U.S. Strategic Oil Reserve at 2003 low – Why Are We Tapping it? Where Did It Go? To Asia!

That’s curious. Our strategic oil reserve is at a 2003 low. How could that be? Trump filled it up before he left office and confirmed it on a Hannity interview. Turns out Biden is shipping our reserves to Asia!

Trump Orders US Strategic Oil Reserves to Be Filled ‘Up to the Top’ Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

“Based on the price of oil, I’ve also instructed the Secretary of Energy to purchase… large quantities of crude oil for storage in the US strategic reserve. We are going to fill it right up to the top. It puts us in a position that’s very strong, and we are buying it at the right price”, Trump said.

So how are we at the lowest level of our reserves since June of 2003??

Oil Drilling Platform

Everyone is talking about opening the tap. Namely one Chuck Schumer as reported in yesterday’s post.  Let’s follow the bread crumbs for the surprise ending. Here is the give away!

Biden is selling massive amounts of SPR oil…to Asia!

Here is the craziness:

Schumer Calls On Biden To Release Oil Reserves And End Oil Production

 ForexLive:

U.S. reduces strategic petroleum reserve by 3.2M barrels, lowest deposit level since 2003: EIA

  • US reduces stocks and strategic petroleum reserve by 3.2 million barrels
  • The reserves are now at the lowest level since June 2003
Yesterday the acting head of the EIA said that any release from the US strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) would have only short-lived impact on oil markets.
 
It even gets more interesting- in a previous post:

The South China Morning Post reports that President Biden asked President Xi, during their virtual meeting overnight, to release China’s oil reserves as part of an economic cooperation pact.

According to a person familiar with the matterthe US has asked China to release oil reserves to help stabilize soaring international crude oil prices.

The issue was also broached during a phone conversation between Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken two days earlier.“One of the pressing issues for both sides is energy supply,” the person said, which made us wonder just what China would want to give up some of that ‘supply’ for to help out its arch-competitor on the global hegemon stage?

 
Now why would that be? And where did our strategic oil go?
 
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is a supply of petroleum held by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for emergency fuel. It is the largest emergency supply in the world, and its underground tanks in Louisiana and Texas have capacity for 714 million barrels (113,500,000 m3).

Here is a handy dandy interactive chart which will give you the monthly and yearly stats:

US Crude Oil in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Stocks

YCHARTS

638.08M bbl Jan 1 2021.  Then
 
606.15M bbl for Wk of Nov 12 2021.  Now
 
Hmmm
 

SPR Quick Facts 

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is a U.S. Government complex of four sites with deep underground storage caverns created in salt domes along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coasts. 

Current inventory –  Click to open inventory update window

 
DIR
 

It turns out that Biden is already tapping into the SPR; he’s just not doing it to help Americans.  A report in investment circles is finally trickling down into the mainstream news: Biden is selling massive amounts of SPR oil…to Asia!

According to Bloomberg/Quint:

(Bloomberg) — If the Biden Administration decides to tap U.S. emergency crude reserves to push down domestic energy prices, it may not help all that much. The supplies may just be exported away like last month. 

American Thinker:

About 1.6 million barrels of crude from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve — a monthly record — was shipped out in October, according to data from market intelligence firm Kpler.

All three supertankers went to Asia.

“Given the ongoing pace of the current SPR release — 12 million barrels in the last two months and the biggest weekly release so far last week at 3.1 million barrels — it’s fair to assume more SPR barrels are going to leave U.S. shores in the weeks ahead,” said Matt Smith, an oil analyst at Kpler.

As far as I can tell, the administration has not explained why, with Americans struggling to keep up with rising fuel prices, it’s shipping our SPR to Asia.  During the virtual meeting between Biden and Xi Jinping, the two men allegedly discussed releasing oil from both countries’ petroleum reserves but made no mention of the sales to Asia that already took place.

It’s becoming clearer daily that there is a clown in the White House, but it’s not a cute, loving clown like Bozo (although I always found him kind of creepy).  Instead, we’re being led by the political equivalent of the Joker from the D.C. Comics, a mad man who wants to burn it all down.

Continue at American Thinker

Bonus: Liar liar pants on fire. Does he even know the reserves are being released?

Biden noncommittal on a potential Strategic Petroleum Release … – CNN

 
Nov 6, 2021 — President Joe Biden on Saturday was noncommittal on ordering a Strategic Petroleum Reserve release in an attempt to address rising crude oil …

That my friends is one of the biggest days in swamp land. Go figure this one out.

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Biden Begs China To Open Their Oil Reserves During Phone Call

One can only ask what else was discussed with Biden’s three hour phone call with XI. Let’s empty our oil reserves that are only to be used for a national emergency. Recall Trump’s comment that when he assumed office the reserves were depleted. Thanks to Obama who no doubt wanted us vulnerable. This is insane. And there are rumors that they want to dump Harris as VP? Impeach this senile old fool now. Save Taiwan. For sure it will be lost otherwise. Don’t forget Russia, now ready to move on Ukraine.

First thing Xi does is stick it to Biden in his opening remark.

 

The two main options being discussed: releasing oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and/or instituting a ban on US crude exports; are both expected (by experts) to result in higher oil/gasoline prices (and only provide very brief, if any, relief at the pump).

Well now we know there is/was a third option being considered…

The South China Morning Post reports that President Biden asked President Xi, during their virtual meeting overnight, to release China’s oil reserves as part of an economic cooperation pact.

 

According to a person familiar with the matterthe US has asked China to release oil reserves to help stabilize soaring international crude oil prices.

The issue was also broached during a phone conversation between Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken two days earlier.

“One of the pressing issues for both sides is energy supply,” the person said, which made us wonder just what China would want to give up some of that ‘supply’ for to help out its arch-competitor on the global hegemon stage?

SCMP reports that “currently, the energy departments from both sides are negotiating the details,” the person said, adding that China is open to the US request but has not committed to specific measures yet, citing the need to consider its domestic consumption needs.

The big question – obviously – is what did President Biden offer in return for this ‘favor’ from China?

Quid pro quo?

Does this kind of “political lobbying” reach impeachment-level actions? And what exactly is the US SPR for if not for this (ignoring the fact that, as we detailed previously, a modest SPR release would do little to help the average joe filling up his tank, and in fact could make it worse). Did Biden just tell China just how exposed he is domestically, politically?

Make America China-Dependent Again?

H/T: Zero Hedge

Meanwhile Biden continues to cut off any further drilling in the United States

 The best of the swamp today.

Hunter Biden called business associate ‘the chief spy of China’

 

 

Daily Mail online senior reporter Josh Boswell, who first reported on the messages, reacts to Hunter Biden’s latest alleged connection to China on ‘Tucker Carlson Tonight.

Sounds like Hunter had his own version of Fang Fang. Can you imagine how much he would tell her if she hid his crack pipe.

 ‘Your doggy chain necklace is waiting for you.’ Flirty messages from Hunter Biden’s Chinese-American secretary, 29, who worked for him when he partnered with the ‘spy chief of China’ are revealed

Hunter Biden‘s emails reveal his close relationship with the Chinese-American secretary who worked for him when he went into business with the man he called the ‘spy chief of China.’ 

The mysterious young assistant wrote the president’s son flirty messages, sent him opposition research for Joe’s White House run and encouraged him to draw funds from the company’s accounts when the joint venture collapsed and even ended up with Hunter’s military dog tags. 

……..Hunter and Joe Biden’s brother Jim partnered with CEFC in 2017, in a deal that was meant to generate billions of dollars and create a string of oil and gas projects in the Middle East and Europe.

But the joint venture collapsed the following year when CEFC’s secretary general Patrick Ho was arrested and later convicted of bribery in a US federal prosecution.

Ho was suspected of working with the Chinese intelligence services, and had been monitored by federal law enforcement under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, court documents revealed.

 

So many have a copy of Hunter’s laptop, so few are willing to give the contents a dump for all America to see. Getting old with all of these little teasers. Rudy we know has it, the government has it, the DOJ, CIA and anyone who is anyone.

Yet Pop is the President.

A good read at the Daily Mail. Read more

 

 

The best of the swamp.

 

 

 

 

Back to Chinese Checkers

Back to Chinese Checkers

by Mustang

A few interesting developments among the so-called China watchers.  There is nothing for you to do about this, of course, but I thought it would provide at least some amusement.  So, there is this fellow named Sandeep Dhawan who writes advice to the US State Department suggesting what they ought to do about China.  I’m sure the State Department appreciates this advice — the Lord knows if anyone needed advice, it’s the US State Department.  Sandeep’s bona fides include the fact that he’s a former commander in the Indian navy.  I found this curious, so I did a few minutes of G-searching and could not find one single incident where the Indian Navy ever distinguished itself in a combat role at sea.  Well, it may not matter. 

Russia India and ChinaMeeting between leaders of Russia, India and China • President of Russia

Sandeep is concerned because, as the United States withdraws from its foreign outposts, China is moving in to “fill up the vacuum.”  Moreover, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s latest visit to the Middle East seems to indicate (to Sandeep) that China is definitely “moving in.”  Now, maybe it’s just me, but … so what?  Yi’s vow to “work with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman to “help protect their core interests against foreign interference” doesn’t bother me in the least.  More to the point, if Iran invaded Saudi Arabia tonight at midnight, I couldn’t care less.  Remember, I have long advocated that the solution to the petty tyrants in the Middle East is to convince the Saudis that the Iranians are good to eat.  Sorry, my friends, but I don’t care if China spends all of its silver taels on Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Eritrea, or on Huey, Dewey, and Louie.  In fact, I think China should spend all their money in the Middle East.  We American taxpayers need a break.

Note:  I wonder if China realizes that all those countries hate each other almost as much as they hate us?

What does concern me, however, is that given America’s hunger for Chinese-made plastic bowls, it will be OUR spending at Wal-Mart that will actually fund China’s mischief in the Middle East.  Painfully, we all know that the average female shopper at Wal-Mart would trade in her first born son for a set of eight plastic storage bowls if they come in multiple colors.  Yeah, patriotism is important, so long as it doesn’t interfere in plastic storage ware.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Putin and China’s Xi are forming a mutual support arrangement.  They didn’t do this when Trump was president, of course … they know what a war hungry maniac Trump was.  But now that Joe Biden’s in the White House … well, off come the gloves.  Truly, this IS the danger of electing a nitwit to the presidency, and a former prostitute as his Vice … do you think anyone in the old country will respect America’s leadership, or will they take advantage of the opportunities handed to them by the American voter?

Note:  I don’t know for a fact that Kamala Harris ever was a prostitute, but that’s what Peter, who comments here, said — and it may all boil down to how one defines prostitution, but for the record I trust Peter, and this should go a long way toward reducing what I owe him.

But let’s be optimistic … even assuming that China and Russia “divide the world” among them, so what?  At some point in the future, the American dim-bulbs who voted for Biden will be called away and we’ll end up with a president with cajones.  After this new president nukes everyone one who is friends with China or Russia, the world will belong to us.  Then we can start fighting among ourselves, which is what we like to do almost better than anything (except Wal-Mart shopping).

Mustang’s take on the post Chinese checkers in the Middle East: Play or Perish

Joe Biden and his China strategy – feminize the U.S. military

 

It’s important that pregnant women are able to drop into enemy territory. Imagine a pregnant woman pilot with air sickness. Imagine a pregnant American woman captured by an enemy.

Imagine Joe Biden is President.

China is on a tear with a massive increase in Navy ship building. First we have Tucker Carlson giving us an update on China. Joe himself comes next with his military strategy and then our intrepid Mustang throws out some thoughts on the China matter for us think about.

 

 

China Joe himself with the necessary improvements to our fighting forces that will carry us to victory. Note his ever present minder Harris waiting in the wings prepared to pull the plug should Biden go off script or need direction to get off stage.

 

The Enemy of My Enemy

An Introduction to Chinese Checkers

by Mustang

 

 

Recently, Mr. Schweizer wrote about China’s Dragon Ships — a massive increase in Chinese navy shipbuilding. Despite Wikipedia’s warning about Peter Schweizer — that he’s a contributor to the far right media organization Breitbart News — I enjoy his articles.  They are well-researched and convey useful information in a well-organized and highly articulate manner.

Among his pearls are — 

  • The Chinese Navy has replaced the USN as the world’s largest 
  • China’s goal, in developing such a large navy is (a) to intimidate and threaten the economic security of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia, and (b) lay claim to the entire South China Sea as a Chinese sovereign territory
  • China’s push for nuclear powered ships reflects a longer-term goal of challenging the US and other navies around the world
  • China’s shipbuilding behavior will only get worse unless the US challenges China through diplomatic and economic penalties.

I think Mr. Schweizer did a good job in his article up until his final point.  Economic and diplomatic penalties imposed on China have never worked.  This bears repeating.  There is nothing more useless than a law that cannot be enforced, or a foreign policy that has no effect.  

So if we agree that the imposition of trade restrictions on China — or diplomatic consequences (and I cannot imagine what these might entail) — have no effect, why bother?  It makes you wonder, “Well, then, what else could the US do to challenge China?”

Beyond my reading of Chinese history and the product of the so-called China Watchers for a few decades, I am no expert.  I can say that Chinese frequently demonstrate their craftiness, and more often than not to the detriment of US foreign and trade policies (which reflects more the ineptness of American diplomats than it does on the cleverness of Chinese thinking).  As but one example, America’s involvement in the Vietnam War was entirely the brain-child of Chou En-Lai … whose trap we walked into with both eyes open.

All that aside, what could the Americans do to challenge China?

  • We could increase our naval construction program.  This is easier said than done, particularly since the US cannot bank on revenues if it intends to keep the American economy in lockdown mode.  China could more or less assure our continued lockdown by introducing yet another virus into the United States — which shouldn’t be too hard since every week, 3,881 flights arrive in the US from China.  Snap!  A robust US naval construction effort would entail more sailors (more financial outlays), but of course we cannot do that and provide unrestrained and un-budgeted-for economic stimulus programs to the American people.

 

  • The balance of power in East Asia may involve more than issues of naval supremacy; Japan, for example, purchases most of its rice from Vietnam.  We might encourage our Asian allies to pursue a more robust naval construction program — but that would only work if our Asian allies perceived the Chinese navy as a significant threat to their economic interests.  Otherwise, from their perspective, there would be no justification for increasing their spending on naval/military hardware.  Note: looking back in time, maybe FDR should have backed Japan against China in the 1930s.

 

  • I suppose the US could simply stop trading with China, although the fact is that if the US did impose an embargo on all Chinese made goods, it would only account for $106-billion (annually)… a drop in the bucket as a percentage of China’s GDP.  Plus, should we really send Wal-Mart into bankruptcy?

 

  • There is always the option of not challenging China’s naval activities at all.  Should the US really care about this — enough to spend billions we don’t have on naval construction — when China’s strategy may very well be the exact same thing we did to the former-Soviet Union, which was to drive the Soviets into economic oblivion?

 

  • Finally, the US might consider an ambitious campaign to convince Americans that Chinese noodles are deliciously nutritious.   

 Greg Poling, Director of the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative at the Center for Strategic and International Studies organization seems to agree with me, recently stating, “The South China Sea isn’t a military problem and has no military (naval) solutions.  All the force investments in the world won’t matter if the US fails to impose enough diplomatic and economic costs to alter Chinese behavior.”  

Of course, Mr. Poling probably has more confidence in America’s diplomatic corps than I do.  I cannot find one single “clever” thing the US State Department has done in the past 120 years that didn’t end up costing the American people needless loss of life or an increase in the loss of disposable income.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend is a concept suggesting that other governments who live in fear of China might become worthwhile American allies.  I laugh. 

 Our “friends” would expect that the USA subsidize their naval construction efforts, while at the same time increasing our trade deficits with them as part of the bargain.  It makes me want to question the wisdom of wasting time trying to create any worthwhile anti-Chinese alliances.  

By the way, the title expression originated in India in the fourth century before the common era.  It may not actually apply to this perceived Chinese threat since the US has no worthwhile friends and all of our former allies should have learned their lessons by now. 

Still, I wonder … what do the commenters at Bunkerville think? 

 

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Great Power Competition: Ghoulies, Beasties & The Second Cold War

 

Great Power Competition

Ghoulies, Beasties & The Second Cold War

by Mustang

The internal disintegration of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) began in 1988 with the growing unrest within its constituent republics.  It ended in 1991 when the three principal Soviet republics (Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia) declared that they no longer existed.  Eleven other republics followed suit.  President Mikhail Gorbachev resigned; what remained of the Soviet parliament announced the end of the Soviet Era.  By the time William J. Clinton assumed the presidency, the world had already entered into a new geo-political phase.

In 1990, America’s primary competitors were the Soviet Union and Red China.  In 1991, only red China remained to challenge American leadership.  Russia re-emerged, of course, but for the ten years it took to re-organize, the former Eastern Bloc was relatively quiet.  In February 1993, Islamic fundamentalists bombed the World Trade Center.  Six people died, a thousand were injured, a blind sheik was arrested, and America went back to sleep.

The world’s conversation changed again on 11 September 2001, when Islamic fundamentalists launched a coordinated attack against the United States.  From that date, the United States shifted its focus toward the Middle East (Afghanistan and Iraq).  We entered a new phase, called the Global War on Terror — a confusing time for Americans because President Bush wasn’t sure what his short and long-term strategies should be.  

Was it, for example, finding fundamentalists and killing them, building shopping malls in Afghanistan, or purchasing oil for American blood?  What Mr. Bush did accomplish was a transformation of victory in Iraq into a resounding cockup, which he then expanded into Afghanistan (where Americans continue to serve at great risk to themselves).

President Obama’s fascination — his Islamic nation of choice — was Syria, with a peculiar fascination with Libya.  He was aided in this by his former rival for the presidency, Senator John McCain, who in helping to arm Al Qaida insurgents with American weapons, helped to create ISIS.  Thinking Americans began to wonder about our national interests in the Middle East, particularly since the Syrian civil war was the mischief of Saudi Arabia, our best-ever friend.  As a reminder of how well the United States managed its Global War on Terror —

US Taxpayer Obligations (Costs) Associated with the Global War on Terror (2001 — 2017) [Notes 1, 2]

DoD War Spending:                               $1.9 Trillion

GWOT Homeland Spending                $1.054 Trillion

DoD War related Base Spending        $803 Billion

Medical Disability Payments                $437 Billion

State Department/GWOT                     $131 Billion

Interest paid on borrowed money       $925 Billion

Total costs in dollars                               $5.25 Trillion

Total cost in human lives                        800,000 (Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan)

Cold War Returns

Between 2015-2021, another shift has occurred: a return to Great Power Competition (GPC).  Islamic fundamentalism is still with us, of course — and has been since the late 1790s, so it is unlikely that US spending on its favorite past time, the business of war, will in any way diminish.  But now, in addition to the Islamic hordes, the United States’ focus on international relations and the foreign policy has returned to Russia and Red China.  

The precious national resources wasted during the global war on terror notwithstanding, the United States government has embarked upon a new “grand strategy” with implications of substantial increases in defense spending.

Presently, US debt approaches $82 trillion, including interest.  What this means is that government spending has cost each taxpayer $222,192, or broken down per capita obligations, $84,238 — including minors who only just now entered the life cycle.  As the debt clock races forward, government changes to meet this new reality will cost the

American people even more.  It is at this point that one begins to suspect that Wu Flu and the subsequent shutdown of the American economy served China’s interests quite well.  With less tax revenue flowing into the US Treasury, taxes have nowhere to go but up. 

The new cold war (Cold War II) will demand that the US Department of Defense realign to “counter” Chinese and Russian military (and bio-War) capabilities.  We are already witness to a few of these changes, such as the recent creation of the U. S. Space Force.  DoD envisions that the US Cyber Command will evolve into yet another “combat command,” and then there are high level discussions about where to redeploy US military assets to counter America’s greatest threat (China).

The Congress, through funding, has two choices: either realign our military/naval forces to address “critical concerns,” or increase manpower levels and equipment capabilities of US forces.  Presently, DoD contingency planning includes Multi-Domain Operations (MDO) (Army/Air Force), Distributed Maritime Operations (DMO) for the Navy and Marine Corps, Littoral Operations and Expeditionary Advanced Base Operations for the Marine Corps.  I’m quite sure that a Marine expeditionary brigade has China sitting on pins and needles.

The renewal of GPC has already led to a revived emphasis on nuclear weapons/nuclear deterrence.  Both China and Russia now boast of their status as nuclear powers, and China in particular makes such claims while undertaking massive military modernization efforts.  Imagine: what is any country’s justification for massive military spending if there is not some plan or intention to employ them.

Revival of the US’s competition with Russia began with the seizure and annexation of Ukraine in 2014 — it may have been one reason Obama needed to get back with Vladimir after the election of 2012.  US military planning now includes the strengthening of US and NATO military capabilities to counter Russian aggression in other areas of Europe.  

Some experts claim that present US and NATO forces are woefully inadequate to this task (blaming Donald Trump, of course, because none of the NATO allies wanted to pay their fair share), even after Army and Air Force capabilities have been expanded in Poland, and an increase in Navy and Marine Corps activities in Norway.

 

Conclusion   

The bad old days of cold war have returned.  There isn’t much that any of us can do about this — competition is in the nature of man.  I suppose we Americans could follow the European Union’s lead in all this and simply bury our heads in the sand and pretend that all is well in the world.  

On the other hand, there is a time to deploy our troops to confront evil in the world — and a time to exercise some restraint in that regard.  Lately (since the first Gulf War), our diplomatic efforts seem centered on military intervention.  It’s all we know, apparently — and I’m still trying to figure out what our national interests were/are in Afghanistan and Syria.

The costs of the Middle Eastern Wars have been high, but worse than this, our diplomatic faux pas has driven the enemy (Iran, for example) solidly into a China and Russia alliance.  While Bush/Obama sent our troops to eradicate armed goat herders, Vladimir Putin was engaged in his energetic efforts to extend the hand of comradeship and empathy to Middle Eastern puppet masters.  

China’s efforts in the Middle East, Africa, and closer to home, in Central and South America have been no less ambitious.  We will soon find ourselves within range of Iranian ICBMs and surrounded by Chinese missile installations in Cuba, Honduras, San Salvador, Nicaragua, Colombia, and Venezuela.

I’m no expert, but it would appear reasonable to ask, “Who are our diplomats working for?”  The risk to this and future generations is obvious.  Two “clear and present” dangers remain: physical harm to the American people through long-range missiles, and the peril to our economy as a foolish government continues to spend far more than it produces in revenues.  

Meanwhile, members of Congress who have never seen an armed conflict they didn’t love, and US/Globalist corporations who make gazillions from the DoD’s demands for more stuff that goes bang, will eventually reduce the once-strong American economy to the level of an undeveloped country.

As an aside, China’s and Russia’s economic strategy toward the United States seems remarkably similar to the one the US employed against the Soviet Union (1980-1991); through our technological developments, we quite literally drove the USSR into bankruptcy [Note 3].

Now the tide has turned — and it occurs to me that the US would be in much better shape in our international relationships if we had qualified people running the government rather than the eggheads who have orchestrated the DoD and foggy bottom since around 1988.  In choosing Joe Biden as president, the American people — in all their wisdom — have assured us of a much greater danger than ever existed before.

Well-done, voters.  You shall reap that which you have sown.

Notes:

[1] Project on Government Oversight/Congressional Oversight Initiative: a public advocacy group, Mark Thompson, 2019.

[2] Watson Institute, Brown University, Study 20 September 2020

[3] I once spoke with a retired (former Soviet) military officer who told me that the USSR had no idea how advanced the US war machine was until the first Gulf war.  He said to me that the revelation made him ill.    

 

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

The China Watchers

 

The China Watchers

Keeping Americans Informed

by Mustang

Americans have been “watching” China for a very long time.  In 1784, when the dust and debris of the American Revolution were barely settled, the United States sent its first flagged ship to China.  It was the merchant ship Empress of China, bound from New York to the city of Canton.  What prompted American interests was, of course, trade — the search for new markets, driven in part by the fact that the British had little interest in trading with their former colonies.  China welcomed the Empress because the Americans were interested in buying things from China, while the Europeans only wanted to sell items to China.

In keeping with our traditions, trade also meant an opportunity for American ministers to save the barbarians from damnation.  The first American missionaries went to China in the 1830s — and did so even when it was illegal to do so.  We all know what rebels the Americans were back then, but it was the missionaries who first took an interest in Chinese culture, language, and history.  These were the men (and some women) who helped shape America’s perceptions of Imperial China.  As with the people of other lands, the Chinese saw the United States as a land of opportunity.  Thousands of Chinese migrated to the United States; there may have never been a transcontinental railway without them.

Some Chinese leaders were so impressed by the United States’ political achievements that they became inspired — Sun Yat-sen, who borrowed the “Three Principles of the People” from President Lincoln’s belief in a government of, by, and for the people.  Sun Yat-sen helped to overthrow the Qing Dynasty in 1911 and founded the Republic of China.

Thus, for most of the United States’ history, relations between Americans and Chinese were quite positive.  When Japan and the European powers began to break up China into their spheres of influence, the United States argued that the whole was greater than the sum of its parts and, therefore, supported a united and independent China.

This belief was the genesis of America’s “Open Door” policy. In this condition, China would continue to welcome foreign trade but retain its unique form of government and cultural identity.  The United States maintained adherence to this policy through the end of World War II — and it may have saved China from being gobbled up by competing European powers.

When Japan attempted to exploit China and expand its empire throughout East Asia in the 1930s, the United States stood in the way. Japan’s behavior prompted the United States to establish a credible naval fleet in the Pacific.  American volunteer pilots served China against the Imperial Japanese Army as part of the famed “Flying Tigers” operations; it led President Roosevelt to provide war materials to China to defend themselves against the Japanese hordes.

Of course, by that time, Chinese communists and Chinese Nationalists were engaged in a great civil war, making Japan’s timing particularly keen. As a ploy to help unify Chinese efforts against the Japanese, Roosevelt provided war materials to both communists and nationalists in more-or-less equal measure.  The communists accepted these gifts, of course, but rather than using them against the Japanese, stored them away in caves until they could be used against the Nationalists — which they did between 1945-49.

Of course, there were glitches along the way that caused some challenges to American diplomats, not the least of which was the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 and then the unhappy episode with the Boxers in 1899.  Nor could the United States have made a worse choice in its decision to back an absolute crook and tyrant in the form of Chiang Kai-shek.

The Chinese, or so it would appear, have long memories.  When the communists defeated the Nationalists in 1949 (with US arms and ammunition — some of which was used against US troops during the Korean War), China and the United States stopped talking to one another for over twenty years.

In fact, following the Korean War, which poised the US/UN against China as much as North Korea and the Soviet Union, paranoia led the Chinese to manipulate the United States into the Viet Nam War. If the Americans were kept busy in Southeast Asia, there would be no cause for alarm in Northeast Asia.  The United States (then controlled by Democrats) naturally fell into that trap without much cajoling.

President Nixon re-opened Sino-American relations n 1972; China was receptive because, at that time, the Soviet Union posed a real threat to Chinese sovereignty along their shared border.  Following Mao, Deng Xiaoping wanted closer economic ties to the United States but was determined to retain a communist state.

In its post-Imperial state, a communist state was the best method of controlling a billion people.  When the Chinese government killed protestors at Tiananmen Square in 1989, the United States feigned shock and dismay — Americans have been destroying their protestors since around the 1850s.  The Chinese no doubt looked at this as “goose/gander.”

Today, China and the United States have a robust trade relationship — but neither side trusts the other, and has not since 1949.  Now enters stage left the China Watchers, who tells us all we need to know about China.

During the Cold War, China Watchers assembled in Hong Kong, where they had a bird’s eye view.  Some of these watchers worked for Western intelligence agencies, universities, and news agencies.  If journalists, British government censors previewed reports to prepare for potential diplomatic fallout from publication.

Most China Watchers were Americans — who had limited access to Chinese government officials, press briefings, and interviews.  So what these American China Watchers would do is parse government announcements for hidden meanings, keep track of Chinese officials’ movements reported in press agencies, and analyze photographs taken of public appearances.  China Watchers would also interview refugees or copy the analyses written by others in Taiwan or the Soviet Union — which some folks would call plagiarism.  Well, it wasn’t entirely their fault because none of them could speak Chinese.

Despite all these factors, the China Watchers continue to keep us advised of events in China.  Some of them publish exhaustive papers about China, but these are mostly the academicians, who mostly prepare documents because it advances their academic status.  Most of them appear live on CNN or some other propaganda arm of the Democratic Party.

They spend a few moments of precious air time to regale us with their in-depth knowledge, their warnings about the strength or fallacy of U. S. policy, and of course — for no extra charge; they offer us their dire predictions.

Does anyone pay attention?  I mean, does anyone who matters pay attention?  I think not.  Our geniuses in the State Department do not require the assistance of China Experts; members of Congress do not, for they are already in the back pocket of Chinese officials (the movers and shakers of Beijing), no one in the economic sector requires the expertise of the China gurus … for they already have the answers (which is that national debt doesn’t matter).  Actually —and this is merely an opinion— the morons on the Weather Channel have greater credibility than the China Experts.  For example:

  1. In the 1950’s we were blessed with A. Doak Barnett, who styled himself a Pekingologist, which, insofar as I can tell, is two steps below a garbologist — and a Jesuit Priest named Le Dany, who circulated the China News Analysis to 48 countries around the world.  Experts … both.
  2. Michael Pillsbury, a Rand Corporation analyst, called for closer ties with China during the Cold War.  Of course, Michael also encouraged Reagan to arm Afghanistan’s Mujahedeen.  A real genius.
  3. Min-xin Pei, a professor at Claremont McKenna College, was convinced that China’s adherence to communism would stifle the Chinese economy.  Prescient.
  4. Susan Thornton … a former Under-Secretary of State who speaks fluent Russian and Mandarin Chinese, retired in 2018 because Sen. Marco Rubio publicly stated that he could guarantee Thornton would never be confirmed as a permanent appointee.  Rubio claimed she was too soft on China.  The China experts proclaimed that Thornton was steady and effective in matters relating to China.
  5. Elizabeth Economy (no, really) was a prominent voice on China policy … because she wrote a book predicting that China’s global economic dominance was much overblown.  She was wrong in 2014, and she’s probably wrong now, as well.
  6. Henry Kissinger created the Institute for China at the Wilson Center.  I guess enough has been said about that.

Gordon G. Chang, of the New Jersey Chang’s, is one of our more recent China experts. He’s been kind enough to warn us about Chinese spying at our colleges and universities, China’s interest in American technology, the pending collapse of China, and China’s conspiring with North Korea against Japan’s interests.

Of course, unless we’ve been in the time-out corner for the past 40 years, we know this stuff already.  We should probably expect our adversaries to spy on us — Israel does, and we pay them $40 billion a year for their friendship.  No, the question should be why the FBI allows them to get away with it.  Is it to prove that we’re more tolerant than they are?  I think the Chinese are being silly.  They could save a lot of Yuan by not spying on the United States — members of Congress and White House staff will tell them what they want to know for next to nothing — a small donation here, a small donation there.

Mr. Chang even went so far as to lay responsibility for Covid-19 at China’s doorstep.  That was a hell of an exposé — and gutsy.  The American press responded to this revelation with gusto — by attacking anyone who used the words Wu Flu — even as American seniors were dropping like flies in a French pasture.

President Joe, meanwhile, wants us to know that China is our friend.  You know, like the neighborhood cop who always begins a conversation by warning us of our Constitutional rights.  We know China is our friend, not by their words, but by their actions — such as infiltrating Central and South America, funding massive projects in Africa, garnering influence with Moslem countries who want Americans dead, providing support to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, and stealing General Motors.

I would have mentioned that the Chinese also obtained our top-secret undersea technology and copied the F-35 from stolen blueprints, but then I’d have to say that they obtained those technologies from Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and I don’t want to besmirch anyone’s character.

Meanwhile, or so I’m told by my many contacts in Chinese fast-food restaurants, the Chinese government is laughing itself silly on an almost daily basis since early November.  And I have to say that were it not for Mr. Chang’s predictions, and I would never have stocked up on Chinese Noodles that only require the addition of hot water to activate the powdered cyanide.  So, I owe him for that.

 

Mustang also blogs at Fix Bayonets and Thoughts From Afar

Biden picks for CIA Director William J. Burns with strong ties to China

 

An update on our fearless leader and China brings us to Biden’s choice for CIA Director William J Burns. This should take care of any concerns about Hunter as Burns has strong ties to China. But first I snagged Biden’s latest “extreme competition” idea as a way to  deal with China differently than Trump.

“I’ve said to him all along that we need not have a conflict,” Biden said of his Chinese counterpart.

“But there’s going to be extreme competition . . . I’m not going to do it the way Trump did. We’re going to focus on international rules of the road.” Biden still made it clear he does not intend to go “softer” on China when compared to Trump. On this point, FT noted in its review of Biden’s latest comments:

Biden, who spent considerable time with Xi as vice-president to Barack Obama, said the Chinese leader was “very bright” but “doesn’t have a democratic, small D, bone in his body”. At one point during the Democratic primary race last year, Biden described him as a “thug”.

In the first three weeks of the administration, senior US officials have taken a hard rhetorical stance towards China over everything from its rights record in Xinjiang and Hong Kong to its military activity near Taiwan.

Here’s a clip of the key part of the latest CBS interview wherein Biden said:

But there’s gonna be extreme competition. And I’m not going to do it the way he knows. And that’s because he’s sending signals as well. I’m not gonna do it the way Trump did. We’re gonna focus on international rules of the road.

 

 

  • William J. Burns, the nominee for CIA director, is the president of a prominent think tank that has received as much as $2 million in recent years from a Chinese businessman and a think tank with links to the Chinese Communist Party. 
  • As part of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s work with China, Burns invited a group of congressional staffers on a junket to China in 2019 where they met with a professor who works for the Chinese Communist Party’s central committee. They also met with the president of a prominent Chinese front group. 
  • Zhang Yichen, a Carnegie board member and prominent donor, is a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which advises the Chinese Communist Party on policy issues. 

 

More at Daily Caller

 

The very best of the swamp today.

China says ‘has people at the top of America’s core inner circle of power & influence’

We learn that China looks forward to a Biden administration and not having to deal with Trump. Says it all doesn’t it? Tucker includes a tape from the Chinese.

With any luck the Bidens should be charged with treason with his son. John Kerry should be asked about how is son is doing as well.

No surprise but of course this all comes out after the election.

Look what’s coming back to the White House – our savant John Kerry

(It’s on a loop)

Here is a refresher from an earlier post:

Joe Biden: ‘China not bad folks, not competition to us’

Of course let us not forget Biden in February before announcing his candidacy did the bend over thing in Europe.

Joe Biden goes to Europe and blasts America – Calls the U.S. an ’embarrassment’

Speaking to European allies, Biden trashed America with an open hostility.

“The America I see values basic human decency, not snatching children from their parents or turning our back on refugees at our border. Americans know that’s not right,” Biden asserted.

“The American people understand plainly that this makes us an embarrassment. The American people know, overwhelmingly, that it is not right. That it is not who we are.”

Speak for yourself Joe.

Here is more from the Chinese professor for those who have the stomach for it.

Other than that all is well in the swamp.

20,000 Fake driver’s licenses seized at Chicago airport so far this year

 

Am I the only one asking if it is so easy to get a fake driver’s license how difficult must it be to scam our election system? Looking back at the history of this enterprise, another gift from China that keeps on giving. Bet as well China is up to making fake ballots. Fake I.D’s have been flowing in for at least a decade. Bet China could put a lid on this if they wanted to.

This is huge:

“These fraudulent identity documents can lead to identity theft, worksite enforcement, critical infrastructure protection, fraud linked to immigration-related crimes such as human smuggling and human trafficking,” CBP said in a news release, adding that, “these documents can be used by those individuals associated with terrorism to minimize scrutiny from travel screening measures.”

 

The front of a fake Michigan driver’s license seized in a shipment at Chicago O’Hare Airport. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

 

The federal customs officers have seized 1,513 shipments from overseas containing fraudulent documents—19,888 counterfeit U.S. driver’s licenses—just at Chicago O’Hare International Airport this year through the end of June.

Most of the shipments came from Hong Kong and mainland China, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Other shipments came from South Korea and the U.K.

CBP said most of the fake IDs were for college-age students. Many had the same photo but different names. But one alarming discovery was that the barcode on the fake Michigan licenses actually worked, CBP said.

 

The back of a fake driver’s license seized from a shipment at Chicago O’Hare Airport. Authorities said the barcode worked correctly. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo)

 

Piccirilli, the acting area port director in Chicago, called the counterfeits “very realistic” and praised the officers for being able to scope out the fake documents and stop them from getting to the buyers.

In April, CBP said that customs officers at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport were seeing an increase in shipments of fake documents. Officers inspecting international shipments had found about 2,000 fake IDs in the prior year and a half.

H/T: Fox 5

These have been flooding the Untied States for years. Here is a story made back in

Sep 22, 2014
Other than that all is well in the swamp.
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