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America Keeps Eyepoking India and China for Failing to Fall into Line on Russia; Arrogance Looking More and More Like Impotence

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 12/04/2022 - 8:54pm in

America's failed attempts to get India and China in its corner against Russia is looking less like diplomacy and more like a clown car.

‘A Crime Against Humanity’: New Study Finds ‘Explicit’ Proof of Live Organ Harvesting by Chinese State

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/04/2022 - 9:36pm in

CJ Werleman reviews a new Australian National University report, providing horrific new details of China’s abuse of political prisoners

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Arguably, the most outrageous human rights atrocity taking place in the world today is the forced removal of live organs from political prisoners in China – a criminal practice industrialised by the Chinese Government after carrying out the first known case of live organ harvesting in 1994, when authorities in Xinjiang removed the still-beating heart and kidneys from a Uyghur Muslim.

The oncology surgeon who was ordered to carry out the grisly operation is Dr Enver Tohti, who described to me the horrors he was forced to inflict upon the detainee.

“I was called by my chief surgeon to go to a room near the Urumqi execution grounds to remove the liver and two kidneys from an executed prisoner. It turned out he wasn’t fully dead because they [the Chinese execution squad] shot him through the right chest [intentionally] to knock him out [without killing him], so I would have time to remove his organs”.

This was an operation performed without administering the detainee with an anaesthetic drug, he said.

But despite Tohti’s testimony and that of many others, along with an array of independent investigations – including the UK-based Uyghur Tribunal, headed by British barrister Sir Geoffrey Nice, which concluded that forced organ harvesting in China constitutes “one of the worst atrocities committed in modern times” – the absence of official Chinese Government documents has denied human rights campaigners their long awaited ‘smoking gun’.

That is until now, with a newly released study conducted by Australian National University (ANU) claiming to have unearthed evidence that Chinese surgeons are executing death-row prisoners by removing their hearts before they are clinically dead, a criminal practice that improves the prospect of a successful organ transplant.

“We were shocked by what we found, not that it was happening,” said Matthew Robertson, the study’s co-author, in an interview last week. “We were surprised that the admissions were so blatant and clear, and that we actually found what we were looking for.”

After using an artificial intelligence algorithm to scan and analyse more than 120,000 published medical journal reports, the researchers found 71 “explicit” instances in which organ ‘donors’ had not been properly pronounced dead prior to the surgeries taking place. 

The 71 reports span a period of 35 years and include 35 hospitals, spread across 33 cities and 15 provinces, which is indicative of a practice that is systematic and widespread. Robertson described these findings as the “tip of the funnel” in the Chinese Government-sanctioned system.

“We had a suspicion that these admissions were in the database but to actually find them, again and again, was the surprising part,” Robertson said. “There were many other cases where it wasn’t as explicit. And in those cases, we just ditched them, because we wanted very clear evidence on the primary claim.”

Robertson’s co-author, Professor Jacob Lavee, told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that the findings, which have been reviewed with a “fine-tooth comb” by the editorial board at the esteemed American Journal of Transplantation, constitute a “smoking gun”, given they provide for “the first time testimonies made by people involved in their own language”.

The study was also reviewed by Professor Arthur Caplan, the head of medical ethics at New York University, who said that it provides “incontrovertible proof” of Chinese doctors removing vital organs from people who were not clinically dead.

Both Robertson and Lavee pointed to public health officials within the Chinese Government who have admitted that 95% of the organs used for transplantation come from prisoners, along with documentation that shows China had no voluntary organ donor system during the time when the 71 papers were published. 

An Unspeakable Horror

According to the International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China (ETAC), Uyghur Muslims and followers of Falun Gong – a religious spiritual practice banned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) – are the prisoners most at risk.

Two years ago, as reported by Byline Times, a report published in the journal BMC Medical Ethics revealed what appears to be a concerted effort by the Chinese Government to cover up its criminal organ harvesting program by falsifying organ donation data. It suggests that more than 90,000 Muslims and other political prisoners are being executed each year for the purpose of profiting from the sale of their live organs.

“A variety of evidence points to what the authors believe can only be plausibly explained by systematic falsification and manipulation of official organ transplant datasets in China,” the report states. “Some apparently non-voluntary donors also appear to be misclassified as voluntary. This takes place alongside genuine voluntary organ transplant activity, which is often incentivised by large cash payment.”

The report also blows a hole in China’s claim to be carrying out only 10,000 “legal organ transplantations” per year, with researchers able to demonstrate the number of transplantations to be upwards of 100,000 per year, based on data obtained from the country’s three largest hospitals.

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And whereas the Chinese Government claims that fewer than 100 hospitals are approved to carry out organ transplant operations, the researchers “verified and confirmed 712 hospitals which carry out liver and kidney transplants”.

The report’s authors conclude that the discrepancy between the CCP’s official figures and estimates made by researchers can only be attributed to a deliberate effort by the Chinese Government to hide what ETAC describes as an “elaborate cover-up that disguises the state-run mass murder of innocent people”.

China is the only country in the world that forcibly removes organs from executed prisoners for transplants. Robertson and Lavee’s study affirms what others have long claimed but in the words of the Chinese Government. This is an unspeakable horror, and one the international community must reckon with.

“As the son of a Holocaust survivor who was in a Nazi concentration camp, I cannot stand aside and remain silent when my professional colleagues, Chinese transplant surgeons, have for years been partners to a crime against humanity,” says Professor Lavee. We should all heed his words.

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Speculating About the Botched Shanghai Lockdown

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 11/04/2022 - 6:00pm in

The Chinese have not given up on zero Covid, despite the continuing outbreak in Shanghai.

William Xu and Li Bingcun: Three senior Australian judges show confidence in HK’s legal system

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun, 10/04/2022 - 4:14am in

Tags 

China, Politics

Three Australian judges-William Gummow, Anthony Gleeson and Robert French-stated in an email to the South China Morning Post that they support the judges of the Court of Final Appeal in their commitment to judicial independence. The Canadian judge, Beverley McLachlin, also intends to stay on, according to media reports. Hong Kong legal and political heavyweights Continue reading »

China’s Overseas Lending and the War in Ukraine

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/04/2022 - 8:50pm in

Why lending to emerging economies may be collateral damage of the war in Ukraine.

“South Flows the Pearl” Book launch speech about Chinese Australian voices

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 09/04/2022 - 4:56am in

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China, reviews

Chinese people have been in this country almost as long as the British. …Unfortunately, from the 1980s on, following an increase in immigration from Hong Kong, South-East Asia and mainland China, there have been new waves of racism, so that even today the Chinese community still feels marginalised. Acknowledgment of country: I would like to Continue reading »

Michael Hudson: The Dollar Devours the Euro

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 07/04/2022 - 8:54pm in

Michael Hudson argues that the euro and European economic independence are intended US targets for the war in Ukraine.

The Real One-World Government Conspiracy Is US Unipolar Hegemony

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 06/04/2022 - 10:06pm in

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USA, Russia, News, China, NATO

Listen to a reading of this article:

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NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that he expects NATO will be deepening its relationship with its “partners” in the Asia-Pacific because China has not condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We see that China has been unwilling to condemn Russia’s aggression, and has joined Moscow in questioning the right of nations to choose their own path,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference on Tuesday. “At a time when authoritarian powers are pushing back on the rules-based international order, it is even more important for democracies to stand together, and protect our values. So I expect we will agree to deepen NATO’s cooperation with our Asia-Pacific partners, including in areas such as arms control, cyber, hybrid, and technology.”

Some “Asia-Pacific partners” named by Stoltenberg in his speech include “Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.” He also named “Georgia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina” as additional non-NATO “partners” of the military alliance.

As the late scholar on US-Russia relations Stephen Cohen explained years before the Ukraine crisis erupted in 2014, Moscow sees NATO as an “American sphere of influence,” and the expansion of NATO and NATO influence as expansion of that sphere. As the “North Atlantic” Treaty Organization continues to expand its influence and intimacy with “partners” surrounding China, we can probably expect Beijing to take a similar view.

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Also on Tuesday, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley told the House Armed Services Committee that the US needs to prepare for significant conflict with both Russia and China, echoing Stoltenberg’s comments about the “rules-based international order”.

“We are now facing two global powers: China and Russia, each with significant military capabilities both who intend to fundamentally change the rules based current global order,” Milley said. “We are entering a world that is becoming more unstable and the potential for significant international conflict is increasing, not decreasing.”

As we’ve discussed previously, these newspeak terms “rules-based international order” and “rules-based global order” really mean nothing other than “Washington-based global order”. It is wordplay designed to sidestep less convenient terms like “international law”, which is very clearly defined and not nearly as subject to US control as these other terms which mean nothing other than whatever the US empire wants them to mean.

People lost their minds when President Biden uttered the phrase “new world order” last month and were quickly informed by mainstream “fact checkers” that this does not validate longstanding conspiracy theories about an elite agenda to create a one-world government. In reality, though, the real agenda to create a one-world government is not some hidden conspiracy involving secret societies and shadowy figures with Jewish surnames. The US empire is openly working to unite the planet under a single power structure which effectively functions as one government in many ways.

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Back when the United Nations was being formed in 1945, Albert Einstein wrote hopefully about the possibility of a future one-world government and believed the primary obstacle to its emergence was the fact that the Soviet Union would resist joining it. Einstein therefore concluded that the best thing would be for other nations to band together under a “partial world Government… comprising at least two-thirds of the major industrial and economic areas of the world.”

And what’s interesting is that this is pretty much what ended up happening. The United States, along with the oligarchs and government agencies who run it, has become the hub of a vast undeclared empire unified not under an official imperial flag but under a network of alliances, treaties, “partnerships”, predatory loans and secret deals which other governments are encouraged to sign on to by varying degrees of coercion, with the understanding that if they don’t join up they will find themselves facing the wrath of the empire. Nations like China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Bolivia, Syria and Venezuela have wholly resisted being brought underneath this power umbrella, while the remainder of the world has fallen into varying degrees of membership within the undeclared empire.

The empire’s member states have their own official governments with their own official laws and their own official elections (where applicable), but on international matters they move more or less as a cohesive unit against the nations who have resisted absorption into the imperial blob. This is what unipolar hegemony looks like, and the US has had a standing policy to preserve that unipolar hegemony since the fall of the Soviet Union.

This is the real one-world government conspiracy. The one with the most tangible reality behind it which most directly affects our lives. You don’t need to plunge down a bunch of paranoid rabbit holes to see it, you just have to watch the news with an understanding of which governments are part of this giant power structure and which ones have refused to be absorbed into it. It explains pretty much everything you see on the world stage.

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Virtually every major international news story, underneath all the imperial narrative spin, is nothing other than the story of a giant US-centralized power structure working to incorporate more and more nations under its umbrella and smash any nation which refuses by any means necessary. Once you really see this you can never unsee it, because it tracks so consistently all across the spectrum. And once it’s seen, the major international conflicts being focused on by the imperial media will never again be confusing to you.

This is why they are ramping up aggressions against China as they prepare a campaign to stop its rise before its power makes a US-dominated world order a permanent impossibility. This is why they persisted in provocations that experts had long warned would lead to a Russian attack on Ukraine and are now leveraging the invasion to push for regime change in Moscow. This is why nations like Pakistan who get too close to defying the empire are threatened with regime change. This is why the imperial news cycle churns out narratives telling us Saddam needs to go, Gaddafi needs to go, Assad needs to go, Maduro needs to go, Kim Jong-Un needs to go, etc.

The US-centralized empire is continually working to unify the world under one power structure, and if it someday succeeds the result will not functionally be different from a one-world government. The problem, of course, is that some nations are resisting this agenda, and the ones who have been most successful in that resistance are armed with nuclear weapons. The agenda to secure total global domination at all cost is literally risking the life of every organism on this planet, and tensions along this front are only continuing to escalate.

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The entire argument for a “rules-based international order” led by the United States is that it makes the world a more peaceful and harmonious place, but this argument is nullified by the omnicidal nature of the very measures which must be taken to secure that world order. US unipolar hegemony doesn’t make the world more peaceful, it makes it more dangerous. It cannot be maintained without nonstop violence and steadily escalating nuclear brinkmanship. “Pax Americana” is a lie.

The competition-based models that have been normalized for humanity are going to wipe us all out if we don’t change them very soon. Nations cannot keep waving armageddon weapons at each other because a few manipulators in the US Beltway convinced decision makers that they should rule the world. We cannot keep feeding our ecosystem into the gears of an insatiable capitalism machine that will collapse if it doesn’t continually expand.

We are going to have to find a way to move into collaboration-based systems with each other, with other nations, and with our environment. This way of living on this planet is utterly unsustainable.

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How Johnson’s Government is Using Oligarchs in its Attempt to Rebuild the ‘Red Wall’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 06/04/2022 - 9:11pm in

Sam Bright and Sascha Lavin explore how the Government is inviting questionable regimes into Britain’s former industrial heartlands

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If the second half of the 20th Century and the first 10 years of the 21st represented the age of affluence in Britain and America, the period since the financial crisis of 2008 has been marked by stagnation and inequality.

In the UK, real wages have flatlined while state spending has been retrenched. Unlike the post-war period, when economic growth heralded an era of mass prosperity – a period of enduring abundance – the rising tide of GDP no longer lifts all boats.

With prosperity now in shorter supply, people pay closer attention to the concentration and imbalances of wealth – both in terms of social class and region. This was exposed through the Brexit referendum, with people in ‘left-behind’ areas of the country protesting against their relative deprivation – in terms of education, infrastructure and industry – compared to the UK’s thriving metropolitan hubs.

The architects of Brexit were scorned for predicting that the ‘dividends’ of the project would not be seen for decades, but there is a reason these gloomy forecasts didn’t repel voters in the 'Red Wall': people thought that short-term pain was necessary, in order to re-orientate an economy that didn’t serve their interests.

Since the era of deindustrialisation, the status quo has delivered the slow breakdown of pride and prosperity in these places. In their view, at least Brexit promised some light at the end of the long tunnel.

And, if Brexit has shown that raw economic growth is only valuable if it’s accompanied by certain terms and conditions, so has the war in Ukraine. The UK is now desperately attempting to decouple itself from the Russian economy, after the years it spent awarding ‘golden visas’ to Russian oligarchs and allowing Vladimir Putin’s men to exploit our courts.

As Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee said in its 2019 report on Russian interference in British politics:

“Russian influence in the UK is ‘the new normal’, and there are a lot of Russians with very close links to Putin who are well integrated into the UK business and social scene, and accepted because of their wealth. This level of integration – in ‘Londongrad’ in particular – means that any measures now being taken by the Government are not preventative but rather constitute damage limitation.”

In other words, even after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and annexed Crimea, the UK was both directly and indirectly fuelling Putin’s war effort. Short-term economic self-interest trumped human rights and geopolitical concerns – the consequences of which are now being felt by Ukrainians suffering and fleeing from genocide, and in higher energy prices on the home front.

However, it appears as though the UK Government is set to repeat its mistakes.

While the assets of foreign oligarchs – including and especially those from Russia – have been used to swell our all-consuming capital, these sources of morally dubious finance are now being channelled north.

Indeed, in a briefing paper obtained by the Byline Intelligence Team, relating to an October 2020 meeting between the Saudi Minister of Commerce, Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, and the UK’s Minister for Investment, Lord Gerry Grimstone, officials emphasised the commercial opportunities for Saudi firms looking to invest in the UK.

This was portrayed, by the UK officials, as a means of fulfilling the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.

One of the top objectives of the meeting was to “promote the levelling-up agenda and the opportunities in the regions, including for the top Saudi companies their Government wants to see go global as part of their National Companies Promotion Programme”, the briefing paper states.

“There are significant opportunities, including as part of the levelling-up agenda, for star names like Saudi Aramco, SABIC, Saudi Telecoms, ACWA Power and others to come and invest in and grow their global shares/R&D potential in the UK,” it goes on to say – noting that a positive outcome would be to secure a “regional investment visit” from the Saudi administration “in support of the levelling up agenda”.

In mid-March, it was revealed that the Saudi firm Alfanar Group would be investing £1 billion into Teesside to produce sustainable aviation fuel. This followed the announcement in October that Saudi chemical company SABIC would be injecting £850 million into a Teeside chemical plant.

This policy was taken up by the Government’s long-awaited levelling up white paper – setting out the scope of its regional investment project – released in February, which emphasised the merits of foreign direct investment (FDI) into left-behind areas.

“The UK Government’s goal is to maximise the opportunities of its independent trade agenda for UK business,” it said. “Internationally mobile companies are among the most productive, innovative and high investing firms in the UK: UK businesses with inward FDI links were two-thirds more productive than businesses without an FDI link in 2018. However, over half of the UK’s inward investment stock is in London and the south-east.”

The logic behind this was epitomised by former Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry, who told BBC Newsnight: “The key to unlocking levelling up is to bring foreign direct investment into the north of England, so taxpayers in the garden of England or anywhere else in this country do not have to pay for all of it.”

Department for International Trade (DIT) records show that the Government has been holding a series of meetings in recent months with sovereign wealth funds and foreign investment companies, about directing their resources to the UK.

DIT records for the final quarter of 2021, for example, show that ministers met with the Saudi National Bank, the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Qatar Investment Authority to discuss ‘investment opportunities’ in the UK. All of these institutions are majority owned by their respective governments.

In March 2021, the UK’s Office for Investment and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company – owned by the Gulf state – also signed the UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership (SIP), with the UAE pledging to invest £10 billion in technology, infrastructure, healthcare, life sciences, and renewable energy in the UK.

Mubadala invested £1.1 billion between March and September 2021, while holding a series of meetings with UK ministers, seven in total, over a six month period from February 2021. 

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Economic Kompromat

FDI is clearly important to the economic growth of a country. It is a dangerous myth – one perpetuated by Donald Trump in the US and some Brexiters in the UK – that a nation is able to be prosperous and entirely self-sufficient.

However, Putin’s war in Ukraine has shown the need to more closely align our economic and geopolitical interests – not allowing our commercial centres to be bought and compromised by the actors of hostile states.

The UK’s recent economic reliance on autocracies has been justified, politically, under the notion that liberal capitalism will calm the worst excesses of these regimes. However, in practice, integration has not led to moderation.

While Foreign Secretary in 2017, Boris Johnson said “we want to encourage Saudi Arabia down the path of reform and modernisation”. Yet this did not stop the Kingdom from murdering Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul less than a year later – at the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Just a few days before Johnson visited Riyadh in March this year, the Saudi regime executed more than 80 people, confirming the concerns of Amnesty International late last year, that accused the Saudi Government of launching a “relentless crackdown” on dissidents.

Saudi authorities “have brazenly intensified the persecution of human rights defenders and [have] stepped up executions over the past six months,” Amnesty said.

Qatar and Kuwait don’t have a clean slate, either, in terms of human rights abuses. More than 24,000 workers have suffered from human rights abuses on the projects devoted to the football world cup set to be held in Qatar later this year, while the Guardian reported last year that 6,500 migrant workers had died during the course of construction.

Human Rights Watch said in its 2022 report on Kuwait that authorities continue to restrict free speech and prosecute dissidents – including criminalising speech deemed insulting to the emir, its ruling monarch.

These are archetypal oligarchies, with state power and wealth amassed among a narrow band of influential families. The ruling Al Sabah family of Kuwait is estimated to be worth $360 billion, the House of Saud $1.4 trillion, and the House of Thani in Qatar some $335 billion.

Inviting investment from bodies attached to these families is therefore fundamentally different to encouraging the construction of a new factory by a Japanese car company or a German pharmaceutical giant. Unlike the German and Japanese firms, the sovereign wealth funds of Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have political interests as well as economic ones.

The question is therefore whether we want our infrastructure and our economy to be reliant on countries that do not share our core values – states that are perpetuating abuses in the present day, regardless of the crimes that they may commit in the future.

This is an issue agitating the Conservative Party – but largely focused on the case of China.

There was a Conservative rebellion after the Government decided to allow a role for the Chinese tech company Huawei in the construction of the UK’s 5G network – a backlash that forced a Government U-turn. This is an ongoing concern, continuing this week with the takeover of Newport Wafer Fab – a semi-conductor supplier – by Nexperia, a company with links to the Chinese Communist Party.

“We are, seemingly, handing over critical security infrastructure to overseas companies with well-documented links to the Chinese state,” Conservative chair of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Tom Tugendhat, has said in response – with his colleague Iain Duncan Smith calling the sale “ridiculous”.

However, perhaps due to financial self-interest – the Conservative Party has raised substantial amounts of cash from foreign oligarchs in recent years – it hasn’t lifted its gaze beyond the corrupting influence of investment linked to the Chinese state.

As a result, the Government is actively incubating new versions of Londongrad – creating silos of foreign states in the former industrial midlands and north. Following the lead of the capital, these areas are becoming safe havens for the wealth of oligarchs and an insurance policy for foreign governments seeking geopolitical leverage against Britain and the West as a whole.

Boris Johnson recently spoke of the “freedom” sought by Brexit voters – in comparison to the convictions of those repelling Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. It seems unlikely that these voters had foreign economic dependence in mind, when they plumped for Johnson’s project.

This article was produced by the Byline Intelligence Team – a collaborative investigative project formed by Byline Times with The Citizens. If you would like to find out more about the Intelligence Team and how to fund its work, click on the button below.

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China – A Sub-Imperial Ally of the West?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/04/2022 - 8:44pm in

IMichael Hudson and Patrick Bond debate the trade posture of China, such as whether its Belt and Road initiative is capitalist or socialist

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