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It's time for the West to restrict trade with China and sanction the Chinese Communist leadership

On March 9, 2000, US President Bill Clinton gave a speech on US-China trade relations in which he advocated for the expansion of trade between the two countries and defended his administration's decision to push for China's entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO).
President Clinton's argument in favour of closer trade relations with the People's Republic of China (PRC) was based on two assumptions. First, that increased trade with China would benefit the US economically, and that if the US failed to promote trade, then other countries would benefit from the opportunities that the Chinese market offered. Second, that closer economic ties between the US and the PRC would allow Washington to "pull China in the right direction." 
"Last fall, as all of you know, the United States signed the agreement to bring China into the W.T.O. on terms that will open its market to American products and investments," Mr. Clinton said. "When China concludes si…

China releases anti-Uighur propaganda film "Black Hand"

Mosque in Urumqi, capital of Xinjiang, as photographed in 2008 (photo by jun jin luo via Wikimedia Commons)


The People's Republic of China (PRC) has released a propaganda video titled "The black hand — ETIM and terrorism in Xinjiang", in an attempt to shape the narrative surrounding its crackdown on the Uighur Muslim ethnic minority.

The propaganda film links the Uighur population to Islamic terrorism, thus trying to justify the indiscriminate persecution of the entire Muslim population.

"For decades, the [East Turkistan Islamic Movement] which has close links with international terrorist organizations perpetrated countless terrorist attacks aiming to separate the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region from China," writes China's state-run television network CGTN.

The East Turkistan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, was reportedly founded by Hasan Mahsum, an Uighur from Xinjiang's Kashgar region. He was shot dead by Pakistani troops in 2003. In 2002 the United Nati…

China deployed "Great Cannon" to take down Hong Kong pro-democracy website LIHKG

China has deployed the so-called "Great Cannon" tool to launch a malware attack aimed at taking offline Hong Kong's popular pro-democracy website LIHKG, according to a report published by AT&T Cybersecurity.

The Great Cannon is a "distributed denial of service tool (“DDoS”) that operates by injecting malicious Javascript into pages served from behind the Great Firewall", the report states.

"These scripts, potentially served to millions of users across the internet, hijack the users’ connections to make multiple requests against the targeted site. These requests consume all the resources of the targeted site, making it unavailable," the report adds.

LIHKG is an online forum launched in November 2016. During the anti-extradition bill protests it became popular among Hong Kong activists, which used it as a platform to discuss politics and organize protests.

On August 31, 2019, the Great Cannon initiated an attack against LIHKG. More attacks were lau…

Hungary censors Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International - And why the European Union needs to stand up

On November 29 Hungarian news outlet Nepszava reported that MTVA, Hungary's government controlled news agency, ordered its staff to ban statements from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. Censorship of human rights-related content is yet another step towards authoritarianism in the country.

Freedom House ranks Hungary as "partly free", giving it a score of 70 out of 100. "Hungary’s status declined from Free to Partly Free due to sustained attacks on the country’s democratic institutions by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party, which has used its parliamentary supermajority to impose restrictions on or assert control over the opposition, the media, religious groups, academia, NGOs, the courts, asylum seekers, and the private sector since 2010," Freedom House writes in a 2019 report.

The Council of the European Union (EU) will hold a hearing on Article 7 proceedings against Hungary on 10 December to determine whether Hungary is in breach of the E…

How the Chinese Communist Party uses "Chinese culture" as an excuse to justify its crimes

Since its founding in 1921 the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has mastered the art of propaganda and recruitment of individuals both inside and outside the country who are willing to cooperate with it and further its interests - a practice known as "united front work".

"United front work" refers to the CCP's strategy of cooptation of groups or individuals that are not members of the CCP but are willing to cooperate with it. Cooptation describes the process of bringing outsiders (usually the resource-poorer) inside (usually the resource-richer) (Saward, 1992).

An example of this strategy is the case of former Hong Kong's Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa. Prior to the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from Britain to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Tung Chee-hwa had close ties with the government of Taiwan. However, after his shipping company ran into financial trouble and was partly bailed out by the PRC, Tung became a staunch CCP supporter.

Hong Kong provid…

Washington Post correspondent in China Gerry Shih assaulted for walking with Caucasian European

Gerry Shih, a China-based correspondent for the Washington Post, was assaulted on a Beijing street for "walking with a Caucasian European," according to a Tweet he posted on November 29. The assailants allegedly shouted at them: "F*** your American embassy!"


Sign of the times: roughed up in Beijing street tonight for walking with Caucasian European. Neither of us said we were American but their parting shot was “操你美国使馆” pic.twitter.com/ekPLNsLBnj — Gerry Shih (@gerryshih) November 29, 2019

In recent years the Chinese Communist regime has intensified its anti-foreign rhetoric as Xi Jinping has sought to consolidate the power of the Party and rid China of perceived "foreign influence".

Foreigners in China have been targeted by the government and anti-foreign sentiment has been enouraged.

This year arrests and deportations of foreign teachers in China have increased amid a government campaign to promote "patriotic education."

An increasing number o…

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg - Who Claimed That China's Xi Jinping Is Not A Dictator - Now Wants To Run For President

Billionaire business mogul and ex-mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg is reportedly preparing to enter the Democratic presidential primary .
Last March Bloomberg had ruled out running for president, but he is now "increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned" to defeat President Trump, as his adviser Howard Wolfson told NPR. Wolfson was a high-profile aide on Hillary Clinton's 2008 primary campaign.
What exactly prompted Bloomberg to change his mind is not clear, but it is possible that he feels increasingly concerned about the rise of left-wing candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Other wealthy individuals, like Bill Gates, have recently expressed their opposition to wealth tax plans.
Bloomberg's entry into the primary race clearly shows what is wrong with the American political system, dominated by elites who think that the US government should serve their interests, and who have become part of a global kleptocracy…

Did China or Automation Lead to US De-industrialization?

Automation has become a major topic of debate in the United States. A recent study by Oxford Economics claimed that robots could take over 20 million manufacturing jobs around the world by 2030.

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has made the fight against automation's disruption of the labour market one of the central themes of his campaign.

"Technology is quickly displacing a large number of workers, and the pace will only increase as automation and other forms of artificial intelligence become more advanced," Yang wrote on his campaign website. "⅓ of American workers will lose their jobs to automation by 2030 according to McKinsey. This has the potential to destabilize our economy and society if unaddressed."

Amid Donald Trump's "trade war" with China, one of the controversial issues regarding the US' loss of manufacturing jobs is the role of free trade as a cause for de-industrialization vis-a-vis the impact of automation.

Duri…

There Is No Such Thing As A Free Market

In mainstream economics free markets are considered the linchpin of a free and prosperous economic and political system. As the CATO Institute, a think tank "dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace", explains in his website:
"To survive and to flourish, individuals need to engage in economic activity. The right to property entails the right to exchange property by mutual agreement. Free markets are the economic system of free individuals, and they are necessary to create wealth. Libertarians believe that people will be both freer and more prosperous if government intervention in people’s economic choices is minimized."
However, the concept of "free market" is nothing but a construct created by ideologues more interested in abstract theories than in practical analysis. Indeed, what are "free markets"?
As economist Chang Ha-joon explained: "[M]arkets – the domain of economics – are political c…

1945 - 1970: The Golden Age Of American Capitalism?

Family watching television, c. 1958 (by Evert F. Baumgardner via Wikimedia Commons)
The era between 1945 and 1975 is often described as the 'Golden Age' of capitalism. During this period the economy of the United States, Western Europe and Japan grew at an unprecedented pace. The post-war economic miracle was made possible by the parallel growth of productivity, capital stock per worker and real wages, which ensured a balanced development of production and consumption. Despite the rapid increase in the volume of international trade, in the post-war period developed countries mostly relied on their domestic market to boost growth (see The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience, eds Stephen A. Marglin, Juliet B. Schor). But were the nearly three decades that followed the Second World War really a 'golden age'? Were people better off than we are now? Let us look at some facts.
In 1960-61 the average household income in the United States was $6,691 (…