The John Batchelor Show

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Air Date: 
January 17, 2018

Co-hosts: Gordon Chang, and David Livingston, The Space Show
Hour One
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 1, Block A: Alan Tonelson, independent economic policy analyst who blogs at RealityChek and tweets at @AlanTonelson, in re:  SHANGHAI—The last time Washington mobilized for a trade war, Ronald Reagan was president and Japan the adversary.
Today, the White House is readying the same big guns—a mix of tariffs and quotas—aimed mainly at Chinese imports. It has in its sights everything from steel to solar panels and washing machines . . .
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 1, Block B:  Stephen Yates, CEO of D.C. International Advisory, former advisor to Vice President Dick Cheney, and candidate for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor of Idaho, in re:  China reprimands companies calling Tibet and Taiwan “independent.”
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 1, Block C:  Michael Auslin, Hoover, in re: Japan's international influences during the Meiji Restoration; and a look at the international implications of Japan's Meiji Restoration in the WSJ:
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 1, Block D: Anthony Ruggiero, FDD, in re:  North Korea got the US-RoK exercises delayed in exchange for  . . . nothing for the US or South Korea.  Luxe ski resort in North Korea – huge amounts of money stolen from (literally) starving North Koreans in order to build a lavish resort, which is not per se against sanctions, but all the goods and appurtenances acquired to furnish it are illegal under sanctions.  A naval blockade would be hard to enforce; but it could be decided that every vessel entering North Korea is subject to search, and then swiftly most traffic would cease sailing to DPRK.  Will Kim throw a tantrum after the para-Olympics are finished?  Yes, of course.   
Hour Two
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 2, Block A:  Charles Burton, professor at Brock University, in re:
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 2, Block B:  Anders Corr, principal of Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk and editor of a just-released book, Great Powers, Grand Strategies: The New Game in the South China Sea, in re:   . . . China has threatened war with the Philippines if Filipinos utilize their own ocean waters, much if which is within the prefatory Nine-Dash Line that China drew up in order to claim a vast swath of other nations’s waters.
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 2, Block C: Christian Whiton, Center for National Interest, in re: Chekhovian drama with operatic ironies.  Wendy Deng Murdoch, divorcee of Rupert Murdoch and close to Beijing tyrants.   Wall Street Journal: US was warned not to let China build a garden with a tall (70-foot) tower In Washington as it’d be used for espionage.  Counterintell sources tell White House that she’s very close  to Beijing’s rulers, who are very good at keeping track of expats and dual nationals and reminding them where their loyalties ought to lie. Note that both the Russian and Chinese embassies in Washington are on a hill, with good clearance to spy in multiple media.  China also uses its nominally civilian digital platforms to spy.   A year into the Trump Administration, Asst AGs and Asst Secretaries of State are starting to be nominated; here, and even on some campuses, the bloom is off the rose anent Chinese activities across the board — including, finally, a beginning of clear views of the ghastly Confucian Institutes.  Gordon: late but eventually there seems to be a tipping point.  There’s still much more money to be made if you hold a sanguine view of China and look the other way. Some foreign companies have made huge profits, but many more have had their dreams crushed. The Section 301 investigation being conducted now by the US Trade Rep is progressing; and of course China is guilty, The only question is what will be the repercussions [punishment]?
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 2, Block D: Josh Rogin, Washington Post, in re;
China-US Exchange Foundation, based in Hong Kong.  Mr Tung Chee-wah leads; now on campus of University of Texas at Austin, which declined.  The Chinese Communist Party s in a worldwide influence campaign with massive financial backing  One goal is to control discussion of China in public spaces; they throw a lot of cash at universities, think tanks, wherever.  There are 500 Confucius Institutes globally; but Tung Chee-wah, also vice-chairman of the CCP consultative committee, high-ranking, is running influence. 
Confucius Institutes are not registered as foreign agents, and should be.  The foundations are run by “corporations” and are harder to track. Ergo, zero got oversight. Overlap between classic intell/espionage and these influence prongs.  Who in the US got is in charge of tracking soft influence? No one. Tung is a shady guy shoveling cash to obtain influence.   Sen Ted Cruz called for Chinese news staff to register as foreign agents since they most definitely are Chinese govt agts.  Overall, we need more transparency.
Hour Three
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 3, Block A: Dr Henry I Miller, Hoover, in re: the flu epidemic in California and around the country; New York and Washington, D.C., are “a little behind he curve” but will catch up.  Young, robust people are dying from it after one or two days of infection.  Extremely dangerous.
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 3, Block B: Dr Henry I Miller, Hoover, in re: Influenza A-H3N2.  Not very responsive to the vaccine.
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 3, Block C:  Richard A Epstein,  NYU Law, CHIcago Law, and Hoover Institution; in re:  New York sues the five largest fossil-fuels firms for vast sums because of the very basis of their operation: petrochemical fuels. 
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 3, Block D:  
Hour Four
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 4, Block A: 
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 4, Block B: 
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 4, Block C:
Wednesday  17 January 2018/ Hour 4, Block D:  
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