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Chinese state-run media: China will 'take off the gloves' if Trump continues to provoke Beijing over Taiwan
Christian Shepherd, Reuters
xi jinping davos doris leuthard china switzerland
Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Swiss President Doris Leuthard walk past an honour guard of the Swiss Army upon his arrival for an official visit to Switzerland at the airport in Zurich, Switzerland January 15, 2017. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
China will "take off the gloves" and take strong action if U.S. President-elect Donald Trump continues to provoke Beijing over Taiwan once he assumes office, two leading state-run newspapers said on Monday.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal published on Friday, Trump said the "One China" policy was up for negotiation. China's foreign ministry, in response, said "One China" was the foundation of China-U.S. ties and was non-negotiable.
Trump broke with decades of precedent last month by taking a congratulatory telephone call from Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen, angering Beijing which sees Taiwan as part of China.
"If Trump is determined to use this gambit in taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves," the English-language China Daily said.
The Global Times, an influential state-run tabloid, echoed the China Daily, saying Beijing would take "strong countermeasures" against Trump's attempt to "impair" the "One China" principle.
"The Chinese mainland will be prompted to speed up Taiwan reunification and mercilessly combat those who advocate Taiwan's independence," the paper said in an editorial.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the United States was clearly aware of China's position on "One China".
"Any person should understand that in this world there are certain things that cannot be traded or bought and sold," she told a daily news briefing.
"The One China principle is the precondition and political basis for any country having relations with China."
Hua added, "If anyone attempts to damage the One China principle or if they are under the illusion they can use this as a bargaining chip, they will be opposed by the Chinese government and people.
"In the end it will be like lifting a rock to drop it on one's own feet," she said, without elaborating.
Taiwan may be 'sacrificed'
The Global Times said Trump's endorsement of Taiwan was merely a ploy to further his administration's short term interests, adding: "Taiwan may be sacrificed as a result of this despicable strategy."
"If you do not beat them until they are bloody and bruised, then they will not retreat," Yang Yizhou, deputy head of China's government-run All-China Federation of Taiwan Compatriots, told an academic meeting on cross-straits relations in Beijing on Saturday.
Taiwan independence must "pay a cost" for every step forward taken, "we must use bloodstained facts to show them that the road is blocked," Yang said, according to a Monday report on the meeting by the official People's Daily Overseas Edition.
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks after being decorated with the Mariscal Francisco Lopez medal, the country's highest honor, during a ceremony in the Lopez Presidential Palace in Asuncion, Paraguay June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jorge Adorno
Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen speaks after being decorated with the Mariscal Francisco Lopez medal, the country's highest honor, during a ceremony in the Lopez Presidential Palace in Asuncion Thomson Reuters
The United States, which switched diplomatic recognition from Taipei to Beijing in 1979, has acknowledged the Chinese position that there is only "One China" and that Taiwan is part of it.
The China Daily said Beijing's relatively measured response to Trump's comments in the Wall Street Journal "can only come from a genuine, sincere wish that the less-than-desirable, yet by-and-large manageable, big picture of China-U.S. relations will not be derailed before Trump even enters office".
But China should not count on the assumption that Trump's Taiwan moves are "a pre-inauguration bluff, and instead be prepared for him to continue backing his bet".
"It may be costly. But it will prove a worthy price to pay to make the next U.S. president aware of the special sensitivity, and serious consequences of his Taiwan game," said the national daily.
http://www.businessinsider.com/chinese- ... wan-2017-1
Chinese Media Has Told Rex Tillerson to ‘Prepare for a Military Clash’
Charlie Campbell / Beijing @charliecamp6ell Jan. 12, 2017
Rex Tillerson testifies during his confirmation hearing to become U.S. Secretary of State
Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive officer of ExxonMobil, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing to become U.S. Secretary of State on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 11, 2017
The U.S. Secretary of State nominee has provoked fury with his hawkish remarks on the South China Sea
China’s state media has responded forcefully to suggestions by U.S. Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson that China should be barred from the artificial islands it has built in the South China Sea, warning that any such attempt would force a “devastating confrontation” and both sides should “prepare for a military clash.”
On Wednesday, Tillerson told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Beijing’s ongoing island-building strategy in the busy waterway — through which $5 trillion of trade passes annually — was illegal and “akin to Russia’s taking of Crimea.”
Rex Tillerson Calls Russia a ‘Danger’ to the Nation
He said recent Russian actions "disregarded American interests"
“We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops,” the former ExxonMobil CEO told the hearing. “And second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”
Beijing claims sovereignty over almost 90% of the South China Sea, competing with neighbors Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei, who also claim parts of the waterway. In a bid to bolster its presence, China has transformed seven reefs and islets through reclamation into artificial islands. The mini fortresses now host antiaircraft guns and other weaponry, according to recent analysis.
Although a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman declined to answer a journalist’s question about possible responses to American naval incursions into the vital trade corridor, China’s notoriously strident state media pulled no punches.
“Tillerson’s statements regarding the islands in the South China Sea are far from professional,” the Chinese Communist Party–linked Global Times declared in an editorial on Friday. “If Trump’s diplomatic team shapes future Sino-U.S. ties as it is doing now, the two sides had better prepare for a military clash.”
The state-backed China Daily described Tillerson’s remarks as “a mishmash of naivety, shortsightedness, worn-out prejudices, and unrealistic political fantasies. Should he act on them in the real world, it would be disastrous [and] set a course for devastating confrontation between China and the U.S.”
Although Donald Trump has been fiercely critical of China during his campaign, his attacks have typically focused on alleged unfair trade practices that the U.S. President-elect claims have “stolen” American jobs. The Trump Administration’s trade team has been stocked with outspoken China trade hawks, such as Peter Navarro and Robert Lighthizer.
Given that Trump campaigned on drawing down expensive military commitments overseas, many believed any confrontation between the U.S. and China would be limited to commerce, and that the South China Sea would be less of a hot spot than it has been under the Obama Administration, which stepped up naval patrols in the region.
However, Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at Nanjing University, says the South China Sea will now remain an “essential component” of Washington’s Asia-Pacific security strategy. “The entire U.S.-China relationship is a minefield,” he tells TIME. “There’s not one place to stick your foot
http://time.com/4634078/rex-tillerson-s ... ald-trump/
Amazon sells out of Rep. John Lewis’ biography after Trump attacks him
Outrage mounts after Trump accuses the civil rights icon of being “all talk, no action.”
What Happens When Trump’s Tirade War With China Becomes a Trade War?
The big risk—that a trade war would lead to a shooting war—probably is overrated. But that’s because China has so many economic weapons at its disposal.
01.15.17 11:15 PM ET
HONG KONG—No matter how some pundits frame current U.S.-China relations, Beijing wants no part in armed conflict with America. Open war—whether framed as escalation of tensions across the Taiwan Strait, in the South China Sea, or due to geopolitical head-butting—is not a feasible option for either side. The globe’s two largest economies not only share intimate economic ties; their fates are intertwined. But the occasional bloody nose is unavoidable. The battlefield where China and America trade blows may well be trade.
President-elect Donald J. Trump has repeatedly said he will “get tough on China” once he takes his seat in the Oval Office—a promise that previous administrations have pursued and failed to realize. Trump’s pick for top diplomat, Rex Tillerson, has even singled out the South China Sea as a critical juncture during his senate confirmation hearing, dictating that China should be banned from accessing its artificial islets built in choppy waters. (Tillerson failed to lay out an executable plan that would achieve this objective, and Reuters reported that a Trump transition advisor tried to dial back Tillerson’s comments by saying a naval blockade was not an option.)
But what exactly does being “tough on China” mean? Trade wars are fought on paper, in cargo ports, in factories, and even in supermarket aisles. Punitive tariffs—like those promised by Trump during his improvisational presidential run—and import quotas are the basic weapons that can be deployed. A devastating scenario would be a devaluation of the Chinese currency by Beijing.
The rule of thumb is that the country with a trade surplus—in this case, China—has more to lose in a trade war, but the circumstances we face are anything but common. If Trump and his cronies indeed do decide to slap the People’s Republic with punitive measures, Beijing will feel pain, but it will not go down without a fight.
Chinese economists have spent decades honing their craft, and have taken their nation’s economic model through a rapid evolution. Their countermeasures for retaliation are elegant for one reason: China remains the largest financier of American debt. If the People’s Bank of China chooses to sell down its share of U.S. Treasuries, the value of T-bills would fall, leading to a dive in the global economy. That would hurt America far more than its competitor across the Pacific Ocean, if we follow the metric that ranks the U.S. at the largest economy in the world. Stateside, we could see inflation and softened domestic consumption. This means that if Trump follows through with his tough talk, America will bear the brunt of the economic collision.
We have already seen a much lighter version of this play out. In July, China’s holdings of U.S. treasuries fell to a three-year-low. That marked a $22 billion dive in one month—a mere taste of what could come with a bungled China strategy under Trump.
Pick a product—any globally available product dreamed up by an American—and compare its sales numbers in America with those in China. The blunt truth is that, economically, the U.S. needs China more than the other way around, and Beijing knows it.
China exports have faltered for the second year in a row in 2016. Last month, Chinese president Xi Jinping even said Chinese leadership is now open to divorcing the nation’s (fudged) numbers from the annual 6.5 percent economic growth objective—in part due to the economic volatility introduced by Donald J. Trump’s upcoming residency in the White House—and the need to avoid what Graham Allison calls the Thucydides Trap: in 12 of 16 past cases over the last 500 years in which a rising power has confronted a ruling power, the result has been bloodshed.
No doubt Trump reads all of this as a victory that fuels his own bravado, but that is a miscalculation.
inRead invented by Teads
Trump and his chums make the mistake of thinking that China is still a factory-state, one that may not have the ammunition or appetite for trade war tactics. That notion is outdated. It has a number of arrows in its quiver.
The option of devaluing the yuan is always possible for Beijing, especially if weakening an America that no longer sees itself as a partner to China is the end goal. A bonus in the yuan’s devaluation is that China’s export competitors would be effectively neutered, again boosting China’s status as a global trader of all goods and commodities.
For the moment, there is room for cooler heads to prevail. The Chinese public realizes that the U.S. is China’s most important partner. At the end of 2016, China’s most-read newspaper, the People’s Daily, conducted a straw poll to determine public opinion about China’s global relationships. The results were clear—79.8 percent recognized America as their nation’s paramount relationship. Days later, state media called China “invulnerable to trade war.” While mixed messages from Beijing are nothing new, the persistent edge of anxiety is.
While those in the upper echelons of the Chinese Communist Party remain confident that they can handle America’s new president, there are silent jitters about Donald J. Trump’s unpredictability. His bluster and no-holds-barred rhetoric, often seemingly detached from reality, has rattled Beijing.
But for the Chinese, there is one comforting thought—Trump and his family’s business empire depend heavily on China. The president-elect’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, joined the new White House staff as senior advisor to act as Trump’s “gatekeeper” for foreign policy, even as he chased a massive Chinese deal.
This potential conflict of interest plays perfectly into the hands of the CCP. The People’s Republic might be riddled with corruption, often with mounds of cash funneled toward princelings and those around them, but in this new context, it means they understand very well what’s going on with the next first family in America.
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... e-war.html
BANGKOK (AP) — A look at recent developments in the South China Sea, where China is pitted against smaller neighbors in multiple disputes over islands, coral reefs and lagoons in waters crucial for global commerce and rich in fish and potential oil and gas reserves:
EDITOR'S NOTE: This is a weekly look at the latest developments in the South China Sea, home to several territorial conflicts that have raised tensions in the region.
CHINA SLAMS ABE FOR DIVIDING ASEAN
China is not happy with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's high-profile visits to the Philippines, Australia, Indonesia and Vietnam over concerns that he may be trying to pull the rug out from under Beijing's efforts to pacify its neighbors in and around the South China Sea.
"The Japanese leader spared no effort in driving a wedge and playing up the regional tension, showing his ulterior motives and extremely unhealthy mindset," Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters. She said Abe's Asia tour came just as Beijing and its neighbors have stabilized the situation in the South China Sea.
In the Philippines, which is hosting Southeast Asian leaders this year, Abe said the South China Sea issue is linked directly to regional peace and stability and is a "concern to the entire international community." He also welcomed Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's efforts to improve Manila's ties with Beijing following the Philippines' victory in an arbitration ruling last year declaring China's maritime claims invalid.
China has refused to recognize the arbitration decision and has warned the United States and other countries not involved in the territorial row not to meddle in the disputes, which Beijing wants to settle through one-on-one negotiations.
A commentary by the state-run Xinhua News Agency said although Abe raised the arbitration ruling with Duterte, he "will probably feel disappointed" as Duterte made no direct mention of the disputes. In fact, Duterte described Japan as a "friend closer than brother" during a state dinner for Abe.
"We are friends who are bound by shared common resolve to uphold democracy, adherence to the rule of law, and the peaceful settlement of disputes," Duterte said.
In both the Philippines and Vietnam, Abe pledged investment opportunities and support for the countries' coast guards in protecting their waters. He said that Japan will provide new patrol vessels to both nations.
PHILIPPINES FILES RARE PROTEST AGAINST CHINA
The Philippine foreign secretary has filed a verbal protest to China over Beijing's placing of anti-aircraft and anti-missile weapons on its man-made islands in the South China Sea — a rare move since Manila warmed up to Beijing last year.
"I just want to assure the Filipino people that when we take action at engaging China in this dispute, we do not want to take such aggressive, provocative action that will not solve the problem," Perfecto Yasay told CNN Philippines. He added: "We cannot engage China in a war."
Beijing says the artificial islands are intended to boost maritime safety in the region while downplaying their military utility. They also buttress China's claim to ownership of practically the entire South China Sea.
VIETNAM, CHINA AGREE TO SET ASIDE MARITIME DISPUTES
Days before Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Vietnam, the country's Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong led a high-power delegation to Beijing for talks with President Xi Jinping.
Vietnam has had complicated relationship with China: both are nominally allies ruled by communists, but unresolved maritime boundaries and China's pressing ahead with its territorial claims over objections of other claimants has rattled Hanoi. In 2014, China moved an oil rig into the disputed Paracel Islands, triggering a tense standoff that involved Vietnamese and Chinese vessels ramming each other.
The statement at the end of the talks said both sides would try to peacefully settle their claims.
The official Xinhua News Agency said that China and Vietnam have jointly patrolled and explored for oil in the Gulf of Tonkin in one of the "success stories" that "demonstrate that both countries are committed to shelving their maritime differences through cooperation rather than confrontation, which will yield more win-win results and larger-scale cooperation."
In Hanoi, police broke up a rally to mark the anniversary of a 1974 naval clash in which Chinese forces gained control of the Paracels, killing 74 sailors from the former South Vietnam.
CAMBODIA SHELVES U.S. MILITARY DRILLS
Cambodia, long a loyal friend to China, has told the United States that it is canceling annual joint military exercises this year and next, even though planning had already begun.
The reasons given by the Defense Ministry raised some suspicion. According to spokesman Gen. Chhum Socheath, the Angkor Sentinel exercise had to be postponed because Cambodian forces would be unable to fully participate as a result of two important events: local elections in June and a six-month campaign to eradicate drug-related crime.
The drills have been ongoing for the past seven years, including in 2013 when Cambodia held its last national election, according to Diplomat news site.
Cambodia depends on China as its most important ally and has demonstrated its willingness to do Beijing's bidding in diplomatic meetings, especially regarding Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.
Cambodia in December for the first time hosted the Golden Dragon joint exercise with Chinese troops similar in size and purpose to Angkor Sentinel.
Associated Press writers Teresa Cerojano in Manila, Philippines, and Sopheng Cheang in Phnom Pehn, Cambodia, contributed to this report.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/recent-devel ... 46924.html
The Chinese Working Class in the Global Capitalist Crisis:
Revolutionary Mass Strike or a New Bureaucratic Containment?
1. The regime founded by the Chinese Communist Party in 1949 was not “state capitalism”, and still less a “workers’ state”. It was, like the Soviet Union and its post-1945 eastern European satraps, a “transition to capitalism”, a “bourgeois revolution with red flags”, a preparation for full entry into the world market when circumstances permitted or required it. The Stalinist model, taken over from the Soviet Union, entailed a closed economy, state property technocratic planning, state control of foreign trade and the currency, and strict controls on the movement of the rural population (80% at the outset) toward the cities. These controls were like a “jack in the box” aimed at suppressing the operation of the capitalist law of value, both externally toward the world market, and internally in the “anarchy” of competition among firms, operating (as in the Soviet Union) in the underground economy. The emerging capitalist class was in the “interstices” of the state bureaucracy.
2. Since 1978, the evolution toward a “market socialism with Chinese characteristics” has meant a slow-motion opening of the “jack in the box”, allowing the suppressed aspects of capitalism to emerge increasingly to the surface. What remains of the old constraints are the state monopoly of foreign trade and of the currency, state control of foreign investment and a still significant state sector in both banking and companies, as well as continued restrictions on rural movement to the cities.
3. China’s opening to the West, and to Western trade and investment, served both China and Western capitalism well. China at the death of Mao and the fall of the Maoist “Gang of Four” in 1976 was at an impasse, after the disaster of the “Great Leap Forward” (1958-1961), in which between twenty and f orty million died of starvation, followed by the chaos of the “Cultural Revolution” (1965-1976) in which at least hundreds of thousands more died and in which millions of lives were wrecked, including those of most of the 17 million students “sent down” to the countryside, often for ten years or more. Agricultural output per capita in 1978 was no higher than in 1949, possibly lower. The West, for its part, was deep into the post-1970 crisis from which it has not emerged. China, following the strategy of the “Four Tigers” (South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore) would provide cheap consumer goods to partially offset the austerity increasingly afflicting Western workers. China also held out the potential for massive Western imports and investment.
4. Successful rapid industrialization has always depended on cheap food from the countryside, with eradication of pre-capitalist ownership as a pre-requisite. This eradication was carried out in China from 1949 to 1952. Nevertheless, whether in small plot farming for state-controlled prices or the “people’s communes” of the 1960’s, along with the previously mentioned disaster of the “Great Leap Forward”, Chinese agriculture was largely a failure. Hence the first step in the reform program of the Deng xiao ping (Soviet-trained) technocrats, ousted and reviled as “capitalist roaders” during the “Cultural Revolution” and returned to power in 1978, was serious experimentation in agricultural production for a free market in (initially) specific locales, resulting in some instances in a 500% increase in crops.
5. China looked to many precursors for its reorganization. The regime and its think tanks carefully studied the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Comecon bloc, as a model to be avoided. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) saw before it the previously mentioned Asian tigers, moving ahead at rapid rates of growth by astute use of their position in the international division of labor, in contrast to previous, discredited Stalinist or Third Worldist models of autarchy and import-substitution. It looked to the history of Japan, the template of all the Asian tigers. Chinese think tanks have studied and continue to study the rise of Germany after 1870, which in their view offers the best example of a successful challenger to the international system, then dominated by Britain and France, today dominated by the U.S. The only thing they overlooked is the post-1914 decadence of the capitalist mode of production on a world scale, in which, in contrast to 1815-1914, expansion here (e.g. China, the Four Tigers) is offset by contraction there (the hollowing out of the U.S. and Europe, serious retrogression in Russia and eastern Europe, retrogression in much of the Middle East and elsewhere in the former Third World)
6. China’s growth averaging 10% per year over 30 years, is unprecedented in history, though of course drawing on the two previous centuries of industrial development elsewhere. (These growth rates must of course be set against the largely unmeasured huge costs of environmental destruction. ) In the past 1-2 years, China’s urban population has (like the world’s) reached 50%, though one must be careful when considering the estimated 270 million migrant workers who still do not have the residence permit (hukou) to settle permanently in urban areas with full access to housing, schools, and health care. Of the 1.3 billion total population, we can estimate that at least 200 million are urban proletarians.
7. The 2008 world crisis and ensuing “recession”, (in no way over), hit China hard, as its previous capital-intensive export model became unviable, also spreading crisis to many of its raw materials suppliers in the rest of Asia, in Latin America and in Africa. The regime, especially after the repression of the widespread worker and student revolt of 1989 in Beijing and elsewhere, worked on an implicit tradeoff with Chinese society: rapid growth, expanding employment opportunities, increased personal consumption and a relaxation of the state regimentation of everyday life, in exchange for political quiescence. Any serious slowing of growth threatens to undo this tradeoff. The initial response to the crisis was a huge increase in state-led investment, especially in infrastructure, both in new urban and rural development and in transportation. In the last few years, this temporary strategy has clearly reached its limits. The previous advantage of the low-wage “China price” is being lost to still cheaper competitors in Southeast Asia (e.g. Vietnam, Cambodia) South Asia (Bangladesh) and even Africa (Uganda, Kenya). While China has few “world class” corporations, the decades of development have produced tens of millions of technically-educated people capable of moving China “up the value chain” and beyond labor-intensive mass production, as for example in its world dominance in solar paneling.
8. By 2012, there were upwards of 100,000 “incidents” of popular unrest per year, ranging from strikes to riots to confrontations with local authorities over rural land seizures and real estate development. 2014 saw the highest number of strikes (12,000) ever, quite outside the control of the All-China Federation of Trade Unions (ACFTU), the discredited state-sponsored union. The regime has thus far been successful in keeping these struggles dispersed and localized, aimed at local authorities rather than the central government. Environmental destruction, pollution and health hazards are also increasingly at issue. Despite full-time monitoring of the internet by government agencies, the blockage of web sites, and the “Great Firewall of China” limiting access to the worldwide web, an uncontrolled mass discussion outside official channels has become a force to be reckoned with in shaping opinion, an unprecedented challenge to the Communist Party’s previous monopoly of information. A network of working- class militants outside the official state trade union has formed, however subject to surveillance and repression. China has apparently exhausted the supply of pliable rural labor power, and a more mature, better educated and informed working class is in formation., also putting upward pressure on wages in the coastal industrial zones (i.e. Guangdong province) and prompting capital to migrate toward the cheaper, western interior.
9. The regime and Chinese society generally are therefore at a crossroads. This blockage is only part of the general blockage of capitalism on a world scale. What is required is what occurred between 1914 and 1945, namely a vast “devalorization”, i.e. a shakeout, although on an even larger scale, like the shakeouts that ended every depression going back to the 19th century: unviable excess capacity must be written
down, discarded or destroyed, wage levels (the total social wage, not merely the paycheck) must similarly be driven down, and those of the vast armies of unproductive (white collar, “service” ) workers with them; cutting-edge technologies (the modern equivalents of electronics and auto in the previous crisis) must be freed from the straightjackets holding them back, to restore a viable, systemic rate of profit globally. A “managed depression” version of this crisis has been underway since the 1970’s. But it is not enough. Much greater destruction of productive forces is required. The fundamental problem is that, on a world scale, expanded social reproduction within a capitalist (“value”) framework can only be possible for a reduced part of existing humanity. The choice is stark: the world working class must destroy the capitalist mode of production, or be partially destroyed by it. “Socialism or barbarism” is not some romantic slogan, but the distillation of the most “scientific” thought around.
10. Let us imagine what a reorganized China would look like after such a shakeout, assuming that there would be a world “reconstruction” phase following such an earthquake and assuming no positive revolutionary breakthrough by workers. The first order of business would be a renewed form of containment of the working class, which would imply a replacement of the ACFTU by unions less directly dependent on the state. This would most likely be on the model of something like Polish Solidarnosc, after its legalization in the late 1980s. But such a legalization means (as it meant in Poland) the breaking of the party monopoly in society generally, and the state power of the CCP, it knows only too well, rests on precisely such a monopoly. Not for nothing have Chinese think tanks been studying the German “works councils” (not to be confused with genuine workers councils and soviets) established after World War II, which give workers some co-management powers in some enterprises. The most far-sighted must realize that, as the old saying goes, “everything must change for things to remain the same”. The problem of the bureaucracy jumping over its own shadow—a recognition that its own power is a key part of the social blockage—remains as true today in China as it was for Gorbachev in the Soviet Union in the 1980’s.
A second requirement would be a reorganization of the world financial system to adequately reflect the changes in the location of world production since the creation of the current institutions (IMF, World Bank, WTO–formerly GATT– the U.S. dollar standard) in place since the 1940’s. In 1960, 5% of world production was in East Asia; today it is on the order of 35%. U.S. domination could hardly survive an equitable reorganization of world institutions to adequately reflect such a change, and the U.S. is unlikely to accept such a demotion quietly.
A third requirement would be the creation of a wider power base in Chinese society as a whole, to underwrite and help push through this reorganization, a role performed by the CIO in the New Deal and Second World War (no strike pledge). No doubt NGOs would also play their role in this process. Coming fast behind this, in our thought experiment, would be a multi-party bourgeois democracy, which, like
its Russian and Eastern European counterparts, would be essential in further dismantling whatever bureaucratic constraints still protect sectors of Chinese society from the full weight of the world market. It is not likely that the main props keeping eastern Europe afloat, such as capital flows for the gentrification of its classical cities, the large-scale emigation of its educated youth and some direct foreign investment, would be available on an adequate scale for China.
1949-Chinese Revolution: a “bourgeois revolution with red flags”; working class plays no role.
1949-1952: elimination of pre-capitalist landlord class
1956-1957: first major strikes, simultaneous with Hungarian Revolution, Polish October, during “Hundred Flowers” campaign. Repression follows.
1958-1961: “Great Leap Forward”, 20 to 40 million dead, famine, Mao “kicked upstairs” for debacle.
1966-1976: “Cultural Revolution”, Mao attempts to regain power; estimated 4 million die in factional battles. 17 million urban youth “rusticated”, many for 10 years or more. Universities closed for a decade.
1967-1968: Worker unrest in Shanghai and elsewhere, People’s Liberation Army (PLA) intervenes to restore order. Independent Shengwulian group appears, issues manifesto “Whither China?”, calling for revolution against both state factions, is crushed.
1972-Nixon visits Beijing while U.S. air force rains bombs on North Vietnam; beginning of US-China alliance
1976-Deaths of Chou en-lai and Mao; arrest of Maoist “Gang of Four”; mass popular anti-Gang of Four demo at Chou’s funeral. Creation of “Democracy Wall” in Tienanmen Square, filled with intense discussion on giant posters (“da zi bao”).
1978-Deng xiao peng returns to power after years of rustication, calls for “Four Modernizations”. Da zi bao appears calling for “fifth modernization: democracy”.
Author is sentenced to 18 years in prison; Democracy Wall shut down.
1982-onward: huge surge of agricultural production as peasants are allowed to produce for the market
1986-Wildcat strike at Sanyo (Japanese semiconductors) in Guangdong province.
1989-Worker, student protest in Beijing, other cities ends in bloodbath. Collapse
of “communism” in Eastern Europe, Gorbachev ousted in 1991
1992-onward. Economic expansion in China returns; Deng xiao peng’s “Southern Tour” gives green light to “market socialism”, touts free investment zones.
1992-1994-strike wave In Shenzhen. 1994 Labor Law for national minimum wage.
1995-2002: Massive layoffs (60-70 million) in “state owned enterprises” (SOEs), riots, demonstrations; many managers loot pension funds to privatize. End of “iron rice bowl” and lifetime employment. Strike wave grows from year to year.
1997-98 Asia crisis; 1999 China slowdown as export markets contract.
1998-2003 privatization of 75 million units of social housing.
1999-China joins WTO with strong lobbying by Clinton White House
2000-2008 China’s cheap exports feed credit-fueled “sub prime” boom in U.S.
Massive foreign investment in Guangdong province.
2000-2002 Oil workers in northeast fight against privatization; 300,000 laid off .
2003-China passes U.S. as top recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI).
2004-Strike at (Japanese) Uniden plant for independent trade union. 4-5000 workers strike at Walmart supplier Sun factory against rationalization program.
2006-ACFTU organizes Wal-Mart China.
2008-SEIU head Andy Stern et al. visit Guangdong trade unionists.
2008-Labor Contract Law protects workers under contract, companies respond
by massive outsourcing.
2008-2009: U.S.,world meltdown leads to mass layoffs in China’s export industries;
millions of workers return to villages; Chinese government launches massive
reflation aimed at infrastructure and housing; export-led growth model in crisis.
2010-Worker suicides at FoxConn, Taiwanese supplier of Apple, with 1 million employees in the PRC. Wages raised to 1350 yuan ($200) for 10+ hour days, four days off per month.
2010-Strike wave affects mainly Japanese firms (e.g. four Honda plants), win significant wages increases.
2012-Team of CCP General Secretary Xi Jinpin and Premier Li Keqiang heads of state for 10-year cycle; launch unusually large anti-corruption campaign; Chongqing power broker and “Maoist” Bo ji lai falls. Growth based on bottomless supply of fresh rural labor falters. Pressure builds for reorientation to internal consumption.
2014-More than 100,000 “episodes” (riots, strikes, demos); thousands of strikes, as well as peasant riots against land expropriation. There are roughly 270 million migrant workers from the countryside; China becomes 50% urban.
2015-July stock market crash wipes out $3 trillion of market capitalization
January 13, 2016
Last year the BBC's Rupert Wingfield-Hayes travelled across the South China Sea in a fishing boat and became the first journalist to observe close-up how China is constructing new islands on coral reefs. A few days ago he returned to the area in a small aircraft - provoking a furious and threatening response from the Chinese Navy.
The scattered atolls, reefs and sand bars known as the Spratly Islands are a very difficult place to get to. Some are controlled by Vietnam, others by the Philippines, one by Taiwan, and then of course there are those controlled by China.
New islands are being made in the disputed South China Sea by the might of the Chinese state. But a group of marooned Filipinos on a rusting wreck is trying to stand in the way.
Killing TPP is bad news for Americans, but great for China
Jeffrey H. Bergstrand
Jeffrey H. Bergstrand is a professor of finance, economics and global affairs at the University of Notre Dame and has published more than 50 articles on international trade, free trade agreements and related economic issues. The opinions in this article belong to the author.
It's now clear that the election of Donald Trump will dramatically alter the shape of the world's economy for the foreseeable future. But based on his executive action to withdraw from the negotiating process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), this reshaping will not be for the benefit of US workers and citizens.
Rather, the bulk of American workers, consumers and businesses likely will be hurt by the unfolding of US trade policies under President Trump.
Today's action means that TPP is dead. Without ratification by the US Congress, it dies. Some workers' high-paying jobs in the US will be saved.
However, based upon sound estimates from the two most respected economic analyses of TPP -- the Petri-Plummer study from the Peterson Institute in Washington, DC, and the US International Trade Commission study -- the vast bulk of workers, businesses, and consumers in the US will lose out on this.
For instance, using the Petri-Plummer estimates, not only business owners would have gained (about 0.4 percent annually), but workers would have gained 0.5 percent more real income per year once fully implemented. Moreover, less educated workers would have gained almost as much as more educated workers. We all lose the benefits of the greater productivity and lower prices that TPP would have provided.
Second, the vacuum will be filled. While not perfect, markets for good and services are basically efficient. In a global competition for economic growth by the 200 or so countries in the world, the evolution of trade policies by countries is also like a market.
Even as TPP (which excluded China) was being negotiated, another extensive trade agreement -- though lesser known -- has been under discussion. China and 15 other Asia-Pacific Rim countries have been negotiating the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement since 2012.
The final RCEP agreement, which is a major trade policy undertaking of nearly the scope of the TPP, but including China, Japan, India, Australia, and South Korea to name a few countries, will provide, when ratified, a ready opportunity for 16 Asia-Pacific Rim governments to advance further the lowering of trade barriers and enhance their global interactions.
Last week, China's President Xi Jinping attended for the first time the World Economic Forum in Davos and spoke on the benefits that globalization and reduced trade barriers has provided for China. He made a clear statement that the Chinese government is happy to take the lead in fostering globalization, and earlier remarks have suggested that RCEP negotiations will move forward.
Unfortunately, this means the rules for global commerce will increasingly be set by other nations -- not by the United States. More importantly, with the United States absent from RCEP, considerable trade will be diverted away from the US.
Third, another likely trade policy move by the new administration will be the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). It has been the case that large economies wield large influence in trade negotiations, and NAFTA reflected the best interests of the United States 20 years ago, when the US economy was 10 times the size of Canada's and 25 times the size of Mexico's.
NAFTA took years to negotiate, and will likely take years to renegotiate. In the meantime, the uncertainty of the future of this trade relationship creates an immediate "tax" on businesses' profits and consequently workers' incomes.
There is now sound economic evidence of the cost of trade policy uncertainty. Moreover, the tax has already been implemented; the recent sharp depreciation of the Mexican peso relative to the US dollar implies that the dollar has appreciated relative to the peso, which hurts US competitiveness. We are already incurring costs of a future renegotiation.
The solution to increased globalization is not to attempt to halt it. We learned from the 1930s that spiraling protectionism tipped a severe recession over the edge to become the Great Depression.
Rather, the answer lies in providing resources to workers and firms most impacted by globalization: tax relief for the least productive firms hurt by trade policies; worker assistance through re-education; and enhancement of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program.
Despite some of the political rhetoric being heard right now, solutions to the costs of globalization do exist -- and it's possible to implement them without throwing away the benefits.
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/01/23/opini ... d-opinion/
U.S. Vows to Stop Beijing Taking Over South China Sea Islands
David Brunnstrom and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters 9:19 PM ET
China has said that the U.S. would need to “wage war” to bar China’s access to the islands
WASHINGTON, Jan 23 (Reuters) – The new U.S. administration of President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States would prevent China from taking over territory in international waters in the South China Sea, something Chinese state media has warned would require Washington to “wage war.”
The comments at a briefing from White House spokesman Sean Spicer signaled a sharp departure from years of cautious U.S. handling of China’s assertive pursuit of territory claims in Asia, just days after Trump took office on Friday.
“The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there,” Spicer said when asked if Trump agreed with comments by his secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson, on Jan. 11 that China should not be allowed access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.
“It’s a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country,” he said.
Tillerson’s remarks at his Senate confirmation hearing prompted Chinese state media to say the United States would need to “wage war” to bar China’s access to the islands where it has built military-length air strips and installed weapons systems.
Tillerson was asked at the hearing whether he supported a more aggressive posture toward China and said: “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops and, second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”
The former Exxon Mobil Corp chairman and chief executive did not elaborate on what might be done to deny China access to the islands.
But analysts said his comments, like those of Spicer, suggested the possibility of U.S. military action, or even a naval blockade, that would risk armed confrontation with China, an increasingly formidable nuclear-armed military power. It is also the world’s second-largest economy and the target of accusations by Trump that it is stealing American jobs.
Spicer declined to elaborate when asked how the United States could enforce such a move against China, except to say: “I think, as we develop further, we’ll have more information on it.”
Tillerson narrowly won approval from a Senate committee on Monday and is expected to win confirmation from the full Senate.
Risk of dangerous escalation
Military experts said that while the U.S. Navy has extensive capabilities in Asia to stage blockading operations with ships, submarines and planes, any such move against China’s growing naval fleets would risk dangerous escalation.
Aides have said that Trump plans a major naval build-up in East Asia to counter China’s rise.
China’s embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the White House remarks.
China’s Foreign Ministry said earlier this month it could not guess what Tillerson meant by his remarks, which came after Trump questioned Washington’s longstanding and highly sensitive “one-China” policy over Taiwan.
Washington-based South China Sea expert Mira Rapp-Hooper at the Center for a New American Security called the threats to bar China’s access in the South China Sea “incredible” and said it had no basis in international law.
“A blockade – which is what would be required to actually bar access – is an act of war,” she added.
“The Trump administration has begun to draw red lines in Asia that they will almost certainly not be able to uphold, but they may nonetheless be very destabilizing to the relationship with China, invite crises, and convince the rest of the world that the United States is an unreliable partner.”
Bonnie Glaser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank called Spicer’s remarks “worrisome” and said the new administration was “sending confusing and conflicting messages.”
Dean Cheng, a China expert at the conservative Heritage Foundation, said Spicer’s remarks showed the South China Sea was an important issue for the Trump administration.
He said it was significant that neither Spicer nor Tillerson had been specific as to what actions would be taken and this left open the possibility that economic measures – instead of military steps – could be used against China and firms that carry out island building.
http://time.com/4644651/u-s-vows-to-sto ... a-islands/
China ‘deploys missiles’ amid calls for more nuclear weapons to deter Donald Trump
Neil Connor, beijing
25 JANUARY 2017 • 8:56AM
Beijing is moving advanced ballistic missiles which are capable of hitting the US to its north-eastern frontier with Russia, according to media reports, amid suggestions that the weapons were revealed in response to Donald Trump’s “provocative remarks” towards China.
The Chinese Internet has carried unverified pictures of the deployment of the nuclear capable Dongfeng-41 missiles to Heilongjiang province, which is also the closest point of China to the US.
The weapon has a range of 8,700 miles (14,000 kilometres) and a payload of 10 to 12 nuclear warheads, reports said.
The state-run Global Times newspaper, which has close links with China’s Communist leaders, said: “Some media claimed that the Chinese military intentionally revealed the Dongfeng-41 and connected it with the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.
“They think this is Beijing's response to Trump's provocative remarks on China,” added the outlet, which is known for taking a strongly nationalist tone and making inflammatory comments.
The newspaper also called for a ramping up of China’s nuclear capabilities, saying: “China's nuclear arsenal must be able to deter the US.”
“Even Washington feels that its naval forces and nuclear strength are lacking,” it added. “So how can China be content with its current nuclear strength when it is viewed by the US as its biggest potential opponent?”
The reported deployment comes after Mr Trump has angered China with his stance on Taiwan, trade and security – particularly in the South China Sea.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer vowed that the US would “defend” its interests in the strategically-important waters at his first press conference on Monday, causing Beijing to assert its “indisputable sovereignty” in the region.
His comments came after secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson said the US could block China’s access to man-made islands it has constructed in the disputed waters, a move which analysts say could result in conflict.
Mr Trump broke years of diplomatic protocol by taking a congratulatory call from Taiwan’s president last month.
He then rattled Beijing further by casting doubt on the “One-China policy”, in which Washington recognises that there is only one China and Taiwan is part of that.
China has become increasingly assertive with its military in recent weeks. A group of warships led by China's sole aircraft carrier entered the Taiwan Strait earlier this month.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/01 ... er-donald/
Trump Threats on South China Sea Heighten Risk of Nuclear War
By Peter Symonds
Global Research, January 25, 2017
World Socialist Web Site 25 January 2017
Region: Asia, USA
Theme: Militarization and WMD
In-depth Report: Nuclear War
Us and China war
Just days after taking office, the Trump administration has set course for a conflict with China over the South China Sea that threatens military clashes and war.
President Donald Trump’s press secretary, Sean Spicer, on Tuesday backed up an earlier assertion by the administration’s nominee for secretary of state, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, that Washington would bar Chinese access to islets being built up by Beijing in the South China Sea.
In his first full press briefing, Spicer bluntly declared,
“The US is going to make sure that we protect our interests there.” Referring to Chinese-controlled islands in the disputed waters, he continued: “It’s a question if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we are going to make sure we defend international territories from being taken over by one country.”
The reckless character of the Trump administration’s threats was underscored by the Washington Post’s headline: “Is Trump ready for war in the South China Sea, or is his team just not being clear?” While the Post suggested the problem was unclear or misspoken remarks, Spicer’s statements were fully in line with what was said less than two weeks ago by Tillerson.
At his congressional confirmation hearing, Tillerson lashed out at China, declaring that its land reclamation activities in the South China Sea were “akin to Russia’s taking Crimea.” He warned that China’s island-building would have to stop, adding that its “access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.”
These comments mark a decisive shift from Washington’s previous stance, which, nominally at least, took no position on the territorial disputes, but declared that it had a “national interest” in ensuring “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea. Under the Obama administration, the US Navy provocatively sent guided missile destroyers on three occasions within the 12-nautical-mile territorial limit around Chinese islets.
The Trump administration is directly challenging China’s control over the islets. Asked how the US would carry out its threat to bar Chinese access, Spicer said that “we’ll have more information on that” as the situation develops.
As various analysts have pointed out, the only means of barring China would be a naval and air blockade in the South China Sea. Such action, a clear breach of international law, would constitute an act of war.
The islets in the South China Sea are not “international territories,” but are occupied by various countries and subject to longstanding disputes. Washington’s cynicism and hypocrisy are staggering. It is not proposing to take action against islets occupied by rival claimants—the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan.
The Chinese foreign ministry yesterday reaffirmed that China had “indisputable sovereignty” over the islets and warned that “we are firm in safeguarding our rights and interests.” After pointing out that US had no direct claim in the South China Sea, spokeswoman Hua Chunying urged Washington to “speak and act cautiously to avoid damaging peace and stability in the area.”
An earlier editorial in the state-owned Global Times declared that any attempt to prevent China’s access to its islands would “involve large-scale war” and suggested that Tillerson “bone up on nuclear power strategies if he wants to force a big nuclear power to withdraw from its own territories.”
The willingness of US imperialism to threaten a nuclear-armed power and risk a nuclear conflagration cannot be ascribed simply to the outlook or psyche of the right-wing demagogue Donald Trump or the militaristic and fascistic individuals in his administration. While Trump’s rise to power represents a qualitative shift in global politics, the basis for the looming confrontation with China was laid by the Obama administration’s aggressive “pivot to Asia.” If Hillary Clinton, one of the chief architects of the “pivot,” had won office, her administration, whatever the differences in style, timing and tactics, would have pursued essentially the same war-mongering course.
The aim of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” was to arrest the historic decline of US imperialism and subordinate China to the “international rules based system” dominated by Washington. Trump’s advisers do not disagree with the aim, but have been scathing in denouncing the failure of the “pivot” to achieve those ends.
During his election campaign, Trump made clear that he intended to confront China across the board over trade and monetary issues, alleged cyber-spying, and some of the world’s most dangerous flashpoints—North Korea and Taiwan as well as the South China Sea. He has promised a vast expansion of the US military, including its nuclear arsenal, to back his demands with the threat of war.
A fundamental sea change is underway in global politics and economy. The election of Trump marks the final breakdown and collapse of the post-World War II order. Trump’s decision to tear up the Trans Pacific Partnership—the economic component of Obama’s “pivot”—spells the end to the era of “free trade” and multilateralism. Trump’s “America First” policy means a turn to punitive trade measures, in the first instance against China, and the return of the “beggar-thy-neighbour” policies of the 1930s that led to World War II.
The speculation by the media and governments around the world that Trump would moderate his views once in office is rapidly turning to consternation and fear. In the major capitals, calculations are being made as to how best to defend the national interest.
Germany’s economic affairs minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that Europe had to define its own interests, suggesting that it turn to China and Asia if the US starts a trade war with Beijing. Any shift towards China, particularly by the European powers, will intensify Washington’s bellicose words and actions, as it feels its geo-political position slipping away and concludes it must act sooner rather than later.
At this month’s World Economy Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Chinese President Xi Jinping presented his regime as the defender of the “liberal” capitalist trade and economic order in opposition to Washington, in a bid to increase Chinese influence among the traditional allies of the United States.
The US-based Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) released a report last week entitled “Preserving the Balance: A US Eurasia Defence Strategy.” It declares that the US must prevent the domination of the Eurasian landmass by a rival power or powers. “If a single power came to dominate either Europe or Asia, it would possess substantially greater manpower, economic and technical capacity—and thus greater military potential—than the United States. Therefore, if possible, the emergence of such a power must be resisted,” it states.
The report rules out nothing, including the use of nuclear weapons to achieve US objectives. After declaring there is “a need to rethink the problem of limited nuclear war,” it continues: “US forces must be prepared to respond to a range of strategic warfare contingencies along the Eurasian periphery. The US military’s ability to conduct operations to end such a conflict promptly and on favourable terms, as well as in a manner that discourages future nuclear use, could be crucial to America’s long-term security.”
The Trump administration’s menacing threats on the South China Sea are the sharpest of warnings that the world is heading with gathering speed towards a nuclear catastrophe. But the same crisis that impels world capitalism on the road to world war impels the international working class on the road to socialist revolution.
The issue will in the end be decided by the level of political consciousness, unity and organisation of the working class, and that depends on the building of the new political leadership of the working class. That leadership—which alone is fighting to build an international movement against war on the basis of a united struggle of the working class against capitalism, the source of imperialist war—is the International Committee of the Fourth International. The urgent task is to join and help build the ICFI and its national sections.
http://www.globalresearch.ca/trump-thre ... ar/5570746