This article appears in the April 2, 2021 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Russia, China Cement Their Comprehensive Strategic Relationship
The meeting of China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, and his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, in sunny Guilin, in the tropical part of China, on March 22-23, was warm and friendly. It followed the contentious, opening public confrontation of the U.S.-China top-level meeting in Anchorage, Alaska on March 19 between Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister and State Councilor Wang Yi, and their U.S. counterparts, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State, Tony Blinken. Before the Anchorage meeting, the U.S. had slapped new sanctions on China for the crackdown on the violent demonstrators in Hong Kong, a clear signal that the U.S. was not going to relent in the Pompeo-driven campaign against China in the new Biden administration.
The Chinese representatives received a virtual “dressing down” by their American counterparts on issues of Hong Kong, Xinjiang and human rights at the beginning of the talks. This elicited a fiery critique by Yang Jiechi that lasted for twenty minutes. While the two-day meeting did continue, in spite of the totally undiplomatic reception, it signaled clearly that the U.S. was not going to let up on insisting that the U.S. determines the “rules of the road,” which, as Yang pointed out, are quite different from the international laws spelled out in the UN Charter.
While the China-Russia relationship has always been relatively close over the last few decades—“the best in history” according to Russia— the U.S. attempts to organize the world against the so-called “autocratic regimes,” i.e. Russia and China, has no doubt brought them much closer. Foreign Minister Lavrov, in his comments after their meeting, clearly indicated that the two countries were very much united in their views of global governance, namely, that the United States was not the sole determining factor in how the world is to be governed, nor the sole arbiter of issues such as human rights, democracy, or economic models.
Speaking at their joint press conference on March 23, Foreign Minister Lavrov said: “We share the opinion that Russian-Chinese foreign policy interaction remains a vital factor in global affairs. We pointed out the destructive character of the U.S. aspiration to undermine the UN-centric international legal framework by using the military-political alliances of the Cold War period and creating similar closed alliances. We noted the growing importance of the joint activities of Russia, China and a wide range of other countries to preserve the current system of international law in the context of the increasing Western attempts to promote its concept of a rules-based international order.”
China Lays Out Its Plans for Space Exploration
Wu Weiren, the chief designer of China’s lunar exploration project, spoke to reporters on China’s plans for the future, including a longer stay on the lunar surface. The China National Space Administration announced on March 9th that they had signed an agreement with Russia’s Roscosmos to work together to build a lunar research station on the Moon. “If the lunar research station project is successfully implemented, China will not be far away from achieving manned landings,” said Dr. Wu. He noted that compared to American astronauts, “who could stay for only tens of hours after landing on the Moon, Chinese astronauts will stay on the Moon for a longer period of time …This will be a long-term stay on the Moon, not a short-term stop.” Cooperation on the research station is also open to other interested countries.
The base is to be located somewhere near the lunar South Pole, a region that has long been staked out as of great interest by Ouyang Ziyuan, a noted expert in the geochemistry of the Moon and a long-time and tireless space advocate.
Bao Weimin, director of Science and Technology at the China Aerospace and Science and Technology Corporation, in a March 22 interview with CGTN’s Tian Wei, also outlined the plans for building China’s space station in low Earth orbit this year. Bao said a series of 11 launches will begin with the launch the station’s core module, followed by the launch a four-man crew tasked with completing construction of the station. Then they will launch Experimental Module-1 and Experimental Module-2, to be attached to the core module by the crew. Cargo and fuel launches will follow. The construction of the station should be completed by next year, Bao said.
H&M and Nike Could Lose China Market Because of Stance on Xinjiang
H&M, a major Swedish clothes producer, has issued a statement saying that it will not buy cotton produced in Xinjiang because of the “forced labor” accusations. The statement has enraged Chinese netizens, who have expressed their commitment not to buy products produced by H&M. If H&M had hoped to have a lucrative outcome in the largest consumer market in the world, it may have just closed the door on that option. While China may not officially boycott H&M, it is making very public the stance of the company, and consumers themselves may simply shut the door to H&M. Major online retailers in China have pulled H&M products from their sites or mobile apps. Two Chinese celebrities have already severed deals with the Swedish brand. Chinese state media outlets are now calling out other Western clothing brands — including Nike, New Balance and Burberry — for not using Xinjiang cotton.
Speaking at the daily press briefing on March 24, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: “These enterprises get to judge what they should do. The Chinese people also get to express their thoughts freely. Given the size of the Chinese market, we don’t need to coerce anyone. But one thing is for sure: the Chinese people wouldn’t allow foreigners to reap benefits in China on the one hand and smear China on the other. China is open and we welcome foreign enterprises and people to do business, live and work in China. And we reject any malicious attack on China and even attempts to undermine China’s interests on the basis of rumors and lies,” she said. Stocks in both H&M and Nike have fallen drastically as a result.
The statements by H&M and Nike are not of recent date, but the reaction on the Chinese side was no doubt touched off by the decision of the EU to implement sanctions against China on the basis of the alleged “forced labor” in Xinjiang. They will not be a victim to arbitrary decisions by foreign nations any longer.
New Archaeological Finds Reveal Ancient Civilization in Southwest China
Major new work is being done to unearth an ancient civilization in southwest China at the Sanxingdui archaeological site. The first remnants of this previously unknown civilization were discovered in the 1920s by a farmer ploughing his field. The first scientific digs were done by China in the 1930s, but it was not until the 1986 that major work was done to unearth the remains of this civilization. According to legends and historical records, there was once an ancient state called “Shu” located in the enclosed Sichuan Basin in Southwest China. In 316 B.C., the ancient Shu State was conquered by the Qin State and the ancient Shu culture was buried under the mainstream Central Plain (Zhongyuan) culture, only leaving a few reign titles mentioned in the later literatures and tales. The archaeological discoveries at Sanxingdui are the first material indications of such a civilization.
Now, with further research, the archaeologists have discovered what may have been a major city at the center of this civilization. Some of the finds are 3,500 years old, or even 5,000 years old. They include artefacts of bronze, gold, and even ivory, including elephant tusks. The Sanxingdui civilization was quite independent of the civilization in the central plains of the Yellow River, which has always been considered the source of the Han people.
Chinese archaeologists are now working on six different pits. Most interestingly, they have discovered remnants that indicate a possible use of silk, two thousand years before the ancient Silk Road.
There is also a possibility that this civilization had contact with the Central Plains region early on, and this opens an entirely new aspect of the possible origins of Chinese civilization itself. The discovery has caused great excitement among scholars and the general population, and President Xi has made comments on the importance of archaeological research. They have also unearthed artefacts on which are inscribed different figures, which may be the remains of an ancient language.
Zepp-LaRouche Exposes US Psy-Ops on Xinjiang on CGTN
Helga Zepp-LaRouche was one of the four guests on CGTN’s Dialogue program on March 29 which dealt with the campaign in the West to sanction China on bogus claims of “slave labor” and human rights violations in Xinjiang. Zepp-LaRouche effectively debunked the lies coming out of the media and government representatives about Xinjiang in a concerted attempt to destabilize China, which has succeeded in raising 850 million people out of poverty and is now becoming a major influence in the world. She described the tremendous developments in the country since her first trip to China in 1971.