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Spionage
Mai 22nd, 2017 by Gao

Mark Mazzetti, Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt, Matt Apuzzo: Killing C.I.A. Informants, China Crippled U.S. Spying Operations (New York Times)

The Chinese government systematically dismantled C.I.A. spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.
Current and former American officials described the intelligence breach as one of the worst in decades. It set off a scramble in Washington’s intelligence and law enforcement agencies to contain the fallout, but investigators were bitterly divided over the cause. Some were convinced that a mole within the C.I.A. had betrayed the United States. Others believed that the Chinese had hacked the covert system the C.I.A. used to communicate with its foreign sources. Years later, that debate remains unresolved.

Maoisten
Apr 12th, 2017 by Gao

Brian Hioe: A Red Star Over China? (New Bloom) 丘琦欣:紅星照耀中國?(破土)

Perhaps one of the most significant intellectual formations operating in today’s world, China’s New Left arose in the 1990s in opposition to the turn of China away from a centrally planned economy and a return to free market principles after the Deng Xiaoping period. More broadly, the New Left project emphasizes the growing disparities between rural and urban areas in post-Deng China, the sacrifice of principles of equality in order to drive toward development, and calls for a critical revaluation of China’s Maoist legacy in light of China’s present—inclusive of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.
What is “New Left” is hard to pin down. The name “New Left” was a term appropriated from conservative critics who were quick to claim the New Left to be some form of resurgent Red Guard fanaticism. In that sense, “New Left” may be a misleading term, insofar as the Chinese New Left is a contemporary phenomenon, and one with little to do with the western New Left of the late 1960s. The New Left largely consists of academics, many of which have studied abroad and are influenced by forms of western critical theory. The New Left finds itself in opposition to the “Liberals” who welcome China’s capitalization and call for the institution of western style political reforms along the lines of America or of western European powers.

中國的新左派可說是當代世界中最重要的知識分子群體之一,他們在 1990 年代因為反對中國在鄧小平時代過後放棄計畫經濟,轉向自由市場原理而竄起。更大程度上,新左派的研究課題著重於後鄧小平時期城鄉差距的持續擴大,以及為求發展而犧牲平等原則,並呼籲對毛澤東時代的遺產進行批判性再評價以回應當前局勢,其中包括大躍進和文化大革命。
   「新左派」究竟是什麼,其實很難明確定義。「新左派」一名取自於那些急於將新左派定性為某種紅衛兵狂熱再現的保守派批評者。照那樣說來,「新左派」這個詞恐怕會產生誤導,因為中國的新左派是個當代現象,和 1960 年代晚期西方的新左派幾乎毫無關聯。新左派的成員大多是學者,其中很多人都曾出國留學,受到各種西方批判理論影響。新左派與歡迎中國走向資本主義化,呼籲依照美國及西歐強國的路線進行西方式政治改革的「自由派」彼此對立。

Brian Hioe: Anti-Capitalist Within China, Imperialist Outside of China? (New Bloom) 丘琦欣:中國國內的反資本主義者,出了境外卻是帝國主義者?(破土)

From a left perspective, the Chinese New Left’s critique of capitalism remains quite sympathetic when confined to within China’s borders. With the recent arrest of labor activists in Guangzhou, Chinese New Left publication Ground Breaking, for example, was one of the first to rally for support—even at risk to itself. Ground Breaking has reacted similarly in past incidents in which the Chinese state acts on behalf of capital and against the interests of the working class. Perhaps in this respect, given the threat of state suppression, they are to be praised for their bravery on certain issues. It is the New Left’s international viewpoints, concerning outside of China, which may ultimately be most problematic.

從左翼觀點來看,新左派對資本主義的批判多少還是能引人共鳴的,只要它的適用範圍限於中國國內。比方說,近日多位勞工運動者在廣州被逮捕之後,中國新左派的網刊「破土」(Ground Breaking,GB)是首先發動聲援的,卻不顧自身同樣面臨風險。而在過去幾次中國政府為資本利益護航,侵害工人階級利益的事件之中,「破土」也採取了同樣的行動。或許就這點來說,考慮到國家鎮壓的威脅,他們確實應當為了勇於聲援某些議題而得到讚揚。可是新左派的國際主義觀點一旦涉及境外議題,恐怕就再令人存疑不過了。

Chris Buckley: Maoists for Trump? In China, Fans Admire His Nationalist Views (New York Times) 储百亮:特朗普的出现让中国毛左为之一振(New York Times)

They protest, picket and sing to defend Mao’s memory, yearning for the East to be red again. But lately some of China’s Maoists are finding inspiration in an unlikely insurgent in the West: Donald J. Trump.
Mr. Trump “has torn up the old rules of the ruling elites, not just of the capitalist West,” said Zhang Hongliang, a polemicist who is the loudest proponent of what could be loosely called “Maoists for Trump.” In a recent essay, Mr. Zhang lauded the American president as being alone among national leaders daring “to openly promote the political ideas of Chairman Mao.”
President Xi Jinping of China will be sizing up Mr. Trump during a visit to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida this week, in the leaders’ first summit meeting. Meanwhile, many ordinary Chinese people have also been taking the measure of the new American president and have been bewildered, incensed and yet, sometimes, inspired.
The global wave of nationalist, anti-establishment sentiment that Mr. Trump rode to power has washed ashore in China, encouraging a hard-left fringe that is hostile to capitalism and Western influence, and that the Communist Party has long sought to cultivate — and contain.

北京——他们用抗议、纠察和歌唱来捍卫对毛泽东的记忆,渴望再现东方红。但最近,让中国的一些毛派人士为之一振的,是西方世界里的一个出人意料的叛逆者:唐纳德·J·特朗普(Donald J. Trump)。
   特朗普“不仅撕裂了西方资本主义世界的旧有规则,还撕裂了统治精英的旧有规则,”能言善辩的“拥护特朗普的毛派”中坚力量张宏良说。在前不久的一篇文章里,张宏良称赞特朗普是唯一一位“敢于公开宣传毛主席政治理念”的国家领导人。
   中美首脑首次峰会于下周在佛罗里达州马阿拉歌庄园举行之际,到访的中国国家主席习近平将对特朗普作出评估。与此同时,很多普通的中国人也在掂量新上台的美国总统的斤两,他或许让他们困惑,或许激起了他们的怒火,但有时也能让他们感到振奋。
   把特朗普送上了权力巅峰的民族主义和反建制情绪正在全球泛滥,中国也不例外。这种潮流让敌视资本主义和西方影响的中国极左派人士受到了鼓励,他们是共产党一直在培育——以及限制——的一个边缘群体。

THAAD
Mrz 20th, 2017 by Gao

Mel Gurtov: Diplomatic Remedies for THAAD Madness: The US, China and the Two Koreas (Japan Focus)

The US decision, supported by the South Korean government, to deploy an antimissile system known as THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) may be one of the most thoughtless strategic moves in a generation. The official US justification is that close-in defense against North Korean missiles is necessary to protect South Korea. But the deployment is having more than a few negative repercussions: an argument in China for increasing its nuclear weapons stockpile; an incentive in North Korea for continuing to develop its long-range missile capability; a deep fissure in China-South Korea relations; a roiling of South Korean politics at a time when its corrupt president has been impeached; and a new source of tension in already fraught Sino-US relations.

U.S. Deploys Missile System Amid Rising Tensions with N. Korea (Democracy Now)

Tensions are rising between the United States, North Korea and China, threatening to create the first significant national security crisis of the Trump presidency. This week, the United States began deploying a missile defense system to South Korea, sparking warnings from Chinese officials who say the U.S. is escalating a regional arms race. The U.S. says the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense System, known as THAAD, seeks to protect South Korea amid a series of recent missile tests launched by North Korea…
The deployment of the U.S. missile system is widely opposed by both South Koreans, who have been protesting against U.S. militarization, and by Chinese officials, who say the missile system actually aims to counter China’s military power in the region, not to contain North Korea.
Chinese officials are calling for both an end to North Korea’s nuclear program and an end to joint U.S. and South Korean military drills.

Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: North Korea Timed Recent Missile Test to Take Place During Trump-Abe Dinner (Democracy Now)

North Korea tested a ballistic missile last month, sparking widespread international condemnation. The test was a violation of a United Nations Security Council resolution. North Korea claimed the test was a successful launch of an intermediate-range missile. The test came while Trump hosted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe over the weekend at the Trump-owned Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida.

Christine Ahn, Bruce Cumings, Amy Goodman: China Warns U.S. & North Korea Are Set for „Head-On“ Collision Amid Rising Tensions & Provocations (Democracy Now)

The political upheaval in South Korea comes shortly after North Korea test-fired several ballistic missiles. In response, the Trump administration announced it would deploy a missile defense system to South Korea. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of South Korean and U.S. troops, backed by warships and warplanes, are currently engaging in a massive military exercise. Last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned that the U.S. and North Korea are like two „accelerating trains coming toward each other.“ He called on both sides to de-escalate tensions.

David E. Sanger, William J. Broad: Trump Inherits a Secret Cyberwar Against North Korean Missiles (New York Times) / 트럼프가 물려받은 유산: 북한 미사일에 대응하는 비밀 사이버戰 / 特朗普接手的秘密计划:网络攻击破坏朝鲜导弹?

Three years ago, President Barack Obama ordered Pentagon officials to step up their cyber and electronic strikes against North Korea’s missile program in hopes of sabotaging test launches in their opening seconds…
An examination of the Pentagon’s disruption effort, based on interviews with officials of the Obama and Trump administrations as well as a review of extensive but obscure public records, found that the United States still does not have the ability to effectively counter the North Korean nuclear and missile programs…
In two meetings of Mr. Trump’s national security deputies in the Situation Room, the most recent on Tuesday, all those options were discussed, along with the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to South Korea as a dramatic warning…
The White House is also looking at pre-emptive military strike options, a senior Trump administration official said, …

Papiertiger Trump
Feb 11th, 2017 by Gao

Tom Phillips: ‚Brutal, amoral, ruthless, cheating‘: how Trump’s new trade tsar sees China (Guardian, 22. Dezember)

The United States and China will fight a war within the next 10 years over islands in the South China Sea, and “there’s no doubt about that”. At the same time, the US will be in another “major” war in the Middle East.
Those are the views – nine months ago at least – of one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s administration, Steve Bannon, the former head of far-right news website Breitbart who is now chief strategist at the White House.

The Chinese government is a despicable, parasitic, brutal, brass-knuckled, crass, callous, amoral, ruthless and totally totalitarian imperialist power that reigns over the world’s leading cancer factory, its most prolific propaganda mill and the biggest police state and prison on the face of the earth.
That is the view of Peter Navarro, the man chosen by Donald Trump to lead a new presidential office for US trade and industrial policy, a move likely to add to Beijing’s anxieties over the billionaire’s plans for US-China relations.

Benjamin Haas: Steve Bannon: ‚We’re going to war in the South China Sea … no doubt‘ (Guardian, 2. Februar)
Tom Phillips: Donald Trump and China on dangerous collision course, say experts (Guardian, 7. Februar)

For the last 18 months a taskforce of prominent China experts, some of whom have dealt with Beijing for more than 50 years, has been formulating a series of recommendations on how the incoming White House should conduct relations with the world’s second largest economy.
The group’s report, which was handed to the White House on Sunday and will be published in Washington DC on Tuesday, says ties between the two nuclear-armed countries could rapidly deteriorate into an economic or even military confrontation if compromise on issues including trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea cannot be found.

AFP: South China Sea: US reports ‚unsafe encounter‘ with Chinese military aircraft (Guardian, 10. Februar)

A Chinese military aircraft had an “unsafe” encounter with a US navy surveillance aircraft near a contested reef in the South China Sea, according to the US Pacific command.
The two planes came within 1,000ft (300 meters) of each other during Wednesday’s incident near the Scarborough shoal, which is claimed by both the Philippines and China, according to Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis.

Und dann löst sich alles in Wohlgefallen auf?

Tom Phillips: Trump agrees to support ‚One China‘ policy in Xi Jinping call (Guardian, 10. Februar)

Donald Trump has held his first telephone conversation with the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, since entering the White House, telling the Communist party leader he will not challenge Beijing by upending longstanding US policy towards Taiwan.
In a brief statement the White House said the leaders of the world’s two largest economies had held a “lengthy” and “extremely cordial” telephone call on Thursday evening in which “numerous topics” were discussed…
The cordial encounter follows an “unsafe” one on Wednesday in the South China Sea between a Chinese aircraft and a US Navy patrol plane. US Pacific Command spokesman Robert Shuford said on Friday the “interaction” between a Chinese KJ-200 early warning aircraft and a US Navy P-3C plane happened in international airspace but did not say what was regarded as unsafe.

Simon Tisdall: China U-turn is latest sign Trump may turn out to be a paper tiger (Guardian)

Is Donald Trump turning out to be a paper tiger? China’s rulers might be forgiven for thinking so after the US president performed a U-turn on Taiwan, but the shift did not come out of the blue.
Trump’s approach to a range of key international issues has softened significantly since he took office, suggesting a lurch towards conformity and away from disruption. His acceptance of the One China policy, under which Washington does not challenge Beijing’s claim to what it deems a breakaway province, was a stunning reversal, contradicting previous suggestions he would pursue closer ties with Taiwan.

Krieg gegen China?
Dez 12th, 2016 by Gao

John Pilger: The Coming War on China (movie; RT)

A nuclear war between the United States and China is not only imaginable but a current ‘contingency’, says the Pentagon. This film by acclaimed filmmaker John Pilger’s is both a warning and an inspiring story of resistance.
The Coming War on China, filmed over two years across five potential flashpoints in Asia and the Pacific, reveals the build-up to war on more than 400 US military bases that encircle China in a ‘perfect noose’.
Using rare archive and remarkable interviews with witnesses, Pilger’s film discloses America’s secret history in the region – the destruction wrought by the equivalent of one Hiroshima every day for 12 years, and the top secret ‘Project 4.1’ that made guinea pigs of the population of the Marshall Islands.

Landwirtschaft | Hongkong | Korea | Philippinen
Okt 19th, 2016 by Gao

Robert B. Marks: Modern China’s agricultural contradictions / 现代中国的农业矛盾 (ChinaDialogue)

The People’s Republic had to overcome massive environmental degradation and poor quality farmland to drive its industrial transformation

Francesco Sisci: Expect a power struggle at China’s next party plenum (Asia Times)

It is a strange situation: Xi sits on all the power—none of his opponents has enough strength to topple him—but the antagonists can muster enough force to slow down or stop Xi’s plans for change. The vested interests in the country and the party are well rooted, widespread, and unwilling to give up all of their privileges and money for the general benefit of the country – or what they may believe are Xi’s personal ambitions. It is almost a political deadlock, and for both Xi and his opponents, it may be a fight to the bitter end.

Tom Phillips: Rebel Hong Kong politicians defy China at chaotic swearing-in ceremony (Guardian)

Pro-democracy politicians cross fingers and make protest signs and subversive references to Beijing’s authoritarian rulers.

Benny Kung: HK pro-independence lawmakers prevented from retaking oath (Asia Times)

Two pro-independence Hong Kong lawmakers were denied the chance to swear themselves into office on Wednesday after their pro-Beijing peers walked out of the chamber in protest at the duo’s anti-China sentiment.

Hong Kong lawmakers walk out to block swearing-in of democracy activists (Guardian)

Reuters: US and South Korea will ‚pay the price‘ for missile system, China paper says (Guardian)

Noel Tarrazona: Did the US end military drills over Duterte’s China pivot? (Asia Times)

Last Tuesday (Oct 11) was significant for the Philippines. The day marked the early end to the US-Philippines military drills which was supposed to go on till Oct 12…
There may be genuine reasons for this change of plans but many Filipinos and the outside world immediately linked it with Duterte’s recent statement that this would be the last military drill between the two countries.

Arbeitsplätze | Inselstreit
Aug 28th, 2016 by Gao

Michael Schuman: Is China Stealing Jobs? It May Be Losing Them, Instead / 中国抢走美国人的工作?如今情况或已逆转 (New York Times)

As its economy has expanded, creating opportunities in many sectors, assembly line jobs are not as attractive as they once were. That has caused managers to raise wages to attract workers. At the same time, local governments in Shenzhen, a coastal trading hub that abuts Hong Kong, and other industrial centers have steadily increased the mandated minimum wage to improve the welfare of working families and pressure companies to produce more expensive, high-value products.
That combination has pushed wages for Chinese factory workers higher. Their monthly pay now averages $424, 29 percent more than just three years ago, the Japan External Trade Organization has estimated. Labor costs in China are now significantly higher than in many other emerging economies. Factory workers in Vietnam earn less than half the salary of a Chinese worker, while those in Bangladesh get paid under a quarter as much.

Below the Winds: What Do the Island Disputes Really Mean to Vietnamese & Chinese Workers? (chuang)
Christian Vits: Chinas langer Arm ins Meer (Standard)

Militärisches Säbelrasseln und Kriegsrhetorik – kaum ein Tag vergeht, an dem der Konflikt um Gebietsansprüche im Südchinesischen Meer in Asien ohne Schlagzeilen bleibt. Der Streit drohe zu einer „Wiege des Krieges“ zu werden, warnte etwa der chinesische Vizeaußenminister Liu Zhenmin Mitte Juli.

Xi Jinping gegen Liu Yunshan? | Qi Benyu | Wirtschaftskrieg | Chang Ping
Apr 24th, 2016 by Gao

雷斯:千人之诺诺,不如一士之谔谔(《中国纪检监察报》 – immer noch on-line!)| Übersetzung von Eleanor Goodman: A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor (ChinaFile)

一些领导干部因违纪违法受到处罚,几乎都谈到班子内部监督不够,说没人提醒我,如果当年有人咬咬耳朵,也不至于犯这么大的罪。小问题没人提醒,大问题无人批评,以致酿成大错,正所谓“千人之诺诺,不如一士之谔谔”啊!
——习近平总书记在参加河北省委常委班子专题民主生活会时的讲话

  “千人之诺诺,不如一士之谔谔”,见于《史记·商君列传》,是战国策士赵良对秦相商鞅的谏言。赵良要投入商鞅帐下,提出了一个前提条件:“终日正言而无诛”,换句话说,就是整天说真话但不被打击报复。赵良还举了前代的两个典型例子,周武王身边不乏谔谔之士,最后能够成就大业;殷纣王周围都是趋炎附势之徒,最后亡国亡身。商鞅欣然接受了这个条件,并且进一步引申出“貌言华也,至言实也,苦言药也,甘言疾也”的道理。不过,后世对此理解最透彻的,就是唐太宗李世民和魏徵了。

忠诚党员促习近平辞职的公开信 | Loyal Party Members Urge Xi’s Resignation(无界新闻~China Digital Times)
Peter Lee: Battle between Xi Jinping and propaganda chief plays out in Chinese media (Asia Times)

If my understanding of the current censorship crackdown in PRC is correct, western commentators focused on the deepening of Xi Jinping’s control over the media may have missed the point somewhat. It appears likely that Xi Jinping is primarily concerned with neutralizing control of a rival, Liu Yunshan, over the PRC propaganda apparatus, and Xi’s heightened control over media messaging is a consequence, rather than cause, of the current uproar.
To recap, there have been three relatively high-profile censorship kerfuffles involving PRC media in the last few weeks: the “resignation letter” posted on an obscure Xinjiang website; the higher profile Caixin report/spiking/report of spiking concerning an NPC delegate’s complaints concerning heavy-handed government messaging; and the big one, the so called “Yes Man” commentary posted on the website of the anti-corruption “Central Commission for Discipline Inspection.” …
The resignation letter is probably a piece of psyops, possibly abetted by the US. Nobody believes that the website’s managers knowingly put this thing up, it doesn’t read write like a genuine cadre whinge, and a focus of the investigation has been interrogation of the site’s technical personnel…
The most interesting item on the current agenda is the “Yes Man” piece. It is one of those densely argued historical analogy pieces that is trotted out in CCP-land when politics is about to get very, very serious. The essay was posted on March 1 and is clearly a response to the campaign against billionaire gadfly Ren Zhiqiang, whose Weibo account got axed after he made some pointed criticisms of restrictions on free speech…
The fact that this piece has been posted on the CCDI website has elicited a lot of excited commentary, since the head of the CCDI, Wang Qishan, is the standard bearer of Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption drive and is seen as one of Xi’s key assets and supporters…
Observers should find even more puzzling that, over three weeks after this apparently incendiary piece was posted on the CCDC website, it is still there.
Let me repeat. It. Is. Still. There.
Rather odd treatment for a piece that is supposedly a stinging rebuke to Xi Jinping…

Emily Rauhala, Xu Yangjingjing: Chinese website publishes, then pulls, explosive letter calling for President Xi’s resignation (Washington Post)

Andrew J. Nathan, Rana Mitter, Dominic Meagher, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel Leese, Kristin Shi-Kupfer: Cracks in Xi Jinping’s Fortress? (ChinaFile)

Two remarkable documents emerged from China last week: the first is the essay “A Thousand Yes-Men Cannot Equal One Honest Advisor”—available here in Chinese and translated here into English—which appeared on the website of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection. The second is an open letter calling for Xi Jinping’s resignation, penned by a group describing themselves as “loyal Party members.” What, if anything, do these documents suggest about the stability of Xi’s regime?

Michael Schoenhals: Qi Benyu, last surviving member of Central Cultural Revolution Group goes to see Karl Marx (H-NET)

Qi Benyu (戚本禹), the last surviving member of the Central Cultural Revolution Group, passed away this morning, 20 April 2016. Qi hailed from Weihai in Shandong province, but had been born in Shanghai in 1931. He joined the CCP in 1949. … To historians, what has to count as one of the most interesting pieces penned by Qi is a report《关于“调查研究”的调查》dating from 12 May 1961. It amounted to a highly critical description of how intermediate and lower-level officials were supposedly perverting the Maoist policy of ”investigation and research.”

Alastair Crooke: The ‘Hybrid War’ of Economic Sanctions (Consortium News)

U.S. politicians love the “silver bullet” of economic sanctions to punish foreign adversaries, but the weapon’s overuse is driving China and Russia to develop countermeasures.

Edward Wong: Chinese Writer in Germany Says 3 Siblings Are Detained Over Xi Letter | 旅德作家长平称家人因公开信事件被扣押 (New York Times)

A liberal Chinese writer living in Germany has said security officers in China detained three members of his family in connection with a mysterious online letter that denounced the iron-fisted rule of President Xi Jinping.

Chang Ping: Targeting Beyond China | 我为什么拒绝与中国政府交易 (New York Times)

On March 27, Chinese police crashed my father’s 70th birthday party in China’s southwestern Sichuan Province. They accused my family of causing a forest fire the day before by lighting incense and burning paper as part of the annual tomb- sweeping festival to honor deceased relatives. Three of my siblings were summoned to the police station and found out quickly that they were not being detained over an arson charge.
As an exiled Chinese journalist living in Germany, I had written an article in mid-March for Deutsche Welle criticizing the Chinese government for “secretly kidnapping” a journalist, Jia Jia, in connection with a widely distributed open letter calling for the resignation of President Xi Jinping.

Panama-Papiere
Apr 6th, 2016 by Gao

Matthias Müller: Sprachlos in Peking (Neue Zürcher Zeitung)

Staatschef Xi Jinping ist Korruption ein Dorn im Auge. Die Enthüllungen der «Panama Papers» wird er deshalb mit Argusaugen verfolgen. Auch Mitglieder seiner Familie nutzen jedoch «Briefkastenfirmen». …
Welche Chinesen Briefkastenfirmen gründeten, bleibt im Dunkeln. Deren Namen dürften für eine breite chinesische Öffentlichkeit jedoch keine grosse Überraschung darstellen. Im Fokus steht Deng Jiagui , der seit 1996 mit der älteren Schwester von Staats- und Parteichef Xi Jinping, Qi Qiaoqiao, verheiratet ist. Das Ehepaar war bereits 2012 in Visier westlicher Medien geraten, als die Nachrichtenagentur «Bloomberg» enthüllte, dass es über Vermögenswerte in Höhe von mehreren Hundert Millionen Dollar verfüge.

Huang Zheping: China’s elite—including Xi Jinping—are linked to offshore deals that hid millions of dollars (Quartz)

At least eight top Chinese officials are linked to offshore deals through associates, an investigation into 11 million leaked documents from one of the world’s largest offshore law firms shows. They include the brother-in-law of Chinese president Xi Jinping, whose offshore firms went dormant before Xi came into power, and the granddaughter of a former top leader who bought an offshore company for just $1.

Juliette Garside, David Pegg: Panama Papers reveal offshore secrets of China’s red nobility (Guardian)

The eight members of China’s Communist party elite whose family members used offshore companies are revealed in the Panama Papers.
The documents show the granddaughter of a powerful Chinese leader became the sole shareholder in two British Virgin Islands companies while still a teenager. Jasmine Li had just begun studying at Stanford University in the US when the companies were registered in her name in December 2010. Her grandfather Jia Qinglin was at that time the fourth-ranked politician in China…
Also in the data are Hu Dehua, the businessman son of Hu Yaobang, the Communist party’s general secretary ousted in 1987…

Johnny Erling: Der Panama-Skandal erreicht Chinas Führung (Standard)
Panama Papers – The Power Players: Deng Jiagui | Li Xiaolin (International Consortium of Investigative Journalists)
Powerful force is behind Panama Papers (Global Times)

A huge leak of confidential documents from Mossack Fonseca, a Panama-based law firm alleged to have been a facilitator of money laundering for its clients has shocked international public opinion. Over 11 million documents were passed to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung by an anonymous source. These documents have been reportedly investigated by some 300 global journalists for a year.
The Western media soon collected the most eye-catching information from the documents and leaders of non-Western countries have been scrutinized. Most media led with the allegations that a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin had laundered $1 billion. The Western media has opaquely described it as „Putin’s money laundering.“ …
The Western media has taken control of the interpretation each time there has been such a document dump, and Washington has demonstrated particular influence in it. Information that is negative to the US can always be minimized, while exposure of non-Western leaders, such as Putin, can get extra spin.
In the Internet era, disinformation poses no major risks to Western influential elites or the West. In the long-run, it will become a new means for the ideology-allied Western nations to strike a blow to non-Western political elites and key organizations.

In den Medienberichten weniger prominent platziert:
Tsai Ing-wens Bruder hatte Beziehungen zu Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca (Radio Taiwan International)

Tsai Ying-yang, der Bruder der kommenden Präsidentin Tsai Ing-wen, hatte Beziehungen zur Anwaltskanzlei Mossack Fonseca. Das wird aus den kürzlich veröffentlichten Dokumenten der im Rahmen der Steuerhinterziehung genutzen panamaischen Anwaltskanzlei deutlich. …
Die Kanzlei [Mossack Fonseca] wurde 1977 von Jürgen Mossack, dem Sohn des Waffen-SS Rottenführers Erhard Mossack gegründet. Der US-Auslandsgeheimdienst CIA führte seinen Vater nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg für Spionagezwecke in Panama. Dort gründete der Sohn Jürgen Mossack die in die Schlagzeilen geratene Kanzlei zusammen mit dem panamaischen Anwalt Ramón Fonseca Mora.

Mia Lamar, Ned Levin: Five Things to Know About Hong Kong and the ‘Panama Papers’ (Wall Street Journal)

Hong Kong features prominently in a massive trove of documents allegedly leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca & Co., according to reports published by international media outlets…
Hong Kong Was Mossack Fonseca’s Busiest Office…
China Laws Help Drive Hong Kong Offshore Activity… Chinese technology giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., which went public in New York in 2014 in a record-beating $25 billion offering, is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, for instance.

Peter Wolter, Ernst Wolff: »Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt« (junge Welt)

Vom Skandal um die Panama-Konten profitieren in erster Linie die US-amerikanischen Steueroasen…
Es ist ganz offensichtlich ein Manöver der USA, sich selbst als weltweit beste Steueroase zu präsentieren. Wenn man die bisher vorliegenden Informationen über diese Panama-Papiere heranzieht, fällt auf, dass dort vor allem Gegner der USA angeschwärzt werden – die USA selber bleiben aber außen vor. Banken dieses Landes werden überhaupt nicht erwähnt, ebenso wenig Konzerne. Soweit ich weiß, werden auch keine Privatpersonen aus den USA genannt.
Das Interessante dabei ist, was nicht veröffentlicht wurde. Durch die Publizierung von Teilen dieser Papiere wird nämlich Druck auf Steuerhinterzieher aller Länder ausgeübt, ihr Schwarzgeld anderswo in Sicherheit zu bringen – niemand von ihnen kann wissen, ob nicht auch er in der Liste steht. Diese Leute werden sich vorsichtshalber eine neue Steueroase suchen: die USA. …
[Die USA] haben sich in den vergangenen Jahren – weitgehend unbemerkt von der breiten Öffentlichkeit – als neues Steuerparadies etabliert. Seit der Jahrtausendwende haben Regierung und Finanzkreise in Washington einen Krieg zum Beispiel gegen die Schweiz geführt: Deren Banken wurden genötigt, das Bankgeheimnis aufzuweichen. …
Parallel dazu wurden aber die US-Bundesstaaten Nevada, Delaware, South-Dakota und Wyoming als Standorte für derartige Konten etabliert. Dort gilt das Bankgeheimnis ohne Einschränkungen, den Geldanlegern ist dort fast alles erlaubt. …
Natürlich ist es gut, dass einige dieser Schiebereien jetzt an die Öffentlichkeit kommen. Aber letzlich versucht doch nur ein Übeltäter, andere Bösewichte zu beschmutzen, um von sich selbst abzulenken. Die wahren Schuldigen am Finanzchaos, die ganz großen Firmen und die Finanzinstitute der Wallstreet, bleiben mit Sicherheit ungeschoren.

Corporate Media Gatekeepers Protect Western 1% From Panama Leak (Craig Murray)

Whoever leaked the Mossack Fonseca papers appears motivated by a genuine desire to expose the system that enables the ultra wealthy to hide their massive stashes, often corruptly obtained and all involved in tax avoidance. These Panamanian lawyers hide the wealth of a significant proportion of the 1%, and the massive leak of their documents ought to be a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately the leaker has made the dreadful mistake of turning to the western corporate media to publicise the results. In consequence the first major story, published today by the Guardian, is all about Vladimir Putin and a cellist on the fiddle. As it happens I believe the story and have no doubt Putin is bent.
But why focus on Russia? Russian wealth is only a tiny minority of the money hidden away with the aid of Mossack Fonseca. In fact, it soon becomes obvious that the selective reporting is going to stink.
The Suddeutsche Zeitung, which received the leak, gives a detailed explanation of the methodology the corporate media used to search the files. The main search they have done is for names associated with breaking UN sanctions regimes. The Guardian reports this too and helpfully lists those countries as Zimbabwe, North Korea, Russia and Syria. The filtering of this Mossack Fonseca information by the corporate media follows a direct western governmental agenda. There is no mention at all of use of Mossack Fonseca by massive western corporations or western billionaires – the main customers. And the Guardian is quick to reassure that “much of the leaked material will remain private.”
What do you expect? The leak is being managed by the grandly but laughably named “International Consortium of Investigative Journalists”, which is funded and organised entirely by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity. Their funders include

  • Ford Foundation
  • Carnegie Endowment
  • Rockefeller Family Fund
  • W K Kellogg Foundation
  • Open Society Foundation (Soros)

among many others. Do not expect a genuine expose of western capitalism. The dirty secrets of western corporations will remain unpublished.

Clifford Coonan: Panama Papers: China describes revelations about its leaders as ‘groundless’ (Irish Times)

Und anderswo:
Self-censorship sensed as Japan’s TV stations replace outspoken anchors (Japan Times)

Hosts Ichiro Furutachi of TV Asahi’s influential “Hodo Station” and Shigetada Kishii of the TBS evening news program “News 23″ will both be replaced in April. NHK, too, is considering pulling longtime anchorwoman Hiroko Kuniya from its “Close-up Gendai” news and features program.
Furutachi has often been criticized by the government and its supporters for his commentaries…
Kuniya’s departure has long been whispered about as she is known for asking big-name politicians tough questions. However, she has survived until now.
Similarly, Kishii expressed opposition to contentious security bills before they cleared the Diet last September and called on fellow opponents to speak up.

Siegfried Knittel: Beschneidung der Pressefreiheit in Japan nimmt zu (Standard)

Journalisten beklagen ein zunehmend repressives Klima in Japan. Der Rücktritt dreier bekannter Fernsehmoderatoren sorgt für Unruhe…
Ins Blickfeld der ausländischen Presse geriet Furutachi, Macher der abendlichen Nachrichtensendung „Hodo Station“ des linksliberalen Asahi TV, im vergangenen Jahr, nachdem der Kommentator Shigeaki Koga in Furutachis Nachrichtensendung bekanntgemacht hatte, dass der Sender ihn auf Druck der Regierung zum Rücktritt gedrängt habe. Nun traf es Furutachi wegen seiner in „Hodo Station“ geäußerten Zweifel an der Verfassungskonformität der im vergangenen Jahr verabschiedeten Verteidigungsgesetze selbst.

KDVR
Jan 12th, 2016 by Gao

Nordkorea-Experte Frank über angeblichen Bombentest (ORF ZiB24, Video, 4:40 Min.)

Gadenstätter: Es haben heute Experten auch schon gesagt, Kim möchte … vor allem mit den USA auf Augenhöhe verhandeln. Warum ist ihm denn das so wichtig?
Frank: Aus nordkoreanischer Sicht sind die Vereinigten Staaten … das größte Sicherheitsrisiko für Nordkorea, zumindest bislang, wenn man China mal ausklammert. … [Die Nordkoreaner!] wollen gerne einen Friedensvertrag abschließen. Den möchten sie zwischen Gleichberechtigten schließen, nicht zwischen Gewinner und Verlierer, und auch dazu trägt sicherlich das Atomprogramm bei.

Klaus Huhold: „Der Abbau von Atomwaffen ist für Nordkoreaner indiskutabel“ (Wiener Zeitung)

Nordkorea hat mit seinem vierten Atomtest wieder einmal für internationale Empörung gesorgt: Das Regime des Diktators Kim Jong-un gibt an, eine Wasserstoffbombe getestet zu haben – westliche Experten vermuten aber, dass es eher eine weitere, herkömmliche Atombombe war. Der Nordkorea-Experte Rüdiger Frank erklärt, warum das Land aufrüstet und in welches Dilemma das China stürzt.

Maximilian Gerl: Pjöngjangs Atomtest: „Der Westen hat kaum noch Drohpotenzial gegen Kim“ (Spiegel)

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Was bezweckt Nordkorea mit der Zündung einer angeblichen Wasserstoffbombe?
Rüdiger Frank: Es ist die konsequente Fortsetzung der bisherigen Politik von Pjöngjang. Nordkorea hat sich schon vor vielen Jahren dazu entschieden, auf das Prinzip der nuklearen Abschreckung zu setzen. Das hat schon während des Kalten Krieges gut funktioniert. Die Führung um Kim Jong Un hat offenbar immer noch die Sorge, dass die USA das Land militärisch besetzen könnten. …
SPIEGEL ONLINE: China gilt als der wichtigste Partner Pjöngjangs. Wie lange wird Peking Nordkorea noch beschützen?
Frank: Das tun die Chinesen schon lange nicht mehr.Eigentlich ist China das von Nordkorea am meisten bedrohte Land in der Region: Gibt es ein Reaktorunglück, weht der Fallout nach China. Bröckelt das Regime in Pjöngjang, ist das auch für Chinas Machthaber gefährlich. Die Nordkoreaner treiben die Chinesen im Moment vor sich her – und machen ihr eigenes Ding.

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