Monday, August 9, 2021

Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani on US-China Competition

Kishore Mahbubani, a prolific writer, speaker and former Singaporean diplomat, believes that the western domination of the world over the last 200 years is "aberrant" when seen in the context of the last several thousand years of human history.  In his book "Has China Won", he writes that "we are also moving away from a black-and-white world". "Societies in different parts of the world, including in China and Islamic societies, are going to work toward a different balance between liberty and order, between freedom and control, between discord and harmony". 

Kishore Mahbubabi


In a recent interview, Mahbubani made the following points about US-China competition: 

1. The United States with about 240-year history likes to pass judgement on China which has over 2,400 year history. What makes the US think China would listen to the American advice? 


2. The West is in the habit of judging everyone, including the Chinese. The Chinese have just had the best 30 years of their history. Would the Chinese listen to the American advice on "democracy" and political freedoms after they have seen what happened to Russia when the Russians decided to adopt democracy in the1990s and their economy collapsed? 

3. More than 120 million Chinese tourists go to other countries freely and willingly return to China every year. Would they return freely if China was an oppressive stalinist regime? The fact is that while political freedoms have not increased there has been an explosion of personal freedoms in China over the last 30 years.

Global Power Shift Since Industrial Revolution



A recent post-COVID survey conducted by the Washington Post shows that Chinese citizens’ trust in their national government has jumped to 98%. Their trust in local government also increased compared to 2018 levels — 91% of Chinese citizens surveyed now said they trust or trust completely the township-level government. Trust levels rose to 93% at the county level, 94% at the city level and 95% at the provincial level. 

An earlier 2018 World Values Survey reported that 95% of Chinese citizens said that they have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the national government. Comparatively, about 69% felt the same way about their local government. 

Here's a video of Mahbubani's interview:

https://youtu.be/KaPFmYxWMzI




16 comments:

Ahmed said...


Mr.Ambassador

Yes it is true that China is a very old country and it is considered as one of the ancient civilization in the world but how good was that civilization for common people?

Most of the Rulers of China in the past were Kings and they ruled like Kings, never in the history China had democratic setup of governance.

Shaukat S. said...

Hedges: The Collective Suicide Machine
by
MODERATOR
July 26, 2021

The Collective Suicide Machine
The return of the Taliban to power will be one more signpost of the end of the American empire — and nobody will be held accountable.

https://scheerpost.com/2021/07/26/hedges-the-collective-suicide-machine/?fbclid=IwAR1iT-SWSe6bVQwq0S7Ch_Zi05wBGjYF7Ahz20hWSJQvuiZiRgWrMQVWfvI

Like any empire in terminal decay, no one will be held accountable for the debacle or for the other debacles in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen or anywhere else. Not the generals. Not the politicians. Not the CIA and intelligence agencies. Not the diplomats. Not the obsequious courtiers in the press who serve as cheerleaders for war. Not the compliant academics and area specialists. Not the defense industry. Empires at the end are collective suicide machines. The military becomes in late empire unmanageable, unaccountable, and endlessly self-perpetuating, no matter how many fiascos, blunders and defeats it visits upon the carcass of the nation, or how much money it plunders, impoverishing the citizenry and leaving governing institutions and the physical infrastructure decayed.

Riaz Haq said...

A recent post-COVID survey conducted by the Washington Post shows that Chinese citizens’ trust in their national government has jumped to 98%. Their trust in local government also increased compared to 2018 levels — 91% of Chinese citizens surveyed now said they trust or trust completely the township-level government. Trust levels rose to 93% at the county level, 94% at the city level and 95% at the provincial level.

An earlier 2018 World Values Survey reported that 95% of Chinese citizens said that they have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in national government. Comparatively, about 69% felt the same way about their local government.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has demonstrated that the western style elections and democracy are not the only means to earn legitimacy in the eyes of the people. It has shown that it is far better to deliver results to earn "performance legitimacy".


https://www.riazhaq.com/2021/07/ccp-centennial-chinese-economic-miracle.html

Ahmed said...


Dear Sir Riaz

I can understand your feeling as a Pakistani but I have some questions if you don't mind.

How much freedom is their in China?

Why are Chinese products so cheap?

Riaz Haq said...

Ahmad: " How much freedom is their in China? Why are Chinese products so cheap?"


Kishore Mahbubani makes a distinction between political and personal freedoms.

There are few, if any, political freedoms in China.

However, the Chinese have a lot of personal freedoms...like the freedom to travel which the Soviet Union did not and North Korea still doesn't.

The bottom line is that 98% of Chinese trust the communist party government, according to independent surveys.

A recent post-COVID survey conducted by the Washington Post shows that Chinese citizens’ trust in their national government has jumped to 98%. Their trust in local government also increased compared to 2018 levels — 91% of Chinese citizens surveyed now said they trust or trust completely the township-level government. Trust levels rose to 93% at the county level, 94% at the city level and 95% at the provincial level.

An earlier 2018 World Values Survey reported that 95% of Chinese citizens said that they have a great deal or quite a lot of trust in the national government. Comparatively, about 69% felt the same way about their local government.

SAMIR SARDANA said...

In the Logistics corridors in Asia and Africa -PRC has outwitted the USA and destroyed US allies like India !

THE PRC AND TALIBAN HAVE DESTROYED THE INDIAN CHABAHAR PROJECT IN IRAN AND THE FANTASY DREAMS OF THE INDIAN LOGISTICAL CORRIDOR TO CENTRAL ASIA - PART 1

INDIA IS A BANANA REPUBLIC,run by a dishwasher's son,which is being used like a puppet and guinea pig,by the USA.The GOI could not protect their assets in Afghan and Iran - will these weasels stand up to PRC ?

Taliban has doomed Chabahar and will use the Indian Roads to choke Kabul,get supplies and earn valuable toll revenue - via Zaranj,as a 1st point.What has India Built the infra for ? For PRC to evacuate the rare earths and minerals from Afghanistan ? The Afghans are seeking Indian help - but the weasels are still not send their Airforce,let alone send the army !

The Indian weasels did the same with Najibullah - they let him be killed !

On top of that,the PRC aid to Iran has completely destroyed Chabahar - as Indian aid is not required any more! What were the Indian weasels thinking ?

The Indian weasels were played by Iran and the US.1st he Iranians signed the MOU with the Indian weasels - and the US gave the nod for the 2 berths at Shahid Besheti.The Indian fools thought that the Indian diplonats had conned the US ! Then the Indians were played by the Iranians,to sign the MOU for the Rail link to Zahadan - and again the US appeared to blink.Then again the Indian Duds signed a MOU,for the Chabharf SEZ.

Iranians know that Indians are weasels and lapdogs of the US - who stopped the Oil imports,did not condemn the assassination of Qasim and the Mossad killings of Iranian N-Scientists in Iran ! They know the worth of the Indians ! Still they signed the MOUs !

Y ?

The Iranians KNEW that the Indian weasels will NOT build the rail line or start the SEZ - due to US sanctions ! WHICH FOOL WILL START A UNIT IN CHABHAR SEZ,IF THE US IMPOSES SANCTIONS ON THAT CORPORATE - EXCEPT CHAIWALA OF INDIA ?

It was to get a lever to PRC to INVEST in IRAN ! The aim was to get the US + INDIA sanction,for Chabhar,and then use that as a warning bell to PRC,to get them to invest.THE IRANIAN PLAN TO USE THE PRC was ONLY TO KILL CHABHAR,as it was THREAT TO GWADAR,and it was an Indian INT listening post on Gwadar. and Balochistan dindooohindoo

PRC is the natural ally of Iran - and with Bandar Abbas,in the Persian Gulf (and a UAE dispute),access to Iranian Ports for PRC,is the perfect hedge to Gwadar,and also,to optimise the costs of the North-South and Central Asian Corridors.Iran also needs to sell Oil in Yuan,with banking facilities from PRC - so that several nations in the world - can buy Iranian Oil and settle payments in Yuan and LCs.USD is the Achilles heel of Iran.

Similarly,the Iranians sought equipments from India,for the 2 berths in Chabhar - which Iran cannot import,as they are expensive, and Iran has no USD,and no banker in US/EU will accept Iranian Bank LCs.So they wanted the Indian Duds,to buy the equipments and give the USD loans to Iranians,to buy the equipemnts !

THE BEAUTY IS THAT THE 1O YEAR LEASE OF THE 2 BERTHS IN CHABAHAR TO INDIA,IS COMING TO AN END AND IRAN WILL GET ALL THE INDIAN INVESTMENTS FREE OF COST !

The Iranians knew from Day 1 that Chabahar was doomed ! They used the stupid Indian Diplomats to con the US - albeit in the short term.CHAIWALA thought that he could sleep with Netanyahu,and still cut deals with the Persian Shias - this is the DNA of sons of dishwashers,surrounded by fools and sycophants ! Imagine the Utopian paradise in which the Chaiwala and his mandarin monkeys reside !

SAMIR SARDANA said...

PRC AND TALIBAN HAVE DESTROYED THE INDIAN CHABAHAR PROJECT IN IRAN AND THE FANTASY DREAMS OF THE INDIAN LOGISTICAL CORRIDOR TO CENTRAL ASIA - PART 2

The US could have said NO TO INDIA ON CHABAHAR, on Day 1 - but they did NOT ! dindooohindoo

Y ?

They wanted to show the Indian duds their place ! Just like Blinken came to India - and for the 1st time in decades,a US SOS excoriated the CHAIWALA's record,on HUMAN RIGHTS AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH - IN DELHI ! AND THEN HE GENTLY REMINDED THE INDIAN LAPDOGS - TO FALL IN LINE,AS FAR THE ANTI-CHINA COALITION GOES !

NET RESULT - INDIANS ARE DOOMED IN PERSIA,AFGHANISTAN,LANKA ,MYANMAR AND PAKISTAN.THE ONLY NATION LEFT IS BANGLADESH !

JUST LIKE THE INDIANS INVESTED MONEY TO EXPLORE A GAS FIELD IN the IRAN ,AND THEN IRAN KICKED OUT ONGC (AFTER HITTING THE GAS JACKPOT) !

PEOPLE SAY Y ? Y ARE THESE INDIANS DUDS - BUT STILL SUPREMELY CONFIDENT OF THEIR DIVINITY ?

I present the words of Al Beruni

The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs. They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid.

PEOPLE SAY HOW COULD THE IRANIANS HAVE MADE SUCH AN ASS OF THE INDIANS ? The Persians know the Indians from the time of Cyrus !

The wisdom of the “children of Cyrus,Darius and Xerxes”,encapsulates the “transcendence of Human thought”, the “Deuterosis of the Dindoo”, as under:

A “Persian dictionary”,titled “Lughet-e-Kishwari”,published in Lucknow in 1964,gives the meaning of the word Hindu as “chore [thief], dakoo [dacoit], raahzan [waylayer], and ghulam [slave].

Riaz Haq said...

#China's #Huawei accused of stealing trade secrets.#US #software company Business Efficiency Solutions has sued Huawei in #California federal court for allegedly stealing its trade secrets while working together on a project for the #Pakistani government. https://www.reuters.com/legal/transactional/huawei-accused-stealing-trade-secrets-spying-pakistan-2021-08-12/

SAMIR SARDANA said...

US-CHINA CONPETITION - THE NEW FLASHPOINT IS AFGHANISTAN - PART 1

THE TALIBAN IS IN A BLITZ CAMPAIGN !

And what are the Indians waiting for ? Not sending in the IAF ?

The USA is leaving Afghans in precisely the situation that the Americans wanted - a nation of squabbling warlords,antagonistc tribes and a resurgent Taliban.If the US wanted they could have bombed the Taliban,and at least delayed the Taliban wave until September - but they did NOT.

The US wants to put the fear of death into Ghani and his merry men, and the warlords - to push them into a coalition - desired by the USA, and funded by the USA.

Ultimately that will also fail,and the nation will be divided into "zones of influence", with the maximum spread with the Taliban,and the Taliban controlling the supply chains to all oteher zones.So you will have a interlocked and connected matrix,which is spun by the USA ,every few months, by some "event" - to keep the players ,in their place - strategic disequilibrium - where all players are off balance - but will not collapse.

The Taliban will earn toll revenues from infra (built by the hapless Indians),and tax revenues from tradea,s CORRUPTION WILL DECLINE SHARPLY - and that is enough to finance the Islamic state.The BONUS will be Chinese investments into Taliban ,for minerals and the royalty,transit fees and profit taxes ,which will then get the Taliban, the funds to build an Airforce,which will then take over Afghanistan

The Mongols will redeem the Islamic state of the Taliban,as a part of the Ghazwa E Hind and other prophecies.In Return,Taliban will offer no sanctuary to East Turkmenisation and Xinjiang fighters ! Using the Chinese to deal with the Taliban is the best option,as they are a new face with NO HISTORY OF GENOCIDE AND PERFIDY IN AFGHANISTAN !

It is a NEW DAWN and the rise of the 1st REAL ISLAMIC NATION - which will be the most prosperous in the world (among Muslim nations) as the population is just 40 million and the nation has Trillions of USD of Minerals and will earn Billions of USD,via transit fees for the logistics and hydrocarbon corridors !

And that will lead to the revival of the Islamic nation (based on shariat) across all Muslim nations.It will be the 1st AND ONLY VIABLE TO THE DUBIOUS ELECTORAL DEMOCRACIES OF MUSLIM NATIONS.

WHAT CAN THE INDIAN WEASELS DO ? THEY COULD NOT PROTECT THEIR INFRA OR THEIR MI-24 CHOPPERS OR THEIR TRAINED AFGHAN ARMY OR NAJIBULLAH or CHABAHAR or THE TAKEOVER OF CHABAHAR BY PRC ?

THE INDIAN ARMY IS A PANSY FORCE - WHICH EVOKES NO FEAR OR RESPECT IN ENEMIES ! KILLING KASHMIRIS IS EASY, AND SO IS FIGHTING OUTNUMBERED KASHMIRI MJAHIDEEN,ON A SUICIDE MISSION, ARMED WITH AK-47 AND LIMITED AMMO AND NO KEVLAR ! AND STILL THE INDIAN PANSY CALLS ITSELF BATTLE HARDENED !

THE SAME APPLIES TO THE IAF ! IT HAS NO ROLE IN AFGHAN ! THE GOI MIGHT HAVE ALREADY CUT A DEAL WITH THE TALIBAN - TO NOT SEND IN THE ARMY OR IAF , AND NOT O TAID GHANI - AND IN LIEU,THEREOF,TALIBAN DOES NOT DESTROY INDIAN ASSETS AND DOES NOT ENTER KASHMIR !

THE INDIANS CANT EVEN KEEP THEIR MIGs FROM CRASHING - AND HOW DEEP CAN THE IAF GO INTO AFGHAN AND FROM WHERE - WHOSE AIRSPACE AND WHOSE REFUELLING AND WHOSE CARRIERS ? WHOEVER AIDS THE INDIANS WILL BE BOMBED BY THE TALIBAN ! dindooohindoo

SAMIR SARDANA said...

US-CHINA CONPETITION - THE NEW FLASHPOINT IS AFGHANISTAN - PART 2

IN ESSENCE,HINDOOS HAVE NO ROLE OR PLACE IN AFGHANISTAN ! BY RACE AND RELIGION THE PERSIANS,CENTRAL ASIANS,TURKS AND PAKISTANIS ,HAVE A ROLE ,AND AN AXE TO GRIND ! INDIANS ARE HISTORY - THE DUSTBIN OF HISTORY !

THE US WILL GET TALIBAN TO KABUL ,BUT IN A GRADUATED MANNER - TO REALISE THE ROLE AND POWER OF THE US - AND IN RETURN,,TALIBAN HAS TO GIVE NO SPACE TO AL QAEDA ,AND BE MORE HUMANISTIC !

PEOPLE IN AFGHANISTAN WILL SEE THE MAGICAL NEW FACE OF TOLERANCE OF THE TALIBAN ,TO EVERYTHING EXCEPT CORRUPTION , VULGARITY AND BLASPHEMY !

AND ULTIMATELY, THE TALIBAN WILL LIBERATE KASHMIR WITH THE MONGOLS AND PAKISTANIS - NOT ONLY, DUE TO PROVIDENCE - BUT BECAUSE IDEOLOGY TRUMPS ALL TACTICAL ALLIANCES ,AND THE TALIBAN THRUST INTO KASHMIR, IS THE ISLAMIC SALVATION OF THE TALIBAN AND THE LAND OF THE LOST TRIBES OF ISRAEL , ID.EST AFGHANISTAN !

Riaz Haq said...

#British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace: "It is obvious that Britain is not a superpower. But a superpower that is also not prepared to stick at something isn’t probably a superpower either. It is certainly not a global force" #USA #Afghanistan #superpower https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/britain-is-not-a-superpower-an-interview-with-ben-wallace

Britain’s 2007 decision to build and deploy two aircraft carriers — now accompanying the Americans in the Pacific — has been seen by many in the military as an absurd overstretch from a country in denial about still being a global power. Wallace sees it differently. ‘I think it really goes to what the definition of what a global power is,’ he says. ‘It is obvious that Britain is not a superpower. But a superpower that is also not prepared to stick at something isn’t probably a superpower either. It is certainly not a global force, it’s just a big power.’

Britain, meanwhile, can act with others. ‘I take the view that the future of foreign policy around the world will involve more bilateral than trilateral alliances depending on the problems we face. So, West Africa may be a more French/British thing, East Africa may be the same.

‘Britain hasn’t been able to field a mass army for 50 years — if not longer.’ At the back end of the Cold War, he says, he was in the British Army of the Rhine. 'It was always part of a massive international effort — so I think our defence paper is in exactly the right space.’ Britain, he says, still has ‘a huge range of tools at our disposal: from soft to hard power, economic power, scientific power and cultural power’.

Military intervention will still play a role. ‘Some countries in Africa are on the edge of being failed states.’ Stopping them from collapsing, he says, could stave off other conflicts. ‘What you need is an armed forces that can help the resilience of the [African] governments so things don’t get so acute that you end up having a proper fight,’ he says. ‘Fundamentally, I think that is what we need to be doing in the world.’ An important question is whether the intervention-weary public would be so keen for British forces to shore up African governments.

The United Nations, Wallace says, has been noticeable by its absence in Afghanistan and elsewhere. ‘If the UN isn’t for helping failed states, then what is it for?’ The question also arises in West Africa. ‘The anti-corruption, the deradicalisation, the education, all of the things the UN signed up to in the Algeria agreement haven’t been delivered. You don’t stop terrorism and security unless you deal with the other stuff.’

Difficult questions are also facing Europe. ‘We have risen to America’s challenge: to spend more on defence. I think the question is actually for Europe: is Europe prepared to put its money where its mouth is? To be fair to Donald Trump, he was straight as a die on that. There’s a difference between taking America for granted and depending on America. I think historically we have taken America for granted and that means we now need to step up to invest. The Prime Minister has made the biggest investment since the Cold War and we will continue to do that. Let’s hear what the others do.’

The other issue is staying power. ‘The question for the West — whether it is Ukraine, whether it is the South China Sea or upholding international laws — is resolve. That is the question: do we have resolve?’ Like Tony Blair, he dislikes the phrase ‘forever war’. ‘I think standing up for the values you believe in, standing up to protect your interests, is a forever commitment. It’s unending — so be prepared.’

He recently visited the Korean War memorial in Seoul, which is marked by the words ‘Freedom is not free’. ‘That is absolutely right — freedom is not free. Of course, we hope that standing up for it doesn’t involve the lives of our men and women. But when your adversary is constantly challenging you, then you have to constantly stand up for what you believe and constantly enable the defence of it. And that will be forever.’

Riaz Haq said...

What Comes After the War on Terrorism? War on China?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/07/opinion/china-us-xi-biden.html

The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan after a failed 20-year nation-building exercise has left many Americans and analysts saying, “If only we knew back then what we know now, we would have never gone down that path.” I am not sure that’s true, but it nevertheless raises this question: What are we doing today in foreign policy that we might look back 20 years from now and say, “If only we knew back then what we know now, we would never have gone down that path”?

My answer can be summed up in one word: China.

------------
Nader Mousavizadeh, founder and C.E.O. of Macro Advisory Partners, a geopolitical consulting firm, suggests that if we are now going to shift our focus from the Middle East to an irreversible strategy of confronting China, we should start by asking three foundational questions:

First, Mousavizadeh says: “Are we sure we understand the dynamics of an immense and changing society like China well enough to decide that its inevitable mission is the global spread of authoritarianism? Especially when this will require a generational adversarial commitment on the part of the United States, engendering in turn a still more nationalistic China?”

Second, says Mousavizadeh, who was a longtime senior adviser to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan: If we believe that our network of alliances is “a uniquely American asset, have we listened as much as we’ve talked to our Asian and European allies about the reality of their economic and political relationships with China — ensuring that their interests and values are embedded in a common approach to China? Because without that, any coalition will crumble.”

---------

The third question, Mousavizadeh argues, is if we believe that our priority after a 20-year war on terrorism must now be “repair at home — by addressing yawning deficits in infrastructure, education, incomes and racial equity” — is it more useful or more dangerous to emphasize the China threat? It might light a fire under Americans to get serious about national renewal. But it might also light a fire to the whole U.S.-China relationship, affecting everything from supply chains to student exchanges to Chinese purchases of U.S. government bonds.

Riaz Haq said...

ASEAN needs more Belt and Road money, say ministers - Nikkei Asia

https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/Belt-and-Road/ASEAN-needs-more-Belt-and-Road-money-say-ministers

Meeting online at a Belt and Road Summit, ASEAN ministers said the region has benefited from the infrastructure and digital connectivity already brought about by BRI, but new initiatives are needed to create opportunities amid pandemic-induced uncertainties.

"I am of the view that there are many tangible aspects that could be derived from the multinational partnership and cooperation under the BRI," said Sansern Samalap, Thailand's vice minister for commerce.

Sansern gave the example of the BRI flagship $5.75 billion China-Thailand high-speed railway project that will promote investments in the Greater Mekong Subregion, which includes Cambodia and Laos as part of the China-Indochina economic corridor.

Finally signed last October after numerous delays over terms and conditions, the initial 253 km line will connect Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima, the gateway to northeastern Thailand. Phase one of construction has already begun, and is slated for completion in late 2026. The final 873 km line will carry on up to Vientiane, the Laotian capital, and from there continue north to Kunming in China's Yunnan Province.

"Investors can grab this business opportunity and use Thailand as the gateway into the subregion and ASEAN," said Sansern.

Top Chinese officials participated in the summit, including Gao Yunlong, vice chairman of the national committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, and Commerce Minister Wang Wentao.

The BRI was unveiled by President Xi Jinping in 2013. In 2020, China signed BRI cooperation agreements with nearly 140 countries to promote connectivity between Asia, Europe and Africa, mainly through infrastructure projects.

Tan See Leng, Singapore's minister for manpower, told the summit that accelerating ASEAN development plans has become more important if countries are to overcome the current economic slowdown,

"In such times, the BRI plays an even more important role in strengthening regional and multilateral cooperation by promoting connectivity in infrastructure, in finance and in trade," said Tan.

The Asian Development Bank recently downgraded its growth forecast for Asia to 7.2% from the 7.3% projected in April, citing the recent rapid spread of COVID-19 and low vaccination levels in Asian countries.

Tan said Singapore will partner China on some investments in BRI projects. Companies from the two countries are collaborating in various sectors, including logistics, e-commerce, infrastructure, finance and legal services.

Jerry Sambuaga, Indonesia's vice minister for trade, said BRI projects have boosted connectivity and created business opportunities.

"We must maintain this mutually beneficial partnership amidst uncertain global challenges," Sambuaga said. He called for more collaboration on Indonesian tourism projects that benefit local communities, and for the BRI to complement the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation agreement.

RCEP, a 15-country multilateral free trade deal signed in 2020 by ASEAN along with Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, is due to take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. Some analysts expect a delay, however, as not all governments have ratified the agreement in their national legislatures.

Singapore's Tan said today that the city state expected the "timely" implementation of RCEP on schedule.

"We look forward to the implementation of the RCEP in order to realize the benefit to businesses [and] to people while contributing to Asia's economy recovery and strengthening of confidence in the longer-term economic prospects of Asia," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Is the world ready for the continued decline of the West?
By Song Luzheng

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202109/1234036.shtml


What happened in Afghanistan last month has twice shocked the world - the Taliban's rapid victory and takeover of Afghanistan, and the US' chaotic withdrawal from the country.

Both events have proved the failure of the US. The country could no longer afford the war in Afghanistan and had no choice but make peace with the Taliban. This has kicked off unimaginable dominoes. The US' final withdrawal would have been an even greater calamity had the Taliban not kept their word.

The decline of the US-led alliance is not a new topic. Following the 2008 global financial crisis, Brexit, Donald Trump's election as president, and Biden's withdrawal from Afghanistan, the West has shown one thing in common: It is ready to abdicate responsibility. What has happened in Afghanistan reinforces it.

The UK has turned its back on a troubled EU to fend for itself. Trump has turned its back on the world by quitting international groups to shore up his "America First," or even "US only." US President Joe Biden has categorically abandoned Afghanistan by insisting on the withdrawal.

Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, the West scrambled for anti-epidemic materials around the world in the early stage by making use of their financial advantages. Later they rushed to stockpile vaccines. Some of them were found to have illegally intercepted masks that were planned to be transported to third countries. Canada ordered vaccines for more than twice its population. Now the West has begun to promote a third dose of vaccine despite the protests of the WHO. However, only around 3 percent of Africa's population is fully vaccinated.

During its decline, the US-led alliance has worried the world by abdicating its responsibility. More importantly, it has also been unwilling to share power with the vast number of developing countries. This is utter selfishness. More than that, it has even clamped down on high-performing emerging countries.

China's Huawei is a typical example of this. The US government has cracked down on Huawei baselessly. This seriously violates the principles of market and rule of law broadly advocated by the West.

The US' crackdown on Huawei is an assault on China's tech industry. Its attempt to lure and divide developing countries while playing geopolitical game with China has destabilized the world order and also endangered world peace. For example, the world has seen the US actively involved in the South China Sea. It has courted China's neighboring countries, but everyone knows that US' move is only to serve its own interests. It will abandon the region if needed, just as it did in Afghanistan.

The current West-dominated international order is unsustainable with the West's continuing move of shifting responsibility. It is refusing to share power with developing countries.

Riaz Haq said...

The Biden administration has been unusually circumspect about revealing its contacts and discussions with Pakistan. While Pakistan’s actions often appear at odds with the United States, it nonetheless is a nation with links to the Afghan Taliban whose cooperation on fighting terrorism can be helpful. It’s also a nuclear-armed country American officials would prefer not to lose entirely to Chinese influence.

https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/02/us-pakistan-afghan-crisis-509157


In the past month, as the Taliban made rapid gains across Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke directly only once to Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, according to what’s been made public by the State Department. Readouts of these diplomatic calls are usually so bland as to be useless to observers and the press, but this one, from Aug. 16, was unusually devoid of detail.

About a week earlier, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Pakistan’s Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa. Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, met with his Pakistani counterpart, Moeed Yusuf, in late July — a meeting confirmed via a Sullivan tweet but no White House readout.

“It’s clear that the Biden administration from the top levels seems to have pretty deep reservations about Pakistan, born of years of experience, and is not willing to either give Pakistan a pass or kudos for anything that Pakistan might like,” said Daniel Markey, a South Asia specialist who served at the State Department from 2003 to 2007.

In the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as the United States invaded Afghanistan to topple the Taliban regime at the time, U.S. officials leaned on Pakistan for help. Pakistan cooperated to some degree, especially in late 2001, but critics say it has played a double game ever since.

---

Former officials say that, among other reasons for its support, Pakistan sees the Afghan Taliban as a partner in any future fight against rival India. Pakistan also helped deliver Afghan Taliban leaders to peace talks with the United States and the now-fallen Afghan government, even as Islamabad has long officially dismissed the idea that it actively supports the Afghan Taliban.

Pakistan has been more helpful to the United States in its fight against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, but even that cooperation has been questioned. It was in Abbottabad, Pakistan, after all, that the United States found and killed Al Qaeda chief and Sept. 11 mastermind Osama bin Laden in 2011. The Pakistani government denied knowing he was there.

That said, Pakistani help in tracking down and targeting terrorist targets in Afghanistan now that the U.S. has withdrawn troops would be “useful, if you can get it,” a former senior U.S. diplomat said. Getting humanitarian aid to Afghanistan in the future may require using supply lines that run through Pakistan, the former diplomat added.

The Afghan Taliban’s triumph in August may not prove a long-term victory for Pakistan. The win has emboldened groups like the Pakistani Taliban, who have long used terrorist attacks and other means to try to overthrow the Pakistani government. The refugee crisis sparked by the Taliban’s victory in Afghanistan, too, is sure to test Pakistan, which already hosted numerous people displaced from the neighboring country.

The meeting between Massinga and Khan took place on Aug. 26, the day that some 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops were killed in a bombing at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, which the U.S. was using to help evacuate at-risk Afghans, Americans and others. U.S. officials blamed the attack, which also wounded many people, on ISIS-K, an offshoot of the Islamic State terrorist organization and a rival of the Afghan Taliban.

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“Acknowledging the tragedy, Massinga underscored the mutual interest Pakistan and the United States have in targeting ISIS-K and al-Qa’ida,” the description states. In response, the Pakistani ambassador “acknowledged ISIS-K was a common enemy for the Taliban as well.”

Riaz Haq said...

#China's Xi Jinping ignored #US President Biden’s suggestion of f2f summit. People briefed on the call said Xi did not use abrasive language but his overall message to #Biden was that the US must tone down its rhetoric. https://www.ft.com/content/81376b8c-6d97-4d19-b124-6656f27ce976


Joe Biden suggested he hold a face-to-face summit with Chinese president Xi Jinping during a 90-minute call last week but failed to secure an agreement from his counterpart, leading some US officials to conclude that Beijing is continuing to play hardball with Washington.

The US president proposed to Xi that the leaders hold the summit in an effort to break an impasse in US-China relations, but multiple people briefed on the call said the Chinese leader did not take him up on the offer and instead insisted Washington adopt a less strident tone towards Beijing.

The White House had portrayed the call — which took place at Biden’s request seven months after their first telephone conversation — as a chance to test if Xi was willing to engage seriously after several diplomatic meetings between US and Chinese officials garnered little progress.

Five people briefed on the call said that while Xi had used less abrasive language than his top diplomats had done this year, his overall message to Biden was that the US must tone down its rhetoric.

Biden has taken a harsh line on China, criticising its treatment of the Uyghurs in Xinjiang, its crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and its military activity around Taiwan. Beijing has responded by accusing the Biden administration of interfering in China’s core strategic interests.


A sixth person familiar with the situation said Biden had floated the summit as one of several possibilities for follow-on engagement with Xi, and that the US president had not expected an immediate response.

One US official briefed on the conversation said that while Xi did not engage with the idea of a summit, the White House believed this was partly due to concerns about Covid-19. Xi has not left China since he went to Myanmar in early 2020 before the outbreak of the pandemic.

The US had considered the G20 gathering in Italy in October for a possible summit, but Chinese media have suggested that Xi may not attend. He will also not attend the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation meeting this week in Tajikistan, where China, Russia, India, Pakistan and central Asian countries will discuss Afghanistan.


Another person familiar with the Biden-Xi call said it was conceivable that the Chinese president just did not want to commit at this particular point in time. A different person said it was possible that the two sides could agree to a video call — a step up from a phone call — around the time of the G20. But three people said the US was disappointed with Xi’s apparent lack of interest in a summit.

The White House declined to comment before publication of this article but Biden later told reporters who asked if he was disappointed that Xi did not want to meet that it was “not true”, according to Reuters.

The president made the comments after Jake Sullivan, US national security adviser, had said the account of the Biden-Xi call was not accurate. “This is not an accurate portrayal of the call. Period,” Sullivan said in a statement. “As we’ve said, the presidents discussed the importance of being able to have private discussions between the two leaders, and we’re going to respect that.”

Chinese accounts of the call emphasised that it had been initiated by Biden, and quoted Xi as saying that US policies had caused “serious difficulties”. They also noted that the US “looks forward to more discussions and co-operation” with China, in language that implied Washington was pushing harder for engagement than Beijing.