09:20 GMT +320 February 2017
    US President Barack Obama (C) reviews an honour guard with Chinese President Xi Jinping in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on November 12, 2014

    Who Wants a Third World War?

    © AFP 2016/ Greg BAKER
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    Pepe Escobar

    What Washington really craves is some form of coercion that would lead Beijing to open its coveted financial market to the mega-speculative financial casino of the US Big Bank system. That is not happening - as the White House has absolutely no leverage on the matter.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping surfs the USA in his first state visit almost simultaneously as Pope Francis. It will be fascinating to observe how the hyperpower's decision centers will react to this double exposure to dialectical materialism — with Chinese characteristics — and the in thesis "under reconstruction" Catholic Church.

    In a historic speech in Havana, Pope Francis — who broke the get-together between US President Barack Obama and Raul Castro — insisted he wants to deepen the relationship between Washington and Havana. He asked for Obama and Raul to give it all they've got as an example to the world, "a world that needs reconciliation amidst this Third World War."

    "Third World War" was never part of the original redaction of the Pope's speech. Francis added it on his flight from Rome to Havana.

    A pre-Socratic cynic would volunteer that Francis may now be in synch with "Apocalypse Now" Pentagon factions — for whom the Third World War is already on, and the crucial threats are Russia and China, with ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as a distant third.

    It's more like Francis may be aligned with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who's going no holds barred to frame a genuine peace process in Syria. The real prime "threat" to the Middle East, Europe and even Eurasia is a jihadi blowback originating in "Syraq".

    Not for the Pentagon, of course, whose analysts are now obsessed with contingency plans for a war against…Russia.

    The latest leak on the obsession comes via a notorious neo-con operative, Michele Flournoy, former undersecretary of Defense for policy and co-founder of yet another proverbially hawkish think tank, the Center for a New American Security.

    It's all about a Russian "potential aggression" against NATO, or "hypothetic" Russian aggression against the Baltics. The plans include possible Pentagon/NATO moves as well as Pentagon-only moves. The assumption is always an inevitable "Russian aggression."

    So now we have a military "pivot to Russia" to complement the by now notorious "pivot to Asia" — which Beijing has interpreted for what it is: a strategic containment policy — running from military encirclement (South China Sea, Indian Ocean, Western Pacific) to trade exclusion (the Trans-Pacific Partnership, TPP), plus the usual threat of sanctions.

    Now compare the Pentagon pivoting — the China chapter — with what IT America wants; business, a lot of business, which implies, obviously, no sanctions.

    And then there's what the Masters of the Universe really crave; some form of coercion that would lead Beijing to open its coveted financial market to the mega-speculative financial casino of the US Big Bank system. That is not happening — as the White House has absolutely no leverage on the matter.

    What Xi is up against

    The first few days of Xi's agenda in the US include a visit to a new Boeing assembly line in a Seattle suburb; a dinner with Bill Gates; and the two-day US-China Internet Industry Forum. From that, it's easy to identify Beijing's priorities.

    With Obama, Xi will have to discuss notorious flashpoints; Taiwan; the South China Sea; cyber-security; and negotiations towards a possible adoption of a bilateral trade treaty.

    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad answers questions during an interview with al-Manar's journalist Amro Nassef, in Damascus, Syria, in this handout photograph released by Syria's national news agency SANA on August 25, 2015
    © REUTERS/ SANA/Handout via Reuters
    As if the pivot-obsessed gang was not enough, Xi will be under a lot of pressure in the US on the human rights and cyber-security fronts. Yet there's no evidence most of the hyperpower's decision making circles really know what he's up against in China.

    In roughly three years in power, Xi's number one task has been to unleash a monster anti-graft campaign. That encompasses military and civilian spheres. The extremely feared Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is Xi's weapon of choice. And no one escapes the Commission's tentacles. Not even former security superstar Zhou Yongkang and former top presidential aide Ling Jihua.

    So Xi is simultaneously cleaning up the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and the People's Liberation Army (PLA). One can barely imagine the resistance factor — to the point that Chinese insiders stress Xi has made extremely powerful enemies across the board; retired political heavyweights; top military officers; influential government officials; state-owned enterprise (SOE) honchos; an array of "princelings" — the children of historic revolutionaries; and last but not least a dodgy flotsam and jetsam that laundered their fortunes in Macau casinos and luxury Hong Kong malls.

    Special Xi scalps include the so-called Shanxi gang — which totally controlled the politico-economic environment in this province abundant in coal — and the so-called petroleum gang, which controlled all things oil in China.

    Premier Li Keqiang, at the World Economic Forum in Dalian, has been forced to stress the clean up is a question of "structural adjustment", and does not affect China's economy.

    The facts are stark; China may have deregulated a lot. But capital, energy, raw materials and land still respond largely to the central government's priorities. No US lobbying will change that.

    This also means that if you are a perfectly placed and well connected — the supremacy of guanxi — Chinese official, you're the King of Business. These functionaries, essentially, are at the root of so many "distortions" in the Chinese economy. And that's what Xi is essentially trying to change.

    The massive tweaking of the Chinese model includes less reliance on exports of manufactured products; a much more rigorous planning in terms of spending on infrastructure; and redirecting investment on industrial capacity.

    Wishful thinking about China crashing is nonsense. Those days of the Cultural Revolution are long gone. China is slowly but surely shifting towards a spectacular new paradigm of integrating the whole of Eurasia into a booming industrial renaissance. Every change in China points towards this transition.

    The transition also means a shift away from the massive export linkage to the US and EU and a more balanced economy across Eurasia, while keeping trade/commerce as much as possible with the West.

    Does this feel like a state/civilization that craves a Third World War?

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.


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    • choticastile
      President Xi, is a man collected within himself -- Nothing shatters his composure, disturbs or ruffles his equilibrium. I have yet to see a picture of him that does not reflect his complete composure... a gentle strength emanates from his persona. In only a few short years as president, he has led China through turbulent but very exciting times, aware that still in the process of laying solid foundations for China's future, means entering hitherto unchartered territory. But wise and practical, he is in touch with his nation and its needs. China is truly blessed to have such a strong and down to earth leader.
    • Putin has made it clear to the neocohens in the US, Russia will glass israel first in any nuclear confrontation, it has already tested a hypersonic version of the SS20 equidistant to Tel Aviv from S Russia to do just that. And without the ziocoens in the US State Dept on board the US military cannot do anything. As usual Putin has delivered a very subtle checkmate.
    • avatar
      Neil McGowan
      Who wants World War III?

      The USA, of course.
    • avatar
      teddy jin reply tochoticastile(Show commentHide comment)
      choticastile, AN ARTIcle was written by a veteran american journalist PATRICK L SMITH for SALON magazine last year - in which he covered the most important asian conference - APEC -- asia pacific economic conference -- of 21 asia-pacific nations ...

      in it was unfolded Beijing's plans for economic integration - competing with obama's proposal in that conference :TPP.

      beijing, being the host -- used the SUNDAY before the formal opening on monday -- to focus and attend to RUSSIA - PUTIN and russian officials and businessmen and military attaches..the ENTIRE DAY was reserved for PUTIN...

      and that was where the famous GIANT economic deals and energy deals were signed in the huge palace.

      RUSSIA was then 'invited' by BEIJING as the 'Special guest" since russia at THAT time around september was it?) - was not an ''officially recognized ASIAN" country.

      and the american writer who was there covering it remarked (i paraphrase) --

      'IF anyone still is confused about which country BEIJING considers its HIGHEST PRIORITY as a partner - all they had to do was watch the conference...not only was the TPP proposal by obama REJECTED and ignored by the majority of the 21 asian mainland countries...they UNANIMOUSLY adopted the counter-proposal of economic integration by BEIJING...and it was there that BEIJING announced russia as the 'special comprehensive strategic partner" -- creating for RUSSIA ONLY -- a category of beijing's relations that is HIGHEST than with any other country".

      "the group photos of the countries officials demonstrated clearly what the CHINESE power structure really THOUGHT OF AMERICA and obama...in a RARE departure from their customary politeness as hosts -- the CHINESE did NOT HIDE their DISDAIN for obama and the americans ....

      ''and obama - WHO CAME TO BEIJING thinking he was lecturing Beijing about reforms and the asians about how to behave -- instead LEFT BEIJING WITH NOTHING -- as if being sent away by the rulers of the middle kingdom like a dog with nothing more than SCRAPS -- such as the ''agreement to disagree about climate change".......

      the article which is a MUST READ -- is titled

      "WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN BEIJING -- APEC --- that the US/western media wont tell you".
    • choticastilein reply toteddy j(Show commentHide comment)
      teddy j, Yes Teddy! -- No I did not read this article, but will search for and enjoy it all over again! However, I saw the CCTV broadcast and it tickled me quite a bit! It was at this APEC where the US tried to again be the big shots and bring to bear on China their one and only "exceptionalism"! The US sat on one side of the table and the Chinese on the opposite. But Pres Xi had already said NYET! -- don't know Chinese for NO! -- Russian just as good here! But mention it, is because the different expressions on faces - not so much body language, were hilarious... the US guys looked almost as it they were borrowing the British' "stiff upper-lip" style, while hardly able to mask their frustration -- while Pres Xi and his men, looked cool, friendly and relaxed, with just the ghost of smiles playing around the corners of their mouths -- though most eyes inscrutable....
      However, only Pres Xi had his normal warm, soft and even gentle expression, in his eyes just the hint off a twinkle, which makes him look like he's always smiling -- and in this instance, he really looked like an indulgent professor faced by recalcitrant students, with even their "head student", unable to comprehend that Prof Xi, had given their TPP project a resounding "NO!" what seemed hours ago -- so why were the students insisting on what was futile "staring" contest! The meeting broke up shortly after and the Chinese stood up and with their unique brand of politeness, virtually bowed Obama and his guys out the hall! Maybe it was one of those finer nuances not many people picked up, but jeez, it was so obvious the Americans had been sent home with a flea in the ear.
    • choticastilein reply toteddy j(Show commentHide comment)
      teddy j, I replied, but my comment is being reviewed. But I will check out the article as I only saw the televised screening.
    • choticastilein reply toteddy j(Show commentHide comment)
      teddy j, Teddy, do you perhaps have link for Patrick's article?-- I tried on Salon but its probably archived and no options available to look at his older offerings? Would appreciate it! Thanks.
    • Poroshenko has suddenly pulled out of the US warmongering, his guns have actually fallen silent, obeying the Minsk 2 ceasefire?! But there is a reason, if Russia insists a non-payment of the $3billion bond due soon will be regarded as a default, AND ALL IMF MONEY HAS TO STOP BY STRICT IMF RULES, Porky and Yats will have to run to their jets waiting 24/7 on the runway.
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