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Oud 13 april 2021, 12:03   #301
Pandareus
Secretaris-Generaal VN
 
Geregistreerd: 24 maart 2014
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Over imperialisme :


Citaat:
Twenty-five Chinese military jets breached Taiwan’s defence zone on Monday, the island’s government has said, after a senior US official warned of an “increasingly aggressive” Beijing.

The defence ministry scrambled aircraft to broadcast warnings to leave after Chinese jets, including 18 fighters, entered the island’s southwest air defence identification zone for a 10th straight day.

The incursion – the largest in a year – came after the US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, on Sunday warned China not to attempt to change the status quo around Taiwan, saying to do so would be a “serious mistake”.

Democratic, self-ruled Taiwan lives under the constant threat of invasion by China, which has vowed to one day seize the island, by force if needed.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ter-us-warning

En het gebruik van de 'blauwe mannetjes' van de pseudo-vissersvloot die ze meer en meer inzetten :

Citaat:
They've been dubbed China's "Little Blue Men," an allegedly Beijing-controlled maritime militia that analysts say could be hundreds of boats and thousands of crew members strong.
China doesn't acknowledge their existence and when questioned, refers to them as a "so-called maritime militia."
But Western experts say the alleged militia is an integral part of Beijing's efforts to exert its territorial claims in the South China Sea and beyond. They claim its blue-painted vessels and their crews -- allegedly funded and controlled by the People's Liberation Army -- can quickly bring a Chinese presence so large around disputed reefs and islands they are almost impossible to challenge without triggering a military confrontation.

The apparent militia made headlines last month when more than 200 Chinese fishing boats crowded around Whitsun Reef, a Philippine possession in the Spratly Island chain in the South China Sea.

Analysts at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in Singapore say they've never seen a Chinese operation of this size before.
"The Whitsun Reef incident is unprecedented in scale and notable for its duration: the largest numbers of Chinese fishing vessels gathered at any time at one Spratly reef, and staying there for several weeks," Samir Puri and Greg Austin, both senior fellows at the IISS, wrote last week on the organization's blog.
The Philippines protested the Whitsun incident to Beijing, calling the boats a "swarming and threatening presence" and saying the flotilla was infringing on Philippine territory and fishing grounds. Manila demanded the Chinese boats leave the area, which it maintains is in exclusive economic zone.
Beijing countered that the boats, which numbered 220 at one point, according to the Philippine government, were simply escaping rough seas by moving within a lagoon formed by the boomerang-shaped Whitsun Reef, which Beijing calls Niu'e Jiao and claims as part of its territory.
"Due to maritime situation, some fishing boats have been taking shelter from the wind near Niu'e Jiao, which is quite normal. We hope relevant sides can view this in an rational light," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said.
The Chinese Embassy in Manila was more blunt. "There is no Chinese Maritime Militia as alleged," it said.
The diplomatic back and forth between Philippine and Chinese officials continued last week, with the Chinese Embassy in Manila calling remarks by the Philippine defense secretary regarding the Chinese boats as "wanton" and "perplexing." The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs fired back, deploring the Chinese Embassy's statement, reminding China its diplomats are "guests" in Manila and pledging to issue daily diplomatic protests while Chinese vessels are in the Philippines' maritime zones.
How does the Chinese Maritime Militia allegedly work?
Despite Chinese government denials, there is little ambiguity in Western circles about what the Pentagon calls the People's Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM).
"The People's Armed Forces Maritime Militia don't fish," Carl Schuster, a former director of operations at the US Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center, told CNN. "They have automatic weapons aboard and reinforced hulls, making them very dangerous at close range. Also, they have a top speed of around 18-22 knots, making them faster than 90% of the world's fishing boats."
Some experts have taken to referring to the militia as "Little Blue Men," a reference to the color of their boats' hulls and to Russia's "Little Green Men," soldiers in unmarked green uniforms who infiltrated Crimea before Moscow annexed it from Ukraine in 2014.
"The Maritime Militia is used by Beijing 'to subvert other nations' sovereignty and enforce unlawful claims,'" a December report from the heads of the US Navy, Marines and Coast Guard said.
"The Militia is a key component of China's Armed Forces and a part of what it calls the 'People's Armed Forces System,'" Conor Kennedy and Andrew Erickson, two leading American experts on the subject, wrote for the US Naval War College in 2017.
It is "a state-organized, -developed, and -controlled force operating under a direct military chain of command to conduct Chinese state-sponsored activities," they added.
The alleged militia is integrated with China's fishing fleet, the world's largest with more than 187,000 boats, Erickson told CNN, but the actual number of armed boats remains unclear to Western experts.
Whatever their ranks, experts say they can lead large flotillas of actual fishing boats in actions to further Chinese government policies and territorial claims -- including those in the South China Sea.
"China is typically secretive about its Third Sea Force (behind the PLA Navy and coast guard), which might conceivably number in the thousands of vessels and in the tens of thousands of personnel. Possibly more," Erickson told CNN.
A 2020 US Defense Department report on the Chinese military mentions only 84 actual maritime militia boats, all assigned to a unit operating out of Sansha City on Hainan island, in the northern reaches of the South China Sea. The unit, established in 2016, gets frequent subsidies to operate in the Spratly Islands, the report said.
"This particular PAFMM unit is also China's most professional. Its forces are paid salaries independent of any clear commercial fishing responsibilities and recruited from recently separated veterans," it said.
But Erickson told CNN the boats seen around Whitsun Reef in recent weeks looked different from those in the Hainan unit, suggesting full-time militia boats are greater in number than previously thought.
Erickson and colleague Ryan Martinson, writing in the journal Foreign Policy late last month, said tracking of some of the Chinese boats at Whitsun using open-source intelligence shows they came from Taishan in China's southern Guangdong province.
At least seven "enormous" trawlers that were in the Whitsun lagoon could be part of "the most advanced PAFMM unit yet developed and deployed," Erickson and Martinson wrote.
Using automatic identification system data, they said the boats at Whitsun had patrolled the Union Banks, where Whitsun Reef is, as well as other Spratly Islands features like the Subi and Mischief reefs, both of which have been built up and militarized by the Chinese armed forces.
"There is no evidence of fishing whatsoever during these laser-focused operations, but every indication of trolling for territorial claims," the pair wrote.
Data that Erickson and Martinson compiled from MarineTraffic.com shows just how frequently the unit has been in the Spratly Islands chain over the past year.
As of March 29, only 44 boats remained in the Whitsun Reef lagoon, CNN affiliate CNN Philippines reported, citing a statement from the Philippine government's National Task Force for the West Philippine Sea.
The rest had scattered to other contested reefs and islands in nearby waters, the statement added.
What is the purpose of a maritime militia?
The concept of a maritime militia, or an irregular naval force, allows China to make territorial claims in huge numbers without ever involving the People's Liberation Army proper, Western experts say.
Even if lead boats like those mentioned by Erickson and Martinson are relatively small in number, they can spearhead flotillas in the hundreds -- as seen in Whitsun Reef.
"These classic 'gray zone' operations are designed to 'win without fighting" by overwhelming the adversary with swarms of fishing vessels," Derek Grossman, a RAND Corp defense analyst, wrote last year.
Jay Batongbacal, director of the Institute for Maritime Affairs at the University of the Philippines, summed up what Beijing has done in recent weeks at Whitsun Reef and recent years across the South China Sea -- 1.3 million square miles of water, almost all of which Beijing claims as Chinese territory.
"They are now essentially occupying Whitsun Reef by the mere presence of their vessels," Batongbacal said in an interview with National Public Radio.
"That's actually the objective of the Chinese strategy, to establish de facto control and dominance over the entire South China Sea through these incremental moves."
From a tactical standpoint, the fishing boats represent hundreds of obstacles an adversary like the US Navy would have to work around. And the US Navy could likely only deploy a few destroyers at any one time to challenge them.
That puts huge numbers in China's favor.
"Because they are cheap, fishing vessels will always outnumber warships," Johns Hopkins University researcher Shuxian Luo and Columbia Univeresity researcher Jonathan Panter wrote in the US Army's Military Review journal earlier this year.
So even real, unarmed fishing boats acting under the leadership of maritime militia vessels can be an effective military force.
"Instead of a kinetic threat, Chinese fishing vessels present more of a disruptive one. Deployed in even limited numbers, fishing boats can inhibit, if not prohibit altogether, a warship's ability to conduct" anti-submarine warfare and flight operations with its helicopters, Luo and Panter wrote.
From a strategic standpoint, "challenging these vessels is dangerous," they wrote -- especially for other Southeast Asian nations that have claims to features in the South China Sea but don't have the military might to stand up to China.
"Weaker states, aware of Chinese fishing vessels' possible government affiliation, might hesitate to engage with them in a way that could provoke a PRC (Beijing central government) response," they said.
Because China says they are not military vessels, it can claim any action against them by foreign navies or coast guards would constitute an attack on Chinese civilians.
"The strength of the maritime militia is its deniability, which allows its vessels to harass and intimidate foreign civilian craft and warships while leaving China room to deescalate by denying its affiliation with these activities," Luo and Panter wrote.
But with those overwhelming numbers for China comes risk as well, the analysts said.
"The same factors that make the maritime militia a deniable force (its civilian crews and dual-use technology) also raise the risk of accidents and escalations," Luo and Panter wrote.
"This is a toxic mix: due to the maritime militia's deniability and the core interests at stake, the PRC (People's Republic of China) has a high incentive to employ it, but the more frequent its operations, the greater the likelihood of interactions with US vessels that could spin out of control."
And it's not just interactions with US ships that could spark wider conflict.
A statement from the White House said US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with his Filipino counterpart and said the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty applies in this case.
That would mean any hostile action against Philippine forces or territory by China could bring a US military response.
The US kept up the dialogue with Manila last Thursday, when US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted he had a substantive conversation with Philippine Foreign Secretary Teddy Locsin "discussing our concerns with People's Republic of China militia vessels in the South China Sea."
China, for its part, has said it is the United States that is at the root of tensions in the South China Sea -- on the military level by sending its warships and warplanes on exercises there, and on the diplomatic level with bellicose statements.
When then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last summer accused China of "bullying" its Southeast Asian neighbor, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said the US State Department "deliberately distorted facts, exaggerated the situation in the region and attempted to sow discord between China and other littoral countries," the state-run Global Times reported.
Where has this activity been seen before?
The concept of a Chinese maritime militia traces its roots back to the days just after the Communist revolution in 1949 as the government of Mao Zedong looked for coastal defense, Grossman, the RAND analyst, wrote.
Without any navy to speak of, Beijing pumped money and training into a maritime militia left over from the nationalist regime it ousted. A few years later, collectivization of local fisheries added a new layer of Communist Party control to the militias, Grossman said.
In the 1960s, as the PLA Navy developed, it trained the militias in military tactics and operations and used them in more PLA Navy missions, he added.
But in 1974, as China fought with then-US ally South Vietnam over control of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, the use of fishing vessels in combat operations proved their worth, Grossman wrote.
The PLA Navy used two fishing trawlers to deliver 500 Chinese troops to the disputed islands as the presence of civilian Chinese fishing boats around them slowed South Vietnamese military decision making, the RAND analyst said.
Once the Chinese troops were in place, the South Vietnamese garrison surrendered.
"A key lesson learned for Beijing was that leveraging fishing militia forces was far less likely to trigger US intervention in the matter even when the threatened neighbor was a US ally," Grossman said.
In the South China Sea, the Philippines is one of those US allies -- and China has used the maritime militia in operations to gain control of territory recognized by a United Nations tribunal as belonging to Manila, experts and officials say.
Grossman and others note the presence of a maritime militia in Chinese operations that led to Beijing's control of Mischief Reef and Scarborough Shoal in 1995 and 2012, respectively.
A 2016 ruling by the UN Tribunal said both Mischief and Scarborough are in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone, but China does not recognize the ruling and in fact has built one of its largest South China Sea fortifications on Mischief.
Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Sunday said what China is doing now is a repeat of 1995 and 2012.
"The utter disregard by the Chinese Embassy in Manila of international law, especially the UNCLOS to which China is a party, is appalling," Lorenzana said in statement.
"The continued presence of Chinese maritime militias in the area reveals their intent to further occupy features in the West Philippine Sea."
China has also used fishing boats to take on the US Navy directly, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI), part of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
On March 9, 2009, two fishing boats -- operating with Chinese naval and fisheries ships -- allegedly attempted to target the towed sonar array of the USNS Impeccable, a civilian-crewed survey ship, in the South China Sea. The Chinese trawlers also stopped in front of the US ship, forcing it to perform an emergency stop to avoid collision, according to the AMTI report.
Meanwhile, another US survey ship, USNS Victorious, was being harassed in the Yellow Sea, the report said.
China claimed the US ships were operating illegally in its exclusive economic zone. Washington said its ships were in international waters and well within their rights to be there.
A precarious future
The 2009 incident showed how close the US and China could come to an actual confrontation because of Beijing's alleged use of fishing boats for military purposes. But Grossman said, given neither the Impeccable incident or any of its island occupations have blunted Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea, more deployments are likely.
"If history is a good indication of what to expect in the future, then Beijing is likely to double down on the PAFMM in virtually any scenario imaginable. That means it should be a force to be reckoned in the years to come," he said.
Puri and Austin, the IISS analysts, said Beijing is already taking stock of reactions to Whitsun Reef.
"The Whitsun Reef incident is a powerful demonstration of China's willingness to run risks by assembling such a large concentration of vessels in a highly contested area," they wrote.
"If these analytic assumptions are accurate, China's military leadership will be evaluating the performance of its most recent maritime militia foray and the responses it has elicited from others," they said.
Robert Williams, executive director of the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law School, said China would likely try to keep the intentions of any maritime militia -- and the rules it adheres to -- murky.
"China is highly effective in utilizing non-militarized coercion tools. Beijing has not been keen to give up these tools, which it sees as incurring limited escalation risks with neighboring countries," Williams wrote on the Lawfare blog of the Brookings Institution.
Essentially, Beijing wants to keep Washington -- and its South China Sea neighbors -- guessing.
"It would be an overstatement ... to claim that the Chinese military establishment relishes crises. Many PLA thinkers are highly sensitive to the destabilizing risks of military crises," Williams wrote.

But China, he said, sees "ambiguous signaling as a source of ... deterrence."
Essentially, if an adversary is constantly trying to assess intentions, it isn't taking action.
https://edition.cnn.com/2021/04/12/c...dst/index.html
__________________
Citaat:
Oorspronkelijk geplaatst door Knuppel Bekijk bericht
...De Wever is een klootzak, en dit op meerdere vlakken. O.a. wat betreft zijn Blokhaat en zijn walgelijke kontenkruiperij in het stronthol van de partijen die hem een mes in de rug staken...
Pandareus is nu online   Met citaat antwoorden
Oud 14 april 2021, 10:23   #302
Bach
Europees Commissaris
 
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Interessant artikel:

Citaat:

The War Nerd: Taiwan — The Thucydides Trapper Who Cried Woof
Posted on April 12, 2021 by Yves Smith

Yves here. We are delighted to feature the War Nerd’s incisive and colorful take on the saber-rattling by the US and China over Taiwan. Note that the reference to the book The Thucydides Trap is apt. Just as too many people who ought to know better are misrepresenting the stakes for fun and profit, so to did the book The Thucydides Trap fundamentally represent the standing of Athens and Sparta.

By Gary Brecher. Republished from the Radio War Nerd subscriber newsletter. Subscribe to the Radio War Nerd podcast hosted by Gary Brecher & Mark Ames for podcasts, newsletters and more!

Republished from the Radio War Nerd subscriber newsletter. Subscribe to the Radio War Nerd podcast hosted by Gary Brecher & Mark Ames for podcasts, newsletters and more!

It’s a full-time job, keeping track of the US/NATO campaign to start a fire somewhere on China’s borders. It’s like tracking an inept arsonist by satellite image: “Oh, there he goes again…the idiot started a trash fire next to a concrete wall.”

Of course, no one who matters in the defense business wants total war with China. They just want to keep those trash fires burning, hoping one of them will blaze up big, like a gender-reveal wildfire. And even if none of them do, it’s good for business, because most war scares are about funding. The US Navy always, always wants more ships. What’s scarce is plausible reasons to buy them.

So when you read US analyses of the Taiwan situation, you have to remind yourself that this isn’t necessarily about a real war. That’s a lesson you learned the hard way if, like me, you’re old enough to remember the NATO/Warsaw Pact war that was always just about to happen. Looking back, it was never going to happen. The whole idea was absurd, because that war would have gone nuclear in a half hour, and nobody in power wanted that.

So when you read some hyperventilating wonk enthusing over a 21st c. Anaconda Plan to blockade China, remember that it’s budget season (because it’s always budget season at the Pentagon), and nobody who matters could really imagine that reviving the Anaconda Plan, which didn’t even work very well against the Confederacy, is gonna work against the PRC and its long-range anti-ship missiles.

There’s a catch, though. The US/NATO command may be woofing just to get more ships and planes funded, but woofing can go badly wrong. The people you’re woofing at may think you really mean it. That’s what came very close to happening in the 1983 Able Archer NATO exercises. The woofing by Reagan and Thatcher in the leadup to those exercises was so convincing to the Soviet woof-ees that even the moribund USSR came close to responding in real—like nuclear—ways.

That’s how contingency plans, domestic political theatrics, and funding scams can feed into each other and lead to real wars.

Military forces develop contingency plans. That’s part of their job. Some of the plans to fight China are crazy, but some are just plausible enough to be worrying, because somebody might start thinking they could work. Case in point, this plan to defeat a PRC invasion of Taiwan:

“The only method of preventing China from successfully annexing Taiwan is to reject calls for a cease-fire, contain Chinese bridgeheads and airheads into as small a perimeter as possible, and then drive the invaders into the sea. Contrary to the limited Army supporting role envisioned in the Pacific, an Army corps will be indispensable and must be fully incorporated into U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) Taiwan contingency plans.”

Taiwan is the most promising theater for US military planners for pretty simple, obvious reasons: it’s an island in an area where the US has massive bases. Since US military power is mostly sea- and air-based, the US can imagine (and has imagined) it could win in Taiwan. Other regions that get the most media attention, above all Xinjiang, are hopeless from a US military planner’s perspective. Xinjiang is in the middle of the world’s largest land mass, and the countries surrounding it have their own problems. A conventional US military attack there isn’t just implausible, like the other China-war scenarios; it’s flat-out impossible.

What you do with a place like Xinjiang, if you’re a CIA/DoD planner, is file it under “promote insurgency” — meaning “start as many small fires as possible,” rather than “invade and begin a conventional war.”

And in the meantime, you keep working on the real complaints of the Uyghur and other non-Han ethnic groups, so that if you do need to start a conventional war in the Formosa Straits, you can use the Uyghur as a diversion, a sacrifice, by getting them to rise up and be massacred. Since there’s a big Han-Chinese population in Xinjiang, as the map shows, you can hope to stir up the sort of massacre/counter-massacre whipsaw that leaves evil memories for centuries, leading to a permanent weakening of the Chinese state.

This is a nasty strategy, but it’s a standard imperial practice, low-cost — for the empire, not the local population, of course. It costs those people everything, but empires are not sentimental about such things.

This strategy worked well during the US attack on the Iraqi Army in Kuwait in the 1991 Gulf War. US intel used the legitimate complaints of the Iraqi Kurds and Shia, and convinced them to revolt by dropping leaflets promising US military support.

That was a lie, of course. The Iraqi Kurds were, like the Uyghur, a landlocked, stateless population spilling over into the territory of US/NATO allies, meaning it would’ve been logistically difficult and politically unwise to give them any real military support. The Iraqi Shia were more accessible, since Basra is very close to Kuwait — but the US was acting on behalf of Saudi Arabia in that war, and KSA can’t even tolerate its own Shia population. Offering effective help to Iraq’s Shia majority would have infuriated KSA, Israel, and the UAE, the only states the US worried about.

So once the Kurds and Shia had served their purpose, diverting Iraqi troops from the real front lines in Kuwait, both insurgent groups were left to the tender mercies of Saddam’s army.

BTW, if it seems I’m being too cynical here, let me add that I knew someone who was friends with a DIA agent who had the job of dropping leaflets in Iraqi Kurdistan urging the Kurds to revolt in the leadup to Operation Desert Storm. She asked him if he felt bad about stirring up a doomed insurgency. He said, “They’re all animals anyway.”

The woman who told me that story was no bleeding-heart liberal — far from it. But even she was shocked a bit. So “too cynical” is not a valid objection here.

The Uyghur in Xinjiang would serve the same purpose as the Iraqi Kurds: “straw dogs destined for sacrifice.” If you want to get really cynical, consider that the reprisals they’d face from an enraged Chinese military would be even more useful to the US/NATO side than their doomed insurgency itself.

Atrocity propaganda is very important in 21st c warfare. At the moment, there’s no evidence of real, mass slaughter in Xinjiang, yet we’re already getting propaganda claims about it. Imagine what US/NATO could make out of the bloody aftermath of a doomed insurgency. Well, assuming that US/NATO survived a war with China, a pretty dicey assumption. More likely, CNN, BBC, and NYT would be the first to welcome our new overlords, Kent Brockman style. Those mainstream-media whores aren’t too bright but Lord, they’re agile.

Hong Kong, one other widely publicized dissident region, is as hopeless as Xinjiang in terms of a beachhead for conventional war with China.

Just look at the map. Hong Kong is a great harbor but an indefensible peninsula on a heavily populated part of the Chinese coastline. Hell, the British couldn’t even hold it in WW 2 against an outnumbered Japanese invasion force. There is no way on earth it could be held against the PLA for even a day.

It’d be easier to defend Berkeley against the rest of America (a cool scenario, BTW — I wonder if anybody’s made it into a video game). Constantinople in 1453 would look like victory compared to any attempt to defend Hong Kong. Ever see Bambi vs. Godzilla? Like that.

Even as propaganda, Hong Kong won’t work very well. We know this, because it’s been tried, and didn’t pan out.

You may have noticed that a couple of years ago, stories on Hong Kong dissidents were constant in Anglo media. They’ve all but vanished now, in favor of Xinjiang stories. There are two reasons for this, and the difference in these two reasons illustrates something important about the weird double-vision of 21st c. conflict.

First, Hong Kong is an open society, stuffed full of good reporters. That means that it’s hard to reduce the problems there to a simple morality play. You can do that in Xinjiang because facts on the ground are very scarce (and nobody in the media wants to go there and spoil the dream, either) — but you can’t in Hong Kong. It’s a purely urban, argumentative, hyperliterate, online place, and ten minutes googling disabuses you of any notion that it’s a simple story of bad PRC vs. good dissidents. Families are deeply split, people are talking and acting messily on every side, and it’s just too much like real life to make a good sermon.

Xinjiang, by contrast, can easily be imagined as One Giant Concentration Camp. After all, our leading “expert” on the province has never been there, and neither have his readers.

So, if you’re a US/NATO planner, you file Xinjiang under “diversionary doomed insurgency, with PR benefits,” and Hong Kong under “agent recruitment/sleeper cells,” and consign both to small, side bets. That’s all you need to do, and given the godawful military record of US/NATO forces in recent warfare, that’s all you really want to do. You don’t want war. You may get it, but you don’t want it.

You’re running out of places to confront China at this point. Where else, Tibet? That’s been tried.

From the moment the PLA launched its uncharacteristically gentle takeover of Tibet in 1950, right up to the time Nixon and Kissinger started cozying up to Mao, US intelligence tried to create a Tibetan insurgency. You can guess how that went. It’s downright amazing the way US intel refused to concede that one of the few things Marxist-Leninist regimes were really good at was espionage and (especially) counter-espionage. A lot of trusting Tibetans died in those campaigns. A lot of Agency men got promoted. It’s a grim story.

So what’s left? Not much. China is just a hard target, as the past 70 years have shown. The Han-Chinese majority is becoming more nationalistic every year. The economy is booming, on the verge of knocking the US off the number one spot it’s held for 150 years. China has played this century smart, staying out of the black hole of Middle Eastern wars, picking up friends quietly, letting the US state make enemies.

Only Taiwan offers any hope to US military planners. And even that hope isn’t much. Back in the 1950s, US intel had high hopes that the remnants of the Kuomintang in Taiwan could be used to stage a Pacific D-Day, storming the beaches of Fujian and overthrowing the Communists. US rightists even had a slogan, “Unleash Chiang Kai-Shek,” which was kind of like threatening to unleash your Papillon-Shih-Tzu cross on the Lion Safari Park next door.

Truman listened to his saner generals and announced in 1950 that the US wouldn’t intervene in China/Taiwan disputes over the Formosa Straits. But the US elite was deeply factionalized even then, at the height of American power, and powerful elements of the DoD weren’t willing to let China alone.

MacArthur’s open 1951 revolt in Korea showed that elite commanders were willing to use nukes (34 of them, to be exact) to get rid of the CCP.

A real war with China was off the table, once the US military lost its 1950s infatuation with nukes, for the simple reason that nukes were the only possible way the US could win a war with China. The USSR came to the same conclusion during its 1969 border war with China, and may even have sounded out the US for permission to use these taboo weapons against Mao.

The only real scenario which offers US forces a chance to accomplish anything in military terms depends on China invading Taiwan. That’s the only reason you see so many articles in the Anglo media asking hopefully, “Will China Invade Taiwan?” I swear, they’re like kids on Christmas Eve, dreaming that Chinese fleets will swarm the Formosa Straits, making the Americans’ obsolete naval and air assets meaningful again.

You’ll notice that it’s a USN admiral leading the PR campaign boosting a PRC invasion of Taiwan. It’s downright embarrassing, how transparently this guy Aquilino is drooling over the prospect of a good ol’ fashioned 20th c. naval war in the Formosa Straits. He might as well order up some commercials with the slogan, in Mandarin and English, “Puhleeeze, China! Invade Taiwan! Make the US Navy relevant again!”

It reminds me of those sad commercials that California almond farmers ran when I was young, begging you to gobble “A can a week, that’s all we ask.”

It won’t happen, of course. No one really thinks it will, including Aquilino and his planning staff. The era of naval war based on carrier groups is over. They know that, even if they won’t say it.


If there’s a real war with China, the carriers will wait it out in San Diego harbor. I don’t say Honolulu, because even that wouldn’t be safe enough.

I’m not denigrating the courage or dedication of the crews and officers of USN vessels. At any level below JCOS, most of them are believers. But their belief is increasingly besieged and difficult to sustain, like an Episcopalian at Easter. You just can’t think too long about how cheap and effective antiship missiles are and still be a believer in aircraft carriers. As platforms of gunboat diplomacy against weak powers, they’re OK. No better than OK, as the USN showed in Lebanon in 1983, when it managed to lose two A-6s in one day, after the IDF’s air force had demolished the Syrian AF, knocking down 82 SAA aircraft and gutting their air defenses without losing a single plane.

The moral of that Lebanon story, not that anybody in DC wants to learn it, is that if you’re gonna do gunboat diplomacy, it’d be safer and about a thousand times cheaper to do it with actual gunboats than with carriers.

And that’s not even considering what would happen to those unbelievably expensive carriers in an all-out conventional war with China. The Pacific would gain some overpriced artificial reefs, and a lot of decent, trusting sailors would die without inflicting any damage on the “enemy.”

But the scenario is useful, useful for funding, which is the real purpose of the DoD. You all know the F-35 story by now, so I don’t need to go over it again, but keep the moral of that story in mind: defense appropriations have nothing to do with defending and everything to do with business.

At the moment, the eager scenarios promising that “we” could defeat a PRC invasion of China are so deeply stuck in 1940s strategic thinking that you might as well get your military news from the reenactors who show up at the park on weekends to bang each other up with homemade swords. That’s over too, but at least it doesn’t cost as much money or as many lives as a carrier-based attempt to defend Taiwan would.

Very few of these articles bother much with what’s going on in China itself. China is just The Enemy, the red force in some Fort-Irwin scenario that gives aspiring officers a chance to shine. The thing is, and it’s weird you even have to say this: China is a big strong country coming out of an era of deep national humiliation and suffering, proud of its new prosperity. China’s success in lifting a desperately poor population into something like prosperity will likely be the biggest story from this era, when the canonical histories get distilled.

A nation hitting this stage is likely to include a lot of people, especially young men, who are itching to show what their country can do. Their patriotic eagerness is no doubt as gullible as most, but it’s real, and if you pay any attention in the online world, you can’t help seeing it.

People who mouth off about China never seem to imagine that anyone in China might hear, because as we are told over and over again, China-is-an-authoritarian-state. The implication is that nobody in China has any of the nationalistic fervor that we take for granted in our own Anglo states.

The only time you see anything about Chinese nationalism is when it’s used as one element of the war-fever talk: “Look! China’s gnashing its teeth! Buy us more carriers!” This is how most sources interpret the “Wolf Warrior” meme.

Wolf Warrior is a nationalistic Chinese war movie. That’s where the term “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy” comes from. The existence of such movies is deeply alarming…to the people who’ve watched Rambo II and III every night for decades, cheering every time Stallone shoots an NVA man with a arrow. (I say “*a* arrow” advisedly. “*An* arrow” gives far too much credit.) This stuff is so transparently stupid. It’s odd that life-long jingoists might be alarmed to discover that another great power has its own patriotic feelings, its own demographic eager for tales of martial glory.

If you know any recent Chinese history, any at all, then the PRC’s desire to reintegrate Taiwan doesn’t seem a very aggressive or frightening development, for the simple reason that the US used to be the most fierce advocate of Taiwan/Mainland China unity, to the point of madness. Until Nixon and Kissinger abandoned Taiwan for Beijing, the US was, to use a newspaper word, “adamant” that there was only one China.

And even after the big visit, years passed before the US acknowledged publicly that the PRC existed. Until 1979 — 1979! — the US insisted with a straight face that Chiang Kai-Shek’s exiled elite in Taiwan were the only legitimate government of China, all China, from Xinjiang to Taipei. The PRC did not exist. There was no US diplomatic representation in Beijing, no official contact. Everything had to be done by a farcical go-between, usually some European country willing to concede that Taiwan did not actually rule in Beijing.

At this point, the US/NATO elite believed more strongly than the PRC elite does now that there is only one China — that the mainland and Taiwan were part of the same country. That was the whole basis for ignoring the PRC.

Given the history of US/China relations, from the pogroms against Chinese immigrants to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, through the demonization of Chinese mainlanders in the Cold War (which I remember distinctly from elementary school scare movies), the endless attempts to start insurgencies in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Fujian, to the nonstop violence and abuse of Asians in America, you don’t need to find reasons for Chinese people to want a war.

The odd thing is that most of them don’t seem to. That’s a remarkable testimony to the discipline and good sense of the Chinese public…so far. And it’s also, if you’re thinking clearly, a good reason not to keep provoking China in such gross, pointless ways. A population with that level of discipline and unity, matched with zooming prosperity, technical expertise, and pride on emerging from a long nightmare, is not one to woof at.

Of course the plan in the Pentagon is not real war. The plan is to slow China down, trip it up, “wrong-foot it” as they say in the Commonwealth.

Along the way, all of the populations Western media consumers are exhorted to care about can be sacrificed. They’ll vanish as quickly as the Tibetans vanished when their usefulness was exhausted. (Adrian Zenz started as a Tibetan specialist, BTW. He switched to Xinjiang when the bottom fell out of the Tibetan-provocation market in the 1990s.)

So what will China do about Taiwan? China could take it right now, if it wanted to pay the price. Everyone knows that, though many fake-news sites have responded with childish, ridiculous gung-ho stories about how “Taiwan Could Win.”

But will China invade? No. Not right now anyway. It doesn’t need to. The Chinese elite has its own constituencies, like all other polities (including “totalitarian” ones), and has to answer to them as circumstances change.

So far China has been extraordinarily patient, a lot more patient than we’d be if China was promising to fight to the death for, say, Long Island. But that can change. Because, as I never tire of repeating, the enemy of the moment has constituencies too. And has to answer to them.

So what happens if the US succeeds in hamstringing China’s economy? Welp, what’s the most reliable distraction a gov’t can find when it wants to unite a hard-pressed population against some distant enemy?

That’s when China might actually do something about Taiwan. Oh, not the silly 20th c. style invasion the USN dreams about. That’s nonsense. The PLA has contingency planners too, and they won’t want to play those retro games. There’s a whole new military technology and an evolving strategy to optimize it, and it includes dozens of ways to neutralize carrier battle groups. Planning that campaign is probably the most requested assignment among ambitious PLA planners.

And that’s how this looks, when you stare coldly: If our military and media elites are very lucky, China will zoom ahead and ignore the endless woofing. But if US/NATO somehow succeed in crippling China’s economy, then, as Mao might put it, the flabby Golden Retriever woofing behind its picket fence at the pit bull might find that the yard gate is open.

Or, to come down out of the metaphors: Taiwan is a permanent, legitimate casus belli for China. It can be ignored when things are going well domestically, but is always available for use if the economy goes badly and the PRC elite needs a distraction.

It will be interesting to see how the Anglo media, now doing its Sidney Ferocious routine, reacts when and if that happens. My money is on a light-speed Kent Brockman flip.

Gary Brecher is the nom de guerre-nerd of John Dolan. Buy his book The War Nerd Iliad. Hear him read his comic memoir Pleasant Hell in audiobook format.

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This entry was posted in China, Doomsday scenarios, Guest Post, Politics on April 12, 2021 by Yves Smith.
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50 comments...
Lijkt me inderdaad logisch dat China geen invasie van Taiwan plant en dat de VS dit weten. Maar dat indien de VS erin slagen de Chinese economie te nekken een reactie niet uit te sluiten is, niet in de vorm van een invasie in Taiwan maar in de vorm van een tot koraalrif reduceren van een van die sitting ducks VS carrier groups die de VS graag laat paraderen in de buurt van China. Redenen om eindelijk eens terug te slaan heeft China genoeg. En een bevolking die meer en meer denkt in termen van 'trop est trop' ook.

Laatst gewijzigd door Bach : 14 april 2021 om 10:42.
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Oud 14 april 2021, 10:49   #303
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Bach, wat probeer jij eigenlijk te beweren ? Dat een operatie met 220 fake vissersboten om een atol van de Philipijnen te bezetten geen imperialisme is ? Of dat een groep van bommenwerpers en jachtvliegtuigen, 25 in totaal over buurland Taiwan sturen geen imperialisme is ?
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...De Wever is een klootzak, en dit op meerdere vlakken. O.a. wat betreft zijn Blokhaat en zijn walgelijke kontenkruiperij in het stronthol van de partijen die hem een mes in de rug staken...

Laatst gewijzigd door Pandareus : 14 april 2021 om 10:50.
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Oud 14 april 2021, 10:59   #304
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Bach, wat probeer jij eigenlijk te beweren ? Dat een operatie met 220 fake vissersboten om een atol van de Philipijnen te bezetten geen imperialisme is ? Of dat een groep van bommenwerpers en jachtvliegtuigen, 25 in totaal over buurland Taiwan sturen geen imperialisme is ?
Wat de auteur hierboven argumenteert is dat zelfs de VS weten er geen invasie van Taiwan gepland is. Maar dat er veel fake news daarrond verkocht wordt is ook duidelijk. Het is vooral wachten op de eerste valse vlag.
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Oud 14 april 2021, 11:12   #305
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Wat de auteur hierboven argumenteert is dat zelfs de VS weten er geen invasie van Taiwan gepland is. Maar dat er veel fake news daarrond verkocht wordt is ook duidelijk. Het is vooral wachten op de eerste valse vlag.
Is Whitsun reef ook fake news ? Is het normaal dat een wereldmacht een paramilitaire pseudo-vissersvloot ter grootte van een armada misbruikt om buurlanden te intimideren, om vooral niet te reclameren terwijl china hun gebied inpikt ?
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...De Wever is een klootzak, en dit op meerdere vlakken. O.a. wat betreft zijn Blokhaat en zijn walgelijke kontenkruiperij in het stronthol van de partijen die hem een mes in de rug staken...
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Oud 14 april 2021, 12:48   #306
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Is Whitsun reef ook fake news ? Is het normaal dat een wereldmacht een paramilitaire pseudo-vissersvloot ter grootte van een armada misbruikt om buurlanden te intimideren, om vooral niet te reclameren terwijl china hun gebied inpikt ?
China is te machtig geworden.
WIJ allemaal hebben dat lelijk onderschat.
We moeten nu de gevolgen van deze fout dragen.
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Oud 14 april 2021, 13:49   #307
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China is te machtig geworden.
WIJ allemaal hebben dat lelijk onderschat.
We moeten nu de gevolgen van deze fout dragen.
Op dit moment is het nog geen echt probleem voor het westen, maar dat komt. Momenteel zijn het hun buurlanden die de controle over hun exclusieve zone in de zuid-chinese zee dreigen te verliezen. Geen enkele van hun buren heeft de militaire capaciteit om de chinezen tegen te houden.
Daarenboven spelen de chinezen het spel heel slim.
Ze weten dat hun zeemacht (nu nog) niet in staat is om het op te nemen tegen de VS hun Navy. Een open oorlog zou trouwens desastreus zijn voor de twee landen. Maar ondertussen zijn ze wel hun Navy op topsnelheid aan het uitbouwen. Vliegdekschepen, destroyers, landingsvaartuigen, onderzeeërs enz enz. Binnen 1 decenium is het overwicht op zee van de VS ongedaan gemaakt.

En ondertussen spelen ze hun spelletje met hun little blue men, een paramilitaire vloot van honderden schepen. Goed wetende dat als die zich ergens massaal gaan aanmeren waar ze niet gewenst zijn, geen enkel buurland het gaat aandurven om hen te confronteren, en (veel belangrijker) dat de VS geen militaire vloot gaat inzetten tegen 'vissers'.
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Oud 14 april 2021, 13:55   #308
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Bach, wat probeer jij eigenlijk te beweren ? Dat een operatie met 220 fake vissersboten om een atol van de Philipijnen te bezetten geen imperialisme is ? Of dat een groep van bommenwerpers en jachtvliegtuigen, 25 in totaal over buurland Taiwan sturen geen imperialisme is ?
en de boel met Vietnam niet vergeten, tenzij ge Bach heet natuurlijk, dan is het allemaal Westerse propaganda
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Oud 14 april 2021, 14:07   #309
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en de boel met Vietnam niet vergeten, tenzij ge Bach heet natuurlijk, dan is het allemaal Westerse propaganda
Dat ook naast de zuid-chinese zee ligt...
China voert de druk op, installeert raketbasissen op een boogscheut van de Vietnamese grens.
https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pa...border-vietnam
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...De Wever is een klootzak, en dit op meerdere vlakken. O.a. wat betreft zijn Blokhaat en zijn walgelijke kontenkruiperij in het stronthol van de partijen die hem een mes in de rug staken...
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Oud 14 april 2021, 14:28   #310
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Dat ook naast de zuid-chinese zee ligt...
China voert de druk op, installeert raketbasissen op een boogscheut van de Vietnamese grens.
https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pa...border-vietnam
en verbiedt de Vietnamezen om te vissen in hun eigen territoriale wateren, wat tot grote spanningen geleid heeft tussesn beide communistische regimes
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Oud 14 april 2021, 14:54   #311
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en verbiedt de Vietnamezen om te vissen in hun eigen territoriale wateren, wat tot grote spanningen geleid heeft tussesn beide communistische regimes
En de Vietnamezen zijn dan nog een koppig land die af en toe eens 'neen' durven zeggen tegen grote broer China...
Landen als de Filipijnen, Maleisië of Brunei moeten dat zelfs niet overwegen.

Ik vrees dat china zijn doel echt gaat proberen te bereiken : op termijn 90% van de zuid-chinese zee inpalmen. Het enige wat ze niet gaan durven doen, is de doorvaart belemmeren. Dan is oorlog onvermijdelijk.
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Oud 14 april 2021, 15:05   #312
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Op dit moment is het nog geen echt probleem voor het westen, maar dat komt. Momenteel zijn het hun buurlanden die de controle over hun exclusieve zone in de zuid-chinese zee dreigen te verliezen. Geen enkele van hun buren heeft de militaire capaciteit om de chinezen tegen te houden.
Daarenboven spelen de chinezen het spel heel slim.
Ze weten dat hun zeemacht (nu nog) niet in staat is om het op te nemen tegen de VS hun Navy. Een open oorlog zou trouwens desastreus zijn voor de twee landen. Maar ondertussen zijn ze wel hun Navy op topsnelheid aan het uitbouwen. Vliegdekschepen, destroyers, landingsvaartuigen, onderzeeërs enz enz. Binnen 1 decenium is het overwicht op zee van de VS ongedaan gemaakt.

En ondertussen spelen ze hun spelletje met hun little blue men, een paramilitaire vloot van honderden schepen. Goed wetende dat als die zich ergens massaal gaan aanmeren waar ze niet gewenst zijn, geen enkel buurland het gaat aandurven om hen te confronteren, en (veel belangrijker) dat de VS geen militaire vloot gaat inzetten tegen 'vissers'.
Dát is de kern v.d. zaak
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Oud 14 april 2021, 16:09   #313
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Is Whitsun reef ook fake news ? Is het normaal dat een wereldmacht een paramilitaire pseudo-vissersvloot ter grootte van een armada misbruikt om buurlanden te intimideren, om vooral niet te reclameren terwijl china hun gebied inpikt ?
Kijk eens hoever tegen de Filipijnen de Vietnamese vissers zitten in de zuid Chinese zee. Dan besef je dat het om fake news gaat als men de Chinesen viseert.

Onbewoonde stukjes rots in de zee Geclaimed door verschillende naties is trouwens nog iets heel anders dan de zowat hele Pacific eilanden veroveren tot en met het deporteren van hele bevolkingen en die eilanden vergiftigen met atoomproeven. Bevolkingen die tot nu hun land terug vragen en een fuck you krijgen van de VS.

Misschien moesten de Chinezen Diego Garcia maar eens gaan bevrijden van de evil empire. De Chinezen houden zich echter heel rustig.

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Oud 14 april 2021, 16:11   #314
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.

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Oud 14 april 2021, 16:24   #315
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Een Chinese mensenrechten organisatie (iets wat waarschijnlijk een contradictie is volgens de westerse morele supremacisten) maakte een rekensommetje

"From the end of World War II in 1945 to 2001, among the 248 armed conflicts that occurred in 153 regions of the world, 201 were initiated by the United States, accounting for 81 percent of the total number,"
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Oud 14 april 2021, 16:32   #316
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Kijk eens hoever tegen de Filipijnen de Vietnamese vissers zitten in de zuid Chinese zee. Dan besef je dat het om fake news gaat als men de Chinesen viseert.

Onbewoonde stukjes rots in de zee Geclaimed door verschillende naties is trouwens nog iets heel anders dan de zowat hele Pacific eilanden veroveren tot en met het deporteren van hele bevolkingen en die eilanden vergiftigen met atoomproeven. Bevolkingen die tot nu hun land terug vragen en een fuck you krijgen van de VS.

Misschien moesten de Chinezen Diego Garcia maar eens gaan bevrijden van de evil empire. De Chinezen houden zich echter heel rustig.
Vietnamese vissers worden geviseerd binnen hun eigen territoriaal deel van de zee.
De Little Blue Men viseren de Filipijnen op hun eigen grondgebied. Of hoe noem je een armada van 220 schepen soms ? Vissersschepen op de payroll van het ministerie van defensie, speciaal versterkte romp, nooit enige vissersactiviteit van gezien, en steeds -op commando- ingezet voor massale inzet om buurlanden te intimideren.

En waarom maak je er een bouillabaise van ? Diego Garcia ligt niet eens in de zuid-chinese zee, heeft hier geen kloten van de Schoof mee te zien dus je serveert ons hier gewoon een whataboutism om het onderwerp weg te kanaliseren...

Ken jij mondiaal één ander voorbeeld van een machtig land, dat een fake 'vissersvloot' van honderden schepen gebruikt om territorium van buurlanden in te pikken en die laatsten te intimideren ?
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Oud 14 april 2021, 16:35   #317
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Kijk eens hoever tegen de Filipijnen de Vietnamese vissers zitten in de zuid Chinese zee. Dan besef je dat het om fake news gaat als men de Chinesen viseert.

Onbewoonde stukjes rots in de zee Geclaimed door verschillende naties is trouwens nog iets heel anders dan de zowat hele Pacific eilanden veroveren tot en met het deporteren van hele bevolkingen en die eilanden vergiftigen met atoomproeven. Bevolkingen die tot nu hun land terug vragen en een fuck you krijgen van de VS.

Misschien moesten de Chinezen Diego Garcia maar eens gaan bevrijden van de evil empire. De Chinezen houden zich echter heel rustig.

en we verschuiven alweer naar de VS. Echt belachelijk
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Oud 14 april 2021, 18:43   #318
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Kijk eens hoever tegen de Filipijnen de Vietnamese vissers zitten in de zuid Chinese zee. Dan besef je dat het om fake news gaat als men de Chinesen viseert.

Onbewoonde stukjes rots in de zee Geclaimed door verschillende naties is trouwens nog iets heel anders dan de zowat hele Pacific eilanden veroveren tot en met het deporteren van hele bevolkingen en die eilanden vergiftigen met atoomproeven. Bevolkingen die tot nu hun land terug vragen en een fuck you krijgen van de VS.

Misschien moesten de Chinezen Diego Garcia maar eens gaan bevrijden van de evil empire. De Chinezen houden zich echter heel rustig.
Dat mag ook eens gezegd worden !!!
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Oud 14 april 2021, 22:57   #319
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Vietnamese vissers worden geviseerd binnen hun eigen territoriaal deel van de zee.
De Little Blue Men viseren de Filipijnen op hun eigen grondgebied. Of hoe noem je een armada van 220 schepen soms ? Vissersschepen op de payroll van het ministerie van defensie, speciaal versterkte romp, nooit enige vissersactiviteit van gezien, en steeds -op commando- ingezet voor massale inzet om buurlanden te intimideren.

En waarom maak je er een bouillabaise van ? Diego Garcia ligt niet eens in de zuid-chinese zee, heeft hier geen kloten van de Schoof mee te zien dus je serveert ons hier gewoon een whataboutism om het onderwerp weg te kanaliseren...

Ken jij mondiaal één ander voorbeeld van een machtig land, dat een fake 'vissersvloot' van honderden schepen gebruikt om territorium van buurlanden in te pikken en die laatsten te intimideren ?
In een machtig land als China voorziet men dat de maatschappij zal bestuurd worden door technologen i.p.v. politici.
Militairen zullen veel minder macht hebben.
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Oud 15 april 2021, 09:53   #320
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In een machtig land als China voorziet men dat de maatschappij zal bestuurd worden door technologen i.p.v. politici.
Militairen zullen veel minder macht hebben.
Technologen en economen besturen het land en dit met strategieën op de lange termijn.
De communistische partij is een dictatuur en heeft niets meer met Marxisme te maken.
Voor ons in het Westen zijn China en de Aziatische landen niet of nauwelijks te begrijpen,
omdat ze al meer dan 2000 jaar een andere traditie en cultuur hebben.
De enkele keren dat ik in China ben geweest ,was ik niet alleen verbaasd over de snelheid van bouwen door de 24 uurs economie ,
maar ook over de snelheid van de verandering in houding naar Westerlingen.
Dit kan in een dag veranderen en na een paar dagen weer anders om zijn.
Chinezen doen wat hun wordt bevolen en de meeste vinden dit heel normaal.
Dissidenten verdwijnen.

Laatst gewijzigd door cato : 15 april 2021 om 09:54.
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