Nord Stream 2 is a $12 billion pipeline bringing the Arctic Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany. Doesn’t seem that hot-button right. I mean, it’s a progressive initiative that is expected to double the Russian gas supply to Germany, Europe’s largest economy. It’s a little more complicated than that. The reality is that Russia already supplies 40% of the EU’s total gas supply – just behind Norway. The new pipeline is reportedly touted to increase that amount by as much as 55 billion cubic meters per annum. That project has thus permeated a prospect of EU’s dependence on Russia, majorly spearheaded by the Russian-arch-rival United States. Another hurdle is that the pipeline is effortlessly skipping Ukraine to supply gas to Germany. With the Moscow-Ukraine Transit agreement expiring in 2024, it is estimated that the pipeline would cost Kyiv an annual loss of $1.5 billion in transit fees. Thus, brewing geopolitical aggravation and monopolizing concerns misting Russia, the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline is much more complicated than I initially assumed; until I dabbled with each perspective in detail.
U.S. provocations in the East are likely to continue and only Beijing knows how much more it will take before there is an explosion.
In July there were senior representatives of the Washington Administration bouncing about the globe like a bunch of ping-pong balls, lecturing in one place, suborning in another and announcing everywhere that the U.S. wants a “Rules-Based International Order”, as Secretary of State Blinken told China last March.
Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin was one of the bouncing balls, and before arriving in Vietnam stopped off in Singapore where on July 27 he declared “We will not flinch when our interests are threatened. Yet we do not seek confrontation.” On the same day, the British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth (18 U.S.-supplied problem-ridden F-35 strike aircraft, 8 of them British, 10 U.S. Marine Corps), arrived at Singapore en route for the South China Sea to confront any Chinese forces it might meet. (Certainly, the UK carrier group is a joke that could not fight its way out of a paper bag, but it’s the presence that is intended to send the message.) Next day, when Austin arrived in Vietnam, the guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold trailed its coat in the Taiwan Strait in what the U.S. Navy called a “routine” transit that “demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.”
As can be seen on the site Marine Traffic, the Taiwan Strait is packed all day and night with transiting commercial ships from countless countries, and the right of passage is guaranteed. There is no need whatever for any U.S. guided missile destroyer to “demonstrate freedom and openness.” It was obvious that the Benfold — the seventh U.S. warship to transit the Strait so far this year — had been sent to attempt to provoke China to take action.
Washington has been open about its aggressive China policy, and the State Department’s official notification is that “Strategic competition is the frame through which the United States views its relationship with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The United States will address its relationship with the PRC from a position of strength in which we work closely with our allies and partners to defend our interests and values.” The embrace of challenge could not be clearer, and the Defence Department fully agrees, declaring that U.S. National Defence Strategy is “To restore America’s competitive edge by blocking global rivals Russia and China from challenging the U.S. and our allies” and “To keep those rivals from throwing the current international order out of balance.” In other words, so far as Washington is concerned, U.S. global hegemony is here to stay because it is regarded as beneficial for the world — and above all for America.
But there are some countries that would disagree, including, quite understandably, the People’s Republic of China which objects to such condescending policy statements as “When it is in our interest, the United States will conduct results-oriented diplomacy with China on shared challenges such as climate change and global public health crises.” The world needs diplomacy, not tub-thumping policies that confine international negotiations to national interests, and it was regrettable that one of the bouncing balls visited China to deliver yet another lecture on how that country’s government should behave.
It had been hoped that the visit to China by Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman might open some doors to constructive dialogue, but such was not to be. On July 25-26, as the State Department later announced, “the Deputy Secretary and State Councillor Wang had a frank and open discussion about a range of issues, demonstrating the importance of maintaining open lines of communication between our two countries.” Ms Sherman, according to the State Department, “underscored that the United States welcomes the stiff competition between our countries . . .” but this sort of platitude is entirely at variance with the overall tenor of her presentation to State Councillor Wang and Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng.
As reported by the New York Times, she was mega-critical of China on counts of alleged human rights abuses and “also raised China’s demands over Taiwan, its military operations in the South China Sea, and the accusations last week by the United States and other nations that China’s Ministry of State Security was behind the hacking of Microsoft email systems and possibly other cyberattacks.” She declared that “This is very serious — that the Ministry of State Security would assist criminals to hack Microsoft and potentially others,” adding that “many” countries had joined the United States in saying that “such behaviour is absolutely irresponsible, reckless and has no place in our world.”
Ms Sherman had of course been told what to say at the meeting, presumably approved at the highest level, and it is apparent that Washington had no intention whatever of engaging in meaningful dialogue but was intent on showering China with insults.
It is yet to be understood in Washington that insults, sanctions and aggressive military manoeuvres do not have positive effects on the nations against whom they are directed. They invariably result in anger, resentment and retaliation of some sort. It is as yet unknown for retaliation to take the form of direct military action, because Washington’s targets are generally so weak as to be incapable of such riposte, but in the case of modern China, U.S. pressure and Chinese strength are rising to the extent that this is now a distinct possibility.
On July 28 the newly-appointed Chinese ambassador to the U.S., Qin Gang, said he believes “the door of China-U.S. relations, which is already open, cannot be closed” but no matter Beijing’s good intentions there are many in Washington who want to slam that door because they are confident that the national policy of “blocking global rivals Russia and China from challenging the U.S. and our allies” will succeed.
But it won’t.
During the disastrous visit by Deputy Secretary Sherman to China, Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng said bluntly that the Biden administration’s policies are nothing but a “thinly veiled attempt to contain and suppress China,” which was an extension of Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s cautionary statement that “The United States always wants to exert pressure on other countries by virtue of its own strength, thinking that it is superior to others. However, I would like to tell the U.S. side clearly that there has never been a country in this world that is superior to others, nor should there be, and China will not accept any country claiming to be superior to others. If the United States has not learned how to get along with other countries on an equal footing by now, then it is our responsibility, together with the international community, to give the U.S. a good tutorial in this regard.”
And if the U.S. does not moderate its policy of outright and usually arrogant confrontation in every sphere it is likely that the tutorial will begin very soon. Washington forgets that no matter how much some segments of the Chinese population may disagree with aspects of their government’s policies and performance, they are a proud people who strongly object to their country being insulted and treated as a maverick obstacle to world development. It seems that U.S. provocations in the East will continue and only Beijing knows how much more it will take before there is an explosion.
Target sectors: Multiple, including government, international financial organization, and aerospace and defense organizations, as well as high tech, construction and engineering, telecommunications, media, and insurance.
Overview: APT31 is a China-nexus cyber espionage actor focused on obtaining information that can provide the Chinese government and state-owned enterprises with political, economic, and military advantages.
In the modern world, a multipolar model is clearly taking shape – almost taking shape. It replaced the unipolarity that was marked after the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and especially the USSR. And the unipolar world, in turn, replaced the bipolar one, in which the Soviet camp geopolitically and ideologically opposed the capitalist West. These transitions between different
It is difficult to conceive that all the elements of a perfect storm in the three central Balkans statelets have been planted fortuitously, without the guidance of a single strategic concept or operational centre.The outgoing “high commissioner” of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina Valentin Inzko’s Parthian shot threatens to unravel the restless raj he has haughtily ruled since 2009, amply rewarded for his generous efforts with an annual salary of half a million euros.For several years Inzko has been threatening to impose in Bosnia a “Srebrenica genocide denial” law, relying on his presumed prerogatives under the Dayton peace agreement, unless that is the local lawmakers got his hint and passed the prescribed law motu propio. But of course as a lawyer Inzko should be well aware that in conditions of coercion there can be no motu propio. That knowledge did not prevent him, however, precisely from the exercise of coercion just days before his heartily desired departure, as if he deliberately wanted the coda to his rule to symbolize the general lawlessness of his office ever since it was set up in 1996, supposedly as a temporary measure to facilitate peace and reconciliation in a strife riven land. In the event, the “temporary measure” making Bosnia a full-fledged NATO protectorate has been in effect for a quarter of a century, and with no end in sight, but with increasingly determined resistance by Security Council members Russia and China.Inzko’s decree was just another in a long train of routine humiliations for the supposedly independent and sovereign state of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Like all previous occupiers of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Inzko and his NATO brethren have found the Serb element a very hard nut to crack. In the present situation, the contentious issue is the foreign cabal’s insistence that Bosnian Serbs, whose political embodiment is one of the country’s two entities, the Republic of Srpska, humbly admit that they committed genocide on their Muslim neighbours in July of 1995. Either that, or stop denying that they did, which is practically the same thing. Except for some usual suspects from the ranks of local Western-financed NGOs few takers have been found, which infuriates the international overseers immensely. Moreover, due to Bosnia’s post-Dayton constitutional structure a “national interest” issue such as this cannot be given legislative effect without a consensus of all three constituent ethnic groups. Republic of Srpska’s determined opposition to the self-incriminating Srebrenica genocide denial initiative has effectively squashed all attempts to pass such a law using regular legislative procedures. That is when “high representative” Inzko stepped in to do the job.Pointedly, Milorad Dodik, the Serbian representative in Bosnia’s collective presidency, commented that the imposition of this law is the “final nail in the coffin” of the failed state of Bosnia. (He would have said “the final straw” had he been talking in English, which he does not speak.) He was obviously alluding to the title of a book by Bosnian Serb academic, Prof. Nenad Kecmanovic, “Bosnia, the impossible state,” which takes a very dim view of its subject’s viability.The principal points in the current controversy are the unreasonably long persistence of the office of the “high representative” in Bosnia (supposedly he “represents” the European Union, of which Bosnia is not even a member) and the actual extent of his powers.Putting and keeping their man on the vice-regal throne in Sarajevo (individual officials have changed over the last 25 years but the general political direction of their office has invariably remained the same) is invested with obvious geostrategic logic, which is to secure the empire’s Balkan rear for the Ostfront, when the time to open it is deemed ripe. In the meantime, by hook and by crook the empire and its local “high representatives” have pursued obstinately three single-minded goals. These are to dismantle the loose confederation agreed upon in Dayton in favor of a centralised state ruled by their satraps from Sarajevo, to incorporate Bosnia into the crumbling European Union, and to make it join the NATO alliance. A fundamental obstacle to the achievement of all those goals is an empowered Republic of Srpska, with its stubbornly retrograde population whose unanimous affections in their entirety flow in the opposite direction, to … well, you know who, but it is neither Brussels, London nor Washington.In that context, the actual powers under the Dayton peace agreement of the “high representative,” whose task is to make all the above happen, are a core issue. Those powers, it seems, have largely been based on an insolent bluff, the so-called “Bonn powers” supposedly delivered to the Bosnian viceroy at a meeting of Western Alliance officials in Germany in the late 90s, much akin to the fraudulent Donatio Constantini and other similar medieval swindles. The entire fraudulent scheme was debunked in detail and with great effectiveness by British academic John Laughland some time ago. But alas! Balkan politicians do not seem to have grasped Dr. Laughland’s memo because they are not very fluent in English. Besides, their not wholly unjustified inferiority complex makes them susceptible to the most preposterous claims, especially when they are delivered by stern Western officials in pin striped suits, to whose impertinent demands “Yes, bwana” is always the only possible answer.Inzko’s imposition in Bosnia of a country-wide Srebrenica genocide denial law, in clear defiance of the Serb half of the country, is already provoking exactly the sort of destabilising reactions that were probably envisaged by those who inspired it. There is talk of the Serb entity walking out of Bosnia and Herzegovina, not recognising the credentials of Inzko’s successor, not enforcing Inzko’s arbitrary decree on its territory, and so forth. In short, the planned exacerbation of Bosnia’s permanent crisis has so far been an outstanding success.Add to that the recent “Srebrenica denial” spat in neighbouring Montenegro which further undermined the already wobbly post-Djukanovic government and the campaign in Serbia, clearly inspired by Western services and their agents of influence, to further discredit the unsavoury current regime and nudge it closer to recognizing Kosovo secession in return for a let-up on the political pressure, and all the ingredients for a toxic Balkan brew have been assembled.A “Balkan Spring,” perhaps a bit late in the year, but probably welcome any time, may well be in the early implementation stage. It is difficult to conceive that all the elements of a perfect storm in the three central Balkans statelets have been planted fortuitously, without the guidance of a single strategic concept or operational centre.
By Alliance for Natural Health Global Research, July 11, 2021Alliance for Natural Health 7 July 2021 All Global Research articles can be read in 51 languages by activating the “Translate Website” drop down menu on the top banner of our home page (Desktop version). Visit and follow us on Instagram at @crg_globalresearch. *** How a little-known rule could alter your […]
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The 19th century had robber barons. In this millennia we had this minor crime known as the 2008 financial crisis. The perpetrators went unpunished because of their friends in high places. Washington is run by the most clever and intelligent godfathers: sociopaths who are experts at hiding behind ethics in order to appear good and […]