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BRICS, Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO): Towards a New Global Financial Architecture?

NOVANEWS
Global Research
A yuan banknote is displayed next to a U.S. dollar banknote for the photographer at a money changer inside the Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan

The BRICS met in 2013 in Durban, South Africa, to, among other steps, create their own credit rating agency, sidelining the “biased agendas” of the Moody’s/Standard & Poor’s variety. They endorsed plans to create a joint foreign exchange reserves pool. Initially it will include US$100 billion. It’s called a self-managed contingent reserve arrangement (CRA).

During the July (2014) BRICS Summit in Brazil the five members agreed to directly confront the West’s institutional economic dominance. The BRICS agreed to establish the New Development Bank (NDB) based in Shanghai , pushed especially by India and Brazil, a concrete alternative to the Western-dominated World Bank and the Bretton Woods system. With initial authorized capital of $100 billion, including $50 billion of equally shared initial subscribed capital, it will become one of the largest multilateral financial development institutions. Importantly, it will be open for other countries to join.

In addition, the creation of the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, or currency reserve pool, initially sized at $100 billion, will help protect the BRICS countries against short-term liquidity pressures and international financial shocks. Together with the NDB these new instruments will contribute to further co-operation on macroeconomic policies.

According to Conn Hallinan – in his article Move Over, NATO and IMF: Eurasia Is Coming – the BRICS’ construction of a Contingent Reserve Arrangement will give its members emergency access to foreign currency, which might eventually dethrone the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The creation of a development bank will make it possible to bypass the IMF for balance-of-payment loans, thus avoiding the organization’s onerous austerity requirements.

Also it was agreed MoU’s among BRICS Export Credit and Guarantees Agencies, as well as the Cooperation Agreement on Innovation within the BRICS Interbank Cooperation Mechanism, which will offer new channels of support for trade and financial ties between the five countries.

BRICS will be trading in their own currencies

BRICS will be trading in their own currencies

So in near future BRICS will be trading in their own currencies, including a globally convertible yuan, further away from the US dollar and the petrodollar. All these actions are strenghtening financial stability of BRICS – a some kind of safety net precaution, an extra line of defense.

Emerging economic powers such as China, India and Brazil have long been demanding greater share of votes in multilateral development institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the Asian Development Bank (ADP) to reflect their recent phenomenal growth.

China’s economy is expected to grow to $10 trillion this year, yet its share of votes in the Bretton Woods institutions is only 3.72 percent, compared with 17.4 percent for the United States. The signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding on eEstablishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) took place in Beijing, Oct. 24, 2014 According to ADB, in the 10 years up to 2020, the region requires investments of $8 trillion in terms of national infrastructure, or $800 billion a year. The ADB currently lends out only about 1.5 percent of this amount. The AIIB is expected to have an initial capital base of $100 billion. The AIIB, to begin with, will serve at least five objectives for China. First, it could help China invest part of its foreign exchange reserves of $3.9 trillion on commercial terms. Second, it will play a vital role in the internationalization of the yuan. And third, the AIIB will boost China’s global influence and enhance its soft power.

BRICS could be expanded to include the MINT countries (MINT is an acronym referring to the economies of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey.), thus furthering the organization’s scope and creating opportunities for a long-term strategic ‘flip’ of those states from their largely Western orientations.

Being in the same organization does not automatically translate into having the same politics on international questions. The BRICS and the recent Gaza conflict are a good example. China called for negotiations; Russia was generally neutral, but slightly friendly toward Israel; India was silent (Israel is New Delhi’s number-one source of arms); South Africa was critical of Israel, and Brazil withdrew its ambassador.

As Russia is taking over the position of the BRICS Chair, the next summit will be held in the city of Ufa in the Republic of Bashkortostan, in July 2015.

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The SCO

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) is the cradle in which the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership (RCSP) was born and raised. Originally founded as the Shanghai Five in 1996, it was reformed as the SCO in 2001 with the inclusion of Uzbekistan. Less than a month after the BRICS’ declaration of independence from the current structures of world finance, the SCO—which includes China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan—approved India, Pakistan, Iran, and Mongolia for membership in the organization. Also SCO has received applications for the status of observers from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

It was the single largest expansion of the economic cooperation and security-minded group in its history, and it could end up diluting the impact of sanctions currently plaguing Moscow over the Ukraine crisis and Tehran over its nuclear program. These countries directly fall into the immediate sphere of the RCSP, where either Russia or China can exert some degree or another of important influence to varying degrees. Also, the SCO sets out the foundations of the RCSP, listing the fight against “terrorism, separatism, and extremism in all their manifestations” (thus including Color Revolutions) as their foremost foe. It just so happens that the U.S. engages in all of these activities in its Eurasian-wide campaign of chaos and control, thereby placing it at existential odds with Russia and China, as well as the other official members. Even before the recent additions, SCO represented three-fifths of Eurasia and 25 percent of the world’s population.

For Iran, SCO membership may serve as a way to bypass the sanctions currently pounding the Iranian economy. Russia and Iran signed a memorandum in August (2014) to exchange Russian energy technology and food for Iranian oil, a move that would violate U.S. sanctions. One particular constraint is Russia’s important relationship with Israel, which Moscow will not give up unless Jerusalem drops its neutral stance and joins the U.S.-led condemnation of Russia.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has also promoted new regional security initiatives. In addition to the already existing Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a Chinese-led security institution that includes Russia and four Central Asian states, Xi wants to build a new Asia-Pacific security structure that would exclude the United States.

As for India and Pakistan energy is a major concern the membership in the oil- and gas-rich SCO is quite reasonable. Whether that will lead to a reduction of tensions between New Delhi and Islamabad over Kashmir remains to see, but at least the two traditional enemies will be in same organization to talk about economic cooperation and regional security on a regular basis.

As joint forum the SCO can ease tensions in Central Asia e.g. between SCO members Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan over borders, and both countries, plus Tajikistan, over water rights. Most SCO members are concerned about security, particularly given the imminent departure of the United States and NATO from Afghanistan. That country might well descend into civil war, one that could have a destabilizing effect on its neighbors. From August 24 -29, SCO members China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan took part in “Peace Mission 2014,” an anti-terrorist exercise to “subdue” a hypothetical Central Asian city that had become a center for terrorist activity.

The BRICS and the SCO are the two largest independent international organizations to develop over the past decade. There is also other developments to reduce old U.S. global dominance. The newly minted Union of South American Nations (USAN) includes every country in South America, including Cuba, and has largely replaced the Organization of American States (OAS), a Cold War relic that excluded Havana. While the United States and Canada are part of the OAS, they were not invited to join USAN.

Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)

Eurasian integration has moved to a higher level, to replace the EurAsEC came a new form of closer Association of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) also known as the Eurasian Union (EAU). To him by the old member States (Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus) was joined by Armenia, the next candidate in the list on the accession of Kyrgyzstan, and later, his desire to join the EAEC expressed and Vietnam. Also the accession of Turkey and Syria are on the way.

Eurasia EU V EU 2Moscow began building a Russian-led community in Eurasia that would give Russia certain economic benefits and, no less important, better bargaining positions with regard to the country’s big continental neighbors—the EU to the west and China to the east.

Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia have been offered by both the European Union and the Eurasian Economic Union to join their integration unions. All three countries opted for the European Union by signing association agreements on March 21, 2014. However break-away regions of Moldova (Transnistria), Ukraine (Republic of Donetsk) and Georgia (South Ossetia and Abkhazia) have expressed a desire to join the Eurasian Customs Union and integrate into the Eurasian Economic Union.

Putin is scheduled to visit Japan later in 2014 in an effort to keep Russia’s technology and investment channel to the country open. And Moscow is expected to reinvigorate ties with India, particularly in the defense technology sphere, under the leadership of newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Eurasian union may become an add-on to, or even an extension of, China’s Silk Road project – a common space for economic and humanitarian cooperation stretching all the way from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean

Treaties and development stages of Eurasian Economic Union/Structural evolution

1991 1996 2000 1995- 2007 2007 & 2011 2014
Eurasian Economic Union(EEU)
Eurasian Economic Space
Eurasian Customs Union (ECU)
Eurasian Economic Community(EurAsEC)
Increased Integration in the Economic and Humanitarian Fields
Commonwealth of Independent States(CIS)

 

Other bilateral developments

Russia is in the process of politically and economically integrating with Kazakhstan and soon Kyrgyzstan under the auspices of the Eurasian Union, and it has mutual security commitments with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).China, on the other hand, is more of a soft leader in Central Asia, having established lucrative business contacts in recent years and struck extremely strategic energy deals with most of the region’s members, first and foremost Turkmenistan.

A Russian-Iranian strategic partnership would extend beyond Caspian and nuclear energy issues and see implicit cooperation between the two in the Mideast, especially in Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. It can even carry over into Afghanistan after the NATO drawdown by year’s end. This can help to build an alternative non-Western-centric trade network that can bolster Russia’s complex economic interdependence with other states. This would give it the opportunity to expand mutual relations beyond the economic sphere and perhaps eventually associate these states into the multilateral webs of BRICS and the SCO.

Russia is also pursuing bilateral relations with Iran with fewer constraints. This refers to nuclear energy, oil and gas, and arms deals, all based on pragmatic considerations: a Russo-Persian alliance is unlikely in view of many differences between Moscow and Tehran and thick layers of mutual suspicion.

At the recent summit of the SCO in Dushanbe (11-12 Sep. 2014) the cooperation with SCO-applicant Iran went wider. Some of the projects were following:

  • The well-known “Uralvagonzavod”, began talks with Iran on the supply of freight cars 40 billion annually.
  • Interestingly, Iran is not on the camera, discussing terms of oil supplies in exchange for electricity, in which Russia plans to build in Iran, the network of hydro – and thermal power plants.
  • Iran and Russia have made progress towards an oil-for-goods deal sources said would be worth up to $20 billion, which would enable Tehran to boost vital energy exports in defiance of Western sanctions. In January Reuters reported Moscow and Tehran were discussing a barter deal that would see Moscow buy up to 500,000 barrels a day of Iranian oil in exchange for Russian equipment and goods.

(Source: EN.XPPX.org)

One particular constraint is Russia’s important relationship with Israel, which Moscow will not give up unless Jerusalem drops its neutral stance and joins the U.S.-led condemnation of Russia.

japan_russia_natural_gas01

Putin is scheduled to visit Japan later in 2014 in an effort to keep Russia’s technology and investment channel to the country open. Russia is interested in restarting talks to build a natural gas pipeline between its Sakhalin Island and Japan’s far northern island of Hokkaido, Russia already supplies 9.8 percent of Japan’s LNG imports. The proposed pipeline would deliver 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas every year, which at full capacity would supply 17 percent of Japan’s total natural gas imports. As an additional bonus, using a pipeline does not require the building of expensive regasification plants and natural gas from Russia would probably still be relatively cheap. This is also part of Moscow’s attempt to balance its interests and expand its energy influence eastward.

Also Moscow is expected to reinvigorate ties with India, particularly in the defense technology sphere, under the leadership of newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Russia also hopes that Russian-Serbian trade will reach 2 billion dollars this year. He said that a free trade regime existing between the two countries was contributing to steady development of Russian-Serbian economic ties. “Our reciprocal trade turnover grew by 15% to reach 1.97 billion dollars in 2013. It grew by another 16.5% to reach 1.2 billion dollars in the first half of 2014. We hope to reach the figure of 2 billion dollars this year” Putin stressed. Positive dynamics can be seen in the sphere of investments. The total volume of Russian capital investments in Serbia has exceeded 3 billion dollars, the bulk of which was channeled into the strategically important energy sector.

While Russia is consolidating its influence over the former Soviet sphere with states which it already has cultivated deep relations with, China is moving in due its strategic interest in Central Asia. For China a top priority is to be able to diversify its natural resource import routes in order to avoid the U.S. dominated Straits of Malacca.

The growing influence of China in Southeast and East Asia and the Indian Ocean is explained with “string of pearls” concept (strategic points such as Hainan Island, the Woody Islands/close to Vietnam, Chittagong/Bangladesh, Sittue and the Coco Islands/Myanmar, Hambantota/Sri Lanka etc.). The “string of pearls” strategy is aimed at protecting China’s oil flows, affirming the country as a global naval power with diverse interests throughout the world, and overcoming attempts by the USA to cut off access to or from China via the world’s oceans. Furthermore, an important task lay in minimizing potential threats in the most complex and vulnerable choke point at the junction of two oceans, named the “Malacca Dilemma”. (Source and more in Second Wind for China’s String of Pearls Strategy   by Nina Lebedeva ).

Tehran is reaching out to Beijing as well. Iran and China have negotiated a deal to trade Iran’s oil for China’s manufactured goods. Beijing is currently Iran’s number-one customer for oil. In late September, two Chinese warships paid a first-ever visit to Iran, and the two countries’ navies carried out joint anti-piracy and rescue maneuvers.

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Importing more gas from Russia helps Beijing to gradually escape its Malacca and Hormuz dilemma and industrialize the immense, highly populated and heavily dependent on agriculture interior provinces.

The Northern East-West Freight Corridor(Eurasian Landbridge) is an idea to link the Far East and Europe by rail takes its origin with the construction of the Trans Siberian railway linking Moscow to Vladivostok, completed in 1916. With a length of 9,200 km it is the longest rail segment in the world. It was initially used solely as an inland rail link, but in the 1960s the Soviet Union started offering a landbridge service from Vladivostok using the Trans Siberian to reach Western Europe.

Energy war

U.S. ally inside OPEC, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has been flooding the market with deep discounted oil, triggering a price war within OPEC, with Iran following suit and panic selling short in oil futures markets. The Saudis are targeting sales to Asia for the discounts and in particular, its major Asian customer, China where it is reportedly offering its crude for a mere $50 to $60 a barrel rather than the earlier price of around $100. When combined with the financial losses of Russian state natural gas sales to Ukraine and prospects of a US-instigated cutoff of the transit of Russian gas to the huge EU market this winter as EU stockpiles become low, the pressure on oil prices hits Moscow doubly. More than 50% of Russian state revenue comes from its export sales of oil and gas. The US-Saudi oil price manipulation is aimed at destabilizing several strong opponents of U.S. globalist policies. Targets include Iran and Syria, both allies of Russia in opposing a US sole Superpower. In fact the oil weapon is accelerating recent Russian moves to focus its economic power on national interests and lessen dependence on the Dollar system. If the dollar ceases being the currency of world trade, especially oil trade, the US Treasury faces financial catastrophe.

The shale gas revolution and a greater availability of LNG technologies, EU regulatory initiatives and implementation of the Third Energy Package provisions play a key role in transformations of gas markets.

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Now there might be a global oil war underway pitting the United States and Saudi Arabia on one side against Russia and Iran on the other.

In July 2011, the governments of Syria, Iran and Iraq signed an historic gas pipeline energy agreement which went largely unnoticed in the midst of the NATO-Saudi-Qatari war to remove Assad. The pipeline, envisioned to cost $10 billion and take three years to complete, would run from the Iranian Port Assalouyeh near the South Pars gas field in the Persian Gulf, to Damascus in Syria via Iraq territory. The agreement would make Syria the center of assembly and production in conjunction with the reserves of Lebanon. This is a geopolitically strategic space that geographically opens for the first time, extending from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. As Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar put it, “The Iran-Iraq-Syria pipeline – if it’s ever built – would solidify a predominantly Shi’ite axis through an economic, steel umbilical cord.”

In ongoing oil war the U.S. shale oil producers will suffer most. According to experts’ estimates, the cost of production is around 80-90 dollars a barrel, 4-5 times more than the traditional oil. It means that the current price – 85 dollars a barrel as of October 17 – makes the companies operate in the red. Some producers will have to suspend operations facing mass bankruptcy in case the oil price falls lower than 80 dollars as shareholders start getting rid of zero profit bonds. The shale oil «soap bubble» will blow like the housing construction industry «bubble» blew in 2008. Of course, as time goes by oil prices will go up but it’ll be a different world with some US oil producers non-existent anymore…

Russia insists the South Stream project should be exempt from the effect of the Third Energy Package because it signed bilateral inter-governmental agreements with the EU countries participating in the construction of the gas pipeline on their territory before the EU’s new energy legislation came into force. Therefore, Russia says that the European Commission’s requirement to adapt these documents to the Third Energy Package contradicts the basic law principle that legislation cannot have retroactive force. The Third Energy Package requires, in particular, that a half of the capacities of the pipeline built with Russian money must be reserved for independent suppliers, i.e. for cheap and free transit of Caspian gas to Europe independently from Russia. Therefore, Russia does not recognize the legitimacy of applying the Third Energy Package to the South Stream gas pipeline project.

Bottom line

Russia has accelerated its building of the Eurasian Bridge: Russia has the geostrategic opportunity of being an air, land, and sea bridge between Europe and East Asia. In line with China’s Silk Road and New Eurasian Land Bridge projects, the concept of the Northern Sea Route, and international air routes traversing Siberia, Russia can use its geographic position to reap the resultant dividends of East-West trade and thereby increasing its middleman importance.

The geopolitical situation is now transforming from traditional Sino-U.S. relations to U.S.-China-Russia triangle in which China, rather than the United States, will be the central player.

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In addition the EU is worried that Russia will turn east and Europe will lose much of its Russian market share. At a time when the euro area threatens to collapse, where an acute economic crisis has led the U.S. into a debt of up to 14 940 billion, and where their influence is dwindling in the face of the emerging BRICS powers,it becomes clear that the key to economic success and political domination lies mainly in the control of the energy source of the century: gas.

With China signing the natural gas deal with Russia and the president of China publicly stating that it’s time to create a new security model for the Asian nations that includes Russia and Iran, it’s clear China has chosen Russia over the U.S. Today the US-backed wars in Ukraine and in Syria are but two fronts in the same strategic war to cripple Russia and China and to rupture any Eurasian counter-pole to a U.S.-controlled regions. In each, control of energy pipelines, this time primarily of natural gas pipelines—from Russia to the EU via Ukraine and from Iran and Syria to the EU via Syria—is the strategic goal.

So far U.S. has bullied its way around smaller nations for too long now. It seems to me that finally there is coming to be a coalition of new axis with Eurasia and China. Russia and China are leading of developing a network of “parallel structures” to existing international organizations and institutions. The end goal is to create an alternative reality for international engagement, so that China can expand its own influence while escaping the restrictions of the current U.S.-dominated system.

In my conclusion the era when the IMF, World Bank, and U.S. Treasury could essentially dictate international finances and intimidate or crush opponents with sanctions, pressure and threads are drawing to a close – the BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are two nails in that coffin. These independent poles (BRICS, SCO, USAN) are developing fast and it remains to see what their ultimate impact on international politics will be – my scenario is that the impact will be a drastic shift from U.S. dominance to more balanced juxtaposition of U.S. and Eurasia.

Source Themes of Ari Rusila

Posted in China, India, Russia, South America0 Comments

Thar, Payas Aur Pani (Thar, Thirst and Water)

NOVANEWS

Map of Pakistan

Reviewed By Sajjad Shaukat

Deserts have witnessed the decay of many civilizations. Although some people might have

rendered their services for humanitarian work in those barren places, yet we do not have any

record of remote history. But, in the modern age of technology, these services and relief-work of

individuals can be preserved.

In this regard, Thar, Payas Aur Pani (Thar, Thirst and Water) is the latest book authored by Dr.

Asif Mahmood Jah who is the founder of Customs Health Care Society established in 1998 at

449-Jehan Block, Allama Iqbal Town, Lahore. The details of medical and relief work so far

undertaken under his patronage by the teams of Customs Health Care Society in drought hit

areas of Tharparkar are given as below:-

i) Establishment of four clinics.

ii) Treatment of 50,000 patients in drought stricken areas of Tharparkar.

iii) Distribution of relief goods worth millions of rupees among the thousands of

iv) Installation of deep bore 20 hand pumps.

v) Repairing of old wells.

vi) Digging of 50 new wells providing fresh, hygienic, sweet and clean water to

The book contains heart-rending short stories and is not only a travelogue but also a

short history of culture, living style and humane service with dignity in the deserts and

drought hit areas of Thar. The author is a medical physician, real historian, a writer

who has synthesised facts with great precision and expertise. Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah

and his companions, workers and supporters of Customs Health Care Society deserve

congratulations for writing a new history of humanitarianism in Thar. The team of

doctors, selfless workers and volunteers served the humanity in distress in the deserts of

Thar without any discrimination of race, colour, creed and even religion. The members

of the Society provided edibles, medicines, water, cash and all sorts of relief goods to

the poor and needy inhabitants of Thar. They repaired old wells and constructed new 50

wells with the result that Muslims and Non-Muslims of the area proclaim their services

with fervour and zeal. The book points out the inside story how people of Pakistan and

other NGOs like Flahe-e-Insaniyat Foundation, Alkhidmat and Malik Riaz served the

humanity at large with sincerity and purposefulness.

“Thar Payas Aur Pani” is a book in Urdu relating to the catastrophic event of drought

which shook the poor inhabitants of Thar. The title defies all attempts at translation

because any translation will kill its alliterative effect. It is not a narrative in usefully

accepted tone and tenor, as it is not intended to be a historical record of the eventful

moments and yet it is history in its own way. However, it is more akin to notes in a diary.

The mischief done by the drought and deaths of innocent souls touched the inner most

chord of the author’s heart and he immediately made it mandatory on himself to snatch

some time out of his onerous officials responsibilities and provide all possible succour to

the drought stricken population which his limited resources could muster. He organized

families.

thousands of humans as well as animals on daily basis.

teams of doctors, paramedics and volunteers and this small caravan made a number of

trips to the affected areas with supplies of medicines, blankets, tents, food stuffs and

other articles of urgent human needs. Battling against hostile weather conditions, each

trip found its way to far flung areas seldom visited by other similar teams in difficult and

hazardous desert terrains, and his team contributed its full might to people completely

cut off from humanity thereby enabling them to discover some twinkling lights in the

enveloping darkness.

In this respect, Dr. Asif Jah writes in the book, “Since the first week of March uptil

today, we are present in the valley of Mehran fully equipped with the gadgets of Customs

Health Care Society ready to serve the affected people of drought and quench their thirst

by digging of new wells. On behalf of the Customs Health Care Society, we have visited

every nook and corner of the drought hit areas and established medical camps in almost

every Goth of Thar and distributed relief goods of all sorts worth million of rupees. We

realised the depth of poverty where people have no house for living, nothing to eat and

no clean drinking water. One has to live in the mud-houses or small huts full of reptiles,

mosquitoes and snakes.”

He elaborates, “In Tharparkar, the biggest problem is the provision of clean drinking

water. Thus we embarked on digging of new wells and repairing old wells and installing

hand pumps. We were short of funds, but with the help of Allah Almighty we continued

digging of new wells. 50 new wells have been dug so far which are providing clean and

sweet drinking water to the people of Thar.”

Whenever any calamity captures Sindh, the beautiful peacocks become their victims first;

two years ago after heavy rains and floods, hundreds of peacocks died due to viral disease

(Rani Khet) of the desert. The book “Thar Payas Aur Pani” comprises three sections. The

first section mentions the efforts of the selfless workers, sincere and patriotic sympathises

of the Custom Health Care Society engaged in the treatment of hundreds of patients

scattered all over the Thar deserts of district Tharparkar. The author is full of praise for

friends from Pakistan and abroad who provided funds for relief activities and digging

of 50 new wells. The book gives a vivid account of digging of new wells by Human

Boring Machine. In this age of machines, the digging of wells upto 300 feet deep is

done manually without the assistance of any modern day gadgets. The description by

the author captures the sighs and tears and hopes and fears of the unfortunate victims of

drought and their longings for life and water with poignant realism in the aftermath of the

tragedy. The second section of the book describes the account of heavy rains and floods

striking the inhabitants of the areas of Sindh two years ago. It also describes the rescue,

rehabilitation and relief efforts of Customs Health Care Society during the year 2012.

The third section of the book includes the articles published in the newspapers during the

early period when the news of deaths of children due to malnutrition and shortage of food

spread across the country.

The author is thankful to his wife Asma Asif and his children Yumna, Mahnoor and

Hafiz Huzaifa Bashir who assisted him in the preparation of the book. He is also grateful

to intellectuals, columnists and writers namely Dr. Anwar Sadeed, Jabbar Mirza, Asrar

Bukhari, Dr. Ajmal Niazi, Aslam Kamal and Khalid Yazdani who appreciated the selfless

workers of the Customs Health Care Society, working under his patronage.

Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah’s book is interspersed with a large number of pictorial

illustrations of the visited locations. The compilation which spreads over 310 pages is

hard bound with a tasteful dust cover of symbolic significance.

Published by Ilm-o-Irfan Publishers, Al-Hamad Market 40-Urdu Bazar, Lahore

Phone: 042-37232336 and 37352332, Price: Rs. 450/-.

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

Pakistan: TTP Again Targets Innocent Persons

NOVANEWS

By Sajjad Shaukat

More than 65 people were killed in a suicide attack on November 2, this year near a paramilitary

soldiers’ checkpoint at Wagah in Lahore when Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) again targeted

the innocent persons through its affiliated militant outfits, Jundullah and Jamaat-ul-Ahrar which

claimed responsibility for the incident. The victims also include several women and children,

while more than 120 people have been injured. The bombing took place on at least 500 meters

from the Pak-Indian border.

A regards the bombing, TTP spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan, based in Afghanistan, said that it was

carried out by one of their men—some other groups’ claims are baseless. We will soon release

the video of this attack.” He elaborated, “This attack was revenge against the military operation

While, spokesman of Jundullah Ahmed Marwat also pointed out that the attack was a reaction to

military operation Zarb-i-Azb.

In fact, like other linked militant outfits such as Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, Lashkar-e-Janghvi including

other Taliban organistaions, Jundullah and TTP share common tactics and agendas. They often

claim responsibility for the terror-assaults separately to divert attention and to deceive the

security forces and law-enforcing agencies. For example, on September 22, 2013, a twin suicide

bomb attack had killed 127 people at a Peshawar church. Jundallah accepted responsibility of

that attack too. But, TTP had condemned that brutal assault. Afterwards, its spokesman had

remarked that it was in accordance with Sharia (Islamic Jurisprudence) which indicated that

TTP was behind that ruthless incident. So, ambivalent statements of the TTP-led Taliban have

endorsed that it has been playing double game.

However, in the recent years, militants of the TTP and its affiliated outfits have been using

suicide bombing as their main weapon by targeting innocent civilians, women and children,

Armed Forces and government functionaries, anti-polio workers, airports, markets, schools,

parks, mosques, Imambargahs, churches, temples, shrines, bus stops, railway stations,

passengers’ trains and so on. They conducted various terror-activities like ruthless beheadings of

tribesmen. They also attacked the female teachers in order to deny education to girls, and even

did not spare burial places of the Sufi Saints, and disgraced dead bodies. Their nefarious acts

resulted into killings of several innocent persons in Pakistan.

Undoubtedly, in our country, the victims of terror attacks and suicide bombings have been

innocent men, women and children. Their families mourn and raise a question asking for what

crime their loved ones were punished in a way. Regrettably, those militant entities like TTP,

which try to justify terrorism and suicide bombings in the name of Islam are misguiding the

people, while these brutal acts are clearly against the teachings of Islam.

In this context, Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti (Mufti-e-Azam),Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah

al-Sheikh issued a Fatwa (Religious verdict) asserting that suicide attacks are illegal and

illegitimate (Haram).” He explained, “Such acts fall under the category of crime and suicide

bombers or attackers are destined to go to Hell…they represent an adversary of Islam and

enemy of Muslims and they commit crimes against humanity, while misguiding other Muslims,

especially the innocent youth.”

From time to time, while condemning the TTP insurgents’ inhuman activities, undemocratic

and un-Islamic practices, various Ulema (Islamic scholars) have clarified in their joint fatwa,

and separate statements that “killing of innocent people, target killings and suicide bombings

including sectarianism are against the spirit of Islam…the terrorists’ self-adopted interpretation

of Islam was nothing but ignorance and digression from the actual teachings of the religion. They

elaborated that Islam does not forbid women’s education.

While, Islam is a religion of universal application, as it emphasises peace, democracy,

moderation and human rights including tolerance of political groups, religious communities

and sects which are in minority in a country. It also permits periodic reinterpretation of Islamic

teachings which is called Ijtihad.

The Constitution of 1973 which was unanimously adopted, clearly states that Pakistan is

basically a democracy guided by the Islamic principles and values—no law would be made

contrary to Quran and Sunnah.

Notably, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in his sermon at Hajjatul Wida issued directions for

protection of life, property and dignity of the whole mankind. The sermon became a charter of

democracy which was included in the constitutions of the western elected governments in one

As a matter of fact, Islam and democracy have co-relationship with each other. Diversified

people and Ulema participate in the system of representatives, which does not exclude or

discriminate any one on basis of caste, creed and sect. It does not confine religion to mosque.

Here, it is mentionable that within four months, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have almost defeated

the ferocious terrorists of the TTP by clearing more than 80 percent of the areas of North

Waziristan Agency by military operation Zarb-e-Azb which has broken the backbone of the

insurgents, and is rapidly been achieving its objectives. The operation has full support of the civil

government, opposition parties and Ulema including all other segments of society and general

masses who are united against terrorism. In this regard, DG, ISPR Directorate, Major-Gen. Asim

Saleem Bajwa had stated, “Armed forces of Pakistan have launched the operation against foreign

and local terrorists…who had been waging a war against the state of Pakistan by disrupting our

national life in all its dimensions…with the support of the entire nation, these enemies will be

denied space across the country.”

Regarding terror-attack at Wagah border, Maj-Gen. Asim Bajwa stated on November 3 that the

massive attendance with fervor during the flag ceremony at Wagah border has proved that nation

was not afraid of these terrorists and it was united in its fight against terrorism.

Nonetheless, Islam considers killing one innocent person equal to murdering the entire humanity,

while Jihad is a sacred obligation, but its real spirit needs to be understood clearly, as killing

innocent women and children is not Jihad. By playing in the hands of anti-Pakistan foreign

countries, especially Indian secret agency RAW, the TTP and its banned affiliated groups are

defaming Islam, and are weakening our country by targeting the innocent persons like those of

the Wagah border incident.

Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants,

Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations

Posted in Pakistan & Kashmir0 Comments

Petrodollar Panic? China Signs Currency Swap Deal With Qatar and Canada

NOVANEWS
Global Research
petrole-algerie

The march of global de-dollarization continues. 

In the last few days, China has signed direct currency agreements with Canada becoming North America’s first offshore RMB hub, which CBC reports analysts suggest “could double maybe even triple the level of Canadian trade between Canada and China,” impacting the need for Dollars.But that is not the week’s biggest Petrodollar precariousness news, as The Examiner reports, a new chink in the petrodollar system was forged as China signed an agreement with Qatar to begin direct currency swaps between the two nations using the Yuan, and establishing the foundation for new direct trade with the OPEC nation in the very heart of the petrodollar system. As Simon Black warns, ”It’s happening… with increasing speed and frequency.”

As CBC reports,

Authorized by China’s central bank, the deal will allow direct business between the Canadian dollar and the Chinese yuan, cutting out the middle man — in most cases, the U.S. dollar.

Canadian exporters forced to use the American currency to do business in China are faced with higher currency exchange costs and longer waits to close deals.

“It’s something the prime minister has been talking about. He wants Canadian companies, particularly small- and medium-sized businesses, doing more and more work in China, selling goods and services there,” said CBC’s Catherine Cullen, reporting from Beijing.

Sovereign Man’s Simon Black has some ominous thoughts on Canada’s move…

It’s happening. With increasing speed and frequency.

The People’s Bank of China and the Canadian Prime Minister’s office issued a statement on Saturday stating that Canada will establish North America’s first offshore renminbi trading center in Toronto.

China and Canada agreed on a number of measures to increase the use of renminbi in trade, business, and investment. And they further signed a 200-billion renminbi bilateral currency swap agreement.

Moreover, just today, hot off the presses, the central banks of China and Malaysia announced the establishment of renminbi clearing arrangements in Kuala Lumpur, which will further increase the use of renminbi in South-East Asia.

This comes just two weeks after Asia’s leading financial center, Singapore, became a major renminbi hub, with direct convertibility established between the Singapore dollar and the renminbi.

And as Black notes, everyone is in on the trend. All across the world, the renminbi is quickly becoming THE currency for trade, investment, and even savings.

Renminbi deposits in South Korea, for example, surged 55-times in one single year. It’s stunning.

The government of UK just issued a renminbi bond, becoming the first foreign government to issue debt in renminbi.

Even the European Central bank is debating to include renminbi in its official reserves, while politicians the world over are sounding not-so-subtle warnings that a new non-dollar monetary system is needed.

Nothing goes up or down in a straight line. And given how volatile Europe and the global economy continue to be, the dollar may certainly be in for its surges and bumps in the coming months.

But over the long-term it’s glaringly obvious where this trend is going: the rest of the world no longer wants to rely on the US dollar, and they’re making it a reality whether the US likes it or not.

*  *  *

And now, no lesser oil-producing state than controversial Qatar has signed an agreement too.. seemingly opening up the door to Petrodollar panic… (as The Examiner reports)

The petro-dollar system is the heart and soul of America’s domination over the global reserve currency, and their right to make all nations have to purchase U.S. dollars to be able to buy oil in the open market. Bound through an agreement with Saudi Arabia and OPEC in 1973, this de facto standard has lasted for over 41 years and has been the driving force behind America’s economic, political, and military power.

But on Nov. 3 a new chink in the petro-dollar system was forged as China signed an agreement with Qatar to begin direct currency swaps between the two nations using the Yuan, and establishing the foundation for new direct trade with the OPEC nation in the very heart of the petro-dollar system.

While this new agreement between China and Qatar is only for the equivalent of $5.7 billion over the next three years, Qatar becomes the 24th nation to open its Forex market to the Chinese currency, and solidifies acceptance of the Yuan as a viable option for the future in the Middle East.

China’s central bank announced Monday that it has signed a currency swap deal worth 35 billion yuan (about 5.7 billion US dollars) with the central bank of Qatar.

The three-year deal could be extended upon agreement by the two sides,said a statement on the website of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC).

Also on Monday, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on Renminbi clearing settlement in Doha. China agreed to extend the RMB Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme to Qatar, with an initial quota of 30 billion yuan.

The deal marked a new step forward in financial cooperation between the two countries, and will facilitate bilateral trade and investment to help maintain regional financial stability, the statement said. - China Daily

It is perhaps no coincidence that the term for the new agreement is set for three years, and is within the exact time frame being predicted by the director of the Finance Institute under the Development Research Center of the State Council, Zhang Chenghui for the Renminbi to become fully convertible in the global financial system.

The need for new markets and a more stable trade currency in Qatar could be tied to a new report issued last week by French bank BNP Paribas which showed that petro-dollar recycling has fallen to its lowest levels in 18 years, signifying that even oil producing nations in the Middle East are finding it difficult to trust the U.S. dollar, and facilitate its use in trade due to its depreciation since the advent of the Federal Reserve’s massive QE programs.

Nearly every week now, China, Russia, or one of the BRICS nations are finalizing agreements that supersede the old system of dollar trade and reliance on the petro-dollar system. And as many countries begin to reject the dollar due to the exported inflation that is growing in nations that are relegated to having to hold them for global oil purchases, alternatives such as the Chinese Yuan will become a more viable option, especially now that the Asian power has taken over the top spot as the world’s biggest economy.

*  *  *

The demise of Petrdollar flows…

Posted in China0 Comments

The APEC Circus: Unfree Trade and Growing Insecurity

NOVANEWS
Global Research
free trade

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation gathering in Beijing has been another excuse to go through the motions of old problems and old requests.  Rivalries are being scratched and aggravated.  The speech writers have been busy attempting to give the leaders some mettle to work with.

The United States stayed true to form with the Obama administration reiterating its desire to see more Australian troops, among other contingents, deployed to a doomed Iraq.  (There are already 200 Australian special forces engaged.)  In his meeting with Abbott at the US embassy in Beijing, Obama spoke of how the Australian prime minister had personally “expressed his extraordinary commitment to battling foreign fighters that threaten both of our homelands.”  Again, a distant enemy, posing threats to regimes that have enabled, in part, their existence to prosper, become localised foes in need of military punishment.  Misguided sponsors tend to be aggrieved.

The Chinese and Japanese delegations were unsurprisingly glacial, a relationship placed in refrigeration after recent territorial spats.  An Abe-Xi meeting, one lasting 25 minutes, may have been grating to the duellists, but it did at least take place.

Then there was the great hoodwinking rhetoric of free trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, something, it should be added, China is not a party to.  Enter the lair of the beast, Obama seemed to be suggesting, then poke its eyes.

The disjunction was even noted by the dimmer members of the press corps, who found the idea of running APEC in Beijing simultaneously with side room chats about the TPP in the snubbed host country a touch jarring.  The Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was characteristically oblivious.  “I think that everyone wants to see freer trade in the Asia-Pacific region” (The Age, Nov 11).

Abbott, along with the leaders of Canada, Mexico, Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Brunei, Malaysia, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam, were all being “hosted” in the US embassy in Beijing at Obama’s insistence.  “This has the potential for being a historic achievement,” uttered the president.[1]  Those at China’s Xinhua News Agency saw it as an ominous affront.  “What the United States [has] done aroused suspicions in this region.”

The issue of China, trade, and agreements designed to keep it shackled, if only superficially, is always doused with a good deal of water when it flares up. China is both problem and salvation, a necessary nuisance dealing with the global pocket book.  Obama, in response to a question by an Australian journalist, proferred the old line that, “it’s in all our interests for China to be successful, prosperous and to be an outstanding international partner.”

For all of that, hegemons don’t like equal company in the theme parks of history.  The American variant of this is to seek submissive “partners” via trade and security agreements dolled up as informed consent.

The biggest issue regarding the TPP lies, as it often does, in a term.  Free trade is fanciful, and at worse, a dangerous fantasy.  Such trade junkies would actually have you believe that a regime without tariffs, or reduced tariffs, entails giddy, heart-felt freedom.  Instead, such arrangements usually entail restrictions, exclusions, and intrusions.  Governments may believe they cannot control the global economic environment, but it would be better to suggest that they simply don’t want to.

Old canards have filled the press conferences and speeches given by Obama at the gathering.  They are larded with the talk of manic production, dreamily inflated trade figures, and mechanical like outputs.  During the course of “the next five years,” he reminds the APEC CEO gathering, “nearly half of all the economic growth outside the United States is projected to come from right here, in Asia.”[2]  There is no actual discussion – or at the very least open discussion – about the ways such growth is meant to be attained.  Will it be through protecting the intellectual property rights of developed states in the partnership?  What of environmental protections in the wake of accelerated economic growth?

The truth is that the winds have started to cool in the TPP discussions, at least when it comes to specific countries concerned by the Washington agenda.  This is hardly mentioned in the banal script befitting an APEC gathering.  Nor should it be surprising except to anyone who has ventured to the released chapters on WikiLeaks.  (It is questionable whether some of the delegation members in Beijing are actually well briefed about its contents at all.)

Countries who might have initially felt enthused by the prospects of trade Nirvana are starting to retreat to more conservative domestic positions.  Electorates can only be lied to some of the time.  There are always exceptions.  “Australia,” explained Obama, “has been an outstanding partner on that front.”  Washington will not tolerate wobbly doubters.

Making sure it won’t be left out of all the excitement about free trade that is free as long as it excludes China, Xi Jinping is vigorously pursuing a rival Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific.  Beijing is doing its own bit of Asia-Pacific “rebalancing”.  He promises that China will invest amounts in the order of $1.25 trillion abroad over the next 10 years, while importing something in the order of $10 trillion goods over the next five years.  All of this is punchy stuff, though Xi tends to do what his American counterpart does: fantasise about the unpredictable, and posture about the present.  Market Leninism, for all its exotic strengths, has its own glaring weaknesses.

Posted in China, USA, World0 Comments

Korean Ambassador brings greetings from the WPK to 7th Congress of the CPGB-ML

NOVANEWS

by 

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem,Sr

On 8th November 2014, British workers, members and supporters of the CPGB-ML, with representatives from socialist Cuba and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, celebrated the 97th Anniversary of the Great Socialist October Revolution (1917 – 2014).

Harpal Brar introduces Jorge Luis Garcia, and Hyon Hak Bong. The DPR Korean ambassador then goes on to outline the current imperialist manoeuvres for isolating and strangling the DPR Korea under the guise of ‘protecting human rights’, by moving hostile resolutions through the UN, paving the way for further hostile diplomatic, political and ultimately military intervention and interference in the Korean peninsula.

Comrade Hyon points out the flagrant hypocrisy of the USA, that racist and oppressive prison of nations and hangman of progressive movements and revolutions, which arrogates to itself the right to exploit, police and oppress the entire globe, denouncing the free workers living under socialism – who have abolished economic and class exploitation, and whose entire social and economic policy is dedicated to serving the interests of their own people and the workers of all countries.

The CC of the Workers’ Party of Korea send greetings to the people of Britain on the occasion of the 6th congress of the CPGB-ML.

We say with Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, as outlined in their great work, The communist manifesto: “Workers of all countries unite! You have nothing to loose but your chains – you have a world to win!”

Posted in North Korea, UK0 Comments

“Hong Kong Occupy Central’s” Dirty Money, Leaders engaged in Unethical “Shadow Funding”

NOVANEWS
Global Research
hong-kong-protest-300x199

A torrent of leaked documents and e-mails have exposed the already questionable “Occupy Central” leadership as engaged in unethical, opaque funding. Millions of Hong Kong dollars have been shifted around secretly without “Occupy Central” supporters’ knowledge, concealing the source of the funding and the true nature of “Occupy Central’s” agenda.

For weeks, Beijing, the local Hong Kong government, and analysts around the world have suggested that “Occupy Central” was far from the “spontaneous” “grassroots” movement it claimed to be and that special interests both within Hong Kong and beyond China’s shores were guiding the movement. Leaked e-mails and documents, now confirmed by “Occupy Central” leaders and supporters to be authentic, have proven many of these accusations to be true.

Dirty Money, Dirtier Leaders  

The South China Morning Post (SCMP) has revealed these leaked documents and emails in an ongoing series of articles. This includes their article,Apple Daily head Jimmy Lai donated millions to pan-democrats, leaked files show,” which states:

Hundreds of records detailing millions of dollars in donations to pan-democrats by the Apple Daily’s founder have been leaked to the media, a move the camp slammed as a “smear campaign”.

According to the 900 leaked files, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying has donated more than HK$10 million to pan-democratic parties and politicians since last year. The donations included HK$5 million to the Democratic Party and HK$3 million to the Civic Party.

Other donations detailed in the files include amounts totalling HK$900,000 to the Hong Kong Civic Education Foundation and Hong Kong Democratic Development Network, both co-founded by Reverend Chu Yiu-ming, an organiser of the Occupy Central civil-disobedience movement.

Some media reports suggested the total donations since April 2012 could have been as much as HK$40 million.

Of course, “Occupy Central” co-organizer Martin Lee, is in fact a founding chairman of the Democratic Party, linking Jimmy Lai to yet other organizers of the unrest.

Image: Jimmy Lai (foreground, left) and Martin Lee (foreground, right) have both attempted to distance themselves from “Occupy Central’s” leadership – however, it is clear they are both organizers and leading participants in the unrest themselves. Not only that, it appears that Lai and Lee are both connected financially, with the former handing over large donations to the political party Lee himself helped found. 

While some may be tempted to question the authenticity of the leaks, Jimmy Lai has already verified the claims. Another SCMP article titled, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying says he ‘hasn’t given one cent’ to Occupy Central organisers,”claims:

Lai has been the subject of earlier leaked documents showing he donated millions of dollars to the city’s pan-democrats. He has confirmed that he did so.

The same article would also report:

Lai said that while he had donated large sums of money to politicians in the pro-democracy camp, he had not given a cent to the co-founders of Occupy Central. His newspaper, though, had given the movement discounts for advertisements.

“Democracy” For the Benefit of Whom, the People or the Party?  

And while Lai claims he hasn’t given “one cent” to “Occupy Central’s” organizers, it is clear that the movement itself is not designed for “democracy” for democracy’s sake alone, but simply as a means of putting the pro-Western politicians Lai has admittedly given large donations to, into power.

Image: Benny Tai, the so-called leader of “Occupy Central,” is embroiled in
an expanding scandal involving millions of Hong Kong dollars, multiple
conflicts of interest, and growing scrutiny over ties to dubious special
interests both within Hong Kong, and beyond China’s shores. 

Lai was also found to be providing vast sums of money for “Occupy Central’s” so-called “referendum” conducted earlier this year by the University of Hong Kong Public Opinion Programme (HKUPOP). It should be noted that “Occupy Central” leader Benny Tai is an employee of the University of Hong Kong and has been a chairman of the university’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL), a confirmed recipient of US State Department funding via the US National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and its National Democratic Institute (NDI) subsidiary.

SMCP would report in an article titled, Media mogul Jimmy Lai ‘spent HK$3.5m on Occupy Central vote’, leaked emails show,” that:

Media mogul Jimmy Lai Chee-ying spent millions helping Occupy Central to hold its unofficial referendum in June, leaked emails show.

Lai’s Next Media group also offered extensive advice – including propaganda material – to the Occupy Central organisers – whom Lai dismissed in private as “idealist scholars” who “couldn’t make the cut without help”.

The emails were leaked by the same person who sent documents detailing the Next Media chairman’s political donations to various pan-democrats two weeks ago. It is not clear how the documents were obtained.

One of the exchanges between Lai and his top aide Mark Simon shows that Lai spent some HK$3 million to HK$3.5 million to help the plebiscite. The email did not detail how the money was spent, only mentioning that the costs included “advertisements and billboards”.

Lai has clearly tangled himself in a growing web of his own lies. With the incremental nature of the leaks affording Lai time to make further denials only to be exposed as a liar with the next series of leaks, he is taking the credibility of “Occupy Central” down with him. And Lai isn’t the only individual involved with “Occupy Central’s” backtracking as the truth is wrung from the the movement’s dubious leadership.

“Occupy Central’s” head organizer Benny Tai himself, has now been implicated in moving funds around secretly. SCMP’s article, Occupy leaders refuse to reveal who donated HK$1.3m that co-founder passed to HKU,” would report that:

Occupy Central last night declined to reveal the source of HK$1.3 million in donations that movement co-founder Reverend Chu Yiu-ming passed on to fellow organiser Benny Tai Yiu-ting.

At Chu’s request, Tai gave all the money to the university where he works, to cover some of the expenses it incurred on Occupy’s “civil referendum” and other activities, the movement said.

While “Occupy Central” is portrayed as a people’s movement, or a students’ movement, it is clear it is a politicians’ movement merely dressed up as the latter. Revealed is a dubiously funded leadership trying to claw its way into greater power, all while abusing and exploiting the genuine concerns and good intentions of the many followers who’ve come out into the streets.

Hypocrisy and Semantics 

Occupy Central’s refusal to reveal the source of their funding is beyond dubious and betrays the very nature of what the movement allegedly stands for. Corrupt, opaque cabals of elitists using people toward their own end while wallowing in vast sums of money sounds strikingly familiar – in fact – these are the very claims the “Occupy Central” movement have leveled against the government in Beijing. Yet clearly, “Occupy Central’s” own leadership differs very little beneath the cheap, peeling veneer of a progressive, democratic, movement.

The same SCMP article would also report:

The emails said Professor Chow Shew-ping, HKU’s pro-vice-chancellor, was notified and met Tai on May 29 last year. A director of the university’s development and alumni affairs office said Tai told her about the donor’s identity in July and the “case [was] closed”, said another email.

According to other leaked emails, the third Occupy co-founder – Dr Chan Kin-man – had been in contact with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a US Congress-funded non-profit organisation that promotes democracy. Chan met a “Louisa” from the NED in January last year, while Tai met the vice-president of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs in June last year. The latter non-profit organisation, created by the US government, promotes democracy worldwide.

Chan said Occupy had never received any donation from foreign countries.

Unfortunately for Chan, however, this simply isn’t true. Nearly every “Occupy Central” leader, including Benny Tai himself, belong to organizations or institutions that have received direct funding from NED and its subsidiaries. Unless Chan, like Jimmy Lai and Benny Tai, is attempting to use semantics to dishonestly disclaim foreign funding, such a statement is merely yet another lie from yet another now discredited “Occupy Central” leader.

It is likely that further revelations will be made public. Those taking to the streets, following this dubious collection of liars and frauds, must ask themselves what exactly they are protesting when those leading them appear no different than those they are allegedly protesting against. And while revelations that “Occupy Central’s” leadership are liars and frauds do not in any way justify such behavior within Hong Kong’s current government or in Beijing, it should give “Occupy Central” supporters pause for thought regarding their tactics, strategy, cause, and objectives.

To improve the life of ordinary people, ordinary people must not only formulate solutions themselves, they must be the ones who carry them out. The notion that simply nominating someone else to do it on the public’s behalf leads to the very hypocrisy now on display amid “Occupy Central’s” growing leadership crisis. Instead of blocking up one’s own city streets, pragmatic solutions should be explored and implemented - solutions that are within the reach of local communities and do not require the dirty money of “Occupy Central’s” political leaders, or the even dirtier leaders themselves.

Because just as “Occupy Central’s” leaders are now playing games of semantics to disclaim dubious funding and affiliations, they are likewise merely using semantics to portray their version of dictatorship and elitism as “different” to the one they claim exists in Beijing.

Posted in China0 Comments

“The Renminbi Hub”: Chinese Banks Acquire Stakes in US and Canadian Banks. Is There a Hidden Agenda?

NOVANEWS
Global Research
A yuan banknote is displayed next to a U.S. dollar banknote for the photographer at a money changer inside the Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan

Very big news on the banking front, the Federal Reserve is now apparently allowing Chinese banks to take stakes in U.S. banks.  North of our border, Canada is contemplating becoming one of the many, recent, “renminbi hubs”. 

Why would this be happening?  Why would it be happening now?

First, why is China setting up shop all over the world?

This is an easy one, for business, for trade, for relations.  China knows exactly where the U.S. and the dollar stand, they also know fairly well where and how the U.S. and her dollar will fall.  China is merely preparing the groundwork to trade with Western entities in either local currency or the yuan.  In the case of Canada, China sees a very large energy source along with the mining of many necessary resources they will need in the future.

The thing is, China doing a deal with Canada like this hits very close to home.  Actually, Canada doing a deal like this is almost a slap in the face of the U.S..  Don’t get me wrong, Canada doing a deal with China is good for Canada for all of the right reasons but this is certainly an action of distancing themselves from the U.S..  Should the monetary hub deal be consummated, trade will be facilitated in a win/win fashion for both Canada and China.  I believe this can be viewed as another straw on the U.S. camel’s back and a preparation by Canada for what is about to come.  You must look beneath the surface here, not only will their trade volumes increase, they will actually get paid in a currency issued by an industrial powerhouse where there is no question as to whether or not there is any gold in the vault.  If this deal goes to fruition, it will be clear proof that Canada is attempting to break the leash and no longer being a U.S. lap dog.

As for China’s banks now being allowed to purchase stakes in U.S. banks, this is VERY interesting from both sides of the coin.  Why would China want to do this and why would the U.S. allow it?  The other and even bigger question is “why now”?  Why not five or 10 years ago?  Why not in a “few years”?  I have my opinions on this which is all they are, opinions and not fact but this is a topic that needs to be thought about because it is very curious indeed!

Why would China want to do this if she thinks the U.S. is a bankrupt entity which she surely must?  Could this only be a “toe hold” or an avenue to picking up the pieces later and profiting while doing so?  Yes, probably.  Is this a way to be able to look inside our banks to see how bad it really is?  Again, probably.  Remember, with any “percentage” stake comes the ability to be represented on the board of directors.  Is this a way to put a “spy” on the inside, in plain sight and legally?  I think yes.  Also remember, the way to “control” the masses throughout time has been to control the currency and the banks.  Owning large swaths of the U.S. banking industry in the future can only lead to knowledge, eventual profits and at least some control on our home turf.

On the other hand, why would the Federal Reserve allow China into our banking system?  Off the top of my head, maybe because the banks need the capital?  Or worse, maybe China has told the Federal Reserve to “do it or else”?  The “or else” part could be anything at this point.  If China still owns all of the Treasury debt claimed by the Fed as custodian, maybe they are threatening to dump?  Maybe they are threatening to upset the gold, silver or any multitude of commodity markets?  …which of course would knock the legs out from under the dollar itself.  If you recall, it was about 10 years ago when China wanted to buy out Unocal and were rebuffed for “national security” reasons, why would the Fed agree to this…now?

As I mentioned, one of the reasons may be because “we” collectively need the capital.  I say “collectively” because even though we are told our economy is growing, it is not growing in real terms, only nominal terms because of inflation.  The economy is not generating enough income (savings) for future growth.  We are and have been eating our seed corn rather than saving.  The Fed has “printed” money to sustain and “prolong” the economy but this is not real capital.  It is liquidity only rather than real hard capital (unencumbered) for future use, let me explain just a little.  You see, when the Fed injects dollars into the system it boosts the amount of dollars outstanding …but, eventually those dollars must be paid off.  It is like borrowing money from your credit card to start a business that only breaks even …the day will eventually come when the credit card must be paid off but the asset (your business) never really grew and really wasn’t worth enough to pay off the debt.

This is the American situation and why I believe we are at this point in time allowing China into our banks, we need some real outside capital to shore up our balance sheets.  Of course we are forgetting one other possibility as long as we are talking about balance sheets.

Maybe the Fed’s own balance sheet which is levered at nearly 80-1 needs some help?  Maybe they realize their “assets” are not worth nearly what they originally paid and their “true” leverage ratio is who knows, 200-1?  You see, the Fed took all of the crappy assets on to their books from the banks so the market participants would never see “trade prices” of .40 cents on the dollar… .20 cents on the dollar or even worse.  Maybe the Fed threw Bernanke’s 1, 2, 3 punch (QE’s) and we didn’t get the hoped for reflation?  Maybe this is only the Fed screaming “help”?

Posted in China, USA0 Comments

India: The Insidious Logic of “Bilateral Investment Protection Agreements” (BIPA)

NOVANEWS
The India UAE Agreement
Global Research
United Arab Emirates (UAE) lead Anti-Iran Alliance on Behalf of  Washington and Tel Aviv

Thanks to the persistent efforts by civil society groups demanding access to the full text of India-UAE bilateral investment promotion and protection agreement (BIPA) under the Right to Information Act, the agreement was recently made public by the concerned appellate authority of Ministry of Finance. 

On December 12, 2013, India signed the agreement with the United Arab Emirates despite an ongoing official review of its existing BIPAs. In early 2013, the then government initiated the review and imposed a moratorium on all ongoing BIPA negotiations in the wake of public outcry over arbitration notices served by foreign investors (including Vodafone and Sistema) demanding billions of dollars in compensation for the alleged violation of existing agreements signed by India.

The Growing Backlash

It is important to note that India is not alone in reviewing its bilateral investment protection regime. Currently, a number of developing countries are questioning the rationale of investment agreements as these are neither necessary nor sufficient to attract foreign investment. The growing number of investor claims against sovereign states challenging a wide array of public policy decisions and regulatory measures has evoked deep concerns about the potential costs associated with such treaties.

South Africa, for instance, terminated its treaties with Germany, Switzerland and Spain based on a three-year review and replaced its bilateral investment regime with a domestic legislation which aims to protect investor rights while safeguarding domestic policy space.

In March 2014, Indonesia decided to terminate its bilateral investment treaty with the Netherlands and other countries due to its growing unease with the existing treaties.

While the new model treaty text is awaited, let us examine some of the important clauses of India-UAE BIPA.

Broader Definition of Investment

Like earlier agreements, India-UAE BIPA defines investment in the broadest terms possible. It means “every kind of asset” including moveable and immoveable property, shares and other interests in companies, monetary claims and contractual rights, intellectual property rights, know-how and goodwill – without any reference to certain limitations or exceptions. Of late, many countries are opting for a narrow definition of investment in treaties by excluding certain forms of investments. In the Indian context, a narrow definition of investment excluding short-term portfolio investments (held less than one year) would have been a better option as the country receives substantial hot money flows from the UAE.

Expansive Obligations

The India-UAE BIPA includes several ambiguous and standalone clauses which could be interpreted in a very expansive manner by foreign investors and arbitral tribunals. It is indeed worrisome that binding provisions such as most favoured nation (favour one, favour all), national treatment (treating foreign and local investors equally) and fair and equitable treatment have been incorporated in the agreement without any qualifications in the agreement. Not long ago, India lost a case against White Industries when the Australian investor took advantage of relying on the most favoured nation provisions in the India-Australia BIPA.

At the global level, a cursory look at some of recently concluded treaties shows that governments are adding exceptions in treaty clauses to pursue specific public policy objectives besides obligations are being carefully worded in a more precise manner to avoid expansive interpretations by arbitral tribunals.

Surprisingly, the India-UAE BIPA prohibits the imposition of additional performance requirements (in the post-establishment phase) “unless such requirements are deemed vital for reasons of public order, public health or environmental concerns.” One wonders why similar exemptions to treaty obligations were not added in other core principles of the agreement.

On the positive side, taxation issues have been excluded from the scope of this agreement to avoid Vodafone-type tax disputes in the future.

Unrestricted Transfer of Payments

The agreement allows unrestricted transfer of payments (including initial capital, returns, earnings, royalties and fees) without any exceptions. This clause is problematic on three counts. Firstly, it would weaken the ongoing efforts to curb cross-border flow of illicit money between India and the UAE. It is well-known that the illicit money derived from corruption, money laundering and other illegal means in India is sent to the UAE (and other low tax jurisdictions such as Mauritius and Singapore) via hawala (an informal system of money transfer across borders) and then sent back home in the guise of foreign investment to earn profits and tax benefits. This process (popularly known as round tripping) is carried out to conceal the identities of actual investors and for tax avoidance purposes. The Indian tax authorities have become increasingly concerned about round-tripping of funds resulting in the loss of huge tax revenues to the exchequer.

Secondly, this clause may restrict the ability of Indian authorities to deploy capital controls in the event of serious balance-of-payments and external financial shocks. It would be a grave mistake for India to surrender the ability to deploy capital controls in order to seek greater investment flows from the UAE. It is important to note that the Article 69 of the India-Japan FTA (signed in 2011) allows the imposition of restrictions on transfer of payments to safeguard the balance-of-payments. What stopped India to include this important provision in the text of India-UAE BIPA?

Thirdly, the government is considering a move to re-impose the limits on royalty payments paid by the Indian subsidiaries to their foreign parent firms. This move has been triggered due to high quantum of outflows on account of technology transfers, know-how, use of brand names and trademark fees since 2009 when the limits were withdrawn. Such outflows accounted for 16-33 percent of the FDI inflows into India between 2010 and 2013. Given India’s vulnerability to external sector shocks, the move to re-impose limits on royalty payments is grounded on legitimate policy objective to curb excessive outflows and therefore cannot be viewed as discriminatory or arbitrary.

Important Changes in Dispute Settlement System

For the settlement of investor-state investment disputes, the BIPA provides an explicit choice to foreign investors to bring their claims to domestic courts or international arbitration (under the framework of UNCITRAL or ICSID). Once an investor has submitted a dispute under any particular forum, that choice “shall be final and binding on that investor.”

In other words, a foreign investor cannot bring claim against host state before an international arbitration tribunal once it has brought its case to domestic courts, and vice versa. This indeed is a major departure from India’s earlier BIPAs which provide recourse to both international arbitration and domestic courts.

More importantly, the India-UAE agreement allows investors to challenge only executive decisions of central and state governments within a period of 5 years. The judicial pronouncements (à la 2G telecom scam) have been kept out of the ambit of this agreement.

Besides, the agreement does not allow the use of umbrella clause – a controversial provision that requires each Contracting State to observe all investment obligations entered into with investors from the other Contracting State. Under the umbrella clause, any breach of investor-State contracts could be considered as treaty violation.

The agreement also describes dispute settlement provisions and procedures in greater detail than previous agreements signed by India.

Furthermore, there is no mention of “sunset clauses” in the BIPA which guarantee investment protection for a further period (usually 10 to 15 years) even after the termination of agreement.

The Article 18 of India-UAE BIPA states that “The agreement shall remain in force for a period of ten years. During that period, and not later than January 1, 2016, both contracting parties shall commence renegotiation of the terms of this agreement and endeavor to enter into a revised or new agreement within a reasonable period.” Put simply, this agreement would be renegotiated before January 2016 once the new model text is ready.

Moving Beyond Tinkering

It is beyond doubt that the current BIPA regime needs a complete overhaul, not just tinkering around the edges. Unfortunately, neither political establishment nor powerful business groups appear to be interested in an overhaul despite the convincing evidence that the current system is susceptible to abuse. The government’s intention is to remain engaged with the BIPA regime.

As second-best option, New Delhi should develop a robust BIPA policy framework with a more balanced and coherent model text, in tune with domestic policies as well as new realities of international investment landscape.

Since the successive Indian governments have shown a keen interest to sign BIPAs with US, Canada and other countries in the coming days, it is imperative that a fine balance between investor rights, regulatory space and investor responsibilities is maintained in the future treaties. The BIPAs, at the very least, should not restrict the ability of the central and state governments to pursue legitimate public policy objectives.

Posted in India0 Comments

Hong Kong “Occupy Central” Funded by Washington: The Neocons and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED)

NOVANEWS

Many “Occupy Central” supporters now admit the US National Endowment for Democracy’s (NED) role in ongoing chaos in Hong Kong and simply say, “so what?” Here’s what…

Global Research
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James T. Griffiths of the South China Morning Post was preparing a hit piece on analysts exposing the US role behind Hong Kong’s ongoing street protests organized by “Occupy Central.” Through a series of various logical fallacies, Griffiths was attempting to undermine and discredit these alternative news sources that have filled in the missing pieces intentionally left out by larger, subjectively pro-Western media monopolies and reporters like Griffiths himself. 

In a conversation with Griffiths, after discussing the unscrupulous nature of his tactics, he finally conceded that indeed, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) was providing cash for certain political groups to carry out their activities in Hong Kong. Griffiths would claim in response to the suggestion that “Occupy Central” taking US cash constituted sedition that:

If you think a pro-democracy NGO handing out money to pro-democracy organisations is creepy, then sure.

Only NED is not a “pro-democracy NGO.” It is a functionary of the United States government and more specifically the US State Department whose very existence is to serve US interests, not those of the many nations its various funding arms, including USAID and NED, meddle in.

Neo-Cons and Corporate Fascists for Democracy? 

Griffiths’ backpedaling is typical. First denying “Occupy Central” was funded from abroad, but since forced to concede otherwise, he is now claiming that such foreign funding constitutes no conflict of interest and is merely the promotion of “democracy.”  It appears, however, that Griffiths either is being dishonest, or is uninformed about the true nature of the National Endowment for Democracy. He refused to comment when presented with a full list of NED’s board of directors.

NED and its subsidiaries, Freedom House, the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI), despite the lofty mission statement articulated on their websites, are little more than fronts for executing American foreign policy. Just as the US military is used under the cover of lies regarding WMD’s and “terrorism,” NED is employed under the cover of bringing “democracy” to “oppressed” people. However, a thorough look at NED’s board of directors, as well as the board of trustees of its subsidiaries definitively lays to rest any doubts that may be lingering over the true nature of these organizations and the causes they support.
More importantly, for the many well-meaning left-leaning liberals intrigued by, and tempted to support “Occupy Central,” revelations that “Occupy Central” is in fact a far-right Neo-Con corporate-fascist scheme to expand a confrontation with China and extort from Beijing geopolitical and economic concessions should at the very least give pause for thought.

The Neo-Cons  

Upon NED’s board of directors are Neo-Conservatives including Elliot AbramsFrancis FukuyamaZalmay KhalilzadWill Marshall, and Vin Weber, all signatories of the pro-war, pro-corporate Neo-Con Project for a New American Century. Within the pages of documents produced by this “think tank” are pleas to various US presidents to pursue war against sovereign nations, the increase of troops in nations already occupied by US forces, and what equates to a call for American global hegemony in a Hitlerian 90 page document titled “Rebuilding Americas Defenses.”

The “Statement of Principles,” signed off by NED chairmen Elliot Abrams, Francis Fukuyama, Zalmay Khalilzad, and Vin Weber, states, “we need to accept responsibility for America’s unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.” Of course this “international order,” is merely a poorly disguised euphemism for global neo-imperialism. Other Neo-Con that signed their name to this statement include Freedom House’s Paula DobrianskyDan Quayle (formerly), and Donald Rumsfeld(formerly). Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, and Eliot Cohen also signed their names to this document.

A PNAC “Statment on Post-War Iraq” regarding a wholehearted endorsement of nation-building and continued occupation features the signatures of NED chairman Will Marshall, Freedom House’s Frank Carlucci (2002), and James Woolsey (formerly), along with Martin Indyk (Lowy Institute board member, co-author of the conspiring “Which Path to Persia?” report), and William Kristol and Robert Kagan both of the warmongeringForeign Policy Initiative. It should be noted that the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) is, for all intents and purposes, PNAC’s latest reincarnation and in 2011 featured an open letter to House Republicans calling on them to disregard the will of the American people and continue pursuing the war in Libya.

Image: US Senator John McCain, chairman of NED’s subsidiary IRI, walks in
Libya’s terrorist capital of Benghazi beside soon-to-be-murdered US
Ambassador Christopher Stevens – killed by the very terrorists he and McCain
had helped arm. 

The FPI letter even suggested that the UN resolution authorizing the war in the first place, was holding America “hostage” and that it should be exceeded in order to do more to “help the Libyan opposition.” This “opposition” was vocally supported by NED subsidiary IRI’s chairman and US Senator John McCainwho stood in Libya’s terrorist capital of Benghazi pledging arms and cash in front of a courthouse that would later serve as a parade ground for legions of Al Qaeda terrorists.

An untitled PNAC letter addressed to then US President George Bush regarding a general call for global warmongering received the seal of approval from Freedom Houses’ Ellen Bork (2007), Ken Adelman (also former lobbyist for Thailand’s Thaksin Shinawatra viaEdelman), and James Woolsey (formerly), along with notorious Neo-Cons Richard Perle, William Kristol, Robert Kagan, and Daniel Pipes.

The Corporate-Fascists 

Upon NED’s board of directors we first find John Bohn who traded petrochemicals, was an international banker for 13 years with Wells Fargo, and is currently serving as a principal for a global advisory and consulting firm, GlobalNet Partners, which assists foreign businesses by making their “entry into the complex China market easy.” Surely Bohn’s ability to manipulate China’s political landscape through NED’s various activities both inside of China and along its peripheries constitutes an alarming conflict of interest.

Image: A visual representation of the National Endowment for Democracy’s corporate-financier ties found across their Board of Directors. Far from “human rights advocates,” they are instead simply leveraging such issues to disguise what is in reality corporate-financier hegemonic expansion.

NED’s current and former board of directors also include the following representatives of Wall Street’s big business:

William Galston: Brookings Institution (corporate sponsors here).

Moises Naim: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (corporate funding here).

Robert Miller: (formerly) corporate lawyer.

Larry Liebenow: (formerly) US Chamber of Commerce (a chief proponent of SOPA), Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).

Anne-Marie Slaughter: (formerly) US State Department, Council on Foreign Relations (corporate members here), director of Citigroup, McDonald’s Corporation, and Political Strategies Advisory Group.

Richard Gephardt: (formerly) US Representative, Boeing lobbyist, Goldman Sachs, Visa, Ameren Corp, and Waste Management Inc lobbyistcorporate consultantconsultant & now director of Ford Motor Company, supporter of the military invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson: CEO of Carlson, director of Exxon Mobil.

Stephen Sestanovich: US State Department, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, CFR.

Judy Shelton: (formerly) director of Hilton Hotels Corporation & Atlantic Coast Airlines.

Andrew J. Nathan: government and business consultant regarding China.

Margaret Spellings:  president of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, former senior adviser to President George Bush, CEO of her own corporate consultant firm. Melanne Verveer: CFR and World Bank member.

Robert Zoellick: Senior Fellow at big-oil’s Belfer Center, served as Vice Chairman, International of Goldman Sachs Group, president of the World Bank Group from 2007-12, served in President George W. Bush’s cabinet as U.S. Trade Representative from 2001 to 2005 and as Deputy Secretary of State from 2005 to 2006.

NED’s subsidiary, NDI, is likewise chaired by a collection of corporate-financier interests. NDI in particular has taken center stage amid the ongoing “Occupy Central” protests, having directly funded various programs and organizations “Occupy Central’s” leadership belong to.

Image: Here, “Occupy Central” co-organizers Martin Lee and Anson Chan attend a 2014 NED-hosted talk in Washington D.C. in a bid to marshal support for planned unrest that would become the “Umbrella Movement.” 

Some select NDI members include:

Robin Carnahan: Formally of the Export-Import Bank of the United States where she “explored innovative ways to help American companies increase their sale of goods and services abroad.” The NDI’s meddling in foreign nations, particularly in elections on behalf of pro-West candidates favoring free-trade, and Carnahan’s previous ties to a bank that sought to expand corporate interests overseas constitutes an alarming conflict of interests.

Richard Blum: An investment banker with Blum Capital, CB Richard Ellis. Engaged in war profiteering along side the Neo-Con infested Carlyle Group, when both acquired shares in EG&Gwhich was then awarded a $600 million military contract during the opening phases of the Iraq invasion.

Bernard W. Aronson: Founder of ACON Investments. Prior to that, he was an adviser to Goldman Sachs, and serves on the boards of directors of Fifth & Pacific Companies, Royal Caribbean International, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, and Chroma Oil & Gas, Northern Tier Energy. Aronson is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which in turn represents the collective interests of some of the largest corporations on Earth.

Sam Gejdenson: NDI’s profile claims Gejdenson is “in charge of” Sam Gejdenson International, which proclaims on its website ”Commerce Without Borders,” or in other words, big-business monopolies via free-trade. In his autobiographical profile, he claims to have promoted US exports as a Democrat on the House International Relations Committee. Here is yet another case of conflicting interests between NDI’s meddling in foreign politics and board members previously involved in “promoting US exports.”

Nancy H. Rubin: CFR member.

Vali Nasr: CFR member and a senior fellow at the big-oil, big-banker Belfer Center at Harvard.

Rich Verma: A partner in the Washington office of Steptoe & Johnson LLP - an international corporate and governmental legal firm representing for Verma, a multitude of conflicting interests and potential improprieties. Setptoe & Johnson is active in many of the nations the NDI is operating in, opening the door for manipulation on both sides to favor the other.

Lynda Thomas: A private investor, formally a senior manager/CPA at Deloitte Haskins & Sells in New York, and Coopers & Lybrand Deloitte in London. Among her clients were international banks.

Maurice Tempelsman: Chairman of the board of directors of Lazare Kaplan International Inc., the largest cutter and polisher of “ideal cut” diamonds in the United States. Also senior partner at Leon Tempelsman & Son, involved in mining, investments and business development and minerals trading in Europe, Russia, Africa, Latin America, Canada and Asia. Yet another immense potential for conflicting interests, where Tempelsman stands to directly gain financially and politically by manipulating foreign governments via the NDI.

Elaine K. Shocas: President of Madeleine Albright, Inc., a private investment firm. She was chief of staff to the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Mission to the United Nations during Madeleine Albright’s tenure as Secretary of State and Ambassador to the United Nation, illustrating a particularly dizzying “revolving door” between big-government and big-business.

Madeleine K. Albright: Chair of Albright Stonebridge Group and Chair of Albright Capital Management LLC, an investment advisory firm – directly affiliated with fellow NDI board member Elaine Shocas, representing an incestuous business/government relationship with overt conflicts of interest. Albright infamously stated that sanctions against Iraq which directly led to the starvation and death of half a million children “was worth it.”

Image: IRI chairman and US Senator John McCain appears again overseas,
this time in support of literal Nazis as they violently overthrew the elected
government of Ukraine.

The International Republican Institute (IRI) also consists of similarly troubling leadership including US Senator John McCain who recently took to the stage in Kiev next to literal Neo-Nazis in support of their violent overthrow of the elected government of Ukraine, and retired general turned corporate lobbyist Brent Scowcroftwho owned stock in companies including General Electric, General Motors, ITT, and Lockheed Martin while acting as US President George Bush’s National Security Adviser.

Freedom House also includes a long list of right-wing Neo-Conservatives, corporate lobbyists, and corporate directors including Neo-Con and corporate lobbyist Kenneth Adelman, Neo-Con and senior fellow at big-oil’s Belfer Center Paula Dobriansky, vice president of International Governmental Affairs for Ford Motor Company Stephen E. Biegun,  Ellen Blackler representing the revolving door between government and big-media having held senior positions both within the US government regarding telecommunications as well as within AT&T and Disney, and Kathryn Dickey Karolrepresenting corporations ranging from Caterpillar to big-pharma giants Eli Lilly & Company and Amgen.

Pro-Democracy? Really? 

It is safe to say that neither NED, Freedom House, nor any of their subsidiaries (IRI/NDI) garner within their ranks characters appropriate for their alleged cause of “supporting freedom around the world.” It is also safe to say that the principles of “democracy,” “freedom,” and “human rights” they allegedly champion for, are merely props behind which they couch their self-serving agendas. Big-oil, big-defense, telecommunication, and pharmaceutical giants, as well as individuals shamelessly spending their entire careers passing through the revolving doors between big-business and big-government do not care about “democracy” in Hong Kong. They care about what they can accomplish under the guise of caring.

James T. Griffiths of the South China Morning Post and supporters of “Occupy Central” have it upon themselves to reconcile the insidious nature of NED, its subsidiaries and the “Occupy Central” leaders willfully accepting support from them. Many of those providing aid to “Occupy Central” and funding their political activity have documented invested interests in manipulating the sociopolitical and economic landscape of both Hong Kong and China, and appear to be doing exactly that – not for the sake of the people of Hong Kong or mainland China, but for the sake of Wall Street and their respective corporate-financier interests

NED represents the very corruption, conflict of interest, and abuse of power many in “Occupy Central” claim to be opposed to. However, those involved in NED’s deception have skillfully dressed up these abuses as progressive – hence why left-leaning liberals find themselves zealously supporting the various global gambits of Neo-Conservatives, corporate-fascists, and faux-liberals.

And just as NED’s other interventions in the Middle East via the “Arab Spring” and the so-called “Euromaidan” in Ukraine have led to bloodshed and chaos, so too will the unrest in Hong Kong if it is not exposed and dismantled. NED has left a trail of destruction, war, subversion, division, and chaos everywhere it has gone – it is now on China’s doorstep.

Posted in China0 Comments

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