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Megalopolis x Russia: Total War

Megalopolis x Russia: Total War

After careful evaluation, the Kremlin is rearranging the geopolitical chessboard to end the unipolar hegemony of the “indispensable nation”.

But it’s our fate / To have no place to rest, / As suffering mortals / Blindly fall and vanish / From one hour / To the next, / Like water falling / From cliff to cliff, downward / For years to uncertainty.

Holderlin, Hyperion’s Fate Song

Operation Z is the first salvo of a titanic struggle: three decades after the fall of the USSR, and 77 years after the end of WWII, after careful evaluation, the Kremlin is rearranging the geopolitical chessboard to end the unipolar hegemony of the “indispensable nation”. No wonder the Empire of Lies has gone completely berserk, obsessed in completely expelling Russia from the West-centric system.

The U.S. and its NATO puppies cannot possibly come to grips with their perplexity when faced with a staggering loss: no more entitlement allowing exclusive geopolitical use of force to perpetuate “our values”. No more Full Spectrum Dominance.

The micro-picture is also clear. The U.S. Deep State is milking to Kingdom Come its planned Ukraine gambit to cloak a strategic attack on Russia. The “secret” was to force Moscow into an intra-Slav war in Ukraine to break Nord Stream 2 – and thus German reliance on Russian natural resources. That ends – at least for the foreseeable future – the prospect of a Bismarckian Russo-German connection that would ultimately cause the U.S. to lose control of the Eurasian landmass from the English Channel to the Pacific to an emerging China-Russia-Germany pact.

The American strategic gambit, so far, has worked wonders. But the battle is far from over. Psycho neo-con/neoliberalcon silos inside the Deep State consider Russia such a serious threat to the “rules-based international order” that they are ready to risk if not incur a “limited” nuclear war out of their gambit…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Collapse Is Happening Before Our Eyes

Collapse Is Happening Before Our Eyes

Analysts and authors, myself included, have been warning about the collapse of the dollar as the global reserve currency for years. I described this prospect in my first book, Currency Wars (2011), and in several other books in the years since.

This process can take many years. For example, the decline of sterling as the leading global reserve currency played out over 30 years from 1914 (the beginning of World War I) to 1944 (the Bretton Woods conference).

Still, events today are playing out so quickly that the collapse is happening in front of our eyes.

It’s no longer a matter of a major event on the horizon; it’s occurring in real-time. Russia has just linked the ruble to gold at a rate of 5,000 rubles to one gram of gold. China is discussing with Saudi Arabia the prospect of paying for oil in yuan.

Israel is likewise considering taking yuan in exchange for its high-tech exports. China and Russia are creating new payments systems to avoid U.S. sanctions. You get the point.

Foreign Central Banks Aren’t Dumb

Central banks have been net buyers of physical gold since 2010. Countries all over the world are considering dumping dollars for fear that they will be next on the list to have their dollar assets frozen or seized the way the U.S. seized the dollar-denominated assets of the Central Bank of Russia.

That makes sense. What’s the point of holding dollars in your reserve positions if the U.S. can freeze those accounts on a whim? Americans tend to take dollar strength for granted, but that’s a mistake. It’s helpful at times like this to get a foreign perspective.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

China and Russia are working on homegrown alternatives to the SWIFT payment system. Here’s what they would mean for the US dollar.

China and Russia are working on homegrown alternatives to the SWIFT payment system. Here’s what they would mean for the US dollar.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 
Getty Images
  • Some Russian banks have been banned from SWIFT, a cross-border messaging service for banks.
  • India was reportedly considering a Russian proposal to use the SPFS for payments in rubles.
  • Moscow is also working with Beijing to connect to the Chinese messaging system.

In the aftermath of Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, some Russian banks were banned from SWIFT, the Belgium-based messaging service that lets banks around the world communicate about cross-border transactions. The ban has hampered cross-border transactions for Russia’s trade and financial systems, isolating the country economically.

Now, both Russia and China are looking to establish alternatives to the US dollar hegemony.

Russia is touting an alternative ruble-based payment system called the System for Transfer of Financial Messages (SPFS). The system was set up in 2014. In late April, the country’s central bank said it would start keeping the names of participants secret.

China’s Cross-Border Interbank Payment System (CIPS) — which processes payments in Chinese yuan — also has potential to replace SWIFT. The system has an expansive network of 1,280 financial institutions, said Peter Keenan, the cofounder and CEO of Apexx, a payments provider that used to work with Russia’s domestic Mir payment card. That’s compared to SPFS’ much smaller network of 400 users.

There are few alternatives to SWIFT, Keenan told Insider: “This is one of the reasons why Russia is looking to CIPS and an alternative for Asian payments specifically.”

Here’s how China and Russia’s SWIFT alternatives could cause disruptions in the global payments system and the dollar’s dominance.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card

Empire of Lies Eager to Receive Mr. Sarmat’s Business Card

The only antidote to propaganda dementia is served by sparse voices of reason, which happen to be Russian, thus silenced and/or dismissed.

Especially since the onset of GWOT (Global War on Terror) at the start of the millennium, no one ever lost money betting against the toxic combo of hubris, arrogance and ignorance serially deployed by the Empire of Chaos and Lies.

What passes for “analysis” in the vast intellectual no-fly zone known as U.S. Think Tankland includes wishful thinking babble such as Beijing “believing” that Moscow would play a supporting role in the Chinese century just to see Russia, now, in the geopolitical driver’s seat.

This is a fitting example not only of outright Russophobic/Sinophobic paranoia about the emergence of peer competitors in Eurasia – the primeval Anglo-American nightmare – but also crass ignorance about the finer points of the complex Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership.

As Operation Z methodically hits Phase 2, the Americans – with a vengeance – have also embarked on their symmetrical Phase 2, which de facto translates as an outright escalation towards Totalen Krieg, from shades of hybrid to incandescent, everything of course by proxy. Notorious Raytheon weapons peddler reconverted into Pentagon head, Lloyd Austin, gave away the game in Kiev:

“We want to see Russia weakened to the degree that it can’t do the kinds of things that it has done in invading Ukraine.”

So this is it: the Empire wants to annihilate Russia. Cue to War Inc.’s frenzy of limitless weapon cargos descending on Ukraine, the overwhelming majority on the road to be duly eviscerated by Russian precision strikes. The Americans are sharing intel 24/7 with Kiev not only on Donbass and Crimea but also Russian territory…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Coming Removal of the Mandate of Heaven, Part 2: Water

The Coming Removal of the Mandate of Heaven, Part 2: Water

Water, water everywhere but all of it polluted

Before I started I wanted to address my last post. I wrote it a little too hastily due to a sick daughter and I plan to go back and clean it up somewhat. The political infighting aspect will be trimmed down as I plan to discuss that more in Part 3, with only the parts directly addressing the food issue being kept in.

China has also started taking efforts to address some of these issues and I want to address what they’re doing. I fully admit to having an axe to grind when it comes to the CCP, but I want to make sure I’m as intellectually honest as possible. This includes giving them credit on the rare instances they manage to do something smart.

The fact these plans will wind up making it worse is just icing on the cake.

I also want to reformat it according to the template I plan to use going forward.

I’ll also be doing a Part 0 for this series which will include a table of contents for all of the posts in this series, and which will provide an overview of the relevant portions of Chinese history with a special focus on the Confucian concept of the Mandate of Heaven and its removal.

I hope to get that done tomorrow evening, but can’t guarantee that will occur.

Water Thresholds

In order to understand the grave danger China is facing, we need to understand water usage and thresholds below which the population begins to face some level of danger. For that, we’re going to turn to Reuters for an overview.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Easier said than done: National self-sufficiency in a changed world

Easier said than done: National self-sufficiency in a changed world

In the wake of a rapidly evolving realignment of the world trading system resulting from the economic equivalent of World War III, President Joe Biden last week took the first of what are likely to be many steps toward building greater self-sufficiency for the United States.

Biden called for increasing U.S. production of key minerals used in the manufacture of electric vehicle batteries. He invoked the Defense Production Act which allows the government to support production of certain materials and goods deemed essential for national defense and even to order industry to mine minerals and make machinery including vehicles such as tanks and bombs.

For the Biden administration its first small step toward U.S. self-sufficiency consists of making companies which mine minerals key to electric vehicle batteries such as lithium, nickel, graphite, cobalt and manganese eligible for direct subsidies or purchase commitments to incentivize increased production. The applicable program (called Title III) has about $750 million to spend, not that much to rectify what is a huge deficit.

It’s worth looking at U.S. net imports of each of these minerals to understand just how hard reaching self-sufficiency will be. For starters, let’s examine a table from a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report about U.S. import dependence for key minerals:

USGS Minerals Table
Of the five minerals listed above, the United States is 100 percent dependent on imports for two: graphite and manganese. (It’s worth noting the China, Russia and Ukraine are among the top six producers of graphite and China is the largest producer by far. China and Ukraine are among the top five producers of manganese and again China is by far the biggest producer.)

Complete U.S. dependence on imports implies that there is no current production of these minerals in the United States and that nobody has even been looking for these minerals on U.S. soil…

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Five critical factors why prices will stay high for years

At approximately 9am local time on February 21, 1972, a Boeing 707 airplane dubbed Spirit of ‘76 landed in Shanghai’s Hongqiao airport.

The airplane’s main door opened, and out walked US President Richard Nixon.

The trip shocked the world. There had been no formal communication or diplomatic ties between the US and China for 25 years. And Nixon’s voyage not only normalized relations between the two countries, but it kickstarted decades of worldwide economic growth.

Back then, the US was the richest and most powerful economy in the world. But as a consequence of that prosperity, the US was also a very expensive place to produce.

US companies were on the lookout for inexpensive, foreign manufacturing hubs where they could cheaply produce their products and sell them back to the US market.

China became that cheap manufacturing hub.

Eventually China was producing just about everything from T-shirts to antibiotics. And because the cost of production was so low in China, consumers around the world benefited.

Combined with cheap oil, a functioning global supply chain, and relative peace and stability, cheap Chinese production helped keep prices low and constrain inflation for decades.

But these trends are rapidly coming to an end.

For starters, China is now an economic superpower; many of its largest cities, in fact, have a per-capita GDP that exceeds the United States and Western Europe.

Wages have increased dramatically in China over the years because of this increase in prosperity, which means that it’s no longer cheap to manufacture most lower-end products there.

A lot of manufacturing has already shifted to cheaper places like Vietnam, Bangladesh, etc. But even those countries are quickly becoming more expensive places to produce. And they don’t have nearly enough capacity to keep up with global manufacturing demand.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Petrodollar Collapse is Here! Disaster for U.S.

The Petrodollar Collapse is Here! Disaster for U.S.

US dollar’s dominance in oil markets may face challenge as Saudis reportedly eye yuan-based sales deal with China

US dollar’s dominance in oil markets may face challenge as Saudis reportedly eye yuan-based sales deal with China

HANGZHOU, CHINA - SEPTEMBER 04: Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) shakes hands with Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to the G20 Summit on September 4, 2016 in Hangzhou, China. World leaders are gathering in Hangzhou for the 11th G20 Leaders Summit from September 4 to 5. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Chinese President Xi Jinping. 
Lintao Zhang/Getty Images
  • Saudi Arabia is in talks to sell oil to China and be paid in yuan, according to the Wall Street Journal.
  • For nearly 50 years, the world’s top oil exporter has traded crude exclusively in US dollars.
  • Relations between Saudi Arabia and the US have deteriorated under the Biden administration.

Saudi Arabia is in talks to sell oil to China and be paid in yuan instead of dollars, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

About 80% of global oil sales are done in dollars, and Saudi Arabia has conducted its deals exclusively in the greenback since 1974. So if a Saudi-yuan deal were to be made, it would bolster China’s currency at the expense of the dollar as Beijing looks to challenge US leadership in financial markets.

The likelihood of a potential deal between Saudi Arabia and China has picked up recently, according to the Journal. The longtime Mideast ally has grown unhappy with the US due to the Biden administration’s reluctance to do more in the Yemen civil war and its push to revive the Iran nuclear deal.

In 2020, Biden also promised to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah” over the murder of a journalist. And since becoming president, he has made it clear that he doesn’t consider Saudi Arabia as an ally, but rather as a partner.

What’s more, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam reportedly rejected a request for a call with Biden to discuss Ukraine and boost oil production amid the West’s sanctions against Russia.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

World Economy Braces For Supply Chain Chaos As COVID Closes China  

World Economy Braces For Supply Chain Chaos As COVID Closes China  

The global economy is in disarray as the war in Ukraine unleashed a commodity shock with increasing risks of stagflation. Adding to the turmoil is an outbreak of COVID-19 in China that may unleash another supply chain crisis.

News from China over the last day shows a new outbreak of the highly contagious omicron variant has infected more than 5,000 people, the most since the early days of the pandemic in early 2020. China’s zero-tolerance approach has shuttered factories and placed some 51 million people into some form of lockdown.

As of Tuesday, omicron variant infections have been reported in 21 provinces and municipalities nationwide, including the capital of Beijing. According to CNN, five cities are in lockdown, including Changchun, Jilin, Shenzhen, Dongguan, and Langfang.

Lockdowns have forced factories to idle production and risk snarling production from Apple iPhones to Amazon Echo & Alexa devices to Toyota SUVs to smart television to all sorts of other electronic devices. Disruptions to exports may induce shortages and drive up inflation, just as the Federal Reserve embarks on hiking interest rates to control inflation at four-decade highs.

A Bank of America Corp. survey of fund managers published on Tuesday showed confidence in global growth this year is the lowest since July 2008, and stagflation expectations have jumped to a whopping 62% of respondents.

“You take all these little paper cuts and you start to add them up and you could be looking at a potential significant slowing of the global economy,” said Jay Bryson, chief economist at Wells Fargo & Co.

China’s zero-tolerance policy has reminded us that supply chains are still subjected to massive disruptions. The lockdowns couldn’t come at a worse time, as spring tends to be one of the busiest shipping seasons of the year.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The end of fiat hoving into view…

The end of fiat hoving into view…

Tragic though the situation in Ukraine has become, the real war which started out as financial in character some time ago has now become both financial and about commodities. Putin made a huge mistake invading Ukraine but the West’s reaction by seeking to isolate Russia and its commodity exports from the global marketplace is an even greater one.

Furthermore, with Ukraine being Europe’s breadbasket and a major exporter of fertiliser, this summer will bring acute food shortages, worsened by China having already accumulated the bulk of the world’s grains for its own population. Inflation measured by consumer prices has only just commenced an accelerated rise.

Because they discount falling purchasing power for currencies, rising interest rates, and collapsing bond prices are now inevitable. Being loaded up with bonds and financial assets as collateral, the consequences for the global banking system are so significant that it is virtually impossible to see how it can survive. And if the banking system faces collapse, being unbacked by anything other than rapidly disappearing faith in them fiat currencies will fail as well.

Unforeseen financial and economic consequences

Back in the 1960s, Harold Wilson as an embattled British Prime Minister declared that a week is a long time in politics. Today, we can also comment it is a long time in commodity markets, stock markets, geopolitics, and almost anything else we care to think of. The rapidity of change may not be captured in just seven calendar days, but in recent weeks we have seen the initial pricking of the fiat currency bubble and all that floats with it.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

World War III Has Already Started, and It’s an Economic War

World War III Has Already Started, and It Is an Economic War

Image © Chekov_UA. All rights reserved.

In an article I published in April of 2018, World War III Will Be An Economic War, I outlined a number of factors that portend a large scale conflict between East and West and why this war would be mainly economic in nature. I investigated how this conflict would actually benefit globalists and globalist institutions seeking to bring down multiple nations’ economies while hiding the engineered crisis behind a wall of geopolitical chaos and noise.

The goal? To convince the masses that national sovereignty was a plague that only leads to mass death, and that the “solution” is a one-world system – conveniently managed by the globalists, of course.

One issue which I used to get a lot of arguments over was the idea that countries like Russia and China would end up so closely aligned. People claimed there were too many disparities and that the countries would ultimately turn on each other in the middle of a financial crisis.

Well, it’s four years later and now we’re going to see if that is true or not. So far, it looks like I was correct.

My position has long been that certain nations have been preparing for a collapse of the U.S. dollar as the world reserve currency (the primary currency used in the majority of trade around the world). My belief is that America’s top economic position is actually an incredible weakness; the dollar’s hegemony is not a strength, but an Achilles heel. If the dollar was to lose reserve status, the whole of the U.S. economy and parts of the global economy would implode, leaving behind only those who prepared – those who saw the writing on the wall and planned ahead.

The dollar crash coalition

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The American Empire Self-Destructs, But Nobody Thought That It Would Happen This Fast

The American Empire Self-Destructs, But Nobody Thought That It Would Happen This Fast

Photograph Source: Phil Dolby – CC BY 2.0

Empires often follow the course of a Greek tragedy, bringing about precisely the fate that they sought to avoid. That certainly is the case with the American Empire as it dismantles itself in not-so-slow motion.

The basic assumption of economic and diplomatic forecasting is that every country will act in its own self-interest. Such reasoning is of no help in today’s world. Observers across the political spectrum are using phrases like “shooting themselves in their own foot” to describe U.S. diplomatic confrontation with Russia and allies alike. But nobody thought that The American Empire would self-destruct this fast.

For more than a generation the most prominent U.S. diplomats have warned about what they thought would represent the ultimate external threat: an alliance of Russia and China dominating Eurasia. America’s economic sanctions and military confrontation have driven these two countries  together, and are driving other countries into their emerging Eurasian orbit.

American economic and financial power was expected to avert this fate. During the half-century since the United States went off gold in 1971, the world’s central banks have operated on the Dollar Standard, holding their international monetary reserves in the form of U.S. Treasury securities, U.S. bank deposits and U.S. stocks and bonds. The resulting Treasury-bill Standard has enabled America to finance its foreign military spending and investment takeover of other countries simply by creating dollar IOUs. U.S. balance-of-payments deficits end up in the central banks of payments-surplus countries as their reserves, while Global South debtors need dollars to pay their bondholders and conduct their foreign trade.

This monetary privilege – dollar seignorage – has enabled U.S. diplomacy to impose neoliberal policies on the rest of the world, without having to use much military force of its own except to grab Near Eastern oil.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

#223. Trading with the (common) enemy

#223. Trading with the (common) enemy

THE SHARED CONSEQUENCES OF RESOURCE CONSTRAINTThe tragedy unfolding in Ukraine, as well as being horrific in itself, has brought us face-to-face with a brutal fact whose reality we’ve always, hitherto, managed to ignore.

This fact is that the world has become accustomed to a standard of living that its energy resources can no longer support.

This is as true of, for example, China as it is, more obviously, of Western Europe. Indeed, once forward trajectories – and the all-important matter of ECoE – are taken into account, the United States has the self-same problem.

Neither can we assume that countries favoured with extensive indigenous energy resources are insulated from this problem. It simply isn’t possible for Russia – or, for that matter, for the oil-rich states of the Middle East – to pull up the drawbridge and let the rest of the world ‘freeze in the dark’.

The people of Ukraine are the obvious victims of this crisis, but the hardship being inflicted by the underlying issue stretches, in varying degrees, into most corners of the world.

Westerners – hit by rising living costs, and fearing that their trinket-laden lifestyles and their penchant for foreign holidays may be receding into the past – might spare a thought for citizens of the world’s poor and poorest nations, where the harsh realities of energy constraint are already showing up in the worsening unaffordability of food and other necessities.

The current crisis is bringing us ‘up close and personal’ with a string of fundamental issues.

First, the emergence of energy constraints is destroying the long-favoured illusion that we can enjoy ‘growth in perpetuity’.

To paraphrase Kenneth Boulding, idiots and orthodox economists might continue to believe in the tarradiddle of infinite growth on a finite planet, but the rest of us have to face facts.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Food Crisis About To Get Worse After China Says Winter Wheat Condition Could Be Worst In History

Food Crisis About To Get Worse After China Says Winter Wheat Condition Could Be Worst In History

The condition of China’s winter wheat crop could be the “worst in history,” the agriculture minister said on Saturday according to Reuters, raising concerns about grain supplies in the world’s biggest wheat consumer. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Chinese regime’s annual political meetings, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Tang Renjian said that heavy rainfall last year delayed the planting of about one-third of the normal wheat acreage.

A survey of the winter wheat crop taken before the start of winter found that the amount of first- and second-grade crop was down by more than 20 percentage points, Tang said.

“Not long ago we went to the grassroots to do a survey and many farming experts and technicians told us that crop conditions this year could be the worst in history,” he said. “This year’s grain production indeed faces huge difficulties.”

As the Epoch Times notes, the minister’s comments underscore concerns about China’s grain supply at the same time as the war between Russia and Ukraine, which together account for about 29% of global wheat exports, has disrupted supplies causing wheat prices to surge to 14-year highs.

However, Tang is confident China can ensure a bumper harvest of summer grain thanks to strong policy and technical support and the improving crop condition for the grain.

Fuelled by the Ukraine crisis, wheat prices in China soared to a record this week on existing domestic supply worries.

Tang’s comments also come as Beijing has refocused on food security, a long-standing priority for the central leadership that has become increasingly prominent in policy since the COVID-19 pandemic began in early 2020.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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