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Battle of the Ages to Stop Eurasian Integration

The Raging Twenties started with a bang with the targeted assassination of Iran’s General Qasem Soleimani.

Yet a bigger bang awaits us throughout the decade: the myriad declinations of the New Great Game in Eurasia, which pits the US against Russia, China and Iran, the three major nodes of Eurasia integration.

Every game-changing act in geopolitics and geoeconomics in the coming decade will have to be analyzed in connection to this epic clash.

The Deep State and crucial sectors of the US ruling class are absolutely terrified that China is already outpacing the “indispensable nation” economically and that Russia has outpaced it militarily. The Pentagon officially designates the three Eurasian nodes as “threats.”

Hybrid War techniques carrying inbuilt 24/7 demonization will proliferate with the aim of containing China’s “threat,” Russian “aggression” and Iran’s “sponsorship of terrorism.” The myth of the “free market” will continue to drown under the imposition of a barrage of illegal sanctions, euphemistically defined as new trade “rules.”

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Battle-of-the-Ages-to-Stop-by-Pepe-Escobar-Agents_Eurasian-Union_Iran_NATO-200116-75.html

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2020 in Asia

 

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In the Footsteps of Xuanzang in Kyrgyzstan

At the start of the Tang dynasty, in the early 7th century, a young wandering monk embarked on a 16-year-long voyage from the imperial capital Chang’an (today’s Xian) to India to collect Buddhist manuscripts. At the time Chang’an was six times bigger than Rome at its height, with a population of over one million the epicenter of Asian civilization.

History ended up converting Xuanzang into a legend and a national hero in China, although in the West he would never reach Marco Polo levels of popularity.

Xuanzang had embarked on a quest that still resonates today. He wanted to know whether all men or just an enlightened few could attain Buddhahood. There was only one way to find out: ride all the way to India and bring back Sanskrit texts to China, especially from the Yogacara school of Buddhism, which professed that the outside world did not exist: it was merely a projection of one’s consciousness.

https://www.opednews.com/articles/1/In-the-Footsteps-of-Xuanza-by-Pepe-Escobar-Ancient-Silk-Road_Buddhist_China_Xinjiang-200103-990.html

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2020 in Asia

 

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The climate crisis has sparked a Siberian mammoth tusk gold rush

Glancing into the 50-metre-deep hole the two tusk hunters smiled. Together, they heaved out a caramel-coloured mammoth tusk from the soil where it had been frozen for at least 10,000 years. Their dog, too, seemed to be interested in the find. “Because it’s been locked in the ice for that long it still smelled of the meat, it still smelled of the animal,” says Amos Chapple, who spent three weeks photographing mammoth tusk hunters at work in the Siberian region of Yakutia.

The tusk hunters cleaned their find with dry grass and quickly wrapped it in cling film to keep it moist and preserve valuable weight that would push up its price when it came to selling it. Then the precious cargo, along with two other tusks, went on a winding five hour speedboat journey down a river in northeastern Siberia. The 65kg relic was later sold for $34,000 (£26,800) to a Chinese dealer waiting in the tusk hunters’ village, earning them a total of around $100,000 (£77,000) in just eight days. Everything they left behind – mammoth skulls and bones – was consumed by the elements.

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/mammoth-tusk-hunters-russia-china

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2019 in Asia, Europe, Reportages

 

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In Kenya, Chinese arrivals are targeted by Jeovah’s witnesses speaking Mandarin

Earlier this year, An, a young Chinese professional living in Nairobi, heard a knock at the door. She was expec­ting no one. She had moved in a couple of months earlier, and none of her friends would visit unannounced. She had been warned about the Kenyan capital’s high crime rate, but, curious, she peered through the peephole and beheld, with relief and confusion, two smiling women – one East Asian, one white.
The visitors introduced themselves as Jehovah’s Witnesses, telling her in Mandarin that they had heard there was a new Chinese person in the building. An remembers reacting with suspicion, asking how they came to know that, since hers was not a building or neighbour­hood where many Chinese people lived. The Asian Witness laughed politely and apologised for the intrusion, brushing off the question somewhat awkwardly by saying they just happened to “know things”

https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/long-reads/article/3031528/kenya-chinese-arrivals-are-targeted-jehovahs

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2019 in Africa, Reportages

 

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Revealed: power and reach of China’s surveillance dragnet

The Chinese government used technology to expand its campaign against Uighurs and other Muslim minorities far beyond the country’s own borders, a rare leak from the heart of the country’s bureaucracy reveals.

Beijing’s obsession with foreign influence and connections in its western Xinjiang region, where at least a million people are held in internment camps, is laid out in the China Cables, a cache of files that includes classified orders to track and detain thousands of people who have dual nationality, have spent time abroad or have personal ties outside the country.

Among the documents are four “bulletins” that provide rare confirmation from inside the state apparatus of the scope and aims of the hi-tech surveillance system.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/24/china-cables-revealed-power-and-reach-of-chinas-surveillance-dragnet

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2019 in Asia

 

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‘Allow no escapes’: leak exposes reality of China’s vast prison camp network

The internal workings of a vast chain of Chinese internment camps used to detain at least a million people from the nation’s Muslim minorities are laid out in leaked Communist Party documents published on Sunday.

The China Cables, a cache of classified government papers, appear to provide the first official glimpse into the structure, daily life and ideological framework behind centres in north-western Xinjiang region that have provoked international condemnation.

Obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and shared with the Guardian, the BBC and 15 other media partners, the documents have been independently assessed by experts who have concluded they are authentic. China said they had been “fabricated”.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/24/china-cables-leak-no-escapes-reality-china-uighur-prison-camp

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2019 in Asia

 

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Document Number Nine

The People’s Republic of China had its seventieth birthday on 1 October. ‘Sheng ri kuai le’ to the world’s biggest and most populous example of … of … well, actually, that sentence is hard to finish. There’s no off-the-shelf description for China’s political and economic system. ‘Socialism with Chinese characteristics’ is the Chinese Communist Party’s preferred term, but the s-word makes an odd fit with a country that is the world’s most important market for luxury goods, has the second largest number of billionaires, stages the world’s biggest one-day shopping event, ‘Singles’ Day’, and is home to the world’s biggest, fastest-expanding, spendiest, most materially aspirational middle class. Look at the UN’s Human Development Index: after seventy years of communist rule, China’s inequality figures are dramatically worse than those of the UK and even the US. Can we call that ‘socialism’?

It’s equally hard to claim China as a triumph of capitalism, given the completeness of state control over most areas of life and the extent of its open interventions in the national economy – capital controls, for instance, are a huge no-no in free-market economics, but are central to the way the CCP runs the biggest economy in the world. This system-with-no-name has been extraordinarily successful, with more than 800 million people raised out of absolute poverty since the 1980s. Growth hasn’t slowed down since the global financial crisis – or, as those cheeky scamps at the CCP tend to call it, the Western financial crisis. While the developed world has been struggling with low to no growth, China has grown by more than six per cent a year and a further eighty million mainly rural citizens have been raised out of absolute poverty since 2012. There is a strong claim that this scale of growth, sustained for such an unprecedented number of people over such a number of years, is the greatest economic achievement in human history.

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n19/john-lanchester/document-number-nine

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2019 in Asia, Reportages

 

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Tracking foreign interference in Hong Kong

Lawrence YK Ma is the executive council chairman of the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation and director of the China Law Society, the Chinese Judicial Studies Association and the Hong Kong Legal Exchange Foundation. He also finds time to teach law at Nankai University in Tianjin.

Ma is the go-to expert in what is arguably the most sensitive subject in Hong Kong: He meticulously tracks perceived foreign interference in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).

In the West, in similar circumstances, he would be a media star. With a smirk, he told me that local journalists, whether working in English or Chinese, rarely visit him – not to mention foreigners.

https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/10/article/tracking-foreign-interference-in-hong-kong/

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2019 in Asia

 

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What Holds China Together?

As another humid Beijing summer passes into a crisp autumn of wind-swept skies and chrysanthemum-decked parks, it’s easy to put oneself in the minds of government propagandists and feel that things are going quite well in China. Yes, faraway Hong Kong is in crisis, with huge antigovernment protests going on since March. But it was always going to be tough to absorb the former British colony; we’ll give them a bit more leeway but if necessary will crack down hard. And perhaps the distant territory of Xinjiang has required a firm hand, but have any countries done anything about our reeducation camps there? As for the trade war with the United States, it causes some pain, but it doesn’t matter because we’ve convinced most people that it’s all the Americans’ fault. The world is tumultuous, but we remain a bastion of stability. Our economy and military are growing steadily. Nothing really challenges Communist Party rule. And soon we’ll have a chance to show our dominance to everyone when we celebrate the seventieth birthday of the People’s Republic on October 1.

This reverie isn’t entirely delusional. But it’s fair to say that today China faces its biggest set of crises in the forty years since Deng Xiaoping began economic reforms after the death of Mao. The most vexing are Hong Kong and Xinjiang. The former has seen regular demonstrations, some involving more than one million people, against efforts by Beijing to impose its legal system on the territory. That’s forced the government to launch a huge disinformation campaign at home and abroad against the protesters, some of whom are violent but who mostly reflect middle-class worries about Communist Party rule. And in Xinjiang the situation is even more dire, with more than one million Muslims being sent to reeducation camps for not following the government line on everything from alcohol and pork consumption to the historical inevitability of Chinese rule.

https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/09/26/what-holds-china-together/

 
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Posted by on October 7, 2019 in Asia, Reportages

 

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The US’s new evil empire

The US seems to have decided that it can’t take on China and Russia at the same time, so its principal geopolitical rival in the coming decades will be China. Trump’s Republican administration and the Democrats agree on this, though they are campaigning vigorously against each other ahead of next year’s presidential election. China has replaced the ‘evil empire’ of the Soviet Union and ‘Islamic terrorism’ as the US’s main adversary. But China, unlike the Soviet Union, has a dynamic economy, with which the US has an enormous trade deficit. And China’s strength is far more impressive than that of a few tens of thousands of Islamic fundamentalist fighters wandering the deserts of ancient Mesopotamia or the mountains of Afghanistan.

https://mondediplo.com/2019/10/01editorial

 
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Posted by on September 26, 2019 in Asia, North America

 

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