Article 43


Thursday, March 16, 2023

Bad Moon Rising Part 88 - China the Peacemaker

image: ukraine and china flags
The United States has reached a point where its entire claim to global hegemony is based on a series of largely fragile geopolitical alliances, and on a worldwide military presence that can’t be sustained for much longer. As the political writer Dmitry Orlov said in an interview last month: I think that the AMERICAN EMPIRE is very much over already, but it hasn’t been put to any sort of serious stress test yet, and so nobody realizes that this is the case.
- America In Collapse 5, 2019
On February 4, 2022, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have signed a joint statement in Beijing before the Winter Olympics opening ceremony held in China. This statement was accepted as a bold declaration of the “New World Order” and the partnership between the two states WITHOUT ANY LIMITATIONS. The statement can be divided into four parts: the manifest on the new world order, Grand Eurasian Partnership, the United States (US) aggression, and cooperation against US aggression. It should be noted that it is much more an inclusive agreement and will change the balance of power in world politics.
- Bad Moon Rising Part 83 - Russia-China Partnership Agreement
If we’ve learned nothing else over the past year of war in Ukraine it is that most of the world is unphased by threats by the US by the countries I’ve just discussed. Iran clearly doesn’t care. China understands that if Russia falls militarily, China is next. Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC+ understand who their future trade partners really are… This is why India is now in the crosshairs of Davos. They are the last major power in the region left to stymie Asian integration.
- India and the New Order
As for Russia, China certainly has considerable influence it can wield. As Western countries have severed connections with Moscow, China’s trade with Russia hit a record high level of $190 billion in 2022 - a 30% year-on-year rise. China’s purchases of Liquid Petroleum Gas, alone, have doubled over the past year
- Why China, Russia’s Biggest Backer, Now Says It Wants to Broker Peace in Ukraine


Behind Ukraine peace proposal, China foresees end to war in summer
Simulation by military academy prompts Beijing to push cease-fire plan

By Tsukasa Hadana
Nikkei Asia
March 9, 2023

After avoiding getting too deeply involved in Russia’s war in Ukraine over the past year, China suddenly offered a peace proposal last month. Chinese military experts’ prediction that the war will come to an end this summer is likely behind this about-face.

When over 200 world leaders and senior officials gathered in Munich for last month’s security conference, Wang Yi, China’s top diplomat, told the attendees that China would soon announce a plan to become a mediator in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Chinese peace plan itself is prosaic, but it gave the impression that China was suddenly playing an active role.

Beijing has neither condemned Russia’s invasion, nor has it joined in the economic sanctions imposed on Moscow. Although China had called for a cease-fire in the past, its leadership has been unwilling to take any concrete actions.

The reason for China’s sudden change can be traced back to a report issued two months earlier by a top think tank in Beijing.

The Academy of Military Sciences reports directly to the Peoples Liberation Army.

The AMS regularly issues recommendations and reports to the Communist Party’s Central Military Commission, the highest decision-making body for China’s armed forces. A cabinet-level official heads the academy.

In December, the AMS completed a simulation on the Ukraine conflict, resulting in an astonishing finding, according to sources close to the Chinese government. The war will draw to a close around summer 2023, the simulation indicated, with Russia having the upper hand.

Both the Russian and Ukrainian economies would be too exhausted to sustain the war past the summer, the report said.

It is possible that the results were skewed in favor of Russia to please China’s Moscow-leaning leadership. But coincidentally, the $45 billion aid package passed last December in the U.S. is set to expire this summer too.

The Republicans now hold the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, and some party members are skeptical of the generous aid being granted to Ukraine.

I don’t know what will happened to U.S. aid from fall, said a senior official at the Japanese prime minister’s office.

The U.S. provides half of the aid that Ukraine receives. The argument that cease-fire talks will get underway before that aid is terminated is not without merit.

After hearing the AMS prediction, Beijing crafted a peace proposal in time for the one-year anniversary of the war. It aims to achieve three goals, including the restoration of relations with Europe.

The Chinese surveillance balloon incident has caused deeper rifts in Sino-U.S. relations. Japan has aligned with the U.S. over the Taiwan issue.

But Beijing still sees a chance in Europe. Although European countries are expanding weapon aid to Ukraine, some in Germany, France and elsewhere are calling for an early cease-fire.

Beijing believes Europe is still open to direct investments and technology transfers to China, and improved relations with the region would lead to an economic recovery. Given this, many in the Chinese government are calling for Beijing to get involved before the start of cease-fire talks.

The second goal is to maintain friendly relations with Ukraine. China bought a Soviet-manufactured aircraft carrier through Ukraine and refashioned the vessel into the Liaoning, the country’s first carrier.

Even as the most Western countries assailed China over reports of human rights abuses, Ukraine has remained mum on the subject.

Along with Russia, we can’t afford to lose Ukraine, said a Chinese government source. The peace plan includes a provision for economic restoration, indicating that China is already considering economic aid.

The final desired aim is for China to play the leading role in bringing about a cease-fire. Chinese President Xi Jinping is considering accepting the invitation to come to Moscow by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The visit to Russia can’t come too soon or too late,” said a source well-versed in Chinese diplomacy.

The best scenario for Xi would be for Russia and Ukraine to start negotiations after the Chinese leader presents the peace plan to Putin. That would paint China as a true interlocutor for a cease-fire and put it in an advantageous position to pull Global South countries to its side, especially those that keep both U.S. and China at arms length.



China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
February 24, 2023

1. Respecting the sovereignty of all countries. Universally recognized international law, including the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, must be strictly observed. The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries must be effectively upheld. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. All parties should jointly uphold the basic norms governing international relations and defend international fairness and justice. Equal and uniform application of international law should be promoted, while double standards must be rejected. 

2. Abandoning the Cold War mentality. The security of a country should not be pursued at the expense of others. The security of a region should not be achieved by strengthening or expanding military blocs. The legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. All parties should, following the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security and bearing in mind the long-term peace and stability of the world, help forge a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture. All parties should oppose the pursuit of ones own security at the cost of othersҒ security, prevent bloc confrontation, and work together for peace and stability on the Eurasian Continent.

3. Ceasing hostilities. Conflict and war benefit no one. All parties must stay rational and exercise restraint, avoid fanning the flames and aggravating tensions, and prevent the crisis from deteriorating further or even spiraling out of control. All parties should support Russia and Ukraine in working in the same direction and resuming direct dialogue as quickly as possible, so as to gradually deescalate the situation and ultimately reach a comprehensive ceasefire. 

4. Resuming peace talks. Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis. All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported. The international community should stay committed to the right approach of promoting talks for peace, help parties to the conflict open the door to a political settlement as soon as possible, and create conditions and platforms for the resumption of negotiation. China will continue to play a constructive role in this regard. 

5. Resolving the humanitarian crisis. All measures conducive to easing the humanitarian crisis must be encouraged and supported. Humanitarian operations should follow the principles of neutrality and impartiality, and humanitarian issues should not be politicized. The safety of civilians must be effectively protected, and humanitarian corridors should be set up for the evacuation of civilians from conflict zones. Efforts are needed to increase humanitarian assistance to relevant areas, improve humanitarian conditions, and provide rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian access, with a view to preventing a humanitarian crisis on a larger scale. The UN should be supported in playing a coordinating role in channeling humanitarian aid to conflict zones.

6. Protecting civilians and prisoners of war (POWs). Parties to the conflict should strictly abide by international humanitarian law, avoid attacking civilians or civilian facilities, protect women, children and other victims of the conflict, and respect the basic rights of POWs. China supports the exchange of POWs between Russia and Ukraine, and calls on all parties to create more favorable conditions for this purpose.

7. Keeping nuclear power plants safe. China opposes armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other peaceful nuclear facilities, and calls on all parties to comply with international law including the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS) and resolutely avoid man-made nuclear accidents. China supports the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in playing a constructive role in promoting the safety and security of peaceful nuclear facilities.

8. Reducing strategic risks. Nuclear weapons must not be used and nuclear wars must not be fought. The threat or use of nuclear weapons should be opposed. Nuclear proliferation must be prevented and nuclear crisis avoided. China opposes the research, development and use of chemical and biological weapons by any country under any circumstances.

9. Facilitating grain exports. All parties need to implement the Black Sea Grain Initiative signed by Russia, Trkiye, Ukraine and the UN fully and effectively in a balanced manner, and support the UN in playing an important role in this regard. The cooperation initiative on global food security proposed by China provides a feasible solution to the global food crisis.

10. Stopping unilateral sanctions. Unilateral sanctions and maximum pressure cannot solve the issue; they only create new problems. China opposes unilateral sanctions unauthorized by the UN Security Council. Relevant countries should stop abusing unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction쓔 against other countries, so as to do their share in deescalating the Ukraine crisis and create conditions for developing countries to grow their economies and better the lives of their people.

11. Keeping industrial and supply chains stable. All parties should earnestly maintain the existing world economic system and oppose using the world economy as a tool or weapon for political purposes. Joint efforts are needed to mitigate the spillovers of the crisis and prevent it from disrupting international cooperation in energy, finance, food trade and transportation and undermining the global economic recovery.

12. Promoting post-conflict reconstruction. The international community needs to take measures to support post-conflict reconstruction in conflict zones. China stands ready to provide assistance and play a constructive role in this endeavor.



Why Biden Snubbed China’s Ukraine Peace Plan

By Medea Benjamin, Marcy Winograd, and Wei Yu
Altiwar Blog
March 5, 2023

There’s something irrational about President Bidens knee-jerk dismissal of ChinaҒs 12-point peace proposal titled “Chinas Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.”

“Not rational| is how Biden DESCRIBED the plan that calls for de-escalation toward a ceasefire, respect for national sovereignty, establishment of humanitarian corridors and resumption of peace talks.

“Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis,” reads the plan. “All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported.”

Biden turned thumbs down.

“Ive seen nothing in the plan that would indicate that there is something that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia if the Chinese plan were followed,” Biden told the press.

In a brutal conflict that has left thousands of dead Ukrainian civilians, hundreds of thousands of dead soldiers, eight million Ukrainians displaced from their homes, contamination of land, air and water, increased greenhouse gasses and disruption of the global food supply, ChinaҒs call for de-escalation would surely benefit someone in Ukraine.

Other points in China’s plan, which is really more a set of principles rather than a detailed proposal, call for protection for prisoners of war, cessation of attacks on civilians, safeguards for nuclear power plants and facilitation of grain exports.

“The idea that China is going to be negotiating the outcome of a war that’s a totally unjust war for Ukraine is just not rational,” said Biden.

Instead of engaging China a country of 1.5 billion people, the world’s largest exporter, the owner of a trillion dollars in US debt and an industrial giant - in negotiating an end to the crisis in Ukraine, the Biden administration prefers to wag its finger and bark at China, WARNING it not to arm Russia in the conflict.

Psychologists might call this finger-wagging projection - the old pot calling the kettle black routine. It is the US, not China, that is fueling the conflict with at least $45 billion dollars in ammunition, drones, tanks and rockets in a proxy war that risks - with one miscalculation turning the world to ash in a nuclear holocaust.

It is the US, not China, that has provoked this crisis by ENCOURAGING Ukraine to join NATO, a hostile military alliance that targets Russia in mock nuclear strikes, and by BACKING A 2014 COUP of Ukraine֒s democratically elected Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych, thus triggering a civil war between Ukrainian nationalists and ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, regions Russia has more recently annexed.

Biden’s sour attitude toward the Chinese peace framework hardly comes as a surprise. After all, even former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett CANDIDLY ACKNOWLEDGED in a five-hour interview on YouTube that it was the West that last March blocked a near-peace deal he had mediated between Ukraine and Russia.

Why did the US block a peace deal? Why won’t President Biden provide a serious response to the Chinese peace plan, let alone engage the Chinese at a negotiating table?

President Biden and his coterie of neo-conservatives, among them Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, have no interest in peace if it means the US concedes hegemonic power to a multi-polar world untethered from the all-mighty dollar.

What may have gotten Biden unnerved - besides the possibility that China might emerge the hero in this bloody saga - is China’s call for the lifting of unilateral sanctions. The US imposes unilateral sanctions on officials and companies from Russia, China and Iran. It imposes sanctions on whole countries, too, like Cuba, where a cruel 60-year embargo, plus assignment to the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, made it difficult for Cuba to obtain SYRINGES to administer its own vaccines during the COVID pandemic. Oh, and lets not forget SYRIA, where after an earthquake killed tens of thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless, the country struggles to receive medicine and blankets due to US sanctions that discourage humanitarian aid workers from operating inside Syria.

Despite China’s insistence it is not considering weapons shipments to Russia, REUTERS REPORTS the Biden administration is taking the pulse of G-7 countries to see if they would approve new sanctions against China if that country provides Russia with military support.

The idea that China could play a positive role was also dismissed by NATO Secretary General Jens STOLTENBERG, who said, “China doesn’t have much credibility because they have not been able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

Ditto from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who TOLD ABC’s Good Morning America, “China has been trying to have it both ways: It’s on the one hand trying to present itself publicly as neutral and seeking peace, while at the same time it is talking up Russias false narrative about the war.”

False narrative or different perspective?

In August of 2022, China’s ambassador to Moscow CHARGED that the United States was the “main instigator"of the Ukraine war, provoking Russia with NATO expansion to Russia’s borders.

This is not an uncommon perspective and is one shared by economist Jeffrey Sachs who, in a February 25, 2023 VIDEO directed at thousands of antiwar protesters in Berlin, said the war in Ukraine did not start a year ago, but nine years ago when the US backed the coup that overthrew Yanukovych after he preferred Russias loan terms to the European Union’s offer.

Shortly after China released its peace framework, the Kremlin responded CAUTIOUSLY, lauding the Chinese effort to help but adding that the details “need to be painstakingly analyzed taking into account the interests of all the different sides.” As for Ukraine, President Zelinsky hopes to meet soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping to explore China’s peace proposal and dissuade China from supplying weapons to Russia.

The peace proposal garnered more positive response from countries neighboring the warring states. Putins ally in Belarus, leader Alexander Lukashenko, SAID his country “fully supports” the Beijing plan. KAZAKHSTAN approved of China’s peace framework in a statement describing it as “worthy of support.” Prime Minister of Hungary VICTOR ORBAN - who wants his country to stay out of the war - also showed support for the proposal.

China’s call for a peaceful solution stands in stark contrast to US warmongering this past year, when Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a former Raytheon board member, said the US aims to WEAKEN RUSSIA, presumably for regime change - a strategy that failed miserably in Afghanistan where a near 20-year US occupation left the country broke and starving.

China’s support for de-escalation is consistent with its long-standing opposition to US/NATO expansion, now extending into the Pacific with hundreds of US bases encircling China, including a new base in GUAM to house 5,000 marines. From China’s perspective, US militarism jeopardizes the peaceful reunification of the Peoples Republic of China with its breakaway province of Taiwan. For China, Taiwan is unfinished business, left over from the civil war 70 years ago.

In provocations reminiscent of US MEDDLING in Ukraine, a hawkish Congress last year approved $10 BILLION in weapons and military training for Taiwan, while House leader Nancy Pelosi flew to Taipei - over PROTESTS from her constituents - to whip up tension in a move that brought US-China climate cooperation to a HALT.

A US willingness to work with China on a peace plan for Ukraine might not only help stop the daily loss of lives in Ukraine and prevent a nuclear confrontation, but also pave the way for cooperation with China on all kinds of other issues - from medicine to education to climate - that would benefit the entire globe.

About the authors

Medea Benjamin is cofounder of CODEPINK, and author of several books, including War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict.

Marcy Winograd serves as Co-Chair of the Peace in Ukraine Coalition, which calls for a ceasefire, diplomacy and an end to weapons shipments that escalate the war in Ukraine.

Wei Yu is the China Is Not Our Enemy campaign coordinator for CODEPINK.



China-brokered Iran-Saudi deal raises red flags for US

By Brad Dress
The Hill
March 11, 2023

An agreement struck by Iran and Saudi Arabia on Friday to re-establish relations has shifted concerns back to the state of the U.S. role in the Middle East especially since the deal was brokered by Washington’s main adversary, China.

The diplomatic agreement, reached after four days of talks with senior security officials in Beijing, eases tensions between the Middle East powers after seven years of hostilities.

Both Iran and Saudi Arabia announced they will resume diplomatic relations and open up embassies once again in their respective nations within two months, according to a JOINT STATEMENT.

Alex Vatanka, the director of the Iran Program at the Middle East Institute, said the Iran-Saudi Arabia deal was an important agreement for the region but questioned whether it would put an end to any violence, including in war-torn Yemen.

It remains to be seen if they can have a meaningful dialogue. |Opening up embassies is not the same as having a meaningful dialogue,” Vatanka said. There will be a steep journey ahead.”

Saudi Arabia, a dominant Sunni Muslim country, cut ties with Iran in 2016 after protesters stormed the nations embassy in Iran after the execution of a Shiite Muslim cleric along with the execution of other prisoners.

Both nations have also been on opposing sides of the deadly civil war in Yemen, with Saudi Arabia supporting Yemen’s government and Iran backing the opposition Houthis.

The news on Friday was a diplomatic and political success for Beijing, which also recently published a peace plan to end the war in Ukraine.

China’s top diplomat Wang Yi quickly hailed the agreement as a “victory” on Friday and said his country would continue to address global issues, according to statements carried by several Chinese newspapers.

But the agreement undercuts the posture of the U.S. in the region. The U.S. has downsized in Syria after withdrawing forces in 2021 from Afghanistan.

The deal also comes as Saudi Arabia is demanding certain security guarantees, a steady flow of arms shipments and assistance with its civilian nuclear program in order to normalize relations with Israel, a major U.S. ally, the White House confirmed on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. was Ғinformed about the Saudi Arabia-Iran talks but played no role in them.

Kirby welcomed the normalization of relations between the two countries should it ease violence in the Middle East.

“To the degree that it could deescalate tensions, all that’s to the good side of the ledger,” Kirby said, adding the U.S. is not stepping back from its role in the Middle East.

Vatanka, from the Middle East Institute, said both Iran and Saudi Arabia have been seeking to ease tensions for the past couple of years.

While he was surprised by China’s role as a mediator, Vatanka said the deal does not constitute “a major loss for Washington in the long-term.”

“It symbolically makes the United States look like its not able to be a key player,” he said. “But it’s not going to be a Chinese-dominated Middle East.

China is a large buyer of Saudi oil and maintains close relations with Iran.

Conversely, the U.S. has had strained relations with Iran for decades and a similar normalization agreement would have been next to impossible for Washington to mediate.

Some experts have cautioned that China is beginning a new era of diplomatic engagement in the Middle East, where it before mostly had economic ties.

Jonathan Panikoff, director of the Scowcroft Middle East Security Initiative in the Middle East Programs for The Atlantic Council, warned of an “emergence of China’s political role in the region.”

|It should be a warning to U.S. policymakers: Leave the Middle East and abandon ties with sometimes frustrating, even barbarous, but long-standing allies, and you’ll simply be leaving a vacuum for China to fill,” PANKOFF WROTE IN A FRIDAY ANALYSIS.

Middle East politics has become more strained for the U.S. as Israel clashes with Palestinians seeking a free state in Israeli-occupied Gaza and the West Bank. The ongoing civil war in Syria, violence in Yemen, heightened tensions over Iranian support for Russia and a scrapped nuclear deal with Tehran have added to complications.

President Biden also traveled to Saudi Arabia last summer amid high gas prices in the U.S. and was seen fist-bumping Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been criticized for overseeing human rights abuses and for the killing of the U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A few months after the visit, the White House was angered when the Saudi-led oil alliance OPEC+ slashed oil production output.

Still, during comments on Friday on the economy, Biden appeared welcoming of the diplomatic agreement. “Better relations between Israel and their Arab neighbors are better for everybody,” the president said.


Posted by Elvis on 03/16/23 •
Section Bad Moon Rising • Section Revelations • Section NWO
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