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The late Dr. Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski for some time dispensed wisdom as an oracle of US foreign policy, side by side with the perennial Henry Kissinger – who, in vast swathes of the Global South, is regarded as nothing but a war criminal. Brzezinski never achieved the same notoriety. At best he claimed bragging... Read More
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A more sovereign Germany closer to Russia and China may be the straw that breaks the US hegemon’s back
Last week we traced the necessary historical and geopolitical steps to understand Why Russia is driving the West crazy. And then, last Friday, right before the start of the Year of the Metal Ox, came the bombshell, delivered with customary aplomb by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. In an interview with popular talk show host... Read More
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Future historians may register it as the day when usually unflappable Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov decided he had had enough: Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, on an official visit to Moscow, had to take it on the chin. Lavrov, always the perfect gentleman, added, “I hope that the strategic review that will... Read More
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So the Davos Agenda has come and gone. That was the virtual Great Reset preview, hosted by Kissinger acolyte cum World Economic Forum (WEF) oracle Herr Klaus Schwab. Still, corporate/political so-called “leaders” will continue to wax lyrical about the Fourth Industrial Revolution – or its mild spin-offs such as Build Back Better, the favorite slogan... Read More
In a stunning interview to the Beirut-based al Mayadeen network, Hezbollah’s secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has outlined how Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani – assassinated by an American drone strike at Baghdad airport a litle over a year ago – was instrumental in convincing Russia to help Syria militarily in its war against Salafi-jihadis. Here is the... Read More
Xi shows the contrast between Asia's relative serenity and the chaos engulfing the West’s top power centers
The virtual Davos Agenda is finally on, from Monday to Friday this week, promoted by the World Economic Forum (WEF). No, this is not The Great Reset. At least not yet. The Agenda is the aperitivo towards the Great Reset apotheosis at the WEF’s Special Annual Meeting, which will take place this coming spring in... Read More
It was hardly a secret throughout the Trump administration. Now, dying embers within sight, and with minimum fanfare, comes the declassification - virtually the whole document, minus a few redactions – of the US Strategic Framework for the Indo-Pacific. Why now, no less than 30 years before the usual, standard US declassification/public record protocols apply?... Read More
Synchronicity is definitely fond of mirror wonderwalls. The Julian Assange saga seemed to have entered a new chapter as he was, in thesis, on his way to – conditional - freedom this past Monday, only one day after the first anniversary of the start of the Raging Twenties: the assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani.... Read More
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One year ago, the Raging Twenties started with a murder. The assassination of Maj Gen Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy commander of Iraq’s Hashd al-Sha’abi militia, by laser-guided Hellfire missiles launched from two MQ-9 Reaper drones, was an act of... Read More
It’s one of those quintessential journeys that make people dream: Istanbul-Tehran-Islamabad by train. Let’s call it ITI. Soon, in early 2021, ITI will become a reality. But, initially, just as a freight train. The deal was recently sealed at the 10th meeting of the transport and communication ministers of ECO (Economic Cooperation Organization) in Istanbul.... Read More
When it comes to sowing – and profiting – from division, Erdogan’s Turkey is quite the superstar. Under the delightfully named Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the Trump administration duly slapped sanctions on Ankara for daring to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems. The sanctions focused on Turkey’s defence procurement agency, the... Read More
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Seven years after being launched by President Xi Jinping, first in Astana and then in Jakarta, the New Silk Roads, or Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) increasingly drive the American plutocratic oligarchy completely nuts. The relentless paranoia about the Chinese “threat” has much to do with the exit ramp offered by Beijing to a Global... Read More
Four geoeconomic summits compressed in one week tell the story of where we stand in these supremely dystopian times. The (virtual) signing of RCEP in Vietnam was followed by the equally virtual BRICS meeting hosted by Moscow, the APEC meeting hosted by Malaysia, and the G20 this past weekend hosted by Saudi Arabia. Cynics have... Read More
Whatever the geopolitical and geoeconomic consequences of the spectacular US dystopia, the Russia-China strategic partnership, in their own slightly different registers, have already voted on their path forward. Here is how I framed what is at the heart of the Chinese 2021-2025 five-year plan approved at the plenum in Beijing last week. Here is a... Read More
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What happens on November 3rd ? It’s like a larger than life replay of the famous Hollywood adage: “No one knows anything.” The Dem strategy is crystal clear, spawned by the gaming of election scenarios embedded in the Transition Integrity Project and made even more explicit by one of TIP's co-founders, a law professor at... Read More
Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, is the world’s foremost diplomat. The son of an Armenian father and a Russian mother, he’s just on another level altogether. Here, once again, we may be able to see why. Let’s start with the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, Russia’s premier think tank. Here we may follow the... Read More
No Washington-designed “maximum pressure” has been able to derail a crucial milestone this Sunday: the end of the UN arms embargo on Iran, in accordance with UN Security Council 2231, which has endorsed the 2015 JCPOA deal. The JCPOA - or Iran nuclear deal – was unilaterally ditched by the Trump administration. But that, notoriously,... Read More
Chinese scholar Lanxin Xiang has written a book The Quest for Legitimacy in Chinese Politics, that is arguably the most extraordinary effort in decades trying to bridge the East-West politico-historical divide. It's impossible in a brief column to do justice to the relevance of the discussions this book inspires. Here we will highlight some of... Read More
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Everything about US-China hinges on the result of the upcoming US presidential election. Trump 2.0 essentially would turbo-charge its bet on decoupling, aiming to squeeze “malign” China on a multiple Hybrid War front, undermine the Chinese trade surplus, co-opt large swathes of Asia, while always insisting on characterizing China as evil incarnate. Team Biden, even... Read More
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Few geopolitical hot spots across the planet may rival the Caucasus: that intractable, tribal Tower of Babel, throughout History a contentious crossroads of empires from the Levant and nomads from the Eurasian steppes. And it gets even messier when one adds the fog of war. To try to shed some light into the current Armenia-Azerbaijan... Read More
It took one minute for President Trump to introduce a virus at the virtual 75th UN General Assembly, blasting “the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world”. And then it all went downhill. Even as Trump was essentially delivering a campaign speech and could not care less about the multilateral UN, at least the... Read More
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The concept of “History in the making” has been pushed to extremes when it comes to the extraordinary public service being performed by historian, former UK diplomat and human rights activist Craig Murray. Murray - literally, and on a global level – is now positioned as our man in the public gallery, as he painstakingly... Read More
A Beijing-Brussels-Berlin special: that was quite the video-summit. From Beijing, we had President Xi Jinping. From Berlin, Chancellor Angela Merkel. And from Brussels, President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen. The Chinese billed it as the first summit “of its kind in history”. It was... Read More
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9/11 was the foundation stone of the new millennium – ever as much indecipherable as the Mysteries of Eleusis. A year ago, on Asia Times, once again I raised a number of questions that still find no answer. A lightning speed breakdown of the slings and arrows of outrageous (mis)fortune trespassing these two decades will... Read More
An Indian Train Ride. Credit: Asia Times/Facebook.
There was a time when New Delhi was proudly selling the notion of establishing its own New Silk Road – from the Gulf of Oman to the intersection of Central and South Asia - to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Now it looks like the Indians have stabbed themselves in the back.... Read More
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We have seen how China is meticulously planning all its crucial geopolitical and geoeconomic moves all the way to 2030 and beyond. What you are about to read next comes from a series of private, multilateral discussions among intel analysts, and may helpfully design the contours of the Big Picture. In China, it’s clear the... Read More
The contours of China's long-term strategy for the new Cold War are quickly coming into view
Let's start with the story of an incredibly disappearing summit. Every August, the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) converges to the town of Beidaihe, a seaside resort some two hours away from Beijing, to discuss serious policies that then coalesce into key planning strategies to be approved at the CCP Central Committee plenary... Read More
As much as Covid-19 has been instrumentalized by the 0.001% to social engineer a Great Reset, the Beirut tragedy is already being instrumentalized by the usual suspects to keep Lebanon enslaved. Facing oh so timely color revolution-style “protests”, the current Lebanese government led by Prime Minister Diab has already resigned. Even before the port tragedy,... Read More
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Making the case that the explosion resulted from an attack
The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere. And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it. Lebanon is prime John Le... Read More
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When the Ronald Reagan and Nimitz carrier strike groups recently engaged in “operations” in the South China Sea, it did not escape to many a cynic that the US Pacific Fleet was doing its best to turn the infantile Thucydides Trap theory into a self-fulfilling prophecy. The pro forma official spin, via Rear Adm. Jim... Read More
Two decades after a political earthquake, a powerful aftershock that should be rocking Brazil apart is being met with thunderous silence. What is now termed “the Banestado leaks” and “CC5gate” is straight out of vintage WikiLeaks: a list, published for the first time in full, naming names and detailing one of the biggest corruption and... Read More
Late afternoon in May 29, 1453, Sultan Mehmet, the third son of Murad, born of a slave-girl – probably Christian - in the harem, fluent in Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Latin, Persian and Hebrew, followed by his top ministers, his imams and his bodyguard of Janissaries, rides slowly towards the Great Church of St Sophia in... Read More
The no holds barred US-China strategic competition may be leading us to the complete fragmentation of the current “world-system” – as Wallerstein defined it. Yet compared to the South China Sea, the Korean peninsula, the Taiwan Straits, India-China’s Himalayan border, and selected latitudes of the Greater Middle East, Central Asia shines as a portrait of... Read More
No less than 78.03% of Russians have just voted in support of constitutional amendments. Among these, we find the paramount Atlanticist obsession: the possibility that Vladimir Putin will be able to run for two more presidential terms. Predictably, anguished cries of “Dictator! Dictator!” have been lobbied like deadly shells all across the Beltway. They might... Read More
Greece invented the concept of barbaros. Imperial Rome inherited it as barbarus. The original meaning of barbaros is rooted in language: an onomatopoeia meaning “unintelligible speech” as people go “bar bar bar” when they talk. Homer does not refer to barbaros, but to barbarophonos (“of unintelligible speech”), as in those who don’t speak Greek or... Read More
So what’s goin’ on in Iran? How did the Islamic Republic really respond to Covid-19? How is it coping with Washington’s relentless “maximum pressure”? These questions were the subject of a long phone call I placed to Prof. Mohammad Marandi of the University of Tehran – one of Iran’s premier, globally recognized analysts. As Marandi... Read More
Professor Sergey Karaganov is informally known in influential foreign policy circles as the “Russian Kissinger” – with the extra bonus of not having to carry a “war criminal” tag from Vietnam and Cambodia to Chile and beyond. Karaganov is the dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at the National Research University... Read More
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Stranger things have happened. Everyone was expecting US President Donald Trump to go nuclear by de facto sanctioning China to death over Hong Kong. In an environment where Twitter and the President of the United States are now engaged in open warfare, the rule is that there are no rules anymore. So in the end,... Read More
It would be counter-productive for BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organization members India and China to come to blows on account of some extremely remote – albeit strategically important – snowy mountain passes. But when one looks at the 3,488-kilometer-long Line of Actual Control, which India defines as “unresolved,” that can never be totally ruled out.... Read More
The key takeaways of the Two Sessions of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing are already in the public domain. In a nutshell: no GDP target for 2020; a budget deficit of at least 3.6% of GDP; one trillion yuan in special treasury bonds; corporate fees/taxes cut by 2.5 trillion yuan; a defense budget... Read More
A Chinese anti-US propaganda poster from the Korean War era. Photo: Facebook
In 1999, Qiao Liang, then a senior air force colonel in the People’s Liberation Army, and Wang Xiangsui, another senior colonel, caused a tremendous uproar with the publication of Unrestricted Warfare: China’s Master Plan to Destroy America. Unrestricted Warfare was essentially the PLA’s manual for asymmetric warfare: an updating of Sun Tzu’s Art of War.... Read More
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Beijing is turbocharging its Belt and Road and other game-changing plans despite Covid-19 and US hybrid warfare
Amid the deepest economic contraction in nearly a century, President Xi Jinping had already made it very clear, last month, that China should be ready for unprecedented, relentless foreign challenges. He was not referring only to the possible decoupling of global supply chains and the non-stop demonization of every project related to the New Silk... Read More
As the Raging Twenties unleash a radical reconfiguration of the planet, coronavirus (literally “crowned poison”) has for all practical purposes served a poisoned chalice of fear and panic to myriad, mostly Western, latitudes. Berlin-based, South Korean-born philosopher Byung-Chul Han has forcefully argued the victors are the “Asian states like Japan, Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan... Read More
When President Xi Jinping was on a phone call in mid-March with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conti, before the arrival of a China Eastern flight from Shanghai to Milan full of medical help, the key takeaway was the Chinese pledge to develop a Health Silk Road (Jiankang Sichou Zhilu). That was in fact already inbuilt... Read More
Earlier this week a delegation of Chinese medics arrived at Malpensa airport near Milan from Shanghai on a special China Eastern flight carrying 400,000 masks and 17 tons of equipment. The salutation banner the visitors rolled out on the tarmac, in red and white, read, “We’re waves from the same sea, leaves from the same... Read More
Chinese President Xi Jinping visits the cover-19 epicenter Wuhan, Hubei Province, on Mar 10. 2020.
Among the myriad, earth-shattering geopolitical effects of coronavirus, one is already graphically evident. China has re-positioned itself. For the first time since the start of Deng Xiaoping’s reforms in 1978, Beijing openly regards the US as a threat, as stated a month ago by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Munich Security Conference during the... Read More
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Is the planet under the spell of a pair of black swans – a Wall Street meltdown, caused by an alleged oil war between Russia and the House of Saud, plus the uncontrolled spread of Covid-19 – leading to an all-out “cross-asset pandemonium” as billed by Nomura? Or, as German analyst Peter Spengler suggests, whatever... Read More
At the start of their discussion marathon in Moscow on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin addressed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with arguably the most extraordinary diplomatic gambit of the young 21st century. Putin said: “At the beginning of our meeting, I would like to once again express my sincere condolences over the death of... Read More
The latest installment of the interminable Syria tragedy could be interpreted as Greece barely blocking a European “invasion” by Syrian refugees. The invasion was threatened by President Erdogan even as he refused the EU’s puny “offer you can refuse” bribe of only one billion euros. Well, it’s more complicated than that. What Erdogan is in... Read More
Nearly two decades after the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan post-9/11, and after an interminable war costing over $ 2 trillion, there’s hardly anything “historic” about a possible peace deal that may be signed in Doha this coming Saturday between Washington and the Taliban. We should start by stressing three points. 1- The Taliban wanted... Read More