Aletho News


Iran, Regional States to Form Naval Coalition Soon: Navy Commander

Al-Manar – June 3, 2023

Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Shahram Irani announced that Iran’s navy and the countries of the region including Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq will form a new naval coalition soon.

Irani in a televised program on Friday night announced the formation of new regional and extra-regional coalitions, saying that today, the countries of the region have realized that the security of the region can be established through synergy and cooperation of the regional states.

Referring to the holding of annual exercises of the naval coalition of Iran, Russia and China, he said that the regional coalition is also forming.

Almost all the countries of the North Indian Ocean region have come to the understanding that they should stand by the Islamic Republic of Iran and jointly establish security with significant synergy, he said, adding that Oman, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Iraq, Pakistan and India are among these countries.

Earlier, a Qatari website reported that Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman are to form a joint naval force under China’s auspices towards enhancing maritime security in the Persian Gulf.

Al-Jadid carried the report on Friday, saying China had already begun mediating negotiations among Tehran, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi aimed at reinforcing maritime navigation’s safety in the strategic body of water.

Since the 1979 victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic has invariably opposed foreign meddling and presence in the region, asserting that the regional issues have to be addressed by the regional players themselves.

June 3, 2023 Posted by | Solidarity and Activism | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Iran, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman to form joint naval force under China auspices: Report

Press TV – June 2, 2023

A Qatari website has reported that Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman are to form a joint naval force under China’s auspices towards enhancing maritime security in the Persian Gulf.

Al-Jadid carried the report on Friday, saying China had already begun mediating negotiations among Tehran, Riyadh, and Abu Dhabi aimed at reinforcing maritime navigation’s safety in the strategic body of water.

Back in March, Beijing successfully mediated talks between Tehran and Riyadh that led to the Persian Gulf littoral states’ signing of a deal enabling the restoration of their diplomatic ties.

According to observers, the Persian Gulf states’ consent to Beijing’s mediation in such sensitive matters serves to indicate China’s growing influence in the region as opposed to Washington’s waning clout.

Since the 1979 victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, the Islamic Republic has invariably opposed foreign meddling and presence in the region, asserting that the regional issues have to be addressed by the regional players themselves.

The latest instance of the opposition came last Friday when the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy categorically dismissed the US military’s presence in the Persian Gulf under the pretext of securing the maritime region.

Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said only Iran and other regional countries would ensure the security of the Persian Gulf and there was no need for the US and other countries to be present in the waterway. “If we back down against the enemy, it will definitely dominate us and we have no choice but to stand and resist, which is the path to the victory of our nation,” he said.

UAE quits US-led naval force

The UAE has, meanwhile, announced quitting a United States-led naval force.

On Wednesday, the website of the Emirati foreign ministry said Abu Dhabi had withdrawn from the Joint Maritime Forces that operate in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

The ministry said the Emirates had decided to ditch the naval coalition following an extensive evaluation of its security needs.

Analysts say Abu Dhabi has chosen the withdrawal in line with its ambition to diversify its security relationships.

June 2, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Taiwan under an American nuclear umbrella? Excellent move if US wants WW3

By Drago Bosnic | June 1, 2023

After years of belligerent moves aimed at undermining China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity virtually everywhere, be it Hong Kong, Xinjiang, South/East Sea China or Taiwan, the United States is showing no signs of ever stopping with its aggression against Beijing. As if billions of dollars worth of weapons earmarked for China’s breakaway island province weren’t bad enough, including at least 400 anti-ship missiles and the latest F-16 Block 70/72 fighter jets, reports now indicate that Taipei and Washington DC are in talks about Taiwan gaining the protection of the US nuclear umbrella in a similar manner to Japan and South Korea.

According to RealClearDefense, citing local sources, Taiwanese foreign minister Joseph Wu announced that the island is in talks with Washington DC about possibly being brought under the US nuclear umbrella. RealClearDefense warns that the move would likely be seen by Beijing as a clear escalation and would likely greatly increase the potential for a future war with China. This assessment can only be considered an understatement, as the Asian giant is essentially guaranteed to respond directly to such escalation. Being under the American nuclear umbrella entails several key changes that would be absolutely unacceptable to China and would certainly provoke an adequate reaction.

The Taipei Times reported that local defense experts find this a “positive for Taiwan”. On May 23, Institute for National Defense and Security research fellow Su Tzu-yun stated:

“Taiwan’s national security doctrine explicitly rejects the development of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction, despite the nation facing the threat of such weapons being used against it. The extension of an ally’s nuclear umbrella over Taiwan would be significantly beneficial to Taiwan’s security.”

The nuclear umbrella is a deterrence policy stemming from the (First) Cold War and entails a nuclear power to guarantee the usage of its nuclear weapons to retaliate if its ally was exposed to a nuclear attack by any third party. This also includes the option of hosting US nuclear weapons, as was the case with countries such as South Korea between 1958 and 1991. Taipei’s Foreign Minister Wu made the comments about this possibility during a session with the Legislative Yuan (Taiwanese parliament). However, he declined to give any details about the talks and whether Taipei itself had asked the US to bring the island under its nuclear umbrella or if the initiative came from Washington DC.

“Regarding the discussion of this issue with the United States, it is not suitable for me to make it public here,” Wu said, as reported by The South China Morning Post.

Most US allies and satellite states/vassals are under the protection of its nuclear umbrella, including Japan, South Korea and every member of NATO, with nearly half a dozen member states (Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Turkey) even having nuclear sharing programs with Washington DC. As previously mentioned, giving the same or similar guarantees to China’s breakaway island province would require the US to use thermonuclear weapons in case of hostilities between Beijing and Taipei. It should be understood that in case Washington DC goes ahead with such an agreement, the question of Taiwan would become much more than just an issue of respecting Chinese sovereignty, territorial integrity and international law.

As per the (rather correct) assessment of The South China Morning Post, this idea is “an unthinkable prospect” for Beijing. Indeed, such a move would further internationalize the Taiwan dispute, as well as accelerate the potential formation of “Asia-Pacific NATO”, while jeopardizing China’s strategic security. Although the US has encountered significant hurdles with attempts to form yet another iteration of the North Atlantic geopolitical monstrosity, the belligerent thalassocracy likely believes that including Taiwan in its global nuclear umbrella would push others in the region to be more accepting of the idea of an “Asia-Pacific NATO”. How likely this is to work is up for debate, however, what it would surely cause is a dramatic surge in the potential for escalation and yet another step toward a world-ending thermonuclear conflict.

Although there is still hope that cooler heads might prevail in the Pentagon, the sheer number of warhawks in the US establishment makes the prospects of such escalation all the more possible and no less disturbing, particularly as top US generals are openly talking about the “inevitable war with China”. Such belligerence has already pushed China and Russia to further strengthen their already close ties in all aspects, be it economic, military, scientific, etc. The troubled Biden administration has already vowed to send troops and intervene if hostilities between China and its breakaway island province were to happen, which in itself was a borderline declaration of war. However, by including Taiwan in its nuclear umbrella, the question of war between Beijing and Washington DC would become “when” instead of “if”.

Drago Bosnic is an independent geopolitical and military analyst.

June 1, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , | Leave a comment

Chinese ‘Secret Police Stations’… Fact or Fiction?

Canadian Patriot | May 28, 2023

In this first of a series of Canadian Patriot short films debunking anti-China Psyops, we ask the question ‘Is there actual evidence that secret Chinese Police Stations have been set up around the world as part of a Communist subversion of western freedom? This film will evaluate whether the single source used to justify this claim (a Spain-based human rights group called Safeguard Defenders) actually proves its accusations, and what actually controls it?

Stay tuned for future videos in this series which will investigate claims of Chinese election interference in Canada, Russian interference in the USA, Chinese spy balloon attacks, and more.

To pick up a copy of Breaking Free of Anti-China Psyops, click here:

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May 30, 2023 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , | Leave a comment

American Officials Erase US Role in Empowering Their New Number One Enemy China

By Conor Gallagher – naked capitalism – May 28, 2023 

As Washington increasingly inflates the China threat, a few pieces of sly propaganda to sell that conflict are coming more into focus. Recent speeches devoted to China by key figures in the Biden administration largely rested on falsehoods that conveniently erase decades of mistakes by the American elite and therefore shift all the blame onto China.

Both Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and national security advisor Jake Sullivan recently engaged in this rewriting of history that claims the Chinese stole American jobs and similarly that Beijing nefariously took control of the “clean” energy industry and will now use its position to coerce other nations, potentially slowing climate action.

One can see why it’s an attractive talking point for DC officials as it helps sell the conflict to working class Americans and environmentalists, but it’s simply not true.

The blame for American industry (green or not) relocating to China was caused by the greed of American elites who reaped massive profits in the process. Now they claim taking on China will bring back jobs and help tackle climate change. Nevermind that much of the American industry now being relocated out of China is going to other “low-cost” countries or that the US war machine is the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter.

How are Yellen and Sullivan portraying the US as an innocent bystander that never could have foreseen the loss of US manufacturing to China?

Here’s Yellen speaking on April 20 at the John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies:

Over the past few decades, China has experienced an impressive economic rise. Between 1980 and 2010, China’s economy grew by an average of 10 percent per year. This led to a truly remarkable feat: the rise of hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. China’s rapid catch-up growth was fueled by its opening-up to global trade and pursuit of market reforms. … China has long used government support to help its firms gain market share at the expense of foreign competitors.

…The actions of China’s government have had dramatic implications for the location of global manufacturing activity. And they have harmed workers and firms in the U.S. and around the world…. China’s unfair economic practices have resulted in the over-concentration of the production of critical goods inside China.

And here’s Sullivan in his big speech about the new US international economic policy  speaking at the Brookings Institution last month:

The so-called “China shock” that hit pockets of our domestic manufacturing industry especially hard—with large and long-lasting impacts—wasn’t adequately anticipated and wasn’t adequately addressed as it unfolded.

First off, to the point of government support. China no doubt provides subsidies for firms largely in fields deemed strategic. The US also does so (see: Inflation Reduction Act, oil, agriculture, auto, etc.).

No doubt that China has bent and broken WTO rules, but that was working just fine for US officials until it wasn’t. Now that officials like Sullivan have woken up to the fact that offshoring everything to China was a disastrous long-term security plan, they say it’s Beijing’s fault for the “China shock.” But contrary to Sullivan’s claim such an outcome couldn’t have been foreseen, it was “adequately anticipated.” Here’s a piece from the New York Times back in 2000 titled “Unions March Against China Trade Deal”:

Thousands of steelworkers, truck drivers, auto workers and other union members rallied on Capitol Hill and swept through the halls of Congress today in a show of muscle intended to block a trade agreement with China.

Their message, conveyed by union leaders and rank-and-file members who came from as far away as Michigan and Nebraska, was that trade was working for American corporations but not for American workers.

… [the union members] said, they are only opposing a deal with a country that does not respect workers’ rights and would stop at nothing, in their view, to steal the jobs that are the backbone of the American middle class.

It was obvious at the time what was happening; the real story is well-known, but just to recap: it was American elites’ greed that caused the American working class to lose 3.7 million decent paying jobs from 2001-2018.

Matt Stoller and Lukas Kunce tell the story from a national security perspective in a 2019 piece at The American Conservative. Using old US telecom equipment company Lucent Technologies as a starting point. In 1996, AT&T spun off Bell Labs into Lucent, which began to buy up companies in an effort to keep its stock price high. Lucent also lended money to risky startups who would then buy Lucent equipment. Then came the dot-com bust, and the company, already dealing with accounting scandals, began massive layoffs. But that wasn’t the end of the story. Stoller and Kunce write:

In the early 2000s, the telecom equipment market began to recover from the recession. Lucent’s new strategy, as Mottl put it, was to seek “margin” by offshoring production to China, continuing layoffs of American workers and hiring abroad. At first, it was the simpler parts of the telecom equipment, the boxes and assembly, but soon contract manufacturers in China were making virtually all of it. American telecom capacity would never return.

Lucent didn’t recover its former position. Chinese entrants, subsidized heavily by the Chinese state and using Western technology, underpriced Western companies. American policymakers, unconcerned with industrial capacity, allowed Chinese companies to capture market share despite the predatory subsidies and stolen technology. In 2006, French telecom equipment maker Alcatel bought Lucent, signifying the end of American control of Bell Labs. Today, Huawei, with state backing, dominates the market.

The erosion of much of the American industrial and defense industrial base proceeded like Lucent. First, in the 1980s and 1990s, Wall Street financiers focused on short-term profits, market power, and executive pay-outs over core competencies like research and production, often rolling an industry up into a monopoly producer. Then, in the 2000s, they offshored production to the lowest cost producer. This finance-centric approach opened the door to the Chinese government’s ability to strategically pick off industrial capacity by subsidizing its producers. Hand over cash to Wall Street, and China could get the American crown jewels.

Can you blame Beijing? If the US wants to sell off their industry, wouldn’t it be crazy not to take it? The fact is the Chinese used the system Washington built against them, and now the likes of Sullivan and Yellen cry foul.

Long Yongtu, China’s chief negotiator for WTO accession has defended Beijing’s role in the country’s economy, saying “when we promised to adopt a market economy, we made it absolutely clear that it would be a socialist market economy.”

The loss of US manufacturing decimated the country’s research capacity. It means the US relies on components made in China for aircraft carriers and submarines. It means a trillion dollars in defense spending helps enrich China – the very country which is supposedly behind the increased defense spending in the first place.

Of course, Yellen and Sullivan admit no mistakes by the US ruling class. It was impossible to know this would happen, they say, despite warnings at the time that this very situation would arise.

Not surprisingly, when Politico did a 20-year-anniversary story on China’s accession to the WTO, most US lawmakers didn’t want to talk about their vote to normalize trade relations with China in 2000 (which paved the way to the WTO).

But four American “experts” who did the planning and negotiating of the normalization of trade ties with China have zero regrets. That’s hardly surprising as it seems the number one qualification to become an expert is the ability to never admit being wrong. It also probably didn’t hurt that all these experts were rewarded with better positions and often cashed in afterwards.


Yellen and Sullivan also play up how confronting China is part of their newfound focus on minerals critical for a green economy, but what they’re really doing is disguising another lack of foresight by American elites. Sullivan says critical minerals are “the backbone of the clean-energy future” and that “clean-energy supply chains are at risk of being weaponized in the same way as oil in the 1970s, or natural gas in Europe in 2022.”

Many of these minerals are controlled by China and are also critical for the US defense industry. Who could have foreseen? Here’s another tidbit from that 2000 New York Times article:

In an effort to counter the unions’ message, the administration released a Commerce Department study showing that every state would benefit from increased trade with China. And Gen. Colin L. Powell, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs, endorsed the agreement, saying that among its other benefits it would be in the nation’s security interests.

How has that worked out? Well, it’s now unclear. As Army Technology points out:

The US Department of the Interior released a list of 35 minerals it deems essential to the economic and national security in 2018 (updated in 2022), amongst them many REEs. The problem for the US is that the local production of these materials is hugely limited.

The extent of reliance on imports varies from mineral to mineral. Beryllium is mainly used to create lightweight material used in fighter jets, lithium is essential for modern battery production and tin is used in electronics, including soldier semiconductors, a sector that is projected to reach a value of $17.5bn by 2030.

Whereas the US produces some of the minerals mentioned above, it entirely relies on China and other countries for many other supplies. Cerium is used in batteries and in most devices with a screen and magnets forged from neodymium and samarium are impervious to extreme temperatures that are used in fighter jet fin actuators, missile guidance, control systems, aircraft and tank motors, satellite communications and radar and sonar systems.

Here again, it was the US that moved rare earth and other mineral processing to China, that sold off mining operations to Chinese companies, and reaped the rewards for doing so. As Stoller and Kunce describe:

In the 1970s and 1980s, the Defense Department invested in the development of a technology to use what are known as rare-earth magnets. The investment was so successful that General Motors engineers, using Pentagon grants, succeeded in creating a rare earth magnet that is now essential for nearly every high-tech piece of military equipment in the U.S. inventory, from smart bombs and fighter jets to lasers and communications devices. The benefit of DARPA’s investment wasn’t restricted to the military. The magnets make cell phones and modern commercial electronics possible.

China recognized the value of these magnets early on. Chinese Premier Deng Xiaoping famously said in 1992 that “The Middle East has oil, China has rare earth,” to underscore the importance of a rare earth strategy he adopted for China. Part of that strategy was to take control of the industry by manipulating the motivations of Wall Street.

Two of Xiaoping’s sons-in-law approached investment banker Archibald Cox, Jr. in the mid-1990s to use his hedge fund as a front for their companies to buy the U.S. rare-earth magnet enterprise. They were successful, purchasing and then moving the factory, the Indiana jobs, the patents, and the expertise to China. This was not the only big move, as Cox later moved into a $12 million luxury New York residence. The result is remarkably similar to Huawei: the United States has entirely divested of a technology and market it created and dominated just 30 years ago. China has a near-complete monopoly on rare earth elements, and the U.S. military, according to U.S. government studies, is now 100 percent reliant upon China for the resources to produce its advanced weapon systems.

And now as the US presses the situation in Taiwan and enacts chip controls (and pressures other countries to do the same), how is China considering retaliating? From Nikkei Asia:

China is considering prohibiting exports of certain rare-earth magnet technology in a move that would counter the U.S.’s advantage in the high-tech arena.

Japan specializes in making high-performance magnets from rare earths while the U.S. produces products that use the magnets… Washington has since moved to forge a rare-earth supply chain on U.S. soil. China’s share of all rare earths produced globally dropped to roughly 70% last year from about 90% a decade earlier, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

At the same time, China still holds a tight grip on processing rare earths. Most rare earths extracted in the U.S. go to China for refining before being shipped back to the U.S.

The CHIPS Act and the Inflation Reduction Act have added roughly 77,000 jobs so far, according to Jack Conness who does a neat job tracking the investments. That’s still a far cry from the 3.7 million jobs sent to China from 2001 to 2018, and it doesn’t look like many more will be returning despite the push to move production out of China as ties deteriorate. There’s the problem of automation, which FiveThirtyEight noted back in 2016:

 Because of rising wages in China, the need for shorter supply chains and other factors, a small but growing group of companies are shifting production back to the U.S. But the factories they build here are heavily automated, employing a small fraction of the workers they would have a generation ago.

And there’s always the pesky issue of American workers asking for decent wages. Both Yellen and Sullivan waxed on about “friendshoring” – relocating from China to friendly countries, which also happen to be low-wage. This is evidence of more short term thinking and prioritizing profits. Recall that China was initially thought of as friendly, and the selling point was that gifting it American industry would only make it friendlier.

Companies from China are already out in front of the friendshoring trend and are increasingly setting up shop in Mexico in order to be closer to their biggest market in the US.

Sullivan and Yellen don’t touch on that or just how difficult this reorganizing of supply chains will be. A 2020 Bank of America study found that it would cost American and European  firms $1 trillion over five years to shift all the export-related manufacturing that is not intended for Chinese consumption out of China.

Additionally, China remains the main player in East Asian production networks, which makes manufacturing electronics products, for example, without Chinese parts and components increasingly unrealistic. Meanwhile, the US is still the largest source of inward foreign direct investment flows into ASEAN. From The Diplomat :

These different roles played by the U.S. and China in the East Asian economic system are a result of the distinct fundamentals of their domestic economies. China has pursued a production – and investment – based growth model in the past few decades, while the United States is a post-industrial, heavily financialized economy, sustained by high consumption and its central position in the global financial order. These fundamentals will prove to be harder to shape than unilaterally altering trade policies.

On the one hand, this means that attempts at isolating China are limited by the economic realities. “Friend-shoring,” “nearshoring,” and newfound industrial policies in the United States (and Europe) could very well lead to the diversification of U.S. imports, lessen the perceived national security risks associated with import dependence, and provide economic benefits to ASEAN countries by shifting some manufacturing activity from China to Southeast Asia. However, these policies are unlikely to fundamentally challenge China’s central position in regional trade and production networks in the mid-term. As Apple’s struggles in diversifying the production of the iPhone show, China-centered production networks are not easy to replicate in other countries, as Chinese logistics and suppliers possess significant advantages.

With that in mind, it’s likely this ends up as another situation similar to the purchasing of Russian oil via India:

May 29, 2023 Posted by | Corruption, Economics, Timeless or most popular | , | 1 Comment

Canada’s ‘shocking’ new report on foreign interference has found none

By Rachel Marsden | RT | May 27, 2023

The special rapporteur tasked by the Trudeau government with looking into foreign interference in Canadian politics didn’t find much. But he said he’ll nonetheless hold a “series of public hearings with Canadians” to talk about the “problem of foreign interference,” which he couldn’t really qualify with much actual evidence.

Former Canadian governor general David Johnston took all of two months to come up with his report, sparked by allegations that China had meddled in recent Canadian federal elections. The hysteria had reached such fever pitch that Ottawa expelled Chinese diplomat Zhao Wei after allegations arose in the Canadian press that China had threatened the Hong Kong-based family of Canadian member of parliament, Michael Chong. But after talking to Canadian spy services, Johnston said he found “no intelligence indicating that the PRC took steps to threaten his family.”

He did find evidence that Chinese officials had “sought to build profiles” on this MP and others. Oh wow, stop the press! Because some people might be shocked to learn that the actual job of diplomats serving in foreign countries is to liaise with local officials to advocate in favor of cooperation that’s self-serving to at least some degree, although ideally mutually beneficial as well. And to do that, you probably want to make sure that you know something about the guy to at least the same degree that a used car salesman would make an effort to know what would interest or appeal to a specific customer – if only because national interests should ideally be worth as much as a Twingo.

Your neighbor compiling a dossier on you is creepy. A diplomat compiling a dossier on a government official he’s dealing with is just basic professionalism.

Johnston also found that there was no shady partisan favoritism of one party over any other by Chinese officials in Canada, contrary to reporting that suggested favoritism of Liberals over Conservatives. It’s not as though either of the establishment parties is friendly towards China. Johnson said Chinese officials were more interested in supporting pro-China candidates, but also had to point out to the pearl-clutchers that a foreign diplomat saying he or she favors a particular candidate in a foreign election isn’t actually foreign interference. After all, Western officials couldn’t shut up about how much they wanted former President Donald Trump to lose to whomever the Democrats put up against him in the last two US elections. So if that’s not foreign interference, then why should other countries be held to a different standard just because they aren’t in the same club?

There have been press allegations that China sought the electoral defeat of certain candidates, like former Conservative MP Kenny Chiu, who sponsored foreign agent registry legislation. However, Johnston found that, while “it is clear that PRC diplomats did not like Mr. Chiu, who is of Hong Kong descent and not from mainland China… it is much less clear that they did anything particular about it” beyond not inviting him to their sponsored events.

Despite the lack of qualified evidence of interference in the report, and the focus on a single country – China – Johnston nonetheless came to the conclusion that “there is no doubt that foreign governments are attempting to influence candidates and voters… This is a growing threat to our democratic system and must be resisted as effectively as possible by government.”

No need to dig further, Johnston figures, discounting a public inquiry in favor of “public hearings.” But doesn’t that risk just batting around all the various fallacies and misconceptions that have been put out there by the Western press and officials – like those that Johnston himself had to correct in his report? Without an objective and full inquiry, the opportunity to exploit hearings to promote propaganda seems substantial. What about Ukrainian influence on Canadian politicians? Or Israeli influence?

Johnston focuses exclusively on China, and takes the odd swipe at Russia, in passing, but never mentions the kind of foreign interference brought to light at the recent French National Assembly commission into the same subject.

“Foreign interference, yes, I encountered it. Most of the time, it came from a friendly and allied country called the United States. I was listened to with President Sarkozy for five years by the NSA,” said Sarkozy’s former prime minister Francois Fillon. He confirmed WikiLeaks disclosures from US intercepts published in 2015 indicating that the National Security Agency was conducting electronic surveillance of French officials from the American embassy in Paris. Or that it was listening in on conversations of German allies at the highest level, including those of then-Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“I was not directly affected by Russian interference,” Fillon clarified, noting that like all great powers, Russia tries to “assert its point of view,” but that didn’t happen with him personally when he was in office. So then why make such a big deal about it, unless it’s just for propaganda purposes?

Canada, like Europe, suffers from tunnel vision when it comes to protecting its own interests and independence. The proof lies in the fact that both have failed to diversify away from their chronic over-reliance on the US. While it makes sense that the country sharing the world’s longest land border with the US would go for the low-hanging fruit when it comes to trade, it would nonetheless be interesting to qualify the pressures on Canadian officials and critical interests that have resulted in the Canadian establishment marching in lockstep with Washington, repeating the same propaganda and naming the same foes.

The idea that the US – the most powerful country on Earth – has absolutely no influence on its resource-rich next-door neighbor is absurd. The fact that the influence is so systemic that it’s not even worth a glance or a mention in a report into foreign interference is glaring. Does the Canadian government care to look under that rock? Or are they just going to keep scapegoating Russia and China when the most existential, insidious threat to Canadian independence lies inward and southward?

May 27, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

China calls on Israel to ‘stop encroaching’ on Palestinian land

Israeli forces secure demolition of a building belonging to Palestinians claiming that it was unlicensed at Jabel Mukaber Neighborhood in East Jerusalem on May 24, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]
MEMO | May 26, 2023

China has called on Israel to “stop encroaching” upon Palestinian territory and resources, as Tel Aviv continues to allow and approve the construction of illegal Jewish settlements in the Occupied Territories.

Speaking to the United Nations Security Council yesterday, Geng Shuang, China’s deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, stated that “since the beginning of this year, Israel has continued to advance unilateral actions on approving returns, building new settlements and legalising settlements”.

Emphasising that such settlement building and activities violate international law and UN Security Council Resolution 2334, he expressed Beijing’s stance to “urge Israel to immediately halt these actions and stop encroaching upon the land and resources of the Palestinian people”.

Shuang also stressed that “the historical status quo of religious holy sites in Jerusalem must be respected and upheld”, saying that Israeli National Security Minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir “caused renewed tensions” by storming the Al Aqsa Mosque compound for the second time this year and proclaiming Israel’s alleged ownership of the Islamic holy site.

“On the issue of religious holy sites, Israel must stop its provocations, guarantee the right to worship of Muslim worshipers, uphold the peace and tranquillity of religious holy sites, and respect the custodianship of Jordan”, he asserted.

Shuang also drew attention to the fact that tensions and clashes between the Israeli occupation and Palestinian Resistance groups “have been repeating themselves over the past few years, fully demonstrating that a long-stalled peace process is not sustainable, that piece-meal crisis management will not last, and that a comprehensive and just solution is irreplaceable”.

He indicated China’s increasing role in the issue, as with others in the region, and the possibility of surpassing the United States as a mediatory force and hegemon. Supposedly referring to the US, he stated that “the country with major influence on the parties concerned should make concrete efforts to advance the Middle East peace process and should not unjustifiably prevent the Security Council from arriving at the minimum consensus on the Palestine-Israeli issue”.

The Chinese diplomat’s remarks came as the Israeli government yesterday approved the proposed state budget for 2023-2024, which allocates around 3.5 billion Israeli shekels ($941 million) for the illegal settlement projects and the upgrading of their infrastructure.

Current estimates report that there are around 700,000 illegal settlers living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the Occupied West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem, with that set to expand as Tel Aviv frequently approves thousands of more settlement units.

May 26, 2023 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation | , , | 1 Comment

Chinese War Simulation Finds Top US Carrier Group Could Be ‘Destroyed With Certainty’

By Wyatt Reed – Sputnik – 25.05.2023

War games conducted by Chinese researchers found the US military’s most prized aircraft carrier could be reliably sunk with relative ease in the event of a hot war in the South China Sea.

A volley of hypersonic missiles could reliably sink the US military’s most powerful aircraft carrier group in a potential conflict, according to war game simulations carried out by a team of Chinese military planners.

Using 24 of their most advanced anti-ship missiles, Chinese forces consistently destroyed a carrier fleet led by the USS Gerald R. Ford over the course of 20 mock battles in simulations which were run on a war game platform employed by the People’s Liberation Army.

In the simulation, the US ships came under fire after ignoring multiple Chinese warnings not to approach an island in the South China Sea controlled by Beijing.

For test purposes, the war games’ designers used a carrier group made up of six surface ships which were selected for their “unparalleled strength and advanced technology.”

A major Hong Kong-based newspaper reported that the military planners “selected vessels deemed the US Navy’s most superior – the CVN-78 Gerald R. Ford, accompanied by a CG56 Ticonderoga-class cruiser the San Jacinto, and four DDG-103 Arleigh Burke-class Flight IIA guided missile destroyers.”

Led by Cao Hongsong from the North University of China, the researchers found that virtually every US surface vessel was ravaged by the attack and eventually sank.

According to researchers, the Ford carrier group – which was once thought to be all but unsinkable – could actually be “destroyed with certainty” using just a handful of hypersonic missile strikes.

Chinese military planners placed a number of constraints on themselves in the simulation, including cutting their access to space-based spy satellites and limiting the number of hypersonic missiles available.

The basic principle underlying the exercise was to be “lenient with the enemy and strict with oneself,” Cao explained.

As the Hong Kong-based outlet explained, “during the simulation, the PLA used its sea-based surveillance network to detect and identify the US carrier group before firing eight of the less-reliable hypersonic missiles simultaneously from southern and central sites in China.”

Though “some of the missiles were intercepted, the attack depleted the US fleet’s SM-3 munitions, paving the way for the PLA to launch “eight of its more accurate hypersonic missiles from northern and western China, with four focused on the aircraft carrier while the others targeted the destroyers,” the outlet noted.

“After the attack, four ships survived from the blue [US] team, with the destroyers having the most remaining, on average.”

A “mop-up” operation with six of the less accurate hypersonic missiles was able to dispatch with the remaining vessels, the research paper determined.

After the simulation was run 20 times to allow for different variables which could affect the outcome of the engagement, the team’s strategy was ultimately able to eliminate an average of 5.6 out of 6 surface vessels – effectively meaning the “total destruction” of the carrier group.

The release of a paper detailing the war game in May marked “the first time the results of simulated hypersonic strikes against a US carrier group have been made public” by China’s military, the Honk Kong outlet noted.

But it’s likely to be seen as a warning to Washington against any provocations in the South China Sea.

An anonymous Beijing-based researcher interviewed by the outlet suggested that “greater transparency about China’s military capabilities and intentions could help to reduce misunderstandings and miscalculations on both sides, which could in turn help to reduce the risk of conflict.”

May 25, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Beijing Banning Micron Means China Has Mastered Chip-Making

By Ekaterina Blinova – Sputnik – 22.05.2023

China has slapped a ban on US chipmaker Micron, prohibiting it from selling to Chinese companies involved in key infrastructure projects. Beijing has mirrored Washington’s sanctions on the People’s Republic’s hi-tech technology, Asia-Pacific consultant Thomas W. Pauken told Sputnik, adding that there’s more to the development than meets the eye.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) announced on May 21, that a cybersecurity review indicated Micron Technology’s products “have relatively serious cybersecurity risks, which pose significant security risks to the country’s critical information infrastructure supply chain and would affect national security.” Thus, the CAC banned the US chipmaker from participating in the People’s Republic’s domestic critical infrastructural projects. In response, the US Commerce Department expressed its opposition to the restrictions, insisting that they “have no basis in fact.” Micron’s shares plummeted roughly 6% on Monday, given that the American company used to derive over 10% of its revenue from the People’s Republic.

“It’s rather interesting that the Washington side may be shocked or surprised by this news,” said Thomas W. Pauken II, the author of US vs China: From Trade War to Reciprocal Deal, consultant on Asia-Pacific affairs, and geopolitical commentator. “However, they have taken similar measures themselves to stop Chinese semiconductors and Chinese chips manufacturers or companies that are connected with the chips manufacturing and semiconductor manufacturing to be more involved with the supply chains in the United States as well. So this is not a case where there’s a shock or a surprise announcement. It’s actually basically China doing the same thing that the US has been doing to China.”

US President Joe Biden speaks about how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will rebuild the US and the progress made since he signed the bill into law, in the South Court
Since October 2022, Washington has imposed sweeping export curbs on advanced chips and chip-making equipment to China, trying to cut off the nation’s access to critical technology. Prior to that, under the Trump administration, the US and its Western allies kicked off nothing short of a crusade against the People’s Republic’s telecom giants, including its flagship Huawei, citing “security” concerns.

“This is a very simple response for Beijing to make and say, ‘Well, has the US not acted similarly to what we’ve been doing?'” noted Pauken. “So it would be hypocritical on the US side to criticize Beijing for taking actions that are similar to Washington’s actions. This is hypocrisy at its finest, in regards to Washington and how they’re complaining and criticizing China when they’re doing the exact same thing that they’re criticizing China for. It’s laughable. It’s just absurd for them to make such an argument when they’re doing the same thing.”

The Asia-Pacific consultant suggested that Micron had not been caught off guard: Pauken revealed that when he visited Taiwan last month, he learned from his source that the Micron senior executive in the Kaohsiung office had started laying off employees in April.

As per Pauken, plausibly, the Taiwanese Micron branch had anticipated these instructions, so it could have been the case that they were alerted by Beijing that there was an investigation and they likely realized that the chances of continuing to sell their chip technologies to the mainland were slim.

They had already started to do layoffs even before this announcement happened, the commentator noted. Nonetheless, even if they were prepared for the CAC announcement, it had a devastating impact: “From what I heard, the layoffs in the Taiwan offices were very massive,” Pauken emphasized. “Definitely it’s a major problem for Micron.”

However, there is more to the development than meets the eye, continued Pauken: according to him, it clearly indicates that Beijing has made considerable advancements in chip-making despite the US trying to contain the country’s technological rise.

“You also have to think about this from a strategic level,” the author said. “There’s no way China would have blocked any chips from Micron if it would cause extreme damage to the Chinese economy. Obviously, they have probably set up supply chains in place and have chips made in China that are maybe not equal in quality to Micron, but close enough so that they could handle the impact of no more Micron chips coming to China.”

“So what I’m getting at is that there’s no way Beijing took this announcement all of a sudden. They have prepared for it well in advance in anticipation that, of course, the US and Micron would complain. But they, of course, also took the right steps to protect their economy from being severely damaged by this announcement,” Pauken concluded.

May 22, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

China says it sees no point in dialogue with US amid sanctions

Press TV – May 22, 2023

China says it sees no reason to keep talking with the United States as long as it pursues a wholly disingenuous policy and continues to step up pressure on the country through sanctions.

“Where is the sincerity and sense of dialogue, when the US side talks about the need to maintain contacts only to use them as a means to put pressure on China and hamstring our country,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told reporters in Beijing on Monday.

The Chinese official called on Washington to “immediately lift sanctions” against China.

“It is necessary to create a favorable atmosphere and favorable conditions for dialogue and contact,” Mao explained.

Beijing maintains “necessary contact” with Washington, she stated.

“The United States applies sanctions against individuals and organizations of the PRC,” Mao reiterated.

“China is strongly against such unilateral restrictions, which are unlawful. We have strictly set forth Beijing’s stance on this issue to the American side,” she added.

The Chinese spokesperson called on the United States to have the right understanding of China, meet it halfway and bring bilateral relations back on track.

China views its relations with the US under the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation as proposed by President Xi Jinping, she said.

China to US: Stop interfering in our internal affairs

Elsewhere in her remarks, Mao urged the United States to immediately stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.

“We urge the US to form a correct perception of China, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and harming China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and work with China to bring China-US relations back to the right track with concrete actions,” she added.

The spokeswoman made the remarks in response to US President Joe Biden suggesting that a shift in US-China relations could occur soon.

Biden said on Sunday during the Group of Seven (G7) summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, that he expected a thaw in Chinese-US relations in the near future.

“We should have an open hotline,” Biden stressed.

Biden has said he expects to see a “thaw” in US relations with Beijing, even as he concluded a G7 summit in Japan that made a concerted effort to counter alleged military and economic security threats from China.

The US president said in a news conference at the end of the three-day summit that talks between the two countries had shut down after a “silly balloon” carrying spying equipment flew over North America in February, before being shot down by the US military.

“Everything changed in terms of talking to one another. I think you’re gonna see that begin to thaw very shortly,” Biden said.

Biden added that his administration was considering lifting sanctions against Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu.

Beijing recently refused to agree to a meeting with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin when the two men attended the Shangri-La Dialogue security forum in Singapore next month due to the sanctions.

US officials had previously said privately that the Biden administration would not remove the sanctions.

Biden: US stands by ‘one China’ policy

Biden reiterated at the news conference that the US stood by the “one China” policy, which recognizes Beijing as the sole government of China, and Washington did not support any move by the self-ruled Taiwan to declare independence.

China has sovereignty over Taiwan. The US does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country and officially supports the “One China” policy, but regularly oversteps its own principles. The island nation has become China’s most sensitive territorial issue and a major bone of contention with Washington.

Washington continues to antagonize Beijing by siding with Taipei’s secessionist administration, engaging in frequent military missions around the island, and serving as its largest weapons supplier.

May 22, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , | Leave a comment

Russia, China express ‘strong dissatisfaction’ with G7 communique

Press TV – May 20, 2023

Russia and China have expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with the final statement issued at the end of the Group of Seven (G7) summit in the Japanese city of Hiroshima, a city that was destroyed by the US atomic bombing in 1945.

In a joint statement on Friday, which was revised on Saturday, the G7 — consisting of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Italy — targeted both Russia and China with threats and disparaging remarks.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday that decisions taken at the G7 summit were aimed at the “double containment” of Russia and China.

Lavrov, in a televised conference, reiterated Moscow’s viewpoint that the West is using Ukraine as a tool to inflict a strategic defeat on Russia.

“The task was set loudly and openly – to defeat Russia on the battlefield, but not to stop there, but to eliminate it as a geopolitical competitor,” Lavrov noted.

“Look at the decisions that are being discussed and adopted today in Hiroshima at G7 summit of the Seven, and which are aimed at the double containment of Russia and China,” Russia’s top diplomat stated.

Lavrov said Moscow enjoyed the support of its many allies and Russia will weather the hardships despite the West’s efforts to put pressure on countries to cut trade and economic ties with the Russian nation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Friday that the West was trying to break Russia up into dozens of different states.

The US-led West is driving a wedge between different ethnic and national groups in Russia and breaking the country up into dozens of different states, Putin warned.

Beijing, in a similar approach, showed its strong disapproval of the G7 for smearing and attacking the Chinese nation.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that it has lodged stern representations to the G7 summit’s host, Japan, and other relevant parties after the group criticized Chinese policies in regard to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

The group advocates “promoting a peaceful, stable and prosperous world,” but what it does is hinder international peace, undermine regional stability and curb other countries’ development, the statement said, adding that it simply shows how little international credibility means to the G7.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement pointed out that Taiwan is China’s Taiwan and resolving the question is a matter for the Chinese. It reiterated that the one-China principle is the solid anchor for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.

Despite emphasizing on cross-Strait peace, G7 said nothing about the need to oppose “Taiwan independence,” which in effect constitutes connivance and support for “Taiwan independence” forces, and will only result in a serious impact on cross-Straits peace and stability, according to the statement.

The Chinese statement said no one should underestimate the determination, resolve and capability of the Chinese people in safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet are purely China’s internal affairs and China firmly opposes interference by any external force in those affairs under the pretext of human rights, the statement noted.

It urged the G7 to stop pointing fingers at China on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet and take a hard look at their own history and human rights record.

The statement reminded the G7 nations that the East China Sea and the South China Sea have remained overall stable, and it called for other countries to respect the regional countries’ efforts to uphold peace and stability and stop using maritime issues to drive a wedge between regional countries and incite bloc confrontation.

The statement also noted that the massive unilateral sanctions slapped by the United States and acts of decoupling and disrupting industrial and supply chains make the US the real coercer that politicizes and weaponizes economic and trade relations. It urged the G7 not to become an accomplice in the Americans’ economic coercion.

China is the only nation among the five nuclear weapon states that pledged “no first use” of nuclear weapons and always kept its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required by national security, the statement noted, adding that China’s position on the matter should not be distorted or denigrated.

As a responsible major country, China firmly upholds the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law and the basic norms governing international relations built around the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, it said, adding that the Chinese nation will never give in to the so-called rules imposed by the few.

“The international community does not and will not accept the G7-dominated Western rules that seek to divide the world based on ideologies and values, still less will it succumb to the rules of exclusive small blocs designed to serve ‘America-first’ and the vested interests of the few,” the statement said.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry urged the G7 to stop engaging in closed and exclusive “small circles,” stop containing and suppressing other countries, stop creating and provoking confrontation and return to the right path of dialogue and cooperation.

May 20, 2023 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 1 Comment

China responds to Kissinger’s Ukraine proposal

RT | May 19, 2023

China has urged against Ukraine joining NATO, saying it would not improve security in the European region, after veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger claimed membership would serve the interests of both Kiev and Moscow.

Asked about Kissinger’s comments during a Thursday press briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin argued that Ukrainian NATO membership would only further inflame tensions.

“Ukraine should not become the frontier in a major power confrontation,” he said, adding that “to strengthen or even expand military groups is not a viable way to ensure the security of a region. One country’s security should not be achieved at the expense of the security of other countries.”

In an interview with the Economist published on Wednesday, Kissinger said European powers were pursuing a “madly dangerous” strategy by keeping Kiev out of the US-led military bloc, insisting Ukraine must not “become a solitary state just looking out for itself.” He claimed NATO membership would not only benefit Ukraine, but Russia as well.

“If I talked to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, I would tell him that he, too, is safer with Ukraine in NATO,” the 99-year-old added, saying the move would prevent Kiev from making rash “national decisions on territorial claims.”

The Chinese spokesman went on to state that a “durable European security architecture” could only be created through dialogue. During a visit to Ukraine this week, special envoy Li Hui met with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba and other senior officials to discuss Beijing’s views on a diplomatic resolution to the conflict.

Beijing unveiled a 12-point roadmap for peace in February which urged both Moscow and Kiev to resume direct negotiations. President Putin later said the Chinese plan was “in tune” with Russia’s position and hoped the proposal could serve as the basis for a future political settlement.

Western powers have dismissed the 12-point plan, with the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell dubbing it “wishful thinking,” while the top advisor to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky argued that it heavily favors Russia.

Direct Turkish-brokered talks between the two sides broke down in the spring of 2022. Since then, President Zelensky has ruled out any direct talks with Russia as long as Putin remains in power, and Moscow has rejected the terms for negotiations put forward by Kiev. Among other things, Ukraine’s proposal calls for Russia to withdraw its forces from all territories within Ukraine’s 1991 borders, to pay reparations, and to submit to war crime tribunals. Moscow has rejected the plan as “unacceptable,” pointing out that it ignores the reality on the ground and merely shows Kiev’s unwillingness to resolve the crisis through talks.

May 19, 2023 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment