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 Asia Times Archives

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War, Russophobia and Pipelineistan
Ukraine and Russia may be on the brink of war – with dire consequences for the whole of Eurasia. Let’s cut to the chase, and plunge head-on into the fog of war. On March 24, Ukrainian President Zelensky, for all practical purposes, signed a declaration of war against Russia, via decree No. 117/2021. The decree... Read More
The extraordinary confluence between the signing of the Iran-China strategic partnership deal and the Ever Given saga in the Suez Canal is bound to spawn a renewed drive to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and all interconnected corridors of Eurasia integration. This is the most important geoeconomic development in Southwest Asia in ages –... Read More
Capping an extraordinary two weeks that turned 21st century geopolitics upside down, Iran and China finally signed their 25-year strategic deal this past Saturday in Tehran. The timing could not have been more spectacular, following what we examined in three previous columns: the virtual Quad and the 2+2 US-China summit in Alaska; the Lavrov-Wang Yi... Read More
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Let’s start with comic relief: the “leader of the free world” has pledged to prevent China from becoming the “leading” nation on the planet. And to fulfill such an exceptional mission, his “expectation” is to run again for president in 2024. Not as a hologram. And fielding the same running mate. Now that the “free... Read More
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (L) meets Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (R) in Beijing, China on March 23, 2021. Russian Foreign Ministry / Handout / Anadolu Agency
It took 18 years after Shock and Awe unleashed on Iraq for the Hegemon to be mercilessly shocked and awed by a virtually simultaneous, diplomatic Russia-China one-two. How this is a real game-changing moment cannot be emphasized enough; 21st century geopolitics will never be the same again. Yet it was the Hegemon who first crossed... Read More
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is set to exchange views with his US counterpart in Alaska. Image: Facebook
Wang Yi and Yang Jiechi will seek to make shark's fin soup out of Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan at the Anchorage summit
Leviathan seems to be positioning itself for a geopolitical Kill Bill rampage – yet brandishing a rusty samurai high-carbon-steel sword. Predictably, US deep state masters have not factored in that they could eventually be neutralized by a geopolitical Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. In a searing, concise essay, Alastair Crooke pointed to the heart... Read More
A surprising Supreme Court decision that, while not definitive, restores Lula’s political rights has hit Brazil like a semiotic bomb and plunged the nation into a reality show being played in a wilderness of shattered mirrors. At first, it looked like three key variables would remain immutable. The Brazilian military run the show – and... Read More
I have a new book out, Raging Twenties: Great Power Politics Meets Techno-Feudalism. For those who don’t use Amazon, here is a mini-guide on how to order and buy the book. The journey of a book finding its readers is always an idiosyncratic, mysterious and fascinating process. To set the scene, permit me a short... Read More
By any historical measure, it was a game-changer: the first meeting since the 7th century between a Roman Catholic Pope and a Shiite spiritual leader regarded as a “source of emulation.” It will take a long time to assess the full implications of the immensely intriguing 50-minute face-to-face conversation, with interpreters only, between Pope Francis... Read More
An Afghan Tale
In the beginning, they were the Bamiyan Buddhas: the Western Buddha statue, 55 meters high, and the Eastern, 38 meters high, carved for decades since 550 A.D. from porous sandstone cliffs, the intricate details modeled in clay mixed with straw and coated with stucco. Xuanzang, the legendary traveling monk of the early Tang dynasty who... Read More
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Moscow is painfully aware that the US/NATO “strategy” of containment of Russia is already reaching fever pitch. Again. This past Wednesday, at a very important meeting with the FSB board, President Putin laid it all out in stark terms: Not without a touch of wickedness, Putin added this was no exaggeration: "In fact, you don’t... Read More
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
Have an auspicious Year of the Ox, everybody. And to celebrate it in style, fleetingly alleviating our burden in these times of trouble, let’s plunge into a dream within a dream, going back to the future for a game-changing moment in Chinese history. Chinese New Year’s Day, 1272. At the time, that fell on January... 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
Academic Stephen Wertheim's new book shines revealing light on the birth of US global supremacy, just as it reaches its...
As the Exceptional Empire gets ready to brave a destructive – and self-destructive – new cycle, with dire, unforeseen consequences bound to reverberate across the world, now more than ever it is absolutely essential to go back to the imperial roots. The task is fully accomplished by Tomorrow, the World: The Birth of U.S. Global... 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
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. – Oscar Wilde Today all radio stations on Planet Earth should be playing this song. What the aptly named Fifth Dimension immortalized in their spring of 1969 psychedelic soul classic is now literally true: This is the dawning of the... Read More
I have been going through my Asia Times archives selecting reports and columns for a new e-book on the Forever Wars – Afghanistan and Iraq. But then, out of the blue, I found this palimpsest, originally published by Asia Times in February 2014. It happened to be a Back to the Future exercise – traveling... 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
The political economy of the Digital Age remains virtually terra incognita. In Techno-Feudalism, published three months ago in France (no English translation yet), Cedric Durand, an economist at the Sorbonne, provides a crucial, global public service as he sifts through the new Matrix that controls all our lives. Durand places the Digital Age in the... 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
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Ho Chi Minh, in his eternal abode, will be savoring it with a heavenly smirk. Vietnam was the - virtual - host as the 10 Asean nations, plus China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or RCEP, on the final day of the 37th Asean Summit. RCEP, eight... Read More
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Biden is on a double precipice of the worst-ever economic depression coupled with imminent explosions of social rage
The massive psyops is ongoing. Everyone familiar with the Transition Integrity Project (TIP) knew how this would imperatively play out. I chose to frame it as a think tank gaming exercise in my Banana Follies column. This is a live exercise. Yet no one knows exactly how it will end. US intel is very much... Read More
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In this gaming exercise the incumbent president, Buffoon, was painted red; the challenger, Corpse, blue
A gaming exercise of the perfect, indigenous color revolution, code-named Blue, was leaked from a major think tank established in the imperial lands that first designed the color revolution concept. Not all the information disclosed here about the gaming of Blue has been declassified. That may well elicit a harsh response from the Deep State,... 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
The whole planet has every reason to be terminally puzzled at how all those lofty Enlightenment ideals Thomas Jefferson embedded in the 1776 Declaration of Independence ended up with…Trump vs. Biden. Jefferson borrowed freely from Locke, Rousseau, Hume to come up with an eminently quotable Greatest Hits, featuring “self-evident” truths such as “all men are... 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
Let’s cut to the chase: with or without a sanction juggernaut, China simply won’t be expelled from the global semiconductor market. The real amount of chip supply Huawei has in stock for their smart phone business may remain an open question. But the most important point is that in the next few years – remember... 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
PastClassics
Becker update V1.3.2
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement