Lunar New Year week roundup; Trade talks; Hu…

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Justin O'ConnorFeb 9

Three little glimpses of the new Cold War:

“We should … combine our mutual energies — we have a $40 trillion combined GDP, there is nothing on the planet that is more powerful than that — to meet China and check China in multiple respects: economically, from an intelligence standpoint, militarily,” he said in an interview.

“There are no compelling reasons that I can see to do business with the Chinese, so long as they have the structure in place to reach in and manipulate or spy on their customers,” Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Trump’s envoy in Brussels, said Thursday in an interview. “Those who are charging ahead blindly and embracing the Chinese technology without regard to these concerns may find themselves in a disadvantage in dealing with us.”

Huang’s gradual fall from grace has been the product of an awakening in Australia, stoked by a few China experts in government, a small group of journalists and an increasing number of politicians. It involves a realisation that the Communist Party’s influence activities are not as benign, and far more entrenched in Australia, as many in government had once believed...

Starting with this last, as the Sydney Morning Herald reported, Huang has suggested that if any of the money was given inappropriately, then it should be returned. So far nothing has been heard. This 'small group' is clearly assembled by the US who are whipping its Oz lapdog into shape. Why is American 'influence' good and Chinese 'influence' malign and underhand? It does not stand up to a moment's scrutiny.

As to Huawei spying. It is now impossible to guess what is really as stake here. But can I first say Edward Snowdon and NSA. And then highlight the routine use of industrial espionage by western countries (Australia spied on its neighbour East Timor during sensitive talks on oil reserves and is prosecuting those who revealed this).

The US is currently contemplating military invasion of Venezuela, the latest in a long line. Between 1898 and 1994, Washington overthrew at least 41 governments in Latin America. That's before we get to the middle East. And yet China is a the big enemy? It is a pleasure to behold ideological blindness in such glorious pomp.

Ken WrenFeb 12

Ideologues are always dangerous no matter which side of the political spectrum they claim to be loyal to. The biggest problem i have with the current narrative frenzy is that it is too similar to the rubbish the soviets and chicom used to produce. The parallel between Chicom's famous "would rather be a starving socilaist than a fat capitalists" or "resolutely resist capitalist Know-how and technology" and how countries, governments, companies and individuals are judged (america acting as judge jury and executioner) is too close to ignore. I dont want a world dominated by Chicom ideology, but a world dominated by a blinkered, ideologically blindesided America with unparralleled military and economic power IS no better. No better. Not even the better of two evils. U only need to look AT MENA in the last 20 years and LatAm in the last 100 years to see what the lack of checks and balances produces. Now imagine a replication of libya syria iraq afghanistan across the Chinese landmass. Unlike those examples, which dont really impact America (with the locals and europe taking the brunt), the impact on the world in that case would be hard to ignore, in all dimensions.