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This article appears in the February 10, 2023 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.

[Print version of this article]

China Briefs

China’s Foreign Ministry Fully Blames U.S. for Ukraine War

In comments made at her regular press briefing Jan. 30, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning assigned to the U.S. and NATO the responsibility for the war in Ukraine. This was apparently China’s first official comment on the sending of heavy battle tanks by NATO countries to Ukraine, pushed by President Joe Biden’s announcement regarding the Abrams M1 tanks, although that wasn’t explicitly raised by Mao.

Responding to a question from CCTV about the U.S. warning against some Chinese state-owned companies that “may be providing assistance of an economic as well as non-lethal military nature for Russia’s war effort in Ukraine,” Mao replied:

“The U.S. is the one who started the Ukraine crisis and the biggest factor fueling it, and has kept sending heavy weapons and assault weapons to Ukraine, which has only prolonged and intensified the conflict. Rather than reflecting on its own acts, the U.S. has been sowing paranoia, and pointing fingers at China. We reject such groundless blackmail, and we will not sit by and watch the U.S. harm the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.

“If the U.S. truly wants an early end to the crisis and cares for the lives of the Ukrainian people, then it needs to stop sending weapons and profiteering from the fighting. The U.S. needs to act responsibly by helping the situation de-escalate as soon as possible, and create the necessary environment and conditions for peace talks between the parties concerned.”

Referring to statements by U.S. Treasury officials that Chinese state-owned companies are “indirectly” giving military and financial assistance to Russia, Mao rebutted:

“China’s position on Ukraine has been objective and just. We always stand on the side of peace and have played a constructive role in advancing the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. We are never a bystander, and we would never add fuel to the fire, still less exploit the crisis.”

Stoltenberg in Seoul, Tokyo To Push Global NATO

In Tokyo Jan. 30, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio. They issued a joint statement raising “concern” about Russia’s growing military cooperation with China, including joint drills around Japan’s coasts. They urged China to cooperate “constructively” with international efforts for arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation, and stressed the importance of “peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.”

Stoltenberg earlier visited Seoul, as did U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin—part of the drive to expand NATO into the Indo-Pacific.

As transcribed in a NATO Joint Press Point, Stoltenberg, in his joint press conference with Kishida Jan. 31, ranted:

“China is substantially building up its military forces including nuclear weapons, bullying its neighbors and threatening Taiwan, trying to control critical infrastructure and spreading misinformation about NATO and the war in Ukraine. China is not our adversary, but we must understand the scale of the challenge and work together to address it.”

Stoltenberg had opened his remarks by saying:

“No NATO partner is closer or more capable than Japan…We meet at a critical moment for NATO, and for Japan…. Beijing and Moscow are leading an authoritarian pushback against the international rules-based order…. We agree that trans-Atlantic and Indo-Pacific security is deeply interconnected. What happens in this region matters to NATO. And what happens in Europe matters to you.”

CGTN: U.S., Not China, Is Causing the Tensions

On Feb. 1, China’s People’s Liberation Army chose to publish as an op-ed a CGTN commentary from Jan. 30, titled “U.S., Not China, Determines Whether There’s a Real War.” The clear message is that it is the U.S. that is ratcheting up tensions between the two countries, not China.

“Despite claims that it doesn’t intend to block China, the U.S. has ramped up its confrontation by taking a more belligerent tone on this perceived enemy. It’s anti-China hawkish remarks and acts from the U.S. side that place Beijing-Washington ties at risk.

“Apart from hawkish remarks, the U.S. government has manipulated every possible means to check China’s development.... The U.S. has released a slew of regulations restricting China’s access to advanced technologies. Earlier, Washington imposed unilateral export controls barring American firms from selling chipmaking equipment to the Chinese side.

“China welcomes cooperation with the U.S., but stands determined to defend its national interests when confronting provocations. Washington will pay more for containing China than [for] overcoming the current difficulties to peacefully co-exist with the country.”

Victoria Nuland in Sri Lanka Demands China Bail Out BlackRock

U.S. Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland was in Colombo Jan. 31-Feb. 1, making a big show of demanding that China help bail out Sri Lanka’s creditors in the U.S. and UK. The tenor of Nuland’s demand was reflected on Feb. 1 in a Reuters posting, “China Has Not Done Enough on Sri Lanka Debt Restructuring.”

The IMF asserted in September 2022 that it would activate a $2.9 billion bail-out for Sri Lanka, which is in desperate need for financial stability and economic support, but only if China and other foreign debt holders provided debt relief. However, the focus has been on China. This is political targeting, as China holds only 10% of Sri Lankan foreign debt, while 47% of it is held by such Anglosphere bond holders as the American BlackRock, and British Ashmore.

Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen carried the same message to Zambia during her Jan. 16-28 Africa junket: China must do more on debt relief, which will in fact benefit the Western foreign bondholders that hold the majority of the debt, as well as the Anglo-American foreign companies dominating copper and other exports.

Nuland and Yellen are repeating the common refrain of the G7, EU, Wall Street, and the City of London. It is most likely that they will all get the same rebuff from China, which insists on bilateral mechanisms for debt-relief, case by case. Its credits are long-term and dedicated to infrastructure building. In contrast, Western credits are extended to nations in debt crisis, only to fill fiscal and financial gaps (including paying old debt), not for investment in measures to increase productivity, so the debt trap gets ever tighter.

For more on this subject, see Hussein Askary’s article, “While British Companies Loot Zambia, the U.S. Blames China,” EIR Vol. 50, No. 5, Feb. 3, 2023, pp. 10-15; and his article, “Sri Lanka in Turmoil: No Chinese Dept Trap!” EIR Vol. 49, No. 29, July 29, 2022, pp. 14-19.

Anti-China Phobia from U.S. Farm States

Despite continued high-volume U.S. farm commodity exports to China, there are some dramatic, phobic moves against imputed China threats in the Farm Belt.

In the last week of January in North Dakota, it seemed that the Chinese firm Fufeng Group would pull out of a $700 million corn milling plant at Grand Forks, after local and Federal lawmakers lined up on the side of the U.S. Air Force against it. A Jan. 27 Air Force letter stated that the corn processing plant would be “a significant threat to national security,” being 12 miles from the Grand Forks Air Force Base.

In many cities in Texas, demonstrations by Chinese- and other Asian-Americans took place the week of Feb. 1, condemning two bills in the Texas State Senate. Senate Bill 147 would prevent individuals with ties to China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran from purchasing Texas property or real estate, while Senate Bill 552 would prevent companies with links to those four countries from buying agricultural land. Gov. Greg Abbott says he’ll sign both, if passed.

In the U.S. House of Representatives, Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) introduced on Feb. 2, the “Prohibition of Agricultural Land for the People’s Republic of China Act,” which would prohibit the purchase of public or private agricultural land anywhere in the U.S. by foreign nationals associated with the government of China, and would ban the same associations from participating in any U.S. Dept. of Agriculture programs, except safety inspections. Already, six states—Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Oklahoma—have laws banning foreign ownership of farmland.

Nationwide, Chinese-related investors own about 383,000 total acres of U.S. farmland (600 square miles), which is less than 1% of total, foreign-held acreage, according to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. This is far less farmland than that owned by the Golden Billionaire “farmers” Bill Gates, Ted Turner, the Resnick family et al. Russia, Iran, North Korea own, effectively, no acreage.

Ganxi Grand Bridge Opens in Southwest China

In the mountains of Guizhou, in Southwest China, the new Ganxi Grand Bridge opened for traffic Dec. 28, 2022. The arch-beam hybrid design is 250 m high and 1,220 m in length. The beautiful structure is the longest of its type in the world.

Ganxi carries the Guiyang-Huangping Expressway, reducing the travel time between the two nearest towns from 60 to 15 minutes. Guizhou Province is entirely mountainous, and the engineering feats involved in building expressways have involved spectacular bridges. Expressway mileage in Guizhou has tripled, from 2,630 km in 2012, to 8,010 in 2021. The provincial government boasts that nearly 50 of the world’s 100 highest bridges are in Guizhou.

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