Archive for Juli 21st, 2018

21. Juli 2018

Hunderttausende feiern 39. Jahrestag der Revolution in Nicaragua (junge Welt)

Hunderttausende Menschen haben am Donnerstag (Ortszeit) in Managua den 39. Jahrestag der Revolution von 1979 gefeiert. Ein unüberschaubares Meer aus rot-schwarzen Bannern der Sandinistischen Befreiungsfront FSLN und blau-weiß-blauen Fahnen Nicaraguas füllte die Plaza La Fe im Zentrum der Hauptstadt.


21. Juli 2018

The US Trade War on China – by Duncan McFarland

July 15, 2018

The Trump-initiated trade war is on: the US levied $34 billion of tariffs on Chinese exports starting on July 6 and plans another $16 billion in tariffs to start in August. Topping the list are Chinese machinery and auto parts. Another $200 billion are threatened for the Fall, which would include many consumer goods commonly sold in the US. China, while denouncing the unilateral US actions, responded immediately with equivalent tariffs on US goods. Topping the list are soybeans and agricultural products, mostly from states that voted for Trump in 2016. Such a trade war between two huge economies is unprecedented and analysts from various sectors were mostly careful about predicting the exact impact — speculations varying from a quick settlement to a long term conflict with serious damage inflicted on global trade and supply chains.

Responses were varied: China said that US unilateralism and pressure are wrong and futile. Trade wars are counterproductive with no winners and will eventually hurt the US. Richard Trumka, on behalf of the AFL-CIO, issued a statement in March saying the tariffs would help American workers and save jobs. Much of US business is skeptical if not outright opposed. The US Chamber of Commerce said, „tariffs don’t work and threaten to spark a global trade war“…they are nothing more than a tax increase on American consumers and businesses that will ultimately mean lost jobs. The Wall Street Journal rhetorically asked Trump, „where’s the deal?“ Within the Trump administration itself there are serious differences. Earlier this year Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross negotiated an agreement that China would purchase an additional $75 billion of US agriculture and energy products to begin addressing the trade imbalance; but trade adviser Peter Navarro protested that the goal was structural changes in Chinese policy to reduce or eliminate the role of the state in national industrial policy. Trump decided in favor of the hard liners, apparently figuring he would fulfill a campaign promise appealing to his base despite opposition from the corporate wing of the Republican Party.

The US capitalist-imperialist ruling class has long been divided on US-China relations. Capital is definitely united in wanting regime change in China, a counter revolution that would put a US friendly government in power in Beijing. However, they differ in strategy. Many large corporations have major commitments in China; for example, Apple, Boeing and General Motors make big profits in the China market and they want normal relations. Consequently, many businesses have sharply criticized the tariffs. These companies generally support neoliberal, free trade economics and advocate a „color revolution“ for regime change; they argue that US bourgeois „soft power“ will infiltrate China with ideas of Western democracy — free speech, human rights, direct elections — coupled with consumerism and individualism. This will erode support for Communist Party rule especially among youth, leading to eventual collapse of communist power.

On the other hand, Neocons and other far right strategists see China and Russia as the main obstacles to US global hegemony. This strategy has been formally adopted by the Trump administration. The goal is to maintain US global dominance with less concern about quarterly corporate profits. These strategists advocate a more confrontational approach. They want to contain rising China and their current pressing concern is to stop „Made in China 2025,“ Xi Jinping’s program supporting China’s advance to the forefront of cutting edge technologies, such as information technology, robotics, aerospace, medical instruments, biotechnology as well as artificial intelligence. Those who say „American First“ fear that if the US loses its technological lead, it will suffer a grievous blow to maintaining global preeminence.

Peter Navarro’s creeping nightmare

Peter Navarro, director of the White House National Trade Council, is a principal architect of anti-China politics in the Trump administration. Navarro In his book and film „Death by China“ (2011), takes the perspective of right wing populism, emphasizing the importance of the US keeping a strong manufacturing base. Navarro depicts a major threat: a hostile, authoritarian Chinese communist government that builds its economic strength by cheating. China steals US jobs, technology and manufacturing facilities thereby sapping US economic vitality. Navarro says that the aggressive Chinese military buildup is the biggest and fastest by a totalitarian regime since the 1930s — a clear reference to Nazi Germany and Japanese imperialism.

In the several years since this book was written, what must Navarro see? His „death by China“ nightmare seems to be coming true. Rising China is now the world’s second largest economy, and most economists predict it will eventually surpass the US. China is now the world’s largest trading nation, as measured by total value of imports and exports. Xi’s Belt and Road infrastructure super project embraces Eurasia and Africa and is the largest international construction effort in history. Chinese lending and investment in the Global South has surpassed the World Bank. With India and Pakistan joining the Eurasian security pact Shanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO is larger than NATO. The Chinese yuan is increasingly used in bilateral trade and China is among the growing list of countries favoring the replacement of the US dollar with a basket of currencies as the standard in world commerce. Militarily, China’s modernization such as deployment of advanced land to sea missiles now threatens free US access to the Taiwan Straits and the South China Sea. And has all of this been accompanied by the hoped for bevy of Western-style reforms? Not so — Xi Jinping and the Communist Party of China are firmly in power and Xi gave a major speech on May 4 to launch a national campaign on studying and implementing Marxism.

Peter Navarro is one of the Trump administration’s principal trade advisers. On a PBS interview (April 4) he justified the US tariffs by saying that China engaged in unfair trade practices for three reasons: 1) China forced US companies to give up intellectual property. It’s true that a standard way to do business in China is for the foreign corporation to enter into a joint venture with a Chinese partner, which may involve transfer of intellectual property or technical know how. But the Chinese aren’t forcing the foreign corporation to enter into the joint venture, it can simply not do business in China if it so chooses. For example, Facebook and Google will not agree to certain Chinese regulations, so their operations in China are limited. 2) Navarro claims Chinese state subsidies are an unfair trade practice. But China is a self-identified socialist country and of course the state subsidizes and owns many enterprises. This is a difference is social systems. 3) Navarro said that China in its plan „Made in China 2025“ wants to dominate cutting edge technologies. But China as a sovereign nation has the right to concentrate resources on research and development. China wants to be self sufficient and not depend on Western capitalists for advanced technology; emphasizing education, China currently graduates more engineers each year than the US. Its motivation is not to dominate but to be independent and a leader in innovation. Historically, over the last 2000 years, China has made many impressive contributions to technology such as paper, the compass and gunpowder. The Chinese simply seek to regain their place at the forefront of progress.

Effectiveness of the Trade War?

Trump says trade wars are easy to win, and Navarro says the economics are simple: the best jobs program is trade reform with China. However, he does not explain in any detail in his books how the trade war will actually create jobs. Neither does Trump; his gut apparently tells him that success at America First will mean many jobs down the road. However, most analysts are wary of making definite statements about the impact on jobs as global trade is more complex and intertwined than ever before. The situation also includes US trade disputes with the European Union, Canada and Mexico. Harley Davidson responded by shifting some manufacturing operations overseas. Bloomberg economists predict GDP loss in both the US and China; the general consensus is that slower growth means fewer jobs.

The strategy is apparently to deal the Chinese economy a body blow, knocking it off track by hurting exports and exploiting perceived vulnerabilities at this time, such as the accumulation of debt, a slumping stock market in Shanghai, and slowing economic growth. This will force China to relent on trade. However, China has withstood economic blows before, such as the disaster of the Great Leap Forward and the great recession of 2008. Unlike Western capitalist economies, China maintained growth in 2008-09 with large scale government spending on infrastructure. That recession discredited Chinese policymakers advocating continued expansion of free markets and exports to the West. Policy shifted to prioritizing investment in state owned enterprises.

According to the Wall Street Journal (July 7-8, 2018) „China is also much less dependent on trade than it used to be. Exports, as a percentage of GDP declined to 18.5% in 2017 from 36% to 2007. Beijing has cultivated trade with developing countries to reduce dependence on the U.S. and European markets. So while a trade war with the U.S. will do some damage, Beijing is not as vulnerable as many think.“ The trade war will likely strengthen Xi Jinping’s no nonsense political position as public sentiment is to defend China against imperialist economic attacks. China is increasing imports of soybeans from Brazil and Russia and is mending diplomatic fences with Japan. Pierre Yves Bareau, a JP Morgan executive for emerging markets, commented on China’s managing of its economic problems, „Policymakers are fully in control and anchoring the situation.“ (Financial Times, July 5, 2018)

Chinese perspective on the economic relationship

Chinese commentary generally emphasizes looking at the entire multi-dimensional US-China economic relationship, arguing it is relatively balanced and of benefit to both countries. Problems and adjustments should be managed with bilateral dialogue, not unilateral threats and actions. The much publicized $375 billion annual US trade deficit with China is only part of the relationship. This deficit is partly self-imposed; when China adopted the reform and opening up policy in the 1980s, they went shopping for cutting edge US high technology equipment, for example, supercomputers. The US, however, refused to sell China supercomputers or many other items considered „dual use“ with possible military applications and thus a danger to national security. Today China manufactures its own supercomputers. Thus the US refuses to sell what China most wants to buy; had this policy not been in place for a long time the trade relationship could look quite different.

The $375 billion dollar deficit is calculated on customs data largely on goods shipped back and forth across the Pacific. But there are other major financial transactions. For example, General Motors sells more cars in China than in the US, these vehicles are mostly manufactured in plants GM has set up in China working with Chinese partners. Thus GM cars sold in China are not considered US exports, but profits from sales flow to the US based corporation. The same can be said about Apple whose biggest market for i-Phones is China, and other companies. The Chinese newspaper Global Times published an article entitled „Export numbers blind over US company branches in China.“ (April 3, 2018) It cited Deutsche Bank studies which concluded that total revenue earned by US companies from exports plus branches in China in 2015 was $373 billion, whereas Chinese companies earned revenues of $403 billion in the US market. From this standpoint, the US deficit was about $30 billion in 2015. More recently, Deutsche Bank even suggested that it is the US that is running a small surplus by this measure (Bloomberg news, June 11, 2018)

There are many other considerations. Many Chinese electronic goods are made with components made in South Korea, Taiwan and other countries with China serving as the point of final assembly. Is it accurate to say these products are 100% Chinese? And China holds about $1.2 trillion of US Treasury securities and thus helps finance US government deficit spending. The US does not help finance Chinese government spending. There are also Chinese companies in the US which employ several tens of thousands of workers; the US government is now blocking many Chinese acquisitions in the US on national security grounds, costing thousands of jobs.

The Chinese say the US-China economic relationship is not one-sided but is working for both countries. China will negotiate needed adjustments as necessary; e.g. economic chief Liu He proposed a plan in February which included tariff cuts, commercial deals, and financial-sector liberalization. However, China will not respond to unilateral actions and belligerent threats, which may remind them of the British during the early 19th century. At that time, Britain addressed its huge trade deficit with China by forcing the Chinese to import opium. The Qing Dynasty was not strong enough to stop the British. Today’s China, however, is very strong and will not capitulate.

Towards war, or cooperation?

In Peter Navarro’s book „Crouching Tiger“ (2015), he depicts China as not only a major economic threat but also a frightening military threat. Navarro says that China seeks domination in Asia with a rapidly growing military and ever more aggressive actions. To counter this increasing danger and to preserve peace, the US must reassert its own military strength in the region. US weakness will only aid and abet China’s dark ambitions. Otherwise, the situation „appears grimly and inexorably headed for conflict and perhaps even a nuclear cliff.“ This is a veiled threat of US military action against China if the tariff war or other measures do not stop the dragon. The book’s explicit anticommunism brings to mind the situation after World War II, where US cold war strategists sought to contain the newly powerful Soviet Union and eventually topple the regime.

Progressives should oppose US hegemony, call for a democratic foreign policy and support the trend towards a multi-polar world. Economic and political relations with China should be developed according to the principles of equality, mutual benefit and working for peace. Problems can be addressed through dialogue; the US can raise the importance of labor and environmental standards as appropriate. A good policy suggestion was made by David Kotz, professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts. Rather than trying to somehow stop China’s rise, an exercise in futility, the US could create its own industrial policy to support US technological and economic development and create jobs. As suggested by the new Poor People’s Campaign and many others, such a program could be financed by moving money from the colossal military budget. We need to shift from a war economy based on confrontation overseas to a peace economy that works with other countries as equals and invests in domestic social programs. This is the demand to be made by US organized labor and the Left. Trade wars may throw obstacles in China’s path but they won’t work in the long run. They will only generate mistrust and conflict at a time when international cooperation is urgent — to manage climate change, reduce war and work for common prosperity and peace.

Duncan McFarland is coordinator of the China Study Group at the Center for Marxist Education in Cambridge, MA. He is a member of the national coordinating committee of the Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism, and has visited China many times since 1981.

21. Juli 2018

Dank Russland: 200.000 syrische Flüchtlinge konnten aus Türkei zurück in ihre Heimat 

Die Türkei ist dafür bekannt, dass es dort große Auffanglager für Flüchtlinge gibt – vor allem für Menschen aus Syrien. Nun werden erste Zahlen gemeldet, dass insgesamt 200.000 Flüchtlinge nach Syrien zurückgekehrt sind.
– ParsToday:
Mehmet Güllüoğlu sagte dazu: „Je höher die internationalen Hilfen sind, desto schneller werden die in der Türkei und anderen Ländern der Welt lebenden syrischen Flüchtlinge in ihre Heimat zurückkehren.“
Der Leiter des türkischen Katastrophenschutzes hob hervor, dass die syrischen Flüchtlinge nun in die von Terroristen gesäuberten Gebiete zurückkehren können.  Dank Russland, können nun die Flüchtlinge in ihre Heimat zurückkehren.
– ParsToday:
Mit der Wiederkehr einer relativen Ruhe und der Niederlage terroristischer Gruppen in den letzten Monaten kehren die Syrer nun nach und nach in ihre Wohngebiete zurück.Russland setzte von Anfang an auf Hilfen vor Ort, die auch einzig allein Sinn machen, um die Menschen nicht zu entwurzeln.

21. Juli 2018

Russland forciert Rückkehr von Syrien-Flüchtlingen. (Sputniknews)

Russland hat konkrete Vorschläge an die USA geschickt, um, gemäß den Helsinki-Vereinbarungen, die Rückkehr der Flüchtlinge nach Syrien zu organisieren, wie ein hochrangiger russischer General mitteilte.

„Fortschritte bei der Organisation der  Rückkehr von Flüchtlingen an Orte des Vorkriegsaufenthalts würden auf Grundlage des Helsinki-Gipfels erreicht und in diesem Rahmen wurden konkrete Vorschläge an die USA geschickt“, sagte Michail Misintsew.
Ihm zufolge „sieht das Paket von Vorschlägen die Entwicklung einer gemeinsamen Roadmap für die Rückkehr der Flüchtlinge vor. Vorrangig dabei sei die Rückkehr syrischer Bürger aus dem Libanon und Jordanien, die Gründung einer gemeinsamen russisch-amerikanisch-jordanischen Arbeitsgruppe auf der Grundlage der Amman-Beobachtungsstelle und die Bildung einer ähnlichen Gruppe im Libanon“.
Misintsew teilte weiter mit „Russland schlägt die Schaffung einer gemeinsamen Arbeitsgruppe vor, die eine Finanzierung des infrastrukturellen Wiederaufbaus Syriens ermöglichen soll.“
„Die Vorschläge Russlands werden gegenwärtig durch die amerikanische Seite geprüft“, so der russische General.

21. Juli 2018

Putin-Herbstbesuch in Washington? – von Peter Mühlbauer (

, 20. Juli 2018

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, die Pressesprecherin des Weißen Hauses, teilte gestern via Twitter mit, dass US-Präsident Donald Trump den Nationalen Sicherheitsberater John Bolton dazu aufgefordert hat, den russischen Staatspräsidenten Wladimir Putin für den Herbst nach Washington einzuladen. Trump selbst hatte kurz vorher getwittert, er freue sich auf ein zweites Treffen mit Putin, damit man damit anfangen könne, einige der vielen in Helsinki besprochenen Probleme anzugehen: Den „Stopp des Terrorismus, Sicherheit für Israel, die Ausbreitung von Atomwaffen, Cyber-Attacken, Handel, Ukraine, Frieden im Nahen Osten und vieles mehr“. Es gebe, so der US-Präsident „viele Antworten“ auf diese Probleme, „einige davon leicht und andere schwer“, aber sie könnten alle gelöst werden.


21. Juli 2018

Strebt US-Establishment Krieg mit Russland an? Trump als “letzter Pragmatiker” (Sputniknews) 20.07.2018

US-Präsident Donald Trump äußerte neulich die Meinung, dass “Fake”-Medien sich nach einem Krieg zwischen Russland und den USA sehnen würden. Laut dem russischen USA-Experten Konstantin Blochin drängt das US-Establishment tatsächlich zu einer ernsthaften Konfrontation mit Russland.  Zuvor hatte US-Präsident Donald Trump via Twitter verlauten lassen, dass diverse Nachrichtensender, die “Fake News” verbreiten, sich eine Konfrontation zwischen Washington  und Moskau wünschen würden, die wiederum zu einem Krieg zwischen beiden Ländern führen könnten.

„Die Fake-Medien wollen so sehr eine schwere Konfrontation mit Russland, selbst wenn eine solche Konfrontation zu einem Krieg führen kann. Sie drängen so rücksichtslos und hassen die Tatsache, dass ich womöglich gute Beziehungen mit Putin haben werde. Wir machen viel mehr als jedes andere Land!”, hat Trump am Freitag auf seiner Twitter-Seite geschrieben.

Der Politikwissenschaftler und Amerikanist vom Institut für Sicherheitsfragen bei der Russischen Akademie der Wissenschaften Konstantin Blochin teilte Sputnik mit, dass das politische Establishment tatsächlich zu einer ernsthaften Konfrontation mit Russland drängen würde.
“Es entsteht ein Eindruck, dass Trump einer der wenigen im amerikanischen Establishment zu sein scheint, die eine Normalisierung der Beziehung zu Russland anstreben. Er will keinen Krieg, er versteht, dass im System der internationalen Beziehungen die russisch-amerikanischen-Beziehungen im Vordergrund stehen”, so Blochin.

Davon, wie diese sich entwickeln würden, hänge direkt die Zukunft der gesamten Menschheit ab. Zu denjenigen, die das verstehen würden, zähle beispielsweise Rend Paul, der sich im Unterschied zu anderen Spitzenpolitikern der USA nach dem Gipfel mit dem russischen Präsidenten Putin öffentlich auf die Seite Trumps gestellt habe. Und das, obwohl die restlichen Politiker der amerikanischen  Machtebene, sogar Parteikollegen, sich gegen Trump ausgesprochen hätten. “Er versteht, dass die Beziehungen zu Russland anstatt des Minus-Wertes zumindest neutral werden sollten, wie das unter Präsident Barack Obama gewesen ist.” Jedoch werde jede seiner Initiativen durch den Kongress eher abgeblockt.

21. Juli 2018

Über Ausländer und alle mit Migrationshintergrund

Nehmen Sie mal alle Ausländer und alle mit Migrationshintergrund für eine Woche aus dem Geschäftsleben, aus den Firmen, aus den Krankenhäusern, aus den Gaststätten heraus. Stellen Sie sich vor, die fahren alle eine Woche geschlossen in den Urlaub. Ich behaupte, dass bereits am ersten Tag dieser Woche das Licht ausgeht. Dann gibt’s im Krankenhaus keine Mitarbeiter mehr, in der Arztpraxis, bei der Müllabfuhr, egal was. Der griechische Gemüsehändler hat dann zu, der Kroate verkauft keine Cevapcici mehr. Wenn alle weg sind, dann ist bei uns hier Feierabend.


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