Archive for the Singapore Category

“US faces another debacle on Pacific economic treaty” – TPP, fake free trade pact, in trouble [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Anti-China propaganda exposure, Australia, Canada, Capitalism crisis early 21st century, Chile, China, China-bashing, Economic crisis & decline, Economy, Encirclement of China, EU, European Union, Germany, Japan, Malaysia, Media cover-up, Mexico, New Zealand, Obama, Peru, Protectionist Trade War with China, Singapore, south Korea, U.K., US imperialism, USA, USA 21st Century Cold War, Vietnam on April 5, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By Mike Head
4 April 2015

Having suffered a decisive defeat in its efforts to block other countries from joining the new China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the US government faces mounting difficulties with regard to its most far-reaching move to dominate the Asia-Pacific region: the so-called Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

In Hawaii last month, the latest round of five-year-long TPP talks between the 12 governments involved broke up without any further agreement. For the third year in a row, the White House’s deadline for a final deal looks set to be breached in 2015.

Significantly, the main stumbling block this time was reportedly not ongoing differences between the US and Japan over auto and agricultural markets, but doubts over President Barack Obama’s capacity to get congressional approval for the pact.

Falsely presented as a “free trade” deal, the TPP is the opposite. It is aimed at creating a vast US-controlled economic bloc. In return for favoured access to the US market, which is still the largest in the world, the TPP requires its members to scrap all legal, regulatory and government impediments to American investment and corporate operations.

The TPP is an essential component of Washington’s military and strategic “pivot” to Asia, aimed at establishing unchallenged hegemony over the region, including China, which has thus far been excluded from the treaty. The “partnership” seeks to restructure every aspect of economic and social life across the Asia-Pacific in the interests of Wall Street finance capital and the largest US corporations, particularly the IT, pharmaceutical and media conglomerates.

A similar drive is underway to incorporate the European Union into a Transatlantic Trade and I nvestment Partnership (TTIP) bloc. Like the TPP, the European treaty is being negotiated behind the backs of the international working class amid tight secrecy, with hundreds of the world’s largest corporations taking part.

Obama has resorted to blatant anti-Chinese rhetoric in a bid to overcome opposition to aspects of the TPP from sections of the Democratic and Republican congressional leaderships. In one recent interview, the US president declared: “If we don’t write the rules out there, China’s going to write the rules and the geopolitical implications of China writing the rules for trade almost inevitably means that we will be cut out or we will be deeply disadvantaged. Our businesses will be disadvantaged, our workers will be disadvantaged.”

Washington is concerned that other imperialist powers, such as Germany, Britain and Japan, could strengthen their positions in China at the expense of the US unless America “writes the rules” for world trade in the 21st century.

Global financial commentators are drawing attention to what is at stake. Under the headline, “Round two in America’s battle for Asian influence,” David Pilling wrote in the London-based Financial Times on April 1: “Washington’s attempt to lead a boycott of the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank ended in farce after Britain broke ranks and other nations from Germany to South Korea fell over themselves to join. If round one was a defeat for America, round two hangs in the balance.”

Pilling noted that the TPP’s exclusion of China, on the grounds that its economy was state-owned and centrally planned, was obviously concocted. “In a peculiar display of diplomatic contortion,” he wrote, “Vietnam — a country whose economy is as centrally planned and as rigged [sic] as the best of them — is somehow considered fit for entry.”

The Financial Times Asia editor pointedly added that the TPP was “just as likely to annoy America’s allies in the region as reassure them” because of its intrusive demands, which include the dismantling of state-owned enterprises, tendering restrictions, financial regulations, data protection rules and intellectual property laws.

Washington’s aggressive drive to establish the TPP and TTIP economic blocs marks a reversal of its post-World War II role, when the ascendancy of American industry permitted it to champion the reconstruction of its Japanese and European rivals, albeit always for its own benefit, including via the expansion of markets for its exports.

Today, amid the ongoing decline of US industry, its ruling elite depends increasingly on the parasitic activities of Wall Street, the exploitation of patents by Silicon Valley, Hollywood and the drug companies, and contracts for the supply of military hardware. These rapacious interests will most directly benefit from the TPP.

Many details remain secret, but pro-TPP lobbying efforts highlight the anticipated profit bonanzas. Mireya Solis of the Brookings Institution think tank stressed advantages such as “internationalisation of financial services, protection of intellectual property and governance of the Internet economy.”

US technology firms would benefit from a ban on requiring companies to house customers’ data within a specific country. “If we’re going to serve the customer of Malaysia from, say, a data center in Singapore, the data has to be able to move back and forth between those two countries,” Brad Smith, Microsoft general counsel, told the Wall Street Journal.

Central to the treaty are punitive Investor-State Dispute Settlements (ISDS) clauses, which permit transnationals to sue governments for losses allegedly caused by official policy decisions. WikiLeaks last month published a chapter of the TPP treaty showing that firms could bypass a country’s courts to obtain damages for changes in “environmental, health or other regulatory objectives.”

Apart from the US and Japan — the two biggest partners by far — the other TPP participants are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.

The willingness of many of these countries to make the required concessions to the US has been undermined by Obama’s failure to secure support for a Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill so that he can sign the TPP and then have it ratified by Congress with a single “yes” or “no” vote. Without TPA, Congress could force amendments to the negotiated pact, effectively rendering the agreement void.

According to a Japan Times report: “Several negotiating partners, including Canada and Japan, have publicly stated they will not put their final negotiating positions on the table until Congress grants TPA for the Obama administration. With a presidential election looming in the United States, further delay creates a real risk of TPP being delayed until 2017.”

Much of the US congressional resistance is bound up with protectionist lobbies, based on national-based industries and their trade unions. In response, the Obama administration is ramping up a campaign that explicitly spells out the expected benefits to corporate America.

On March 30, the White House published letters from former senior economic officials, including 10 ex-commerce secretaries representing every administration, Democratic and Republican, since 1973, urging congressional leaders to give Obama TPA authority.

The commerce secretaries stated: “Once completed, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) will give the United States free trade arrangements with 65 percent of global GDP and give our businesses preferential access to a large base of new potential customers.”

This demand for “preferential access” by US imperialism threatens to break up the world economy into the kind of rival blocs that preceded World War I and World War II.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2015/04/04/tppo-a04.html

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AIIB, a paradigm power shift [Xinhua]

Posted in Beijing, Brazil, BRICS - Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa, China, Early 21st Century global capitalist financial crisis' US origins, Economic crisis & decline, Economy, France, Germany, India, Italy, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, US imperialism, USA, Wall Street on April 2, 2015 by Zuo Shou / 左手

BEIJING, March 31 (Xinhua) — …As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, 46 countries had applied to be founders of the bank, but the United States and Japan have remained on the sidelines. The financial authority of China’s Taiwan said on Tuesday afternoon that the island has submitted a letter of intent on joining the mainland-proposed AIIB. Founders will be finalized on April 15.

TIMELINE

The bank was proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in October 2013.

A year later, and 21 Asian nations, including China, India, Malaysia, Pakistan and Singapore had signed an agreement to establish the bank, headquartered in Beijing.

On March 12, 2015, Britain applied to join the AIIB as a prospective founding member, the first major western country to do so. France, Italy and Germany quickly followed suit.

Other nations will still be able to join the bank after the deadline, but only as ordinary members.

Negotiations on the AIIB charter are expected to conclude in the middle of the year and the bank should be formally established by the end of this year.

BUILDING FOR SUCCESS

As its name suggests, the AIIB will finance infrastructure–airports, mobile phone towers, railways, roads–in Asia.

There is a yawning infrastructure funding gap in Asia. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) pegged the hole at about eight trillion U.S. dollars between 2010 and 2020.

The World Bank and Asian Development Bank are more focused on poverty reduction and their funds alone are insufficient to bridge the gap, according to Hans-Paul Burkner, chair of the Boston Consulting Group.

While both the ADB and World Bank focus on a broad range of development programs including agriculture, education and gender equality, the AIIB will concentrate on infrastructure alone. The IMF, World Bank and ADB have all welcomed the AIIB initiative and see room for collaboration

The bank will have an authorized capital [of] 100 billion U.S. dollars and the initial subscribed capital is expected to be around 50 billion dollars. Although hardly enough to meet demand, it will still be a helpful boost.

GOOD FOR ASIA; GOOD FOR ALL

As the first China-proposed multilateral financial institution that has included developed nations as members, the AIIB offers an opportunity to test China’s ability to play its role as a responsible country, analysts said.

The initiative followed years of frustrated attempts to reform the existing international financial institutions, which have failed to reflect the changing landscape of global economy.

The existing economic system, shaped by the Bretton Woods agreement seven decades ago, is dominated by western countries and increasingly unrepresentative of the world’s economic architecture. Since the global financial crisis, emerging markets are becoming the main development drivers. Asian countries now make up one third of the global economy.

As global economic power shifts to emerging markets, it is only fair that they should play a bigger role in global institutions. Burkner said, “if it is not happening, then it is important to create additional institutions which, to some extent, cooperate and compete with existing institutions.

“There will be cooperation and also some healthy competition with the ADB and the World Bank.”

Good for Asia; good for the world as a whole.

Jin Liqun, secretary general of the interim secretariat of the AIIB, regards the bank as a complement to, rather than a substitute for, the World Bank and the ADB. It will improve the existing international financial system, not overturn it, Jin said.

The AIIB is just the start. Jim O’Neil, coiner of the BRICs acronym and former chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, believes there are plenty more areas where China needs to be drawn in.

With its Belt and Road initiatives, the AIIB and other entities (a joint development bank with BRICs partners Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, for example) China is trying to make its own development beneficial to the whole continent.

After over three decades of fast expansion, benefiting from globalization and opening-up, China can now share the fruits of its development and build a “community of common destiny” through international and regional cooperation.

INTO THE UNKNOWN

Even after membership is finalized, many questions will remain. How will the AIIB be governed? What will be the decision-making process be? Wha t lending criteria will it adopt? Will its policies be transparent and address issues like the environment?

The answers to those questions will determine whether the bank stands or falls.

While details are pending, China has repeatedly stated that the AIIB will uphold high standards and learn from the best practices at existing multilateral financial institutions.

During an interview with Xinhua, Lou Jiwei said the bank will have a three-tier structure — a council, a board of directors and management, as well as a supervising mechanism to ensure sufficient, open and transparent policy-making.

The prime challenge for the AIIB is how to channel funds to the most productive projects while maintaining security of repayment.

Zhang Yuyan, chief of the institute of world economics and politics at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think tank, believes that, since infrastructure projects usually have long funding cycles and great potential for waste, sustainable profitability will be the real test of the AIIB.

Rigorous consultation and skillful management to coordinate and balance various demands and interests among members will be of the essence, Zhang said. This will be challenging at the very least, with so many histories, cultures and development stages on show.

Edited by Zuo Shou

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2015-03/31/c_134114065.htm

Interview: Vietnamese authorities miscalculated in anti-China protests: scholar [Xinhua]

Posted in China, Japan, Singapore, south Korea, Taiwan on May 31, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

SINGAPORE, May 24 (Xinhua) — Vietnamese authorities apparently miscalculated during the protest targeting foreign enterprises in Vietnam last week, Li Mingjiang, associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

“They have, in some way, connived in the protest and the subsequent developments, but they apparently underestimated the possibility that the initially mild protests could turn violent,” Li said.

Li said it’s hardly likely for the violence to have been orchestrated in the way a color revolution was organized, given the abruptness of the riots breaking out. However, there had been signs that certain groups in the opposition were waiting for an opportunity to put pressure on the Vietnamese government.

The possibility cannot be ruled out that some Vietnamese-American groups have been behind the protest, he said.

“The territorial disputes between China and Vietnam provide them good excuses to organize such a kind of demonstrations, together with local NGOs within Vietnam,” Li said. “The Vietnamese authorities, due to political considerations, chose to connive at these protests.”

South China Morning Post reported recently that some theories in Vietnam implied outside influences behind the riots.

The violence went largely unchecked by Hanoi, at least at the initial stage. China evacuated thousands of its nationals from Vietnam after a few were killed and more than 100 others were injured during the violence.

Apart from the loss of investors from the Chinese mainland, quite a number of factories and companies from elsewhere, including China’s Taiwan as well as South Korea, Japan and Singapore, were also victims of the violence.

Singapore’s foreign ministry had voiced their “deep concerns” several times over the damages to two Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks in Binh Duong province.

A Singapore flag was burnt by demonstrators on May 13. Singapore’s foreign ministry described it as “a serious incident.” It had also urged Hanoi to immediately restore law and order before the security situation worsens and investor confidence is undermined.

The deadly violence, to some extent, can also be traced to the domestic challenges or the deteriorating relations between Vietnamese citizens and the government, as well as the worsened economic and social problems, Li said.

“The rioters broke into foreign factories, conducting wrecking, looting and setting fire, regardless of them being Chinese companies or not.”

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2014-05/24/c_126543586.htm

China mulls high-speed railway to US; whole trip to be within 2 days [People’s Daily]

Posted in France, Germany, Iran, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan, Turkey, Ukraine, USA on May 21, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

May 12, 2014

China is considering building a high-speed railway line to the US, Beijing Times reported on Thursday.

The proposed line would begin in north-east China and run up through Siberia and through a tunnel underneath the Bering Strait through Alaska and Canada to reach the continental US, according to Wang Mengshu, a railway expert and academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

Crossing the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska would require about 200km (125 miles) of undersea tunnel, says Wang.
“Right now we’re in discussions. Russia has already been thinking about this for many years,” Wang said.

The project would run for 13,000km, about 3,000km further than the Trans-Siberian Railway. The entire trip would take two days, with the train travelling at an average of 350km/h (220mph).

The tunnel technology is “already in place” and will be used to build a high-speed railway between the south-east province of Fujian and Taiwan. “The project will be funded and constructed by China,” Wang said. “The details of this project are yet to be finalized.”

This China-US line is expected to be one of four international high-speed rail projects currently in the works.

The first is a line that would run from London via Paris, Berlin, Warsaw, and Kiev to Moscow, where it would split into two routes, one of which would run to China through Kazakhstan and the other through eastern Siberia.

The second line would begin in the far-western Chinese city of Urumqi and then run through Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran and Turkey to Germany.

The third would begin in the south-western city of Kunming and end in Singapore. The routes are at various stages of planning and development.

The article is edited and translated from《中国人有望乘高铁赴美:1.3万公里两天到达》, source: Beijing Times, author: Han Xu.

Article link: http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/98649/8624283.html

Commentary: Abe’s double faces [Xinhua]

Posted in Beijing, China, Diaoyu Islands, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Tokyo on August 8, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

by Xinhua writer Shang Jun

BEIJING, July 30 (Xinhua) — Japanese Vice Foreign Minister Akitaka Saiki is wrapping up a two-day visit to China on Tuesday, the latest move taken by Tokyo to mend its strained ties with Beijing.

The senior diplomat was believed to be working for a possible summit between Chinese and Japanese leaders, for which Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has made repeated calls recently.

It seems that Japan is stretching out the olive branch and intends to repair its relations with China, which soured due to a heightened territorial dispute over the Diaoyu Islands in the East China Sea and Tokyo’s unapologetic attitude toward historical issues.

By playing the good guy, Japan is trying to gain international support and sympathy, but the good-will gesture is just one face of Abe.

During his visit to Singapore on Friday, Abe voiced his desire for an unconditional summit with the Chinese leader as soon as possible.

However, a hawkish Abe wasted no time in pledging coast guard patrol boats to the Philippines when he was in Manila one day later, a move apparently designed to embolden the Philippines to confront China at their separate territorial dispute.

This is in line with Abe’s hardline position on the Diaoyu Islands. Despite the fact that the uninhabited islands are inherent part of China as proved by history, Abe has been flatly denying the existence of a dispute with China, effectively shutting the door for any candid talks.

While at home, Abe is catering to the rightist forces for political gains and attempting to distort Japan’s history of aggression in a bid to challenge the post-war international order, a worrisome tendency for its Asian neighbors, which suffered the atrocities of Japanese invaders during World War II.

What is more disturbing is the ongoing push by Abe to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution to allow for full-fledged military buildup.

All these aggressive moves exposed the other face of Abe, which may lead to a dangerous path of confrontation and raises doubt about the sincerity of his good-will for a candid dialogue.

As a Chinese saying goes, a person should be judged by his deeds, not just by his words.

It is worth noting that Japan should be held fully accountable for the deterioration of bilateral relations, and it is Tokyo that should make sincere efforts to mend the ties.

Without sincerity, the repeated calls for dialogue are nothing but empty talks.

Article link: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/indepth/2013-07/30/c_132587874.htm

The NSA revelations and Obama’s “pivot to Asia” [World Socialist Website]

Posted in Australia, Guam, Hong Kong, India, Japan, National Security Agency / NSA, NSA, Obama, Pentagon, Philippines, Singapore, south Korea, US Government Cover-up, US imperialism, USA on June 30, 2013 by Zuo Shou / 左手

By John Chan
17 June 2013

Edward Snowden’s revelations about the vast and illegal American electronic surveillance and spying operations inside the US and internationally have punctured the propaganda propagated by the Obama administration to justify its aggressive “pivot to Asia” aimed against China.

The US cynically presents itself as a force for regional stability, peace and “human rights” and the leader of Asian democracies—Japan, India and Australia—against the bullying of autocratic China. Under this guise, Washington has waged a determined offensive throughout the region to strengthen strategic alliances, build up military forces and consolidate trade ties in a bid to undermine Beijing’s influence.

In the lead-up to the recent summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Obama administration mounted a concerted campaign aimed at branding China as the number one “cyber threat” to the US and the world. A Pentagon report last month directly accused the Chinese government and military of large-scale cyber intrusions into American government, military and corporate computer networks. During the summit, Obama provocatively declared that alleged Chinese cyber espionage was the “direct theft of US property.”

In reality, as Snowden’s exposure of NSA operations confirms, the US military and intelligence apparatus has built up the world’s largest and most advanced cyber warfare machine, which it aggressively uses against the American people and any country regarded as a current or potential threat to the interests of American imperialism.

As Beijing has repeatedly alleged, China is a prime target. Snowden presented specific evidence to the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong last week that the NSA had hacked into hundreds of civilian computers in Hong Kong and China since 2009, including Hong Kong’s Internet Exchange, which handles all of the city’s web traffic. Having gained access to network backbones, the agency could gather information from hundreds of thousands of computers.

“The primary issue of public importance to Hong Kong and mainland China should be that the NSA is illegally seizing the communications of tens of millions of individuals without any individualised suspicion of wrongdoing. They simply steal everything so they can search for any topics of interest,” Snowden warned.

American intelligence expert Matthew Aid provided further confirmation of the NSA’s massive cyber operations against China in an article last week in Foreign Policy. He revealed that the US has been engaged in large-scale hacking of Chinese computer and telecommunications networks for the past 15 years.

Aid also exposed the existence of a highly secretive unit within the NSA’s Signal Intelligence Directorate known as the Office of Tailored Access Operations (TAO). The TAO, he said, employs 1,000 military and civilian hackers, analysts and engineers. Not only has it produced “some of the best and most reliable intelligence” about China, he stated, but it has been tasked with assembling the information needed for the US “to destroy or damage foreign computers and telecommunications systems with a cyber-attack.”

These revelations expose the Obama administration’s lies that the NSA spying is to protect the US from terrorist attack. The criminality of the American cyber operations against China is rooted in the imperialist character of the entire policy of the “pivot to Asia.” The US is determined to use its military might to prevent any challenge from China’s economic rise to its dominance in Asia since the end of World War II.

The NSA’s massive cyber operations are intimately bound up with US preparations for war against China. High-level US intelligence sharing with close allies in Asia goes hand in hand with establishing new military basing arrangements with Australia, Singapore and the Philippines, restructuring and reinforcing existing US bases in Japan, South Korea and Guam, and building up anti-ballistic missile systems in the region as part of Washington’s nuclear war plans.

The US has encouraged allies such as Japan and the Philippines to take a more assertive stance against China, heightening tensions in maritime disputes in the East China Sea, South China Sea and other regional flashpoints. By elevating the alleged cyber threat posed by China, Washington is preparing the pretext for a provocative cyber attack that risks escalating into a wider conflict. The Obama administration has already claimed the right to launch pre-emptive cyber attacks—as it has already done against Iran’s nuclear program.

In the wake of the NSA revelations, the American media and political establishment have launched an all-out campaign to vilify Snowden for exposing the NSA’s criminal operations at home and abroad. The latest lie that he might be a double-agent working for the Chinese government is particularly sinister, given the Obama administration’s history of targeted assassinations of US citizens.

The fact that Snowden fled to Hong Kong, a Chinese territory, is not evidence that he is a spy, but rather of the collapse of basic legal and democratic norms in the United States and all of its allies in Europe, Asia and around the world…

…The defence of Edward Snowden is an urgent issue not only for workers in America, but in Asia and internationally. He is being targeted for exposing the extent of the intelligence apparatus that has been established by the US to prosecute war against its international rivals and suppress domestic opposition to its austerity agenda at home.

The drive towards war and dictatorial forms of rule is rooted in the breakdown of the profit system, which has produced sharpening geo-political tensions between rival capitalist powers and growing opposition and resistance in every country to the relentless assault on the social position of the working class. The defence of democratic rights can be realised only through a unified socialist movement of the international working class to abolish capitalism…

Excerpted by Zuo Shou

Full article link: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/06/17/pivo-j17.html

“America’s Pacific Zone of War” by Wayne Madsen – US installs puppets in degenerate democracies of Australia, New Zealand [Strategic Culture Foundation]

Posted in Australia, CIA, Encirclement of China, Israel, National Security Agency / NSA, New Zealand, NSA, Nukes, Rudd-Gillard coup, Singapore, USA, Wayne Madsen Report on November 3, 2012 by Zuo Shou / 左手

23.10.2012

The United States has successfully installed two America-compliant leaders as the heads of government of Australia and New Zealand, Washington’s two most important Asia-Pacific regional allies. Both leaders, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, rose rapidly within their respective parties, a sure sign that they had outside support, likely from the Central Intelligence Agency, which has historically meddled in the domestic affairs of Australia and New Zealand…

Australia and New Zealand have seen the CIA interfere in their domestic politics before. In 1975, the CIA, working with Australian intelligence and pro-U.S. politicians, engineered a constitutional coup against Labor Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. The independent-minded Whitlam demanded a fuller explanation about the nature of U.S. intelligence bases at Pine Gap and Woomera, Australia. The Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency, alarmed by Whitlam’s demand for an accounting about the activities of the bases, used an old U.S. intelligence asset, Australian Governor General Sir John Kerr, to fire Whitlam’s government and install a pro-U.S. regime. Similarly, after New Zealand Labor Prime Minister David Lange began probing into the activities of the National Security Agency’s eavesdropping bases in New Zealand and banning visits by U.S. nuclear-armed or powered warships to New Zealand ports, he was unceremoniously ousted in a parliamentary backbenchers’ coup in 1989.

What happened to Whitlam would repeat itself in 2010 in Australia when Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who was generally supportive of the United States, was deposed in a backbenchers’ coup by the even more pro-American deputy prime minister Julia Gillard. Since coming to power, Gillard, who was born in Wales, has supported the United States and Israel in all matters, including inviting the United States to establish new naval, air, and troop bases in Australia.

A few of the leaked U.S. State Department cables [i.e. Wikileaks] identify the role that the U.S. embassy in Canberra played in ousting Rudd and replacing him with the more pro-American Gillard. Rudd’s Employment Participation Minister, Libyan-Australian Mark Arbib, was a frequent guest of the embassy where he passed along confidential information about the Cabinet in-fighting between the right-wing forces allied with Gillard and Rudd loyalists.

Senator Don Farrell, another right-wing Labor supporter of Gillard, met with a U.S. embassy official in June 2009, a year before the coup against Rudd, and informed the American about the plot to oust the Prime Minister. President Barack Obama apparently did nothing to warn Rudd of the plot against him and there is every indication that the Obama administration, particularly Mrs. Clinton, was in Gillard’s court. Farrell told the newspaper The Australian that he had more than one conversation with the U.S. embassy but said he couldn’t recall the exact details of the conversations.

An embassy cable dated June 23, 2008, indicates that Gillard was being groomed during the Bush administration even though she had a political past in which she described herself as a “socialist” and a “feminist”:

GILLARD THE PRO-AMERICAN

…GILLARD has gone out of her way to assist the Embassy. She attended a breakfast hosted by the Ambassador for U/S [Undersecretary] Nick Burns who visited Canberra just days after the election. At our request, she agreed to meet a visiting member of the National Labor Relations Board, after prior entreaties by the board member’s Australian hosts had been rebuffed. GILLARD is now a regular attendee at the American Australian Leadership Dialogues (AALD), and will be the principal government representative to the AALD meeting in Washington at the end of June».

Gillard was «talent-spotted» by the CIA from the ranks of the left [sic]. Before becoming a staunch pro-American, Gillard served as Secretary of the Socialist Forum in Melbourne and she co-founded the Australian chapter of the women’s rights organization EMILY’s LIST.

In a speech to the AALD in 2008 in Washington, Gillard avidly supported the strengthening of the ANZUS military alliance between Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. Gillard, in a message to Labor Party leader Mark Latham, described the AALD as a “CIA re-education camp.” Latham also revealed that Gillard told him that he should stand by for “e-mails explaining George Bush is a great statesman, torture is justified in many circumstances and those Iraqi insurgents should just get over it.” Gillard has also called the United States «a civilizing global influence».

New Zealand Prime Minster John Key rose rapidly through the ranks of the National Party to become Prime Minister. Key was formerly an executive with the CIA-linked Bankers Trust. Key was also part of George Soros’s operation to attack several Asian-Pacific currencies, including the Thai baht and Malaysian ringgit, as well as the British pound and Russian ruble, in the late 80s and early 90s, to enable currency speculators like Soros to make billions in profits. In 1988, Key even bet against the New Zealand dollar. In 1995, Key was the head of foreign exchange operations for Merrill Lynch in Singapore. Key’s ruthless sacking of hundreds of his subordinates and co-workers at Merrill Lynch earned him the onerous nickname of the «smiling assassin». In 1999, Key became a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and three years later he was sitting in the New Zealand Parliament. After only six years as an MP, Key became Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Key became Leader of the Opposition in 2006 after he succeeded Don Brash, who resigned after details of an extramarital affair and internal National Party documents became public.

There is a belief by some in New Zealand that Key’s work for Soros and the CIA – the two are not mutually exclusive – earned him the post of Prime Minister. Key has done much to undo Lange’s policies and New Zealand naval ships are, once again, welcome in U.S. ports after a ban that was imposed during Lange’s term. Key, whose mother, Ruth Lazar Key, was an Austrian Jewish immigrant, has also steered New Zealand’s foreign policy firmly into the pro-Israeli camp.

Key’s predecessor, Labor Prime Minister Helen Clark, incurred Israel’s and its Wellington Lobby’s wrath after she criticized Israeli intelligence’s ploy to forge New Zealand passports. Like Clark, Rudd, also infuriated Israel and its Canberra Lobby after criticizing Israel’s forging of Australian passports and deploring Israel’s interception and arrest of Gaza aid flotilla participants. Rudd had long been considered a staunch ally of Israel and was thought by the Israeli Lobby in Australia to be a «Christian Zionist». Gillard, who is a self-declared atheist, began plotting with Labor right-wingers and, very likely, the CIA Canberra station, weeks prior to her challenge to Rudd, even though she claims to have only decided to seek the prime minister position on the eve of the Labor Party parliamentary caucus in June 2010. Gillard’s staff began writing her victory speech two weeks prior to the caucus…

…The installation of Key and Gillard in their posts has ensured that the United States has a firm military anchor in the Asia-Pacific region from which to challenge China and other nations for control of the Pacific as a «zone of war».

Full article link: http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2012/10/23/america-pacific-zone-of-war.html