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Yorkie Mom

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Member since: Mon Nov 8, 2004, 09:21 PM
Number of posts: 16,312

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Important article: What if the Shanghai lockdown isn't about COVID at all?

The not-so-obvious fallout of the Putin-Xi deal:"Is the Shanghai lockdown really about COVID? Russia & China laid out the parameters for a new world order in Feb & their subsequent actions have brought the economies of the western powers to a grinding halt"

In the article below the author explains that China says Shanghai is locked down to attain “zero-COVID”, but it does NOT make sense. Please read the short article for details. Here are some snips.

Is the Shanghai lockdown really about COVID?

... snip

Let me quote from James o’Neill’s report in Near Eastern Outlook of 14 February 2022:

On fourth of February 2022 an important meeting took place in Beijing., China between the leader of China Xi Jin Ping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Putin was in China at Xi’s invitation to attend the opening of the Winter Olympics. The reason for his visit however, went far beyond celebrating the opening of a major sporting occasion. The two men signed a series of economic and political agreements that strengthened the already close ties between the two Asian neighbours.

One of the most important agreements signed that day was for a 30-year deal with which Russia agreed to supply China with gas, to be delivered via a new pipeline built for the occasion. In one of the most important signals in the signing of the deal, the two men agreed that China would pay for the gas in Euros. It signalled another break from the United States dollar whose importance in international trade has been steadily declining.

Following the meeting, the Chinese and Russian governments issued a joint statement that ran to more than 5000 words in length. The statement declared a “new era” under which the two men proposed a new international political model, one that was designed to leave behind the United States dominated unipolar world.

“The world is going through momentous changes and humanity is entering a new era of rapid development and profound transformation” the joint statement declared. In this “new era” China and Russia and their allies in the global South were determined to build a different system from that which the United States and its Western allies had dominated for so long.

Russia and China made it abundantly clear that they foresaw a new world order. The alternative they were proposing “condemned the practice of interference in the internal affairs of other states for geopolitical purposes.” Instead, the two countries sought to establish “a just multipolar system of international relations.” They called on NATO to “abandon its ideologized cold war approaches, and to respect the sovereignty, security and interest of other countries.”

Two weeks later, Russia moved on Ukraine. NATO responded with sanctions. The impact of those sanctions on the economies of NATO countries has been devastating. Inflation is rampant throughout these countries and GDP growth projections show drops of up to 4 percentage points .

A further two weeks after Russia’s forces moved into Ukraine, China locked down Shanghai.

Let me hit you with some bullet points:

*More than 800 multinational corporations have regional headquarters in Shanghai . Among them, 121 are Fortune Global 500 companies, including Apple, Qualcomm, General Motors, Pepsico.

*More than 70 000 foreign companies have offices in Shanghai. More than 24 000 of these are Japanese.

*The shutdown of Tesla’s operation in Shanghai because of the lockdown has set the company back with lost production of 40 000 units of electric vehicles. That’s just one car company. Volkswagen and General Motors both have factories in Shanghai.

*Ford has a global design center in Shanghai.

*Let’s talk about Apple: iPhone supplier Pegatron has its major factory in Shanghai and another in nearby Kunshan. Both have been shut by the lockdown.

*TSMC , the world’s most valuable manufacturer of semiconductors, has a major production facility in Shanghai. (TSMC makes 7-nanometre and 5-nanometre chips used by the Apple A14 and M1 SoC .)

*Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca has a global R&D centre in Shanghai.

*To top this off, Shanghai is the world’s biggest container port moving more than 47 million shipping containers per year. Shutting down the city for more than a month means 4 million of those have potentially been impacted.

As can be seen, the simple act of shutting down Shanghai has delivered a body blow to global giants in the US sphere of influence at a time when they are already scrambling to reset their economies after their disastrous sanctions against Russia.

More: https://kanthanpillay.com/blog-entry/shanghai-lockdown-really-about-covid

About the author:
Prof Blaxland, via his work at ANU & collating and writing the official history for ASIO, is very connected to Canberra's intelligence & defence community & holds a current security clearance. If he is posting an article like this, best to listen ))

***Important*** China accused of hacking Ukraine days before Russian invasion & western sanctions po


🔺 EXCLUSIVE: China staged a huge cyberattack on Ukraine’s military and nuclear facilities in the build-up to Russia’s invasion, according to intelligence memos obtained by The Times

China accused of hacking Ukraine days before Russian invasion

Ukrainian intelligence suggests Beijing is complicit in Putin’s war

China staged a huge cyberattack on Ukraine’s military and nuclear facilities in the build-up to Russia’s invasion, according to intelligence memos obtained by The Times.

More than 600 websites belonging to the defence ministry in Kyiv and other institutions suffered thousands of hacking attempts which were co-ordinated by the Chinese government, according to Ukraine’s security service, the SBU.

More: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/china-cyberattack-ukraine-z9gfkbmgf?utm

I'm not a subscriber, so that's all I can post.

More from the tweet from The Times:

More than 600 websites belonging to the defence ministry in Kyiv and other institutions suffered thousands of hacking attempts which were co-ordinated by the Chinese government, according to Ukraine’s security service, the SBU

In an apparent sign of complicity in the invasion, the spy agency revealed that Chinese attacks started before the end of the Winter Olympics and peaked on February 23, the day before Russian troops and tanks crossed the border

The SBU said China’s attacks sought to infiltrate targets ranging from border defence forces to the national bank and railway authority. They were designed to steal data and explore ways to shut down or disrupt vital defence and civilian infrastructure

Russia also tried to cripple Ukraine’s computer networks and compromise government websites before invading, but the SBU said Chinese attacks could be distinguished by the trademark tools and methods of the cyberwarfare unit of the People’s Liberation Army

US intelligence sources indicated that the information about a Chinese cyberattack on Ukrainian government facilities prior to the Russian invasion was accurate. The Chinese embassy did not respond to a request for comment

Beijing has refused to condemn President Putin for invading Ukraine.

Analysts said that China could be punished with western sanctions if it was proven to be supporting the war

The SBU shared with The Times a series of intelligence memos, thought to be prepared by another country, that lay out the scale and ambition of the hack

They identified key military targets such as the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council and the State Border Guard Service, as well as civilian services including the national bank and ministry of finance. One memo laid out an attack on Ukraine’s nuclear infrastructure

Because it sounded like he called for regime change on the international stage.

As Joe has said before, words matter. It was so bad that Biden's team walked it back yesterday and his Secretary of State did this morning.

Did Joe say what most of us think? Yes. Should he have said what he did on the international state? No. Why else would he have walked it back? This isn't 20 dimensional chess.

Just last Friday Russia General Staff limited its war aims in Ukraine, thereby limiting the conflict. The very next day Joe with his gaffe makes the conflict unlimited.

We know that Putin has been obsessed with regime change led by the United States. Remember what he did to Hillary back in 2016 as payback?

Putin has no reason to negotiate for peace at this point.

Also, remember that Putin said he would use nukes when Russia is facing an “existential” threat". Does anyone not think US led regime change (which is probably how this was perceived in Russia) is an "existential threat"?


What do other leaders think of Biden's gaffe?




Note to anyone reading this: Don't come at me with "you don't support the President". That's utter bs. I supported Joe even before the primaries started. He screwed up with a "gaffe" as he is know for, but he did it on the international stage here. I can recognize that and still support our president.

If Republicans take the house, get ready for investigations into Hunter Biden.


Escalating fears that Putin might do something crazy

Escalating fears that Putin might do something crazy

A brief note on a very strange day

Molly McKew

This article is an excerpt of a longer piece that will be posted shortly on Great Power — but given the strange events of the past 18 hours or so, including Putin’s “fifth column” speech from the bunker and a lot of strange flight traffic out of Moscow to points east and south, I wanted to post this section now. Maybe, sitting in Estonia as I write this, it just looks worse from here and will come to nothing. But, something feels … not great. This excerpt examines how to think about what previously seemed unthinkable, and urges us to be prepared for every eventuality. Not to engage in a cycle of escalation — but to decisively end it when the moment comes.

I think there are two points worth dwelling on.

First, there will always be fresh terror from Putin. A show trial. Chernobyl. Chem/bio insinuations. Sometimes I feel we go looking for new terror to control us when there is already terror enough. Until we take control of the pacing and strategy of this war, the fears Putin creates for us are boxing us in. This has been the Russian strategy from the start. I don’t know why we are not more clear on this. It is the clear reason why we have so much intelligence on what they planned to do and what it would look like. Because they wanted the White House to see it, because they knew what the likely reaction would be. And they were right. We put ourselves into the box and took actions off the table that could have changed the outcome. We accepted the stage that Putin set. We still are. I will always believe that this is the wrong course of action. It has led us to this situation where Putin seems to be unraveling and the danger increasing before our eyes.

This fear is absolutely useless. “Russian warship, go f*ck yourself” must be the mandatory attitude of whoever will lead us through this confrontation with Putin.

Second, on nukes and Putin’s nuclear blackmail. Putin is a coward — by which I mean, he is not brave. He plans and acts in ways where he believes he has the greatest advantage and will endure the least costs for the greatest rewards. He does take risks — when there is empty space before him into which he can move before an opponent can. But he is not the type to die bravely and nobly in heroic sacrifice for his nation — as evidenced by his broadcasts from a bunker in the Urals (or wherever).

... snip
We are approaching an end stage where the only possible way out is a military defeat of Putin — a strategic defeat of Putin, before everything unravels too far to stop a worse calamity. Are we ready for that? Not on old paper plans, but in our minds? It is imperative that we stop reacting, and start to set the terms, while this is still possible.

We must stop being afraid of Putin — as the Ukrainians have done. It is the only way ahead.

More: https://www.greatpower.us/p/escalating-fears-that-putin-might?s=w

Well, this is not good.

I hesitated to post it. I don't know if it means something or nothing, but Putin is out of his mind.

1. Lavrov was halfway to Beijing last night when his plane turned around abruptly and returned to Moscow

2. Planes leaving with transponders on to make it look like the Russian elite being evacuated from Moscow to more secure location in the south Urals? This is probably just signaling and Putin just wants everyone to know. https://twitter.com/TeslaAgnostic/status/1504390902554505220

3. A large exodus of private jets out of Moscow towards Dubai this morning too.

Report: Fearing Poisoning, Vladimir Putin Replaces 1,000 of His Personal Staff

Fearing Poisoning, Vladimir Putin Replaces 1,000 of His Personal Staff

Daily Beast contributing editor Craig Copetas says he’s been told that Putin has people tasting his food before he eats it and that last month, he replaced his entire personal staff of 1,000 people.

Vladimir Putin appeared on Russian state TV today to denounce Russians who opposed his war with Ukraine as “scum” and “traitors.”

But behind the scenes, the dictator is increasingly paranoid and fears that someone in his inner circle will poison him, a new report says.

Daily Beast contributing editor Craig Copetas says he’s been told that Putin has people tasting his food before he eats it and that last month, he replaced his entire personal staff of 1,000 people.

“Laundresses, secretaries, cooks — to a whole new group of people. The assessment from the intelligence community is that he's scared,” Copetas said.

More: https://www.insideedition.com/fearing-poisoning-vladimir-putin-replaces-1000-of-his-personal-staff-73847

Russia warns United States: we have the might to put you in your place

Russia warns United States: we have the might to put you in your place

LONDON, March 17 (Reuters) - Russia warned the United States on Thursday that Moscow had the might to put the world's pre-eminent superpower in its place and accused the West of stoking a wild Russophobic plot to tear Russia apart.

More: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russia-will-put-its-enemies-such-united-states-their-place-medvedev-says-2022-03-17/


Did anyone see this interview on CNN former NATO Deputy Secretary General about nuclear conflict?

I think Clapper basically said the same thing last night on CNN. There is a very real possibility that Putin will use nuclear weapons.

The siloviki, "Inside Putin's circle -- the real Russian elite" (not the oligarchs we hear about)

If you are wondering how/if change can come in Russia, it's helpful to understand the players and the difference between the siloviki and oligarchs.

Inside Putin’s circle — the real Russian elite

As the west focuses on oligarchs, a far smaller group has its grip on true power in Moscow. Who are the siloviki — and what motivates them?

In describing Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, I have often thought of a remark by John Maynard Keynes about Georges Clemenceau, French prime minister during the first world war: that he was an utterly disillusioned individual who “had one illusion — France”.

Something similar could be said of Russia’s governing elite, and helps to explain the appallingly risky collective gamble they have taken by invading Ukraine. Ruthless, greedy and cynical they may be — but they are not cynical about the idea of Russian greatness.

The western media employ the term “oligarch” to describe super-wealthy Russians in general, including those now wholly or largely resident in the west. The term gained traction in the 1990s, and has long been seriously misused. In the time of President Boris Yeltsin, a small group of wealthy businessmen did indeed dominate the state, which they plundered in collaboration with senior officials. This group was, however, broken by Putin during his first years in power.

... snip

These men are known in Russia as the “siloviki” — “men of force”, or perhaps even, in the Irish phrase, “hard men”. A clear line should be drawn between the siloviki and the wider Russian elites — large and very disparate and disunited congeries of top businessmen, senior officials outside the inner circle, leading media figures, top generals, patriotic intellectuals and the motley crew of local notables, placemen and fixers who make up the leadership of Putin’s United Russia party.

More: https://www.ft.com/content/503fb110-f91e-4bed-b6dc-0d09582dd007?segmentId=b385c2ad-87ed-d8ff-aaec-0f8435cd42d9

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