How China Gave Birth to The Miracle of Corruption

But not a single emperor ever finished the job, let alone solved the problem of corruption at its root. And where is the security of the magnificent Ming dynasty now?

Corruption isn’t a discrete social phenomenon. It is the inevitable by-product of a society that is neither equitable nor just nor open. So, to try to eradicate the by-product of such a system without changing the system itself is out of the question.

The type of corruption that is being vividly paraded before the eyes of the world nowadays is a form of corruption with Chinese characteristics. It’s the direct result of the nationwide dissemination of Deng Xiaoping’s ideas.

A ‘mutant economy’

If they had begun political reforms, then justice, fairness, and openness could have emerged, and been perfected. But Deng Xiaoping killed off political reforms at a single stroke with the June 4, 1989 crackdown.

In a bid to avoid taking the country down a dead-end street, Deng sought to strengthen the party’s grip on power by revivifying the economy. Unfair competition flourished everywhere. The authorities called this unfair competition the “market economy.”

In fact, it was a mutant economy for the benefit of officials, for the elite, for party leaders. Admittedly, this half-baked driver of economic growth was easier to handle than class struggle.

And with the advantage of cheap and abundant natural resources and labor, it gave birth to the miracle of corruption, right around the same time that it was bringing about the Chinese economic miracle.

How China Gave Birth to The Miracle of Corruption

China’s Fragile Evolution

“In Chinese bureaucratic speak, this was only a few steps shy of confirming earlier rumors that Zhou and his former political ally and one-time rising star from Chongqing, Bo Xilai, had plotted a coup to pre-empt or repeal the ascension of Chinese President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping.”

Last week, China’s anti-corruption campaign took a significant turn, though a largely overlooked one. The Supreme People’s Court released a statement accusing former Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang, the highest-ranked official thus far implicated in China’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, of having “trampled the law, damaged unity within the Communist Party, and conducted non-organizational political activities.” In Chinese bureaucratic speak, this was only a few steps shy of confirming earlier rumors that Zhou and his former political ally and one-time rising star from Chongqing, Bo Xilai, had plotted a coup to pre-empt or repeal the ascension of Chinese President and Party General Secretary Xi Jinping. Thus, the court’s statement marks a radical departure from the hitherto depoliticized official language of the anti-corruption campaign.

China’s Fragile Evolution

Germanwings crash: Descent may have been ‘deliberate, suicidal choice’ by pilot, claims experts – The Independent

The descent to destruction of the Germanwings Airbus may have been a deliberate, suicidal choice by the pilot who remained in the cockpit, French aviation experts believe.

They said  that a conscious decision must have been made by the remaining pilot to put the Barcelona-Dusseldorf flight onto a downward 11-minute descent until it collided with a mountain in the French Alps.

Following the revelation that one of the two pilots was locked out of the cockpit , the experts told the French news agency AFP that events pointed to either the suicide or sudden illness of the remaining pilot.

Germanwings crash: Descent may have been ‘deliberate, suicidal choice’ by pilot, claims experts – Europe – World – The Independent

Conquering the South China Sea – WSJ

“These new fortresses in the South China Sea raise the risk of war, yet Washington seems to have no strategy to address them.”

China is building military bases on artificial islands hundreds of miles off its coast, in waters claimed by six other countries. These new fortresses in the South China Sea raise the risk of war, yet Washington seems to have no strategy to address them. Are the U.S. and its allies ceding the nearly 1.35 million square miles claimed by China without legal merit, including some of the busiest sea lanes on the planet?

Over the past year Chinese dredging and other landfill techniques have transformed tiny reefs into potential homes for military aircraft, ships, radar facilities and other assets. Formerly underwater during high tide, Johnson Reef is now a 25-acre landmass. Nearby Hughes Reef has grown big enough to host two piers and a cement plant. Gaven Reef is now 28 acres, with a helipad and antiaircraft tower. Fiery Cross Reef has grown 11-fold since August, with what appears to be a three-kilometer airstrip under construction. All are part of the Spratly islands, a cluster of rocks between the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam, often some 650 miles from China.

Conquering the South China Sea – WSJ

Military Gears Up for Space Warfare | Washington Free Beacon

Pentagon, military, and intelligence officials outlined plans on Wednesday for warfare in space and warned China not to attack U.S. satellites in any future conflict.

“The threats are real, they’re technologically advanced and they’re a concern,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. John “Jay” Raymond, commander of the Joint Functional Component Command for Space, in testimony before a House subcommittee. “We are quickly approaching the point where every satellite in every orbit can be threatened.”

Douglas Loverro, deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, said that the threat of attacks on satellites in orbit is no longer a theoretical concern.

“Quite frankly, it’s one thing to anticipate an imaginary threat,” Loverro said. “It’s another thing to see that threat develop, watch it be exercised as with the Chinese on several occasions, recognize what it can do to our capability, and react to that. And that’s what we’re doing right now, is reacting to it and making it very clear we have no desire to have a conflict extend to space.”

Military Gears Up for Space Warfare | Washington Free Beacon

China is using its earnings from China-US trade to point big guns (missiles) at the US and to destroy US satellites. Still think trading with a country that behaves like this is a good idea?

Delusional thinking in the West pushed more and more trade toward China. All those cheap products from China will certainly make life better over in America. Except all those geniuses forgot to factor in the probability of war.

Why would China want to go to war against the US? If you have to ask that question then just go home.You haven’t been paying attention.

The “China Dream” demands that China reaches its past glory. Right now the US and Japan stand in its way. Given the internal instability of China, the current regime is at risk of revolution in some form. Aggressively pushing outward toward its neighbors is one way to redirect people’s attention and achieve the China Dream. However, that aggressiveness could very well lead to war. China is preparing for that war.

 

Sweden, Finland, and NATO | World Affairs Journal

What a difference a year makes. A year ago, the share of Swedes opposing NATO membership reached 50 percent, up by 10 percentage points from a year earlier. But now only 35 percent oppose NATO membership, compared to 48 percent who support it. That’s the first time NATO membership has been Swedes’ top choice, reports the Swedish news agency TT. According to the same survey, a majority of Swedes wants to reintroduce conscription, and, in a remarkable turn of events, almost 60 percent want to increase defense spending, a 100 percent increase compared to only three years ago.

In neighboring Finland, NATO membership is not just a matter of opinion polls. On April 5th, Finns will vote in parliamentary elections, and it’s hardly surprising that NATO has become a crucial issue. Yet the parties are cagey about whether they’re in favor or against. Here’s why: Russia would not be pleased if Finland joined NATO. In fact, Russia would take great offense. “Do you want to start a third world war,” asked Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy in an interview with the Finnish daily Hufvudstadsbladet last year. “Anti-Semitism led to the Second World War, Russophobia can lead to a third world war. Finland is one of the most Russophobic countries in Europe, after Sweden and the Baltic states.”

Sweden, Finland, and NATO | World Affairs Journal

This is a little like not wanting to pay for medical insurance until after you get pregnant. Then you desperately want to pay for it. It’s interesting how things have changed so rapidly for Sweden and Finland. Now that things are not looking so good, suddenly they want to be members of NATO. How exactly does NATO benefit from their membership?

Sorry, I’m just not excited about freeloaders.

 

China Missile Test Highlights Space Weapons Threat | Washington Free Beacon

China’s recent test of a missile designed to shoot down satellites in low-earth orbit highlights a growing threat of space weapons, the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command said on Tuesday.

Adm. Cecil D. Haney, head of the Omaha-based nuclear forces command, also voiced worries about the strategic nuclear forces buildup by Russia and China, and said as commander he must assume North Korea is correct in claiming to have miniaturized a nuclear warhead for its missile forces.

Haney also warned about the use of sophisticated cyber attacks by terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS or ISIL.

China Missile Test Highlights Space Weapons Threat | Washington Free Beacon

Russia Tests Nuclear-Forces Communications in Arctic Navy Drills – Bloomberg Business

Russia tested combat communications with its naval nuclear forces in the Arctic as part of large-scale military drills, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov told Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Gerasimov, who personally checked the readiness of submarine forces during the exercises, said a new system of communication between Russia’s central command center and the Navy’s strategic forces was tested and found to be in order.

Russia has stepped up nuclear rhetoric in recent months amid the worst tensions since the Cold War with the U.S. and its NATO allies over the conflict in Ukraine. Putin said in a documentary aired on March 15 that he was ready to put nuclear forces on alert to deter intervention when he annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March last year.

Russia Tests Nuclear-Forces Communications in Arctic Navy Drills – Bloomberg Business

Will Russia make a play for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania?

Following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its destabilisation of eastern Ukraine, a military confrontation between Russia and the West over the Baltic states is no longer unthinkable. Under what circumstances could this happen? How would such a conflict play out, and what might happen once such a war ended?

The notion of large-scale warfare in Europe – even without the nuclear dimension – would send shockwaves around the world, threatening to overturn the entire post-Cold War order. If the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) failed to defend the Baltics or were to lose against Russia, then Asia and the Middle East would also be destabilised, as doubts grew over the reliability of the US as an ally. This would usher in a much more unstable geopolitical climate, akin to the 1930s.

Guest post: will Russia make a play for Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania? | beyondbrics

Us Against Them: Russia’s Frightening New Cult | Opinion | The Moscow Times

If you believe that the U.S. aggressors were preparing to land in Crimea in the winter of 2014 in order to help the Ukrainians kill all the Orthodox Russians there, and that only the pre-emptive military operation under the command of President Vladimir Putin saved them, then you are “one of us” — that is, a true-blue adherent of the state’s cult.

However, if you think that the United States was not planning a military operation in Crimea last year, that it did not “have its eye on” the peninsula and that NATO never did and still has no plans for it as a theater of war, then you are officially a heretic.

You are a heretic regardless of your past services, social status, annual income or membership in the ruling party. All of those are secondary to the main question: Do you believe, or do you not?

Anyone attempting to analyze Russian policy and predict its future course should understand one fundamental thing: Modern Russian policy is not rational and not based on political considerations. It is irrational and religious — with all of the attendant religious stereotypes, prejudices and dogmas.

Us Against Them: Russia’s Frightening New Cult | Opinion | The Moscow Times

Monitoring emerging risks.