China unveils policies to revitalize northeast [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Economy, Employment, Heilongjiang Province, Housing, Jilin Province, Labor, Liaoning Province, Reform and opening up, State-owned Enterprise (SOE) on October 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) — The Chinese central government announced an action plan to assist the northeast region’s staggering economy with a list of new measures.

The plan aims to free up private businesses, deepen reforms of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), develop modern agriculture, renovate urban rundown areas and launch dozens of infrastructure projects in the provinces of Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang, according to the new measures announced Tuesday.

The 35 new measures, listed in a document by the State Council on its website, came as the northeastern regions saw the slowest economic growth among China’s provincial areas during the first half of this year.

China will speed up the construction of eight rail lines and build or expand 10 regional airports in the region, the document said.

SOEs are encouraged to sell part of their equities to private and foreign investors to build a mixed ownership system and pay for the reforms.

A new state-owned regional investment company will be established to hasten the reorganization of poorly run SOEs in the region, the document said.

The central government will support emerging industries including robotics, gas turbines, advanced marine engineering equipment and integrated circuits, as well as expanding the service industry of the region.

For traditional sectors such as agriculture, the document said the northeast provinces’ status as a core grain production base will be strengthened. Grain storage and logistical facilities will be improved.

The central government will fund the building of affordable housing and grain logistics facilities, included in a 60-billion-yuan (9.7 billion U.S. dollars) new credit reserve for shanty town renovation by the China Development Bank.

The document also named a few power transmission projects, nuclear power plant projects and heating projects to be initiated as part of a clean energy network in the region.

Once China’s industrial base, the northeast provinces relied heavily on SOEs to drive local economy but they fell short of the national economic growth of 7.4 percent in the first half of the year, with Heilongjiang’s GDP ranking at the bottom with an increase of just 4.8 percent during the period.

Editor: Luan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-08/19/c_133568678.htm

Toxic fallout from US war produces record child birth defect rates in Iraq [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Depleted Uranium weapons, Genocide, Hiroshima, Iraq, Kuwait, Nagasaki, Pentagon, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on October 20, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Thomas Gaist
13 October 2014

In a report presented at the University of Michigan last Wednesday, “The epidemic of birth defects in Iraq and the duty of public health researchers,” Dr. Muhsin Al Sabbak, a gynecologist from Basra Maternity Hospital, and Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicology researcher, reviewed the ever-growing mountain of data showing that rates of cancer, child cancer and birth defects (BD) have reached historically unprecedented levels in Fallujah and other Iraqi cities since the 2003 US invasion.

The presenters argued that the extreme levels of pathological genetic anomalies in Iraqi cities, documented by numerous studies, are being generated by a hellish mixture of nano-particularized heavy metals and other toxins generated by the US military occupation and heavy bombardment of Iraqi cities.

Levels are now much higher than those recorded among survivors of the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the presenters said, citing various studies conducted during the past decade…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/10/13/fall-o13.html

US plans to invest $1 trillion in nuclear weapons arsenal [World Socialist Website]

Posted in China, Encirclement of China, Hiroshima, Japan, Nagasaki, Nukes, Obama, Pentagon, Russia, Ukraine, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, World War II on October 19, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Niles Williamson
23 September 2014

The New York Times reported on Monday that the Obama administration is planning to spend more than $1 trillion over the next three decades to significantly upgrade its nuclear weapons capability.

The front-page article, authored by William J. Broad and David E. Sanger, serves a definite political purpose. It is a warning to Russia, China and any other country that may try to stand in the way of the American ruling class that the US military is preparing for nuclear war.

The Times writes: “With Russia on the warpath, China pressing its own territorial claims and Pakistan expanding its arsenal, the overall chances for Mr. Obama’s legacy of disarmament look increasingly dim, analysts say.”

The newspaper quotes Harvard Professor Gary Samore, Obama’s former chief nuclear weapons advisor and a stand-in for the administration itself: “The most fundamental game changer is Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. That has made any measure to reduce the stockpile unilaterally politically impossible,” he told the Times .

While the Times article is couched in the language of defense, in relation to both Russia and China the US has played the role of aggressor. The US and its allies in Europe organized a right-wing coup in Ukraine that has been followed by a campaign of sanctions and war threats against Russia. And the Obama administration has been carrying out a “pivot to Asia,” asserting its control over the Asia-Pacific while encouraging the remilitarization of Japan…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2014/09/23/nucl-s23.html

“China Voice: Lessons learned from a forced expedition” – On the 80th Anniversary of the CPC’s epic ‘Long March’ [Xinhua]

Posted in China, CPC, Mao Zedong, USSR on October 19, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Li Huizi

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) — As the country marks the 80th anniversary of the Long March’s departure, the Communist Party of China (CPC) should ponder lessons learned from a forced expedition that made history.

The Long March, the beginning of a forced expedition of the First Division of the Red Army on October 16, 1934, was a 12,500-km trek full of hardships, bloodshed and do-or-die battles.

Flawed decision-making and unwise military tactics resulted in the setbacks suffered by the Red Army during the encirclement campaigns led by the Kuomintang (KMT) armies, and contributed to the loss of the whole revolutionary base.

In the early stages of the Long March, the CPC’s almost unconditional obedience to the Comintern, the Soviet Union’s policymaker for communist parties in other countries, was a factor in the decimation of the Red Army, whose numbers slumped from 86,000 to 30,000 at the end of 1934.

China’s revolution suffered enormously and the CPC nearly came to an end. The overreliance on external forces showed the immaturity of the CPC at that time. Comintern, who knew little about China and adhered rigidly to Soviet Union experience, simply rejected Mao Zedong’s advice of splitting into small units and fighting guerrilla campaigns.

In January 1935, in the third month of the Long March, the Communist forces reconsidered their strategy independently at an enlarged meeting of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee in Zunyi in southwestern Guizhou province. Mao entered the inner circle of power and began to gain the final say.

Led by Mao, a small group of fewer than 30,000 communists broke through the siege lines of about 400,000 KMT troops, and completed the unprecedented expedition in two years, with 10,000 soldiers left. The journey was full of extremely dangerous and complicated situations, and every day was a struggle to survive.

Many believe it was the Long March that shaped the CPC.

It led the Party to realize that the leadership’s top-level design is paramount and brooks no mistake. A right path chosen by the CPC determines success, or else the Party and the nation suffer greatly, or even come to a miserable end.

The maturity of a political party lies in independent decision-making and problem solving in accordance with changing situations. The famous “seeking truth from fact,” the Party’s most sacred guideline, was proclaimed at the Zunyi meeting. The doctrine advocates that the Party should always think by itself in a practical and realistic way.

Along the way, the CPC seriously reflected on its mistakes and grew mature. Under the guideline formulated through the Long March, the Party won the revolution, founded New China, launched reforms and achieved economic miracles.

It is not rare for political parties to make mistakes. Mistakes including the Great Leap Forward (1958) and the turbulent Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) deviated from the principle of “seeking truth from fact.” The Party should resolutely adhere to inner-Party democracy and learn from these lessons.

Ruling a nation with 1.3 billion people, the CPC will face more hardships and tests in the future. It should learn to mend its ways and maintain the right path at the helm.

During the Long March, the CPC learned a hard but valuable lesson.

Editor: yan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2014-10/17/c_133725236.htm

Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany [The Intercept]

Posted in China, China-US relations, CIA, FBI, Germany, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, south Korea, US Government Cover-up, USA on October 17, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Peter Maass and Laura Poitras

11 October 2014

The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use “physical subversion” to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents [leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and] obtained by The Intercept…

Excerpted; full article link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/10/10/core-secrets/

Also see related People’s Daily article: “Network attacks – What is the next US gimmick?”
People’s Daily link – http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/n/2014/1017/c98649-8796403.html

Hong Kong protests: Why imperialists support ‘democracy’ movement [Workers World]

Posted in Anti-China media bias, Anti-China propaganda exposure, Anti-communism, Bourgeois parliamentary democracy, Capitalist media double standard, China, China-bashing, CPC, Hong Kong, National Endowment for Democracy, State Department, U.K., US Agency for International Development, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War on October 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Sara Flounders on October 7, 2014

Demonstrations in Hong Kong, China, raising demands on the procedures to be followed in city elections in 2017, have become an international issue and a source of political confusion.

The protests, called Occupy Central, have received enormous and very favorable U.S. media coverage. Every news report describes with great enthusiasm the occupation of central business parts of Hong Kong as “pro-democracy” protests. The demonstrations, which began on Sept. 22, gained momentum after Hong Kong police used tear gas to open roads and government buildings.

In evaluating an emerging movement it is important to look at what political forces are supporting the movement. What are the demands raised by the movement, who are they appealing to, and what is the social composition of those in motion?

The U.S. and British governments have issued statements of support for the demonstrations. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to heed the demands of the protesters. Wang responded by calling for respect for China’s sovereignty. Britain, which stole Hong Kong from China in 1842 and held it as a colony for 155 years under a government appointed by London, is supporting the call for “democracy” in Hong Kong. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg summoned the Chinese ambassador in order to convey the British government’s alarm.

At the present time these imperialists may not expect to overturn the central role of the Chinese Communist Party in governing China. But Occupy Central in Hong Kong is a battering ram, aimed at weakening the role of the state in the Chinese economy.

The imperialists hope to embolden the bourgeois elements and encourage the increasingly strong capitalist class within China to become more aggressive and demand the overturn of socialist norms established after the 1949 socialist revolution, including the leading role of the Communist Party in a strong sovereign state.

= Police repression: Mexico, Italy, Philippines =

In Mexico, tens of thousands of students have been protesting curriculum changes and new fees. More than 50,000 demonstrated in Mexico City for the third time. In western Mexico, 57 students from a teaching college went missing after gunslingers fired on a demonstration they were attending, killing three students and wounding three others. A Guerrero official says witnesses identified the shooters as local police officers. Mass graves have now been uncovered in an area terrorized by police and gangs.

On Oct. 2, in Naples, Italy, national police attacked demonstrators protesting against austerity and a meeting of the European Central Bank. Cops fired tear gas and water canons at thousands of protesters.

Thousands of courageous demonstrators in Manila opposed the signing of an agreement with the U.S. for an escalating rotation of U.S. troops, ships and planes into the Philippines during President Obama’s visit last April. They faced water cannons, tear gas and mass arrests.

Did any White House officials meet with Mexican officials to express concern for the killed or missing students? Did any British officials summon Italian officials to convey alarm at the tear gas and water cannons? Was there world media attention to the attacks on Philippine youth? Where was the media frenzy?

Why is it so dramatically different regarding Occupy Central in Hong Kong?

The use of tear gas by Hong Kong police is denounced by the same officials who have been silent as militarized police in U.S. cities routinely use not only tear gas but tanks, armored personnel carriers, live ammunition, electric tasers, rubber bullets, stun guns, dogs and drones in routine police sweeps.

To hear U.S. officials denouncing restrictions on candidates in Hong Kong is especially offensive to anyone familiar with the election procedures in the U.S. today. Millions of dollars are required to run a campaign here. Candidates go through multiple layers of vetting by corporate powers and by the two pro-imperialist political party apparatuses. Restrictive ballot measures are in place in every state and city election.

= ‘Color revolutions’ =

Officials and publications in China characterize the actions of Occupy Central as a U.S.-funded “color revolution” and compare it to the upheavals that swept Ukraine and former Soviet republics.

Several commentaries have described in some detail the extensive role of the U.S. National Endowment for Democracy and the Democratic National Institute, along with corporate foundations’ funding of leaders and the protest movement in Hong Kong.

Thousands of nongovernmental organizations with large staffs are based in Hong Kong. Their stated goal is to build democracy. Their real purpose is to undermine the central role of the Chinese Communist Party in the organization of Chinese society. Hong Kong, unlike the rest of China, has allowed these U.S.-funded NGOs and political associations almost unlimited access for decades…

Excerpted; full article link: http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/10/07/hong-kong-protests-imperialists-support-democracy-movement/

Articles copyright 1995-2014 Workers World. Verbatim copying and distribution is permitted in any medium without royalty provided this notice is preserved.

The Anti-Empire Report #130: Japan’s Pacifist Constitution Undermined at US’ behest [William Blum.org]

Posted in Afghanistan, Anti-communism, China, CIA, Encirclement of China, Hillary Clinton, Iraq, Japan, NATO, Pentagon, Russia, State Department, U.K., US foreign occupation, US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Wikileaks, World War II on October 14, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

“…[Japan's current ultra-right prime minister] Abe, it should be noted, is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, with which the CIA has had a long and intimate connection, even when party leaders were convicted World War 2 war criminals…”

by William Blum

July 12, 2014

Article 9 of the Japanese Constitution, 1947, words long cherished by a large majority of the Japanese people:

“Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

“In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.”

This statement is probably unique amongst the world’s constitutions.

But on July 1, 2014 the government of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, without changing a word of Article 9, announced a “reinterpretation” of it to allow for military action in conjunction with allies. This decision can be seen as the culmination of a decades-long effort by the United States to wean Japan away from its post-WW2 pacifist constitution and foreign policy and set it back on the righteous path of being a military power once again, only this time acting in coordination with US foreign policy needs.

In the triumphalism of the end of the Second World War, the American occupation of Japan, in the person of General Douglas MacArthur, played a major role in the creation of this constitution. But after the communists came to power in China in 1949, the United States opted for a strong Japan safely ensconced in the anti-communist camp. For pacifism, it’s been downhill ever since … step by step … MacArthur himself ordered the creation of a “national police reserve”, which became the embryo of the future Japanese military … visiting Tokyo in 1956, US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles told Japanese officials: “In the past, Japan had demonstrated her superiority over the Russians and over China. It was time for Japan to think again of being and acting like a Great Power.” … various US-Japanese security and defense cooperation treaties, which called on Japan to integrate its military technology with that of the US and NATO … the US supplying new sophisticated military aircraft and destroyers … all manner of Japanese logistical assistance to the US in Washington’s frequent military operations in Asia … repeated US pressure on Japan to increase its military budget and the size of its armed forces … more than a hundred US military bases in Japan, protected by the Japanese military … US-Japanese joint military exercises and joint research on a missile defense system … the US Ambassador to Japan, 2001: “I think the reality of circumstances in the world is going to suggest to the Japanese that they reinterpret or redefine Article 9.” … Under pressure from Washington, Japan sent several naval vessels to the Indian Ocean to refuel US and British warships as part of the Afghanistan campaign in 2002, then sent non-combat forces to Iraq to assist the American war as well as to East Timor, another made-in-America war scenario … US Secretary of State Colin Powell, 2004: “If Japan is going to play a full role on the world stage and become a full active participating member of the Security Council, and have the kind of obligations that it would pick up as a member of the Security Council, Article Nine would have to be examined in that light.” …

In 2012 Japan was induced to take part in a military exercise with 21 other countries, converging on Hawaii for the largest-ever Rim of the Pacific naval exercises and war games, with a Japanese admiral serving as vice commander of the combined task force. 4 And so it went … until, finally, on July 1 of this year, the Abe administration announced their historic decision. Abe, it should be noted, is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, with which the CIA has had a long and intimate connection, even when party leaders were convicted World War 2 war criminals. 5

If and when the American empire engages in combat with China or Russia, it appears that Washington will be able to count on their Japanese brothers-in-arms. In the meantime, the many US bases in Japan serve as part of the encirclement of China, and during the Vietnam War the United States used their Japanese bases as launching pads to bomb Vietnam.

The US policies and propaganda not only got rid of the annoying Article 9, but along the way it gave rise to a Japanese version of McCarthyism. A prime example of this is the case of Kimiko Nezu, a 54-year-old Japanese teacher, who was punished by being transferred from school to school, by suspensions, salary cuts, and threats of dismissal because of her refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem, a World War II song chosen as the anthem in 1999. She opposed the song because it was the same one sung as the Imperial Army set forth from Japan calling for an “eternal reign” of the emperor. At graduation ceremonies in 2004, 198 teachers refused to stand for the song. After a series of fines and disciplinary actions, Nezu and nine other teachers were the only protesters the following year. Nezu was then allowed to teach only when another teacher was present…

Other sections of article, all worthwhile:

* “What would a psychiatrist call this? Delusions of grandeur?” — US political elite’s obsession with projecting hegemonic “American leadership” despite global perceptions of the US as the most dangerous nation in the world

* “Yankee blowback” — Central/South American child immigrant influx into the US a demonstrable outcome of undemocratic ‘free trade’ agreements and foreign policy skulduggery imposed by the US empire on those countries

* “M’lady Hillary” — the sociopathy of the former Secretary of State and nominal Democratic candidate for US president

Excerpted; full article link: http://williamblum.org/aer/read/130

Footnotes available on original webpage

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