Trump's Pivot to China

01/04/201713 Comments

by James Corbett
January 4, 2017

Happy New Year, everyone!

Remember 2016? Remember Brexit? And Pokemon Go? And the (s)election circus? And the Russian propaganda hype?

How could you forget? These stories, along with the usual mix of staged terror events, staged leaks, and the general setting of the stage for the new(est) world order, will forever be cemented in the minds of an increasingly-traumatized public as the touchstones of a year that seemed to spiral out of control.

But of the many blink-and-you-probably-missed-it stories that slipped through the cracks of the 24/7 news cycle over the past year, perhaps none is quite as portentous as the story of the USNS Bowditch.

The USNS Bowditch is an oceanographic survey vessel that was deployed by the US Navy in the South China Sea. On an otherwise routine mission to recover two unmanned naval drones in an area 50 miles from Subic Bay in the Philippines last month, the Bowditch encountered a problem. The vessel was approached by a Chinese Dalang-III class submarine, which dropped a boat in the water 500 yards from the Bowditch and scooped up one of the drones. The Bowditch radioed the Chinese ship to ask for the drone back, but the Chinese responded that they were busy and promptly sailed away.

These actions kicked off five days of diplomatic tit-for-tat, including some goading tweets from President-elect Trump and some biting op-eds from China's mouthpiece media. The Americans said this was a dangerous and unnecessary provocation, as the drone is a non-military vessel and only collects oceanographic data. The Chinese protested that they did nothing wrong and that the vessel was within the bounds of their territorial claim to the South China Sea. It seemed as if this little skirmish could be the start of a major international incident.

...But then the Chinese returned the vessel after some "friendly consultations" between the two countries, and that was apparently that.

On the surface this isn't much of a story at all. But dig deeper and you'll find that the incident reflects all of the trends we can expect to see taking shape during the Trump era. It takes place in the increasingly crowded (and contested) South China Sea. It stops just short of actual military confrontation between China and the US. And it features chest-thumping from both Trump and Beijing, with neither side exactly backing down. Welcome to the next four (to eight) years of life in the Asia-Pacific.

None of this is remotely surprising to anyone who has been paying attention, of course. So far Trump has made every possible signal that China is going to be the boogeyman for his administration—not Russia, as Hillary's neocon supporters had planned to target.

And he hasn't even been sworn in yet. All of this has led to the term "trade war" being bandied around by beltway pundits more often in the past few months than in the past few years (or decades).

The ironic thing about this is that if Trump does indeed go after China he will merely be furthering the agenda that Clinton herself fumbled during her time as Secretary of State. It was, after all, her speech in Honolulu in 2011 that formally kicked off the "Asia-Pacific Pivot," which was going to be the Obama administration's big foreign policy achievement of saying bye-bye to the Middle East and ni hao to the Asia-Pacific. At the time, the Pentagon bigwigs boasted that the Asia-Pacific was going to be one of the two main areas of operation for American armed forces in the coming decades. They even rolled out their AirSea Battle plan as a way to justify the gazillions of dollars that would inevitably be wasted (or "lost") while pursuing this goal.

...but then they hit a little snag in a place called Syria and that whole Asia-Pacific pivot got left by the wayside. As we now know from the leaked Goldman speeches, Clinton was still itching to get her claws into the South China Sea even after leaving her job at the State Department. However, the best laid plans of mice and psychopaths gang aft agley and she never got her way.

The only question left is whether Trump will get his way.

Well, OK, there's one more question: Is Trump really going to be targeting China, or is this more bluster and bravado—or a ruse of a different sort? Although the table is being set for a China/US trade war (at the very least) in the near future, there are signs that this may not happen after all.

For one, we know that Henry "China and the New World Order" Kissinger has the President-elect's ear, and he has already warned us that Trump will renege on many of his promises (surprise, surprise!).

And just to throw another monkey wrench in the works, it seems that Trump is turning into an unlikely retail mascot in China of all places. Perhaps it's not so unexpected after all, as the Chinese people remain, despite (or because of?) the best efforts of the CPC, obsessed with and beholden to the almighty yuan, especially in its golden variety. And The Donald is famous for being wealthy and fond of gold. Perhaps it's a natural fit after all.

Whatever kind of con is being played here, it's still likely that Trump will be using Beijing as an easy punching bag to mollify his angry, working-class base. So maybe the drone incident is the perfect sign of things to come, after all: It serves as an ultimately meaningless tiff that plays into the nationalism and bellicose warmongering of both sides without actually costing either side anything. Let's hope that's what we're in for, because the alternative—a serious conflict involving weapons of mass financial destruction or even military confrontation—is too ghastly to contemplate.

Happy New Year!


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  1. peace.froggs says:

    “Whatever kind of con is being played here, it’s still likely that Trump will be using Beijing as an easy punching bag to mollify his angry, working-class base. So maybe the drone incident is the perfect sign of things to come, after all: It serves as an ultimately meaningless tiff that plays into the nationalism and bellicose warmongering of both sides without actually costing either side anything.”

    — I believe you are 100% correct James in your assessment, which would also collaborate and substantiate why Trump was/is pro Brexit and in cahoots with Mr.Farage.

    The Anglo-American Empire is on the march, I wonder how this will affect the EU and rapprochement with Russia.

    It would seem Red Ruskie Putin is a British agent after all.

  2. mkey says:

    All in all, I don’t think US military is ready for a non convert, traditional warfare against these states.

    While Russian and Chinese military might combined is quite laughable in comparison with the US war machine, I do think both of these countries, and especially if putting their heads and resources together, are defensively several orders of magnitude above anything US military is used to tackling.

    That is not to say some insane general directing the “defense” couldn’t go ballistic (pun intended) and do terrible stuff. I kind of still hope this organization has enough sane people whom would be willing to do the human thing if issued an unfathomable order.

    As for economic warfare, that too could be very destructive, what’s left to see is whether or not these guys are ready to completely wipe what’s left of the markets. Raising any trading blockades between oneself and the producer of about 60% of practically everything in the world would be a likewise insane move. However, unlike the war war option, I think US has quite a few people ready for insanity of this kind.

  3. Greg Bacon says:

    The big part of the China ‘pivot’ involves the worthless FED USD, which is only backed by the USAF and 82nd Airborne. But China’s yuan will be backed by GOLD, and they won’t take USD’s in exchange.

    When the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed to add the Yuan to the basket of world currencies used for Global Reserves and International Trade, they wanted China to make the Yuan more reliable as a currency. Since then, China has almost un-pegged its Yuan from the Dollar, allowing its value to fluctuate on world markets.

    But for years, China has been amassing huge amounts of gold bullion; some have said their appetite for bullion has been “staggering.” And with a new gold-backed Yuan to be issued next Tuesday, the entire world will have a choice of a new currency to use for international trade: The old US Dollar which is backed by nothing, or the new Chinese Yuan, which is backed by gold. Which currency would YOU use?

    When this new currency is issued, countries that have been forced to use US Dollars for decades, and have had to keep billions of dollars in their foreign currency reserves, will be free to dump those dollars. But they won’t be able to dump them to China for the new gold-backed, Yuan!

    If you had a choice between a currency backed by gold and one backed by hot air, which one would you choose?

    • Hotfoot says:

      The Global Research article you cite was published on 13th April 2016 and ‘next Tuesday’ was the 19th April 2016.

    • Sonex says:

      “China has been amassing huge amounts of gold bullion.”

      Much of China’s gold had been stolen by the Japanese prior to WWII. Let’s not forget the “Black Eagle Gold Trust”.

      • nosoapradio says:

        Holi Connoli!

        Had no inkling of this Black Eagle Gold Trust thing! What a dark horrifyingly bloody saga… in addition to all the rest, wonder if the Haitian so-called ‘rebels” were funded by it and how Duterte’s involved with it today… ???

        For the moment I’ve had just a bare lunch break glimpse of this story but I intend to look further as the implications are indeed unfathomable… if the site I read is credible this could potentially change my interpretation of all kinds of events…

        Jeepers. And supposedly large-scale conspiracies can’t be kept…

        back to hamster rotation now…

        • nosoapradio says:

          I have absolutely no idea if the link below (a different one than at lunch time) is at all credible, but the info seems to pretty much correspond to other links I’ve taken a quick look at (however the devil is in the details so ideally I must have time to take a closer look).

          And I’m intrigued by Putin’s alleged role in “Project Hammer” as of course, if there’s any truth to it, it completely changes any interpretation of today’s geopolitical events (except for a few 3-D chessboard adepts.)

          “…In September 1991, George H. W. Bush and Alan Greenspan, both Pilgrims Society members, financed $240 billion in illegal bonds to economically decimate the Soviet Union and bring Soviet oil and gas resources under the control of Western investors, backed by the Black Eagle Trust

          and supported later by Putin

          who for the right price purged certain oligarchs…

          …Putin was financially rewarded by the collaborators and was happy to purge some annoying industrialists who stood in the way.”

          Off the cuff I’d say Putin’s cooperation would not be very surprising in that he was Yeltsin’s darling and Yeltsin was allegedly an enthousiastic participant in this operation.

          and IF Soros is directly or indirectly cooperating with Bush as implied in many docs discussing Project Hammer this destroys any illusion of partisan divisions amongst these conspirators… except as a pretext for black operations…

          and if Lansdale had indeed established ties with Israel at the inception of American involvement in this historic plunder this might elegantly close the loop concerning certain Russian-Israeli diamond oligarchs in Putin’s entourage…

          wish I had more time to read more to try to substantiate all this for myself…

          Oh and in light of any possible sale of Russian petrol for Chinese gold, the plot only thickens to near total obscurity…

          unless… !?

          (whatever the veracity, it’s better than TV to unwind in the evening…)

          (then again, maybe I should try classical guitar…?)

      • Ukdavec says:

        Lest anyone think that the topic of stolen gold is the preserve of wearers of the hat made of tin foil, the following from 2009 gives a deeper view

        This report makes reference to the following book solely on the topic of the gold stolen by Japan.

        “Gold Warriors – America’s Secret Recovery of Yamashita’s Gold” – Sterling and Penny Seagrave

    • Ukdavec says:

      The following pdf found at this link is worth a read

      It gives a more timely analysis on the US dollar and Chinese Yuan and posits, amongst other matters, that China & Russia have connected oil to gold through Chinese Yuan convertibility. This would potentially undermine the whole petrodollar system with massive economic and geopolitical consequences.

      • nosoapradio says:

        you mean sort of like what hussein and ghaddafi and even the gulf states at one point were reportedly attempting to do? Make oil negotiable in something other than dollars?

        Indeed, to my ignorant layman’s eyes it would seem the petrodollar is sort of the kingpin of dollar hegemony that is bound to come down one way or another in the not so distant future…

        anyhow, thanks for posting and thanks for the link UKDAVEC, I’ll have a look asap.

        Wow! The Black Eagle Gold Trust! Looks pretty intriguing at first glance, SONEX! Have to check that out asap as well.

        Good day to y’all

      • nosoapradio says:

        Really interesting link as well that I will devote what’s left of my time and functioning neurons to late this evening…

        Standing alone and also in light of the Black Eagle Trust saga all I can say in response to a quick skim of this article is


  4. nosoapradio says:

    As for my gratuitous 2 cents

    I quite enjoyed the premise of this article with its histrionic drone non-incident as being an allegory for future sino-american relations.

    The sword of damocles hanging over the collective heads of the american people in the form of foreign-owned american debt adds to the piquante absurdity of this stiff guignolesque pantomime…

    Trump’s role will be tricky… as the head of a has-been empire slated for controlled demolition… The emblem of old-school, GOB western-style business practices burning himself in effigy without making it look like suicide… helping america sink like Sarah Bernhardt into greater ignominy and austerity while somehow keeping the new bourgeois victors in the East popular…

    America will now capitalize on guilt

    The American dream melodramatically sacrificing itself on the altar of the collectivist, technocratic and highly centralized multi-polar World Order, child of Orwellian doublespeak, the sacralization of the global ruler’s new subject: the Oxymoron.

    (the next american ruler, a female guru-president (maybe Angelina Joli?) will subsequently rise from trump’s ashes to help america give birth to a new aquarian and compassionately sustainable alter ego)

    As the new joint-PR front for the NWO, (with India as its poster child), a global apocalypse not withstanding, it will be interesting to admire Russia and China’s vertiginous good cop/bad cop number on teetering Uncle Sam.

  5. HomeRemedySupply says:

    This is going to be an interesting year, especially in the marketplace.

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