You probably haven’t seen too much about the riots in Hong Kong because the Chinese are trying to keep a lid on things and the American media is covering a far more important story, the suicide of the predator Epstein.
China is on the verge of a bloody suppression of dissent in Hong Kong of the likes of Tienanmen Square. Remember this?
Tienanmen Square was filled with protesters on 4 April 1989. [We have seen this movie before.]
The US – China relationship was kicked into gear by President Trump on many levels. When he took office, the Chinese had just seized a dozen reefs and atolls in the South China Sea, fortified them, and installed advanced weaponry that could control sea lanes through which 40% of international commerce flowed. Every step of the way, the Chinese lied as to their intentions.
The Chinese said the initial sand reclamation programs were to stabilize the atolls, not to build 12,000 foot long runways capable of receiving or launching every plane in the Chinese military inventory.
President Trump and President-For-Life Xi met face-to-face and our President said things to Xi, things that had been left unsaid for decades.
“Hey, President-For-Life Xi, you Chinese are cheaters in the trade game. You’re stealing our tech, you’re manipulating your currency, and you’re blocking access to your markets to great American companies, all the while enjoying unfettered access to the American market. That isn’t right.”
“So what, Orange Man?” President-For-Life Xi retorted. “What are you going to do about it?”
“I’m going to talk shit at you — something I am very good at. I’m going to give you a chance to negotiate a trade treaty to fix these problems. Then, I am going to slap tariffs on you if we can’t make a deal. You need us a lot more than we need you.”
“Why don’t we negotiate about this, Mr. President Donald J Trump?” President-For-Life Xi asked, hoping the negotiations would be long and the status quo could be maintained. Maybe President-For-Life Xi hoped President Trump would not be re-elected. Who knows?
In case you had any doubts, the Chinese are not to be trusted.
I cite not the obvious such as the militarization of islands in the South China Sea to expand Chinese influence and to put deadly weapons upon 40% of the shipping lanes in the world, or their operation of re-education concentration camps, or their perfidy in dealing with North Korea (a vassal state which exists only because China supports it), or their reneging on things in the USA-Chinese trade negotiations.
Couple of pals hamming it up after a nice confab.
“You ready to do some de-nuking, my man?” asked President-for-Life Xi.
“Nah,” sayeth Kim, “just jerking The Donald around. Need some swag before we do that. Serious, serious swag.”
“Don’t you let him bully you, Homie,” Xi said. “I got your back. Plus, I need to jerk him around a bit my own self. Son-of-a-bitch is getting all restive about our stealing some technology. What is up with that.”
“Do it, President-for-Life. Of course, you have been stealing a lot of tech and manipulating that currency of yours. Well played. Let’s go eat, shall we?”
If you read the current drivel on the imposition of tariffs on the Chinese — notorious thieves of intellectual property, currency manipulators, erectors of hurdles to access to their market, a despotic Communist regime — you would think the entire economy is about to explode. Let me give you some facts.
Here’s President Trump putting the squeeze on President-for-Life Xi. Ouch!
Tariffs are taxes, right, Big Red Car?
Yes, dear reader, a tariff is a tax. The USA depended primarily on tariffs from its formation until the first income tax.
The first income tax imposed in the US was enacted in 1861 — 3% on all incomes over $800. It was rescinded in 1872.
In 1874, the US Congress enacted a flat rate Federal income tax that was promptly found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
The Sixteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, passed in July 1909, papered over this defect, but it wasn’t ratified until February 1913.
A Federal income tax was enacted immediately after ratification and has been enshrined in the funding of the Federal government since then.
Big takeaway — we didn’t really have an income tax until 1913.
Big Red Car cruising the international military sites and stumbles on a troubling issue — HYPERSONIC WEAPONS.
OK, there are other things out there like Venezuela and the idea the Russians might have already slipped nuclear weapons into the country — Big Red Car is a huge skeptic — and be ready to trigger Cuban/Venezuela Missile Crisis Redux. This could get dicey quick.
But, there is something we need to get on top of now. NOW. Hypersonic weapons.
Here’s a picture of Vlad Putin overseeing the testing of an Avangard hypersonic missile that Russia claims is capable of Mach 20 — 15,340 MPH. For the record, the Big Red Car is skeptical of all Russian weapons claims. Of course, the American military establishment uses such info to get Congress to take their hands off the checkbook.
The test was conducted at the Kura Test Range which is significant as it is a real test range that Russia uses frequently. It was observable from space. The total travel distance was 3,800 miles, so this was a full scale test when you think how accessible all of Europe is to Russia.
Hey, Germany, why the Hell are you buying natural gas from a country that has weapons that can nuke you?
It is also significant that Putin kept his shirt on and he wouldn’t have come for a dud.
China goes through a charade every year in which they convene a National Congress in the Great Hall of the People. This fiction pretends to consider “laws” and enacts them. This is an impressive building, no?
It is worth noting they have no desks, no? How can you work without a desk? [Asking for a friend.]
This year, they enacted a new Foreign Investment Law to take the place of three prior laws:
1. The Law on Sino-Foreign Equity Joint Ventures;
2. the Law on Sino-Foreign Contractual Joint Ventures; and,
3. the Law on Foreign-Capital Enterprises.
These “laws” were passed in the 1979-1990 time period, so they were overdue for an update. They, of course, had no impact on reality.
The new Law on Foreign Investment responds to the concern articulated by companies doing business in China regarding Chinese theft of intellectual property, amongst other issues. In a left handed way, it acknowledges the mischief and tomfoolery thereby contradicting the central government which says, “What? China is stealing intellectual property? No way.”
Big Red Car here, thinking of having Chinese food for dinner tonight, which of course brings me to the issue of the PRC (People’s Republic of China, the Communists) v the Republic of China (the democratic capitalists, Taiwan).
Taiwan is separated from Mainland China by the Taiwan Strait, 110 miles — not much warning time in the event of an attack.
Sanctions, Big Red Car? How dreary for such a sunny, lovely day in the ATX, yawn! OK, Big Red Car tell me about how sanctions work. Maybe a real world example?
Dear reader, let us take up the case of Zhongxing Telecommunications Equipment, known as ZTE. They are a maker of inexpensive smartphones and other telecom equipment in more than 160 countries and employ 75,000 workers.
ZTE is no small fry on the international scene. When the Chinese government wants to wiggle into bed with a country, they often provide loans as an economic development tool. Those loans? What are they used for? To set up a nationwide cellular network built by … wait for it … ZTE!
ZTE is an important element of Chinese international policy.
The Chinese also see that a large company like ZTE can break the stranglehold that American tech companies have on China. It is a nationalistic undertaking.
Big Red Car here on a cloudy Texas day. This is a lot of clouds, y’all, but we like them. Syria and North Korea are a couple of lawless, outlaw regimes, but did you know they have had a relationship for years?
Syria is the bunch run by Bashar al Assad who has killed 500,000 of his countrymen, internally displaced 6,000,000 more, and turned 5,000,000 into refugees. [Can you imagine any scenario in which this shithead continues to run Syria?]
North Korea is the bunch run by Kim Jong Un whose family has lorded over his country like a penal colony and has literally starved them so badly that the average height of a North Korean has diminished three inches in the last forty years. [To be technically correct, a South Korean is, on average, three inches taller than a North Korean. Same gene pool, different nutrition.]
Kim Jong Un — a fat, expando-pants wearing guy who hasn’t missed a meal in a while, no? This is a guy who starves his people while spending the nation’s wealth on developing nuclear weapons and ICMB delivery systems.