Wednesday 13 April 2016y
JOHN BATCHELOR SHOW
Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, Forbes.com & Daily Beast. Dr. David M. Livingston, The Space Show.
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 1, Block A: Fraser Howie, Red Capitalism: The Fragile Financial Foundation of China's Extraordinary Rise, in re: Anbang offers to buy Starwood Hotels, then walks away — in mysterious circumstances. Casts a shadow on every Chinese investor. Need to double-double check and ask too many questions. The dead-cat bounce: yesterday’s numbers weren’t as ghastly as expected, but the govt refuses to tackle the underlying issues. Anne Yang; “A dead panda bounce.” If you assume that GDP numbers are right, then Chinese growth wd be 6.8; however, we're not even clear about the debt build-up figure. These days people borrow money for a deposit on a house. Try: debt growing twice as fast as GDP. Back to Anbang: there was a strange deal on the Waldorf and a 100-year management contract. As it was offering to buy Starwood, outsiders wondered where hte money was coming rom – assumed that it was govt money and so govt backing, but the deal fell through. A warning to anyone chasing after Chinese cash. “Increased fibbery.” No one believes the Chinese figures – even Chinese negotiators laugh at them. The vastly increased borrowing: unsustainable.
China incurring debt faster than it’s growing ; and: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/06/chinas-debt-explosion-threatens-financial-stability-fitch-warns/
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 1, Block B: Bill Gertz, senior editor of the Washington Free Beacon, in re: Avoid the word “cyberattack”; try: “infrastructure attack.” Major threat to the country, Most recent cyberattacks – OPM, Anthem, etc, — were data vacuums. Now, however, attackers are getting in to the computers that run our water, our electrical grid – the latter being the critical one. Without electricity, we’re in the dark ages. Adm Mike Rogers, commander of US CyberCommand: Not if, but when, there’ll be a major attack on US infrastructure; keeps him up at night. US response? Obama Adm is in a vigorous internal debate on what to do. Adm Rogers wants to do cyberdeterrence: if Chinese are caught stealing our data, we break in and either steal their data or take ours back. Obama afraid of a cyber conflict, but right now we can’t keep up with the current onslaught. China, Russians Iranians, North Koreans. The huge Sony attack: US barely responded. Need some kind of counter action that sends a strong message. North Korea has very little infrastructure; and now they're trying to penetrate US missile systems. Collaboration between Chinese and Russians: often organized crime, or hacker groups that aren't specifically governmental – the govt depend on hackers for cover. Russia, Iran, then Iran and DPRK are the rankings of sophisitication. http://freebeacon.com/issues/fbi-warns-cyber-threat-electric-grid/
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 1, Block C: David Feith, Editorial Page Writer,
The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong; in re: South China Sea. Chinese J11s – Flankers – landing on Woody Island in the Paracels, which are being militarized with missiles and ordnance. Matches China’s deeds in the South China Sea. Philippines discussing with Vietnam joint regional patrols in response to the aggression of the Chinese navy. China takes seriously the increasing alliance and cooperation among its neighbors. China’s creeping conquest of South China Sea proceeding how? And trade and investment? Beijing has made a gamble that its trade will survive the rage at its aggression. Suppose/imagine that China decides to create 3,000 acres in the sea –which it’s done – and there’s disunity and incoherence within Beijing. That might be more alarming than were there coherent, organized thinking, “a Mr Big planning things.” Oops – true, scary to think of groups that couldn't bee reined in by “Mr Big.” Message control is a Leninist priority; but the most extremely irresponsible actions in South China Sea: before, those officers would have been disciplined if they’d been out of line, but that hasn’t happened, so it's probably centrally planned. / SecDef Ashton Carter cancelled his trip to Beijing while he was in Asia. Considered a snub. China loves to engage with the US while doing extremely negative things on the side. Maybe the US is stepping away from that. Scarborough Shoals – 120 mi off Luzon and hte old Subic Bay port – is China’s next mission to militarize; threatens Filipino security. China no doubt is looking at control: the strait between Philippines and Taiwan, e.g., would give it a triangle of bases. This is nit just a triangle of rocks, it's pat of a vey significant strategic picture, Scarborough Shoals was China’s most aggressive seizure. Scarborough Shoal is situated so that in the event of a war, the Philippines could not be defended.
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-philippines-vietnam-idUS... ; http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/04/12/chinese-fighter-jets-seen-on-con... ; America's East Asian Bargain: U.S. troops in Japan and Korea would cost more to base at home.
China’s Scarborough Gambit: Beijing prepares for another South China Sea land grab.
‘China Seeks Hegemony’: America’s Pacific commander offers a military warning.
China’s Missile Offense: Beijing is militarizing island outposts in the South China Sea.
U.S.-Philippine Defense Boost: Manila’s highest court approves closer military ties.
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 1, Block D: David Feith, Editorial Page Writer, The Wall Street Journal, Hong Kong; in re: South China Sea. . . . Japan and South Korea are paying $30 bil toward a $37 bil infrastructure project initiated by the US; so they’re giving frontline defense, incl for the US. Mr Trump has been offering his same (inaccurate) numbers for years, and has made clear that he would in fact undo alliances. This is such good news for China that the best thing it can do is stay mum – when the enemy is destroying itself, do nothing. Japanese and South Korean academics and officials say they'll take this sort of talk into account as they do their own long-term strategic planning. – –Where are Clinton, Sanders, and Cruz on all these matters?
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 2, Block A: Steve Yates, CEO of D.C. International Advisory & former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, in re: Extrajudicial abduction of Taiwanese citizen by Beijing from Kenya – brutalizing and beating them – put in hoods and handcuffs by Kenyan authorities, and sent them to Communist China. To delegitimize the agreement that Ma Ying-jeou made with Kenya. One of the persons kidnapped may be a US national. Echo of five Hong Kong booksellers who were just abducted from Hong Kong. Beijing considers any ethnic Chinese to be a Communist national; thus can steal humans from anywhere on Earth. Something has gone gravely awry in Beijing. This is political warfare taken out of cross-Strait and turned global. This is not what a stable world power does; it's what a desperate country tries. How many enemies does Beijing want? Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Tibet, India; now Kenya and multiple African countries.
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Kenya forces 45 Taiwanese [of whom one is a US citizen!] to China -- mass abduction or justice? Imagine working in a foreign country across the world, then getting arbitrarily deported -- but not back to your home.
That's what Taiwan said happened to 45 of its citizens when Kenya forced them onto a plane to mainland China, for no clear reason. . . . “The Taiwanese citizens walked down from a plane in mainland China, their heads covered in opaque black hoods. Each wore a green vest and was flanked by two authorities. Taiwan calls it the whole ordeal a ‘gross violation’ of human rights. But China praised Kenya, thanking it for supporting the ‘one China’ policy. It's just the latest twist in a complicated relationship that has turned international. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-36023738 http://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-hongkong-law-idUSKCN0X90VQ
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 2, Block B: Greg Scarlatoiu, executive director of Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, in re: China did not grab the defectors and turn them over to Pyongyang for torture camps. DPRK runs intell assets in South Korea and throughout parts of the UN, including in UNESCO. Almost 100 senior North Korean officials have been executed – using heavy, anti-aircraft missiles, to turn the dead men into “pink mist.” Kim Jong-eun is young and impatient, has conducted extraordinarily intense purges, Ergo, senior officials must question their own safety. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/04/12/defections-rock-north-korea.html
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 2, Block C: Isaac Stone Fish, Foreign Policy, in re: What the several US candidates’s opinions or strategies are anent East Asia.
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 2, Block D: Gregory Zuckerman, WSJ, in re: http://www.wsj.com/articles/at-d-e-shaw-a-star-falls-over-concerns-about...
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 3, Block A: Monica Crowley, Fox, & Washington Times Online opinion editor; in re: Just in - Colorado GOP chairman getting death threats from Trump supporters hill.cm/YNbPyfM pic.twitter.com/pe9jmBfNrP.
Then the pushback from Mr Priebus. RNC chairman to Trump: "Give us all a break" hill.cm/Njm7iia pic.twitter.com/NxLhz77zXn
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 3, Block B: Monica Crowley, Fox, & Washington Times Online opinion editor; in re: The struggles of the presumed 45th POTUS. http://www.rollcall.com/even-hillary-may-not-find-bill-clinton-charming-anymore/
Protestor screams "she's killing us" at Clinton event | WATCH: hill.cm/pXPWmTF pic.twitter.com/5Jv1GCJVZs
New York transit union backs Sanders in blow to Clinton: hill.cm/vbInbuZ pic.twitter.com/kGcctDFQj7
Black lawmaker "ashamed" of vote for 1994 Clinton crime bill: hill.cm/LEGJYP6 pic.twitter.com/aJqzO9JCN3
Obama administration considers killing off lowest tier of classification: hill.cm/U1i37z9 pic.twitter.com/K1tABmiO6W
RNC teaser —RNC rules member: Trump can win nomination with just 1,100 delegates hill.cm/3Owt2sT pic.twitter.com/9guqKqwtox
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 3, Block C: Monica Crowley, Fox, & Washington Times Online opinion editor; in re: Clinton's real backstop on her march to the nomination isn't a state. It's superdelegates bloom.bg/1S9C2Nm pic.twitter.com/TH6Vem0rZj
Wednesday 13 April 2016 / Hour 3, Block D: Monica Crowley, Fox, & Washington Times Online opinion editor (4 of 4)
Tuesday 12 April 2016 / Hour 4, Block A: The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski, PART III OF III. (Segment 9 of 12)
Tuesday 12 April 2016 / Hour 4, Block B: The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski, PART III OF III. (Segment 10 of 12)
Tuesday 12 April 2016 / Hour 4, Block C: The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski, PART III OF III. (Segment 11 of 12)
Tuesday 12 April 2016 / Hour 4, Block D: The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski, PART III OF III. (Segment 12 of 12)
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‘China Seeks Hegemony’ America’s Pacific commander offers a military warning.
Rarely is a Congressional hearing as clarifying as Tuesday’s appearance of U.S. Pacific Commander Admiral Harry Harris before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Every lawmaker and presidential candidate should study the transcript, but here is a primer.
“I believe China seeks hegemony in East Asia. Simple as that,” Admiral Harris told the panel. “China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea”—despite President Xi Jinping ’s claims to the contrary—“and you’d have to believe in a flat earth to believe otherwise.” Citing new radar, surface-to-air missiles and runways on disputed islands, some of which were underwater rocks before Chinese dredgers showed up about two years ago, the admiral said Beijing is changing “the operational landscape in the South China Sea.” More than $5 trillion in global trade transits those waters annually.
Last March Admiral Harris warned that China is creating a “great wall of sand.” He became Pacific commander in May and began pushing for regular “freedom of navigation” patrols to challenge China’s lawless claims to international waters. The U.S. conducted its first such patrol in October, with a second last month.
Senator John McCain used the hearing to suggest that the Navy base a second aircraft carrier in Japan. He also joined fellow Republicans Tom Cotton and Dan Sullivan in noting that the Obama Administration hasn’t clarified if it would defend the Philippines, a treaty ally, if its forces are attacked by China in disputed areas such as Second Thomas Shoal in the Spratlys. China eased some of its pressure on Japan over the Senkaku Islands after the U.S. provided defense assurances to Tokyo in 2014.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy says it can meet only 62% of commanders’ requests for deployments of attack submarines. Admiral Harris also cited the need for longer-range systems, enhanced missile defenses, more modern torpedoes and naval mines and more. “When I started flying P-3s back in the late ’70s, we had the Harpoon missile, and that’s the same missile we have today,” he said. “We need to have increased lethality and reach and speed.”
Mr. McCain captured the stakes of all this. “China’s increasingly assertive pattern of behavior calls into serious question whether China’s rise will in fact be peaceful,” he said. “Despite U.S. efforts to rebalance to the Asia-Pacific, U.S. policy has failed to adapt to the scale and velocity of the challenge we face.”