Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 06, 2019

China Considers Protecting Its Ships From ... U.S. Piracy

Will China join the U.S. led 'coalition' to escort ships through the Strait of Hormuz?

It sounds unlikely but this Reuters piece claims that China is thinking about it:

China might escort ships in Gulf under U.S. proposal: envoy:

China might escort Chinese commercial vessels in Gulf waters under a U.S. proposal for a maritime coalition to secure oil shipping lanes following attacks on tankers, its envoy to the United Arab Emirates said on Tuesday.

“If there happens to be a very unsafe situation we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels,” Ambassador Ni Jian told Reuters in Abu Dhabi.

“We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements,” China’s embassy later said in a text message.
President Donald Trump said in a June 24 tweet that China, Japan and other countries “should be protecting their own ships” in the Gulf region, where the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain.

It was not clear if Washington had made an official request to Beijing, which has had to tread softly in the Middle East due to its close energy ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

So far it is only Britain which will go with the U.S. plans. France, Germany and other 'allies' rejected U.S. request to join the mission.

Reuters seems to misunderstand what the Chinese ambassador really said.

The message is in two parts: "we will consider having our navy escort our commercial vessels" and "We are studying the U.S. proposal on Gulf escort arrangements." The Chinese embassy made no connection between the two statements.

It is not in China's interest to join the anti-Iran 'coalition' the U.S. wants to build. But it is in China's interest to protect its commercial ships. But it is not Iran that might endanger them. It is also in China's interest to study the plans the U.S. has. If only to counter them when necessary.

China continues to buy Iranian oil. The New York Times just made big, hostile weekend splash about it:

China and other countries are receiving oil shipments from a larger number of Iranian tankers than was previously known, defying sanctions imposed by the United States to choke off Tehran’s main source of income, an investigation by The New York Times has found.
The Trump administration is starting to intensify sanctions enforcement to try to end the exports to China, which continues to be the largest buyer of Iranian oil. On July 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against Zhuhai Zhenrong, a Chinese state-owned enterprise, and its top executive, Li Youmin, for “violating U.S. restrictions on Iran’s oil sector.”
“While I’m glad the administration sanctioned an initial round of Chinese actors, it must step up strong enforcement to deter Chinese and other foreign actors from violating U.S. sanctions against Iran,” said Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida. “The Iranian regime has blatantly shipped millions of barrels of oil to China.”

To really tighten the screws on China, the Trump administration would need to punish the People’s Bank of China or other Chinese banks that engage in transactions with the Central Bank of Iran, Mr. Nephew said. The United States could also penalize the energy giant Sinopec, which, like Zhuhai Zhenrong, also imports oil from Iran.

China is unlikely to stop buying preferentially priced oil from Iran at least as long as the current trade war with the U.S. continues to intensify. It is also unlikely to join the U.S. 'coalition'. But it will protect its commercial interest - i.e. its ships that haul goods between Iran and China.

China fears that the U.S. 'coalition' will confront its ships for breaking unilateral U.S. sanctions. The British did just that with the Iranian tanker they pirated at Gibraltar. There is also a historic precedence that demonstrates the necessity to protect Chinese ships against such U.S. schemes:

It is remembered much better in China than it is in the United States, that in 1993 the PRC was the most conspicuous victim of principled US piracy in the matter of the shipping vessel Yinhe.

The US Navy confronted the Yinhe and forced it to interrupt its voyage and remain at sea for 20 days, until China agreed to proceed to a Saudi port for its 628 containers to be searched for chemical weapons precursors allegedly destined for Iran. Fortunately for China—and to the considerable embarrassment of the United States—the containers were found to contain nothing other than paint.

The United States declined to apologize because it had acted in “good faith”, which is apparently another name for “bad intelligence” (though some redfaced US officials privately accused the PRC of conducting a “sting” solely for the purpose of wrongfooting the United States). For its part, the PRC accused the United States of acting like a “self-styled world cop” and the Yinhe became something of a symbol for US double standards whenever the subject of “freedom of navigation” comes up.

For additional interesting details of the Yinhe story see here.

China will not allow a repeat of such action. It knows that the U.S. is increasingly hostile towards it and that it has to prepare for a larger conflict. It assumes that the current trade war is just the start of a much larger military-industrial game plan. As described by Peter Lee:

Decoupling the US economy from China, squeezing China related expectations out of the market, and shifting to a war with China footing insulates the US military from economic and political pressures to pursue a more moderate course in East Asia.

I expect IndoPACOM to agitate for an aggressive program--via its allies in the Philippine military--to confront the PRC over its artificial islands, especially Mischief Reef, in the South China Sea.

These facilities are a major affront to IndoPACOM's manhood and must be removed. And that means war, or something close to it.

Remember, as IndoPACOM jefe Admiral Davidson put it: "China controls the South China Sea in all scenarios short of war."

He's not making these statements to signal American surrender, folks. IndoPACOM is China hawk HQ.
Between the global economic slowdown and the regional military buildup, I guesstimate the cost of taking on the PRC at a trillion dollars over the next decade.

But like they say, War with China: one trillion dollars. Postponing the loss of US hegemony in the Pacific: priceless.

This U.S. - China confrontation will be with us for at least the next decade. In such a scenario it makes no sense for China to make nice by joining a U.S. 'coalition' that is hostile to its Iranian friends. What it can, and should be ready to do, is to protect its ships from U.S. piracy.

Posted by b on August 6, 2019 at 19:09 UTC | Permalink

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"I have studied enough astronomy now to understand that our earth will end up like Mars in the future, meaning we will lose our water supply so making it a central part of our medium of exchange would sharpen our focus on humanity's future."
Posted by: psychohistorian | Aug 7 2019 14:42 utc | 73

You're confusing Astronomy with Cosmology.

Astronomy is an observational fact-based science.
Cosmology is speculative 'science' which proposes hypotheses, which don't have to make any sense at all, to explain unsolved mysteries observed by astronomers.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 8 2019 4:07 utc | 101

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 8 2019 4:07 utc | 102

"Astronomy is an observational fact-based science.
Cosmology is speculative 'science' which proposes hypotheses, which don't have to make any sense at all, to explain unsolved mysteries observed by astronomers."

False distinction. Both quoted sentences are incorrect. Also, cosmology precedes astronomy.

Posted by: Anacharsis | Aug 8 2019 9:22 utc | 102

this rubio is a real jackass.. " violating U.S. sanctions against Iran,” said Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida. “The Iranian regime has blatantly shipped millions of barrels of oil to China.”

what makes this jackass think us sanctions are international?? international lawlessness is what the usa does 24/7...
Posted by: james | Aug 6 2019 20:25 utc | 10

Short answer: groupthink. Within this groupthink, there is no "international law", but "international co
mmunity" and "rule based world order", both phrases used as synonyms for the current consensus in Washington, D.C. An example from "the other side of the isle:

"Russia has stabbed us in the back and each day that Mr. Snowden is allowed to roam free is another twist of the knife," Schumer said. "Others who have practiced civil disobedience in the past have stood up and faced the charges because they strongly believed in what they were doing. Mr. Snowden is a coward who has chosen to run."

The Senate's third-ranking Democrat has condemned Russia before. On a June 23 appearance on CNN's "State of the Union," Schumer accused Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin of helping Snowden avoid capture.

What's really infuriating is Prime Minister Putin of Russia aiding and abetting Snowden's escape," Schumer said.


This example is my favorite. On what basis should Russia help USA protecting its secrecy violations of its own, American laws?

In the first approximation, it has to be added that "international community" and "rule based order", which roughly means what Rubio and Schumer approve together, have supremacy over law, period, be it international or domestic. True enough. [Just should the vile reality behind those phrases.] But Schumer made it particularly funny. EVEN assuming that surrendering Snowden, duly shackled etc., Assange style, is a GOOD THING, how could Schumer expect Russia to do it, being the designated villain. Because it would get a cookie? Imagining USA doing a symmetric favor to Russia could make your brain explode, so do not try.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 8 2019 10:21 utc | 103

help USA protecting its secrecy violations of its own, American laws? <- it should be "the secrecy of violations of its ..."

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Aug 8 2019 10:24 utc | 104



Posted by: j | Aug 8 2019 12:15 utc | 105


This has been Mossad propaganda in advance of a false flag planned for London. Elijah Magnier's tweet alleging the same thing was planted disinfo too.

Posted by: j | Aug 8 2019 12:24 utc | 106


Precisely. There is nothing more important to the Anti-Chinese agenda than the Taiwanese upcoming election.

Posted by: j | Aug 8 2019 12:28 utc | 107

post #89 Arby--

That is not me

Posted by: arby | Aug 8 2019 13:54 utc | 108

@104 piotr... thanks.. group think is a good way to contextualize it.. it doesn't work on me! i get a kick out of your examples!

Posted by: james | Aug 8 2019 14:53 utc | 109

day and night | Aug 7 2019 12:57 utc | 69

PLA Strategist: The U.S. Uses Its Dollar to Dominate the World

Fascinating! & so clear! Thanks very much.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 8 2019 16:43 utc | 110

Passer by | Aug 8 2019 1:43 utc | 100

other NWO agendas at work that will call upon other means, such as disease,to reset the game.
Posted by: frances | Aug 8 2019 1:19 utc | 99
Yes, it is good to be careful, nothing is set in stone. I think, from these people, anything could be expected. I'm hearing that the US, for example, is interested in studying russian genetic material. So one should never underestimate their opponents or how desperate in their actions they could become.

I think Ebola, Lyme disease, AIDS and African Swine Fever are all US bioweapons, and they have used other things as well.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Aug 8 2019 17:09 utc | 111


As I suffer extreme reaction to even modest exposure to dung-encrusted thinking, I would ask you talk about something about which you have genuine knowledge, should such a topic exist.

Posted by: Dung Allergy | Aug 9 2019 5:33 utc | 112

One of the problems with not "being with the consensus" is that a significant number of these people are ideological as opposed to reasonable or scientific in their basis for opposition.
Here is what the actual satellite temperature anomaly is:
The linear trend extending back to 1979 - the start of the modern satellite temperature record - is still 0.13 degrees C per decade. This means 1 degree C by 2100.
Of course, the IPCC's 30-40 global climate models (GCMs) grouped together shows an accelerating trend - which is where the larger numbers come from, but the problem is that 95% of these models have been wrong during the present period where data can be compared with the model's output:
So, should these models be trusted?
Personally, I say no. I have extensive experience in computer modeling - I used to test SPICE models for new processes vs. reality. Every single generation of semiconductor processes - the initial models were significantly off. There was always some new effect that would emerge as a major factor as process geometries scaled down. A model is nothing more than the realization of its programmer's biases and gaps in knowledge. Testing is what detects these biases and/or gaps.
The GCMs are failing in replicating even near term trends, much less actual numerical accuracy.
To base policies on far future predictions by these models is lunacy.
Having said that, I support research on alternative energy. But the rush to implement expensive and half-baked alternative energy solutions is equally crazy.

Posted by: c1ue | Aug 9 2019 14:19 utc | 113

Also, what better way to do SIGINT of US Navy ships than close up in the crowded Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz? China would love to be cheek-to-jowl with the US Fleet - sort of like when their sub surfaced in the middle of the US Pacific Fleet on maneuvers. LOL

Also, if China is present when some "Iranian sabotage" takes place, they might be able to finger who really did it and blow the whistle on Israel or the CIA or their proxies.

If nothing else, the presence of the Chinese Navy would make the US hesitate about starting a war with Iran. I think Russia should offer to do the same and send its Med Fleet into the Persian Gulf (except for what they need to stay to support Syria.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Aug 11 2019 22:00 utc | 114

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