Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 22, 2017

The U.S. Can Not Be Trusted - Case XXXIV: Trump Cheats On China Sanction Deal

During the ramp up to new UN sanctions on North Korea the Trump administration threaten to sanction China if it would not commit to further pressure. Trade measures against China were held back while the discussions about the resolution were ongoing:

An opportunity to hit North Korea with new United Nations sanctions has sidelined President Donald Trump’s bid to punish China for its alleged unfair trade practice.
[O]n Thursday afternoon, senior administration aides postponed the announcement [of trade measures against China] at the urging of United Nations and State Department officials, who are in the sensitive final stages of convincing China to sign on to a U.N. resolution that would impose new sanctions on North Korea. U.N. and State Department officials warned that the trade announcement could kill their chances of winning Beijing’s buy-in, according to the officials.

Trump himself implied that he was willing to go for a quid pro quo:

While past presidents have tried at least ostensibly to keep security and economic issues on separate tracks in their dealings with China, Mr. Trump has explicitly linked the two, suggesting he would back off from a trade war against Beijing if it does more to pressure North Korea. “If China helps us, I feel a lot differently toward trade, a lot differently toward trade,” he told reporters...

A deal was made and the UN Resolution 2371 passed. China immediately implemented the relevant measures:

In an unprecedented move against North Korea, China on Monday issued an order to carry out the United Nations sanctions imposed on the rogue regime earlier this month.

China did its part of the deal. It helped pass the UN resolution against North Korea and it immediately implemented it even while that causes a significant loss for Chinese companies which trade with North Korea.

Now Trump is back at sanctioning Chinese (and Russian) companies:

The Trump administration on Tuesday imposed sanctions on 16 mainly Chinese and Russian companies and people for assisting North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile programs and helping the North make money to support those programs.
Among those sanctioned are six Chinese companies, including three coal companies; two Singapore-based companies that sell oil to North Korea and three Russians that work with them; a Russian company that deals in North Korean metals and its Russian director; a construction company based in Namibia; a second Namibia-based company, and its North Korean director, that supplies North Korean workers to build statues overseas to generate income for the North.

These are "secondary sanctions" which block  financial transactions and make it nearly impossible for those companies and people to run an international business. Moreover - China had already banned all coal imports from North Korea. It had sent back North Korean coal ships and instead bought coal from the United States. Now Chinese companies get sanctioned over North Korean coal they no longer buy? Furthermore selling fuel oil to North Korea is explicitly allowed under the new UN sanctions. There is no reason to sanction any company over it.

The Chinese feel cheated:

Reuters World @ReutersWorld - 7:12pm · 22 Aug 2017

JUST IN: China urges U.S. to 'immediately correct its mistake' of sanctioning Chinese firms over North Korea - embassy spokesman

If the Trump administration insist of holding up these sanction China and Russia will obviously become negligent in controlling the sanctions imposed on North Korea. Why should they hold to their side of the deal, at great costs, when the U.S. does not hold up its side?

They will also stop at making any further deals with the Trump administration. It has now proven to be just as lying and cheating as the Obama administration has been. The U.S. can forget about ANY further action or sanctions at the UN.

This as extremely shortsighted and stupid way of handling international relations.

How does the U.S. hope to win anything in the long run when it behaves in such untrustworthy ways?

Posted by b on August 22, 2017 at 18:41 UTC | Permalink


Bannon's sayonara interview with Robert Kuttner was all about the coming trade war with China. Bannon thinks it is the key to electoral success. It will be interesting to see if his strategy lives on now that he is gone.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 22 2017 18:58 utc | 1

thanks b.... the usa needs to copyright this : ''sanctions-r-us''.... they will sell this as the good cop routine that plays to the wacky right wing nut jobs that drive us foreign policy.. it wears thin quickly though for anyone looking under the hood - something the western msm is loath or unable to do.. keeping the populace ignorant is the cause de jour for them.. some things don't change... show down in the o k corral is on it's way...

Posted by: james | Aug 22 2017 19:10 utc | 2

Honestly, anyone who doesn't understand that making deals and treaties with the US is pointless when not dangerous because they will never respect them is hopeless and has lost any pretense at sanity.
I've yet to see any single treaty in their whole history that the US hasn't broken at some point.
Though I also have to point out that it's not merely that "Americans are treacherous and have a forked tongue" or whatever. It's hardcoded in the political system itself, which is highly unstable and at the same time doesn't punish inconsistency, stupidity and betrayal.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Aug 22 2017 19:18 utc | 3

Gee, you mean the U$A doesn't want to live up to its words? Well, I'm shocked.. Not!

Actions, not meeting rhetoric, is the U$A's stock in trade, in all its endeavors.

I see Trump rolled out his new infrastructure plan. Destroying other nation's infrastructure, to create more jobs in the weapons industry here at home.


Posted by: ben | Aug 22 2017 19:19 utc | 4

Bannon August 16...“To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover.”
Bannon’s plan of attack includes: a complaint under Section 301 of the 1974 Trade Act against Chinese coercion of technology transfers from American corporations doing business there, and follow-up complaints against steel and aluminum dumping. “We’re going to run the tables on these guys. We’ve come to the conclusion that they’re in an economic war and they’re crushing us.”

Reuters August 21... China expressed "strong dissatisfaction" on Monday with the U.S. launch of an investigation into China's alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property, calling it "irresponsible".

The U.S. Trade Representative formally announced the investigation on Friday, a widely expected move following a call from President Donald Trump earlier last week to determine whether a probe was needed.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 22 2017 19:25 utc | 5

Because he is a bit dim-witted like Dubya, Trump has a way of going off script and putting his foot in his mouth. The PTB knew all along they were going to fck China - with or without the UN Korean sanctions agreement.

This would be one reason why AIPAC doesn't want Trump. That other moron, Pence, would be capable of reading his lines without the need for extemporaneous commentary.

Posted by: fastfreddy | Aug 22 2017 19:34 utc | 6

What goes around, comes around.

When China starts turning down US dollars and Treasuries in exchange for all Chinese services and goods produced by the industries we offshored to them (only accepting RMB and gold today, thank you), we will see how this all works out.

Probably the neocon "solution" will be military (isn't it always?), but as they say, "Good luck with that!" The recent rash of US naval "accidental collisions" provides a hint of things to come.

Posted by: Perimtr | Aug 22 2017 19:34 utc | 7

It looks even worse for China.

NK might be the epicenter of the realization that China is just as self-serving as any other country, but the ripples will have damaged China's reputation far and wide.

By not enforcing the UNSC sanctions China will only prove her vote was not based on principle.

Posted by: NotToMention | Aug 22 2017 19:34 utc | 8

Quit Pro Quo. That actually does sound like Trump policy. Oh man, that's great! Thanks b!!!

Posted by: JSonofa | Aug 22 2017 19:58 utc | 9

China deserved what they got since they were dumb enough to believe ANYHING the US. How can anyone side with a country that is on the other side of the world against one that is right next to you? The only thing I can think of is a ploy by China to further cause the US to economically hurt itself. So many things are going on that it's hard to keep track of what's what.

Posted by: NewYorker | Aug 22 2017 19:59 utc | 10

The words Trump and Cheat are redundant! Nobody in their right mind would buy a used car from the Big Cheat in Chief.

Posted by: ger | Aug 22 2017 20:15 utc | 11

@ Perimtr 7

When China starts turning down US dollars and Treasuries in exchange for all Chinese services and goods produced by the industries we offshored to them (only accepting RMB and gold today, thank you), we will see how this all works out.

My thoughts exactly, and soon others will follow as Qatar sells to China in RMB: F. William Engdahl, "Has Washington Lost the Middle East After Qatar?"

Trump Administration policy in the Middle East–and there is a clear policy, rest assured–might be compared to that of the ancient Chinese fable about the farmer who burnt down his house in order to roast a pig. In order to control the emerging world energy market around “low-CO2″ natural gas, Washington has targeted not only the world’s largest gas reserve country, Russia. She is now targeting Iran and Qatar. Let’s look more closely at why.[.]

Iran is a candidate to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization now that US and EU sanctions have been semi-lifted, and is already an invited strategic participant in China’s One Belt, One Road, earlier known as the “New Economic Silk Road,” far and away the world’s most impressive infrastructure project to create economic linkages across the states of Eurasia including the Middle East.

Qatar too is no stranger to either China or Russia. In 2015 Qatar was officially recognized by the Peoples’ Bank of China as the first Middle East center for clearing transactions in the Chinese currency, the yuan, now accepted by the IMF in its SDR basket of currencies, a major boost to international acceptance of the renminbi or yuan. That renminbi clearing status allows Qatari companies to settle their trade with China, for example in natural gas, directly in renminbi. Already Qatar exports significant LNG to China.

According to recent reports out of Amsterdam, Qatar is already selling China gas denominated in renminbi rather than US dollars. If true, that spells a major tectonic shift in the power of the US dollar, the financial basis of its ability to wage wars everywhere and run a federal deficit and public debt over $19 trillion. Iran already refuses dollars for its oil and Russia sells its gas to China in rubles or yuan. Were that to significantly shift in favor of international bilateral trades in renminbi or Russian rubles and other non-dollar currencies, that would be twilight for America’s global superpower. Lights out, basta! [.]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

@NotToMention 8

By not enforcing the UNSC sanctions China will only prove her vote was not based on principle.

Really? Let’s fix that for you.

By not adhering to treaties and agreements, USA has proven time and again the word “principle” is often misused for lack of understanding and or replaced by “principal” - just ask the Cheyennes, Dakotas, Mohawks, Iroquois about forked tongues in Washington, D.C..

Posted by: likklemore | Aug 22 2017 20:29 utc | 12

Isn't it obvious that any form of sanctions, "cheating" etc. by the US is the best thing for the rest of the world? Unfortunately, the "elites" in Russia, and many people in China are only too eager to lick the feet of the US. Good old fashioned corruption via trade would surely destroy (likely) Russia and China -- but, as a god-given present, the US actually behaves as the benevolent exceptional nation, really, by teaching Russia and China the necessary lessons!

Perhaps Trump is really a deep genius?

Or perhaps in 50 years we will learn that ACTUALLY Putin did it! He really controls the whole West, and makes it destroy itself. :-))

Posted by: Oliver K | Aug 22 2017 20:46 utc | 13

That's great news and hopefully NC had to pay the same great price the Ukraine got or maybe the Ukraine will trade with NC for more rocket motors.

Greed Amerikas bottom line and I wonder what the trumpster cut was?

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 22 2017 20:55 utc | 14

I doubt any other state actors still trust the US, regardless of what administration is in power. Power when wielded is always a blunt instrument, and as long as the US policy elite see no equal on the world stage, thanks to the US' sprawling military and extensive economic advantages (reserve currency, resource wealth, etc), they don't need to nor will play nice.

Posted by: Out of Istanbul | Aug 22 2017 20:58 utc | 15

would china PLEASE pull the plug on USA and call in its debt?!

Posted by: brian | Aug 22 2017 21:39 utc | 16

Well in a way this serves China right, the price they pay for a treacherous act of betrayal against NK and instead thinking they can do a deal the devil.
Now perhaps the Chinese will "get their logic right"

Posted by: Hesllng | Aug 22 2017 21:43 utc | 17

"These are "secondary sanctions" which block financial transactions and make it nearly impossible for those companies and people to run an international business..."

I have often wondered how any nation can have such power - and continually wield it so unwisely as the United States has

apparently there's no real appeal to the use of the such sanctions (please correct me if I am wrong) so that in essence it is a world-wide dictatorial economic power exercised by one nation over all the others, and without legal recourse, the very definition of tyranny.....and even if there were current judicial recourse, the US would have corrupted that totally as well.

The Chinese and the Russian have been pretty foolish the last 10-15 years or so in trusting the US at all. the perfect case was the UN resolution on Libya which the West used to slaughter the whole country and create a failed state. at least Putin learned his lesson early on in Syria and took effective counter-measures, finally putting his foot down on this also world-wide regime change bullshit, which has really paid off since Nov 2015....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 22 2017 21:49 utc | 18

Question is why they were so gullible to believe US in the first place after repeated betrayal in the past.
Are they retarded? Were they really ready to strangle NK economy in a face of blatant US belligerence and provocations knowing well that only NK nukes may bring Japan and US to the peace table to end WWII and Korean War?

Is in the national interest of China and Russia collapse of NK. OF COURSE NOT.
So why all those stupid maneuvers?

Do they not see that US incoherence is aimed for dividing Sino-Russian alliance?

Somobody have to say it if b is not saying that, fool me once, but if you fool me twice I become a fool.

Are Russians and Chinese fools believing that US are something else than bunch of delusional psychotics one cannot reason with or bargain with?

Is that because they are rich delusional psychotics and pay is good?

Posted by: Kalen | Aug 22 2017 21:49 utc | 19

"The U.S. can forget about ANY further action or sanctions at the UN."
I really, really hope so, B. I can't understand why China agreed to the U.N. resolution in the first place. The outcome was crystal clear from the beginning, we had it before times and again. Are the Russian and the Chinese governments to stupid to learn from experiences? Or just to gutless to 'just say no'? Or to eager to hold the neoliberal economic system afloat, they obviously immagine as the only way possible? I wonder.

Posted by: Pnyx | Aug 22 2017 22:08 utc | 20

I don't feel the least bit sorry for the Chinese. They have been playing us re North Korea - North Korea starts pulling crazy shit at just the right moments, China offers to 'help'. There won't be any huge trade wars either - it is in their interest just as much as ours to avoid it and they're businessmen, first and foremost.

Posted by: ian | Aug 22 2017 22:22 utc | 21

The Chinese knew this would happen, signing onto new sanctions against North Korea has absolutely nothing to do with dodging any US trade sanctions!

Totally irrelevant.

The Chinese have sanctioned North Korea for their own reasons.

Posted by: Julian | Aug 22 2017 23:07 utc | 22

Chinese casualties in the Korean war.
Western sources estimate the PVA suffered about 400,000 killed and 486,000 wounded,
Data from official Chinese sources, on the other hand, reported that the Chinese PVA had suffered 114,000 battle deaths, 34,000 non-battle deaths, 340,000 wounded, 7,600 missing

Either way, China shed a lot of blood for NK. The latest UN sanctions were harmless bullshit to buy a bit of time. China and Russia made a joint statement that they would not see North Korea economicaly strangled. Any NK losses would be made up in other ways.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 22 2017 23:15 utc | 23

Throughout all of history, I can't recall any nation as dishonest as the USA. In a Just World, it would be shunned, ostracized and be made to sit is the equivalent of a corner for a millennia-long time-out. But since it has a UNSC veto, it really can't be made to behave within the family of nations. The only way forward I can see is for the planet's people to push every vestige of the Outlaw US Empire out of their nations and declare it persona non grata until it's proven for at least a century that it's changed its ways. And don't go to visit it despite the scenery of its landscape; there're plenty of other outstanding places having natural beauty on the planet to visit. And don't use any of its tech products, like Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, etc. In other words, Boycott everything USA--Everything! And don't give its Trolls the time of day.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 22 2017 23:18 utc | 24

Russian analysis has said that America is 'not agreement capable.' Here we say fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.

The decades on going sanctions and mayhem directed at DPRK, and beyond to China and Russia, by America has allowed them to keep a military presence in South Korea and Japan and America's nose in Asian business. Otherwise the USA would be a largely irrelevant entity in the region.

Posted by: BRF | Aug 22 2017 23:20 utc | 25

There is a bottom line - ww3 - the Russians and Chinese know what this means . They are terrified as Stalin was of the 'West ' in 1941. Under such pressure things must always be 'Alice and Wonderlandish' . Events of the moment are to be seen in this equivocal light.

Posted by: ashley albanese | Aug 22 2017 23:30 utc | 26

"How does the U.S. hope to win anything in the long run when it behaves in such untrustworthy ways?"

Because they're all in on it? Everyone. What other explanation is there?

It's a fake world people and it's starting to become glaring.

Posted by: Outsider | Aug 22 2017 23:48 utc | 27


Specifically, the United States and South Korea 'start' a (yearly) variation of military exercises, North Korea responds by 'threatening' missile tests (secretly offering a mutual 'freeze' of exercises and tests), and China offers to sponsor (yearly) peace conferences.

What else can China do?

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 22 2017 23:49 utc | 28

They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did.
Red Cloud

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 22 2017 23:58 utc | 29


The State Dept, TSA, DHS et al. treats individual American citizens with the same utter contempt and scorn...that Washington has for NK, China and Russia (unless said American citizen is connected to a certain lobby / special group or status.)


In light of how the US government has not upheld treaties it signed with First Nations people for 300 years, or any other organization or government that was weaker than itself at any time, it bewilders me how any modern government could expect the US to honor any treaty it signs today, unless upholding said treaty were in the immediate interest of the US.


How utterly stupid is the regime in Washington? seems to gyrate madly, imposing sanctions here, sanctions there, threatening everybody from NK to Syria to Venezuela to China to Russia, when it should be minding its own fucking business. We need a constitutional convention in the US and we need to restore democratic governance to the USA.

Posted by: Daniel Bruno | Aug 23 2017 0:31 utc | 30

anonymous, 27

OT continuation "they promised to take our land, and they did. Red Cloud"

First we had the land and they had the Bibles, now we have the Bibles and they have the land. Chief Dan George

"When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said 'Let us pray.' We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land". Desmond Tutu and Jomo Kenyatta

Posted by: OJS | Aug 23 2017 0:32 utc | 31

Somewhat related in terms of leverage/sanctions:

"The Ukraine crisis — and Russian-American relations — reaches an inflection point with the assessment made by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) in London that North Korea’s dramatic leap in ballistic missile capability in the past year is attributable to its clandestine acquisition of a Soviet-era technology that is available in a factory near the frontline in Donbass war zone, close to the breakaway region held by Russia-backed separatists. The IISS flags that North Korea’s Hwasong-14 missile, tested for the first time, twice, last month signifies an incredible leap in technology that is simply inconceivable for human ingenuity – that is, unless Pyongyang gained access to foreign technology from an established missile power.

However, the IISS report says,

The engine tested by North Korea does not physically resemble any LPE manufactured by the US, France, China, Japan, India or Iran. Nor do any of these countries produce an engine that uses storable propellants and generates the thrust delivered by the Hwasong-12 and -14 LPE. This leaves the former Soviet Union as the most likely source.

Now, there could have been clandestine transfers of the engines from either Russia or Ukraine with the knowledge of the local authorities – or more likely, there might have been clandestine smuggling by the mafia from factories that are loosely guarded. The mafia is active in both Russia and Ukraine. The IISS is inclined to point the finger at the factory in Ukraine (known as Yuzhnoye which has facilities in Dnipropetrovsk and Pavlograd), which has been in dire straits ever since 2006 when Russia stopped buying from it as part of the Soviet-era supply chain and the once-vaunted factory came to the brink of financial collapse circa 2015. To quote the IISS,

The total number of RD-250 (rocket) engines fabricated in Russia and Ukraine is not known. However, there are almost certainly hundreds, if not more, of spares stored at KB Yuzhnoye’s facilities and at warehouses in Russia… A small team of disgruntled employees or underpaid guards at any one of the storage sites… could be enticed to steal a few dozen engines by one of the many illicit arms dealers, criminal networks, or transnational smugglers operating in the former Soviet Union. The engines (less than two metres tall and one metre wide) can be flown or, more likely, transported by train through Russia to North Korea. Pyongyang has many connections in Russia… North Korean agents seeking missile technology are also known to operate in Ukraine… Today, (Ukrainian) Yuzhnoye’s facilities lie close to the front lines of the Russian-controlled secessionist territory. Clearly, there is no shortage of potential routes through which North Korea might have acquired the few dozen RD-250 engines that would be needed for an ICBM programme.

Several questions arise. Importantly, almost all of them will have implications for the trajectory of US-Russia relations. Most important — the timing of the IISS report. The US-Russia relations are on razor’s edge. (See my blog Russia edgy as US prepares to retaliate.)

Thus, can it be that the Russian intelligence leaked the information already available with it to respectable western sources so as to underscore in western capitals that the West has ended up creating a bleeding wound in Ukraine that is turning gangrene? (After all, IISS has profound links with Smiley’s people.)

It is entirely conceivable that the CIA and the Pentagon are ahead of the IISS’ scientific finding. Has this got something to do with the threatening reports that refuse to die away that the Trump administration is revisiting the moribund idea of supplying lethal weapons to hit at Russia-backed separatists in Donbass — which Russia has been opposing tooth and nail? Simply put, is someone firing a flare into the night sky to make the point that it is a rotten idea to supply lethal weapons to Ukraine which will sooner or later find their way inevitably to non-state actors? This is one thing.

Indeed, Russia is keen to engage with the Trump administration over the Ukraine crisis. But then, Russia also hopes that progress on Ukraine would lead to an easing of Western sanctions. Now, on the contrary, the US Congress’ latest bill on Russia sanctions expressly forbids the White House from negotiating the sanctions removal without its prior approval. If there is ever a Gordian knot, waiting to be cut, this is it.

The IISS concludes by stressing the high importance of the “US and its allies, along with China and perhaps Russia, to negotiate an agreement that bans future missile testing, and effectively prevents North Korea from perfecting its capacity to terrorise America with nuclear weapons. But the window of opportunity will soon close, so diplomatic action must be taken immediately.”

However, such a process demands a high level of Russian-American coordination and cooperation. Of course, ‘Barkis is willing’. But, is the US ready to abandon the sanctions against Russia? There is an existential choice to be made here, because Russian intelligence must be up to date on North Korea. Paradoxically, the US needs Russian intelligence inputs to protect the American people from potential nuclear radiation."

Posted by: daffyDuct | Aug 23 2017 0:52 utc | 32

Economic (sanctions) war with Russia may be a piece of cake but not so easy against China. Both sides suffer. Especially China’s wartime arch enemies’ Japan and stupid India tagging behinds.

There were speculations what China can do - import/export/wheats/soy beans/US$... Where it hurts most, trademarks Ivanka Trump's company in China

Posted by: OJS | Aug 23 2017 1:02 utc | 33

Several have said China (and Russia) are fools, or they are cowards...why would they fall for this again? Well, they aren't fools or cowards, and in fact there is every reason to think they did in fact expect the US to renege on any agreement almost immediately. Especially lately, where the US has gone completely off the rails, and no longer conceals that sanctions are aimed as much at weakening its "friends" (competitors) as its "enemies."

That said, perhaps this was intended to be another demonstration, an emphasis, particularly to the Europeans who are already getting sick of US sanctions. Why not agree to sanctions as requested by the US, knowing they will never have to be enforced because of US weaseling, while providing a strong argument to refuse all future attempts at sanctions.

Posted by: J Swift | Aug 23 2017 1:03 utc | 34

What if these Trump admin actions are a deliberate ploy to backdoor making America great again by getting other nations to set up trade barriers forcing America to return to manufacturing

Posted by: frances | Aug 23 2017 1:17 utc | 35

Mr. Arkadin. Scorpion and frog

Posted by: Paisciego | Aug 23 2017 1:18 utc | 36

@17 michaelj72.. i think you have that exactly right, except in your last paragraph... it is difficult to navigate, and until russia and china are of a similar level to the usa militarily, i think they have been working towards the moment when they can do just that - pull the plug of this ponzi / mafia type set up the usa has going..

@18 kalen / @19 pnyx... see my response to michael above... it is how i see it..

@24 ashley albanese.. we see it very similar.. thanks..

@30 daffyduck.. thanks.. interesting speculation that all sounds plausible..

@32 j swift.. i tend to see it that way too, although europe is going to have to get a backbone at some point.. same deal all the usa lapdogs...

Posted by: james | Aug 23 2017 1:20 utc | 37

reply to DaffyDuct 30

".. engines that would be needed for an {NK} ICBM programme."

All well and good except for the fact that NK doesn't have an ICBM capability.
The US govt admitted that the NK rockets fired were NOT ICBMs but were Intermediate missiles used in the past to launch NK weather satellites.

Posted by: frances | Aug 23 2017 1:36 utc | 38

karlof1 | Aug 22, 2017 7:18:49 PM | 23

Yup, I dumped google and yahoo years ago.
Yandex browser and e-mail; both are excellent.
When my anti-virus expires I'm going to Kaspersky Labs; my wife already did.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 23 2017 4:51 utc | 39

I'm with everyone who has already noted that amerika got where it is today by being a fork tongued double dealer whose words aren't worth the paper I wipe my arse with.
There isn't a single agreement reached between US authorities and any other entity since the days of treaties with the indigenous owners of the land amerika continues to purloin that amerika hasn't breached in either the letter or the spirit, usually both.
On the other hand China isn't Iran, not only are they well aware of amerikan perfidy they are in a position to counter it.
The fact they haven't done so yet merely indicates their preference for a square up which doesn't cost China or any of its citizens. This is a culture which always plays the long game no matter how long - witness their bemusement at amerikan commercial interests bitching about listed Chinese corporations not meeting Wall St imposed quarterly 'targets'.
When I lived in Northern Australia I had a landlord for several years who never increased my rent - this in a market where property prices were shooting up thanks to the usual worthless asset appreciation that too many consider a wealth generator. When I asked my landlord who was a third generation Australian the great grandson of gold miners who arrived from Shanghai towards the end of the 19th century he said "You are paying me $25 a week correct?" I replied yes, to which he responded "Well your week's rent is considerably more than my grandfather paid for it, $25 was a fair price when we shook hands and so that is what the rent will remain at unless you move out - a deal is a deal. I'm happy if you are"
That is what happened after I did move out the building which was little more than a big corrugated iron shed was pushed over and my former landlord put an office block in its stead. On the fringes of Darwin's CBD when I moved in by the time I left the property was most def 'down town'. The family will never sell it because for them it will always be a part of the family morphology. The original settler would never have been able much less permitted to buy land in 1880's China but he innately knew exactly how it related to his family once he bought land somewhere else.

This is something that few if any of the media or business outside China fully comprehend, an assumption has been made that Chinese, just as likely they imagine of all non-western peoples, are morphing into western commercial mindsets.
We see this all the time when those nations who have a bureaucratic mechanism for scrutinising foreign asset purchases decide at least in part on the basis that the property will eventually change hands again.

With many of the asset purchases by China based corporations there is absolutely no intention of selling them or otherwise letting go of them ever again. As I learned this is per se no bad thing, but it could be if say, too much of a nation was owned by foreigners who will never relinquish those properties.
I was initially positive about Chinese investors outbidding engander, Oz, amerikan and european buyers for big chunks of Aotearoa but now I am less positive because denying locals the opportunity to buy in their own country seems to me to be a recipe for eventual conflict.

Trump may 'get away' with his deceit, but amerika will not. Whatever China eventually does to counter these deceits may not be actioned for decades, but when it is implemented it will be apposite, well considered and impregnable.
Most Chinese certainly China's leaders have no intention of changing their outlook one iota, but that doesn't mean they want non-Chinese to alter and adopt their values. If Xi Jinping bothered to consider that he would most likely decide he preferred Trump and the rest of the amerikans to remain exactly as they are because the adulation of material gain, arrogance and inability to lie straight in bed makes people's behaviour very predictable.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 23 2017 6:25 utc | 40

No. Rookie fucking error by the Chinese. Take one look at the record of the US keeping its word on anything. They deserve to be done over.

Posted by: jezabeel | Aug 23 2017 7:34 utc | 41

DoubleThink concept was coined by UK BBC propagandist.

I had a dispute with allegedly UK citizen, who at THE SAME time demanded me to agree that
1) there was no NATO promise to avoid expanding East, as there is no signed paper document today on it, and personal speaks are merely speaks.
2) there is no threat to Russia from, and hence Russia acts unreasonably demanding legally-binding documents to, those "anti-Iranian" missile stations in Europe, because "everyone told you so".

And he did pursue both lanes in the SAME argument.


Now, while i admit that US and UK are different states for long, some habits seem to die hard


They also say, Iran was promised US do not care about their invasion in Kuwait, and they also say in 19114 German kanzler was promised UK King would not do a thing about European(read: Continental) war.

Posted by: Arioch | Aug 23 2017 8:16 utc | 42

The McCain apparently experienced a mysterious steering failure before the collision.

Posted by: lysias | Aug 23 2017 11:24 utc | 43

"would china PLEASE pull the plug on USA and call in its debt?!"

Central banks still funding government deficits and the sky remains firmly above

Posted by: paulmeli | Aug 23 2017 11:59 utc | 44

US warmonging will not end until and unless militarysuffers heavy casualties in a war of choice or the buck goes down for the count.

Posted by: Ragheb | Aug 23 2017 12:26 utc | 45

Gorbachev did not care about any written statement as he assumed the cold war to be over and envisioned a common European-Russian zone from "Wladivostock to Lisbon".

"The West" assumed the same but interpreted it as taking over Russia (integrating it in the Western system) as Russia "had lost the cold war".

The West then lost the peace by their best and brightest causing a severe economic and humanitarian crisis in Russia which led to the rise of Putin and Russia realizing that they had to defend themselves.

Steinmeier just held a speech in Estonia accusing Russia of "thinking in terms of zones of influence" and geopolitics whilst disrespecting the free will of people. The speech was very coded but ended with Germany never again fighting against Russia in "blind enemity" whilst saying before that Germany would never again do something like the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Usually what you say in the end sticks in people's mind.

The way Victoria Nuland operated (and the EU/Steinmeier followed) showed Russia is not alone in geopolitical thinking never mind the free will of people and their elected representatives.

Same party as Steinmeier, Martin Schulz now campaigns with the withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from Germany.

Let's see how this plays out.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 23 2017 13:27 utc | 46

Global Empire - A Conversation With Edward Said

Posted by: okie farmer | Aug 23 2017 14:10 utc | 47
Ksa is fine but not Egypt?

Posted by: Mina | Aug 23 2017 14:28 utc | 48

I agree with the voices here saying that China understands exactly what is going on. Esepcially thanks to Debsisdead @ 38 for the wonderful cultural insights.

I disagree with those who think that China has been duped - there's simply no evidence that China is that gullible. One century of humiliation was enough to learn how the western world works.

@41 lysias - "The McCain apparently experienced a mysterious steering failure before the collision."

I too wonder if the US Navy is experiencing asymmetrical responses from either Russia or China or both. I greatly want to know more about all this. Joaquin Flores had a speculative piece at Fort Russ the other day, making the point that the Navy's call to halt all operations worldwide seems completely disproportionate to the apparent causes. Pun intended, what's really going on below the waterline?

As Debsisdead points out, "Whatever China eventually does to counter these deceits may not be actioned for decades, but when it is implemented it will be apposite, well considered and impregnable."

We keep talking about hybrid warfare, and noting the west with its color revolutions and its increasingly visible lies, but have we learned yet how to detect asymmetrical responses from the multi-polar world? Especially since it's at least possible that they will occur almost invisibly?

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 23 2017 14:52 utc | 49

China deserved what they got since they were dumb enough to believe ANYHING the US. .. New Yorker at 10.


1) China does not believe anything the US says in public or even in private to them. 80% of Earth ppl know the US can’t be trusted, it does not do deals, even private individuals who shake hands and the like, ever (they back out, my country orders..)

Are the Chinese, Gvmt., industry, military, to be considered out of that loop?

2) All is calculation on where it might be advantageous to seem to ‘submit’ or ‘shut up’ or conversely ‘complain’ and make a fuss (to the UN, WTO, the US itself…) China and Russia don’t want to take on the US militarily for now (except in low level proxy wars with a positive calculated outcome, see Syria) so all this stuff is just par for the course, it is expected, it is tit for tat shadow play that on the part of the weaker groups is thought out cynically.

3) Trump maybe doesn’t quite know what he is doing, in the sense of measuring, anticipating the results, as he is being manipulated. That is one view. Others can be put forward.

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 23 2017 15:28 utc | 50

Grieved @47--

If fly-by-wire control systems can be hacked and captured on airplanes, then the same can happen to any such system regardless of what it's guiding; and there've been hints at this being done by the Multipolar Alliance. Recall Iran's capturing one of the Outlaw US Empires most sophisticated drones several years ago then reverse engineering its own version. Lots of evidence cruise missiles went awry thanks to EW. Then there were several reports of Outlaw US Navy vessels having their systems completely shutdown via Russian EW. I imagine PavewayIV has a good recap of these incidents. Backdoors created for NSA/CIA can be exploited by others too, which makes all Outlaw US military electronic systems vulnerable. I recall a video presentation by Nasrallah showing the video Hezbollah intercepted from Zionist drones scouting the ground for its assassination of Hariri--evidence for Hezbollah's defense in the affair that nobody thought they'd be capable of obtaining that demolished the Zionist/Outlaw US Empire framing of Hezbollah for that murder.

Detecting asymmetrical responses will be difficult since the Multipolar Alliance will be reluctant to announce such an action, while the Unipolar Hegemon will also be reluctant since it won't want the other side to learn how effective its actions are. Imagine if North Korea has the capability to redirect B-1 and B-2 bombers by taking control of their fly-by-wire systems; would you expect North Korea to announce such capability or reserve it for use?

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23 2017 15:36 utc | 51

Pepe Escobar weighs-in yet again on the "two never-ending wars with no visible benefits" in Korea and Afghanistan,

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23 2017 16:08 utc | 52

US want China to exit production economy and become Debt consumer Economy.
US can play that stock market/futures with print money out of thin air.
If Rothschilds want China to become US debt model, probably happens,
Or....Chinese get RIP of Rothschilds

Posted by: Brad | Aug 23 2017 16:15 utc | 53

@38 debsisdead ... thanks for your personal insights debs.. it is interesting to me as i have lived in the vancouver area for most of my life.. the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generation chinese seem so different then the new arrivals from hong kong.. i would like to agree with your view, but this new generation primarily from hong kong, seem to have a very different mind set.. either way - thanks for sharing..

Posted by: james | Aug 23 2017 16:18 utc | 54


If you're ever confronted by any more British apologists on the issue of NATO missile systems in Poland and Romania, mention the United States could only have set up the systems by unilaterally withdrawing American signatures from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002, a decade BEFORE the European Union and Ukraine 'started talks' on framing, signing, and ratifying the EU Association Agreement (violating Article Six of the Russian-Ukrainian Friendship Treaty of 1997, which required Russian foreknowledge and participation in any frameworks or any agreements Ukraine had with 'a third party') that partitioned public opinion in Ukraine and precipitated the civil war.


While transcripts of the NATO-Soviet peace talks throughout 1990 haven't been released, the U.S. Secretary of State and the West German Foreign Minister literally layed out a post-war framework (the Nine Assurances in May; the London Declaration in July) publicly (it was reported in mainstream German and American media) at the end of these respective conferences BEFORE the Two Plus Four Agreement was reached.

It envisioned the 'reform' of NATO in the framework of the CSCE (now OSCE) or the replacement of NATO by the CSCE, the ratifying of the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (building on other 'arms reduction measures by treaty' needed to permanently demilitarize Europe), and the invitation of the original nine Soviet Republics to NATO Summits to accept NATO Membership BEFORE post-Soviet Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and the Caucasus were invited to accept membership.

The framework ('collective security') was explicitly what the Soviet Politburo had been trying to achieve since the Soviet Foreign Ministry requested the British Foreign Ministry (through public conferences) and the Polish Foreign Ministry (through secret telegrams) to sign mutual security treaties in early and mid August of 1939 (which was rejected consistently by Britain and Poland).

The Soviet Politburo was quick to end the war because it seemed the 'long strategy' had worked, not because of Soviet indifference to formality. I think it was widely understood by any European (worker or statesmen) the United States would never substantially compromise to the discipline of formality, however, the Soviet Union preferred the risk and not diplomatic stagnation.

Side note:

While I personally dislike involving a notorious personality in a social or political history, I think it's interesting to speculate what would've happened if it was Chernenko who lived and Gorbachev who died in 1985. He was a militarist, but never seemed committed to decentralizing the Soviet economy and compromising so easily to the United States.

Posted by: anonymous | Aug 23 2017 16:46 utc | 55

Part of b's headline; "Trump cheats...." may be wrong. Does Trump control anything at all any more?
Not only the NK sanctions, but a corresponding increase in troop levels in Afghanistan, (including "unknown helicopters" ferrying militants in Mazar-i-Sharif, from the Afghan base of the 209 Afgh Nat Army corps in NATO controlled airspace, for a massacre of Hazara Shias in Sar-e-Pol province), the increase of US servicemen training Ukrainain snipers on the Donbass frontline and a reported blocking of a (small) Russian Bank from the SWIFT network, - all suggest that the military have totally taken over command in the US. That they have decided to push everyone around as far as possible. This chandge in policy is since Trump "lost" his powers to Congress by massive one sided voting, and the introduction of the "new" all encompassing anti-Russian and Chinese sanctions.
I may be wrong about WHO is in control (add your own here...), but it seems fairly clear that the "Americans" (people) have been reduced to potential cannon-fodder.

My bet is that the Generals have taken complete charge.
Unfortunately this is not a uniquely US phenomena. Examples in France go back to 1875 with the "Anarchists" (actually FOR worker's rights at the beginning), The "commune de Paris, (US CHicago riots) where other normal people didn't want the "status-quo" of overlord-underling to continue. Usually the movement was treated as a proto-terrorist threat, all the MSM of the time condemning the leaders - and the whole thing finishing in a blood-bath with troops firing on dissenters- WWI was another "overlord organised restucturation" by the military). Not really OT - but I am just trying to show that the new situation has antecedents throughout history, and if I am correct the next stage will be to cross several frontiers (by NATO or US) "accidentally" to provoke a reaction. ie NK is another.

An Asymetric war will not do for the overlords (or generals?). The "Cyber" and other parts are to control dissidents in the EU and US. Both Russai and China will be aware of this as it is not the first time that either of them has been targeted by the US-UK.

I hope this post is not too OT!

Posted by: stonebird | Aug 23 2017 17:28 utc | 56

Adopting the NATO sanctions against NK must have fit the Chinese game plan. Chinese are not that stupid.

It should be considered that official sanctions naturally encourage, promote and serve the black markets - the Mafia, Cartels, etc. The underground economy will surely not obey sanctions. It should also be noted that certain official bodies will turn a blind eye and allow certain other bodies to engage in trade, etc.

Note how the CyA brings in drugs to Mena Arkansas, for one example. And the cya plane crash in Central America - loaded to the gills.

Posted by: fast freddy | Aug 23 2017 20:47 utc | 57

There is no naive China, Russia or whatever, all Nations understand that the US regime is not reliable nor trustworthy, the game most of the Nations continue to play is the game to buy time, any war with the US regime can be hard at the moment, but not in few years time. China knows is and will play the patience game til the end, Russia does the same, expect for few "no go" like Syria and the south China sea islands.

Posted by: Canthama | Aug 23 2017 21:31 utc | 58

After Irans experience with US "lifting of sanctions", should anyone ever trust USA at all?

Posted by: Alexander Grimsmo | Aug 23 2017 23:01 utc | 59

Canthama @56--

Nice to see you commenting here! Agreed that China and Russia understand but still seek dialog since that's the essence of "the patience game." But I wonder about those running Brazil; we don't discuss that much at SyrPers. Then there's India's Modi and the cadre of Hindu Neoliberals who seem to want to have their own game instead of teaming with China and Russia for a Win/Win partnership rather than the dying Zero-Sumism of the Neoliberalcons. And thanks again for all the effort you devote to SyrPers; it's quite remarkable!

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 23 2017 23:27 utc | 60

does anyone remember this?

Posted by: les7 | Aug 24 2017 0:58 utc | 61

I will second Karlof1's sentiment. I think a lot of people go to SyrPer for your comments/updates on the Syrian Conflict. You seem to have the best info around on that topic.

Posted by: ASD | Aug 24 2017 2:56 utc | 62

@50 karlof1

good article, as nearly always, from Escobar. thanks for that link
here are bits of it. and I noticed it too, as soon as China come out in a big way and said that it would defend/intervene in favor of North Korea if the US attacked first, the rhetorical level in the US when way down. This is a serious situation, and China is serious too...

Escobar is good, & so often reports and thinks outside the box meaning outside the Beltway myopic thinking...

....But this is extremely serious. A China-North Korea mutual defense treaty has been in effect since 1961. Under this framework, Beijing’s response to Trump’s “fire and fury” was a thing of beauty. If Pyongyang attacks, China is neutral. But if the US launches a McMaster-style pre-emptive attack, China intervenes – militarily – on behalf of Pyongyang.

As a clincher, Beijing even made it clear that its preference is for the current status quo to remain. Checkmate.

Hunger Games apart, the rhetorical war in the Korean Peninsula did decrease a substantial notch after China made its position clear....

.....The bulk of Washington’s “aid” to Kabul throughout these past 16 years has been on the bombing, not the economy, front. Government corruption is cataclysmic. Warlords rule. The Taliban thrive because they offer local protection. Much to Pashtun ire, most of the army is Tajik. Tajik politicians are mostly close to India while most Pashtun favor Pakistan.....

Posted by: michaelj72 | Aug 24 2017 3:12 utc | 63


"In 2003, the United States issued special guidelines to ensure ethnic balance in the ANA.[138] By late 2012, the ANA was composed of 43% Pashtuns; 32% Tajiks; 12% Hazaras; 8% Uzbeks and the rest by smaller ethnic groups of Afghanistan."

Posted by: @Madderhatter67 | Aug 24 2017 3:23 utc | 64

re: 37 .. get Tor Browswer use which I believe is free from tracking .

Google Facebook MSN, and Twitter are all highly suspect.. as is email that is secretly maintained by our largest communications giant. IMHO.
the biggest danger to democracy I see is not trade corruption between leaders of nation states, but on-going removal of available information from view of the common ordinary people (denial of access is one thing, but denial of awareness that certain information might exist is quite another).
At the moment the American Disabilities act is forcing colleges and educational institutions to remove educational materials from public access and denying the public the use of such educational materials.
When monopolies are allowed flourish, giants develops. Giants tend to covet the source of their monopolies. In the case of Information monopolies, removing available information and omitting it from search engine searches and public indexes, often start as a means to offer access in exchange for money, but soon evolves into using technology to control the entire information environment. Gating access to information and controlling one's information environment allows to engineer a persons culture, sense of self, and level of satisfaction (as in pacification) this is done much the same way a psychiatrist might do to a rat caged in a research lab. .

Posted by: fudmier | Aug 24 2017 9:27 utc | 65

fudmier | Aug 24, 2017 5:27:02 AM | 63
.. get Tor Browswer use which I believe is free from tracking .

Yeah, I checked it out (thanks for the input), but I have no social website accounts (no facebook, twitter, etc., none at all).
I do not make online purchases, ever.
And TOR is just too complicated for my minmal i-net usage.
Yandex has proved to be superior to any other browser I've used; and I've tried them all. And I've not had one spam with Yandex e-mail in the years I've been using it.
Oh, and duckduckgo? They do have a connection to google, so meh. Yandex doesn't and is excellent for searches; very fast, I might add...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Aug 24 2017 10:37 utc | 66

stonebird @ 56 -- Do you have ant links to the "unknown helicopter" incident? T/u.

Posted by: jawbone | Aug 24 2017 15:16 utc | 67

This article from my daily (in F) details that following the UN sanctions agreed to by China (under pressure from US or other calc), against NK, on the ground - seemingly the most vital are sea-food, steel, and coal from NK ..Various places are in utter chaos. (Recall, NK exports are for 90% to China.)

Hunchun is paralysed by protestors whose trade has been cut off. In Dandong ppl are up in arms as well (re. steel.)

The article hints at the fact that the sanctions after some considerable hysteria will be inoperative, all that is needed is ‘dearth’ of controls. Not stated: the UN, the US, the WTO, etc. are not going to go check the trucks at the border! Nor will they ever interest themselves in paperwork, etc.

Article makes the point that NK used to send workers ‘abroad’ to China, 20K in China now, they are sent in a joint venture scheme and have 50% of their salary docked by NK.

The sanctions will suposedly put a stop to this ‘export foreign worker scheme’ and will simply be replaced by China opening up factories in NK, which is a better, cheaper deal for them. Made in China will be the label.

I merely describe this article I have no idea what is going on in Hunchun. Anyone familiar with China could do better?

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 24 2017 17:03 utc | 68

@68 Some info from Hunchun re seafood. No doubt they will find a way round the sanctions.

Posted by: dh | Aug 24 2017 17:20 utc | 69

@James #44
Yep I understand what you are saying, but if you look at the ongoing conflict between the Chinese government and Hongkong wanna be brits there is a considerable cultural difference, one where the attitudes held by mainland Chinese people is likely to be more aligned with the 19th century settlers than the people of Hongkong many of whom self sorted by shifting Hongkong into imperialist favouring proto western capitalists.
I saw the same thing in Darwin then again in Aotearoa which also had a contingent of people whose forebears emigrated in the 19th century.
One of my friends in Darwin was a former Hongkong resident who had established a beautiful restaurant in his new home, he was most definately a pro Brit Hongkonger - a lovely bloke nevertheless, anyway he was quite bitter about the antithesis towards him he felt from the long established Ozchinese community, and the same is true of Taiwanese who aren't always warmly welcomed by either established families or former-mainlanders.
I cannot comment on the attitudes of the former Hongkong residents and Taiwanese, but it is essential to remember that language is a barrier - that all the people that whitefellas consider 'Chinese' do not speak the same language. Language is a significant indicator of cultural difference so although we may fool ourselves into imagining "they are all the same" that of course is far from the truth, but my original comments still stands that the beliefs of the original gold miners who were in the main rural peasants frequently press ganged into emigration, has cultural commonality with China's leadership. The long view is the view which is prioritised, family 'heads' share the attitudes of the Party leadership, that they are the temporary custodians of something which needs to endure long after their own period of responsibility.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Aug 25 2017 0:08 utc | 70

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