Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
October 07, 2021

How The 'China is a Threat' Fake News Cycle Works

Here is a nice example how the U.S. keeps certain issues in the news and thereby propagandizes its people against its perceived enemies.

On Friday several news agencies and outlets falsely claimed that Chinese airplanes had 'intruded Taiwan's airspace'. In fact the planes had crossed into an imaginative air 'identification zone' hundreds of miles from Taiwan.

As the fake news died down someone in the White House, Pentagon or Congress thought about how to revive the theme to strengthen anti-Chinese sentiment.

"A: Is there something that is not secret and that we can hand to some scribe that allows for another 'China threat' news cycle?"

"B: Hmm. How about our troops in Taiwan?"

"A: Good idea. That will do."

So A, B and maybe also C called up a Wall Street Journal scribe and proceeded. Here is the result:

WSJ News Exclusive - U.S. Troops Have Been Deployed in Taiwan for at Least a Year
Small presence of Americans secretly training local forces marks concern over China’s yearslong military buildup and recent moves

WASHINGTON—A U.S. special-operations unit and a contingent of Marines have been secretly operating in Taiwan to train military forces there, U.S. officials said, part of efforts to shore up the island’s defenses as concern regarding potential Chinese aggression mounts.

About two dozen members of U.S. special-operations and support troops are conducting training for small units of Taiwan’s ground forces, the officials said. The U.S. Marines are working with local maritime forces on small-boat training. The American forces have been operating in Taiwan for at least a year, the officials said.

The U.S. special-operations deployment is a sign of concern within the Pentagon over Taiwan’s tactical capabilities in light of Beijing’s yearslong military buildup and recent threatening moves against the island.

Taiwan and U.S. officials have expressed alarm over nearly 150 flights near Taiwan in the past week by Chinese military aircraft. The Chinese aircraft have included ...

There follow in total 1200 words of general 'China is a threat' sentiment.

There is one problem though. The deployment of some troops, including special forces, in Taiwan is neither a secret nor new nor newsworthy.

Taiwan regularly buys U.S. weapon systems. These typically come with training. The U.S. has therefore had for years some dozens of troops in Taiwan. These are usually trainers for the specific weapon systems Taiwan purchases from the U.S. There are also a number of Department of Defense civil personnel in Taiwan also related to weapon sales.

Since 2017 the Pentagon's Department Defense Manpower Data Center (DMDC) provides quarterly spreadsheets which list all countries where DOD personnel, active, reserve or civilian, are permanently on duty.


As of June 30 2021 there were 30 active troops in Taiwan on permanent duty: 0 Army, 2 Navy, 23 Marines and 5 Airforce. There were also 15 civilian DoD employees in Taiwan.

The numbers and composition of the permanently deployed troops fluctuate over time. At the end of last year there were 20 active duty troops and 15 civilians there, one more than half a year earlier. In mid 2019 there were 8 troops and 16 civilians. Numbers going back to 2008 are available. Each file I checked lists a few U.S. troops in Taiwan. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

A number of U.S. Marines are also guarding the American Institute in Taiwan which is the de facto U.S. Embassy on the island. The Marines also guard other U.S. embassies. But in Taiwan they are not 'active' troops listed in the DMDC database:

The American Institute is a nonprofit organization composed of former U.S. government officials who “retire” or take leave to work there — processing visas and handling other consular services — so as not to upset relations.

The special forces are on a temporary deployment in Taiwan and are thus also not listed in the DMDC database. But their current deployment is no secret either. It was announced in June by Taiwan's defense minister:

Taiwan News reported that the Taiwanese defense minister said “multiple U.S. special forces units” will arrive in the country to train with their Taiwanese counterparts following the Han Kuang 37 military exercise.

Han Kuang 37 is Taiwan’s largest annual military exercise that simulates a full-scale enemy invasion in a worst-case scenario lasting eight days, Newsweek reported. The goal is to repel a Chinese invasion for a full week, the report said.

The Taiwanese defense ministry also said Taiwan-U.S. military training and exchanges have been “frequent,” due to China’s military threat against Taiwan.

This years Han Kuang exercise was delayed but took place last month. The U.S. special force deployment was announced to come after that exercise which would be about now.

When Taiwan's defense minister says that Taiwan-U.S. military training and exchanges have been "frequent" and not secret one wonders why the WSJ claims that their  current deployment "is a sign of concern within the Pentagon".

The WSJ also writes:

Asian media reports last year suggesting a possible U.S. Marine deployment in Taiwan were never confirmed by U.S. officials. The presence of U.S. special operations forces hasn’t been previously reported.

While the 'presence' of U.S. special force many not have been 'previously reported' their upcoming deployment was loudly announced months ago. To claim that these are 'secret' deployments as the WSJ piece does is simply nonsense.

But that will not matter. Within the next 24 hours the WSJ 'exclusive' piece will have been picked up by dozens of other outlets and agencies all of which will use it to rehash the previous anti-China claims.

Some 'officials' make some (false) claims. Some scribe writes those down in a dramatic tone. Other scribes then copy and rewrite the 'exclusive' without ever checking its validity.

It is how the news cycle works.

Posted by b on October 7, 2021 at 16:51 UTC | Permalink

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While not new, US troops in Taiwan is nevertheless a "red line" for China, and will remove any hesitation to accelerate military buildout by PRC. Which is probably the one realistic goal of China hawks -- to lock in a hard conflict before anyone has a chance to cool things down.

Considering precedents set by Israel in the way they take care of what they consider threats to their regional security, the trainers and contractors here are being very brave, IMO.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 7 2021 17:10 utc | 1

For what purpose was this article written? A lame attempt to try and play off a well-known, minuscule US semi-military presence in Taiwan as some sort of recent forthright escalation in defense of the island? Is this their equivalent of a journalistic pep rally, to show how the US is totally showing China who’s boss?

Call me back when that presence is on the order of the USFK, and actually operating formally in its own capacity and not as training staff for marked up hand-me-down weapons. These lame attempts at spiritual victories are unbecoming even of Ah Q himself.

Posted by: J D | Oct 7 2021 17:25 utc | 2

Wow, JD! Way to miss the point - big-time!

Posted by: Gribble | Oct 7 2021 17:49 utc | 3

Well, the USA should worry about friendly fire more than Chinese counter-propaganda. This just came out:

Ex-Trump speechwriter warns Xi that US will shed blood to ‘ensure Rainbow Flag of Diversity’ flies over Taiwan

“Make no mistake Xi, Americans are prepared to spend whatever blood and treasure it takes to ensure that the Rainbow Flag of Diversity, and not the Chinese flag, will fly over Taiwan,” Beattie declared, adding that the “Globalist American Empire” would do so under the guise of “freedom.”

Like I said before: the USA has many domestic problems to solve before even beginning to think about annihilating China in a major, glorious world war.

Posted by: vk | Oct 7 2021 17:54 utc | 4

There was zero reaction by the CPC's English language mouthpieces to this propaganda. Indeed, today's Global Times editorial says nothing about it but directly deals with the situation outlined in Tom Fowdy's article I linked to and commented upon yesterday, which is reflected in the following paragraph:

"However, the US side has recently talked less about 'confrontation' along with competition and cooperation. It has been repeatedly emphasizing that it does not want to see a 'new Cold War.' It wants to prevent competition from escalating into confrontation. US Trade Representative Katherine Tai also said that the US does not pursue decoupling, but is willing to a 'recoupling' on a new basis. In addition, it is also obvious that the US side's attitude toward China has been adjusted. Examples include the release of Meng Wanzhou and Washington getting ready to restart the China-US economic and trade consultations and other actions and positive statements."

The editorial's conclusion clearly shows China's determination to pursue its current path in which it hopes the Outlaw US Empire will change its direction:

"We hope to see China-US relations find constructive changes. However, there are still many obstacles for the two sides to move closer in terms of their perceptions and expectations toward each other. The US has a deep hegemonic mindset, and it won't engage in reflection unless it fails. China must, by doing its own things well, make the US realize that ultimately it is impossible to contain China's development. By sticking to this approach and direction, US' China policy will gradually adapt to reality. The US will [finally] seek maximum interests by exploring coexistence and cooperation with China." [My Emphasis]

As b showed quite well, the presence of a miniscule number of training forces was never enough to trigger China's Red Line. What the WSJ article does show is the division within the Establishment over the direction of China Policy. As I've mentioned many times now, Biden cannot pursue his BBB policy ploy while trying to decouple from that efforts major supplier; just as Trump's anti-China strategy made no sense while promoting MAGA.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 7 2021 18:01 utc | 5

Here's a question!
There's a very pronounced uptick in anti Chinese rethoric for some time.
There's been an understanding since Nixon about the status of Taiwan wrt Mainland China.
You have had the wholesale movement of US and Western industry to China for purely profits and market's.
And the expectations that China would become some kind of democracy.
China as to be expected had very different ideas on it's progression, and the pathway that would follow.
So to the point!
A militarily and economically powerful China tells the US to get out of the way and don't think of interfering with respect to Taiwan.
What then?
Who's going to blink first?
And who's going to support the main protagonists?
That's a tipping point which is approaching very quickly.
Resource accumulation, technology acquisition, the technical ability to manufacture high tech goods or anything for that matter.
The logistics to move same easily.
These are the chip's on the table.
So how are things going to fall?
Who's going to walk away to the periphery?
Europe is an inefectual bit player to the above.
And the natural gas shortages and the green dogmatics of renewable energy without a coherent strategy prove that.
That's the state of play to my thinking.

Posted by: JPC | Oct 7 2021 18:05 utc | 6

@ptb you are a funny guy... so you actually believe this propaganda for braindead?

Posted by: hes | Oct 7 2021 18:11 utc | 7

Of course no discussion in the West that a significant plurality and at times majority of the ROC population does not want to be independent. They may want to be Chinese on different terms than what PRC is currently offering (though certainly enough of them live in PRC for the substantially better job opportunities), but have no desire for Taiwanese independence, and certainly not enough to defend it at the cost of a trade war nevermind nuclear annihilation.

I always suspected that other than a handful of NED cultivated pro-independence politicos and some hard right FLG/evangelicals, the rest of Taiwan would happily fold peaceably back into China, once the US can no longer afford to project power half way around the world. The senior RoC military leadership is not as stupid as the political leadership yet, I think they will make the right call when the time comes.

Posted by: Astrid | Oct 7 2021 18:13 utc | 8

it is certainly much easier to believe in the US that "China did it," that China is to blame.

there's nothing to do about anything except loosen the waistband on your stretch pants if everything is China's fault.

cuz this time, unlike last time and the time before that and every other time in recorded history, this time the USG is telling the truth about China. "I wanna believe", belches a nation of Fox Mulders.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 7 2021 18:22 utc | 9

rjb1.5 @9--

Of course, those pants you're loosening were made in China!

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 7 2021 18:31 utc | 10

how does this nation of brain dead lardasses think it could possibly defeat China, except by nuking it? the US can't even field an army, whether a gay woke transgender army of feminist baby savers or a more Spartan and manly version of the same thing.

what Westerners esp USonians need to grasp is that the coronavirus is the truth of their society. and their leaders are more than ready to let the bodies pile up. that's what should scare the shit of people in the US.

and hey America. Taiwan is on the other side of the planet. we aren't having this Asiatic drum beaten into our heads nonstop by Sauron's minions b/c we are the nice little hobbits from the Shire.

Posted by: rjb1.5 | Oct 7 2021 18:32 utc | 11

I think I know why Americans are always so Gung-Ho about attacking others.
Two huge oceans protect them from retaliations by their enemies.
Their superiority in 'over the horizon' killing machines makes them feel invincible and this message is hammered to them.
They feel safe as the machines and wearable technology helps fight wars for them.
But when the battle is against the most ferocious creature fighting for his home, all fails.
The only way to achieve victory against people fighting for home and hearth is "boots on the Ground" and this is where America fails spectacularly.

Posted by: Rev. Spooner | Oct 7 2021 18:35 utc | 12

@7 hes

Which part do you disagree with?

China has been consistent that US troops on the island are going to be discouraged, and it would be strange to believe China would accept there being things the US and allies allowed to do, which they are not. It's pretty much the central theme -- of China being respected as a country of equal status. Equally strange to believe US has a way of stopping any small scale moves without massive escalation. The present day world provides models of this working.

I don't see how the news story being a recycled one changes that.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 7 2021 18:55 utc | 13

As a public service and for the sake of brevity, the "news" coverage of the Free Press (especially the globally dominant Anglo-American mouthpieces) can be usefully simplified to the following propaganda memes in terms of foreign affairs:

Russia, Russia, Russia!

China, China, China!

Iran, Iran, Iran!

And before that:

Syria, Syria, Syria!

Iraqi WMDS, Iraqi WMDs, Iraqi WMDs!

And before that:

Al-CIAda, Al-CIAda, ISIS!

In other words:

Booga. Booga. Booga. Rinse and repeat.

Orwellian Two Minutes of Hate/Fear Campaigns are the lifeblood of the vaunted Free Press.

What's really amazing (and by "amazing," I mean in a Goebbelsian Alice-in-Wonderland kind of way) is how most of the sheeple in the Free World™ refuse to see the underlying motivation behind these Two Minutes of Hate campaigns and will happily parrot them, every damn time.

Posted by: ak74 | Oct 7 2021 18:57 utc | 14

Posted by: Rev. Spooner | Oct 7 2021 18:35 utc | 12

"I think I know why Americans are always so Gung-Ho about attacking others."

More accurate to observe it's the creatures within the Beltway that are gung- ho.
Americans are expected to do the dying along with the others.

Posted by: JPC | Oct 7 2021 18:58 utc | 15

Rev. Spooner @12--

Sure, the oceans keep foreign forces at arms length, but the real threat to the lives of those residing within the Outlaw US Empire aside from viruses is the epidemic of gun violence, which isn't just mass shootings and police murders. Given the recent spike in homicides, the current rate of death is possibly as high as 20 per 100,000. No other nation comes anywhere close. Indeed, this epidemic is seen by many nations as a series of gross human rights violations that must be brought under control.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 7 2021 19:09 utc | 16

China is doing its best to cooperate with its own bad publicity. Every time it does a military overflight of Taiwan, it's not doing itself a favor. These Chinese deserve a certain amount of blame for the bad impression they give everyone else.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 7 2021 19:23 utc | 17

China is doing its best to cooperate with its own bad publicity. Every time it does a military overflight of Taiwan, it's not doing itself a favor. These Chinese deserve a certain amount of blame for the bad impression they give everyone else.

Posted by: Anon | Oct 7 2021 19:23 utc | 18

re: concern within the Pentagon over Taiwan’s tactical capabilities

If there is a Pentagon concern over Taiwan’s tactical capabilities it is well founded. The ROC army is merely a cadre of professional soldiers, dependent upon the callup of conscripts when the army is needed. The conscripts' four months of military service in Taiwan have been divided into five weeks of basic training and 11 weeks of specialized training at a military branch training which is usually near where recruits live. Recently that has been changed so that the eleven weeks are in a tactical unit "familiarizing themselves with combat operations and field conditions."

The Taiwan government's lackadaisical attitude is due to several factors, including the belief that the US will save their bacon.

From an article in today's SCMP: Taiwan must fight stigma of military service if it’s to fend off invasion - Many young people on the island lack enthusiasm for military service - Taiwan’s active-duty military has shrunk to 165,000 from 275,000 three years ago . .here

And from an article in today's TaiwanTimes: COMBAT READY? Retired air force lieutenant general Chang Yen-ting said the Ministry of National Defense would be derelict in its duties not to extend Taiwan’s military service. . .The four months are only one-fifth as long as the mandatory service required of South Koreans, and yet Taiwan is faced with a greater danger than South Korea. . .The four months of training teach nothing of substance, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Wu Sz-huai said, adding that the gaps between refresher training are too long and people forget almost everything. . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 7 2021 19:32 utc | 19

@karlof1 #16

Is there really any such epidemic in rich areas? As long as the spike in shootings is confined to places like inner-city Chicago and St. Louis, I doubt it does much to change attitudes other than provide convenient talking points to right-wing pundits about "Democrat-run" cities.

Posted by: Billb | Oct 7 2021 19:34 utc | 20

@anon multiple poster: please provide evidence that any Chinese military aircraft flew over Taiwan as opposed to being in Chinese airspace claimed by Taiwan. Never mind that as Taiwan is China, they're free to fly their damn planes over Taiwan all they want. And how is China manufacturing bad publicity? These headlines are in American and British papers, so isn't it the Empire creating bad publicity over Chinese aircraft flying in Chinese airspace?

@vk #4 Is that satire?? I mean I know Beattie is a total nutcase, but I didn't think he was on the woke wagon nutcase train.

Posted by: Krungle | Oct 7 2021 19:40 utc | 22

@ Anon 17 & 18
Every time [China] does a military overflight of Taiwan, it's not doing itself a favor.

>They are not overflights of Taiwan, they are over international waters near Taiwan.
>Taiwan is internationally recognized as a province of China.
>The reaction of ROC to send up fighters every time this happens is putting a huge burden on the small ROC air force, its planes and its people.
>China's use of force to indicate its displeasure over the leadership in Taiwan, its declaring independence, in violation of agreements, is entirely justified.
>China is correct in letting the US and the western world that it is no longer a patsy, given the West's occupation of China not long ago.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 7 2021 19:42 utc | 23

ptb @1 says:

"... the trainers and contractors here [Taiwan] are being very brave, IMO."

No, they are like the mercenary: foolish, unprincipled and opportunistic.

Posted by: d dan | Oct 7 2021 20:25 utc | 24

@Krungle #22

It's not even "Taiwan airspace", it's the ADIZ (Air Defense Identification Zone) which is an area arbitrarily delineated where Taipei (in theory) demands identification from aircraft. It extends over part of several provinces of mainland China, with a rather large population, where obviously it has no effect.

To quote Wikipedia:

The concept of an ADIZ is not defined in any international treaty and is not regulated by any international body.

Airspace is 12 nautical miles from the shore. The PRC aircraft flew across a corner of the ADIZ well away from both the island of Taiwan and the 12nm airspace boundary. Of course China would insist that Taiwan is a province of China and it is all their airspace and ROC Taiwan would insist that all of China (plus Mongolia and some other claims) is their airspace.

Posted by: Billb | Oct 7 2021 20:27 utc | 25

There are major differences between the US and China. These include how to treat issues. The US expects China to cooperate on climate change, for example, and China insists on a better US-China climate first. The US won’t accept China “linking bilateral issues with vital transnational challenges.”
...from Politico:
“So, the U.S. says to China, ‘We’re going to stick to our principles and we’re not going to concede on issues, such as Taiwan, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet’ and China says, ‘Well, if you don’t change your hostile attitude, we’re not going to cooperate with you.’” . . .here
...and from the same article, on "the two lists"
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Sept. 28. “We hope the US can attach high importance and take concrete actions to empty the two lists.”

...from Xinhua, Jul 26
China puts forward two lists during talks with visiting U.S. deputy secretary of state
Basically the lists are details on--
1. U.S. wrongdoings that must stop
2. anti-Chinese behavior must stop . .here

Basically, the US enjoys talking down to other countries and then expecting these countries to cooperate. Those countries don't like it.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 7 2021 20:30 utc | 26

shadow magic or smoke and mirrors...intended to boost morale both in the US and Taiwan at a time when the US feels pressured and forced to give in...just a little.

Posted by: nme | Oct 7 2021 20:36 utc | 27

Also, I know it's been pointed out before, but the numbers of US staff publicized shouldn't be taken at anything like face value. Neither should the description of their work.

"Secret training" in situations like this is typically better done at a third party location. Equally likely, the US trainers/techs are there to tend to some piece of equipment they don't want the Taiwanese coming too close to, just in case they might have Chinese sympathies.

Maybe some genius decided that they could do double duty as human shields while they're there, and that might've motivated the publicity. I don't know. In any case, I'd expect a response before long.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 7 2021 20:41 utc | 28

Billb @20--

The stats I accessed for my comment did break down the numbers by state, but most news of such events never sees the light of day, aside from the big event shootings at schools or shopping malls. Then there're odd events like the Las Vegas mass shootings that don't add-up and which news coverage suddenly disappears suspiciously--that was deeply discussed here at the time. Some think the Columbine School event started it all, but that's not true either--and that school's in an upscale Denver exurb. Unfortunately, the ones most affected are almost always bypassed by media after the initial "sensation." And the number of PTSD cases the epidemic generates further aggravates the dire overall social deterioration seen nationally that contributes to the rise in political angst.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 7 2021 20:46 utc | 29

Put your money where your mouth is. If it is just propaganda, then we don't need military bases in Korea, Japan, or otherwise. We don't need to give AUKUS nuclear subs for that matter either.

Drawdown: Improving U.S. and Global Security Through Military Base Closures Abroad

Posted by: Anon | Oct 7 2021 21:09 utc | 30

Each of these "frozen conflicts" costs the US taxpayer money, year after year.

Posted by: Passerby | Oct 7 2021 21:10 utc | 31

Matt Drudge, ever the neocon (or whatever neocon interns he has running his site for him these days), is perhaps the biggest offender on this type of fake news. Right now if you go to his site, just the main page ( you'll see *HUGE* red emblazoned text about "Marines in China!" and a giant picture of what looks like some sort of seafaring battalion of US troooooops getting ready to storm some shore or the other. He's worse than CNN, WaPo, WSJ or the NYT (of course he often links to those sources).

Interestingly, on actual left-leaning sites, there's nothing to be seen on the non-topic, but instead moooooore stories about Trump (they just can't stop themselves), the abortion bills and COVID related stuff.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Oct 7 2021 21:41 utc | 32

Somewhat on-topic (the China threat fake news cycle), has a good piece from the other day.

Of note, the WSJ is - once again - taking the lead in sensationalizing non-stories designed to smear the Chinese government.

The Wall Street Journal (9/8/21) propagated perhaps the most sensationalist innuendo:
A network of fake social-media accounts linked to the Chinese government has attempted to draw Americans out to real-world protests against anti-Asian-American racism and popular but unsubstantiated allegations that China engineered the virus that caused the Covid-19 pandemic, according to US security firms.

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Oct 7 2021 21:45 utc | 33

re have a structure that defines a mind control technique used by those who have monopoly power over the media (PIGOs private imperial global oligarch).

<==inversion. <=protected space or interest< infringement <=propaganda <= distribution to target audience.

inversion <=here imperialism is inverted.
protected space or interest <= here it is Taiwan
infringement <=claim protected interest violated
propaganda <=the claim and facts which support the claim are produced into propaganda (a report).
distribution <= a headline and short summary about the report is made known to the target audience but the report and even the facts claimed to be in the report often are not made easily available to the audience.

So a protected situation is generated. A claim of infringement is made the subject of a warning engineered into a report (or a news cast) that everyone should be fearful or concerned that inverted imperialist, have actually invaded a space, said to be protected. The propaganda focus seems to be on generating a protected space (from real or make believe facts), and converting the claim that a nation state of the other has somehow invaded that space?

Once again all of this so called fear mongering and threats are activities of private parties.. I don't see official government involved.

Posted by: snake | Oct 7 2021 22:09 utc | 34

Thanks b and others, its good to hear that the PLA will have a sudden rush of well trained army and navy forces to join their ranks on arrival. Likely all bearing gifts to celebrate their liberation from the Taiwan KMT chaebols.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 7 2021 22:11 utc | 35

China is not a threat to the elites of the USA. I fully expect "blue helmets" of the PLA to be deployed stateside one day to counter "white supremacists". The USA has countenanced an invasion of red Chinese anchor babies, grad student technology thieves, and "green card sales" for foreign "investors" who pony up a paltry 500k of borrowed money for absolute bullshit.
The USA has been mortgaged to the hilt by its putative owners, who don't really care that the American public will be sucking Han cock for beer money in the very near future.

Posted by: Adriatic Hillbilly | Oct 7 2021 22:39 utc | 36

good coverage and reporting b.. thank you.. i did see this wsj blurb in the open thread that someone had posted earlier, but didn't comment... i agree with your analysis... recycling the same hate " fill in the blanks'' shit ad nausea is all nyt, wapo and wsj are good for at this point...

@ Gribble | Oct 7 2021 17:49 utc | 3 / ak74 | Oct 7 2021 18:57 utc | 14 / Billb | Oct 7 2021 20:27 utc | 25 / Passerby | Oct 7 2021 21:10 utc | 31

thanks for your posts... i appreciate it...

on a personal note, i received some oolong tea from my friend in taiwan yesterday... they make great oolong tea! it helps to have a friend who is into tea who lives in taiwan and is willing to send it to me personally..

Posted by: james | Oct 7 2021 22:40 utc | 37

I agree with ak74 @14 above: It is just another propaganda campaign by the MSM. They have to constantly sound alarms to deflect attention from themselves and the establishment they represent.

I think war between the US and China is unlikely to occur. After all, forty-four years of Cold War (1947-1991) that the US waged against the Soviet Union produced no shooting war there. The main reason perhaps is the existence of nuclear weapons; once the USSR had the bomb in 1949, it could not be safely attacked, even though it was not really in a position to retaliate against the the US until after 1960. Likewise, despite the hegemony of all the wicked neocon warmongers howling for blood, even North Korea has remained immune after gaining even a paltry amount of nuclear weapons. While China may not have a huge nuclear arsenal, it is possible that it has enough to end civilization as we know it, because the exact consequences of a general nuclear exchange are incalculable. The US chickenhawks always prefer to attack the defenseless: Grenada, Panama, Nicaragua, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia. When the Chinese forced the American plane down at Hainan Island in 2001, the Chinese public didn't want their government even to give back the crew, and the US was unable to use military force in any way and even had to make nice to China to get the plane back cut up into pieces after having been thoroughly analyzed.

Also, were the US to attack China, or even try to blockade it, the Chinese could probably cause the collapse of the dollar, and at the very least the world economy, already shaky owing to various reasons examined on MOA, would be severely threatened with a further meltdown. The US can ill afford any of that. And why anyway should it punish China, which has been a great enabler of US imperialist adventurism through its investment in US debt? The US is in a very weak position here. Its supposed "allies" of Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, etc., also will be very unenthusiastic about heating up any violent confrontation with China.

On the other hand, for its part, China does not want a clash either. Taiwan is part of China and should reunite with the rest of the Chinese, true, and China can offer it some reasonable terms of especially economic autonomy on the model of Hong Kong. The US wants to delay or prevent this from happening, but China can afford to wait. Militarily, China has been rather unaggressive in the modern era for so large a state, all of its hot conflicts being confined to border areas. And the struggle is mainly economic anyway.

The only area of danger is human stupidity, of which there is always unfortunately a lot. The premier example of that, I would say, is the First World War, with the Second World War as a close runner up. In the case of the First, everybody was stupid, except those who completely stayed out, such as Spain, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. Russia, Austria-Hungary, Serbia, Germany, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire, France, and Britain all got their compounded and well-deserved comeuppance. No martial glory there. While the US temporarily came out better, perhaps, especially by staying out for most of it, its loathsome President Wilson, an egotistical, racist, humorless, power-hungry autocrat, the worst president in US history, did not.

So one hopes that the ruling elites will see that their own longer survival depends on a studied avoidance of such military confrontations.

Posted by: Cabe | Oct 7 2021 23:02 utc | 38

Training the Taiwanese Chinese to resist against a civil war ?

Worked well in Afghanistan recently didn’t it?

Are these islander idiots enough to believe the round eyes from ten thousand miles away are going to boots on the ground? Or are they just going to be happy to be the sacrifice the Dominate Empire is willing to make of them?

The news cycle and narrative management is the main point excellently made here by b.

Posted by: D.G. | Oct 7 2021 23:03 utc | 39

Trending on Twitter now. Don't worry, the 'fact checkers' (Who are nowhere to be found when the neocons launch another lie which serious war and peace implications) have discovered that the supposed account of the Kabul University chancellor was fake.

I wonder if the same fact checkers will ask why media organistions seem so willing to 'fall' for certain kinds of fake news...

Posted by: Altai | Oct 7 2021 23:55 utc | 40

@Posted by: Adriatic Hillbilly | Oct 7 2021 22:39 utc | 36

Off your meds perhaps?, start with the anti-psychotics that should help bring down those delusions - any of these would be a good start: chlorpromazine (Thorazine®), fluphenazine (Prolixin®), haloperidol (Haldol®), thiothixene (Navane®), trifluoperazine (Stelazine®), perphenazine (Trilafon®) and thioridazine (Mellaril®).

Then again, perhaps you are just an underpaid propagandist, terms like "anchor babies", "technology thieves" (exactly how did Huawei steal 5G when the US didn't have it?) and "green card sales" certainly look like they have been taken off a generic look up list.

Whichever it is, please leave this community in peace. I wish you sanity and a good conscience my friend.

If your piece was meant as some form of sarcastic joke then please use the /sarc in future.

Posted by: Roger | Oct 7 2021 23:58 utc | 41

@ many

I think there's a misunderstanding here. There won't be a war for Taiwan. Xi and Biden have already talked recently, and Biden backed off. The USA reiterated its official support for the One China Policy and the official recognition of the PRC as the true China.

There won't be American soldiers fighting for Taiwan, let alone a WW on Taiwan. That's already out of the cards.

Posted by: vk | Oct 8 2021 0:01 utc | 42

Posted by: vk | Oct 8 2021 0:01 utc | 42

The problem is that's just not how ZOG works. In example it is Obama administration that engage Russia in diplomatic mission more than any other administration yet it is under their administration that the policy to bring up Nazi sympathisers government in Kiev and breaking up Syria.

If any war about Taiwan going to happen it'll be provoked by Taiwanese collaborators themselves which they'll obscure in the media when they'll 'intervene' as 3rd party.

That they dared to attack Syria directly even under Russian military personnel presences frankly doesn't give me confidence they would have enough brains to think that their adversaries also hold the options to escalate if they think it's necessary and as it is their citizens already display that kinds of wishful mindset.

Posted by: Lucci | Oct 8 2021 0:15 utc | 43

Posted by: Adriatic Hillbilly | Oct 7 2021 22:39 utc | 36

I almost wish you were joking, but the American public has been sucking Hancock for a long time now. As in "suck my yacht" as John Hancock, one of the wealthiest men of his time, might have said to John Q. Public if yachts were a thing back then. Of course for those of us plebes it's worsened and improved and then worsened again in cycles since the founding of this country. At least China looks out for its regular folk and still manufactures things.

Re: technology theft - That's oversimplifying something that has happened between businesses and countries forever. But I bet you wouldn't call the USSA's use of Nazi technology stolen, right?

Posted by: Tom_Q_Collins | Oct 8 2021 0:15 utc | 44

Curious as to what the local idiom is in other countries around the world, but where I come from the most accurate phrase to describe the purpose behind this WSJ "exclusive" would be "shit stirring".

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Oct 8 2021 1:14 utc | 45

@44 Tom_Q_Collins | Oct 8 2021 0:15 utc

As far back as the late 1990's the internet forums of the time were noting that the Germans were meeting and discussing new inventions and innovations while walking in the public parks. There seemed to be a trend where new US patents where suddenly turning up about six months after some initial breakthrough was discussed within built environments. Just saying.

Posted by: imo | Oct 8 2021 1:15 utc | 46

Dim sim @ 21:

Good catch, thanks for that. Otherwise I am not surprised that the scumbag Tony Abbott has popped up in Taiwan.

The bastard nearly committed Australian troops to fight in eastern Ukraine on the neo-Nazi side after the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 crash near Slavyansk in mid-2014. The usually gung-ho Oz defence establishment demurred when some of their number who were actually equipped with double-digit IQ points realised their soldiers wouldn't be able to tell Russian and Ukrainian fighters apart.

Abbott was cosy with the post-Maidan leadership in Kiev and with the then President Petro Poroshenko as one of Porky Pig's advisors. Even back in Australia when he was supposed to be available in Canberra or to his Manly-Warringah electorate, he was trying to ingratiate himself with the Ukrainian diaspora community.

Given the long and unlovely associations between Taiwan and Ukraine going back to the life and times of Yaroslav Stetsko (one-time second-in-command to Stepan Bandera of the Organisation of Ukrainian Nationalists), no wonder Abbott was drawn to Taiwan: no doubt someone in his circle of new friends pointed him in that direction.

Posted by: Jen | Oct 8 2021 1:32 utc | 47

ak74 @ 14 said;

"What's really amazing (and by "amazing," I mean in a Goebbelsian Alice-in-Wonderland kind of way) is how most of the sheeple in the Free World™ refuse to see the underlying motivation behind these Two Minutes of Hate campaigns and will happily parrot them, every damn time."

Yep, that's the bottom line. Why anyone can't see the repetitive ruse afoot by the evil empire goes beyond wonder.
The word "sheeple" fits, especially here in the U$A.

And the propganda works. Who's next? Whoever the corporate empire selects....

Posted by: vetinLA |...

Posted by: vetinLA | Oct 8 2021 2:01 utc | 48

I think there's a misunderstanding here. There won't be a war for Taiwan. Xi and Biden have already talked recently, and Biden backed off. The USA reiterated its official support for the One China Policy and the official recognition of the PRC as the true China.

There won't be American soldiers fighting for Taiwan, let alone a WW on Taiwan. That's already out of the cards.

vk | Oct 8 2021 0:01 utc | 42:

Do you really believe Biden is in control? Used toilet paper have more value than what comes out of his mouth. You may be correct there won't be any US uniformed soldiers fighting for Taiwan. But I'm sure Eric Prince and his goons wouldn't miss this chance for anything; along with the useful idiots on the island. After all, no one cares about "contractors".

As for WW, it won't play out like WW2 with large armies roaming around the World. Former US SecDef Gates even mentioned this. It'll be a series of proxy / regional wars raging across the globe.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 8 2021 2:34 utc | 49

No one seems to ask the most important question..... "Why Now????"


Key CPEC/BRI projects go on stream shortly.....

Most important.... Laos-China Railway is operational on 2 Dec and Laos Vietnam Railway goes operational shortly.

These link Vietnane to China... and to the sea....

Laos goes from landlocked to Connected....


Afghanistan's debacle must be swept under the rug...

Taiwan.... the hopeful flash point to derail all of this...

Can they....

Achieve this before Iran invades Baku???


Posted by: George W Oprisko | Oct 8 2021 2:45 utc | 50

--we can't make this stuff up
--the US SecState giving China some advice on its domestic concerns
--news report: "US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the Chinese government to 'act responsibly' when handling the Evergrande crisis"
--Evergrande: Chinese real estate developer
--China says: "xie-xie ni, Tony"

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 8 2021 2:54 utc | 51

Jen @47
Oh yes, and he really worked his royal holy arse off doing the UK media rounds preparing the foundation publicity for Johnson to reverse Huawei infrastructure in then hold-out UK. I bet Aus paid for that.
huawei-UK-Tony Abott-2020

or this one from last week. (An amazing travel program given we've been locked into a 5km radius from home for last 3-4 mths):

Posted by: Dim sim | Oct 8 2021 3:04 utc | 52

re: @vk 42

Sadly, Iran has demonstrated that promises from the White House only last a few short years now.

There certainly won't be conventional battles at any point, too much risk of escalation. More like undeclared drone strikes.

Posted by: ptb | Oct 8 2021 3:14 utc | 53

China and the US can play above the table and below the table, always have. US and China hid their research to initiate COVID while being unable to explain how the virus came about.
When Nixon was famously visiting Mao, there was the covert war in Tibet. Business is business. When the US was absolutely NOT trading with China, there were certain essential minerals from China that came through third parties.
There is a public face at present that claims China is baddy-bad-bad. My think? It is a diversion tactic from the corruption in American politics, the dismal world ranking of US education and US poverty. It is also an excuse for the incredible corruption of our military industrial complex. And China is stuck with its investment in the US dollar, at least for the time being. After that, wait and see.

Posted by: HelenB | Oct 8 2021 3:39 utc | 54

China is a threat only to the USA, but the threat can only be turned into an attack through americans's support. That is what will happen in November 2021. Some chinese and american virologists in Guangzhou had prepared a new kind of Sinoamerican virus which is a combination of porcine influenza H1N1 and previous type of Sinoamerican virus (which was leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan in January 2019) through an accident involving two laboratory workers. The new Sinoamerican virus will be disseminated by some american nongovernmental organizations.

Posted by: Kim Jong Il | Oct 8 2021 4:29 utc | 55

TEAMS_MURICA+GBRitannian-Commonwealth are going to bluff and push it thinking that they can get Beijing to stop building up their Armed Forces, remain subdued within their Coastlines, give up on the Civil War and give TWN the CivilWarStandOff_Victory+Independence while allowing them Economic Access to the Mainland.

Figure AUS and CAN will join in to make this a "Raucous_CAUKUS" ClusterFail.

Some CAUKUS_Retard will eventually send over SAMs, National-Regular Troop Formations, Combat Aircraft, and Ships.

Posted by: IronForge | Oct 8 2021 4:30 utc | 56

one less US warship in the South China Sea
. . .news report
US nuclear attack submarine hits object in South China Sea, injuring crew
Eleven sailors were hurt – two suffered moderate injuries and the rest had minor scrapes and bruises, officials said. . . .the sub then headed toward port at Guam.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 8 2021 4:54 utc | 57

The official US policy is still Full Spectrum Dominance.

The expectation of increased Western investment in China would lead to a liberal democracy and a speculative market economy (aka regime change) which would allow the US to easily determine Chinese policies.

The Taiwan card has always been there to use as a tool and also a pretext to attack China as and when needed.

The US has no option but to abandon the One China policy and support Taiwan as an independent country. Loss of Taiwan would lead to a domino effect with Korea and Japan falling in short order. And this needs to happen before 2025 as after this there could be a government in Taiwan that could choose to rejoin the mainland and would leave the US high and dry.

Posted by: jiri | Oct 8 2021 4:59 utc | 58

Billb | Oct 7 2021 20:27 utc | 25

The province of Taiwan is the main island plus lots of islands scattered all over the place.

The recent overflight took place a long way from the main island but close to a group of islands belonging to Taiwan.

One of these islands which is under the jurisdiction of Taiwan lies just 6 km off the Chinese mainland.

Posted by: jiri | Oct 8 2021 5:15 utc | 59

re: Don Bacon | Oct 8 2021 4:54 utc | 57 about one less warship in the SCS

USS Connecticut. According to DW, "nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational." If fully operational then why return to Guam? AFAIK, the Chinese have installed various drone infrastructure on the sea bed. Either the vessel collided with the infrastructure or with the drones. OR, it was an excuse to US regional allies for leaving the area.

Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 8 2021 5:27 utc | 60

Uncle's officials' sense of a natural right to dominate goes back into the nineteenth century, but I used to read to my students a beauty from 1954, shortly after the Chinese Communist victory, when U.S. officials and pundits were already claiming that the CHINESE were planning on subverting everywhere:

Representative Frederick R. Coudert. Did I correctly understand you to say that the heart of the present policy toward China and Formosa is that there is to be kept alive a constant threat of military action vis-a-vis Red China in the hope that at some point there will be an internal break- down?

Walter S. Robertson, Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs. Yes, sir. That is my conception.

Coudert. In other words, a cold war waged under the leadership of the United States, with constant threat of attack against China, led by Formosa and other Far Eastern groups, and militarily backed by the United States?

Robertson. Yes...

Coudert. Fundamentally, does this mean that the United States is undertaking to maintain for an indefinite period of years American dominance in the Far East?

Robertson. Yes. Exactly.

(Hearings before the House Committee on Appropriations, Jan. 26, 1954.)

I used to substitute names and words into this exchange making it a Chinese exchange, then asking the students if the exchange demonstrated that the claims of intended Chinese subversion and aggression were not justified. Naturally, they all said: clearly and obviously. And most of them were pretty shaken when it turned out to be an Uncle Chutzpah statement.


By Edward S. Herman

[link is dead]

Posted by: denk | Oct 8 2021 5:49 utc | 61

The propagandist neo- ‘Liberal’ Guardian Newspaper has been ordered to change tacks overnight it seems!
A front page report on vicious gangs Dancing Chinese Grannies from the Revolution Days taking over basketball courts and football fields for their performances using loudspeakers - the high hqs apparently given rise to a new device that can stop such speaker systems working from a distance!

Wtf s that report by a reporter on ‘secondment’ to the U.K. Guardian from Aus Guardian about?

At the same time we are treated to an admission that the western imperial forces have been conducting exercises thousands of miles from their homelands and then complaining about the Chinese flexing a finger in a kingfisher style ‘bring it big boy’ fashion.

As b explains they also go with fake news of the wapo story.

And to top it all there is one about how a boat full of Marines were sunk by another Marine craft sent to ‘help’ their ailing landing could raft in a training exercise, most of them DROWNED - no court martials!

This obviously shows that the US forces are just all big talk and Hollywood hypocrites and with their subs not able to move around without bumping into something cause g damage and more casualties.

Gosh - I wonderhow they would all do in a real fight? When a few million strong Peoples Army, Airforce and Navy protecting their continent from the western Empire.

The picture of a diminutive Chinese Kung fu fighter standing posed against a bunch of hoodlums - inviting them to ‘come and get it if you think you are hard enough’ is what I’m seeing.

Posted by: D.G | Oct 8 2021 7:10 utc | 62

Now, obviously it's dangerous to fantasise too energetically about war breaking out and all being destroyed, like 1950s science fiction. However . . . the big Sino-American deal after Nixon went to Beijing entailed the Americans pretending that they recognised Taiwan as part of China (while actually behaving as if it wasn't) and the Chinese pretending that Taiwan was part of China (while actually behaving as if it wasn't). The whole point was to save China's face over the fact that China in the 1970s had no capacity to conquer Taiwan any more than Taiwan could conquer China.

Times have, however, changed. China now can conquer Taiwan, even though it probably wouldn't be a pushover. Therefore, the U.S. has a big interest in preserving the status quo and keeping the conflict under the radar. After all, China doesn't really want to launch an invasion which would certainly kill thousands of Taiwanese and saddle the country with a long unpopular occupation.

The weird thing is, however, that the U.S., by talking big about Taiwan, by threatening to deploy troops there, by threatening to recognise Taiwan's independence and so on -- these are basically spitting in the eye of Beijing and daring it to act upon its proven capacity, which the U.S. is largely powerless to prevent. This is very much the way the U.S. acted towards Russia during the Ukrainian crisis, and that eventually ended badly for almost everybody involved. It's also a bit the way the U.S. has behaved towards the Palestinians. I hope that the Chinese will continue to be sensible, but the trouble is that when national pride is involve, good sense goes out the window. Also, of course, the U.S. does seem to believe that if it doesn't provoke a war with China soon, China will be too strong to defeat. In which case China might be afraid of a pre-emptive attack, and might strike first on rational grounds. This is all speculation -- but it's bloody dangerous, and very foolish stuff for the U.S. and its allies to be playing with.

Posted by: MFB | Oct 8 2021 7:47 utc | 63

@Don Bacon, #19

I think the lackadaisical attitude is due not so much to the belief that the Americans will save Taiwan as to the belief that the Taiwanese will never actually have to fight a war. The reason for this is that even if war were to break out, which the Taiwanese at large believe to be unlikely, the Taiwanese would choose to surrender rather than fight. Whatever inclination to resistance there might be, it would likely be carried out in the form of protests and other forms of civil disobedience once the PRC had taken over Taiwan.

Posted by: Obsequious | Oct 8 2021 8:04 utc | 64

Ian2 #60

A well placed booby trap is not out of the question. Just a hint that the Chinese know exactly their habitual manouvers.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Oct 8 2021 8:30 utc | 65

Propaganda, bombastic threats, bullshit, or whatever China wants Taiwan and the Anglo Americans want the status quo. It was not enough for the Anglo's to rub Chinese noses in shit for 500 years when they were weak. Now they have to do it when they are strong.

Old habits are heard to break.

Does anyone realize the US Navy has not made a port call on Taiwan since 1979? That states the obvious. This war of words and transits by naval vessels is about strategic tension. Taiwanese need to make a choice. Stay in the middle of this strategic tension, deepen military relations with the West, or cut a deal with China to integrate.

Being in the middle is a most dangerous position and the wrong choice of the West will certainly lead to war at some point. I do not think there will be a war if they integrated with China in some form but with certainty there will be one if they choose to go all in with the West.

There is no way the Anglo Americans can come out on top here in conventional war and I believe they know.

Posted by: circumspect | Oct 8 2021 9:06 utc | 66

The US has no option but to abandon
__ the One China policy and support Taiwan as an independent country.

Loss of Taiwan would lead to a domino effect with Korea and Japan falling in short order.

And this needs to happen before 2025 as after this there could be a government in Taiwan that could choose to rejoin the mainland and would leave the US high and dry.

Above Posted by: jiri | Oct 8 2021 4:59 utc | 58

Thank for comment.. Say more about how abandonment of the One China Policy and support for Independent Taiwan would lead to a falling out domino effect w/korea and Japan?

The ties you refer to are they private party ties, connected by nation state enabled contracts and trade agreements?
I need to understand the pressure to produce anti china propaganda.. I suspect some private interest to be behind your reasoning? I understand elections in 2025 represent a deadline.. but i don't understand the connection between Taiwan, Korea and Japan in any terms but that American enterprises were forced out of America and into those areas years ago.. by privately owned business owners (PIGOs) seeking new environments to waste and lower wage prices to produce their goods and stuff..

Posted by: snake | Oct 8 2021 9:44 utc | 67

Norway something...

The Nobel Peace Prize has been turned from promoting peace to an offensive weapon of World War 4.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Oct 8 2021 11:24 utc | 68

snake | Oct 8 2021 9:44 utc | 67

"..but i don't understand the connection between Taiwan, Korea and Japan in any terms but that American enterprises were forced out of America and into those areas years ago.."

It has little to do with American enterprise.

Taiwan, Korea and Japan are the three main areas where the US has a hold in the area. Korea and Japan with US military bases. Taiwan without bases. I take it for granted that most Japanese or Koreans do not want the current vassal relationship with the US.

A fall of Taiwan (out of the US control) would mean that the US ability, committment and willingness to protect Korea and Japan is also brought into question.Don't forget that security guarantee is the raison detre of US presence. In this situation Japan and Korea will seek to come to terms with China rather than depend on the US.

Posted by: jiri | Oct 8 2021 11:35 utc | 69

@ Posted by: jiri | Oct 8 2021 4:59 utc | 58

There would be no domino effect - and that's Taiwan's tragedy.

The matter of fact is Taiwan is not essential for the survival of capitalist supremacy in SE and East Asia. If the PRC took control of it, it would be a PR disaster, sure, but it wouldn't be an existential threat to capitalism. The USA can still project more than enough military power in the region with Australia, Japan and South Korea. Japan is what Taiwan wished to be, the proverbial "natural aircraft carrier" of East Asia.

Posted by: vk | Oct 8 2021 11:37 utc | 70

vk | Oct 8 2021 11:37 utc | 70

My assumption is that Korea and Japan are reluctant allies and not willing allies. And that they will want to break off from the US relationship.

The US losing Taiwan to China will show that US committment is weak or non existent which will provide the impetus for Korea and Japan to seek their own settlements with China.

Posted by: jiri | Oct 8 2021 11:58 utc | 71

While the notions espoused by @36 are pretty absurd, I see this same idea articulated better by many other members of the alternative press. Specifically this notion that the CCP is merely a tool for Klaus Schwab and his Davos Global Reset kindred spirits. This theory goes something like the CCP allowed themselves to be colonized again by Western elites to serve as managers of the new world order, wherein they have accepted their subservience to the West in perpetuity. This often is supported with all the investments, NGOs, foundations, and other usual tools of Western imperialism being deployed in China for many decades. This entire theory rests upon the idea that the Chinese have no agency of their own, that they didn't willingly allow Western investment into their nation as part of a long game strategy and obviously have no ability to play their own 3D chess against the clearly superior clever Davos/Bilderberg/etc. crowd.

And so this theory thus concludes that social credit (already widely used in the US, except in a totally opaque manner as it is largely deployed by the private sector), vaccine passports, and every other manner of totalitarian control measures are deployed in China as a trial lab, and then trotted out to the West. And so inevitably this theory claims that the global elite have already won and will march us all into a one world government.

How this theory is deployed strikes me as yet another thread of the propaganda war against China, as it inevitably uses all the bogeymen in the repertoire: Davos, Soros, Bilderbergs, biometrics, panopticon surveillance, digital currency, and, of course, the every dreaded global world communism. And so you wind up having otherwise skeptical alternative voices winding up piling on China because they're supposedly culpable in all of the horrible things happening in our country.

While I suppose the Chinese elite could very well be in cahoots with the West to support the West's goals, it seems to me more likely that China has been using the West in a transactional way to achieve it's own goals. And while they very may well employ social structures that we despise in the liberty and individualism driven West, I find it unlikely that they (and Russia, Iran and the other resistance nations) are secretly working to support the very plan that will undermine their sovereignty and cultures and permanently make them vassals of a global Western elite. That seems like quite a stretch to me. Yet, I see that thesis readily embraced in far too many corners of otherwise skeptical thought.

Posted by: Krungle | Oct 8 2021 11:59 utc | 72

circumspect @Oct8 9:06 #66:

There is no way the Anglo Americans can come out on top here in conventional war and I believe they know.

1) They don't think like you and me.

2) Define "come out on top".

Sure, they can't invade China and totally defeat them. But a war between China and its neighbors (with AUKUS-backing) could be a devastating set-back for China and spur even greater isolation/trade disruption. Taking the wind out of China's sails is the next best thing to military victory.

3) If it was easy, China would've already taken Taiwan. Some will say: "Oh no, they value their fellow Chinese and see eventual victory as a certainty" but that is wrong-headed. The Chinese KNOW, and always did, that the West would increase the difficulty of taking Taiwan if China charted an independent course.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 8 2021 12:32 utc | 73

Cabe @Oct7 23:02 #38:... Chinese could probably cause the collapse of the dollar ...

Ok. Lets imagine that China starts dumping US Treasury Bonds to collapse the dollar.

USA then confiscates all of China's US Treasury Bonds as compensation for "infecting the world with pandemic virus" (whether that is true or not is irrelevant) and promises to distribute them to the rest of the world (a bribe to every country that helps against China). It may take years for USA to make a 'fair' distribution. Meanwhile those Bonds are locked up and the dollar is safe.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 8 2021 12:42 utc | 74

@ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 8 2021 12:42 utc | 74; @ Posted by: Jackrabbit | Oct 8 2021 12:32 utc | 73

I get where you're going, but you paint a fantastic scenario. The more realistic scenario is this:

1) Taiwan is not the Deus ex Machina both sides (pro-China, pro-USA) are talking on the internet. It is not the end of the world for China to keep Taiwan as it is (most of the Taiwanese economy already is tied to the Mainland) and, it is true, it would not be free to take over the island militarily. But, at the same time, retaking full control of Taiwan would not be a panacea for the Mainland: it would give a lot of breathing space for the PRC in the South China Sea, that's for sure, but it would not win the war against capitalism in general. The reverse is also true from the point of view of the USA, as I already talked about @ 70;

2) dumping T-bonds is not the scenario the USD Standard would collapse. The problem with the USA is not that this or that country could suddenly dump its US T-bonds, but that the USA continues to consume much more than what it produces/gives back to the rest of the world. There's only so much the rest of the world can keep giving to the USA as tribute. On the obverse, the more the USA leverages its consumer economy, the more consolidated current expenses it will accumulate - those are expenses that must be met immediately, they cannot wait, so the T-bonds have no practical power over them. We're witnessing this now, with the "collapse of Toyotism", where inflation in the USA is rising fast simply because the rest of the world cannot give the correspondent commodities to fill its markets the time and place it needs (i.e. the USD is not being able to purchase what the USD Standard claims it can purchase). There's no T-bond magic to the absolute lack of goods.

Posted by: vk | Oct 8 2021 13:06 utc | 75

Jackrabbit @ 73
Come out on top would be to fend off any attempt to take Taiwan by force and then keep the status quo anti bellum.

A shooting war would be contained to a series of naval battles in the area dominated by missiles as the main munitions. I do not think any land engagement would happen unless the West tries to garrison Taiwan and then it would start immediately.

War would be damaging to Chinas image as they do not have the ability to spin the populations outside their country. It does not matter who starts shooting first. It matters who can put out the most bullshit and the West has the advantage on bullshit.

I do not believe Australia can or will do much of anything in my opinion. If the pentagon has not had a port call in Taiwan in over 40 years then they know what the red line is in my opinion. If they are so concerned with keeping Taiwan as a floating airbase and naval base then they would ave been do so for these last many decades.

That tells me the Pentagram knows which side the bread is buttered on. China will never accept separation from Taiwan in the long term. The Pentagram has to depend on Japan, South Korea and Australia? I do not see it happening. Possible but not probable in my opinion.

Posted by: circumspect | Oct 8 2021 13:22 utc | 76

That means that the US is occupying Taiwan.. good reasons to give these troops hell.. this is coming

Posted by: Virgile | Oct 8 2021 13:41 utc | 77

The USA military training provided to South Vietnam, Georgia, Iraq, Saudi, Yemen & lately to Afghanistan.

"We offer a money back guarantee forces that we train will capitulate within days of contact with a real enemy...100% success guaranteed!"

Posted by: GT | Oct 8 2021 14:46 utc | 78

I think jiri is citing me without citing me heh. in any case the value of Taiwan for US side is as a media campaign. not as a theatre of war.

the US affirmation of the one china policy is not a concession in any way but is simply a reiteration of longstanding ambiguity in order to continue to roll out such media stunts. including trying to get Taiwan into trade deals and the WHO as something like a country, in addition to the "china aggressor" narrative covered by b.

no news from the US china meeting. both sides prefer the status quo not changing, except US side constantly skirting the edge of the line. US neither wants Taiwan unification nor its independence because there would be no edge to skirt, no line to play.

Posted by: mastameta | Oct 8 2021 15:02 utc | 79

Despite the fact that small numbers of Outlaw US Empire military trainers and advisors have been in Taiwan for years as b showed, it took little time for the Global Times to react to the WSJ prod:

"The US wants to get on the mainland's nerves. This is a consistent tactic of Washington. The mainland must respond to the US' new provocations to make both Washington and the island of Taiwan fully realize the severity of their collusion. Otherwise, in the next step, US military staff may show up in Taiwan island, publicly wearing uniforms and their number may increase from dozens to hundreds or even more to form a de facto US garrison in the island. We must let them know they are playing with fire to provoke a war and the consequences their acts will bring are unbearable to both the US and Taiwan island...

"Second, we must resolutely define the deployment of US troops in Taiwan as an 'invasion.' The mainland has the right to carry out military strikes against them at any time. We will not make any promises over their safety. Once a war breaks out in the Taiwan Straits, those US military personnel will be the first to be eliminated. Through such a declaration, we must make Washington understand that it is playing a dangerous game that is destined to draw fire onto itself and it is risking the lives of young US soldiers." [My Emphasis]

Except there's a problem with that sort of threat as pointed out above. Plus, such personnel deployed to Taiwan are most likely older experienced trainers in the E-6 to E-8 rank range, which translates to mid 30s to early 50s. Most of the editorial's rhetoric is unchanged from earlier efforts until the following paragraph:

"As long as the mainland can realize its sustainable development and national unity in the game with the US and Taiwan island, it will prove the two's miscalculations. As the game cannot change the fundamental process of the mainland's rise, it will only make it easier and less costly for the mainland to realize reunification by force, thus strengthening the mainland's resolve. The whole process will make the US and Taiwan island desperate." [My Emphasis]

The bolded portion is new. I'd assume that Chinese analysts have determined that the Outlaw US Empire's economic condition is much worse than it says given the shrillness over the debt ceiling battle. And then there's the ongoing dysfunction caused by Covid and the inability or unwillingness to do the right things to staunch its spread, beginning with the utter irrationality of mandatory vaccinations to cease the spread as all that does is give people license to unmask and return to risky behavior attending sporting events, indoor concerts and such without taking any protective measures.

Do read the entire editorial as I didn't copy/paste much of it.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 15:14 utc | 80

In addition to the editorial @80, Global Times published another article dealing with the WSJ prod, "US troops’ secret presence in Taiwan island ‘no real threat,’ but could ‘bring China’s reunification closer,’" in what seems to be a rendition of good cop/bad cop. Recently, there've been attempts to say the KMT is washed up and of no consequence, while there's little to no pro-reunification politically; that crap's dispelled thusly:

"'It is very possible for the US to send military personnel to assist training of Taiwan forces... They may do so by not wearing uniforms, and by suspending their military status, which can be resumed after they return to the US,' Chang Ya-chung, a member of Taiwan's major opposition party, the KMT, and Sun Yat-sen School President in Taiwan, told the Global Times on Friday....

"Chang, who won wide support in the recent KMT party leadership election with a message of peace and reunification, said his experience shows that people in Taiwan cherish peace and are not indifferent to reunification.

"But the US sending military personnel to train Taiwan troops does not pose a real threat to the Chinese mainland… and it is more a test of the mainland's red line, through a salami-slicing approach, Chang said....

"The DPP has an ambivalent mindset: it wants the US to bring it on board, but it also fears the Chinese mainland will strike… but now it seems secessionists have no choice but to become a proxy of the US, Chang said."

Here's the Good Cop part:

"Xin, who regarded the US defense authority's attitude as confirming, told the Global Times that the mainland is bound to respond more forcefully and resolutely, but it remains unclear what responses it will make.

"The mainland may look to review its policies on the matter, with old and new problems likely to be settled together if relations with the US deteriorate, Xin said.

"'The US did not admit it (sending troops to Taiwan) publicly because it did not want to give Chinese mainland leverage … The US military has been helping train Taiwan soldiers for years. However, the Chinese mainland may be aware of it, with the situation well in hand,' Xin said.

"The expert said it is also likely to be the Biden administration's double-dealing strategy, to show a tough stance against Chinese mainland, and appease domestic opposition after the positive signal released from the dialogue between Yang Jiechi, China's top diplomat and US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan." [My Emphasis]

There are additional bad cop/good cop examples laced throughout the article. As with Hong Kong, the Outlaw US Empire is trying to convince Chinese that they're not Chinese; and as we know well, money can lubricate such irrationality and make people dance against their interests. And of course, the Empire doesn't give a damn about the fate of Taiwanese as they're merely pawns in its geopolitical struggle with China.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 15:44 utc | 81

Here's China's assessment of the sub accident:

"But judging from the official statement of the US Navy that it 'remains in a safe and stable condition,' the submarine was most likely hit by an unmanned underwater detection vehicle, as such vehicles are small in size and would not pose much damages to the vessel.

"Observers further noted that the US navy has put a significant number of such devices in the area to detect the hydrological characteristics of the South China Sea and China's submarine operations, so it could be that 'the US shot itself in the foot.' They added that the unknown object may have also been a submersible deployed by US allies in the Asia-Pacific region.

"While the US has incessantly harassed the region over recent years, the incident suggests that it does not know much about the marine environment of the South China Sea, and its intelligence gathering and forecasting capabilities are limited, according to the observers."

The SCS and neighboring Sunda Sea are rather shallow waters for a sub to usually deploy at 100 meters depth as the article mentions, thus the jibbing in the above paragraph about not knowing where they're going. The underwater drones mentioned have escaped our discourse on the Aussie subs and could pose an interesting problem for all sides. Given the severity of injuries reported in the collision, the object struck was rather large, perhaps a seamount. The drydock in Guam will reveal if there's any paint at the point of collision, but that info probably won't be released.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 16:04 utc | 82

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 16:04 utc | 82

It is an interesting point, underwater drones are likely to be just as troublesome for conventional naval assets as in the above-water "battlespace". Cheap, lost cost, hard to track, ... The aircraft carriers are not going to be the only big fat targets soon.

Posted by: Bemildred | Oct 8 2021 16:18 utc | 83

Some of China's submarine drones are not small: image.

China almost certainly has bigger ones since they claim their hunter-killer drone subs can launch torpedoes.

Clearly the US submarine Connecticut hit something substantial and sustained significant damage because it is heading all the way to Guam on the surface. That is an extremely uncomfortable way for a modern submarine to travel. In fact, extended open ocean travel on the surface can be dangerous for a submarine as they are not designed to handle anything but relatively calm surface conditions. If they hit even modest swells people will be getting thrown out of bunks and slammed into bulkheads and stuff. That's not something a submarine captain will risk just for the fun of it.

With that said, I am visualizing the undersea equivalent of barrage balloons: Large and rugged steel bouys anchored so that they remain submerged well below commercial shipping, but pose a hazard to submarines. Particularly large bouys can weigh in at hundreds of tons. Running into something like that could wreck a submariner's day.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2021 16:45 utc | 84

William Gruff @84--

We're thinking alike viz underwater obstacles, after all anti-sub nets have been in use for a long time. I wonder if there's anything said about them in the Law of the Sea that the Outlaw US Empire has yet to sign. I wasn't aware the sub had to travel on the surface, which indicates its structural integrity was damaged. I'm now more inclined to bet that paint will be found at the point of collision.

Posted by: karlof1 | Oct 8 2021 17:11 utc | 85

"The matter of fact is Taiwan is not essential for the survival of capitalist supremacy in SE and East Asia. If the PRC took control of it, it would be a PR disaster, sure, but it wouldn't be an existential threat to capitalism."

vk @ 70 in terms of "national security" it sure would be, and already is, due to one thing. We are talking about a virtual monopoly on chip production.

China has production coming online in a few years. The US just talks about it and does little.
In an economic war that is quite notable when you also consider their strong position in rare earths.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Oct 8 2021 17:25 utc | 86

While I think of it, the thing that saves privacy in information technology is the newish open source risc chips.

Whenever your cpu is a proprietary black box you are at their mercy. The ring security architecture sits on top of chip obviously.
Even Minsk 5 solutions are vulnerable in this way while worsening the security situation.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Oct 8 2021 17:33 utc | 87

USS Connecticut. According to DW, "nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational." If fully operational then why return to Guam? AFAIK, the Chinese have installed various drone infrastructure on the sea bed. Either the vessel collided with the infrastructure or with the drones. OR, it was an excuse to US regional allies for leaving the area.
Posted by: Ian2 | Oct 8 2021 5:27 utc | 60

Maybe China has installed drone "rocks" that are good at moving in the way of foreign subs ...

Posted by: BM | Oct 8 2021 17:43 utc | 88

In the Scandinavian-languages' interviews and comments on todays announcement of the Nobél Piiss Price being awarded to a Philipino and a Russian Tartar, they endlessly repeat that until now this year, 50 or more journalists around the world have been assasinated doing their craft. The Scandinavian media do not at all point out that not a single one of all these killings have occured in China.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Oct 8 2021 17:47 utc | 89

Of course, the Philipina laureate has double nationality. Of course, the Russian editor laurate declared the Nobél Piss Price should instead have been awarded to Navalniy. Of course and so very much off course.

Posted by: Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Oct 8 2021 17:51 utc | 90

the link in vk no4 is satire and irony.

go read the twitter thread and check his timeline, perhaps he should have put a "/S" in the last tweet..
But then he cant laugh at the ones who takes it seriously i guess🤷‍♂️

Posted by: Per/Norway | Oct 8 2021 17:59 utc | 91

Tollef Ås/秋涛乐 | Oct 8 2021 17:51 utc | 89-90

A sad day to be Norwegian, i feel like blushing of shame.


Posted by: Per/Norway | Oct 8 2021 18:02 utc | 92

vk @4

"“Make no mistake Xi, Americans are prepared to spend whatever blood and treasure it takes to ensure that the Rainbow Flag of Diversity, and not the Chinese flag, will fly over Taiwan,” "

I saw that the other day and wondered how much of his own blood and treasure he was willing to spend on his idiocy.

My guess---zero.

Posted by: arby | Oct 8 2021 18:24 utc | 93

"I am visualizing the undersea equivalent of barrage balloons: Large and rugged steel bouys anchored so that they remain submerged well below commercial shipping, but pose a hazard to submarines. Particularly large bouys can weigh in at hundreds of tons. Running into something like that could wreck a submariner's day."
William Gruff @ 84 I would expect even more sir. Add to it a durable surface buoy on a cable with solar panels. More to the point an antenna. Currents also generate power.
I dock the armed remotes on the submerged bouy. That would be impenetrable except by other drones. Maybe bottom hugging ones.
That should keep the MIC funded for another decade eh? Russia's cost: $100M.

Posted by: David G Horsman | Oct 8 2021 18:49 utc | 94

BM @88

lol! Here is another chance at studying how the media lies without lying.

"nuclear propulsion plant and spaces were not affected and remain fully operational."

The "nuclear propulsion plant" is fine. No mention is made of the rest of the sub. The inattentive reader would assume that means everything is hunky-dory for the USS Connecticut, but a skeptical reader would assume that means the rest of the submarine is trashed.

I'm going with the USS Connecticut being trashed and bet we will soon hear of it going back to (where else?) Connecticut for repairs by the manufacturer in Groton. My money is on it being out of commission for years, if not being scrapped.

Of course, it is still too early to say. Maybe a little bondo and it will be fine.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2021 18:53 utc | 95

On the Connecticut, the"unknown underwater object" may not have been a naval mine, but it is a reminder that China has a strong naval mine capability while the US has almost no ability to detect and eliminate naval mines.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 8 2021 18:53 utc | 96

William Gruff@84
Perhaps something like this?

The power source for some of the USN cherished WA RAN submarine base.

Posted by: Dim sim | Oct 8 2021 18:57 utc | 97

Dim sim @95

Those look to be big enough to cause issues if you run a submarine into one of them.

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2021 19:12 utc | 98

Posted by: William Gruff | Oct 8 2021 16:45 utc | 84

the fun of it.

With that said, I am visualizing the undersea equivalent of barrage balloons: Large and rugged steel bouys anchored so that they remain submerged well below commercial shipping, but pose a hazard to submarines. Particularly large bouys can weigh in at hundreds of tons. Running into something like that could wreck a submariner's day.

My thoughts exactly. A medium, a zone and an enemy where the use of passive (or relatively passive) defenses can be effective and cost-efficient.

Unless, of course, it was something more active and interesting; with the westerners not spilling the beans in order to save face, and the Chinese happily obliging.

Posted by: Misotheist | Oct 8 2021 19:23 utc | 99

Good homework, b. Cumulatively you should have a shot at an I.F. Stone award.

Posted by: dadooronron | Oct 8 2021 19:29 utc | 100

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