|Asia News Digest
China-Russia-U.S. Cooperation Defuse British War Plans in Korea
Dec. 20 (EIRNS)North Korea refused to respond according to their British profile, following the live-fire exercises today by the South Korea in the contested waters in the West Sea (Yellow Sea). The efforts by the Russians and the Chinese to persuade South Korea to delay or modify the exercises was sabotaged by the British, with British asset Susan Rice (U.S. Ambassador to the UN) as their spokesperson, when they refused to pass a UN resolution calling for war avoidance by both sides, insisting instead on a denunciation of North Korea as solely responsible for the crisis.
Nonetheless, with Russia and China in close contact with each other and with Pyongyang, and with New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson personally meeting with top North Korean political and military leaders in Pyongyang (and broadcasting his reports worldwide through his travel companion Wolf Blitzer of CNN), the North Koreans chose to take the high road and reject "retaliation" in favor of cooperation.
The official North Korean message said in part: "The revolutionary armed forces of the D.P.R.K. did not feel any need to retaliate against every despicable military provocation, like one taking revenge after facing a blow.... The world should properly know who is the true champion of peace and who is the real provocateur of a war."
Richardson announced, before he left Pyongyang today, that North Korea had offered two additional dramatic initiativesthat they would accept the return of IAEA monitors (not inspectors) at the Yongbyon nuclear facility, to assure that the uranium enrichment does not produce weapon grade fuel; and that they would negotiate the sale and shipment of 12,000 spent fuel rods to a foreign buyer, perhaps South Korea. It is of note that these are the fuel rods which the world knew had been produced in North Korea's graphite reactor (before it was dismantled voluntarily by the North), which everyone pointed to in saying that North Korea had probably already made six or more bombs.
The North has also agreed to consider Richardson's proposal for a military commission among the United States, and North and South Korea, to monitor the contested waters in the West Sea, as well as a separate hotline for the Koreas' militaries, and offered to return the newly discovered remains of U.S. soldiers who were killed in the Korean War.
Richardson said on CNN that "I am encouraged. The outcome is a good one. We pushed the North Koreans not to react. Maybe we had a little impact. South Korea was able to flex a little muscle. Maybe this will open a new chapter in North-South relations, with negotiations for North Korea to end its nuclear capability, for South Korea to preserve its security, and for the U.S. to be able to act as an honest broker." He said he was convinced that North Korea will not retaliate, and that the next step should be formal talks.
Sources told EIR that Richardson, while travelling as a private citizen rather than as an official representative of the U.S. government, had coordinated his work with the National Security Council, and that Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were closely engaged in the process, such that efforts by the White House and Susan Rice to implement British policy were, thus far, spoiled.
Just as LaRouche Warned: London Is Playing for U.S.-China Conflict
Dec. 18 (EIRNS)Just as Lyndon LaRouche was warning that the British imperial Inter-Alpha Group faction was gunning for China The Economist came out with a 16-page special report on China's rise, proving LaRouche was right again. The special section in the Dec. 4 edition presented a typically precise profile of China's economic and military emergence as a clear Asian power, but posed the rise of China as a great power in purely geopolitical "Great Game" terms, and posited the idea that, while U.S.-China relations can progress, chances are very good that there will be a growing U.S. versus China confrontation in the near future. The author, Edward Carr, is the foreign editor of the Economist and was previously news editor of the Financial Times.
"Ever since Deng Xiaoping set about reforming the economy in 1978, China has talked peace," Carr writes. "Still militarily and economically too weak to challenge America, it has concentrated on getting richer. Even as China has grown in power and rebuilt its armed forces, the West and Japan have run up debts and sold it their technology. China has been patient, but the day when it can once again start to impose its will is drawing near."
The report proceeded from there to summarize China's rising military capability, posing it as a security threat to neighboring states, having already reached the point that China can deny the U.S. Navy access to crucial Asian sea lanes, and has developed advanced cyber and space war capabilities.
Carr ultimately got around to the North Korea case: "Nobody knows whether the North Korean regime will survive, nor what might come after Kim Jong Il and Kim Junior. But imagine for a moment that, on the death of the Dear Leader, North Korea descends into anarchy or lashes out, as it did in the island attack last month that killed South Korean servicemen and civilians. The ensuing crisis would severely test the capacity of China and America to live with each other.... Depressingly little thought has been given to these questions. As far as anybody knows, China is not willing even to discuss them with America, because it does not want to betray a lack of confidence in its eccentric ally in the North. Yet, if talking about Korea is awkward now, it will be even more fraught in the teeth of a crisis."
Lyndon LaRouche has repeatedly warned, since the sinking of the Cheonan early this year, that no competent understanding of the crisis in North Asia is possible, if the factor of British targeting of China, and British historical manipulation of Asian fault-lines is not the starting point. And the Economist, once again, has demonstrated that LaRouche's warnings are right on the mark.
India-China Cooperation on Infrastructure, Economy
Dec. 16 (EIRNS)If China and India are able to carry through the agreementsboth immediate and longer-term potentialreached during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to New Delhi in December, the benefit to both economies, and eventually the rest of the world, would be enormous. India has not yet been able to achieve the rate of infrastructure development which China has, and its transport and power sectors remain woefully inadequate for the needs of a 1.1 billion population. Actually building the projects is far slower than in China, and this is one reason Chinese investors find it difficult to participate in the Indian economy on a large scale, according to views in New Delhi.
Most immediately, the official and business delegations from both sides are signing cooperation deals worth at least $16 billion, as well as banking and financial agreements which will enhance trade. More broadly, in his speech to the Indian Council of World Affairs Dec. 16, Wen said he is particularly impressed with the way India handled the impact of the global financial crisis. "I congratulate you," he said. "As a fast-growing big country with over a billion people, India should and can play an increasingly important role in international affairs."
As the Business Standard, India's financial newspaper of record, stated today, Indian "officials and analysts pointed out that with the western world still mired in the throes of economic recession, the Chinese seemed to have decided that it was imperative to take a long-term view on India 'and push for an expansion in India's market.' Private Indian power companies, are all joining the queue to buy Chinese equipment, arguing that the competitive pricing, fairly decent quality, fast delivery and commissioning were unbeatable.... But what is fascinating is that even official Delhi seems to have bought into Beijing's determination to deliver the goods.... 'The Chinese have shown to us that socialism still lives, although through the capitalist route,' one Indian official commented wryly."
It is essential for China to open up on market access and measures to redress the heavy trade imbalance, and these issues were taken up in the discussions between Indian PM Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao. In their joint statement issued today, both sides agreed to establish a Strategic Economic Dialogue to enhance macro-economic policy coordination, and set a new bilateral trade target of $100 billionalmost doubling current trade levelsby 2015. They also agreed to promote Indian exports to China, including in the pharmaceuticals and IT sectors, where India has a strong advantage over China. India "welcomed Chinese enterprises to invest and participate in India's infrastructure development such as in roads, railways and in the manufacturing sector." An India-China CEO's forum has been set up.
Wen said in a speech to the Indian Council of World Affairs Dec. 16, that the border issuethe result of British imperial policy in India and Tibet during the 19th and 20th centuriesis an "historical legacy" which "will take a fairly long period of time" to solve.
However, he also said that China takes seriously India's concerns about trans-border rivers, which include questions of water flow and dam-building by the Chinese side. "I would like to assure our Indian friends that all the upstream development activities by China will be based on scientific planning and study and will never harm downstream interests," he said. Almost all of Asia's great rivers rise in the Tibetan plateau, but are also subject to big changes in water flow, including flooding, due to the monsoon rains on the Indian Subcontinent. Cooperation in developing these water flows could make a huge difference in power generation, irrigation, and water supply, and safety from floods, for the populations of China, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
On regional security, India called on China to help create a more secure environment in regard to Pakistan, and, for the first time, the two sides expressed in their communique their commitment to assisting Afghanistan to become a peaceful, stable, prosperous nation.