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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Will America Accept Its Defeat in Syria? Challenge Russia and China?

Russia introduced China to Syria during the war when the Chinese navy arrived in the Mediterranean and reached the shores of Tartous and Lattakia to send a message to America and its allies that the monolithic dominance of the world was over.
There are thousands of Chinese jihadists who fought with ISIS and al-Qaeda and Beijing was concerned, willing to see all these killed in Syria. Cooperation between the Chinese and the Syrian intelligence services was established. Damascus has a unique and a very rich bank of information about foreign fighters many countries in the world would like to have access to, since over 80 nationalities of foreign fighters were allowed into Syria in a failed attempt to topple the regime and establish an Islamic State.
But Washington is still trying to protect its position, refusing to give up on the crown of world domination it has enjoyed for over a decade and it is ready to fight against the “axis opposing the US” using other means outside Syria. The US establishment and its allies are expelling Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions on China and Iran. The US defeat in Syria is obviously very painful.
What Washington is pretending to ignore is that the world no longer believes in the US’s military muscles and that there are two potential countries, less arrogant and willing to create alliances rather than bullying weaker countries: Russia and China. These are gathering more allies against the US axis.
The US is still living in the era of 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Its strong decline continued until the arrival of President Vladimir Putin to power in 2000. Washington realised there is a new person at the Kremlin in the castle of the Tsars with a determined intention to restore the lost glory. Russia had only nuclear weapons at that time and nothing else but the will was strong for the Russian bear to wakeup from its hibernation.
Putin did not declare war on America but extended his hand and tried to build friendship or at least not enmity. But Washington saw in Moscow the potentiality to recover in a couple of decades and worked on slowing down the process or interrupting it if possible. This is why the US started to pull to its side many countries of the ex-Soviet Union which have declared independence and include these in NATO and in the European Union surrounding Russia.
China, which includes cheap labor and can clone any commercial or military technology, like Russia has perceived America’s fear of its rapid economic development and wealth. Thus, the Chinese-Russian rapprochement was mainly created by the aggressive US policy towards the two countries, and this mainly because the American concentrate exclusively on military muscle when dealing with the World.
Washington has focused its naval control over the South China Sea and the Straits of Malacca, bringing back memories of its military presence during the Second World War with the attempt to tighten its pressure on Beijing. The US is aware of their naval superiority and know that China needs the sea for its commerce and for its supply of energy.
China started to protect itself by setting up the Eurasian political and economic Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in June 2001 with the goal also to focus on economic initiatives, increase military and counter terrorism cooperation with intelligence sharing. This Cooperation includes about half of the World’s total population and the states (including five nuclear states) of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Iran, India and Pakistan – and rejected Washington’s and Tokyo’s request to be observers only.
China has gone to the countries affected by US policy to establish a rapprochement. Further, it established the “string of Pearls” of states and islands for marine protection and encircled India, Japan and other American allies. The Indian Ocean sees the passage of 60% of the trade in oil from the Middle East, making the Straits of Malacca indispensable for China to protect. Therefore Beijing established relationships with Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Coco islands, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and a presence in the African coast in Sudan and Kenya.
Moreover, China revived the world’s oldest overland trade route of the Han Dynasty called “the Silk Road”. The modern Chinese Silk Road will provided a link to Beijing with the world for trade expected worth one trillion dollars (for 900 separate projects). The Silk Road reaches 11 cities in Europe and others in Africa by railway and pipeline and is expected to bring together seven Asian countries under the slogan “One Belt, One Way”. It will offer gas and trade to China and will cover 70% of the planet’s population.
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China is also part of the BRICS Group, which was established in 2009 and includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, which account for about 40 percent of world production.
And last but not least, in 2013, China presented the Asian World Bank (AIIB) that was set up to strike America at the core and bring together 57 countries – including several European states – but excluding the United States and Japan, its staunch ally.
The Asian International Bank – with $100 billion – aims to get rid of American financial control over the world’s economy. Washington considered this move as provocative, aiming at finding alternatives to its control of the world’s economy and financial that the United States has controlled for decades without any rival.
With its superficial but continuous sanctions, Washington believes it is capable of preventing the Eurasia Union (which begins from the Atlantic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, including six large states containing 3/4 of the world’s energy), to trouble Russia and to bother China.
Moreover, the US was thinking of creating a “Middle Eastern NATO” to counter the “Shiite crescent” and the “Iranian threat”. This idea was destroyed following the Saudi Arabia disastrous war on Yemen  and because Middle Eastern countries are unable to unite politically, economically or militarily.
While the US is fighting and losing in Syria, most countries that rejected American hegemony are gathering together in one way or another. There is cooperation between these countries – as we saw above –  to get rid of Washington’s dominance, arrogance and destructive foreign policy.
The US believes in changing regimes and directly – or through proxies – to occupy or control countries and impose a heavy protection fee to avoid toppling Middle Eastern monarchies (like Saudi Arabia as Donald Trump said himself). The US establishment is also manipulating youth and exploiting it under the title “Freedom activists” to guide them towards failing states, allowing extremists (Libya and both Syria and Iraq) to just get away with it).
America is deploying missiles everywhere where its military bases are deployed all over the world and has never thought of using its energy and power to support the economy and peace. It is only focused  on controlling states and the sources of energy regardless of the consequences, because there is no accountability for its doing.
Failure is everywhere: Washington’s plan failed- as General Wesley Clark, retired 4-star U.S. Army general, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the 1999 War on Yugoslavia said – to occupy seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia and Sudan), and its failure in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria because it underestimated the reaction to its foreign policy.
However, it has largely succeeded in planting hate among the Muslim population, turning the objective of al-Qaeda (its goal to target the far enemy, i.e. the US) and replaced it with ISIS (the goal is to target the near enemy, i.e. minorities and other Muslims), reviving an animosity between Muslims that is 1400 years old. Today the majority of the western population believes the war in the Middle East is “between Muslims. Let them kill each other…who cares?”.
While the United States is selling for $110 billions weapons to Saudi Arabia to kill more Yemenis and threaten its neighbours (Qatar, Syria and Iran),  Russia has signed 10 year contracts with China worth 600 billion dollars, and with Iran worth 400 billion dollars. Also, China has signed contracts with Iran worth 400 billion dollars. These contracts are aimed at economic cooperation, energy exchange; they promise an advanced economic future for these countries away from US dominance.
The US believes it can corner Russia, China and Iran: Russia has a 7,000 kilometre border with China, Iran is not Iraq and Syria is not Afghanistan. In Syria, the destiny of a world to be ruled by unilateralism is over. The world is heading toward pluralism.
The question remains: Is Washington prepared to accept its defeat and acknowledge that it has lost control of the world and pull out of Syria?
Elijah J. Magnier is a Senior Political Risk Analyst with over 32 years’ experience covering Europe & the Middle East. Acquiring in-depth experience, robust contacts and political knowledge in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Syria. Specialized in political assessments, strategic planning and thorough insight in political networks.
Proof read by: Maurice Brasher

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Why petro-yuan may become biggest game-changer of all time in capital markets

The historic launch of the long-awaited trading of Chinese crude futures this week has stirred up a heated debate among analysts as to whether the new commodity product will prosper or flop.
Some market analysts expressed doubts over the success of the petro-yuan, citing Beijing’s yearning for total control over trading as one of the key reasons for a potential bust. “The government has been eager to encourage liquidity and paper trading, but of course the issue with paper trading is speculative trading that the government wants to keep at bay,” Michal Meidan, an analyst at energy market consultancy Energy Aspects, told Bloomberg prior to the launch.
Meanwhile, the high costs of oil storage for delivery into the Shanghai Futures Exchange may scare potential investors away from the new contracts, according to industry analysts. “Storage plays a crucial role in linking cash and futures markets. Many speculators, such as proprietary traders and hedge funds, may be scared away,” said Jian Yang, a research director at the JP Morgan Center for Commodities in the University of Colorado Denver, as quoted by the agency.
However, China's yuan-backed oil futures managed to make a strong debut on Monday with overnight trade volumes initially outstripping transactions of internationally recognized benchmark Brent. Some 62,500 contracts reportedly changed hands during the first session, as domestic and international oil investors joined the trading.
The impressive start gives deeper cause for optimism about the newcomer with some analysts qualifying oil futures denominated in China’s currency as a game-changer in the world of financial trading. “This is the single biggest change in capital markets, maybe of all time,” said Hayden Briscoe, APAC head of fixed income at UBS Asset Management, as quoted by Reuters.
According to the analyst, the move to trade oil in yuan will diminish the role of the greenback in global financial markets. If market participants, including US corporations, opt to trade yuan-backed contracts, this could easily strengthen the Chinese currency and, at the same time, weaken the dollar.
“This helps cement the exchange’s viability and challenges the petro-dollar system, in which oil deals are executed in dollars. This would decrease demand for the greenback and boost US inflation,” Briscoe said.
With crude oil becoming a great chunk of modern international commerce, the potential impact of the new product on oil market dynamics and on global monetary and financial systems could be correspondingly great.
copy from RT