Dramatic Steps Among ASEAN-Plus Defense Ministers To Prevent U.S.-China Military Conflict
Oct. 21 (EIRNS)—U.S., Chinese and Russian Defense Ministers were part of the “ASEAN Plus” forum in Singapore this week, where dramatic steps were taken to prevent any U.S.-China conflict in the South China Sea. After years of intense efforts by the Bush and Obama Administrations to provoke a military showdown with China over sovereignty issues in the South China Sea, Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen announced Saturday that ASEAN naval contingents were on their way to Zhanjiang in Guangdong Province (the base for the PLA Navy) to take part in a joint ASEAN-China naval exercise in the South China Sea, beginning Monday. Ng also announced, following a meeting of ASEAN defense ministers with U.S. Defense Secretary Gen. James Mattis, that ASEAN and the U.S. will also hold naval exercises sometime next year (location to be determined).
The 10 ASEAN defense ministers issued a statement which included: “[We] welcome the conduct of the ASEAN-China Maritime Exercise in 2018, and intention to conduct the ASEAN-United States Maritime Exercise in 2019, which will enhance friendship and confidence between ASEAN member states navies and the People’s Liberation Army Navy and the United States Navy.”
General Mattis also held a one-on-one meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe for 90 minutes. Randall Schriver, a U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs, told reporters afterward that Mattis had described the meeting as “straightforward and candid,” and that the Chinese “are interested in having a military relationship that’s a stabilizing force in the overall relationship.”
A “deconfliction” agreement was signed by the ASEAN ministers, and endorsed by Generals Mattis and Wei, to expand on guidelines intended to “reduce the likelihood of encounters or incidents spiraling into conflict in the event of miscalculation.”
The Trump Administration has confirmed that President Donald Trump will meet with President Xi Jinping at the G20 meeting in Argentina on Nov. 20, soon after the Nov. 6 midterm election, while a summit with President Vladimir Putin is also likely in November, according to unnamed administration sources. All three leaders, as well as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, will be together in the Argentina event. It is an opportunity for these leaders to discuss not only ending the anti-China and anti-Russia hysteria in the West, but also the urgent necessity of convening a new Bretton Woods conference to deal with the global financial chaos, to prevent an uncontrolled breakdown of the quadrillion-dollar derivatives bubble threatening the world’s real economy.
It is increasingly likely, but by no means certain, that the Democratic Party, which has devolved into a war-mongering, mob-inciting entity with no purpose other than to support the British coup attempt against President Trump, will fail in their effort to take over the Congress and to launch impeachment proceedings. The LaRouchePAC-supported candidacies of Kesha Rogers in Texas and Ron Wieczorek in South Dakota are leading a national effort to assure the defense of the President against this criminal effort, to support Trump’s stated intention to establish friendly relations with Putin and Xi, and to restore the American System. Early voting has already begun in many locations. All hands on deck is the order of the day, to galvanize the spark of reason showing itself in the population, as to both the danger, and the potential, of this critical moment in history.
U.S. POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC
NASA’s Bridenstine Arranges To ‘Temporarily’ Lift Sanctions on Roscosmos Director Rogozin
Oct. 19 (EIRNS)—NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine, fresh back from his meetings in Russia, announced today that he had succeeded in getting the White House to lift the sanctions on Roscosmos Director Dmitry Rogozin, “temporarily,” so that Rogozin can visit the U.S. to discuss cooperation in space. “NASA succeeded in temporarily removing the head of the Russian national space agency Roscosmos from the sanctions list,” Bridenstine told TASS.
“The U.S. space agency wants to secure strong working relations with Russia as it will benefit both nations,” Bridenstine said. “We wish to uphold such relations and will do everything we need to do that.”
Recalling that he delivered a speech at Moscow State University a week ago, Bridenstine said he hopes that one day he could invite his Russian counterpart to make a speech in his alma mater, Rice University in Houston.
NASA had unsuccessfully appealed to the State Department earlier to approve Rogozin’s trip to Germany, to participate in the International Astronautical Congress, during the first week of October. He was the only head of a major space agency who did not attend.
Rogozin was one of the first people sanctioned by Barack Obama after the U.S. overthrew the Ukraine government in 2014. He was then Deputy Prime Minister in charge of defense and space. Putin named him to head Roscosmos in May 2018.
STRATEGIC WAR DANGER
Lavrov Warns, Russia Will Not Permit Ukraine-NATO Exercises on the Sea of Azov
Oct. 19 (EIRNS)—The British war party is playing with fire. Russia’s TASS and the U.S. military’s Stars and Stripes report the warning of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview yesterday with RT France, Paris Match and Le Figaro, that Russia will not permit Ukraine to host NATO military drills in the Sea of Azov, the narrow body of water which borders on Ukraine and Russia. A complete English translation of the interview is also posted to Russia’s Foreign Ministry website.
“Now Ukraine wants to hold NATO drills in the Sea of Azov, but it will be impossible to go there because our treaty with Ukraine requires mutual consent for the passage of warships into the Sea of Azov. But they want this and they are being actively goaded into this,” TASS quoted Lavrov as saying.
He said, “[We are witnessing] an arms build-up on our borders along with the drive to upgrade the transport infrastructure in Europe so that it is easier for U.S. heavy weapons and probably weapons of other NATO countries to pick up our borders, the openly provocative military exercises—not the Russian-Chinese exercises in the middle of Siberia—but those in Ukraine, Georgia and the Black Sea.”
Trump Says the U.S. Will Leave the INF Treaty, NATO Blames Russia
Oct. 21 (EIRNS)—President Donald Trump told the press the U.S. would leave the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), signed by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. in 1987, just as National Security Advisor John Bolton arrives in Moscow for meetings. The neo-cons have long accused Russia of breaking the treaty, denied by Moscow, while NATO is deploying mid-range Aegis systems in Europe, claiming they are only defensive.
TASS quotes that NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu as saying today that it is “highly likely” that Russia violates the treaty—a phrase repeatedly used in building up lies about nefarious deeds blamed on Russia. Lungescu said that NATO had pointed to Russia’s 9M729 missile system. “After years of denials and obfuscation, Russia recently acknowledged the existence of the missile system without providing the necessary transparency and explanation. In the absence of any credible answer from Russia on this new missile, allies believe that the most plausible assessment would be that Russia is in violation of the INF Treaty,” she said.
Trump said on Oct. 20 after his Elko, Nevada rally: “We’re going to terminate the agreement and we’re going to pull out.” According to TASS, however, “At the same time, he did not rule out signing a new agreement on intermediate-range nuclear forces with Moscow and Beijing, if Russia and China provide guarantees of halting the production of such weapons.”
Senator Konstantin Kosachev, the head of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee, wrote on his Facebook page, according to TASS: “So far, no official steps towards this [the U.S. pullout of the INF] have been made, and this gives grounds to consider Trump’s statement as the continuing blackmail rather than an accomplished act of law…. Consultations should be held between four nuclear powers [without the U.S.] and there should be an urgent discussion at the Disarmament Conference in Geneva and a discussion by the United Nations Security Council. The situation is critical, and the threats to peace are getting a particular shape. Now the Western allies of the U.S. need to make a choice: Either to opt for the same path, which possibly leads to a new war, or take the side of a common sense, judging by the instinct for self-preservation. That’s because hardly anybody will survive a nuclear conflict, which is approaching after the U.S. unilateral decision on the INF Treaty.”
Moody’s Downgrades Italy’s Debt to a Notch Above Junk
Oct. 20 (EIRNS)—Moody’s rating agency, which should be outlawed along with its sister rating agencies, downgraded the Italian sovereign debt yesterday to one notch above junk. At the same time, it kept the outlook “stable.”
This was expected, although it came earlier than expected. Moody’s has not even waited for the Italian government response to Oct. 5 EU Commission letter, objecting to Italy’s decision to raise its budget deficit to allow for social spending and investment for growth. Previous governments’ efforts to stick to the “stability” dictates for a zero deficit left the country with an additional 7 million poor and slashing production to one-third below 2008 levels.
The media are speculating on what might happen now. The bottom line is that a junk rating is not imminent. However, if a further downgrading occurs, all funds in the world are forced to get rid of Italian bonds. Goldman Sachs says that €100 billion of bonds are at risk, whereas Morgan Stanley claims that €436 billions in Italian hands and €405 billions in international hands would be affected. Commerzbank is concerned with European and non-European investment grade funds, which have €250 and €80 billions respectively.
For the European Central Bank nothing should change: It would take downgrading to junk by four rating agencies before the ECB would be prevented from buying Italian bonds. However, the rating is a Damocles’ sword that could drop, if the conflict between the EU and the Italian government escalates. At least a faction in the EU establishment says Brussels should back down in order to keep the situation from getting out of control.
For the moment, however, most investors, who had pre-discounted one step downgrading, might even buy now, as yields are a bit higher. A Standard & Poor’s rating is expected Oct. 26.
Note that Moody’s kept an “A” rating for Lehman Brothers until Sept. 15, 2008, the day that Lehman failed. Nobody has been held accountable for that.
Scientists Show Trump Is Right, There Is No Scientific Consensus on ‘Manmade’ Climate Change
Oct. 19 (EIRNS)—Many scientists agree with President Donald Trump that there is no manmade cause for climate change, document Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition, and Jay Lehr, Science Director for the Heartland Institute, in an op-ed in the Oct. 18 Daily Caller, “Trump Is Right To Question Climate Change Causes.”
As an example, Harris and Lehr cite the fifth in the “Climate Change Reconsidered” reports released by the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), on Oct. 5. The NIPCC describes itself “an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to present a comprehensive, authoritative, and realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming,” in the face of the politically motivated bias of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
The NIPCC’s latest report is dedicated to fossil fuels, and was based on contributions of 117 scientists, economists, and other experts, Harris and Lehr report. And the NIPCC concludes fossil fuels are not causing a climate crisis, and their use should be increased, not decreased.
“The latest NIPCC report addresses every aspect of our climate from sea level [change] to hurricanes, the fallacy of climate models, the physics that controls weather, the irrationality of thinking industrial societies can run on either wind or solar energy, and the erroneous science used by alarmists to scare the public. One of the reasons that IPCC reports have little credibility is that they often ignore the scientific method of testing hypotheses,” they write.
As for the President’s exchange with CBS News’ Lesley Stahl over the current state of the Greenland ice mass, Harris and Lehr point out that Trump’s remark that there are “scientists who disagree … that Greenland is melting significantly because of anthropogenic climate change” is “an understatement.” In reality, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Danish Meteorological Institute have found that the ice mass of Greenland has been increasing. That bit of reality was reported by MIT’s Professor Emeritus of Meteorology Richard Lindzen in an Oct. 8 address to the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation.
“President Trump is right, it’s time to stop the war on fossil fuels, on American prosperity, and on American jobs. It’s time to finally defeat what Canadian historical climatologist Dr. Tim Ball calls, ‘The greatest deception in history,’ ” Harris and Lehr conclude.
Scientist Piers Corbyn Decimates IPCC Report
Oct. 21 (EIRNS)—Piers Corbyn, a British astrophysicist, whose WeatherAction specializes in long-range weather forecasting, dismantled the UN IPCC climate change report in an Oct. 9 live debate broadcast live by London Broadcasting Company (LBC).
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released Oct. 8, threatened terrifying consequences to the planet if all nations do not “take rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” Using the pretext that global temperature increase must be held at or below 1.5°C, and that carbon emissions must be lowered by 1 million tons per year, the plan would genocidally cut global agro-industrial production and living standards. It attempts to halt the goal by China’s Belt and Road Initiative to lift hundreds of millions out of poverty and into real development.
Corbyn’s interlocutors in the debate was Stuart Haszeldine, a geologist and director of Scottish Carbon Capture and Storage with the University of Edinburgh, which would attempt to “put greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and ocean back into their geological and biological storage.”
Addressing the IPCC document “Global Warming of 1.5°C,” Corbyn told LBC host Nick Ferrari, “This report is a pack of lies, it is anti-scientific nonsense, based on fraud…. I’ll challenge the IPCC and the professor [Haszeldine] just speaking: There is no scientific paper in existence, that shows that increases of carbon dioxide worldwide drive world temperature rises. There’s nothing of the sort anywhere in existence.” When Haszeldine attempted to rebuke Corbyn, stating that, “The physics of CO2 are really clear, I can do an experiment on my kitchen table,” Corbyn countered, “CO2 has no effect on temperatures. The levels of CO2 are driven by temperature.” Corbyn continued, “And that is borne out by actual scientific measurements, not models.”
In a Nov. 25, 2009 live debate on RT TV, on the eve of the Dec. 7-19, 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference, Corbyn had asserted, “More CO2 makes plants and animals more efficient.”
EIR interviewed Corbyn in its June 1, 2007 issue, titled “Don’t Bet on Man-Made Origins of Global Warming.”
Facebook Proves Its British Empire Pedigree, Hires Former Deputy Prime Minister Clegg
Oct. 19 (EIRNS)—Just days after Facebook shut down at least 800 political pages—mostly Trump supporters—on spurious charges or no charges at all, Facebook proved its British Empire pedigree by hiring Nick Clegg, former Deputy Prime Minister of the U.K. under David Cameron, to head its “global affairs and communications team, making him the most senior European politician ever in a leadership role in Silicon Valley,” according to Reuters. He will report directly to COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Clegg headed the Liberal Democrat Party which served in a coalition government with the Tories from 2010-15, implementing vicious austerity policies. He was notorious for pledging not to impose tuition fees on college students if he were elected, and then doing exactly that, costing each student £9,000 a year. The support for his party collapsed in the next election, and they fell out of government. He even lost his own seat in Parliament last year after opposing Brexit.
A media person close to U.S. President Donald Trump said that Facebook has actually shut down thousands, not hundreds, of Facebook pages, and is acting “above government” as a private company to interfere in the elections and undermine Trump supporters. So goes the Empire.
THE NEW GLOBAL ECONOMIC ORDER
China and Philippines Moves Toward Co-Development of the South China Sea
Oct. 19 (EIRNS)—China and the Philippines held their third meeting of the Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on the South China Sea on Oct. 18, Global Times reported. Many government agencies from both sides participated, including national defense, natural resources and environmental protection, fisheries, transportation, energy and the coast guard. The delegations were led by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou and Philippine Foreign Undersecretary Enrique Manalo.
These annual meeting began in 2017 when Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte was elected and turned to China for cooperation, rejecting than the conflict instigated by U.S. President Barack Obama. “Full-fledged cooperation between China and the Philippines will pave the way for the eventual settlement of bilateral maritime disputes,” Global Times wrote.
President Duterte told the Chinese Ambassador to Manila last week that his government would not participate in any U.S. naval exercises in the area during Xi Jinping’s state visit to Manila in November. “We don’t want anything to mar the visit of President Xi. I think the Department of Foreign Affairs will do all that it can to make sure that President Xi’s visit will be fruitful and as productive as we want it to be,” said Duterte’s spokesman.
The two countries are “working on a framework of joint exploration” in the South China Sea, reported Global Times, which, “if successfully agreed upon, will serve as a preliminary step toward an actual joint development agreement in overlapping claim areas.”
Putin Refutes Lie That Trump Is a ‘Person Who Only listens to Himself’
Oct. 19 (EIRNS)—Speaking at the Oct. 18 plenary session of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed claims by certain people who say U.S. President Donald Trump is narcissistic, reported TASS yesterday, and talks just to listen to himself. “This is not true,” Putin replied when asked by moderator Fyodor Lukyanov whether Trump does not want to listen to his interlocutors. “Maybe this is the way he behaves with some people, but then they are themselves to blame,” Putin said.
Putin confirmed he and Trump enjoyed “normal and businesslike” relations. The President explained: “Of course he listens. And not just listens, I see that he reacts to the arguments I make. He may disagree with something I say, just as I would disagree with something he might say. We have different views on some things, different approaches, but this is a normal discussion between partners. I do not share the opinion of those who say that he speaks like a wood grouse calling out and never listening. That is not true.” The complete transcript of his remarks at Valdai are on the Kremlin website.
Speaking to the “Bolshaya Igra” (“Big Game”) program on Russia’s Channel One, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said there has been no possibility for Putin and President Trump to have special relations, TASS reported. “Is there any ‘chemistry’ in [relations] with Trump? Are there any special relations with Trump? I don’t think so. There has been no possibility so far,” Peskov said.
Peskov said that Putin and Trump have been unable so far to get to a sense of one another. During those rare moments of contacts between the Russian and U.S. leaders, the issues they discussed were not translated into real actions, and “This is certainly disappointing.” He said that Trump did show that he seeks to discuss vital and challenging issues in various formats and via different channels. “In fact, the awful lack of this dialogue is felt now and unfortunately, this wish was not formalized and really implemented,” TASS quoted Peskov as saying.
Germany’s Grand Coalition Approval Down to 39% Rating
Oct. 19 (EIRNS)—A national opinion poll carried out for Germany’s first national television ARD last week, that is, since the Oct. 14 Bavaria state elections, shows the approval rating for CDU-CSU down to 25%, the SPD down to 14%. That means that Merkel’s Grand Coalition government, which still had 53% of the national parliament vote in the last national elections of September 2017, is down to a combined approval rating of 39%.
The Greens are seen as rising further, the ARD poll rates them at 19%; Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is seen at 16%, Free Democratic Party (FDP) at 11%, Linke at 9%. It is already taken for granted, that the Grand Coalition rating will drop even further, after the Oct. 28 elections for state parliament in Hesse, and it cannot be ruled out that the Coalition will fall apart after that.
The Real News and the Fake News on Abe’s Visit to China This Week
Oct. 21 (EIRNS)—“Shinzo Abe’s China Visit Will Push Infrastructure and Sea Ties To Counter U.S. Tensions,” is the headline in the South China Morning Post on Abe’s visit to Beijing from Oct. 25-27. They state that this will be the first visit to Beijing by a Japanese prime minister since 2011, and that it is “expected to bring economic cooperation that prepares the way for warmer political relations.” The two nations plan to “boost their cooperation on infrastructure projects, and Tokyo is pushing to resume talks on joint exploration in the disputed East China Sea.” The SCMP writes that “A forum of more than 1,000 business leaders and some government officials will be held during Abe’s visit…. Cooperation on projects under the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi’s signature infrastructure drive, has been a key aspect” of the warming ties between Japan and China.
Those who depend on the Washington Post for news of the world would have quite the opposite view of the coming visit, since the war-mongering Post reports today the Japan is leading the effort by Washington to contain China’s economic and strategic “aggression.” Under the title, “Japan’s Abe Stakes Out New Identity in Region: Stronger Leadership and Wider Military Reach,” Simon Denyer writes that Japan’s initiative towards Africa, called the Free and Open Indo-Pacific, is “partly a riposte to China’s Belt and Road plan…. Japan is now thinking bigger and with more confidence challenging the rise of China and trying to adapt to greater isolationism by the Trump administration.”
Denyer writes that Japan is expanding its military might in the region, and that the leaders of the Mekong nations, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, who met with Abe last week to discuss development of the Mekong region, “joined Abe in expressing concerns about land reclamations and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.” Although these leaders did sign a communiqué with a bland call for demilitarizing the South China Sea, to claim this was joining Japan in an anti-China statement is ridiculous.
Washington Post quotes a RAND analyst: “Abe has worked hard to unite Southeast Asian nations behind a shared commitment to a rules-based order so they could stand up to China.”
Only after all this does Denyer meekly write: “Meanwhile, Japan is managing to improve relations with China, with Abe scheduled on [Thursday] to make the first official visit by a Japanese leader to Beijing in seven years.”
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge Opens October 23
Oct. 20 (EIRNS)—At 55 km, the longest bridge in the world, nine years in the making, the HKZMB, connecting the port cities of Hong Kong, Zhuhai, and Macao across the Pearl River Delta will open Oct. 23. Chinese President Xi Jinping and thousands of others are expected to be in attendance. The bridge-cum-tunnel is a key part of China’s Greater Bay area project designed to knit together a high-technology economic region comparable to the San Francisco Bay Area, New York City, or Tokyo. The cluster includes six large cities in addition to the three that will be linked on Oct. 23 and is now home to 69 million people responsible for one-eighth of China’s GDP.
SCIENCE AND INFRASTRUCTURE
China Is Building Krafft Ehricke’s ‘Artificial Moon’
Oct. 21 (EIRNS)—A concept developed by German-American space pioneer Krafft Ehricke, for a man-made moon, is being built in China! In the 1970s, Krafft Ehricke created detailed work on his proposal to put mirrors in Earth orbit to reflect sunlight down to Earth. His Lunetta, equivalent to eight full Moons, could light streets in the places in the world without electricity, among other uses. His work was an extension of Hermann Oberth’s original proposal, made in 1923. Neither Krafft Ehricke nor Oberth is credited in the articles about China’s project.
In China’s southwestern city of Chengdu, Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace and Technology Microelectronics Systems Research Institute Co., described the project, which appears to be a local endeavor, as aimed at replacing the city’s street lights. He said that testing the satellite began “years ago,” and now the technology is mature. It will be ready to launch in 2020, he reported.