Police lock down Chinese factory town to suppress protests

A determined protest by rural migrant workers in Guangdong Province that began on June 26 has underscored the rising tensions between the region’s multi-millioned workforce and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime.

The unrest erupted after a brawl in the township of Shaxi in Zhongshan city between a local 13-year-old school student and a 15-year old teenager of migrant background. Shaxi, which specialises in making casual clothes, is one of the numerous industrial towns in the Pearl River Delta, also known as the “world’s factory.”

The migrant youth was eventually detained by security guards who reportedly beat him severely injuring his face, before handing him to the police. A protest by his parents and their friends over the youth’s treatment became a rallying point for the pent-up anger against widespread official discrimination against migrant workers.

The initial demonstration involved a few hundred workers in front of the local police station, but rapidly escalated after police tried to disperse the crowd with batons. The news spread like wildfire. Thousands more rallied in support, including many from neighbouring cities such as Guangzhou and Fusan.

Liu Tianjin, a Shaxi factory worker, told Agence France-Presse: “The riots started noon [on Monday], but escalated late last night, several thousand people were protesting. There were lots of riot police outside last night, and there are still many outside now. I can tell you more than 30 people were injured.”

On Tuesday morning, about 10,000 workers surrounded the township government, facing off against 1,000 police. That night the authorities suddenly moved to disperse the protests by ordering the police to charge against the protestors (click here for video).

Police sealed off the town and the Shaxi and Zhongshan media issued warnings to the public to stay away from the town, as well as urging locals to remain indoors. Shops, schools and banks were all shut.

According to Hong Kong’s Ming Pao Daily, tens of thousands of migrant workers, including from neighbouring cities, showed up to support the protests. Workers attacked police cars and police outposts as well as shops. A bus station was set on fire. The police indiscriminately attacked anyone in the street and local hospitals filled with the injured (see photos).

The newspaper, citing unnamed sources, reported that the central government in Beijing had authorised the police and troops to shoot workers if the unrest escalated. It deployed 10,000 police in Zhongshan, including large reinforcements from nearby cities to prevent any protest in the main city.

Chinese authorities have tried to downplay the incident. State-owned television broadcast the comments of the injured boy’s father who insisted that his son had suffered only minor injuries, not death as widely rumoured. He said that he did not know any of the protestors. To justify the police violence, the state media claimed that organised crime gangs were behind the protests.

The sudden eruption of protests is a product of systematic discrimination against migrant workers who are not given formal residential status in the city. They are treated as second class citizens without access to services and are subject to constant police harassment. In towns like Shaxi, where migrant workers outnumber locals, the government is not responsible for their education or healthcare. The official policy encourages local prejudice against “migrants”, including by the police who often blame them for rising crime rates.

What happened in Shaxi is part of broader labour unrest in the same province. Last June, similar protests erupted involving thousands of migrant workers in the jean manufacturing centre of Zengcheng. Since November there has been a wave of strikes in the province against wage cuts and attacks on working conditions.

Last weekend police violently broke up a factory occupation by 800 workers at Lituo Civilian Explosive Equipment in Shaoguan city, also in Guangdong. The former state-owned enterprise produces industrial explosives and detonators. Workers had been on strike since early May to protest against management plundering money belonging to workers when the company was sold last year. On June 22, workers blocked a road and sealed off the gate, preventing the managers from leaving. The government deployed hundreds of riot police who attacked workers with tear gas and arrested several (see photo).

The underlying cause of the growing labour unrest is the sharp downturn in exports due to the worsening economic crisis in Europe and the lack of demand from the US. Guangdong’s economy, which used to be the driving force for China as a whole, is now in deep trouble. Its exports and imports grew by only 5 percent in the first five months of the year compared to the same period last year—2.7 percentage points below the national average. Fixed asset investment has risen by just 9 percent in the same period—down by 9.9 percentage points from last year.

Cheng Jianshan of Guangdong Academy of Social Sciences told the China News Service on June 27 that the province’s “troika” (exports, investment and consumption) was losing steam: “The contraction in foreign trade is undermining investor confidence, leading to weakness in fixed capital investment, which in turn, affects consumer confidence and industrial added value.”

Guangdong Communist Party chief Wang Yang last year promised workers a “happy Guangdong” after a series of violent protests, including in Zengcheng and also by villagers in Wukan who waged a protracted struggle against corrupt land sales.

However, facing falling profits, sweatshop owners are seeking to impose new burdens on workers through wage cuts and demands for higher productivity. The Guangdong government was expected to increase the official minimum wage earlier in the year. But under pressure from the Hong Kong manufacturers’ lobby which employs millions of workers in the province, the government postponed the increases, provoking a wave of strikes.

On June 18, the 3,000-strong workforce at the Japanese-owned Citizen watch plant in Guangzhou went on strike demanding a pay increase. Their basic wage was just 1,100 yuan a month—theofficial minimum in Huadu district where the factory is located. After a 200-yuan deduction for social security, workers complained that they simply did not have enough to live on.

Workers at another Japanese electronics plant in Guangzhou were offered a pay rise from 1,350 yuan to 1,500 yuan a month on 1 June, but 1,000 went out on strike on June 14 saying the increase was not enough to make ends meet.

The brutal police-state measures used against migrant workers this week in Zhongshan are rooted in the Chinese regime’s fear that any ongoing protest could trigger far broader action by the highly concentrated working class in Guangdong and China’s other industrial heartlands.

Obama’s October Surprise: Largest War Games in US-Israeli History

Richard Silverstein reports on newly published accounts in the Hebrew language journal, Maariv, that the US and Israel will conduct a massive war game/military exercise “of immense importance” in October.

Silverstein interprets this war game in the context of the tension between Israel and Iran and the US presidential election.  In his first sentence, Silverstein says the war games will be “a ‘dress rehearsal’ for the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran.”

But further into his analysis, Silverstein examines other possibilities.  For instance, that the war game might be cancelled if Israel does, indeed, attack Iran, or that the exercise represents “tacit acceptance that Israel won’t attack Iran until the (presidential) elections.”  While Silverstein’s analysis is so broad as to be indeterminate, he is convinced that the timing of the war games is predicated on the US presidential election and the heightening tensions between Israel and Iran.  The most likely interpretation is that posited in Maariv, that the war games will represent an aftermath to an Israeli attack on Iran scheduled for September or October as originally reported in the Guardian last January.

Israel’s daily Maariv reported yesterday that the long delayed war games between U.S. and Israeli forces will take place in October. It noted that some commentators are calling it a “dress rehearsal” for the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran. IDF sources quoted in the article called the exercises “of immense importance.”

These will be the largest such military maneuvers in the history of the joint U.S.-Israel relationship. They were originally scheduled for several months ago but were canceled abruptly, according to some, at the behest of Ehud Barak, who wanted to send a message to the U.S. that Israel might be planning an attack and prefer not to have such an event interfere with it.

Three thousand U.S. Air Force personnel and a larger IDF contingent will focus on air warfare and missile defense. The primary goal is to prepare for the aftermath of an Israeli attack on Iran and the expected counterattack against Israel.

The date of the war games is no accident, coming only a few weeks before the presidential election. They will thus serve two purposes: shoring up Jewish support for Obama’s campaign and reassuring Israel that the U.S. will provide it every weapon money can buy to defend itself should it counterattack Iran. One expects that all this might be predicated on an Israeli commitment not to attack Iran quite yet — perhaps not until sometime after Nov. 4?

As part of the proceedings, the U.S. will bring new military hardware and technology Israel hasn’t yet seen, such as an upgraded battery of the Patriot PAC-3 missile system designed as a backup security system in case the higher-level security systems fail to shoot down Iran’s missiles and the Aegis anti-missile radar system. Israel will also demonstrate the new Arrow 2 missile, which will be able to detect missile launches even earlier than previously.

Emphasis will be placed on combating the ballistic threat from Iran. This is meant as an explicit message to Iran, which has threatened a broad response to an Israeli attack, that such an attack on Israel will fail and isn’t worth trying. Of course, the assumption behind this is that Israel believes that it can both attack Iran and face no consequences from such an attack: one of the most glaring examples of having your cake and eating it too I’ve yet seen.

Other factors that will play a role in this exercise will be the possibility that Syria and Hezbollah would join with Iran in attacking Israel. In preparation for the exercises, Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander of the 3rd Air Force, visited Israel recently and launched a joint command that would conduct the war games.

Business Insider also reports that the Defense Department has awarded Raytheon a $338-million contract for 361 Tomahawk cruise missiles. Most of them will be configured for at-sea launches from guided-missile cruisers such as those patrolling with the Navy’s Fifth Fleet just outside Iranian waters. Though they won’t be delivered till 2014, they might be ordered in the expectation that current stock could be depleted in the sort of attack Israel and/or the U.S. might launch against Iran.

What is particularly disturbing in all this is that the U.S. seems to be inching ever closer to supporting an Israeli attack on Iran. While Obama and his officials have appeared to be reigning in Netanyahu, holding him back from an attack, this type of military preparation serves as a wink and a nod to such supposed efforts at restraint.

The end result is that if Israel does attack, it will be able to point to this military exercise as an example of U.S. encouragement of such an approach. Bibi will quite reasonably argue: Why did you show us all this missile defense hardware designed to protect us in the event we strike Iran, if you didn’t expect us to do so? And he will be right.

Further, military preparations of this sort indicate an acceptance by the U.S. that diplomacy can’t possibly work. Instead of serving as a threat toward Iran, as Obama might argue, that this is what lies in store if it doesn’t negotiate in good faith, it may instead be seen as a cynical statement by us that we ourselves don’t believe negotiations can work. In other words, it could be a self-fulfilling prophecy that leads to war.

Some might argue that scheduling such exercises indicates a tacit acceptance by Israel that it won’t attack Iran until the elections. But that might not be so. There is no reason Netanyahu couldn’t simply attack, causing the automatic cancellation of the war games. Some Israeli military-security insiders have told Reuters that they believe Bibi will attack before the elections in the belief that Obama will feel compelled to support Israel due to the sensitivity of a potentially close election campaign. Such projection on Israel’s part tells much more about its self-involved egoism than it does about any actual U.S. response to an attack.

Meanwhile, Kenneth Waltz, an international relations specialist at Columbia University argues in “Why Iran Should Get the Bomb” that precisely what’s needed in the Middle East is an Iranian bomb to establish a power balance in the region. He believes that, given the current status of nuclear proliferation in the world, it’s better for states not to have a regional monopoly as Israel does. A balanced standoff such as between Pakistan and Iran, the U.S. and Russia, or China and Japan (the latter has breakout capacity but hasn’t actually created a weapon) actually promotes stability rather than the opposite. It’s a provocative, contrarian approach but quite persuasive.

Let the War Games Begin: US and Israel Practice Attacking Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of the Egyptian government with the presidential “election” of Mohammed Morsi.

Netanyahu said: “We expect to work together with the new administration on the basis of our peace treaty. I believe that peace is important to Israel. I believe that peace is important to Egypt. I believe that peace is a vital interest for both countries and I believe that peace is the foundation of stability in our region.”

Morsi has been speaking with Iran, one of Israel’s enemies, claiming to want to forage “closer relations [to] create a balance of pressure in the region, and this is part of my program.”

In March of this year, the Obama administration ensured the permanency of the Israeli agenda here in the US by the House passage of the United States – Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012 (USIESC). Through the executive order (EO), Obama laid out just how the US will support Israel:

• Production of military grade weapons
• Production and procurement of defense systems
• Allocate US military to assist Israeli forces
• Train Israeli forces
• Protection against common threats
• Expansion of NATO in Israel
• Provide intelligence

The EO also gives Israel a “blank check” on our Federal Reserve Bank to fund their endeavors.

Obama also acknowledges that Iran has been named by Israel as a viable threat to be dealt with.

Voicing their disdain for how Obama is handling the situation in the Middle East, an official for the Israeli government stated : Our position is that the international community needs to do three things for the talks to be successful. Make its demands crystal clear and tied to a clear timeline for implementation, ratchet up the economic and diplomatic pressure, and augment that pressure by making clear there is a credible military option.”

Israel, who once said they would hold back, have made their intentions to attack Iran very clear. They will not wait for diplomacy, and have promised to strike Iran before the end of 2012.

Using propaganda assertions like Assad is obtaining chemical weapons, Israel is building a case against Syria.

Both Obama and Netanyahu were involved with the covert operation involving Flame (the continuation of Stuxnet); a computer virus unleashed to syphon information from Iranian computers.

Israel and the US plan to hold a joint military training session in October of this year. Included will be military drills of thousands of soldiers and advanced anti-missile defense systems exercises.
It appears to be coincidental that these “war games” will take place just prior to presidential elections in the US.

The two nations, who have become closer over the recent months, are planning to deal with Iran and Syria with as much aggression as they see fit.

A few military analysts have dubbed the drills a “dress rehearsal”, mocking the severity of Obama and Netanyahu’s campaign. Amidst the UN and US sanctions against the two Middle Eastern nations, there is a clear threat of military strike that would serve both the US and Israeli interests.

The preparations for an attack on Iran is being downplayed by the UN while the international community is escalating their claims that Iran’s supposed nuclear endeavors are a violation of treaties; as well as the Iranian government’s failure to properly cooperate with UN inspectors.

In response to the threatening stance of the US, Israel and the UN, Iran and its allies (Russia, China and Syria) are preparing for war themselves. Sources from Iran’s media claim that “90,000 solider from the 4 countries are to take part” in massive war games. Included are Chinese warships, Russian atomic submarines, air craft carriers, and Iranian battleships and submarines.

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Globalists Blame Financial Crisis of 2008 to Usher in One World Currency

The efforts of the Global Elite are to enable an environmentally-based economy within a one world government. This includes replacing the currency and economic structures in place.

The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) has announced that they will stop printing pennies. The RCM have unveiled a digital RFID-chip based currency that can be loaded up, stored and spent in-store and online.

The RCM calls this currency MintChip; which will be a virtual payment method accessible through microchips, microSD cards and USB sticks.

This RFID-chip currency is collaboration with the US corporations and research and development outfits. Ian Bennett, president and CEO of the Mint explains: “As part of its research and development efforts, the Mint has developed MintChip, which could be characterized as an evolution of physical money, with the added benefits of being electronic.”

The MintChip is still under development, with patents pending and prototypes being studied. The creation and perfection of the technology must be useable with American markets.

Paul Solman , correspondent for the PBS NewsHour purveys the positive propaganda of one world currency by asserting that: “Ah, the dream: one world, one economy, one currency — and, of course, one global political system . . . a common currency means a common economic policy . . .”

The United Future World Currency is a foundation nearly 2 decades old that seeks to “bring to life the project for a common currency” once defined as the Euro. They are committed to bringing awareness to the necessity of global currency.

Organizations like this serve to make the idea of a global currency more palatable to the general public. Simultaneously, nations like China are pushing against the US dollar being the global reserve currency as the Federal Reserve continues to inflate the US dollar which debases its worth.

The Institute of International Finance (IIF), a group of technocrats that represent 420 banking cartels and financing houses have joined the cry for a one world currency.

Charles Dallara, managing director of the IIF, said: “A core group of the world’s leading economies need to come together and hammer out an understanding. The narrowly focused unilateral and bilateral policy actions seen in recent months – including many proposed and actual measures on trade, currency intervention and monetary policy – have contributed to worsening underlying macroeconomic imbalances. They have also led to growing protectionist pressures as countries scramble for export markets as a source of growth.”

The UN’s call for one world currency is contained in their report entitled, United Nations: Economic and Social Survey 2010. The UN asserted that the US dollar must be replaced by a new one-world currency issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The IMF’s suggestion is the Bancor, which was the supranational currency invention of John Maynard Keynes. When Keynes headed the World Banking Commission, he was integral in the creation of the IMF. However, its rise to power was halted at the Bretton Woods Conference where the US prevailed in establishing the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

In response to the Global Market Crash of 2008, Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People’s Bank of China, revived the ideal of the Bancor by demanding that the IMF have special drawing rights (SDRs). Xiaochuan contented that national currencies were counter-productive to the global markets and that domestic monetary policy must not override international necessities.

The UN published a report following the financial crisis in 2008 entitled, The Commission of Experts of the President of the UN General Assembly on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System wherein they created a commission to “restore global economic stability”.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon affirmed that a one-world currency would “bridge the old North-South divide” and that the UN’s “monetary vision” if properly implemented would be a “path out of our current predicament.”

In a report published in 2010, the IMF stated that the Bancor should be established and administered as the one-world currency. To go along with the one-world currency, the IMF advises the establishment of a one-world bank; who would also have issuance rights as the Federal Reserve Bank does within the US.

The IMF report states: “The global central bank could serve as a lender of last resort, providing needed systemic liquidity in the event of adverse shocks and more automatically than at present. Such liquidity was provided in the most recent crisis mainly by the U.S. Federal Reserve, which however may not always provide such liquidity.”

The advent of a global currency, if allowed to happen will be controlled by the UN, as the IMF is an arm of the globalist Elite front.

Simply put, this demand is a call for economic control by the international community for the express purpose of ensuring that the future of all sovereign nations eventually fall victim to the coming global governance.

Source

UN Unveils Agreement Detailing Global Governance Strategy for “Sustainable Green Path”

At the UN Earth Summit Rio+20, negotiators for the globalist leaders have agreed to a document that lays out their plan for putting the nations of the world on a “ more sustainable path ”.

The purpose of this year’s conference is to outline global governance under the cover of environmentalism and protecting the planet.

The strengthening of the UN Environmental Program through “secure, adequate and increased financial resources” was one of the biggest issues brought to the forefront at the conference. The UN is kicking into high gear, planning on creating a clear path toward global governance. Their strength will become evident in the international mandates they plan to impose onto the governments of the world.

China, India, Indonesia and South Africa will be represented by their presidents and prime ministers.

President Obama, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will send representatives in their stead.

However, extended arms of the UN such as eco-fascist groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and “charities” believe that the agreement is not strict enough .

A panel of alarmist scientists, ministers and Nobel laureates are decrying that society is “on the edge of a threshold of a future with unprecedented environmental risks.”

Their declaration, delivered to the attendees of the Summit called for immediate and significant changes. They wrote: “The combined effects of climate change, resource scarcity, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem resilience at a time of increased demand, poses a real threat to humanity’s welfare. There is an unacceptable risk that human pressures on the planet, should they continue on a business as usual trajectory, will trigger abrupt and irreversible changes with catastrophic outcomes for human societies and life as we know it.”

Professor Will Steffen, of the Australian National University, believed that the declaration would send a clear message to the world leaders of their desire to set “intrinsic limits” on consumption so that humanity would not exceed “the planet’s capacity”.

Issues of discussion include:

• The green economy
• Fossil fuel subsidies
• Sustainable development goals

They complain that it only reiterates the governmental commitments as made in previous documents; which have not been upheld in the opponent’s opinion.
Following suit, the European Union (EU) was most unsatisfied with the document, however, Ida Auken, the Danish Environment Minister explained: “The EU would have liked to see a much more concrete and ambitious outcome, so in that respect I’m not happy with it. However, we managed to get the green economy on the agenda, and so I think we have a strong foundation for this vision that can drive civil society and the private sector to work in the same direction, to understand that environment and [that] the social side must be integrated into the heart of the economy.”

Auken still believes that the agreement will be signed by attendees without any further alterations.

Janez Potocnik, EU Environment Commissioner, asserted that the EU “”remains committed, for as long as it takes, to achieving concrete and ambitious outcomes from the Rio+20 negotiations . . . to bring the world towards a sustainable future.”

Radical environmentalists launched a Twitter call to action, campaigning for as much pressure as possible against governments to systematically end fossil fuel consumption immediately.

The agreement asserts that these programs will be “phased out” without setting specific dates and affirming that only if these modes of energy consumption are “harmful and inefficient”.

The UN will be deploying their Environment Program Corporations to report on environmental and social impact in a yet-to-be determined process of sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be mandated by 2015; as well as extensions on the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The agreement mandates “urgent action” against what they classify as unsustainable production and consumption; yet definitions are broad and could be widely reinterpreted. Per usual with UN agreements, there is a lack of dead-line, explanation of how these mandates can be achieved, and no succinct suggestion as to how the world’ economy could afford the programs the UN demands all the world’s governments implement.

Craig Bennett, director of policy and campaigns for Friends of the Earth , asserts that the UN must be more authoritative to “solve the global emergency we’re facing” and explained that: “Developed countries have repeatedly failed to live safely within our planet’s limits. Now they must wake up to the fact that until we fix our broken economic system we’re just papering over the ever-widening cracks.”

According to the agreement, governments will refrain from making water and energy more accessible to their citizens unless directed by the UN. Predatory talks concerning the securitization of resources by the UN within developing nations became outlines for demands and affirmation of pledges of financial and technological assistance from Western countries. The document reads: “We emphasize the need to make progress in implementing previous commitments… it is critical that we honor all previous commitments, without regression.”

Asad Rehman, head of international climate of the Friends of the Earth said: “Faced with the determined efforts by some developed countries, in particular the US, to rip up the Earth Summit agreement of 1992, the text seems to have stopped us moving backwards. But it certainly doesn’t get close to addressing the concerns of the people or our planet. Faced with a triple planetary crisis – climate catastrophe, deepening global inequity and unsustainable consumption driven by a broken economic system – the text is neither ambitious enough nor delivers the required political will needed.”

The UN itself will implement sustainable development programs under UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Sustainable Energy For All initiative, in developing countries to create “greening” economies. This scheme will mandate UN sanctioned renewable energy efficiency by 2030.

The UN also wants to directly affect control over “measures of progress to complement GDP in order to better inform policy decisions.”

The right to food and water, a subject of broad governance as written in the document is certainly an aspect of the UN’s sustainable development agenda.

Ocean conservation, another topic of interest, explicitly demanded that they govern those assets allocated from this expansive resource. The UN will oversee the international governance over the end of illegal and exploitative fishing, support local small-scale fishers, and set up a process that would eventually regulate fishing and protect life on the high seas. Those definitions, though broad in the document, would left to specific interpretation as needed in individual situations.

The UN will govern the right to:

• Gender equality in the workplace
• Corporate requirements for sustainability
• Youth employment
• Empower the UNEP to extend over-reaching control

Source

Global Order Poised between Promise and Chaos

Whatever kind of world…ordered or disordered, a new or the old order, a diversified world or a Western-dominated one, the next five years are still of key importance. It could be the turning point of a new world order. It could also be a key moment for the West to regain the dominant position with all its might. Or perhaps, it will be a transition into a more chaotic world.

[O]nly when we can properly handle China’s relationship with the European countries and the US, and promote a shift from a Western-dominated world to a world shared by all nations, which means a world governed by global rules and including Chinese participation, can the relations between China and the West fundamentally shift.

The next five years are a key moment of the evolution of the world order, and for China’s own governance as well.

Due to suffering from the crisis and a lack of effective plans to solve the problems, the positions Western nations hold in the international pattern have slipped. Western nations generally believe in the “power transition” theory. They worry the current world order will either be replaced by a pluralistic, diversified, multipolar world, or a more disordered, chaotic one.

Though the G20 is organized and led by the West, it could be the beginning point of a new multipolar world order. In regard of the monetary system, the US dollar, euro, yen, yuan and the pound sterling can co-exist. In addition, besides the World Bank, the development banks and regional monetary finance plans, organized by the new big powers, have also burgeoned. After the decline of regionalism in Europe, other regional cooperation organizations, such as ASEAN and similar South American groups may be further enhanced.

In 2012, several large powers will have presidential elections or witness changes of leadership. The diplomatic policies of their new administrations will be key factors to evolve a world order for the future. If the EU cannot turn around its decline in five years, its influence and position in the world order will be gravely weakened.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has just returned to his former office. The national strength of Russia is expected to rise along with its international status.

For the 2012 US presidency, whoever wins the presidential campaign, the US will make all efforts possible to retain its leadership and hegemony. Unavoidably influenced by the crisis of the West, the BRICS will be less influential on the world order, which will result in a lack of strength for them to promote a new order.

Whatever kind of world China asks for, ordered or disordered, a new or the old order, a diversified world or a Western-dominated one, the next five years are still of key importance. It could be the turning point of a new world order. It could also be a key moment for the West to regain the dominant position with all its might. Or perhaps, it will be a transition into a more chaotic world.

Whether China can become a more influential country largely depends on to what extent we can take advantage of the crisis of the West. The West’s crisis can be taken as an opportunity. Whether or not we can take advantage of the crisis can decide the role China will play in the future world order.

Meanwhile, the evolution of China’s domestic situation, including the economic transformation, social progression, political reform, military reform and the diplomatic changes can be the basis for China to fight for the building of a new world order and seek a better position in it.

To deal with the changes of the international and domestic circumstances, some principles in China’s diplomatic policies, such as “never become the leader,” “non-alignment, ” and “non-interference” need to be revised. Rethinking and adjusting the principles and priorities of our diplomatic policies do not necessarily mean giving up the current ones, but making them more flexible and applicable.

In the next five years, China should emphasize strengthening cooperation with new powers, of various sizes, and deal with their possible conflicts properly. At the same time, only when we can properly handle China’s relationship with the European countries and the US, and promote a shift from a Western-dominated world to a world shared by all nations, which means a world governed by global rules and including Chinese participation, can the relations between China and the West fundamentally shift.

To make this happen, China needs to introduce more appealing and inspiring proposals and targets for a new world order, as well as possible solutions that can address global issues.

The author is a professor at the School of International Studies, Renmin University of China.

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NATO Plans “Middle East Chaos”

Repeat of 1916 Secret Sykes-Picot Agreement to Dismember the Ottoman Empire? On May 16, 1916, in the middle of World War I, Paris and London approved a secret agreement to dismember the Ottoman Empire and divide the Middle East between themselves.

The Sykes-Picot agreement set new boundaries for many countries in the region, and began a period of direct control of the Middle East that the West has sought to perpetuate to the present.
Since the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US and Iraq’s former colonial master, the UK, NATO has been transparent in its desire to once again exercise direct control over the countries in the region. The few regimes that are opposed to NATO hegemony are being faced with a concerted effort by NATO and its regional backers to overthrow them.

After Iraq, it was the turn of Libya, followed by Syria. Next will be Iran. I believe the casualties in Libya were much higher than the official figures claimed by the coalition. Libya has become a madhouse of tribal and religious conflicts, and a country where competing mafias have sliced up the country, united only by their subservience to the commercial interests of their creator and benefactor, NATO.

Even the so-called peace mission to Syria has as its deputy head a diplomat from France, the main player in the 2011 regime change in Tripoli and a country that is actively pressing for military intervention in Syria. Only UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, with his complete confidence in NATO member states, believes that Jean-Marie Guehenno will play a “neutral” role in Syria.

NATO is also encouraging Turkey to believe that it can regain the status it enjoyed during the Ottoman Empire, thereby provoking Ankara into a hyper-active stance in support of NATO’s regime change operations.

As for Qatar and Saudi Arabia, they are so blinded by their hatred for the anti-monarchist and Shia regime of Bashar al-Assad that they are willing to join hands with NATO in destabilizing a fellow Arab government, oblivious to the fact that someday, they themselves could get exposed to the same medicine.

Unlike Libya, Syria is not in an isolated corner. An intensification of the NATO-sponsored civil war in that country, which is pitting Salafists and Wahhabis against Shia, Druze, moderate Sunnis and Christians, would set off sectarian unrest in the entire region.
If this has not happened so far, the credit must go to Russia and China, which have thus far succeeded in blocking NATO from direct military intervention. The alliance needs to know that 2012 is not 1916, and that their ongoing efforts at repeating the Sykes-Picot agreement will lead to disaster.

The author is director and professor of the School of Geopolitics at Manipal University in India.

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China Remains Firm On Syria, Strategic Cooperation With Russia

China has no reason to abandon Syrian stance

China and Russia’s strategic position is moving closer as both are independent global strategic powers facing Western-dominated rules being imposed on the world. As long as the broad global strategic environment remains, the two countries will have more strategic cooperation than disagreements.

The Chinese public supports the non-intervention principle, which reflects China’s national interests. It will not help ease the West’s pressure on China even if we curry favor with the West on Syria. China’s rise is the root reason of the West’s suppression. Let’s not be under any illusion – a fawning face will not change China’s strategic relations with the West.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated several days ago that Russia would support Assad’s stepping down if the majority of Syrians requested it. The remarks have been cited by analysts as proof Russia may waver in its stance on Syria. A few pro-Western Chinese also suggested China make adjustments so to avoid being sold out by Russia.

However, Lavrov also reiterated Russia’s opposition against the UNSC passing a resolution supporting military action against Syria. This stance is in tune with China’s. The conclusion that Russia has changed its Syrian stance is very unprofessional.

Russia and China are not against Assad stepping down. What the two countries oppose is external interference in Syria’s political development. Moscow and Beijing support concerned Syrian parties in deciding the fate of Assad and his regime through negotiations.

This stance has been decided by Russian and Chinese national strategic interests and their fundamental diplomatic philosophy. It is not easily subject to change. The two countries may adjust specific policies depending on the circumstances. They both have the willingness and channels of communication for coordinating such an adjustment.

China and Russia’s strategic position is moving closer as both are independent global strategic powers facing Western-dominated rules being imposed on the world. As long as the broad global strategic environment remains, the two countries will have more strategic cooperation than disagreements.

Russia is more clear and resolute in its stance on Syrian affairs, as Moscow has a bigger stake in Syria. China can coordinate with Russia as the two sides share basic principles. This will benefit China-Russia strategic trust and is important for China to win Moscow’s support in issues such as Iran, where China has more interests.

If the Syrian situation worsens, Assad may not be able to avoid being toppled. But China cannot abandon the principle of opposing military intervention now. Even if Assad leaves power, China won’t be embarrassed for sticking to this principle.

Having said that, China should engage the Syrian opposition as the situation develops. It should also support the UN’s efforts to stabilize the Syrian situation. China recognizes Syria’s reality today and will continue to do so in the future. But the reality now is that the Assad government is the largest political force in the country and more than half of the Syrian population supports its existence.

The Chinese public supports the non-intervention principle, which reflects China’s national interests. It will not help ease the West’s pressure on China even if we curry favor with the West on Syria. China’s rise is the root reason of the West’s suppression. Let’s not be under any illusion – a fawning face will not change China’s strategic relations with the West.

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RUSSIA CHALLENGES US-NATO: Russia prepares army for Syrian deployment

Given the worsening crisis in Syria, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper reported that the Russian army is apparently being prepared for a mission in Syria. Citing anonymous sources in the military leadership, the newspaper said that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the general staff to work out a plan for military operations outside Russia, including in Syria.

The units being prepared for an intervention are the 76th Division of airborne forces (an especially experienced unit of the Russian army), the 15th Army Division, as well as special forces from a brigade of the Black Sea fleet, which has a base in the Syrian port of Tartus.

The details of the operational plan are being prepared by the working parties of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, to which most of the post-Soviet states belong, as well as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, to which China and Russia belong.

According to the newspaper report, deployment depends on the decision of the Russian government and the UN. However, the plans also foresee that the troops might intervene without UN approval. The Russian government has so far not confirmed the report.

On Monday last week, three Russian warships were sighted off the Syrian coast. An anonymous source from the Russian government told the Iranian newspaper Tehran Times that Moscow wants to show NATO that it will not allow any military operation against Damascus under the guise of a humanitarian mission.

Earlier, the secretary-general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, Nikolai Bordjusha, had held out the possibility of using “peacekeepers” in Syria. “The task in Syria is likely to be to impose peace—primarily against the insurgents, who use weapons to solve political problems.”

Russia and China strongly oppose a military intervention by NATO in Syria, and have already blocked two UN resolutions on the issue. The US and its allies, especially Turkey, Saudi Arabia and France, have stoked up a civil war in Syria and are systematically arming the so-called rebels, who consist mainly of Islamists, ex-members of the government, or Al Qaeda terrorists. Turkey is increasingly leadership of the US proxy war in Syria.

In recent weeks calls for a military intervention in Syria have increased. After the massacre in Houla, French President Francois Hollande spoke out in favor of military intervention. The West blamed the government of Bashar al-Assad for this massacre without any clear evidence. The German elite is also openly discussing a possible military intervention; Berlin has tried unsuccessfully to push Russia to make concessions on the issue.

Russia has not excluded a “political solution”, i.e., the slow transition from the Assad regime to another government. At all costs, however, the Kremlin wants to avoid the violent overthrow of Assad by the West for several reasons, whether it is through direct military intervention by NATO or is brought about by the rebels armed by the West. Two weeks ago, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev warned that a military intervention in Syria could quickly escalate and lead to the use of nuclear weapons.

Since Soviet times, Moscow and Syria have maintained close ties, especially in military and economic matters. More importantly, however, a war against Syria means a ramping up of US aggression in the Middle East. The US has already significantly extended its influence in the region through the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq. They also have military bases in almost every country in the area: Pakistan, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Turkmenistan, as well as some in other smaller states. Meanwhile, Syria and Iran, which are virtually surrounded by US military bases, have become the last bastions of Russia and China in the Middle East against the encroachment of the United States.

A regime change in Damascus would probably bring a Sunni government to power, which would work closely with Saudi Arabia and the United States against Russia and China. Moreover, an escalation of the civil war in Syria—which is already well underway—and a military intervention would set the entire Middle East ablaze. A NATO-led war against Syria would be an immediate prelude to a war against Iran. An attack on Iran would mean another step toward a military escalation of tensions between Washington and Beijing.

While China obtains a significant portion of its raw material imports from Iran, Tehran is Russia’s most important ally in the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to counter the influence of the US and Israel. Both Moscow and Tehran oppose the construction of a trans-Caspian pipeline by the West. They also reject the massive military rearmament of Azerbaijan, which is promoted by the United States, Israel and Turkey. The Caspian region is of key geopolitical importance because it links resource-rich Central Asia with Europe, and because it also has extensive oil and gas reserves.

The growing threat of war in the Middle East—and the fact that the European countries, including Germany and France, are siding with the United States—is increasingly driving Russia into a military alliance with China.

It is significant that Vladimir Putin’s first foreign visit since taking office was to Belarus, and that he then only spent a few hours in Berlin and Paris before going on to Central Asia. The highlight of his visit abroad was in China, where he met with the Chinese president, and then took part at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) on June 6 and 7. In addition to Russia and China, the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan also belong to this organization; Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India have “observer” status.

As was the case at the previous meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, discussion at the SCO summit centered on military and economic cooperation. The summit adopted a declaration on the “establishment of a region of lasting peace and common prosperity”. Military intervention against Syria or Iran was explicitly rejected.

The declaration also condemns the establishment of the NATO missile defense system in Europe, which is directed primarily against Russia and has led to severe tensions between Washington and both Europe and Moscow. In future, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is planning to cooperate militarily more closely on issues of “regional security”.

During his two-day visit to Beijing, Putin had previously agreed with Chinese President Hu Jintao to jointly strengthen “security in the Asia-Pacific region”. Both countries intend to hold frequent joint military exercises in the Pacific, after holding joint naval exercises in the Yellow Sea in the spring. The United States is increasingly focusing its military build-up in the Asian Pacific region in preparation for a military confrontation with China.

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