Discover more from Matt Ehret's Insights
Guest Post: The Real Global Agenda Pushing for War with China by Cynthia Chung
“We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
- Henry John Temple, aka Lord Palmerston (Britain’s Prime Minister from 1855-1858, 1859-1865), oversaw Britain’s First Opium War (1839-1842) as Head of Britain’s Foreign Office and the Second Opium War (1856-1860) as Britain’s Prime Minister against China.
Snow is Now Black
Bertrand Russell discussed in his book “The Impact of Science on Society” (1952) that the subject which “will be of most importance politically is mass psychology,” that is, the lens in which an individual views “reality” and “truth.” Russell is very clear, such “convictions” are not generated by the individual themselves but rather are to be shaped by the State.
Of course, individuals are not encouraged to think about an absolute truth or reality, rather they are encouraged to think on a much smaller scale, on individual “facts,” for this is much easier to control and shape and also limits “problematic” thinking such as the ponderance on purpose and intention.
Russell, in his “Impact of Science on Society,” goes on to talk about how one could program a society to think snow is black rather than white:
“First, that the influence of home is obstructive. Second, that not much can be done unless indoctrination begins before the age of ten. Third, that verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective. Fourth, that the opinion that snow is white must be held to show a morbid taste for eccentricity. But I anticipate. It is for future scientists to make these maxims precise and discover exactly how much it costs per head to make children believe that snow is black, and how much less it would cost to make them believe it is dark gray.”
This is of course a program for the most ambitious “reframing” of “reality”. However, as we see today, we do not need to start before the age of ten for other sorts of “reframing,” and nowhere does this seem to be the most successful and effective with any age group than the West’s “foreign” policy.
For snow is something that we see and experience regularly. It is much more difficult to “reframe” something familiar, however, something that is “foreign” has always been a rather blurred and undefined concept for millennia, and thus is a much easier candidate for the State to “reframe” as our collective “reality,” our collective “existential fear.”
Thus, for most of history, our understanding of who is our “friend” and who is our “foe” has rarely been determined by the people themselves but rather their governing structure.
Such a governing structure is free to determine for us what is “truth” vs. “falsehood” what is “fact” vs. “fiction,” because the people, despite all the abuse and exploitation from such a governing force still look to this very thing to protect and shield them from the frightful “unknown.”
People have become accustomed to thinking “Better the Devil you know.” In this paper we will see if that is indeed the case or not.
[This is Part 2 of a two-part series. For Part 1 refer here.]
“Our Interests are Eternal and Perpetual”
“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”
Before I get into the geopolitical situation of today and attempt to address this question of what the global agenda behind pushing for war with China is, I would like to share a brief overview of some very important history, for I assure you, this plays a prominent role in what is shaping today’s dynamics.
For the sake of brevity, the story starts with the First Opium War (1839-42).
In short, the British Empire had made a move towards a free trade system in the 1840s, modelled on Adam Smith’s ‘A Wealth of Nations’. In this new system of trade it was believed that if there is a demand for a product, a country has no right to intervene in its transaction. Protectionism, which had been practiced by Britain up until that point, had now been deemed an unfit practice by…Britain, and all other countries were naturally to follow along according to the “new rules” chosen for them.
Britain, however, would grant itself to be the sole country permitted to continue the practice of protectionism while it enforced its “free” trade on others.
In the case of China, the trade of opium was ultimately banned by the Chinese, and severe punishments were to be delivered to those involved in smuggling the product into the country, which included British merchants. The British Empire considered this a direct threat to its ‘security’ and its new enforcement of free trade. Thus, when China did not back down, the First Opium War (1839-1842) was waged. The result was the forced signing of the Nanking Treaty in 1842.
This treaty, known as the first of the “unequal treaties”, ceded the territory of Hong Kong to Britain and allowed British merchants to not only trade at Guangzhou but were now also permitted to trade with five additional “treaty ports” and with whomever they pleased.
Created in 1600 with a Royal Charter from Queen Elizabeth I, the East India Company was from its inception indistinguishable from the British Empire itself, rising to account for half of the world’s trade. As is aptly said by Lord Macaulay in his speech to the House of Commons in July 1833, since the beginning, the East India Company had always been involved in both trade and politics, just as its French and Dutch counterparts had been.
In other words, the East India Company was to facilitate the geopolitical chess game that the British Empire wished to see played out. Not only the trade contracts it received but whole colonised territories won by the British Empire were handed over to this company to manage, along with a large sized private military, all under the decree of the Crown. This would be most evidently seen in the freedom it was given to control opium production in British India and to then facilitate its trade within Hong Kong and other colonised parts of Southeast Asia.
China was deemed uncooperative to the conditions signed under the Nanking Treaty and a Second Opium war was declared on them by the British Empire, lasting from 1856-60. [There is an excellent Chinese movie called “The Opium War” that goes over this story, you can watch it for free here.]
The British (with French assistance) defeated the Chinese defenses after a four-year war. China, an ancient civilization with an advanced society both culturally and scientifically was forced to be entirely beholden to British foreign policy and its enforced free trade of opium.
On the 18th of October 1860, the British burned down the Summer Palace, also known as Yuanmingyuan (Gardens of Perfect Brightness), the French apparently refused to assist. The razing of the building took two days.
When the war was won, British and French troops (and mercenaries) looted and destroyed many artifacts, many of which remain abroad, scattered throughout the world in 47 museums. An ongoing reminder of their spoils from the Opium Wars. How ironic that so many enjoy gazing upon such works of beauty and forget the horror that was committed in attaining them.
A British-friendly bank needed to be created to facilitate trade in the region, connecting the Empire’s newly acquired treasures Shanghai and Hong Kong with its British India (the major world producer of opium) along with the rest of the British Empire and Europe. HSBC was founded in 1865 for this purpose, that continues to this day.
This bank was not only meant to facilitate foreign trade within China in whichever way it deemed fit, but in addition was created namely to trade in the product of opium. It is important to note that although the founder of HSBC is credited as Thomas Sutherland of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company, a Scottish merchant who wanted the bank to operate under “sound Scottish banking principles”, the bank had been created from the start to facilitate crooked trade on behalf of the British Empire.
China refers to this period as its “Century of Humiliation,” also known as the “hundred years of national humiliation,” describing the period from 1839 to 1949.
What happened in 1949?
The Chinese had fought a 22 year long civil war (Aug 1927-1949), which overlapped the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) where the Chinese also fought against Japanese fascists for their very existence. The Japanese fascists wanted to ethnically cleanse China, as well as the entire eastern coastline of Asia. Ho Chi Minh led the valiant fight against the Japanese fascists in Vietnam. The Japanese fascists committed the most brutal genocide, perhaps in all of history, known as the Asian holocaust and to which westerners often are completely unaware (for more on this refer here and here).
The most notorious of these was the Nanjing Massacre, or the Rape of Nanjing, starting on the 13th of December 1937 and lasting for six weeks. It is estimated that over 300,000 were massacred and over 80,000 brutally raped and tortured.
The Chinese heroically fought back the Japanese fascists and kept their country intact by the end of WWII. Though many European countries did not even last a week against invasion by the German Nazis, China had resisted a Japanese take-over for eight years, while fighting a civil war. There is certainly not even remotely close to enough respect given to the Chinese people for this incredible and heroic accomplishment.
On October 1st, 1949, the Chinese Communists led by Mao Zedong won the civil war against Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang army and Mao declared the creation of the People’s Republic of China. This is a complicated history that is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss in satisfactory detail, however, I will make a few points.
Sun Yat-sen, of whom I speak in more detail in Part 1, was instrumental in China’s Revolution against the corrupt Qing dynasty. He also received training in Hawaii and became an adherent to the American System of economics (for more on this refer to Part 1.) He was Christian but he was also Confucian, seeing no contradiction in their true teachings.
Because of Sun Yat-sen’s leadership, China won its revolution against the Qing dynasty in 1911. Sun became President of the Republic of China in 1912 but voluntarily stepped down (in order to maintain the peace) to Yuan Shikai. Yuan Shikai was a warlord and was a greedy puppet to British interests. Sun had no choice but to step down because he understood that if he failed to do so, Britain would militarily intervene.
China had won its revolution but was still beholden to Britain’s dominion.
Sun Yat-sen was no fool and understood the situation with clarity. China’s problem with Britain, was the same problem the colonies of the United States faced almost 150 years earlier.
Sun Yat-sen writes in his book “The Vital Problem of China,” published in 1917:
In another section of the same book, Sun Yat-sen writes:
It looks like Sun Yat-sen was very clear in his understanding of what was China’s “vital problem.”
Sun Yat-sen is known as the Father of the Republic of China. It was Sun Yat-sen who founded the Kuomintang and Chiang Kai-shek was Sun’s selection for next in line. During this time, many subsequent members of the Chinese Communist Party were originally members of the Kuomintang, such as Zhou Enlai (who was later instrumental in the formation of the Five Principles for Peaceful Co-Existence and a vital participant in the Bandung Conference, see Part 1).
Sun Yat-sen died in 1925 and China’s civil war broke out two years later. It is my belief that if Sun had remained alive longer, China would have never fallen into a civil war.
As the civil war broke out, Madame Sun Yat-sen (Rosamond Soong Ch'ing-ling) who was an extremely intelligent Chinese political figure in her own right, after some delay, picks in favour of the Communist Party of China. Chiang was no longer the man Sun once thought able to lead the Chinese people. Madame Sun Yat-sen’s sister who married Chiang was also politically astute and continued to back her husband.
This decision of Madame Sun Yat-sen, regarded as the true living embodiment of the philosophy and teachings of Sun Yat-sen, was treated by most, as if Sun himself had spoken to the Chinese people.
This caused an alignment with numerous other Chinese political parties and institutions to side with the Communist Party against the Kuomintang, which at that point was regarded as being in bed with foreign interests (British and American) and that Chiang was more concerned with keeping his power and influence than on the actual fate of China.
[Madame Sun Yat-sen held several prominent positions within the People’s Republic of China from 1949 on. For more on this refer here.]
Numerous times during WWII, there had been a call to unite both sides in order to focus on defeating the Japanese fascists, however, Chiang always essentially refused. Chiang wanted to use the Japanese fascists against the Communist Party in order to win the civil war. There was also the unsettling question of whether Chiang was starting to view Japanese totalitarianism as a model for governance.
Taiwan, which is an island just 100 miles from China’s mainland, has a history that goes back for many thousands of years. From the late 13th century on, Chinese people gradually came into contact with Taiwan and started settling there. By the late 17th century, Taiwan became increasingly integrated into China, with mostly Chinese people living there (the indigenous population still lives in Taiwan to this day).
When Chiang lost the civil war, he retreated to the island of Taiwan, which was at that point considered part of China and was inhabited by mostly Chinese people. Chiang continued to call himself the only true representative of the teachings of Sun Yat-sen and the only true leader of the Republic of China, even though, Madame Sun Yat-sen refused to recognise his legitimacy as well as the majority of those living in China.
Chiang ruled Taiwan, essentially under a dictatorship, from 1943 to the year he died in 1975.
The balkanization of China and the extermination of her people was a very real threat that China not only survived during this period but fought back with remarkable fortitude and courage. Those who are responsible for saving China are rightly seen as heroes in the eyes of the Chinese, and we would be foolish in under-estimating the will and courage of the Chinese people after such displays of valor (for more stories of China’s valor refer here and here).
Thus, the year 1949 was to mark the end of China’s “Century of Humiliation.”
Through A Glass Darkly is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Upgrade to paid
The City of London
“Hell is a city much like London.”
– Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Over and over again we have seen that there is another power than that which has its seat at Westminster. The City of London, a convenient term for a collection of financial interests, is able to assert itself against the government of the country. Those who control money can pursue a policy at home and abroad contrary to that which is being decided by the people.”
- Clement Attlee, UK Prime Minister (1945-1951) and political opponent of Churchill.
The City of London is over 800 years old. It is arguably older than England herself, and for over 400 years it has been the financial center of the world.
During the medieval period, the City of London, otherwise known as the Square Mile or simply the City, was divided into 25 ancient wards headed each by an alderman. This continues today.
In addition, there existed the ominously titled City of London Corporation, or simply the Corporation, which is the municipal governing body of the City. This also still continues today.
Though the Corporation’s origins cannot be specifically dated, since there was never a “surviving” charter found establishing its “legal” basis, it has kept its functions to this day based on the Magna Carta. The Magna Carta is a charter of rights agreed to by King John in 1215, which states that “the City of London shall have/enjoy its ancient liberties”. In other words, the legal function of the Corporation has never been questioned, reviewed, re-evaluated EVER but rather it has been left to legally function as in accordance with their “ancient liberties”, which is a very grey description of function if you ask me. In other words, they are free to do as they deem fit.
Therefore, the question is, if the City of London has kept its “ancient liberties” and has upheld its global financial power, is the British Empire truly gone?
Contrary to popular naïve belief, the empire on which the sun never sets (some say “because God wouldn’t trust them in the dark”) never went away.
After WWII, colonisation was meant to be done away with, and many thought, so too with the British Empire. Countries were reclaiming their sovereignty, governments were being set up by the people, the system of looting and pillaging had come to an end.
It is a nice story, but could not be further from the truth.
In the 1950s, to “adapt” to the changing global financial climate, the City of London set up what are called “secrecy jurisdictions”. These were to operate within the last remnants of Britain’s small territories/colonies. Of Britain’s 14 oversea territories, 7 are bona fide tax havens or “secrecy jurisdictions”. A separate international financial market was also created to facilitate the flow of this offshore money, the Eurodollar market. Since this market has its banks outside of the UK and U.S., they are not under the jurisdiction of either country.
By 1997, nearly 90% of all international loans were made through this market.
John Christensen, an investigative economist, estimates that this capital that legally belongs to nobody could amount to as high as $50 trillion within these British territories. Not only is this not being taxed, but a significant portion of it has been stolen from sectors of the real economy.
So how does this affect “formerly” colonised countries?
According to John Christensen, the combined external debts of Sub-Saharan African countries was $177 billion in 2008. However, the wealth that these countries’ elites moved offshore, between 1970-2008, is estimated at $944 billion, 5X their foreign debt. This is not only dirty money, this is also STOLEN money from the resources and productivity of these countries’ economies.
Thus, as Christensen states, “far from being a net debtor to the world, Sub-Saharan Africa is a net creditor” to offshore finance.
Put in this context, the so-called “backwardness” of Africa is not due to its incapability to produce, but rather that it has been experiencing uninterrupted looting since these regions were first colonised.
These African countries then need to borrow money, which is happily given to them at high interest rates and accrues a level of debt that could never be repaid. These countries are thus looted twice over, leaving no money left to invest in their future, let alone to put food on the table.
And it doesn’t stop there. Worldwide, it is estimated that developing countries lose $1 trillion every year in capital flight and tax evasion. Most of this wealth goes back into the UK and U.S. through these offshore havens, and allows their currencies to stay strong whilst developing nations’ currencies are kept weak.
However, developing nations are not the only ones to have suffered from this system of looting. The very economies of the UK and U.S. have also been gutted. In the 1960s and onward, the UK and U.S., to compensate for the increase in money flow out of their countries decided that it was a good idea to open their domestic markets to the trillions of dollars passing through its offshore havens.
However, such banks are not interested in putting their money into industry and manufacturing. They put their money into real estate speculation, financial speculation and foreign currency trade. And thus, the financialization of British and American economies resulted, and the real jobs coming from the real economy decreased or disappeared.
Although many economists try to claim differently, the desperation has boiled over. We have reached a point now where every western first world country is struggling with a much higher unemployment rate and a significantly lower standard of living than 40 years ago. Along with increased poverty has followed increased drug use, increased suicide and increased crime (for more on the sin City of London refer here, and on Britain’s opium bank HSBC refer here).
Now, we are ready to look at today’s global agenda behind the push for war with China.
China’s Belt and Road Initiative Put Into Perspective
“BRI seeks to back an array of projects, but to date, the vast majority of funds has been allocated toward traditional infrastructure—energy, roads, railways, and ports. Though principally aimed at developing countries, with Pakistan, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka among the largest recipients of BRI funds, BRI also includes developed countries, with numerous U.S. allies participating. If these U.S. allies were to turn to BRI to build critical infrastructure, such as power grids, ports, or telecommunications networks, this could complicate U.S. contingency planning and make coming to the defense of its allies more difficult.”
- The Council on Foreign Relations’ “Independent Task Force Report No. 79”
The Council on Foreign Relations, a major shaper of U.S. foreign policy, has made it clear in its numerous reports that it regards it as the duty of the United States government to counter China’s economic relationship and partnership with every country in the global sphere.
It should be noted that the Council on Foreign Relations is the American branch of the Royal Institute for International Affairs (aka: Chatham House) based in London, England. It should also be noted that Chatham House itself was created by the Round Table Movement during the Treaty of Versailles Conference in 1919.
Thus, deterrence to all American “allies” in forming partnerships with China has also been heavily enforced.
Why are China’s international relations seen as a threat to U.S. national security? The short answer to this is competition, and the slightly longer answer is that China is forming an alliance of countries against the economic strait jacket that was first imposed by the British Empire under its free trade doctrine and which is enforced today in the interests of the Anglo-American Empire.
In 2014, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) launched the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI), based in Washington, DC. In June 2020, SAIS-CARI published a report titled “Debt Relief with Chinese Characteristics.”
I would like to share of few lines from this report, which begins with:
“In December 2019, a Zambian economist commented: ‘Chinese debt can easily be renegotiated, restructured, or refinanced.’ Is this true?
…In this working paper, we draw on data from the China Africa Research Initiative (CARI) to review evidence on China’s debt cancellation and restructuring in Africa, in comparative and historical perspective. Cases from Sri Lanka, Iraq, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Angola, and the Republic of Congo, among others, point to debt relief patterns with distinctly Chinese characteristics. In nearly all cases, China has only offered debt write-offs for zero-interest loans. Our study found that between 2000 and 2019, China has cancelled at least US$3.4 billion of debt in Africa. There is no ‘China, Inc’…We found that China has restructured or refinanced approximately US$ 15 billion of debt in Africa between 2000 and 2019. We found no ‘asset seizures’ and despite contract clauses requiring arbitration, no evidence of the use of courts to enforce payments, or application of penalty interest rates.”
“During the debt crisis of the late 20th century, we saw that many sovereign borrowers simply did not service the interest-free loans lent by the Chinese government. Because the interest-free loan program was diplomatic in nature, a core part of China’s foreign aid, pressing hard for loan repayment was simply not done. As of 2019, with a much wider variety of loans in play—many commercial--rescheduling is no longer so easy, although it is happening. Beijing’s main tool to press for payments when a country goes into arrears is to suspend disbursements on projects currently being implemented (which slows their completion but also hurts Chinese contractors), and to withhold approval of new loans.
… A committee led by China’s Ministry of Finance (which has overall authority for debt relief), with delegates from MOFCOM, China’s Exim Bank, and China Development Bank will approve or reject the debt cancellation request. ‘The Chinese government will see how the money was used. They will consider this thoughtfully. They will refuse applications from some whose economy is doing well…’ a Chinese official told one of the authors.”
The SAIS-CARI report concludes:
“Chinese debt relief for Africa has been going on for many decades, following the ups and downs Africa’s economic recessions, recoveries, and booms… As Zhou Yuyuan, a researcher with the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, noted in a recent article: ‘the cost for violating the contract is actually quite low for the borrowers.’ Furthermore, Beijing is concerned with its international reputation and its long term political and diplomatic relationship with individual countries. In addition, Chinese contractors, who usually advance their own money to get a project launched before being reimbursed through Chinese bank disbursements, suffer from project suspensions. Although loan contracts provide for arbitration in case of default, there is no evidence that Chinese banks have ever used this option, or that a judgment could actually be enforced, were it to be in their favor. We also see no evidence of penalty interest rates.
…We started this paper with a quote from a Zambian economist. A fuller version of that quote is:
‘It’s the US$ 3 billion worth of eurobonds that are the problem, not the Chinese loans...with eurobonds, you don’t play around when the payments are due. Chinese debt can easily be renegotiated, restructured or refinanced’.”
According to the Jubilee Debt Campaign in 2017, China owned 24%, the IMF and World Bank owned 20%, the Paris Club 10%, the private sector 32%, and other multilateral institutions 15% of Africa’s debt.
“As a debt crisis looms, there has been a growing demand from various advocacy groups for debt cancellation and the issuance of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) from the IMF. According to the Advocacy Network for Africa (AdNA), the SDRs are the IMF’s reserve currency that could ‘enable countries to boost reserves and stabilize economies, helping minimize other economic losses, without any cost to the U.S. government.’ Although SDRs offer African countries a lifeline, the U.S. has yet to support the initiative, adding yet another hurdle in their attempt to break free from their debt trap. In addition to advocating for SDRs, organizations like the Jubilee Debt Campaign (JDC) are also urging the IMF to sell its stockpile of gold to cancel the debt of the poorest countries. According to JDC, the profit from selling less than 7% of IMF’s gold (worth $11.8 billion), ‘would be enough to pay for cancelling all debt payments by the 73 countries eligible for the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative for the next 15 months’ and ‘would still leave the IMF with $26 billion more gold than the institution held at the start of 2020.’
The efforts of debt-cancellation advocates seem to continue to fall on deaf ears, as the IMF and the World bank refuse to make any move towards cancelling the debt of African countries. The Bank’s hypocrisy is observed in the fact that it continues to pressure China, Africa’s largest creditor, to cancel its debt to poor countries while itself has yet to cancel the debt it is owed.”
China is Africa’s largest creditor, it is also Africa’s largest debt canceller and is the most flexible in its renegotiation of debt and does not penalise through interest rates as we saw with the Johns Hopkins report. As the Center for International Policy confirms, it is in fact the IMF and World Bank loans, who refuse to be flexible in repayment of these debts. It is they who refuse to make any significant cancellation of debt owed to them by Africa, and who maintain these loans at exorbitant interest rates, which are behind the debt problem in Africa.
In addition, contrary to the enforced conditionalities that come from IMF and World Bank loans that discourage essential infrastructure like electrical grids (Africa has been kept dark for decades), China is actually building infrastructure in Africa to the admitted dismay of the Council on Foreign Relations!
This is what President Putin was referring to in a speech from 2018 to light up Africa.
In 2019, Reuters reported that the United States’ top African diplomat warned that African countries running up debt they won’t be able to pay back, should not expect to be bailed out by western-sponsored debt relief.
“We went through, just in the last 20 years, this big debt forgiveness for a lot of African countries,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Africa for African Affairs Tibor Nagy, referring to the somewhat condescendingly named HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) program, started by the IMF and World Bank in 1996 as a nice window dressing.
“Now all of a sudden are we going to go through another cycle of that? ... I certainly would not be sympathetic, and I don’t think my administration would be sympathetic to that kind of situation,” he told reporters in Pretoria, South Africa.
Hmmm, imagine if a Chinese diplomat were to have said that, how it would have been viewed by the west, but apparently when a westerner says it, it is somehow not exploitive and predatory…
Let us look at another example. What about Sri Lanka’s debt crisis, surely China is to blame like we have all been told repeatedly?
This is a graph included within an article by the German news press DW. As we can see, China owns only 10% of Sri Lanka’s debt. The Asian Development Bank owns 13% but don’t be fooled by its name, it is modeled off of the World Bank and has only held Japanese presidents on its board. Japan is beholden to the west’s diktat in all of its foreign financial affairs.
So, who owns this 47% market borrowings share of Sri Lanka’s foreign debt? Well, according to NIKKEI Asia, the world’s largest financial newspaper based in Tokyo, Japan:
“By the end of 2020, a year into Gotabaya's term, the country's foreign debt was $38.6 billion, accounting for 47.6% of the central government's total debt, according to the IMF. International sovereign bonds made up the largest share, at $14 billion, followed by $8.8 billion in loans from multilateral lenders and $6.2 billion in bilateral debts. The top 20 ISB [International Sovereign Bonds] holders included BlackRock, Allianz, UBS, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase and Prudential, according to Advocata Institute, a Colombo-based think tank.”
It is here that we start to see the truth behind such graphs that hide behind vague titles such as the “private sector,” “other multilateral institutions” or “market borrowings”. These are predominantly British and American banks and investment firms who are extending loans at exorbitant interest rates. Why are the names of these institutions not even mentioned, conveniently hidden behind such generic and seemingly benign labels?
We also see the outright slander and lying that is occurring against China in being blamed for Sri Lanka’s debt crisis. How can such an accusation be justified if China owns only 10% of Sri Lanka’s debt?!
Once again, we see, it is not China that is responsible for the economic mayhem that is occurring today in Sri Lanka (formerly the British colony Ceylon, and who was a significant organiser of the Bandung Conference). In fact, there is great reason to believe that the National Endowment for Democracy is behind much of the chaos in Sri Lanka (refer here for more).
What about the IMF? They do not seem to be hardly mentioned in these debt trap charts, they don’t seem too bad right?
You may be surprised, that the example I am about to give of an IMF economic horror story is not located in either Africa or Asia, but rather in Europe.
Ukraine today is a tragic story on multiple levels.
Ukraine used to be among the richest countries in Eastern Europe, known as “the breadbasket of Europe.” However, this economic fact is harder and harder to come by since Ukraine was a part of the USSR when their economy was at its peak. A most inconvenient truth. It is for this reason that you will be hard pressed to find any GDP graph of Ukraine that begins earlier than 1991, the date of their independence from the USSR. From 1991 to 1997, Ukraine lost 60% of their GDP and suffered five-digit inflation rates. Who was Ukraine beholden to during this massive recession that has never really ended for Ukrainians? The International Monetary Fund (IMF).
During the EU Deal dispute that was used to trigger the Ukrainian protests, it has since been discovered that part of the conditions of this “deal,” which was strong-armed by the IMF, was the demand that a significant rise in utility rates (first and foremost electricity and gas) be implemented while the income of Ukrainians stayed the same.
The Ukrainian people had no idea. The very deal they were fighting and dying for was to directly benefit corrupt gas companies such as Burisma Holdings and their foreign shareholders, to the economic detriment of the Ukrainian people. A similar situation to what most of Europe is facing today under a plethora of glorious “EU Deals” in the midst of an energy crisis.
It turns out much that was behind the youth protests in Ukraine was funded by not only the American government directly, but also by the National Endowment for Democracy, the American department of color revolutions.
Jeremy Kuzmarov for Covert Action Magazine writes in an article titled “National Endowment for Democracy Deletes Records of Funding Projects in Ukraine”:
“The National Endowment for Democracy (NED)—a CIA offshoot founded in the early 1980s to advance ‘democracy promotion’ initiatives around the world—has deleted all records of funding projects in Ukraine from their searchable “Awarded Grants Search” database.
The archived webpage captured February 25, 2022 from 14:53 shows that NED granted $22,394,281 in the form of 334 awards to Ukraine between 2014 to the present. The capture at 23:10 the same day shows “No results found” for Ukraine. As of right now, there are still ‘No results found’ for Ukraine…
The erasure of the NED’s records is necessary to validate the Biden administration’s big lie—echoed in the media—that the Russian invasion of Ukraine was ‘unprovoked.’” [emphasis added] (for more on the NED refer here.)
So just to be as clear as possible here, the economy of Ukraine was beholden to the IMF after their independence in 1991 (after the dissolution of the Soviet Union). It was almost immediately afterwards that the Ukrainian economy began a downward trend, entering an economic recession and creating Ukrainian oligarchs overnight. [Russia also went through a serious recession and had its overnight oligarchs because of the introduction of the Perestroika, which was a western restructuring of Russia’s internal finances. In time, Russia has been able to gain in part its economic and financial sovereignty, but it has been a long process which still has elements that are beholden to the western diktat such as the Russian Central Bank.]
This is what makes up the “Moscow on the Thames” in London, overnight Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs who benefitted from the suffering of their own people. These are men who are servants to the City of London. These are traitors to their country, who would sell their grandmothers for the right to sit in the hallway of their masters, as President Putin said in a recent speech.
Both the Orange Revolution (2004) and the Maidan Revolution (2014) were at the end of the day, about economic despair. The Ukrainians died for the EU deal and closed out Russia. What did they gain for this? Before the start of this year, Ukraine was by far the poorest country in all of Europe as a result of signing onto the EU Deal seven years ago. They then foolishly allowed themselves to be led into a war with Russia in service of Anglo-America, which was the entire time never about Ukrainian freedom but about triggering an economic collapse within Russia, which has very clearly failed.
We would perhaps do well to remember Lord Palmerston’s words, “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
The Ukrainian people who bought into this were played. The result of this “Revolution of Dignity” is that Ukraine now lies in ashes.
Now the Taiwanese people are being asked to follow suit.
Through A Glass Darkly is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Upgrade to paid
The Sunflower Movement: Taiwan’s Color Revolution
What many likely do not know, or at least do not connect together, is that Ukraine’s “Revolution for Dignity” occurred during the same year as Hong Kong’s “Umbrella Revolution” aka “Occupy HK” as well as Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement. Yes, they all happened in the same year and they were all funded by the National Endowment for Democracy along with western NGOs.
Let us first start with the case of Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, which was a part of China for many centuries, was established as a temporary colony of the British Empire after China lost the First Opium War. After the Second Opium War was lost, Britain expanded the colony to the Kowloon Peninsula, and in 1898, obtained a 99-year lease of Hong Kong.
In 1997, Hong Kong was returned to China as per the 99-year lease agreement with Britain. However, Britain did not release Hong Kong fully.
Laura Ruggeri, who has been living in Hong Kong since 1997 and has done excellent reporting on the 2019 Hong Kong protests, writes in her paper “Agents of Chaos: How the US Seeded a Color Revolution in Hong Kong”:
“By all appearances, the process of creating a sense of identification with, and loyalty to, China was still in its infancy. In contrast, transnational actors, most notably churches, NGOs and advocacy networks regarded by the US as “vectors of influence” and “catalysts of democratization” were well-entrenched in the Hong Kong civil society. Working in concert with US-sponsored local media and pro-democracy parties they subjected both China and the local government to constant criticism, exploiting domestic grievances in order to deepen rifts in society and achieve the sort of partisan and ideological polarization that would make Hong Kong ungovernable.
…Hong Kong lawmakers failed to acknowledge that the political feasibility of One Country Two Systems ultimately rests on the stability of One Country, without which any talk of Two Systems becomes preposterous.
… when British rule ended in 1997 it left behind a toxic legacy of colonial institutions, British-trained civil servants and a damaged collective psyche precariously held together by a false sense of superiority towards mainland China.
…The US began laying the brickwork for a colour revolution in Hong Kong even before the 1997 handover: NED funding for Hong Kong-based groups dates back to 1994 and was described as “consistent” by Louisa Greve, who was vice president of programs for Asia, the Middle East and North Africa until 2017. Its first strategic objective was to prevent the enactment of a national security law (Article 23) in Hong Kong, as this would effectively make the activities of NED and other foreign-funded organizations illegal.
When in 2003 the Secretary for Security Regina Ip announced a Bill to implement Article 23, as if on cue, half a million people marched against the government proposal, Mrs. Ip became the target of a coordinated vilification campaign that forced her to resign from office and the Bill was eventually withdrawn.
…foreign agents and fifth columnists. Their task was to scupper the One Country Two Systems governance model and contrast any rise of patriotic feelings towards China. If the One Country Two Systems model failed in Hong Kong, the U.S. would also achieve another strategic goal at no cost, because Taiwan wouldn’t be tempted to adopt it in the future.” (For more on this refer to Laura Ruggeri’s exellent articles.)
Thus, as you see with all of these NED funded revolutions, the people are never actually protesting something that will harm their freedom and prosperity, but rather the very opposite. They have been fooled into protesting something that is actually to their benefit. They are played by the prejudice that has been fueled by foreign agents in their education system, media and government, to hate and remain distrustful of what is actually a better outcome for them.
In the case of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, this was incredibly started as an Anti-Extradition Law Amendment Bill Movement, in response to Hong Kong’s introduction of the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill on extradition. Why did the Hong Kong government introduce this bill? Because a young girl was hacked into pieces and shoved into a suitcase. Her boyfriend who committed the horrific crime left her body in Taiwan and took a flight back to Hong Kong that evening.
Hong Kong’s law, due to the “one country, two systems,” did not allow for China’s extradition of this criminal, thus the introduction of the bill. Something that not even the Australian government saw as an issue in their cooperating with before the fervour of protests in Hong Kong. What this meant, was that those participating in the 2019 Hong Kong protests were ultimately protesting China’s right to “intervene” into how Hong Kong people live their lives, even if they are to commit crimes within China.
In other words, these protesters were saying that China had no right to intervene in crimes committed by Hong Kongers, even though Hong Kong is a part of China... Does that sound like a democratic peace-loving movement to you?
Let alone that they violently attacked any Hong Kong resident who disagreed with their views during the 2019 protests, including the elderly.
The 2014 “Occupy HK” received $400,000 in funding from the NED. Hong Kong received $1.7 million in grants spent by the NED from 2017 to 2019 for the 2019 protests.
The NED is also funding separatist groups in Tibet (2021 link) and Xinjiang (only called East Turkistan by the radicalised separatists and the NED). NED has recently scrubbed their Xinjiang list of funding, however, if you go to the “awarded grants search” within the NED site you will find that their primary funding goes to the World Uyghur Congress, which services US government foreign policy, and is the primary organiser and funder behind claims that China is committing a genocide in Xinjiang (for more on this refer here).
When Anglo-America made a second attempt to reclaim Hong Kong in 2019, it again failed to separate Hong Kong from China. If they had succeeded, it would have been used as a model for Taiwan’s separatist movement.
Strangely, there has been this claim circulating around the web by such news agencies like The Guardian, criticizing China for claiming that Hong Kong was never a British colony because China never recognised the treaties that ceded the city to Britain. This is true in the sense that it was the corrupt Qing dynasty that signed over Hong Kong to the British for a 99-year lease. When the Chinese people overthrew the Qing dynasty and eventually formed the People’s Republic of China, this treaty was never recognised. In other words, the Chinese government never recognised such a treaty in support of British colonialism.
What is disturbing in this sort of criticism of China essentially refusing to acquiesce to a colonial identity, is that the reaction from the British press is “how dare they!” You see how old habits die hard.
China recognised, as also confirmed by the observations by Laura Ruggeri’s work, that it needed to take back their education system in Hong Kong, not because they are some sort of dictatorship that censors freedom of speech but because those textbooks were continuing to teach a British colonial view of the world and Chinese history that was essentially anti-Chinese.
How ironic that these so-called freedom lovers in Hong Kong and their supporters are so quick to side with a colonial framework. Anything to sit in the hall of their masters…
The Guardian article goes on to say, how dare China teach in their schools that the 2019 Hong Kong protests were driven by external forces. What this means is; how dare China not accept the separatist movement in Hong Kong that is still brainwashed with a colonial mentality as genuine.
I would like to make a quick note here, that part of my family comes from Hong Kong, and it is most clearly the case that they saw themselves as superior to the Chinese living on the mainland, whom they viewed as dirty peasants, and likely have retained this prejudice despite mainland China now economically thriving with many cities being much more affluent and beautiful than Hong Kong. My family that grew up in Hong Kong, largely identified with western idealisation, and my mother and siblings have even confessed to me that they wished they had been born with more western features in their appearance. Does that sound like freedom to you?
Lastly, let us take a look at Taiwan’s “Sunflower Movement.”
Taiwan, in case you were not aware, is legally a part of China and is recognised as so by the entire international community, except 13 small countries and the Vatican City, Holy See. And I would go so far as to say that it was not the decision of these small countries to do so, who are beholden to the Anglo-American diktat.
The United States, despite sending weapons over to Taiwan, and having a small number of US troops in Taiwan, also recognises Taiwan as part of China.
On the US Department of State website they write, “We oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side; we do not support Taiwan independence.”
So why all the belligerence from the United States? It appears it is the United States who is in violation of the law.
Quite ridiculously, Newsweek published an article which is the same sort of fiction that is being published all over media right now, titled “China Warplane Fleet Enters Taiwan’s Air Defense Zone.”
Below are the images published by Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, showcasing China’s aircraft “violation,” that were used by the Newsweek article.
Do you notice something strange? Taiwan’s Self-Declared Air Zone overlaps with the actual mainland of China. According to Taiwan, China should not even have the right to fly above a section of its own mainland!
In addition, according to Taiwan, China has no right to pass over or through the Taiwan Strait, but a US Navy Destroyer can enter “its” waters, which happened just a few days ago and was not the first time.
CNN writes the very misleading headline “US Navy Destroyer enters Chinese-claimed waters for third time in a week.” Um, “Chinese-claimed waters”? The US Department of State recognises Taiwan as part of China, so yeah, it is in Chinese waters. Are you beginning to see what China is having to deal with?
Lastly, if you see the flight routes that China is taking in the image above, you can see clearly that China is making it crystal clear that those flight paths are not meant to pass over Taiwan. China is giving Taiwan its space, even though it is a part of China.
As, ex-Marine Corps, Brian Berletic’s The New Atlas has pointed out in his informative videos, Taiwan is completely dependent on trade with China, thus, if China really wanted to cause Taiwan’s “submission” to China, there would be no need to “invade” Taiwan, they would simply stop trading with Taiwan. China makes up 49.04% of Taiwan exports and 23.8% of Taiwan imports.
In 2014, the Sunflower Movement, like the Ukrainian “Revolution for Dignity” was over an economic deal. In the case of Taiwan it was over a free trade deal with China, which makes sense since Taiwan is part of China, therefore why would you not want free trade within the same country? Once again, we see that the protests were against something that was in fact to their benefit.
One of the leading organizations behind the Sunflower Movement was the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy which is directly connected to the NED and has received funding from the NED (for more on this refer to The New Atlas).
On the NED webpage “Taiwan’s Destiny,” the remarks by Carl Gershman, former US Ambassador to the UN Human Rights Council and who has served as president of the NED since its founding in 1984 to 2021, states:
“I visited Taiwan for the first time 25 years ago to encourage it to join the community of countries that was fostering democracy through non-governmental institutions like the National Endowment for Democracy. Taiwan was not ready for this idea at the time.
In the quarter of a century since that conference, Taiwan has consolidated a dynamic, stable, and successful liberal democracy, exemplified by President Tsai herself, who is the first woman to be elected President of Taiwan. Elsewhere in the world, however, democracy has entered a period of crisis…and authoritarian countries like Russia and China have become more aggressive and threatening.
Taiwan has not chosen to be a global symbol of democratic universalism, and I did not anticipate that it would become one when I came here 25 years ago, hoping that Taiwan might establish an institution to promote democracy in the world. It now has such an institution, and for that I’m very grateful. And as I said last year when I spoke at the TFD’s 15th anniversary celebration, I hope that the Taiwan government will increase the Foundation’s budget, as the U.S. Congress may soon do for the NED. The work is so important.
…Because of Taiwan’s sacrifice and commitment, I believe that day will come.”
Like what the sacrifice of the Ukrainian people brought for Ukraine in obeisance to this?
It is clear from the words of Carl Gershman that Taiwan’s Foundation for Democracy is an NED created and funded institution to encourage the separation of Taiwan from China.
And just like Ukraine’s Revolution of Dignity, the Sunflower movement allowed for the demand of a new government, a new government that would be picked and shaped by the US government. People such as Joseph Wu who is Taiwan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and is also the Vice-Chairman of Taiwan’s Foundation for Democracy.
Some Parting Thoughts
So, is it truly better the Devil you know? I always found this saying a confusing one, it essentially is describing one situation or person that we know for sure is monstrously bad and the other to which we acknowledge we do not “know.” So why the assumption that the choice is between one monstrous thing or another?
As we see with the technique especially of color revolutions, the ignorance of the people in siding with the Devil they know, is that they have chosen rather simply to remain in the hell they find themselves in. They are so fearful to travel into the unknown (which can become rather quickly known if one informs themselves) that they would rather stay with their captor.
Colonial Stockholm Syndrome one might say?
B.F. Skinner, a scary behaviourist, discovered a phenomenon in his work with rats which is now called, very creepily, “the Skinner box,” or by its somewhat less creepy title the “operant conditioning chamber.”
What Skinner found was that rats that were tortured within this box in the specific manner he does with conflicting messaging of reward and punishment, these rats would form a sort of dependence on this created “reality” as a coping mechanism to future stresses. It was found that when the rat was allowed to leave the box and was subjected to a stimulus that caused pain or fear that its immediate reaction was to run back into the box for its own perceived security out of its own volition!
Think about that.
There is a reason why behaviourists became extremely giddy over this “discovery” of Skinner, and it wasn’t because of its applications on rats…
We are told that we live in a complicated world. A world that is divided, a world that is full of hate and war and greed. And it is most certainly the case that the west in particular has descended into its own self-created hell. But that is the key right there.
As John Milton would say in his Paradise Lost, “The mind is its own place and, in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.”
Ironically, what many do not know is that Milton wrote a follow-up titled “Paradise Regained.” How interesting that we only focus on Paradise being Lost and seemingly have no care for Paradise Regained? Or that everyone has heard of Dante’s Inferno and perhaps Purgatorio but few have heard of Dante’s Paradiso which was meant to be read as a whole. Why do you think that is?
If we choose to walk in this life blind to what is the good, we will certainly condemn ourselves to living in a hell, but that is not reality, that is our self-made creation.
The choice is yours to make.
“It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.”
Cynthia Chung is the President of the Rising Tide Foundation and a writer at Strategic Culture Foundation, consider supporting her work by making a donation and subscribing to her substack page. This article was originally published by The Saker.
 "Old Summer Palace marks 157th anniversary of massive loot". www.chinadaily.com.cn. Retrieved 2018-06-30.
 “The Spider's Web: Britain's Second Empire” (2017) Documentary.
 Article 23 is an article in the Basic Law of Hong Kong. It states that the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region “shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government, or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region, and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies.”