Archive for the ‘GEOPOLITICS’ Category

EU PLANS TO BYPASS US IRAN SANCTIONS

January 31, 2019

The European Union is considering according to Euronews in January 2019 how it could step up plans to circumvent President Trump’s Iran sanctions. Excerpts below:

The EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) met in Brussels to examine options around what is known as a Special Purpose Vehicle [SPV]. This arrangement would function as a workaround to help European companies continue to do business with Tehran.

President Donald Trump in 2018 withdrew the US from an international 2015 deal to control Iran’s nuclear ambitions, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

The Trump administration warned that the deal did not prevent Iran from finding ways to develop nuclear weapons.

Comment: If the EU goes forward and decides to bypass the American sanctions against Iran it would endanger Western unity in face of Iran support of terrorism. Such a decision would also increase the threat to Israel.

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GLOBALIST PROGRESSIVISM’S FOREIGN POLICY DELUSION

January 13, 2019

The American Conservative on September 24, 2018 reviewed John Mearsheimer’s latest book ”The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities”, John J. Mearsheimer, Yale University Press, 328 pages. For excerpts see below:

John J. Mearsheimer, the prominent exponent of foreign policy realism, is no stranger to controversy. The University of Chicago professor seems to home in on it like a heat-seeking missile.

His latest book, The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities, is a dagger pointed at the heart of America’s governing philosophy, progressive liberalism. His central thesis is that this philosophy has distorted U.S. foreign policy since America’s post-Cold War emergence as the world’s only superpower. The core of the problem, writes Mearsheimer, was America’s post-Cold War resolve to remake the world in its own image. The predictable result has been chaos, bloodshed, an intractable refugee crisis besetting the Middle East and Europe, and increased tensions among major powers…

The [United States] today enjoys the luxury of not having a single adversary capable of challenging its existence or global standing.

[Mearsheimer’s offensive realist theory] consists of: First, the world is “anarchic,” meaning there is no central authority or night watchman to step in when a nation is threatened. Therefore, nations must rely upon themselves for protection from any hazard, immediate or prospective. Given that they can’t know precisely the plans and ambitions of real or potential adversaries—he calls this “the uncertainty of intentions”—the imperatives of survival dictate that they do whatever they can to maximize their power based on what they can discern—namely, the military capabilities of potential rivals.

In other words, it’s…about the hierarchy of power among nations. Stability comes through an equilibrium of power, and great nations should foster diplomatic actions designed to maintain a power balance in key strategic locations.

…while progressive liberalism dominates American politics, including the country’s foreign policy, realism and nationalism ultimately are more powerful ideas. Mearsheimer notes, for example, that while liberalism and nationalism can coexist in any polity, “when they clash, nationalism almost always wins.” He adds that “liberalism is also no match for realism.”

Progressive liberals, [dominating thinking in the field of foreign policy] by contrast, have great faith in governmental activism that not only promotes individual rights but also pursues expansive social engineering programs.

…progressive liberals are the political heirs of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, and, more recently, of Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

There is no doubt, says Mearsheimer, that progressive liberalism has triumphed…when it dominates a nation’s international relations, he emphasizes, it inevitably breeds disaster.

[Mearsheimer] makes clear he doesn’t believe progressive liberalism accords with human nature much at all.

Mearsheimer posits what he calls “two simple assumptions” about human nature. The first is that man’s ability to reason is limited, particularly when it comes to mastering the fundamental questions of existence.

The second assumption, related to the first, is that “we are social animals at our core.” Given that there can be no reasoning to core principles, there will always be disagreements on these fundamental and often emotional matters. That inevitably raises prospects for violence. For protection, mankind must divide itself into a great number of social groups, and the most fundamental of all human groups is the nation. “With the possible exception of the family,” writes Mearsheimer, “allegiance to the nation usually overrides all other forms of an individual’s identity.”

And this leads to Mearsheimer’s view of the essence of social groups—and, most particularly, of nations. He identifies six fundamental features of nationhood:

1) a powerful sense of oneness and solidarity

2) a distinct culture, including such things as language, rituals, codes, music, as well as religion, basic political and social values, and a distinct understanding of history

3) a sense of superiority leading to national pride

4) a deep sense of its own history, which often leads to myths that supersede historical fact

5) sacred territory and a perceived imperative to protect lands believed to be a hallowed homeland

6) and a deep sense of sovereignty and a resolve to protect national decision-making from outside forces

[The] universalist ideology has always been there, lurking in the liberal consciousness. Until recently it was seen most starkly in the humanitarian interventionism of Woodrow Wilson—hence the universally understood term “Wilsonism.”

This Wilsonian impulse was kept in check through most of the 20th century by the imperatives of realism and the ideological force of nationalism. That ended with the conclusion of the Cold War, when America emerged as the unchallenged global hegemon. The inevitable result was the rise of liberal hegemony. What’s interesting is how explosively it arrived on the scene, almost immediately gaining dominance over American foreign policy and positioning itself to stamp out any troublesome counterarguments. The universalist ideology presents a powerful allure, often leading to feelings among foreign policy liberals, per Wilson, that they are engaging in a monumental struggle of good and evil.

The result is that America has waged seven wars since the Cold War ended and has been at war continuously since the month after 9/11.

Bill Clinton embraced liberal hegemony from the beginning of his presidency in 1993, and it led him to military actions in Bosnia and Serbia, motivated largely by the humanitarian impulse. George W. Bush took it to new levels after 9/11 with his invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and his rhetoric that “the freedom we prize…is not for us alone, it is the right and the capacity of all mankind.” Barack Obama suggested as he was leaving office that he understood that the “Washington playbook” was “deeply flawed,” as Mearsheimer puts it, but he couldn’t seem to break away from it. “He was ultimately no match for the foreign policy establishment,” writes Mearsheimer.

[President Trump has] challenged almost every aspect of liberal interventionism, particularly the goal of spreading democracy around the world. But he predicts that the “foreign policy elites will tame him just as they tamed his predecessor.”

…consider Mearsheimer’s emphasis on “a sacred territory.” Today’s progressive liberals, particularly among the elites, don’t care a whit about the country’s borders, as Mearsheimer notes. “In the liberal story,” he writes, “state borders are soft and permeable, because rights transcend those boundaries.” Then there’s sovereignty. Mearsheimer writes that “liberalism undermines sovereignty.”

These and other related issues are tearing America apart, and they have been introduced into the political cauldron by the same progressive liberals who have been pushing America’s drive to spread liberal hegemony across the globe. Indeed, it is almost incontestable that these domestic and foreign policy issues, along with the progressive liberal push for free trade and supranational institutions that undermine American sovereignty, contributed significantly to Trump’s presidential election.

Although Mearsheimer doesn’t discuss the American elites in detail, he sprinkles into his argument several references to elite and establishment thinking as often being distinct from broader public impulses and sensibilities. “[I]t is important to note,” he writes, “that liberal hegemony is largely an elite-driven policy.” In another passage he notes that America’s foreign policy elites tend to be “cosmopolitan,” which isn’t to say, he adds, that most of them are like Samuel Huntington’s caricature of those Davos people “who have little need for national loyalty” and see “national boundaries as obstacles that thankfully are vanishing.” But, adds Mearsheimer, “some are not far off.”

Yes, it’s the progressive liberal elites who are driving America’s push for humanitarian hegemony, and Mearsheimer’s book calls them out brilliantly. But those same elites are also driving wedges through the American polity on powerful domestic issues, thus poisoning our politics and fostering an ongoing crisis on the definition and meaning of America. Mearsheimer’s pungent critique of the elite’s foreign policy recklessness could provide a sound foundation for a broader critique of its destructive folly in a host of other civic areas as well.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington, D.C. journalist and publishing executive, is a writer-at-large for The American Conservative. His latest book is ”President McKinley: Architect of the American Century”.

ENFORCING THE MONROE DOCTRINE

January 12, 2019

Ted G. Carpenter in The National Interest on January 7, 2019, called for the Trump administration to adopt a firmer policy toward Moscow’s intrusions into Latin America.
Excerpts below:

The latest incident is Moscow’s decision to send two nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuela to show support for Nicolas Maduro’s leftist regime. Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said during a meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino Lopez that Russia would continue to send military aircraft and warships meeting with his Venezuelan counterpart Vladimir Padrino Lopez that Russia would continue to send military aircraft and warships to visit Venezuela as part of continuing bilateral military cooperation.

Russia’s cooperation with Venezuela has grown markedly since tensions between Moscow and Washington flared in 2008 over Russia’s war with Georgia. A Russian general even spoke of the possibility of his country acquiring a military base in Venezuela. While civilian leaders in both Caracas and Moscow disavowed such intentions, Russian naval forces soon conducted joint maneuvers with Venezuelan units, and there was a proliferation of arms sales. In 2012, the Venezuelan government announced a $4 billion “loan” from Russia to purchase tanks, air-defense missiles, and other hardware. The bilateral political and security relationship has grown steadily closer since then.

Washington’s failure to enforce the Monroe Doctrine during the Cold War when the Soviet Union made Cuba into a client state and military outpost has not encouraged respect for that doctrine in the post-Cold War era. The Trump administration needs to adopt a firmer policy toward Moscow’s intrusions into Latin America.

A new policy is imperative. Washington DC must recognize that the United States and other major powers historically have insisted on a sphere of influence, indeed a sphere of preeminence, in regions adjacent to their homelands.

The geographic limits of such zones are frequently a matter of contention…

That is dangerously unrealistic thinking. Washington…needs to establish clear rules of the road regarding conduct in Latin America and Eastern Europe. U.S. leaders should stress to Moscow that establishing or maintaining military ties with unfriendly regimes like those in Venezuela and Cuba creates unacceptable…for the United States.

…United States [hopefully]intends to remain preeminent in the Western Hemisphere…

Ted Galen Carpenter is a senior fellow in security studies at the Cato Institute. He is the author of 12 books and more than 750 articles on international affairs.

Comment: In 2023 the United States will commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Monroe Doctrine. There might be reason to extend the use of the doctrine to cover also such empires in Eurasia as China and Iran.

HANS J. MORGENTHAU OM DEN INTERNATIONELLA KAMPEN OM MAKT

November 23, 2018

Hans J. Morgenthau (1904 – 1980) utvecklade en omfattande teori om internationella relationer i realistisk anda. Han var påverkad av den amerikanske protestantiske teologen och statsvetaren Reinhold Niebuhr (1892 – 1971), som liksom Thomas Hobbes ansåg att själviskhet och maktlystnad spelade en väsentlig roll i mänsklig samlevnad.

Detta beskrev Niebuhr med termen animus dominandi, en önskan att dominera, som är det främsta upphovet till internationella konflikter. Morgenthau slog i sitt huvudverk, ”Politics among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace”, först utgivet 1948, fast att “international politics, like all politics, is a struggle for power”.

Här nedan följer en kort presentation av de grundläggande sex principerna enligt andra utgåvan av ”Politics among Nations”.

Grunden för Morgenthaus realistiska teori är maktbegreppet eller “ interest defined in terms of power”, vilket leder fram till hans andra princip: antagandet att politiska ledare “think and act in terms of interest defined as power” .
Morgenthaus tredje princip är att maktintresse är en universell kategori och en betydelsefull del av politiken. Innehåll och hur det utövas beror på den politiska och kulturella omgivningen.

Den fjärde principen tar hänsyn till förhållandet mellan realism och etik. Realister med sunt förnuft är medvetna om att politiskt handlande har moralisk betydelse och att det finns ett spänningsförhållande mellan moral och behovet av framgångsrik politisk verksamhet.

Försiktighet och inte övertygelse om den egna moralens och ideologins överlägsenhet bör vägleda politiskt handlande. Detta framhävs i den femte principen där det hävdas att alla statsaktörer inklusive den egna måste ses som politiska enheter som agerar för egna intressen inom ramen för makt och inflytande. Här kan anmärkas att försiktighet inte alltid kan var ledande vid beslut. Sunt förnuft består till nio tiondelar av att vara förståndig vid rätt tidpunkt.
Realismens sjätte princip är enligt den amerikanske realisten att politiken definieras som en självständig sfär. Den kan inte underställas etiken men etik spelar ändå en roll inom politiken.

Realismen är ett sätt att bedöma internationella relationer men är också ett användbart medel för att planera vid politiska avgöranden. Internationell politik är liksom all politik för Morgenthau en fråga om en kamp inom den politiska eliten om makten.

2018 IRANIAN UPRISING MEETING IN NEW YORK

September 26, 2018

Fox News on September 23, 2018, reported on comments by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ahead of the 2018 Iranian Uprising Summit in New York. Presiden Donald Trump’s lawyer called for support for the Iranian resistance movement MEK. Excerpts below:

Giuliani advocated that a “peaceful” overthrow of the current Iranian vanguard is the only solution for a prosperous nation and stable Middle East.

…a fall, he said, could come at any moment.

“Who would have known the timeline in Russia or the timeline in Poland or the timeline in Hungary. When it happens it happens. We generally see a very repressive, very militaristic regime and think it can’t be overthrown. We don’t realize as people’s desire for freedom reaches a boiling point it can overcome that,” he continued. “Then it just happens. That’s what is going to happen here. We are going to wake up one morning and someone has been overthrown. It may not happen tomorrow, but it is inevitable the way they are oppressing people.”

“It is terrible that they have to be pressured this way…President Trump shows the world the road that President Reagan took in terms of communism. When he embraced solidarity, he said this protest movement is because these people are being oppressed. They are being treated horribly and because Iran is investing money in terrorism and not the people. That’s why the people are starving.”

Anti-government protests have been spilling out across Iran since January, of which Trump has tweeted support for those taking to the streets. And since withdrawing from the deal with Tehran, the president has stated he would be willing to “re-negotiate” what he deemed to be one of the worst deals ever formulated by Western leadership.

So what would such a new deal look like?

“There is no doubt what a re-negotiated deal would mean, and that is complete and absolute denuclearization of Iran and a change in which it supports terrorism throughout the world,” Giuliani conjectured. “Because they are an existential danger to us and to Israel and we can’t accept that. Those two things would be critical.”

“In other words, if they promised to de-nuclearize and they promised not to threaten the U.S. and Israel, [and] our allies, but they remained the kind of militaristic religious fanatic that kills people they aren’t going to keep their promise,” Giuliani noted.

“We call on the United States to expel the Iranian regime’s operatives from America. We urge Western governments to shut down or restrict the regime’s embassies, which are control centers for espionage and terrorism; and to expel this regime’s criminal forces from Syria and Iraq,” the [MEK’s] Paris-based female leader, Maryam Rajavi, told the thousand-plus crowd via video feed. “Iran’s seat at the United Nations does not belong to the terrorist regime ruling it. That seat belongs to the Iranian people and Resistance.”

“Of the last ten years that I have been involved with them [MEK] and I come to this event every year,” he added. “This is the first time I see hope that there can be real change in Iran.”

Comment: Iran has since ancient Greece been a challenger to the West. After it was taken over by a theocratic regime during the Cold War. It was a major strategic defeat for the United States and the West. Iran has since then developed into a major power in Eurasia and is projecting geopolitical power into Caucasus, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.

Iran is working closely to Russia, another Eurasian challenger to the West.

President Trump’s speech to the United Nation General Assembly on September 25, 2018 targeted the Islamisat regime in Tehran: “They do not respect their neighbors or their borders or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond”

“We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants death to America and that threatens Israel with annihilation,” Trump said.

The United States is presently using the economic weapon against Iran much in the same way as against the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration. There are now clear signs that the regime in Tehran has weakened. A hopefully ”peaceful” overthrow is possible. It is important that the leading European allies of the United States join the sanctions against Iran.

US AND ALLIES COUNTERING CHINA IN THE PACIFIC

September 13, 2018

Taipei Times (Taiwan) on August 30, 2018 published an article of Reuters on the growing challenge of China to the West in the Pacific area. Concessionary loans and gifts by China are closely watched. For excerpts see below:

The US, Australia, France and Britain plan to open new embassies in the Pacific, boost staffing levels and engage with leaders of island nations more often in a bid to counter China’s rising influence in the region, sources have said.

The battle for influence in the Pacific matters because each of the tiny island states has a vote at international forums such as the UN and they also control vast swathes of resource-rich ocean.

…Australia, New Zealand and the US have said they would increase economic aid and expand their diplomatic presence to countries in the region….

[A] US official said Washington needed to have adequate representation in the Pacific countries to let their governments know what options were open to them.

The US government source said the US would boost diplomatic staffing numbers in Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and potentially Fiji within the next two years.

The Australian government is expected to name its first High Commissioner to Tuvalu within weeks, rushing to fill a post Canberra decided upon establishing only several months ago, said a government source who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to talk to the media.

Britain would open new High Commissions in Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa by the end of May next year, while French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to organize a meeting of Pacific leaders early next year, diplomatic and government sources have said.

Comment: This development is welcome. Since 2017 there is greater focus in the West on the China challenge.This is not only in the economic and financial fields.The United States is reacting to China’s long time economic aggression. In June 2018 a 65-page report (”How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World”) on the techniques used by China was published in Washington.

The report is breaking down the Chinese government’s economic aggression into five broad categories, including protecting its home market for domestic producers, securing control of natural resources, and seeking dominance of leading-edge high-tech industries. There is also a list of more than 50 types of policies used by China — from cybertheft of intellectual property to blocking foreign access to key raw materials it controls — used to meet those objectives.

A further threat to the United States and Allies is the growing Chinese aircraft carrier force that is of vital interest to Beijing in its quest for regional dominance. This is only a first step in the search for global control. The present target is the Western Pacific. With growing influence there are more distant goals as the East and South Pacific and even the Mediterranean.

CHINA’S ECONOMIC AGGRESSION

August 5, 2018

China is a leading revisionist power wanting to take over and dominate technology industries of the future: artificial intelligence, robotics, high-tech shipping, aerospace and more.

Included in the China 2025 strategy is stealing from the United States and other Western countries.

Technology transfer is systematically used by the Chinese. Western and mainly American companies who want to produce and sell in China have to turn over technology to the buyers.

China is evading export controls. Since the Tiananmen square massacre in 1989 US prevents the Chinese from buying sensitive military equipment. They use very complex operations to avoid the controls.

There are large trade deficits. Big state backed Chinese funds are buying technology in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the United States.

For decades nothing has happened until the Trump administration brought it up with the Chinese and demanded changes.

US introduced tariffs on high technology industries and China has retaliated. The present tariffs are 25 percent on 50 billion US dollars of Chinese exports.

China is now planning to dump cheap robotics tech into US markets. These types of actions has been going on since China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO). In 2001.

Bill Clinton started the Chinese on the path they presently are on by letting China into the WTO. He represented the globalist idea that it would be possible to change Chinese society and open it up by bringing it into the international trade system.

As a result the United States has during 17 years lost 70,000 factories and 5 million manufacturing jobs.

In contrast the US wants free and fair trade but not ”a fool’s trade”.

Presently American trade deficits with Europe are 150 billion dollars and with China more than double the amount, 376 billion US dollars.

American Policy Advisor Michael Pillsbury has in his book ”The Hundred-Year Marathon – China’s Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower” (2015) described how the United States played an indispensable role in creating China’s booming economy. It was in the mistaken belief that the rise of China would bring cooperation and free trade.

According to Pillsbury the goal of China is to succeed by 2049, onehundred years ofter the Communist takeover in 1949. The Chinese regard America and its leaders as barbarians who will be the architects of their own demise. Along with other books the work of Pillsbury is an eye-opener.

Pillsbury points to the book by Colonel Liu Mingfu, “The China Dream” (2010) as an important inspiration for Xi Jinping’s increasingly totalitarian policies. The author clearly states that China wants to dominate the world.

Using classical Chinese strategy the leadership in Beijing is preparing so called ”assassin’s maze” weapons to destroy American satellites and target US aircraft carriers.

There has been World Bank assistance to China but no demands for Beijing introducing free market reforms. The Chinese government is still controlling most of China’s larger industries.

Pillsbury presents evidence from secret briefings that China is actively working to promote the decline of the United States. One method is sales of arms to America’s enemies.

Further Reading

”Death by China: Confronting the Dragon — A Global Call to Action” (2011) by Peter Navarro reveals the real China behind the mask. The Chinese Communist Party’s is aggressively building up China’s military and at the same time its economy while destroying jobs in America.

Peter Navarro has also directed the documentary ”Death By China: How America Lost Its Manufacturing Base”. The film is from 2013 and Peter Navarro is presently leading the White House National Trade Council. There are a number of interviews with experts, officials and businessmen in the documentary. One expert warns that America does not have free trade with China. Instead it is a ”rigged trade” that benefits China and harms both American and Chinese citizens. During the five years that has passed since the production of the film the problem has become more acute. Trade deficits have been growing and more jobs have been shipped from the United States to China.

A key tool of the regime in Beijing is currency manipulation. China pegs its currency at a low level against the American dollar. In reality that is the equivalent of a 40 percent tariff on American sales in China and a similar subsidy for Chines goods sold in America.

The film has been a great success and one of the most popular documentary films on Netflix for many years. It has also been made available for free on YouTube.

PROTECTING A FREE AND OPEN INDO-PACIFIC REGION

August 2, 2018

National Interest on July 31, 2018, published an article on US policy in the Indo-Pacific region. According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo free and open means all nations will be able to protect their sovereignty from coercion and enjoy open access to seas and airways. Excerpts below:

Mike Pompeo [recently] announced a $25 million initial investment for a digital connectivity and cyber-security partnership to help develop internet infrastructure in the region.

Financially, that’s small potatoes compared to China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative. But China’s program focuses on linking Indo-Pacific countries to China. The U.S. program is about opening the Indo-Pacific to the world.

But perhaps the most important thing about Pompeo’s regional diplomatic offensive is its focus on promoting private-sector investment. China’s investments in the region are state-led and state-run. That means there are lots of diplomatic strings attached, as everyone in the region understands.

There’s only one country that wants to close the Indo-Pacific, and that’s China. It won’t succeed anytime soon, but China’s closure strategy has been successful in at least important patch at the heart of the region, the South China Sea. By militarizing the waters at the very center of the Indo-Pacific, China has thrown down a gauntlet in front of all of its maritime neighbors. China knows that its neighbors are too weak to actively resist, even if they have no interest in joining China.

The U.S. Navy regularly runs freedom of navigation operations(FonOps) in the South China Sea to remind the world that China does not own the global commons.

Those U.S. ships and planes need a stable base from which to operate and—in an emergency—at which to find refuge….The Navy and Air Force both need a safe harbor in the backyard of the Indo-Pacific, and they seem to have found it in Australia’s northern outpost of Darwin.

On May 30, the storied U.S. Pacific Command was officially renamed the Indo-Pacific Command…Pompeo defined the Indo-Pacific as a region stretching “from the United States west coast to the west coast of India.” Over at the Department of Defense, that just happens to be the exact territory covered by USINDOPACOM.

Though USINDOPACOM is headquartered in Hawaii and is responsible for major U.S. deployments in Japan and South Korea, the two maritime cornerstones of American power in the Indo-Pacific are Guam on the right and Diego Garcia on the left. Now Darwin, the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory, is falling into place as the keystone at the center of the arch.

The American arch around the South China Sea is a defensive posture. China’s military buildup, like its Belt and Road Initiative, is fundamentally about offense.

As Pompeo stressed in Washington, “where America goes, we seek partnership, not domination.” In eastern Europe, NATO has a program it calls the Partnership for Peace . [The American] Indo-Pacific initiative could become a civilian equivalent in Asia.

The United States has had an open-door policy in Asia for more than one hundred years. It has always been based on business first, and force only as a last resort. Pompeo’s Indo-Pacific initiative fits squarely in that time-honored tradition. The architecture of a free and open Indo-Pacific may be supported by the military arch, but its upper stories will be built by private enterprise, and its doors will be open to everyone—including China.

Comment: From a geopolitical standpoint the American initiative is welcome. There are now three cornerstones in the Indo-Pacific Partnership of Peace: Diego Garcia, Darwin and Guam.

It may be time to think about the Southeast Pacific where Chile’s rapid economic growth and stable politics has shifted trade and strategic orientation to the Asia-Pacific away from the Southern Cone of South America.

The geopolitical significance of the South Pacific is increasing.

Easter Island, known locally as Rapa Nui, is situated more than 3,218 kilometers (2,000 miles) west of mainland Chile. Its control from the mainland is possible through a substantial military presence in capital Hanga Roa.

Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. After the constitutional reforms of 2007, it extended Special Status. The islands are mainly inhabited by Polynesians, who at times call for self-determination within the Pacific Islands Forum.

Another Chilean island possession is the Juan Fernández Islands, are populated predominantly from mainland Chile.

Chile has a long coast and its maritime geography includes 6,435 km of coastline, 4,300 km on the mainland and the remainder distributed along Chile’s Antarctic and Pacific Island territories.

The maritime territory, including its exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, covers more than 4.5 million square kilometers.

Chile aspires to have expeditionary capabilities similar to those of other South Pacific maritime powers such as Australia. The maritime expansion in the Southeast Pacific should be welcomed by other regional maritime powers, such as Australia.

It is quite possible that Chile in the future could have to decide if it wants to join the Pacific Partnership of Peace. This would lead to greater cooperation with the United States and Australia.

CHANGING CHINA’S PREDATORY TRADE PRACTICES

May 4, 2018

Reuters reported on May 3, 2018, that the Trump administration’s top economic officials had arrived in China.

They will try to get the Chinese government to open its markets and give up its predatory trade practicies.

The officials want to bring down the trade deficit by 20 percent or around 100 billion dollars. The also seek to get China to allow U S businesses to operate and sell in China without having to partner with a Chinese company. The existing rules are helping China to transfer U S technology and know-how in a way that is damaging to America.

China has for years been conquering the world’s export markets. This conquest has vaporized manufacturing jobs and driven down wages from the heartland of America. The China wars are fought over everything from decent jobs, livable wages, and leading-edge technologies to strategic resources such as copper and steel.

In an op-ed in a large US daily newspaper, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is writing that the “economic relationship with China that has become increasingly unbalanced — and, over the long term, dangerous — for the U.S.” Rubio announces new legislation to combat intellectual property (IP) theft.

China’s trade policies are two-faced: “One face [that] outwardly offers soaring and seductive promises of an emerging global economic order that will become more open and equitable as nations increase trade and commerce with China. … The other face speaks inwardly to China’s ultimate geopolitical intentions.”

Rubio says China is stealing IP for nearly $600 billion annually from just the U.S. The Florida Senator calls on Congress to support the administration’s efforts to reform trade with China. Next week he will introduce the Fair Trade With China Enforcement Act to “guard the American people against China’s nefarious influence on national and economic security, directly targeting China’s tools of economic aggression.” The legislation would ban the sale of all sensitive technology or intellectual property to Chinese entities and impose a shareholding cap on Chinese investors in American corporations to prevent undue influence in corporate governance.

Comment: This is an excellent initiative. It is time to push back when it comes to the dark side of the rise of China. Other Western countries ought to act now to address the mounting problems of the Beijing challenge.

The rise of China has resulted in efforts along the Asian rimland to balance against the challenge to the established territorial status quo and national interests. China uses geographical proximity, overall strength, offensive capabilities, and offensive intentions. The size and position at the heart of the Asian landmass sends a geopolitical message. The Chinese military is modernizing its navy and air force, investing in anti-access/area denial technologies, and build aircraft carriers. Declarations such as the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone send a troubling message across the region. But China is not the only challenge on the World Island in the geopolitical theory of Halford Mackinder and Nicholas Spykman. The West is presently challenged by the three empires on the rimland of Eurasia: China, Russia and Iran/Persia.

“MAP WARFARE” – CHINA CLAIMS NEW TERRITORY

May 3, 2018

National Interest on April 30, 2018, reported that China is extending its territorial claims in the South China Sea. A group of Chinese scholars have recently published a ”New Map of the People’s Republic of China”. Excerpts below:

Instead of dotted lines, as reflected in China’s U-shaped Nine-Dash Line claim to nearly all of the South China Sea, the new map [is based on an old map from 1951]…

The Chinese researchers claim that through analysis of historical maps, the 1951 solid-line map “proves” beyond dispute that the “U-boundary line is the border of China’s territorial sea” in the South China Sea.

They also claim that the solid administrative line overlaying the U-boundary “definitely indicated that the sovereignty of the sea” enclosed within the U-boundary “belonged to China.”

The study, edited by the Guanghua and Geosciences Club and published by SDX Joint Publishing Company, has not been formally endorsed by the Chinese government.

…many experts believe that it’s Beijing’s latest effort to recover from a humiliating legal defeat in 2016, when an arbitration body at The Hague constituted under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) struck down much of China’s claims in adjacent waters in a ruling that favored the Philippines.

Last year, China began to introduce a new quasi-legal doctrine in the South China Sea.

According to the new “Four Sha” doctrine, China lays sovereign claims over the Pratas, Paracels and Spratly group of islands, as well as the Macclesfield Bank area (known in Chinese as Dongsha, Xisha, Nansha, and Zhongsha respectively).

Instead of treating them as a collection of disputed land features, each group of islands or land features is treated as an integrated archipelagic body with its own maritime boundaries, sovereign land with a corresponding title to claim an exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The new doctrine was advanced by Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials during a closed-door meeting with US State Department officials in Washington last August, according to news reports and Pentagon sources.

The “new map” should thus be understood as yet another attempt to present old wine in a new bottle…the 1951 map presents “the continuous line” of a claim, which was “recognized by the international community in the corresponding historical period.”

They also claim that it provides “appropriate descriptions and drawing-methods for the sea boundary in [the] historical period,” ensuring the “certainty of the integrity, continuity and border of China’s seas.”

The academics argue that the new map should serve as the basis of China’s claims in the area, since it “more vividly, accurately, completely and scientifically” characterizes and proves Beijing’s sovereignty in adjacent waters.

If Beijing moves to back the academics’ assertions, it could inflame already boiling tensions with smaller Southeast Asian claimants, which have opposed China’s expanding military footprint and extensive reclamation activities.

What is clearer is that China is still determined to provide quasi-legal cover for its rising domination of the South China Sea.

China Topics on July 25, 2016 reported on an even more aggressive claim of territory by China that claimed that the Pacific Ocean is Chinese. Excerpts below:

The map infers Hawaii belongs to China and [that] Hawaii was stolen from China by the United States, which must give it back of face the consequences.

The map was the work of the person or persons behind a blog called the “Ministry of Harmony”…

The original post in 2014 claimed China’s Ministry of Education had released a new world map where China claims most of the Pacific Ocean, including Hawaii and most of Micronesia.

It said Xinhua, China’s propaganda media machine, reported the ministry issued a directive ordering “all educational facilities and government offices to replace their outdated world maps with the current iteration,”…

Emmanuel Mori, who then was President of the Federated States of Micronesia, reportedly dismissed the map as “absurd” and accused China of “cartographic rape.”

In the map, China also claims Mexico’s Clarion Island and France’s Clipperton Island. The ministry said both islands will be granted full autonomy.

Hawaii and other American territories such as Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands will be combined to form a new Chinese province called “Xinmeiguo,” …

The ministry defended the new “251-dash map” by pointing to several Qing-era documents that show the Carolines, the Northern Mariana and Marshall Islands were under Chinese control hundreds of years ago.

“The study of what constitutes Chinese territory is ongoing,” said one ministry official.