THE WISDOM FUND: News & Views
December 2, 2016
counterpunch.org

The Coming War on China

More than 400 American military bases encircle China

by John Pilger

The greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War is well under way. They are in the northern hemisphere, on the western borders of Russia, and in Asia and the Pacific, confronting China.

The great danger this beckons is not news, or it is buried and distorted: a drumbeat of mainstream fake news that echoes the psychopathic fear embedded in public consciousness during much of the 20th century.

Like the renewal of post-Soviet Russia, the rise of China as an economic power is declared an "existential threat" to the divine right of the United States to rule and dominate human affairs.

To counter this, in 2011 President Obama announced a "pivot to Asia", which meant that almost two-thirds of US naval forces would be transferred to Asia and the Pacific by 2020. Today, more than 400 American military bases encircle China with missiles, bombers, warships and, above all, nuclear weapons. . . .

In 2014, under the rubric of "information dominance" - the jargon for media manipulation, or fake news, on which the Pentagon spends more than $4 billion - the Obama administration launched a propaganda campaign that cast China, the world's greatest trading nation, as a threat to "freedom of navigation". . . .

This is the Pentagon line, a historic departure for any state calling itself a democracy. The ascendancy of the Pentagon in Washington - which Daniel Ellsberg has called a silent coup - is reflected in the record $5 trillion America has spent on aggressive wars since 9/11, according to a study by Brown University. The million dead in Iraq and the flight of 12 million refugees from at least four countries are the consequence. . . .

The Japanese island of Okinawa has 32 military installations, from which Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Afghanistan and Iraq have been attacked by the United States. Today, the principal target is China, with whom Okinawans have close cultural and trade ties. . . .

Across the East China Sea lies the Korean island of Jeju, a semi- tropical sanctuary and World Heritage Site declared "an island of world peace". On this island of world peace has been built one of the most provocative military bases in the world, less than 400 miles from Shanghai. . . .

Five years before his great revolution in 1949, he sent this secret message to Washington. "China must industrialise." he wrote, "This can only be done by free enterprise. Chinese and American interests fit together, economically and politically. America need not fear that we will not be co-operative. We cannot risk any conflict." . . .

The world is inexorably shifting east; but the astonishing vision of Eurasia from China is barely understood in the West. The "New Silk Road" is a ribbon of trade, ports, pipelines and high-speed trains all the way to Europe. The world's leader in rail technology, China is negotiating with 28 countries for routes on which trains will reach up to 400 kms an hour. This opening to the world has the approval of much of humanity and, along the way, is uniting China and Russia. . . .

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Jeff J. Brown, "China Rising: Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations," Punto Press Publishing (June 23, 2016)

Pepe Escobar, "BRICS Against Washington Consensus," Asia Times, July 15, 2014

John Pilger, "War by Media and Triumph of Propaganda," counterpunch.org, December 5, 2014

Stephen Kinzer, "China is a psychological problem," bostonglobe.com, December 5, 2016

Patrick J. Buchanan, "Fake News and War Party Lies," counterpunch.org, December 2, 2016

Anthony DiMaggio, "Fake News and Propaganda: It's Nothing New," counterpunch.org, December 6, 2016

Justin Raimondo, "Trump, Taiwan, and the Chinese Paper Tiger," antiwar.com, December 9, 2016

[China will never bow to the double standards of the United States. We have intervened in Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Chile and Grenada to maintain our sphere of influence in Central and South America and the Caribbean. Our schoolmarm-like rebuke of China over its assertion of regional hegemony takes audacity to a new level.--Bruce Fein, "Our war with China another Vietnam War in the making: The South China Sea gambit," washingtontimes.com, January 27, 2017]

Simon Tisdall, "China U-turn is latest sign Trump may turn out to be a paper tiger," theguardian.com, February 10, 2017

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