jews against china

Australian PM aligns with Trump administration against “globalism” and China
James Cogan, WSWS, Oct 8 2019

In the wake of his eight-day state visit to Pindostan, PM Morrison delivered a speech at the Lowy Institute strategic think-tank on Oct 3 that further aligned his government with the nationalist and militarist agenda of the Trump administration. Morrison began with a realpolitik assessment from the standpoint of the Australian ruling class and its interests. He repeatedly used formulations drawn directly from the vocabulary of Pindo strategic think-tanks and Trump himself, declaring:

We are living in a world in transition … a new economic and political order is still taking shape. We have entered a new era of strategic competition. (This is an era of) polarisation within and between societies … insiders and outsiders, threatening social cohesion, provoking discontent and distrust.

In this context, Morrison identified what his government views as the primary threats to Australian capitalism. He denounced a “new variant of globalism that seeks to elevate global institutions above the authority of nation-states,” “negative globalism that seek to impose a mandate from an often ill-defined borderless global community” and “unaccountable internationalist bureaucracy.” he blustered:

Australia’s international engagement will be squarely driven by Australia’s national interests.

His government, he announced, intended to carry out “a comprehensive audit of global institutions and rule-making processes.” The meaning of such proclamations is no mystery. In his recent speech at the UN, Trump repeatedly denounced “globalism.” Spearheaded by Pindostan, governments are rejecting the decisions and underlying authority of bodies such as the UN and WTO as incompatible with their “national interest.” These institutions were established to mitigate against the type of conflicts between rival capitalist powers in the 1930s that led to the outbreak of WW2. The Trump administration has withdrawn from the UN’s Paris Accord on lowering carbon emissions. It is also threatening to leave the WTO if global trade rules are not changed to suit Pindo demands, especially by ending the designation of China as a “developing nation.” This entitles China to protect sectors of its economy from international competition. At the beginning of 2018, the National Defense Strategy adopted by the Trump administration declared:

Great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of Pindo national security. (China is a) strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbours.

A trade report issued at the same time denounced the WTO rules for allowing China to become a “dominant player” in world trade by using a “wide array of continually evolving interventionist policies and practices aimed at limiting market access for imported goods and services.” The security and trade policy documents were followed in short order by the launch of open trade war by Pindostan against China that now involves sweeping tariffs on some $362b of Chinese exports into the Pindo market. In July this year, the Trump administration gave the WTO until later this month to take steps toward changing the status of China and other countries, or it threatened that Pindostan would unilaterally “no longer treat China as a developing country.” Morrison endorsed the economic offensive against China during his Pindo visit last month. He used a speech in Chicago to align Australia with Trump’s demand that China’s WTO status be changed from “developing” to “developed.” Analysts differ over the impact such a change would have, but it’s clear that regardless of whether China agrees or rejects the Pindo demand, Faschingstein will use it as a casus belli for further tariffs and other trade war measures on the grounds that there is not a “level playing field.”

In his speech, Morrison reviewed the sweeping steps that have already been taken by previous Australian governments, and will be taken, to assist Pindostan in its “strategic competition” against China. Morrison emphasised that Australia was an “Indo-Pacific nation.” The term “Indo-Pacific” came into regular use in 2011 under the Obama administration as part of its “pivot to Asia” and the build-up in the region of at least 60% of the Pindo air force and navy for a military confrontation with China. The previous Labor government unconditionally aligned Australia with the “pivot.” A Pindo marine base was established in the northern city of Darwin and Australian ports and airfields made available for an increased Pindo military presence in the region. Over the following years, Australia’s role in the anti-China build-up has continued to grow. Military spending has been ramped up to finance the acquisition of an array of war-fighting assets, from F-35 fighters and frigates to a fleet of new conventional submarines. Australia is currently the second-largest importer of military hardware in the world. Across the Asian region, Australia has functioned as a Pindo diplomatic point man, encouraging larger countries and cajoling and bullying smaller ones to distance themselves from political relations with Beijing and collaborate with Faschingstein.

In his speech, Morrison spelt out various ways in which Australia’s military and diplomatic contribution to Pindostan will expand in the next period. It would continue its so-called “Pacific Step,” which is a concerted push to keep the small but strategic Pacific Island nations firmly under the thumb of Canberra and Faschingstein. Australia will seek to strengthen relations with Indonesia, which, to this point, is still attempting to balance between Pindostan and China. Morrison boasted of his recent state visit to Vietnam, which has ever more closely aligned with Faschingstein in order to its assert its territorial claims in the South China Sea against Chinese counterclaims, noting:

Australian-Vietnamese relations have been elevated to a strategic partnership.

Most notably, however, Morrison highlighted the anti-China alliance that is being developed between the so-called Quad countries: Pindostan, Japan, India and Australia. He announced a major state visit to New Delhi in January, which would be “another step in cementing India in the top tier of Australia’s partnerships.” He also announced he had been invited to Tokyo next year and stated:

Japan is our Special Strategic Partner, our second-largest trading partner and a fellow ally of Pindostan.

Pindostan, predictably, was lauded by Morrison in the most sycophantic terms.
He told his audience of Australian business, political and diplomatic leaders:

Our alliance with Pindostan is our past, our present and our future. It is the bedrock of our security.

After he outlined Australia’s complete alignment with the Trump administration, Morrison offered Beijing a comforting lie that nobody believes. he said:

Even during an era of great power competition, Australia does not have choose between Pindostan and China.

He concluded his speech by making crystal clear that his government backs Washington in all its diplomatic, economic and military attacks on Beijing. He once again declared that that the definition of China had to “reflect its greater power status” and be changed to “newly developed economy.” Just days away from the Pindo deadline over China’s WTO classification, Morrison added:

The rule and institutions that support global cooperation must reflect the modern world. It can’t be set and forget.

Morrison’s speech was generally downplayed in the establishment media. Some commentators, however, drew attention to its significance. In an opinion-piece published today by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, academic Tony Walker observed:

Why the PM felt the need to embrace Trump’s most controversial UN remarks is not clear, unless he was intent on signalling a closer alignment with Pindostan, not simply on the issue of China but more broadly in contradiction to international institutions like the world body and its agencies.

The “era of great power competition” that Morrison spoke of is in fact a descent back into the dog-eat-dog protectionism, nationalism and war preparations that characterised the decade preceding the outbreak of WW2.

Little prospect of agreement as Pindostan-China trade talks set to resume
Nick Beams, WSWS, Oct 8 2019

Top-level talks between Pindo and Chinese officials will resume in Faschingstein on Thursday when a Chinese delegation, led by chief trade negotiator Vice-Premier Liu He, meets with Mnuchin and Lighthizer. It will be the first high-level meeting since negotiations broke down last May when Trump slapped additional tariffs on Chinese goods, claiming Beijing had backed away from a previous agreement. However, there is virtually no prospect the discussions will bring about an agreement on the key Pindo demands that China enter an all-encompassing deal to wind back its state subsidies and take action to meet Pindo demands on intellectual property rights. There is considerable doubt that even a limited agreement can be reached to halt a further escalation in the tariff war. In fact, the conflict is intensifying, with the Commerce Dept announcing yesterday that it will restrict companies from exporting Pindo goods to an additional 28 Chinese companies. They have been placed on its “entity list,” meaning that Pindo firms have to obtain a special licence to sell to them. The Chinese firms are involved in the development of surveillance mechanisms and artificial intelligence. The Commerce Dept said they were acting “contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of Pindostan.” The latest Pindo action is certain to harden the position of the Chinese negotiators with Bloomberg reporting that the mood in Beijing is increasingly against making any broad-based deal along the lines demanded by Pindostan. Citing people familiar with the situation, it said:

Chinese officials have indicated that the range of topics they are willing to discuss has narrowed considerably.

The Chinese side, the report said, was not prepared to talk about key Pindo demands for changes to China’s industrial policies, including government subsidies to key industries. If no agreement is reached in the discussions, Pindostan is set to go ahead with the raising of tariffs on $250b worth of Chinese goods from 25% to 30% on Oct 15. Trump has stated on numerous occasions that he will only sign off an all-encompassing deal with China and he repeated that position in remarks last week. He told reporters last Friday:

We’ve had good moments with China. We’ve had bad moments with China. Right now, we’re in a very important stage in terms of possibly making a deal. But what we’re doing is negotiating a very tough deal. If the deal is not going to be 100% for us, we’re not going to make it.

The possibility of a limited transitional deal was raised last month. This would involve increased purchases by China of Pindo agricultural and energy products and the implementing by China of measures to protect intellectual property rights, to be followed by a partial reduction of Pindo tariffs. But any such limited agreement would be contingent on Beijing agreeing to negotiate on wider Pindo demands, which appears to have been ruled out. Furthermore, the prospect of even a partial deal has been thrown into doubt by Trump’s decision to ask Beijing to investigate the dealings of Hunter Biden in China. While Trump has insisted that any investigation into Hunter Biden has “nothing to do” with the trade negotiations, the Demagog leadership, many of whom are even more hawkish than Trump on China, are already linking the two questions. In response to Trump’s call for a Chinese investigation, Pelosi tweeted:

What did the president promise China in exchange for interfering in our election? An easier deal on trade? Ignoring crackdown on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement? Condoning repression of religious freedom?

Demagog Senator Sherrod Brown, a member of the Senate banking and finance committees, said:

It would be wrong for the president to go easy on China and deny our workers a level playing field, in exchange for foreign interference in our democracy. That would be a betrayal of both our workers and our values as a nation.

The demands of the Demagogs have nothing to do with the defence of Pindo workers. Rather they are articulating the position of the military and intelligence establishment that Pindostan must take all measures necessary to block China’s economic and technological development which is regarded as the greatest existential threat to the economic and military hegemony of Pindostan. The prospect of a limited trade deal has also come under fire from other quarters. Rufus Yerxa, a former Pindo trade boxtop who heads the National Foreign Trade Council, said:

Issues such as industrial subsidies were the whole reason this case started in the first place. At a minimum, the administration would have a lot of explaining to do if those drop off the table.

This week’s discussions will take place amid an escalation rather than a contraction of trade war conflicts. Pindostan is set to go ahead with the imposition of 25% tariffs on a range of European exports following a ruling from the WTO that the EU was in breach of WTO rules over state subsidies paid to the aircraft manufacturer Airbus which adversely affected Boeing. France and Germany have both warned they will hit back against Pindo measures and have said they will take action. The WTO is almost certain to rule that Pindostan was in breach of subsidy rules because of tax breaks given to Boeing. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has called for negotiations on the issue and urged Pindostan to listen to the “voice of reason,” saying:

If the Pindo administration refuses the hand held out by France and the EU, we stand ready to react through sanctions that would be within the framework of the WTO.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass took the same position, warning:

The EU will now have to react and, once they have been approved by the WTO, impose its own punitive tariffs.

Germany is hoping for an agreement over the subsidies conflict. It fears EU retaliation could lead Trump to carry out his threat to impose a 25% tariff on cars and auto products on “natsec” grounds that would have a devastating impact on its auto industry. The escalation of trade conflicts and the impact it is having on manufacturing industry prompted the publication of a worried editorial in the FT last week saying:

The global economy is teetering on the edge. It is still not clear whether it will tip over into outright recession or it merely heading for a period of stagnation. … Politicians need to look beyond their short-term national struggles towards the bigger picture of an international economy beginning to buckle under the weight of trade wars fought on multiple fronts.

The editorial pointed to the slowdown in manufacturing around the world. While noting that Pindostan had emerged relatively unscathed so far, it referred to the recent survey showing that its manufacturing sector had experienced its second consecutive month of contraction. The FT concluded that the “sugar high” from Trump’s corporate tax cuts had faded and the global weakness “is now dragging down the Pindo economy too.” Issuing a call for “cooler heads” to prevail, it urged decision-makers to “step away from the edge and deescalate the trade conflicts” before it is too late. However, there are no signs of such a movement.

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