.

All of the products produced by the Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company “have been sealed and contained after the samples it sent to the municipal center for disease control this week tested positive for coronavirus,” Sky News reported.

“Most of the 29,000 cartons in the batch had yet to be sold, the government said,” according to The Associated Press. “It said 390 sold in Tianjin were being tracked down and authorities elsewhere were notified of sales to their areas.”

Chinese officials suspect that 4,836 boxes of the ice cream may have been contaminated, of which 2,089 boxes had been sealed away in storage.

“A total of 935 boxes of the ice cream, out of 2,747 boxes that entered the market, were in Tianjin and only 65 were sold to markets,” according to Sky News.

The Tianjin Daqiaodao Food Company’s 1,662 employees have been ordered to quarantine and underwent nucleic acid testing on Thursday.

There were no indications that anyone contracted coronavirus from the ice cream.

The ingredients of the tainted treats include milk powder imported from New Zealand and whey powder from Ukraine.

Dr. Stephen Griffin, a virologist at the University of Leeds, told Sky News that the coronavirus was able to survive because of the cold temperature and the fat in the ice cream.

Griffin said there is likely no reason for alarm, “We probably don’t need to panic that every bit of ice cream is suddenly going to be contaminated with coronavirus.”

“It’s likely this has come from a person, and without knowing the details, I think this is probably a one-off,” he added.

“Of course, any level of contamination is not acceptable and always a cause for concern, but the chances are that this is the result of an issue with the production plant and potentially down to hygiene at the factory,” Griffin said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, “Currently, there is no evidence to suggest that handling food or consuming food is associated with COVID-19.”

“Coronaviruses, like the one that causes COVID-19, are thought to spread mostly person-to-person through respiratory droplets when someone coughs, sneezes, or talks,” the CDC explained.

“It is possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object, including food or food packaging, that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes,” the CDC added. “However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated, “Currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects.”

“If you are concerned about contamination of food or food packaging, wash your hands after handling food packaging, after removing food from the packaging, before you prepare food for eating and before you eat,” the FDA advised.

The agency recommended to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces, especially food preparation areas.

On Friday, the U.S. State Department revealed that it had new evidence that suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic originated from a virology lab in Wuhan, China.

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State Department: Wuhan lab researchers may have had COVID in fall of 2019; ‘secret projects with China’s military’ conducted at virology institute

The U.S. State Department said on Friday that it had new evidence that may point to coronavirus emerging from a laboratory in Wuhan. The report also hinted that researchers at the Chinese lab might have been infected with COVID-19 before the first identified case of the outbreak.

In the new State Department report, the U.S. government presents a case that coronavirus may have originated and escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology. The State Department says it “has reason to believe that several researchers inside the Wuhan Institue of Virology became sick in autumn 2019.” The State Department fact sheet states that the lab workers experienced “symptoms consistent with both COVID-19 and common seasonal illnesses.”

The World Health Organization claims that the first cases of coronavirus were discovered on Dec. 31, 2019. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission in China reported a cluster of “cases of pneumonia of unknown etiology (unknown cause) detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China.” These cases of pneumonia were later identified as the novel coronavirus. The first COVID-19 death was reported on Jan. 11.

China has maintained that the birthplace of COVID-19 is a wet market in Wuhan.

The Wuhan Institute of Virology is China’s first biosafety level-4 laboratory. Wang Yanyi, the director of the Wuhan Institute for Virology, admitted in May that the lab has three live strains of bat coronavirus, but denied the possibility that the COVID-19 originated from WIV.

Professor Shi Zhengli, director of the Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, added that the genetic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 didn’t match any of the lab samples she had previously studied in Wuhan.

Zhengli has stated in the past that none of the lab’s staffers and students were infected. The State Department said the new evidence of infected lab staff “raises questions about the credibility” of Zhengli’s claims of “zero infection” of WIV staffers.

“Starting in at least 2016 – and with no indication of a stop prior to the COVID-19 outbreak – WIV researchers conducted experiments involving RaTG13, the bat coronavirus identified by the WIV in January 2020 as its closest sample to SARS-CoV-2 (96.2% similar),” the fact sheet reads. “The WIV became a focal point for international coronavirus research after the 2003 SARS outbreak and has since studied animals including mice, bats, and pangolins.”

The State Department contends that “secret projects with China’s military” were conducted at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. “The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017,” the report said.

The U.S. government claims that the Chinese Communist Party has “prevented independent journalists, investigators, and global health authorities from interviewing researchers at the WIV, including those who were ill in the fall of 2019.”

The report alleges that the Wuhan Institute of Virology “has not been transparent or consistent about its record of studying viruses most similar to the COVID-19 virus.”

The State Department report cites that China has had “several previous virus outbreaks,” including a 2004 SARS outbreak in Beijing.

“The U.S. government does not know exactly where, when, or how the COVID-19 virus—known as SARS-CoV-2—was transmitted initially to humans,” the State Department acknowledges. “We have not determined whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan, China.”

Over a year since the COVID-19 outbreak, the CCP finally allowed a research team to investigate the origins of COVID-19. This week, a group sent to Wuhan by the World Health Organization will attempt to determine how the coronavirus pandemic began.

The U.S. State Department said, “WHO investigators must have access to the records of the WIV’s work on bat and other coronaviruses before the COVID-19 outbreak.”

In 2018, U.S. State Department officials, who had visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology twice, informed Washington that there were major safety concerns regarding the lab’s research into coronaviruses in horseshoe bats.

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Is the US Isolating China? Or Itself?

January 15, 2021 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – Washington’s predictable answer to Beijing’s ongoing efforts to uproot US-funded unrest in its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has been more sanctions. 

The New York Times in its article, “U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Chinese Officials Over Hong Kong Crackdown,” would report: 

The United States imposed travel bans and other sanctions on 14 high-level Chinese officials over the continuing crackdown on the opposition in Hong Kong, as the police in the Chinese territory arrested more pro-democracy figures on Tuesday.

The US move demonstrates America’s unrepentant foreign policy of deliberately destabilizing a targeted nation or regions within a nation, then punishing nations for taking measures to restore order. 

Hong Kong had suffered since 2014 on-and-off, and sometimes violent protests that continued until last year. 

With the passing of Hong Kong’s strict National Security Law those involved in the protests were finally held accountable, including those working with foreign interests (especially with Washington) to foment unrest. Opposition politicians in Hong Kong’s legislation have been removed from their positions, while protest leaders including Joshua Wong have been jailed for protest-related cases. 

US Interference in China’s Internal Political Affairs 

The US move also continues to set a precedent of US interference in China’s internal political affairs.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would be quoted by Reuters as saying: 

Beijing’s unrelenting assault against Hong Kong’s democratic processes has gutted its Legislative Council, rendering the body a rubber stamp devoid of meaningful opposition.

Secretary Pompeo’s comments regarding Hong Kong’s internal political affairs, coupled with documented US interference there, is entirely at odds with both international law and norms, including the UN Charter itself which prohibits one nation from infringing on the political independence of another. 

The US by doing this, thus undermines its own self-appointed role as underwriter of what it calls a “rules-based international order.” 

The United States is also undermining the trust of nations around the globe who are left wondering what the US will do, and to what extent it will go, if it decides to interfere in their internal political affairs as well. 

Chinese officials facing travel bans and the seizure of any assets within reach of the US government serves as an example and warning to others across Eurasia. But perhaps it is not a warning about not attracting US ire, but instead, of ever being so dependent on the US in the first place so as to risk serious disruption if and when Washington turns its attention toward them in a similar manner. 

The Isolating Effect of America’s Confrontation with China

US sanctions are unlikely to have any impact on China’s domestic policy and will only spur Beijing to continue pushing out America’s unwarranted influence within its territory. It will also force China to diversify its economic activity away from not only America but also allies of the US who are likely to follow suit with sanctions and other anti-Chinese policies. A good example of this is Canada and their arrest of Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in 2018 on Washington’s behalf. 

Beyond China’s borders includes nations facing similar pressure from the US not only to bend to the interests driving US foreign policy regarding the people and resources within their respective borders but also in regards to Washington’s desire to isolate China. 

A prime example of this has been a US-led campaign to push Chinese telecom giant Huawei out of global markets. The US has placed pressure on nations around the globe to exclude Huawei in major infrastructure projects including the rollout of 5G technology. 

Nations across Southeast Asia, for example (with the exception of Vietnam) have so far ignored or otherwise sidestepped this pressure. Because of this and many other reasons, virtually every nation in Southeast Asia (and ironically, also Vietnam) have continued to suffer under US “soft-power” in an attempt to coerce regional governments to take a harder line against Beijing. The US also seeks to remove uncooperative governments in the region and replace them with ones that will cooperate in regards to isolating China. 

But rather than convince nations in the region to pivot Westward, Washington’s strategy of coercion and even regime change, instead, appears to be having the exact opposite effect. It is driving nations into deeper ties with China, with their respective neighbours in Southeast Asia and across wider Eurasia. 

In essence, the US, in its attempt to isolate China and punish all nations continuing to do business with China, the US is increasingly isolating itself instead. 

America’s Deadend Strategy 

The economic fundamentals that convince nations to choose China over the US are not being addressed seriously among US foreign policy circles. 

Because of this, America finds itself in a vicious cycle where its coercive and unwelcomed foreign policy, coupled with a lack of economic incentives to tolerate these polices, particularly in Southeast Asai, are increasingly driving away potential allies. 

America’s once credible military prowess and soft-power apparatus has dulled in recent years as well. 

In other words, the US is waving around a broken stick and has run out of carrots. China on the other hand, waves around a big stick and one not aimed at players in the region, but at America and its retreat across the Pacific. China is also enjoying an abundance of carrots which to offer potential allies. 

For all of these reasons, the US, through its own foreign policy, is isolating itself, not China and it is a trend that will only continue into the foreseeable future until the US is able to forego its position above all other nations and accept a constructive position among them instead. 

 References: 

  1. New York Times – U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Chinese Officials Over Hong Kong Crackdown (December 8, 2020)
  2. Reuters – U.S. sanctions 14 Chinese officials over HK; Beijing says it will retaliate (December 8, 2020)
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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Senior NASA scientist pleads guilty to lying about China ties

A senior NASA scientist pleaded guilty to lying about his participation in a Chinese program that recruits “individuals with access to or knowledge of foreign technology or intellectual property.”

Meyya Meyyappan of Pacifica, California, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements in a New York federal court on Wednesday. Meyyappan, 66, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan federal court, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Meyyappan has been employed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration since 1996, and has been a “chief scientist for Exploration Technology at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley” since 2006, according to Meyyappan’s profile on the NASA website. Previously, Meyyappan served as the director of the Center for Nanotechnology at Ames.

“Dr. Meyyappan is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Electrochemical Society (ECS), American Vacuum Society (AVS), Materials Research Society (MRS), Institute of Physics (IOP), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), American Institute of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), National Academy of Inventors, and the California Council of Science and Technology,” the space agency said.

In October, Meyyappan was interviewed by the FBI, the NASA Office of Inspector General, and the United States Attorney’s Office.

“During that interview, Meyyappan falsely stated, among other things, that he was not a member of the Thousand Talents Program and that he did not hold a professorship at a Chinese university,” the DOJ press release stated. “In truth and in fact, Meyyappan was a member of the Thousand Talents Program and held a professorship at a Chinese university, funded by the Chinese government.”

The DOJ stated that Meyyappan “participated in China’s Thousand Talents Program, a program established by the Chinese government to recruit individuals with access to or knowledge of foreign technology or intellectual property, and held professorships at universities in China, South Korea, and Japan, and failed to disclose these associations and positions to NASA and the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.”

NASA OIG Special Agent in Charge Mark J. Zielinski stated, “Certain NASA employees are required to disclose affiliations with foreign entities in order to protect NASA’s intellectual property. Failure to do so could allow malicious foreign actors unauthorized access to American taxpayer funded technologies. We thank the FBI and the USAO, SDNY for their assistance throughout this investigation.”

Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, “Meyya Meyyappan held a trusted position at NASA, with access to valuable intellectual property. In violation of the terms of his employment and relevant laws and regulations, Meyyappan failed to disclose participation in a Chinese government recruitment program, and subsequently lied about it to NASA investigators, FBI agents, and our Office. Now, having admitted his crime, Meyyappan awaits sentencing.”

Meyyappan is scheduled to be sentenced on June 16, and faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

In May, the DOJ announced that a former Cleveland Clinic employee had been arrested. Dr. Qing Wang “lied to receive more than $3.6 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health while also collecting money for the same research from the Chinese government,” NPR reported.

“It is also alleged that Dr. Wang participated in the Thousand Talents Program, a program established by the Chinese government to recruit individuals with access to or knowledge of foreign technology and intellectual property,” the DOJ statement said.

In June, a prominent scientist at Harvard University was indicted by the Justice Department for lying to federal authorities about his participation in China’s Thousand Talents Program.

Dr. Charles Lieber, the former chair of Harvard University’s Chemistry and Chemical Biology Department, lied to the U.S. government about his position as “Strategic Scientist” at the Wuhan University of Technology in China, according to prosecutors. He was allegedly paid a salary of up to $50,000 a month to set up the laboratory for the Wuhan University of Technology, plus was allotted additional living expenses of up to $158,000.

Lieber has pleaded not guilty.

In July, the Department of Justice claimed that a NASA researcher and University of Arkansas professor had ties to the Chinese government. Simon Saw-Teong Ang, was indicted by a federal grand jury on 42 counts of wire fraud and two counts of passport fraud.

Court documents show that Ang had conversations with a researcher in China about his involvement in the Thousand Talents Program.

“Not many people here know I am [a Thousand talents program scholar] but if this leaks out, my job here will be in deep troubles,” Ang reportedly wrote. “I have to be very careful or else I may be out of my job from this university.”

FBI Director Chris Wray gave a speech at the Hudson Institute in July, where he delivered a warning about the Thousand Talents Program.

“Through its talent recruitment programs, like the so-called Thousand Talents Program, the Chinese government tries to entice scientists to secretly bring our knowledge and innovation back to China — even if that means stealing proprietary information or violating our export controls and conflict-of-interest rules,” Wray said.

“The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality, is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China,” Wray said during the speech. “It’s a threat to our economic security — and by extension, to our national security.”

In November 2019, the U.S. Senate released a report titled, “Threats to the U.S. Research Enterprise: China’s Talent Recruitment Plans,” which outlined dangers presented by Chinese recruitment organizations, including the Thousand Talents Program.

Launched in 2008, the Thousand Talents Plan incentivizes individuals engaged in research and development in the United States to transmit the knowledge and research they gain here to China in exchange for salaries, research funding, lab space, and other incentives. China unfairly uses the American research and expertise it obtains for its own economic and military gain. In recent years, federal agencies have discovered talent recruitment plan members who downloaded sensitive electronic research files before leaving to return to China, submitted false information when applying for grant funds, and willfully failed to disclose receiving money from the Chinese government on U.S. grant applications.

China designed the Thousand Talents Plan to recruit 2,000 high-quality overseas talents, including scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and finance experts. The plan provides salaries, research funding, lab space, and other incentives to lure experts into researching for China. According to one report, by 2017, China dramatically exceeded its recruitment goal, having recruited more than 7,000 “high-end professionals,” including several Nobel laureates.

In December, a massive database of nearly 2 million registered Chinese Communist Party members was leaked to the public. The database breach reportedly gave insight into CCP members infiltrating western companies, including businesses in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

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TRUMP 2024: MAJOR CLASH! This is Escalating!

This article was contributed by Portfolio Wealth Global.

In this type of environment, we’re holding our tongues and being mindful of the words we use, since the stakes are as high as we’ve ever seen them.

Political historians and even hedge fund titans, such as Ray Dalio, have warned that the past rhymes and that America is headed towards a revolution.

Today, we want to explore a number of possible scenarios in the new American landscape:

  1. A 3rd Party: It’s clear by now that not all Republicans are hardcore Trump fans. Not all 74M Trump voters are going to remain loyal to him specifically, but many will.

If the House and the Senate, led by Democrats, vote to strip Donald Trump’s rights to run again in 2024, we believe that he would launch a media giant where he can broadcast his policies. It would be Donald Jr., who ends up running in 2024.

  1. Disengaged Americans: Many of Trump’s supporters are veterans and people that love the idea of a constitutional America, limited government, fiscal responsibility, and remaining strong in the face of China’s rise to global supremacy.

We estimate that tens of millions of Americans are more loyal to Trump’s views than to the general views of the Republican Party.

The problem with that, of course, is that creating a third party would cause this new party to split its voters with the Republicans, which, by definition, would make Democrats the biggest party by miles.

In other words, it’s a tricky situation and would require extensive effort to bring into existence a party that competes with Democrats, even though Portfolio Wealth Global doesn’t believe that Biden will run again in 2024. This means that the Democrats also need to think about who their next candidate will be.

What we mean by disengaged Americans is that we will see a country within a country. If a group of tens of millions of people refuse to trust the election results and refuse to acknowledge Biden as their president, it is an issue that we cannot over-emphasize. Democracies function only when the people give it power and respect the legitimacy of the current regime.

Most Trump supporters don’t.

  1. Zero confidence in the Media: Mainstream media is dead to Trump supporters.

This is the reason we are pretty convinced that Trump will form his own media corporation and that it might be Donald Jr., who is groomed for office.

There’s fake news and then there’s propaganda; we live in the age of both.

New media outlets will be built from the ashes of the legacy channels, in our view.

  1. Biden Years: In times past, when America was this divided, U.S.-led think tanks looked overseas and found an enemy to portray as a threat and wage war against it.

It diverts attention away from domestic issues.

It’s also possible that Biden will not resort to war, since he’s too weak to get the support needed, and will instead dish out free money to everyone in order to gain favor.

For example, Biden might wipe clean all student loan debts.

It’s unclear how America will wake up on the 21st of January, but we can assure you that 2020 altered this country forever.

The post TRUMP 2024: MAJOR CLASH! This is Escalating! first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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Conservatives push back against big tech censorship: Nikki Haley says Twitter’s ban of Trump is ‘what happens in China’

Nikki Haley reacted to the permanent ban of President Donald Trump on Twitter by comparing the action to the type of censorship that is practiced in Communist China.

Following the chaos at the U.S. Capitol, Twitter permanently suspended the account of Trump on Friday “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations from 2017 to 2018, weighed in on the banning of Trump on Twitter.

“Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country,” Haley wrote on Twitter, and included the hashtag: “#Unbelievable.”

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson echoed the comparison of the censorship by Twitter to the blacklist actions of China.

“Silencing a significant number of voters and erasing history is no way to unite us; it only further divides,” Carson tweeted. “Big tech & social media platforms want to act like media orgs but don’t want to be held accountable with the rest of media. Speech should be free whether you agree or not.”

“You want to ban @realDonaldTrump, fine you’re a private company, but @Twitter deleting the President’s account which highlights this admin & its history is wrong,” the former neurosurgeon said. “@Facebook & @instagram banning all images from the Capitol riot is a dangerous precedent to set. We aren’t in China.”

On Thursday, Facebook announced it would ban and remove photos and videos from the unrest at the U.S. Capitol building. The social network claims that photos and videos from the Capitol riots violate Facebook’s policy of “promotion of criminal activity.”

Even Mexico’s president condemned social media companies for censoring Trump.

“I don’t like anybody being censored or taking away from the right to post a message on Twitter or Face(book). I don’t agree with that, I don’t accept that,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Thursday after Trump’s social media accounts were suspended.

“How can you censor someone: ‘Let’s see, I, as the judge of the Holy Inquisition, will punish you because I think what you’re saying is harmful,'” López Obrador explained. “Where is the law, where is the regulation, what are the norms? This is an issue of government, this is not an issue for private companies.”

Conservatives on Twitter have been experiencing massive decreases in followers since Friday, many of which are calling it a “Twitter purge.” The dramatic loss of followers on Twitter could be a result of a crackdown on accounts that share QAnon content. The social media platform vowed to boot right-wing conspiracy theorists off the platform. Michael Flynn and Sidney Powell were removed from Twitter on Friday.

Follower losses could also be from Trump supporters quitting Twitter as a form of protest. Conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Dan Bongino all deleted their Twitter accounts this week after being fed up with the censorship by big tech.

Many conservatives have flocked to Parler, a social media app that markets itself as a free-speech alternative to Twitter. However, Parler was removed from Google’s app store on Friday and was being threatened with removal by Apple. The powerful app stores claimed that Parler had not done enough to combat violent speech on the social media app.

Some Republicans have criticized Twitter for stifling free speech, including Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio).

“What happened on Wednesday at the U.S. Capitol is as wrong as wrong can be,” Jordan tweeted. “But canceling conservative speech will not promote ‘unity and healing.’ It will only divide us further.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) warned how the social media “purge” was “profoundly dangerous.”

“Big Tech’s PURGE, censorship & abuse of power is absurd & profoundly dangerous. If you agree w/ Tech’s current biases (Iran, good; Trump, bad), ask yourself, what happens when you disagree? Why should a handful of Silicon Valley billionaires have a monopoly on political speech?” Cruz said.

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz said, “Big tech tyranny is playing out before our very eyes.”

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Cambodia Demolishes US-built Naval Facility

January 6, 2021 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – For the second time, Cambodia has demolished a US-constructed naval facility at Ream Naval Base, operated by the Royal Cambodian Navy. 

The facility, built in 2017, was a relatively small boat maintenance building. 

US State Department-funded media outlet Voice of America in an article titled, “Cambodia Demolishes Second U.S.-Built Facility at Ream Naval Base,” would note: 

The Cambodian defense minister on Tuesday said that another United States-built facility at the Ream Naval Base had been demolished recently, confirming satellite images released by a think-tank early this week.

The article also noted: 

The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh on Tuesday expressed its displeasure at the demolition of facilities it had funded at the Ream Naval Base.

“We are disappointed that Cambodian military authorities have demolished another maritime security facility funded by the United States, without notification or explanation,” said U.S. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier in an email.

US media and the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies who first broke the story have speculated that the move was made in preparations for Chinese-built facilities to take their place, though Cambodia itself has so far denied this. 

Inroads by China in Cambodia, particularly if they were military in nature, would further check US attempts to reassert itself in the Indo-Pacific region. It would also provide China a strategic location to protect the passage of vessels engaged in commerce (mainly carrying Chinese-made goods abroad and raw materials back home) especially if progress is made regarding nearby Thailand and the much-discussed Kra Canal or an alternative land bridge that would allow ships to bypass the lengthy trip around Singapore and through the Malacca Strait more than 1,000 km to the south.  

Explaining Cambodia’s Undeniable Tilt Toward Beijing 

Whether or not Cambodia replaces US facilities with those built by China, one thing cannot be denied and that’s the hard pivot from West to East Cambodia has made in recent years. 

The expanding ties between Cambodia and China have only been spurred further by coercive strategies adopted by Washington in an attempt to halt or reverse this trend. Similar pressure on Cambodia from the European Union has prompted statements from Phnom Penh openly vowing to replace any gaps in trade with further and closer ties with China. 

The simmering tensions are best illustrated by an episode in late 2019 mentioned in a Reuters article titled, “Cambodian PM says China ready to help if EU imposes sanctions,” which stated:

China will help Cambodia if the European Union (EU) withdraws special market access over its rights record, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday as he announced a 600 million yuan ($89 million) Chinese aid package for his military.

More recently, the EU has continued attaching political obligations to economic relations with Cambodia, only further encouraging greater ties between it and nearby China. 

DW in an article titled, “EU to slap sanctions on Cambodia over human rights,” would claim: 

The EU “will not stand and watch as democracy is eroded,” the bloc’s top diplomat Josep Borrel said while announcing trade sanctions on Cambodia. The Asian country has been ruled by strongman Hun Sen for 35 years.

The article cites Kem Sokha and his disbanded political party as one key issue the West is pressuring Cambodia over. But what is not mentioned is the extensive US and European support that has created and directed Kem Sokha’s opposition party over the years, constituting foreign interference in Cambodia’s internal affairs, a matter Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen addressed directly, as the article noted: 

The nation’s leader Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia since 1985, previously said that the country would “not bow its head” to EU criticism. He also said that it was more important to maintain independence and sovereignty than retaining trade privileges.

While both the US and EU have insisted this pressure is owed to “human rights concerns,” in reality the West has been funding and supporting opposition figures like Kem Sokha within Cambodia for decades in the hope of eventually ousting the current government in Phnom Penh headed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and replacing it with a pro-Western regime. 

Snowballing Effect of Multipolarism 

China’s offer of economic trade, investment, military hardware and infrastructure development absent of Western-style political interference has shifted the calculus in Phnom Penh increasingly in favour of its continuous shift from West to East. 

What is working in Cambodia’s favour is the fact that China is rising economically both in the region and around the globe. At the same time, the West, who insists on adhering to its dated and coercive brand of foreign policy and international relations, is fading economically and even militarily. 

When nations like Cambodia express upon the global stage indifference to Western threats of sanctions and appear able or even willing to replace trade gaps left by Western stubbornness and coercion with greater trade with China, it sends a signal to other nations in the region and around the world that tolerating such stubbornness and coercion is no longer necessary. 

As smaller nations once fearful of Western pressure and even retaliation begin slipping out from under the shadow of Washington’s once formidable global hegemony, the process of transforming the world from a Western-dominated unipolar order to a more multipolar world will only accelerate further. 

Cambodia’s decision to knock down a rather simple structure shouldn’t have been a news item in the West, but apparently the realization of just how much the US has alienated the region may finally be beginning to sink in. 

What remains to be seen is if the US and its European allies can recognize the global tidal changes taking place and can find a constructive place within this new world to work alongside other nations rather than insisting on ruling above them all, a prospect all but entirely relegated to history.  

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

References: 

VOA – Cambodia Demolishes Second U.S.-Built Facility at Ream Naval Base:
https://www.voacambodia.com/a/cambodia-demolishes-second-us-built-facility-at-ream-naval-base-/5655162.html
Reuters – Cambodian PM says China ready to help if EU imposes sanctions:

https://br.reuters.com/article/us-cambodia-china-idUSKCN1S50N7
DW – 
EU to slap sanctions on Cambodia over human rights: 
https://www.dw.com/en/eu-to-slap-sanctions-on-cambodia-over-human-rights/a-52358123

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banned Censorship China Chinese laboratory COVID-19 Headline News infectious disease Intelwars lab Matthew Pottinger natural evolution outbreak Twitter United States Virus Wuhan Wuhan Institute of Virology

Top US Official Says ‘Growing Body Of Evidence’ Shows COVID-19 Leaked From Chinese Lab

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

The most ‘credible’ theory about the origin of COVID-19 is that it escaped from a Chinese laboratory, according to US National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger, who made the comment during a Zoom meeting with UK officials.

“There is a growing body of evidence that the lab is likely the most credible source of the virus,” said Pottinger, referring to the Wuhan Institute of Virology, according to the Daily Mail, which notes that ‘even China’s leaders openly admit their previous claims that the virus originated in a Wuhan market are false.’

Pottinger was one of the first US officials to sound the alarm at the White House over the origins of the virus in January 2020, when he initially suspected that the outbreak originated in a Chinese lab – after which Pottinger ordered US intelligence agencies to search for evidence. Good thing he kept this theory to himself or Twitter may have banned him.

Iain Duncan Smith, the former Tory Party leader who attended the meeting, said Mr Pottinger’s comments represented a ‘stiffening’ of the US position on the theory that the virus came from a leak at the laboratory, amid reports that the Americans are talking to a whistleblower from the Wuhan institute.

I was told the US have an ex-scientist from the laboratory in America at the moment,’ he said. ‘That was what I heard a few weeks ago.

‘I was led to believe this is how they have been able to stiffen up their position on how this outbreak originated.’

He added that Beijing’s refusal to allow journalists to visit the laboratory only served to increase suspicion that it was ‘ground zero’ for the pandemic. ‘The truth is there are people who have been in those labs who maintain that this is the case,’ he said.

We don’t know what they have been doing in that laboratoryThey may well have been fiddling with bat coronaviruses and looking at them and they made a mistake. I’ve spoken to various people who believe that to be the case.’ –Daily Mail

“Even establishment figures in Beijing have openly dismissed the wet market story,” Pottinger told the call participants.

Meanwhile, emails obtained via public records request revealed that influential scientists have been hard at work crafting the ‘natural origin’ thesis while suggesting a lab leak as a ‘fringe conspiracy theory.’ Via USRTK.org:

*  *  *

Influential scientists and many news outlets have described the evidence as “overwhelming” that the virus originated in wildlife, not from a lab. However, a year after the first reported cases of SARS-CoV-2 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, little is known about how or where the virus originated. Understanding the origins of SARS-CoV-2, which causes the disease COVID-19, may be crucial to preventing the next pandemic.

The emails of coronavirus expert Professor Ralph Baric – obtained through a public records request by U.S. Right to Know – show conversations between National Academy of Sciences (NAS) representatives, and experts in biosecurity and infectious diseases from U.S. universities and the EcoHealth Alliance.

On Feb. 3, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) to “convene meeting of experts… to assess what data, information, and samples are needed to address the unknowns, in order to understand the evolutionary origins of 2019-nCoV, and more effectively respond to both the outbreak and any resulting misinformation.”

Baric and other infectious disease experts were involved in drafting the response. The emails show the experts’ internal discussions and an early draft dated Feb. 4.

The early draft described “initial views of the experts” that “the available genomic data are consistent with natural evolution and that there is currently no evidence that the virus was engineered to spread more quickly among humans.” This draft sentence posed a question, in parentheses:

“[ask experts to add specifics re binding sites?]” It also included a footnote in parentheses: “[possibly add brief explanation that this does not preclude an unintentional release from a laboratory studying the evolution of related coronaviruses].”

In one email, dated Feb. 4, infectious disease expert Trevor Bedford commented:

“I wouldn’t mention binding sites here. If you start weighing evidence there’s a lot to consider for both scenarios.”

By “both scenarios,” Bedford appears to refer to lab-origin and natural-origin scenarios.

The question of binding sites is important to the debate about the origins of SARS-CoV-2. Distinctive binding sites on SARS-CoV-2’s spike protein confer “near-optimal” binding and entry of the virus into human cells and make SARS-CoV-2 more contagious than SARS-CoV. Scientists have argued that SARS-CoV-2’s unique binding sites could have originated either as a result of natural spillover in the wild or deliberate laboratory recombination of an as-yet-undisclosed natural ancestor of SARS-CoV-2.

The final letter published on Feb. 6 did not mention binding sites or the possibility of a laboratory origin. It does make clear that more information is necessary to determine the origins of SARS-CoV-2. The letter states,

“The experts informed us that additional genomic sequence data from geographically – and temporally – diverse viral samples are needed to determine the origin and evolution of the virus. Samples collected as early as possible in the outbreak in Wuhan and samples from wildlife would be particularly valuable.”

The emails show some experts discussing the need for clear language to counter what one described as “crackpot theories” of lab origin. Kristian Andersen, the lead author of an influential Nature Medicine paper asserting a natural origin of SARS-CoV-2, said:

the early draft was “great, but I do wonder if we need to be more firm on the question of engineering.

He continued,

“If one of the main purposes of this document is to counter those fringe theories, I think it’s very important that we do so strongly and in plain language…”

In his response, Baric aimed at conveying a scientific basis for SARS-CoV-2’s natural origin.

“I do think we need to say that the closest relative to this virus (96%) was identified from bats circulating in a cave in Yunnan, China. This makes a strong statement for animal origin.”

Meanwhile, 27 scientists issued a statement drafted by Daszak (who didn’t want to be identified as its author), in which they “strongly condemn[ed] conspiracy theories suggesting that COVID-19 does not have a natural origin,” and reported that scientists from multiple countries “overwhelmingly conclude that this coronavirus originated in wildlife.” The letter included no scientific references to refute a lab-origin theory of the virus.

One scientist, Linda Saif, asked via email whether it would be useful “to add just one or 2 statements in support of why nCOV is not a lab-generated virus and is naturally occurring? Seems critical to scientifically refute such claims!”

Daszak responded, “I think we should probably stick to a broad statement.”

Growing calls to investigate the Wuhan Institute of Virology as a potential source of SARS-CoV-2 have led to increased scrutiny of EcoHealth Alliance.

The emails show how members of EcoHealth Alliance played an early role in framing questions about the possible lab origin of SARS-CoV-2 as “crackpot theories that need to be addressed,” as Daszak told The Guardian.

The post Top US Official Says ‘Growing Body Of Evidence’ Shows COVID-19 Leaked From Chinese Lab first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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China economics Intelwars Russia

Russian-Chinese Civilian Aviation Challenges Western Duopoly

December 30, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – For decades US-based Boeing and European aerospace giant, Airbus, have dominated global civilian aviation in what many in the industry describe as a duopoly. But as is the case in so many other industries as of late, China’s economic and technological rise has raised questions about the future of this duopoly. 

China’s Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC), founded as recently as 2008 is developing a range of commercial airliners for use domestically and is attempting to promote its products abroad. While the latter is an intermediate to long-term prospect, domestically China already has the largest aviation market in the world with a growing demand for airliners projected well into the future. 

COMAC is working to position itself to meet this demand and in the process eventually establishing itself as a reliable aerospace company capable of manufacturing and maintaining civilian airliners around the globe on par with Boeing and Airbus. 

Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) is similarly expanding its operations and already enjoys a share of foreign civilian aviation markets, however small in comparison with Boeing and Airbus. 

Together, COMAC and UAC through the China-Russia Commercial Aircraft International Corporation  (CRAIC), are developing a long-range wide-body twinjet airliner that would further enhance the competitiveness of both companies. 

Designated the CR929, the new aircraft is expected to make its first flight by 2025, before being introduced to the market in following years. 

The ability for the CR929 to compete head-to-head with Boeing and Airbus at the moment seems unlikely. What is more likely is that it, along with other offerings from both COMAC and UAC, will prove themselves first in the Russian and Chinese civilian aviation markets, before future developments are more widely accepted by others internationally. 

It is a long-term plan that takes into account not only the current geopolitical climate, but one that takes into consideration a future international order that has tilted considerably more toward the multipolar and away from the West’s current unipolar order, and an order that has produced and still jealously protects the Boeing-Airbus duopoly.  

In fact, among the growing list of US sanctions against both China and Russia, several are designed specifically to target the civilian aviation industries of both nations. 

These include sanctions that will prohibit Western corporations from providing systems and components to either country that would eventually make their way into the CR929 and future aircraft designs. 

Such sanctions will  undoubtedly delay the development of CR929 and setback the Chinese and Russian civilian aviation industries, but just as is the case with sanctions aimed at Chinese telecom giant Huawei, these sanctions are unlikely to entirely stop either nation’s civilian aviation industries. 

Additionally, such sanctions invite the possibility of retaliatory sanctions which might include the exclusion of companies like Boeing from China’s massive and still growing civilian aviation market.  

This would help compensate for the technical setbacks COMAC, its products and those it is jointly developing with Russia’s UAC face from US sanctions and give it the time and space it needs to mature its technology within China’s domestic market, to eventually, directly compete with Boeing and Airbus internationally. 

Thus, while the threat by COMAC and UAC to the West’s civilian aviation duopoly is not immediate, it is present and growing. Because of the West’s inability or lack of confidence to compete fairly in open markets with China and Russia, it is creating the conditions COMAC and UAC need to develop their aircraft in a market protected by retaliatory sanctions and in a market more than large enough to sustain both companies. 

The saying, “what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” appears to be apt here. If COMAC and UAC can continue developing world class airliners despite current pressure from the US, developing the systems domestically that the US seeks to deny the companies from Western suppliers, both companies will come out stronger because of it. 

At the same time, it isn’t difficult to imagine China’s partners across Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia adopting COMAC aircraft some time in the near future, with many already having bought UAC’s Sukhoi Superjets. 

Constructive competition and a balance between great powers is a key feature of multipolarism. The deconstruction of the West’s civilian aviation duopoly will be a key metric to measure multipolarism’s success in the coming years as COMAC, UAC and their joint venture, the CR929 take shape and hopefully soon, take flight.  

Gunnar Ulson, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”. 

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China Espionage hacking intelligence Intelwars Operational Security

How China Uses Stolen US Personnel Data

Interesting analysis of China’s efforts to identify US spies:

By about 2010, two former CIA officials recalled, the Chinese security services had instituted a sophisticated travel intelligence program, developing databases that tracked flights and passenger lists for espionage purposes. “We looked at it very carefully,” said the former senior CIA official. China’s spies “were actively using that for counterintelligence and offensive intelligence. The capability was there and was being utilized.” China had also stepped up its hacking efforts targeting biometric and passenger data from transit hubs…

To be sure, China had stolen plenty of data before discovering how deeply infiltrated it was by U.S. intelligence agencies. However, the shake-up between 2010 and 2012 gave Beijing an impetus not only to go after bigger, riskier targets, but also to put together the infrastructure needed to process the purloined information. It was around this time, said a former senior NSA official, that Chinese intelligence agencies transitioned from merely being able to steal large datasets en masse to actually rapidly sifting through information from within them for use….

For U.S. intelligence personnel, these new capabilities made China’s successful hack of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that much more chilling. During the OPM breach, Chinese hackers stole detailed, often highly sensitive personnel data from 21.5 million current and former U.S. officials, their spouses, and job applicants, including health, residency, employment, fingerprint, and financial data. In some cases, details from background investigations tied to the granting of security clearances — investigations that can delve deeply into individuals’ mental health records, their sexual histories and proclivities, and whether a person’s relatives abroad may be subject to government blackmail — were stolen as well….

When paired with travel details and other purloined data, information from the OPM breach likely provided Chinese intelligence potent clues about unusual behavior patterns, biographical information, or career milestones that marked individuals as likely U.S. spies, officials say. Now, these officials feared, China could search for when suspected U.S. spies were in certain locations — and potentially also meeting secretly with their Chinese sources. China “collects bulk personal data to help it track dissidents or other perceived enemies of China around the world,” Evanina, the top U.S. counterintelligence official, said.

[..]

But after the OPM breach, anomalies began to multiply. In 2012, senior U.S. spy hunters began to puzzle over some “head-scratchers”: In a few cases, spouses of U.S. officials whose sensitive work should have been difficult to discern were being approached by Chinese and Russian intelligence operatives abroad, according to the former counterintelligence executive. In one case, Chinese operatives tried to harass and entrap a U.S. official’s wife while she accompanied her children on a school field trip to China. “The MO is that, usually at the end of the trip, the lightbulb goes on [and the foreign intelligence service identifies potential persons of interest]. But these were from day one, from the airport onward,” the former official said.

Worries about what the Chinese now knew precipitated an intelligence community-wide damage assessment surrounding the OPM and other hacks, recalled Douglas Wise, a former senior CIA official who served deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2014 to 2016. Some worried that China might have purposefully secretly altered data in individuals’ OPM files to later use as leverage in recruitment attempts. Officials also believed that the Chinese might sift through the OPM data to try and craft the most ideal profiles for Chinese intelligence assets seeking to infiltrate the U.S. government­ — since they now had granular knowledge of what the U.S. government looked for, and what it didn’t, while considering applicants for sensitive positions. U.S. intelligence agencies altered their screening procedures to anticipate new, more finely tuned Chinese attempts at human spying, Wise said.

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China covid Intelwars

Commentary: It’s past time to start asking which media outlets are on the take from the Chinese government

On Sunday, Reuters credulously reported claims from the Chinese government that mainland China had only 23 new cases of the novel coronavirus that day and that the Chinese mainland had only 23 new cases the previous day as well. In the same article, Reuters published the laughable claim that “mainland China has now reported an accumulated total of 86,852 coronavirus cases, with 4,634 deaths.”

I don’t know what the actual number of new COVID-19 cases was over the past two days in China, but anyone who is not a complete idiot knows that 23 is a laughably low number. So is the number of 86,852 total reported cases.

It just is not plausible that the country at the epicenter of the global pandemic, with many high-density population areas where the virus thrives, has had less than one-third the number of the coronavirus cases than the relatively sparsely populated state of Iowa. Even if the Chinese government had a long history of being the most credible government in the entire world, it would be irresponsible to pass on such facially obvious bovine fecal material as fact.

Of course, China is the opposite of the most credible government in the entire world. Like every other communist government in history, the current Chinese regime has a lengthy and storied history of publishing obviously false propaganda to its own citizens and the world at large. Obviously false propaganda is not a bug for communist governments; it is a feature. In China, in particular, the Chinese government has a long and colorful history of propaganda that predates even the adoption of communism as a governing philosophy. The Chinese government’s philosophy is and always has been that if they aren’t lying, they aren’t trying.

Not only has the Chinese government been one of the greatest purveyors of bull crap in history generally speaking, it has also been repeatedly busted for lying about this pandemic. Officials lied about the size of the initial outbreak. They lied about how transmissible the disease was. And yes, they have repeatedly lied and underreported their number of cases, as even CNN finally conceded (after, of course, the presidential election was over).

Moreover, they have a specific, agenda-driven reason to lie about their success in this pandemic: They want to demonstrate that their authoritarian method of government is superior to freedom-oriented methods of government, which is why they have attempted to prevent Taiwan from presenting information to the World Health Organization about how it has successfully combatted spread of the disease.

Sometimes, in the media, your job is not to report that the claim being made by a particular government is accurate, but merely that the government made the claim. Generally speaking, if the government (particularly the United States government) publishes a statistical claim, that’s fairly reportable even if a media organization does not fully verify all the underlying statistics. No media organization has the resources to verify all of the thousands of statistics the government produces every year.

But if a claim walks, talks, and smells like obvious bull crap, and it comes from a source with a lengthy history of peddling obvious bull crap, the media assert that a sense of social responsibility prevents them from repeating that claim without at least a warning that the information in question is suspect.

The last six weeks have demonstrated that the media know how to get this job done. Just look at the way they have reported about virtually every word that has come out of President Trump’s mouth. “No evidence,” they have declared. “False,” they have screamed. Trump can’t even tweet about virtually anything without having a warning label — DISPUTED — slapped on it by Twitter and Facebook. Fine.

Well, if it’s dangerous and irresponsible to report on unverified claims about election fraud, why isn’t it dangerous and irresponsible to report on obviously false claims about the extent of the spread of COVID-19 in its home country without any kind of warning that those claims are almost certainly false? For that matter, why should Reuters’ water-carrying for the ChiComs be treated any differently by the Big Tech giants than videos claiming that the virus is fake or that masks don’t work? How is it any less dangerous to the public at large to allow them to believe that the oppressive Chinese government has discovered a miracle way to prevent the spread of the virus that has been foisted upon the world because it couldn’t contain the original outbreak?

At a certain point, you have to ask why the media — and the big tech companies who are turning a blind eye — are carrying water for the Chinese government. Hanlon’s Razor would suggest that stupidity, not malice, is the most likely culprit. The lesser-known Heinlein’s Razor, however, reminds us that we shouldn’t rule out malice, either.

We know that the Chinese government has made it a point to attempt to infiltrate both the American government and American media institutions, as Eric Swalwell and a whole host of media companies can attest. As long as the media continue abandoning their basic common sense at the door in order to report obviously fake statistics, it’s fair to wonder how often the Chinese have succeeded.

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Big tech Ccp China Espionage Intelwars spying Tech censorship tiananmen square Zoom

Zoom executive exposed as Chinese Communist spy who sabotaged anti-China video conferences with child porn and terrorism: DOJ

A former executive at Zoom, who shut down video conferences that were not flattering to China, was exposed as a spy for the Chinese Communist Party, according to the Department of Justice.

Xinjiang Jin, aka Julien Jin, was an employee of the American video conferencing company. The 39-year-old, who was based in China’s Zhejiang Province, worked as a “security technical leader” for tech company headquartered in San Jose, California. Jin served as a liaison between Zoom and the Chinese government after Beijing blocked the company’s service in China in September 2019.

Jin provided the Chinese Communist Party with information about users and meetings, even supplying the CCP with IP addresses from anyone who held anti-China sentiments, say federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York.

According to the complaint filed in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Jin reportedly participated in a plot to disrupt a series of meetings in May and June that commemorated the Tiananmen Square massacre, where at least 280 pro-democracy demonstrators were shot dead.

In the CCP’s bidding, it is reported that at least four video meetings commemorating the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre were infiltrated and terminated. Jin and his co-conspirators reportedly contrived false accusations, including child porn and terrorism, against Zoom users in the United States.

Jin’s co-conspirators created fake email accounts and Company-1 accounts in the names of others, including PRC political dissidents, to fabricate evidence that the hosts of and participants in the meetings to commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre were supporting terrorist organizations, inciting violence or distributing child pornography. The fabricated evidence falsely asserted that the meetings included discussions of child abuse or exploitation, terrorism, racism or incitements to violence, and sometimes included screenshots of the purported participants’ user profiles featuring, for example, a masked person holding a flag resembling that of the Islamic State terrorist group. Jin used the complaints as evidence to persuade Company-1 executives based in the United States to terminate meetings and suspend or terminate the user accounts of the meeting hosts.

In June, Zoom admitted that they suspended a U.S.-based user who had hosted an event commemorating the anniversary of 1989’s Tiananmen Square Massacre. Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, questioned the company’s close ties with China.

“The allegations in the complaint lay bare the Faustian bargain that the PRC government demands of U.S. technology companies doing business within the PRC’s borders, and the insider threat that those companies face from their own employees in the PRC,” acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme said in a statement. “As alleged, Jin worked closely with the PRC government and members of PRC intelligence services to help the PRC government silence the political and religious speech of users of the platform of a U.S. technology company. Jin willingly committed crimes, and sought to mislead others at the company, to help PRC authorities censor and punish U.S. users’ core political speech merely for exercising their rights to free expression.”

Zoom is not directly identified in the DOJ document, but the teleconferencing company released a statement addressing the situation. Zoom said they were “fully cooperating” with the Department of Justice, terminated the “China-based former employee charged in this matter,” and “placed other employees on administrative leave pending the completion of our investigation.”

Last week, there was a massive database leak of nearly 2 million registered Chinese Communist Party members. The breach provided an “unprecedented view” into how China could infiltrate western businesses and companies.

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ASIA China Intelwars New Zealand Pacific

New Zealand’s New Foreign Minister Refuses to Join West’s China-Bashing

December 17, 2020 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – New Zealand, despite being among the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance alongside the US, Canada, the UK and Australia has resisted attempts by the Eyes’ larger members to join the ongoing and ever-expanding propaganda campaign being waged against China. 

There are several reasons for this, but the fact that China is New Zealand’s largest trade partner, is among the most important. 

New Zealand has also enjoyed a much closer relationship with China than the other “Eyes” over the last several decades. It was the first to enter into a free trade deal with China. It is home to a large and growing ethnic-Chinese population making up 5.3% of New Zealand’s population as of 2018. 

New Zealand is also the only “Eye” who has signed onto China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

So close are China’s and New Zealand’s ties that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had suggested the possibility of the “Five Eyes” “disconnecting” from New Zealand if its ties with China and its involvement in Beijing’s BRI posed a “security risk” to the national security of the remaining “Eyes,” New Zealand’s Stuff would report in its article, “NZ still plotting place in China’s Belt and Road.” 

New Zealand’s New Foreign Minister Putting National Interests First 

Providing a microcosm of New Zealand’s increasingly paradoxical relationship with China and its status among the “Five Eyes” was a recent news segment on Qatari state media, Al Jazeera, where Al Jazeera’s Richelle Carey needled New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta over New Zealand’s refusal to pressure China over allegations made regarding Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the crackdown on anti-government protesters in Hong Kong. 

Foreign Minister Mahuta was firm in stating that China was New Zealand’s largest trade partner and that while New Zealand has made it clear to China (and that China fully understands) how New Zealand views matters of human rights and governance, it was not an issue that should interfere with the ties between the two nations. 

Not mentioned by Al Jazeera is that many of the claims made against China are being pushed by the United States government and media organisations (including Al Jazeera) that it influences or funds and directs. Also not mentioned was the US’ history of fabricating such claims to help advance US foreign policy objectives against a targeted competitor. 

China’s security operations in Xinjiang, for example, are taking place after years of deadly terrorism which killed hundreds and at a time when thousands of Uyghur extremists are still waging war against the Syrian government in a conflict they will eventually return to China from. 

The threat in Xinjiang is serious and attempts by the West to frame China’s efforts to reduce this threat as “human rights abuses” is particularly cynical especially when both the terrorist threat inside China and the training and arming of Uyghur extremists in Syria are both being funded and organised by the West and its allies themselves. 

The same can be said of accusations of China’s supposed abuses in Hong Kong which hinge on claims that the protests were simply expressions of free speech and the aspirations for “democracy” by the people of Hong Kong. In reality, the protesters were funded and organised by the US specifically to create yet another security threat for Beijing to react to and another opportunity for the West to cite that reaction as “repression.” 

While New Zealand’s Foreign Minister will unlikely call out others in the West for these blatant provocations aimed at China, she has clearly decided she would not play part in using these provocations and China’s reactions to them as an opportunity to “bash” China. 

In this there is a hopeful sign that some in the West are slowly realising the tidal change taking place geopolitically and that the rise of China is an opportunity rather than a threat. It is also a sign of hope that some are abandoning pretending the current prevailing international order presided over by Washington, London and Brussels, the same order that brought us the Iraq war in 2003 and the destruction of a region of the earth stretching from North Africa to Afghanistan in Central Asia from 2011 onward is every much as bit the threat in reality that the West claims China is in fiction. 

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

References: 

Al Jazeera – Is New Zealand putting economic interests above human rights? | UpFront: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kDVKu-MZFE

Washington Post – Watch live: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong testifies to U.S. lawmakers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9Modr_sVr0

US National Endowment for Democracy – Hong Kong (China): 

https://www.ned.org/region/asia/hong-kong-china-2019/

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

https://www.ned.org/region/asia/xinjiang-east-turkestan-china-2019/

Stuff (New Zealand) – NZ still plotting place in China’s Belt and Road:  https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/300036015/nz-still-plotting-place-in-chinas-belt-and-road

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Ccp China Chinese Communist Party Database leak Espionage Intelwars Spies

‘Unprecedented’ database leak exposes Chinese Communist Party members ’embedded’ in western companies and governments: report

A massive database of nearly 2 million registered Chinese Communist Party members has been leaked, providing the rest of the world with an “unprecedented view” into the structure of how China could infiltrate western businesses and companies, including ones in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom.

The worrisome leak was reported by Sky News Australia, which said the database breach “lifts the lid on how the party operates under President and Chairman Xi Jinping.”

“Communist party branches have been set up inside western companies, allowing the infiltration of those companies by CCP members — who, if called on, are answerable directly to the communist party, to the Chairman, the president himself,” Sky News’ Sharri Markson said. “Along with the personal identifying details of 1.95 million communist party members, mostly from Shanghai, there are also the details of 79,000 communist party branches, many of them inside companies.”

“It is believed to be the first leak of its kind in the world,” Markson proclaimed.

“Detailed analysis” of the database leak revealed that there are 123 “party loyalists” employed at Pfizer and AstraZeneca, according to the Daily Mail. Both pharmaceutical behemoths are developing coronavirus vaccines.

There were allegedly “hundreds” of Chinese Communist Party members employed at “firms with defense industry interests” such as Airbus, Boeing, and Rolls-Royce “employed hundreds of party members.”

There were reportedly 600 CCP members working at 19 branches of British banks, such as HSBC and Standard Chartered in 2016. The CCP members even infiltrated British consulates and universities, according to the report.

The database leak reveals the names, party positions, date of birth, national identification number, and ethnicity of the CCP members. In some cases, the list even includes the phone numbers of the members.

The breach of the Chinese government database originally happened in April 2016, when the data was allegedly extracted by Chinese dissidents and whistleblowers and leaked on Telegram, an instant messaging app.

Markson added a disclaimer, “It is worth noting that there’s no suggestion that these members have committed espionage — but the concern is over whether Australia or these companies knew of the CCP members and if so have any steps been taken to protect their data and people.”


Major leak has provided an ‘unprecedented view’ into the Communist Party of China

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Biden family Burisma China Federal investigation Hunter biden Intelwars Joe Biden Scott brady William Barr

Report reveals ‘yet another federal criminal investigation’ into Hunter Biden after Joe Biden is confronted

As the mainstream media are being denounced for squashing the Hunter Biden story before the election, Fox News reported Friday on the existence of “yet another federal criminal investigation” into Hunter Biden.

“We have just received word tonight of yet another federal criminal investigation into the Biden family that appears to be focused specifically on Hunter Biden’s business dealings with China and his relationship with Burisma Holdings in Ukraine,” Fox News host Martha MacCallum explained.

She added, “This is now the fourth federal investigation that has been reported in recent days.”

“It raises a lot of questions about what was going on with Hunter Biden, with his uncle Jim [Biden], and potentially their U.S. and foreign business deals. Who was involved in them? What exactly were they selling? And why, in one instance, was a diamond given to Hunter Biden in return? Where did all the money go? And did they ever compromise themselves? Does China have anything they could hold over the Biden family?” MacCallum went on to say.


Fourth federal investigation into Hunter Biden revealed

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What are the details?

The New York Times reported late Friday that Pittsburgh-based U.S. Attorney Scott Brady began investigating Hunter Biden earlier this year upon the direction of Attorney General William Barr.

Details were few, aside from the Times reporting that the investigation was spurred by material uncovered by Rudy Giuliani and that the investigation was similar to a criminal probe into Hunter Biden that was concurrently taking place in Delaware.

From the Times:

As federal investigators in Delaware were examining the finances of Hunter Biden during his father’s campaign for president, a similar inquiry ramped up this year in Pittsburgh, fueled by materials delivered by President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani. Attorney General William P. Barr had asked the top federal prosecutor in Pittsburgh, Scott W. Brady, to accept and vet any information that Mr. Giuliani had on the Biden family, including Hunter Biden. Mr. Brady hosted Mr. Giuliani for a nearly four-hour meeting in late January to discuss his materials.

The development comes just two days after Hunter Biden publicly revealed that he is under federal investigation by authorities in Delaware.

“I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs. I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors,” Hunter Biden said in a statement, which was released by the Biden-Harris transition team.

What has Joe Biden said?

The former vice president was confronted on Friday about his son for the first time since news broke about the Delaware federal investigation.

“Did Hunter Biden commit a crime? Have you spoken to your son, Mr. President-elect?” a reporter asked Biden following a press conference.

Biden did not address the question directly, only responding, “I’m proud of my son.”

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China Intelwars

China Completes its Beidou Satellite Navigation Network

 December 10, 2020 (Gunnar Ulson – NEO) – Earlier this year China launched the final satellite in its Beidou satellite navigation network. 

The completion of China’s Beidou network makes it the fourth network of its kind and capabilities alongside the US Global Positioning System (GPS), Russia’s GLONASS, and the European Union’s Galileo network.  

Conceived in the 1990’s with the first and second versions providing coverage for China and Asia-Pacific respectively, the completed network now has global coverage with a total of 35 operational satellites, more satellites than any other network currently operates. 

Why is Satellite Navigation Important? 

Satellite navigation has an impact on so many aspects of daily life.

Industries like delivery services depend on satellite navigation to connect drivers with destinations, aiding them in navigating to customers and allowing customers to track their progress in real-time. Food delivery alone is a $100+ billion industry worldwide and likely to only grow into the foreseeable future. 

We all probably also use satellite navigation ourselves when we travel to the point of almost taking it for granted, whether we are the ones driving or traveling via taxi services.  

Then there are also the obvious military applications of satellite navigation, from moving troops across battlefields, guiding ships at sea and sending munitions accurately to target, to tracking the growing fleets of unmanned vehicles moving across land, over sea and in the air. 

Because of the essential economic and especially military applications of satellite navigation it is no surprise that the development of these satellite networks has become another key metric of assessing the ongoing great power competition. 

The Impact of China’s Beidou Network

The fact alone that China possesses the technology to not only develop navigation satellites but also to launch and operate them to provide global coverage is a key metric of China’s rise as a global power. 

Avoiding dependence on another nation’s satellite navigation network is key to both China’s economic independence and preserving its national security. The Beidou network itself can also provide both economic and diplomatic opportunities. 

The New York Times had noted in its article, “China’s ‘Belt and Road’ Plan in Pakistan Takes a Military Turn,” that China had extended the use of its Beidou satellite navigation system to Pakistan not only for commercial use but also for military use. The article speculated that China planned to extend this offer to other potential partners across Eurasia as part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). 

Of course, the BRI will include a huge transportation component necessitating satellite navigation to track and guide vehicles, trains, boats and aircraft. With China possessing its own satellite navigation network with full global coverage, China will neither depend on other nations like the US or the EU for access to their GPS and Galileo networks nor be vulnerable to efforts by the US and EU to deny China access to such network in order to hamper its growing influence regionally and globally. 

Providing Beidou to other nations for military use, as China has done with Pakistan, is also a key diplomatic tool allowing Beijing to gain ground against the US and Europe. By providing such access in conjunction with Beijing’s non-interference foreign policy makes the decision for nations to switch over much easier. 

China’s Beidou satellite navigation network is a key milestone for China’s own development and a key building block for its wider, regional and global aspirations through the BRI. It is a sign of not only China’s rise as a global power, but signals the potential for China to close other technological, economic and military gaps the US and Europe have been, until now, confident would never be closed by nations like China and by extension, the nations rising alongside China. 

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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Big tech censorship China CNN Hunter biden investigation Hunter biden scandal Intelwars Mainstream media bias Media Bias

CNN finally covers the Hunter Biden story, omits name of key witness, faces backlash for waiting until after the election

After going quiet in the months before the election, CNN is now actively reporting the federal investigation into the business dealings of Hunter Biden.

Now that the election is over, the media reporting of Hunter Biden’s business deals with foreign governments has entered a new phase as federal prosecutors in Delaware, along with the IRS Criminal Investigation agency and the FBI, have issued subpoenas and are seeking interviews in their investigation. Biden’s finances are being scrutinized, as federal authorities want to know whether he or his associates violated tax and money-laundering laws in their business deals with China and other foreign countries.

CNN reported that after it contacted Biden’s attorney and the Joe Biden campaign for comment about the investigation, Hunter Biden released the following statement:

I learned yesterday for the first time that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware advised my legal counsel, also yesterday, that they are investigating my tax affairs. I take this matter very seriously but I am confident that a professional and objective review of these matters will demonstrate that I handled my affairs legally and appropriately, including with the benefit of professional tax advisors.

But according to CNN, the scope of the investigation goes beyond Biden’s taxes, covering business transactions involving individuals the FBI believes may have sparked counterintelligence concerns.

Two sources that spoke to CNN indicated that Hunter Biden has been under investigation since at least 2018.

CNN credited Sinclair Broadcast Group with reporting the existence of the FBI criminal investigation on Oct. 29. CNN did not cover the federal investigation when it was reported, just days before the 2020 U.S. presidential election. CNN also at the time ignored the “smoking gun” New York Post report about emails obtained from a laptop allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden showing Biden pursuing “lasting and lucrative” business ties with a Chinese energy company. A former business associate of the Biden family, Tony Bobulinski, publicly corroborated the Post’s reporting and implicated former vice president Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business dealings.

To the extent that CNN did cover the story in the weeks leading up to the election, the network sought to discredit the New York Post’s reporting and allege that the emails obtained from the laptop were part of a Russian disinformation campaign.

Now, CNN reports that the FBI took possession of the laptop in 2019 and that it is “unclear whether the laptop’s contents are relevant to the ongoing federal probe and whether investigators can even use them, given potential chain of custody requirements for evidence.”

CNN’s report makes a reference to “a former Hunter Biden business associate who publicly made claims about potential wrongdoing” but does not mention Tony Bobulinski by name or report the claims he made about the Biden family.

Freelance writer Drew Holden noted on Twitter that a search for “Bobulinski” on CNN’s website turns up no results.

Others have criticized CNN’s lack of coverage on the Hunter Biden story. Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell responded to CNN anchor Jake Tapper after Tapper shared the story, demanding to know if he was “instructed” not to report the Hunter Biden investigation when the story broke in October.

Journalist Piers Morgan, a self-described liberal and former CNN employee, bashed his former employer in a blistering op-ed criticizing the mainstream media for its “shameful dereliction of journalistic duty driven by the inherent liberal bias,” noting that he publicly said so at the time “as a liberal myself.”

Predictably, and equally shamefully, the media responded by then trying to censor me too: I was dropped from an appearance on Brian Stelter’s CNN media show after going on Fox News and lambasting news organisations like my former CNN employers for refusing to follow up the Post’s Biden exposé.

They were happy to buy into Joe Biden’s line that it was all a hoax driven by nefarious Russians to discredit him.

Now the same CNN is reporting that the federal investigation is ‘examining multiple financial issues, including whether Hunter Biden and associates violated tax and money laundering laws in business dealings in foreign countries, principally China.’

“If I were appearing on Stelter’s show this Sunday, I might ask him if he is still comfortable that CNN refused to pursue the Post’s story before the election?” Morgan continued. “And what would they have done if it had been about Donald Trump Jr instead?”

As Morgan pointed out, CNN is not the only mainstream media outlet that initially ignored the Hunter Biden story only to just now decide that a federal criminal investigation into the son of a major presidential candidate is newsworthy. The Daily Beast covered CNN’s report, noting that documents providing evidence of a federal investigation were made public in October but went “largely unnoticed.” Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey was quick to observe that conservative media and right-of-center publications certainly took notice and widely covered the story even as social media companies attempted to suppress the report and the Biden campaign and the rest of the media claimed it was Russian disinformation.

Glenn Greenwald, formerly of the Intercept, published an article Thursday calling out various reporters and big tech for promoting this claim without mentioning the FBI investigation into Biden before the election.

“That’s the choice these media outlets made. They got the election outcome they wanted. But they and their reputations and legacy will have to live with this choice,” Greenwald wrote.

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China Uproots Hong Kong’s US-Backed Opposition

December 5, 2020 (Joseph Thomas – NEO) – China finalised its campaign against protests in its Hong Kong territory when it expelled opposition politicians from Hong Kong’s government for endangering national security. 

Following this move, opposition politicians still in office resigned in protest, leaving the territory’s government firmly pro-Beijing. 

This came after a sweeping security law was passed which focused heavily on cutting foreign backing to opposition groups rioting in Hong Kong’s streets and outlawing aspirations of “independence” as a form of sedition. 

With the cutting off of foreign support and the effective removal of opposition political parties supporting and driving the protests from Hong Kong’s political landscape, the prospects for another round of disruptive and violent protests is highly unlikely. 

And almost as if to vindicate Beijing’s policy decisions regarding Hong Kong, the US and UK insisted on one last round of interference regarding these most recent developments. 

UK’s Sky News in an article titled, “UK summons Chinese ambassador after expulsion of Hong Kong MPs,” would claim 

The government has summoned China’s ambassador to register “deep concern” after Beijing ordered the expulsion of four opposition MPs from Hong Kong’s parliament.

Kwok Ka-ki, Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok and Kenneth Leung were banished from the territory’s assembly for allegedly endangering national security.

They were expelled under a new Chinese law banning supporters of Hong Kong independence from holding office.

The article also claimed: 

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Thursday declared China’s action a fresh breach of the Sino-British Declaration, the deal that saw Hong Kong pass back to China from Britain in 1997.

The agreement commits China to ensuring Hong Kong enjoys a “high degree of autonomy” and preserves the right to freedom of speech. 

The London Guardian would also report in its article, “Hong Kong and China could face fresh US sanctions over ousting of lawmakers,” that: 

Hong Kong and Chinese officials could face further sanctions from the United States over a new law that disqualified four pro-democracy legislators as “unpatriotic” and prompted a mass resignation by the pro-democracy caucus. 

The UK had violently seized the territory in 1841 and occupied it until its handover back to China in 1997. Before the handover, the British government demanded Beijing recognize a series of conditions including “democratic” procedures that ironically never existed under British rule.  

More recently, the UK’s attempts to maintain influence over the territory has been aided by US interference in the form of financial, political and material support provided to opposition parties and street movements culminating in open support of protests in recent years and even featuring high-profile trips by opposition leaders to Washington D.C. to directly receive US aid.  

Hong Kong was never the UK’s to legitimately determine the affairs of from the beginning and only through its own military and imperial aggression did it hold any power over the territory. It parting “demands,” while agreed to by Beijing who at the time was left little choice, have no relevance in an international order the US and UK both have regularly predicated on “might makes right.”

Currently, China has the “might” to determine what is right in Hong Kong, and Beijing has correctly decided that what is right is uprooting the remnants of Western influence and interference from its territory. 

While the UK government and its much larger transatlantic partners in the US are far from giving up their collective ambitions to subordinate China and greater Asia to the West, it appears that Beijing has laid the groundwork to fully shut Hong Kong off as a vector for such efforts. 

The irony is that had the US and UK not pushed as aggressively as they did in Hong Kong over the past several years it is likely their proxies would have been able to maintain some form of influence in the territory for many more years to come. But by rushing in a bid to pressure Beijing, they provided the perfect justification for Beijing swiftly and completely uproot these proxies once and for all. 

What’s more is that while the US and UK’s interference in Hong Kong has led what’s being called the “Hong Kong model” by other Western-backed opposition movements across Asia targeting governments friendly to China, Beijing’s success could now provide a “Beijing model” for regional governments to likewise fully and permanently uproot Western interference from within their borders as well. 

What the US in particularly had regularly referred to as “America’s Pacific Century” may yet turn out to be the eventual dusk of Washington’s hegemonic ambitions in the region.

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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US Struggles for Relevance in Southeast Asia

December 4, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – While many around the globe are hopeful that a change at the White House means a change for US foreign policy – many of the most contentious and disruptive aspects of US foreign policy carried out over the last 4 years were simply a continuation of policy that had already been in motion for years beforehand – and are policies that are unlikely to change any time soon.

This applies especially to Washington’s desire to reassert itself in Asia and Southeast Asia specifically in its increasingly desperate bid to “contain” China. 

Lacking any sort of actual incentive for Southeast Asian nations to tilt from China toward the US and its Transatlantic partners in Europe – the US has instead invented a series of “crises” and “concerns” with the two centerpieces being “conflict” in the South China Sea and US “concerns” over nations downstream of Chinese dams built along the Mekong River. 

These downstream nations include Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. 

Just as is the case with America’s interference in the South China Sea – nations along the Mekong are constantly pressured to share Washington’s “concerns” and work toward “addressing” them by adopting frameworks developed by Washington. 

However, with the exception of Vietnam, these nations all have solid and growing relationships with China – and even Vietnam depends heavily on China economically.

Whatever issues dam construction along the Mekong River may be creating – there is more than enough incentives for all nations involved including China to resolve them bilaterally and without interference from disingenuous mediators with transparent motivations aimed at amplifying tensions, fraying ties, and inhibiting the collective rise of Asia. 

And because of this obvious fact it is no surprise that nations along the Mekong have not taken Washington’s efforts seriously. Instead, they appear to be paying them mostly lip service to buy time and avoid additional coercive measures from Washington. 

However, it is clear that Washington has already included additional coercive measures alongside its South China Sea and Mekong strategies. This includes funding opposition groups pursuing regime change to remove governments across the region who refuse to adopt US frameworks and proposals regarding these issues, and replace them with client regimes eager to cut ties with China regardless of the self-inflicted and irreversible damage it will most certainly cause. 

An advocate of US interference in Southeast Asia and in Thailand specifically is Associate Professor Thitinan Pongsudhirak of Thailand’s Chulalongkorn University. 

In  a recent op-ed he penned for Bangkok Post titled, “China-US rivalry on Mekong mainland,” he noted specifically (emphasis added): 

As a US treaty ally, Thailand stands out for its pivot to China under a military-backed regime since its military coup in 2014, but this trend could change directions if a genuinely democratic system comes into place as per the demands of the protesting youth movement. Similarly for Cambodia, if the younger generation and oppositional supporters can rise up, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s “all-in” approach to China may go on a different path. But for the foreseeable future, the Mekong mainland is likely to gravitate further into China’s orbit.

Here – Thitinan is admitting that the governments of Southeast Asia have pivoted to China and will only continue building further ties with Beijing regardless of the supposed urgency the US claims surrounds issues like the South China Sea and Mekong River. 

He also admits that the only way this will change is if “a genuinely democratic system comes into place as per the demands of the protesting youth movement.” 

Thitinan is referring to ongoing anti-government protests in Thailand who aim to overthrow the current government as well as Thailand’s traditional institutions and who have in recent months displayed increasingly extreme anti-Chinese views

What Thitinan omits is that these protests are backed by organizations funded by the US government via the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) – a front whose board of directors are lined with some of the most prominent architects of US regime change projects around the globe including in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, and most recently, Hong Kong.  

And this is ultimately the only card the US has left to play – attempted regime change across Southeast Asia to either install client regimes that will cut ties with China – or create sufficient instability as to transform Asia’s collective rise into decades of internal conflict followed by a long, painful phase of reconstruction as North Africa and the Middle East has since suffered in the wake of a similar regime change campaign – the “Arab Spring” – starting in 2011. 

While many continue depicting protests and unrest from Hong Kong to Thailand as isolated, internal political disputes or even semi-connected “pro-democracy” movements – in reality they are part of a cynical, singular, and regional campaign by Washington to reassert itself vis-à-vis a rising China – with even “associate professors” advocating US foreign policy in Asia admitting the protests serve as the only vector through which US success can emerge.

For Southeast Asia, foiling US interference and preventing a potentially region-wide crisis similar to the 2011 “Arab Spring” is a matter of ensuring Asia’s continued rise in the years to come versus spending the next several years containing conflict and costly rebuilding in its aftermath. 

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”. 

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China COVID-19 Intelwars leaked documents Underreported

CNN: Leaked documents prove that ‘China underreported COVID-19 numbers’

CNN reported Monday that a trove of leaked internal documents from China prove that the communist nation underreported COVID-19 numbers in the early stages of the outbreak.

The news confirms what U.S. officials have believed for months: that China did not tell the truth about the severity of the pandemic from the beginning.

What are the details?

In its exclusive report,
CNN revealed details from 117 pages of documents verified by experts to have come from the Hubei Provincial Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The city of Wuhan, where the virus was first discovered, is the capital of Hubei province.

The documents show that on Feb. 10, there were more than 5,900 new cases of coronavirus in the province, but officials reported that there were only 3,911.

On Feb. 17, Chinese officials reported that there were 93 COVID-19 deaths, but the documents showed there were actually 196 — more than twice what the government disclosed.

For the date of March 7, the officials underreported both deaths and new cases. The leaked documents showed 115 new cases and 3,456 deaths, but officials reported that there were only 83 new cases and 2,986 deaths.

Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for global health at the Council on Foreign Relations told CNN after reviewing the documents, “It was clear they did make mistakes — and not just mistakes that happen when you’re dealing with a novel virus — also bureaucratic and politically-motivated errors in how they handled it.” He added, “If you look at the local level, the picture is not as rosy as the government had claimed.”

Andrew Mertha, director of the China Studies Program at John Hopkins University, said that the underreported numbers from February “appeared to be a deception, for unsurprising reasons,” explaining, “China had an image to protect internationally, and lower-ranking officials had a clear incentive to under-report — or to show their superiors that they were underreporting — to outside eyes.”

U.S. intelligence officials warned the White House months ago in a classified report that China was underreporting both its COVID-19 case numbers and deaths, according to an April 1 report from Bloomberg.

President Donald Trump said of China at the time, “Their numbers seem to be a little bit on the light side, and I’m being nice when I say that.”

Vice President Mike Pence told CNN the same day:

The reality is that we could have been better off if China had been more forthcoming. What appears evident now is that long before the world learned in December that China was dealing with this, and maybe as much as a month earlier than that, that the outbreak was real in China.

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ASIA China Intelwars taiwan

Taiwan: A US Foothold Before a Chinese Tidal Wave

November 27, 2020 (Tony Cartalucci – NEO) – Taiwan has found itself increasingly in the middle of the growing power struggle between a waning US and a rising China. 

Taiwan is recognized by both the UN and the vast majority of the world’s nations including (officially) the United States under the One China policy – but Taiwan’s pro-independence circles have nonetheless enjoyed large amounts of financial and political support from Washington and has been a point of contention in the region and between Beijing and Washington for decades. 

The most recent example of this – reported by the Taipei Times in their article, “Two Washington-based pro-democracy NGOs to establish offices in Taipei,” – was the increased footprint of Washington’s notorious regime change front – the National Endowment for Democracy. 

The article would claim (emphasis added): 

Two Washington-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI), are to establish offices in Taiwan after they were sanctioned by Beijing last year.

The two institutes, along with the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Freedom House and Human Rights Watch were sanctioned last year after speaking in support of Hong Kong democracy activists and as well as being part of China’s tit-for-tat reaction against US President Donald Trump signing the US’ Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. 

Of course the US NED was not simply “speaking in support” of Hong Kong opposition groups – but was a primary conduit through which US government funding passed to these opposition groups. 

Making the purpose behind the US NED’s expansion in Taiwan much clearer was IRI president Daniel Twining’s comments claiming (emphasis added): 

From our Taipei base, we will work with our partners to highlight Taiwan’s hard-won democratic lessons, strengthen networks of Asia’s democratic actors and build resilience against malign authoritarian influence in the region… As the CCP [Chinese Communist Party] becomes more aggressive in violating the global rules-based order, now is the time for all democracies … to invest in strengthening ties with Taiwan.

In other words, the US NED’s move in Taiwan is meant to contribute to Washington’s wider campaign of encircling and containing not only China but to fuel US-funded unrest targeting China’s closest regional allies. 

Independence movements in Taiwan have identified themselves as part of the so-called “Milk Tea Alliance” – a united front of US-funded opposition groups from across the region attempting to coerce their respective governments into a confrontational posture toward Beijing. Most recently this has included the opposition in Hong Kong and anti-government protests in Thailand. 

And while the US is clearly banking on its heavy investments in “soft power” – essentially region-wide political interference – China’s strategy focuses instead on economic ties underpinned by principles of non-interference. 

It is no surprise that the Asian region has responded positively to the latter instead of the former. 

Taiwan’s Future is Inevitable 

The US and the wider Western media have promoted narratives of an impending Chinese invasion of Taiwan. This narrative has been used to justify the sale of US weapons to Taiwan’s military including a recent arms deal worth several billion US dollars. 

The Business Insider in an article titled, “A Chinese invasion of Taiwan would not be easy, and the 400 anti-ship missiles the US plans to sell to Taiwan would make it even harder,” would note: 

Less than a week after it authorized a $1.8 billion arms sale to Taiwan, the US Department of State notified Congress on Monday of another possible Foreign Military Sale to Taiwan for $2.4 billion that includes hundreds of Harpoon anti-ship missiles and launchers.

The big sale, if approved by Congress, would give Taiwan 100 Harpoon Coastal Defense Systems (HCDS) and 400 RGM-84L-4 Harpoon Block II Surface-Launched Missiles, very capable all-weather weapons that can search for and take out ships as far as half-way across the Taiwan Strait.

The sale of the additional missiles would later be approved

The weapons are for a “Chinese invasion” that will likely never come and in addition to the US “soft power” networks Taiwan now serves as a base for – the US still lacks any means to confront or contain China’s influence – both in regards to Taiwan and in regards to the wider region. 

The need for a “Chinese invasion” of territory already recognized as part of China by the UN makes so little sense on so many levels. But the clearest level is economically where mainland China now stands as Taiwan’s largest trade partner and investor.  

Mainland China has been the key to Taiwan’s economic growth throughout recent years and had helped drive the easing of cross Strait tensions. 

Because of Taiwan’s economic ties with the mainland, the most recent drive by the US to re-introduce a wedge between the two has come at high cost to Taiwan’s economy. The government fulfilling Washington’s desire to restrict mainland investment and  oppose Beijing’s decisions regarding Chinese territory has cut Taiwan off from economic inflows the US – and even the wider West – are unable to compensate for. 

A look at Taiwan’s foreign investment and trade over the last two decades reveals an obvious and unavoidable trend regarding Taiwan’s near to intermediate future.  It is a trend of a shrinking Western role in Taiwan’s economy replaced by a rising mainland China – and a trend that inevitably impacts Taiwan geopolitically. 

Twenty years ago only 4% of Taiwan’s exports headed to mainland China while 18% headed to the United States. Today, 34% of Taiwan’s exports head to China versus 10% to the United States. Taiwan’s imports reflect a similar shift in economic power. Both China’s economic rise and its proximity to Taiwan means that this trend will only continue. 

US efforts to build up Taiwan’s independence movement is meant to deliberately disrupt this trend – and it is doing so not by providing Taiwan with economic alternatives but instead baiting the island into a growing political and even military standoff with the mainland and its regional allies. This is being done specifically at the expense of Taiwan’s economic ties to both.

Just like Australia and others being drawn into Washington’s anti-Chinese foreign policy – such a stance is not sustainable. As long as China can avoid provocations and conflict and continue offering the benefits of economic prosperity and peace as an alternative to Washington’s strategy of tension – patience and time will run out for Washington’s style of Indo-Pacific hegemony and the interests in the region abetting it will be displaced by those interested in a more constructive regional architecture. 

Perhaps on a more global scale a similar process can play out within the United States itself – where current circles of power pursuing this counterproductive foreign policy are displaced by those with a more constructive vision of America’s role not only in Asia but around the globe.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”. 

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China color revolutions Intelwars Thailand

Why US-Funded Mobs Are Attacking Thai-Chinese Relations

November 25, 2020 (Brian Berletic – LD) – Thailand’s ongoing US-funded anti-government protests aren’t “pro-democracy,” they are anti-Chinese. 

Just like in Hong Kong, the US is attempting to create crisis for China and its allies and impede both China’s and Asia’s rise upon the global stage. I go over the close and ever-growing ties between Thailand and China and why the US is so determined to undo them. 

References:

CGTN – Thailand, China ink key Bangkok-Nong Khai High-Speed Railway contract: 

https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-10-29/Thailand-China-ink-key-high-speed-train-contract-UZpg0RAGZy/index.html

Bangkok Bank – Huawei’s role in Thailand’s 5G development:

https://www.bangkokbank.com/-/media/Files/Business-Banking/Tips-Insight-China-Weekly/Year-2019/ChinaInsight_Week11.ashx?la=en&hash=98C78B5764542C1F9A4E070822A21DF67E04769B

Tourist Arrivals to Thailand by Nationality in 2019: 

https://www.thaiwebsites.com/tourists-nationalities-Thailand.asp

The Nation – Chinese tanks arrive ahead of schedule: 

https://www.nationthailand.com/news/30329063

Army Recognition – Army of Thailand takes delivery of the first local-made DTI-1 rocket launcher system:

https://www.armyrecognition.com/february_2016_global_defense_security_news_industry/army_of_thailand_takes_delivery_of_the_first_local-made_dti-1_rocket_launcher_system_11502161.html

ATN – Thai Protesters Host US-Funded Uyghur Separatists: 

https://altthainews.blogspot.com/2020/10/thai-protesters-host-us-funded-uyghur.html

Bloomberg – Thailand needs hyperloop, not China-built high-speed rail: Thanathorn: 

https://www.bangkokpost.com/thailand/politics/1550586/thailand-needs-hyperloop-not-china-built-high-speed-rail-thanathorn

NEO – Washington’s “Tiananmen” Lies Begin to Fray:

https://journal-neo.org/2019/06/09/ashingtons-tiananmen-lies-begin-to-fray/

NEO – The Biggest Lie About China’s Xinjiang “Internment Camps”: https://journal-neo.org/2020/09/03/the-biggest-lie-about-chinas-xinjiang-internment-camps/

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