Old Howard Union

78 – China’s Economic Recovery Admist Global Tumult: Suspect?

The Peoples Republic of China has rebounded from the crisis that has swept the world with a speed and breadth unmatched. While the world descends into a financial calamity not seen since the depression and comparable in scale in recent memory to the crash of 2008, the Peoples Republic of China for a 2nd time has managed to avoid financial disaster. With the number of unanswered questions surrounding the orgins of this calamity, it begs the question – what does China have to gain from a wholly lopsided recovery.

Show Notes

  1. China’s Claims to the South China Sea Are Unlawful. Now What? https://nyti.ms/2EmPmBf
  2. China Uses Coronavirus as Cover to Detain Dissidents, Activists Say https://nyti.ms/2XaK3LS
  3. Defying U.N. Ban, Chinese Ships Pay North Korea to Fish in Its Waters https://nyti.ms/3fQ7QIo
  4. The Chinese Decade https://nyti.ms/3gSkI0q
  5. China’s Economy Appears Back on Track, but Challenges Remain https://www.wsj.com/articles/chinas-economy-appears-back-on-track-but-challenges-remain-11594901270
  6. China Is First Major Economy to Return to Growth Since Coronavirus Pandemic https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-is-first-major-economy-to-return-to-growth-since-coronavirus-pandemic-11594865317
  7. Border Clash Shows Risk of China’s Territorial Push https://www.wsj.com/articles/india-china-border-clash-shows-rising-risk-in-beijings-territorial-push-11592585381
Old Howard Union

76 – Arms Control Aggrements Are Coming to An End

Much of the Cold War was built upon deterrence and proxy conflicts between the United States and its allies against those aligned with the Soviets. There were great periods of cooperation and terrible periods of conflict. The cornerstone of much of the cooperation was the litany of arms control agreements meant to limit the number of deployed strategic weapons and nuclear arms. Many of these agreements have been outright pulled out of or are near to expiring without a renewal. As the world moves closer to conflict between nations which have not seen great war and strife for nearly 75 years, many of the safeguards put in place in its aftermath are slowly eroding.

Show Notes

  1. A New Superpower Competition Between Beijing and Washington: China’s Nuclear Buildup https://nyti.ms/2NG5eQX
  2. China’s Arms Buildup Threatens the Nuclear Balance https://nyti.ms/3f6A4NH
  3. Trump to Withdraw U.S. From ‘Open Skies’ Treaty https://nyti.ms/3bQyePt
  4. Can 50 Years of Minimizing Nuclear Proliferation Continue? https://nyti.ms/2TFIGSU
  5. As the U.S. and China Wage a New Cold War, They Should Learn From the Last One https://www.wsj.com/articles/as-the-u-s-and-china-wage-a-new-cold-war-they-should-learn-from-the-last-one-11596223180
  6. Russia Tests an Anti-Satellite Weapon, U.S. Officials Say https://www.wsj.com/articles/russia-tests-an-anti-satellite-weapon-u-s-officials-say-11595545670
  7. U.S. Moving Military Assets Around Asia to Counter China, Esper Says https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-is-positioning-military-assets-around-asia-to-counter-china-esper-says-11595340363
  8. Trump Administration Weighs Extending New START Nuclear Treaty https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-administration-weighs-extending-new-start-nuclear-treaty-11592952274
  9. U.S. and Russia Hold Arms Talks, With China Absent https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-and-russia-hold-arms-talks-with-china-absent-11592863865
Writing

Piece 64 – A United States of Europe, The Natural Ally By. Raimondo Graziano

                                   A United States of Europe, The Natural Ally

                                                  By. Raimondo Graziano

     There has been a great deal of talk lately of The United States and its relationship with allies across the Atlantic, and how moving forward into the 21st century what that relationship will mean for international security, regional cooperation and a myriad of other interconnected issues. The West, including the United States and Europe have been at loggerheads for at least two decades, with brief interludes of true cooperation and appreciation. The last few years have shown some considerable strain on issues of security, trade, the military alliance underpinning our relationship and dealing with adversaries both near and far.

     We can see quite clearly that these last few years has brought immense strain as the intelligentsia of European strategic planners and party elites have more loudly and clearly began to call for greater interdependence among the nations of Europe. From greater military cooperation going as far as to call for a United European Army; others have called for A United States of Europe. The international crisis that has gripped the world for the entirety of this year has exacerbated the acceleration toward what seems to be the inevitable. Recently European leaders have come together to work on a slew of economic relief packages aimed at buoying the European economy. What some are calling the Hamiltonian moment for the continent, a national bank – a clear first step towards unification of the continent. A feat which has not been accomplished since the fall of the Roman Empire.

      Some may attack this move as an attempt by the dominant European powers of France and Germany to consolidate power and create a nation that could rival both the United States and China. In reality the people, nations and elites of the West ought to be rejoicing. This would signal perhaps the strongest sign yet that the West is understanding the moment that lies ahead in this century. The first action in decades, perhaps since the 2nd World War that clearly and unequivocally demonstrates the dormant resolve and power of the West. Facing its decline and a relinquishing of power across the world, the devastation of its institutions and the turn and slide toward autocracy and ill liberalism, the West seems poised to go boldly down the path of federal centralization to secure its future and solidify its supremacy.

     We must face a stark reality – the time when the United States of America reigned solely as the guardian of liberty and democracy is reaching a period of unprecedented pause. It is not over but we are retreating inwardly to reflect on ourselves and to tend to the homefront. The current occupant of the White House is not the sole reason for such but he brought to light corruption and inadequacy at every turn of American society. We are not up to the task, we at this time cannot be the standard bearer for liberty; we must rebuild and wait in the wings. In years to come if we can reverse our path to decline, ourselves allied with a strong and United Europe will forge a period of unparalleled liberty, freedom and democracy – a model of governance which can serve as the answer to the crises of illiberalism. A United Europe should not be feared by the United States, rather it would represent the most natural ally for this country for centuries to come.

Old Howard Union

62 – China: A Threat to the Established Order

China, or more aptly put, the Communist Party of China is a growing threat to the established order that the United States helped to cement post WWII. The current coronavirus crises only helps to deepen this fact and a growing number of nations are lifting the wool from their eyes when it comes to this growing and ever present threat to stability, order and democracy.

 Show Notes

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1. Pressured by China, E.U. Softens Report on Covid-19 Disinformation https://nyti.ms/2ztUcKD
• Bowing to heavy pressure from Beijing, European Union officials softened their criticism of China this week in a report documenting how governments push disinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, according to documents, emails and interviews. Worried about the repercussions, European officials first delayed and then rewrote the document in ways that diluted the focus on China, a vital trading partner — taking a very different approach than the confrontational stance adopted by the Trump administration.
• It cited Beijing’s efforts to curtail mentions of the virus’s origins in China, in part by blaming the United States for spreading the disease internationally. It noted that Beijing had criticized France as slow to respond to the pandemic and had pushed false accusations that French politicians used racist slurs against the head of the World Health Organization. The report also highlighted Russian efforts to promote false health information and sow distrust in Western institutions.
• But China moved quickly to block the document’s release, and the European Union pulled back. The report had been on the verge of publication, until senior officials ordered revisions to soften the language. “The Chinese are already threatening with reactions if the report comes out,” Lutz Güllner, a European Union diplomat, wrote to colleagues on Tuesday in an email seen by The Times.
• it comes at a time when the European Union hopes to win trade concessions from Beijing and restore a rich relationship once the pandemic has passed.
• Senior officials have softened language about Russia in the past as the bloc tried to improve relations with Moscow. A report last year on pre-election propaganda stripped out all references to Russian support for certain European political groups.
2. Global Backlash Builds Against China Over Coronavirus https://nyti.ms/3d90hdPBut
• With clear encouragement from President Xi Jinping and the powerful Propaganda Department of the Chinese Communist Party, a younger generation of Chinese diplomats have been proving their loyalty with defiantly nationalist and sometimes threatening messages in the countries where they are based.
• In the past several weeks, at least seven Chinese ambassadors — to France, Kazakhstan, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana and the African Union — have been summoned by their hosts to answer accusations ranging from spreading misinformation to the “racist mistreatment” of Africans in Guangzhou.
• Just last week, China threatened to withhold medical aid from the Netherlands for changing the name of its representative office in Taiwan to include the word Taipei. And before that, the Chinese Embassy in Berlin sparred publicly with the German newspaper Bild after the tabloid demanded $160 billion in compensation from China for damages to Germany from the virus
• In recent days, Chinese state media has run numerous inflammatory statements, saying that Australia, after announcing its desire for an inquiry into the virus, was “gum stuck to the bottom of China’s shoe.” Beijing warned that Australia risked long-term damage to its trading partnership with China, which takes a third of Australia’s exports.
3. Josh Hawley: The WTO Should Be Abolished https://nyti.ms/3dbGdHQ
• Take the World Trade Organization. Its mandate was to promote free trade, but the organization instead allowed some nations to maintain trade barriers and protectionist workarounds, like China, while preventing others from defending themselves, like the United States. Foreign agriculture won concession after concession, while American farmers struggled to get fair access to markets. Meanwhile, the W.T.O. required American workers to compete against Chinese forced labor but did next to nothing to stop Chinese theft of American intellectual property and products.
• We must face facts. The only sure way to confront the single greatest threat to American security in the 21st century, Chinese imperialism, is to rebuild the U.S. economy and to build up the American worker. And that means reforming the global economic system.
4. Senior Trump Aides Ease Up on China Pressure https://www.wsj.com/articles/senior-trump-aides-ease-up-on-china-pressure-11588633528
• Senior Trump administration officials signaled Monday that they won’t seek to punish China economically if Beijing abides by trade commitments made earlier this year, despite rising tensions over U.S. allegations that China mishandled the coronavirus outbreak.
5. China Banishes U.S. Journalists https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-bans-all-u-s-nationals-working-for-the-wall-street-journal-new-york-times-washington-post-whose-press-credentials-end-in-2020-11584464690
• BEIJING—China said it would revoke the press credentials of Americans working for three major U.S. newspapers in the largest expulsion of foreign journalists in the post-Mao era, amid an escalating battle with the Trump administration over media operating in the two countries.
• The measure would affect most of the U.S. journalists working at those newspapers in China, which issues press credentials for up to 12 months and has recently limited them to six and, in some cases, as little as one month.
• It also ordered the three newspapers and two other media outlets—Voice of America and Time magazine—to submit information about staff, finances, operations and real estate in China.
• On March 2, the Trump administration announced a personnel cap on four state-run Chinese media outlets—Xinhua News Agency, China Radio International, China Global Television Network and China Daily—forcing them to reduce their Chinese employees in the U.S. to 100 in total, from 160.
6. World Health Organization Criticized for Virus Response https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-world-health-organization-draws-flak-for-coronavirus-response-11581525207
• Many people who work, or have worked, with the organization, and who study its operations, say that in not declaring a global health emergency earlier, the agency gave too much weight to China’s concerns that the move would damage its economy and its leadership’s image.
• Dr. Tedros said in the interview that China’s quarantine in Hubei province— the outbreak’s epicenter—is consistent with the WHO’s International Health Regulations, or IHR, a treaty signed by member states including China that calls for the least intrusive measures possible and strong protection for freedom of movement and other human rights.

Transcript

Old Howard Union

55 – The Middle East Today

The Middle East Today – a massive quagmire of problem after problem and no real end in sight, why we are here and how we got there.

All Articles Referenced

Iran Adds Advanced Centrifuges, Further Weakening Nuclear Deal https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/world/middleeast/iran-nuclear-centrifuges-uranium.html

Russia Dominated Syria’s War. Now It’s Sending Mercenaries to Libya. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/05/world/middleeast/russia-libya-mercenaries.html

Iraqis Rise Against a Reviled Occupier: Iran https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/04/world/middleeast/iraq-protests-iran.html

With Israel in Limbo, Benny Gantz Vows to Seek a ‘Peace Within’ https://nyti.ms/2C7b4oD

In Another Bipartisan Rebuke of Trump, House Votes for Sanctions Against Turkey https://nyti.ms/32YDBIO

Turkey Wants Refugees to Move to a ‘Safe Zone.’ It’s a Tough Sell. https://nyti.ms/336xBxE