The Federal Assembly Speech

Putin Vows to Reign in Capitalism and Shore Up Sovereignty

by Mike Whitney

https://www.unz.com (January 24 2020)

Western elites and their lackeys in the media despise Russian president Vladimir Putin and they make no bones about it. The reasons for this should be fairly obvious. Putin has rolled back US ambitions in Syria and Ukraine, aligned himself with Washington’s biggest strategic rival in Asia, China, and is currently strengthening his economic ties with Europe which poses a long-term threat to US dominance in Central Asia. Putin has also updated his nuclear arsenal which makes it impossible for Washington to use the same bullyboy tactics it’s used on other, more vulnerable countries. So it’s understandable that the media would want to demonize Putin and disparage him as cold-blooded “KGB thug”. That, of course, is not true, but it fits with the bogus narrative that Putin is maniacally conducting a clandestine war against the United States for purely evil purposes. In any event, the media’s deep-seated Russophobia has grown so extreme that they’re unable to cover even simple events without veering wildly into fantasy-land. Take, for example, The New York Times coverage of Putin’s recent Address to the Federal Assembly, which took place on January 15. The Times screwball analysis shows that their journalists have no interest in conveying what Putin actually said, but would rather use every means available to persuade their readers that Putin is a calculating tyrant driven by his insatiable lust for power. Check out this excerpt from the article in the Times:

 

Nobody knows what’s going on inside the Kremlin right now. And perhaps that’s precisely the point. President Vladimir V Putin announced constitutional changes last week that could create new avenues for him to rule Russia for the rest of his life … (wrong)

The fine print of the legislation showed that the prime minister’s powers would not be expanded as much as first advertised, while members of the State Council would still appear to serve at the pleasure of the president. So maybe Mr Putin’s plan is to stay president, after all? … (wrong again )

A journalist, Yury Saprykin, offered a similar sentiment on Facebook, but in verse:

We’ll be debating over how he won’t leave,
We’ll be guessing, will he leave or won’t he.
And then – lo! – he won’t be leaving.
That is, before the elections he won’t leave,
And after that, he definitely won’t leave. (wrong, a third time) {1}

 

This is really a terrible analysis. Yes, “Putin announced constitutional changes last week”, but they have absolutely nothing to do with some sinister plan to stay in power, and anyone who read the speech would know that. Unfortunately, most of the other 100-or-so “cookie-cutter” articles on the topic, draw the same absurd conclusion as the Times, that is, that the changes Putin announced in his speech merely conceal his real intention which is to extend his time in office for as long as possible. Once again, there’s nothing in the speech itself to support these claims, it’s just another attempt to smear Putin.

So what did Putin actually say in his annual Address to the Federal Assembly?

Well, that’s where it gets interesting. He announced changes to the social safety net, more financial assistance for young families, improvements to the health care system, higher wages for teachers, more money for education, hospitals, schools, libraries. He promised to launch a system of “social contracts” that commit the state to reduce poverty and raise standards of living. He pledged to provide healthier meals to schoolchildren, lower interest rates for first-time home buyers, greater economic support for working families, higher payouts to pensioners, raises to the minimum wage, additional funding for a “network of extracurricular technology and engineering centers”. Putin also added this gem:

 

It is very important that children who are in preschool and primary school adopt the true values of a large family – that family is love, happiness, the joy of motherhood and fatherhood, that family is a strong bond of several generations, united by respect for the elderly and care for children, giving everyone a sense of confidence, security, and reliability. If the younger generations accept this situation as natural, as a moral and an integral part and reliable background support for their adult life, then we will be able to meet the historical challenge of guaranteeing Russia’s development as a large and successful country.

 

Naturally, heartfelt statements like this never appear on the pages of the Times or any of the other western media for that matter. Instead, Americans are deluged with more of the same relentless Putin-psychobabble that’s become a staple of cable news. The torrent of lies, libels, and fabrications about Putin are so constant and so overwhelming, that the only thing of which one can be absolutely certain, is that nothing that is written about Putin in the mainstream media (MSM) can be trusted. Of that, there is no doubt.

That said, Putin is a politician which means he might not deliver on his promises at all. That is a very real possibility. But if that’s the case, then why did his former-Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, resign immediately after the speech? Medvedev and his entire cabinet resigned because they realized that Putin has abandoned the western model of capitalism and is moving in a different direction altogether. Putin is now focused on strengthening welfare state programs that lift people out of poverty, raise living standards, and narrow the widening inequality gap. And he wants a new team to help him implement his vision, which is why Medvedev and crew got their walking papers. Here’s how The Saker summed it up in a recent article at the Unz Review:

 

The new government clearly indicates that, especially with the nominations of Prime Minister Mishustin and his First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Belousov: these are both on record as very much proponents of what is called “state capitalism” in Russia: meaning an economic philosophy in which the states does not stifle private entrepreneurship, but one in which the state is directly and heavily involved in creating the correct economic conditions for the government and private sector to grow. Most crucially, “state capitalism” also subordinates the sole goal of the corporate world (making profits) to the interests of the state and, therefore, to the interests of the people. In other words, goodbye turbo-capitalism a la Atlantic Integrationists! {2}

 

This is precisely what is taking place in Russia right now. Putin is breaking away from Washington’s parasitic model of capitalism and replacing it with a more benign version that better addresses the needs of the people. This new version of “managed capitalism” places elected officials at the head of the system to protect the public from the savagery of market forces and from perennial-grinding austerity. It’s a system aimed at helping ordinary people not Wall Street or the global bank Mafia.

But while the changes to Russia’s economic model are significant, it’s Putin’s political changes that have drawn the most attention. Here’s what he said:

 

 

(The) requirements of international law and treaties as well as decisions of international bodies can be valid on the Russian territory only to the point that they do not restrict the rights and freedoms of our people and citizens and do not contradict our Constitution …

 

What does this mean? Does it mean that Putin will not respect international law or the treaties it has signed with its neighbors? No, it doesn’t, in fact, Putin has been an enthusiastic proponent of international law and the UN Security Council. He strongly believes that these institutions play a crucial role in maintaining global security, an issue that is very close to his heart. What the Russian president appears to be saying is that the rights of the Russian people and of the sovereign Russian government take precedence over foreign corporations, treaties, or free trade agreements. Russia will not allow the powerful and insidious globalist multinationals to take control of the political and economic levers of state power as they’ve done in countries around the world. Putin further clarified this point saying:

 

Russia can remain Russia only as a sovereign state. Our nation’s sovereignty must be unconditional. We have done a great deal to achieve this. We restored our state’s unity and overcome the situation when certain powers in the government were essentially usurped by oligarch clans … We created powerful reserves, which increases our country’s stability and capability to protect (us) from any attempts of foreign pressure.

 

For Putin sovereignty, which is the supreme power of a state to govern itself, is the bedrock principle that legitimizes the state provided the state faithfully represents the will of the people. He elaborates on this point later in his speech saying:

 

The opinion of people, our citizens as the bearers of sovereignty and the main source of power must be decisive. In the final analysis everything is decided by the people, both today and in the future.

 

So while there may be significant differences between Russian and US democracy, the basic principle remains the same, the primary responsibility of the government is to carry out the “will of the people”. In this respect, Putin’s political philosophy is not much different from that of the framers of the US Constitution. What is different, however, is Putin’s approach to free trade. Unlike the US, Putin does not believe that free trade deals should diminish the authority of the state. Most Americans don’t realize that trade agreements like Nafta often include provisions that prevent the government from acting in the best interests of their people. Globalist trade laws prevent governments from providing incentives to companies to slow the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs, they undermine environmental regulations and food safety laws. Some of these agreements even shield sweatshop owners and other human rights abusers from penalty or prosecution.

Is it any wonder why Putin does not want to participate in this unethical swindle? Is it any wonder why he feels the need to clearly state that Russia will only comply with those laws and treaties that “do not restrict the rights and freedoms of our people and citizens and do not contradict our Constitution”? Here’s Putin again:

 

Please, do not forget what happened to our country after 1991. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, … there were also threats, dangers of a magnitude no one could have imagined ever before … Therefore … We must create a solid, reliable, and invulnerable system that will be absolutely stable in terms of the external contour and will securely guarantee Russia’s independence and sovereignty.

 

So what happened following the dissolution of the Soviet Union?

The United States dispatched a cabal of cutthroat economists to Moscow to assist in the “shock therapy” campaign that collapsed the social safety net, savaged pensions, increased unemployment, homelessness, poverty, and alcoholism by many orders of magnitude, accelerated the slide to privatization that fueled a generation of voracious oligarchs, and sent the real economy plunging into an excruciating long-term depression.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz followed events closely in Russia at the time and summed it up like this:

 

In Russia, the people were told that capitalism was going to bring new, unprecedented prosperity. In fact, it brought unprecedented poverty, indicated not only by a fall in living standards, not only by falling GDP, but by decreasing life spans and enormous other social indicators showing a deterioration in the quality of life…..

The number of people in poverty in Russia, for instance, increased from 2 percent to … somewhere between 40 and 50 percent, with more than one out of two children living in families below poverty. The market economy was a worse enemy for most of these people than the Communists had said it would be … In some (parts) of the former Soviet Union, the GDP, the national income, fell by over 70 percent. And with that smaller pie it was more and more unequally divided, so a few people got bigger and bigger slices, and the majority of people wound up with less and less and less … {3}

 

At the same time Washington’s agents were busy looting Moscow, Nato was moving its troops, armored divisions and missile sites closer to Russia’s border in clear violation of promises that were made to Mikhail Gorbachev not to move its military “one inch east”. At present, there are more combat troops and weaponry on Russia’s western flank than at any time since the German buildup for operation Barbarossa in June 1941. Naturally, Russia feels threatened by this flagrantly hostile force on its border. (BTW, this week, “The US is carrying out its biggest and most provocative deployment to Europe since the Cold War-era. According to the US Military in Europe Website: “Exercise DEFENDER-Europe 20 is the deployment of a division-size combat-credible force from the United States to Europe … The Pentagon and its Nato allies are recklessly simulating a full-blown war with Russia to prevent Moscow from strengthening its economic ties with Europe.) Here’s more from Putin:

 

I am convinced that it is high time for a serious and direct discussion about the basic principles of a stable world order and the most acute problems that humanity is facing. It is necessary to show political will, wisdom and courage. The time demands an awareness of our shared responsibility and real actions.

 

This is a theme that Putin has reiterated many times since his groundbreaking speech at Munich in 2007 where he said:

 

We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law. And independent legal norms are, as a matter of fact, coming increasingly closer to one state’s legal system. One state and, of course, first and foremost the United States, has overstepped its national borders in every way. This is visible in the economic, political, cultural and educational policies it imposes on other nations. Well, who likes this? Who is happy about this? … {4}

 

What Putin objects to is the US acting unilaterally whenever it chooses. It’s Washington’s capricious disregard for international law that has destabilized vast regions across the Middle East and Central Asia and has put world leaders on edge never knowing where the next crisis will pop up or how many millions of people will be impacted. As Putin said in Munich, “No one feels safe”. No one feels like they can count on the protection of international law or UN Security Council resolutions.

Putin:

 

Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa … Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters, and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life …

The power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa obviously resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, which were quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973 …

 

Is Putin overstating Washington’s role in decimating Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Afghanistan or is this a fair assessment of America’s pernicious and destabilizing role in the region? Entire civilizations have been laid to waste, millions have been killed or scattered across the region to achieve some nebulous strategic advantage or to help Israel eliminate its perceived enemies. And all this military adventurism can be traced back to the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the triumphalist response from US powerbrokers who saw Russia’s collapse as a green light for their New World Order.

Washington reveled in its victory and embraced its ability to dominate global decision-making and intervene unilaterally wherever it saw fit. The indispensable nation no longer had to bother with formalities like the UN Security Council or international law. Even sovereignty was dismissed as an archaic notion that had no place in the new borderless corporate empire. What really mattered was spreading western-style capitalism to the four corners of the earth particularly those areas that contained vital resources (ME) or explosive growth potential (Eurasia). Those regions were the real prize.

But then something unexpected happened. Washington’s wars dragged on ad infinitum while newer centers of power gradually emerged. Suddenly, the globalist utopia was no longer within reach, the American Century had ended before it had even begun. Meanwhile Russia and China were growing more powerful all the time. They demanded an end to unilateralism and a return to international law, but their demands were flatly rejected. The wars and interventions dragged on even though the prospects for victory grew more and more remote. Here’s Putin again:

 

We have no doubt that sovereignty is the central notion of the entire system of international relations. Respect for it and its consolidation will help underwrite peace and stability both at the national and international levels … First of all, there must be equal and indivisible security for all states.” (Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, “The Future in Progress: Shaping the World of Tomorrow, from the Office of the President of Russia)

 

Indeed, sovereignty is the foundational principle upon which global security rests, and yet, it is sovereignty that western elites are so eager to extinguish. Powerhouse multinationals want to erase existing borders to facilitate the unfettered, tariff-free flow of goods and people in one giant, interconnected free trade zone that spans the entire planet. And while their plan has been derailed by Putin in Syria and Ukraine, they have made gains in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia. The virus cannot be contained, it can only be eradicated. Here’s Putin:

“Essentially, the entire globalisation project is in crisis today and in Europe, as we know well, we hear voices now saying that multiculturalism has failed. I think this situation is in many respects the result of mistaken, hasty and to some extent over-confident choices made by some countries’ elites a quarter-of-a-century ago. Back then, in the late 1980s-early 1990s, there was a chance not just to accelerate the globalization process but also to give it a different quality and make it more harmonious and sustainable in nature.

But some countries that saw themselves as victors in the Cold War, not just saw themselves this way but said it openly, took the course of simply reshaping the global political and economic order to fit their own interests.

 

In their euphoria, they essentially abandoned substantive and equal dialogue with other actors in international life, chose not to improve or create universal institutions, and attempted instead to bring the entire world under the spread of their own organizations, norms, and rules. They chose the road of globalization and security for their own beloved selves, for the select few, and not for all. {5}

 

As Putin says, there was an opportunity to “make globalization more harmonious and sustainable” (perhaps, China’s Belt and Road initiative will do just that), but Washington elites rejected that idea choosing instead to impose its own self-aggrandizing vision on the world. As a result, demonstrations and riots have cropped up across Europe, right-wing populist parties are on the rise, and a majority of the population no longer have confidence in basic democratic institutions. The west’s version of globalization has been roundly repudiated as a scam that showers wealth on scheming billionaires while hanging ordinary working people out to dry. Here’s Putin again:

 

It seems as if the elites do not see the deepening stratification in society and the erosion of the middle class … (but the situation) creates a climate of uncertainty that has a direct impact on the public mood.

Sociological studies conducted around the world show that people in different countries and on different continents tend to see the future as murky and bleak. This is sad. The future does not entice them, but frightens them. At the same time, people see no real opportunities or means for changing anything, influencing events, and shaping policy. {5}

 

True, life is harder now and it looks to get harder still, but what is Putin’s remedy or does he have one? Is he going to stem the tide and reverse the effects of globalization? Is he going to sabotage Washington’s plan to control vital resources in the Middle East, become the main player in Central Asia, and tighten its grip on global power?

No, Putin is not nearly that ambitious. As he indicates in his speech, his immediate goal is to reform the economy so that poverty is eliminated and wealth is more equally distributed. These are practical remedies that help to soften capitalism and decrease the probability of social unrest. He also wants to fend off potential threats to the state by shoring up Russian sovereignty. That’s why he is adding amendments to the Constitution. The objective is to protect Russia from pernicious foreign agents or fifth columnists operating within the state.

Bottom line: Putin sees what’s going on in the world and has charted a course that best serves the interests of the Russian people. Americans would be lucky to have a leader who did the same.

Links:

{1} https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/21/world/europe/putin-russia-changes.html

{2} https://www.unz.com/tsaker/the-new-russian-government/

{3} https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/commandingheights/shared/minitext/int_josephstiglitz.html

{4} https://www.google.co.jp/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwj33szKvaXnAhVRyosBHTTzDboQFjAAegQIAhAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DU4MAsIh3zMA%26list%3DLL5RDugdu9Pv5WjPf9KYBhHw%26index%3D4849&usg=AOvVaw0UsxAWDdKvHLb-EpByQ6Ro

{5} https://www.google.co.jp/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwi2uo_vwaXnAhXUfd4KHSUsCjMQtwIwAHoECAEQAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.kremlin.ru%2Fevents%2Fpresident%2Fnews%2F58848&usg=AOvVaw34jpBi3R3DlKFMgu-xnv5o

https://www.unz.com/mwhitney/the-federal-assembly-speech-putin-vows-to-reign-in-capitalism-and-shore-up-sovereignty/

How China Overtook the US …

… as the World’s Major Trading Partner

by Iman Ghosh

VisualCapitalist.com (January 22 2020)

https://www.zerohedge.com (January 24 2020)

In 2018, trade accounted for 59% of global GDP, up nearly 1.5 times since 1980.

Over this timeframe, international trade has transformed significantly – not just in terms of volume and composition, but also in terms of the countries that the rest of the world leans on for their most important trade relationships.

Now, a critical shift is occurring in the landscape, and it may surprise you to learn that China has already usurped the US as the world’s most dominant trading partner.

Trading Places: A Global Shift

Today’s animation comes from the Lowy Institute, and it pulls data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) database on bilateral trade flows, to determine whether the US or China is a bigger trading partner for each country from 1980 to 2018.

The results are stark: before 2000, the US was at the helm of global trade, as over 80% of countries traded with the US more than they did with China. By 2018, that number had dropped sharply to just 30%, as China swiftly took top position in 128 of 190 countries.

The researchers pinpoint China’s 2001 entry into the World Trade Organization as a major turning point in China’s international trade relationships. The dramatic shift that followed is clearly demonstrated in the visualization above – between 2005 and 2010, a number of countries tipped towards Chinese influence, especially in Africa and Asia.

Over time, China’s dominance has grown dramatically. It’s no wonder then, that China and the US have a contentious trade relationship themselves, as both nations battle it out for first place.

A Tale of Two Economies

The United States and China are competitors in many ways, but to be successful they must rely on each other for mutually beneficial trade. However, it’s also the major issue on which they are struggling to reach a common ground.

The US has been vocal about negotiating more balanced trade agreements with China. In fact, a mid-2018 poll shows that 62% of Americans consider their trade relationship with China to be unfair.

Since 2018, both parties have faced a fraught relationship, imposing major tariffs on consumer and industrial goods – and retaliations are reaching greater and greater heights:

While a delicate truce has been reached at the moment, the trade war has caused a significant drag on global growth, and the World Bank estimates it will continue to have an effect into 2021.

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At the same time, China’s sphere of influence continues to grow.

One Belt, One Road, One Trade Direction?

China seems to have a finger in every pie. The nation is financing a flurry of megaprojects across Asia and Africa – but one broader initiative stands above the rest.

China’s “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) Initiative, planned for a 2049 completion, is advancing at a furious pace. In 2019 alone, Chinese companies signed contracts worth up to $128 billion to start Chinese large-scale infrastructure projects in various countries.

While building new highways and ports abroad is beneficial for Chinese financiers, OBOR is also about creating new markets and trade routes for Chinese goods in Asia. Recent research found that the OBOR program’s infrastructure expansion and logistics performance improvements led to positive effects on China’s exports.

Nevertheless, it’s clear the new infrastructure network is already transforming global trade, possibly cementing China’s position as the world’s major trading partner for years to come.

https://www.visualcapitalist.com/china-u-s-worlds-trading-partner/

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/how-china-overtook-us-worlds-major-trading-partner

What are the symptoms caused by the China virus …

… and at what point should you go to the doctor?

by Sarah Boseley, Hannah Devlin and Martin Belam

https://www.theguardian.com (January 26 2020)

What is the virus causing illness in Wuhan?

It is a novel coronavirus – that is to say, a member of the coronavirus family that has never been encountered before. Like other coronaviruses, it has come from animals. Many of those infected either worked or frequently shopped in the Huanan seafood wholesale market in the centre of the Chinese city, which also sold live and newly slaughtered animals. New and troubling viruses usually originate in animal hosts. Ebola and flu are examples.

What other coronaviruses have there been?

Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers) are both caused by coronaviruses that came from animals. Although Mers is believed to be transmitted to humans from dromedaries, the original hosts for both coronaviruses were probably bats. There are suspicions now that the new coronavirus may have originated in bats or snakes, and possibly then was transmitted to humans via an intermediary species. In 2002 Sars spread virtually unchecked to 37 countries, causing global panic, infecting more than 8,000 people and killing more than 750. Mers appears to be less easily passed from human to human, but has greater lethality, killing 35% of about 2,500 people who have been infected.

What are the symptoms caused by the Wuhan coronavirus?

The virus causes pneumonia. Those who have fallen ill are reported to suffer coughs, fever, and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, there can be organ failure. As this is viral pneumonia, antibiotics are of no use. The antiviral drugs we have against flu will not work. If people are admitted to a hospital, they may get support for their lungs and other organs as well as fluids. Recovery will depend on the strength of their immune system. Many of those who have died are known to have been already in poor health.

Is the virus being transmitted from one person to another?

Human to human transmission has been confirmed by China’s national health commission. As of 24 January the Chinese authorities had acknowledged 830 cases and 26 deaths. In the past week, the number of confirmed infections has more than tripled and cases have been found in 13 provinces, as well as the municipalities Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Tianjin. The virus has also been confirmed outside China, in Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Nepal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the US, and Vietnam. There have not been any confirmed cases in the UK at present, with the 14 people tested for the virus all proving negative. The actual number to have contracted the virus could be far higher as people with mild symptoms may not have been detected. Modelling by WHO experts at Imperial College London suggests there could be 4,000 cases, with uncertainty putting the margins between 1,000 and 9,700.

How worried are the experts?

There were fears that the coronavirus might spread more widely during the week-long lunar new year holidays, which start on 24 January, when millions of Chinese travel home to celebrate, but the festivities have largely been cancelled and Wuhan and other Chinese cities are in lockdown. At the moment, it appears that people in poor health are at greatest risk, as is always the case with flu. A key concern is the range of severity of symptoms – some people appear to suffer only mild illness while others are becoming severely ill. This makes it more difficult to establish the true numbers infected and the extent of transmission between people. But the authorities will be keen to stop the spread and will be anxious that the virus could become more potent than it so far appears.

China steps up coronavirus clampdown as chaos hits hospitals – video

At what point should you go to the doctor if you have a cough, say?

Unless you have recently travelled to China or been in contact with someone infected with the virus, then you should treat any cough or cold symptoms as normal. The NHS advises that there is generally no need to visit a doctor for a cough unless it is persistent or you are having other symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty breathing, or you feel very unwell.

Why is this any worse than normal influenza?

We don’t yet know how dangerous the new coronavirus is – and we won’t know until more data comes in. Twenty-six deaths out of 800 reported cases would mean a 3% mortality rate. However, this is likely to be an overestimate since there may be a far larger pool of people who have been infected by the virus but who have not suffered severe enough symptoms to attend hospital and so have not been counted in the data. For comparison, seasonal flu typically has a mortality rate below 1% and is thought to cause about 400,000 deaths each year globally. Another key unknown, of which scientists should get a clearer idea in the coming weeks, is how contagious the coronavirus is. A crucial difference is that unlike flu, there is no vaccine for the new coronavirus, which means it is more difficult for vulnerable members of the population – elderly people or those with existing respiratory or immune problems – to protect themselves. One sensible step is to get the flu vaccine, which will reduce the burden on health services if the outbreak turns into a wider epidemic.

Should we panic?

No. The spread of the virus outside China is worrying but not an unexpected development. It increases the likelihood that the World Health Organization will declare the outbreak to be a public health emergency of international concern on Thursday evening. The key concerns are how transmissible this new coronavirus is between people and what proportion become severely ill and end up in a hospital. Often viruses that spread easily tend to have a milder impact.

Healthcare workers could be at risk if they unexpectedly came across someone with respiratory symptoms who had travelled to an affected region. Generally, the coronavirus appears to be hitting older people hardest, with few cases in children.

Read More:

* https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jan/26/china-bans-long-distance-buses-from-entering-three-cities-to-contain-coronavirus-spread

* https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jan/22/where-has-coronavirus-spread

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/jan/27/what-is-coronavirus-symptoms-sars-china-wuhan

China’s New Coronavirus: An Examination of the Facts

by Larry Romanoff

Global Research (January 25 2020)

The Western mass media have discussed the new coronavirus that began in the city of Wuhan in Central China but, apart from repetitive small details and the inevitable China-bashing, not much light has been shed on the circumstances. My initial commentary here is composed from a medley of nearly 100 Western news reports, primarily ABC, CBS, CNN, AFP, and from some Chinese media. Officially called the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the contagion is a respiratory illness, a new type of viral pneumonia, in the same family of infections as SARS and MERS.

At the time of writing, Chinese health authorities announced 830 confirmed cases caused by this virus in 29 provincial-level regions in the country, resulting so far in 25 deaths primarily among the elderly who had been suffering serious prior medical conditions and were perhaps in weakened physical states. A few cases have been reported in other countries, Thailand, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, the US, Japan, all of which involved ethnic Chinese who had traveled to Wuhan. The virus initially showed no signs of spreading between humans, but then may have mutated with 15 medical workers in Wuhan apparently contracting the pathogen from other victims. It still remains unclear how easy it is to contract it from another infected individual.

The initial symptoms were mild, which permitted many people to travel before stronger symptoms were detected. The first occurrences in December thus appeared to be of minor concern. The incubation period has not been definitively stated but, once infections began, the spread was surprisingly rapid after the first case was confirmed on December 31: on January 3, 44 cases; January 21, 225 cases, January 24, 830 cases. Local medical authorities have said the true extent of the Wuhan coronavirus is unclear, and the early official figures may have been an underestimation since the mild symptoms and delayed onset meant infections may have been undetected.

All the evidence suggests the Chinese authorities acted effectively as soon as they realised the danger they might be facing. Medical authorities immediately declared the outbreak, and within a week they had identified the pathogen and also determined and shared the genome sequence with the WHO and other parties, a sufficiently speedy response that earned praise from the WHO and scientists around the world.

Remembering the SARS troubles, they did much more. In most large centers in the country, all sports venues, theaters, museums, tourist attractions, all locations that attract crowds, have been closed, as have all schools. All group tours have been cancelled. Not only the city of Wuhan but virtually the entire province of Hubei has been locked down, with all trains, aircraft, buses, subways, ferries, grounded and all major highways and toll booths closed. Thousands of flights and train trips have been cancelled until further notice. Some cities like Shanghai and Beijing are conducting temperature tests on all roadways leading into the cities. In addition, Wuhan is building (in five days) a portable hospital of 25,000 square meters to deal with the infected patients. As well, Wuhan has asked citizens to neither leave nor enter the city without a compelling reason, and all are wearing face masks.

The scale of the challenge of implementing such a blockade is immense, comparable to closing down all transport links for a city 5 times the size of Toronto or Chicago, two days before Christmas. These decisions are unprecedented but testify to the determination of the authorities to limit the spread and damage of this new pathogen. They not only address the gravity of the situation but also the seriousness of consideration for the public health, unfortunate and difficult decisions since the holiday is being destroyed for hundreds of millions of people. Most public entertainment has been cancelled, as have tours, and many weddings as well. The damage to the economy during this most festive of all periods will also be enormous. Hong Kong will suffer severely in addition to all its other troubles since visits from Mainland Chinese typically support much of its retail economy during this period.

The Chinese New Year is the most important festival for Chinese. Saturday, January 25, is the first day of the Lunar New Year, a festive period that typically sees the largest mass movement of people on the planet as Chinese flock back to their hometowns to be with relatives. No health authority has ever tackled the challenge currently faced by China, as the country grapples with a new coronavirus just as hundreds of millions prepare to travel.

And of course, the Western media had a field day of schadenfreude. CNN published a report – a bit too gleefully, I thought – on the potential damage to China’s economy: {1}

 

 

China’s economy is slumping and the country is still suffering the effects of the trade war with America. An outbreak of a new and deadly virus is the last thing it needs. The Wuhan coronavirus has already roiled Chinese markets and thrown plans for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday into chaos for millions of people. The world’s second biggest economy grew at its slowest pace in nearly three decades last year as it contended with rising debt, cooling domestic demand, and US tariffs, many of which remain in place despite a recent truce. Beijing is worried about unemployment, too, and has announced a wave of stimulus measures in recent weeks aimed at preventing mass layoffs … The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak could spark widespread fear and spur people to hunker down and avoid going outside. That kind of behavior would deal a huge blow to the service sector, which now accounts for about 52% of the Chinese economy. [And so on …]

 

 

The Western media have already staked out their claim to the fundamentals, all media sources claiming the virus was transferred to humans from animals or seafood. The media have added fuel to the fire by claiming the virus emerged from “illegally traded wildlife” in a market “where offerings reportedly include wild animals that can carry viruses dangerous to humans”, and that this virus “jumped into the human population from an infected animal”. Chinese officials stated that the virus appears to have originated at a seafood market in Wuhan, though the actual origin has not been determined nor stated by the authorities, and is still an open question perhaps primarily since viruses seldom jump species barriers without human assistance.

While there is no evidence of biowarfare, a virus outbreak in the city of Wuhan immediately prior to the Chinese New Year migration could potentially have dramatic social and economic repercussions. Wuhan, with a population of about 12 million, is a major transport hub in Central China, particularly for the high-speed train network, and with more than 60 air routes with direct flights to most of the world’s major cities, as well as more than 100 internal flights to major Chinese cities. When we add this to the Spring Festival travel rush during which many hundreds of millions of people travel across the country to be with their families, the potential consequences for the entire country are far-reaching.

Comparison with SARS

This is a novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), an entirely new strain related to the MERS) MERS-CoV) and the SARS (SARS-CoV) viruses, though early evidence suggests it is not as dangerous.

SARS was proven to be caused by a strain of the coronavirus, a large family of mostly harmless viruses also responsible for the common cold, but SARS exhibited characteristics never before observed in any animal or human virus, did not by any means fully match the animal viruses mentioned above, and contained genetic material that still remains unidentified – similar to this new coronavirus in 2019.

Virologist Dr Alan Cantwell wrote at the time that “the mysterious SARS virus is a new virus never before seen by virologists. This is an entirely new illness with devastating effects on the immune system, and there is no known treatment.” Dr Cantwell also noted that the genetic engineering of coronaviruses has been occurring in both medical and military labs for decades. He wrote that when he searched in PubMed for the phrase “coronavirus genetic engineering”, he was referred to 107 scientific experiments dating back to 1987. To quote Dr Cantwell:

 

 

I quickly confirmed scientists have been genetically engineering animal and human coronaviruses to make disease-producing mutant and recombinant viruses for over a decade. No wonder WHO scientists identified the SARS/coronavirus so quickly. Never emphasised by medical news writers is the fact that for over forty years scientists have been “jumping species” with all sorts of animal and human viruses and creating chimera viruses (viruses composed from viruses of two different species). This unsupervised research produces dangerous man-made viruses, many of which have potential as bioweapons. Certainly SARS has the hallmarks of a bioweapon. After all, aren’t new biological warfare agents designed to produce a new disease with a new infectious agent? As in prior military experiments, all it might take … to spread SARS is an aerosol can …” {2} {3} {4}

 

Almost immediately upon receiving the genome sequence, several Russian scientists suggested a link between SARS and biowarfare. Sergei Kolesnikov, a member of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, said the propagation of the SARS virus might well have been caused by leaking a combat virus grown in bacteriological weapons labs. According to a number of news reports, Kolesnikov claimed that the virus of atypical pneumonia (SARS) was a synthesis of two viruses (of measles and infectious parotiditis or mumps), the natural compound of which was impossible, that this mix could never appear in nature, stating, “This can be done only in a laboratory” {5}. And Nikolai Filatov, the head of Moscow’s epidemiological services, was quoted in the Gazeta daily as stating he believed SARS was man-made because “there is no vaccine for this virus, its make-up is unclear, it has not been very widespread and the population is not immune to it” {6} {7}.

It wasn’t widely reported, but it seems the final conclusion of the Chinese biochemists was the same, that the SARS virus was man-made. This conclusion wasn’t a secret, but neither was it promoted to the international media since they would simply have used the claim to heap scorn on China, dismissing this as a paranoid conspiracy theory. The Western media totally ignored this aspect, except for ABC News who reported that the SARS “Mystery Virus” was possibly “a Chinese bio-weapon that accidentally escaped the laboratory”. Nice of ABC to notice, but their story, if true, would be the first example of a nation creating and releasing a race-specific biological weapon designed to attack exclusively itself.

Notable is that while SARS spread to about 40 countries, the infections in most countries were few and deaths almost zero, and it was exclusively (or almost exclusively) Chinese who were infected, those in Hong Kong most seriously, with Mainland China suffering little by comparison.

This appears to be precisely the case with this new virus, in that most of the infected persons (so far) are Chinese. News reports speak of infections appearing in Thailand or the US, but those (at least to date of writing) were all Chinese who had been to Wuhan. There have been no cases so far of infected Caucasians.

As with SARS, this new virus appears to be tightly-focused to Chinese. At this stage, it is too early to draw specific conclusions.

We might in other circumstances pass this off as an unfortunate coincidence but for some major circumstantial events that serve to alter our focus. One of these is the history of American universities and NGOs having come into China in recent years to conduct biological experiments that were so illegal as to leave the Chinese authorities enraged. This was particularly true when it became known that Harvard University had surreptitiously proceeded with experiments in China that had been forbidden by the authorities years earlier, where they collected many hundreds of thousands of Chinese DNA samples and then left the country. {8} {9} {10} {11} {12}

The Chinese were furious to learn that Americans were collecting Chinese DNA. The government intervened and prohibited the further export of any of the data. The conclusion at the time was that the “research” had been commissioned by the US military with the DNA samples destined for race-specific bio-weapons research.

In a thesis on Biological Weapons, Leonard Horowitz and Zygmunt Dembek stated that one clear sign of a genetically-engineered bio-warfare agent was a disease caused by an uncommon (unusual, rare, or unique) agent, with lack of an epidemiological explanation. That is, no clear idea of the source. They also mentioned an “unusual manifestation and/or geographic distribution”, of which race-specificity would be one. {13}

Recent disease outbreaks that would seem to possibly qualify as potential bio-warfare agents are AIDS, SARS, MERS, Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Hantavirus, Lyme Disease, West Nile Virus, Ebola, Polio (Syria), Foot and Mouth Disease, the Gulf War Syndrome and ZIKA. And in fact, thousands of prominent scientists, physicians, virologists and epidemiologists on many continents have concurred that all these viruses were lab-created and their release deliberate. The recent swine flu epidemic in China has the hallmarks as well, with circumstantial evidence of the outbreak raising only questions.

There was another curiosity in this case, in that additional to the usual criticisms of China being inactive or secretive, several US media replicated accusations from “a senior US State Department official” claiming Washington was “still concerned” about transparency in the Chinese government on the Wuhan coronavirus. Other articles claimed the US CDC was “concerned that Chinese health officials have still not released basic epidemiological data about the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak, making it more difficult to contain the outbreak”. There is no substantial reason that officials at any level of the US State Department should concern themselves with a virus outbreak in a foreign country.

Their criticisms were surprisingly detailed, demanding specifics on the number of infections directly from contact with the Wuhan market, the number of person-to-person infections, the precise incubation period from exposure to the onset of symptoms, the point at which persons become contagious. The questions were presented in benevolent terms of helping the Chinese medical authorities deal with the virus, though it was already self-evident China had no need to be lectured on such basics.

As of the date of writing, details are still too scarce to form definitive conclusions but, in every such case, once the smoke clears there are many unanswered questions that challenge the official Western narrative, but it’s old news and the media have already staked out their ground so the matter dies in the Western public mind, but not in China.

_____

Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at 2186604556@qq.com

Notes:

{1} The Wuhan virus is the last thing China’s economy needs …
https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/23/economy/wuhan-coronavirus-china-economy/index.html

{2} u2.lege.net/whale.to/c/cantwell_alan.html

{3} https://medicalveritas.org/rigged-science-man-made-aids

{4} https://www.amazon.com/AIDS-Doctors-Death-Inquiry-Epidemic/dp/0917211251

{5} https://rense.com/general37/manmade.htm

{6} https://www.veteranstoday.com/2020/01/21/new-improved-sars-bioweapon-tested-in-china

{7} https://rense.com/general37/bio.htm

{8} “The Harvard case of Xu Xiping: exploitation of the people, scientific advance, or genetic theft?” Margaret Sleeboom; Amsterdam School of Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam and International Institute for Asian Studies, University of Leiden, The Netherlands. Routledge, Taylor & Francis group; New Genetics and Society, Vol. 24, No. 1, April 2005

{9} http://ahrp.org/article-30/

{10} http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2003-09/25/content_267233.htm

{11} http://www.ahrp.org/ethical/ChinaDaily092503.php

{12} http://www1.chinadaily.com.cn/en/doc/2003-09/25/content_267233.htm

{13} Medical Aspects of Biological Warfare; https://repository.netecweb.org/items/show/325

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Copyright (c) Larry Romanoff, Global Research, 2020

https://www.globalresearch.ca/chinas-new-coronavirus-an-examination-of-the-facts/5701662

Factors Behind the Hong Kong-China Extradition Bill

by Larry Romanoff

Global Research (January 21 2020)

The 2019 protests in Hong Kong were triggered by Carrie Lam‘s attempt to pass an extradition bill between Hong Kong and Mainland China. It is unclear if this were done at Beijing’s request (which I believe it was) or at Lam’s own initiative, but the Western media omitted a few important details.

1. All nations have extradition agreements between states and provinces. The reason is that if someone commits a crime in New York and then runs to Virginia, the New York City police have no authority in that state and cannot simply cross the border to search and arrest. They must rely on local law enforcement for that. Hence, the extradition agreements.

2. China has several good reasons for wanting such agreements with Hong Kong.

(a) More than a few Mainland Chinese businessmen or government officials have embezzled money, then fled to Hong Kong to live the good life free of repatriation fears. Understandably, China would like those individuals brought back home to stand trial.

(b) A similar problem, and perhaps larger, is that more than a few Hong Kong residents (often American or British, but also native Hongkongese) have travelled to the Mainland, committed fairly large numbers of imaginative and not-so-imaginative crimes, then fled back to Hong Kong, again out of reach of the Mainland Chinese police.

In one recent unfortunate case, a Hong Kong resident rented a car in Shanghai, was driving drunk, ran over and killed a pregnant woman, then got on the next plane back to Hong Kong. He was arrested some years later when he assumed the matter had been forgotten and returned to the Mainland for some business activity.

In another case, a British citizen, Peter Humphrey, and his American wife living in Hong Kong had been traveling to the Mainland to illegally collect personal information on Chinese citizens including, among other things, personal ID, household registration data, entry-and-exit passport data, and detailed mobile phone records.

They paid between 1,000 and 2,000 RMB for each personal data set and sold about 750 of these for between 20,000 and 200,000 per individual. I don’t have all the details, but no one pays that kind of money for personal data without a large potential reward at the end. Humphrey’s activities – very illegal in China – were run entirely out of Hong Kong, coming to the Mainland only to collect data packages and disburse cash, then running back to Hong Kong as a safe base. He was eventually discovered and imprisoned, the UK and the US, of course, decrying the authoritarian Chinese government for “lack of human rights”.

They aren’t all as dramatic as this, but there have been numerous telecom, data, and other frauds by people in Hong Kong, focused on, and perpetrated on, Mainland Chinese, many involving hundreds of millions and a few with billions of RMB. Not trivial. As it stands now, these people are legally out of reach and China objects to that.

(c) There is a third category, one not mentioned anywhere in the media, that was the likely cause of the US so ardently fanning the flames for this latest series of riots.

The Americans have a huge contingent in Hong Kong (about 60,000 people, few of whom are businessmen), beginning with the US Consulate but extending very much farther with the media, the NED, and the entire alphabet soup of US-based NGOs, George Soros’ China Media Project at HKU, and many more, many but not all CIA-funded, on a permanent mission to stab at Mainland China from its underbelly of Hong Kong.

Much of what these people do, is illegal, against Hong Kong law, Mainland China law, and international law, but they are protected in Hong Kong by US government pressure and, without an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, they cannot be sent to China and be brought to trial.

The Americans couldn’t care less about the Mainland Chinese, nor the HongKongnese. They care only about protecting their own. They needed for their own sake to kill that extradition bill, and they succeeded. The enormous violence they instigated will likely ensure that the bill won’t be introduced again for a long time, if ever. Well done.

_____

Larry Romanoff is a retired management consultant and businessman. He has held senior executive positions in international consulting firms and owned an international import-export business. He has been a visiting professor at Shanghai’s Fudan University, presenting case studies in international affairs to senior EMBA classes. Mr Romanoff lives in Shanghai and is currently writing a series of ten books generally related to China and the West. He can be contacted at 2186604556@qq.com. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

Copyright (c) Larry Romanoff, Global Research, 2020

https://www.globalresearch.ca/factors-hong-kong-china-extradition-bill/5701266

What Were We Thinking?

Trading With China Since 1988

by Godfree Roberts

https://www.unz.com (January 17 2020)

 

 

The suggestion that any American administration had the power to influence decisively the course of a tremendous domestic-political upheaval in another great country on another side of the globe is intrinsically silly and childish. No great country has that sort of influence on the internal developments of any other one.

– George F Kennan {1}

 

In 1941, the Council on Foreign Relations produced a key document for the US State Department, “Methods of Economic Collaboration: The Role of the Grand Area in American Economic Policy”. The report proposed that the Western hemisphere, large parts of Europe, the British Empire, the Dutch East Indies, and the Pacific Rim including China and Japan would be a “source of raw materials and a market for our manufacturers”. To this proposal, the State Department added, “To seek less than preponderant power would be to opt for defeat. Preponderant power must be the object of US policy.”

Four years later, in 1945, Mao {2} wrote President Roosevelt a plea he would repeat to Truman and Eisenhower, “China must industrialize. This can only be done by free enterprise. Chinese and American interests fit together, economically and politically. America need not fear that we will not be co-operative. We cannot risk any conflict.” They ignored him, perhaps because they knew what he had told colleagues {3},

 

 

Some people refuse to understand why the Chinese Communists do not fear capitalism but, on the contrary, develop it as much as possible. Our answer is simple: we have to replace foreign imperialist and native feudalist oppression with capitalist development because that is the inevitable course of our economy and because both the capitalist class and the proletariat benefit. What is superfluous is not native capitalism but foreign imperialism and native feudalism. On the contrary, our capitalism is indeed too little. To develop industry, enormous capital is required. Where will it come from? It can only come from two sources: the capital accumulated by the Chinese people themselves and from foreign loans, and we must welcome all foreign investments as long as they obey the laws of China and are advantageous to our economy.

 

In 1979 his successor, Deng Xiaoping {4} added,

 

 

Those countries want to apply sanctions against us? All right, but first, let’s ask them why this is any of their business. And second, if it is, then we can fight with sanctions, too. Our economic growth might suffer, but not all that much. We’ve done all right under international sanctions for most of the forty years of the People’s Republic. So we don’t have to worry too much; we can take it all calmly. This little tempest is not going to blow us over. We’re not trying to offend anybody; we’re just plugging away at our own work. Anybody who tries to interfere in our affairs or threaten us is going to come up empty.

 

In 1997 the Council on Foreign Relations published its findings on trade in a 400-page book, China Joins the World {5}, summarizing the national debate on trading with China between economic nationalists; accommodational ideationalists; confrontational ideationists; confrontational realists; and neoliberals:

 

THE POWER OF IDEAS

 

Economic Nationalists concur that economic strength has become central in world affairs and that trade issues are paramount in a nation’s agenda. They therefore emphasize that the United States should stipulate the terms of Chinese entry into the WTO in a way that clearly protects American national interests, that the United States employ trade sanctions until China meets American expectations in such areas as protection of intellectual property rights and/or working conditions of Chinese labor meets American expectations and that protectionist measures should be undertaken until China addresses its trade imbalances with the United States.

Accommodational Ideationists believe that the key target should be China’s leaders and strategic thinkers – the elite – and the message should focus on the nature of the post-cold-war world. They advocate lengthy and candid discussions between the two sides concerning each side’s fundamental values, interests, and strategies. They hope that out of such discussions, requiring many hours of patient explanations, would emerge a deeper understanding of how the two nations can best cooperate in an area where their values and interests overlap to the areas of divergence.

Confrontational Ideationists tend to scorn the top elite and rather advocate targeting the broader Chinese public in service of democratic values. The supporters of this approach phrase their purpose in diverse ways. Some, assuming that significant pro-democracy and pro-human rights constituencies already exist in China, wish to provide those Chinese with the information they need to sustain their beliefs and activities. Others, less sure that many Chinese adhere to the values championed by the United States, wish to cultivate such sentiments. The Confrontational Ideationists support Radio Free Asia, people-to-people diplomacy and exiles dissident communities as well as dissidents within China. They recommend confronting China’s leaders with the inadequacy of their ideology and challenging them to embark on democratization. Adherents of this view draw their inspiration in part from the role they believe such activities ultimately played in the transformation of Eastern Europe. They argue that the United States must begin now to prepare for the upcoming hostile and tense relationship with China. They draw parallels between China’s rise and that of the Soviet Union and advocate girding for a new cold war by maintaining a robust American military presence and strong alliances in Asia.

Neoliberals are confident that an open international trading system, with minimal constraints on trade, will promote American and international economic growth, and that openness and growth, in turn, will promote liberalizing tendencies and democratic values around the world. Moreover, the telecommunications and transportation transformations make an open trading system and international financial system more feasible than in the past; foreign trade is physically easier to carry out than in the past. China’s increasing involvement in international trade is to be encouraged and accommodated since the nation’s leaders then will have greater incentive to support the existing international trade regime. Chinese membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) is, therefore, a priority objective, as is opening the country to foreign direct investment, assisting it to develop its capital markets, and securing foreign access to the service sector of its economy. The United States must retain an insurance policy in case the effort fails, especially through maintenance of robust bilateral alliances with its partners in the region and a credible, forward-deployed military presence in the region.

 

By July 2016, it was clear that things had not gone according to plan and Peter Navarro, White House director of trade and manufacturing policy, predicted that the mere threat of tariffs would force China to capitulate. “The purpose is not to impose tariffs. The purpose is to use the threat of tariffs as a way of getting the attention of any trading partners that cheat, and, basically, encouraging them to play by the rules, knowing that Trump, if they don’t, damn well will follow through on that promise.” A tariff program, he said, is “Kind of like the military – if it’s strong enough, then nobody messes with you”.

By October 2019 tariffs, which had been in place for fifteen months, suppressed investment and weighed on the American economy. The New York Federal Reserve (Fed) found that, despite the tariffs, Chinese wholesale prices had not changed and US companies and consumers were paying the entire $40 billion tariff costs. Researchers estimated that that tariffs have been passed on entirely to US importers and consumers {6} and, by year’s end, they would cost the average US household four thousand dollars and the Department of Agriculture had spent twenty-eight billion dollars in aid to farmers for lost exports – more than twice as much as taxpayers spent to bail out the auto industry in 2008.

In 2020, China’s economy is one-third bigger than ours and grows three times faster. Our execrable media have deceived us about China as they did about President Trump, as this review of the past twelve months suggests:

* Yesterday, Vice-Premier Liu He said, “We stuck to two important conditions during negotiations. The first was that it won’t hurt any third party, and the second was that it sticks to the principles of the World Trade Organisation. Liu said Beijing has little interest in immediately starting negotiations on phase two of a trade deal with the United States, contradicting President Trump’s suggestion the next stage of talks would start soon.

* Chinese companies signed Belt and Road (BRI) contracts worth nearly $128 billion in the first 11 months of last year, a 41 percent increase over the same period in 2018.

* Despite the tariffs and simultaneous attacks in Hong Kong and Xinjiang (which ceased once the trade deal was signed), GDP is growing faster than ever: the economy added $1.60 Trillion in 2019 vs $1.00 Trillion in 2009 {7} in 2019, grew 6.2%, to $27 trillion vs US $21 trillion PPP.

* Though China’s 2019 trade volume shrank 1% to $4.6 trillion, its trade surplus reached $421.5 billion, higher than in 2018 and marking the third-highest since 1950.

* Goods exports grew 7.6% year-on-year (YoY) to $237.7 billion/month. Imports jumped 16.3% YoY to $191 billion.

* Shipments to ASEAN surged 13% while those to the UK rose 10%.

* Trade with BRI partner countries totaled $1.34 trillion, up 10.8 percent YoY, making China the biggest trade partner of 25 BRI countries.

* Total 2019 revenue of US companies and affiliates in China, for one year, was six hundred billion dollars. The odds that these numbers can fall 80-90 percent are zero.

* Foreign direct investment into China rose 6 percent and US companies invested $13 billion, up 1.5% YoY.

* Facebook sold over $5 billion annually of ad space to Chinese businesses and agencies, making China its biggest country for revenue after the US.

* To­tal as­sets of Chi­nese bank­ing sec­tor in­sti­tu­tions were 284.67 tril­lion yuan, for YoY growth of 7.7%, while to­tal as­sets of se­cu­ri­ties sec­tor in­sti­tu­tions were 7.83 tril­lion yuan, for YoY growth of 13.6%. To­tal as­sets of in­sur­ance sec­tor in­sti­tu­tions were 19.96 tril­lion yuan, for YoY growth of 11.7%.

* China has the high­est level of wealth ac­cu­mu­la­tion and the low­est wealth ex­pectancy gap – the dif­fer­ence be­tween what re­spon­dents be­lieved they needed to re­tire com­fort­ably and the amount they would likely have at the age of 60 based on eco­nomic fore­casts.

* China’s Box Office Total Breaks All-Time Record in 2019 – Variety

* Retail sales grew by 8 percent.

* Leading insurer Ping An net profit rose 68% and Ping An Bank’s average salary rose 21%, to $82,055 PPP.

* The economy created 13.52 mil­lion new ur­ban jobs in, while the na­tional reg­is­tered ur­ban un­em­ploy­ment rate stood at 3.62%.

* Rail cargo grew 6.8%. Excavator sales rose 12%. Heavy truck sales rose 11% percent.

* The mar­itime econ­omy grew 6.3%

* Average real wages rose 6%, as they did in 2018. Shanghai’s minimum wage rose 10 percent.

* Mobile payments rose 60% YoY.

* China overtook the US as the world’s largest fashion market.

* Profits at Chinese companies with a market capitalization of over $1 billion grew 10%

* 60% of the world’s fastest 500 supercomputers are in China.

* China led the Nature Index of high-quality research in chemistry, and leads in four of the eight basic sciences: mathematics, engineering, computer science, and materials sciences.

* Over the past 5 years, US research article publications would have declined without co-authorship with China, whereas China’s publication rate would have risen without the USA.

* Household finances remain healthy.

* China’s Richest Cities:

As Herbert Schiller {8} says,

 

 

Media manipulation’s greatest triumph, most evident in the United States, is to have taken advantage of the special historical circumstances of Western development to perpetrate as truth a definition of freedom cast in individualistic terms, enabling the concept to serve a double function: It protects the ownership of [social] private property (factories, land, et cetera), more or less absolutely, while simultaneously offering itself as the guardian of the individual’s well-being, suggesting, if not insisting, that the latter is unattainable without the former. Upon this central premise an entire scaffolding of manipulation has been erected.

 

It’s bullshit, as we are in the process of discovering. Everything we’ve been told about China – everything – is wrong.

Notes:

{1} New York Times, October 28 1992.

{2} Mission to Yenan: American Liaison with the Chinese Communists, 1944-1947 (1997) by Carolle J Carter

{3} Portrait of a Revolutionary: Mao Tse-Tung by Robert Payne. Abelard-Schuman. 1950.

{4} Deng Xiaoping. The Tiananmen Papers, page 423.

{5} China Joins the World: Progress and Prospects. Michel Oksenberg and Elizabeth Economy, Editors., The Council on Foreign Relations Press. October 19 1998

{6} NBER Working Paper No. 26610. Issued in January 2020.

{7} PPP and inflation-adjusted

{8} http://www.chinabankingnews.com/2019/12/19/china-has-worlds-highest-wealth-accumulation-rate-standard-chartered-report/

{9} https://variety.com/2019/film/news/china-box-office-breaks-all-time-record-cinema-ne-zha-wandering-earth-1203447147/

{10} https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10734-019-00464-7

{11} https://www.greanvillepost.com/2016/02/10/schiller-the-packaged-consciousness/

https://www.unz.com/article/what-were-we-thinking/

The Bee: “The Most Important Living Being on the Planet”

by Physics and Astronomy Zone

Global Research (January 22 2020)

Important article first published by Global Research in September 2019

Its sting hurts a lot, but if they were to disappear, it would hurt much more.

The Earthwatch Institute concluded in the last debate of the Royal Geographical Society of London, that bees are the most important living being on the planet, however, scientists have also made an announcement: Bees have already entered into extinction risk.

Bees around the world have disappeared up to 90% according to recent studies, the reasons are different depending on the region, but among the main reasons are massive deforestation, lack of safe places for nests, lack of flowers, use uncontrolled pesticides, changes in soil, among others.

 

Why have bees been declared as the most valuable being on our planet?

 

The Apiculture Entrepreneurship Center of the Universidad Mayor (CeapiMayor) and the Apiculture Corporation of Chile (Cach) with the support of the Foundation for Agrarian Innovation (FIA), conducted a study where it was determined that bees are the only living being that it is not a carrier of any type of pathogen, regardless of whether it is a fungus, a virus, or a bacterium.

The agriculture of the world depends on 70% of these insects, to put it more clearly and directly, we could say that 70 of 100 foods are intervened in favor by bees.

Also the pollination that the bees make allows the plants to reproduce, of which millions of animals feed, without them, the fauna would soon begin to disappear.

The honey produced by bees, not only serve as food but also provide many benefits to our health and our skin.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/glyphosate-linked-to-bee-deaths/5655254?utm_campaign=magnet&utm_source=article_page&utm_medium=related_articles

According to a quote attributed to Albert Einstein, If the bees disappear, humans would have 4 years to live.

 

What are the reasons and hypotheses attributed to the early disappearance of bees?

 

The Federal Institute of Technology of Switzerland, proposes a theory that blames the waves produced thanks to mobile telephony. They explain that these waves emitted during calls are capable of disorienting bees, causing them to lose their sense of direction and therefore their life is put in danger.

The researcher and biologist Daniel Favre, along with other researchers, made 83 experiments that show that bees in the presence of these waves, produce a noise ten times higher than usual, behavior that has been observed to make it known to other bees. They are in danger and it is important to leave the hive.

Undoubtedly, the greatest reason for its disappearance is attributed to the constant fumigation of crops, an example of this is what happens in Colombia, since during the last three years 34% of bees with agrotoxins have died of poisoning.

 

Are there solutions to the problem?

 

There are indeed solutions, the problem is that it is very difficult to carry them out, because there are very entrenched practices in production and agriculture.

However, three solutions are proposed with the hope that they can be done in a short time:

* Prohibit, not reduce, the use of toxic pesticides.

* Promote completely natural agricultural alternatives.

* Perform constant research and monitoring of the health, welfare, and conservation of bees.

This is an example of the problem that is being experienced with bees and the urgency of creating changes in our management of resources, says Luciano Grisales, representative to the Chamber of Commerce of Colombia.

It is of vital importance to establish the strategic nature of the protection and repopulation of bees and other pollinators, since not to do so in 10 years would not be counted on bees in Colombia. This would lead to a food catastrophe and a health crisis in the country. – Luciano expressed to Sustainable Week.

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https://www.globalresearch.ca/bee-most-important-living-being/5690603